After church on Sunday, March 18 we celebrated the Facility Enhancements that have already been completed and kicked off our fundraising efforts to complete the project.
The completed projects include new vinyl siding on the west side of the church, carpeting in the main hallway and narthex, replacement of old windows with new energy efficient windows in the rear of the sanctuary and 4 years-3rd grade classroom, and glass block windows in Fellowship Hall to replace the original stained glass.
Though we were sad to see the stained glass windows go, some panes were cracked and they were not providing good energy efficiency. All 20 panels were preserved, however, and the congregation had an opportunity to purchase a window to take home a bit of the church's legacy with them. The auction was successful, and two windows were raffled off, allowing almost everyone to have a chance at a window! Framing of the windows is being offered by several members so that folks can gladly display the panes in their homes!
We are grateful to everyone who gave toward the effort and helped run the event. With gifts so far from the stained glass windows and sale of used folding chairs, plus several generous gifts to the project, we have raised $5201 toward the necessary $38,000. We look forward to having more members of the congregation participate in the project and celebrate the finished product. Remaining projects include a projector and screen in the sanctuary, as well as renovations to the front and rear of the sanctuary.
Click "Read More" at right to see more pictures of the event!
Fruit Salsa with Cinnamon Chips
1 cup finely chopped fresh strawberries
1 medium navel orange, peeled and finely chopped (mandarin can be used as well, drain)
3 medium kiwifruit, peeled and finely chopped
1 8oz can unsweetened crushed pineapple, drained
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tsp sugar
In a small bowl, combine the first six ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until serving.
10 flour tortillas (8 inch)
¼ cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
Brush tortillas with butter; cut each into eight wedges. Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over tortillas. Place on ungreased baking sheets. Bake at 350 for 5-10 minutes or just until crisp. Serve with fruit salsa. Stacey’s has a bag of cinnamon chips if you prefer not to make your own.
You're invited to the annual
Soup, Salad, and Dessert Dinner
at First Presbyterian Church of Warren
Join us for this great meal, sponsored by the Presbyterian Women.
Friday, March 30, 2012 from 4:30 – 7:00 pm
Adults and Youth $8.00
Children 6-11 years $3.00
Children 3-5 years $1.00
For further information call the Church Office at 586-751-1721
Last year Pastor Emma held a class called “Money Matters: Financial Freedom for All God’s Children" by Michael Slaughter. I did not know at the time what it was all about, I just knew that it sounded like something I needed to attend at this stage in my life.
At the end of 2008 I realized just how much money I lost from my savings when the market went south, a lot of administrative jobs at the company I retired from were being sent to Manila, and a lot of folks lost jobs and it will be years before we recover from this financial nightmare. In 2007 my home was worth $175,000 and my savings looked very good. At the end of 2010 my home was worth about $70,000 and my savings looked grim. I was (am) not sure if what I have left will last me all through retirement. It was time to take a long hard look at my money and what I am doing with it.
This class brought me the realization that I spend too much and that I did not have a true picture of where my money was going on a monthly basis. Emma shared an Excel home budget template with the class and I found that very useful. The class was not only about our own personal Money Matters but covered the Money Matters of the Church as well and how our contributions help the church grow. The book made me aware of “things” I’d bought that I really did not need at all and using credit cards that I should not have used. We cannot take “things’ to heaven with us, just the knowledge that we hopefully lived our lives well. It was so easy to pledge what I thought that I could afford to my Church but realized that if I cut back on unnecessary spending that I could in fact pledge more to my church to be used for God’s work instead of “things” sitting in a closet that I had not eve used yet.
We talked about the snowball effect on finances, paying all the small bills first and then taking those dollars and adding them to the bigger balances until one day the financial picture looks a lot better. That is where I am now and it is scary taking a long hard look at where my money goes. I am not in a position to fully give 10% to God, at least not yet, but it just may be a new goal in my life to get there. The book and the class showed us how to do God’s math, which is based on spiritual principles found in Scripture. God’s math results in:
Debt-Free Living, Focus & Planning
A Disciplined Lifestyle Easy Simplicity
Surrender & Trust Creating versus Consuming
Stewardship versus Ownership Generosity
I created my own financial problems and I hope that after sitting in the class and reading the book that someday I can look back and remember what I learned and learn from it. It will take time and there are times right now when I see a “thing” that I want and in some cases I walk away and say to myself “you don’t need that.” I did end up pledging a few more dollars to Church this year and that gave me a good feeling to make it a part of my “budget” for 2012. I ask God to help me get through this year and to help me make good financial decisions so that I can be prepared for those uncontrollable expenses that come up now and then.
Jesus said, "take up your cross and follow me." This season, we are focusing on the cross and the importance of its symbol to our Christian journey. The way of the cross is about sacrifice and choosing to do for others instead of for ourselves.
Members of the congregation were invited to bring in crosses that are important to them for this display in front of our communion table. There are crosses that we wear on jewelry, crosses that depict the Last Supper, crosses that inspire us, crosses that remind us of the pain of the crucifixion. Seeing these crosses each week during Lent directs our focus to a life of discipleship marked by service and sacrifice.
We hope that by Palm Sunday, the table will be overflowing with crosses that represent our faith and our shared Lenten journey as a community.