NEWS @ FIRST
October 1, 2021
Sunday, October 3
World Communion Sunday / Stewardship Dedication
SUNDAY WORSHIP SERVICES

10:00 a.m. in-person worship
in the sanctuary
Online access beginning at 10:00 a.m.
Called Congregational Meeting
- Sunday, October 3, 2021, 11:15 a.m.
In-person AND via Zoom
following the World Communion Sunday Worship Service

The session has called a congregational meeting for the purpose of electing church officers (elders and deacons), congregational nominating committee members, and a seven-member Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC). A booklet of nominees’ biographies is available through the link below. Printed copies may be received this Sunday, September 26, or next Sunday, October 3. You may also call the church office for a booklet to be mailed.
All church members are asked to participate in this important congregational meeting. Both in-person and Zoom participants will be able to vote. This is a milestone moment as we elect the PNC that will conduct the search for our next pastor! The Zoom link is below:
· One Combined Worship Service at 10:00 a.m.
We will celebrate World Communion Sunday by sharing the Lord’s Supper together, along with followers of Jesus around the world!
 
· Dedication of Pledges
During the service, an opportunity will be given to bring pledge cards forward and place them in a basket as a symbol of the dedication of our lives to the purposes of God. If you have already submitted your pledge, or have not yet had the opportunity to complete one, blank forms will be available for your use, so that all may participate.
 
· Congregational Meeting at 11:15 a.m.
The meeting to elect church officers, a congregational nominating committee, and a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) will follow the 10:00 a.m. worship service. Members may take part and vote either in person or via Zoom.

If you intend to participate via Zoom, please note that each voting member will need to sign on from their own smartphone or computer in order to vote. We do not have the capability to record more than one vote from a single device. If you have questions, please call Rachel Martin in the office (941) 955-8119 well in advance of the October 3 meeting.

STEWARDSHIP 2022

God’s design is woven
in the world through all our hands,
all our offerings, all our lives.

Thank you for the prayers you offer,
the love you share, and all the ways
you seek to be the body of Christ
to one another! 


Watch the Stewardship Videos
COVID mask policy update

In response to falling COVID-19 rates in our area, the session will no longer require masks in outdoor spaces on the church campus.

Masks will continue to be required of all persons (over the age of two) while inside, if there is more than one person in a room.

We do this out of concern:
For our children, who are not able to receive vaccinations;
For the most vulnerable members of our community, who may be at risk, even if vaccinated;
For the larger community, to help slow the spread of the virus.

The session will revisit the policy again at its next stated meeting, October 26, and is deeply grateful for the patience and support that this community has demonstrated through these long months. We honor God as we care for each other. 

One Service - All Saints Day
  Sunday, October 31, at 10:00 a.m.
 
On Sunday, October 31, we will be observing All Saints’ Day with communion. There will be one combined service at 10:00 a.m. in the sanctuary. Having celebrated the Lord’s Supper on October 31, communion will not be served on November 7, our regular first Sunday of the month. We will resume our usual schedule with communion on Sunday, December 5.
In preparation for the October 31 All Saints’ Day service, all from our church family are invited to email photos of loved ones (members or non-members) who have died November 1, 2020 – present to Rachel Martin (RMartin@firstpressarasota.org). Please include your name and their name, their date of birth and death (if known), and your relationship to the deceased, We are planning a special slide presentation as a part of the service to commemorate those who have died in the last year.
If you are interested in membership with this vibrant congregation, please contact Margaret LaMotte Torrence, Transitional Pastor (mltorrence@firstpressarasota.org)
or call the church office (941) 955-8119.
MISSION STUDY TEAM REPORT 
The members of the Mission Study Team are grateful to the session for the opportunity to listen for God’s leading as we listened carefully to the congregation and to leaders in our community. It was a privilege to create this report summarizing what we heard and discerned. We hope that reading and hearing this report will enrich your love and appreciation for our vibrant faith community.

The report is available on the church website: https://firstpressarasota.org/ You may receive a paper copy of the report after the worship services, or request a copy by calling the office at (941) 955-8119.
· Peace and Global Witness Offering
The Peace and Global Witness Offering supports the efforts of the church at every level and provides witness to God’s gift of peace in the world. Gifts to the offering are divided in the following manner: 25% designated by our Mission and Justice Committee, will go to PC(USA) / Presbyterian Disaster Assistance for humanitarian relief in Afghanistan and Haiti ; 25% will be used to support presbytery and synod peacemaking efforts; and 50% will be forwarded to the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.

We will receive this special offering on World Communion Sunday, October 3. We hope everyone can participate in this important sharing of our treasure.
Video/Discussion Series
No Class This Sunday

We will resume October 10
10:20 a.m. in the Fellowship Hall—for adults of all ages!
SURE FPC House Meeting
– Register Now!
Be among the many who have attended a SURE House Meeting.  If you haven't as yet, Team Leaders Judy and Phil Kuebbeler look forward to you joining their group  via ZOOM on Monday, October 11 at 7 pm.  Register on the link below. 

"Weaving Together"
Thank you!!!

New Adult Education Class
– beginning Wednesday, October 6
at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom
“Do Everything for the Glory of God”
 
Presbyterian Christians find their identity as part of a wider theological movement, called the Reformed tradition. Its origins are in the sixteenth-century Protestant Reformation. These reformers sought a reform of the church in accordance with scripture. This study provides some Presbyterian perspectives on Christian beliefs. Our Presbyterian heritage is rich and deep. 

These lessons are aimed to spark interest and nurture our Christin faith so we may “do everything for the glory of God.”
 
This class via Zoom will be taught by Elaine Barnett beginning on Wednesday, October 6 at 1:00 p.m., and continuing Wednesdays through November 10. You may sign-up by emailing Elaine at ewbarnet@me.com.
 
October 6 - Creation for Presbyterians
October 13 - Providence for Presbyterians
October 20 - Salvation for Presbyterians
October 27 - Church and Sacraments for Presbyterians
November 3 - Christian Life for Presbyterians
November 10 - Hope for Presbyterians
Invest in Children
On this World Communion Sunday, the Invest in Children initiative is blessed to be part of the weaving that appears on the Communion Table today.  The note below was submitted with the fabric .. . 

Woven into the fabric of our church is our commitment to mission and justice. One of our key mission partners is Brentwood Elementary School, a Title 1 school in Sarasota. The many ways our congregation has invested in the Brentwood students are represented by this piece of a Brentwood T-shirt containing the school’s Superstar logo.   
Faith Focus Weekend
Saturday & Sunday, October 23 & 24
 
The Rev. Paul Roberts, Sr., President of Johnson C. Smith Seminary (Atlanta, GA), will be returning to FPC, Sarasota, as the keynote speaker for Faith Focus Weekend. The weekend theme will be: “Bridging the Gap: Conversations of Hope and Healing toward Racial Reconciliation.”

A special event on Saturday in the Fellowship Hall for our church and community will include a panel discussion led by members of the Manasota Interracial Book Club, a thriving group inspired by Rev. Roberts three years ago. Rev. Roberts will also offer a presentation exploring avenues everyday people can take to help build a more just and equitable society. He will preach in both worship services on Sunday, October 24.
Please keep in touch with our members who have recently moved away from Sarasota to be closer to family.

Betsy Cairns
8750 Westminster Terrace #5118
Dallas, TX 75243

Jean Luker
412 Highway 87 N
Pittsboro, NC 27312-7229
FPC Mission Partnership
with All Faiths Food Bank
 
Join our fun team of volunteers and help distribute food to our community neighbors Thursday mornings, 9:15-11:30 a.m.
 
The food distribution is by drive-through with volunteers loading cars as clients circle in the parking lot (between 10:00 and 11:30 a.m.) Volunteers are needed each Thursday. Task options include sorting and distributing food, setting up, cleaning up, and directing traffic.
 
For information or to sign up,
contact Bob Kirkpatrick: rkirkhv@aol.com or (941) 355-0809; or Dave Householder: dphouse47@gmail.com or (724) 462-4235.

Volunteer Day Trip
to Beth-El Farmworker Ministry


Sponsored by the Mission & Justice Committee
NEXT TRIP: Wednesday, October 27
Work at Beth-El: 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon
 
You are invited to be a part of the group from First Presbyterian, Sarasota, that gathers at Beth-El Farmworker Ministry in Wimauma to volunteer sorting food or related activities on the last Wednesday of each month.
We meet at Beth-El at 9:00 a.m. and work until 12:00 noon.

This mission partner distributes food to help 600-900 folks each week—a lot of help is needed. To sign up or for more information, please contact Dave Householder at dphouse47@gmail.com; call or text (724) 462-4235. Let us know of your interest in carpooling. Come and be a part of making a difference!
Presbyterian Women

Peace River Presbyterian Women’s autumn retreat is on Saturday, October 16, 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., at Cypress Lake Presbyterian Church in Fort Myers.
 
PW Service Project Workshop -
Tuesday, October 12,
10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall, 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m., making breast surgery recovery pillows and fidget blankets (for dementia and Alzheimer patients for restless hands). No special skills required. Bring a sack lunch. Donations of construction materials needed by October 10 (see list in News@First). All welcome! Click on the link below to read all the details!
Music to Our Ears
The Sarasota Music Club, a member of the National Federation of Music and the Florida Federation of Music Clubs, has been providing excellent music programs in the area for over 90 years. Because of COVID, programs were not held last year.

The Music Club is happy to announce that this season, on the third Friday of each month, October 2021 through March 2022, all are invited to their performances at First Presbyterian Church, Sarasota, in the Fellowship Hall to enjoy the music. The first program will be October 15 at 10:00 a.m. All programs are free of charge. Performing in the October program will be Jane Hoffman, flutist, accompanied by Donald Bryn at the piano. They will be performing Broadway show tunes.

During the year, there will be varied programs, including a barbershop quartet, jazz, and classical performances. In December, there will be a program of Christmas music. We invite you to come and enjoy this delightful music. You can find information cards in the church office with a complete listing of programs.
Florida Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Network (FLAPDAN)
Hurricane Preparedness Tips

Read these important recommendations, restock your supply kit, and be aware of our church’s communication protocol.  
Remembering Our Church Family in Prayer
Thank you for upholding members of our congregation with special prayer needs during this time. Click on the attached link for a complete list:
iTN Update
iTNSunCoast needed to discontinue its senior transportation services due to a lack of volunteer drivers. The organization hopes to regroup, build up a new fleet of volunteer drives, and resume operations in the future. iTNSunCoast has provided a list of transportation alternative which may be accessed below: 
Finding Peace Virtual Class
Sarasota County Public Libraries offers a virtual class Wednesday, September 29, 4:00-5:30 p.m. to help us be better stewards of our own mental health and the collective mental health of our community. We will also discuss mindfulness and the healing power of nature. The speakers are Dr. Kathleen Moore, Executive Director of the Florida Mental Health Institute (FMHI) at the University of South Florida, and Dr. Amanda Sharp, USF faculty member affiliated with FMHI. Link for registration in News@First.


Mark your calendar for our next SunCoast Blood Drives, October 24 and December 19. 
Tech Team Members Needed!
Are you interested in learning to operate our sound equipment, cameras, or media? You can have a ministry of tech support for our in-person and live-streamed services. This is an exciting time in the life of our church as we use technology to grow our congregation’s outreach. To get involved, call or text Jimi Camastro, our Tech Team Leader, at (941) 779-6754.
The Cowden-Smith Library
Library open Monday – Friday, 10:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.
and on Sundays, 11:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon

There is a library book cart in the narthex with a varied selection of our newer books from which you can choose, including some children's books. No due dates; simply return when you finish with them. A sign-out sheet is on the cart.
Giving Options
Please continue to mail your contributions to us at the church or donate online. Your gifts make a great difference during this challenging season.

Online: If you are interested in giving electronically through our secure e-giving process, please visit FirstPresSarasota.org and select the online giving button.

Texting: Are you interested in the convenience of contributing by text message? Text FPC2050 to 73256 to donate via text. Standard rates may apply.

Mail In: All mail, including contribution checks, securely arrives to our church office.
Pastoral Care
When you or a loved one is hospitalized, it is important that you contact the church or one of the pastors to inform us directly and inform the hospital that you are a member of our congregation and would welcome a visit by one of our pastors. Hospitals will not contact the church. We have also discovered that some will no longer even list a patient as our church member on their internal records unless the patient is careful to note their relationship with our congregation. Thank you for your assistance.

We’re Here for You!
The FPC care team, Stephen Ministers, deacons, elders and church staff continue to be available for you. Please feel free to reach out to Cheryl Track, Faith Community Nurse (941) 320-3828 or call the church office (941) 955-8119 if we can be of support to you.