Pastor Connection
February 11, 2021
A Note From Pastor Amy
Just as the seasons change from Fall to Winter and then Winter to Spring, so, too, change the different seasons of the church. Every year, the church celebrates the coming of Christ in Christmas, then the revealing of Christ in Epiphany, only to enter Lent, where we recognize how often we misunderstand Jesus or miss seeing him all together. 

In observing Lent, we remember that, again and again, suffering and brokenness find us. We doubt again, we lament again, we mess up again. Every year, we remember that the story of Jesus on the cross did not just happen two thousand years ago. The story of Jesus on the cross repeats itself again and again - every time lives are taken unjustly, every time individuals forget how to love. It’s hard not to become overwhelmed by the cycles of sin and despair that plague our world. Oftentimes, the most we can do during Lent is lament with the psalmist, “How long, O Lord?”

At the same time, in remembering the story of the cross again and again, we also remember Jesus’ continual promise of new life. Again and again, we see Jesus saying to the world, “I choose you, I love you, I will lead you to repair.” Again and again, God breaks the cycle and offers us a new way forward.

The season of Lent begins next week with Ash Wednesday. This year during Lent, our church will be following the theme: “Again and Again: A Lenten Refrain.”* During worship, we will look at the gospel stories in the Revised Common Lectionary and listen for the invitation they offer to come to God once again. We come to God again and again with our prayers, our dreams, our hopes, and our doubts. Even though maintaining community is fraught with obstacles this year, we will choose each other over and over again. We will continue to love God with a renewed persistence over and over again. And in the journey, we will find that again and again God chooses and claims us. 

I hope that you take a moment to read through some of the opportunities available to you during the Season of Lent. I hope that you take the time to pray, fast, and serve. Once again, may our Lenten observance lead us to the story of resurrection hope.

Peace be with you,
Pastor Amy

*A Sanctified Art LLC / sanctifiedart.org
Ash Wednesday
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We will be holding an Ash Wednesday Service on Wednesday, February 17, at 6:00 p.m. Masks will be required along with social distancing. Ashes will be made available for worshipers to mark their own foreheads.

We will also be collecting soup mixes for the Hospitality House at our Ash Wednesday Service. Boxes will be available at the Sanctuary doors for your donations.

For those who are unable to attend that evening, an at-home liturgy will be sent out to the congregation that morning. We hope that you utilize the liturgy with your family or on your own as a time of confession and commitment to a holy Lenten observance.
Lenten Care Drives
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During the Season of Lent, our church will be collecting care items to benefit the Hospitality House and the Presbyterian Pantry located at Westminster. Starting February 21 through Palm Sunday, church members are invited to bring the following items for donation:

For Hospitality House:
heavy duty paper plates
plastic silverware
disposable razors
men's body wash
garbage bags (large kitchen size)

For the Presbyterian Pantry:
Toilet paper
Paper Towels
Feminine Products

You may bring items to the office. Boxes will also be available each Sunday for people to donate their items. Thanks for your generosity!
Lenten Devotions
Lenten Devotions are available in the church office. This year, the devotions reflect on this year's theme, Again and Again: A Lenten Refrain. Reflections on Scripture, artwork and poetry, will help you prepare for each Sunday's worship service while strengthening your own discipleship. Stop by the church to pick one up or contact the office to have one mailed to you.
Lenten, (Lunch), and Learn
Every year, we hold a Lenten, Lunch, and Learn. This year, we will not be sharing lunch in the Fellowship Hall, BUT we are still offering a special Lenten Study

We will be following Lent in Plain Sight by Jill J. Duffield. God is often at work through the ordinary: ordinary people, ordinary objects, ordinary grace. Through the ordinary, God communicates epiphanies, salvation, revelation, and reconciliation. It is through the mundane that we hear God’s quiet voice. In this devotional for the season of Lent, Duffield draws readers’ attention to ten ordinary objects that Jesus would have encountered on his way to Jerusalem: dust, bread, the cross, coins, shoes, oil, coats, towels, thorns, and stones. In each object, readers will find meaning in the biblical account of Jesus’ final days. Each week, readers encounter a new object to consider through Scripture, prayer, and reflection. From Ash Wednesday to Easter, Lent in Plain Sight reminds Christians to open ourselves to the kingdom of God.

The group will meet via Zoom each Wednesday at noon starting next Wednesday, February 17, through March 31. While the deadline to purchase a book through the church has passed, you may purchase the book on your own and join the group at any time. There might be opportunities to meet in person as well depending on number of participants and other community circumstances. We will keep people posted. We will gather for discussion questions and a time of fellowship and sharing.

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 826 6940 7566

Phone IN:
1-312-626-6799
Study on Movies about Jesus with Cedar Heights
For the 2021 Lenten season, Cedar Heights invites our church to join them as they discuss four different films about the life of Jesus and how they relate to Scripture. These conversations will take place via Zoom on Sundays at 4:00 PM starting February 21 and ending March 14.

Participants are encouraged to watch the films at their leisure before that movie’s particular discussion each Sunday. You may access these movies for free by the YouTube links provided. You might also choose to watch them on your streaming services/subscriptions. Click HERE for a schedule and movie links.

Here is the recurring Zoom link you’ll need to click on each Sunday at 4:00 PM to participate in these conversations:

Join Zoom Meeting:

Tuesday Morning Bible Study
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We will continue to meet for Tuesday morning Bible study at 9:00 a.m. each week. The group will discuss the sermon text for Sunday. We hope to see you there!

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 871 2245 0563
Phone In:
1-929-205-6099
Presbyterian Pantry
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With Sunday Supper suspending, some may wonder how they can help distribute food to those who need a little extra help. You are encouraged to consider volunteering with the Presbyterian Pantry at Westminster. This relatively new food pantry has been supported by some of our Sunday Supper funds and continues to offer food assistance in a spirit of unity between the 5 Presbyterian Churches in the Cedar Valley.

It operates on the first Saturday of the month, 9-11 a.m. and the 3rd Thursday of the month, 4:30-6:30 p.m. Volunteers come a half hour early to help. You may click the following link to sign up as a volunteer. Should anyone wish to help pre-pack the day prior to pantry openings, please call the church directly at 234-5501. 

Ways to Give
Thank you for the generous ways you continue to support our church ministry. Remember that you can also give online. May God bless our offerings.
Church Snow Policy
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With the snowy weather, we would like to remind you of our church snow policy. If Waterloo Schools cancel, then our church office is closed for the day. If Waterloo Schools delay opening, please call the church before coming to the office. It might take staff a little longer to get on the road. Thanks for your understanding.
Church Prayer List
With Our Sympathy:
Robert Junge passed away on Sunday, February 7. Our thoughts and prayers are with his family.

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
Bob Cusforth dealing with cancer; Kason (Connie Leeper's daughter-in-law's nephew) who is recovering from brain surgery, Florence Ramsell at Northcrest, Mary K Williams recovering from surgery at home, Steve Miller recovering from surgery at home, Jan Bellinger, recovering from knee 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.
Happy Birthday!
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11 Harold Haasis
12 Bruce Bowers, Carol Carroll, Jean Curran, 
13 Sheryl Berry-Rudic, David McQuilkin, Susan Wexter
14 Bill Davis
17 David Dutton, Robert Junge
20 Emma Schellhorn
21 Marvin Carroll
22 Krystal Matthias
25 Jan Bellinger
26 Aubrey Robinson
27 Mary K. Williams
28 Dean Bellinger, Nicholas Ellsworth
29 Michelle Schellhorn

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