For Easter 2019 First Presbyterian Church of Forney agreed to donate $15 for every Easter plant or lily that was purchased. The Easter plants were used to decorate the sanctuary for Easter morning worship. The sales generated $485! For the second year in a row, the church council voted to send the donations to Camp Gilmont. Camp Gilmont is a Presbyterian camp in east Texas (Gilmer). The church has a long history of sending campers to summer camp and to the various retreats held there. We will have youth attending summer camp there this summer, and are blessed to continue our great relationship with this important ministry!
Ancient male initiation rites taught young men the important lesson that they are not in control, which is really a lesson on how to love like God loves.
Rev. David Ivie, Pastor
The October 1989 earthquake in San Francisco shook people to the core. Like all natural disasters, it showed people, however briefly, that we are not in control. As much as we forget and fight against it, we can't even trust the ground under our feet. But strangely it also reorients us to trust -- be one with God, while control separates us.
Part Two in the Series of Spiritual Life Lessons: You Are Going to Die teaches us spend our time wisely going about our Father's business of healing and curing. Denying our mortality gets us caught up in our own selfish ego plans which lead to conflict and pain.
Rev. David Ivie, Pastor
I have good news and bad news for you. First the bad news: you are going to die. Secondly, the good news: you are going to die...
The church council is working through a visioning process. The process will set up the church with specific steps to work toward as we prepare for our 150th anniversary in 2022. The council expects the visioning to be complete by summer 2019.
We strive to be an inclusive fellowship of disciples serving our community.
For now, the group has adopted a new Vision Statement: We strive to be an inclusive fellowship of disciples serving our community.
Inclusive: We strive to accept ALL of God's people.
Fellowship: Nurturing the Body of Christ. Being together is important. Knowing and being known.
Disciples: We learn from Jesus and desire to be more faithful followers in his Way.
Serving Our Community: We desire to continue the congregation's long tradition of serving our community, with special emphasis on local needs and supporting our schools.
Strive: We don't always get it right, but this is who we hope to be and what we try to do, to the glory of God.
Foundations are the most important part of a house. When we build our lives on anything other than Jesus' teachings, it's like having no foundation at all.
Rev. David Ivie, Pastor
Now I can go out and purchase flood insurance and pay an additional premium for that coverage. But there is no insurance policy available that can guarantee that the flood will not come. Storms of life will come, Jesus implies, the question is, are you going to be ready?
We say, "I don't know." God says "I knew you when."
Rev. David Ivie, Pastor
Conflict is inevitable. Both Jeremiah and Jesus were prepared for it. The blessed assurance came not from trendy conflict resolution techniques. Those may be helpful, yet ultimately what is most helpful is knowing that we are known. Our True Selves cannot be hurt.
During the Christmas Eve Service 2018, the church's offering collected $508. 100% of the offering was designated as a gift to the Clay Jones Legacy Foundation, which uses part of their funds for college scholarships for graduating seniors of Forney ISD.
In January, the First Presbyterian Church of Forney council voted to add to the $508 to make the total gift $1000 (which equals one scholarship from the Clay Jones Legacy Foundation). The additional funds were drawn from offerings the church receives from the AA groups that meet at the church, receipts from the Kroger Community Rewards Program, and proceeds from our annual Epiphany Celebration Lunch. In total, $1000 was gifted.
The church is blessed to be a blessing to our community, and is especially proud to support the educational goals of Forney students in memory of Clay Jones, who grew up in our congregation and whose legacy continues to impact thousands across the state of Texas.
For the fourth year in a row, First Presbyterian Forney held a celebration for Epiphany. The celebration and meal marks the transition from the Christmas Season (the 12 Days of Christmas from Dec 25 through Jan 5) to the Season of Epiphany. Epiphany is always on January 6, the day that marks the "epiphany" or manifestation of Christ as the Savior of the World. Epiphany Season lasts from January 6 until Mardi Gras, the Tuesday before Lent begins on Ash Wednesday.
Our celebration was held after the morning worship service and included a meal provided by members of the church, a reading of the story of the wise men giving gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh, a choir anthem "The First Noel" set to the tune of "Jesu, Joy of Man's Desiring," and a reading of the wonderful story "The Legend of Old Befana" who was too busy sweeping her house and porch to go with the wise men to see Jesus.
An offering was received, proceeds of which were given to the Clay Jones Legacy Foundation.
We decorated the tree with ornaments similar to those used on our Sanctuary tree--symbols of Christian faith such as angels, butterflies, and crosses.
In 2018 we expanded our Christmas traditions to include the City of Forney Christmas Tree project. The trees were donated by Lowe's and were decorated by various groups or families from the community.
Our beautiful tree did not win the prize, though we are pleased that the proceeds from the contest were donated to one of our partners, The Sharing the Love Foundation.
Our 2018 Advent Mission Project changed from Shoeboxes to Stockings. This year we stuffed 82 stockings with everyday supplies like shampoo, lotion, toothpaste, and other helpful supplies. We also included free copies of the Gospel of Mark and a list of "Scripture Verses for Graceful Living."
We partnered with Sharing the Love Foundation which delivered the stockings to local nursing homes and the elderly who often go without basic hygiene supplies.
Our "Advent Workshop" tradition has continued for many years. In 2017 we incorporated the mission project into our annual Hanging of the Greens service, which is usually in the evening on the 2nd Sunday of Advent.
The vision of FCM is to build a stronger community in Forney through charitable acts of service.
First Pres Forney is blessed to have become a founding partner and part-owner of a new local non-profit entitled Forney Community Ministries (FCM).
We have joined with Mike and Amanda Lewis of Forney and Sharing The Love Foundation Forney, Tx to create this new entity with the vision to build a stronger community in Forney through charitable acts of service.
Our initial ministry is the School Uniform Exchange which we inherited from Forney ISD Clothing Closet.