Got Pots?

The church garden needs 2-gallon plastic pots.  If you have any to share, drop them off in the new church garden.  Take a few minutes to see the marvelous things going on there.  The garden is located at the back of campus on the Florida Avenue side.


“If You Build It, They Will Come!”

And the butterflies have indeed come to First Presbyterian Church!  Come see our beautiful gardens and vegetable plots behind the school playground.  Then choose plants for your own summer garden and purchase larval and nectar varieties while supporting our Mission Trip to Nicaragua.  Plants range from$1 to $8 and include milkweed, passion vine, cassia, parsley, penta, buddleia, lantana and salvia.  Sale days are Saturday and Sunday, May 6th and 7th.  Or stop by now for best choices.  We’ll see you in the garden.


Mission Fundraiser Thank you

More than 200 people “Caught the Wave” for the annual Mission Trip Fundraiser and those on the traveling team to Nicaragua couldn’t be any more grateful for the support of church members and the community. The April 22 event involved a panoply of activities including cake walks, hula hoop and limbo contests, dancing, pulled pork sandwiches, root beer floats and silent auction.  Many, many thanks to those of you who attended and/or donated to make this event such a huge success. A big thank you to the members of Stan O’Neal’s band who donated their fabulous sounds for the third year in a row. They were marvelous!  It was worth the price of the ticket just to hear auctioneer Claire Schrecengost use her dramatic talents to encourage bids for the live auction.  It was a whole church effort proving that we are all a part of the Mission Team whether we travel to far away places or not. Those not traveling but making a huge contribution toward the fundraising effort include Lynn Sorensen who headed up decorations, Marie Jeffreys who worked hard on auction items, Dianna Dreggors who made many fabulous cakes for the cake walk, Don Tutt who contributed his wonderful Tutt’s Butts, Maria Jones who is always working hard behind the scenes in the kitchen and of course Bethanne Schrecengost who was event chairperson extraordinaire.  The members of the traveling team who will depart for Nicaragua on June 10th feel so loved and encouraged by the members of the home team in this wonderfully supportive congregation of Christ followers.  Thank You, Thank You, Thank You!


Spanish Class

Dr. Bill Worden is an Associate Professor of Spanish and Director of Spanish Programs in the Department of Modern Languages and Classics at The University of Alabama. He received his A.B. in Mathematics from Dartmouth College, his M.A. in Spanish from Middlebury College and his Ph.D. in Hispanic Studies from Brown University. Since 2002, Dr. Worden has taught a wide variety of courses at The University of Alabama.

The level of Spanish being taught in the course is introductory, though Prof. Worden does balance out learning vocabulary with learning the mechanics of the language and the verb-tense system (you won’t spend many hours filling out conjugation tables, for one). The ease of access, friendly presentation style, and balanced approach to the language are this course’s greatest strengths compared to other options.



100th Sleeping Mat for the Homeless Completed

At 10:56 AM on Thursday, February 5, a group of dedicated volunteers completely our 100th sleeping mat for the homeless. If you are available between 10:00 and 12:00 on Thursday mornings we could certainly use your help. Come and enjoy this fun, no skill needed mission. Room 11A.










You are Needed – Do you have a couple of hours to give on Thursday mornings to help with the Sleeping Mats for the Homeless ministry? Consider joining this congenial group for fun and fellowship as we work on this simple but worthwhile project. We meet from 10-12 each Thursday morning in Room 11A. We would love to have you join us.

What is a Manna bag?

To the ancient Israelites wandering in the desert for 40 years, “manna” was the food God provided for their survival.  For us it means an opportunity to meet the needs of the hungry by providing a bag of food to our homeless friends on the street. We have all seen people on the side of the road with signs asking for assistance. We want to help but are reluctant to give a cash gift. So instead we can hand the person a manna bag that contains food, water, and a few basic supplies. The bags can be stored under the front seat of your vehicle and passed through the car window when the need arises.  The bags won’t solve the greater problem of homelessness or hunger, but giving the person a bag is something you can do for one person right now.

Supplies for Manna Bags

The Hands and Feet Sunday School class will begin adding mini first-aid kits to manna bags.  We will be adding Neosporin packets, alcohol wipes, q-tips, band aids, safety pins, etc. We are also looking for mini sewing kits, the kind you often find in hotel rooms.  Donations can be left in the church office. Contact Mary Hoffmann ( for more  information.

Sleeping mats for the homeless

A group of dedicated people has been meeting at 10:00 AM on Thursday mornings in the Mission Room (11A) to make sleeping mats for the homeless out of plastic shopping bags.  We delivered our first batch of 15 mats to the Mercy Hour at First Methodist Church and they were very excited to get them. We will also be delivering some to a group of homeless veterans.  If we have 15-17 people on a Thursday we can complete 3 mats in a morning.  We also need volunteers to flatten and cut bags.  This can be done with the Thursday morning group if you would like the fellowship or can be done at home in your spare time-or both!  Contact Mary Hoffmann (386) 747-5165, for information.

Dates are Out for Nicaragua 2017 – This year you have a choice of two different weeks and two different venues. You are invited to go for one week or two. The first week will be June 10-17 in the town of Esteli. The second week will be June 17-24 at La Finca, the Young Life camp in the mountains. For those of you who prefer a city experience, Esteli is for you. If you are looking for more of a spiritual camp experience then you will want to go to La Finca. We are encouraging families to consider this year as your year for Nicaragua. La Finca makes a particularly powerful lifelong impression on the young people who attend. The cost is $675 per person plus airfare. Last year we were able to raise $500 per person, bringing the cost down to $125 per person plus airfare. Hopefully, we can do the same this year if not more. Mark your calendars and begin saving now. Youth scholarships are available. If you would like for your name to be added to the mission e-mail list, contact Mary Hoffmann at

Toasty Toes Mission – It’s that time again.  Are your toes toasty and warm and dry? Some of our friends on the street cannot answer YES.  Please help the Hands and Feet Sunday School Class include a new pair of socks in each Manna Bag along with food and water.  Put your gift of a new pair of socks in the “sock basket” in Fellowship Hall on Sundays.  We all need Toasty Toes!

How do we spend our mission money?

Do you have a mission you are passionate about? Would you like to have the Mission Outreach Team consider it for funding? Contact Mary Hoffmann at, and we will check it out.aaron

For those of you who followed the story of Aaron from Nicaragua and the book our church family gave him 14 years ago, this our nineth year of annual photographs.


We are a mission church. We are a community committed to serving others in need.
As we exit our building, we enter the mission field.

Nicaragua. This is our eighteenth year coming to Nicaragua. It is like a second home, for collectively we have built, repaired or renovated: homes; a Presbyterian Church [Shalom Presbyterian Church in Esteli, Pastor: Jan Carlos Guttierez]; a Vida Joven office, residence, and club house; conducted countless children and youth oriented Bible Schools; planted trees; built bio-digesters and outhouses; built trails; and performed numerous agricultural projects and tasks at the Young Life farm known as “La Finca”. We have friends here who were young children when we first arrived and now have completed school, college, married, and been blessed with children.

Namibia. Talitha Kumi Christian Academy is dedicated to the education of orphans and vulnerable children in our care and from the community of Arandis. The support we provide for all the children in our care covers a wide range of needs from their home, food, medical, and dental to all their school needs. The full donation given by sponsors through His Promise Ministries goes to the support of the child. Click here to learn more. For more information contact Kathy Morganelli by email or call 386-738-7396.

Guatemala. We continue to support AIR Guatemala for their truly outstanding ministries that have been ongoing for more than a decade. Click here to learn more and find the newsletters. For more information contact Anne Hallum -Wilgers, at, or call 386-956-4321.

Taiwan. John McCall has been serving in Taiwan for over 16 years. He spends a lot of time on trains, buses, and subways as he travels throughout Taiwan teaching courses on ministry and spiritual formation at the three seminaries of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. John leads groups of pastors in different parts of Taiwan that meet monthly to find encouragement and challenge.   “I have the privilege of accompanying both seminary students and pastors as they seek to be Christ’s light and salt in this land,” he says. Most every weekend John is in a different church or presbytery teaching and preaching and equipping the leadership of the Taiwanese church. Many of these churches are indigenous, located in the high mountains, on the coast, or in Taiwan’s teeming cities. Click here to learn more and read his newsletters.