First Presbyterian Church

Celebrating 125 years of worship service.


Crop Walk

New Members

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My first thought was to identify one of the new members by their happy face. Thinking about it, they all have happy faces so how are we going to single out the happy face if they are all the same?

The first happy face couple is Lex & Cheryl Sheets. They have been in the church family for about a year. They really have happy faces when together or looking at each other as they have been married for only four years. Cheryl is an (Okie, her words not mine) born in Tulsa. Later lived in Colorado and New Mexico and now Arizona, Amen. Cheryl has been a charter school teacher. She has four children and loves going to church with Lex. They found P.P.C. through our choir director, Matt Deller as probably the same with the other couples as they are all in the Sounds of The Southwest Concert Choir where Matt is the director. Lex was raised in Glendale gradating from Glendale High, the Cardinals. He Went to NAU and is still employed in Technology Operations. Lex as the rest, love a small church where one is a friend and a member ad not just a number.

The second happy face couple to write about is Tom & Nancy Butler. They have been in the P.P.C. family maybe a couple of years. They are in the Chancel Choir as well as some of the others. Nancy was born in Lapland as well as her brothers and sisters and also her father all in the same hospital but at different times. By the way Laland is where Kansas laps over into Oklahoma but on the Kansas side. Nancy is a former Methodist but after church shopping she and Tom settles for P.P.C., Amen. Nancy graduated from Mesa (Az) High School whose mascot is the Jackrabbits. She is a retired school principal. Before that, Nancy was the FIRST married lady to be hired by Western Airlines as a flight stewardess. Probably after the word got out that she was on board the ticket sales soared. Tom was an Air Force “brat” growing up spending most of his life in Arizona graduating from Chandler High School (Az), the Wolves. Tom taught at Seton High in Chandler and was selected as the young educator of the year for Arizona. (Nancy spilled the beans to me on that issue.) Tom does NOT toot his own horn. Tom retired from Maricopa County College system. Sometime Tom taught at Dysart High, teaching Drama, English, and Public Speaking. They have three sons, all school teachers. One in Phoenix Union, one in Dysart, and on at Peoria Centennial. So when around the Butler family, you had better watch your Ps and Qs or else you might end up on a high stool in the corner with a dunce cap on your head. Nancy shared for Christmas, if any are interested, they are collectors of any Coca Cola signs, bottles, pins, etc. Nothing bashful; with Nancy. They drive 45 minutes each way for choir practice and church each week.

The third happy face couple is Jim and Renee Petrauschs. Renee’s father was in the Navy and she was born in Bremerton, Washington. I have not been in Bremerton but I hear it is a seaport on Puget Sound. So it is only fitting that Renee’s maiden name was Shipp. Renee has worked for a law firm,. If you were in worship a few weeks ago, our piano player and organist, Eric, was absent, so on a moments notice

Renee filled in practicing the hymns and choir number just before the service started. One would have thought she had practiced all week. Renee and Jim love a small church and the children. The couple first knew each other when she was six and Jim was ten. They reconnected thirty five years later and have been married for 17 years. Jim had a career in the Navy having been in all of the 50 states. Jim grew up in Wyoming in a county where the antelope roam and a county of 3000 population. Now they live in Sun City at least 20x the amount of people then in his home county. Jim is working for his fourth power company, APS until December 28, when he throws in the towel for retirement.

I have barely touched the surface of these six lives. It is our Christian duty to get acquainted with them. Maybe you will find out that Renee’s law firm was present if and when we went to court before the judge.

All six of you, a HUGE WELCOME FROM THE CONGREGATION and now you are an official member of Peoria Presbyterian Church. We’re glad you are here.

Categories: Newsletter

Directory photos

for those who would like to be included in the new photo directory you can schedule online or call Lana in the front office or see one of the committee members after church.

To book online click below:

Categories: Newsletter

HART Pantry News

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The volunteers, staff and Board of Directors of HART PANTRY have a busy December ahead of us. First of all, our Christmas program is well underway. We will be providing a Christmas gift bag to 102, number so far, at-risk and homeless teens in the Peoria, Dysart and Glendale school districts. Where ever we live HART PANTRY is likely helping kiddos in the area. We are hoping that the donors who have always been so loyal will again provide the hooded sweatshirt jackets, socks, knit hats, throws, toiletries and gift cards that put smiles on kids’ faces who likely will get nothing more. We are asking the merchants to provide free fast food gift cards for their restaurants; we hope to have donations enough to provide each teen with a $25.00 gift card to WALMART or TARGET to get a new pair of shoes. Gift items and cards can be directly provided to HART or checks for your purpose can be provided and volunteers will do the shopping. Everything has to be in by December 9th so we can wrap and deliver on time.

The new location of HART PANTRY at the Lions Foundation campus is proving to be just wonderful. We have storage for our food, clothing and bikes. There is ample room to pack our 240-250 food bags every week. Come visit us any Thursday morning; we love to show off our quarters.

2017 has been a year of change and growth for HART PANTRY. We have added new Board of Director members; new grant writer/advisor; new Facebook Editor, new volunteers, new warehouse/packing facility and new financial advisor. Growth has been phenomenal with the addition of more schools and a whole new district. WE are constantly looking for new donors as we thank our present donors. Grants, corporate donations, support from the community and of course the support from our churches have been outstanding. We could not begin to meet the needs of the teens in need without all of them.

Thank You and Merry Christmas, Ruth Langford for HART PANTRY

Categories: Newsletter

Ken Suggests

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Ken Suggests
At the recent Thanksgiving meal a couple was sitting at a table by themselves. There were not our newest members but newer members. I was already seated with Karianne when the couple sat down. Several people walked by them for another table. This couple keeps telling how they love our church. My opinion is, if we want to keep hearing this, we need to visit with our new people and get to know them. The same applies to the coffee hour if we see someone sitting by themselves, lets sit with them. I finally left my sweetie and joined them. I found out information that I did not know. Barbara Swicegood joined us. Thank you Barbara. End of the Saturday night sermon, Ken Johnson

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Session News

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  • Discussion on request for membership transfer to Orangewood Presbyterian Church.
  • Plans are being made to have a blood drive with the Veterans of Foreign War (WFW) using our facilities in the near future.
  • Some discussion was held about Session taking part in the Habitat for Humanity. No action taken until Session has more information.
  • Pastor Terry reported on the recent meeting of Presbytery. The treasurer’s, Deacons’, and all committee reports were received.

Kenneth P. Johnson Clerk of Session

Categories: Newsletter

Preschool News

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Christmas & Happy New Year!
Wow we can hardly believe it’s Christmas time already. The first half of the school year has gone by so fast and the kids have been doing great! We finished our Butter Braid fundraiser and with everyone’s help we were able to raise additional money! Thank you to all who helped make this possible.

We are planning a Christmas Program and teaching the kids about the Birth of Jesus and the reason for the season. The kids focus is what’s under the tree and we want them to know that our Lord and Savior was born on this very special DAY, so they may be coming home singing and telling you the good news that our Savior was born.

We have a lot of fun things planned for this special time of year so please keep a lookout for upcoming dates.

  • December 19th ~ Christmas Program @ 6:00pm in the Sanctuary
  • December20th ~ Class Party/ Pajama Day, Gift Exchange, Polar Express
  • December 25th & 26th ~ No School

From All of us, we would like to wish you all A Very Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year!

Best Regards,
Sunshine Tinker, Director

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Christmas Joy offering

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Each year our church participates in the Christmas Joy Offering program which is observed Dec 3-24. With Christ at the center this holiday season, we can follow in his example of servant leadership by serving our brothers and sisters in faith. Through the Christmas Joy Offering, we are able to support those in our community and give them the gift of hope.

Funds from the Joy offering help the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions provide critical financial assistance to eligible works in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and their families and to qualifying retired church members and their families.

This fund also supports the education and development of our future leaders at Presbyterian-related racial ethnic schools and colleges. These schools are dedicated to creating opportunities and environments for racial ethnic students built on a foundation of Christian values. The Offering benefits Menaul School and Presbyterian Pan American School, both secondary schools that ready students for higher learning. It also benefits Stillman College, where graduates are prepared for lives of leadership and service.

Christmas Joy Offering envelopes will be available in December church bulletins. If you would like to contribute, please place your donation in the envelope provided and place it in the offering plate. Additional information regarding this wonderful program with be in the December bulletins.

Mickey Gilsdorf, Worship Committee

Categories: Newsletter

In the bleak midwinter

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My favorite Christmas carol is “In the Bleak Midwinter.” The lyrics are by English poet Christina Rossetti and was first published, under the title “A Christmas Carol” in the January 1872 issue of Scribner’s Monthly. The poem first appeared set to music in The English Hymnal in 1906 with a setting by Gustav Holst. Holst is best known as the composer of the tone poem “The Planets.”

Harold Darke’s anthem setting of “In the Bleak Winter” was named the best Christmas carol in a poll of some of the world’s leading choirmasters and choral experts in 2008. Here are the lyrics:

In the bleak mid-winter Frosty wind made moan;

Earth stood hard as iron,

Water like a stone;

Snow had fallen, snow on snow,

Snow on snow,

In the bleak mid-winter Long ago.

Our God, heaven cannot hold Him

Nor earth sustain,

Heaven and earth shall flee away

When He comes to reign:

In the bleak mid-winter

A stable-place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty —

Jesus Christ.

Angels and Archangels

May have gathered there,

Cherubim and seraphim

Thronged the air;

But only His Mother

In her maiden bliss

Worshipped the Beloved

With a kiss.

What can I give Him,

Poor as I am? —

If I were a Shepherd

I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man

I would do my part, —

Yet what I can I give Him, —

Give my heart.

Rossetti opens “In the Bleak Midwinter” with a simple yet powerful description of winter. Her personification of the moaning wind gives the first line a child-like tone. Rossetti pairs up natural elements for straightforward similes: “Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.” The simple couplet rhyme scheme, which continues throughout the poem, gives us the sense that Rossetti is telling a familiar and much beloved tale. The phrase “Long ago” adds to the nursery-tale tone.

Rossetti does not introduce Christ and his human incarnation until after the first stanza. When she finally does, it clearly becomes the focal point of the poem. The second stanza encompasses the core of Christian theology: Christ must be born on earth, live and die as a human, and then be resurrected and return at the end of the Earth. In the midst of this complex theology, Rossetti includes the repetition of her opening line, “In the bleak midwinter,” as if to bring comfort to such mysterious and detached theological doctrine.

In the third verse, Rossetti contrasts the magnificent divine with the humble circumstances of Jesus’ nativity. She borrows the biblical phrases “Angels and archangels” and “cherubim and seraphim,” allowing the internal rhyme sounds to enhance the poem’s melodic meter. She emphasizes the importance of Christ’s humanity through the image of Christ’s mother kissing her baby. In this verse, Rossetti also celebrates the unique value of human love.

In the final stanza, the poet places herself in the poem by wondering what gift she would offer the baby Jesus if given the chance. Her repetition of “If I were” and “what can I give Him” in this stanza add to the child-like earnestness of the poem. In general, Rossetti limits her poetic devices to the song-like aa bb couplet rhyme scheme. However, her restraint speaks volumes about her attitude towards divine mysteries that require a child’s innocent and sincere faith. The final words in the last line suggests the poet’s decisiveness in her desire to give her heart to Jesus.

Categories: Newsletter