April 3, 2018
Kennewick First Presbyterian Church
2001 W. Kennewick Avenue
Kennewick, WA 99336
(509) 582-9537
Resurrection People

“Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.” Mark 16:8

At the resurrection, Jesus fulfilled what he told his disciples on three separate occasions in the gospel of Mark that he would do: die and rise again. Their reaction is fear and bewilderment. How do we react when we see God fulfilling what he said he would do? Is our faith strengthened? Are we encouraged to help more, reach more people, share our story? Or are we afraid and confused and just keep it to ourselves?

I believe in the power of prayer. I know that prayer changes people and I have seen prayer change my attitude, my focus and my attention. I trust that prayer also changes situations and that healing occurs through the power of prayer. I have witnessed prayer bring comfort, as well as emotional and spiritual healing to people who have suffered for years. On some occasions I have seen physical healing as a miraculous answer to prayer but this is harder to quantify. 

Recently, a young girl was very sick in the hospital. We came together and prayed with her and the next day she began to recover. I was incredibly relieved and thankful that God was working in her life! But then she grew worse and was air-lifted to Seattle Children’s Hospital. This sent my trust in a tailspin. Lord, I need you to answer this prayer. Please, please, please do not let this sweet, precious girl die! I had a vision of Jesus holding her hand and saying, “Talitha koum.” (Little girl, get up.) The same words Jesus spoke to Jairus’s daughter in Mark 5:41. Thankfully, she began to recover. When she could communicate again, she told her mom that the only thing she remembered from her time at Kadlec was our prayer together. Wow! That’s amazing and strange, I thought. If I’m completely honest, it freaked me out a little bit. As I said before, I believe in the power of prayer. But I don’t always believe that my prayers make a difference. Sometimes I am trembling and bewildered and afraid when I see God at work in the world. Just like those women who fled from the tomb, I am overwhelmed at the greatness of God and how very small I am in the world. And yet, in spite of my smallness, my insignificance, God desires to hear my prayer and meet those needs and answer those tearful cries in the dark of night. 

We serve a Resurrected Christ. We are Resurrection People. We no longer have to stay in the dark tomb. We no longer have to look for the Lord among the dead. We can trust that this God is powerful over whatever circumstance and situation and problem we face. This God has conquered death and can bring us back to life. And when God acts in response to our prayers, we worship in awe and in wonder and sometimes in bewilderment. To God be the glory in our lives and in our community! Amen.

Dear Friends and Family of KFPC,

I need to share some hard news with you all. Yesterday, I received word from Rev. C. Craig Hall, our interim senior pastor from September 2015 – March 2017, that he was diagnosed late last week with advanced, inoperable liver cancer. Pastor Craig has written a very eloquent and heartfelt letter detailing the journey he has been on over the past few months, which he has given me permission to share with you all and which you will see below.

I will not lie – it has been an emotional 24 hours for me and many of the staff. But we also take comfort in knowing we are Easter people, who place our hope in the Resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. And as an Easter person, I am reminded today of something I have shared with grieving families many times: the first question of the Heidelberg Catechism. It asks, “What is your only comfort, in life and death? That I belong – body and soul, in life and in death – not to myself but to my faithful Savior, Jesus Christ…” 

Please pray for Craig and Ann, for their family & for their many friends, as Craig and Ann navigate all that is to come and life under this new reality. 

Grace and peace,

Pastor Ashley
  "If I should die before I wake..."

I learned my nighttime liturgy from my dear mother sometime in the mid '1940s. I have not forgotten it. There's something about the internal tension between dark threat and a shining thread of hope that staple itself to the inner bits of my preadolescence brain. Nevertheless (in my time), we played in polluted streams, breathed deeply of coal dust and practiced "Duck and Cover" drills – as if immune to all danger. No longer. During Holy week, 2018, my world turned on its head - I was told I am dying.


I am.

Just so everyone gets the same story, allow me to supply a brief history; skip it if you prefer. Entering last Fall I was a picture of geriatric health felt, "Strong like ox!" We bought an RV (at about the point in life where sane people are selling them!). We planned a "Snow Bird" experience for Feb, '18, then signed up for a dream European trip / cruise to begin the end of April. When we bought trip insurance, I scoffed, boasting that nothing would keep me from going. Mid Fall, however, I began to have inconvenient side-effects of what seemed to be a GI malfunction. Symptoms exacerbated slowly from inconvenient to disturbing and reached the point where a last-minute check ((late Jan) with the Doc seemed prudent before heading South. The PA tested three different markers, gave suggestions (mentioned "no sign of C") and gave his support to the trip. The drive to AZ, however, turned out to be far more enervating than expected, and reduced me to a virtual 4 week shut-in in Tucson. Only by the Grace of God and the intervention of fabulous friends were we able to return home March 6. Through it all I lost over 30 lbs (not the ones I might have hoped to lose); strength and endurance are fond memories.

At that point we were jumping up and down for GI tests and interventions. Finally, on March 22, I was treated to the whole range of invasive GI tests, and the results, while serious, looked treatable. As for me, however, the tests left me a quivery ball of misery, and that may have been the end of me had it not been for the mighty intervention of Stephanie and Woody Garvin, whose believable threats motivated a visit to the Emergency Dept. at Kootenai Hosp. Within two hours of being admitted everything changed with these simple swords, "I've got bad news..." Over the following four days a number of tests were run, all coming to the same conclusion: I have advanced, inoperable cancer of the liver, which has done some traveling into my lungs and possibly even into some skeletal material. I have visited enough souls in enough hospitals over the years to know what that means. I am dying.

    And Now?

For myself, I flop between a ruthless, steely eyed practical problem-solving mindset to dreamy, gauzy sanitized memories, to wondering if this is really happening to me, to wondering if the Steelers can finally get past the Pats and win #LI II before I perish. As you can see, I'm doing great! Our principle focus now is sorting therapies, while knowing there is no cure. What paths will hold open what doors, what therapies may steal more than they offer. Then there are the lists! What goes, what stays. If you know me well, you know I have been a sensation at collecting! Now, with Ann's burdens weighing heavily, I need to find out how skilled I can be as a short time 'decollector' - everything from cars to kotchkies. 


This is where the real heartbreak comes. Over decades I have watched the faithful gather about those who mourn, providing marvelous sanctuaries of love and support. And then, after about two weeks, its time to move along to the next project of mercy and care taking. Ann and I are not blessed with immediate family close at hand, and while moves from congregation to congregation have widened the field of potential support, it has also denied us many long-standing ties. Love her - care for her. 

    Thank You! We Love You!

I apologize once more for communicating in this manner - I just couldn't work out how to disseminate the news, all at one time, to the many people who have filled our days with love and life. The simple fact that you are getting this means we treasure you as precious, loved companions, gifts of God's Grace. I know I have been inaccessible recently, but, I hope to have more time for communicating with friends.

    A Miracle?

Sure! Why not? It’s just hard from here to know what a miracle would look like. Surely it’s not simply a matter of Kronos. I get it, I'm playing from a short deck, but all the same, I suspect it’s not primarily about stocking up more hours, days or months. Is there still opportunity to be a blessing in some fashion that might escape me if I am too focused on personal pleasures and pains - and counting days? In any case, I unashamedly plead for your prayers and blessings - we both need you!

Craig Hall

Sunday, April 8, 2018

8:30 am: Contemporary Service
9:45 am: Sunday School - Adult Ed & Kid's Sunday Small Group
11:00 am: Classic Worship Service

Sermon: "Creating a New Culture: Discipleship"
Scripture: Acts 1
Preacher: Rev. Ashley Birk

For recordings of past sermons, please visit our website at kfpc.org.


The Art of Neighboring...

April 8 - May 20, 2018
(excluding April 29, 2018)
9:45 am - Library

We will be studying the book, "The Art of Neighboring, Building Genuine Relationships Right Outside Your Door," by Jay Pathak and Dave Runyon, in this spring's Sunday school term. The book provides practical advice on how to be intentional about living out the great commandment to love our neighbors, especially neighbors living nearby. 

The class will be informal with little or no lecture, and will utilize study guide questions for each lesson. Because this book will be used as the basis for a sermon series this summer, joining the discussion this spring may allow you to get more out of the sermon series.
500 Years of Reformation and Counting......
April 8 - May 20, 2018
(excluding April 29, 2018)
9:45 am - Room 109

Last year we marked the 500th anniversary of the Reformation really taking off with Martin Luther's nailing the 95 theses on the church door. We saw how now after 500 years, we still are affected by the changes that spread throughout Europe and by extension into the lands that Europeans colonized. We used DVDs called "This Changed Everything", "John Knox", "Zwingli and Calvin", "A Man Named Martin", and "Amazing Grace" to study both the lives and the impact of the reformers. This spring will continue with a new DVD presenting a Catholic look at the reformation years, their own reformers, and their impact today."

Facilitated by: Sylvia Harris
New Member Class
April 8 - May 6, 2018 (excluding April 29, 2018)
9:45 am - Fireside Room

Are you interested in becoming a new member of Kennewick First Presbyterian Church? Would you like to know the history of the Presbyterian Church and what is involved to be a member? We will meet Sunday, April 8, 15, 22, and May 6, 2018 @ 9:45 am in the Fireside Room. New members will join the church on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Please sign up on the Information Table or contact the office if you are interested. 509.582.9537
Save the dates:
You are invited to attend....

The installation of
Reverend Elizabeth Shen O'Connor
Meadow Springs Presbyterian Church
April 15, 2018
2:30 pm

Please plan to join us for a reception following the service.
"Church Inside Out"
April 29, 2018

Join us for a shortened, combined worship service at 11 AM. Following the service, we will be sending teams out to participate in service projects benefiting the wider Tri Cities Community. We will have a service project or two that can be done “in house” for those with mobility or transportation concerns. 

Some of the organizations we will be serving:

Boys and Girls Club of Benton & Franklin Counties
The Chaplaincy
My Friends Place/Safe Harbor
Second Harvest
Tri City Union Gospel Mission

More info coming soon!
Please present your articles for the newsletter no later than the Thursday before the Tuesday you want it published.
Thank you, Debbie