First Press Weekly

 January 23, 2020

            Session has met twice this month. Two items received particular attention: stewardship/budget and a self-study in preparation for forming a pastor nominating committee.

             Roger Dana made an announcement last Sunday morning about stewardship/budget and he will make another this week. This Sunday he will use slides to illustrate the information you will be receiving. I’ll leave the presentation of this information to him.

             Stewardship/budget raises the larger issue of how congregation finances are managed. Here’s the story. Kathy Hayes is the moderator of the Finance Committee. The Finance Committee will have four sub-committees: stewardship, endowments, memorials, and budgeting. The Finance Committee’s responsibility is to organize the congregation’s financial picture for the Session. “For the Session” means to fully educate Session because Session carries fiduciary responsibility for congregational finances. In the near future, each member of the Session will be thoroughly informed about church finances and be able to speak with you about finances.


             Session has also formed a self-study committee. Its members are Lois Foster, Andrea Joyner, Cal Schacht, and Roger Dana. They  will be gathering information about the congregation, but one of their most interesting plans is a congregational gathering following worship on Sunday, February 9, 2020, to solicit your understanding about First Presbyterian Church. All you need to do to prepare for this meeting, which should take less than an hour, is a pen or a pencil.


            As you think about this Sunday morning class, I want to mention “What Neuroscience Can Teach Us About Aging,” an interview with Daniel J. Levitin who wrote Successful Aging: A Neuroscientist Explores the Power and Potential of Our Lives.


            Presbytery Assembly of the Presbytery of East Iowa meets this Saturday at 10 am at First Presbyterian Church, Cedar Rapids. I’ve been invited to preach. Worship is the first item on the agenda and I will preach on “Imaginations and Inclinations.” You are invited to come for worship and help bring energy to this gathering of Presbyterians in our part of the state.


             I depart for study leave Monday. I will be attending the annual meeting of the Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators in Little Rock, Arkansas. I was able to attend one of these gatherings a couple of years ago and, let me tell you, educators know how to plan a great educational conference. I return Saturday to preach Sunday.

             I will also take four days away, February 4-7, for vacation to join my sister in Michigan for her birthday, a landmark birthday. Ginny and I will also get to see our niece, nephew, their spouses, and five children. There are teenage triplets included in that number.

             I may be in Arkansas or in Michigan, but my heart will still be in Marion and you will remain in my prayers.

 With gratitude, Terry