July 15, 2022
From the Mission Committee
Our mission to provide clean water to villages in Honduras has evolved in a new and creative way. As you may remember, teams from our church have been trained as volunteers for Living Waters for the World (LWW), a subsidiary of the Presbyterian Synod of Living Waters in Tennessee.
Two of the members of our team were trained in the work of organization and establishing a covenant with our operating partners in Honduras. Two were trained to provide the education in Health and Hygiene for the community. Two others were instructed in the methods for building the systems. Over the last twelve years, a total of 26 members of our congregation have made at least 13 trips to Honduras as part of a larger team to support the building and maintenance of water purification systems in rural villages in Honduras. 

In January of 2020, four of our team members visited sites in Honduras and completed a covenant with the village of San Juan de Opoa. Our intention was to return that July with a larger team and install a system. We were not expecting Covid to interrupt this plan. But, as always, God found a way to make things happen. LWW has developed the in-country network of Hondurans Helping Hondurans (HHH), with people trained to do the work that our teams used to do. They identify prospective sites, help the citizens establish a water board, develop a business plan, install a system, train the operators and educate the leaders who will be responsible for the community health and hygiene education.

What is our role in this? We have become “Supporting Partners” rather than “Initiating Partners”. Our church, through our Mission Committee, is providing the funds for this endeavor. We ordered the components of the system and packed it up to be shipped to Honduras. We communicate closely with our HHH coordinator, Edwin Rodríguez, through emails, texts, and video chats on WhatsApp. Meanwhile, the Operating Partners in San Juan de Opoa have been busy constructing a building to house the system. Edwin has been working with the community leaders to help them establish a working plan and identify operators and educators. 

Here's the fun part:
during the week of August 8 -13 they will be installing the system! 
Each day we will receive an update of their progress via video chat and on Saturday, August 13, we are hoping to be a part of their water celebration. We are not sure yet what form that will take, but we would love to have some of our church members, especially former Honduran travelers, participate in the celebration, either by Zoom or by creating a video that our Honduran partners can show at the celebration. 
Please contact Sue Moyer if you are interested in participating.

We hope someday to be able to visit our partner sites in person,
but for now we are grateful to God through LWW and HHH for making it possible for us to continue our mission.
Update on Pastoral Care
Please contact Dawn Skelly if you have any pastoral care needs. Dawn’s contact information is dskelly@fpcpottstown.org. Dawn will be regularly checking her emails. During off hours, you can call 484-268-2919, which goes to an email that will be checked on a regular basis. 
There will be an on-call Pastor available for emergencies.  
Our library contains both the New York Times best-selling novel and the movie starring Oprah Winfrey. This is a review by Kurt Holloway of the book.
Has any human ever attained Earthly immortality? Before you try to answer this question, you should read this captivating book.

Henrietta Lacks was described by friends and family as loving, fun-loving, devoted to her children and well-liked. In 1951, at age thirty-one she was diagnosed with cervical cancer. She died on October 4, 1951, just eight months after her diagnosis. While Henrietta did not survive as a living person, cancer cells which had been removed from her body have
multiplied millions of times over, living to this day, appearing to be immortal. The uniquely aggressive cancer cells which took Henrietta’s life, later named “HeLa” cells by the a scientist, have been an extraordinarily valuable tool for scientific research and have become the most famous cells in the world. Among their contributions to medical science was their important role in the development of the Polio vaccine.
 
The book explains cell biology and cellular research history in a way that is easy enough for all of us non-scientists to understand and, in the case of HeLa, to marvel over. But, as amazing at the story of HeLa is, the book’s primary focus is not about science.
 
This story is about Henrietta, her family, and the effects of her early death on her children, especially her daughter Deborah. Once the author earns the guarded trust of Deborah, they spend years together seeking information about Henrietta and Deborah’s nearly forgotten older sister, Elsie. They discover horrible truths about Elsie’s short life. The story pulls us into Deborah’s desperation to learn about her mother. In one scene she tells Skloot, “You know what I really want? I want to know what my mother smells like.”

This is also a story of ethics. HeLa cells enabled many institutions and companies to make hundreds of millions of dollars while Henrietta’s children couldn’t afford proper health care. The cells were taken from Henrietta and used in thousands of research labs around the world without her knowing consent or her family’s. As I finished the book, both times I read it, I wanted to immediately discuss it with everyone I knew. The story is as full of life as Henrietta’s immortal HeLa cells.
At its meetings on July 6, FPC Session:

  • Welcomed Rev. Brenton Thompson, Pastor of Crossroads Presbyterian, as moderator

  • Shared joys and concerns

  • Received the Treasurer’s Report (see below)

  • Approved the schedule of supply preachers through September 4

  • Received an update from the Personnel Committee on the Transitional Minister search

  • Received reports from Committees and Deacons

  • Discussed Transitional Matters and shared that Dawn Skelly will be the point of contact for pastoral care

  • Shared the passing of the peace with each other in closing

Being the Church This Week

Sunday, July 17
Service of the Lord’s Day 9:30AM 
Worship led by our Workcamp participants 

Monday, July 18
Troop 146 - 7PM
                                                                                                
Tuesday, July 19
Yoga – 9AM – Community Room
Staff Meeting – 10:30AM
Visitation for Bob Hartman, Sr. – 6-8PM, Community Room
 
Wednesday, July 20
Endowment Committee Meeting – 8:30AM - Library
NO YOGA
Visitation for Bob Hartman, Sr. – 9:30-10:45AM, Community Room
Funeral Service for Bob Hartman, Sr – 11AM, Sanctuary

Thursday, July 21
Community Meals – 5PM – Fellowship Hall
                                                           
Friday, July 22
Yoga – 9AM – Community Room
Every good gift, every perfect gift, comes from above. These gifts come down from the Father, the creator of the heavenly lights, in whose character there is no change at all.  (James 1:17 CEB) 
 
At FPC Pottstown, we believe that our time, our talents, our earthly treasures are not our own; they are gracious gifts from God. God entrusts them to us, and calls us to use our gifts and our lives to make God's love known in the world.
 
We continue to clothe, feed, educate and uplift one another, and our neighbors in need.  This work requires offerings of time, talent and treasure. Your giving makes that work possible. Thank you!