Winter 2018 | Issue 2
UPWARD & OUTWARD
YWAM MISSION TRIP Pg. 14 Fremont Presbyterian Church
GO GLOBAL Pg. 18
FREMONT GROUNDS TEAM
RELIANCE AT SACRAMENTO STATE
TRUNK OR TREAT 2017
HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY AT COMPASSION VILLAGE
TRUNK OR TREAT 2017
HIGH SCHOOL MINISTRY AT COMPASSION VILLAGE
CHURCH WORK DAY
JAMAICA TEAM COMMISSIONING
CHRISTMAS EVE MORNING
DEACON AND ELDER INSTALLATION
SUNDAY MORNING WORSHIP
LETTER FROM THE EDITOR Confession: The Great Commission has always intimidated me. There’s something about Jesus telling me to “Go and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28.19a) that seems like too big of an ask to fit into my daily to-do list. It occurred to me one day, however, as I re-read that often-quoted scripture that there was more to it. Matthew 28:20 wraps up the Great Commission with this: “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” It was the first time I saw it: The foundation of the Great Commission is relationship. We have been reconciled with God the Father through Jesus, and it’s from that security, with God’s Spirit in us, that we begin to operate differently. We understand what it means to be loved and pursued by the Creator of the Universe. We respond to others in love, being so full of it ourselves. The Great Commission is not a cold mandate to God’s people but a directive from Jesus on what to do next with the fullness of God in us. The stories you will read in this issue are about just that; God’s people responding to His love. It’s about discipleship in action, not out of duty but out of full hearts. It’s a snapshot of how the many members of the Fremont community are living out God’s love in their life by loving others at home, at Fremont, in Sacramento and beyond.
On page 14, Fremont’s Junior Highers experience what it means to “Go” and serve the desperately poor and needy in the Tenderloin district of San Francisco, reminding us that age should never define our ability to serve those around us. Be sure to check out our update on Compassion Village, a community designed to meet the needs of the homeless in the Sacramento community (page 4). The Parent’s Corner teaches us how to raise kind, loving kids in an unkind world (page 20). And as the GO Global ministry welcomes their new leader, Jeff Hightower, we learn how members of the Fremont Community are responding to God’s call to “Go” to the greater international community. The Great Commission is a starting point, a reminder of God’s relentless pursuit of us and our response to his grace. My prayer is that as you read, you will be encouraged by the stories you find here and inspired to find ways to “Go” live out the joy of God’s love in your life, be it as near as your neighbor or as far as Haiti. Erin Harris Editor
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WHAT’S INSIDE Thoughts from a Pastor Ministry Update
Tiny Home Update Women’s Ministry
Care and Compassion: Deacons in Action 5 Questions for a Pastor 6 Stewardship: When Money Matters 7 Music Review 8 The Story Behind the Hymn 8 From Pastor Dan’s Library 9 Upward and Outward 10-11 New Member Highlight 12 Staff Spotlight: Pat Marion, Facilities Manager 13 Life Group Highlight 13 Junior High Mission Trip 14-15 Looking Back: The Fremont Christmas Concert 16-17 Missions: Go Global 18-19 Parents Corner 20-21 Crossword Puzzle 22 Called to Cook 23
THOUGHTS FROM A PASTOR Dr. David J. Burke | Senior Pastor
“Your kingdom come…”
Jesus taught us to pray this.
If we’ve been around church for a while, we have probably prayed that line hundreds, if not thousands, of times. But what if we saw it not just as ritual, but as rule for our lives. The full phrase is this: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.” (Matthew 6:10 NIV) As I read this verse, what I hear Jesus teaching us is something like this: God’s kingdom is the place where His will is done. It is the place where love, grace, mercy, truth, and justice reign in fullness. We know from the scriptures that Jesus meant his followers to be the ambassadors of this in the way we talk and the way we live, and so we are to pray that the place of God’s reign would come in greater measure here on earth. In the beginning of 2018, we will be looking at what Jesus said about this kingdom of God. For 12 weeks, we will look at the way that Jesus taught through parables. The word parable literally means to “throw” or “cast” alongside something else. When Jesus told parables, he was “throwing” an image, a story, an object alongside a spiritual truth, and was saying, “God’s kingdom is like this.” This idea of living in God’s kingdom is fundamental and integral to our lives as disciples of Jesus. We see a pattern in much of the Bible: First, we are taught who God is; then, we learn who we are in light of what we know about God. Finally, we are invited to live in God’s kingdom, and bring his rule to where we are. As we look at these parables of God’s kingdom, I believe we will be challenged to be messengers and creators with God of His kingdom here on earth. One parable will talk about the overwhelming value in discovering God’s kingdom, and how we can seek God’s kingdom above all else, finding great joy when we do. Another parable will talk about how we must be wise in our planning, and build our lives around things that last. Still another parable will talk about how one of the values of God’s kingdom is to find things that are lost.
this: The kingdom of God is like a shepherd finding a lost sheep (Matthew 18:12); therefore, God will seek to find me. To be clear, that is one of the layers that I believe Jesus intended. His teaching is so rich, however, that upon deeper examination, we can see how he was inviting his followers to live out these principles in their work, their homes, and more. The same parable of the shepherd and the lost sheep could look like this: The kingdom of God is like a shepherd who leaves the flock to find one; therefore, is God calling me to do something extravagant for one person, to show their value to me and to God, even if it might mean putting aside my regular duties for a moment? Practically, this is what I am excited about for us as a church. I can see how all of us can begin to ask the question, no matter our stage in life, “How can I help bring the kingdom of God to where I am?” In our workplace, our schools, our homes, our neighborhoods…everywhere! Imagine if all of those serving in the medical field gathered together regularly to talk about the challenges of serving in a demanding profession, and how they might see principles of the kingdom of God be lived out among them? This has, in small ways, already begun to happen at Fremont. Recently, a group of small business owners have begun to meet to talk about how their businesses could do something for God’s kingdom. At its core is a desire to live out discipleship to Jesus in very real ways. It is an exciting thing to watch individuals from a variety of professions join together with a common desire to do something meaningful with the work that God has given them to do. Who knows what will come from this gathering? When you have a moment to spare, I invite you to open your Bible to the books of Matthew, Mark, or Luke, and find a parable of Jesus. Read it. Reflect on what Jesus is saying. Ask Him: “Where is it that I can bring this kingdom teaching into my life?” And then, close with this: “Your kingdom come, on earth as it is in heaven.” And maybe, just maybe, “Your kingdom come” will move from a ritual prayer to something much more.
I have found that at times, I have limited the application of these parables to my personal relationship with Jesus. Like
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COMPASSION VILLAGE Update by Colin Zalewski
One Sunday afternoon, April 2017, hundreds of members of the Fremont community came together to kickoff a coordinated multi-church project with the goal of providing homes and support for homeless members of the Sacramento community. Compassion Village, a tiny-home community located on the grounds of St. Paul Church of God in Christ, is an initiative led by the E49 Organization. Fremont Presbyterian, in partnership with Restoration Life Church, Destiny Church, Real Life Church, and Adventure Church, launched this large and long-term project to build 15-20 tiny homes for the homeless.
WHERE ARE WE TODAY? To date, Fremont Presbyterian designed and built two homes for Compassion Village. Each home cost approximately $8,000 and took five months to build. Nearly 50 members of the Fremont community contributed their time and talents to complete the homes. The building team, led by Eric Love, Rich Mader and Bill Walden, worked throughout the summer heat on Wednesday evenings and early Saturday mornings to complete the building projects. One of the volunteers, Brad Velasquez, would later become the first recipient of one of the Compassion Village homes.
COMPASSION VILLAGE: AN ONGOING PROJECT The tiny homes have been built, but there is still much to be done. The formerly homeless citizens of Compassion Village require additional support beyond a physical home. The Village community supports its residents by providing meals, conducting ongoing maintenance on the existing homes, and assisting with substance abuse recovery. The churches involved have committed to building relationships with the Village community and continuing to support its residents in love and service. Thank you to all those involved for their countless hours of commitment to provide something truly life changing - a home - to those in need.
by Kelsey Burke
I sat on the couch, cross-legged, with two young moms and listened.
“We want more in our relationships with Jesus,” they said, “We want to know more about the Bible. We want to be equipped to live out our faith every day.” My heart leapt with an enormous “Yes!” Their words confirmed what I had been hearing from so many women over coffees and on couches and on walks. Women are longing for more. This conversation launched me into action. I gathered a diverse team of women--single, married, moms of babies, moms of teens, grandmas. We talked and prayed and dreamed and planned until Refresh was born. The focus of Refresh is biblical teaching that informs and transforms the way we think and live. But Refresh is beyond a Bible study; it is a once-a-month, two-hour, mini retreat where women connect, worship, receive, and respond.
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It is the response portion of our gathering that makes Refresh unique. Each month, women are given space to choose how they will process the teaching. They may journal, enjoy solitude, create an art project, explore biblical meditation, listen to worship music, receive one-on-one prayer, or gather in small groups. Ultimately, it is our desire that Refresh will provide a taste of the “more” that women are longing for and encourage them to seek it in their daily lives. One participant, Lisa Menzmer, put it beautifully: “Refresh was exactly what my soul needed. I left feeling spiritually armed, loved and ready to face the week ahead. I’m already looking forward to the next one.” Refresh meets in Ferguson Hall at two different times each month: The last Sunday evening from 7 pm-9 pm or the last Monday morning from 9 am - 11 am (Childcare is available). For more info, contact Kelsey at KelseyBurkeCreated@gmail.com. Join the Facebook group, or Text “REFRESH” to 56316.
CARE AND COMPASSION Deacons in Action by Stephanie Smith
The word “deacon” comes from the Greek word
“diakonos” and means one who serves. During New Testament times, churches began to realize that the needs of their congregation were growing faster than elders could manage alongside their spiritual leadership roles. The Bible tells us that deacons were then appointed to “turn this responsibility over to them.” (New International Version, Acts 6:3). That responsibility, and the goal of Fremont Deacons, is to provide care and compassion to the congregation. Here at Fremont, nearly 30 deacons come together once a month to discuss such opportunities. They are nominated, ordained for three years of active duty, and serve on one of the Deacon Committees. You may not see deacons up on stage with the mic. You might not be able to point them out in a crowd. You may not have even have known they exist. But they are here dutifully serving in many operational capacities throughout the year. In truth it’s that behind-the-scenes service that gives deacons deep joy. Have you ever wondered who reaches out to members who can no longer attend due to health or aging complications? Each deacon connects with one such member throughout their term on a regular basis. Cards are sent, flowers brought over, and phone calls are made to check in on these members in a time of life when loneliness can often set in. This is compassion in action. For those in our congregation who have entered the stage of assisted living, the deacons have a Church Ride committee to help care for their needs. Every Sunday a group from Campus Commons faithfully awaits their taxis provided by the Deacon Fund. They are greeted near the Chapel by deacons and deacon assistants before worship, and assisted back to the taxis for pick-up after services. If you’ve ever attended service on Communion Sundays, you might have wondered how all the sacraments are prepared. Every Saturday before a Communion Sunday, a team of deacons meets to prepare the elements for the traditional service, and another team prepares sacraments for both modern services.
Deacons of Fremont are continually asking how they can provide care and compassion for others in our church. When a congregation member has lost a family member, the Grief Committee comes alongside them for an entire year, providing words of encouragement and support in any way needed. When someone is blessed with a new addition to their family, deacons are there to provide a Baby Basket and offer meal deliveries. At every memorial service or funeral, the Hospitality Committee welcomes families and friends with warm reception, cookies, and punch. A few deacons this past year even felt that it would serve our church well to pair each staff member with a buddy deacon. As buddy deacons, members of our Fremont Staff are prayed for continually and given words of support and encouragement as they serve and lead our congregation. So while you may never have known the life of a deacon here at Fremont, know that they are joyously serving nevertheless. For those in times of need and support, deacons are a shoulder and a listening ear. For others celebrating, deacons are high fives and hurrays. For everyone at Fremont, deacons keep 2 Corinthians 9:12 close to their hearts, “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of the Lord’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” If you’d like more information about deacons, please contact the 2018 Moderator, Jeff Ruthenberg at email@example.com or Bobbi Trask, Minister of Member Care, at firstname.lastname@example.org. The Incoming Deacon Class of 2020: Paul Dorway Justin Ingolia Randy Wheless Nelson Lewallyn Marion Lewallyn
Bart Mehlhop Scott Sanders Jim Mazerik Sarah Mazerik
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by Dave Pack, Associate Pastor
QUESTIONS FOR A PASTOR
Have you ever been confused by a verse in the Bible, curious about how to live out your faith or confounded by an aspect of the church? Associate Pastor Dave Pack is here to answer your theological questions and provide insight into practically living out your faith. Is there a right way to pray? Why is prayer so boring? Why do I keep praying the same old thing about the same old thing? What’s wrong with me? We’ve all been there! There is nothing wrong with us, but perhaps there is something wrong with our method. God delights in hearing His children cry out to Him, and He has provided guidance through the Bible in how we cry out to him. “For freshness of utterance, for breadth of comprehension, for elevation of thought, for intimacy of heart, there is no prayer like that which forms itself in the words and thoughts of Scripture.” (Donald Whitney, Praying the Bible). The early church prayed Scripture, quoting Psalm 2:1-2 to the Lord in prayer (Acts 4.24-26). The New Testament has many verses that can be easily converted into prayers. See Ephesians 1.15-23; Ephesians 3.14-19 or Philippians 1.9-11 to begin with. How do you pray Scripture? Let me model this from Psalm 23: “The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want” (English Standard Version, Psalm 23.1). Father, thank you for being my Shepherd. As one of your sheep I pray that you will enable me to know the difference between your voice and mine. I pray that you would shepherd me so I can shepherd my family. “He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters” (Psalm 23.2). Father, I pray you will guide my every decision today so that I may experience your green pastures. I confess the waters in my life feel more like turmoil; would you please remove my anxiety and replace it with still waters? Praying Scripture has revitalized my prayer life. The book of Psalms is loaded with inspired scriptures which are meant to be prayed. Try praying through either Psalm 23, 27, 42, or 139 to start. For a further resource I recommend Praying the Bible, by Donald S. Whitney (2015). I have some friends who are believers but they don’t like to go to church on Sundays. Why do we need to meet once a week? Are they still believers if they don’t? “So Christ himself gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip his people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves” (New International Version, Ephesians 4.11-14). The local church is God-made, not man-made. Church does not make someone a believer, but believers make up the Church. The New Testament uses the imagery of a body for the church to stress our interdependence on God and one another. God knows we are a forgetful people, and therefore extends His grace to us by providing a rhythm for us every week to remind us of our need for Christ by meeting with other believers. When we refuse to be a part of a church, we are refusing Christ’s gifts to us, and I’ve never known God to give a useless gift. Going to church is not just about receiving; it’s about what I can give to others. I do others a disservice when I refuse to serve them with the gifts God has given me, and I miss tremendous opportunities to grow in my God-given gifts. Did you know there are about 59 “one-another” commands in the New Testament? We don’t grow in isolation like we do in community. Staying away from church prevents others from caring for us and enables us to avoid accountability, which is a key ingredient for growth. Additionally, corporate worship helps inform me how to lead family worship in the home. It’s impossible to practically live out every aspect of my faith apart from the church. Have a question for the Pastor? Send in your questions to email@example.com and your question could be answered in the Spring 2018 Issue of Fremont Magazine.
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STEWARDSHIP: WHEN MONEY MATTERS by Kristen Maggitti
After 14 years of marriage, my husband and I have been “in-love & in-money” “out-of-love & out-of-money” and every combination in between. We’ve had three kids & three moves. It hasn’t been easy, but we’ve had Jesus. Through every joy and trial, God has been our ever-faithful provider. It was during a season of significant financial need that God placed on our pastor’s heart a stewardship sermon. I loved that our pastor talked about stewardship in a three-fold approach: money, time and talent. I rested confidently in the fact that I gave my time and talent. On that Sunday, I found myself sitting in the pew, praying that God would grant us favor by way of financial increase. I thought if He allowed us this increase, we could finally respond to the money piece of stewardship. I heard God gently say to me, Kristen, give money. “I don’t have any money” I responded sassily, “That’s what I was praying for, so I could give money.” Without missing a beat, I tuned into my pastor as he said, “It’s not about money, it’s about obedience.” At that moment, I realized that I’d missed it. All these years, I had never understood how giving money was an act of obedience. I thought it was about giving out of abundance. I had an abundance of time and talent, not money. Then it clicked: I had been out of obedience. I realized I had to give money. But how much could I possibly give? I saw the number $10 like a flashing neon sign in my mind. I scoffed, “What is $10 going to do?” God whispered, If you love me, obey me. I had to trust. We started giving $10 a month. It was practically nothing, but it was an act of obedience. That simple act of obedience was worth far more than $10. It changed our lives. We didn’t have much money, in fact we had $10 less per month to work with, but we had something greater. We had peace; God took care of the rest.
Tips for yor money
by Mark Huchingson, Christian Financial Strategies For most of us, managing our finances isn’t easy. Making a budget work is the result of hard work, dedication, and good habits. No matter where you’re at in life, there is always a chance to make tomorrow better! Knowing that God will do great things with a little, we can commit to the process of building good financial habits. As this new year moves forward, there is no better day than today to start budgeting, paying down your debts, and planning for the future. Here are a few practical tips on how to get the new year started with some good financial habits: 1. Start tracking your expenses and work on your budget EVERY DAY. Budgeting is a daily exercise and it will only improve by consistently working on it. 2. Set a little money aside every month in a separate “Non-Monthly Savings” account to help pay for Annual Expenses when they come up. We all have additional annual expenses that we don’t always plan for throughout the year. A separate “Non-Monthly Savings” account can save your budget and help keep things on track when those events occur. 3. Strive to live on the 80-10-10 principle. Live on 80% of your income, Tithe 10% and send 10% of your income into your Future
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by Jordan Skinner, Worship Leader
I recently had a conversation with a friend about Christian radio. For the record, I’m not a fan; there is a whole other world out there for Christian music, and it isn’t being played on the radio. If you’re interested in moving off the grid, here’s what I’m listening to right now. “Do It Again” Elevation Worship. There Is a Cloud, 2017 I’m new to Elevation Worship and this song is a good representation of their style. This song speaks to God’s faithfulness. The title of the song “Do it Again” says it all, with lines like “I’ve seen you move, come move the mountains/And I believe, I’ll see You do it again” and “Je-sus, You’re still enough.” It’s a good reminder that we need no one other than Jesus. “Head to Heart” United Pursuit. Simple Gospel, 2015 For something completely different, take a listen to United Pursuit. It’s very organic and raw. I picture a group of folks in a living room with all their friends singing along. The song “Head to Heart” is pretty self explanatory. How do we get this head knowledge into our hearts and then out into the world? My favorite line “There’s no shame in looking like a fool. When I give you what I can’t keep, you take a hold of me.” “I’ll Never Be the Same” South of Royal. Deliverance & Doubt, 2017. This album is as hipster as it gets. This album is fun, very hip and perfect for a road trip along the coast. I love the fact that this could be on today’s secular radio and people would love the melodies and beats. My favorite track is “I’ll Never Be the Same.”
The Story Behind the Hymn: by Vicki Meyer
Reading stories behind the hymns, you will find the verses often flowed from a writer whose soul struggled to cling to their faith amid tragic and devastating experiences. “It is Well with My Soul,” written by Horatio Spafford, is one of these hymns. Spafford, a Presbyterian layman, was born in 1828. He married Anna Lawson and they moved to Chicago. There, he set up a successful law firm and invested in real estate throughout the city. Together, they had 4 daughters and a son. All was going well until suddenly, in 1871, their son died. While they were yet grieving, the great Chicago fire destroyed virtually all of his business and real estate holdings and his wealth. Realizing that he and his family needed some time away, he arranged for them to vacation in Europe. Unfortunately, last minute business developments kept him from leaving, so he sent his family ahead, intending to join them later in Europe.
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Four days into their journey across the Atlantic, their ship collided with a British vessel. The ship sank in 12 minutes taking 226 passengers with it, including his four children. Anna, alone, survived. When she reached Wales, she cabled her husband: “Saved alone, what shall I do?” Spafford immediately set sail on the next ship to join his wife. About four days into his crossing, the Captain sent for Spafford to come to his cabin. He wanted him to know that they were sailing over the place where his children had been lost. In that place, engulfed by his grief and pain, somehow Spafford penned these powerful words of faith that have encouraged and inspired many through the years: “When peace, like a river attendeth my way, When sorrows like sea billows roll, Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my soul.’”
FROM PASTOR DAN’S LIBRARY TO ENHANCE YOUR DEVOTIONS… The Hard Sayings of Paul by Manfred T. Brauch 2 Peter 3:16 says of the apostle Paul, “Some of his remarks are hard to understand.” If you have ever been puzzled by some of what Paul wrote – such as “Hand this man over to Satan for the destruction of the flesh, so that his spirit may be saved on the day of the Lord.” (New International Version, 1 Corinthians 5:5), or “But women will be saved through childbearing - if they continue in faith, love and holiness with propriety.” (1 Timothy 2:15) – Manfred Brauch dispels the fog and makes Paul’s ‘hard sayings’ easy to understand.
ON THE SUBJECT OF MISSIONS… Eternity In Their Hearts by Don Richardson “Eternity In Their Hearts” is one of the most exiting books you will ever get your hands on. Through a number of historical accounts, Don Richardson demonstrates that God is the first and foremost Missionary and every other missionary simply follows along behind, harvesting the fields that God has planted. Richardson powerfully and persuasively reveals that God truly has “set eternity in the human heart” (Ecclesiastes 3:11).
A DAN FAVORITE… The Good and Beautiful God: Falling In Love with the God Jesus Knows by James Bryan Smith If you sometimes think God is caring and sometimes think God couldn’t care less; if you flip-flop between the beliefs that “God is good all the time” and “God is randomly cruel half the time” and you can’t make up your mind about whether God is all about Grace or all about rules and regulations, then this is one of the best books I can possibly recommend. Jim Smith presents a biblical case for God as Jesus knew the Father to be. And, like icing on a cake, at the end of each chapter he outlines a spiritual exercise that can help us to experience something of the relationship with God that Jesus enjoyed.
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UPWARD & OUTWARD by Erin Harris
Walk into Fremont Presbyterian’s CLC on a Saturday morning in February & March and you’ll find a full house. Hundreds of children dressed in athletic uniforms mill about. The humid air reverberates with pounding as kids dribble basketballs back and forth down a court, taking shots. At first glance, there isn’t anything unusual about the scene; its a standard Saturday morning at a youth sports league. However, upon closer examination, you’ll find something extraordinary. There are no scoreboards in sight. Games open in prayer. Children cheer each other on, regardless of their team. Talented and more experienced players help the younger players, giving them room to take shots. Parents encourage everyone from the sidelines and coaches gently impart direction and guidance to the many young players. There are no angry jeers at referees, no over-zealous fans yelling at players. Instead, there is a sense of peace, of friendship and excitement. This is not a mistake. This is Upward Basketball at Fremont Presbyterian. —Established in 1995, the Upward Sports organization is the world’s largest Christian youth sports provider, “dedicated to promoting the discovery of Jesus through sports.” In a world dedicated to competition, Upward creates an environment where game play and teamwork is a way to connect with the gospel.
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In 2007, thanks to the efforts of David Witte, Paul Dorway and Matt Taylor, Fremont officially became a venue for Upward Basketball as a way to outreach to the surrounding community and share the gospel through sports. There was a lot of competition. Youth sports opportunities for young families are plentiful in the River Park and East Sacramento communities, but the unique environment of service and integrity, where kids are put first and the higher goal is to instill in each child the love of Christ, makes for an incredible quality of experience. The initial response was positive and immediate. 155 kids signed up for the first year, the result of word of mouth, active marketing in schools and posts to local coffee shop community boards. By the second year, after 30% growth, Fremont stopped advertising. Upward is now maxed out at 430 kids, divided into 44 teams, playing seven days a week during the nine week season, and is achieving its goal of bringing the gospel to the greater community.
“Half of those involved with Upward don’t go to church. The mission field comes to us. Fremont gets the opportunity to show the community what Christ looks like” says David Witte, co-founder and Co-Director of Volunteers for Upward at Fremont. Dave has seen this play out many times over the years. “A few years back, there was a 3rd grader who would accompany her mother to Fremont on Mondays. Someone reached out to her and got her involved in an Upward team. She became a Christian through her experience, and years later, her mother became a Christian too as a result of her daughter’s involvement in Upward.” And it’s not just the kids who benefit from the program. “One year, we were desperate for coaches,” Dave recalls, “and a Fremont member’s high schooler recruited her boyfriend to be an assistant coach. As result of his own involvement and hearing the message given to the children, he became a Christian and now is now leading Young Life at his college.” —This popular ministry has become a Fremont family affair. Fremont’s Leadership Team directly supports the Directors of the program, making sure they have everything they need. The Junior High Ministry runs the snack bar for the hundreds of families who come through the doors of the CLC from 9 am to 4 pm every Saturday, providing chips, candy bars and hot dogs to hungry athletes. Supporting such a huge ministry requires recruiting and keeping a committed group of dedicated volunteers. Dave Witte takes on this challenge each season. As he recruits volunteers, he has one primary criterium - “They don’t need to be interested in basketball, they just need to be willing to be hosts.”
“We have 44 teams, with 2 coaches per team, and 20-30 referees” Dave says, “It’s a lot of people, but our biggest struggle is finding leadership outside of the game days and reaching out to the broader Fremont base to make Fremont more welcoming.” With practices every day of the week and game days on Saturdays, there is a huge need to help direct guests and provide a wonderful atmosphere to those involved. For those who do give their time to support Upward, they can be proud knowing that it has a direct and immediate impact on the kids and parents involved. “One year, there was a family who had a first grader involved in Upward on a scholarship” Dave remembers, “This child came up to me during one of our practices, gives me $1 out of his own allowance, and says ‘I love Upward so much, I want to give this to the scholarship fund.’” —— In winter 2018, Fremont Presbyterian, in collaboration with Upward Sports, once again opens its doors and welcome in over 420 students, kindergarten to 8th grade, to play a game that has nothing to do with winning a trophy. The skills taught include teamwork, kindness, and integrity, both on and off the court. The impact in the lives of the kids involved is seen through the cheering, the mission is lived out through the coaches, and the body of Christ rallies around hundreds of kids, a community unto itself, to show them the love of Christ through the game of basketball. As Dave Witte says, “It’s about more than a game - it’s a mission.”
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Welcome New Members
Joel & Rachel Landis
Ken & Judy Jones
Brad & Viola Larson Members not photographed Shawn Allanby Karen Robinson
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Max & Carol Brown
STAFF SPOTLIGHT Job Description: “If it breaks get it fixed, if it needs cleaning get it cleaned and if it falls outside of the box just keep smiling!” Established at Fremont: November 2016 Where were you born? I was born and raised in Sacramento Tell me about your family. My twin sister, Patricia and my mom, Billie, are both members of the Fremont choir. I have an older brother, Dan, and two beautiful nieces, Bonnie and Sarah. When you are not working, what do you do for fun? Reading, watching sports, woodworking, working in the yard, play with my dog Koki and going to the movies.
Favorite brand of tools? I can’t say. I have at least 10 or 15 different brands of power and hand tools. If it works well, I’ll use it.
Where did you work before this? For almost 10 years I was the store manager for Woodcraft, which is a woodworking specialty store, located near Bradshaw and Folsom Blvd. What have you enjoyed so far about working at Fremont? Developing relationships and working with the people who make up this local group of the body of Christ. I also get a tremendous amount of satisfaction knowing that I am where God wants me to be and I’m doing what he wants me to be doing. If you could live in any decade, when would it be and why? Right here and right now. The Lord has taken me through a rather winding path over the years and each time I have gone through a particularly hard time He has always brought me out on the other side and put me in a place where I can honestly say, “If I had to go through this all again in order to be where I am today in my relationship with Christ, I would willingly do it all again.” Dogs or Cats? Why? Dogs, especially rescue dogs. I honestly believe that the Lord put dogs on this earth in order to be a special type of companion for humans. There is nothing like coming home at the end of a hard day and having your dog greet you with a wagging tail and a look of unconditional love.
The Life Group Experience
Lyrics by Kalen Skinner To the tune of “My Favorite Things” by Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein
MDs and teachers and business professionals, Lawyers and therapists and ones gone congressional Families growing now with more offspring, These are a few of my favorite things.
Discussions on topics like predestination, Heaven and Hell, and “the End” and Creation. We love Timothy Keller, his name is “Timmy K” Learning new things each and every day!
Meeting in living rooms sitting with dessert Going past 9 pm, “More coffee, stay alert!” Come early, stay late, chat about anything. These are a few of my favorite things
When the job bites When “O Death” stings When I’m feeling sad, I know there are people now praying for me and then I don’t feel so bad!
When the job bites When “O Death” stings When I’m feeling sad, I know there are people now praying for me and then I don’t feel so bad!
Our life group, affectionately nicknamed "the church plant," for its size, has been meeting weekly for three years now. We are a group of 20 young adult professionals in our 20’s and 30’s who meet every Friday night from 7 PM - 9 PM in a living room with dessert and coffee. Our discussions are a mix of deep intellectual and theological musings interspersed with ridiculous inside jokes and spirited debates about things like Christian radio and hammer drills.
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YWAM SAN FRANCISCO Jr. High Mission Trip by Karen Vickland
How did our “Middle Schoolers” choose to kick off their Thanksgiving break? By going to one of the most desperate places in San Francisco to reach out to the unreachable. This past November, Jonathan Shea, Director of the Junior High Ministry at Fremont, led 25 Junior Highers and seven parent volunteers on a weekend adventure to meet and serve San Francisco’s most needy through the organization Youth With a Mission for the third year in a row. The organization Youth with a Mission (YWAM) “is a global movement of Christians from many cultures, age groups, and Christian traditions, dedicated to serving Jesus throughout the world” (ywam.org). YWAM has been active in San Francisco since 1995, operating out of the Tenderloin Training and Outreach Center with the goal to engage San Francisco with a loving God. There is an array of activity in this district, from hopelessness to obvious oppression, poverty, illegal drug use and illicit establishments. YWAM’s strategy includes uniting forces to bring love, hope and a hand up through cooperation of the local police department and neighboring churches. They provide opportunities for young and old to be involved in urban missions, bringing the presence of God through creative avenues like their Hot Chocolate Ministry and the Sack Lunch Ministry. They believe reaching the unreached in the city is a way to impact the world. For Fremont’s Junior Highers, it’s an opportunity to live out the gospel in a very real way. The trip began with the kids out in groups to clean up store fronts. This wasn’t just about cleaning up a neighborhood; service projects like this helps YWAM maintain community relations, allows others to experience unconditional service and lets the kids be a part of something bigger. After preparing sack lunches, the kids and parents went to the steps of the Civic Center to spend time sharing a meal with people in need, giving the kids an opportunity to minister the
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love of Christ by listening to the stories of the homeless people and sending the message to them that they matter. YWAM sent Fremont out on a prayer path through the neighborhood. The students and parent volunteers prayed for strength, protection and an outflowing of the Holy Spirit. They prayed against evil on store fronts and street corners, at mosques and churches as well as at the police department and the Salvation Army. Many people thanked the group. Some of the street people looked into the eyes of the kids and told them to “listen to their parents, get their education and keep up the good work”. The message was sincere, sounding as if it was from an inner voice of experience. Towards the end of the trip, the Junior Highers participated in one of YWAM’s signature activities, “The Hot Chocolate Ministry”. Each night, ministry groups go out from YWAM with hot chocolate in red igloo thermoses, offering fresh hot chocolate to anyone on the street who would like some. As it is shared, conversation is made and the love of Christ shows up. This has been going on for many years; the red thermoses are notorious. People shared their testimony about how the simple ministry opened the door to a new life in Christ and how a renewed sense of self worth came from a simple gesture. God opens our eyes when we open our hearts. People on the streets have short term goals. Many asked for prayer to make it through the night. The kids were moved by their grateful hearts as they expressed gratitude to the group for doing God’s work rather than being inside on electronics. The trip was a great opportunity for us to see God working in our youth, reaching out, caring, connecting and praying for others. We are grateful for the opportunity for God to allow us to minister to His people.
Quotes from Junior High students about YWAM Mission Trip “We met a man named ‘Fox’, a proclaimed Jewish man who did not feel Christians lived up to what the Bible made them to be. He was pleasantly surprised to see us come out to serve and be the light. After lunch and talking a bit, he said he was feeling suicidal and hopeless before, but after we told him he was loved, he said “This wasn’t just a lunch; it was life changing for him.” — Benjamin V. (8th grade) “God worked in my life so much that day. He opened my eyes to let me see this man who had nothing accept his faith and he was fine with that. He didn’t want anything but a cup of hot chocolate from us.” — Trevor S. (8th grade) “I have to say the most amazing thing that really stuck out to me was the fact that when we went and prayed for all the people on the streets, so many of them requested we pray for others in need. They wanted us to pray for friends and family and for our ministry (YWAM). It was a humbling experience.” — McLean B. (7th grade) “Handing out hot chocolate and socks, we met someone named Chris. He had so little but he was asking for prayer for others then he prayed for our group.” — Mary W. (7th grade) “Serving at YWAM was a real eye opener to how different people’s lives can be. The simple act of giving someone hot chocolate can make their day.” — Sophie N. (7th grade) “The YWAM trip gave me a new point of view of the homeless lives. I already knew life was hard on them, but it was good to hear personal stories. God worked in my life through this trip by giving me courage to talk with them and personally to have a more grateful heart for what I have.” — Madera P. (6th grade)
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Looking Back The Fremont Christmas Concert
by Colin Zalewski It’s a late August day on the shores of Lake Tahoe. For most,the chilly evenings of December are well out-of-mind. For Cheryl Eshoff, Minister of Music and Worship Arts, and those attending the annual choir retreat at Zephyr Point, it’s time to start preparing for the Christmas concert.
the stage singing, playing, dancing, and narrating, and there are just as many working behind the scenes - childcare, parking attendants, ushers, lighting, sound technicians, stage management, reception organizers, and the list goes on.
Cheryl leads the group of singers in a brief run-through of some of the songs they will sing in front of thousands of people in less than four short months. “When selecting songs, we look for a variety - clasA backstage view of Kalen Skinner’s solo sical and modern, fast and slow, during the 2017 Christmas concert. familiar and unfamiliar,” she says. “We’re looking for songs with a The man in charge of running the meaningful message married to show behind the scenes is none beautiful music.” other than Mark Eshoff, Executive If you’ve not before, you owe it Minister at Fremont Presbyterian to yourself to talk to Cheryl about and the Cheryl’s husband. Some what the Christmas concert means of his contributions include decofor Fremont, for the communi- rating the sanctuary, coordinating ty, for the Kingdom of God. She volunteers, and managing all of is the picture of someone who is the backstage activities over walkdoing exactly what God designed ie-talkie during the concert. In short, her to do - to reach and lead people if you’ve ever wondered why the to Christ through the heavenly gift concert goes so smoothly, you have of music. As Cheryl puts it, “Music Mark to thank. can speak to people’s souls in ways A musician himself, Mark also helps the spoken word can’t.” Cheryl with the musical arrangeBut she doesn’t do it alone. One of ment and selection. “Mark puts the things that make the Christmas the songs in order and matches the concert such a large event for the narrations with the music to tell a church body is the number of roles story,” says Cheryl. “He transforms that must be filled to make it hap- it from a concert into a worship pen. There are over 150 people on experience.”
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This past December marks the 17th consecutive year in which Fremont has hosted a Christmas concert. Sara Beach has performed in most of them, most recently from the soprano section. “My favorite part is looking at the faces of the choir, the orchestra, and even the audience at the conclusion of the concert,” she says. “Everyone’s face has the same expression; it’s the expression I imagine Handel had when he uttered, after composing the Hallelujah Chorus, ‘I have seen the face of God!’” Jenn Mattson has participated in the Christmas concert for nearly a decade. As she sees it, the concert is an opportunity for her to use her musical gifts as an act of service. “The passion for Jesus at Fremont is infectious, and I wanted to find more ways to be part of it, which is one of the reasons I look forward to playing in the Christmas concert every year,” says Jenn. “Through the concert we are able to give the gift of music to our neighbors and invite new people to join our church family.” Her statement points to an interesting question: Why does Fremont do the Christmas concert?
Perhaps the most unsung go-ers are the Fremonters who go to their friends and family and invite them to the concert. “The concert centers the community around the true spirit and meaning of Christmas - Jesus Christ. It is a discreet opportunity to share the Good News of Christ's coming to the guests in the choir, in the orchestra, and in attendance,” says Sara. Cheryl adds, “The concert gives Fremonters the opportunity to invite a friend to church without having to invite them to a Sunday morning worship service. Inviting someone to Sunday morning church can be intimidating to some, but the concert is a non-threatening experience within the walls of Fremont, where they have the opportunity to experience God’s people worshiping and bring glory to His name. It’s all about lifting Him high.”
Perhaps there is no greater proof than the impact the Christmas concert has had on Jenn. “The concert is a wonderful opportunity for members to invite others to join our community,” says Jenn. “I myself joined Fremont after attending a Christmas concert because Simply put, for those involved, it all comes back to the of the welcome I experienced from Cheryl and other Great Commission. Jesus commands his followers to Fremont members.” “go”, and while the Christmas concert takes place on Fremont grounds, there is no lack of going. Singers, As Cheryl says, something powerful does happen musicians, dancers, and speakers go on stage to bring when you bring together meaningful words with beauglory to God. Men and women go out in the parking lot tiful music, but it doesn’t stop there. The singers, muto make sure people are welcomed from the moment sicians, dancers and narrators; the support team of they arrive. Ushers go down the aisles to help visitors sound and lighting technicians, ushers, parking attenfind a spot to sit, even if this is the only time they come dants, childcare assistants, reception organizers; and more - the inviters - who courageously bring guests to to Fremont. Fremont. Working together, the body of Christ extends “The Christmas concert gives hundreds of people the their arms into the community and welcomes in those opportunity use their gifts in a single event,” says among them not just for a spectacle, but for a worship Cheryl. “Everyone loves being a part of something experience. that’s bigger than they are, and the impact is greater than anything they could have done on their own.”
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GO Global! by Matt Davis
Since its inception, Fremont Presbyterian Church has been committed to supporting missions work both locally and globally, sending out people and resources to reach the lost in places where the good news needs to be shared. In addition to supporting missionaries abroad, Fremont’s mission teams have expanded its reach in the Sacramento region. The dedicated financial support and the steady stream of passionate missionaries willing to serve have made Fremont Worldwide and Local missions two of the most impactful and vibrant ministries at Fremont. In 2018, one of Fremont’s recent short-term missionaries, Jeff Hightower, will be taking over the responsibility as the chair for the Worldwide Mission team. Jeff’s vision for missions in connection to Fremont’s burgeoning GROW Program involves recruiting more people for missions, building stronger connections with local and global organizations, and expanding Fremont’s impact in worldwide missions. He recently returned from Haiti where, along with seven other people, he worked on a project that is bringing solar power to the little town of Bayonnais in addition to renewing relationships and interacting with the locals. I took the time to connect with Jeff recently to discuss his passion for missions work as well as his transition into leadership of the Worldwide Missions Team. Q: What is your background on church involvement, specifically Fremont? A: I served as an active Elder on Session from 20122016. I coached and served as a referee for Upward Basketball from 2011-2015. I’ve also served on the Worldwide Missions team since 2014.
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Q: What is your experience with long- and short-term missions? A: My only experience with missions is the International Christian Development Mission in Haiti. I’ve gone four times since the Spring of 2014, and I’ve led three of those trips, taking nearly 20 people to serve. Q: What drew you to the Missions ministry? A: I was pulled into Missions when God called me to go to Haiti in 2014, along with my wife, Melissa. Q: How has your involvement impacted your family? A: Missions work, and Haiti in particular, is something that has infected our family. Melissa has been on two of the four trips, coordinating scheduling, flights and hotels on two of those trips. My kids went with us in February 2017 and were captured by what God is doing in the world. Both Emma and Grant want to go back and were a little upset that I took a team in November and they couldn’t go. Q: What changes can be expected when you assume the chair of the Missions team? A: My vision for Worldwide Missions, which will soon be called GO Global, is a team focused less on the business of mission partnerships and more on being a place to learn what God is doing in the world. The name change is designed to capture the 21st Century vision and purpose of the team. I want it to be more about the “GO” of the Great Commission. I envision the team working together to discern how and where Fremont can participate in that work. If a Fremonter feels called to serve abroad, I want GO Global to be a resource for team recruitment, fundraising, publicity, and prayer.
Q: How will these changes impact the ministries already supported by Fremont? A: I hope Fremont will be able to see a difference in the ministry of missions as we intentionally make ourselves and our work more visible. With the new GROW program, Fremont is emphasizing Education, Community and Service as the primary pathways to grow in discipleship. I believe mission is an important component of service, helping to expand Godâ€™s kingdom across the planet. As such, I want to be intentional about celebrating how and where Fremont is doing that, whether it be Mexico, Jamaica, Ethiopia, Haiti, or a new destination.
Q: How can the Fremont Community be more involved in missions? A: I hope to encourage Fremont to not only give financially to missions, something which our church family has always been generous about, but also to GO! Jesus tells us clearly that we are to go into all the world, preaching the gospel and making disciples. Only by going can we truly see the size and scope of Godâ€™s Kingdom. When we leave our comfort zone and wade into the world, we see God more clearly, we serve others more joyfully, and we get to be a part of making Jesus more famous. If you are interested in participating in missions at Fremont, please contact Jeff Hightower at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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PARENT’S Raising CORNER: Kind Kids by Christina Kiefer
My oldest started Pre-K this year, which means I have a drop-off and pick-up everyday. That in and of itself has been an adjustment in our house, but I have also come to realize I’ve become that mom. You know, the kind who is probably embarrassing. I’m not talking about mushy goodbyes, kisses or hugs. Nope, I’m talking about a loud farewell that I shout every morning as he climbs out of the car, “Be kind!” At pick-up, we talk about his day: who shared what at circle time, what the art project was, and what he ate for snack. After the run down I always ask, “And who were you kind to today?” Sometimes this is met with a laugh, a playful roll of the eyes, or a sheepish grin as he tries to recall an act of kindness. Truthfully, I’m not concerned about what he ate for snack, or even the letter of the week they’re working on because my hope will always be this: I hope he’s kind. It’s hard to ignore what’s happening in our world these days. We live in a politically charged environment. There is so much anger. Public shaming and bullying are front and center in the news. The sad truth is that many people are hurting. One could argue that teaching our children how to be kind has perhaps never been more important than it is now. All of us are born with a natural sense of compassion, but that natural instinct can be impacted in how a child is raised, particularly in the early years. Kindness can be nurtured, and some kids will need more nurturing than others.
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TIPS FOR KIND KIDS
So how can we cultivate gratitude and empathy in our children? Here’s what the experts have to say:
1. MODEL KINDNESS
Slyia Rimm, Ph.D., a child psychologist and parenting expert, encourages parents to carefully choose the words they use with their children, as these interactions reflect personal values. If we look to scripture, we need to take it a step further and practice what we preach: loving in action, and not just in words (1 John 3.18).
2. OWN YOUR MISTAKES
As followers of Christ, we know we aren’t perfect and that we’ll make mistakes. When we do, we should acknowledge them. When we make a mistake that causes our child pain or disappointment, it’s important to discuss that with them. As Carla Naumburg, Ph.D., a clinical social worker and author of Ready, Set, Breathe: Practice Mindfulness with Your Children for Fewer Meltdowns and a More Peaceful Family, says, “We often expect our kids to learn from us as we’re snapping at them, and that’s difficult to do.”
3. BROADEN THEIR HORIZONS
This practical exercise can start at a very young age. Encourage your child to play with someone from a different social circle, or branch out by attending a birthday party of a classmate who they may not know well. The key here is to both support and encourage your child to be inclusive of others.
4. TALK ABOUT EMPATHY
Asking questions helps your child to be emphatic towards others who are being treated unfairly. Richard Weissbourd, a Harvard psychologist and founder of Making Caring Common, says, “Teaching our kids to practice empathy and kindness towards those unlike us, including those outside our faith tradition is core. We all need to learn to appreciate those that don’t belong to our community.” Weissbourd also believes that one of the most tangible, practical ways to demonstrate the value of empathy is to volunteer as a family in the community. We all have different ways of parenting, but I’m willing to bet we all want to raise kind kids. Looking for an additional resource? A great starting point is Raising Great Kids, by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend.
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CROSSWORD PUZZLE Answers: Across 3.) John, 4.) Peter, 7.) Sarah, 8.) Anna, 11.) Paul, 12.) Adam, 15.) Nebuchadnezzar, 17.) Delilah, 18.) Job 19.) Elisabeth Down 1.) Ruth 2.) Rebekah 3.) Jonah 4.) Priscilla 5.) Mary Magdalene 6.) Habakkuk 9.) Abigail 10.) Bathsheba 13.) Methuselah 14.) Samson 16.) Goliath
3. Has the most number of books in the Bible with his name. 4. Denied Christ three times, then became the leader of the early Church. 7. Mother of Isaac, wife of Abraham. 8. She prophesied about young Jesus in the temple. 11. The most famous prisoner. 12. The first. 15. Had a dream that indicated he would lose his kingdom. 17. The love of Samson. 18. If youâ€™re unemployed, you want one. 19. Mother of the baptizing John.
1. The first woman with a book of the Bible named after her. 2. Wife of Isaac, mother of Jacob. 3. Swallowed by a fish. 4. Wife of Aquila, missionary partner to Paul. 5. She witnessed the empty tomb in all four Gospels. 6. The eighth of the twelve minor prophets. 9. After her wealthy husband died, she married a fugitive running from King Saul. 10. The mother of Davidâ€™s successor. 13. 969. 14. The strong man with the long hair. 16. The infamous giant.
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CALLED TO COOK Serving with a Spoon
Amateur chef and Fremont member Greg Hogan has combined his culinary skills with missions for many years. A staple on the High School Mexico Mission trip, he proudly takes up the role of chef for the group, planning, shopping and cooking all of the meals for the kids and parents during their time in Mexico. During his time as an Elder, he would volunteer to cook dinner for his fellow Elders for their meetings. This delicious tradition continued on after his term ended, and he continues to cook for meetings even after his term. In fact, when Fremont hosted the Presbytery Meeting in May of 2016, Greg Hogan was in the kitchen, apron on, as he cooked for and fed over 200 people five meals over the course of 3 days. If there's a congregational event with a meal involved, look for Greg Hogan. Youâ€™ll most likely find him serving the Lord with his talent and time, one plate at a time.
GREG HOGANâ€™S BERRY TRIFLE Serves 10-15
1 56 oz. bag of frozen triple berry mix defrosted (blueberries, raspberries, black berries) 1 cup plus 4-5 tablespoons powdered sugar Granulated sugar to taste for the berries
2 loaves of Pound Cake 1 quart heavy whipping cream 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
Instructions 1. Combine the defrosted berries with the granulated 4. Layer one: Cut the pound cake into 1 inch slices and sugar to taste. Stir and set aside. lay in the bottom of the bowl covering the entire bottom of the bowl. You may have to cut some pieces into 2. Make the cream cheese whipped cream: Beat the odd shapes to cover the bowl a single layer deep. whipping cream with the 4-5 tablespoons of powdered
sugar (or to taste) on high in a stand mixer using the 5. Layer two: Cover the pound cake with the berry mixwhisk attachment, until it becomes thick whipped ture until the cake has berries in roughly a single layer. cream. Move to a bowl. Place the softened cream It is ok to get some of the juice also. The cake will cheese in the same mixing bowl and beat with the resoak it up. maining 1 cup of powdered sugar until well combined. 6. Layer three: Cover the berries with the cream cheese Add the whipped cream back into the bowl and beat whipped cream about an inch thick. Enough so you together with the cream cheese mixture. Scrape down can not see the berries. the bowl several times to make sure it is well com7. Repeat two more times so you have three complete bined. layered sections. 3. In a large bowl, add the ingredients in layers. 8. To serve, dig down with a serving spoon so you get as many layers as possible in a large scoop.
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THE WRITERS David Burke
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CALENDAR OF EVENTS 3.11 DAYLIGHT SAVINGS BEGINS
UPWARD HS MEXICO CELEBRATION MISSION TRIP
FIRST SUPPER WORSHIP SERVICE
FREMONT FAMILY EASTER CELEBRATION
MUSIC CAMP REGISTRATION
EARL WARREN HEALTH FAIR
MUSIC CAMP AUDITIONS
FMA SPRING CONCERT