Author: AJ Langston

Preschool news

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Graduation 2017 is in the books! We have had a great school year and like all good things they must come to an end. But, that doesn’t mean the fun stops there!

Summer camp is on the way. We start summer camp on June 5th. We have a lot of fun things for the kiddos planned.

We are looking for donations of any kind for the summer (snack items, arts & crafts, zip bags, paper plates, napkins etc.).  When you’re at the store, pick up an extra item for the preschooler’s.  Every little bit helps. We hope everyone has a safe and happy summer.

Sunshine Tinker

Preschool Director

Categories: Newsletter

Larry Sather’s Suffering is Over

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Just a little over a month ago during worship, it was announced that Larry Sather was in the hospital with pneumonia.  The next word I heard about Larry, was from Joy Foster from his recent visit with Larry in Hospice, west of El Mirage, near the White Tank Mountains.  Joy has been good to visit our shut ins.  THANK YOU, JOY!  We get busy with our lives and sometimes forget that our shut ins are not able to get out and play football.  Pastor Terry announced in worship April 23rd, that a memorial service is planned for Larry the following Saturday, April 29th.  That told us that Larry is no longer with us.

I visited with Larry’s life partner, Barbara, for so information.  Larry was an insurance agent with four offices in California for 45 years until he got tired of it.  Some agents can handle only one office.  Larry moved to Washington State for a job with Boeing Aircraft in Everett.  He bought a vacation house in Peoria when the Seattle Mariners started spring training in Peoria.  Does that tell you Larry was a Mariner’s Fan?  Finally, Larry came to Peoria as a permanent resident. 

Once upon a time he got on the internet and met Barbara and asked her for a date.  She accepted and “they lived happily ever after”.

I visited with Larry and Barbara a few times at coffee hour.  I thought we were done talking and got up to leave.  “SIT DOWN, Larry said and the visit continued.  He just wanted to talk.  He was a quiet man until you got him started talking.  I just sat down and let him talk.  He was interesting to talk listen to.

Finally, that terrible disease, Alzheimer’s had set in.   As with most people, the memory fades which brought on depression with Larry.  I told Barbara at least Larry did not suffer with the pain of cancer and etc.

Larry and Barbara joined our church family as members on February 24, 2013, and held down the second pew on the north side with grandson, Kaiden.  If the pew was empty, we knew something was wrong.

We will miss Larry’s smooth head and his quiet manner, except when you got him started talking.

Barbara’s sister, Jane was here for support for Barbara.  She came all the way from Massachusetts. 

LARRY, “WE ARE GLAD YOU WERE HERE.” WE LOVED LARRY AND WE LOVE THE REST OF THE FAMILY.’

For the church family,

Ken Johnson   

Categories: Newsletter

HART Pantry winds up another successful school year

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It is with a thankful heart that we graduate 15 of our senior HART kiddos

this year. We have been helping about 90 -110 teens in area schools in the 2016-2017 school year. The number varies widely because the food challenged and at-risk population is so transient; however these teens have been in our program and are graduating, under less than easy circumstances in their lives, and we are proud of them. Each will be given a gift card from HART PANTRY and this year one of our church donors is matching our gifts.

HART PANTRY has been named under the Arizona Tax Credit statute as a participating charity; this provided us with an addition of $ 4000.00 in donations.

We have grown not only in the schools we now serve, but also have new volunteers. Jan Eckstein has joined the Board of Directors. Jan comes to us from Church of the Palms, Sun City. New weekly volunteers include Cheryl Whitman, BJ Laing, Judy Barber and Anna Moore (Anna Moore works on fund raising projects).

As to schools, we have added the Dysart High School to the list of schools we serve. There are several other area schools waiting in the wings and setting up their end of the program so as to begin with HART in the fall.

The Peoria Unified School District named Ruth Langford and HART PANTRY as SENIOR VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR FOR 2016-2017. We were nominated by Kellis High School.

HART PANTRY will continue to offer weekend food bags to students throughout the summer recess at the Peoria Community Center.

 HAPPY SUMMER, Ruth Langford

Categories: Newsletter

Deacons update

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The Deacons of Peoria Presbyterian Church provide a variety of services.  We visit the homebound and those that are sick or in the hospital.  We provide a fellowship time for families after funeral services.  We mail bulletins and sermons to the homebound.  We also send birthday and anniversary cards to members.

Your donation or contribution to our “Deacon’s Offering” will help to enable us to continue to do these things and so much more, for the congregation.  It is not only essential to us, it provides positive and loving support to those who it is so meaningful to, in many ways. Your kindness, generosity and understanding is greatly appreciated.

Thank you very much!

Katrina Guy

Categories: Newsletter

Immigration and the Gospel

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How did I get here?  I mean, “How did I arrive in the USA?”  Well, like most of you I was born here, to be precise in Winston-Salem, NC a long, long time ago.

There’s more to my story.  I actually got here because two brothers, named Schweissguth, arrived in Philadelphia from Austria in 1755.

They came to escape the awful conditions in Austria then.  In those days you could just come over and live here.  It wasn’t until after the civil war that congress decided that controlling immigration was a federal responsibility.

My daughter married a Dutch citizen, and getting him here and getting him a green card was a bureaucratic nightmare.  We had help from a friend  who was our congressperson from Charlotte.  She told me, “The immigration system has a million person back log.  It appears to be broken without a solution.”

Immigration is big on our president’s agenda.  I don’t need to repeat the particulars.  You already know them.

When I was the pastor of the Myers Park Presbyterian in Charlotte I got to know two extraordinary people. Leighton Ford and his wife Jeanne Graham Ford attended our church. Leighton is a world-renowned preacher and evangelist and his wife the sister of Billy Graham. Not long ago I received an email from him.

“I am an immigrant. A documented one. And a grateful one.

“When I was in high school my future brother-in-law Billy Graham came to speak in my home town in Canada. He recommended that I apply to his alma mater, Wheaton College in Illinois.

“Once accepted I applied for a student visa. Instead I got a green card to be a permanent resident. The Immigration Service was more than generous!

“Later this immigrant married a North Carolina girl and moved to Charlotte. On a special day, in a large hall on the north side, I raised my hand to pledge allegiance to my new country. I was and am proud to be a US citizen.

“Immigration is a controversial topic now.

Who should or should not be admitted? How should they be vetted? Of course we need clear and humane laws. But in the controversy we may miss a larger issue: what does it mean to be an immigrant? And aren’t we all immigrants?

“Migration is an ongoing part of creation. The birds in our back yard are migratory birds, moving north and south with the seasons.

“Human history is the story of great migrant movements. Streams of human population flowed from Africa north and west and east into Europe and Asia. Our first nations migrated across a land bridge from Asia into North America. Native Americans had to absorb religious refugees and traders from Europe who came here seeking freedom and fortune.

“Migrations have brought conflicts but also have been enriching. The respected historian William McNeill writes “that the principal factor promoting historically significant social change is contact with strangers possessing new and unfamiliar skills.” Our time is no different, except the contacts and conflicts are now global.

“The Bible is full of immigrant stories. Abraham is called to leave home and go to an unknown land. Joseph is sold to slave traders to captivity in Egypt where he became a powerful leader. The people of Israeli escape Egypt to settle in the Holy Land. A Moabite woman Ruth marries a Jewish man. When he dies she could have returned home but in famous words she says to her mother-in-law Naomi, “Your people shall be my people.” Jews taken in captivity to Babylon, are told by God to seek the peace of the city where they would now live.

“And, significantly for us Christians, the parents of Jesus are refugees who take their infant son to Egypt to escape being killed by the paranoid King Herod.

“The Bible could almost be named “The Book of the Great Migrations”!

“The apostle Paul saw the hand of God in these movements. Addressing the philosophers in Athens he said that God allotted the times and boundaries and movements of the nations “so that they would search for God … and find him.”

“And that is happening here. When I met with student Christian leaders at the Harvard Club most of them were Asian-Americans. One of the largest churches in New York City started with immigrants from Nigeria. Koreans make up one of the largest student groups at Charlotte’s own Gordon-Conwell Seminary. 

One Assembly of God district in the southeast has more churches than many national denominations!

“Ed Stetzer, an astute observer of religion trends, notes that “predominantly white churches are declining. Yet Pew Research tells us that white churches are greying while growing churches are browning— in part because of the influx of immigrants.”

“I hope my fellow Christian believers will see immigration not through a lens of fear, but through the eyes of faith: as an opportunity to welcome and serve.

“Recently my wife Jeanie and I were on a crowded elevator in a Florida hotel with another guest whose name tag read “Donald Graham, Co-Founder THE DREAM, US”

“That’s a good name,” Jeanie said, “I’m a Graham too.” He asked where from and when she said North Carolina he asked if she knew the Rev. Billy Graham.

“He’s my brother,” she said. He broke out into smile, gave her a huge hug, and said, “I’m so honored to meet you. He’s a wonderful man.”

“What’s THE DREAM?” I asked. He explained it is a national scholarship fund for DREAMers, immigrant young people, building the American dream one student at a time.

“I think my brother would like that,” Jeanie said.

Categories: Newsletter