Worship Service
10:00 a.m.
July Newsletter Deadline:
June 24th
Join us for worship online live Sunday morning (or later) on our Facebook Page.

Or find up close versions of our sermons later on our Website.
From the Pastor's Desk
Summer is here, with all the heat to prove it!

And this year we are ushering in the high temperatures with a blazing fire on Pentecost Sunday, June 5th.

Remember that Pentecost began originally as a Jewish holy day, Shavuot, when the children of Israel would commemorate God's gift of the law on Mount Sinai. Which is why pilgrims from around the known world were gathered in Jerusalem that day when the Holy Spirit came down from above, appearing as tongues of flaming fire. The fire allowed the people to speak and understand in all the wondrous variety of languages from the earth so that they could hear the good news of God's love made manifest in Jesus Christ.

Sure, the naysayers thought they were drunk. But for those who saw and believed that day, what a wonder to behold.

That gift is the reason we call it the birthday of the church. It was after Christ had ascended into heaven and that major promise we have been hearing about throughout this past month in Jesus's final sermon - that the Holy Spirit would indeed arrive - that moment we see the promise getting fulfilled. So now the work truly begins.

Which also makes it the perfect day for us to celebrate all the wondrous variety of gifts that we have at work within our own church family. That's right: this year we are making Pentecost a double celebration by having our annual Recognition Sunday (the way we used to). So, if you are a Sunday School teacher, a Choir, Band, or Handbell member, a committee member or chair, an officer, or better yet, a graduating Senior from High School, we look forward to honoring all the amazing ways that God's fire is shining through your life.

And for everyone, we are going to take this Pentecost as an opportunity to remember the power that words have. As Albus Dumbledore once said, "Words are, in my not-so-humble opinion, our most inexhaustible source of magic. Capable of both inflicting injury, and remedying it." God knows the power of words, too: since all the creative activity God has ever accomplished happened through the eternal Word, who one day became flesh in Jesus. Think of all the incredible things that Word did.

So, this Pentecost, we will be giving you each a flame with a word on it. They will be words to perhaps refresh your spirit. Or maybe to offer a remedy for a healing hurt. Maybe they will be the Holy Spirit's push that you need to spread your fire into the world. Only God knows which word will be the right one for you. But we encourage you to take one and let it encourage you in the year ahead - for as this school year draws to a close, a new world is opening to us in the summer and everything beyond.

Blessings, Pastor Janie
Together In Worship
This Sunday, June 5th, we will recognize all of those who play an integral part in the life of our church family. We invite all of our Sunday School Teachers, Choir, Band, & Handbell Members, Committee Members & Chairs, Deacons & Elders, as well as our graduating High School Seniors to join us as we give thanks for the many gifts they offer that make our church a much brighter place!
Holy Communion
This month we will celebrate the Lord's Supper on Pentecost Sunday, June 5.
Did you know?
The word for sabbath in Hebrew has several meanings. The first and most obvious is to rest or to cease. In this case, when the sabbath was created, it was meant to be a time to literally stop work. That meant not only for those who were the main members of the family, but also for any servants, slaves and animals connected to the children of Israel. The entire nation was meant to stop for a period and rest, just as God did after creating everything.

The second meaning of the word sabbath is actually to celebrate. It is not just meant to be a day for solemn boredom while wallowing away the hours by starring off into space. Yes, prayer and meditation are an important part of our relationship with God. However, our worship and our day of rest is meant to be a time of joy. Of living life to the fullest and delighting in our families and friends. Of dancing and singing. Of breaking bread and sharing in time together. Celebration is essential to the meaning of sabbath, too.

Lastly, when Christ was raised, we added an additional meaning to our concept of sabbath: re-creation. Although, to be honest, it really wasn't new at all. In John Calvin's favorite Psalm, 104 (as in Old Testament), there is a scene where God plays with the Leviathan. In fact, there is a part of the Jewish tradition that likes to imagine that at the end of each day, God returns home and plays with the leviathan as the rest of us do our puppies and cats. Because in our play and games, we connect to an essential part of God's own self - that creative process that is so innate to the Love that God is.

All of this to say, Christ did encourage us to remember the sabbath. Yet, he also reminded us that the sabbath was made for us and not the other way around. So, find time to rest, to enjoy your family and friends, and to re-create through play sometime soon. It doesn't have to be a whole day. Perhaps just an evening to start and go from there. This particular commandment was meant to be an incredible gift to us. It's time to find out the wonders it can do for us.
Summer Sermon Series
June 12: Down In My Heart
June 19: Like a River
June 26: That Favorite Virtue
July 10: The Greatest of All
July 17: A Ha-a-a-a-py One
July 24: Tenacity
July 31: Power Up
August 14: A New Dominion
August 21: Binding All Together
Learning Together
Summer Nursery
We have childcare available for our youngest children (ages 0 through those who have completed Kindergarten), from 9:50 a.m. until ten minutes after worship ends, in our nursery (catty-corner to the Pastor's Study) throughout the Summer.
Worship Bags Are Back!
For our older children staying in the sanctuary, we have restocked our "goodie bags" with new coloring sheets, monkey noodles, and other quiet sensory toys to help keep little hands busy so that their ears and eyes can pick up on what else is happening in worship. Check near the organ pit to borrow one for your little one this weekend!
Vacation Bible School
Our VBS this summer at FPCH is coming soon: join us as we take off into an awesome adventure of learning and fun with "Passport to Peace" - June 12-16! Our children will grow their insight, creativity, helping and peacemaking skills as we follow the ultimate peacemaker: Jesus. Each night will include dinner, music, Bible study, energizers, and special themed activities!

Click on the picture above to register now!
Adult Summer Bible Study
This summer, take the chance to dive deeper into the book from which our summer sermon series comes: Paul's letter to the Galatians. Beginning the week of June 20th, this small group will meet weekly with Pastor Janie to learn more about the ancient world in which this letter was written, the people to whom Paul was writing, and explore what was said. Day & time for this group will be selected by the group itself once participants have signed up. To join, contact Pastor Janie via email or by calling the office (814.695.9019).
Youth Group: June 2022
Sunday, June 5: Altoona Curve Baseball Game
Peoples Natural Gas Field
Game Time: 6:00 p.m.
Cost: $10 per person
Friday, June 17: Pool Splash!!!
Or Bowling (if we rain out)
4:30-7:30 p.m.
$5 per person
Together in Fellowship
First Nights @ the Park
We have two more First Nights @ the Park this June! FPCH will be at our parks on the 2nd and 4th Sunday evenings of the month with dinner, music, games, energizers, and much more fun! Bring your friends and join us as we have some fellowship on the first night of the week with our whole First Pres family!
Sunday, June 12 @ 5:00 p.m. : Legion Park

Sunday, June 26 @ 5:00 p.m. :
Highland Park
Join us every Sunday morning after worship in the Church Parlor for fellowship, coffee and cookies!
Caring Together
Hello from Cambria County!
Reggie Arford sends his fondest greetings and blessings to the entire congregation!

Deacon Molly Goldstein snapped this photo on a recent visit to bring Home Communion.
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, Joni Brown, Craig Brumbaugh, Nancy Buchanan, Eleanor Carson, Chris Clarke, Fred Crawford, Theresa DeGenaro, Kathy Draskoczy, Anne Forsht, Joyce Gingrich, James Hammonds, Jenny Harkins, Paula Heim, Ticky Hendricks, Jere Hess, Lanse Hyde, Kantak & Day Families, Leo Kawtoski, Ron Kennedy & Family, Dee Kissell, Karrie McCall, Norma McPhee, Betty Meyer, Vicki Nyland, Sarah Ocker, Janet Orcholski, Ray Overdorff, Pat Parnell, Ed Pratt, Jill Reigh, Aleta & Brad Reist, The Family of Peg Rumbaugh, David & Judi Rhodes, Lilliandil Robledo, Kate Sillman, Mike Sims,  Charlie Smith, Christie Socie, Doug Soisson, John & Diane Stultz, Marlene Wagner, Reed & Marilyn Walker, Bill & Deb Wandersee, Shirley Weyandt, Zach, Casey & Avery Marie Wineland, Norma Wyerman.
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.
Serving Together
Pentecost Offering
This Sunday, Pentecost Sunday, June 5th, we will take our annual Pentecost Offering. The Pentecost Offering unites us in a church-wide effort to support young people in Christ and inspire them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world. This guide includes examples of effective ways to promote and celebrate the Pentecost Offering. But don't feel limited! Your enthusiasm and creativity are invaluable to this cause. A gift to the Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. 60% is used to support children-at-risk, youth, and young adults through ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The remaining 40% of the Pentecost offering will be retained by our congregation and will be going to support Blair Hope for Families to support children and families in the foster system within our own community!
Giving Together
What does FPCH mean to you?
"First Presbyterian is family. This church has helped to shape me into the person I am today, and now this church is helping to shape my children. First Presbyterian is community, reaching out to help others. First Presbyterian is love: love for each other and for the community."

- Jessica Stanek, Clerk of Session
Did you know?
If every adult member of the church were able to give an additional $40 per month, it would cut the church deficit by half.
Leading Together
A note on safety...
A lot has happened in our world recently and we want to take a moment to address one of the key ways we ensure the safety of our congregation, children, and staff at FPCH.

We want First Presbyterian to be a church that welcomes everyone. Nevertheless, when there is no adult present at our education door, especially on Sunday mornings, we now ensure that it is locked as worship begins. This protects our children who are just down the hall from this door and keeps only one point of entry available while all of us are worshipping. Everyone is always able to exit; the door will simply lock behind them when they leave.

In addition, during the work week, when our staff members are present and alone, our door remains locked for their safety.

While we all wish for the days gone by when such measures were unnecessary, that is not the world in which we live. We appreciate your understanding as we continue forward into this brave new world seeking God's grace in all we do.
Now that school's out and the weather is getting hot, our office hours are changing a bit:

Monday: 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.
Tuesday: 9:00 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.
Thursday: 8:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m.

*Pastor Janie's Drop-In Office Hours are staying the same.

We'll see you soon!!!
Our Leadership Team
Rev. Janie McElwee-Smith, Moderator
Jessica Stanek, Clerk
Sally Unger, Treasurer
Brandon Burns, Shannon Carper, Terry Goldstein, Joel Seelye, Diane Zink

Deacons - Pastoral Care & Mission
Joe Carper, Moderator
Jill Reigh, Vice-Moderator
Kathy Caporuscio, Kathy Draskoczy, Barb Evans, Molly Goldstein, Carroll Osgood

Administrative Committee
Dorothy Moore Liller & John Stultz, Co-Chairs
Jim Huff, Linda Snider, Sally Unger

Christian Education Committee
Becky Burns & Amanda Seelye, Co-Chairs
Diane McClanahan, Nancy Michael, Jennifer Soisson

Fellowship & Outreach Committee
Becky Piper & Brenna Tatusko, Co-Chairs
Kathy Draskoczy, Lynette Luke, Alan Musselman

Property Committee
Brandon Burns, Chair
Russ Greaser, Barb Huff, Carroll Osgood, Bruce Ross, Dennis Zink

Worship Committee
Shannon Carper, Chair
Julia Benton, Janet Hines, Jessica Stanek, Bonnie Ward, Diane Zink
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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