Category: Newsletter

Newsletter Correction

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New Members

June’s Newsletter announced our newest church members.  However, Cathy Calderon was not mentioned.  This error was of course, unintentional.  Cathy, please accept my personal apology and Welcome to First Presbyterian Church! We are so happy you’re here!

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PW News

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The sewing Circle has made 40 book bags for Agua Fria School kids.  We need to fill them, as we do every year.  We already have all the scissors, crayon and pencils.

The following is a list of items we do need;

Glue Sticks, Spiral Notebooks – Wide Rule

Pocket Folders, Pencil Holders, Erasers, Pencil Sharpeners, Colored Pencil

School Supplies go on sale right after the 4th of July.  The School Bags will be given out to the children, near the end of July.

Your support is greatly appreciated

Categories: Newsletter

Memories from our church family

Sunday May 1st, in worship was the first time I had seen Marge Vowles since her husband, Earnest’s death on March 18th.  I got to thinking that I had not written an article about a life to be remembered…Ernie’s.  I could give several excuses for the delay of writing, but when I was in the army and had to report an action to my superior, the reply was to be, “NO EXCUSE SIR!”.  So, lets go on with the story.

I called Marge and she just wanted to talk.  The time of day was close to her appointment so she talked fast.  I wish that I knew shorthand.  I missed some of the   information, but I did get the important parts.  Marge named about four different health problems that Ernie had and I missed all four of them, so the safest thing to say is, Ernie was in poor health.  Ernie and Marge sat in the very northeast corner of the sanctuary.  Often during Ernie’s last days, Marge was by herself.  Ernie just did not feel like coming to worship, but he was there in spirit.

Born in Bristol, England, Ernie came stateside at the age of 12.  Later he served his country in the army, for four years.  As a civilian, he was a trucking company clerk for 25 years, listening to customers complaints about their damaged freight.

In his prime years, Ernie weighed over 200 pounds.  In the not so good years he withered to skin and bones.  For some time, he wanted God to take hi, and Marge even prayed the same message.  She began to doubt if there was even a God who would let Ernie suffer so.  Ernie passed away with no pain, so maybe God was waiting for a painless day for Ernie’s homecoming.

On March 17th, one of their daughters prepared corned beef and cabbage.  This is the same day that Ernie was admitted to the hospital E.R.  The following day, he went onto Hospice and passed on the 18th.

Marge had a stressful 2 years, 24 – 7.  Often death can be a blessing.  Sure, we miss Ernie, but not one of us want to go through as Ernie did the past couple of years.  My opinion from talking to Marge is, her faith has been restored and she plans on continuing holding down the corner pew on Sundays for worship.


                          From Your Church Family, We Love You!

      Ken Johnson


If you did not know Charles Dawson, after you read this at least you will know of him.  The family has been in our church gamily for maybe a couple of years.  The family that we know is Charlie’s wife, Sarah., their daughter, Debbie and her husband, Tome Gilchrist, and Tome and Debbie’s daughter, Emma who is of Jr. High age.

Charlie passed away April 27th, of this year.  Up until maybe a couple of months ago, the family held down a pew near the north wall of the sanctuary.  Emma is always anxious to sit up front for the children’s sermon and then our the door for Sunday School.  Due to poor health, Charlie was not able to attend worship, but the rest came.  As time went on, Sarah shared with us that the last days of Charlie’s life were difficult.  A sad thing to see is a person with a strong body and the mind failing.

Charlie was raised in Portland, OR.  In 1950, he attended Eastern Oregon College in La Grande.  That is where he met the love of his life for 63 years, Sarah.

Charlie served his country in the US Navy during the Korean war.  After his discharge, he joined Traffic Safety Supply Company in Portland, where he served as president until retiring in 1989.  He testified before congress on highway and work zone safety as president of American Traffic Safety Services Association.  Charlie had a firm handshake and his smile proved it was his pleasure to meet someone.  This is one  of the reasons, that made him a successful business man.

Charlie’s greatest joy was his eight grandchildren, his wife, Sarah, a sister, three sons, and daughter, Debbie.  It is safe to say that Charlie was loving family man.  I missed Charlie’s services, but was told by several people what a good service it was and that his son gave such a good eulogy. 

Sarah and Charlie were ordained as Ruling Elders in Tucson.  His burial was at the National Cemetery with military honors.

P.P.C. is thankful for the time that Charlie worshipped with us, and he is now at peace with his Lord with a well deserved time of pace without having to worry about traffic safety.


Ken Johnson


Categories: Newsletter

From Session


The May Session meeting was good meeting with perfect attendance.  It was also the first meeting with our new interim pastor, the Dr. Terry Swicegood.  We are down to six Elders on session, and this number needs to increase in the future.  It is debatable at this time, as to how many should serve on session. 

I feel like I am expressing for all of the session, that we feel we have a good year ahead with Dr. Terry.  We, as a congregation are fortunate to have him so quickly.  Now, we can NOT leave out his wife, Barbara.  She is small, but perhaps she is powerful in getting him, “TO THE CHURCH ON TIME”.  Barbara and Terry, “WE ARE GLAD YOU BOTH ARE HERE!”.

We have  new financial secretary, Lisa O’Kelly.  Lisa has a degree in accounting, so if the shoe fits…  Lisa replaces Donna Davis who is now the Church Treasurer.  Lisa has joined the bell choir.  WELCOME LISA, but do not let us overload you.  Sunday, the 15th, was Lisa’s first Sunday with the bells.  Her son, Parker, was sitting in the back row of the south side.  He stood up while mom was playing, so he could see her.  Also, daughter, Megan had her eyes on mom.  After the choir played, Parker said, “mom”,  unfortunately, I was unable to hear what followed, but his actions made my day.  Thank you, O’Kelly’s for being a part of P.P.C.

Approval was given to participate in the CROP WALK on November 6, 2016.  Approval was also given to have a future fund raising event at Barros Pizza, as well as a Coupon Book Fundraiser Sale by our youths.  The books will sell for $25 each and the youth will receive $10, for each one that is sold. 

We have seven youths attending summer conference at Flagstaff as our own Montlure near Greer has not recovered from the forest fire a few years ago.  I think it is the vegetation that needs to grow.  Approval was given to send a check of $2,525 to cover the cost for the campers. 

The Moderator’s, Deacon’s Treasurer’s and all committee reports were all received.

Again, Swicegood, “We are glad you are here!

The next regular session meeting is June 13th at 5:00 PM.

Ken Johnson

Clerk of Session

Categories: Newsletter

Letters from the congregation

May 9, 2016 – Monday Morning

Dear P.P.C. Family,

This is just a note to bring you up to date with us.

We had a nice trip home and when we got to Sequim, the sky was a beautiful blue and wonderful warm sun – mid 70’s and it has been lovely ever since.

On Saturday with my chair and a rake, I was able to get out and do a little yard work (and does this yard need a lot of work).

Last Friday, my sister, John and I had an appointment with my new Dr. (an oncologist/hematologist) and the results of that is that I have an incurable blood disease named MDS.  I have had another blood transfusion and I hope to get away from these.  Also, this week, the Drs will put a port in so I will not have to have so many needles “stuck in me”.  I have been told that I will be much happier when I get this port.  I have good days and bad days, but Dr. Norman told me that he would het me to the point that I will be able to play golf and do other things that I enjoy doing.  So onto chemo., etc.

I have been overwhelmed with all of the cards and support from the Church members.  My thanks goes out to everyone for their wonderful cards, prayers and support for us.

Blessing to all,

          Karen Postma

Categories: Newsletter

HART Pantry

City of Peoria lending HART PANTRY support in their mission

Two of our Councilmen, Edwards and Patena came to the PANTRY headquarters to see our operation and to present us with financial support. Their presentation of $5,000.00 will go far in purchasing food and services for our At-Risk Kids.  They viewed our weekend bag packing and stepped into help. In addition to the finances they have arranged for HART PANTRY to be able to have a place for food bags to be placed during the month of July when our schools are closed. This has always been a source of concern, that our kiddos get hungry in the summer and we had no way to reach them. This one problem being solved makes our day.

I have been contacted by the Representative of the Youth Advisory Council to the City of Peoria and will be addressing the youth in June. It is my hope that these young people can become more active within their respective schools so HART PANTRY can better identify and meet the needs of our homeless and in-crisis youth.

HART PANTRY has been invited to participate in the City of Peoria General Fund Program for 2016. This fund could provide us with additional monies through grants to further our mission.

All in all it has been an exceptional month. The PANTRY has provided, on average, 50 weekend food bags and 50-70 snack/supper bags to students in our area schools. We are thrilled to be able to present 15 graduation gifts to qualifying students. Again this year we will provide the Graduation rehearsal Breakfast for the senior class of 2016 at the Raymond S. Kellis High School. The staffs at our schools do so much for HART PANTRY and our at-risk teens, we are proud to work with them whenever it is within our mission and budget.

Have a safe and happy summer.  Ruth Langford, Executive Director

Categories: Newsletter

The Sewing Circle

The Sewing Circle meets @ 9:30 the 3rd and 4th Wednesday of each month from September until the end of May. The mission of this group is to make prayer quilts for those in our church, lap quilts and bibs for nursing homes,  pillow cases for the organization that donates new pillow cases to kids with cancer and other sewing tasks. Our new mission is to help Jean Charlton cut and crochet plastic bags for mats donated to the homeless. 

We always can use fabric for our projects. There is a box in the church for donation of plastic bags. Contact someone in the sewing circle should you need a quilt or have materials to donate. 

This group finds the sewing a way to have community and support mission of our church. All are welcome. Bring your needles and thread and join us. 

The sewing circle

Categories: Newsletter

What does an Interim Pastor do?

I would like to take this first column to talk a little bit with you about what interim pastors do.
Some duties of an interim pastor are obvious: preaching, teaching, pastoral care, and administration. That’s what every pastor is charged with doing. But there are other duties which are unique to interim ministry. In short, an interim serves a congregation best when he or she is able to get the congregation engaged in thinking together about the future. An interim asks the question, “Where is God calling us to go next?” An interim prepares the congregation for the coming of the next permanent pastor and there is a clear road map laid out when the new pastor arrives.
How do I propose to go about that? Over the next several months I would like to have a series of desserts across the congregation that everyone will attend. In small groups of twelve to fifteen I would like to get to meet you all, and ask you two questions: “What do you love most about FPC?” And “If you could wave a magic wand, what would you change about FPC?”
Armed with that information, the Session and I will begin to noodle over what that means for our road map. To be successful, the road map has to be a map that everyone understands and everyone has helped draw up.
In my next column I will tell you about the process of calling a new pastor, what you have to do to begin that process, and a possible time-table for that process.
Over the summer I will be in the pulpit nearly every Sunday. I hope you will be in worship the Sundays you are in town and that you will invite a friend to come with you. The clearest path to church growth is for members to invite unchurched friends to come along with them.
Please let me know when there is a pastoral issue. For urgent issues call me: 623 521 1711. I check my messages regularly. You can text me at that number. You can also email me:
I am regularly updating members on our prayer chain about pastoral issues I am aware of. If you would like to be on the prayer chain email June Schooley ( and she will add you.
Our Deacons and I are taking communion to our home-bound members once a week, the goal of which is to visit all our home-bound once a month.
I have always made it a practice to see my church members the morning before surgery and have prayer with them. I’m a 20 minute drive from our area hospitals, so please let me know if you or someone you love is heading for surgery.
I have a lot to learn about you all and the life and ministry of FPC. Please be patient with me when I don’t quite get it. I think I’ll get there. In the meantime I’m open to your advice and suggestions.
In recent days I have imagined those farmers from Peoria Ill who crossed the rivers, plains and mountains to come out here so long ago– those farmers who built this church. I can just imagine that they are bending over the balcony of heaven cheering us
on, praying for us.
I want to say to all of them, and to the God that we all serve: “We will try to be worthy.”

Categories: Newsletter

Prayer Chain

What is a Prayer Chain and How does it Work ?

  When a prayer request is turned into Joy Foster or June Schooley.  Joy calls 4 people and those 4 people call 4 people  and so on, until everyone is reached.  But now we also have the digital age, with emails, so we contact June Schooley and she clicks a button and the request goes to everyone who is on the church’s E-mail   So if you want to be part of the prayer chain, contact Joy or June.  We have room for all who want to join.  And I’m sure the Lord has time for one more request.

Categories: Newsletter

Fellowship of the Least Coin


Have you ever noticed the little church in the narthex?  That’s how Presbyterian Women (PW) collects pennies for the Fellowship of the Lease Coin (FLC).  Once a year we turn the pennies into FLC as do 80 other countries around the world. The funds are used to support women and children in projects, like scholarships, literacy, health, social concerns and gender issues. Who knew a penny could do so much?  Help PW support Fellowship of the Least Coin by putting your pennies in the little church.

Categories: Newsletter