March 12, 2023

Reverend Susan Phillips, leading

9:00 Sunday - Online in Zoom


One tap mobile +13126266799,,85677718426#

Or Call +1 312 626 6799 and use

Meeting ID: 856 7771 8426

 10:45 Sunday - Onsite in the Sanctuary

Register Here

6:00 Wednesday Worship

5:30 Worship Service


We encourage those who might be vulnerable to wear masks

and anyone with symptoms to join worship via Zoom.

Daylight Savings Reminder

Don't forget to spring your clock forward as daylight saving time begins on March 12th.

Lt. Governor Juliana Stratton Shared Her Message of Hope

We were honored to have Illinois Lt. Gov. Juliana Stratton deliver the sermon on the last Sunday of Black History Month, the week of Presidents' Day, and on the eve of Women's History Month in March. Thank you very much for sharing your message of hope. Watch the video of her message below.

Invitations to Walk the Labyrinth

On Sunday mornings in March you are invited to experience the ancient prayer practice of walking a labyrinth before the service at 10:00 or after the service in the Commons. Instructions and guidance will be provided. Additionally, a labyrinth meditation walk can be done on Saturday March 11th at 10:00 am or with the Unitarian Universalists on Friday, March 17 from 6:00 - 8:00 pm.

more information

Labyrinth video

Renovation Update

The board of the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program is meeting Saturday to consider our construction loan. Your prayers for them are appreciated!

While we wait for our architect and builder to gather "requests for proposals" from the electrical, mechanical, and civil engineers, other work has continued. With updated estimates, last week the Finance Committee submitted our loan application to the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program. We have been assigned an underwriter and we are proceeding with that conversation. 

One of the most interesting questions we were asked was: "Factors expected to contribute to the growth or decline of your parish/community's population and economy." 

Our answer: " At least three major development projects are underway in our neighborhood.

The Downtown Springfield and Mid-Illinois Medical District Master Plan will support shopping, recreation, and service needs, including public spaces, improvements to pedestrian and bike accessibility, mix of land uses and businesses, and opportunities to enhance public art.

Heartland Housed is a community-wide project to reduce homelessness to functional zero by 2028. The Capitol complex had begun major renovations on significant buildings in our neighborhood, including the Old State Capitol, the Armory, and a $224 million investment in the new State Capitol all within four blocks of our church."

Also last week, a team of church members and the pastor submitted a "letter of intent" to the National Fund for Sacred Places as a first step to applying for grant funds to assist with renovations related to the sanctuary. Specifically, we hope to receive a matching grant for repairs to the west wall of the sanctuary, the new HVAC in the church basement, and accessibility to the sanctuary from the elevator and the parking lot. We are requesting the maximum grant of $250,000. We will know in June if we have been selected to proceed to the next level in the process. Appreciation to teammates: Mary Bohlen, Tim Haworth, Mary Beth Stephens, and Sarah Watson for editing. Also, Clare Lewis, VP at PILP, has been a tremendous help with both of these applications!

Coffee Fellowship

Make plans to stay after worship for coffee fellowship.

We love visiting with old friends and making new ones. If you would like to host a coffee fellowship please sign up in the Narthex or contact Michelle Hastings.

Brown Bag Concerts

Join us Wednesdays in Lent for free concerts at lunch time starting March 15th through April 5th from 12:15 to 12:45.

Our next concert will feature

Vocal Ensemble

Diane Dietz, Becky Kemp

Emily Wheeler, Logan Campbell

Jacobsen Woollen

Click here for all performances

Lenten Soup Supper and Fellowship Wednesday, March 12th after 5:30 Worship

Please join us at 5:30 for worship service on March 12th and stay afterwards for soup and fellowship.

Church Directory Updates Needed

We have begun working on the 2023 church directory. If you have information to update or want to update your photo please contact Michelle by March 20th.

Caring for Creation

Some of our members and friends met last month with Aiden Meyer of Faith in Place to learn about creating a Green Team. With enthusiastic response, we are planning another gathering to dream about what we might do to care for creation as individuals and as a congregation. We imagine being PEACE: Presbyterian Environmentalists Acting to Care for the Earth. 

So, we are inviting anyone interested to join us at the El Dorado Mexican Restaurant at 4:30 p.m. on Saturday March 25. All are welcome as we brainstorm ideas and dream dreams about how our church can better care for its environment and encourage community efforts. The restaurant is located at 1374 Toronto Rd, Springfield, and dinners range from $10-$17

We need a headcount for our gathering, so please text Judy Bartels at 217/303-1646 or email Judy no later than Thursday, March 23 with your reservation. Hope you are able to attend. 

Dive Deeper/Aim Higher: Part 2

Thursday, March 16; 6:00 p.m. CT | 7:00 p.m. ET

We are all more effective in accomplishing our goals when we embrace the "why" behind them. Join our March Monthly Call for Part 2 of our deep dive exploring why we do the work we do, and setting our goals for the year! (You can view the recording of Part 1 here.)


All are welcome! See you there!


The Faith in Place Team

Register Here

Tell Us About Our Graduates

We are planning to celebrate our students who are graduating. If you know anyone who is going to be graduating from high school, college or any degree or certificate program please let Michelle know by May 1st.

Cuba Partnership

Donations for Sancti Spiritus

On April 12th, a group from First Presbyterian will be traveling to our sister church in Sancti Spiritus. Click the link below to see medical and school supplies needed. If you would like to donate any of these items there will be a donation box in the Narthex starting Sunday March 12, or you can contact Jan Sorenson.

Click here for a list of items to be donated

Devotional to Sancti Spiritus

by Julie Pfeifer


“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

–Jeremiah 29:11


And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.

–Romans 8:28 


Both of these verses speak to God’s plan for our lives. When we are in the midst of difficult times, we cannot usually see the “big picture.” It’s easy to lose perspective. But we can find comfort knowing that God’s plan for each of us is unique and perfect. I have heard an analogy comparing our lives to a tapestry. We can only see the back of the fabric, which looks messy and full of tangled knots, but God sees the beautiful embroidery on the front of the textile. May we trust God and learn to see ourselves and our lives as God does.

Devotion from Sancti Spiritus

"Gratitude to you Lord for another day of life. Allow that in the next few hours we can feel and see you everyday and in the sublime. Allow us Lord, that we be at peace and love in the midst of difficulties. Allow us to have courage in the face of fear that inhabits us and is around us."

Call President Biden to remove Cuba

from the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism


In the waning days of the previous administration, the State Department added Cuba to the list of State Sponsors of Terrorism. This unfair designation has led to great suffering among the Cuban people. Banks, financial institutions and international businesses have stopped both regular trade and humanitarian assistance to Cuba.


For more than 70 years, One Great Hour of Sharing

has connected us in God’s healing, tending and growing to create a world where all needs are met. 

In the Season of Lent, we follow Jesus’ example; walking alongside the most vulnerable to partner in repairing harms inflicted upon them. We are the Church, Together; and we are there with those who need us. Each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing helps improve the lives of the suffering and the vulnerable through three life-saving programs ~

  • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
  • Presbyterian Hunger Program
  • Self-Development of People

You can donate at LincolnsChurch.org/sharing. Please put One Great Hour of Sharing in the notes.

One Great Hour of Sharing gifts renew women’s lives and livelihoods in Panama

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

Paola Tognarelli’s [Tog-na-rē-le] connection to Mother Earth is sacred.

Just like the bond she now shares with the other significant women in her life.


The Chilibre Women’s Training Centers in Panama City, Panama, are supported by the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, which in turn is supported by gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing. (Contributed photo)

Volunteers Needed for 2023

Worship Readers

We are in need of responsive readers for our Zoom service and liturgists for our sanctuary service. If you are interested please email Michelle Hastings.

Habitat for Humanity Build

The Westminster Habitat for Humanity Build is building a four bedroom home with Paris and James Capler and their six children. The Kickoff is scheduled for Tuesday, March 21, 5:00 pm at Westminster Church and the Blitz is scheduled for March 27- April 1. Our congregation will provide food on the first day of the Blitz (Monday, March 27) for about 25 volunteers and we are supporting the build with a $5,000 donation from Mission funds plus $3,000 in donations from church members. 

Build 119 Volunteer Opportunities Now Posted!

On March 24th & 25th, Habitat needs volunteers to install decking! Do you need a different date? No problem. They also need volunteers for their 119 Blitz, March 27th to April 1st. During the Blitz, volunteers will assist with putting up walls, installing windows and doors, wrapping the frame, and installing roof trusses.  

The opportunities are open for all unskilled volunteers who are 18 and over. Shifts are from 8:00 am - 11:30 am & 12:00 pm - 3:30 pm. If you intend to work a full day, please sign up for both shifts on the dates you intend to work. If you can only work for one shift, pick the time slots that work best for you. Please email for more information.

Kids Activity Page

Click on this link for a fun activity page. Check back each week for a new activity page.

Share your work with us! We would love to see and display your creativity and talent. Send us your colored pictures (scan, email, regular mail) and we will share them on Sunday mornings and maybe also on our Facebook page.

Tuesday Night Bible Study Continues Its Focus on the Cross

On Tuesday night's we will continue to study the crucifixion of Jesus through the eyes of those who bore witness. We are guided by Amy-Jill Levine's book Witness at the Cross. You can jump into our study at any point in the series. Join us Tuesday night at 6:00 on Zoom.

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 852 9976 5041

One tap mobile +13126266799,,85299765041#

Dial by your location +1 312 626 6799 US

Evelyn L.

Charles N.

All events are via Zoom unless otherwise specified.



11 Labyrinth Walk 10:00 Commons


Reverend Susan Phillips to lead Service 9:00 Zoom

Labyrinth Walk 10:00 Commons

Labyrinth Walk 10:45 Commons

Reverend Susan Phillips lead Service 10:45 Sanctuary

Fellowship to follow service


Building and Grounds Meeting 4:00


Helping Hands Dinner 5:30

Tuesday Night Study 6:30


Brown Bag Concert 12:15 Sanctuary

Wednesday Worship 5:30 Cook/Diller Lounge

Lenten Soup Supper 6:00 Commons


Session Meeting 6:30

IL Wesleyan Concert 7:30 Sanctuary


Faith, Fiber and Fellowship Committee 10:00 Nursery

Labyrinth Walk 6:00 Commons


Reverend Susan Phillips to lead Service 9:00 Zoom

Labyrinth Walk 10:00 Commons

Labyrinth Walk 10:45 Commons

Reverend Susan Phillips lead Service 10:45 Sanctuary

Fellowship to follow service

NOTE: Links to all events are attached to items on the church calendar .

If you click on the Zoom link in the calendar the invitation will open.

How to Join a Zoom Meeting

From your computer, cell phone or tablet:

Click the link provided.

To join a Zoom meeting via telephone:

Dial number given for the meeting. You will be prompted to enter the meeting ID provided followed by #.

Sunday Attendance

Last Week

Zoom = 33

Sanct. = 56

Wed. = 16

Total = 105

Feb. 2023

Zoom = 137

Sanct. = 252

Wed. = 58

Total = 447

Feb. 2022

Zoom = 309

Sanct. = 0

Wed.= 37

Total = 346

Different Ways to Give

Thank you to everyone that shares in the Joy of Generosity at First Presbyterian! There are several ways to support our ministries and many ministries to support. In order to ensure your gift is credited to the correct fund, please take a moment to include the following information when making a donation:

  1. Writing a check – Add the fund name in the memo section (Capital Campaign, Peacemaking, Samaritan Ministry, etc.)
  2. Online portal – Select “Other Donations” when entering the amount then enter the name of the fund in the Notes section
  3. Text giving – Text “$10 CC” to 217-284-2546, this example is a $10 donation for the Capitol Campaign fund. Other commonly used text codes are: Pledge, SM (Samaritan Ministries), Donate (Non-pledge), Peace, Joy, OGHS, Pentecost and BB (Brown Bag)

Church Contact Information

Our church numbers reach us even while we are working remotely.

Pastor Susan Phillips


217.528.4311 X 1020

Chaplain Tim Haworth


217.528.4311 X 1030

Bookkeeper, Tara Kaeding


217.528.4311 X 1050

Administrative Assistant, Michelle Hastings


217.528.4311 X 4

321 South Seventh Street • Springfield, IL •  217.528.4311


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