Pastor Connection
August 26th, 2021
A Note from Pastor Amy

Last week, I shared that Session will be entering into an intentional time of spiritual discernment concerning the church's future. Over the next several months, our church Elders will be making decisions about the path moving forward. Of course, there are lots of questions that will arise. What should we do? What do people want? How can we change? However in spiritual discernment, faithful congregations do not start with these questions.

Instead, we begin by asking:
What is God saying? How is God leading us?
These questions are more difficult and the answers can seem unclear.

Fortunately, there is a place to turn when seeking God's answers - story. The stories of Scripture point to God's activity, desires, purpose, and possibilities. That is why an important step in any spiritual discernment process is called "rooting". As Danny Morris and Charles M. Olsen explain, the act of rooting "connects religious and biblical stories, themes, and images with the situation at hand."* When we root ourselves in the story of Scripture, we begin to gain a better understanding of how God leads and speaks to us today.

Over the next several weeks, I will be preaching a sermon series called "Stories for Such a Time as This." From August 22 through October 3 (World Communion Sunday), we will be looking at different passages of Scripture that root us deeply in God's story for the sake of discerning God's spirit for our church at this time. I look forward to continued conversation and times of worship together. May God continue to reveal desires, purpose, and possibilities for us!

Peace be with you,
Pastor Amy

*Danny E. Morris and Charles M. Olsen, Discerning God's Will Together (Herndon, VA: Alban Institute, 2012) 60.
Sunday Coffee Fellowship Before Worship at 8:45am

Please join us each Sunday at 8:45am before the worship service for fellowship in Calvin Hall. Coffee will be served.
Amgad Beblawi to Speak

Amgad Beblawi, our presbytery's Executive Presbyter for Mission, is coming again to share his thoughts on God's mission and the church. Join us on Sunday, September 12, before the worship service, 8:45 am in Calvin Hall. Amgad will also be preaching in the worship service that day. Mark your calendars! You won't want to miss it!
Moving to Live Streaming Worship

Our church plans to live stream our worship services beginning mid-September. Equipment will be installed in the coming months as we prepare for this change. With that in mind, our last pre-recorded worship service aired on August 1. We will take a break for several weeks from online worship. During that time, we hope you consider attending our in-person worship service. Thank you for your patience and understanding. We will be sure to send out instructions about live streaming in September. Previously recorded church services continue to be available on the Vimeo website, located here:
Records Update

If you have any personal information that has changed, such as a new address, a new phone number, phone number no longer in use, or a child's address which has changed due to attending college, please call or email the update(s) to Amber in the office. or 319-233-6145.
Mark Your Calendars: Bring Your Own Picnic

The next Bring Your Own Picnic is scheduled for Sunday, September 19th, immediately following the worship service, at Byrnes Park. Please join us for food and fellowship!
Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Please join us this Tuesday, August 31st, 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!
Missions & Outreach Committee Meeting

There will be a Missions & Outreach committee meeting held next Thursday, Sept. 2, at 4:00 pm in Calvin Hall.
Where Are the Flamingos?

It has been some time since there has been a reporting of our flamboyance of flamingos! If you know where they have run off to, please let Amber in the office know! A photo would be a welcome addition as well if available. or 319-233-6145. Thank you!
Back to School Drive

In consultation with Cunningham School, our Partner in Education, one of the biggest needs for families at the beginning of school is providing appropriate, school approved clothing for their children. This year instead of a school supply drive, we will be collecting funds for student clothing at Cunningham. You may contribute to this fund by sending a check or money to the church office. Please indicate that it is for school clothing. If you have already purchased school supplies in anticipation of a school supply drive, don't worry. Bring to the church and we will contribute those also. Thank you for your generosity and your concern for the children of our community.
United Way Equity Challenge

The United Way is sponsoring a 21-Day Equity Challenge. It is 100% free and open to anyone. You will receive weekly emails with links to recommended articles, videos, podcasts, and more. Topics include: implicit bias, childcare, mental health, housing disparities and discrimination, and generational wealth. Learn about what small steps you can take to help create a more equitable Iowa for everyone. To register go to Or contact Jean Seeland for more information.
Love Inc. to Resume Building Use

Love Inc. of the Cedar Valley will once again be using our building space this fall, beginning with a volunteer training session in Knox Hall on Tuesday, September 7th from 6:30-8:00pm. They will be using most of the building on Tuesday evenings from 4:00pm to 8:00pm September 14 through November 16. To find out more about this community organization and volunteer opportunities, please visit their website at
Church Office Closure

The church office will be closed on Monday, September 6th, in observance of Labor Day.
Pulpit Flower Volunteers Needed

We are once again accepting donations of flower arrangements for our Sunday Services. We currently have openings on September 19th, October 3rd (World Communion Sunday), October 10th, and 17th. 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

New to the Prayer List:
Dragan Rudic, recovering from health issues at Allen hospital; Debbie Miller, who is dealing with back problems

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
Dorothy Hummell, recovering from a fall; Marsha Muir recovering following knee replacement surgery; Barbara Benskin's brother, Bill Brenton, who has had a stroke; Ruth Meade broke her wrist and is dealing with eye issues; Pam Terrell, dealing with health issues at home; Dee May, recovering from a broken rib; Evelyn and Carl Boice's son Scott, who has been diagnosed with colon cancer and is recovering from surgery; Joe Fernau, son of Marie Fernau, who has been diagnosed with lymphoma; Mable, great-granddaughter of Skip and Judy Mulock and their family, struggling with health issues; Donna Beaver recovering from foot surgery; Angie (Kim Swallow's friend) who works at the Anamosa State Penitentiary; Steve Miller, ongoing health issues

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 August and September. If you get a chance, please join us in wishing them a very happy birthday!

26 Stephen Quirk
27 Kari Narey, Mallory Sage
29 Pat Narey
30 Dennis Bunger, Will Kabel, Jennifer Lightbody, Megan Wheelock

01 Karen DeSerano
02 Regina Buls, Lloyd Hesse, Mitchell Sage
06 Aimee Bowers
07 Sam Christensen, Cheryl Ersland, Colette Kukosama
08 Nancy Catterson, Julie Clarke
12 Karen Hahn
13 Carl Boice
14 Christa Ernster
15 James Reisinger
17 Joseph Swallow, Ruthie Wiles
18 Jean Seeland
19 Paige Bass
24 Craig Cose
29 Ed Halvorson

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