There will be a Congregational Meeting for the sole purpose of electing our new officers on Sunday, October 18, immediately following worship, at 10:40 am.  

You may vote in person by making a reservation for in person worship through Sam Clem, or you may vote via Zoom for computer or phone. If you have a multi-person membership family, each person must vote using their own device.

Campaign To Support Our Church

The month of October begins our Campaign To Support Our Church.  2020 will go down as one of the most unique and challenging years of our church’s history.  Instead of despair, we found focus, resiliency, innovation, and a sense of togetherness despite the challenge of social distance.

We have added a “Donate” tab to our menu bar on the top of the page.  This now allows the church to benefit from your financial support by accepting credit cards for payment.  You will be asked to register just once by filling in your information and then you will see a page that will allow you to provide your credit card information (encrypted) to allow the church to benefit from your generous support.  Thank you.


First Presbyterian Church - Is Open!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                

We resumed Worship Services in the sanctuary in September, while continuing to stream the live service on Facebook and YouTube - all at 10:00 AM Sunday mornings.  

Those of you who have compromised immune systems or are in a vulnerable population group are encouraged to stay at home and watch from there.  

If you would like to attend in person, this is how you do your part to love your neighbor at church:

1.  You must reserve a spot by contacting Sam Clem or the church office.

2.  You must wear a mask for the entire service.  

3.  You must be screened at the sanctuary doors with a temperature check and a questionnaire. Please leave plenty of time for this to happen before worship starts. Elder Dr. Bill Engle will be conducting the screenings.  If it's raining, bring an umbrella in case you need to stand in line.  If you have a temp, cough, or have been exposed to Covid, please just stay home.  

4.  You must be conscious of leaving six feet between you and the next person in line or in the aisles.

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Pastor Karen or any elder.

Office Hours: Heidi is in the office on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday mornings.

Our Food Pantry will remain open Monday and Thursday of each week.  To stay in the loop, everyone is encouraged to sign up to receive emails at stauntonfirst@gmail.com. 

Current Activities:

- Sunday Morning Meditation at 10:00 am on Pastor Karen's Facebook page (Karen Henn Allamon)
- Nightly Story Time at 7:00 pm on Pastor Karen's Facebook page
- Weekly Bible Study Wednesday mornings at 10:00 am via Zoom - please notify Pastor Karen if you would like to join
- Also, feel free to contact Pastor Karen at any time.

Where Can I Find….

Sunday Worship Live
10:00 am on https://zoom.us/ (Open free account, Pastor Karen will send weekly invitation and liturgy)  
Or https://www.facebook.com/karenhennallamon 
Or 
https://www.youtube.com/channel UCKHIfTGhCeY9LqfE7xftS1A 

Sunday Worship Recorded
https://www.facebook.com/FirstPresbyterianChurchStaunton/ Or
https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKHIfTGhCeY9LqfE7xftS1A 

Wednesday Morning Bible Study
10:00 am on https://zoom.us/ (open free account, Pastor Karen will send weekly invitation and study passage)

Children’s Nightly Stories at 7:00 pm
https://www.facebook.com/karenhennallamon

Shepherding Calls from Elders/Regular Information Emails
If you have not been contacted, please call Pastor Karen with your current phone and email.

COVID-19 Theological Think Pieces
https://thebellsofthehorses.wordpress.com/ 

Private Pastoral Care
Contact Pastor Karen at 540-414-3193 or karenallamon@yahoo.com to arrange an appointment via phone or Skype.

We will update everyone as new information becomes available. 

Weddings
Interested in having your wedding at First Presbyterian Church?  Please see our updated guidelines here.

Most of the following activities are not happening in person for now due to the pandemic (except for Worship, on a limited basis per the above). Many church activities are now provided online - please see the top of our web page for details on our online activities and continued Food Pantry hours. Thank you!

Sunday Worship
Book Study Class: 9:45 am (snacks at 9:30 am) - Library
Adult Sunday School  10:00-10:45 am (now meeting in church parlor)
Youth Sunday School  10:00-10:45 am
Elementary Sunday School  10:00-10:45
Church Nursery: 10:30 am-12:30 pm
Chancel Choir Rehearsal: 10:30 am 
Morning Worship: 11:00 am
Youth Group 12-2 pm (alternates with Youth Sunday School, please call to check times)
 
Wednesdays 
Bible Study: Wednesdays at 10:00 am in the Library 
Chancel Choir Rehearsal: 7:30 pm 
 
This week's Bulletin-> Click here

This month's Newsletter -> Click here

Visit the Shenandoah Presbytery Website -> http://shenpres.org/

Visit the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic Website - > http://www.synatlantic.org/

This month's birthdays - > Click here



 
October 2020

Letter from the Pastor

“I wait for the Lord, my soul waits, and in his word I hope.”     - Psalm 130:5

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

    Your physical, psychological, and spiritual safety is important to me, and to all your leaders.  In this time of great societal upheaval, it is important that we each recognize our own default pattern of response to uncertainty.  We must be on top of our own psyche, our own heart, our own prayers, before we can help anybody else.  Things that make us “feel” safe are not necessarily things that aid and comfort.
During a crisis, some folks undertake flight.  It FEELS better to take action, some action, any action.  A change in church, a change in partners, a change in jobs.  But beloved, there is nowhere to run where the COVID will be non-existent, where everyone is un-stressed, where the election turns out perfectly in our individual opinions, etc, etc.  During a crisis, it is even MORE important to uphold our covenant relationships!
    Some folks don’t take flight, but they freeze a mental dream-wish of attaining perfection.  
They believe that if we will just put a plan in place, everything will be back to normal – no, wait!  Everything will be BETTER than normal.  The pews will be full, the offering plates overflowing, and the choir will actually levitate when they’re singing an anthem.  Long term planning at a time such as this is a waste of energy.  It is actually a trauma response that falsely quells anxiety by supposing that we are in control.  If in non-2020 times scripture affirmed, “A man may plan his steps but God will direct his way” (Proverbs 16:9) - how much more so now?! We must be nimble at adaptation.  Reflect on the provision of manna in the wilderness, on the cloud and the fire. (Exodus)
    The third trauma response is fight.  When stress is high, folks are more likely to squabble.  Due to brain functioning at more of a survival mode, we are more likely to perceive scarcity and to grab onto quack promises that look like an easy fix.  Again, what provides the illusion of control? 
    I want this flock to be aware that conspiracy theories, snake oil, and secret knowledge all 
go against the Great Physician and the Light that reveals all.  Don’t be duped by spiritual or intellectual spam.  And for heaven’s sake, don’t argue about such things.  It’s a waste of breath.
    An article in Christian Century showed up under the not-so-cheerful heading, “We’re All 
Traumatized Now.”  Reminding us that waiting in hope is also a faithful activity, it read, “Christians have some practice in waiting for a far-off telos. While believers know much of the story of faith, they have yet to see God’s eschatological plan come to fruition. They can predict and imagine and dream, but they can’t know…for sure.”
    As we wait for the new normal, spend some time getting yourself re-grounded in your covenant relationships – as members, as husbands or wives or friends, as officers, as believers.  Hold steady, show grit, be charitable with others. If you ever wondered how you would behave in a profound national crisis, this is it.  You’re doing it now.  So let everything that you do testify to the glory of your God, rock-solid in good times and bad.

Your sister in the journey,

Pastor Karen