Pastor Connection
April 8, 2021
A Poem to Begin Eastertide

Light by Sarah Are

In Italian, the phrase, “to give birth” 
Literally means, “to bring into the light.” 
A mother will labor for hours and days, 
Breaking herself for you, 
Whispering between fractured breaths, 
“This is my body, broken for you.” 

A mother will do this as long as it takes 
So that you, her beloved, 
Have a chance at life. 
So that you, her beloved, 
Can feel the warmth of the light. 

And after all that pain, 
The sun will rise. 
The doctor will put a baby on her chest. 
The mother will hold her child as if 
Letting go is indeed physically impossible. 
She will breathe easy, 
And then she will whisper softly, 
“All this time, 
All these deep breaths… 
It was love, again and again and again.” 

It is childbirth, 
But it is also resurrection. 
A body broken. 
Breath fractured. 
A long night. 
A sunrise. 
Breath returned. 
New life, 
And a love that won’t let go. 

Friends, maybe Easter is just God whispering, 
“All this time, 
All these deep breaths… 
It’s been love, again and again and again.” 

I think we’ve been standing in the light all this time. 
Now that I think of it, isn’t it warm?
Welcome Amber Gilles!

We are very happy to announce that we have hired a new office manager, Amber Gilles. She started this week, on Monday, April 5th. Amber brings a wealth of skills to our church along with a positive energy. Be sure to welcome her! With this new addition to our staff, the church office hours will return to Monday through Thursday 8:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Saying Good-Bye to Dakota Andersen

Dakota Andersen, our church sanctuary choir director, recently accepted an offer of admission from the University of North Texas, to start an M.M. degree in jazz voice performance in the fall.

While we are very excited for his new opportunity, we will be sad to see him go. Dakota's musical gifts, his positive attitude, and his genuine care for our church members have been blessings.

Per Dakota:
I feel so blessed to have been with this congregation for the last two and a half years! The people here are kind, down-to-earth, and some of the most welcoming people I have ever met. It has been such a pleasure to work with the Sanctuary Choir in particular. They gave me so much grace as I grew into my role as their choir director, and I am so proud to have seen individual and collective growth in all of them. I am forever grateful for them and for everyone at First Presbyterian - I will miss everyone so much!

Fortunately Dakota will be with us through the end of June. Please be looking for upcoming information as to how we will show our appreciation and bid him good-bye.
Presbyterian Women Will Meet in April!

We are excited to announce that the PW will meet Wednesday, April 21st, 2021, at 9:30 am in Calvin Hall. We will continue our 2019-2020 Horizons Bible Study, "Love Carved in Stone", with Lesson 6. Masks and social distancing will be required.
quilting-world-women.jpg
One Great Hour of Sharing

Thank you to all those who contributed to the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering! Each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing supports efforts to relieve hunger through the Presbyterian Hunger Program, promote development through the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, and assist in areas of disaster through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.


The final day we will be accepting contributions will be this Sunday, April 11th, 2021 . You may send offerings to the office or give during the in person worship service. Thank you for your generosity!
magic_ribbons_book.jpg
Tuesday Morning Bible Study

We are taking a break from this Bible Study for the next several weeks. We hope to gather again towards late spring. Keep an eye on the connection for updates. Thank you to all who have diligently attended and learned together.
Thank You

We would like to thank everyone for the cards, calls, prayers and healing thoughts for my mom and me over the last few months. They were all very much appreciated. As it gets warmer we are hoping to get out and walk to gain more physical strength.
Thank you again,
Dorothy Hummel and Diane Ernster
man_praying_holding_bible.jpg
Church Prayer List

With Our Sympathies:
Bill Davis passed away on Tuesday evening, April 6th following an accident over the weekend. We pray for Sally and their family as they grieve. We also pray for Sally as she continues to recover from back surgery a few weeks ago.

New to the Prayer List:
Terry Sage's brother-in-law, Rob Sassy, has COVID-19 and pneumonia. We pray for health and healing.

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
Angie (Kim Swallow's friend) who works at the Anamosa State Penitentiary; Karen Hahn recovering from surgery; Dorothy Hummel recovering from surgery; Barbara Benskin recovering from injuries from a fall; Pat Stanhope fell and sprained her arm/shoulder; Diane Ernster is dealing with back pain/sciatic nerve problems; Florence Ramsell at Northcrest, Steve Miller recovering from surgery at home, prayers of safety for Barbara Benskin's son who is a trucker; Neva Kerr, New Aldaya (Hospice); Paul Holtz, Hospice Care


Add to the Prayer List
Click HERE to submit a prayer request online. Our pastors will be praying for you and sharing concerns with the congregation as requested.
white_pink_birthday_cake.jpg
Church Family Birthdays

We celebrate our members with birthdays in April. If you get a chance, please join us in wishing them a very happy birthday!



April
2 Bradley Mananga
3 Tommy Roberts
4 Paul Kabel
7 Jim Christensen
8 Cathy Bowers
9 Diane Ernster, John Wiles
10 Nicky Newhoff
11 Jo Beaver, Brian Powell
19 Abby McClain
22 Bob Reisinger, Thomas Wiles
24 Karen Dew
25 Tye Schellhorn
27 David Schwab
29 Jim Clarke

First Presbyterian Church | Waterloo, IA | 319-233-6145 | www.1stpresby.org