September 23rd, 2021
Pastor Connection
A Note from Pastor Amy

This Sunday, I will continue the sermon series, "Stories For Such a Time as This." Each week, I have been sharing stories from the Bible that will help root us in Scripture for the purposes of discernment. This week, we will read the words of Paul to the Philippians.

"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:4-7

Thinking about the future can raise anxiety levels. There are so many things we can't know for sure. There are so many things completely out of our control. And yet, Paul gives good advice during times of worry - pray!

When we pray, we remember God's sovereignty. Furthermore, we remember that God cares about us enough to listen and engage with our lives. We can bring our cares and concerns to God. God is big enough and loving enough to hold them for us.

With that in mind, I'd like to share a prayer that has helped me in times of worry. I've mentioned it before to several people, but honestly, it never get's old for me. It's the Serenity Prayer written by Reinhold Niebuhr

God, grant me the Serenity
To accept the things I cannot change...
Courage to change the things I can,
And Wisdom to know the difference.
Living one day at a time,
Enjoying one moment at a time,
Accepting hardship as the pathway to peace.
Taking, as Jesus did, this sinful world as it is,
Not as I would have it.
Trusting that He will make all things right
if I surrender to His will.
That I may be reasonably happy in this life,
And supremely happy with Him forever in the next.

Peace be with you,
Pastor Amy
Reflections on Amgad's presentation THIS SUNDAY

A couple of weeks ago, Amgad Beblawi gave a very interesting presentation on God's mission and the church's response. He asked a though provoking questions: What is God's mission in Waterloo and the Cedar Valley?

This Sunday, the Mission and Outreach Team invites you to reflect on his presentation and share your answers to that question. Join us at 8:45 in Calvin Hall for a wonderful conversation.
World Communion Sunday October 3rd

On October 3rd, World Communion Sunday, we celebrate that Christ's peace extends throughout all the world. We celebrate together at the communion table. We celebrate that we are offered the opportunity so dearly needed to continue God's work with active peacemakers here at home and around the world. Extending the peace is part of an active, engaged faith - a witness to what it means for us to be in the Church together.

Through participation in the Peace and Global Witness Offering, we are extending Christ's peace throughout our community and our world. We commit to building a more just and peaceful world. We will commit to building a more just and peaceful community because 25% of the offering will stay with our congregation to be given to Friends of the Family. Friends of the Family provides advocacy services for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, human trafficking and homelessness. Through this offering, may we find the truth found in 2nd Thessalonians, "Peace at all times in all ways". Let's celebrate peace on October 3rd through our Peace and Global Witness Offering.
UPDATE on Live Streaming Worship

We are still working to live stream our worship services! Some of our equipment ended up on back order. However, equipment has been delivered now and we are moving forward with installation and other details. We hope to offer online options for worship by the beginning of October. We will certainly let you know when things are up and running. Previously recorded church services continue to be available on the Vimeo website, located here:
Help the Walnut Neighborhood

The Walnut Neighborhood is pleased this fall to have received an $11,000 grant through Link CCD from the Community Foundation of Northeast Iowa, to plant 95 new trees along the E. 4th Corridor from Franklin to Dane St. this fall.  We are gathering volunteers to help us in the effort! See the details below and consider signing up to help for a day at the link provided!  

When: Thursday, September 30 and Friday, October 1 (sign up for one or two shifts and one or two days!)
Morning Shift each day: 8:30-11:45 a.m. Lunch provided from 11:45-12:45 
Afternoon Shift each day: 12:45-4:00 p.m. Lunch provided from 11:45-12:45
Where: Park cars at 715 E. 4th St., Harvest Vineyard/IMPACT Church. Park in NORTH parking lot. We will base out the church (bathrooms, parking, lunch spot, etc..)
What: We will be planting container trees. On Thursday, we will dig holes at marked places. On Friday, we will be planting the trees, filling in the dirt, mulching, and staking/tying trees to keep upright. We are looking for 15 volunteers for each shift.  
What to bring: work gloves and a shovel if you have one.  
Contact: Have questions? Contact Laura Hoy at or 319-269-7534
2021 Cedar Valley Book Read

We have been invited again to participate in this year’s Cedar Valley Community Book Read starting in October. This year’s book selection is Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents by Pulitzer Prizewinning author Isabel Wilkerson.

Are you interested in participating? Pastor Amy is gauging interest in order to pick days and times to meet.

Why we hope you’ll participate:
Dismantling racism is a priority and will not happen without ongoing intention, prioritization, and strategic focus.  A collective reading of Caste can help our community by:
*creating shared history of what lies under the surface of American life today.
*growing understanding through the reading and by listening to our Cedar Valley neighbors.
*building new and stronger connections with Cedar Valley neighbors.
*forging a collective sense of urgency and value to work together as antiracists toward the vision of a more just community. 
*providing a launching pad for further discussion and strategic action.

If you'd like to join the book read, please contact Pastor Amy by September 29. You may email her or sign up in the office.
2021-22 Knowing Your Neighbor Series:
“Loving Others / Worship Practices”

The Cedar Valley Interfaith Council is hosting a three part series as an opportunity to hear multiple faith traditions ways of caring for others, especially others different than ourselves. Also a few basic worship practices will be shared. Presentations are made at each faith community's place of worship in order to bolster understanding.

3:00— St. Edwards Catholic Church
1423 Kimball Avenue Waterloo, IA
4:00— Payne Memorial AME
1044 Mobile St, Waterloo, IA

3:00— Masjid Al-Noor Masque
2110 Sager Ave., Waterloo, Iowa
4:00— First United Methodist Church
718 Clay Street, Cedar Falls, Iowa

October 24th SESSION 3 – Q&A
3:00 to 4:45 St. John Lutheran
715 College Street, Cedar Falls

Choirs Starting Again!

It's never too late to join a choir! If you have musical interest and would like to participate in worship, please consider joining the bell choir or sanctuary choir. If you'd like more information, please call the office or contact Tyler Gajewsky or Melody Steed.

Bell Choir Rehearsal, Wednesdays 6:00-6:45 pm
Sanctuary Choir Rehearsal, Wednesdays 7:00-8:00 pm
Tuesday Morning Bible Study

Please join us this Tuesday, September 14th, 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!
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.
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.
Pulpit Flower Volunteers Needed

We are once again accepting donations of flower arrangements for our Sunday Services. We currently have openings on October 17th, 24th, 31st, and November 7th. 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:
Sheryl Berry-Rudic who broke her hip and her femur in two places; Marsha Platt, healing after surgery and for any other treatment decisions.

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
Dee May, recovering at daughter's house; Don Broadston's friend, Taylor, who was recently diagnosed with kidney damage and liver failure; Connie Dawson, recovering from surgery on her feet, at home; 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; 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; 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 |
Office Hours: M-Th 9:00am to 4:00pm