There will be a memorial service for Randy Harrison on Saturday, July 29 at 10:00 am, followed by a reception in the Fellowship Hall.

The Heifetz Institute will be performing in our Sanctuary on Friday, July 28 and Saturday, July 29 at 2:00 pm, followed by a reception on Saturday upstairs in the Fraser Building.
Interested in having your wedding at First Presbyterian Church?  Please see our updated guidelines here.

Sunday Worship
Adult Sunday School  10:00-10:45 am
Youth Sunday School  10:00-10:45 am
Elementary Sunday School  (please call church office ahead of the Sunday you will attend)
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)
Bible Study:  10:00 am
Chancel Choir Rehearsal: 7:30 pm
This week's Bulletin-> Click here 

This month's Newsletter -> Click here

Visit the Shenandoah Presbytery Website ->

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This month's birthdays - > Click here

What's up?
Bible Study Continues - Our Bible Study will resume again on June 28.  The regular meeting time is on Wednesdays at 10 am in the Library. Pastor Karen will discuss scripture and how we might apply it in our daily lives.  Bring your Bibles!  Coffee and pastries will be served.
Can you help the Food Pantry? Items currently needed for our pantry include peanut butter, crackers, cream soups (cream of mushroom, etc.) and cereal.  Canned fruit, canned vegetables, pasta, tomato sauce, and canned chicken and tuna are always welcome.  Donations may be brought to the church office or placed in the canvas hamper in the narthex.

Our Annual Haiti Campaign Comes To an End in June!

This year we were again able to raise the $7200 needed to fund the St. Thomas Haiti Education Foundation (HEF) school in Lavanneau, Haiti.  This year's speaker at the Haiti fundraiser dinner on June 4 emphasized the need for clean water for schools and communities in rural Haiti.  We have learned from HEF that St. Thomas' school principal is planning for a water purification system for our school.  We will provide additional information in church newsletters and bulletins (and on this website) on costs and timing of this new venture.  Thank you to all who contributed            St. Thomas school staff                                     and continue to pray for the Haiti schoolchildren.  
July 2017

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,

We have had such a sharp contrast between the seasons of the year and the seasons of human life this early summer. 

While the world is green “and flowers appear in the land” (Song of Solomon), it seems that so many of our church family passed away – all at once: Randy Harrison, Ruth Sproul, Mary Ellen Lucas, Hunter Wiseman, Bob Avery.

We don’t like death.  Even scripture says it’s “the last enemy to be defeated.”  Biblically, we have the witness that sorrow is “normal.”  Just because we have faith doesn’t mean we don’t have feelings. Elisha got testy with the prophets who told him Elijah was going to die (2nd Kings); Jesus wept at Lazurus’ grave (John 11); the community of widows cried for Tabitha in Acts 9.

Even after people have lived long, full, meaningful lives full of love, we wish they could be around just a little while more…

I have had so many emails from y’all on Ruth Sproul.  Her granddaughters Catherine, Amy, and Emily will be doing her eulogy, so I won’t have a chance to share the rich trove of stories you have shared with me – her kindness, her sparkling zest for life, her presence since the time you were a baby. There are three things that I must share somewhere, so I will do it here.  We might think of these as Ruth’s last will and testament to her church family.

Ruth told me about six months ago that this was her last year here on earth. She told me without fear, and as a matter of fact. We don’t like death because we don’t have the people we love with us, but death itself is but a portal to eternity.  We do not have to be afraid of death.  God loves us, and Jesus has conquered death and the grave. (Rev. 1:18)

LOVE, LOVE, LOVE,  LOVE!                
As everyone in our Bible Study knows, Ruth’s answer to every question was “love!”  She got it.  “God is love, and those who abide in God abide in love and God abides in them” (1 John 4:16). Ruth understood that Love is the “secret sauce” to life.  You all who knew Ruth received that from her.  May we all practice the open and all-embracing love that Ruth received from her Lord and shared with us.

Ruth was adamant that everyone should learn Psalm 16. I am 
passing on to you what Ruth thought were the most sustaining verses for all the times of our lives.  Here from the NRSV:

1 Protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
2 I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
     I have no good apart from you."
3 As for the holy ones in the land, they are the noble,   
     in whom is all my delight.
4 Those who choose another god multiply their sorrows;   
     their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
     or take their names upon my lips.
5 The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
     you hold my lot.
6 The boundary lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
     I have a goodly heritage.
7 I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
     in the night also my heart instructs me.
8 I keep the Lord always before me;
     because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved.
9 Therefore my heart is glad, and my soul rejoices;
      my body also rests secure.
10 For you do not give me up to Sheol,
       or let your faithful one see the Pit.
11 You show me the path of life.   
     In your presence there is fullness of joy;
     in your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

In life and in death we belong to God!* 

Thanks be to God who gives us this victory through Jesus Christ our Lord!


Pastor Karen

*Romans 14 and “A Brief Statement of Faith”