Pastor Connection
November 5, 2020
A Note From Pastor Amy
Anxiety and stress seem to be floating in the air, especially this week as we watch the election results and still wonder about the future. Perhaps, that is why I have caught myself sighing more lately. Whenever I feel overwhelmed, I take a big breath in and let it out. Doctors say that when we experience deep stress, we breathe very shallow breaths. And, so, our bodies compensate for the lack of oxygen by making us sigh. Our body forces us to take a deep breath, because we have forgotten to breathe. 

Have you forgotten to breathe lately? Have you been sighing? 

Romans 8:26 says, “Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we ought, but that very Spirit intercedes with sighs too deep for words.” This image of the Spirit has been particularly helpful for me this week as I’ve sensed the growing tension in our country and in myself. Anxiety is not the only thing we breathe in. The Spirit of God intercedes with our sighs offering comfort, peace, strength, and encouragement. We might not know how to pray as we ought, but we can still breathe in something other than the anxiety and stress that permeate our days.

Today, I encourage you to breathe in the Spirit with a breath prayer. Take a moment and pause to rest in the peace of the Christ. Trust that the Spirit is still interceding for us all.

Peace be with you,
Pastor Amy

Breath Prayer
Sit tall with both feet flat on the floor. Breathe in deeply, pause, and slowly breathe out. Practice several breaths, and then select a phrase below as your prayer as you inhale on the first part of the verse and exhale on the second part. Repeat several times.

Breathe on me/breath of God
Fill me/with life anew
For God alone/my soul waits in silence (Ps 62:1)
I have called you by name/you are mine (Isa 43:1)
Calling for Nominations!
The Nominating Team is meeting soon to present a slate of church officers for 2021.
We want your ideas and nominations!

If you are a member of First Presbyterian, please click HERE to submit your nominations for Elders, Deacons, and Foundation.

All Nominations are due by November 19

If you'd like more information about church officers please click HERE.
Giving Thanks for Brenda!
Brenda is preparing to graduate from UNI this semester and has accepted a Music Director position at a church in Minnesota. While we are sad to see her go, we are also excited for her and this new chapter in her ministry.

Brenda's last Sunday with our church is November 15.

We want to send Brenda off with our love, gratitude, and best wishes.
You are invited to send a card for Brenda to the church office by November 12. We will be sure to present the cards to her before she leaves.

Also, don't miss Brenda's recital at UNI.
It will be live streamed next Friday, November 13 at 6:00 p.m.
You can watch it at this link:
An Opportunity to Give through PW
The Thank Offering began in 1988 when women were encouraged to give above their normal giving to the women’s group. Women gave sacrificially and were credited with saving the worldwide missionary movement of the church at that time. Since 1988 more than $26 million has been given to 1,700 mission projects worldwide.

The Creative Ministries Offering Committee of Presbyterian Women has selected 15 projects for funding this year. Thirteen of the projects serve people in the United States and two are international. In keeping with the Thank Offering bylaws, more than 40 percent of the selected projects are related to health ministries.

The Thank Offering will be dedicated on November 15. Checks should be payable to PWC. You may mail your check to the church office.

Thank you, PW Together in Service Team
An Opportunity for Children and Youth
The children and youth of First Church Waterloo have been invited to join the children and youth at First Church Cedar Falls on Wednesday nights via Zoom.

The meetings will begin at 6:15 and run 30 to 45 minutes. Lessons on the Beatitudes will be led by their new SHINE leader, Betsy Thompson. The youth and kids will be meeting on alternate weeks.

Please let Pastor Amy know if you are interested in participating so that she can send your contact information to Betsy.
Office Hours
Staff on Leave
Remember that our church office hours are Monday through Thursday 9:00 - 2:00. Pastor Amy and Pat will be covering the office duties as they are able until a new office manager is hired. Please call before coming to ensure someone is in the building.
Pastor Amy will be on leave November 9-November 15. There will be no Pastor Connection next week.

Pastor Pat will be on leave November 16-November 22.
Zoom Bible Study
We will meet again this Tuesday at 9:00 via zoom to discuss the upcoming sermon text. Pastor Amy will be following the Revised Common Lectionary until Advent. Click HERE for a full schedule of the lectionary texts. The Zoom link is:
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
Updates or New to the Prayer List:
Steve Miller's procedure on Monday went well 

For specific individuals:
Mary Davis and Karen Hahn, at Ravenwood; Debbie Miller's brother-in-law, Duane Keroff, at MercyOne in ICU on a ventilator; Ralph Beaver had another visit to the hospital and continues to struggle with health issues; Florence Ramsell is recovering at home; Pat Narey, Kari's husband, who is dealing with a bone infection in his feet; Jan Bellinger, recovering from knee surgery at home; Neesa and Lori (the Bellinger's family) recovering from surgery; Suzanne (the Bellinger's daughter in-law) awaiting surgery; Heather Dew's Uncle Richard, recovering from heart surgery; Jim Clarke dealing with cancer; Gary Lee dealing with walking and balance issues; Marilyn Lottich dealing with health issues but recovering at home; Richard Platt as he recovers from surgery at home; Steve Miller, home; Gerald Buls, who has been diagnosed with lymph node cancer; 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; Bob Cutsforth, who is undergoing cancer treatment; The Platts' friends in Venezuela who are struggling with food and other resources; Joe Fernau (Marie's son), who finished 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; 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; Neva Kerr, New Aldaya (Hospice); Crystal Lorenze, recovering from back surgery; Paul Holtz, Hospice Care

Broader prayer concerns from the congregation:
All those affected by wildfires
All those affected by storms and hurricanes
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!
7 Richard Platt
8 Shirley Barnes
9 Barbara Mead
16 Don Schwab

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