The Gospel Weekend is Almost Here
If you haven’t already highlighted March 28-30 on your calendar, take time to do it now. Take a few minutes to register any of the following ways:
Go online at http://gospelmusicweekend.eventbrite.com
Call the church office at 281-991-8700
Pick up a registration form at the church office
For over twenty years, Rev. Todd O’Neal has led a week-long gospel singing workshop at Ghost Ranch, NM, a Presbyterian Education and Retreat Center. Participants come from many different states, denominations, and musical backgrounds. What draws everyone who gathers to sing gospel music for a week in July is the joy, freedom, and reverence of this style of worship as we experience God’s presence in the praises of God’s people. Best of all, all participants gain a deeper appreciation for the richness of cultural diversity at the same time that we focus on our commonalities rather than our differences. And soon, this gospel singing experience will be at First Presbyterian of Pasadena.
The leaders of this Gospel Weekend are Rev. Todd O’Neal and his wife, Linda, co-pastors of The House of Joy Christian Ministries in Cincinnati, Ohio, Ellen Maxwell, assistant music director at House of Joy, and Patsy Winn, member of New Hope Missionary Baptist Church in Baytown, TX. They will lead all participants in a weekend of Black Gospel and congregational singing. The opening session is on Friday evening, followed by a morning and an afternoon session on Saturday. Our pastor, Rev. Jim Currie, plans for the our guests to also help lead Sunday morning worship. Above all, this is a participatory event, not a performance venue. It is a sing-along versus a concert. It is a weekend of fellowship, reconciliation, praise, and worship.
This is a free event, and there will be child care for children under 5 if they are preregistered. Older children are encouraged to attend with their parents. So tell your friends and neighbors and invite them, too.
This is a Presbytery-wide, community-wide event, and we hope to see FPCP filled to overflowing for this joy-filled weekend. This event is funded in part by grants from the Presbytery of New Covenant and the Presbyterian Association of Musicians. There will also be a free-will offering to help defray the cost of the weekend. Watch for the posters around the church for all the information, and If you have any questions, please call Connie Brakebill (281-731-4201) or Chere Wharry (281-222-4440).
For more info and registration form - click here.
From Your Pastor
About this time of year Jo Ann and I try to see as many of the movies that are nominated for Oscar awards as possible. Somehow, we watch more movies in February than we watch the rest of the year. This year there seem to be some amazing performances.
One that we saw recently was “Philomena” which stars Judith Dench. It’s the story of an older woman, Philomena Lee, who, as a teenager, became pregnant, bore a son, and worked in a convent where her son was being raised by the nuns. She and the other single mothers were allowed to see their children for an hour a day. Then one day without her prior knowledge (or consent) and much to her horror Philomena watches as her son, Anthony, is taken away by adopting parents.
Philomena, now an older woman, is approached by an unemployed journalist who offers to help her find her son and, with her permission, write the story. It turns out that the son grew up in Chicago, became a very good lawyer, and, eventually, went to work in the Reagan and Bush administrations. It also turns out that Anthony was gay. Anthony dies of AIDS and is buried on the grounds of the convent in England where he had been taken as an infant. Philomena does not get to see her son before he dies.
The movie ends with the journalist, Martin Sixsmith, and Philomena returning to the convent to visit Anthony’s grave. While there, Sixsmith becomes enraged at the callous conduct of the nun, Hildegard, who, still alive, harbored such anger at Philomena and all the young single mothers for their careless conduct, and who sent the children away to adopting parents without any consideration for the mothers. She is unrepentant of her attitudes and action. Sixsmith is equally unrepentant of his anger.
Only Philomena is forgiving. Only Philomena exhibits the radical grace that Christ taught and lived. She forgives Hildegard for her cruelty and encourages Sixsmith to do the same.
March 5 is Ash Wednesday and marks the beginning of Lent. It is a season in which we are called to explore our own need for repentance and to look to the cross of Jesus Christ where we find the opportunity for reconciliation with God and with others.
Will you join me as we travel this road through Lent which, eventually, culminates in reconciliation through the resurrection of that one who was crucified for our sakes? May our lives be transformed by re-discovering the radical grace God offers us in Jesus Christ.
Look Beneath the Surface...
A Traveling Art Exhibit at FPC
A traveling art exhibit, featuring works by Texas artists, has been organized by the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition to honor victims of human trafficking and to promote awareness of the realities of this modern day slavery. At our January “Wonderful Wednesday,” we heard stories and statistics about this crime...a crime that takes many forms and goes on in our own city every day and night. That month, our session voted unanimously to host the art exhibit here at FPC.
The paintings will hang on the back wall of the sanctuary (and be open to the public) beginning March 2nd. These works of art interpret the stories and experiences of the victims of trafficking. It is our prayer that through the artwork, we will remember that every person is a child of God, that we are called to be alert to the problem, pray for the victims, and look for ways to take action. The exhibit is self guided, using booklets provided by the Houston Rescue and Restore Coalition. The sanctuary will be open during church office hours. Watch for details about evening opportunities to view these powerful pieces...and invite a friend.
FYI...The proceeds from our annual Presbyterian Women’s Spring Tea will go to Houston Rescue and Restore to strengthen the mission and ministry of the coalition. Thanks be to God for a community of faith that is willing to address and respond to difficult situations, promoting healing and wholeness in our world.
Grief Recovery Group
First Presbyterian Church offers a monthly Grief Recovery Group, open to anyone who has suffered a loss due to death of a loved one, divorce, or any other similar life-changing experience.
The GRG meets in the Bride's Room near the sanctuary at 1 p.m. on the first Sunday of each month. The group is facilitated by Ms. Tracey Cofield, a social worker/case manager at Patients Hospital, and a colleague of FPC member, Nola Bray.
There is no need to register for this ongoing group. Simply show up on the first Sunday of the month and find your safe place in the circle of support.
FPC Group to Scotland
On Monday, March 10, 26 persons from First Presbyterian Church (and a couple of other churches) will leave for a ten-day Reformation Tour of Scotland. Please keep these persons in your thoughts and prayers. They leave on March 10 and return on March 19. Jim Currie has organized this tour through Nawas International Travel, Inc. While this group will be worshiping in Inverness on March 16, Rev. Mark Downs will preach at FPC, Pasadena.
Faith and Family Night With the Astros
Saturday, June 14, 2014 at 3:00 pm.
The Astros will be playing the Tampa Bay Rays that night with a performance by the award winning band, Mercy Me, after the game. You would recognize them by the song, "I Can Only Imagine." The price for both the ball game and concert is $30.00 each. This includes ALL YOU CAN EAT food and drinks (excluding alcohol.) We all know how expensive it is to eat there so this a great deal. Please contact me (Jason Reed) after church or at the house to let me know if you are interested. Please note we will not be renting buses as in the past, so I would envision carpooling or caravanning from the church.