Weekly Contact–November 27, 2019

Dear Members and Friends,


“Why did you come to Marion?” is a question I have heard many times. I think another question precedes this one. “Why was I interested in having conversation with the interim pastor search committee?”


The answer is “Internally Nurturing – Externally Serving.” So often information about congregations demonstrate such commitment to being internally nurturing that the serving dimension seems an afterthought, if it is mentioned at all. Internally Nurturing – Externally Serving sounded as parts of a whole, as inseparable.


I’m still new enough not to see the full picture of the life and commitments at First Presbyterian Church, but there are clearly powerful signs of this inseparability.


Dixie Jurgens has served more than 35,000 hours as a volunteer at the University of Iowa Hospital and Clinics crocheting more than 10,000 baby hats for the nursery and more than 19,000 book worm book marks for the children’s library in 40 years of committed service. She has served more than 20,000 hours with St. Luke’s hospital.


Carrie Dancey and her supporting cast of Robert, Spence and Grant, have provided almost ten years of leadership for Operation Christmas Child, a program going back into the 1980s. This year more than 350 boxes of caring supplies (t-shirts, crayons, pencils, pens, erasers, hats, washing kits, sewing kits, note pads, and a toy) were assembled here at First. More than 800,000 boxes will be distributed by this program around the world this year.


You know better than I the vital ministry of food and clothing service through Mission House. Sandy Zalesky’s tour and description of this ministry was inspiring.


I know there are other ministries. Now you know why I wanted to be interviewed to serve as interim pastor.




This Sunday you can sign up to receive cookies from the Cookie Walk Sunday, December 4-8. Forms will be available. If you’re new to First, the Cookie Walk is an opportunity to receive Christmas cookies made by the youth and, at the same time, to make a contribution to the summer youth mission trip.


I will be teaching a class the next two Sundays on the spirituality of children which will be followed by a class on the spirituality of older people. We’ll meet in the Chapel at 10:15.


Remember to have your picture taken for the new directory. It will be an incredible resource for your new pastor.


With gratitude,