Presbytidings – January 2019
The Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church
216 West Third Street, Wayne, Nebraska 68787
(402) 375-2669 + www.fpcwayne.org
“Our chief end is to glorify and enjoy God forever.”
From the Pastor….
The Church’s DNA[*]
People who know my mother and I say we look a lot alike, my brother has my father’s receding hairline, my niece favors her mother, my sister. Family resemblances are often a clue to family lineage.
Traits shared by parents and children; such as hair and eye color, build, height or personality traits are all encoded in our DNA.[†] DNA is short for deoxyribonucleic acid, which is the “blueprint” for every living thing, the fundamental building blocks for an individual’s entire genetic makeup. Except for identical twins, each person’s DNA is a unique, individualized genetic code.
I read recently that the last couple of years DNA discovery kits, such as 23 and Me have been very popular. The DNA submitted by an individual gives important genetic markers about one’s ancestry which helps in genealogy and tracing long lost family it can also point to a predisposition for certain diseases such as cancer. DNA is often used in law enforcement, as well as to establish parentage.
As Christians we trace our family tree back to Jesus and the disciples, we can go back even farther in the family tree by looking at – Hebrews 11, where we read the names of many of the faithful; Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Sampson, David. There were so many more people that God used even in their doubt and imperfection. It is spiritual DNA which links us to our spiritual ancestors, who have passed traditions, rituals and beliefs on to us. We are charged with keeping the bloodline going, passing the faith and its practices on through the church, the body of Christ, the family of God.
The Greek word for church is ecclesia- which means congregation, assembly or gathering not the building but the people. The church replicates in many different forms; store front churches, house churches, mega churches, traditional churches, coffee house churches, they are similar but not identical.
In God’s wisdom the body of Christ, the church in Wayne, Nebraska is different than a church in New York City or Taos, New Mexico, each one adapted to its particulate culture and climate, each has their own ways to worship and praise God. The DNA of faith was carried forward in this place by the foresight and vision of the charter members of this church who established a house of worship to see God’s Word was proclaimed and taught. There has been a cloud of witness’s faithfully perpetuating the faith and mission of Jesus Christ in Wayne since 1885.
Despite variances in form, churches can be identified by certain “family” characteristics as Christian. Some of the traits, the DNA of Christianity, which informs how Presbyterians worship, and connects the body of Christ through the ages include the authority of Scripture, the Word rightly preached and the administration of the sacraments of baptism and communion and nurturing a covenant community of disciples(F-1.0303 Book of Order). Presbyterians believe that we worship and serve God best when ordered according the Word of God, and by reason and sound judgment, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. The sacraments of baptism and communion as described in Scripture and our Book of Order, are a part of our spiritual DNA which connect us and nurtures a covenant community of disciples. In addition, other genetic markers that identify us as Christians and link us to the 1st century church include prayers and liturgies such as The Lord’s Prayer, the Glory Patria, the Apostles’ Creed and the Nicene Creed.
Just as parents pass on certain traits and characteristics to their children there is DNA unique to each denomination – Congregational, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Catholic or Presbyterian. Our worship styles vary as do our forms of government, but we hold in common the Triune God, the three in one, the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the power of the Holy Spirit. We are all siblings in the faith, we are alike, but not the same.
The churches the Apostle Paul established are no longer, but others have emerged to advance the blood line of the church. All mainline denominations find themselves trying to adapt to a culture that has radically changed in the last 50 years, from a society where Christianity was predominant to one where the faith is marginalized, not by force or government, but rather by a population indifferent to a relationship with Jesus Christ and in many cases people skeptical of organized religious institutions. We have changed from a society that knew the stories of the Bible, to a generation which has little or no knowledge of the stories of the Bible, of leaders like Moses, King David, Peter and Paul, the faithfulness of Ruth, the bravery of Queen Esther and how God used them in spite of each of their flaws for God’s purpose and will.
Jesus Christ challenges us to go into the world and make disciples, to share our unique DNA, to teach and prepare the next generation. How do we make disciples in the 21st century in this climate of indifference and skepticism? We continue to proclaim God’s truth but find new ways to share it. We continue to proclaim Jesus Christ but change how that proclamation is made from only worship on Sunday to using social media such as Facebook or via a church web page. Mission projects might be right next door or downstairs rather than miles away. Sharing our faith may take place outside the walls of the building in conversations and discussions. Bible study may incorporate the use of media such as power points or videos.
Change is a part of life, if an organism is to live it must change, grow and even sometimes adapt to its environment in order to survive. The same is true in the church, the way we operated 40 years ago is no longer attractive to today’s society. We can adapt and change that doesn’t mean we change the message of God’s love and grace; just the delivery. Change and adaptation to new things isn’t easy, but it is a sign of growth, a sign of looking to the future preparing for those we haven’t yet met. Even in the midst of change and adaptation it’s not the practices; worship, the programs or projects, it is the people that are the lifeblood of any faith community, each of you is a part of the DNA of this church, this body of believers. The testimony of your lives is the best expression of God’s love to the world.
We are interconnected and intertwined, to the past, to the present, and to what the future mission of God will be for FPC as well as the larger body of Christ. The decisions and actions, or failure to act, will have an impact on this congregation. The church of the future will not look like the church of even 20 years ago but by keeping Christ at the center, and telling how Christ has made a difference in our lives people will see the family resemblance, the face of Christ in each of ours. May God’s mission and family continue to grow through FPC Wayne and the larger body of Christ.
Grace and peace,
STRAW FOR THE MANGER
During Advent the members of FPC were encouraged to prepare the manger for the baby Jesus by doing acts of kindness or service. For each act of kindness or service members were encouraged to write their “gift” on a paper straw and add it to the manger. Our manger was empty at the beginning of Advent and by Christmas Eve was filled up nicely with gifts of kindness, hospitality and service to Christ.
In acts of kindness and service to those we know well and those who are strangers we fulfill the intent Jesus spoke of in Matthew 25:35-36; “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.”
The variety of activities and gifts were broad and ranged from gifts of service, gifts of time, gifts of hospitality as well as physical gifts. Here are some of the “gifts” the FPC members offered during Advent, some of these gifts were shared more than once.
Gifts of time and talents included;
- Making cookies for home bound folks, neighbors or friends and delivering them. Remembering teachers, roommates and friends with gifts.
- Helping at church preparing for services.
- Providing a ride for students or friends, to take them to church, allow them to do errands.
- Volunteering; Ringing bells for the Salvation Army, working at the Food Pantry, Food Truck, Coat Closet; picking up coats and or working in the Coat Closet. Meeting with Teammate Student
- Shoveled snow.
- Picked up mail or packages for someone while they were out of town and sorted and delivered mail for a friend.
- Shared donuts and hot chocolate with students.
- Gift of listening; visiting in hospital/ care facility, with a senior citizen and with a local businessperson.
- Helping people with doors, stairs etc.
- Recording radio announcement for backpack program.
Physical gifts of various kinds included donations to the Food Pantry, groceries to the Senior Center, Gifts for Kids program and Tree of Love (Secret Santa type of thing for youth and senior citizens.)
- Donated to the American Bible Society
- Brought items for the Coat Closet
- Bought dinner for a friend
- Gave a “flock of Chickens to someone” for Christmas.
Gifts of Hospitality
- Showing home to previous owners
- Christmas cards mailed with greetings and love and best wishes
- Sitting with a friend and their family in their last hours of life.
- Let someone know of lost money
- Offering grief support
What a difference these actions have made in the lives of others in just a month, the gifts bless those who receive them as well as those who gave them. Each kindness or service we offer is like a stone thrown in the pond which produces many ripples after the initial contact. The congregation is encouraged to continue to reach out beyond the walls of the church to embody the love and grace of Jesus Christ in their actions towards family, neighbors and friends as well as strangers. The world can be changed, we can be changed through intentional acts of kindness and service. In 2020 let’s continue changing the world.
FAITH DOLLARS AT WORK
The FPC Presbyterian Women put their “Faith Dollars” into action during Advent as they selected 4 tags from the Gifts for Kids tree at Bomgaars and made Christmas a little happier for a 4 year old girl, a 7 month old boy, a 6 year old boy and a 16 year old girl. Thank-you to the Presbyterian Women and the many others in the congregation who contribute “Faith Dollars.” The PW generally selects special projects in the local area or local groups such as Haven House to receive “Faith Dollar” gifts. Thanks to all for helping add more “straw to the manger”.
LOVE CARVED IN STONE BIBLE STUDY
Our latest Bible study will be meeting on January 8th at 2:00p.m. in Fellowship Hall. All are welcome. Regular meetings are the 2nd Monday of the month- January to May.
PW will meet Wednesday, January 8th at 3:00pm. Regular meetings are the 2nd Monday of the month- January to May.
SEWING SOULS will meet on January 22nd at 2:00 p.m. in Fellowship Hall.
January Communion will be held on Sunday, January 12, 2020. Jean Griess will be the Communion Elder.
DOWNING OF THE BROWNS
Many hands light work! Please stay after fellowship on Sunday, January 12th to take down the Christmas décor and put it away. Thank you.
The Deacons will meet Tuesday, January 21, 2020 at 3:30 pm in Fellowship Hall.
ALL-CHURCH GAME NIGHT!
Our FPC Youth will be hosting a game night for people of all ages in Fellowship Hall on Wednesday, January 22nd beginning at 7:00pm. Bring a friend, some snacks to share and enjoy a night out!
The Session will meet on January 25th for elder training and planning for 2020. The retreat will be from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. and include refreshments in the morning and lunch around 12:30 p.m. All active Session members should plan to attend as we will be planning for Communion, monthly devotions, organizing Session teams as well as planning for events during the upcoming year.
SESSION & DEACON TEAM REPORTS DUE
2018 Session members & Deacons are reminded to compile a summary report for your area which will need to be sent to the office by Saturday, January 18th.
FPC ANNUAL MEETING
Our annual congregational meeting will be after worship on Sunday, January 26th. If you are responsible for a particular ministry (e.g., music, nominating, church school, property), please submit a brief report to the church office (email@example.com) by Saturday, 1/18.
JOHN FUELBERTH RECOGNITION
It’s with mixed emotions and sincere gratitude for his service that we are announcing the retirement of FPC treasurer, John Fuelberth. Please join us in Fellowship Hall on Sunday, January 26, 2020 after our Annual meeting for coffee and cake to celebrate John’s retirement.
2nd ANNUAL FPC ‘GET YOUR CAN TO CHURCH’ SUNDAY!
Sunday, February 2, 2020 is a special collection for the Wayne Food pantry. Around the country churches and groups will be celebrating Souper Bowl Sunday by making donations to local food pantries or having food collection drives. An item that is included in boxes for the Wayne Food Pantry patrons is canned soup, it is as item that always seems in short supply. ‘Get Your Can to Church’ encourages FPC members to vote for the winner of the winner of the Super Bowl by bringing canned soup or cash to donate to the Wayne Food Pantry. The winner in our competition will be the team with the most cans and cash. Join in the fun on Super Bowl Sunday and help the Food Pantry with your donation.
WAYNE FOOD PANTRY
The numbers continue to rise at the Wayne Food Pantry. We had over 300 visits to the Food Pantry in 2019 and distributed over approximately 4,000 backpacks to the Wayne Community Schools. Our PB&J drive brought in 110 jars of peanut butter and 63 jellies. We are so thankful for the many donations that were made.
WAYNE COAT CLOSET
This past year we distributed nearly 300 coats to individuals & families in need. We also distributed more than 250 miscellaneous items such as snow pants, boots, hats & gloves.
CHURCH DIRECTORY UPDATE
Please check the FPC Church Directory proof on the Opportunity Table for any corrections or updates to your listing. A new edition will be available later this month.
WE ARE GRATEFUL
- I thank-you for the wonderful gift from the congregation, your generosity is deeply appreciated. Thank-you to each one who sent a card or remembered me in other ways. The gifts I treasure most however are the gifts of friendship, your support and encouragement as we work together. I give thanks for the ministry we have to share the good news of Jesus Christ. Grace and peace to each of you, Pastor Teresa
- Thank you for your generosity this Christmas season. I am grateful for your gifts and support. Jenny
THANK YOU TO CAROLERS
We had a group of about 15 Carolers on December 18th who visited Brookdale, Wayne Country View Care and the Wayne Hospital. After we completed our tour of town, we enjoyed soup, sandwiches and an assortment of desserts back at church. Thank-you to all who caroled and contributed to an excellent meal afterwards. Thanks to Jim Curtiss for organizing the event.
THANK-YOU PRESBYTERIAN PEALERS
If you missed worship on December 22nd you missed hearing the Presbyterian Pealers share their talents. The gathered congregation enjoyed many seasonal favorites during the service. The Presbyterian Pealers also participated with other Wayne Bell Choirs in Ring Around Wayne on December 1st. It was a terrible day but a wonderful concert. The Pealers represented FPC well. Please thank all the members of the choir for their dedication and especially director Jay O’Leary.
Thank you to all who provided poinsettias for Christmas Worship. They were a beautiful addition.
- John & Anita Fuelberth in memory of Elmer & Faye Peck, Dutch & Marj Fuelberth
- Phil & Jean Griess in memory of Harold & Elena Wagner, Wilmer & Elizabeth Griess
- The Hammer Family in memory of Willis Hammer & his grandparents
- Jane & Jay O’Leary in memory of Jay D. O’Leary and Jed O’Leary
- Milton & Jackie Owens in memory of Mr. & Mrs. John Owens, Mr. & Mrs. John Gesiriech
- First Presbyterian Church in memory of members & friends who have passed away in 2019: Jack Beeson, Eunice Creamer, JoAnn Owens & Jim Heins
- The Pulfer Family
ADVENT CANDLE LIGHTERS
Thank-you to all who assisted in worship with the lighting of the Advent Candles
December 1st – The Hammer Family
December 8th – The Peitz Family
December 15th – The Peitz Family
December 22nd – The Urbanec Family
December 24th – The Ras Family
SALVATION ARMY BELL RINGERS
Several members of the congregation assisted the local Salvation Army Extension Unit by ringing bells December 7th. Thanks to Ken and Jodi Pulfer and Pastor Teresa.
LOOKING FORWARD TO 2020
January 12th Communion will be celebrated with Jean Griess as Communion Elder.
January 18th 2019 Session Team Member reports due.
January 19th Pastor leads Wayne Country View Care Chapel at 1:30pm
January 22nd Multi-generational youth-led Game night at 7:00pm
January 25th Session Retreat – 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
January 26th Congregational Meeting – afterward FPC Treasurer John Fuelberth retirement coffee
January 29th Brookdale Chapel at 3:30pm
Lector/Greeter Schedule for January 2020
||Jean Griess, Kent Pulfer
||Kent & Jodi Pulfer
||Milton & Jackie Owens
||Jim & Shari Paige
January 2020 – First Presbyterian Church
|Each Sunday Morning:
o Handbell Choir 8:45am
o Worship 10:00am
o Fellowship 11:00am
Pastor on vacation
New Year’s Day!
Pastor on vacation
Pastor on vacation
Pastor on vacation
Pastor on vacation
Guest Speaker: Dave Fritz
9:30am Wayne Co. Family Coalition
6:30pm Scout Den Meeting
FCCLA packing backpacks
Downing of the Greens after fellowship
6:30pm Scout Den Meeting
Girl Scouts Parents Mtg.
2019 Session Team Reports due
Wayne CountryView Care Chapel
All-church Game Night
Session Leadership Retreat
Annual Congregational Meeting – Fuelberth retirement coffee
(Would you like to see your birthday listed here?
Just contact the church office 402-375-2669 or firstname.lastname@example.org)
2 Larry H.
5 Terry B.
9 Jenny H.
10 Emily A.
11 Joyce V.
20 Kent P.
27 Jim P.
28 Jackie O.
31 Elaine F., Shannon P.
First Presbyterian Church
216 W. Third Street
Wayne NE 68787
FPC Office & Wayne Food Pantry:
Tuesday – Friday, 9am – 12 noon
Wayne Food Pantry: https://fpcwayne.com/food-pantry/
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First Presbyterian Church – Wayne, Nebraska
Wayne Food Pantry – Wayne, Nebraska
Wayne Coat Closet – First Presbyterian Church
Pastor Teresa Bartlett
[*] From an article in Presbyterian Outlook by Rev. Christine Chakoian pastor of First Church in Lake Forest, IL.