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June - August 2009

Life Together


Welcome! Ethos has been defined as the “characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community.” Our faith community here at FHPC has its own characteristic spirit, or ethos, that can be difficult to describe to someone who hasn’t had the chance to journey with us for a while. This magazine is our attempt to capture a sense of the unique ethos of Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church. I invite you to spend some time reading through its pages. Follow through our Gather in Worship, Grow in Faith, and Go in Mission spreads to see where God might be calling you to be more deeply involved. Take a look at the Faith in Culture segment and discover some new ways to see God in the world around you. Pause for a few minutes in the In Review segment to celebrate how God has been at work among us. Pull out your calendar as you look at the coming events on the back page and plan to be a part of what God will do among us in the coming months! We believe that God has created an incredible and unique ethos here at FHPC. And we’d like you to be a part of it. If, after reading through this magazine, you have any questions about how to become more involved please call or e-mail. We’d love to hear from you!

Staff Kevin Womack Pastor kevin.womack@fhpc.org

Brian Reed Associate Pastor brian.reed@fhpc.org

Kim Dawsey-Richardson Dir. of Children & Family Min. kim.dawsey-richardson@fhpc.org

Daniel Ambler Director of Student Ministries daniel.ambler@fhpc.org

Jeremy Dawsey-Richardson Worship Team & Media Director jeremy.dawsey-richardson@fhpc.org

Michael Ruhl Chancel Choir Director michael.ruhl@fhpc.org

Robin Watson Preschool Director robin.watson@fhpc.org

Cindy Muehleman Church Administrator cindy.muehleman@fhpc.org

Laurie Norton

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Bookkeeper laurie.norton@fhpc.org

Sandy Zeilinger

Table of Contents 3 Gather 5 Grow 7

Go

9 Faith Formation 10 Faith in Culture 11

In Review

13 VBS 14 Class of 2009 15 Calendar

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Receptionist sandy.zeilinger@fhpc.org

Deacons: Kit Bassett Kathy Brenner Bob Dorren Hazel Evans Shawn Hanson Karen Nichols Hoss Dick Jolliffe Julie Jolliffe Charlie Kurtz Jinny Kurtz Chuck Lane June Long Jean Nelson Larry Nelson Anna Reed Jim Shields Nancy Spring Vicki Takahashi Sonny Tucker Kitty Tucker Debbie Williams Richard Williams Merideth Willsey Brenda Wilson

Elders: Dick Bassett Bob Battenfield John Blair Shelly Buono Chris Davis Ryan Dixon Daniel Dugan Linda Dye Rick Edgington Kevin Enright Nancy Howell Ellen Mackay Kim Moran Russ Shubert Marion Spence

455 Church Way, El Cajon, 92020 | www.fhpc.org | 619.463.6631


Voices... Dave Smith Q: What is Your faith story? A: My faith story is a simple and a common one. My mother’s faith was critical in my development as a Christian, and her persistence, patience and perseverance initially led me to Christ, and later brought me back to Christ. Like many, I walked away from God’s direction in my late teens and through my 20s. The Grace of God welcomed me back with open arms and the forgiveness I sorely needed. From there I met and married a wonderful Christian woman and we have a beautiful son, Dino (12), together. We’ve been blessed to know he has also chosen to follow Christ as his Savior too. Q: Which FHPC ministries have you been a part of ? A: My son, Dino, and I serve as Pre-K/Kindergarten Sunday School teachers. Being put in a position to speak to children about Christianity is a responsibility we enjoy and don’t take lightly. Working with Dino hand-in-hand has made Sunday School teaching a double blessing for me. I also lead my Small Group in Bible study every Monday night. My Small Group is just wonderful and we share the same desire to get closer and closer to the Lord. Q: When did you first know that FHPC would be your faith family, and when did you get plugged in? A: I first came to FHPC while seeking a church home some two to three years ago. I met Jan Elliott while Dino attended pre-school at FHPC some six years previous. I told myself then, if that remarkable person Jan Elliott is still attending FHPC there must be something right about that church! Indeed there she was on my first Sunday visit. Subsequently, I needed to make sure my son was going to be well cared for. That same Sunday I met Kim Dawsey-Richardson and my decision was made. Q: How has teaching children impacted your own faith in Jesus? A: Being a small part of VBS and teaching Sunday School for our children has been the most rewarding ministry at FHPC for me. I can think of no other equally important ministry but to be a positive influence in a young one’s life. This is the time in their lives before faith gets crowded by the responsibilities, the mistakes and the rewards of life.

Barbara Oppenheimer Q: What is your faith story? A: I was born and raised in a Christian home and attended a small Methodist Church. I had the most wonderful Sunday School teacher all through High School. I learned so much in my early teens, and so it was never a problem for me to accept the faith. I joined the church at about age 14. When I was 74, I was diagnosed with cancer. When I found the lump on my neck, assuming it would be cancer, I had the most wonderful talk with my Lord. I said “Whatever you have for me I am willing to accept, just let me do it gracefully.” When I talked with the doctor I couldn’t have been calmer. From the moment I turned my life over to Him I had such perfect peace. They gave me three years to live. On May 5, I turned 91! Q: Which FHPC ministries have you been a part of ? A: I think most all of them. I was a Deacon while Rev. Everett Le Compte was pastor, and an Elder when Rev. Cliff Manning was pastor. I helped start the Bonnie Bells Women’s Fellowship, and have been very active in Presbyterian Women. I taught 3rd Grade Sunday School, was a leader in the Boy Scout Troop the church sponsored at the time, and have been part of the Caravels since their founding in 1955. I have also been a regular part of Church Women United, which draws together Christian women of many denominations. When I joined Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church in 1954 there were about 80 people worshipping in a small Chapel. Q: When did you first know that FHPC would be your church home? A: I could see the church’s Chapel from a window in my home, and wanted to go to a church nearby my home so that my children could go to Sunday School with children who attended their school. When I came I found the church friendly, and small enough that I could easily get involved. Q: What have you learned by being part of this congregation for 55 years? A: It has been a delightful experience I have enjoyed. I have enjoyed knowing people and being well accepted. Church has been so much a part of my life. This church is so friendly I can’t help but to feel a part of it. I can see how we have all grown spiritually over the years; even through the difficult years I felt I couldn’t leave. I always thank God. I feel like He’s the One in charge. He has been working throughout my life. All He wants is our love.

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GATHER IN

Gather In Worship

One of our core values here at FHPC is the importance of gathering together weekly to worship our great God. Nothing encourages us more. Nothing builds us up more. Nothing allows for a fuller expression of our thankfulness to the God who’s saved us. Since the first Easter Sunday, Christians have gathered the first day of the week to worship their risen Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Our Sunday morning worship experiences set the tone for each new week of living out our relationship with Jesus Christ in the context of the world around us. Every element of our services, from the call to worship to the pastoral prayer, from the preaching of the Word to the celebration of communion, all serve to proclaim the glory of our God, to draw us closer to him, and to send us forth both proclaiming and living out the good news of the gospel. At 8:30am we gather for a traditional service led by our choir, featuring the organ and traditional hymns, solos, and choruses. At 10:00am we gather for a contemporary service led by our worship band, featuring many of today’s freshest worship songs. The sermon is the same in each of our services, so you should feel free to choose whichever service style most appeals to you. We’ll see you this Sunday!

^ Banner Theology

UPCOMING SERMON SERIES Prayer � � �

6/7� � 6/14� � 6/21� �

Invited by God Permission to Speak Freely A Community Responsibility

6/28� 7/5� 7/12� 7/19� 7/26� 8/2� 8/9� 8/16�

Heavenly Minded� That Was Then...� This Is Now!� � A New Wardrobe� Christ, Among You� Husbands & Wives� Parents & Children� Masters & Slaves�

Alive � � � � � � � �

� � � � � � � �

Signs: An Exploration of the Sacraments � � �

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8/23� � 8/30� � 9/6� �

In or Out? Communion Baptism

� � � � � � � �

3:1-4 3:5-8 3:9-11 3:12-14 3:15-17 3:18-19 3:20-21 3:22-4:1

Adorning the walls of our church sanctuary are 9 beautifully crafted banners, one for each of the 9 creedal statements adopted by the Presbyterian Church (USA). The picture at the top of this banner represents the loving ar ms of Almighty God, who holds the fractured world in His sovereign hands.  The Cross is multicolored symbolizing that the Church is made up of people from every race, and nation.  The the Presbyterian Seal at bottom of this banner represents that we are just one of many expressions of the worldwide Church.  At the top of our denominational seal is the Holy Spirit; he descends upon the Bible, inspiring it and teaching it to us.  The cup shape symbolizes both the Sacraments of Baptism and Communion.  At the center of the Seal is our message about the Cross:  Jesus Christ and Him crucified.  At the foot of the Seal, the flames represent God the Father as He revealed Himself to Moses in the burning bush.

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WORSHIP Meet Your Greeter

Have you seen this smiling face? If you’ve ever attended a worship service at FHPC, chances are you were warmly greeted by Ryan Dixon. Ryan, who serves on the Hospitality & Membership Committee of Session, has a passion for ensuring that everyone who visits FHPC, and anyone who calls FHPC home, is welcomed in a way that reflects the hospitable love of God himself. If Ryan’s welcome has helped you to feel at home, be sure to let him know. And, if you’d like to be part of our Greeting Team, please let us know. We can always use more smiling faces! ryan.dixon@fhpc.org

FAMJAM: Family Worship Each Month

Don't miss our final FAMJAM of the year June 28th before a two month summer break! FAMJAM began in the Fall of 2008 offering families a safe, free space to sing and play, learn and fellowship together. The last Sunday of every month, FAMJAM attendees enjoy bagels and coffee at 8:30 and gather for the worship time at 9am which offers freedom for fidgety kids, singing, skit, message, family faith topics to discuss in small groups, and of course, a guest appearance made by FAMJAM Sam. Families leave with a "FAMJAM toolbox" of curriculum, devotionals, crafts, and family activities for the month with supplies included. We hope to see you in June as we conclude coverage of the Fruit of the Spirit. Join us for FAMJAM’s Fall Kick-off, September 27th as we launch into the armor of God! See you on June 28th!

Did You Know...

That you can sign up for flower dedications online? These bouquets also serve another purpose. Following the worship services the bouquets are divided up by our Deacons into six baskets of flowers, which are then taken to people in our congregation. To sign up online, go to our website: www.fhpc.org click on Resources, then Flower Dedication. You can also call our office at: 619.463.6631.

Try It Out... Before Worship Pray. Show up to church early and find a quiet spot on the church grounds to pray.  Pray for your own heart to be made available and surrendered to God in worship.  Pray for our faith family, from young ones in the nursery to those who may no longer be able to make it out of their homes.  Pray that God would lead visitors to Fletcher Hills and that we would help them feel comfortable and warmly received as guests.    During Worship Worship is not about our comfort.  David spoke of being undignified and humiliated in his own eyes.  He became consumed in worship with God’s honor, so he danced, leapt and celebrated with all his might.   Set aside your own comfort and engage in worship in a fresh way.  Stand when you would normally sit.  Sit when you would normally stand.  Sing loudly.  Raise your hands or kneel.  Try moving your body rhythmically (which may be difficult for some).  Imagine worshipping God in all his splendor, then do it.    After Worship Instead of driving directly home or out to lunch, spend a half an hour becoming acquainted with our neighborhood.  Drive, or even better yet take a walk around the streets near the church.  What do you see?  What are the needs of our neighbors?  Think about what we/you can do to build God’s kingdom in our community? Find one tangible way you could show God’s love to our neighbors and then follow through on it.

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Grow In Faith

GROW IN

Written by Marion Spence

Growing in Faith is a lifelong process of learning (Phil. 3:12-14). In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:19) Jesus instructs the apostles to “make disciples” (matheteusate) or “learners”. According to Vines Dictionary, the Greek root word manthano means “to learn, not simply a doctrine of Christ, but Christ Himself, a process not merely of getting to know the person but of so applying the knowledge as to walk differently from the rest.” Our hope at FHPC is that as a community of learners we can grow into a people that seeks to reflect the nature of God (Ephesians 4:13). Successful disciplemaking requires the application of truth from His Word to life. Through this process 3 relationships are grown: our relationship with Jesus Christ – we as believers seek to know Jesus and be more like him; our relationship with one another – we as believers seek to build up one another in Christlikeness; our relationship to the world – we as believers seek to influence others towards faith in Jesus Christ. Biblically sound, culturally relevant learning that is supported by a strong base of prayer is essential for healthy spiritual growth. Here at Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church, God owns the ministry of Christian Education. We attempt to serve Him by offering experiences that will meet different levels of spiritual development, being sensitive to individual needs and promoting these three levels of relationship. You will find Small Groups that offer an intimate way to encounter Scripture in community, foundational Bible studies ranging from introductory classes to more advanced discussions, and retreat experiences for all ages. This faith community is the body of Christ living as His people and carrying out His mission, each of us equipped and equipping others, so that the body keeps on growing.

Small Group Open Enrollment

Open Enrollment for our Summer Series of sermon-based Small Groups runs three consecutive Sundays: June 7, June 14, and June 21. If you’re already involved in one of our Small Groups, be sure to indicate to your leader whether or not you’ll be continuing in your current group. If you’re new to Small Group involvement, be sure to stop by our Open Enrollment table in the breezeway, or visit our Small Group page on the website. For more information about our Small Group ministry, contact Brian Reed: brian.reed@fhpc.org 5

Small Group Testimony Written by Elizabeth LaGreca

When small groups at FHPC started, we knew we wanted to be involved, but having just had a baby (Nicholas was only a month or two) we couldn't seem to work out a good time for all of us to join a group. I tried to attend a group by myself one night during the week but Nicholas was too little to leave at that time of night and I didn't really want to be part of a group by myself. So, we decided that it just wasn't our time to be involved. At the beginning of this year, a new “family” group was started. We meet every Thursday, with all our kids, and dinner is served by one of “It’s pretty simple: the families in the group. The we love our Small fellowship time we have Group.” before and during dinner is so refreshing, and much needed by the end of the work week. It's so nice to be a part of a group that understands "life with kids." I love it when we (the parents) finally get to sit down together in the living room and begin our study. I am pretty sure that our actual study time looks and feels very different than most of the other Small Groups, but I love it. We have the babies under 1 in the room with us, and all the other kids are playing in the play room (so, you can imagine the noise level). It’s works beautifully! I have to admit that I have learned more about the Bible in the last 4 months than I have in the previous 4 years. I feel plugged in and I get excited to read more and learn more each week. It’s pretty simple: we love our Small Group. In fact, when we had the break right before Easter, it only took one week for Joe and I to say “we really miss small group – three weeks is way too long for a break!” We are so thankful that we tried Small Groups again and found a group that fits perfectly into our harried schedule. I always look forward to Thursdays now.


FAITH Forest Home

The biblical principles of rest, retreat, and sanctuary are timeless and even more applicable as the lifestyle of each generation quickens. Camping is a cultural imperativean invaluable counterweight God uses to keep our pace and our priorities in perspective. For our junior and senior high students, Forest Home is a place to experience God’s Love and worship Him in a beautiful setting, removed from the day-to-day schedules, routines, and distractions. From June 28-July 4, our students will be at Forest Home experiencing reflection, renewal, and redirection as they learn and are challenged by what it looks like to follow Jesus.

Kaleo Midweek Gatherings

Kaleo Tuesdays for junior high students. and Kaleo Wednesdays for senior high students are our main weekly gatherings. Our purpose is to create an inviting space for students to encounter God, regardless of their life place. Our midweek gatherings are a delicate and beautiful balance of students who long ago committed to following Jesus and others who are exploring faith for the very first time. Aside from all the fun and crazy activities you would normally expect to find when a bunch of youth and weird leaders gather, these meetings also utilize creative teaching methods and engaging music to direct attention toward God and His truth we find in Scripture. Small Groups

Hebrews 10:25 tells us to continue meeting with one another to encourage each other in faith. This is what our student Small Groups are all about. It is not easy being a teenager in any generation, and this generation is no different, with uniques challenges and obstacles to faith, creating space to be honest and open about our struggles and triumphs along the way. We base our discussion on the Scripture passage taught the previous Tuesday or Wednesday and focus on accountability and encouragement in living out the truth we find in Scripture. ^

Try It Out... If you have yet to take advantage of our many Grow in Faith opportunities here at FHPC, it’s easy to take the next step! Here’s how: First of all, take a few minutes to survey all that’s listed on this page (or, you can visit our website for even more detail about each of these opportunities). Next, we recommend that you start by getting involved in one of our sermon-based Small Groups; there’s simply no better way to dig deep into the Word of God and grow deeper in your relationships with others here at FHPC.   Finally, if you’re already involved in a Small Group but are interested in more, we encourage you to consider one of our Sunday morning class options, which are held at 8:30am and 10:00am. There are additional midweek classes and Bible studies available as well. Visit our website for the most up-to-date details on each of these opportunities.  Don’t be afraid to take these ministry opportunities for a test-drive. If you find that any of these options isn’t exactly what you’re looking for, feel free to try something else. We promise that you won’t offend anyone by doing so. We want to do all that we can to help you find the education opportunities that best promote your ongoing growth in faith.

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GO IN

Go In Mission Written by Shelley Buono

Local Mission

In April, Brian gave a sermon entitled “I am sending you” that was from John 20:21 in which he said Jesus is asking us to have a lifestyle of serving. In other words, we need to serve one another, here at FHPC and in our community. As the new Chair of the Mission Committee, I ask you now, “Where is God sending you?” What are you doing in the community to help others by serving them? I work at an urban charter middle/high school that is changing the face of education for low income students to help make college a reality for them. This is true mission work as our students come from challenging home lives where future expectations have been very low. However, this staff of 75 committed teachers and support personnel will do whatever it takes to help students make college their reality. We work with the slogan of “no excuses” and although the work is hard, we know God’s hand guides us and our work. It’s no coincidence that although this is a public charter school, many of my colleagues are Christians and pray daily for our students and staff. Imagine what the membership of FHPC could do if we decided to focus our efforts on our surrounding community and be fully externally focused. God is calling us to do just that and we welcome your prayerful ideas and suggestions for local service. Maybe your idea will be the next Lend a Hand El Cajon project or UPLIFT backpack/book drive. Or maybe you’d like to be the next lay person on our committee to help pray and plan the work to recommend to our church. Our motto is “Send and Serve with the Spirit of God.” Come find out together where God is sending us. Please call or email with suggestions or questions: 619-850-4311 or shelley.buono@fhpc.org.

VBS as Mission? You bet! It’s mission in its purest form as we minister to so many people in our own backyard. Did you know that last year, over 50 children registered who did not have a church home? Another 20 stated we were their closest church affiliation, though only attending the preschool or visiting us on Christmas and Easter. We may be the only link some of our families have to hearing and experiencing the good news of Jesus. VBS is our largest community outreach. It is not only an opportunity to reach children with the love and gospel of Christ, but to support and reach their parents and family members as well. Additionally, we will be sponsoring a collaborative project with VBS families and our own mission committee to give to inner-city children who do not have the resources they need to learn and flourish in life. So the mission of VBS is even birthing mission! There are two primary ways you may be a part of our VBS Mission: 1. GO Join our staff for as many days as you are able August 3rd-7th. Every part of the body matters for this task! We need loving hands to prepare snacks, hold hands, demonstrate crafts, lead icebreakers, act, clean-up, and on. Are you able to serve? We are in special need of more people to guide age teams! Register as a volunteer NOW at www.fhpc.org 2. PRAY Each year, churched and unchurched children flood our campus with open hearts and anticipation for the fun learning they will experience!

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Missional Life: Student Reflection On Ladle Ministry Written by Courtney Geilenfeldt

Ladle Ministry takes place every Sunday at First Presbyterian Church downtown, and has a special place in my heart. The ministry focuses on homeless and low-income citizens in the community. On Sunday afternoons they are served food, enjoy worship, and get to spend time with others. While there, we volunteer in several different areas such as greeting people, serving food and drinks, doing dishes, and picking up trash. My last two times at Ladle I’ve had trash duty. Even though it just might be the grossest job, I think it’s the best because I get to talk to each and every person. I love getting to ask them, “How are you today?” or telling them, “Have a good day!” and seeing the happiness that just glows on their face. It’s amazing to know that you have actually made them feel loved or cared for. Ladle has definitely helping me to grow mentally and spiritually, as I am able to live out Jesus’ mission.

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MISSION Regional Mission Written by Daniel Reed

One of my goals upon graduating college was to use my new income to benefit others. I’d spent four years pouring everything I earned back into my schooling and I was more than ready to focus outward. One way to do this quickly grabbed my attention while attending the Spirit West Coast conference in Del Mar. They spoke about Compassion International, the child sponsorship program that I had come to know through Sunday School growing up. (Why is it that so many churches sponsor children, but so few individuals?) I raised my hand to receive information, and was given the card for a little girl from Ethiopia. The card explained how she was one of six children, she didn’t attend school, and how both of her parents were “sometimes employed.” For only $38 per month, this child is now in school, enjoys art and history, and helps support her family. For a little extra donation around her birthday and Christmas, she buys clothing and flour, and maybe some sweets to share. It is humbling to see how such a minimal amount of money can have such a significant impact in a needy society. It is a minor sacrifice for me, and provides a world of opportunity for her.

International Mission One of our Mission Partners is a group of churches that are reaching into to the Ethiopian desert to The Afar people. In cooperation with World Vision, we and many other Christians are helping this forgotten people group to hear and see the good news of the Gospel of salvation through Jesus Christ our Lord. Through providing wells, health care, and education, we have been given an opportunity to share the love of God with them. For more information about the Afar people you may go to our church website, www.fhpc.org and click on Ministries on the top menu, then on Mission, and finally click on the side menu for our Mission Partners.

Try It Out... Missional living is not a task, it’s a philosophy. Missional living is a lifestyle that, at its core, seeks to embody the ways of Jesus at all times, aware that the people of God are sent out into the world to be salt and light. Living in the way of Jesus is simple; not easy, but simple. Living missionally necessitates discernment and an attentive ear to the Holy Spirit as the people of God live, and move, and have their being. This movement calls on the Church be the agency of God’s mission in the world. It is a movement that is reliant on the Church to move beyond seeing mission as something the church does. Mission is what the church is. In author Craig VanGelder’s words: “The Church is. The Church does what the church is. The Church organizes what it does.” In other words – being precedes doing. Doing and organizing comes after understanding the church’s essence, which is being the agent of God’s redemptive mission in the world. In focusing on the Church’s essence, this movement challenges one of Protestantism’s greatest weaknesses – its lack of a strong ecclesiology (study or understanding of what Church is called to be and do). At FHPC we hope to establish a strong ecclesiology as we support and encourage one another toward living lives as ambassadors of the missio dei: the God of mission. For a primer on missional living, check out Michael Frost’s Exiles: Living Misionally in a Post-Christian Culture.

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everyday

FAITHFORMATION

Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever." John 6:53-58

Manna Moments: Consuming Christ These words must have stunned and confused early believers: “If you don’t eat my flesh, you’ll have no life?” Some Christian traditions hold to a literal understanding of this text during communion. They subscribe to transubstantiation, the belief that the communion bread and wine actually become Christ’s own flesh and blood in a mysterious and miraculous way. I believe Jesus’ hyperbolic charge communicates something very different but equally drastic. Jesus calls us to consume him and to be consumed by him to live. Repeatedly we hear Jesus invite people not to merely believe, but to believe and follow. To believe and sin no more. To believe and not fear. To believe and be healed, and live life as a healed one. To believe and give up whatever stands between us and God. Our belief may be the starting point, but the true mark of the follower shows itself in the responsive life. Jesus calls us to the severity of consumption, not mere nibbling. How do we allow Jesus’ love and redemption to fill every cavity of body and mind? Do we unnecessarily formalize this process? Segregate it to minutes or an allotted time in our day? Do we give up before we begin? Is it our lifeline? Jesus is the fulfillment of God’s provision since ancient times; he is our living manna. When the Israelites were wandering and disoriented in the desert, God rained down 9 bread, manna from heaven, to

fill their their bellies and calm their concerns each day. He provided enough for them to gather for each day. They were commanded to take what they needed but not hoard it or it would rot. Every morning provided a fresh opportunity of remembrance. God would be their God and He would provide for them, again and again. He would fulfill his promises, sustaining and satisfying them. Jesus invites us to feed on him, daily and memorably; manna that does not die or rot within us but grows new and full life inside. This takes form in the decisive, chosen moments of discipline, study, prayer, and rest in the everyday as well as the spontaneous gifts God feeds us with in the intangible moments of beauty, laughter, and joy that sneak up on us or greet us boldly. Are we responsive to the Manna? Are we willing to pick it up and eat? While neglecting to consume Christ may be one extreme, hoarding God is another. I think we miss Jesus’ point if we load up on God and Scripture Sunday mornings or other designated moments, as though we were paying dues. Is it possible to be stuffed on Jesus Truth and not give it away or share the feast with the world beyond? Whoever eats has life. Daily manna, eating and remembering each day is the invitation and gift of life for us. What are the ways daily Christ consumption takes shape in your life? How does the Spirit fill you up and guide you out in the world? Give us this

day our daily bread. God certainly cares for the physical needs of his people, but there are additional layers to this manna concept with relational, emotional, and spiritual implications. Jesus offers real food and drink, real life in the intangible and soul-searching pockets of each day. And it only comes by consuming him. May we respond to his life-giving invitation with regular hospitality and a hearty appetite.

^ Consuming the Gift

What are your rhythms? Here are some ideas: Internet: www.pray-as-you-go.com, www.sacredspace.com. Devotionals: Oswald Chambers, the Bible Experience, Renovare resources. Scripture: Consider going through the gospel accounts: Matthew, Mark, Luke, & John. Meditate on a Psalm each day. Learn the practice of Lectio Divina & apply it to your Scripture studies. Community: Marinate on the Word as preached in the company of others; join a Small Group; attend a bible class.


FAITH IN CULTURE... Read It...

Theologically Engaging Culture

Road to Cana is Anne Rice’s second novel in a series of three that comprise her Christ the Lord series. Raised Catholic, Rice drifted from the faith as she married and began her life as a renowned author. She became a best-selling author, known specifically for her vampire novels. Upon her husband’s death in 2002, Rice returned to the faith of her childhood and determined to write “only for the Lord” for the remainder of her life. In the first of the Christ the Lord books, Out of Egypt, Rice considers the years between Jesus’ birth and the day that he stays behind in the Jerusalem temple at age 12. Road to Cana finds Jesus in Nazareth at age 30, just months before the beginning of his earthly ministry. The book is written in first-person narrative from the perspective of Jesus himself and while not everything that occurs in this book is specifically documented in scripture, Rice has done her historical and theological homework and presents scenes and events that were quite likely, if not

probable. This book is an excellent way to experience the tension Jesus must have felt as he considered his call to ministry, and all that it would cost him. Follow Jesus through his departure from Nazareth, his public baptism by his cousin John the Baptist, his 40 days in the wilderness tempted by Satan, and then on to the performance of his very first public miracle at a wedding in Cana. Your faith will be encouraged and deepened by Rice’s Road to Cana.

^ Lars and the Real Girl: A heart-warming film about a man and his adult doll? Written by Scott Sturdivan

See It...

Before you email Kevin about the questionable inclusion of this article in a church publication, stick with me. While the summary sounds perverse—a lonely man bonds with a life-size doll he orders from the internet—be assured that nothing illicit ever takes place. Instead of cheap laughs, this film offers a parable of love and acceptance, as well as one of the most respectful church portrayals I’ve seen on screen. After the shock and confusion begins to wane, Lars’ brother and sisterin-law, as well as his faith community, recognize that Bianca, the doll, is part of Lars’ healing process. They collectively decide to treat Lars “as Jesus would” by unconditionally loving him, rather than judging Lars for his differences. And he, in turn, begins to come out of his isolation. Aside from the artistic merits of this film, it has particular meaning for me because I too found healing after my first experience with unconditional love. Toward the end of my freshman year in college, I was in a downward spiral with no interest in God. A close friend, who was a Christian, came to me and said that he wanted me to move past where I was because he loved me. Conversion was not his motive, but because of this acceptance it was the outcome. This film reminds us of our call to love others, as I was loved, and to find joy in those who are changed by Jesus’ simple message.

Only Mirrors: Drew Andrews As much as I love a good worship album, and even an occasional Christian performance album, it is not uncommon for me to be drawn into worship by music that isn’t inherently Christian but nonetheless communicates, through musical and lyrical excellence, the wonders of our creative God. Local artist Drew Andrews’ new album Only Mirrors does just that. I thank God for creating us as people who bear his divine image and creativity. With haunting, reflective melodies and gut-wrenching honesty, Andrews’ new solo project (former frontman for Via Satellite, and touring member of The Album Leaf) is acoustic at the core, but layered with various electric elements, vocal harmonies, xylophone, glockenspiel, and more. An amalgamation of Simon & Garfunkel and Beatlesque pop, Andrews writes beautifully simple, though cinematic, tracks that draw the listener in on Andrews’ journey. Only Mirrors delivers in a big way, and is his best work to-date. Produced by local songwriter/producer Sven-Erik Seaholm, also Andrews’ biological father, this album brings to bear the best collaborative elements of this dynamic father-son duo, and is one you’ll definitely want to have in your collection.

Hear It...

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I N Diamond Brunch Twice a year the Deacons c e l e b r a t e o u r ch u r ch ’s seniors by inviting them to the Diamond Brunch. One must be 75 years or better to be a guest. At the March 2009 event Marie Hoss was honored as our eldest guest (at 97). She has since reached 98 and continues her vibrant walk with Jesus. The Diamond Brunches feature excellent food, creatively decorated tables, t h e m e d e c o r a t i o n s, a n entertaining program, and a special time to receive the and a special time to receive the Sacrament of Communion.

Palm Sunday

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Dream Center On April 9th eleven high school students and leaders traveled to Los Angeles to spend three days serving at the Dream Center. Over that short time span, the group came face to face with considerable poverty and was forced to consider what it means to live out the good news of Jesus in their world. Students were awakened to God’s mission as they partnered with the Dream Center in their food, children’s and inner city ministries.

R E


V I E W Easter Sunday

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THERE’S NO PLACE LIKE...

VBS 200 9: ROME PAUL AN D T H E U N D E R G R O U N D C H U R C H

August 3-7 9am-12pm

REGISTER NOW AS A VOLUNTEER OR CHILD PARTICIPANT AT WWW.FHPC.ORG

Join us for an unforgettable adventure in Rome! Imagine what it was like to live and

work in what was once considered the center of the world...the busy metropolis of Rome. You would hear the buzz about the teacher Paul, who was under house arrest, and those who followed Jesus, a carpenter Rabbi who had died - and come back to life - proclaiming he was the Son of God.

ENJOY NEW EXPERIENCES!

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This summer in Rome, we hope to immerse learners of all ages in biblical culture as we adventure together in the experience of the Early Church. Each day, children will have a travel itinerary for a journey they will experience alongside peers, preparing to find each day’s Bible Point throughout Rome.

GOD’S LOVE IS WORTH SHARING!

Children will experience new traditions, taste new foods, try new arts and craft projects, engage in apprenticeship games, pet animals, sneak away to the hidden Underground Church, and discover that God’s love is the most powerful gift, saving us from all our sins. Find out how you can be involved at www.fhpc.org!

GAMES! CRAFTS! DRAMA! MORE!


Congratulations Class of 2009! Kelly Flint I’m Kelly Flint, and I am graduating from Patrick Henry High School. I will attend Grossmont College this fall to take care of general education classes.  After two years I plan on transferring to UC Davis where I hope to study Food Science.  After that, maybe I’ll get a business degree and open up a bakery, or maybe I’ll become a nutritionist, or maybe I’ll become something totally different-it all really depends on what God has in store for me. Sara Brenner I h a ve a t t e n d e d F H P C s i n c e kindergarten and feel blessed to have grown up in this faith family. I have been actively involved in school, community service, and work as a tutor. I am graduating from Grossmont Middle College High School and will continue my education at UC Berkeley. I hope to  participate in missions in India, eventually earn a doctorate, and become a health or veterinary health research professor at a university. Charlotte Davis I've been attending FHPC for over a decade, and I can't believe I'm one of the seniors ready to leave for college! I've loved teaching Sunday school and being part of the Kid's Ministry, and Kaleo, for these past few years. I'll be going away in the fall to attend UC Davis, studying Communications. I don't know exactly where I'm headed in life yet, but I am eagerly waiting to see what God has planned for me. Megan Enright is graduating from Grossmont High School and will attend UC Irvine in the fall where she plans to major in the health sciences, pursuing a career in physical therapy. She played volleyball for both club and high school teams and will continue to play while at Irvine. Megan was a member of Sprites of East County, volunteering with Rachel’s House, the Leukemia/Lymphoma Society, St. Vincent de Paul, Crash child care, Horsemanship, & Special Olympics. Brandon Fitzgerald I came to this youth group a few years ago and I’ll never forget it because of its captivating energ y and the undeniable presence of  something  new; something I  can’t explain.  I walked into that room thinking “I’ve heard it all and I’ve got it together.” I will now leave in complete awe, kneeling in surrender to God... my daddy, my savior, and my friend. I plan to go to Grossmont College/ SDSU for Business and WyoTech for Business in the high performance automotive industry.

Amanda Moore In June, I will be graduating from Grossmont High School. I am passionate about children and have already begun the journey towards my career by leading and being involved in Grossmont High School’s daycare for teen mothers. I also have volunteered in the Children’s Ministry at FHPC and worked as a costume character for kid’s parties. In the fall I will be attending Grossmont College, majoring in Early Childhood Education, & minoring in Child Development. This summer I will work at a local daycare to receive training while I attend school. Jamie Morriss I am graduating from Grossmont High School and will be attending Cal Lutheran University in the fall. I want to play a role in social justice, and am excited at the opportunity to study somewhere that will help me on that path. I have been involved in many activities, including Kaleo worship leader and team lead when visiting the homeless downtown on Saturdays. This past year has been difficult for me, but I have discovered so much about Jesus and the healing that he brings. I’m all about: Love. Justice. Compassion. Mercy. Forgiveness. Unity. Truth. Community. Faith. Wisdom. Joy. Kindness. Hope. Peace. Righteousness. Beauty. Light. Drew Spence I am a student at Patrick Henry High School in San Carlos. I have interned for San Diego City Councilmember Jim Madaffer and as a Staff Reporter for the Mission Times Courier. I feel blessed for all of the experiences I have been afforded, and am particularly grateful to God to have grown up here at Fletcher Hills. Next year I will be attending George Washington University in Washington DC to study Political Communications. Rory Clay Brown 12/2/1990 – 12/16/2008 This year we lost one of our beloved students and friends, Rory Brown. Our seniors were asked to share a word that described Rory. To them Ror y was: Tr ue, Passionate, Complex, Alive, Genuine, & Joyous. Rory we love you and will see you again.

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Our hope is to create a vibrant life together here at FHPC without over-extending our already full lives. We’ve placed the major church-wide events here on this calendar and hope these events provide a context to further foster interdependence and community as we grow and learn together about what it means to be Jesus followers here and now.

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JUNE

JULY

AUGUST

7

7

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Please join us at Harry Griffen Park from 12-3pm for this annual celebration. Jumpers, games, friends, and lots of food!

Deacons begin their Service

21 Small Group Registration ends today! Make sure you sign up on either the 7th, 14th, or today to reserve your place in a small group.

28 Join us for FamJam at 9am! Come early (8:30) for coffee & bagels. Jan Elliott’s Retirement Party, from 3-5pm in Fellowship Hall.

14 Elders begin their Service

Open Enrollment for Small Groups begins today. Make sure to take advantage of this growth opportunity!

VBS is coming August 3rd-7th! you Join us for If a combined at 10am, are a volunteer, please service join us in celebratingfor the Fellowship Hall from 8:30-9:30am conclusion of VBS! training, fellowship, and prayer. We will be meeting June 14th & 21st (not the 28th or 5th) ; July 12th, 19th, 26th, 12 and August 2nd. It’s 30 an honor to serve with you – see you at the VBS trainings!

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Life Together  

A new publication of Fletcher Hills Presbyterian Church.