Thursday, March 4, 2010

At FPC: Celebration of International Women's Day

A weekly e-newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn:

Main office (718) 624-3770 Email

THIS SUNDAY, March 7, 2010:

International Women's Day: Please join us for a special Worship celebration with Holy Communion. Meagan Manas will deliver a sermon titled "That Which Is Not Bread"

Meagan, a member of First Church since March, is a 2008 graduate of Union Theological Seminary in New York City, where she was awarded the Karen Ziegler Feminist Preaching Prize. A candidate for ordination in the Presbyterian Church (USA), she is currently working on women's issues at the National Council of Churches. This week, at the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women, Meagan led a delegation of eight young women from across the country in discussions with a network of faith based NGO's called Ecumenical Women at the United Nations ( She is excited to share what she learned and experienced with women from around the globe this week.

[Find Rev. Phelps' recent sermons online at his Web site,, under the sermons link. Printed copies also are available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer)]

The nursery will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Christina and Patty.

Sunday School Topic: Joseph

ROOTS of OUR RELIGION: Rev. Phelps continues with an introduction to the Old Testament. Sunday's session will explore: Speaking in the Face of Disaster: Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Isaiah of Babylon. The class meets in the Rose Room at the far end of the second floor of the church.

Women's Ministry: Women's Potluck at 7:00 p.m. in the Elliott Room. There will be great food, fabulous conversation, and Women of the Bible Trivia. Look forward to seeing you there. For more information please contact Gladys McNish through the Church office at

Other News:

Updates on Margaret Grace: Go to

Consider signing a petition to help St. Vincent's Hospital (where Margaret Grace was a patient) stay open, so that New York state officials and those involved in its financial future understand it is important to many people:

Lenten Practice Encouragement: Please join the confirmation class and mentors in their spiritual practice for Lent. See the attached letter from Rev. Beth about the meaning of Lent and its ability to make us appreciate the fullness of life. Choose a way to fast or a practice to take on then send in one reflection about how the experience of Lent made you appreciate the Fullness of life. If you want to receive reflections from others, send your email to Rev. Beth at

Wednesday Evening Lenten Program: Every Wednesday during Lent, we will gather in the Thurman Room at 7:00 p.m. for reflection, and other spiritual practices befitting the season. Midweek-Boost will resume after Easter.

First Church Staff Email Addresses Are Changing:

To simplify communications with the web world, we are finally changing our e-addresses to standard business formats, using first initial + whole last name + church domain name. For example:

Rev. Phelps

Rev. Waltemath

Victor Forde, sexton

Although emails will get through to our church administrator Anne Solages at, Annie notes that it is best to use That is the address to begin using. Please delete the old address,

Messages sent to Amy Neuner, Wil Smith, and Sunday School Director Elizabeth de la Garza Vargas with the new addresses will be forwarded to their personal addresses, which have not changed.

Amy Neuner

Wil Smith

Elizabeth de la Garza Vargas

New boxes can be created very easily. Church projects—especially those aimed to serve or connect with people outside the church—can benefit when the public has a simple handle for them. For example, an email for a children's Shakespeare theater program set for July here at First Church has been created at If you think a box would help your church work, please call the church office to have one set up.

Don't worry about emails sent to the old AOL addresses. We will maintain the old AOL account for the next few months so that nothing is missed and make sure you know when they are suspended. But why not change your address book now, while it's on your mind?

Cuba Trip Planned with FPC White Rose Ministry

DEADLINE TWO WEEKS AWAY: Now's the time to decide if you can be part of First Church's delegation to participate in Cuba's National Week Against Homophobia, May 13-21 (and stay longer for an additional program.)

FPC White Rose Ministry has been invited to participate in several events in Cuba during the country's National Week against Homophobia. The FPC delegation will be involved in planned programs in Havana, Santa Clara and Veradero with religious and party officials. Other social and cultural activities will also be scheduled. Projected cost for participating is $1,800/person, which includes airfare, room, board and travel visas. Contact either Emily Thomas (cell: 347.262.6466, email: ) or Patrick Dail (cell: 347.880.1530 or email: for more information.

Inquirers Class: Are you interested in learning more about First Church and Christian life patterns? An Inquirers Class will be held soon. For more information and to sign up, please contact Peggy Slowik at, (917) 400-6589, or Paul Austin at

2009 FPC Annual Report: Copies are available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer). If you would like to have the Annual Report mailed to you, please call the Church office at 718 624-3770 or email Annie Solages at An electronic version is also available.

2010 Offering Envelopes are available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer). If you would like to request (or unsubscribe from receiving) offering envelopes for this year or next year please call the Church office at 718 624-3770 or email Annie Solages at

Still Needed: Dick Turmail is in need of three strong people to help bring a beautiful convertible leather couch from Pacific Street to the Thurman Room. Please call the church office at 718-624-3770 if you can help Dick.


Rev. Phelps' introduction to the Old Testament continues during the 10 o' Clock Hour. Aware that some people can only come once or twice during this season, Rev. Phelps endeavors to make each session make sense to a first-time attender. Remaining classes will look at the books of the Bible in this manner:

March 14: Can You Be Blessed When Broken? Wisdom Literature: Job

March 21: More Wisdom: Psalms and Ecclesiastes

March 28: Big Questions the Bible Only Asks, Never Answers (Literature of 400 BC and later)

Classes are held in the Rose Room at the far end of the second floor.

The Heights Interfaith Shelter needs volunteer cooks and sleepers as backups for members of the three host churches (Assumption – January; Grace – February; Plymouth - March). If you wish to volunteer to cook meals for 12 (entree and dessert), or stay overnight in the shelter any Monday through Friday, your service is more than welcome. This is an extremely important effort for our faith community. If we did not have beds for these men, they would have to spend the night sitting upright on a chair. Contact Kathy Reynolds ( at Assumption, Mary Lou Wells ( at Plymouth and Vicky Schippers ( at Grace if you can help. If you have additional questions, contact Vicky Schippers ( or speak to Erik Brogger at First Church.

Job Bank: Do you have skills or know of employment? Contact Susan Schultz at to list your ideas on the FPC Job Bank. If you are able to help others with writing resumes and cover letters, please also let us know.

Piano and Organ Lessons: Customized piano and organ lessons for kids and adults by FPC organist Wil Smith. Contact him at or 646-320-0606 for info.

Social Action Event at 7:00 p.m. on Friday March 19 in the Elliott Room: Special Report from Haiti by Ninaj Raoul of Haitian Women's Refugees and Dr. Melissa Barber recently returned from providing medical care in Haiti for a month. For more information please contact Linda Kolts at , Emily Thomas at or call the Church office at 718-624-3770.

Haiti Disaster Relief Update:

A report from the Presbytery

More than $3.8 million has been donated to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) for Haiti earthquake relief. Many churches including First Presbyterian in Brooklyn are part of this response: sending money, making hygiene and baby kits, planning fundraisers, and helping Haitians in the community.

Funds allocated to date have helped to provide: temporary shelter, food and health assistance Over 20,000 tents Over 35,000 hygiene kits $200,000 to the Holy Cross Hospital, and the Faculté des Sciences Infirmière l'Université Episcopale d'Haiti (FSIL) Nursing School.

Please continue to support our Haitian brothers and Sisters.

First Church of Brooklyn has raised over $4,500 for Haiti's relief. Thank you so much for your generous donations. Please continue to support our Haitian brothers and Sisters.

How You Can Help?

Haitian Women for Haitian Refugee
1212 Ocean Ave #5A
Brooklyn, NY 11230

MEDICC is a multiplier. Your donation will touch the lives of people in Haiti and across the globe through the work of thousands of talented young health professionals trained in Cuba in the spirit of public service. To donate by mail, send a check to: MEDICC, P.O. Box 361449, Decatur, GA 30036.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)

To donate online:

Contributions by cash, check, or money order may be sent to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Partners in Health

To donate online:

Contributions by check – note "Haiti Earthquake Relief" in the memo line – may be sent to:

Partners In Health
P.O. Box 845578
Boston, MA 02284-5578

International Red Cross and Red Crescent

To donate online:


On the calendar:

Monday, March 8

Session Meeting at 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room

Tuesday, March 9

Tuesday Tea at 4:00 p.m. in the Rose Room; contact Linda Kolts at

Living with Loss at 6:00 p.m. in the Thurman Room. Contact Rev. Charles Monaco at 718-647-5479 or email at

Wednesday, March 10

Men's Breakfast at 7:30 a.m., at the Park Plaza Diner on Cadman Plaza. Contact Jim Palmer at

Evening Lenten Program at 7:00 p.m. Thurman Room

Thursday, March 11

Food Pantry, 10 to 11 a.m. To volunteer, contact Jane Woland at

FPC Choir Thursday night rehearsals at 7 p.m. All are welcome. For more information about FPC Choir please contact our Music Director Amy Neuner at

Who/where to connect:

Online Donations: Set up a recurring gift to the church through a secure online account.
On the church website,, click the DONATE button at the lower left of the page. To set up an account, click on the "First Church Donation Account Setup" link. To edit an existing gift, choose the "First Church Donation Login" link.

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