Thursday, January 15, 2009

FPC Weekly E-Newsletter

THIS WEEKEND. "River Crossing" Church-Wide Retreat, Jan. 16-19, 2009 at the Grail Retreat Center at Cornwall-on-Hudson. Come together in prayer, in song, in conversation, in common meal, in good old-fashioned fun as a community to experience God's Promise in our lives. 

q       Donation: $225-275 for families, $125-175 for singles.

q       Transportation. Driving and train directions are at For rides from the train at Cornwall, before Friday, call Emily Thomas at 347-262-6466 with your train travel plans. 

q       Retreat Schedule and Food.  Whether coming by car or train, send your arrival and departure days/times to Rev. Beth at & Chris Neuner at to get the retreat schedule and to help us plan for food and age-appropriate activities for children and adults



At 11 a.m. The Rev. Charles Monaco, our guest preacher, will preach a sermon titled "Trouble as a Call to Peace."  Rev. Charles Monaco is an ordained Interfaith Minister who has worked for over 15 years therapeutically with groups and individuals using music, movement, and mental imagery.  Rev. Charles is also the facilitator for our Life and Loss Grief Group at FPC.


The nursery will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. 


The 10 o'Clock Hour will not be meeting this Sunday due to Church Wide Retreat Weekend.


Circle of Wisdom will meet at 1 p.m. to explore questions including how to reach the power of your spiritual wisdoms to guide you in school, work, and relationships. Especially for adults aged 18-25, but people of all ages are welcome.


Other news:


Update from the Pastoral Nominating Committee

Steps Already Completed

1.      PNC was elected by the Congregation in October, 2007. The purpose of the PNC was to represent the whole congregation and choose one final Candidate for Senior Pastor to present to the Congregation for final vote. Using the Mission Review Statement that was developed with intensive feedback from the Congregation and approved by the Session as a guide, the PNC began to evaluate candidates.

  1. PNC advertised the Pastor position, using the Church Information Form (CIF) that was created from the Mission Review Statement, and as a result has collected resumes of approximately 150 candidates during the past year.  Some candidates were also invited to submit taped sermons. 

3.      Every week, the PNC met to review resumes and sermons and to hold telephone interviews with viable candidates.

4.       We personally met with several promising candidates and heard them preach from neutral pulpits (that is, not our church and not places where they regularly preach).

5.      PNC submitted the names of several finalists to the NYC Presbytery for reference checks and for rulings on whether they are qualified under the Book of Order to be hired by FPC.

6.      The identities of the candiates and other aspects of the search have been be kept confidential because:

1)       many candidates already have jobs and do not wish their current employers to know of their interest in this position;   

2)       the search must be done in accordance with legal EEOC rules;

3)       references must be checked, including some references that might NOT check out.


Next Steps

1.      PNC will choose the final candidate after hearing from Presbytery about the reference checks.

2.      Session will approve a salary and benefit package for the new Pastor and PNC will present the package to the final Candidate.

  1. PNC and the final Candidate will personally appear before the NYC Presbytery's Committee on Ministry (COM) at a monthly meeting.  COM must approve both the candidate and the terms of the salary and benefits.
  2. Once the final Candidate is approved by COM, the Session of FPC will call a Congregational Meeting for the purpose of electing the new Pastor.  Notice of the meeting will be given two weeks prior.  In the meeting notice, the Session and Congregation will learn the name of the Candidate and receive a biography.  The meeting will be held on a Sunday so that the Candidate may lead worship and preach in Service that Sunday.  Members of  the Congregation will then have an opportunity to vote on the Candidate by secret ballot.
  3. Prior to the Sunday of the Congregational meeting, PNC and Session will arrange a series of informal morning, day, and evening meetings with the Candidate, open to all (while only members of the Congregation are eligible to vote, any person may come to meet the Candidate). 


 "Evolving Faith in a Secular World."  Come hear the First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn Choir as they sing in a production written by Professor Derrick Bell. Join them for a wonderful evening celebrating the life of Martin Luther King, Jr., and the power of music to transform individuals and communities. Thursday, January 22, 6:00 PM at NYU Law School Greenberg Lounge, located at 245 Sullivan Street, New York. Free and open to the public.


"Insights from the Transition." Three members of our church community have played key roles in President-Elect Obama's Transition Team—Jim Johnson, Lisa Mensah, and Rev. Fred Davie. Join in this post-Presidential Inauguration conversation, featuring Jim Johnson, an elder of First Presbyterian Church and a partner at the law firm of Debevoise & Plimpton LLP.  On Sunday, January 25, at 1:00 p.m. come hear them speak about the work of the Transition Team, the plans of the new Administration and the way forward for all who are interested in social change. Open to the public.


Help Bridge the Gap: 2009 Stewardship Campaign. Thanks for $225,944 in pledges received thus far. Additional pledges are still needed. If you need a pledge card sent to you, please contact the church office by email. At 2009 donations may be made online by signing up through our church website:


Men's Breakfast: Join the men's breakfast group every Wednesday morning from 7:30--8:30 am at the Cadman Plaza Diner. Contact Jim Palmer at for more information.


The Life and Loss Group will resume on Tuesday January 20 through February 17 as a mid-winter 5 sessions group.  Weekly theme will include self-nurturance, reconnecting and healing ourselves. Sessions use music, guided mediation, and group discussion. Cost $100 for the 5 session series or $25 per session. To register, contact group facilitator, Rev. Charles Monaco, (718) 510-6964 or

On the calendar:

 For more details about calendar events, click on this link. Click again on the event on the calendar to read a description.


Tuesday, Jan. 20:

New Parent's Group, 3:30 p.m., Elliott Room, Nursery

Tuesday Tea, 4 to 5:30 p.m., Rose Room

Life & Loss Group, 6:30 p.m., Thurman Room


Thursday, Jan. 22:

New Parent's Group, 3:30 p.m., Elliott Room, Nursery



Who/where to connect:

To give online: Contribute to the church through a secure online account. To find it on the church website,, go to the Site Credits/ Link tab and select First Church Donation Account Setup. Or go to


To become an FPC member:

Contact Peggy Swisher Slowik at, or see Reeves Carter for information about classes for new members.

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