Ash Wednesday Today!
Ash Wednesday is today, Wednesday, February 17 and there are two ways we're observing the beginning of Lent. There will be a Zoom worship service at 7:00 p.m. Additionally, there will be two times when our pastors will be available for the receiving of ashes. Ashes will be available out front of the church from 12:00 - 1:00 p.m. and between 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. Precautions will be taken to ensure this process is safe.
Lenten Groups Last Call
During Lent, there will be ​specialized small groups that fall under the categories of Mind, Body, Spirit and Connection. The hope is that the groups will contribute to people’s sense of wellness during this winter and help us connect with our church family. They range from photography, spiritual practices, baking, exploring Sabbath, gardening, running, and more! The groups will meet weekly during Lent (Feb. 17 - April 4) over Zoom or possibly socially-distanced outside​, depending on the group. Click below for group descriptions and to sign up!
Congregational Conversations
The first Congregational Conversations are under way. There are still sessions open from February 18 to February 24. As part of our Transitional Study the Session is planning on hosting quarterly Congregational Conversations. The goal is to increase communication and improve the quality of the communication so that the culture of communication in First Pres aligns with "Above All, Love." These will take different formats from online small group discussions, to town hall formats in our sanctuary to small group discussions over lunch after worship.

Together, we’ll explore the following questions: What excites you about this interim period? What is your greatest fear about this interim period? What are you thinking about how the church looks different after the pandemic?
 
The success of these rely on everyone to participate! The first Congregational Conversations will be online small group discussions in February. Please sign up for a group below. Consider signing up for a group with people you don't know as well so we can deepen our connections with each other.
February Anti-Racism Conversation
The February Anti-Racism Conversation, in honor of Black History Month, will focus on the black church. We will gather on Zoom on Sunday, February 21 from noon – 1 pm. Participants are invited to do some learning on their own ahead of the conversation. Suggested resources are available at www.firstpreswc.com/racial-justice. Contact Sara Pantazes (spantazes@firstpreswc.com)with any questions.
Family Hike
First Pres families will be gathering at Okehocking Preserve on Saturday, February 27 at 10 a.m. for a family hike! Bring your kids, dogs, water bottles and masks, and we’ll enjoy being together in the great wintery outdoors. We may need to make a last minute change depending on weather, so please let Sara Pantazes know if you plan to attend. 
Zoom Lunch with the Pastor
All members and friends are invited to join Pastor Bob for lunch every Tuesday at noon for “Zoom Lunch with Your Interim Pastor.” There is no agenda for this 60-minute lunch gathering. I simply want to see your smiling faces and visit a while during our lunch break. Come and join in the fun of getting acquainted! Please email Bob (bsheldon@firstpreswc.com) to get the Zoom link.
Pastoral Transition Prayers
Our pastors reminded us in their recent conversational sermon about the importance and value of prayer in our spiritual lives – in strengthening our relationship to God and to each other.  As you participate in prayer for our church’s transition, know that you are part of a company of many from this congregation who are likeminded in wanting God’s guidance and wisdom in the process.

The Topic for this Week: Pray that we as a congregation will prepare our hearts, minds, and souls as we begin the Lenten season looking toward the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus at Easter. As part of that journey, may we renew our Matthew 25 commitment to be concerned for the least of these (homeless) as we begin another Lenten Campaign. 

You don’t need to only pray for the topic of the week, but you can continue to pray for previous topics as well or anything that God lays on your heart.

First Presbyterian Church | 130 W. Miner Street | 610-696-0554


Take care...