Pastor Connection
June 24, 2021
A Note from Pastor Amy

"Walk it off." Have you ever heard that phrase? I usually hear it at sports events when a player gets hurt. A batter gets hit with a ball, feels the sting, and limps along until the pain subsides.

This phrase - "walk it off" - came to mind as I walked in the Rocky Mountain National Park last week. John and I got away to hike in the mountains - four mountains to be exact. Each day we walked an average of 10 miles. Up hill in the morning, down hill in the afternoon. It was beautiful, quiet, wonderful, and needed.

We started planning the trip several months ago before vaccines were available. Back then, there were still more questions about the future, tough decisions to be made, and frustrations galore. At that time, I felt the overwhelming urge to walk for a long time. I wanted to move my feet. I think I wanted to walk off the last 14 months, and walking my dog around the block was simply not going to be enough. I needed four mountains to walk it off.

I am grateful for the opportunity to walk last week. The time refreshed and restored me in ways I can't fully describe. There has been a of stress to walk off. Can you relate? This past year, has been hard for all of us. And as more places open up and we continue to reconnect, we can breathe a little easier and perhaps walk off some of the sting that caused us to limp along at times.

At the same time, recovery is not always that easy. I know that there are people who have not been merely hurt, but deeply wounded by something or someone. Perhaps, the type of healing needed is beyond their own abilities or control. They can't just walk it off.

So, I appreciate the gospel story for this Sunday - the text that was waiting for me when I returned. It is the story of Jesus healing the hemorrhaging woman and sick little girl in Mark 5:21-43. The story describes sick people who need to be healed. They walk, but they walk straight to Jesus. They keep walking the road of faith, ultimately knowing that Jesus is the one who needs to do the heavy lifting. They don't walk by themselves, but seek out Jesus to tend to the disease and dis-ease that has caused them pain and even despair. When Jesus meets them, he heals and restores. Nothing can stop him.

As each of us continue to move forward past the last year, I hope that we continue to find restoration and health - not just physically, but in other areas as well. Our relationships, daily patterns, mental and spiritual health, and so much more. I encourage you to keep walking. Keep walking to Jesus to find the healing you need from the wounds of the last year. Keep walking the path of faith. For as Jesus says, the very act of walking the path of faith will "make us well." (Mark 5:34)

Pastor Amy
This Sunday! First Church Fellowship Gathering Rescheduled

On this Sunday, June 27th, the First Church family will be holding a Bring Your Own Picnic event at Byrnes Park. This is rescheduled from June 20th due to rain. We will gather and spend time together at the shelter, immediately following worship. There is a playground for the kids to enjoy!
Congratulations Lorraine Baker!

First Church Family member Lorraine Baker was presented The Quilt of Valor on Memorial Day, May 31, 2021. Her quilt was pieced, quilted, and bound by one woman. A photo of Lorraine's quilt is above. Lorraine served in the Navy Reserves as a Yeoman 2nd class from April 1976 through July 1992.

The Quilt of Valor story:
In 2003, Catherine Roberts, a Blue Star mom and quilt maker, founded the Quilts of Valor Foundation as a result of her eldest son's upcoming deployment to Iraq. Catherine had a dream where she saw a soldier sitting on the edge of his bunk, in the middle of the night, hunched over and very distraught. Her next vision in this dream was the same soldier, wrapped in a quilt. His whole demeanor had changed from that of despair to hope and well-being. It was the quilt that had made the difference!

A Quilt of Valor is not a charity quilt. It is not a blanket. It is a quilt consisting of 3 layers:
  • The top of the quilt with its many colors, shapes, and fabrics represents the communities and the individuals we are. Each stitch in the quilt represents the love and gratitude of the quilter.
  • The batting is the center of the quilt - its warmth. It represents the hope that the quilt will bring warmth, comfort, peace, and healing to the individual who receives it.
  • The backing is the strength. It holds the many pieces of the quilt together. It represents the strength of the recipients, their faith in God, themselves, their family, our communities, and our nation.

This quilt says thank you for your service, sacrifice, and valor in serving our country. And though we were not there to welcome you home, when your quilt is wrapped around you, it is our way of welcoming you home with a great big hug.

Since 2003, there have been 271,408 QOV's awarded nationally.
Congratulations Jean Seeland!

Our own Jean Seeland has been awarded the YWCA's Women of Persimmon Youth Advocate Award. This is an annual award given to a woman who exemplifies the YWCA's mission of eliminating racism, empowering women and promoting peace, justice, freedom and dignity for all. 
Specifically, the Youth Advocate is awarded to a woman who
is an advocate for the health and well-being of youth, either by engaging in advocacy efforts on behalf of youth or working directly with young people through nurture, empowerment, and inspiration.
Summer Camp at Lake Okoboji

We are happy to announce that Lakeshore Center at Okoboji is having summer camp this year! There are camping opportunities still open through the end of July. The theme for this summer is "Leap into Adventure". There are camping options for children, youth, and families. The Christian Nurture and Fellowship Team will help defer the costs for those who wish to attend. You can find more information about their different camping programs by visiting the following website: There is also information in the church office. Please contact the church if you or your family plans to participate.
Mark Your Calendars: Guest Speaker Rescheduled

We were planning to host a conversation with Amgad Beblawi, our presbytery's new Mission Executive this past Tuesday. Unfortunately, Amgad had a family emergency and we needed to reschedule. Amgad will come on Monday, July 12th, at 5:30 pm to share about justice work and the church's role in that work. Church members are invited and welcome to attend. We hope to see you there to join in the discussion.
A Flamboyance of Flamingos Spotted in the Wild!

Rumor has it that some First Presbyterian members have been seeing pink birds on their lawns. Obviously, these flamingos love Presbyterians and they are wonderful representations of God's love for us. If you find a flamboyance of flamingos on your lawn, enjoy for a bit and then be sure to pass the love along. The office would also love a photo of these crafty creatures making their appearances! Feel free to email a photo to Today's photo is Marsha Muir enjoying the flamingos!
Tuesday Morning Bible Study Resumes!

Please join us this Tuesday, June 29th, at 9am in Calvin Hall. All are welcome! Coffee will be provided. We will be looking at the upcoming sermon text. We hope you can join us!
Book Club Resumes

The First Church Book Club has resumed their monthly meetings. The club will meet on the 2nd Thursday of each month at 9:30 in Calvin Hall. Please mark your calendars to join us next month!
Coffee Hour Following Worship

Please join us for coffee hour following the Worship Service in Calvin Hall. Coffee and light snacks will be provided, so please grab a cup and enjoy spending a little time together after church.
Pastors On Leave

Our pastors will be on leave the following dates:

Pastor Amy will be on leave July 5th through July 8th.
Pastor Amy will be on leave July 22nd through July 24th.
Pastor Amy will be on leave July 26th through July 29th.

Pastor Pat will be delivering the sermon on Sunday, July 11th.
Office Closing Early

The church office will be closing early at 3:00pm on Tuesdays in June and July, and August. All other office hours remain the same. Thank you for your understanding.
North End Arts & Music Festival

The North End Cultural Center is producing and hosting two entertainment opportunities for us to enjoy this summer. Please attend if you are interested.

Gospel Celebration
July 23rd, 2021 7:00 pm
Waterloo East High School

Arts & Music Festival
July 24th, 2021
Parade starts at 10:00am
Festival starts at 12 noon
Located at Ferguson Field Park, corner of Oneida and Linden Streets
Allen College ACE-SAP Free Clinic

Allen College is holding free clinics this summer for those who are uninsured or underinsured. A variety of services are offered, including free screening and assessment of chronic illnesses like high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and diabetes. They offer medication assistance and community referrals. The clinic offers psychiatric nurse practitioners by appointment. ACE-SAP partners with the I-Smile program to do dental assessments and fluoride applications for those who lack dental care. They may be able to assist with costs for dental problems due to receiving a grant from Delta Dental. The clinic is staffed by students in the master's program at Allen College, supervised by licensed faculty.

The clinic is open 9am to 5pm on Wednesdays through June and July at the Salvation Army, 207 Logan Avenue in Waterloo. For more detailed information, please see the letter and flyer on the bulletin board next to the church office, call or email Amber at 319-233-6145;, or visit the website,
Activity Book Drive

Impact Church needs your help! May 23rd- June 26th, 2021. Impact is collecting the following items for residents at Manor Care Health Services in Waterloo.

-Coloring books-Large print word find books-Large print crossword puzzle books-Sudoko books-Markers-

Drop donations off daily at: Impact Church, 715 E. 4th Street Waterloo

You can also donate by check, via CASHAPP at $impactchurchwloo, or on their website at

For more information please call 319-595-1015 or email
Church Directory

If you would like an updated church directory, please contact Amber in the office, or 319-233-6145. We have a version which can be emailed, or if you would prefer a paper copy, we can send you one in the mail.
Pulpit Flower Volunteers Needed

We are once again accepting donations of flower arrangements for our Sunday Services. We currently have openings on July 18th and 25th, and August 1st, 15th, and 29th. If you would like to donate, please contact Amber in the office to find a date that works for you. You can call the office or email Amber directly. 319-233-6145 or Alternatively, you can let Nancy Valentine know on Sundays after service and she will relay your information to Amber. Thank you!
Church Prayer List

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
Joe Fernau, son of Marie Fernau, who has been diagnosed with lymphoma; Marilyn Lottich, health concerns; Mable, great-granddaughter of Skip and Judy Mulock and their family, struggling with health issues; Donna Beaver recovering from foot surgery; Evelyn and Carl Boice's son who is ill; Angie (Kim Swallow's friend) who works at the Anamosa State Penitentiary; Steve Miller recovering from surgery at home

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.
Church Family Birthdays

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

1 Travis Bowers
3 Drew Newhoff
4 Nancy Valentine
5 Jackson Bass, Marilyn Lottich, Samuel Smith
8 Judy Anders, Sarah Christensen, Steve Cose
9 Shirley Sorenson
11 David Kabel, Doug Newhoff
16 Teresa Ames, Jean Priebe
19 Jennifer Bass, Mark Fairbanks, Paul Mead, Kim Reisinger, Colette Shull
21 Lorraine Baker
25 Olive Whyte
26 Barbara Young
28 Kevynne Wimberley
30 Theresa Braby

First Presbyterian Church | Waterloo, IA | 319-233-6145 |