The past year and a half has been one of changes, challenges, difficulties, sorrow, and uncertainty. Yet through it all we have seen moments of joy, triumph, and hope. Now the time has come where medical intervention, treatment, and vaccines have gained a strong foothold and safety precautions are being eased. In response to the recent changes in society, we at the First Presbyterian Church of Toledo have altered our precautions to accommodate the newly available information while still serving our congregation in the best way we know how.
Beginning on Sunday, May 30, 2021, we will no longer be requiring face masks for attendees. Anyone who would feel more comfortable wearing a mask is more than welcome to continue doing so. Additionally, we will still be offering face masks and hand sanitizer at the main entrance for those who wish to use either product.
In turn, we will no longer be limiting seating within the Sanctuary. All attendees are free to sit wherever they feel most comfortable. If you arrive and would like more distance between yourself and other attendees than is available, the Library, located off the east side of the Sanctuary, is always open for additional seating.
At this time, we will continue to have the offering plate near the entrance of the church and available both before and after service rather than pass the plate. Communion will also continue to be served in individual servings on the communion table instead of being served by the Elders.
Sunday services will still be available using the phone service through the month of August. If you would like to know how to listen to services using our phone system, please contact us for the necessary information.
If you have any other questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us via phone or email. While we do not have set office hours, all inquiries will be answered as soon as possible. We look forward to seeing all of you at Sunday services which begin at 11:00 AM in the Sanctuary!
Today marked the end of another successful, if not quite normal, Sunday school year. We were blessed with the ability to meet in service and fellowship in a beautiful worship filled with laughter, singing, and communion with one another and God. Our talented Sunday school children performed a series of songs and took an active role in retelling the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. We are so thankful for the dedication of our children and families as we share and learn the word of God together.
As we look ahead, we will be taking a special 5th Sunday offering in May that will benefit our youth Summer Camp Scholarship Fund. This year we are pleased to share that 12 of our students are able to attend and participate in Summer Camp. We are so proud of our students who were moved to share their excitement about camp with their friends. In fact, we have learned that another child from the community will be attending the same camp due to our own students sharing their joyous anticipation for another great summer camp experience. Way to go, kids!
Assuming that we will be able to resume Sunday school as scheduled this fall, we will see you all in class in September. Families, please be on the look-out for mailed information in late July or during the month of August. If you or your children would like to join us for Sunday school in the fall, please contact us via phone or email with your contact information as well as the names and ages of your children. In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you all at Sunday morning services at 11:00 AM in the sanctuary!
Lent is in full swing and we have begun planning our Annual Easter Egg Hunt. As many of you may remember, COVID forced us to cancel last year's event. However this year, we are planning on hosting our Annual Easter Egg Hunt once again with the addition of mask wearing by all attendees.
This year's hunt will take place on Saturday, April 3, 2021 at 1:00 PM for all children ages 2 - 12 on the Tama County Courthouse North Lawn. Please remember to arrive early!
Additionally, we are tentatively planning to hold a Maundy Thursday service on Thursday, April 1, 2021 at 7:00 PM. As with all of our services, mask wearing will be required.
In the meantime, we look forward to seeing you each Sunday at 9:30 AM for Sunday school and at 11:00 AM for church services. Have a happy Easter!
Despite reports from Punxsutawney Phil, the First Presbyterian Church is moving toward spring with a few changes.
In order to best serve our entire congregation, we will be moving church services to 11:00 AM on Sunday mornings beginning on Sunday, February 21, 2021. As such, the Sunday school classes will be adjusting their times as well. The youth Sunday school classes will meet from 9:30 AM to 10:45 AM beginning on Sunday, February 21, 2021. The adult Sunday school class will meet from 9:30 to 10:30 beginning on Sunday, February 21, 2021.
In the meantime, we hope you are all staying warm and safe and can't wait to see you!
While the past year was full of new and not always fun experiences, many were still able to find positives and moments of joy. More importantly, many found ways to bring joy to others. Our congregation was no exception. In less than a week we were able to provide and deliver 45 Christmas care packages as part of a special service project. It is a blessing to be part of such a generous and loving congregation!
As we move into the new year, we prepare for our Annual Meeting on January 24, 2021. All reports are due on January 10, 2021.
During the month of February, we typically celebrate Souper Bowl Sunday with a soup luncheon and canned food drive. Due to COVID restrictions, we will not be meeting for soup or collecting food. To better support the South Tama Food Pantry and the Tama County Humane Society, we will be conducting a month long fundraiser beginning on February 1 and ending on February28. If you would like to contribute, please contact us via phone or email at 484-3522 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, we hope to see you soon at our socially distanced, safety precautioned events listed below.
Christmas care packages ready to be delivered!
Committee leaders: Don't forget to submit your reports for the Annual Meeting! :)
Anyone in Iowa this past week has seen the devastating impact of the derecho storm that hit on Monday, August 10. The church was relatively unscathed, but has yet to have power restored. Due to this unexpected issue, regular in - person church services have been suspended this week. Phone - in service will be available for any and all who have working phone service. In the meantime, we would like to express our sincere thanks and gratitude to all who are working long, tiring hours to restore power, clean up debris, repair homes and businesses, and providing food and shelter to those in need.
As we entered into our second month of in-church services, we reinstated monthly communion with a twist. Rather than having the elders serve the congregation, each person came up to the communion table to partake in the individually portioned elements while maintaining a safe distance from one another.
Additionally, the Women's Circle will resume meetings beginning tomorrow, August 5th, at 2:00 PM. They will be studying the second lesson based on the Ten Commandments.
As many families know, we typically begin Sunday school classes in September. Due to the uncertain and unusual circumstances of this year, we are sending out a letter surveying the level of interest and desired safety steps to ensure the health and well-being of everyone potentially attending Sunday school and church services. We ask that all responses be returned by Sunday, August 16th so that the Christian Education Committee can take all feedback into account during their decision making meeting on August 18th.
The church has invested in a new addition that will benefit all members and visitors for many years to come. The Memorial Committee and the Session Committee collaborated to purchase an AED, or Automated External Defibrillator. Recently Pastor Tom and the Trustees installed the AED and memorial plaque in the east entryway. The final result looks amazing. Thanks guys!
Finally, we would like to spread the word about a wonderful opportunity to support a mission near and dear to the hearts of this congregation. Sam and Anna Danforth and their children, missionaries in South Africa, have family roots right here in Toledo, Iowa. Almost two years ago, we were blessed to have them come share about their work and the business they started, Titus Auto Centre, that provides technical and spiritual work and training for many future mechanics in Izotsha. Due to COVID, business has been greatly impacted and Titus has started a Recovery Fundraising Campaign. Check out the image below for more details on how you can help!
Stay safe, God bless, and we hope to safely see you all soon!
On June 9th, the Session met to discuss a possible reopening date as well as potential guidelines to ensure the safety of all worshipers. Based on that discussion, we have decided to reopen regular church services on Sunday, July 5, 2020 at 10:00 AM. Listed below are the recommendations and precautions we will be taking.
We would like to thank everyone for their patience and support during these uncertain times. If you have any other questions, please contact us by phone or email. We look forward to seeing you all on July 5th!
So far, 2020 has not turned out the way anyone had hoped. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we began cancelling events in mid March including our annual Easter egg hunt, Sunday school classes and end of the year picnic, and regular church services. As we wait, we have tried our best to stay connected through phone-in Sunday services and daily phone conferences to share joys and concerns with one another.
Thus far, we have made the safety of our church family a priority and are continually seeking more information and insight into how to move forward. At this time, the Session plans to meet on June 9th to discuss the current situation, share ideas for when to resume in person worship, as well as how to make in person worship safe for all attendees.
We appreciate your understanding and patience as we tentatively move back toward some resemblance of normal. Those included on the calling list will receive a call from their designated Session member with information after the June meeting. If you are not currently on the calling list and would like to be included, please let us know via phone message at (641) 484-3522 or via email at email@example.com. Pastor Tom is also available via cell phone at (641) 751-1924. In the meantime, we wish you health and happiness and cannot wait to see everyone safely in person again soon!
2020 is almost here and we are gearing up for change! This year our pastor, Rev. Tom Bower, and his wife Jean will be continuing their mission work by sharing the word of God in Bali. We welcome North Central Iowa Transitional Presbyter, Rev. Ian McMullen, former North Central Iowa Presbyter, Rev. David Feltman, and retired Wycliffe Bible Translator and missionary, Dave Lux to the pulpit until we are able to welcome Jean back in February.
As the Bower's spread the word in Bali, we continue to share and worship here in Iowa. Due to the changing opportunities and varying needs of the congregation, we will be temporarily altering our service times.
January 5, 2020:
Church Service at 9:00 AM
Sunday School at 10:00 AM
January 12, 2020 - May 31, 2020:
Sunday School at 9:00 AM
Church Service at 10:00 AM
Before we say farewell to 2019, we must first complete our Christmas celebrations. This Sunday our children help us retell the story of Jesus' birth in the annual Christmas Program beginning at 10:00 AM. We will also be lighting the pink candle of Joy as we continue to recognize and rejoice in the Advent season. Finally we celebrate His birth with our Candlelight Christmas Eve Service on December 24 at 7:00 PM. We hope that you will join us in the celebration of our Messiah and His teachings both this year, and in years to come. Until then, Merry Christmas and Blessed New Year!