May Newsletter

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May Newsletter 2015


T he

Monthly Publication - Volume 15.05

May 31st

Graduation Sunday

May 24th

Pentecost Sunday

May 17th

Communion Sunday

Mother’s Day

May 10th

May 3rd

Older Adult Sunday

Upcoming Sermons 8:15 Communion and 10:30 Classic Services

Never Give Up Dr. Mike Loudon

10:30 Vine Modern Service

Rev. Kenny Ellis

8:15 Communion and 10:30 Classic Services

God Can Change You Dr. Mike Loudon

10:30 Vine Modern Service

Rev. Zac McGowen

8:15 Communion and 10:30 Classic Services

Knowing God’s Will Dr. Mike Loudon

10:30 Vine Modern Service

Rev. Kenny Ellis

8:15 Communion and 10:30 Classic Services

The Viable Church Dr. Mike Loudon

10:30 Vine Modern Service

Rev. Zac McGowen

8:15 Communion and 10:30 Classic Services

Rev. Zac McGowen

10:30 Vine Modern Service

Rev. Kenny Ellis

Upcoming Events Youth Yard Sale, Pg 4

OAM Talbot House Tour, Pg 5

May 2nd at 8:00 a.m.

May 21st at 10:30 a.m.

Front Lawn

Book Club, Pg 4

Older Adult Sunday, Pg 3 May 3

May 21st at 10:00 a.m.



OAM Spirit of Service, Pg 5

Pentecost Sunday, Pg 3

May 8 at 10:00 a.m.

May 24th


Room A

Graduate Recognition, Pg 3

Mother’s Day, Pg 3 May 10

May 31st at 10:30 a.m.


Loudon Hall

OAM Game Day, Pg 5

Elementary Pool Party, Pg 4

Youth Hall

Ellis Home

May 16 at 9:30 a.m.

May 31st at 12:00 p.m.



May Tidings


he month of May is a wonderful month and was so even before Julie Andrews sang its praises in the Broadway musical “Camelot.” In states outside Florida, May is when the season of spring is finally in full bloom. The ice and snow have melted, and the warm sunshine appears. Here in Florida, however, the warm sunshine has been with us most of the year and it already feels like summer now. We sort of skipped spring. Even so, May is a month filled with special days. The first Sunday of May is officially Older Adult Sunday. Our congregation is richly blessed with many marvelous older adults. Come to think of it, I personally fall into that category. Older adults come in three levels. There are those in the “go go” years, others in the “slow go” years, and still others in the “no go” years. We have hundreds of people at FPC in all three levels and we give thanks to God for all of them. The second Sunday of May is, of course, Mother’s Day. This is not an ancient holiday of the church, having been invented in the early 1900s. It has become a very special day for many families. I am reminded that my mother loved Mother’s Day. For ten years she and my father attended the church of which I was pastor. One year I decided, foolishly, to forego preaching a Mother’s Day sermon. I never made that mistake again as my dear mother lectured me about it. My mom was the best, and my children think their mom is also. I agree to both. On the third Sunday of the month we will have spring communion at the 10:30 a.m. classic service and the quarterly blood drive. The fourth Sunday of May is Pentecost Sunday, the third most important day in the church year behind Easter and Christmas. Pentecost honors the descent of the Holy Spirit upon the early believers. Pentecost is the birthday of the Church. The time when God’s power came upon the early believers

with wind and fire. This is also Memorial Day Sunday, and we honor the men and women who gave the last full measure of devotion to our nation. The fifth Sunday of May is Trinity Sunday. In the mystery of God we honor God as Father, Son and Holy Spirit, one God in three persons. This is not an easy theological concept to explain, but it is definitely taught in the Scripture. We worship an amazing, and mysterious God who is holy, righteous, just, merciful, forgiving, and loving. Also on May 31st we will also honor our high school graduates. We don’t have as many graduates this year as we have sometimes had in the past, but all of our young people are wonderful. We celebrate with them and their families and pray for them the very best as they prepare to embark on a life beyond the confines of home. We all remember how we felt when we graduated from high school. The world was our oyster. Ah, those were great days. Each of these kids has tremendous potential. This year, Ascension of the Lord day falls on May 14th. The Lord ascended to heaven forty days after his resurrection. On Thursday, May 14th, pause to give thanks to God for Jesus’ ascension and his prayers for us at the right hand of God the Father. The ascension is an important part of our salvation story. I hope you make Sunday worship and attendance at Sunday School and fellowship an important part of your life during the month of May. Our church was filled on Easter, and there is no reason it should not be filled every Sunday. God is still God, salvation is still real, and God continues to call us to sing His praises and study His Word regularly. Would you expect the preacher to say any less? See you in Church.


Book Club Sing In The Morning, Cry At Night by Barbara Taylor is the May book of the month selection for the Jerry Crane Book Club. In the 1913 mining town of Scranton, Pennsylvania there is a family tragedy that leads to the death of a little girl. It will engage your heart, soul and mind right up to the last page. This book is the story of Violet, whom the town blames for the death of her older sister, Daisy, and the Evangelist Billy Sunday who arrives in the community and affects them all. Join us for the book discussion, coffee, fellowship and prayer. All are welcome… bring a friend! We meet in the church parlor at 10 a.m. on May 21st (the third Thursday). Call Marilyn Leonard 646-0132 if you have questions or suggestions of books we might enjoy.

Children’s Ministry We’re less than two months from VBS, which is June 1519th from 9 a.m. to noon. Be sure to get your registration form completed soon! Also remember that our Summer Camps meet their capacity very quickly, so be sure to get your registration forms submitted. Registration forms are located throughout the church. Please mark your calendars for our annual Elementary Pool Party at the Ellis’ home. Meet at noon on May 31st for a fun day of hotdogs, ice cream and games! Our 5th Graders will be leaving us on June 14th to join the youth group instead of in September. This is always a bittersweet time in Children’s Ministry, but we are very excited for our 5th Graders!

Youth Yard Sale It’s that time of year where the community of FPC can help support our youth and contribute to this year’s mission trip and summer expeditions. Our annual yard sale is on May 2nd this year. Please let your family and friends know about

this great fundraiser and come out on May 2nd to support the youth program. This fundraiser has been a huge success in the past, primarily due to the generosity of our church community at FPC.

Driving A church member has asked for transportation assistance for getting to medical appointments and other needs. They would compensate a driver for this service. Please contact Pastor Marilyn Cummings at 686-7187 or [email protected]. Several homebound members have expressed a longing to come to church services and events. They are no longer able to drive and miss being with their church family. These members are physically mobile, although some may use walkers. This is a call for volunteer drivers. When possible, drivers will be matched with people who live near them. Convenient arrangements are to be made between the two parties. Transportation can be provided occasionally with no long term obligation, unless both parties agree to that. If you would like to offer driving services or if you are in need of services, please contact Pastor Marilyn Cummings. 4

Older Adult Ministry

OAM had several wonderful events in April. Thanks to Marilyn Cummings for her uplifting devotion and introduction to our church’s vital Visitation Ministry at our monthly Spirit of Service (SOS) program. Also, a big thank you to Ann Marshall for sharing about the Stephen Ministry here at FPC. And last, but not least, we would like to thank Anne, Craig, Zeb, Ace and Tiva Mitchell for sharing about their unique Therapy Dog Visitation Ministry. Next was our Senior Prom and dinner. We had a wonderful turnout and had a great time singing along with the piano, dancing to the music and just socializing as we reminisced over photos brought in from around the time of our first proms. A big thank you to Norma Plank, Barbara McCarthy, Mary Dague, Andy Bruce, Darlene Jones, Maryon Bramley, all the youth that volunteered to help serve, and everyone else who helped behind the scenes to make it such an enjoyable evening. Sign up for the tram tour of Circle B Bar Ranch quickly reached capacity. We will repeat this event next season for those who were unable to join us. We will have one more Spirit of Service program before the summer months. This month’s SOS speaker will be Michelle Card from the Talbot House on May 8th, starting at 10 a.m. Cost is $7 for lunch and transportation is available

from Florida Presbyterian Homes, Lakeland Presbyterian Apartments and Lake Morton Plaza. Please call the church office by May 6th to RSVP for lunch or if you are in need of transport. On May 21st we will take a tour and have lunch at the Talbot House. Please sign up in the Welcome Center or call the office by May 18th so they can prepare for our visit. This is a free tour and lunch, but of course donations would be appreciated. Game Day will be held on May 16th at 9:30 a.m. in the Youth Hall and may continue through the summer on the third Saturday of each month. We will keep you posted in the bulletin and Enews. We have had a full season with our Friday SOS programs, Saturday Game Days, and trips. Some of the programs and events we have in mind for next season include the Sherriff’s Leadership Council Tour, caroling to our homebound members, and an overnight trip to Ft Myers. I appreciate the support everyone has given me during my first season as OAM coordinator. A big thank you goes to those on the OAM Committee who have given of their time and ideas to make this season such a success. I have truly been blessed by the experience and look forward to resuming in October. -Sandie McRory

College Scholarship FPC supports our college age students 2016 school year. Come by the church office through the Morrison Endowment and Grady to pick up an application - deadline to submit Endowment Scholarship Program. We are application is May 31st. currently accepting applications for the 20155

Go to Mexico Where: Merida, Mexico - Yucatan Peninsula When: October 10-16th What: Construction on a new Presbyterian Church called Adonai with Pastor Ricardo Santana and Pastor Omar – San Pablo Presbyterian Seminary Cost: $1,100.00 per person – including air flights, most meals, accommodations, and transportation. (Scholarships available for church members) Deposit: $100.00 per person due by June 1st Final Payment: $1000.00 due by August 1st Contact Nancy Bertram or Dave Prosser for more details.

Wedding bells

(FPC Policies)

It’s May, and that means couples are planning their weddings. Interestingly enough, not as many people are getting married today as they once did. Only 54% of people in America are married compared to 75% back in the 1950s and 1960s. There are multiple reasons for this downward trend. We have noticed the same thing at FPC. Ten years ago there were many more weddings than today. More and more people are opting not to get married. Weddings at First Presbyterian are permitted regardless of church membership. Many large congregations only offer weddings for church members. FPC welcomes members and non- members, however, there are certain stipulations. 1) Church weddings are a worship service and therefore only for those who are Christians. FPC does not sanction “interfaith marriages.” We understand that many people marry those who are not of the Christian faith, and we wish God’s best for them, but weddings at FPC are only for those professing belief in Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. 2) All weddings at FPC will be performed by one of our own ordained ministers at First Presbyterian Church. We don’t rent out our church for other pastors to conduct weddings. 3) Four hours of pre-marital counseling is required before an FPC wedding. This counseling


is normally conducted by Dr. Paul Suich, a licensed psychologist. 4) Weddings at First Presbyterian Church are performed only between “one man and one woman.” Although the PC(USA) permits same sex marriage, it is a local option for each church, and the FPC Session does not permit such ceremonies. According to Presbyterian polity, all weddings must be approved by the Worship Council and Session. 5) A Wedding Coordinator will be provided by the church and will help the couple plan their service and attend the rehearsal and service to make sure things go smoothly. 6) Weddings are expensive. The average wedding in the United States costs ~$50,000, including the reception. For FPC members a wedding in the sanctuary costs $750, and a wedding in the chapel costs $550, significantly lowering the overall cost of a wedding. For nonmembers a wedding in the sanctuary costs $1,700 and a wedding in the chapel costs $1,000. 7) Of course, no wedding may be conducted without a marriage license from the State of Florida. Marriage is a state sanctioned event and a valid marriage license is required. To begin the process of inquiring about a wedding at FPC the couple or their parents should first contact Bev Bigelow to receive the necessary information and booklets.


24 Kyle Alford Margaret Burleigh Sara Howard Todd Shuff


Kyle Champeau David Cook Deane Hart III Anne Olliff

Lynn Barron Michael Cummings Dana Labozzetta Stelly Nottingham

Alec Edwards Conrad Edwards Blaine Gregory Taylor Morton Ted Nichols Shawn Plunkett Kelly Smith Nancy Travis

Evie Miller Greg Myers Ann Williams

Tom Corley Kurt Elmhorst Jillian Haley Susan Rachwal Kay Strong Austin Tomlinson





Andy Browne Glory Clark Carol Kahlenberg Lydia Pennington Shane Ross

Joanne Allen Paula Morgan

Bo Bailey Theodore Baker Jim Cummings Jordan Holseth Christine Johnston Shawn McDonough Michael Miller Bob Reed Tom Timmes


Connor Valentine



Kathy Abels David Butz Alison Crane Austin Evans Louis Irwin Jonathan Link Kaye McConnell

Kathie Doerbaum Mike Lentz Frank Neilan, Jr.

11 Nancy Bertram Robin Butz Jaylen Coleman Esther Rouse Haley Seinmetz







Dee Guertin Marshal Hyde Allison Lewis Sandie McRory Kristy Merritt Blair Northrop Debra Pearce

Sandra Ellington Kitty Oelker Lauren Respess Danny Rodriguez Owens Simmers

Marge Brewster Gerald Parker Jane Watts







David Brown Jan Cook Jacob Evans Elinor Karlson Lynne Smith Bruce Tohm

Claire Bence Brett Brasington Wendy Fitzsimmons Scottie Ison Ed Laderer Hunter Martin Jolene Martin Maggie Ruthven Chase Wallace Bea Zinszer

Jo Ahearn Natalie Benson Bill Bracken J. David Hart Nathan Smith

Kristin Ashley Connor Ellis Lilly Norman Ted West






Jimmy Lawlor Walter Palmer Emerson Tyler

Clay Davis Allison McManus

Tom Bowles Tucker Bracken Traci Staton Chelsea Stone Charles Tart, Jr Colette Tarver

Verda Armstrong Mary Berryman Kelly Brocker Allison DuBose Carolyn Eaker Bill Stewart Michael Teets

Jonathan Allred Kim Bowers Iva Girtman Charlotte Noble Karna Nooney Femi Sobowale Madri Spoelstra Cynthia Suich







Jessica Kostella Tonie Sweet Trudy West Jay Wilson

Marilyn Barron Kristen Brock Caleb Deal Rita Drake James Hall

Jen Brasch Allen Cleveland Tanner Gokee Trey Johnson Dan Lacey Rick Markham Scott Phillips Addison Wilson

Susan Lazenby Lance McNeill Tommy Rosegger








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Monthly Newsletter - Volume 15.05