February 2015 First Presbyterian Church
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Schedule 2015
  9:30 - Sunday School
10:15 - Fellowship
10:30 - Worship

Inside this issue:
Page 2
Session Notes
Page 3
Important Dates
Member News
Always in Our Hearts
Page 4
2015 Communion Dates
Page 5

Patrick Matthews & Martha Kelly
Dear Church Family,

Welcome to 2015. In this issue of the newsletter are reports on 2014 committee activities and soon we will finish up this first phase of News Beginnings and get an idea of what we want to happen in the next phase. Your new session is meeting for a half day retreat on Saturday to work on plans for the ongoing work of the church and to imagine what other ways we will deepen our spiritual growth and wisdom.

Committees will be reforming for the year and it is a great time to strengthen or shift your engagement and relationship in our community. There are all kinds of tasks and we need all kinds of ideas ----- from small one time tasks all the way to complicated ongoing tasks and always the need for ideas. I urge you to call me and let’s be in conversation about how you hear God calling you.

The passage from John below is taken from the Eugene Peterson’s translation entitled “The Message”. This passage makes clear that we harvest (reap benefits) from the sowing of others and we sow for ourselves and others. It is a circle of love. It tells us that the joy is in participation.
34-35 Jesus said, “The food that keeps me going is that I do the will of the One who sent me, finishing the work he started. As you look around right now, wouldn’t you say that in about four months it will be time to harvest? Well, I’m telling you to open your eyes and take a good look at what’s right in front of you. These Samaritan fields are ripe. It’s harvest time!

36-38 “The Harvester isn’t waiting. He’s taking his pay, gathering in this grain that’s ripe for eternal life. Now the Sower is arm in arm with the Harvester, triumphant. That’s the truth of the saying, ‘This one sows, that one harvests.’ I sent you to harvest a field you never worked. Without lifting a finger, you have walked in on a field worked long and hard by others.”
My prayer is that we will all link arms this year and experience the joy of life as a particular community of welcoming followers of Jesus. Let us learn and grow and work and play in intentional service.

With much joy,


         Page 2

Session Notes - Carole H. Cook, Clerk of Session
Session met on January 18, 2015 for its regular meeting in the church’s session room. The meeting followed immediately after the worship service. Rev. Victoria Griffin called the meeting to order at 11:45 AM and opened the meeting with a prayer. A quorum was present.

Elders present were: Sterling Steelman, Treasurer; Carole H. Cook, Clerk of Session; Mary Alice Adamson; Ann Chandler; Wayne Wildcat. Excused absence: John Ross. Treasurer Sterling Steelman presented the financial report, reviewed it with the session, and answered questions pertaining to the report. Report was noted by consensus as received. Motion approved that a portion of funds (undesignated) will go to the Sympathy Fund. Passed by common consent. Session approved Veronica Mayer to review our church’s 2014 Financial Records, according to the Book of Order. Ms. Mayer has review our records for several years now. Session reelected Sterling Steelman as church Treasurer for 2015. Book of Order calls for the treasurer to be elected each year. Sterling Steelman does an outstanding job as Church Treasurer.

Session passed the 2015 church budget which will be presented at the next congregational meeting. Session is in process of setting a date for that meeting. Session approved the 2015 Communion Dates. Copy of dates will go in the newsletter.

Committee reports: Building and Grounds - the work on the church’s exterior is approximately 60% completed. Problems with vandalism still exist with the empty church across the alley. but has not affected FPC at this point although the situation is being watched closely. The Police Department is aware of the situation. Personnel and Finance reported the committee had completed the pastor’s personnel review and report distributed to the session. Church secretary Kathy Barker had also had her personnel review given by Rev. Griffin and distributed to the Personnel and Finance Committee. Mission report is elsewhere in this newsletter. Worship committee reported all is going well in the committee. John Ross was out of town and was unable to give a Christian Education report.

The small groups for New Beginnings have all completed their work and will be moving on to the next step shortly.

A session retreat is coming up the Elders. Officer training and Installation of officers will be held shortly. Ordination and Installation will be during Worship, date to be determined.

Carole Cook, Clerk of Session, present the Statistical Report for 2014 as required by PCUSA. This report is prepared every year by the Clerk of Session and given to Session for review, questions, and approval. Session approved the 2014 Statistical church report which has now been sent online to PCUSA.

Session meeting was adjourned with prayer by Rev. Griffin at 1:03 PM.

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         Page 3

Important Dates

January 31 - Officer retreat and training
February 1 - 4th Sunday after Epiphany; Ordination and Installation of Elders; Souper Bowl of Caring
February 2 - Trinity Circle at the church
February 8 - 5th Sunday after Epiphany
February 15 - Communion; Transfiguration of the Lord; Session meeting following worship
February 18 - Ash Wednesday; Worship service that evening; please check office for time
February 22 - 1st Sunday in Lent

Great-Granddaughter of
J N and Jimmie Grimes

Member News

From new Great-grandmother, Mary Alice Adamson:

“My first visit with my precious great grandson, Flynt! I was overwhelmed by this awesome event as I felt bathed in a cocoon of love while I held this precious bundle in my arms. There is nothing quite like seeing and holding your great grandchild, believe-you-me!”
Always in Our Hearts, Always in Our Prayers
* Helen Fordyce is in ETMC in Tyler, recovering from pneumonia. Our prayers are with her for a speedy recovery.
* Kay Steelman’s mom, Marge Magouyrk, at Bonner Place and not feeling well.
* Mary Johnson has moved to a Retirement Village in Longview.
* Mary Louise McGaughey is in Angelina House.
* Jerry Barnett is recovering from wrist surgery and doing better.
* Paul McElhaney and Ann McElhaney both continue to have health difficulties and need our prayers.
* Willie B. Paine continues rehab at Senior Care and is feeling much better.

Please keep all in your hearts and your prayers.
The Peacock Family

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         Page 4

Inreach / Outreach Report - Mary Alice Adamson, Moderator
1. Client requests were up for 2014 with 1517 total, 322 of whom were new. The Kitchen of HOPE fed 13,267, 4,467 back packs were distributed, the Manna Pantry fed 2690, the van served 762 clients driving 5583 miles and volunteers hours at HOPE totaled 10,358.

2. The Souper Bowl of Caring is Sunday, 2/1/15. Please bring canned goods to church, or make donations for food purchase. Items needed are: canned tuna, canned chicken, crackers, peanut butter, and boxes of mac & cheese.

3. The next To Your Health Luncheon will be held in the Kitchen of HOPE on 3/26/15. Reservations are made by calling HOPE.

4. A Celebrity Host Event will be held on 4/18/15 in the Central Baptist Church Fellowship Hall as a fund raiser for HOPE.

5. HOPE needs a new ice machine which will cost $1,770.00. Donations designated for that purpose are requested in order that this might be purchased. One local business and the City Fire Department are now furnishing ice for HOPE.
2015 Communion Dates
First Presbyterian Church, Jacksonville
(approved by Session on January 18, 2015)
February 15 - Transfiguration of the Lord
February 22 - First Sunday in Lent
March 1, 8, 15, 22 - Sundays in Lent
March 29 - Palm Sunday
April 2 - Maundy Thursday
April 5 - Easter Sunday
May 24 - Pentecost
May 31 - Trinity Sunday
July 12 - first non holiday Sunday in July
August 2 - First Sunday of the month
September 13 - first non holiday in September
October 4 - World Communion Sunday
November 1 - All Saint’s Day
November 22 - Christ the King/Reign of Christ
November 29 - First Sunday in Advent
December 6, 13, 20 - Sundays in Advent
December 24 - Christmas Eve
January 10, 2016 - Baptism of the Lord

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         Page 5 - Calendar, February 2015           Join in on Praying for Our Church Family
M/M Paul McElhaney

Vivian Nichols
Jimmie Grimes
Ken Cook
Sara Barnett

Guest Minister








Larry McCarroll
Sterling Steelman

Prayers for the Cook Family

Trinity Circle






Prayers for the Adamson Family






Valentine's Day


Jack Albright

Transfiguration of the Lord
Holy Communion Session Meeting after Church

Prayers for Shannon Smyrl

President's Day




Lent Begins





Holy Communion

Prayers for the Cryer Family






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