eNews – May 10, 2017

Dear FPC family and friends,

I saw Heather Reynolds, our first year preschool teacher, in the hallway and said to her: “One year down!”  We spoke for a while on how hard it is to believe that it has been a whole year since the kids started preschool here last fall.  So much has happened over this past year not just with the preschool but with the church as a whole.  But let’s pause and say a few words about the preschool.  It is a really exciting time in the life of the preschool.  We are getting close to filling up for the fall, which is pretty early for us.  We have a great teaching staff that has been able to not only teach the children but have meaningful interpersonal relationships with the parents and families of the children.  We are seeing here at First Presbyterian some tangible fruits of their labor as more families of our preschoolers are attending and even joining the church.  We need to give a huge shout out to Lynn Underhill who is our Director and Laurie Fulmer and Heather Reynolds our teachers for their devotion and dedication to the children and the families of Great Beginnings.  We don’t often say much about the preschool, and sometimes we may even erroneously see it as something that isn’t connected to the church.  But this year I believe we have turned the corner in not only completely embracing the preschool within the folds and life of the church, but also be able to take pride and say: “This is my church’s preschool and look at the work that is being done.”
There are stories related to the preschool that I could write in this space and you would be amazed.  You would hear of how this church has reached out to those preschool moms who are expecting and prepared a care package for each one of them (and quite a few of them are expecting!).  You would hear of how this church generously and graciously reached out to a group of children in our preschool whose mother passed away unexpectedly and provided a way forward and tangible signs of hope and God’s presence.  You would hear of how our teachers speak to each of the parents of the children individually to try to discover the best pedagogical approach for their child, whether it means including IU13 or having them wait a year for kindergarten, or helping them with parenting tips and skills.  In short, Great Beginnings has become even more a place where we can say that God’s love and presence is being felt in very real ways.
This is also the year that we have seen quite a few of our session committees involved in making decisions for the preschool.  You have Christian Education which has Jean Pontz as the liaison.  The whole committee is involved in the running of the preschool and they spend many hours discerning the best way to move forward together as a church and as a preschool.  This year more than any other year we have found Mission and Finance involved as we try to discern with our growing preschool what to do with accounts that have not been kept up to date.  They walk that fine line of holding people accountable and following through on their responsibilities and still being a people of grace.  We are so fortunate to have men and women on that committee who understand that line and walk it ever so carefully.  We have personnel who hired Heather at the beginning of the year and reviewed the reviews from the CE committee.  We have Trustees who are diligent in making sure that the playground is kept up to date and safe.  We have Worship which makes sure that Preschool Sunday is as much of a success as it can be.  We have Outreach which helps organize the Easter Egg Hunt so that all those preschool and community families that attend will find a friend and a safe place to enjoy a Saturday with their children.  In so many ways the preschool does represent a program and a life giving opportunity that takes a team of people to ensure that it is at its best at all times.  It is a great representation that it takes a church to raise up a child.  Yes, I said church.  So…, when you have a chance, thank a preschool teacher, a CE member, a M and F member, and a Personnel member, a Trustee, and a Outreach and Worship committee member for their time and dedication to make sure that the preschool continues to be a place where people from the community can see the presence of Christ through this church.

Your servant in Christ,
Pastor Bob

Surprise thank you shower for Emily Ott:  This Sunday, May 14, we will have an opportunity for you to thank Emily Ott at Coffee Hour as we have a cake and a basket where you can drop off cards with any form appreciation that you would like.  She doesn’t know about it and is not receiving this particular enews.  So come and join us for coffee hour as we send her off with a big thank you.  Again, this Sunday, May 14.

Busy Bee Summer Camp:  Looking for an opportunity for your preschooler to be with other kids in a day camp setting?  Check this out:  http://www.straspres.org/busy-bee-2017

LMH Campus Chorale this Sunday!  Come and join us Sunday, May 14 at 7pm for a Mother’s Day concert.  If you have not heard them sing before then check this out to whet your musical appetites:  https://youtu.be/D93vB_clzlA

May 20 Coffeehouse in the courtyard:  Come and join us for another musical event hosted by FPC.  On May 20 starting at 7pm.  Here is a link to the event – https://www.facebook.com/straspres/posts/1396682573703898:0







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