FPC Forney has a vital role to play in our community, an important voice at the table.
Rev. David Ivie
You might have heard about it on the interwebs or the news: First Presbyterian Church in Muscatine, Iowa (where I was pastor for 5 years before returning to Texas in 2012) made the news this past Sunday.[i] It made the news because
January 6th was a special evening at the church; Epiphany was celebrated in style. The sanctuary was beautifully decorated with lights and candlelight and tables were decorated with white tablecloths, flowers, and more lights. The evening started with those present eating appetizers and getting to know each other better. This was a fund raiser for the youth to help with costs of 2016 youth trips, such as Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Since this benefited the youth, they served salad, chicken, bread, and dessert to those present. Following the wonderful meal, there was a service to celebrate the coming of the three wise men bringing gifts to the new born king that included communion. The evening was wonderful, the food was great, and the youth did a fantastic job.
Epiphany is the celebration of Jesus being made known to the world, represented in the story of the wise men recognizing Jesus as Savior and bringing him 3 gifts. It is celebrated each January 6 to mark the end of the 12 days of Christmas.
Special thanks to all those who supported our youth by attending, providing food, and decorating!
Eating and Worshipping in Style
Lance's Cake, Baby Jesus and Sheep Receiving Gifts
My family and I thank you very much for the love offering you collected for us and gave on Christmas Eve. This was a surprise! We used part of the money to all go ice skating at the Galleria on New Year's Eve. Sarah and Sophia took friends, and we all—even Laura and I—got out there and went around the tree and had a great time!
"It's a lot easier if you just let go of the rail and skate."
I was scared that one of us would fall and break something and we would see the New Year in at a nearby Emergency Room! I held on to the side rail for dear life. But then Sarah's friend Avery passed me, turned and said: "It's a lot easier if you let go of the rail and just skate." She was right. Not bad advice for life! Thank you for making this happen! Happy New Year!
A Family Memory at the Galleria New Year's Eve 2015
Dinner begins at 6:00 p.m., followed by a brief, fun, and interactive worship service. We will sing songs like "We Three Kings", tell the story of the wise men who offer gifts to the baby Jesus, and end with communion (open to all).
Wednesday, January 6, 2016
6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Cost: $10 per plate includes appetizers, salad, dinner, dessert, and tea/coffee.
This is a FUNDRAISER to help cover the cost of summer 2016 youth trips like Presbyterian Youth Triennium. Our youth will help setup, serve dinner, and cleanup. Food will be prepared by various people within the church.
You do not have to have a youth in our church to attend. Your participation will show your support for our youth program and our commitment to provide spiritually enriching events for them. We hope all parents, guardians, neighbors, friends, and church members will attend this special event!
Normal Wednesday evening programs resume Wed. January 13, 2016 6:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Please join us Thursday, December 24th, 2015 for our Christmas Eve Candlelight Service of Lessons and Carols.
The service begins at 6:00 p.m. in the sanctuary and will last approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes.
The service will include readings from scripture that tell the salvation story of sin and redemption. We will sing after each reading. The service will close with communion and the lighting of candles while singing Silent Night.
Special musical features will be "How Far Is It To Bethlehem" by our choir and "Still, Still, Still" by our youth handbells.
The service at FPC Forney usually includes many families who come to worship on this most holy night. Appropriate for all ages! The service is early enough to allow you to be home by 7:30 p.m. Please join us and bring a friend!
Advent is time spent preparing and waiting for Jesus birth. To prepare we will have a Advent Festival on Sunday, December 6th at 6:00pm. At that time we will have a service decorating the Christmas tree and the rest of the church.
Following the service you will have an opportunity to give the gift of giving also known as Alternative Gift Giving. You can donate to the Forney Food, Lone Star CASA, and/or Grace Presbyterian Village Caring Fund in the name of a friend or loved one. You will be given an acknowledgement letter to give the person/people letting them know that a donation was given in their name. The Forney Food Pantry helps local families, Lone Star CASA advocates for children, and Grace Presbyterian Village Caring Fund provides assistance for residents that have used all of their resources.
We will also be doing the Shoebox Christmas this year. Bring shoeboxes with lids (preferably wrapped). We will put items such as hand sanitizer, wet wipes, tissue, lip balm, razors, toothpaste and toothbrushes in the shoe boxes. They will then be taken to the The Bridge homeless shelter and given to those in need.
Pizza will be provided, and the wonderful cooks of the congregation can bring a dessert if you would like. Plan on spending your Sunday evening in worship, decorating, socializing, and helping others. It is a special and fun time.
This past month I was very blessed to attend the Presbyterian CREDO event for mid-career pastors. It is a huge investment that our denomination makes in us. They took very good care of us and created an environment for us to be able to assess where we are vocationally, spiritually, financially, emotionally, and physically. The end result was that we each wrote a CREDO plan for the next stage of our ministries.
One of the things that helped me the most was to assess my financial situation. I realize that I carry a lot of anxiety about finances: "When can I get these credit cards paid off?" "When will I be able to buy a house?" "What about college costs?" "Will I ever have money enough to retire?" My time at CREDO allowed me to observations. First, I am actually doing a lot of the right things with our finances. Besides a few tweaks here and there, Laura and I are on the right track. Secondly, I have created an idol out of money and not truly relied upon God, the One who has provided everything anyway.
So part of my CREDO plan was to pray more faithfully about money. It is rather simple, "Lord, I can't do this on my own. Help me. Take away this worry from my life. I've done all I can do. I trust You to take care of the rest." It's like the song we sing: "O, what peace we often forfeit. O what needless pain we bear. All because we do not carry, everything to God in prayer."
There's more to my CREDO plan. Suffice it for now to say that I hope that you notice me trying to do things a little different going forward. Things that will make me a better pastor, husband, father, and person. Sometimes little small things can make a big difference down the road. I'm grateful for the time away.