Weekly Announcements

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now listing these online as well every week – this link will be updated


Linda is in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 12:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Every Sunday
Worship Service 10:00 a.m.

Every Monday
Laurie’s Sabbath; call for emergencies.  Other needs can wait or call Elders Catherine Ravitch or Shirley Hagelberg-Klemish

Every Tuesday
Food Pantry Open 10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Bible Study 10:00 a.m.
Pub Theology 7:30 p.m. @ The Livery

Every Thursday
Food Pantry Open 12:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Laurie’s “Walkabout” – 3:15ish p.m.
Community Supper 6:00 p.m.


Sunday, September 16, 2018
10:00 a.m. — Worship — BUILDING BRICK:  Faith and Trust with Pastor Laurie preaching. Children’s Sunday School begins.
After worship — New Members’ class meeting

Wednesday, September 19, 2018
6:30 p.m. — “Broken and Beautiful:”  A time of reflection and healing prayer at the Box Factory.  See below for more details.

Thursday, September 20, 2018
6:00 p.m. — Benton Harbor Schools Community Forum will meet in our Overflow Room.  New members are always invited!

Friday, September 21, 2018
9:30 a.m. — J Herbert Nelson will preach at the Presbytery Meeting at Camp Geneva.  All are invited.

Saturday, September 22, 2018
Meeting of the Lake Michigan Presbytery; Shirley Hagelberg-Klemish will be our elder commissioner.  Laurie will be giving a presentation about the 223rd General Assembly.

Saturday, September 22, 2018
2:00 p.m. — Celebration of Life Services for John Kittredge, Sr. will be held at Friendship Village in Kalamazoo.  

Sunday, September 23, 2018
10:00 a.m. — Worship — BUILDING BRICK:  Perseverance with Pastor Laurie preaching.
After worship — Spiritual Life Committee meets.
12:30 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. — ICE Youth Group

Wednesday, September 26, 2018
5:45 p.m.– Trustees;  6:30 pm. — Session

Thursday, September 27, 2018
3:30 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. — Community Grand Rounds:  Healing the Trauma of Racism event. See below for more details.

Saturday, September 29, 2018
9:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. — First Pres and St. Augustine’s work at the Soup Kitchen.  See below for more details.

Sunday, September 30, 2018
10:00 a.m. — Worship — BUILDING BRICK:  Holding Fast to our Mission with Pastor Laurie preaching.
4:00 p.m.  — ARTSBRIDGE featuring “The Revival of the Cool,” Jolita Burton and the art of Nikki Gauthier.

Friday, October 5 and Saturday, October 6, 2018
7:00 p.m. Friday Evening – 4:00 p.m. Saturday — Women’s Retreat with Westminster PC at Camp Henry!  See more information below.

Sunday, October 7, 2018
10:00 a.m. — Worship WORLD COMMUNION SUNDAY — Building Brick:  Word and Sacrament with Pastor Laurie preaching.

Sunday, October 14, 2018
10:00 a.m. — Worship — BUILDING BRICK:  Prayer and Praise with Pastor Laurie preaching.
After worship — ICE Youth Group
5:00 p.m. — “The Sacred Sounds of Aretha Franklin.”  You won’t want to miss this concert by Charlene Jones!  It’s free.


WOMEN’S RETREAT with WESTMINSTER GR.  Rev. Jen Porter will be leading this retreat about praying and being on Friday, October 5 – Saturday, October 6 at Camp Henry in Newaygo.  The cost is $55 for both days and $30 for Saturday only. There are registration slips in the office. Registration deadline is September 25, 2018.  

FROM FRANCIS BAKER  I would like to thank everyone for the birthday cards and well wishes as you helped me celebrate my 90th birthday.  Your care and generosity mean so much to me and confirms why this church is so special.  Special thanks to Pastor Laurie, Pastor Doug, Rev. Dirk & Rev. Rich for your appreciated words.  God bless all of you!

WITH (RE)PURPOSE: A RECYCLING FINE ART EXHIBITION  An art piece created by our talented Arianne Baker is included in this South Haven Center for the Arts exhibition.  The Opening Reception is Saturday, September 15, 1:00-4:00 p.m.  The exhibit runs through November 3.

GROUNDED, OPEN and BUILDING.  And as Pearson Construction works on the physical building of our church this fall, it is important that we also tend our “spiritual house” as individuals and as a congregation.  Pick up the worship outline that details the “Building Bricks” we will be focusing upon each week.

OUR FOOD PANTRY needs bagged or boxed cereal.  Thank you for your generosity!

BROKEN AND BEAUTIFUL:  Join us on September 19 when we will ponder how God meets us in the broken places in our lives.  We will meet at the Box Factory at 6:30 p.m. and use David Baker’s art display as a meditation tool.  Then, we will go to Kiwanis Park to continue our reflection and prayer. Bring a journal and a pencil.  This would be a great event to invite a friend who longs for healing in their lives or who is skeptical about church but might be willing to come to a service outside the church.  

COMMUNITY GRAND ROUNDS:  Healing the Trauma of Racism.  The third event in this series will take place Thursday, September 27 from 3:30 – 5:00 p.m. at the Hanson Theatre at Lake Michigan College.  Dr. David Ansell will speak on the topic, “How Inequality Kills — Health Systems and Health Equity.”  You must register to attend at www.lakelandhealth.org/cgransell.  

ARTSBRIDGE  We will be kicking off our 8th SEASON! Join us on September 30 for a concert featuring Jolita Burton and “The Revival of the Cool.”  The artwork of Nikki Gauthier will be on display! It’s free and begins at 4 p.m. Invite your friends and neighbors.

THE SACRED SOUNDS OF ARETHA FRANKLIN!  Charlene Jones will be giving an Aretha Franklin memorial concert on Sunday, October 14 at 5 p.m., right here at First Presbyterian Church!  The concert is free. Plan on coming and bring some friends.

SUNDAY SCHOOL for elementary aged children starts TODAY!    

NEW MEMBERS’ CLASS — A new members’ class will have a first meeting on Sunday, September 16 after worship in Laurie’s study.  Please see Laurie for more details.

MATCHING GRANT CHALLENGE FROM UPTON FOUNDATION! ACHIEVED!!!   Starting on June 4, 2018, every NEW gift (not previously pledged) to OPEN WIDE OUR FRONT DOOR WILL BE MATCHED by the Upton Foundation up to $20,000 total.  A donor has already kicked off this match for us with a $10,000 promise.  This match window will be open until June 4, 2019, but we are hoping to complete the match this summer.  CURRENT MATCH DONATION PROMISED or RECEIVED as of 8/28: $20,000. That means we got it!


Now when Sanballat heard that we were building the wall, he was angry and greatly enraged, and he mocked the Jews. He said in the presence of his associates and of the army of Samaria, “What are these feeble Jews doing? Will they restore things? Will they sacrifice? Will they finish it in a day? Will they revive the stones out of the heaps of rubbish—and burned ones at that?” Tobiah the Ammonite was beside him, and he said, “That stone wall they are building—any fox going up on it would break it down!” Hear, O our God, for we are despised; turn their taunt back on their own heads, and give them over as plunder in a land of captivity. Do not cover their guilt, and do not let their sin be blotted out from your sight; for they have hurled insults in the face of the builders. So we rebuilt the wall, and all the wall was joined together to half its height; for the people had a mind to work. But when Sanballat and Tobiah and the Arabs and the Ammonites and the Ashdodites heard that the repairing of the walls of Jerusalem was going forward and the gaps were beginning to be closed, they were very angry, and all plotted together to come and fight against Jerusalem and to cause confusion in it. So we prayed to our God, and set a guard as a protection against them day and night. But Judah said, “The strength of the burden bearers is failing, and there is too much rubbish so that we are unable to work on the wall.” And our enemies said, “They will not know or see anything before we come upon them and kill them and stop the work.” When the Jews who lived near them came, they said to us ten times, “From all the places where they live they will come up against us.” So in the lowest parts of the space behind the wall, in open places, I stationed the people according to their families, with their swords, their spears, and their bows. After I looked these things over, I stood up and said to the nobles and the officials and the rest of the people, “Do not be afraid of them. Remember the Lord, who is great and awesome, and fight for your kin, your sons, your daughters, your wives, and your homes.”
TODAY’S SCRIPTURE      PROVERBS 3:5-6                   NRSV

Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

TODAY’S SCRIPTURE      HEBREWS 11:1-2             NRSV

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. Indeed, by faith our ancestors received approval.