Pastor Connection
August 6th, 2020

A Note From Pastor Amy
This Sunday we look at a story in the beginning of Exodus - Moses' birth, Exodus 2:1-10. It is not the celebration that we would imagine with other births. Moses is born under terrible circumstances. Pharaoh has ordered that every Hebrew male baby be thrown into the Nile and killed. This was his plan for keeping a growing enslaved majority as the minority. In controlling the population by brutal means, the king kept control over his power. 

But a group of women defy his orders. Midwives help Hebrew mothers hide babies and Moses is one of them. When Moses becomes too big and noisy to hide, his mother makes a basket, lays Moses inside, and places him in the Nile’s current. She really has no choice. To keep him would mean death for Moses and probably her entire family. Still, putting a baby in a basket seems just as dangerous. 

However, something incredible happens! Pharaoh’s daughter finds Moses and claims him as her own. She takes care of him, which includes hiring Moses’ own mother as a nurse maid, and Moses grows into a prince of Egypt. Moses’ life, which began with the promise of death, is transformed into a life of possibility and hope - all because a group of women decide to do the risky work of caring for babies who are not their own.

This story has been particularly meaningful for me this week, because I feel a little like I am about to put my baby in a basket to float on a rushing current that I cannot control. My daughter is 6 years old and starting first grade in just a few weeks. We have ordered her mask and plan to teach her the basics of social distancing this weekend. We will do everything we can to make her safe and smart enough to make wise choices. But then, I’ll drop her off at the doors of the elementary school and I won’t have any control over what happens next. It’s a terrible feeling. 

I don’t think you have to have a first grader to know the fear of placing your loved one’s life in another person’s hands. We do it all the time in times of crisis when we are forced to realize that we actually have very little control over our loved one’s well-being or happiness.

That’s why I find great comfort in reading about the midwives, Pharaoh’s daughter, and even Moses’ sister who follows Moses along the shore of the river. There are people in our world who look out for the most vulnerable among us and go to extraordinary lengths to offer care, comfort, and safety. Teachers, doctors, social workers, sometimes perfect strangers. There are people in our world who recognize the wonderful promise found in the waters of baptism. We belong to God, but we also belong to one another. In their acts of love, we can see glimpses of God’s care and provision.

I often feel like I have very little control, especially right now. Maybe you feel the same way. It feels like we can’t control our government leaders’ decisions. We can’t control the division, ignorance, anger, or fear that floats in the watery chaos of our current time. We certainly can’t seem to control a virus. 

But we can control how we treat others and how we care for the most vulnerable among us. We can stop seeing our lives in terms of rugged individualism and personal freedoms and claim the promises of baptism. We belong to God, and we also belong to one another. I hope that people will do their part to care for the people I love most during this scary time. But, I simultaneously make a commitment to care for other people’s loved ones as well. That’s what it means to be a community.

I’m thankful to be a part of this community at First Presbyterian. I look forward to worshiping with you on Sunday.

Pastor Amy
Grand Sweep Bible Study Starts Back Up Again!
Last Fall, the pastors of the Cedar Valley began a shared study among the Presbyterian churches of the Cedar Valley covering the entire Bible. The study was planned to last over two years and follow the school schedule. With Covid-19, the study was suspended. 
Good news! We will continue our journey through the Bible with the Grand Sweep Bible Study beginning Tuesday, August 11. We pick up our reading with the wisdom literature (Job through the Song of Solomon) and will work our way through the Old Testament by Thanksgiving. 
The class meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and lasts until 7:30 p.m. The class will be shared via Zoom at 6:00 each Tuesday night. Church offices will send out the link to anyone expressing a desire to join us for our time together in God’s word. People are welcome to join the class at anytime. If you didn't attend last Fall, that doesn't mean you can't start now. Missing a few classes is fine. We encourage you to keep up your reading. Please let Pastor Amy know if you'd like to join the study so you can be included in the group's emails.

School Supply Drive
School Supplies Drive
School will be starting in few weeks and that means it is time for our annual “Back to School Supplies” mission project. We will be collecting supplies from Monday, August 10th through Monday, August 31st. You may bring your supply donations to the church Monday through Thursday between the hours of 9 am and 2 pm, and place your donation in the box in the lobby. Or if you would like to make a monetary donation, just mark your donation “Mission/Back to School Supplies”, send it to the church and members of the Mission team will do the shopping.

Supply List

  • 5”x8” supply boxes                      
  • Wide rule loose leaf paper            
  •  #2 Ticonderoga Pencils        
  • Scissors                                       
  • 24 count Crayola Crayons             
  • Plastic 2 Pocket Folders                                         
  • Glue sticks                                   
  • Kleenex                                           
  • 3x3 Post -its
  • Black dry erase markers              
  • Pencil top erasers                          
  • Pink erasers
  • Wide rule 1 subject spiral notebook                                                   
  • Washable Crayola Markers          

Thank You For Your Donations!
Our church collected a truck load of personal care items for the Food Bank. Thank you for your generosity. Your giving will help many in our community!
Congratulations to the Warnock Scholarship Recipient - Mitchell Sage
Mitchell Sage will receive our church's Warnock Scholarship! Mitch has been a beloved member of our church's youth group and very involved in our ministry. He has excelled in academics, baseball, and band, as well as showing leadership in 4H. Mitch will attend Iowa State this Fall and plans to pursue classes in engineering. Congratulations, Mitch! We are so proud of you!
Pastor Amy's Back From Study Leave
Pastor Amy is officially back from study leave. It was an incredibly productive three weeks. The dedicated time was essential to completing her doctoral studies. She said, "I feel much more confident moving forward with my thesis. I deeply appreciate the time and the church's support of my education. Thank you for your prayers!
Saying Goodbye to Kelley
As announced earlier this week, Kelley Galyen will be leaving our staff as office manager to teach at West High this Fall. Even though she will continue to cover the financial responsibilities while our church finds a new manager, this is her last week in the office. Be sure to call or send a note of thanks for the many ways Kelley has supported our ministry.
Pastor Amy and Pastor Pat will be covering the office hours, 9:00 - 2:00, Monday - Thursday, as best they can in the coming weeks. However, please call the office before coming to the church to ensure someone is in the building. 

Don't Forget the Congregational Survey!
Our leadership wants to hear from you concerning worship and Fall programming! If you haven't already, please fill out this short survey by clicking on the following link. You only need to fill it out once and information will be kept confidential. Deadline is August 14.

Zoom Bible Study

As usual, we will meet this Tuesday to discuss the upcoming Sermon Text. This week is Mark 5:1-20, Jesus Heals Legion.

Our next coffee hour will be Tuesday, August 11th, at 9:00 a.m. Pastor Amy will be emailing a new Zoom link to use.

Online Giving Available
Thank you to all those who are continuing to faithfully give their pledges and offerings to the church. In an attempt to make giving easier during this time, we have initiated online giving to our church through the Presbyterian Foundation. Click on the button below to set up on account for continual giving. You may also give a one time gift. You may also continue to mail checks to the church. Please call Kelley if you have questions.

We are still engaging in meaningful ministry and your offerings make that ministry possible. Thank you for your generosity and please continue to give as you can.
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
For specific individuals:
Dee May, who is recovering from health issues at home; Marilyn Lottich, who is recovering from health issues at home; Prayers of healing and recovery for Karen Dew's sister, Debbie, currently residing in Washington and recently diagnosed with COVID-19; Mary K Williams, recovering at home; Steve Miller, home; Gerald Buls, who has been diagnosed with lymph node cancer; Jo Beaver is recovering from knee surgery, prayers of safety for Lorraine Baker's nephew and Barbara Benksin's son, who are both truckers; Kason (Connie Leeper's daughter-in-law's nephew, recovering from a car accident; Rev. Gary Catterson, recovering from surgery at home; Bob Cutsforth, who is undergoing cancer treatment; The Platts' friends in Venezuela who are struggling with food and other resources; Karen Dew's cousins, Sherry and Holly, who have been affected by COVID-19, Joe Fernau (Marie's son), who started treatments for lymphoma; Sarah (granddaughter of Evelyn and Carl Boice) who is an RN at St. Mary's Hospital in Rochester MN, and her husband, Dylan, who is an essential non-medical worker at Mayo; Megan and Emma Schellhorn as they work at Fareway; Jan and Dean Bellinger's daughters and granddaughters who are serving in hospitals and nursing care facilities; for Alexa (granddaughter of Janis Shea) who works in an essential business credit union and is subjected to the virus; Courtney Pilcher who works in health care services; Don Broadston, home; Pat Stanhope, Friendship Village; Shirley Sorensen, Friendship Village; Neva Kerr, NewAldaya (Hospice); Crystal Lorenze, recovering from back surgery; Paul Holtz, Hospice Care; Mary Davis, Ravenwood

Broader prayer concerns from the congregation:
that justice and lasting peace will come to our nation
leaders in all areas who are making decisions for people's well-being
all those living and working in nursing homes, assisted living, and retirement communities
workers at Tyson's
that all will stay well
all doctors, nurses, and health care providers along with their families
all those who are essential workers
those who are strictly quarantined for a variety of reasons

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!
6 Courtney Pilcher, Kira Sommerlot
7 Chris Bass, Betty Wexter
13 Larry Lightbody
14 Ryan McDowell
15 Marsha Platt

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