December’s Theology & Spirtual Discussion group meeting will be at 10:00 a.m. Tuesday, December 13, in the Vault at BlendWell Café. Driving Jesus to Little Rock by Roland Merullo is the book being discussed. It is the story of an author driving to Arkansas to give a booktalk who picks up a hitchhiker going to Arkansas to hear the author. The passenger introduces himself as “Jesus the Christ.” If you have any questions, please contact Yuri Ito at (816) 654-4284 or email@example.com.
The party for Jesus will be held during Wednesday Night Live! on Wednesday, December 14. The evening begins at 5:30 P.M. with crafts and a meal. Those of you who do not regularly attend need to make a reservation online: fpcindep.org.
We will have games, trivia, and holiday music for all ages. Come join us for a fun evening celebrating our Lord Jesus Christ’s birth.
The Wednesday Night Live Adult Bible study will resume on 12/14 from 6:30-7:30 p.m., with dinner at 6:00 p.m. at Westminster Hall. Children and youth meet each week starting at 5:30 p.m. The Bible lesson for children, youth and adults will introduce us to different characters from the Bible and what they can teach us about living a faithful life of joy and blessing. Children and youth arrive as early as 5:00 p.m. to do homework or read to adults. Then from 5:30-7:30 p.m., we have games, dinner and Bible Study. If you would like to join in the food, fun and learning, please register by going to our webpage (www.fpcindep.org) or picking up a registration form on the credenza and returning it to the office.
The Missions Committee is sponsoring the Salvation Army Angel Tree, which is set up in the Parlour. There are just four easy steps in making a child happy this Christmas. 1) Pick an angel from the tree 2) Shop for two gifts or clothes with a
limit of $50.00. 3) Bring unwrapped gifts in a bag with the bottom half of the tag (with child’s name) back to the church. 4) Keep the angel and receipts for your records. The deadline is December 16 in order for the unwrapped gifts to be
delivered by Christmas.
We will have a Cookie Exchange and Sale on Sunday, December 18 in the Committee Room, sponsored by Presbyterian Women, the Mission Committee, and the Fellowship Committee. Please sign up to join us for a quick way to get a variety of cookies. Bring 4 dozen cookies and receive 2 dozen back. The remainder of cookies will be taken to our local shelters. If you can, please bake some cookies and exchange, or if you prefer, you may buy some goodies.
We can respond to God's love at Christmas by giving generously to the Christmas Joy Offering. While at this season it's easy to think of the baby Jesus as simply
a sweet and holy presence radiating light from a manger, the whole of the gospels and of history tells another story. This child is the way God's love bursts into our lives and history in a way that leaves both forever changed. A portion of this special offering helps students at racial ethnic schools and colleges develop their gifts and find their calling to serve God through serving their community. This offering is also given to help families of both active and retired church workers to meet unexpected needs. The Christmas Joy offering will be collected on December 18.
Join us on Sunday, December 18 during worship for A Night in Bethlehem featuring our children & youth as we witness the blessed events God put in place to prepare the world for the birth of Christ: with prophets declaring the future, Elizabeth encouraging Mary's faith, Joseph trusting in God and not his own understanding, and the humbleness of a king being born in a stable. These events brought people of all lifestyles together in celebration of the one night in Bethlehem when Christ was Born. Rehearsals are as follows: today, December 11 after church and during Bible study on Wednesday nights, December 14 with a cast party at the church on Saturday, December 17, 3:00-5:00 p.m.
The Christmas Eve Candlelight Service begins at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary on Saturday, December 24. Plan to arrive early and enjoy the fellowship and refreshment of the Wassail Bowl, beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the Parlour.
Christmas Sunday at First Church will feature a simple service at 10:30 a.m. with carols, prayer and a brief Christmas message from Pastor Dave. Everyone is invited to come dressed in comfortable, Christmas morning attire. We will also
have a brief time of Fellowship and Refreshments before people continue on to their usual Christmas celebrations. Sunday school classes are not expected to meet that day.
Annual Report Time! All Class, Committee, Board, and activity leaders please submit your 2022 reports to the office. The deadline for the reports to be received in the church office is January 15, 2023. E-mail is the easiest to work with but
print-ready copies are also welcome. This report will be prepared for distribution at our Annual Congregational Meeting and Potluck on Sunday, January 23, 2023 immediately following worship. Thanks for your help!
Church Officer Nomination forms are available on the credenza. Please consider and pray who among our members you might nominate for service, or you may nominate yourself. Completed forms may be placed in the collection plate or turned into the office.
Sunday School Classes Start with Renewed Energy, Vision - Sunday School classes are now meeting with new curriculum and activities each Sunday at 9:30 a.m. There’s a class for everyone – Elementary in the downstairs classrooms, Jr/Sr Highs in their upstairs lounge outside the DCE office, and three Adult Classes (Saints Alive/VIPs in the Parlour, Guidance in the upstairs Dining Room, and Lost & Found in a downstairs classroom). We are still looking for part-time teachers for the elementary class on a rotation basis using the easy-to-follow curriculum provided. If you are interested in teaching or would like more information on a class, please contact Melissa Roe-Wilson at firstname.lastname@example.org or (816) 726-5529.
Ink Cartridge Recycling Program - due to the space in the Parlour for the large recycling/collection box and most cartridges and toners are not accepted in this program, Debbie will discontinue the recycling program. There are several ways to recycle ink and toners.
If your address, phone number and/or email address has changed or there has been any other life event such as marriage, new baby, etc. please contact the church office.
The following schedule is for the Coffee Fellowship after worship. Please See Robbie Gorman for more details.
1st Sunday – (former members) VIP Sunday school class
2nd Sunday – Guidance class
3rd Sunday – Fellowship Committee
4th Sunday – Saints Alive class
5th Sunday – Ladies Circle groups
When exiting the church building, please push all doors to ensure they are completely shut and secure and make sure the alarm is set as needed.
Session voted Jan. 18 to share the following information from the CDC website*
Close contact with someone who has COVID-19? – Where a mask if around others and get tested after 5 days or when symptoms begin,
* For full guidelines: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/prevention.html
Each church of Heartland Presbytery contributes money to cover the expenses of our presbytery, synod and General Assembly, which serve and support First Church and our sister churches in the PC(USA). Each family of First Church is asked to pay its share if you haven't already. The per capita payment for 2021 is $43.07 per church member in your family past confirmation age. The total is split $31.19 for Heartland
Presbytery expenses, $2.90 for the Synod of Mid-America, and $8.98 for General Assembly. The 2022 per capita remains the same as this year. Your Stewardship Committee asks that you contribute if able, and gives thanks for those who already have.
Please submit all information including the Greeters, Ushers, and detailed requests for the Sunday bulletin by the Wednesday before you would like it added. Bulletins are finalized on Thursday mornings.
Pastor Dave and Yuri have discontinued use of their home phone landline, but can still be reached as usual on their cell phones (816-654-4281 for Dave and 816-654-4284 for Yuri).
Coffee Fellowship after worship in the Parlour is back! But without food at this time, as decided by Session at the May 18 meeting. Coffee and punch will be served using health and safety practices; no self-services. Masks are optional for those who have been vaccinated against COVID-19 in keeping with health official guidelines. The cushions have been returned to all pews, however, please continue to respect each other's social-distancing and hand-shaking/hugging preferences. Please contact anyone on Session or Pastor Dave with any questions or concerns.
Those wanting to get Facebook updates from Bonnie and Will Ratcliff as they battle Will's brain cancer recurrence can join the Will's Warriors group at https://www.facebook.com/groups/386853145972477.
First Church now offers online giving for those faithfully making their pledge offerings and other contributions. You may use your computer or Smartphone to visit the FPC Giving Page (or look for the ❤GiveNow button on our website) and begin the process of simplifying (and if you want, automating) your financial contribution to the ministry of First Church. This service is thanks to The Presbyterian Foundation’s Online Giving Program, with no monthly or annual fees. The Presbyterian Foundation uses the Vanco Payment Solutions platform, an industry leader in providing churches secure and simple giving solutions in compliance with Payment Card Industry data security standards for handling, storing and transmitting credit card information. Contact Robby Klim of Finance Committee, David Melton of Stewardship or Pastor Dave with any questions.
Your 2022 pledge envelopes are now ready for pickup in the Parlour.
Please call the church office for any questions or concerns at 816-252-6662. Your pastor, staff, deacons and other servant leaders are available to help in whatever way they can.
Total per capita for 2021: $43.07
$2.90—Synod of Mid-America
All in-person gatherings may resume at at the discretion of the group leader, with masks optional for those vaccinated against COVID-19 and everyone respecting each other's social-distancing, handshaking and hugging preferences. Calendar listings are place-holders only. Please contact meeting/gathering organizers to ask about a specific group's status.