Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Good Big Thing

A weekly e-newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn:
Main office (718) 624-3770               Email

THIS THURSDAY, April 1, 2010
Maundy Thursday- Seder Service, 7:00 p.m., Elliott Room

THIS FRIDAY, April 2, 2010
Good Friday - Tenebrae Service, 7:00 pm, Sanctuary

THIS SATURDAY, April 3, 2010
Inquirers Class: A group of FPC participants is gathering at 10:00 a.m. in the Manse (128 Henry Street) to reflect together on the meaning of their faith and the life of First Church.  If you want to take part in these conversations, please contact Paul Austin at

THIS SUNDAY – Easter Sunday, April 4, 2010
Easter Sunrise Service at 6:30 a.m. on the Promenade at Clark Street entrance. Join in celebrating the Resurrection with song and prayer at sunrise.

Easter Worship Service, 11:00 a.m. our Interim Senior Pastor, Rev. Stephen H. Phelps, will deliver the sermon: "The Good Big Thing"

Recent sermons of our Interim Senior Pastor are available online at, and printed copies are available in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer).

Annual Easter Egg Hunt for the children will take place immediately following Easter service in the Peace Garden.  Parents: please bring a dozen stuffed eggs to contribute to the hunt.  A volunteer will collect them at the front desk before service and hide them during service
The nursery will be open from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., with Christina and Patty.

Rev. Phelps will conclude the Old Testament course with a talk entitled  Big Questions the Bible Only Asks, Never Answers. The class will consider the many short books written after 400 BC, including Ruth, Jonah, Esther, Daniel, Ezra, Nehemiah and Chronicles.  The question of Israel's "vocation" or purpose is put in very different, even contradictory, ways by these books.   The class is held in the Rose Room at the far end of the second floor.

Other News:

Rev. Phelps will be on vacation through Sunday, April 11.  Nate Dudley will preach on that day.  For pastoral care needs this week, please contact Rev. Waltemath or call the church office with a message.

Session Meeting: Monday April 12 at 7:00 p.m. in the Rose Room.

The Women's Ministry will host the Coffee Hour on April 18th in honor of Sheilah Hill's recently published memoir, They That Sow in Tears. Sheilah will read excerpts from her book and sign copies.
They That Sow in Tears, whose artwork was designed by Susan Schultz, tells Sheilah's story when as a young widow and mother on the wake of her husband's death, she experiences something intensely spiritual.  However, others do not understand, and she is taken to a psychiatric hospital on the eve of his funeral. Here, she is forced to receive multiple shock treatments and take medication with adverse side effects. In  this environment, her faith and Psalm 91 sustain her.

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

March of Dimes in Honor of Margaret Grace: Jill Huguet started a team for the March of Dimes, March for the Babies 2010 in honor of Margaret Grace. The walk is on Sunday April 25 at 9 a.m. and it is only 3 miles. If you or your family would like to walk or donate, please click on the link below.

First Church Staff Email Addresses:
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 Fundraising Party: Saturday May 1st, 6:00-9:00 p.m. at the home of Richard and Diane Greene at 212 St. Johns Place (between 7th& 8th Aves Park Slope, Brooklyn). Enjoy Cuban Food, Mojitos, music and dancing.

Cuba Trip Planned with FPC White Rose Ministry
FPC White Rose Ministry has been invited to participate in several events in Cuba during the country's National Week against Homophobia May 13-21 (and stay longer for an additional program.  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.

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

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.

Haiti Disaster Relief Update:

First Church of Brooklyn has raised over $4,550 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
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


On the calendar:

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

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

Thursday, April 8
Food Pantry, 10 to 11 a.m. To volunteer, contact Jane Woland at

FPC Choir Rehearsal, Thursday evening at 7:00 p.m. Please contact Music Director Amy Neuner at for info about the choir.

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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