Worship Service
10:00 a.m.
September Newsletter Deadline:
August 26th
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Or find up close versions of our sermons later on our Website.
From the Pastor's Desk
August is here! Not sure how that happened... It seems like January was just a few days ago. Every time I have to give a date for something, I find myself almost saying March... My brain just can't seem to believe that the new school year (and program year) are about to begin!

Every new year brings the wonderful sense of anticipation. That desire to see our world come back to life again for the fall season. The marvel of watching our children excitedly delve into new spheres of learning and knowledge. And, of course, the compulsion to create bouquets of freshly sharpened pencils.

If you cannot tell, this is my favorite time of year. We know that fall breezes, autumn colors, and bonfires are not far behind. And yes, part of it is the fun of the sports and holidays and cooler weather. Yet, there is a large part of me that loves this time of year for another, much more simple reason: I love learning.

Instilled in me from a very young age by my mother, seeking knowledge of everything and anything that I can has always been one of the great loves of my life. It was a great love of hers, as well. And, once I became a Presbyterian as a teenager, I realized that we were not alone in that love.

For Presbyterians, learning is essential. Teaching the many facets of life including the sciences and math, the dimensions of the family of faith and our holy book, learning more about other people of faith, growing in our understanding of world history (and yes, I do mean the whole world), studying languages and literature, training at the feet of the many great masters of a vast array of fields who have gone before us - these are all part of what makes us better humans and therefore better people of faith. Over these many centuries our mothers and fathers have realized the necessity of education, and excellent education whenever possible.

This is why we will take Sunday, August 21 and spend the day blessing our children, our adults, our families, and our community as we enter into a new school year. We will gather symbols of learning and teaching, of science and literature, of art and music, and all the varied ways we grow in knowledge around and upon our Communion Table that we might celebrate God's great gift of education even as we pray that God will grant that ever fuller wisdom, energy, imagination, intelligence, and love will be with all who are involved in learning this coming year.

For our adults, I will encourage you with the wisdom that my mother passed on to me: you are never too old to learn something new. Grab a new book. Join one of our classes a bit later this Fall. Or, if you really want to study something fun, do what my mom used to and ask the younglings about what they're up to. You will not be disappointed.

Blessings, Pastor Janie
Together In Worship
Ordination & Installation Sunday
On Sunday, August 14, we will Ordain and Install our new and returning Ruling Elders and Deacons during our morning worship service. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!
Holy Communion
This month we will celebrate the Lord's Supper on Sunday, August 14 as we also celebrate the Ordination and Installation of our new officers.
Did you know?
Ordination is not a Sacrament in the Presbyterian Church. Unlike our Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox brethren, we believe that when we pray over people to ordain them, we are blessing them and asking God to set them aside for a special purpose. Nevertheless, we do have elders lay hands on those who are being ordained and installed, for we believe that there is continuity all the way back to the original apostles.

In the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) there are three offices to which you can be ordained: Minister of Word & Sacrament (or Teaching Elder), Ruling Elder, and Deacon. There is not meant to be any hierarchy between the three. Rather, they are all meant to serve God's purposes in different ways.

Our Ministers of Word & Sacrament, usually just called Pastors, are the ones who have to go to seminary, learn the Biblical languages (Greek and Hebrew), meet with committees, pass written and oral examinations, and are hired professionally by the Church to ensure that teaching, leadership, and pastoral needs are met.

Our Ruling Elders are chosen by individual congregations as persons of wisdom and good character (not of extensive age) to lead the body through the day-to-day. With installed Teaching Elders (Pastors who are there for a long while), they share in this leadership of individual congregations and at every level of Presbyterian government in the denomination.

Our Deacons are chosen by individual congregations as persons of deep compassion and great love to serve the people. With Pastors, they share in pastoral care responsibilities and oversee mission to the world. It is often said that they are the heart of the church.

Most importantly, once someone is ordained as a Deacon, Ruling Elder, or Minister of Word & Sacrament, they will forever retain that ordination - even if they move churches within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Even if they take a break. Those who will serve and are serving are called "installed." And every office - all three types - answer the exact same sets of questions every time they are ordained or installed, with the exception of the final one that is set aside for each specific office.
Summer Sermon Series
Our summer sermon series finishes up soon...
August 14: A New Dominion
August 21: Binding All Together


And to help you catch up:
(click on an image to hear the sermon)
Down in My Heart
Like a River
That Favorite Virtue
The Greatest of These
A Ha-a-a-a-py One
Tenacity
Power Up
Together in Fellowship
The Peaches are coming...
Sunday, August 21
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Peach Festival is back! We will gather on the Walnut Lawn (Smith is rain location) for dinner, games, and PEACHES!!! We will also have a bounce castle with a slide for the "kids" and a peachy dessert contest for the adults. Mark your calendars and plan to attend!

$5 per person suggested donation
Serving Together
This Sunday, August 7, is the FINAL day we will be collecting items to help Blair County United Way's annual Stuff the Bus!!! Be sure to get your donations in to help the school kids in our community! We will have bins in front of the church office to collect the following school supplies:

Pencils
Colored Pencils 
Pens
Construction Paper
Crayons
Erasers
Folders
Glue Sticks
Notebook Paper
Kid’s Scissors
Markers
Notebooks
Pencil Boxes
Rulers
Scissors
Back Packs and Clear Back Packs

Thank you for supporting kids in our area!
Learning Together
Back-to-School Blessing

Sunday, August 21st we will have our annual "Blessing of the Backpacks" and briefcases and lunchboxes and water bottles and whatever you want to bring to represent you (if you are a part of education in our community)! We invite you to bring some tangible piece of your daily routine to place near the Communion Table that we can see all of our students, teachers, administrators, and staff within our Family of Faith, because during worship, we are going to have a very special prayer that is just for you. On this final Sunday before the new school year begins, we want to take time to honor the importance of education, an essential part of the Presbyterian tradition, and pray for God's blessings upon all that this new year will hold!!!
Caring Together
Please hold in prayer members of our church family and friends who are in special need: Reggie Arford, Roy Bailey, Ann & Laird Benton, Barb Beveridge, Joseph & Rebecca Bledsoe, Craig Brumbaugh, Nancy Buchanan, Eleanor Carson, Chris Clarke, Fred Crawford, Theresa DeGenaro, Kathy Draskoczy, Anne Forsht, Joyce Gingrich, Rodger & Sally Hammond, James Hammonds, Jenny Harkins, Paula Heim, Ticky Hendricks, Jere Hess, Bobbi Hill, Lanse Hyde, Kantak & Day Families, Leo Kawtoski, Ron Kennedy, Dee Kissell, Karrie McCall, Norma McPhee, Betty Meyer, Kevin Michael, Vicki Nyland, Sarah Ocker, Janet Orcholski, Ray Overdorff, Pat Parnell, Marlene Patrick, Ed Pratt, Jill Reigh, Aleta & Brad Reist, Bruce Ross, David & Judi Rhodes, Lilliandil Robledo, Rhonda Shawley & Family, Kate Sillman, Mike Sims, June Slep, Charlie Smith, Christie Socie, Doug Soisson, John & Diane Stultz, Marlene Wagner, Reed & Marilyn Walker, Bill & Deb Wandersee, Shirley Weyandt, Phil & Stacey Willis, Zach, Casey & Avery Marie Wineland.
Please also hold our troops in your prayers, including Trent Sipes, Kyle Gardner, Andrew Rosamilia, Cameron Sellers, and Harrison Heim, who are directly related to our congregation. Pray for our leaders and the leaders around the world as they are making decisions in the coming days. And please pray for all those who find themselves in harm's way that they may know God's presence and that they will have what they need.
Giving Together
What does FPCH mean to you?
I was invited to First Presbyterian Church many, many years ago - when there was an evening celebration - with dinner, classes for kids, and classes for adults. It was wonderful to meet so many people, and it has been the church congregation that has continued to bolster my faith journey. After a stint on Christian Ed, I am now serving on Session and learning more about the policies and infrastructure of the PCUSA and First Presbyterian. It is a new experience for me and I am grateful for the members who continue to serve with me.

Diane Zink
Session Member
Did you know?
If every adult member put a dollar into a jar every day for a year, from January 1 to December 31, and donated the money to the church at the end of the year (on top of their normal gifts and pledges), it would cut the church deficit by a third? If they were to put $2 per day, it would cut the deficit by two-thirds. If $3 per day, it would eliminate it completely.
Leading Together
Our Leadership Team
Session
Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, Moderator
Jessica Stanek, Clerk
Sally Unger, Treasurer
Gail Allen, Brandon Burns, Shannon Carper, Kathryn Gardner Alan Musselman, Joel Seelye, Diane Zink

Deacons - Pastoral Care & Mission
Joe Carper, Kathy Draskoczy, Barb Evans, Molly Goldstein, Nancy, Michael, Binky Moxin,
Carroll Osgood, Pat Parnell

Administrative Committee
Gail Allen, Dorothy Moore Liller, Susan Musselman, Joel Seelye, Linda Snider, John Stutlz

Christian Education Committee
Becky Burns, Kathy Draskoczy, Diane McClanahan, Nancy Michael, Amanda Seelye, Ashtyn Whyte

Fellowship & Outreach Committee
Leigh Casey, Sue Ann Hess, Lynette Luke, Alan Musselman, Brenna Tatusko

Property Committee
Brandon Burns, Bill Edwards, Barb Huff, Kathryn Gardner, Carroll Osgood, Dennis Zink

Worship Committee
Julia Benton, Shannon Carper, Catherine Cone, Janet Hines, Bonnie Ward, Diane Zink
Calendar
Our Staff
Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, Pastor
Email: revjaniefpch@gmail.com

Walter Yatta, Music Director
Email: walyatta@verizon.net

Angela Koelle, Church Administrator
Email: churchmouse10@gmail.com
Phone: 814.695.9019
Taylor Thompson, Childcare Worker
Email: taylort421@me.com
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