First Pres Weekly
April 7, 2016
Engaging together in Christ's work of making disciples for the redeeming transformation of our city and world
    You and I live in an age where the internet, mobile devices, and other digital technologies create a world where children and teens no longer have to look for pornography. It usually finds them. Pornography has become main-stream in our culture and can have serious effects. The U.S. Department of Justice issued this warning back in 1996: "Never before in the history of telecommunications media in the United States has so much indecent (and obscene) material been so easily accessible by so many minors and in so many American homes with so few restrictions." That was twenty years ago and today the accessibility has only become easier, everywhere.

     As a parent I am called by God to nurture my children into spiritually healthy adults. I have the responsibility to be aware of and be a "gatekeeper" for what they see and experience. I have to continue to work hard to prepare my children to understand, process, and respond to how this broken world we live in expresses itself in ways that bring honor and glory to God. As a parent and a Youth Director I understand that it is not a matter of if our children will see something sexually immoral but a matter of when.
     Forest Benedict wrote in the Christian Leader, "Pornography has a stranglehold on the church, with an estimated two-thirds of Christian men and one-third of Christian women viewing it. Adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 are the largest consumers of pornography, and the estimated average age of first exposure has dropped down to nine. In shame-driven isolation, too many stay silent."
     It is time we begin to address this issue here at First Pres. If you are a parent, grandparent, aunt or uncle, teacher, caregiver, mentor or just care about kids (pretty much everyone!) please join us this Wednesday, April 13 from 6:30-8:30pm in the Corner Room for a free seminar led by Forest Benedict entitled "Dangerous Access: Protecting Children from the Path of Pornography."  

     Forest Benedict is the clinical director of LifeStar of the Central Valley and has taught at Fresno Biblical Seminary. I look forward to how this education and equipping will help us as a church family raise spiritually and emotionally healthy kids. 



This Sunday @ FPC
April 10 is the first opportunity of 2016 to donate here at FPC. Their goal is 10 units - maybe we can surprise them and exceed that goal? They'll be parked in our parking lot or on M street from 9:30am-12:30pm. Eat a good breakfast and be a hero! 
Plan to celebrate the women in your life right here on May 8. We're creating great meal with full service in a lovely setting right here in our Fellowship Hall. The proceeds will support ministry to at-risk and foster kids in Erseke, Albania, our Men's Mexico Build team as well as other FPC short term missionaries. We'll start at 9:00 am with final seating at 11:30 Mother's Day. $ 18/adult; $ 10/ages 12 & under; $ 60 max/family.  We'll also have a silent auction and other fun things to purchase! 
  • "Beyond" RAP Class Reflection, Application, Prayer on Sunday's sermon scripture facilitated by Jeff & Elizabeth Rooney in the Fellowship Hall. (Brian Shultz's Class will resume next week in The Corner).  

  • Partner Spotlight, featuring Dave & Adella who serve Sudanese Refugees in The Corner. (Yes, in the Corner, not the Fellowship Hall just for one week!) 

  • Membership Class with Pastor Lana Roberts in The Hub. Next session to join coming Fall 2016.

Nursery Care, Children's Sunday School & Youth Group Also
Info on Upcoming Offerings available on our website.
We do hope you'll plan to attend the CG nearest you! Community Groups (CGs) are regionally based, mid-sized groups that exist to build relationships, grow disciples, and live out the Gospel together. FPC's CG objective is to continue Christ's work of making disciples, bringing redeeming transformation wherever they go.  Find out More Here
Next Week @ FPC
Join us Wednesday, April 13 at noon for a no host lunch at the Zoo Lodge followed by a docent Guided tour at 1pm of the new exhibit. Park entry $5, Zoo entry $5.50. Contact Sylvia Armstrong, 431-2932.
6:30-8:30pm, Wednesday, April 13. 
Concerned about the ease of access to pornography as your children use the internet? We've invited Forest Benedict of LifeStar to share insights and guidance to navigate this issue. 
Other News for FPC
This is a Free Concert with great music in support of the amazing work of Hope Now for Youth. A love offering will be taken to bless their work with Gang youth in our community. 
5-7pm  Sunday, April 24 at  Campus Bible Church ( 4710 N. Maple just south of Shaw).  Please mark your calendars and join us for another wonderful gathering to lift up our city in prayer. ALL are welcome!
Work of Our Hands Summit April 28
Let Randy Tell you More!
Let Randy Tell you More!
We're so proud of the work Randy White and the Center for Community Transformation is doing to harness resources in  our community toward social enterprise, a non-charity approach to work for those with barriers to employment.This is the 4th WOH Summit and it  sets up the Spark Tank Pitch Fest  through which the CCT has invested nearly $50,000 in start-up awards to 19 social enterprises, including Tree of Life Café, 5 Gals Cleaning, and Say Hello Advertising. This is  a great place to explore what God might do through us to help our valley flourish.  Cost break if you go with two or more, so grab a friend and go!   8:30am - 2pm at Valley Christian Center. Register here
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The Minassians, Millers, and Sells have been trained to conduct a 6 to 9-week couple-to-couple mentoring of premarital or married couples who want to improve their communication skills and grow a Christian marriage. Couples meet one evening a week for 1.5 hours and the couple completes weekly assignments. The cost is about $30 for the book and assessment. If we can be of help, contact one of these couples directly or call Roger or Marilyn Minassian, 434-1435.
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