Off the Pres at FPC | E- ! nfo Letter | September 25, 2019
Events and Announcements in the Church and in the Community
For the Week Coming Up

Will all the people say AMEN! The glow from those who led and attended our Women’s Retreat could brighten anyone's day! Giddy is probably the correct word. Folks returning the borrowed flip-chart markers, name tags and tripod stands came through the church office smiling if not looking a bit exhausted. So with much thanks to these organizers: Lynda Berger, Courtney Hightower, Marty Schank, Kristen Smith and Brenda Te Brink: we say out loud: YOU ROCK!

Now we're off to our next shindig which the dictionary defines as " a large lively party, especially one celebrating something".

We don't often think of church as a lively party but this one, on St. Francis Day, may prove to be the exception. The upcoming BETTER TOGETHER with all the pets and animals and their owners (and US!) gathering in Rotary Park on Sunday, October 6 is probably the most unique idea for "evangelism" on a local level of any church out there. Pray for all those who are working so hard to include the wider reaches of Durango in this intentionally "non-churchy" event. And while you're at it, read the Vision Statement for Better Together in the postcard duplicated below. Then ask yourself: "what can I do, who can I invite, and how can we at First Pres make a new kind of impact on our beautiful corner of God's creation here in Durango?"

Maybe t his week we all could try stepping out of our comfort zones to embrace something new for ourselves and the church we love. Change is always uncomfortable at first. So why not start by trying to change something now so you can begin feeling comfortable again?

And now, this is the week ahead. (Remember to sit down with your calendar and this email and plug these things in!)
Many Blessings!

Did you see the back of our BETTER TOGETHER postcard? It outlines our Vision for this part of our outreach and ministry
The First Sunday of the Month usually is
Food Bank Sunday
Instead we're having a FOUR - LEGGED FOOD DRIVE starting now until Sunday the 6th. We are hoping that people from FPC will consider donating and (dropping off at church) LARGE DOG AND CAT FOOD BAGS which will be divided up in 1 gallon bags to give away at the Animal Expo to people who may struggle to pay for it themselves. Contact us if you have questions, but we're suspending our regularly scheduled Food Bank event until November so we can Feed The World (of DOGS!) whose owners might need a charitable donation.
And the BT List Goes On!

We will join with St Marks by staffing an information and activity booth. Some of the ideas both churches have thrown out there (and hope some of our members might help with by giving their energy, time and donations) are listed in the box below. TMI? Perhaps. But if we even did a 3rd of these things, what a great gift to Durango it would be! For questions or suggestions, contact BT's fearless Lead Organizer, Eric Beyler.

Starts This Sunday: A New Adult Class
Join us for a stimulating trio of classes and discussions September 29, October 13 and 20 at 8:45am in Room 215 as we explore Creation Stories: Myths, Facts, Truths. We'll begin this week with Jon Powell speaking about creation from the perspective of both modern and historical science. Later next month we'll explore the biblical text and a sampling of narrative encounters from Native sources. Please come!
Confirmation Class!
Our MIDDLE SCHOOLERS (PLUS A FEW) are focusing on "Life's Big Questions" with the goal of joining into church membership (or not! The point of the class is more about discernment than decision) near the end of the year. The class meets from 9:00-9:50am in Rm 213 every Sunday morning and is being coordinated and led by the Rev. Bill Postler. Keep them in your prayers on this exciting journey!
  Thinking about getting Baptized?

Sept. 29, 2019, there will be a river baptism in the Florida River. 11:30am.
Others are welcome. Contact Beau if you are interested in being baptized.

E veryone is invited to come celebrate the event!

4618 CR 234 (road connecting fire station on Florida Rd and Elmore’s corner) at the home of Zachariah and Kristin Beach. (Barb Conn’s granddaughter Della Rue Beach will be getting baptized.)
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!
We've Updated our Pictorial Directory to Include our New Staff
With new staff on board and some membership changes, we have printed A FEW new pictorial directories. Black and White copies are available at no cost and colored copies for a small fee. See the table in Westminster Hall to pick up your copy.
In the Community

A Presentation you might want to attend:

Everybody Leads

Paul Schmitz builds the collective leadership of organizations and communities to achieve greater social impact through his role as Senior Advisor at the The Collective Impact Forum and CEO of Leading Inside click here as well as being the former CEO of Public Allies.
For more information, contact the event organizer Jason by clicking here.

The 8 wonderful AmeriCorp NCCC Sun Team Volunteers are staying 18 nights in our Youth Lounge

This is a great bunch who have dedicated themselves to working with Durango's own Good Food Collective helping to glean and harvest fruit and vegetables in La Plata and Montezuma counties.
Part of their work is to help do some maintenance around our property as well as providing hours of labor in our kitchen preparing for the picnic on 10/6 in Rotary Park.

Join these wonderful volunteers and people from all around the 4-Corners

THE FRUIT GLEAN HAPPY HOUR happens every Thursday just a block away from our front doors. Especially on October 3 but also tomorrow, we are hoping that the FREE stuff 1st Pres folks take home can be donated to the menu for the picnic in the park on Sunday, Oct. 6th. Here is description of this event:

We harvest excess backyard fruit to reduce food waste, deter bear-human conflict, and provide fresh local produce to organizations addressing hunger! This community powered event starts with mocktails outside the Smiley building, where we meet to carpool to our gleaning location. Volunteers can take home any fruits that they gather- the rest goes to regional food-banks. Please come out and join the fun! Click here to check out their website.
Concerns in the Spotlight

The goal of this ministry (already underway. If you have not been contacted yet, let us know!) is twofold. The first is to give you someone to contact personally if you have any questions or concerns that the church can help with. For example, if you need a ride to church or to the Better Together event in ten days or you have a question like ‘where is that park we’re meeting at for better together?’…you can call your assigned Deacon. They may not know the answer themselves but they can find someone who will. Of course if someone is ill or your family is in need you can call your Deacon. So the second goal is to have a whole team of people who are ready and willing to give you a helping hand if you are in need.

Remember: Prayer is POWERFUL and WORKS!


We will join the St. Francis Day Blessing of the Animals offered through St. Mark's Episcopal Church on this October Sunday in Rotary Park. We're in charge of the ANIMAL SERVICES EXPO to help promote better and more visible services aimed at the animals and pets living with us and surrounding us here in Durango. Also we have important tasks helping to host the picnic lunch. Sign up sheets will be in Westminster Hall. A dedicated group of FPC members are WORKING THEIR TAILS OFF to get ready! Let the office know if you are able to SIGN UP TO HELP! WE NEED YOUR IDEAS AND ENERGY!

For more complete information CLICK HERE