Helping Haiti Through Friends of Fort Liberte

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Helping with Pill Packing

For the last 10 years or so, First Presbyterian Church of Dallas has worked with “Friends of Fort Liberté” (FFL) to provide medical care to people in Haiti. As you all know, we buy the medicine in bulk and re-package for transport and distribution. It takes about 250 hours to count, package, and label the pills we buy and take to Fort Liberté. And we are about half way done. But we still have work to do. The next pill packing session is this Saturday (October 19)—and the last session will be October 26. All sessions are and will be from 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. in the Great Hall on the 4th floor of the church. If you are part of the Haiti 2020 Team (and you are not out of town), please plan to participate in these sessions. Recruit family, friends, etc. to help.  Many hands make light work! All are welcome.

 

Eat breakfast, drink coffee, socialize, and play pinball (and there really is an “Indiana Jones” pinball machine 50 feet away).

Background on Friends of Fort Liberte

FFL’s mission is “To honor God through our partnership with the Jerusalem Baptist Church of Ft. Liberte by helping feed, heal, house, and educate His children in Haiti.” Its vision is “a poverty-free Fort Liberté, Haiti, with access to food, healthcare, education and meaningful work for all.”

 

We work with FFL by staffing the Eben-Ezer Medical Clinic in Fort Liberté and providing medicines for treatment there.

 

From its rough beginning of a few volunteers and a trunk load of meds set up once a year in a dilapidated building, the EBEN-EZER CLINIC has developed into a functioning community resource with its own building and full-time Haitian medical team.  For more than 20 years, Friends of Fort Liberté teams and supporters have worked to provide  medical care for people with none.  In many ways, the clinic is a great success.  Long time visitors note an improvement in the general health of the whole Fort Liberté area and the clinic has been recognized by the Haitian Government for providing the most consistent care in the northern region for chronic disease patients.

-James Welch

Meet Tracy DePue

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Dear Friends,

We are writing to announce the appointment of our new Interim Director of Music, Tracy DePue.  Her first Sunday with us will be November 3.

Tracy’s gifts for leading music in a worship context like ours were easy to spot. What we didn’t anticipate finding was someone so sure of a call to lead in an interim. When we met her, we could immediately sense that she was an answer to prayers we weren’t aware we’d been speaking.

Tracy comes to us from Little Rock, Arkansas where she served most recently as the Director of Music, Worship & the Arts  at the 3,600-member St. James United Methodist Church.

Tracy was responsible for overseeing the entire Music, Worship & Arts Ministry, which included the Adult, Handbell, Youth, and Children's Choirs. No stranger to DFW, Tracy was the Director of Music Ministries at Grace Presbyterian Church of Plano for nineteen years before moving to Little Rock.

Most recently, Tracy has undertaken a course of study at Perkins Theological Seminary in the Art of Spiritual Direction, seeking to delve deeper into helping others develop spiritual practices which can lead to a closer walk with God.

We all look forward to Tracy joining our FPC family.

Gratefully,

The Music Transition Team

Situation at the Border Presentation


The situation at the Texas/Mexico border is confusing and heart-breaking. If you want to learn what is actually happening from first-hand witnesses, come hear Laura Westerlage and Frances Knipp talk about their recent trip to the border with a group of faith leaders from all over Texas. Pick up lunch in Byrd Hall following the 10:50 a.m. worship service and bring it with you to Blakely Hall. If you are not sure where these are, ask an usher. The presentation starts at 12:15 p.m.

When: October 27, 12:15 p.m.
Where: FPC, Blakley Hall
Who: All are invited!

Advocating for Children on Oct 20th

On Sunday, Oct. 20th, we will celebrate Children’s Sabbath Sunday during worship. The multi-faith Children’s Sabbath weekend engages places of worship across the country in focusing prayers, worship, education programs, and action on learning more about the urgent problems facing our nation’s children exploring sacred texts and teachings that call us to love and protect children, responding with outreach and advocacy, and—most importantly–inspiring new, year-round action to improve the lives of children. This is an opportunity to lift up and advocate for all children on the same weekend with people from communities around the country.

This year, at First Presbyterian Church of Dallas we highlight our longtime partner organization birthed from this church, Presbyterian Children’s Homes and Service (PCHAS). One way you can support PCHAS and their growing Single Parent Family Program is by collecting some of the following wish list items.

1) Sidewalk Chalk

2) Coloring Books and crayons

3) Board Games

4) Balls

5) Bubbles


Look for the designated wagons in Church Street (one of the big rooms in the church) and outside the third floor elevator to drop your donations anytime. Click here for more information.

Bill Carl is Coming to Preach

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Rev. Dr. Bill Carl served as the Pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas from 1983 to 2005 and is coming back on Sunday, November 17th to visit and to lead in worship. You don’t want to miss this opportunity to hear him preach.

Dr. Carl is the author of eight books (two of which have been translated into Korean), serves as an ethics consultant to corporations, has lectured on the brain at medical schools and medical conferences since 2000, and has spoken at Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Cornell, Carnegie Mellon, Boston University, University of Pittsburgh, SMU and TCU as well as other academic institutions both here and around the world in China, Taiwan, Korea, Russia, India, Rwanda and South Africa.

Sarah Leer Joins Staff at FPC as Director of Youth and Their Families

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The staff is ecstatic about our new Director of Youth and Their Families, Sarah Leer. Sarah comes to FPC Dallas from Bentonville, Arkansas, where she served as the Director of Children and Youth Ministry at First Presbyterian Church. Sarah is a graduate of Wake Forest University, Columbia Theological Seminary (where she earned a Master of Arts in Theological Studies and a Master of Theology), and the Clinton School of Public Service. She is a practical theologian who is working on her Doctorate in Educational Ministry at Columbia Theological Seminary.

A lifelong Presbyterian, Sarah has served as a Young Adult Volunteer in New Orleans, as the Moderator of the Young Adult Volunteer Alumni Council, and as the Adult Co-Moderator for the Youth Advisory Team for the Presbytery of Arkansas. Sarah currently serves on the board of the Presbyterian Youth Workers' Association. When she is not working and studying, Sarah enjoys singing Broadway songs in her car, random road trips and adventures, geeking out over pop culture, traveling the world with friends, hanging out with her family, watching college football, and attending youth conferences that include energizers. Sarah’s first day with FPC Dallas will be December 1.

Connections Camp in Gilmont for The Stewpot Kids Club

Over the weekend of September 21, 2019, Kids Club kids from the Stewpot and FPC kids attended Connections Camp at Camp Gilmont - an overnight for 5th and 6th graders. This is a fantastic opportunity to experience camp and new things in the context of God’s creation where most of the kids have never been away from home.

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Kathy Price Celebrates 20 Years Serving FPC

FPC has a very dedicated staff who works hard throughout the week to fulfill the mission of the church, and each week there is cause to celebrate.  And some weeks there is cause to celebrate even more.  As of this week, Kathy Price has served FPC for twenty years. She works diligently as a Ministry Assistant which encompasses a plethora of tasks.  She started her journey in 1999 after hearing about a staff position from her sister and FPC member, Julia Boyce, and has felt called to serve ever since. 

                When thinking back on those 20 years there are a few memories that really stick out for her.  One comes out of a fond working relationship with Harry and Gene Crissman.  Kathy had only been working at FPC for a few months and, understandably, grew concerned that she would never be able to keep up with Camilla Ballard.  She expressed this to Gene Crissman.  Gene turned to her and said, “you are the glue that holds FPC together.”  To this day, she has never forgotten those words.

                Another of her fond memories is working alongside the Taylor family.  She remembers the day that Josh and Diana Taylor came to FPC over eight years ago and since then has found her work with them to be a “blessing and an honor.”  There were so many projects and memories that she is very thankful for.

                Over her twenty years at FPC, Kathy feels that two of the most important things she has learned here at FPC are flexibility and compassion.  With how active the church is there is always the need to juggle multiple projects and the need to get things done yesterday.  Flexibility is a must.  And if there is anything FPC can teach the world, one of those surely is compassion.

                And here is an interesting fact: you might not realize it, but part of what Kathy does includes decorating for Advent and Christmas.  She helps to make all the bows that you see throughout the church around that time of year.  So as the season approaches (and Kathy’s bows) and we move closer to Thanksgiving let’s all be thankful for Kathy and her service here at FPC.

Music Transition Team Letter

“Change is the only constant in life,” said Greek philosopher Heraclitus. It seems like a benign enough statement as it relates to transitions we encounter in life: The seasons change, our families grow, children mature, careers follow unanticipated twists and turns. Usually, we find a way to manage through it all and come out better on the other side.

            But, occasionally, there come changes that catch us by surprise. That is where we find ourselves today, facing a change in music leadership at First Presbyterian Church that arrived suddenly and unexpectedly. Our overarching role as Music Transition Team is to help manage our congregation through this period and provide for an orderly transition into the changes that greet us today. This communication is a first step in that process.

            First of all, we are hard at work to ensure that our worship and music programs remain meaningful and vital in the months ahead. Until permanent replacements for the Director of Music and organist can be found, our primary task is to ensure that all bases are covered so that all worshipping at FPC will continue to experience the meaningful quality of musicianship we have come to expect under the leadership of Josh, Tom, and Diana. The scope of our work is to fill key positions on an interim basis and suggest to the Congregational Nominating Committee members who should be considered as candidates for a committee which will search for permanent replacements.

            Second, we want to assure you that new faces in leadership positions will not represent a movement toward the adoption of radically different styles of music and worship. Our interest is in reaffirming a commitment to the rich and varied tradition of sacred music that is reflective of the beautiful spaces in which we worship each Sunday while remaining open to trying new things. We will be drafting job descriptions for temporary leaders that reflect this direction.

            Finally, we ask for your prayers for First Presbyterian Church and its future. We take comfort in our belief that the Holy Spirit is at work here in ways we cannot and do not fully understand. Together, we believe that positive outcomes we cannot imagine today await our congregation in the weeks and months ahead.

            While “change may be a constant” in life, change is also what we make of it. Together, let us make this period of transition something we can look back on with pride years from now.

            Peace!

The Music Transition Team

First Presbyterian Church of Dallas

 

Amos Disasa - Senior Pastor

Beth Thompson - Interim Interim Director of Music

Amy Aamold, Gary Minton, Larry Dykstra – Team Members

Rev. Fran Shelton Joins the FPC Pastoral Team

Rev. Fran Shelton Joins FPC Pastoral Team

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The Session recently approved contracting with Fran Tilton Shelton, DMin, to serve as part-time parish associate. Fran has participated in worship, Sunday School and PW Circle 11 since 2012 when she moved from serving for 10 years as an associate pastor for congregational care to serving as a spiritual director and founder of the non-profit, Faith & Grief Ministries.  After caring for her husband, Bob (who served FPC in several interim capacities), until his death in March, 2018, she wrote a soon-to-be-released book, No Winter Lasts Forever  A Memoir of Loving Bob and Loathing Alzheimer’s. 

When asked about beginning November 1, she responded, “This is an exciting way to celebrate my older daughter’s 40th birthday! I’m humbled and thrilled to be part of the FPC team of servant leaders and I will try to remember to wear my name badge.”