Category: Newsletter


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Marvin Peters:

Some of you may not have known Marvin and Marian Peters, as they had moved to Lake Havasu City, AZ a couple of years ago.  They wanted to be close to their daughter in their golden years.  In younger years, we took care of our children, but now, as we get older, the kids take care of us.

  Word was received that Marvin, 91 passed away on August 13th.  His wife, Marian of 65 years, passed away March, 2015.  The Peters joined PP.C. in 1992 by letter of transfer from another church.  Marian served on the Board of Deacons here at P.P.C.  Marvin was good to show up for a work “party” in the younger years.  For the “party”, we would have maybe 15 men and women show for a breakfast of NOT donuts, but eggs, bacon, biscuits and fruit.  We would have a devotion, then the “party” would begin.  This was a time when we had more younger folks in the church family.

A side note; when my first wife was living (before 2001), the Johnsons had a New Years party at our home and Marvin and Marian came.  No SPIRITS or beer was allowed and we had a good crowd and a good time.  Everyone was sober for the drive home.  Someone was the time keeper, so when it was 11:59 PM, we all got our coffee mugs or punch glasses and gathered together for a toast at midnight.  The hour arrived, we had the toast and “wished each other, A HAPPY NEW YEAR!”  After we kissed all of the ladies, I thought the group would be asking for their coats to go home…WRONG.  About 1:00 o’clock, I was ready to go to bed.  But, we still had a house full of guests.  I could have asked the last person to leave please turn out the lights and lock the door behind them. 

About that time, someone mentioned my hobby of several antique farm tractors.  Several of the men wanted to see them in my garage, so we went outside and Marvin was the most interested.  “DO THEY ALL RUN?”, I was asked.  In other words, let’s hear the 1935 John Deere and all the others pop.  So we did.  By this time, it was after 2 AM and I was thinking, hey guys, go home.  Finally, they left at about 2:30 AM.

Never under estimate the power of positive thinking, because it worked, 2 or 3 hours too late, as far as I was concerned at the time.

Later, reliving the party in my own mind, this was a time when we could visit and get to know each other a little better than on Sunday morning in church with, “Hi, How are ya?  It is nice to see ya.”  I got caught up on my sleep the next few nights, because we did not have anyone over for the “evening”. 


From the P.P.C. Family,  Ken Johnson

Evelyn Grashel:

 Word was received of the death of one of our dear members, Evelyn Grashel on September 7th,.  It seems that the summer months takes it’s toll on our senior

citizens and 2016 has not been an exception. 

The information I have on Evelyn is limited, as I do not have any contact with any of Evelyn’s family members and she and I, did not drink coffee together.

Evelyn came to P.P.C. on April 2, 1990, by reaffirmation of faith.  I do not know where she lived prior to living in the west Peoria area or where she grew up.  Evelyn was an active Deacon here at P.P.C. in the years of 1991, 1992 and 1993.  According to the roll book page on our Deacons, she was ordained as a Deacon in 1954, elsewhere.  Evelyn was faithful in holding a pew down on the north side of the sanctuary every Sunday, until the time came that she was unable to attend worship.  The last time I visited with Evelyn, I took her a takeout plate from a Thanksgiving church dinner.  At that time, she had a caregiver.  Sometime after that, she moved to Kingman, Arizona and this is where she passed away.

Her services were at Sunland Memorial Park Mortuary and burial was at the National Cemetery on Cave Creek Road.

Thank you Evelyn, for your years of service at Peoria Presbyterian Church.

From your church family,

Ken Johnson

Categories: Newsletter

The Three C’s

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For years, Arizona has been known as the state of  five “C”s.  They are Cotton, Citrus, Cattle, Copper and Climate.

In my last article, I wrote about how the Christy family kept our church buildings clean, including the shine on the now covered up hardwood floor.  Years ago, P.P.C. should have had a slogan, “A CHURCH WITH THREE C’s”.  The CHRISTY CLEANING CREW.  I wrote about how the whole family of eight would spend evenings after school or Saturdays to clean P.P.C.  Roy was Director of Maintenance for Dysart Schools and Barbara was a teacher.  P.P.C. was the next stop on the way home from Dysart, about ten miles west of Peoria.  Probably the six children wanted to hear, “When school is our, come straight home.”  But, they had no choice as they were passengers and mom or dad was behind the wheel.

I visited Barbara in a Hospice Care Center and I saw two people beside Barbara, who I knew.  Sue Dalaly from P.P.C. was ath here bedside and the other was Barbara’s daughter, Carol Cronne.  As I visited with Barbara, she knew who I was and what I said, but was silent, only smiling and nodding her head.  Carol helped with the conversation.

Carl has retired after thirty years as a Special Needs Teacher’s Assistant with the Phoenix Union School District6.  This was hard for me to swallow, because when I think of the six Christy children, (six C’s), I think of them as Jr. or Sr. High youth in our church as the had originally arrived from Ohio in a Rambler station wagon some forty five years ago.

In my Harwood Floor article, I wrote how the whole family was involved in keeping our building spotless.  Carol and I discussed the days of maintenance at P.P.C.  Each child was given a cleaning duty.  In between jobs or if the parents were in a different room, the kids would play hide and seek in the fellowship hall.  Think about it, there is not a good hiding spot in the fellowship hall, unless under a table and you are sure to be found quickly.  The closets are “Fibber McGee” closets.  For you young ones, years ago, before TV, there was a radio program, Fibber McGee and Molly.  When they opened the closet it sounded like a wall came tumbling down.  Carol share with me, that she had a bad leg joint that would pop, so when it was her time to hide, the others would listen for the pop and just follow the popping noise and she was caught.

On my recent visit with Barbara, her silence was nothing new to me.  She held down a back pew and was quiet except to speak to you.  She never bad mouthed anyone or caused any waves in a meeting discussion.  She was a good Deacon, a good P.P.C. member, a good wife, and mother.  Carol told me that with her father, Roy’s job at Dysart School, he had to at times, fly to Wisconsin or the east coast to pick up a new Blue Bird school bus and drive it home to Dysart School.  Barbara would go with Roy for the ride and maybe to help keep Roy awake.  The last is my thought about it…because when I drove for Peoria on a long trip, if there weren’t any noisy kids on the bus, I would get sleepy).  That was a long drive, but Barbara had plenty of leg room and room to roam up and down in the aisle, unless the “driver” would say, “Sit down back there”, as we had to tell our students while in motion.

On this note, I was the driver for my twin daughter’s volleyball game and their coach yelled at them and pulled them out of the game.  Dad did not take that very lightly.  On the way home, the coach was constantly up and down the aisle.  I decided I had not done a brake check on the trip, so I had better do it.  It so happened, the coach was up walking in the aisle and if you are familiar with the air brakes, they brake fast and hard.  You should know the rest of the story.  The coach went flying, but did not say a thing.

If you have any memories of the C.C.C. or the eight C Christy Family, please write it or tell me. Ken Johnson.

Categories: Newsletter

The Best Sermons are Lived Not Preached

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Today, I interviewed my grandmother for part of a research paper I’m working on for my Psychology class.  When I asked her to define success in her own words, she said, “Success is when you look back at your life and the memories make you smile.”

  • Today, after a 72 hour shift at the fire station, a woman ran up to me at the grocery store and gave me a hug.   When I tensed up, she realized I didn’t recognize her. She let go with tears of joy in her eyes and the most sincere smile and said, “On 9-11-2001, you carried me out of the World Trade Center.”
  • Today, after I watched my dog get run over by a car, I sat on the side of the road holding him and crying.  And just before he died, he licked the tears off my face.
  • Today, as my father, three brothers, and two sisters stood around my mother’s hospital bed, my mother uttered her last coherent words before she died. She simply said, “I feel so loved right now. We should have gotten together like this more often.”
  • Today, I kissed my dad on the forehead as he passed away in a small hospital bed.  About 5 seconds after he passed, I realized it was the first time I had given him a kiss since I was a little boy.
  • Today, when I witnessed a 27-year-old breast cancer patient laughing hysterically at her 2-year-old daughter’s antics,  I suddenly realized that I need to stop complaining about my life and start celebrating it again.
  • Today, a boy in a wheelchair  saw me desperately struggling on crutches with my broken leg and offered to carry my backpack and books for me. He helped me all the  way across campus to my class and as he was leaving he said, “I hope you feel better soon.”
  • Today, I was feeling down because the results of a biopsy came back malignant.  When I got home, I opened an e-mail that said, “Thinking of you today.  If you need me, I’m a phone call away.”  It was from a high school friend I hadn’t seen in 10 years.
  • Today, I was traveling in Kenya and I met a refugee from Zimbabwe. He said he hadn’t eaten anything in over 3 days and looked extremely skinny and unhealthy.  Then my friend offered him the rest of the sandwich he was eating. The first thing the man said was, “We can share it.

 The best sermons are lived, not preached.

Categories: Newsletter

Church Directory Update

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As you are aware, we are in the process of updating our current directory.  Please take a few minutes to verify your name and personal information is in it.  Note any changes that should be made.  If your information is in the directory and you want it or any part removed, please make a note of this.  If your information is not in the directory and you would like it to be, please make a note of this as well.  If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact Katrina Guy.


Categories: Newsletter

The early days

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Peoria Presbyterian Church The early days

In December 1882 three men organized the Arizona Canal Company.  The canal was extended in 1885 bringing water to the Peoria area.  A group of settlers from Peoria, Illinois arrived between 1886 and 1889 among these was the Mann family.  Mrs. Jennie Mann had lived an active Christian life before coming to Peoria, found a lack of any religious services.  She searched her small community to gather its children into her home, and thus formed the nucleus for the First Presbyterian Church Sunday School.  As interest grew, young people and adults were soon attending the classes ably taught by Mrs. Jennie Mann and Mrs. Kate Creath.  As settlers continued to settle on nearby and surrounding land the predominate faith seemed to be Presbyterian.  In 1891 Mr. and Mrs. W. J. Lively, Mrs. Jennie Mann and Mrs. Binney sent a petition to the Presbytery requesting the organization of a Presbyterian Church in Peoria.  On April 10, 1892 the First Presbyterian Church of Peoria came into being.

Mr. W. J. Lively became the ruling Elder and Mr. H.G. Mann and Mr. James Allison were installed as Trustees.  As nearly as can be ascertained the following were Charter members;  Mrs. Jennie Mann, Mrs. Allison, Mr. Jasper Lively, Mrs. James McMillan, Mrs. Binney, Mrs. Emily Lively, Mr. John Creath, Sr., Miss Mary McMillan and Miss. Agnes McMillan.  Visiting ministers were common place until September 1893 when Henry A. Thompson was installed as the first pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Peoria.  Mr. Thompson not only preached at Peoria but also Casa Grande, Arizola, Gila Bend, Wickenburg, and Congress Junction.  It was common place for this parson to have a six-shooter strapped to his hip as he rode or drove from one parish to another as this was still the “wild” west at that time.

On January 4, 1899, DeLoss and Frances Brown deeded Lots 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 in Block 33 to the Peoria Presbyterian Church for the consideration of one dollar.  After meeting in the public school building for seven years the church members were overjoyed with property to build a church home on.  In the spring of 1899 construction began.  The church walls were fifteen feet high of red brick supporting a steep, gabled roof, with a bell tower.  Mr. Howard Bartlett secured the twelve beautiful pointed, stained glass windows.  The sanctuary was 24’ X 36’ and lighted by kerosene lamps hung from brackets attached to the window casings.  Near the close of 1899 the church was completed.  On January 4, 1900, the Rev. J.W. Quay became pastor of seventeen members.  At a public service on Sunday, February 4, 1900 members met to formally dedicate the church.

More to come in later issues.  Larry Cary, Elder

Categories: Newsletter

The Hardwood Floor

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Some of us are aware of a beautiful hardwood floor under the carpet in the sanctuary.  What happened?  Why is it covered up?

Back maybe thirty or forty years ago, our custodians were the Christy family.  I say the family, because Roy and Barbara had six children.  All eight of them made a large cleaning crew.  Their six children were Cynthia, Curtis, Craig, Cathy, Carol, and Carter.  All of the children each had three names and all began with the letter “C”.  So, their initials were C.C.C.  Barbara is still with us in our church family, but at the present, she is in a care facility.  Roy and Cynthia are no longer living.  Cathy attended worship with her mother, Barbara, but I heard she has moved to Alaska.  I saw Carter when I visited Barbara in Freedom Plaza Care Facility this spring.  I do not have any information for the other three children.    

Back to the hardwood floor.  Maybe once a year, the Christy’s would strip the finish, add a new finish and then buff it (shine it).  All the pews had to be moved.  I do not know if they were carried outside or just “stacked up” in one area then moved back and that portion of the floor was done. 

Now, the punch line.  To the best of my knowledge, our custodians have worked solo, since the Christy family custodians.  It is hard for one person to move the pews, strip and finish the floor in time for Sunday worship.  Vacuuming the carpet is much easier for one person to do each week.

I hope Barbara and her children are able to read this.  The few of us here today that were here during the Christy Family Custodian period, thank you for your hard work and dedication to keeping our church buildings beautiful.  You were/are appreciated. 

For and From the P.P.C. Church Family,

We Love You!

Ken Johnson

Categories: Newsletter

Preschool News

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We are so happy to be back in the preschool classrooms again.  We had a great summer program, but love the structure of the school year.  We had a great August and have a lot of new students in our classrooms.  The children really missed all the songs and Bible stories.

This is our month to talk about how beautifully and wonderfully made each of them are.  God created each of us to be exactly who we are and that He knows exactly how many hairs we have on our heads.   

We have a number of families that want very much to have their children in our program but are struggling with the tuition.  If you can see it in your heart to contribute to the scholarship fund it would mean very much to these families.

God bless to everyone who has contributed money and supplies to the preschool.                                                     

Lynn Hawkins

Categories: Newsletter

In Memory of

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On July 19th, we received word of the death of one of our members; Peg Miller.  She passed away at her home the week prior.  Unfortunately, there was not much information provided regarding the circumstances surrounding her death, only that it was unexpected. 

As a member of the P.P.C. family, Peg Miller will be missed.    

Categories: Newsletter

Sewing Circle

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The Sewing Circle will resume on Wednesday, September 21 at 9:30 AM.  This group meets the third and fourth Wednesday of each month at 9:30.  We currently have several projects…

  1. Bags for Jean Charlton’s mission to make mats for the homeless 
  2. Prayer quilts for women and men
  3. Prayer quilts for anyone needing some homemade love.

Please come and join us for fellowship and a very good mission.

Marti Schlagel

Categories: Newsletter