Maundy Thursday/Good Friday/Easter Sunday 2021
Remembering with Courage
“I have spoken these things to you while I am with you. The Companion, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I told you. “Peace I leave with you. My peace I give you. I give to you not as the world gives. Don’t be troubled or afraid.” – John 14:25-27 

The older I get the more I catch myself saying, “Do you remember when …?” As the passion of Holy Week unfolds, I find myself wondering if the disciples were saying that too.

For example, as they gathered in Bethphage and started the palm procession into Jerusalem, I wonder if they had butterflies in their stomachs, saying “Remember when we were simply listening to a rabbi in Galilee?” Or when they entered the temple looking around, did they think, “Remember when we were only fishermen in Galilee?”

Did Judas whisper at the table of the Last Supper, “Do you remember when our mission was only to serve the poor, not disrupt the Temple worship?” Did Mary stand at the foot of the cross weeping and saying, “Do you remember when I held you as my only child?” When Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women walked to the tomb on Easter morning, preparing to anoint Jesus’ body, did they say, “Do you remember when the mere touch of Jesus could heal so many people?” As the disciples huddled in fear after resurrection, did they say, “Do you remember when Jesus used to eat with us and encourage us?”

As I read the Bible I find people remembering back with longing. The people of Israel even longed for the days of slavery in Egypt when wandering wild in Sinai! But God is never finished with us. Nor does God ever allow us to go back in time – even when we feel shattered by tragic events.

However, Jesus never abandons us. The risen Christ appeared in room of disciples that was locked in fear. He breathed into them a gift of the Holy Spirit who would be the comforter and constant counselor for every challenge they faced. In the same way, Jesus is a resurrected pioneer of life who is ahead of us for every new challenge. We all do remember life before the pandemic, and we know there will be change ahead of us. But Jesus will always be with us to lead us with confidence in resurrection faith.

Pastor Brian Paulson
Maundy Thursday Worship on Zoom
On Thursday, April 1 at 7:30 p.m., we will gather as one community on Zoom to share in the most sacred meal in our Christian faith. The service will include music, scripture, liturgy, prayer, and communion. Throughout the service, we’ll occasionally break into smaller groups for a few minutes for fellowship, conversation, prayer, and sharing the bread and cup.

You are welcome to use anything you have on hand as an approximation of the bread (e.g. bread, cracker, cereal, rice cake, etc) and the cup (e.g. wine, juice, water, tea, etc). If you have the time and interest,we encourage you to bake your own fresh bread just for this occasion. You can use any recipe you like, but Rev. Ryan Wallace offers a suggested recipe below.

Finally, while you're welcome to participate in this Zoom from anyplace, if possible we encourage you to participate from the table in your home where you eat most of your meals.

The Zoom link is posted in the emailed version of this newsletter and will be provided in our private Facebook group. If you're having trouble accessing it, please email
Good Friday Worship on YouTube
Join us for our online at 7:30 p.m for Good Friday worship on YouTube. This will be a traditional candlelight Tenebrae service led by the Rev. Amy Heinrich. The word “Tenebrae” is Latin for shadows. This service is a dramatic re-enactment of Jesus’ passion on the cross that leads us into complete darkness until Easter dawn.
Easter Sunday Worship Online
Join us at 10 a.m. on Easter Sunday for online worship. The Rev. Dr. Brian R. Paulson is preaching. Our online worship premieres on YouTube at 10 a.m. and will be available for on demand viewing once the premiere is complete.
Worship in our Sanctuary
We invite you to join us for Easter worship at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. in our Sanctuary. Registration is required. We can have up to 100 people in our Sanctuary and we are taking precautions to make sure that everyone is masked and socially-distanced.

Registration for our in person Easter Sunday worship services will close at 11:59 p.m. on Saturday, April 3. We will accept walk-in registrations on Sunday morning, as long as we haven't reached our 100 person maximum.

*Registration for Sunday, April 11 will open following the 11 a.m. Easter service.
Ecumenical Sunrise Worship
The Drive-in Ecumenical Easter Sunrise Service begins at 6 a.m. in the parking lot at Holy Cross Lutheran Church. The parking lot opens at 5:30 a.m. and they are recommending you allow ample time for parking. Restrooms are available for emergency use. Masks are required if you exit your vehicle. The radio frequency for the service is FM 87.9.
Acts: Catching Up With the Spirit
In the season between Easter and Pentecost, we focus on how God's Spirit is working in and through the Church. That's why we're rolling out a 6-week small group series on the Book of Acts that will be starting shortly after Easter.

Join other adults from First Pres (and our other FIDE partner churches) in exploring what Acts can teach us about how the Holy Spirit worked through the earliest Christians, and how the Spirit is still inspiring us today. All sessions will be held on Zoom.
You will be enriched in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in thanksgiving to God. - 2 Cor 9:11
Your Giving Matters
Is there someone or something for which you are grateful that has made a difference in your life? Why not take a moment to let that person know? Giving of your time by expressing your gratitude just may make a difference in someone else's day, even someone else's life!  
We are grateful for all the ways the members of our church family continue to support the mission and ministry of First Pres and encourage you to give in the way that works best for you:
Online giving through Realm, both ACH and credit cards*
  • Checks and cash
  • Donor Advised funds
  • Gifts of appreciated stock
Your financial support enables First Pres to provide services and ministries that feed our community in mind, body, and spirit! Thank you for your gifts! Contact Cynthia Churchwell in the Business Office at with questions about your giving or your giving method.
*Donations to assist with credit card processing fees are welcome.
Children & Parents: Holy Saturday Scavenger Hunt
Parents and children are invited to our Holy Saturday (April 3) "Lost & Found" Scavenger Hunt! Families will stop by the church between 10-10:30 a.m. that morning to pick up their clues.

As a family, you'll drive around Libertyville solving clues and searching for your next destination. The scavenger hunt should take you about an hour in the car, and then you'll return back to the church for a souvenir. You should wrap up between 12-12:30 p.m. depending upon when you start your scavenger hunt. *Please bring a Bible for your scavenger hunt clues (or just use your phone to look up Bible passages).
Sunday School: Faith at Home Together
Each week, we're providing a short, simple, interactive lesson that will help you engage your kids in meaningful conversations and activities that connect to our faith. The links are posted in our Facebook group and sent to families via email. Contact Mrs. Boyce to sign up.

Gather Round
Calling all Kindergartners - 3rd graders (or anyone who likes a good story). Mrs. Boyce will be reading bedtime stories on Wednesdays at 7 p.m. Sign up for the Children and Family Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.

Tunes & Tales
Join us Thursdays at 9 a.m. for Tunes & Tales. This program is appropriate for young children between the ages of 3 and 5. Older children are welcome as well. Sign up for the Children & Family Newsletter to receive the Zoom links.
PADS Food Collection
PADS Lake County is collecting non-perishable food items that can be distributed to clients on a weekly basis.

Examples of items that are needed include: Peanut butter, Easy Mac, oatmeal packets, microwavable meals, canned chicken/tuna, Chef Boyardee (pop top cans), soup (pop top cans), granola Bars, and $5-$10 fast food gift cards.

Please bring your donations to the First Pres sanctuary doors on Douglas Ave. on Tuesday afternoons between 3-5 p.m. Email to let the volunteers know you are coming.
Volunteers needed
Love INC --"Love In the Name of Christ" - is a Lake County non-profit organization whose mission is to mobilize local churches to transform lives and communities.The church has made a commitment to continue this ministry on the fourth Saturday of each month. Can you help?

On Saturday, April 24 , we need four volunteers to help move furniture and other household items from their Gurnee warehouse to the residence of a Lake County neighbor in need of a fresh start.

Parents are welcome to bring their school age children who are able to help carry light items. You do not need to be a member of FPC to get involved.

Here's the link to sign up for April 24 or any future dates that you are available:
Coming Soon: Inquirers Class
We welcomed nine new members to the church in March and we've had several people ask when we're holding our next Inquirers Class. So, if you’re thinking about becoming a member of First Pres or just want to learn more about our church, please fill out the interest form below and we’ll work on putting together a late spring or early summer class.

Our Inquirers Classes are a great way to meet new people, learn more about our church, and explore about what it means to be a Presbyterian.
Libertyville Senior Center
The Libertyville Senior Center offers a number of programs and services for seniors in our community. You may access their monthly newsletter by clicking the blue button below.
How to contact a pastor or staff member
Phone: Call 847-362-2174 and leave a message. Your call will be returned between 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

Email: (emails go to a member of the administrative team and will be forwarded to the appropriate person).

Pastoral Emergencies: Please call 847-367-6460 if you are church member and need to reach a pastor in an emergency. Leave a message and a pastor will return your call as soon as they are able.