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COLUMNS magazine

investing in our future IN SHINE CHILDREN’s MINISTRY

holy week

preparing to celebrate

serving together making plans for ServeDay plus

leadership elders and more

Seek God. Share His Love. Humbly Serve.

March/april 2013 • First Presbyterian Church of Orlando •

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Young at Heart luncheon, 10:30am


Daylight Savings Time begins (roll clocks forward 1 hour) secondsunday Prayer & Worship, 6pm

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Registration opens for ServeDay!

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Holy Week begins

Dominican Republic Family Mission Trip information meeting, 12pm

‘Stations of the Cross’ Prayer Walk/Worship, 6:30pm

Maundy Thursday communion service, 6:30pm Good Friday




Young at Heart luncheon, 10:30am

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ServeDay, 8:30am

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Family Worship, 8:30 & 11am secondsunday Prayer & Worship, 6pm Weekday School 2nd Annual Marketplace, 9am Taste of Compassion, 6pm LifeFest All-Church Retreat (April 26-28)

For more upcoming events visit


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columns contents

MARCH & APRIL Holy Week, 6 Mark your calendars for the upcoming Holy Week observances, and discover what traditional Easter symbols really mean. Dr. David Swanson explains who “the nones” are The Stack Serving 101 get geared up for ServeDay

The Well reaching the world

10 Ways to Stay Informed FEATURES Small Miracles at the Cross story of friendship and God’s love

Meet Your Elders whose favorite movie is Notting Hill?

Introducing Jimmy Hendrix FirstPres’ new business administrator

Looking for F.A.T. Leaders Bible Study Insights with Dr. Case Thorp

Time With God


Family News

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Little PEOPLE This year, we’re making some changes to the way we think, and living out this commitment to our little people in a big way.

photos on the cover and elsewhere: Shea christine

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ON THE WAY with Dr. David Swanson The Nones. The first time I heard that term, I thought, “What is that?”

“Let your light shine before people, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven.” - Matthew 5:16

“The Nones” are a new class of people in our country who, when asked on forms or surveys for their “religious affiliation” check the box that reads “none of the above.” Because of that declaration, sociologists call them Nones. Nones may be atheists or agnostics, former Jews or Catholics, unchurched believers (people who believe in a higher power but don’t participate in organized religion), or people who simply do not care. Religion has no value to them whatsoever. Here’s what’s scary: Nones now make up 20% of the American adult population. That’s 46 million Americans, and for twenty-somethings, the number is 35%. (Boston Magazine, “Losing My Religion”, January ’13). This represents an enormous shift in American culture, and one that needs to be examined by The Church – and this church – very closely. As we move through the Lent and Easter season, we celebrate the core of Christian faith – that God became incarnate through Jesus Christ and died an atoning death for our sins, reconciling us once more to the Father and opening the way to Eternal Life. We are the bearers of that truth in this world, but here’s the thing: the world is no longer coming to our door out of some social obligation or duty. People no longer feel inclined to go to church because it’s “the thing to do.” It’s not. Therefore, if we are going to reach the Nones, how are we going to do that?


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Answer: We have to go light our world. That’s the missional component of our vision. We make disciples of Jesus Christ, but part of being a disciple is the compelling call of God to move into our world to share and serve. The world is not coming to us, so we must go to them! It’s why we volunteer for Serve Days or Jobs Partnership, it’s why we invite people into our Life Communities or to attend a Gathering Luncheon, it’s why we take five minutes to talk to our neighbor when we see them outside or visit them in the hospital. When they see how we live and when they receive our care and when they hear our concern and when they feel our prayers, all that becomes a tool in God’s Hands. I know the numbers sound daunting, but I believe this is an incredibly exciting time in the life of this church. The game is changing. The rules are different. Nothing works the way it used to. Thus, new models and new ideas and new methods need to be created in order to bring the LIFE of Christ to those in need – to those who believe they can actually save themselves! It begins with our own preparation. It begins when we go deeper as disciples. And then it continues as we actively engage in and serve our world. Challenge yourself in this Easter season to think about how you are connecting with and reaching the Nones so that they go from being a None to knowing the One! With joy and expectation in Jesus,

the Columns stack useful information, timely trivia and handy tips for navigating life at FirstPres (and life in general)

Serve as a Family


NUrsing Room

days to serve as a family in the Dominican Republic.

New and expectant mothers will be excited to hear that FirstPres now has an official nursing room (adjacent to the Prayer Room between the Sanctuary and Lee Fellowship Hall), beginning Sundays in March.

Global mission experience for the whole family! Join other families, and spend one week of your summer with Mission Emanuel in the Dominican Republic, from June 8-14.

Foodies Unite!


Spending Wisely

number of chefs who participated in Taste of Compassion last year.

Save the date for this year’s Taste of Compassion event on April 23 to support FPCO’s ministry to the homeless. Notable chefs and entertainers from around the city overtake the FirstPres campus to present a tasting menu for a great cause. More details and tickets available through:


reduction in cost for producing this magazine.

Your dollars are important! In 2013, we’re utilizing in-house talent and scouring for the most cost-efficient ways to create, print and mail Columns magazine.

A great afternoon on the course at Dubsdread on April 10, benefiting the FPCO Infant Child Care Center. Women and men invited to compete in both the tournament and special contests. Hole, individual, corporate sponsorship and golf foursome sponsorships available. Lunch begins at 11:30am with a shotgun start at 1:00pm. Registration is now open. Call 407.425.1126.

Spring MarketPlace

Giving Tree Gratitude Our holiday Giving Tree yielded hundreds of Christmas gifts to grateful recipients in our church and community. Multiple families from our Infant Child Care Center, Four12 and Mercy Drive ministries were blessed with gifts for Christmas. In addition, ministries including Grace Medical Home, Compassion Corner, Good News Jail and our Madagascar Initiative received stacks of items: Bibles, reading glasses, books, scarves, sweatshirts, boxes of copy paper, stamps, medicine, socks and t-shirts, toiletries, backpacks, bike locks, gloves, and hats. Many thanks!



total value of gifts cards donated during the holiday season, divided between Jobs Partnership, Apartment Life, Hosanna and the Good Samaritan Fund.

Weekday School moms and friends of Weekday School will set up “shop” and show their wares at the 2nd Annual Weekday School Marketplace. We are expecting over 20 vendors with unique items to show and sell. A percentage of all sales will be donated to Weekday School by each vendor. Bring friends and support Weekday School. Wednesday, April 17 9am - 2pm, King Parlor at FPCO COLUMNS | March - April


Symbols of New Life Interpreting the Easter Season

by Donna Speer, Director of Weekday School One way to celebrate Easter with our families and Life Communities is to focus on some of the illustrations of new life and relate them to the deeper Christian message of Jesus’ resurrection. This is especially helpful for young children. It is through our daily conversations that we often share the lessons of the faith. Here are a few examples to share and talk about: • Easter eggs: More than 500 years old, the tradition of incorporating eggs into Easter began with kings and nobility, who gave eggs as Easter gifts to represent the miracle of new life. Decorating eggs soon became an art, which led to egg games, egg contests, egg hunts and baskets of eggs. • Easter lambs: This symbol goes back to the first Passover of the Jewish people. When their ancestors were slaves in Egypt, Moses ordered the sacrifice of a lamb, and the blood of a lamb to be placed over the doorframes of their homes. Then the Angel of God would pass over their homes and bring them no harm. In the Hebrew religion, the lamb’s life was a sacrifice to God. To the Christian, the life of Jesus was the sacrifice. The lamb became an Easter lamb, a symbol of Jesus.

• Easter flowers: Lilies and other flowers that grow from bulbs, such as tulips, daffodils, or narcissus are symbols of the resurrection. The bulb stands for the tomb of Jesus, the blossom for His life after death. • The cross: A memorial that Jesus died for us, and a reminder that we will live in heaven with Him forever. The early followers of Christ found many ways to interweave this memorial onto their lives, as we still do today. A former symbol of death, the use of the cross as a symbol of life is a redemption unto itself. • Butterflies: Symbolic of the risen Christ, the butterfly is transformed through metamorphosis. The cocoon represents the tomb, and the change from caterpillar into butterfly represents life as a new creation in Christ.

• Easter clothes: In the first few centuries after Jesus, people were baptized in water on Easter, after which they dressed in fresh white robes. Centuries • Bunnies, chicks, baby animals: Symbolic of new life because of the miracle of new birth, we passed and Easter became more of a festival. By the are reminded of God’s amazing plan each time we Middle Ages, everyone was expected to dress in witness a newborn baby. We experience new life fresh clothing at Easter, whether strictly “new” or through our physical birth into this world and our simply freshly washed. spiritual rebirth when we follow Jesus.

Annual Easter Egg Hunt Saturday, March 30 at 10:45am Bring the whole family for this year’s Easter egg hunt. Hunts for multiple age groups (so 5 year-olds aren’t trampling your toddler). Bring a picnic and enjoy the day! Location TBD.


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HOLY WEEK MARCH 20 | Stations of the Cross Prayer Walk

A unique guided time of prayer, meditating on the road to the cross. Meet at 6:30pm in the Edington Ministry Center Lobby.

MARCH 25 - 29 | Holy Week Daily Meditations

Reflect, repent and prepare 12-12:30pm weekdays in the Reformation Chapel.

MARCH 28 | Maundy Thursday

Gather as a church family in communion and worship at 6:30pm in the Sanctuary. Nursery available.

MARCH 31 | Easter Sunday Celebrate together and worship the Risen Lord! A glorious day. Traditional Worship at 8:15am, 9:45am and 11:15am Genesis Worship at 9:45am & 11:15am

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3 1 l i r Ap m 8:30am-12:30p


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tion open s a tr is g e R ! y ad re t Ge March 17 at ourse

SERVING 101: A primer by Sarah Savage What does “service” mean? To serve is to give our time, skills & talents and material blessings. More than simply volunteering, serving others on behalf of God is an act of love. Why do we serve others? First, God commands us to serve, (Galatians 5:13, 1 Peter 4: 1, Peter 4:11), so we serve as an act of obedience to His leadership in our lives. Second, the Bible says that our faith, without follow-through action, is dead (James 2:14-19). Living without responding to the Gospel by serving others misses the life of abundance promised by Jesus. Third, we serve to illustrate how Christ loved us: sacrificially (John 13: 34-35). It is a public declaration that we are loved; so we serve others to celebrate our own redemption and express God’s love for other image bearers. It can also be an act of humble worship and gratitude toward God, in response to God’s generosity toward us. Who is “in need”? Service is not just about meeting material needs, it is also about meeting spiritual needs. If we serve without judging the “legitimacy” of a need, we’re free to serve joyfully, knowing we are being obedient to God. Serving isn’t about “our sacrifice,” but rather expressing God’s deep love for others, regardless of their relationship to Him. (Children are especially good at this.) Where do we serve? I have a friend who likes to say, “Go until God says stop” - meaning, we’ve already been given the instruc-

tion to serve, but that we sometimes overthink the details and stall out. Just start: serve locally, and commit to serving globally at some point, so you can see the full picture of how God is at work in the world. And know that serving can take place even in our homes, by praying for those in need. Prayer is often a “last resort” but it can easily be our first response to the need and suffering we see. It is also a way for children to participate, not only feeling they are helping, but truly making a spiritual impact. When do we serve? Probably the biggest challenge to serving is finding and making time to do it. To serve requires deliberate changes and choices in our every day habits and building it into our lives. We hope you will sign up to serve with a friend, your family or your Life Community for this Serve Day. It will be an unforgettable experience!  FOLLOWUP QUESTIONS to CONSIDER: 1) What are some barriers you might have to serving? (For example schedule challenges, lack of interest, fear, the belief we can’t make an impact, or lack of conviction.)

What does the Bible say about these things? 2) How many hours can you realistically commit to serving, outside your home and work? Sarah Savage is FPCO’s Director of SHINE Children’s Ministry and is ready to help your family serve. For more ways to serve in our community right now, visit

discipling by design the big picture of serveday

ServeDay was intentionally designed and created to reinforce our vision as a church family. Here’s how: •

It is only a half-day commitment on a Saturday, and is built to include family and group-friendly projects, so you can easily serve together. It is a great volunteering experience to invite friends, and a casual way to introduce them to our covenant community.

• • •

It is an opportunity to model our respect and care for all “image bearers” of God. It is an expression of joyful generosity, beyond our regular giving. It is one of the ways we, as FirstPres, love and nurture our Orlando community.

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Drink from the Well How we are reaching People Across The Globe

What Is The Well?

Since the fall of 2009, Dr. Swanson has presented a weekly television program titled The Well. The vision for The Well is to teach Biblical truths to a hurting world in a real and relevant way. The format is unique in the landscape of television ministries: it is not a rebroadcast of a worship service, but a less formal, conversational-style presentation of God’s Word. Each thirty-minute segment also features a personal testimony offered by an individual, relating to that week’s particular message. The Well began airing in 2009 in four markets – Orlando, Dallas, Ft. Myers and Chattanooga. Today, the program reaches millions in local, national, international and web broadcasts.

How is it Financed?

The Well is a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, not governed or financially supported by First Presbyterian Church, though members of The Well Board of Directors include FPCO members Robert Wolgemuth, Dianna Morgan, Mark Oldham, Tom Hutchison, Leigh Swanson and Case Thorp, along with Bruce Zeiser of Chattanooga, and Claudia Cowart of Ft. Myers. The Well does remain in partnership with FPCO’s Session via the Evangelism team.

What has been the response?

The Well is a vibrant, effective tool for sharing the message of Jesus, reaching those that may be reluctant to visit a church but are thirsty for something that replen-


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ishes and restores. Through The Well, our viewers are introduced to Jesus as the Living Water as witnessed in this note from a viewer:

“After hearing your message, your words about comfort gave a purpose for our pain. We are encouraged to see how even tragedy can be used for God’s glory.” We hope you will tune in. We frequently hear from visitors to FirstPres that they heard Dr. Swanson on The Well , prompting their visit. The Well also offers short videos at, topical clips to share on social media with friends and family. Many of the videos address tough questions and can be a helpful tool when looking for ways to share hope with others. 

Where can I watch? National TBN | Mondays, 1:30am EST Church Channel | Mondays, 9:30am EST Local TV45 | Sundays, 12:00pm EST WHLV Channel 22 | Mondays, 1:30am EST Online

10 Ways to Stay INFORMED 7 1 Columns Magazine Online This bimonthly magazine, designed to help equip and encourage our church family in discipleship is available online at

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Sunday Worship Bulletin A weekly order of worship for Traditional worship, exercises and meditation notes for Genesis worship, and news about events taking place this week and the next. Available in print & online at Live Worship Broadcast: Web, iPhone & iPad Worship online with our live broadcast from the 8:30am & 11:00am Traditional services and the 9:45am Genesis service. Visit to connect you to the online broadcast, which includes special links for iPad & iPhone streams.


Worship & Sermon Archive Catch up on an entire service you missed or share a great message with a friend through our media center, available at


Give Online Particpate in the offering anytime throughout the week by giving online at You can give one time or schedule a recurring gift with a quick registration process.


Weekly Email Receive news and reminders about events coming up through our weekly email. To sign up, go to or scan the code below with your smartphone:

Be our Friend on Facebook & Follow FPCO on Twitter Connect with others in our FirstPres family, be encouraged and hear about upcoming events by becoming our friend on Facebook through or following us on Twitter at


FPCO Events Calendar A really handy way to keep up with big events, starting classes or registration deadlines, our Google Calendar is viewable on and the home page. You can also download events and add them to your calendar.


Podcast Weekly messages from the worship services can upload automatically to your iTunes account for free, so you can listen online or via a device. To connect, visit


Genesis Spotify Playlist Listen to new worship songs played in Genesis, or learn a few of the lyrics before Sunday. Subscribe to the Genesis playlist on Spotify, a free online music provider at

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The Building Blocks fulfulling our covenant with our whole church family by Sarah Savage

“We will.”

From the moment a child is baptized into the covenant community of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, a commitment is made. First, the family is asked covenant questions, to understand what will be expected of them as parents to a child who is beginning their journey toward becoming a follower of Jesus. Then, the pastor turns to the larger church family, gathered in worship and asks: Do you, the members of this congregation, in the name of the whole church of Christ, undertake with these parents the Christian nurture of this child, so that in due time she might confess faith in Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? Will you endeavor your example and fellowship to strengthen her family ties with the household of God? Will we? Nearly every week, we reaffirm our promise to teach, give generously, pray and encourage these children and their families as they become part of what we call 12

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“covenant community” – a group of believers who are deeply committed to one another. And yet, many of us do not have children. Many in our church family have already raised children. So why do we all make the vows together? Anyone who is baptized into the covenant becomes part of the body of Jesus Christ: the church. Adults and children alike need consistent support, thoughtful teaching, mentoring, prayers and time to become faithful followers of God. We make the vows together because we have all become part of something larger than ourselves, a timeless family with a rich heritage that spans generations and cultures. We also make a covenant because someone once made those very commitments to each of us, when many of us were still a long way from God. So offering our time, energy and prayers to the larger church family is an investment in not only our future covenant community, but in eternity.

Changing the way we think.

This year, we’re changing the way we think about and live out ministry to our church’s children. SHINE Children’s Ministry is not only a vibrant and growing ministry in the life of the church, it is an entry point and first experience for many visitors to our church. So we’re inviting our church family to take an active role in SHINE Children’s Ministry for 4 hours a year. (That’s it.) And the amazing thing is, your easy, 4 hour offering of time can make a huge impact.

Serve 4 hours a year, 1 hour at a time, during the hour opposite your regular worship time. Pretty simple, right? This is an intentional move to change the way we nurture, teach and invest in our children; not because caretakers are needed, but because we believe in the covenants made by this church community.

Parents, too.

In addition to the larger church family, we are asking parents of children in our Wee SHINE and SHINE Sunday programming to take an active role in discipling their children at church by committing to the same 4 hours a year, one hour at a time.

So, how are you qualified?

Can you welcome visitors? Can you redirect a child who might wander in the hallways on the way to the restroom? Can you keep one kid from biting another? Truly, discipleship starts pretty small; we all need to get the basics down, first. 

Available Spots for


Wee Shine/Shine Greeter (8:30/9:45/11:00) Arrive 20 minutes before worship to greet families as they enter the building, help with check-in, finding classrooms and answer questions. Shine Stairwell Monitor (8:30/9:45/11:00) Arrive 20 minutes before worship to greet, give direction to visitors and make every child is wearing a nametag. Shine Live! Worship Assistant (8:30/11:00) Help leaders, participate in Worship with K-5th grade kids and monitor entry points as needed. Shine Club Classroom Assistant (9:45) Welcome children K-5th grade, help give direction, and do a fun craft together. Wee Shine Live! Worship Assistant (8:30/11:00) Help caregivers in bringing children 2 years-PreK to Wee Shine Live! worship, to the playground, and to the classroom. Participate in worship together. Wee Shine Club Classroom Assistant (9:45) Welcome children 2 years-PreK, help give direction, and do a fun craft together.

Sarah Savage is FirstPres’ Director of Children’s Ministry. Sarah and her husband, Jim, have four children of their own and are still learning the basics together, one covenant step at a time.

To sign up and learn more visit

NEXT STEP Pray about how your 4 hours can be invested in the future of this covenant community. There is a unique place for your skills in the life of this church.

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small miracles at the cross

a story of sharing the Gospel, no matter the outcome by Kim Allen When Dr. David Swanson preached in September and challenged the congregation to do two things each day: pray & read the Bible, Chuck Price made the commitment to do it. He and his wife, Melissa, both members of FirstPres, never dreamed what God might have in store over the next three months. Two years ago, Chuck befriended Joe, a local brick mason, through his own remodeling business. After Joe worked on the Price’s own home, Chuck continued to recommend him to others, and over the next two years, the men built a casual friendship through their work. Months later, Chuck recommended Joe for a remodeling project, only to discover Joe had gone out of business. Curious, Chuck called Joe. And that’s when Joe told him why he wasn’t taking on new projects: he had been diagnosed with liver cancer and had been given only three weeks to live. Chuck was shocked. A sixty-yearold man in great physical shape, Joe sounded so broken on the phone that Chuck knew he had to go see him in person. That same day, Chuck had been on the First Presbyterian Church campus working on preparations for a fabricated metal cross. The piece had been commissioned by the Session as an “ebenezer” for the church to remember God’s faithfulness during the transition to FirstPres’ 14 March - April | COLUMNS

new denominational family, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church. Chuck had agreed to oversee the project with landscape architect, Rick Conant. Chuck welded the cross, dug the hole, and poured the concrete himself. The next night Chuck had a dream. In the dream, Chuck brought Joe to the cross, where they buried Joe’s mason’s trowel that he had used for 40 years, to create a memorial for Joe. The next day, Chuck told Melissa he felt the Lord speaking to him in his dream and that he really needed to follow through to see if Joe was willing to make it a reality. A couple of days later, on a Friday, Chuck made the 45-minute drive to Joe’s house, not knowing what he would say to Joe. From all that he knew, Joe was not a believer. Was he about to share the Gospel with someone who was about to die? Whatever happened, Chuck knew that he wanted to love Joe and be an encouragement to him.

grown kids were going to take over his house, Joe basically ignored the question. Again, Chuck prompted him: “Have you thought about eternal life?” Joe replied, “Don’t start talking to me about that stuff.” Refusing to discuss it further, Joe agreed to let Chuck come back in a few days to take him somewhere, just to get out of the house. Over that weekend, Chuck’s family and friends prayed unceasingly. Melissa’s Bible study gathered together around the hole that Chuck had dug for the cross to pray for Joe.

On Tuesday, Chuck picked up his friend for the long drive back into Orlando. On the way, Joe shared more about his life, including the loss of two children when they were very young. Arriving at the church, Chuck brought Joe to the hole in the lawn of the Clayton Life Center, showing him the concrete pad that would anchor the cross underWhen Chuck arrived, he hardly rec- ground, where he had already stenognized Joe; the illness had taken its ciled “remembering my friend Joe” in toll. At first they simply talked about black paint. Joe’s life and reminisced over his jobs and his service in the Vietnam War. Seeing it, Joe smiled, saying, “Well, Eventually the conversation shifted, how about that?” and Chuck was able to ask, “What Chuck shared his dream with Joe, are you going to do when you die?” and so they began their final job After responding with a couple of together. They mixed the mortar; jokes about how his wife was go- Joe giving instructions and stoping to get all his money and his ping to rest several times during the process. Chuck enjoyed watch-

ing his friend take such pride in his work, just like every other job they had worked on together. Finally they buried the trowel, realizing the mortar bucket was empty. Both men agreed it was unusual to have mixed the exact amount of mortar needed —to Chuck, another small sign of God’s presence that day.

photographs from their project and write to Joe. In the letter, he reminded Joe that no sin is too great to be forgiven, even including John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” He mailed the letter on a Thursday.

Pulling out a piece of paper on which he had written the words to an old hymn, Chuck read:

On Saturday, he tried to call again and didn’t get an answer. Three days later, he made plans to stop by Joe’s house when driving through the area. He got a call from Joe’s phone that same day.

At the Cross, at the Cross where I first saw the Light And the burden of my heart rolled away, It was there by faith I received my sight And now I am happy all the day!

It was Linda, Joe’s wife, calling to thank him for the pictures and the letter. Joe read it as soon as he reThey talked some more about God. ceived it on Saturday morning, she Joe admitted he never attended said; he had died that afternoon. church, feeling unworthy because of past choices. Chuck shared the story Chuck’s heart sank as he called Meof another good friend, and God’s lissa to tell her the news. Later, they grace in his life. Joe responded, discussed the chain of events, knowing that God had called them to do “Well, I guess it’s never too late.” what they did, but not knowing this Days later, after failed attempts to side of heaven whether Joe prayed to reach him through calls and visits, receive Christ as his Savior. They do Chuck finally resolved to send some believe that the road blocks near the

end of Joe’s life served as a catalyst for Chuck to write the letter, which spelled out the concepts of sin, repentance, forgiveness and grace— things Chuck probably could not have communicated as clearly faceto-face. The couple has written their story down—so as not to forget all the small miracles along the way. And knowing perhaps the biggest miracle began with the simple willingness on their part to answer the call of daily discipleship, opening their eyes to the possibilities, and God’s love for a dying brick mason. Chuck and Melissa Price are part of the FPCO family, along with their four children. Kim Allen faithfully reported their story here, and was blessed in the process, being reminded that every person she meets has significant value in God’s eyes. If you would like to be better equipped to share the Gospel with others, we recommend reading Just Walk Across the Room by Bill Hybels and talk about it with your family and Life Community.

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Meet Your Elders Light-hearted Facts About Current FPCO Elders Barbara Francis (2015) Prayer Team, Women’s Ministry A dairy allergy means desserts are not her friend. Finds the gospel of grace in every scene of Les Mis. Ed Brakmann (2015) FaithServes, Leadership, Nominating Favorite movie is Caddyshack. Ask him about eating road kill in France. Hates the phrase ‘shut up.’ Jeff Muddell (2013) FaithServes Wants to remind you that ‘heighth’ is not an actual word. Escaped New Jersey without an accent. Jim Fly (2013) Discipleship & Spiritual Formation Youth ping pong tournament champ for Orange County recreation league. Likes a good hot fudge sundae. John Guglielmi (2015) Young Adult and Families Former licensed EMT who loves bananas foster. Doesn’t trust you when you start a sentence with ‘honestly.’ Kevin Taylor (2013) Support, Nominating, HOCF Caught this big fish. Loves to cook, but buys Häagen-Dazs Coffee Ice Cream whenever possible. 16

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Christy Wilson (2013) Personnel He hates purple gift wrap. Seen Wilson Phillips in concert 7 times, and makes amazing salted caramels. Dan Kirby (2013) Leadership, Young Adult & Families Give him carrot cake, but hold the raisins. Shaken hands with every president since George H.W. Bush. Gregory McNeill (2015) Governance, Personnel Direct descendant of Roderick the 8th, who was either a warrior king or bog farmer. Loves Apocalypse Now. Jeremiah Jenkins (2014) Discipleship & Spiritual Formation Former Hawaiian. Loves red velvet cake. Doesn’t like unnecessary or confusing abbrevs. Joey Clayton (2013) Evangelism Loves brownie sundaes. Has a love/hate relationship with coffee, asparagus, and reading. John Hillenmeyer (2014) Support Enjoys a good Kentucky Derby chocolate pie every Derby Day. Doesn’t like the phrase ‘maybe but.’

What is an ‘Elder’?

The Presbyterian church is governed according to the pattern of elders seen in the Old and New Testaments. The word ‘presbyter’ is Greek for ‘elder.’ The office of elder is a distinctive mark of Presbyterianism: specially ordained non-clergy who take part in local pastoral care and decision making

at all levels. These Biblically-qualified elders are recognized through congregational election and, along with ministers, rule the church corporately. At FirstPres, elders make up the governing body, called the Session. Each serves a three-year term, with one third of the elders rotating off the Session at the end of each year, known as their “class” (indicated after their name, followed by their committee).

Lance Fair (2015) Worship, Stewardship Likes to waterski without the skis. Can’t get enough of Notting Hill and brownies à la mode.

Larry McLean (2013) Worship Arts Has a hard time picking a favorite movie, but enjoys Grease and Black Hawk Down. Loves pecan pie.

Lu Langston (2014) Congregational Life, Leadership Did some can-can dancing before tying the knot. Loves dark chocolate or nuts, preferrably together.

Michael Waldrop (2014) Congregational Life Favorite dessert: Blackberry cobbler Favorite movie: We Were Soldiers Least-favorite word: Can’t

Rich Magee (2013) Church Governance Unlike Lu, hates nuts in dessert. He’d absolutely sign up for the French Foreign Legion if Ingrid Bergman asked.

Scarlett Stewart (2013) Evangelism, Nominating Loves liquor in cake, and Waiting for Guffman. Ask her to reenact her starring role as a singing donkey.

Scott Lee (2013) FaithServes Has sweet tooth for vanilla ice cream, hot fudge and redskin peanuts. Spent 6 years playing Michigan hockey.

Sean Murphy (2015) Congregational Life Was a combat medic for 8 years in the Florida National Guard. Loves his wife’s banana pudding.

Steve Cahill (2014) Stewardship Doesn’t like people to say “no problem” in place of “you’re welcome.” Loves wife’s cast-iron apple pie.

Sue Fulford (2013) Worship She goes for chocolate cake and Sense & Sensibility. Loves history and teenagers, but hates regret.

Tad Smith (2013) FaithServes He’s spoken to Mr. T about Jesus, and perhaps the other way around. Loves key lime pie and Parental Guidance.

Next Step Pray for our elders as they serve God as leaders in this church; that God will guide and bless them in their service.

COLUMNS | March - April


fpco’s new church business administrator, james hendrix

Kingdom Building By Kim Allen

in God’s Economy

After the slight chuckle when an introduction is made, Jimmy Hendrix makes quite an impression. He’s a former college soccer-player-turned-pro who still loves to coach his children in athletic pursuits. He’s a triathlete and an avid golfer. One of his favorite places to be is the family cookout and the fire pit.

talented and gifted people who have an incredible passion for what they do,” says Jimmy. “I love learning about how they serve our community locally, nationally and internationally. The hardest part is saying ‘no’ to good things (and dedicated people) that serve the Kingdom when not in our budget priorities.”

And in his new post at FPCO as the Church Business Administrator, in addition to his famous moniker, he brings a heart for “mission and margin.”

In the words of another FirstPres staff member,

James brings years of experience in the investment world, as a financial steward of other people’s money; helpful preparation in managing the church’s annual budget of more than $8 million. The Miami native and Wake Forest graduate, who goes by “James” professionally, received an MBA from the Crummer School of Management at Rollins College. Jimmy and his wife, Allison, live east of Orlando with their daughter and two sons. Throughout his career in the for-profit world, James sought out mission in everything he did. In time, he decided to pursue work in a mission environment and employ his professional skills to the glory of God. The best part of his new job? “Working with extremely 18

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“Jimmy wants to understand the life and mission of this church. He truly has a heart for God’s work being done here— and not just the financial side. He wants to gain an understanding for the heart of each area of ministry and equip us with the resources for the greatest advantage.” It certainly seems like a great match: years of professional money-management experience, combined with a heart for kingdom-building in God’s economy. Too bad he doesn’t play the electric guitar.  Jimmy would be happy to share how you can be a part of God’s story at FPCO: investing fully in His work, connecting with the church family in covenant community, becoming a disciple who lights the world, and joyfully giving in response to God’s generosity toward us.

looking for f.a.t. LEADERS Serving Up tasty COMMUNITY

By Kent Sterchi & Hailey Domeck, Life Community

Leaders are called by God to invest in others, facilitate their growth and lead by example in obedience and character. In February, we celebrated and honored the LIFE Community Group Leaders of FirstPres, who have spent countless hours investing in their group. While there are many ways to be a leader, we want to highlight three qualities that good leaders often share:

leaders are Faithful

In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus applauds the two “good and faithful” servants who made an investment with what they had been given (no matter the amount); while the third servant was labeled “wicked” and “lazy,” because he did nothing with what had been entrusted to him. Good leaders realize their effectiveness in leading others is dependent on their own faithful pursuit of Jesus. They persevere in continued preparation for group time - whether that’s brushing up on the Biblical background of the night’s reading or rearranging furniture week after week. “Being part of a LIFE Community is not always easy; it’s a commitment. Even though we are often pressed for time, it is important to be faithful to the commitment and to encourage others to do so. Those times we are most tempted to skip actually become the most meaningful and are a true gift from God.” - Jan & David Packwood

leaders are Available

In Mark 10:46-52, many in the crowd rebuked the blind man, Bartimaeus, for crying out to Jesus as he passed through Jericho. But Jesus stopped and made Himself available, because saving people was His mission. Effective leaders realize the importance of being available to people both during designated meeting times and at other times, seeking to cultivate strong relationships. “My experience as a LCG leader has grown my personal relationship with Christ. The sense of accountability I feel toward my group has spurred my personal relationship with Christ. My experience as a LCG leader has also made me feel more connected to my larger church community through ServeDay, Sunday school, and seeing my LCG members at church on Sundays.” - Sarah Elerick

leaders are Teachable

In Luke 11:1-4, the disciples plead with Jesus to teach them how to pray! Leaders realize the need for a spirit of humility, because a disciple is “one who is permanently enrolled in the school of becoming like Jesus.” This quality becomes infectious to those they lead. “Just because I’m leading a LIFE COMMUNITY Group, doesn’t mean I know everything! I think it’s important to study and prepare for group ahead of time to have some impact as a leader. For example, I like to lay the groundwork for the topic we’re going to discuss on any given week - set the scene of the Scripture, give any other references, talk about the characters, etc. Well, I have to study up on those things in order to share them with the group!” - Rob Madigan

How F.A.T. Are You? As we seek to live in a covenant community empowering disciples to light their world, we are called to measure just how F.A.T. each of us really are. F - Are you being faithful in your walk with Jesus and His call for you as a disciple, investing in the lives of others? A - How available are you to place the needs of others above your own, a mark of a true disciple of Jesus? T - What is your appetite like when it comes to learning about the ways of Jesus? How teachable are you? The growth of future LIFE Community Groups and leaders in the life of the church is dependent upon a F.A.T. church family! Life Community offers online training for leaders, enabling us to share helpful lessons, receive feedback, and equip leaders with a busy schedule. If you are F.A.T. (or you want to be), contact Hailey Domeck ( to learn more.

COLUMNS | March - April


Break it down What do you look for when you study your Bible? What is important? Dr. Case Thorp gives us some insight into one of the Psalms.

many o wrote renced h w n usicia refe court m salms. He is Kings 18:18 P of the nicles 16:5, 2 ro in 1 Ch

Psalm 50

hese h of t of whic I guilty? sins am

A psalm of Asaph. 17 You hate my instruction The Mighty One, God, the LORD, and cast my words behind you. speaks and summons the earth 18 When you see a thief, you join with him; from the rising of the sun to where it sets. you throw in your lot with adulterers. 2 From Zion, perfect in beauty, 19 You use your mouth for evil God shines forth. a.k.a. and harness your tongue to deceit. 3 Our God comes Jerusalem 20 You sit and testify against your brother and will not be silent; and slander your own mother’s son. a fire devours before him, ! the psalmist ah 21 When you did these things and I kept silent, and around him a tempest rages. sin sets up a court common that you thought I was exactly like you. as 4 He summons the heavens above, d e scene w/ Go of prid do But I now arraign you ll and the earth, that he may judge his people: judge and jury, a (parallelism) we en av and set my accusations before you. earth & he 5 “Gather to me this consecrated people, as audience, and 22 “Consider this, you who forget God, who made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” the people as or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: 6 And the heavens proclaim his righteousness, defendant. 23 Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, for he is a God of justice. and to the blameless I will show my salvation.” 7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak; ness! it w e h lso t I will testify against you, Israel: od is a now G I am God, your God. e summary lesson reference to th 8 I bring no charges against you concerning your sacrifices e th in ed rn bu animals or concerning your burnt offerings, which are ever before me. Temple yard with d 9 I have no need of a bull from your stall the idea that Go he en wh d ve was mo or of goats from your pens, t rn bu e th d smelle 10 for every animal of the forest is mine, flesh and the cattle on a thousand hills. om famous phrase fr 11 I know every bird in the mountains, Christian hymns and the insects in the fields are mine. 12 If I were hungry I would not tell you, for the world is mine, and all that is in it. irony! be sure to read this with an incredulous tone 13 Do I eat the flesh of bulls as God might intend or drink the blood of goats? , or as we Hebrew is Yhwh e th eh. Jews ten says 14 “Sacrifice thank offerings to God, would write: Yahw Hebrew poetry of us w was so in a ro fulfill your vows to the Most High, felt God’s name same thing twice le op pe neither ms for sacred they would ing various synony 15 and call on me in the day of trouble; d lle ca is fully spell es involved. This say the name, or I will deliver you, and you will honor me.”or plac mitted the it out, so they om parallelism. nor this 16 But to the wicked person, God says: vowels. Editors ho by using “What right have you to recite my laws tradition in English all caps: LORD. or take my covenant on your lips?





March - April | COLUMNS

what to consider when buying a bible by Dr. Case Thorp


Translations are marked on the spine of all Bibles with a series of initials. You may find the KJV, NIV, NASB, NRSV, or ESV... and it really does sound like a list of Federal agencies. But each set of initials actually represents a different kind of Bible translation. A committee of Bible scholars may spend 10-20 years laying out a series of translation principles and using them to translate the Bible from ancient Hebrew and Greek manuscripts. Look for a 2-3 page introduction in every Bible on what translation principles were used, which scholars participated, and their university affiliations. God’s Word is not malleable to the point of becoming merely a committee’s work, but we know that language evolves over time and fresh verbiage is sometimes needed to understand the texts. We don’t live in King James’ England, hence the use of “Thy” and “Thou” in the King James Version can seem cumbersome to us. The scholarship for each of these translation committees is quite responsible and vigorous and we know the Holy Spirit to be the true revelation that takes mere words and transforms them to the Word. Dr. Swanson preaches from the NIV (New International Version) which is a wide-spread translation used the last 25 years in evangelical, English-speaking Protestant churches. The language is contemporary and easy to understand, and the translation principles come from trusted, Godly scholars.

ogy alongside Scripture. Likewise, FPCO’s own Bobbie Wolgemuth has published The Mom’s Bible: God’s Wisdom for Mothers. The editorial packaging options are many (the Justice Bible and EcoBible, to name a few), but the key is to know your needs and find a match. Spend some time perusing the Bible aisle at a Christian book store and exploring your options. My recommendation for new Bible students is the Life Application Study Bible, NIV. It is compiled by Billy Graham’s ministry and includes great commentary notes, maps, charts, and character studies.

Handy Hints: Get a Bible with tabs. Indentions down the right side of a Bible to help you quickly find a particular book. Leather or hardcover? Your Bible will hopefully see some wear over time: will you study at home, carry to church, or both? Mark a milestone. Print your child’s name on the front of a Bible and present it to them on the occasion of their confession of faith in Christ. Do the same for a new believer, or member of your Life Community. Buy extra fabric bookmarks to save the place of multiple passages.  Dr. Case Thorp is FPCO’s pastor of Mission & Evangelism and kind of a theology nerd. He and his wife, Jodi, have three really cute kids and a heart for downtown Orlando.

Editorial Packaging

Bibles are bestsellers, so most every publishing house has several Bibles available in print. This is helpful because we get Bibles that are formatted and chockfull of tools to help us understand them, no matter our age or stage. For instance, Student Bibles come with extra commentary notes and character studies that are geared toward students’ interests. The Spirit of the Reformation Study Bible came together with the help of our own Luder Whitlock, and teaches Reformed theol-

Next step Not just for newbies, the Pure Bible class on Sunday morning is a great place to break in a new Bible and start making notes. A new cycle starts every 6 weeks, teaching a book or passage by using essential tools for study, and April 7 begins a new series on Revelation. Join in, 9:45am in room 310 of the Edington Ministry Center.

COLUMNS | March - April



making spiritual disciplines a daily habit

As we shared in the January issue of Columns, Here’s your next journaling assignment: spiritual disciplines are not always major lifestyle changes. They are often subtle changes in implementing habits and practices that lead to an intimacy with God and an awareness of the activity of the Holy Spirit in our life.

1. Identify some life events that God has used to change you and shape you.

Some of these disciplines are worship, devotional reading, prayer, Sabbath keeping, works of compassion or service, fellowship, confession, submission, celebration, stewardship and journaling.

3. What has consistently fed you spiritually? Why do you think it works for you?

As we continue to explore these practices, the first discipline we’re focused on developing is journaling. How well have you done with journaling in the past? Even if it isn’t a habit yet, with perseverance it can be the best tool you have to reflect on God’s presence in your life.

To learn more about what shapes our souls and become better equipped in your spiritual disciplines, contact Lori Needham, who is part of the Discipleship and Spiritual Formation Team at x1463 or

Jim Wilson, author of Soul Shaping, says, “Spiritual transformation doesn’t take place in workbooks; it takes place in rhythms, structures and routines.” He explains this in three ways: The Rhythms of Life: each day is new and fresh to us and God is present – in everything; the unforeseen, the unplanned, in the emotions, and even the decisions we make. Life happens and God uses the rhythms of life to help us grow. The Structures of Life: God uses planned events and intentional relationships to help us grow. These may include worship services, Bible studies, and mentoring relationships. It may also be a daily quiet time with Him that reinforces your spiritual growth. The Routines of Life: as creatures of habit, we all have our ‘routines’! Many, however, are shaped by the rhythms of life. The focus of a true disciple of Christ is not doing what Jesus would, but on living as Jesus lived. Our routines are the spiritual disciplines that will lead us to intimacy with God. 22

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2. Do you tend to rebel against structures or find them helpful?

4. It won’t be long before your journal will begin to reflect your ‘appointments’ with God! Happy encounters! 

Helpful Resources Journaling as a Spiritual Practice: Encountering God Through Attentive Writing by Helen Cepero. Designed to help you go below the surface of your life with God. It is not about the art of writing, but about how journaling can form us spiritually. Journal Keeping: Writing for Spiritual Growth by Luann Budd. Offers ways to begin this process, fresh ideas and cites examples and inspiration from the lives of great men and women throughout history who have kept journals. Both of these can be ordered at

Family News Sympathy to...

Congratulations to...

Delores (Bruce) Starling and Ellen Cooper, on the death of their father, Leon Loll, December 10, 2012. Colonel Loll was the grandfather of Alison Starling Alexander and Jinna Cooper.

Luke Samuel Bailey and Melissa Anne Harvard were married December 28, 2012, in the Reformation Chapel. Melissa is the daughter of Joe & Mary Harvard.

Susan & Mike Zwer, on the death of her mother, Wanda Broomall, December 13, 2012.

Josh & Stephanie Rivera on the birth of their son, Pedro Joshua Rivera, January 6, 2013.

Carolyn & Paul Tavel, on the death of her sister, Joanne Rea, December 15, 2012.

Wil & Natalie Brown on the birth of their daughter, Winnie Caroline Brown, January 8, 2013. The proud grandparents are Mike & Rebecca Bedell.

Betty Magee on the death of her husband, Dick Magee, December 16, 2012. Mr. Magee was the father of Rich Magee.

Christopher Charles Miller and Allison Joy Ferber were married January 19, 2013 in the Sanctuary. Allison is the daughter of Jim and Debbie Ferber.

To the family and friends of Ida Greene, who died December 16, 2012. To the family and friends of Tommy Singleton, who died December 18, 2012. Margaret Hill, on the death of her husband, Kenny Hill, December 20, 2012. To the friends and family of Clara Barnett, who died December 21, 2012. Dusty Sutton and Missy & Matt Craig, on the death of their father, Cliff Sutton, December 25, 2012. Mr. Sutton was the grandfather of Cary & Chloe Craig and Casey Cummings. Scott and Pam Greenwood, on the death of his father, Homer Greenwood, December 29, 2012. Mr. Greenwood was the grandfather of James, Caroline and Emily Greenwood.

Call FPCO at 407.423.3441 to - schedule a baptism x1451 - request a hospital visit x1455 - plan a wedding x1453 - arrange a memorial service x1455 - donate flowers for worship x1272 - ask donation & giving questions x1479 - change your address x1471 - purchase a sermon CD or DVD x1438 - join the choir x1272 - reserve childcare x2227 - reach the security office 407.415.9793 - contact the Weekday School 407.996.5864 - reserve a meeting space x1459 - learn more about Columns x1467 - learn more about support groups x1159 - to serve the community x1474

FOR PASTORAL EMERGENCIES after the hours of 8:30am-5:00pm, please leave a voicemail message at the main church number, which will page the minister on call.

COLUMNS | March - April


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| Orlando, FL 32801

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family worship Sunday APRIL 14, 8:30AM & 11:00am the whole church family worshipping god together Sanctuary

Columns Magazine | March/April 2013  

Seek God. Share His Love. Humbly Serve | First Presbyterian Church of Orlando |