First Impact A quarterly publication of First Presbyterian Church Norfolk
FROM THE SENIOR PASTOR Welcome to the Summer issue of First Impact! We are excited about the improvements made to the layout, content and publication cycle and trust you will be encouraged by them all. This first of four annual seasonal issues is an introduction to the type of publication we have wanted for some time. What you will find is more of a content driven publication designed to give you a better glimpse into each of our ministry areas, -albeit not all at once-share celebrations from our family of faith and tell our story just a little bit better. This is not a newsletter filled only with advertisements, or a calendar of events; they are there, to be sure, but only in a supportive role.
We would like to introduce you to an old friend with a new name…the Joy Children’s Village! Known as the Joy Children’s Home when it opened in 2011, the word “orphanage” was fitting. At that time, we brought together 18 orphans in one large home under the care of three women trained to be their “mothers.” It was an institutional model where the women and children lived together as a group. It was a children’s “home.” Two years and major renovations later, the words “home” and “orphanage” are no longer appropriate. This is now a village. It is a village made up of three families living separately in their own condominiums, buying their own groceries, cooking their own meals, keeping their own budgets. The children within each of these families live as brothers and sisters, doing chores and homework together under the watchful eye of a loving mother. It is no longer an institution. It is the Joy Children’s Village. The second phase of renovations, creating four additional condominiums, was recently completed. Soon this village of three families will become a village of seven. The home that was once an orphanage is now a village, filled with the laughter and love of women and children brought together by the saving grace of Christ. Welcome to Joy!
We hope you like where we are headed and welcome your feedback. Now, bring on the good ole’ summer time! on the cover: “Walls of Kenya” photography by Liza Baker.
come to the water Summer is like no other season: vacations, relaxing with family and friends, surfing, sailing, swimming… summer offers wonderful opportunities to enjoy life and God’s beautiful creation.
There is nothing like the shade of a large oak tree, the roar of the waves against the hot sandy beach or the sound of crickets chirping in the late summer evening. For some reason, summer opens our hearts to adventure and hearing God’s voice in a fresh, unhurried way. This summer we will journey through the Gospel of Matthew by following Jesus as he teaches on the seashore and travels by boat. We will see him baptized in the River Jordan, walk along the beach as he calls his first disciples, and be fearfully amazed as he walks to us on the water. Each time Jesus travels by boat or teaches on the water, we will be there to listen, to learn and to see his transformative power at work. Each Sunday will be a new adventure as we encounter Jesus and come to the water. We will enjoy some old traditional hymns that fill our hearts to overflowing with praise, hymns like: Shall We Gather at the River, Softly and Tenderly, Precious Lord Take My Hand, I Love to Tell the Story and so many more. As in past summers we will have special opportunities to share in fellowship and fun together. Come to the water this summer at FPC and enjoy a season of growth, renewal and revival. Water is the solvent of life, the symbol of new life in Christ as we are washed clean and joined to Christ’s ministry.
valena hoy, firstname.lastname@example.org executive associate pastor
in this issue break me, mold me, fill me, use me
first small groups
411 with 242
our place in history
an enduring legacy of service
goodreads with jim wood
break me, mold me, fill me, and use me summer pilgrimages 2013 Do you want to be a tourist or do you want to be a pilgrim? A tourist sets out seeking a glimpse into another place, another culture, another lifestyle. A tourist soon returns to â€œreal lifeâ€? with a few souvenirs, some photographs, maybe a t-shirt, as reminders of the adventure. A pilgrim sets out seeking Christ. A pilgrim goes seeking immersion into the hearts and spirits, the struggles and joys, of those he encounters. A pilgrim returns home with his soul forever changed by the living God. Are you ready to be a pilgrim? 3
becky lyle pinkard, email@example.com executive assistant to the senior pastor, and communications coordinator, tree of lives
massanetta springs june 16-18
massanetta team 2012
Summer is finally here. Green fields and beautiful flowers are in bloom getting ready to welcome First Presbyterian Church to Massanetta Springs. The time will soon draw near when we will begin our pilgrimage down highway 64 to an event to remember. I can taste the sweet and smoky goodness of sâ€™mores roasted over a roaring fire as I type. I can faintly hear the songs being sung and the stories being shared around that same fire. Giggles will be heard from young and old as they settle into their cabins for the night. Seemingly all too soon, the dawn will break on our first full day together and call everyone to the Volunteer Farm. Last year we cleared rocks and debris from a field to help prepare it for planting and eventual
harvest. I wonder what our task will be this year; and whether it will be done under an umbrella of rain or a canopy of sunshine? Our second day together invites all to a variety of adventures such as canoeing, swimming, zip lining, fishing, games and much more. The children will exude boundless energy while us older ones try to keep up! All the fodder of still more wonderful campfire stories! All of the above will be blanketed in the love of Christ and a time for learning more about His word. It is going to be so much fun to share this time with you. Thanks for the memories to come. They will sheryl wood, firstname.lastname@example.org be incredible. missions outreach coordinator
laurie talty and glen green
june 22-july 6
Meet the team headed to Kenya on June 22nd. Twelve in total, some veterans of this pilgrimage and others new to the journey, most members of FPC and others who have heard the call, will spend two weeks at Nazareth Hospital. Many things are going on behind the scenes to prepare the way for their entry into African culture, where poverty, HIV+/AIDs and abandonment run rampant. The team is reading Good News About Injustice by Gary A. Haugen. The book offers stories of courageous Christians who have stood up for justice and also calls the body of Christ to action. The book is available for purchase in The Loft, our bookstore, if you would like to read along with the
team. All twelve covet your prayers both now and during their time in Kenya. To that end we have asked them to share a little about themselves including their greatest fears and hopes for their pilgrimage. Upon their return, we will publish a follow-up feature providing you details of their time serving Godâ€™s children in Africa.
Sheryl Wood Missions Outreach Coordinator, FPC “I have been to Kenya six times, serving in various capacities. This year I will be the point person to help get our team to where they need to go and offer general support, logistics or otherwise, wherever I am needed. I also am interested in working with the hospice team. My biggest fear for the trip is leaving friends and family behind. My biggest hope for the trip is that Christ’s love will be apparent in all that we undertake. My prayer request is for my family and for those with whom we will come in contact.” Laurie Talty and Glen Green Pediatricians “This will be our second trip to Kenya but our 10th mission trip with First Presbyterian Church. Laurie and I are both Pediatricians. As most of you know on our first mission trip with FPC our then 12-yearold son suffered a severe traumatic brain injury in a tragic accident. The terror and desperation of that moment are indelibly etched on our hearts and minds. Etched even more deeply, though, is the overwhelming and miraculous provision of God in the minutes, hours and days that ensued. God calls us to be the comfort that we ourselves received. Our greatest hope is to bring that comfort, His comfort, to those with whom we meet, help and befriend.
Our greatest fear are the illnesses that we have neither the expertise, nor the medicine, or the equipment to treat. Also, we are concerned about the well being of our young adult children who will remain in the United States. It is a life long lesson of trust in God’s provision that began in earnest 13 years ago. We plan to provide physical exams and medications to the children of the Joy Village, educational lectures and rounds at Nazareth Hospital, and support and interaction with the Holy Family Center.” Liza Baker Art Therapy Graduate Student “This summer will be my third trip to Kenya. My biggest fear is getting sick and not being able to be part of team time and art therapy activities. My second biggest fear is loosing my motivation to keep in relationship with our Kenya brothers and sisters. My biggest hope is that the art therapy ministry will be effective as a healing agent in Kenya and that this ministry will grow. It is my hope to continue to be in partnership with First Presbyterian Church in the ongoing expansion and refinement of this ministry. (con’t next page) 6
I have been recently accepted into a graduate art therapy program and would like to gain personal experience in this field. I hope to share with the team an art journal I am working to complete. We will each have our own journal notebook designed to creatively express and record personal reflections of our pilgrimage in Kenya.
Susan LaSante Assistive Technology Specialist
My personal prayer requests are for protection from sickness for the team and myself, stamina to keep up with the art therapy schedule, discernment for our leadership, and team unity to complete the good works the Spirit has called us to do.”
Last year I felt called to go on the Tree of Lives mission trip, an organization I knew little about, with a group of strangers I had never met. On that trip in 2012, I experienced the love of Christ deep within my soul. This year, one Sunday in March, as I was listening to the encouragement from my pastor that “Jesus wants to give us what really nourishes our lives,” it hit me; I am spiritually nourished when serving in missions. I emailed Becky immediately following that service, and asked her to put me on the Kenya team for a second trip.
Kristine Rand, Director of Prayer and Spiritual Growth, FPC “I have been to Kenya several times. I worked in Kenya building water filtration systems and relationships. My greatest joy has been my work with the children of Kenya as a therapist and friend. We have used art therapy as the vehicle for both relationship building and healing. I think that my greatest impact has been through a healing prayer ministry with the children through the work of the Holy Spirit. Through this work, I have seen children’s nightmares vanish and bed wetting cease. The Lord is amazing! My greatest fear is that I will try to work in my own strength instead of through the power of God’s spirit. My greatest hope is that Jesus will be glorified and that he will work through me to make all things new.”
“This will be my second trip with Tree of Lives although I have travelled to Kenya three times before with Anajali Ministries, where I worked at a school in the Kibera Slum in Nairobi.
I am returning this year because I miss the people from Africa I came to love and have been praying for all year. My prayer is that God will use me and in some small way - as a blessing to others and that as his servant heeding his call, I pray I will be faithful and not afraid.”
Hunter Johnston Director of Children’s Ministries, FPC “This is my second pilgrimage to Kenya. I had the opportunity and privilege to travel to Kenya last year for my first time, representing our kids here at church. I fell deeply in love with the people and culture of Africa and I just can’t wait to get back! (con’t next page)
This summer I will be working on developing an assessment of the educational status of our kids who live in the Joy Village. I’m also looking forward to finishing up some painting projects, with my friend Isaac, in the children’s library at Nazareth Hospital. My biggest fear is that I will not stay healthy and that illness would keep me from my tasks and from the children. My greatest hope is the opportunity to spend time with old friends from last summer and build new relationships with people I haven’t met yet. I would appreciate prayers for good health and safe travels while I am away and also for my family who will be keeping the home fires burning.”
Bryan Smith Pastor, Geneva Presbyterian Church, Canton MI “I want to thank Jim and the other saints at FPC Norfolk for allowing me to join in this Kenyan adventure of faith. I have served as pastor of Geneva Presbyterian Church in Canton, MI for the past 21 years. My wife Jennifer is a speech therapist who works primarily with children on the autism spectrum. My two adult kids, Julia and Joshua, are both in college. This will be my first time on African soil. The main fear I have is not staying physically healthy during the trip; my hope would be, to quote a line from the song, “Spirit of the Living God,” that God would use this trip to more deeply break me, mold me, fill me, and use me. I am expecting to work in a hospital with AIDS and HIV patients, a pastoral care and counseling unit that helps survivors deal with grief and loss, and an orphanage where children live whose parents have died of AIDS. I am expecting that these settings will truly break
my heart and change my life, drawing me to a place of deeper engagement with the suffering of God’s children. My prayer would be that I would stay fully open, awake, and responsive to what Jesus is doing around me, within me, and through me during this time in Africa.”
Kristen Green Junior, Norfolk Academy “I’m Kristen Green, a 17 year-old junior at Norfolk Academy, where I dive and run track. This will be my second trip to Kenya. Last year, I feared the unknown of my role at the Joy Home, and if I would enjoy being surrounded by mostly adults. This year, however, I fear for what shocking and horrifying scene I will see that will pain me. And, if I do, I hope such an experience will help deepen and strengthen my faith in God. As well, I hope to grow in my relationship with the kids at the school, on the compound, and in the Joy Children’s Village. On the trip, I hope to work more closely with the Joy Village. I hope that I will be able to video tape some of the kids and create an informative video for the church to share with others. My prayer requests are for safe travels, and for each and every person on the trip to be moved in some way by the inspiring people of Kenya.”
Jim Wood Senior Pastor, FPC “I’ve been going to Kenya for nearly ten years now; it feels like a second home. My biggest fear is “getting busy” and getting out of the flow of the Spirit - a real risk for me. My biggest hope is that Christ will open a new revelation of promise to our team and each pilgrim individually. While on the ground, in addition to our pilgrim journey as a team, I will be working on goal setting with our Holy Family, Nazareth and Joy Village partners - very exciting to see what Christ is doing! New initiatives like palliative care at Nazareth, youth ministries at Holy Family and additional families at Joy Village are a rich testimony to His blessings. In the midst of it all, I’m perhaps most excited about hanging out with the team and seeing what might happen. Good stuff.”
Ruthie Rand Student, ODU “Like many others going on the pilgrimage to Kenya this summer, this is not my first time. After my first pilgrimage, during the fall of my senior year of high school, I knew that I would have to return. I had fallen in love with the country and the people of Kenya. I am now a student of Psychology, Studio Arts and Spanish at Old Dominion University and plan to apply to the EVMS Graduate program of Art Therapy in the coming year. While in Kenya I will be working with team members in Art Therapy clinics at the Joy Village as well as the Nazareth Hospital. One of the difficulties of being in Kenya without training in counseling is listening to the children’s 9
stories. While I am extremely blessed to hear their stories and be touched by their bravery and courage, it is extremely taxing to know that there is only so much I can do to immediately assist. I pray God gives me the strength to listen with earnest ears, comfort with loving words and the peace to understand that only He has the ability to fix the situation.”
Steve Story Lawyer “I have made the pilgrimage to Kenya and Nazareth Hospital three times before, but I have not been to Kenya since the Joy Children’s Village has opened and began providing a loving, Christian home for orphaned children. During this pilgrimage, I plan to spend time with the children of the Joy Village, and to travel to Good Shepherd Academy, the boarding school attended by a number of scholars from around Nazareth Hospital who have been provided scholarships by individuals who have previously made the pilgrimage to Nazareth Hospital. I also hope to meet my prayer partner, Cliff, and his family. My greatest hope is to slow down and be led by the Holy Spirit in my encounters during this upcoming fortnight. My greatest fear is that I will stay rigidly in my comfort zone, and busy, and miss Christ speaking to me and leading me in this journey. I covet your prayers that I would have open eyes and an open heart to Christ’s presence with me (and with us) during this pilgrimage.” Editor’s Note: Will you commit to pray for this team , their pilgrimage and the work God has prepared in advance for them to do?
art therapy >> what it is, how it works, and our role with it in kenya Through the art making process, children are able to introduce themselves and express their thoughts, hopes, struggles and dreams. Art Therapy is a tool we use to help the children of Kenya express their inner spiritual and emotional life. Through the art making process, children are able to introduce themselves and express their thoughts, hopes, struggles and dreams. In the Kenyan school systems, community and compliance are highly valued and individual opinions are discouraged. Thus it is very difficult for the children to express their unique thoughts and feelings. Art therapy allows the children to communicate a difficult feeling and thereby find comfort and healing. Additionally, during the large mural creation experiences, our children discover that they are not
alone in neither their suffering nor healing, and that in fact, there is a community to support them and a God who loves them. Our greatest prayer is that the children will discover and/or more deeply know that they are treasured and loved. We want every child to know that they are a precious creation and that God has a plan for them. kristine rand, email@example.com director of prayer and spiritual growth
sabbatical what is it?
“Rest is not simply an absence of work; it is first and foremost an act of radical trust.” Our denomination gives pastors three months of sabbatical leave during or after their seventh year of ministry in a congregation. Sabbatical leave is a break from normal work responsibilities designed to rejuvenate and refocus a pastor on Christ and the calling to ministry. As the Lord commanded the land to lie fallow every seventh year, so we are called to take a season away from the “job” of ministry and experience a biblical rest. Rest is not simply an absence of work; it is first and foremost an act of radical trust. The Sabbath, and the Sabbath year, remind us that our success, security and sustenance rely not on our own efforts, but on God’s grace. Imagine the faith it takes for a farmer to not work the fields for an entire day each week. How much more 11
faith must it have taken to not plant crops for an entire year, trusting only in the Lord’s command and promise! That kind of rest powerfully affirms the sovereignty of God above our own efforts and beyond our own control. Moreover, the cycles of Sabbath and the Sabbath year draw us into a Scriptural rhythm that requires us to remember and honor our God. Rest is an opportunity to reconnect with and “lean into” the Father who loves us, the Son who died for us, and the Spirit who lives inside us. Long before Stephen Covey’s excellent book, the Lord realized that we too often allow the urgent to crowd out the important in our lives. Sabbath rest helps us realize that choosing to focus on the important frequently requires us to allow the urgent to go undone. Following Jesus is a choice to consistently let other things fail so that we might be faithful to Him, and the Sabbath is a critical tool for that purpose.
By Pastor Jim Gates, who has been approved for and will be taking a Sabbatical August through December 2013. Please pray for his time of rest and rejuvenation, that he might trust in the time given and seek and find the rhythm of Christ.
$.05 plus you... Once a month we ask you to consider giving 5 CentsA-Meal for each meal either you, or your family, have enjoyed the previous month. That equates to roughly $4.50 per person. Not much by today’s standards of food costs, but what a difference our collective giving means to those who are hungry, homeless, or otherwise in need.
So, how much have you given and where did it go?
$9,432.00 (offering Year to Date)
feedNorfolk | Foodbank of Southeastern VA Ghent Area Ministries | Mutomo Children’s Feeding Program | St. Mary’s Home for Disabled Children | Union Mission | Volunteer Farm of Shenandoah
that’s a lot of nickels!
sharing Christ’s love with the community. Each of our groups has the privilege of sharing life with one another, growing in their faith, forming friendships, and having fun together. If you are not already a part of a small group and are looking for a way to grow closer to Christ in community, I would encourage you to consider joining a small group. You can do so by contacting me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Small groups are a great way to grow deeper in your faith. In these close-knit Christian communities, members have the opportunity to carry out the mission of the church. They share life’s joys and sorrows with one another, pray together in their meetings and pray for one another during the week. They do studies together, whether it’s discussing a passage from the Bible, reading a Christian book, or talking about topics such as sharing faith in the workplace or marriage. They serve together,
For those of you interested in a casual introduction our First Group Meet Ups will be happening this summer on July 14 and August 11. They are a friendly way to chat with other small group leaders and members and learn more about the benefits of joining a group. dorothy hood, email@example.com director of small group ministries
The Dunamis Prayer Ministry has truly been authored and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Last summer, Frank Drake, M.Div. told me of his international work with the Dunamis Ministry which seeks to teach the church about the dynamic action of the Holy Spirit through lectures, worship, prayer and reflection. The goal of this ministry is to see people equipped with the power of the Holy Spirit as they serve and proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ. Last fall, seventeen of us from First Presbyterian attended a Dunamis Conference in Black Mountain, North Carolina. The teaching we received at this conference motivated us to start the Dunamis Prayer Ministry at FPC and we have grown to over forty prayer ministers thus far. Each Sunday, our twelve-person prayer team intercedes for the worship leaders and the congregation. At the end of each service, our prayer ministers are available to pray with individuals who come forward for healing, hope, pain relief and deliverance through the power of the Holy Spirit. 13
kristine rand, firstname.lastname@example.org
hunter johnston, email@example.com children’s ministry director
The official ‘painting’ of the Complete Joy Club by Caroline Burton, 8 years old, May 2013.
First Presbyterian Church has launched the Complete Joy Kids’ Club, to support the Joy Children’s Village in Kenya! If your kindergarten through fifth grade child is interested in being part of a kids’ operated fund raising and activities club, this is the club to join! The first meeting was Sunday morning, May 5. During the first meeting, our kids wrote letters to our Joy Village friends, developed the club rules, and planned our first bake sale and church-wide crayon/ marker drive. Upcoming Kids’ Club meetings: Sunday, June 2, 9:00-9:30 am Sunday, August 4, 9:00-9:30 am
The name of our new kids club, ‘Complete Joy,’ comes from the challenge
to believers found in Philippians 2, “Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” The kids and I thought this a most fitting verse to represent the vision of the club - to serve others and love them with the humility and love that Christ pours out on his children. Our club is ‘other focused’ and our kids are zealous to support the Joy Village! There are surely good things to come and your support is critical.
meet the founder Caroline is our FPC Complete Joy Kids’ Club founder. At only 8 years old, this whole club was her idea! She has a giant-sized heart and imagination, which help her as an artist and a child philanthropist. Caroline wants you to be part of the kids’ club, to help complete the Joy village in kenya. To register your child to be part of the kids’ club or for more information, contact: Hunter Johnston, Director of Children’s Ministries, at hunter@ fpcnorfolk.org.
first kids summer reading recommendations If your summer hasnâ€™t started yet, the time will soon be upon you. You can check another school year off the calendar. Accomplished or survived, the school year will soon, if it hasnâ€™t already, wrap up. Evenings will be free of homework, math drills, papers, projects and last minute notifications of something due the next day involving flour, sugar or hot glue! But what to do with all that free time?
Below are two Christian young readers books worth checking out. Both series are written for self readers 8 and up but both would make for wonderful read aloud times for the whole family. Several copies of select books from each series will be in the FPC Loft and available for checkout. Keep checking availability and Happy reading everyone!
Sisters In Time
voyage aboard the Mayflower to the New World. Girls can learn about struggles and life in early America, with an engaging story line that will keep their attention. Delve into life during and after the Civil War in American Rebirth, with historically relevant stories of struggle during difficult times. These books show young girls how having a personal faith in Christ can help them through all things.
If your little girl likes American Girl, then she will love this new series of historically accurate books called Sisters In Time. Choose between the assortment of different girls and their stories of life in early America and how faith weaves into their life and culture of the time. Stories begin as early as 1620 in American Dream, as ten year old Sarah Smythe begins her fictional
The Incredible Worlds of Wally McDoogle Your boy will dive into the hilarious books about the lovable and nerdy Wally McDoogle. Wally is a brilliant twelveyear-old boy who causes big problems everywhere he goes. While reading these super entertaining stories, your boy will learn important lessons about trusting God and sharing the good news 15
about Jesus! Start with volume one, My Life as a Smashed Burrito, as Wally goes to Camp Wahkuh Wahkuh, and is forced to stand up to the camp bully. In this story, Wally learns the value of loving even those who seem unlovable. These Wally McDoogle books are hysterically funny and entertaining, while teaching important lessons about fear, pride and faith in Christ.
h t i w 1 41
We have two great groups traveling this year for a week of worship, games, music, and other random awesomeness. Our high school students will attend Fun in the Son July 14-18 in Jekyll Island, Georgia and our middle school students will go to Johnstown, Pennsylvania July 29Aug 3. If you missed the sign up deadline, contact us today so your child doesn’t miss out! FPC has been blessed with some great musical talent! We have started working on our 242 Worship Band which we hope is ready to go by the top of July. If you’re interested in helping with this effort, or if you’re a student interested in playing, please contact us today! Also, I’d like to take this time to thank all of our 242 Youth Community volunteers. Without them NOTHING would have been able to happen with our youth over the past half year. Their faithful service in Sunday School, evening and mid-week fellowships, and special events has allowed the gospel to be shared with your kids over and over again. Thank you all for your ministry!
hail and farewell
I’d like to introduce you to Katarina Gray (pictured on the right) and Daniel Bendele (left picture) who are joining us as summer interns in the 242 Youth Community! They will both be involved in discipling our kids, building and mentoring small groups and traveling with us to our camps. Additionally, Weston Boswick is leaving us for the summer to join the staff of Youth Conference Ministries (very excited for him). “As a staffer, I’ll be charged with setting up and breaking down stages, managing recreation and small group times, and conference security. I will be working at conferences in Tennessee, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Maryland, Georgia, Texas, and Florida. I am really looking forward to discipling hundreds of students around the country and the other awesome opportunities that await!” Weston has done a remarkable job with our community this year and we are super excited that we will be seeing him again in the fall.
Introducing 242 SUNDAYS!
In July we are making a change to youth programming. The 11AM hour in church will be "242 Sundays" in the Old Fellowship Hall with youth led worship, fellowship, and message just for our middle and high school students. Please keep praying for us as we are building up to this change. We believe it will serve the needs of our 16 community very well.
our place in history
Following is a loose timeline from Jamestown to modern day with major events in lightly shaded boxes and FPC’s historical and lineage in the darker boxes. This information has been compiled from notes provided to the editor by Emily Washington, Norfolk Historian Peggy Haile-McPhillips, Jim Gates, and our own history page found at fpcnorfolk.org; it is not offered as an exhaustive historical document.
“We don’t know the exact date for the establishment of our church but we do know two things: 1. It was founded as the Church on the Elizabeth River by Scotch immigrants to the English Colony. 2. It preceeded the first Presbyterian Missionary to the Americas,”Jim Gates, FPC History Event, May 19. 1607 English Settle Jamestown
1728 Norfolk Academy founded.
1619 House of Burgesses first meets
1736 By charter from George II, Norfolk and its suburbs are incorporated as a borough.
1624-1632 Church of England established by law in Virginia
1677-1683 Rev. James Porter, worshiped in homes; Porter came from Scotland 1684-1692 Rev. Francis Makemie, sent by the Presbyterian of Loggan in Ireland, 1683 , worshiped in homes of Elizabeth River & Lynnhaven Parishes “In my visit to Elizabeth River in May, I found a few desolate people, mourning the loss of their dissenting minister from Ireland, whom the Lord had been pleased to remove by death the summer before.” Francis Makemie to Cotton Mather, 1684 1689 Act of Toleration passed by King William of Orange, himself a Presbyterian
1749 Hurricane lays down Willoughby Spit and forms Willoughby Bay. 1752 Col. William Crawford lays out 65 acres for the town of Portsmouth. 1754 French and Indian War (1754-63); A silver mace, ancient symbol of royal authority, is presented to the Borough Council by Lt. Gov. Robert Dinwiddie. 1762 Trinity Church established in Portsmouth 1765 Virginia General Assembly passes the Stamp Act Resolves. 1766 Norfolk residents organize Sons of Liberty to protest the Stamp Act.
1692-1716 Rev. Josias Makie-Makie requested as dissenter & obtained license to preach in 4 houses:
1774 The Yorktown Tea Party; tea imported by a Williamsburg merchant is thrown into the York River; First Norfolk newspaper is published by John Hunter Holt.
“A house at Mr. Thomas Ivy’s on the Eastern Branch, a house belonging to Mr. Richard Phillpot in Tanner’s Creek Precinct, a house belonging to Mr. John Roberts on the Western Branch, and a house of Mr. John Dickson, on the southern branch.”
1775 Battles of Lexington and Concord ;Lord Dunmore, Virginia’s royal governor, issues a proclamation promising freedom to all slaves who join British forces in the fight against the American colonists.
1716 Makie died and there followed a period of 72 years when no records are available…thus our “Mystery Years”.
1739 St. Paul's Episcopal Church erected on property deeded by Samuel Boush.
1775 At Great Bridge, American patriots win Virginia’s first pitched battle of the American Revolution. 1776 On New Year's Day, Lord Dunmore’s ships open fire on Norfolk, destroying many buildings. Following Dunmore’s bombardment, colonial troops burn the rest of the Borough to keep it from British occupation.
1776 Declaration of Independence: Included in the list of grievances against King George III is a reference to Norfolk: “HE has plundered our Seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our Towns, and destroyed the Lives of our People.” 1776 Virginia Declaration of Rights. Virginia Assembly suspends tax support for Church of England. 1777 Thomas Jefferson with help from Madison drafted a Bill establishing religious freedom. 1779 House of Delegated defeated the Bill 1780 Gen. Benedict Arnold, now fighting for England, leads British troops into Portsmouth 1781 In Battle off the Capes, at the entrance to the Chesapeake Bay, the French fleet drives British ships back to New York, setting the stage for the British surrender at Yorktown. 1782 Black patriot soldiers, such as James Lafayette, gain their freedom. 1782 Virginia law empowers Virginians to free their slaves if they choose to do so. 1783 American Revolution Ends; Norfolk rebuilds
1811-1814 Rev. John H. Rice 1814-1819 Rev. John D. Paxton 1814 Alexander Whitehead joined the church upon its formal reconstitution when our records begin & was once pastor at St. Paul’s. 1820-1824 Rev. Joshua T. Russell 1825-1834 Rev. Sheppard K. Kollock 1835-1840 Rev. John D. Matthew 1836 Second Presbyterian Church dedicated on Church St., near Holt, across from St. Paul’s. Many members of the Bell Church rejoined. 1839 The Bell Church was closed by order of the Presbytery. The congregation merged with the Second Church in Norfolk and the name of the combined congregations was First Church. 1841-1846 Rev. Samuel J. Cassells 1846-1851 Rev. S. J. P. Anderson 1851-1891 Rev. George Dodd Armstrong (Dec. 1855 Sabbath on The Lesson of Pestilence)
1785 Protestant Episcopal Church of Virginia is formed 1786 Statute of Religious Freedom finally passed after much debate 1788 Petition sent from Norfolk Presbyterians to Synod of New York & Philadelphia asking that a minister be appointed 1788 Virginia becomes the tenth state. 1789 George Washington inaugurated first U.S. President
1793 Rev. Benjamin Grigsby sent from Philadelphia to Tidewater as an itinerant preacher 1800 Meeting held at Court House to raise money for Presbyterian church. $12,000 was subscribed by 87 individuals. 1801-1810 Rev. Benjamin Porter Grigsby organized church in Borough; building erected 1802. Grigsby died 1810 of yellow fever 1802 Dedication of Presbyterian Church (corner of Catherine now Bank & Charlotte Streets.) It was first church to have a bell and was thus called the Bell Church.
1855 Yellow Fever - The Summer of Pestilence 1861 President Abraham Lincoln takes office; Civil War Begins “I would refer to the year 1855, when that pestilnce, yellow fever, raged among us. In the midst of that time of trial, the people became panic-stricken. I believe the panic was sent of God. I don’t blame those who left, for in such a time I would advise those who can go to do so. But there are many who cannot go, and it is needful that some should stay and care for others. The panic was due in part to the fact that our means of communication was being cut off, and it seemed as if we were to be left grappling; starving, with the fever. I believe it was all sent for a wise purpose. I was urged to go, but concluded my duty was here. Out of seven Protestant ministers who remained four died and every one of us had the fever. God gave me the grace to remain, and I can testify to you that in some particulars those months of the fever were among the most blessed of my life. The pestilence brought many to a decision, and it was my privilege to lead many of them to God. It was a time of great spiritual peace: never was I enabled so cheerfully to go about my work; heaven never seemed so near. There were months of blessed communion with God-’man doth not live by bread alone’.” Rev. Dr. Armstrong, 1891, excerpt from retirement sermon. Note: Rev. Armstrong lost his wife and three children to the fever.
1891-1895 Rev. James I. Vance 1892 Church celebrated 210th Presbyterian anniversary 1895-1896 Rev. J. R. Howerton 1897-1901 Rev. Edward Mack 1902-1912 Rev. Joseph Rennie 1902-1908 Rev. J. N. H. Summerell 1910-1921 Rev. Stuart Nye Hutchinson Merger: 1912 of Second Church & Ghent (1901-1912) became First Church at 820 Colonial Ave 1922-1925 Rev. Joseph G. Venable 1925-1950 Rev. Jason Leon MacMillan; Education Building added 1950-1962 Rev. Edward H. Jones “Admission to the sanctuary should not be denied to anyone sincerely interested in his spiritual welfare and desiring to have a part in our services.” African Amercians were to be welcomed and invited to sit at or near the front of the church.” Special report by the session, 1961
We are a missionary church in the establishment of daughter churches in Norfolk Presbytery for which we take great pride: • First Presbyterian, Portsmouth 1822 • Second Presbyterian Church, Norfolk, • • • • • • • • • •
1872 (or 1837) Third Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1884 Armstrong Presbyterian, Norfolk 1898 Knox Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1898 Ghent Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1901 Westminster Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1914 Ocean View Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1921 Coleman Place Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1929 Royester Memorial Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1941 Oakdale Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1949 Calvin Presbyterian, Norfolk, 1955
1963-1979 Rev. Andrew R. Bird, Jr. 1981-1997 Rev. J. Shepard Russell, Jr. 1999 -Present Rev. James M. Wood New addition including First Hall and major renovations.
We encourage you, if you haven’t already, to explore the “History” Section of our website. There you can find more details about the events and people listed here as well as additional information about the architecture of our sanctuary, stained glass, bells and organ. It presents a fascinating look behind the men, women and visionaries who have sought Christ and shared His love. A heritage we continue to live out and uphold as a united family of faith within our community and across the globe; a heritage of enduring service to the least, last and the lost.
an enduring legacy of service Did you know that Eunice and Winston Whitehurst, longtime members of our church, were featured in The Virginian Pilot Compass last month for their volunteer work with “Empower Hampton Roads?” The Whitehursts aren’t ones to boast about their many volunteer efforts so it is likely you didn’t see this great article. “Empower Hampton Roads”, celebrating its 10th anniversary, is a faith-based organization that advocates for low-income residents. Members of various denominations from throughout the region are a part of this organization. “Empower Hampton Roads” looks at ways to bring awareness to, and action from, local government about the many needs of the poor, from transportation, to immigration reform, voters’ rights and health care. Winston and Eunice have extensive experience in working with the government. Winston’s specialty is healthcare. He and Eunice were strong advocates of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Recently Winston has been working on the Virginia expansion of Medicaid in the General Assembly. Eunice said that the important job now is to educate the public about what to expect when the Affordable Care Act goes into full effect in 2014. “It is more than just educating the people about the law. It is how to properly access the system,” she said. “That is something we hope
Empower Hampton Roads will be able to play a greater role in.” Eunice and Winston are very active in the life of our church. Eunice is currently an Elder and chairs the Worship Committee. Winston has also served on Session in years past. In addition to their involvement in many niches within the church, including small groups, the Whitehursts have traveled to Kenya several times, a global ministry very close to their hearts. Pictured above: Eunice (top) and Winston (below) at the Nazareth Hospital in Kenya. To learn about opportunities to serve in FPC’s local and global efforts, contact Sheryl Wood at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1 Circle of Grace Worship 2 Complete Joy Club Zumba for Joy 242 Youth Community 5 Seniors First Luncheon
3-7 Commotion in the Ocean, Preschool Camp 8 Food Bank Morning Aside Circle of Grace Worship 9 Massanetta Team Commissioning Congregational Meeting FPC 101 242 Youth Community
10-14 Digging for Dinosaurs, Preschool Camp 11 Shoulder2Shoulder
4 Office Closed for July 4th 6 Kenya Summer Team Returns Circle of Grace Worship 7 New 242 Youth Sundays Begins 8-12 Mad Science Wild, Wild West, Preschool Camp 9 Shoulder2Shoulder 10 Blood Drive 14 Small Group Meet-Up Training Luncheon for VBS Volunteers
15-19 Super Heroes, Preschool Camp 15-18 Fun In The Son, High School Camp 17 Small Group Meet-Up
16 Kenya Team Commissioning Massanetta Springs Team Departs 242 Youth Community
20 Crisis Pregnancy Circle of Grace Worship
22 Kenya Summer Team Departs
21 Family Worship 22-26 Vacation Bible School 23 NO Shoulder2Shoulder 28 Parent Partnership
23 Parent Partnership 242 Youth
29-8.2 Mad Science
29-8.3 The Great Escape, Middle School Camp
27 242 to Kings Fest
3 Seniors First Luncheon
15 Circle of Grace Worship
19 New Wed. AM Womens Bible Study Children’s LOV Opera (19-21)
3 Small Group Leaders Training Circle of Grace Worship 4 Complete Joy Club 7 Seniors First Luncheon
8-9 Global Leadership Summit (Staff Off Site)
10 Morning Aside 11 Small Group Meet-Up FPC 101 17 Small Group Leaders Training Circle of Grace Worship Women’s Camping Trip (17-18) 24 Global Friendship House Luncheon 25 Sunday School Teacher Training Parent Partnership
30-9.2 Urban Plunge 31 Circle of Grace Worship
‘goodreads’ with jim wood Where as Keller’s first book, ‘Reason for God’, offered an explanation as to why we should believe in God, his second, The Prodigal God, focuses on Jesus’ best-known parable (and arguably the best-known and most-loved story of all-time) to challenge both believers and skeptics. ‘Prodigal God’ may surprise and challenge your understanding of that parable, its purpose, message and original audience. For many of us, the word ‘prodigal’ implies a returning, coming back, as the younger son did in Jesus’ parable. But here Keller reminds us the definition actually means ‘recklessly extravagant, having spent everything.’ Indeed this is exactly the behavior of the younger son before reconcilliation with his father. Beyond deconstructing the parable’s players (particularly the often overlooked older brother) and plot, Keller draws the parallel of our prodigal God who spent everything on our behalf. As Keller says, “Jesus’ purpose in this parable ‘was not to warm our hearts, but shatter our categories.”
The good news about injustice is that God is against it. God is in the business of using the unlikely to accomplish justice and mercy. Philip Yancey, author of ‘What’s So Amazing About Grace?’ and ‘Soul Survivor,’ wrote that this is “A book of prophetic and vital significance. Gary Haugen has pioneered in a field where Christians should be at the forefront.” “Gary Haugen and International Justice Mission have helped ignite an inspiring movement of Christians fighting oppression around the globe. In so doing they have recaptured the spirit of great saints such as Carey and Wilberforce, who saw the gospel as good news both for now and for eternity. Read this book at your peril, and don’t be surprised if you get swept up in the sacred cause and one day hear the Master say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.’” (Stan Guthrie, editor-at-large, Christianity Today, and author of Missions in the Third Millennium: 21 Key Trends for the 21st Century)
summer nursery construction project update an update from ken miller, minister of administration
We have commenced work on fortifying our church nursery area with sprinklers and other added fire protection so our infants and toddlers are safe in case of fire. We have also used this project as an opportunity to reorganize the basement
catacombs area and purge ourselves of items that are no longer needed. Construction will wrap up in early August providing us with a few weeks to prep the nursery for the new preschool year. At that time we will also once again able to use the nursery for Sunday morning services allowing our child care to be closer and more convenient for our guests and members. We apologize for the mess (dumpsters, storage pods) and any temporary inconvenience this causes, but we rejoice that we will have a safer environment for the youngest members of our church family and additional space to expand enrollment in the preschool. The improvements allow us to minister at an even greater level to our local community. 22
First Presbyterian Church seeking Christ. sharing His love. 820 Colonial Avenue Norfolk,VA 23507 (757) 625-1697 fpcnorfolk.org