First Press | an online newsletter | March 2020
Lent is meant to be a season of simplicity and intentionality. With that in mind, the March newsletter is an abbreviated version of what you normally receive. We’ve tried to keep announcements brief and important dates are listed under First Dates with a brief description if needed. There are numerous offerings for worship, study and growth for all ages. We hope you will choose one or two that will enhance your observance of this Lenten season. May we all find ways to simplify our lives and to be intentional about growing in our relationship with God.

See you at church!
Ann & David
The Session has called a congregational meeting, Sunday, March 15 after 10:30 am worship for the purpose of:
  1. Presenting the annual report;
  2. Receiving the budget for 2020;
  3. Approving the Associate Pastor's terms of call;
  4. Voting on a recommendation by the Pastor Nominating Committee.
Monthly Bible Reading
Lent is the perfect time to turn to scripture as we journey with Christ towards Easter. This past month, we read more of the story of God's people during their journey in the wilderness told throughout Exodus and Leviticus while also hearing about the newly formed church in the book of Acts. This month, we conclude the powerful story of God's people told in the Pentateuch by finishing the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy while also turning to the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans. May these daily scripture readings be a blessing to you throughout this Lenten season of reflection. Check out the church's website  here  to download your own daily reading check list. It's never to late too join in!
Financial Summary
Session Summary

The Session of First Presbyterian Church held its stated monthly meeting on Monday, February 10, 2020 at 5:30 p.m. in Fellowship Hall. Fifteen elders were present. The minutes from the meeting are as follows:

The Pastor Nominating Committee brought forth a candidate that the committee is recommending. The COM will meet with him prior to a congregational meeting.

The Session approved two versions of the Director of Music/Organist job description. One is an advertisement for the position and the other a more comprehensive document for Personnel and the Head of Staff.

Minutes from Stated Session Meeting, January 13, 2020 and Called Session Meeting, February 9, 2020 were approved.

Approval of Baptism of son of Steve and Caroline Cox, Wellman Webb Cox on March 15 th .

Ministry Team Updates:
  • The Finance Ministry team presented a budget draft. It was recommended that the line item for local mission be increased by $20,000 which was approved by the Session. The budget will be presented to the congregation at the Called Congregational Meeting on March 15th.
  • The Session called a Congregational Meeting on March 15, 2020 at the conclusion of the 10:30 worship service for the following purposes:
  1. Presentation of the Annual Report
  2. The congregation will receive the 2020 budget
  3. Approve Terms of Call for Reverend David Randolph
  4. Calling a new Senior Pastor
  • Property Ministry Team reported that the committee has established a list of priorities with respect to property needs. The session approved the use of the church bus for a Boy Scout trip and the use of Fellowship Hall for a Girl Scout Event on Saturday, February 22 from 9-11.
  • Adult Faith Formation Ministry Team reported that Wednesdays Together have been planned for five Wednesdays which will include a brief worship service, a meal and congregational bible study opportunity. This will begin in March after Ash Wednesday. There is another movie night event at Tallahatchie Gourmet scheduled for February 23rd, 4-7. A nursery will be offered at that time.
  • Children and Youth Faith Formation reported that the JAM children’s event has been very successful and that plans for Spring and VBS dates are in process.
  • Membership & Hospitality: Fifth Sunday lunches will begin March 29th and will be a pot luck. The pictorial directory is progressing following new software installation. Education opportunities will be scheduled for members. There is pancake supper on February 25th and members will be asked to bring items for LovePacks. Confirmation Sunday is May 17th
  • Mission: Thirty-six individuals attended the CERT training event on February 8. A church wide cleanup is being planned. The Mission Ministry Team will meet with representatives from United Way to learn how FPC might better reach out to meet the needs of existing community organizations.
  • Personnel and Finance will continue to meet jointly. Job descriptions for all ministerial and non-ministerial positions are now in place. 

New Business: First Presbyterian Threat Assessment Report – the Session received a summary of findings from a meeting of several members to assess potential threats and shared safety recommendations.

General Announcements: The next Stated Session Meeting will be Monday, March 16 th at 5:30. 

The meeting was adjourned with prayer.
Upcoming worship schedule:
Sunday, March 1, 2020
1st Sunday in Lent
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)

Sunday, March 8, 2020
2nd Sunday in Lent
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)

Sunday, March 15, 2020
3rd Sunday in Lent
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)
Sunday, March 22, 2020
4th Sunday in Lent
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)

Sunday, March 29, 2020
5th Sunday in Lent
9:30-10:15 am Sunday School
10:30 am Worship (communion)
Sanctuary flower dates are available April 19 and 26 and May 17. No flowers during Lent. To provide flowers in honor or in memory of a loved one, contact Susan Joiner at or call 662-808-3240. Contributions to the Flower Fund are greatly appreciated.
Lectionary texts for March:

March 1 - Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7; Psalm 32; Romans 5:12-19; Matthew 4:1-11
March 8 - Genesis 12:1-4a; Psalm 121; Romans 4:1-5, 13-17; John 3:1-17
March 15 - Exodus 17:1-7; Psalm 95; Romans 5:1-11; John 4:5-42
March 22 - 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Psalm 23; Ephesians 5:8-14; John 9:1-41
March 29 - Ezekiel 37:1-14; Psalm 130; Romans 8:6-11; John 11:1-45
First Dates
If you have any questions about any events, please contact the church office.
Monday, March 2

1:00 pm Prayer Shawl Ministry, Room 101
5:30 pm Director of Music/Organist Search Committee, Room 101

Tuesday, March 3

5:30 pm Diaconate, Session Room
6:00 pm VIP Bingo Night, Fellowship Hall

Monday, March 9

4:30 pm Finance Ministry Team, Room 101
4:30 pm Bibles & Brews, The Growler - Topic: Acknowledgement

Tuesday, March 10

1:30 pm FPC Book Club, Room 101 - When Breath Becomes Air by Paul Kalanithi

Thursday, March 12

5:30 Membership & Hospitality Ministry Team, Room 101

Monday, March 16

5:30 pm Session, Fellowship Hall

Monday, March 24

4:30 pm Worship Ministry Team, Room 101
5:15 pm Property Ministry Team, Session Room

Thursday, March 26

5:30 pm Mission Ministry Team, Room 101
Wednesdays in March
Wednesdays Together returns during the season of Lent for five weeks! Beginning March 4th , we gather in the sanctuary at 5:35 pm for a Lenten worship service followed by a simple supper at 6:00 pm. Worship services are designed to provide a peaceful experience to intentionally reflect upon various Lenten themes.

JAM (Jesus and Me) continues at 5:15 pm each Wednesday for our children while this is offered for youth and adults. If you would like to register your child or volunteer for JAM, please click the links below.
FPC's Congregational Bible Study also begins this month with an eight week class about " Sacred Sense, Discovering the Wonder of God's Word and World " by Bill Brown, Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary. Each class will discuss two chapters with corresponding scripture passages that help to cultivate an appreciation of the wonder within this Christian way of life.  Beginning March 4th , two classes will be offered each Wednesday at 10:00 am and 6:45 pm , with a nursery available for the evening class. Books are available in the front office for $15. Contact the church office to sign up today!
FPC's Young Adult Ministry hosts a spirit-filled conversation series about Faith and Forgiveness on Sunday March 22nd and March 29th ! Each afternoon from 4:00 to 6:00 pm in the UKirk Building, we will gather to discuss with a panel of guests how our shared faith informs our understanding of forgiveness. FPC's Nursery ministry will be available for our littlest Presbyterians during this event. Contact David Randolph for more details. 
FPC Members: Family of Elizabeth Black; Family of Jane Boykin; Leon McCullouch; Joe Burnett; Family of John Neff; Family of Pat Bittmann; Scottye Boone; Pierce Buford; Deb de Boer; Max Williams; J. T. Davis; Becky & Joe Murphey; Lynton Dilley; Walter Nance; Mary Kay McDowell; Debbie McElreath; Marleah Hobbs; Director of Music/Organist Search Committee; Pastor Nominating Committee
Family and Friends: Roun McNeal; Family of Joan Bagby; Susan Treas; Family of Carolyn Aldridge Delorio; Jamie Henderson Turner; Family of Joel James; Family of Don Dees; Family of Leland Smith; Bill Flautt; Lowry Davis; Family of Don Gleason; Alex Sessions; Brad Hovious; B. Jones; Pat Gillenwater; Angel Thompson; Ted Stocker; Tom Callery; Tom Mullen; Ruth Ellen Duvall Kuhnel; Linda Chavers; Mark Barnes; Joe Houston; Matt Branch; Erica Baggett; Mackenzie Stetz; Betty Hoar; Mike Smith; Parchman Prison inmates; Haven House residents; Our Haiti partners; Oxford & Lafayette County First Responders
U. S. Military: A1C Jason Freeland, USAF 4th Air Support Operation
On Saturday, February 8, 2020, members of the Mission Ministry Team hosted Jimmy Allgood, Lafayette County Emergency Management Director, Alan Ivy – Oxford Police Department, 4 members of the Oxford Fire & EMT Department, and 38 members of our church family for CERT (Community Emergency Response Training) . First Aid, Home & Personal Preparedness, & Active Shooter Response were topics covered during the 6.5 hour training. The CERT team plans to begin meeting quarterly for discussions with speakers on topics that affect our community, church, and families. The Mission Ministry Team plans to make CERT qualification training available once a year. We would love to have you join us! For more information contact Ben Pettis, Steve Mauldin, Thelma Curry, or Harry Alexander for more information.
For 20 years FPC has been the charter sponsor of Boy Scout Troop 45. Troop meetings are held Monday nights in the church basement. Nationally, only 2% of boys who enter the program earn the rank of Eagle Scout. A relatively high percentage of boys who join Troop 45 ultimately obtain the rank of Eagle. In the last 5 years 17 Scouts in Troop 45 have earned this honor. The most recent Eagle is Keerthin Karthikeyan. A Scout must earn a minimum of 21 merit badges to obtain the rank of Eagle; he has earned 101 merit badges. "For some, Scouting may stop, but because it has been such a big part of my life, I find it hard to let go," Keerthin said. The Scouts of Troop 45 thank the members of FPC for their ongoing support.
Memorials and Honorarias

~ With gratitude for contributions to First Presbyterian Church ~
In memory of:

Pat Bittmann

Anne & Robert Gowdy
Julie Montgomery
Kay & Larry Tyler
Carlisle & Billy Wood

Jane Boykin

Carson Hughes
Mary Thompson
In memory of:

Fanny Elliott

Anne & Robert Gowdy
Sandy & Vaughn Grisham
J.J. Jones
Cal & Caroline Mayo
Julie & Matt McGregor
Doug Self

John Neff

Anne & Robert Gowdy
Kay & Larry Tyler
Carlisle & Billy Wood

Sue Treas

Anne & Robert Gowdy
Sandy & Vaughn Grisham
J.J. Jones
Upcoming Birthdays and Anniversaries

March Birthdays:

2 Trenia Reynolds
6 Lauren McRae
7 Brett Person, Max Williams
8 Trey Cobb, Danny Kelly, Tommy Patrick
9 Adalene Pettis
10 Cal Montgomery
11 Phillip Embry, Winn Hutchcraft
12 Lenore Hobbs, Ashley Wilkinson
14 Ann Person, Claire Stevens, Brooks Williams
15 Carolyn Gibson, Ella McIntosh
16 Henry Haney, Susan Joiner, Griffin Tanner
17 Elizabeth Coon
18 Captain Alexander, Wes Estes, Mary Charles Matthews, Leighton McCool, Anne Douglas Tanner
19 Hayden Alexander, Brynn Ashmore, Lucia Brandt, Alexis Longsdorf, Katherine Randolph
20 Doug Alexander, Kim Ling, Samuel Logan, David McPhail, Molly Neff
21 Harry Embry
22 Hampton Hardin
23 Erin Alexander, Jim Deloach
24 Nan Davis, Bel Monteith, Renee Sullivan-Gonzalez
26 Josh Gibbs
27 Frances Abernathy, Joseph Burnett, Jess Edge
29 Spears Alexander
31 Kim Funderburk, Elizabeth Monteith, Greg Patton

March Anniversaries:

7 Cindy & Eric Snellgrove
10 Sarah Brooke & Jeb Bishop, Melinda & Bill Freeman
11 Ashley & Michael Abraham
15 Angela & Scott Manley
22 Taylor & Hassell Wilkinson
25 Amy & Tad Wilkes
30 Jenny & David McPhail
31 Nan & Tom Davis
The Session
  CLASS of 2020
Ashley Callery, Ann DeVoe, Ben Griffith, Matthew Hall, Monte Wood
  CLASS of 2021
Hayden Alexander, Pete Boone, Julie Field, 
Carmille Hovious, Ruth O'Dell
CLASS of 2022
Susan Abbott, John Abernathy, Trey Byars,
Kevin Christian, Greg Patton
The Diaconate

CLASS of 2020
Todd Abbott, Rosie Cooper, Ed Croom,
Lisa Hickman-Tollison, John Schuesselin
CLASS of 2021
Thelma Curry, Karen Elliott, Luke Harris,
Brian Hyneman, Niles Lovelady
CLASS of 2022
Gabrielle Chiniche, James Day, Rob Howell,
Cliff Smith, Pattye Wilson
Your Church Staff
Interim Associate Pastor
Associate Pastor
Pastor, UKirk Ministry
Interim Choir Director
Director of Elementary Music
Office Administrator
Director of Communications
Property Manager
Nursery Director
First Presbyterian Church | 662.234.1757