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!
As the weather gets colder, the activities heat up. This past Sunday we heard from Carter Strand about the amazing work happening in the Central African Republic. Jonathan's House is an orphanage providing support for children in difficult situations. Find out more on their website, https://www.jonathanshouse.org.
Later this month we will prepare the Sanctuary for the Christmas season with the annual Hanging of the Greens. The decorating will take place on Saturday, November 30 at 9:00 AM. All are welcome to come help.
Additionally, our Sunday school kids have started practicing for the Christmas Program. We will once again be switching worship and Sunday school times to allow the children one final practice before the performance. Therefore, Sunday school will meet at 9:00 AM on December 15, and church will follow at 10:00 AM. Refreshments and coffee hour will be hosted by the Christian Education Committee at 11:00 AM.
Finally we invite you to join us for the Christmas Eve Service on Tuesday, December 24 at 7:00 PM. We celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ through worship, song, and communion. The 1st Presbyterian Church has an open table policy and invites individuals of all denominations to take communion together as brothers and sisters in Christ.
We can't wait to see you!
There are many events and opportunities available for people of all ages to become involved in through our church. We appreciate your participation and can't wait to see you!
Active Service Members & Veterans Recognition Service
In honor of the National Guard service men and women being deployed to the Middle East this fall, and for all veterans who have served, we will be hosting a special Sunday morning church service which will honor these brave individuals through special music, readings, and fellowship. Our Sunday school children will be playing an active role in the service by leading patriotic songs and the Pledge of Allegiance. The Praisebyts, our women's music group, will be performing a special song in honor of all service members and their families. After service, the Music and Worship Committee will be hosting a special coffee hour. Please join us as we show our thanks and appreciation at our 9:00 AM service on Sunday, September 29 and at our coffee fellowship hour which begins directly after the service.
Presbyterian Women's Committee is hosting a special meeting open to the public on Sunday, October 13, at 2:00 PM. Lance Horbach will be present to discuss the changes occurring at the Marshalltown Hospital. Please join us to find out more information about coming changes.
We will host our Sunday school Halloween Party on Sunday, October 20, at 5:00 PM. Hot dogs, chips, and special treats will be served for supper. All children are encouraged to wear their costumes.
The JCI Senate Group is hosting a mission project known as Caps For Kids. Plastic caps from water bottles, pop bottles, juice, prescription bottles, laundry detergent, and more will be collected until June 30, 2020. The collected caps will be melted down and sold to earn money which will then support the adjustment, repair, and purchasing of parts for wheelchairs of children with physical disabilities. Thank you for your donations!
The church is once again participating in the Operation Christmas Child Shoe Box Program. This program sends shoe boxes full of donated items to children in need overseas. Please return all filled shoe boxes to the church by November 1. Thank you for your support!
Summer is coming to a close and the school bells will soon start to ring. We will be sending out our Rally Sunday Sunday School letters to families informing them of upcoming important dates for the beginning of the 2019 - 2020 Sunday school year in the next week. If you and your family would like to join us, please email the church at firstname.lastname@example.org to be added to our Sunday school mailing list. Children ages 3 through 8th grade are welcome at Sunday school which runs from 10:00 - 11:00 Sunday mornings September through May.
Families are also welcome to join us for Sunday morning service beginning at 9:00 AM. While nursery care is available, we encourage parents and children of all ages to enjoy the service with us in the sanctuary as we believe that the sound of children during service is a joyful noise. In the words of Jesus Christ, "Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these." (Matthew 19:14 NIV).
Finally we would like to remind current and future parishioners that our monthly newsletter is available to be sent via email. Simply send us a digital newsletter request to email@example.com and we will send each month's newsletter to your inbox.
We hope the rest of your summer is wonderfully fun filled and look forward to seeing you soon!