"A Sanctuary in the City… Living Faith"

FPC News and Announcements for Week of April 16, 2017


In Our Prayers: Please sign the Deacon notebooks (found in the Narthex and the Lovell Street lobby) as a way of sharing the love of our church family with members.

Letters will be sent this week to
Gary and Pamela Zandt, on the death of Gary’s sister
Sue Doan, on the death of her mother, Dorothy “Dotty” Callander
Tim Tritsch, on continuing health concerns

8:45 a.m. All-Church Breakfast, Dining Room
9:30 a.m. FPC Choir rehearsal, Choir Room
10:00 a.m. Childcare, Rooms 208 and 211
10:30 a.m. Worship in the Sanctuary; Communion served

The deadline for the April 23 Bulletin/Announcements is 10:00 a.m., Tuesday, April 18.


The Men’s Fellowship group will offer their monthly breakfast today, Easter Sunday, starting at 8:45. These breakfasts are an excellent occasion for members of the congregation to gather for a delicious breakfast served by the best breakfast chefs in town! They suggest a $5.00 per-family donation. Proceeds will support Celebrate the Vision.

One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS)
Around the world, millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. Each gift to OGHS helps to improve the lives of people in these challenging situations. The Offering provides us a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need. In fact, OGHS is the single largest way that Presbyterians come together every year during Lent to work for a better world.

In Isaiah 58, God issues a call and a challenge—to love one another more deeply by sharing what we have with those in need. One Great Hour of Sharing is our direct response to the ways in which God has called us to share. You may give by putting your donation in the OGHS envelope and placing in the offering plate, texting OGHS to 20222 to give $10, or go online to presbyterianmission.org/give-oghs.

“Kalamazoo to Jerusalem” – Starts Easter Sunday!!!
We need to collect 3,589 miles to make our imaginary trek from Kalamazoo to Jerusalem. Get your walking shoes, swim suit, bike, cane, or walker ready!!! What kind of exercise counts? EVERYTHING! Swimming, biking, running, walking, strolling, tai chi, yoga, walking the dog, etc. *** 20 minutes of any exercise = one mile!!***

Get your information packet in the Gathering Place, or HERE. Keep track of your exercise and submit your miles weekly by using mileage slips and placing them in the “mileage box” in the Gathering Place, or by using our special email: fpckazootojerusalem@gmail.com.

Questions? Contact Pat Farris patfarris@gmail.com (ph. 350-5307) or Jill Barnum jmbarnum68@gmail.com (ph. 330-5995)

The Elmhurst College (Illinois) Women’s Chorus will present a concert at First Presbyterian Church at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, April 20. The Elmhurst College Women’s Chorus is an auditioned, select ensemble of vocalists from a variety of majors who enjoy singing various styles of choral literature. Please plan to join us in the Sanctuary for this inspiring musical event!

READING ALOUD: April 23, 9:15 a.m.
The Reading Aloud class will resume their meetings on Sunday, April 23, at 9:15 a.m., in Room 300. They will start a new book, Bread of Angels, by Barbara Brown Taylor. It is a collection of homilies shared with members of a church in North Georgia, a church comprised of members, like all churches, who “…have the usual hopes and fears. They want to know God. They are afraid to know God. They try to live right. They get in fights. They make up. They pray together. They are the church.” On April 23, everyone who has ever been to Reading Aloud is
invited to this special class as we remember one of our long-time members, George Gerpheide.

INQUIRERS CLASS: April 23 following Worship
If you are not yet a member of FPC, you are invited to participate in an Inquirers Class on Sunday, April 23, following Worship. A detailed flyer is available at the church entrances. For more information, contact Heather Kortlandt at 352-1451.

On Monday, April 24, at 7:00 p.m. in Room 300, we will discuss Inside the O’Briens, by Lisa Genova. The discussion will be led by Bev Murray. In this novel, Genova does for Huntington’s disease what her novel Still Alice did for Alzheimer’s. Joe O’Brien is a 44-year-old Boston cop who is diagnosed with Huntington’s disease, which is hereditary and incurable. The author effectively dramatizes the challenge of a devastating disease that affects several generations simultaneously and demands searing emotional, logistical, and financial choices. [Publishers Weekly Review] We welcome new participants. For more information, contact Kathy Campbell at (517) 803-0481.

HEALING SERVICE: Sunday, April 30
The Health Ministries Committee invites all in need of healing—physical, emotional, spiritual—to come to a Service of Healing following worship on Sunday, April 30. The half-hour service will be in the East Transept and will begin as soon as the sanctuary is clear and quiet. Scripture, music, prayer, the laying on of hands, and anointing with oil will all be part of the service. Parish Associate Larry Farris will lead the service, and any questions about it may be directed to him farrislw@gmail.com.

Join the Health Ministry Committee on Sunday, May 7, after church, for a class titled “Social Media: what it is, how to use it, and how to stay connected without getting freaked out!”.
(Room 314-15)

The Communications Committee is excited about the launch of a new website for our congregation! We hope it will provide a valuable way for church members and anyone in our community to connect with our congregation’s ministry and mission. Check it out at sanctuaryinthecity.org or kalamazoofirstpres.org. Your observations, comments, and suggestions are always welcome. Please contact Jim Van Buren.


Church School teachers will meet on Sunday, April 23, at 9:30 a.m. in Room 301.


Infants and children up to age 3 are invited to our nursery on the second floor (ML) during Worship.

Church School will NOT meet today, in order to allow children to participate, experience, and enjoy the Easter Celebration with members of the congregation.

The children are taking an offering for “The Shoes that Grow”. So far we have purchased 10 pairs of shoes. We will continue to collect money for these shoes until Pentecost/Children’s Day on June 4.

“Walk to Jerusalem” – The children walked from their classrooms on the 3rd floor, around Bronson Park and back to their classrooms (1/2 mile) last week. These 34 children were able to log 17 miles for the Walk to Jerusalem. Congratulations!

April 23
10:45 a.m.—Church School: our Lesson is “Jesus will always be with us”.

April 30
Earth Day Celebration (featuring Green P’s Bees)
12:00 p.m.—Lunch and demonstration in the Dining Room
1:00 p.m.—CROP Walk (Registration at 1:00; Walk at 2:00)

Bronson Park Churches will host “God’s Garden, God’s City”, a Christian Day-Camp for our community which will include Bible, Art, Prayer, Song, Action, Justice, and Peacemaking. The dates for this Christian Day-Camp are June 26 – 30 from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Children ages 4–12 years old are invited to participate. We will meet at First Congregational Church at 345 W. Michigan Avenue.

On April 23 the youth group will meet in the morning at Westminster Presbyterian Church for Worship, with lunch and activities to follow. The church service starts at 9:30 a.m., so please be there by 9:15 so we can all sit together. Please let Rob know if you have any questions.

MISSION AND MOVIES: Local Urban Mission Trip Experience
(June 19 – 22)
Students in middle and high school are invited to spend four days exploring local, urban poverty. Through our volunteering at the Gospel Mission, Ministry with Community, Kalamazoo Deacons Conference, and Loaves & Fishes, we will learn about resources that are available to the marginalized of our community. After lunch we will view movies that deal with systemic poverty and God’s command to love our neighbor as ourselves. On Wednesday afternoon, the students will prepare and serve dinner for our Celebrate the Vision guests. This Mission Trip/Experience is limited to 12 students. The cost is $50.00 for the week (scholarships are available). We will meet from 9:00–3:00 (Mon/Tues/Thur) and 9:00–6:00 (Wed).


Thursday Women’s Bible Study will meet from 9:30–11:00 a.m. in Room 301 on April 20. We will begin a new study based on the book, James: Mercy Triumphs, by Beth Moore. This study includes eight video sessions plus an in-depth Bible study on the Book of James. Participants may approach this study by (1) watching the video sessions only, (2) watching the video session and doing homework each week, or (3) watching the video sessions, doing the homework, and writing out the entire Book of James. Pat Stromsta will facilitate this class. Childcare will be provided in Room 306.

We will participate in the same study as the Thursday Morning Women’s Bible Study beginning Wednesday, April 26, at 6:30 p.m. in Room 208. The class will decide at that time if it would like to meet once a month or every other week.


The arrival of the joyful celebration of Easter, as well as the appearance of those little green leaves and crocuses, tell us that the annual miracle of spring renewal is here. The last week of April is designated as “International Earth Week”, and the Green P’s Committee would like to invite you to participate in several related special events at FPC or nearby:

Saturday, April 22
Earth Day Fair in Bronson Park, 3:00 – 8:00 p.m., sponsored by the City of Kalamazoo Parks and Recreation Department, with exhibits, activities for folks of all ages, food, and live music.

Sunday, April 23
Earth Sunday at FPC with a special worship service and informative exhibits prepared by the Green P’s showing how we at FPC can and do contribute to the Care of God’s earth.

Sunday, April 30
A lunch, open to all, with a short family-oriented program about “Our Friends, the Bees”, with beekeepers, a short film, and a demonstration of a bee house you can build for an especially friendly kind of native bee.

Celebrate the Vision is a ministry of Faith, Friendship, and Food. At 5:15, members of our Hospitality Committee welcome guests into our church at the Lovell Street entrance. Guests sign in, receive a name tag, and then join other guests and volunteers in the Dining Room. Devotions are offered before a home-cooked dinner is served. We will not be offering the usual meditation service following the meal until after Easter, because the Celebrate the Vision leadership team is participating in the “Racial Healing and Transformation Series” presented by the Society for History and Racial Equity (SHARE) on Wednesday evenings.

NOTE: There will be a CtV volunteers meeting on Wednesday, April 19, at 6:30 p.m. in the Youth Room.

ISAAC BANQUET: May 6 (RSVP by April 24)
“Unity and Persistence” is the theme of this year’s ISAAC banquet on Saturday, May 6, at the WMU Bernhard Center. The Keynote speaker will be Dr. Ruben Martínez, a nationally known scholar from MSU, whose research includes institutional and societal change, youth development, and education and ethnic minorities. Leadership awards will go to the Northside Ministerial Alliance, the Hispanic American Council, the Reverend Robert Rasmussen, and Venessa Collins-Smith, co-chair of the ISAAC Youth Violence Prevention Task Force.

Seating begins at 5:30 for the program and pasta buffet. Tickets are available for $40.00 per person or $280.00 per table of eight by April 24 from Pat Stromsta (pat.stromsta@kalamazoofirstpres.org) or isaackalamazoo.org. FPC already has reservations for three tables. There is a signup sheet outside of Pat’s office (#206).

ISAAC (Interfaith Strategy for Advocacy & Action in the Community) is an interfaith organizing network of congregations and strategic partners working together to create an equitable community in Kalamazoo County. Current task forces are Anti-Racism, Early Childhood & Education, and Youth Violence Prevention. FPC is a member of ISAAC.


“End Hunger One Step at a Time”!! Fighting hunger is the goal of the CROP Hunger Walk sponsored by Church World Service (CWS). CWS provides communities with emergency food help when situations are desperate. Disasters and calamities are inevitable. Immediate assistance with resources such as potable water, food, shelter, and CWS kits and blankets, is provided for vulnerable communities in need.

25% of the funds raised is kept locally. Please consider walking (and you can report your miles to the Health Ministry for the “Walk to Jerusalem”!). Come to the Gathering Place before or after Worship to pick up a donation packet to collect donations from friends, family, neighbors, etc. If you raise at least $100, an additional $10 will be given by generous donors. If you raise $150 you will be given a CROP Hunger Walk pin. Each person who raises $199 or more will receive a free t-shirt or hat. Pets on a leash are welcome!!! If you are unable to walk on April 30, please consider making a donation to this worthwhile cause!!

This year we’ve made things easier! There is only one donation envelope per walker. Set your personal/team goal; collect all donations prior to the walk; and turn in your donation envelope on walk day. Go green! Raise donations and register online to save paper and time. Visit: www.crophungerwalk.org/kalamazoomi to get started.


~ Easter Flowers list
~ One Great Hour of Sharing envelope

April 9: 292 worshipers, 22 guests were in attendance

April 2: $12.50
April 9: $33.50

The deadline for the April 23 Bulletin and Announcements is 10:00 a.m. on Tuesday, April 18.

The deadline for articles for the May-June Presbyter is Monday, April 17.

The publishing schedule for the Presbyter is now six times per year, in bi-monthly editions. The next deadline is June 19 for the July-August issue.

Many of our members receive the Presbyter newsletter via e-mail only, in order to help the church conserve paper and other resources. If you would like to have your name removed from the USPS mailing, contact Ann Johnson at ann.johnson@kalamazoofirstpres.org or 344-0119. The Presbyter is also available for viewing on the FPC website.


Sunday, April 16—EASTER
8:45a All-Church Breakfast, Dining Room
9:00a [no Lectionary Study today]
9:15a [no Reading Aloud until April 23]
9:30a [Church School teachers’ meeting rescheduled for April 23]
9:30a FPC Choir rehearsal, Choir Room
10:00a Childcare, Rooms 208 and 211
10:30a Worship in the Sanctuary; Communion served
10:45a [no Church School today]
5:00p [no Youth Group until April 23]

Monday, April 17
Deadline for Presbyter articles
12:00p AA Group, Room 314-315
1:30p Hearts-to-Hands Needleworkers, Room 300
5:30p Personnel Committee, Library
6:00p Health Ministry Committee, Archives
6:00p Boy Scouts, Dining Room
7:00p Kalamazoo Singers, Gathering Place
7:30p ISAAC Choir rehearsal, Church Lounge

Tuesday, April 18
7:00a Men’s Fellowship, Room 207
10:00a Bulletin/Announcements deadline
10:00a FPC Archivists, Archives Room
10:30a Coalition for Common Ground meeting, Library
1:15p Weekly Staff Meeting, Library
6:00p Kalamazoo Pipe Band, L. Level
7:00p Worship and Music Committee, Library

Wednesday, April 19
12:00p Communications Committee, Archives
1:00p FPC Librarian on site, Library
4:00p Food Addicts, Room 314-315
4:30p DCLC, Room 316
5:30p Celebrate the Vision: dinner
6:15p Celebrate the Vision: worship

Thursday, April 20
9:30a Women’s Bible Study, Room 301
11:00a FPC Librarian on site
11:00a DCLC, Upper Level
12:00p AA Group, Room 315
7:30p Elmhurst College Women’s Choir Concert, Sanctuary
7:00p (no FPC Choir rehearsal)

Friday, April 21
[no FPC activities scheduled today]

Saturday, April 22
9:00a ISAAC leadership training, Dining Room
10:00a AA Women’s Group, Room 315

Sunday, April 23
9:00a Lectionary Study, Room 302
9:15a Reading Aloud, Room 300
9:30a Church School teachers’ meeting, Upper Level
9:30a FPC Choir rehearsal, Choir Room
10:00a Childcare, Rooms 208 and 211
10:30a Worship in the Sanctuary
10:45a Church School
12:00p Inquirers’ Class, Room 314-315
3:00p Kalamazoo Children’s Chorus Concert, Sanctuary
5:00p Youth Group, (Westminster Presbyterian Church)


Sunday Worship: 10:30 a.m. (unless noted otherwise)

April 23
Second Sunday of Easter
The Reverend Liz Candido
Ezekiel 37:1-10; Genesis 1:20-31

April 30
Third Sunday of Easter
The Reverend Dr. Seth Weeldreyer
Acts 2:14, 36-42; Luke 24:13-35

May 7
Fourth Sunday of Easter
The Reverend Dr. Seth Weeldreyer
Acts 2:42-47; John 10:1-10

May 14
Fourth Sunday of Easter
The Reverend Larry Farris