Thursday, October 14, 2010

"About to do a new thing . . . (see Isaiah 43)"

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

Main office (718) 624-3770               Email



Hours after we "go to press" with this week's newsletter, the Session will receive the report of the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).   They will learn the candidate's name and hear about the elements of the individual's biography, experience, and character which have led to the PNC's nomination.  As well, the Session will confirm plans for introducing the candidate to the congregation, staff, and community and establish the call for the congrega­tional meeting to vote on this nomination.  These plans have been shared:

  • Two open houses in the Elliott Room of the church for all to meet the candidate: Friday, October 22, 6:00 p.m.- 9:00 p.m. and Saturday, October 23, 10 a.m. - Noon. 
  • The candidate will lead in worship and deliver the sermon on Sunday, October 24th
  • The congregational meeting will follow the worship celebration immediately. This is when the people will act on the PNC's nomination of the candidate to serve First Church as its next installed senior pastor.  


            On Sunday, October 17th, full details will be offered to the congregation during worship.  A packet of information is being sent to all households as soon as possible, to include the candidate's biography and other important communications.  Please make every effort to become informed and take part in these great moments of new life at First Church.


THIS SUNDAY October 17, 2010

11:00 a.m. Worship Service:

Our Interim Pastor, Rev. Stephen H. Phelps will deliver the Sermon "Money Matters"


Ten O'Clock Hour: Throughout October, we will continue to explore the parables of Jesus.  Join us for an hour of fellowship, spiritual reflection, education, and thoughtful discussion.  No outside reading is required.  All are welcome.


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


Kids Worship: This week, Jane Woland will continue to work with the 3s.  The 4s - 10s will begin a study of daily life in the ancient Near East, beginning with a sampling of foods.  The inbetweeners (11s/12s) will continue their lively discussion about what the Ten Commandments means in a modern world.



Other News:

 On Saturday, October 23 at 2:00 p.m., an all-First Church cast will offer a dramatic reading of the librettos for two new operas written by Terry Quinn, called The Mark of Cain and The Birthmark.  Also, Larry Picard and Frank Longino will each sing an aria from the work. In the Elliott Room of the church. The public is invited.  


2011 Stewardship Emphasis begins October 31st.


October 31st is also Rev. Phelps' last Sunday serving as Interim Senior Pastor for First Church.  His letter of farewell was sent out to the congregation last week.  It is added at the end of this Newsletter Issue for those who may have missed it.  A farewell luncheon is scheduled to follow the worship celebration on the 31st.  He and all the church will be glad if you can attend.


HYMNAL DRIVE: Thanks for the Hymnals! Your response was outstanding: we've more than doubled our original request! The African American Heritage Hymnal Drive is officially closed. More opportunity to place hymnals and Bibles coming in the near future.


Budget Saturday: All Session Members and Committee Chairs are strongly encouraged to attend the annual Budget Saturday meeting on Saturday, November 13, 2010 from 8:00 a.m. until 10:30 a.m. in the Elliott Room as we meet to create the preliminary church budget for 2011. For further information, contact Ken Andrichik at


Cuba Dinner: November 14 another one of our fabulous after-church feasts of Cuban inspired food, to benefit the Senior Meals program of La Fernanda, our sister church in Cuba.  Put it on your calendar now.  Eat in or take out.


The 2011 Offering Envelopes order will be placed with the printer soon. If you know you would like to begin using (or stop using) envelopes in 2011, please call the church office at 718-624-3770 or email Annie Solages at by October 31, 2010.


Flower Donations. We welcome flower donations of $30 or more in memory or in honor of friends and loved ones. Call Annie Solages in the Church office at 718-624-3770 or see Barbara Cummings during fellowship hour on Sundays.


Mentoring Youth: If you are interested in mentoring our youth as they continue their faith journey contact Marta Nelson at


Appointments with Ministry Staff

Call Rev. Phelps at the Church or, as needed, at home: 718 928-3797 or email: .  The Church Office number is 718 624-3770.


Printed copies of Rev. Phelps' recent sermons are on the table in the Narthex (Henry Street Foyer) and are also posted on-line in text and audio formats at


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.


On the calendar:


Tuesday, October 19

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


Wednesday, October 20

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


Thursday, October  21

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 Minister Amy Neuner at for info about the choir.


Saturday, October 23

Coping With Job Loss and Job Search now with two sessions on Saturdays, "Job Loss Grief" (9:45-11am) and "Beyond the Grief to Hitting the Pavement" (11am-12:15pm) in the Thurman room. For more information and details, see and/or contact group leader, Tonya Deniz, 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.


Text Box: Dear Friends in Christ  On Sunday, October 31st, I will conclude my ministry among you.  Although the whole character of my work has been shaped from the first by its time-limited nature, its ending has almost nothing automatic in it, nothing merely according to schedule.  Like the most precious things we know and do, it is bigger on the inside than the outside. My life and yours—they are running their courses differently now, for we have allowed ourselves to be changed by the relationship.  This is a humble and poignant possibility in human nature, yet one by no means necessary, nor always given.  You have been very generous in opening with me the possibility of encountering the new thing God is doing.  I am deeply grateful.  I will not forget. You are running well the race that has been set before you.  That course—meeting the stranger, breaking down the dividing walls, learning love's terrain—is never easy, but you see that it matters, both for a whole world and for your own healing and wholeness, individually.  I think of this as the God-given mystery and power of the church, to accept an assignment as if from the mouth of the Lord to attend to the business of making all things whole. Now it is time to receive in your midst a pastor who will walk with you for many years toward a horizon that no one can see today.  Still, you know the way.  You always know the way.  It is the path of love letting go so that God's gift may come.  It is the way of the cross. In this month of October, 2010, every part of First Church is on that path, lively and sharp.  You are letting go your former pastors, Beth and myself.  We too are letting go.  Throughout October, I will be with you in as many ways as our space and time permit.  I will visit and meet, plan and pray and preach, and join in a farewell on the last day of October, which is Reformation Sunday. I will also moderate the congregational meeting in which you receive the nomination of the PNC for your next senior pastor.  I look forward to all the exchange of that day. As I grow older and then old, I will always look with especial care and regard, though from a distance, on the story of your journey as a people of God.  This world yearns for communities who know and tell the story of why they are on the move, and where they are going.  Go with God always, my dear sisters and brothers. Yours in the peace of Christ 

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