Dear Friends at First Pres, Ah June … maybe summer is about to happen in Colorado! Children are out of school, families are on the road to various destinations, and we have reconnected with our neighbors as we walk about our communities during the evening hours. The following issue of First Pres Magazine is all about communities here at First Pres. As I look back over all the places I have been as a pastor, the key ingredient to a healthy and growing church is that we are all connected to a small community. It’s this community that provides us with life-long friendships, help in crisis, and support as we walk our journey in Christ. It’s these communities where we are each known, valued and celebrated. As you read the pages of this issue you will come to know one of our support communities that surrounds people who are coping with cancer. First Pres North is founded and sustained by the continued development of small communities. Read about the experience of one of our newest members as she has found her way into First Pres through her small community in Women’s Life. Learn about the small community that meets every week to bathe our entire community in prayer. These communities are just a small representation of the hundreds of small communities at First Pres, in coffee shops, homes and all sorts of places. Beginning June 26th, I return to the Old Testament account of Elijah. The story of Elijah (found in 1 & II Kings) is one of the most exciting and dramatic, yet tender and human stories in the entire Bible. As we follow the life of this great prophet, we will experience the clash of cultures and the full range of human emotion. It will be especially powerful to consider all Elijah’s story has to say to us in our world and personal lives today. Our artist community will provide us with a visual interpretation of the story and we will conclude this sermon series with a presentation of Elijah on Sunday, September 11th. This oratorio, written by Felix Mendelssohn in 1846, is rarely performed these days and is one of those towering pieces of musical literature that everyone has to experience at least once. I hope you are already enjoying the summer and I will look forward to seeing you around campus this month! In Christ,
Jim Singleton, Senior Pastor First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs
FIRST PRES M
JUNE 2011 contents Why Community? . . . . . . . . . . . . 4 John Goodale Spread the Hope . . . . . . . . . . . . 8 Steve Mitchell Come and See . . . . . . . . . . . . . 9 Renee Hamilton Game Night . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 10 Angie Martin Multiply By Dividing . . . . . . . . . . 12 Hugh Eaton Everything to God in Prayer . . . . . . . 13 Nancy Maffett
in every issue Missions: Our Flying Angel . . . . . . . . 6 Dale McClure Alive to God’s Desire to Go . . . . . . . 14 E-News and Worship . . . . . . . . . . 15
Contributing Writers: Hugh Eaton, John Goodale, Renee Hamilton, Nancy Maffett, Angie Martin, Dale McClure, Steve Mitchell Contributing Editors: Pam Bland, Alison Murray Graphic Design: Beryl Glass, Mark Rantal Photographer: Alison Smith Proofreading Team: Mary Bauman, Chris Dellacroce, Daisy Jackson, Betty Haney, Marty Kelley, Karen Kunstle, Gretchen Murphy-Bowman, Linda Pung All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, © 1984 International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. First Pres Magazine June 2011, Volume Three, © First Presbyterian Church of Colorado Springs, CO. Published by First Presbyterian Church, a non-profit organization. To contact First Pres Magazine: 719-884-6231 or 219 E. Bijou Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903-1392 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Printed in the U.S.A.
WHY COMMUNITY? By John Goodale
hile in seminary, I attended a church that was about the same size as First Pres. I loved their worship services, and always sat near the front each week. But I never became involved other than by worshiping. One day I found myself thinking, “If I’m absent this Sunday, will anyone notice?” I had to conclude that no one would—not because the church was uncaring, but because I’d 4 | www.first-pres.org | 6/11
made no effort to connect relationally. That realization significantly impacted how I “did church” from that point on. Last year I heard Jim DeJarnette say something that sounded counter-intuitive at the time, but now seems prophetic—“In order to grow as a congregation, we need to become smaller.” This statement had nothing to do with numbers, and everything to do with our willingness as a family of faith to enter into each other’s lives. In the past year our senior staff and Session have identified seven strategic priorities for our congregation. One of our top priorities is to increase the number of people in our congregation who experience community with one another. In other words, we want to be a church that not only worships together, but also shares our lives, stories, joys and struggles together. Becoming alive to God’s desire as a church is directly linked to becoming more connected relationally with each other. I’m encouraged by ways in which I see us growing smaller as a congregation. After last Fall’s sermon series on Community, roughly 1,450 participants were involved in 140 different Ephesians and non-Ephesians-based small communities. Sunday morning classes, the choir and other ongoing ministries beautifully model community for us in their love and faithfulness to each other. Guest Central has become an important place of relational connection for those entering our midst for the first time. Even the new look of our Plaza speaks to this high value of connecting relationally with one another. These are all good steps towards building community, but we still have a way to go. Finding time and energy to connect with others can be daunting in this increasingly busy society. Add to this the size of our church, which makes it easy to remain anonymous and unknown. As a result, it can be tempting to do as I did years ago: simply attend worship or a few other activities without investing in those around us. And yet, the more we hold back from intertwining our lives with each other, the poorer we become as a church. Our worship experience is probably what drew most of us back to First Pres after an initial visit. In the long run, though, it’s relationships that keep us here in a meaningful way. And the
challenge for each of us is to not only develop relationships that help us feel connected — but to willingly be that point of connection for others taking their first relational steps here. So what part can each of us play in building community here at First Pres that will ripple
“If I’m absent this Sunday, will anyone notice?” outward into the larger world? I encourage you to take at least one of the following steps: When attending worship, make a point to look for one person you don’t already know and introduce yourself to them. Ask how long they’ve been coming and let them know you’re glad they’re here and that you hope you’ll cross paths again in the future. If you’ve not yet become relationally connected here, find one place where you can start. Consider attending our Doorways new members class or looking for a group that shares your interests or stage in life. If you are not sure how to begin, visit Guest Central on Sunday morning — they’d love to help, even if you’ve been here for 10 years! If you are well connected at First Pres, constantly be on the lookout for someone who may look lost or unsure and ask if you can help. One of my favorite quotes this past year is from a former Catholic priest named John Henry Newman: “I have a part in a great work; I am a link in a chain, a bond of connection between persons.” What an incredible instrument this congregation would be for God, if each of us had this same mentality! We’re in the process of becoming a smaller church. Will you join us in this effort? John Goodale leads our Community Life Ministry 6/11 | www.first-pres.org | 5
Our Flying Angel By Dale McClure
In 1958, First Pres and fourteen
other churches bought an airplane. Rev. Fred Passler, one of our missionaries, needed it for his work in Yucatan, Mexico. He wanted to reach some of the isolated tribes and villages where there weren’t any roads. A plane was just what he needed. On May 19, 1958, there was a dedication ceremony out at Peterson Field and off flew the Passlers toward Mexico. Rev. and Mrs. Passler were part of Mission Aviation Fellowship. Their primary work was translating the New Testament into the Mayan language, and the Cessna 172 allowed them to evangelize to these unknown groups of people. Their wings also allowed them to assist other missionaries by lifting in supplies, equipment and personnel. For some of the Yucatan natives, Passler’s most memorable accomplishment was his daring rescue work during a 1955 hurricane disaster. The Yucatan is plagued by violent weather. In November of 1961, Rev. Passler was caught in another storm. A low ceiling, loss of radio contact and blinding rain drove the plane into the ground. He and his passenger were killed instantly. At his memorial service, the Mayan people whom he loved and served gave a short but emotional tribute: “He was our flying angel.” From the First Pres Archives, Dale McClure regularly uncovers the stories of who we are as a community of faith.
Global Outreach at First Presbyterian is committed to: joining in God’s purpose to draw all peoples into restored relationship with himself through Jesus Christ ministering holistically which integrates proclamation and demonstration of God’s love valuing of partnership & relationships mobilizing all of our members into missions involvement supporting the entire mission field that exists everywhere — locally and globally working together with brothers and sisters in Christ from everywhere If you are interested in getting involved in missions here at First Pres, email email@example.com 6 | www.first-pres.org | 6/11
PATRIOTIC AND GOSPEL CONCERT & PICNIC
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By Steve Mitchell
“The lab tests came back positive. I have cancer; now what am I going to do?” Spouses and close friends hear this gut wrenching declaration often, too often! Some 6,000 people in the Colorado Springs region are diagnosed with cancer each year. In 2009, First Pres started a chapter of CanCare, a ministry designed to help people experiencing cancer. CanCare instills hope, and hope is the foundation that supports courage, determination, confidence, optimism and energy—hope is strong medicine! This ministry stands on the relationships developed in small community. Volunteers must be cancer survivors or caregivers; we are trained to provide free one-onone, emotional support to cancer patients and their families. Volunteers are matched with patients by cancer type, treatment method, age, gender and family situation. The first class at First Pres has 36 trained volunteers, 33 of which have now been matched with at least one recent cancer victim. Our volunteers stay in touch with their matches as long as they are needed. The compassion that results from a shared experience is uniquely valuable and nurtures hope and courage to face the road ahead.
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CanCare makes a difference, these relationships change lives permanently. Susan says, “Last year CanCare spoke to our Bible study class; four or five months after that I was diagnosed with cancer. I was stunned! I’m so glad I knew about CanCare; the whole relationship has been a miracle. My volunteer is such a blessing! We pray together regularly and I feel God is in touch with me right through her!” I know from my own experience that men have trouble sharing their emotions about something as personal as their own cancer problem. I asked John to tell me how his CanCare mate has affected him. “I’m more relaxed now, more confident. If he did it, I can do it! It wasn’t easy at first, but now I share everything. He is great! He will always be a friend! I believe God is now in my life.” Whether you have cancer and you are matched with a CanCare volunteer or whether you are a volunteer working with a person with cancer, it’s the relationships that define this ministry. Help us spread Hope in the Colorado Springs cancer community. Steve Mitchell is a cancer survivor and volunteer with CanCare
The First Pres CanCare leadership team now works with Memorial Hospital and Penrose Cancer Center to initiate services utilizing CanCare volunteers from First Pres. To connect with this First Pres lay-run ministry call Angie Foreman in our Caring Ministries office at 884-6145. Our next volunteer training is in July.
By Renee Hamilton Editor’s Note: Renee is new to First Pres, joining in the Fall of 2010. Having experienced small community at her Doorways table (Doorways is the name of our new member class), Renee got busy in Women’s Life. First Pres Magazine asked Renee to share her thoughts and experiences as she finds her way around First Pres.
omen’s Life (WL) is a Tuesday morning Bible study and fellowship. The topic this year is transformation and it has become a place of ‘transformation in progress’ for me. The Fall semester was so large they needed more volunteers to be small group leaders. After the Holy Spirit prompted me to sign up, I was accepted as a co-leader, which has blessed me greatly. The WL team meetings help me feel connected and know that my input is valued.
Besides the personal challenges to grow, the Bible teaching and homework have been fantastic. I much prefer studying the Bible instead of books about the Bible. God’s word is living and the Holy Spirit applies it to each heart so personally. The teachers are real in their presentations and struggles, and I learn much from their teaching and growth. The small group discussions vary from week to week but are a great place to get connected to other women with discussions that are centered on Christ. I pray that God continues to grow the group and grow me up in the group. I hope to start an intercession group to pray specifically for the WL leaders, teachers and small groups. WL is a place of fellowship and growth for women in all stages of life. Come and see. You won’t be disappointed.
Women’s Life meets Tuesday mornings September through May. SummerTime Together, our women’s program for the summer, begins June 7th. Call Judy Beltz, 884-6233 for further information and registration.
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“Family game night on Friday!” I announce. “Woo hoo!” responses ring
throughout the Martin household. What does my family love about family game nights at First Pres? EVERYTHING! We get to hang out with our family and our church family — people we rarely get to see, much less spend a long period of time playing games and enjoying snacks with! In our family of six, we have a wide range of ages, not to mention interests. All of us can find something at the Weber Street Center (WSC) we like to do and a friend who shares the same interest. We play anything from Dodge ball (a family favorite) to Spoons. I dare you to come check it out! Whether you’re a chess master, a Blockus junkie or a Bananagram fanatic, family game night has something for you. “I just wish more families would come,” stated my daughter Brooke, an active I-78 member and Route 56 graduate. Those were my thoughts exactly. Why don’t more families come? What could be more fun than hanging out with friends, sharing food and playing games? Come learn a new game! If you have a child in Route 56 or I-78 and haven’t been to a game night, you are missing out! I’m just glad I have two more children with Route 56 and I-78 in their future so I get to join
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By Angie Martin in the fun for a long time. When my children are all too old, maybe I’ll earn a charter member status so I’ll always get to continue a great tradition of fun! By Angela Martin, mom of Brooke, Nicole, Hannah and Luke, regulars at Family Game Night! Route 56 & I-78 are First Pres ministries to students in grades 5-6 and 7-8 and their families. We want to partner with parents to help raise kids who love God and love people. One of the best ways to help make that happen is spending time together and building relationships. Family Game Nights are for 5th – 8th graders and their families First Friday of every month Upcoming: June 3rd, July 1st & Aug 5th 6:00-9:00pm in the Weber Street Center Bring the whole family, favorite game and a snack or treat to share with the group.
ELIJAH new sermon series begins June 26th
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Multiply by Dividing By Hugh Eaton
he decision by First Pres to start a satellite church in northern El Paso County, FP North, was in keeping with two of its seven strategic priorities: multi-site worship and the beginning of another First Pres small group. In early 2008, a “Core Group” of about 35 dedicated Christians started meeting weekly “up north” for Bible study and prayer for guidance from the Lord. They grew spiritually and formed close personal relationships, an important thing for newcomers. You could literally sense the presence of the Holy Spirit in their meetings, removing any doubt about whether the vision of a second location of the First Pres congregation was what God wanted. Eventually, 12 members of the Core Group were elected to form a smaller group called the Campus Team. They were charged with planning a timeline to establish FP North, and led by the Holy Spirit, began Sunday worship services in early 2010. FP North is blessed with an intergenerational community. Sunday worship attendance is now over 160 and the congregation still has the feel of a small community. The congregation believes this creates a welcome feeling to newcomers and wants to retain this as part
of the FP North DNA. Tom Albrecht, FP North Coordinator of Small Groups, wants that to be intentional. Tom and his wife, Vanessa, lead a small group Bible study, mostly couples with young children, on Sunday morning during the children’s Sunday school hour. Tom says, “It’s a good opportunity for people with similar interests to study the Bible and get to know each other.” Dr. Robert Strauss and his wife, Carole, Core Group members, also started a small group, which meets every two weeks to study Romans. These couples, most with grown children, meet in a private home on Wednesday nights. Ron and Dorinda Zuroff, also Core Group members, feel “Robert is a great Bible mentor.” Ron says, “I feel rejuvenated spiritually. Close relationships have developed among our group and we are growing in our knowledge of the Word and in service to the community.” The success of these small groups will lead to the formation of new groups as FP North continues to grow. All this from a Core Group of 35. You really can multiply by dividing. Regular contributor to First Pres Magazine, Hugh Eaton uncovers all the special places here at First Pres North.
FP North continues with small groups on Sundays at 9:30 a.m. Beginning this summer, men’s group on Thursdays at 6:30 a.m.; women’s group studying Beth Moore on Wednesday evenings and a monthly supper club. Contact Kelsey Lyndoe, 884-6141 for further information. 12 | www.first-pres.org | 6/11
EVERYTHING to God in Prayer By Nancy Maffett
ave you ever had someone come up to you and tell you that they have been praying for you? Not only is it a moment of support and encouragement, but it is also a source of power from God Himself. He promises to hear our prayers for ourselves and our intercessions for others. A very special group of people at First Pres believe that and act on it. Each Monday morning they take the prayer cards from the Sunday services, along with other requests that have come into the Caring Ministries Office, and spend time together praying over them. Some have serious illnesses, others have lost jobs and are looking for work, many have family problems including finances and many need spiritual help. Others want prayer for loved ones who do not have the Lord in their lives. This group’s ministry continues during the following days as they take the cards home, continuing to pray for them. If contact information is provided, they even make personal contact by phone or notes. Some team members have been in this ministry since its founding 20 years ago. They have many stories to tell about how prayers have been answered. One member’s follow-up phone contact led to a deep friendship in which they have supported each other in prayer ever since. Another called a child who had sent in a request, making sure to talk to her directly. Her parent called back later saying how powerful it had been for her daughter to know that someone had prayed for her. One team member joined the team explaining that after sending in many prayer requests over the years as she raised her children she now wanted to give back to others. These faithful servants bless you by their prayers and are deeply blessed themselves by offering prayers for others. The old hymn says it all, “What a privilege it is to carry everything to God in prayer.” Perhaps God is leading you to join them? For more information call the Caring Ministries Office, 884-6145. Nancy Maffett serves the church as the Director of Caring Ministries.
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Alive To God’s Desire to Go “Christ came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” Ephesians 2:17. Here are a few opportunities to go serve with others and come alive to God’s desire to go together. Our theme for this month focuses on the importance of community. If you desire to connect more deeply in a small community, whether around outreach, learning the Bible, or prayer, contact Judy Bosin, 884-6162, firstname.lastname@example.org, for further information. Here is the specific contact information for the communities described in this edition of First Pres Magazine. CanCare: Founded in Houston, Texas in 1990, CanCare was created to help provide hope, determination and commitment to “beat the odds.” The warmth and caring of the Christian church is the environment that nurtured a group of cancer survivors to create the first CanCare, a “Ministry of Hope.” Today CanCare has 91 active congregations, 16 hospitals and 22 sponsoring corporations. First Pres is the first chapter outside Texas. If you are a cancer victim or cancer survivor, contact Angie Forman, 884-6145, email@example.com, to connect with First Pres CanCare. FP North: Small groups meet at 9:30 a.m. Sundays, men’s group on Thursday morning, women’s group on Wednesday evening, and supper club on second Saturday of the month. To connect with any of these small groups, contact Kelsey Lyndoe, 884-6141 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Mission Aviation Fellowship: The MAF mission is to “share the love of Jesus Christ through aviation and technology so that isolated people may be physically and spiritually transformed.” First Pres currently supports pilots and teachers Alan and Alyssa Discoe in Indonesia. For more information contact Pat Dickinson, 884-6108, email@example.com. Prayer Ministry: To find further information regarding the Monday prayer group referenced on page 13, contact Nancy Maffett, 884-6179, firstname.lastname@example.org. Student Ministries: Student Ministries is always looking for new and creative ways to involve youth, parents, and volunteers. If you have a heart for young people, call Kathy Freyschlag at 884-6220 or kfreyschlag@ first-pres.org for more information. Women’s Ministries: Small group opportunities begin this summer on June 7, 2011. Book studies available at 6:30 a.m., 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. Culture Questions—Part Two with Katie Dayton and Amber Odvody at 9:00 a.m. Childcare up to 11 years old available at the 9:00 a.m. time only. Register at www.first-pres.org/women under “SummerTime.” For information contact Judy Beltz at 884-6233, email@example.com. Other opportunities to serve? www.first-pres.org/volunteer Judy Bosin 884.6162, firstname.lastname@example.org 14 | www.first-pres.org | 6/11
E-News & Facebook Connecting to your community within First Pres is just a mouse click away. Access our website to sign-up for our regular e-newsletters and to find our Facebook sites. www.first-pres.org/enews to locate e-newsletters for the following areas:
Children Route 56 (5th & 6th Grade) I-78 eBlast (7th & 8th Grade) 912 eBlast (High School) Community Life
Men’s Ministry Missions Women’s Ministry
Click on the tab on the First Pres Home page to access our First Pres Facebook page. For the Student Ministries Facebook page, click on the www.first-pres.org/students.
http://vimeo.com/firstpres for First Pres Videos. If you don’t have access to a computer, call Congregational Support at 884.6144 for further details about these ministries.
Join us in Worship on Sundays First Pres Downtown—219 East Bijou Worship with Choir—Sanctuary, 8:20 a.m. & 9:45 a.m. Contemporary Worship—Fellowship Hall, 9:45 a.m. & Sanctuary, 11:10 a.m. Contemplative Worship—Sanctuary, 5:30 p.m.
First Pres North—Discovery Canyon High School, 1810 North Gate Blvd. Contemporary Worship—11:00 a.m.
First Pres—Inn at Garden Plaza – 2520 International Circle Traditional Worship—10:15 a.m.
First Pres Online—first-pres.org Live streaming broadcast of Sanctuary services beginning at 8:20 a.m. For church information, call 719.884.6144 or email@example.com
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