Pastor Connection
January 21, 2021
A Note from Pastor Amy
I've fallen in love with Fiona Apple's latest album. (Be warned it's not for kids. The language can be rough in spots.) Nevertheless, there is one song in particular that I have found myself listening to a lot this week, "Relay." Some of the lyrics read as follows:

Evil is a relay sport
When the one who's burnt
Turns to pass the torch...

I resent you for being raised right
I resent you for being tall
I resent you for never getting in any opposition at all
I resent you for having each other
I resent you for being so short
I resent you presenting your life
Like a propaganda brochure
And I see that you keep trying to beat me
And I love to get up in your face
But I know that if I hate you for hating me
I will have entered the endless rage.

Her words are honest, confessional, and true. They name a stifled anger over both petty and significant things. And, she also names the consequences of entering into the domino affect of holding onto our hate. "If I hate you for hating me, I will have entered the endless rage."

I think we have seen the effects of endless rage in the last year, and it has been hard not to enter into it. Even if we have born it silently, anger has simmered under the surface of our daily lives. Maybe this is one of the reasons we are so divided as a nation. Perhaps, its not merely that we have disagreed, but that we have hated people for hating us or what we think and stand for.

Yesterday, marked a transition in our country. I know that people in our church have mixed emotions and opinions about our presidents (past and present) and about our government leaders. I know that there are a multitude of interpretations that people would share about why we are in our current state. If we were to name them all out loud, I feel rather confident that we would disagree.

But today, I am reminded that hating or resenting someone simply because they hate or resent me is a recipe for disaster. I am reminded in the lyrics of Feona Apple that maybe Jesus was actually on to something when he gave his Sermon on the Mount. As radical and difficult as his words are in Matthew 5:43-44, maybe he was sharing the answer to evil as a relay race. He said, “You have heard that it was said, ‘Love your neighbor and hate your enemy.’ But I tell you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you."

May each of us try to take first steps to follow Jesus' guidance, not only for our enemy's sake, but for our own.

Peace to you all,
Pastor Amy
Thank you for your generosity at Christmas!
As always our church gave generously during the Advent Season.

Dozens and dozens of hats, scarves, and mittens were donated in December! We had enough to give to Cunningham Elementary, Salvation Army, and People's Clinic.

Plus, we gave over $1000 to the Christmas Joy Offering to help ministers serving in the Presbyterian Church.

We also gave over $500 to Good News Christmas, the gift card ministry that helped families in need in the place of Christmas in Walnut.

Thank you for sharing the love of Jesus through your giving!
Church Annual Report
and Meeting of the Congregation
We are diligently working on our church's 2020 annual report. It will be available to church members soon. Mark your calendars for our annual meeting on Sunday, February 14, at 11:00 a.m. More information will be forthcoming about meeting protocols, distribution of the annual report, and zoom options. Stay tuned!
Tuesday Bible Study

We have resumed our Tuesday morning Bible study at 9:00 a.m. Pastor Amy will be leading a discussion on the sermon text for Sunday. We hope to see you there!

Zoom Link for Bible Study:
Meeting ID: 843 2439 0762
Grand Sweep Bible Study
It's not too late to join!

We are starting a new Session of the Grand Sweep Bible Study. This Winter, we will start studying the New Testament. This class is led by the pastors from the PCUSA churches in the Cedar Valley. The class meets weekly on Tuesday evenings at 6:00 p.m. and lasts until 7:30 p.m. and discusses a new book each week via Zoom. Please let Pastor Amy is you'd like to join the group. She can help you get connected to the group's email updates and Zoom meeting notifications.
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.
In Our Thoughts and Prayers
Prayers of Joy
Congratulations to Betty Wexter on the birth of her great-granddaughter, Brynn, born last Friday, daughter of Jenna Wexter.

Ongoing/Continuing Prayers:
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; Lori and Suzanne (members of the Bellinger's family) who continue to deal with health issues; Jim Clarke receiving treatment for cancer; 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!

21 Brad DeSerano, Stephanie Swenson
22 Steve Miller, Nancy Newhoff
27 Jennifer A. Bass (Chris’wife), Libby Whyte
31 Stacy Robinson, Mike Shea

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