Pastor Connection
September 2nd, 2021
A Note from Pastor Pat

Labor Day weekend is upon us! It is often considered the “unofficial end of summer”, time to go back to school (although that seems to get earlier these days), a time for parades and ball games and BBQ’s, special sales, and an extra day off. What does Labor Day mean to you? 

           Labor Day became a federal holiday in the United States on June 28, 1894 to pay tribute to the contributions and achievements of workers. It came out of protests by mill workers of their 12 hour days, seven days a week, including at times children as young as six. Labor unions grew more vocal and organized strikes and rallies in the quest for an eight hour day. From this came the idea of a “working person’s holiday,” which individual states and eventually Congress approved. Eighty countries have some form of an International Worker’s Day; most celebrate it on May1. The United States celebrates it each year the first Monday in September.

           While Labor Day is not a religious holiday per se, “work” is very much integral to the scriptures and our discipleship. The Hebrew word avodah is translated variously as “work,” “worship”, and “service.” In Genesis 1 and 2 God works to form the world and then creates Adam and Eve and charges them to continue the work. We too are created to continue God’s work in the world. In Exodus 24:21 avodah appears as Moses renews the covenant with God, acknowledging the commandment to work six days and then rest on the seventh (Sabbath/worship).  In Joshua 24:15 we find the word avodah again, this time in a promise to serve the Lord. In Matthew 9:37-38, laborers are called to avodah (work) in the fields and again in John 4:35-37 in the text about sowers and reapers.

           Anglican priest Bill Hale notes that, “When we work/serve for the sake of others, it is one of the ways we worship God, living into God’s image, doing God’s work in the world.”[1]  Each of us works/serves in our own way, whether it be for pay, as a volunteer, neighbor, stranger, or friend. There is a Benedictine motto that says, “Prayer is work.” 

           This Labor Day let us pause to reflect on God’s call to us in our work, worship, and service, both in our own lives and to/for the larger community. How has that changed? Where do you hear God speaking/leading today? May God grant us the grace to listen and then to respond. Thanks be to God!

             May the Peace of Christ be with you,
                                                                                     Pastor Pat

[1] Bill Haley, “Labor Day a time for reflection on the value and spiritual meaning of work.” The Washington Post. August 31, 2012

Choirs Starting Again!

We are excited that choirs will be starting again in the Fall! Rehearsals for both the bell choir and sanctuary choir will begin on September 8. Melody Turnquist-Steed will continue to lead the bell choir and Linda Wiles will serve as a regular organist/pianist/accompanist each week! We are thrilled to welcome Tyler Gajewsky as our new sanctuary choir director! Tyler is a UNI Senior who sang in past years as a section leader in the choir. Tyler comes with talent, experience, and enthusiasm, and we are blessed to have him in this new role. We hope you consider joining the choirs as we begin a new year in our music program.

Bell Choir Rehearsal, Wednesdays 6:00-6:45 pm
Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal, Wednesdays 7:00-8:00 pm
First Church Book Club

Please join the book club on Thursday, September 9th. The club is currently reading "Vanishing Half" by Brit Bennett, to be discussed at this meeting. We will be meeting at The Market at Jorgenson Plaza at the Western Home South Campus, 5307 Caraway Lane in Cedar Falls, at 9:30am. If you are familiar with Gilmore's Pub, it is sort of an extension of the Pub. Counter service starts at 10:00 am. Coffee or other beverages will be available and muffins and sweet rolls.
Next up: "Eternal" by Lisa Scottoline.
If you are interested in joining, please reach out to Mary Kabel for more information!
Presbyterian Women Meeting

After a summer hiatus, Presbyterian Women will be meeting again on the third Wednesday of each month at 9:30 am in Calvin Hall. Please join us for our first meeting, Wednesday, September 15th.
Piecemaker Quilters Meeting

Piecemaker Quilters will be meeting on Saturday, September 18th from 9:00 am to 2:00 pm. Pam Bottorff will teach us a small paper piecing project that will fit into a window greeting card. All are welcome, please join us! If you’re new to the Piecemakers or joining us for just this class, contact Jackie ( for a list of needed supplies
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!
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, September 7th, 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 this afternoon, Thursday, Sept. 2, at 4:00 pm in Calvin Hall.
Christian Nurture and Fellowship Meeting

There will be a Christian Nurture and Fellowship committee meeting held Monday, September 13th, at 2:30 pm in Calvin Hall.
Stewardship and Finance Committee Meeting

There will be a Stewardship and Finance committee meeting held Tuesday, September 14th, at 12 noon.
Deacons and Session Meeting

There will be a Deacons meeting held Tuesday, September 14th, at 6:30 pm in Calvin Hall.
Session will be held Tuesday, September 21, at 6:00 pm
in Calvin Hall.
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.
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.
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.
September Church Calendar Print Version

If you would like a version of the September church calendar to print for your records, please click to access the calendar here.
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:
Pulpit Flower Volunteers Needed

We are once again accepting donations of flower arrangements for our Sunday Services. We currently have openings on October 3rd (World Communion Sunday), October 10th, 17th, 24th, and 31st. 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!
Thank You from Betty Wexter

Betty would like to thank everyone for the beautiful cards and gifts received in celebration of her 90th birthday!
Thank You from the Dennis and Jackie Bass Family

Your prayers, kind words, and cards following the death of Dennis' father were greatly appreciated. We are very fortunate to be part of such a caring church family.
Church Prayer List

New to the Prayer List:
We give thanks for Carl and Eveyln Boice's son Scott's successful surgery for colon cancer and a follow-up test which was clear; Marsha Platt is having surgery for breast cancer on September 12; Richard Bass, Dennis Bass's father, passed away on August 22. We continue to pray for Dennis, Jackie, and their whole family as they grieve the loss of Richard.

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
Dragan Rudic, recovering from health issues at home; Debbie Miller, dealing with back problems; 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; 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; 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 September. If you get a chance, please join us in wishing them a very happy birthday!

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 |