Off the Pres at FPC | E- ! nfo Letter | October 23, 2019
Events and Announcements in the Church and in the Community
For the Week Coming Up

Another full schedule and an important note from the pastor:

Dear Church Family,

This week begins a new sermon series, Grateful, Thankful, Blessed—Growing in a Life of Gratitude . Along with starting a new series on gratitude we’re kicking off our 2019 Stewardship Campaign!  In these next week’s you’ll be receiving a pledge card by mail and I’d ask that you’d prayerfully consider what you might give to First Presbyterian Church this year.  As we think of all that we’re grateful for, and all we could express gratitude for, I want to express my personal gratitude for this church family and your generosity!  You all make the life and mission of this church happen with your time, talent, and resources.  It’s exciting to lead such a generous and thoughtful church.  May God bless you with even more reasons to be grateful as you give!

Pledge Sunday will be Sunday November 10.

In His grace and with a grateful heart,


And then there's this late-breaking news:

We have hired Linda McCargar as our new FINANCIAL OFFICER! Linda comes most recently from La Plata Habitat for Humanity where she was the Finance Director r esponsible for the accounting of all three sectors: retail store, home builds and administration. Both Kat Katsos and Gail Smith will be able to overlap with Linda for hands-on and on-the-job training during the week(s) ahead. Then Gail, who is a CPA, has agreed to help us once Kat has left on an as needed basis.

Be sure to thank Gary Scott, Moderator and all the members of Team Staff Support (Mary Brown, Lee Campbell, Cheryl Clay, Gay Kiene, and Ginny Miller-Cavanaugh (who represented the finance team) for their time, energy and wisdom through the search process.

And the full schedule? This is the week coming up. Remember to sit down with your calendar and this email and plug these things in!  

Many Blessings!
Light Up the Night on Halloween Night
We’re STILL in Need of Candy, Gallons of Cider and Volunteers!!!

Hey FPC Folks. Each Year we host
handing out Halloween candy and cider drinks to children as they trick-or-treat up and down 3 rd  Avenue. This year it's going to be awesome!   We need volunteers to help sort and bag the candy after the Sunday service on October 27. Also, we could sure use help setting up our Halloween display in Westminster on Wednesday October 30 and Thursday October 31 and taking it down on Friday November 1. Come help make "Light Up The Night" a fun, welcoming experience for the hundreds of kids that visit us! For more information, please contact Jon Powell, 970 946-4628. Or Click here for Jon's email

   Please bring candy and cider donations to the church office during the week or to Westminster Hall this Sunday
The three (now FOUR!) week series will conclude this week, October 27 at 8:45am in Room 215 


Join us for the final discussion of our three (now FOUR) week series 
exploring Creation Stories: Myths, Facts, Truths
  • We began a few weeks ago with Jon Powell speaking about the bible's creation narrative(s) from the perspective of both modern and historical science.
  • Next we explored the biblical text in Genesis 2 and 3 with a focus on the significant role Eve plays in that story. We continued that discussion and sampled some narrative encounters from Native sources led by Cortland Hopkins of the Native Inter-Varsity program at FLC.
  • This week we return to the book of Genesis for a close reading of the stories we encounter there with guidance from the prolific Old Testament scholar, Robert Alter, whose translation with commentary of the Five Books of Moses and his Commentary on Genesis have assisted readers to discover new insights about the art of biblical narrative. Please come!
Second Sunday Supper November 10 

Our next Second Sunday Supper will be Sunday, Nov. 10, at 5:30pm. These Potluck Suppers are an opportunity to better get to know others in the church.  There will be no program. Instead participants will eat in small groups of 5 or 6 people. As you eat you’ll be asked to share a bit of your life story and your faith journey based on a couple of question chosen by the leaders. The whole point of these dinners is to build a stronger sense of community (koinonia). Bring a main dish, a salad, a side dish, or a dessert. Everyone is welcome: young and old, singles and families (children included), long-time members and first-time visitors. We’ll conclude by 7:00pm.
There will be a sign up sheet in Westminster to help estimate the number of diners. We will skip December so our next Second Sunday Supper will be on January 12.
The Next Men's Breakfast
Saturday, November 9 - 9:00am in Westminster Hall

 Please come (you’re welcome to bring a friend) for great food, fellowship, and discussions

RSVP appreciated but not necessary

Contact: Jon Powell –
or call (970) 946-4628

Do you feel the call to serve your church in a leadership position?

The Nominating Committee is searching for Elders and Deacons starting in 2020.

  • You, the congregation, are invited to self-nominate or suggest nominees for Elder or Deacon.
  • Elders are our Spiritual Leaders (not Board members, not church managers). They make the decisions that guide our church’s direction
  • Deacons are our “hands and feet” and need to have tenderness of heart as well as patience and love for our congregation and community.
  • If you nominate a person, please get the consent of the person you are nominating.
  • Nominations will close on Nov. 3
  • Nomination/s can be emailed to Barb Conn 
  • To understand more about the responsibilities of serving as an officer in our church, click here. Qualifications:  FPCD member, love Jesus, love our church and have a willingness to serve.

Employment News - Financial Officer

Kat Katsos will be leaving our staff October 30. She is spending time training and consulting with Gail L. Smith, CPA (right) who we've chosen to provide continuity during this transition.
We have moved quickly to find a permanent replacement and have stopped receiving applications. We are happy to report that interviews and reference checks are almost complete. Within days we plan on making an announcement about a finalis t who we believe will be a great fit in this position. In the meantime, if you happen to stop by the office, please say hello to Gail and goodbye to Kat. And stay tuned (or see the note above at the end of the headline article)! ________________________________________________________
A New Adult Series for our Sunday School Class
A week from Sunday, November 3, we will start a new book study called Jesus Outside the Lines, a way forward for those who are tired of taking sides , written by Presbyterian Pastor Scott Sauls. Susanna Oehlke will begin leading the study and copies of the book are available for $12 in the Church Office and on Sunday in Westminster Hall

Jesus offers us a way forward - away from harshness, caricatures, and stereotypes.
As quoted on the back of the book:
"Weary of Us Against Them?  Whether the issue of the day on Twitter, Facebook, the blogosphere, or cable news is our sexuality, political divides, or the perceived conflict between faith and reason, we are often drawn into a frustrating clash between two opposing sides. Polarizing, us-against-them discussions divide us and distract us from thinking clearly and communicating lovingly with others. Scott Sauls, like many of us, is weary of the unnecessary divides and is seeking a way of truth and beauty through the conflicts, Jesus Outside the Lines presents Jesus as this way. Drawing from the words and actions of Jesus, Scott shows us how we can hold firmly to our beliefs without perpetuating divisiveness."
In the Community - The Neighbors in Need Alliance (NINA)

With your help, we hope:

  • To implement a pilot program of monitored lockers to secure belongings
  • To provide emergency services and supplies to persons living without homes
  • To continue to strategize for a permanent shelter by 2021

Try Presbyterians Today

Reading this monthly magazine always makes local congregations feel like they are part of something much bigger than themselves. And we ARE!
Concerns in the Spotlight

Sherri Collins from the Board of Deacons made this request:

  • Could you announce that we need donations of greeting cards for the Deacon Card Ministry

  • Also please make a request for people to bring donations of puzzles for folks at Cottonwood and other senior residences. This need arose in conversation with Irene Nix from our church who lives at Cottonwood

  • Irene began encouraging Cottonwood to put a table up for residents to do puzzles. Then she spread the word for folks who stay in their rooms to come out and socialize - and it is working!   

  • Baskets for donated cards and puzzles will be put out in Westminster Hall

Thanks Sherri! We send prayers of thanksgiving for your coordination of the Deacons Greeting Card Ministry and all the unseen ways the Board stays connected with people who benefit from a kind word of healing and encouragement in the course of their daily lives.

As always, we add this note:

Remember: Prayer is POWERFUL and WORKS!
Highlight - October is Pastor Appreciation Month

Pastor Appreciation Reception

Sunday, November 3
during Coffee Hour
Bring a finger food appetizer  or Contact Barb Conn to help


 Leave your appreciation cards
at the ushers' stations
at church all month. Or fill out the insert in the bulletin which says:

My note/tribute in honor of Pastor Beau and the Smith family (Please place in the baskets at the ushers’ stations. Or post on the Pastor Appreciation bulletin board or gratitude table outside of Westminster Hall)  
Another Important Highlight
An Update about the Wednesday Night Small Group/Bible Study

Our goal is to have a conversation about Christianity from a Reformed perspective that is as inviting as possible and that anyone can attend with no advance preparation. 

  • We are currently listening to a podcast called Simply Put, which gives a short (5-7 minute) introduction to different theological subjects. 

  • We then spend the rest of our time together talking about and unpacking the subject. So far we have covered Original Sin, Sanctification, Justification, Imputed Righteousness, Satan, Aseity of God, Canon of Scripture, the Five Solas, and the Athanasian Creed. 

7:00pm each Wednesday at the home of Susanna and Crest Oelke
735 Red Rock Road Durango, CO

Crest and Susanna say: "We will be meeting on October 23, 30, and November 6, then we will be gone for an extended time. We plan to hold off on any further dates until we return in the spring.  We are greatly enjoying our time together and look forward to resuming upon our return!"