first presbyterian church of dallas

A Reflection on Membership

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Dear Members and Friends, 

At its meeting on Tuesday night, November 5th—and after ten months of diligent work by the Deacons— the Session took action to contact over 500 members on our Active Membership Roll. These 500+ people, some of whom have been leaders in our congregation over the years, have not participated in the life of the church for at least the last two years. Some, we have learned, have moved out of state and/or have joined other churches. Others have stopped participating for a number of reasons but are still in the Dallas area. By the end of the month we will attempt to contact all 500+ people and invite them back into the life of the congregation before action is taken to remove them from the Active Membership Roll of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas. 

Our hope is that we will know who our members are and be connected to them in meaningful ways. If members have not been able to come to the church and need a pastoral visit or support, we’d like to know that so we can offer it. If members have joined another church, we’d like to know so that we can bless them in their journey of faith and mark their departure in our records. If members have drifted away and need to hear an invitation to come back and join us for worship and service, then we’d like to extend that call. 

As a congregation we seek to follow the way of Jesus Christ. Our Book of Order tells us that “Membership in the Church of Jesus Christ is a joy and a privilege. It is also a commitment to participate in Christ’s mission. A faithful member bears witness to God’s love and grace and promises to be involved responsibly in the ministry of Christ’s Church” (G-1.0304). Throughout this process, we’ve been asking questions like: 

  • Who are we, the members of First Presbyterian Church of Dallas? 

  • How are we living out the joy and privilege of church membership? 

  • What are the gifts, passions, skills and interests we offer to the service of Christ’s mission? 

After contact is made with the 500+ members and responses are received, we will have a more realistic picture of who we are now, so that we can embrace who God is calling us to be. My prayer is that we will be full of grace as we seek to learn more about who we are as a church family nearing 2020, and that we will be open and ready for what the Spirit is about to do among us. 

Grace + Peace, 

Rebecca Chancellor Sicks 
Associate Pastor 

A Thank You from Tom Froehlich

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Dear FPC family,

I am overwhelmed by the wonderful ovation and reception on the occasion of my retirement.   42 years is a long time, to be sure, but at the same time it seems to have gone by in a flash.  I'll always treasure my years with you, the relationships we have enjoyed and, especially, the honor of participating in worship services for so many years.   Your many notes of gratitude and appreciation were humbly received and for those I thank you.   I'm now moved to my mountain top "retreat" on Monte Sano (google it, there is some history to this place, as well as beauty) and shall tune in on the live stream from time to time just to stay connected.   You'll continue to be my Dallas family for the rest of my life!

Tom Froehlich

Helping Tornado Victims in Dallas

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The tornados last week were devastating to communities in Dallas last week to many people who lost homes and power. If you are looking for ways to help others affected, here are several opportunities:

1)      Bring a $10 or $20 Walmart or Target gift card to be donated to one of our the Mi Escuelita Uplift families who experienced extensive water damage to their apartment.  You can leave these with Miatta Wilson or Jessica Gray.  The family also survived Hurricane Harvey so the mom and grandmother are experiencing difficult memories.  We are happy to report we have already provided them two new mattresses and immediate groceries from a Discretionary Fund.

2)      Make a contribution to Grace Presbytery designated for Dallas Tornado relief and send to Grace Presbytery 6100 Colwell Blvd, Irving Tx 75039.  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has also provided the Presbytery a small grant to help.

3)      Serve at the Volunteer Coordination Center in Richardson, located at the Huffhines Recreation Center at 200 N. Plano Road. People wishing to volunteer or request help can call 972.744.0900.  Or train with the Red Cross to help in Dallas and Rockwall, or volunteering via Gateway Church at their location at 12123 Hillcrest Road in north Dallas. 

4)      As you know many children have been transplanted to new schools and this experience can be disruptive.  You can help create Mental Health Goody Bags by dropping off items such as encouraging notes, books, playing cards, and more.  Find out more.

Church Leader Nominations 2020

Elders

 
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Deanne Teeter

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I see God at work all over Dallas and what I notice most are the individual responses to God’s call for us to be neighbors and to be kind to one another – to see those not like ourselves, not in our “tribe,” be worthy of our love; to be worthy of God’s gifts and compassion. I was first drawn to FPC because I believed in the mission of the Stewpot. Our congregation continues to inspire and surprise me with how we reach out to the community.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

When not at church I spend lots of time with my family: my husband, Chris and my son, Jasper. We are always up for an adventure which hopefully includes hiking somewhere. For my day job, I am a licensed architect and interior designer. I design hotels domestically and internationally. I also volunteer with my son’s school.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Elder?

As most of us here at FPC Dallas, I have a real love for the people and the mission of our church. I want to be a part of what comes next for our congregation and felt that God was leading me to accept this new role.

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Russell Coleman

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I see God at work in Dallas in the loving care and support provided (for years) to a Rohingya refugee family - a mother and her three small children - by a small group known to many at FPC.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

When not at church I try, mostly unsuccessfully, to (a) find time to read historical biographies, (b) remove 40 years of accumulated rust on the Spanish learned growing up on the border, (c) get in better shape, losing the fifteen pounds gained working for a dairy foods company (where ice cream was far too available), and (d) join in efforts to save the country's democracy.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Elder?

I agreed to serve as an Elder to contribute to the growing ministries of FPC and the ongoing faith formation of the congregation, and to support FPC's pastoral and lay staff.

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Matthew Soucek

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

One-on-one relationships and interactions always strike me as the most powerful way that God works in us. Helping a Stewpot client get their legal record cleared, meeting a new member at church and inviting them to a Haiti pill packing session, reading to a child at DISD, helping a mom get back on her feet after getting out of prison: these move me and inspire me. God works in us and through us every day in Dallas.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

I am an engineering manager at Texas Instruments, and just celebrated my 20th year there, bringing new products and technology to the market. I love to travel with my wife Alex, and daughters Genevieve and Sasha, and rarely miss an Ohio State Buckeye football game!

Why did you say yes to serving as an Elder?

In the Gospel of John, Jesus called all his disciples to go out into the world and to preach the good news. Before we can do this, at times we must get together and discern what God wants FPC Dallas to do. Being on Session is a way I can put in the discernment time, work with other elders and staff, and maybe put a few bricks in place to make our foundation stronger for this little city corner of God’s kingdom.

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David Moore

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I see God in Dallas in ways large and small. It ranges from the hospitality people extend daily to how the city unites and responds in times of tragedy or natural disaster. It can be seen in the countless hours and money people invest to address the poverty, injustice and suffering in our midst. It’s evident in how people put aside what divides them in order to answer a call to meaningful action.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

When not at church I cover the Cowboys for the Dallas Morning News. If you don’t see me at service in late January because I’m at work, odds are the team has had a good season. Spending time with my wife and daughter, whether it’s traveling or grilling in the backyard, is hard to beat. The same can’t be said of my skills on the golf course.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Elder?

It’s a tremendous honor to be called to serve God through this church. The faith, wisdom and compassion of those who have gone before affords a tremendous platform for FPC to impact our denomination and city going forward. It’s an invitation I enthusiastically embrace.

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Bill Cobb

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I see God in diverse communities of faith working on issues of racial and other divisions, on poverty, on homelessness, and on social justice. It is evident when Dallas comes together to respond to crisis. This week, the crisis happened to be tornados, but there have been countless others over the years.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

I am fortunate to have a law practice that takes a lot of my time and attention. When not there I consume a lot of news, print media and otherwise. You might find me out golfing. Stacy and I enjoy traveling, dinners and weekends with friends, and I follow the Texas Longhorns.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Elder?

Elder Harold Hall moved to Georgia, leaving a one-year term left on Session ending in 2020. We’ve seen a lot of change the past 3 years here. I agreed to fill this last year to help Amos and a new, but very talented and energetic leadership team, move FPC forward from a solid foundation, and to help our congregation realize what I think is a very bright future, guided by God’s mission for us.

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Lucy Richards

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

There are so many places to see God at work in Dallas. We are lucky to have a lot of dedicated people doing wonderful work – starting with the Stewpot and including many others such as CASA, North Texas Food Bank, Family Gateway and countless others who serve those who are vulnerable and in need of help.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

I retired at the end of 2017 and manage to keep myself very busy. I am doing a small bit of consulting work as well as teaching the Enneagram. The other things that keep me busy are playing Mah Jong and pickleball as well as a love for reading. Travel is also something I am getting to do a lot of, which I enjoy.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Elder?

Since I have retired, I have more time to dedicate to the church in a meaningful way than I have in the past. I am willing to help our church in any way with our new leadership team.

 

Deacons

 
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Mary Kate Bevel

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

As a child of FPC Dallas, I learned that mission starts at home. Dallas is home to thousands of people experiencing homelessness, violence, and poverty - and that is where I see God at work. God works through the love and care that we share with each other when we feed, accept, and connect with those around us.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

When I'm not at church, you'll find me at work in City Hall for the City of Dallas, supporting survivors as a board member for the Dallas Area Rape Crisis Center, biking to yoga classes, or slowly killing all my house plants.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Deacon?

I am excited to be a deacon at FPC because this congregation has always showed me that faith inspires service. I want to serve this church as we walk alongside each other and our communities in all the joy and pain of life.

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Jessica Gray

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I see God in Dallas where compassion and creativity come together to address injustice and to care for those who are suffering. I see God in organizations coordinating large groups of volunteers to make a difference, in a note written to encourage a friend after a difficult day, and while taking a walk on a crisp fall morning.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

Outside of church, I love spending time with my family, my husband Tyler, and our children, Bas and Willa. I enjoy traveling, hiking (especially in the woods of northern Michigan), cooking, and spending time with friends. I also spend my time volunteering for Dallas schools (where Bas and Willa are students), working with the refugee community in Dallas, and teaching English to adults in west Dallas.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Deacon?

After being lovingly encouraged to do so, and after prayerful consideration, I said yes to serve as deacon because I am excited about the future of our church and want to share my time and gifts to care for our community.

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Cheryl MacLennan

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I see God at work in Dallas in person-to-person interactions. I see this demonstrated through all the programs at The Stewpot - most recently while volunteering with the Saturday Kids Club. Things don’t happen fast or in a dramatic way but the consistency of being there for the kids is effective. Each year it is worthwhile for me to sit in the worship service that introduces the young men who once attended Saturday Club and who go on to receive scholarships to college.

Reaching out to our local community of people in need is important, I even practice a self-made ministry of keeping water bottles and snack bars in my car to hand out to those on street corners. A smile and small kindness can go a long way.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

When I am not at church, I work full time as a sales rep for a Home Interior and Gift line out of the World Trade Center. I travel in my car most weeks to North and East Texas - as far as Temple south.

I also stay busy with different group activities like bicycling and camping and I love using my camera to document and tell stories when I travel.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Deacon?

It is an honor to be considered for serving as a deacon. As a five-year member of the church I feel like it is time to become more involved with helping our faith community grow and connect. I admit, it is new territory for me, but am excited and willing to learn and serve.

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Thom Stewart

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I sense God everywhere in that everything happens for a reason. As children of God, called to work through God’s plans, we do so with brothers and sisters all over the city - whether homeless or extremely rich and famous. We all need to work together for the one purpose of carrying out God’s wishes. Sometimes the happenings in the city can pull us apart, but FPC brings us back together.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

When not at church, I’m a father and a husband. You can find me making things out of metal and wood or cooking with my wife. We love to cook, and it comes in handy when I can use the things I make for that purpose.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Deacon?

I agreed to be an Deacon because I have a problem saying ‘no.’ I like to do what I can to serve, regardless of what that calling me be. Serving as a deacon is something I have never done before and I am open to what the opportunity brings.

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Liz Zsohar

Where do you see God at work in Dallas?

I see God everywhere. I see God at work with the homeless at the Stewpot and other organizations helping the homeless. I see God in the community, as a whole - partnership with Frederick Douglass Elementary School. I see God in the smile of the children at MiEscuilita School in the basement of the church. I see God in children involved in various groups - Venture Crew, Saturday School. God works through our congregation in caring for people through difficult times and times of joy.

What do you do when you aren’t at church?

When not at church I stay busy. I am part of the FPC Refugee Team working with a family of 4 from Myanmar. I tutor at McShan Elementary School and at Tasby Middle School. I am a member of the Caring Team and Stephen Ministry. I am a member of the Dallas Opera Guild, the Dallas Symphony Engagement Committee and on the boards of Richardson Retired teachers, Delta Kappa Gamma, and Arrow Outreach. I enjoy mission work.

I enjoy the arts - opera, symphony, theater, special performances.

I also enjoy walking, hiking, water aerobics, sewing, cooking, working in my garden, eating out with friends and family, and travel.

Why did you say yes to serving as an Deacon?

I agreed to serve as a deacon because I like to be actively involved in the work of FPC.

Lunch Break Bible Study at FPC

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Wednesdays

12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

the details:

Do you ever wish there was an opportunity during the day to learn something new - something about the Bible? This is a great opportunity to study upcoming sermon First Presbyterian Church of Dallas Bible passages with pastors Amos Disasa, Rebecca Chancellor Sicks, and Cynthia Weeks Logan. Come on a break from work, bring a lunch, and let’s dig in. Tea, water and cookies will be waiting.

Dates, Leaders, Scripture Texts:

November 6 - Studying Haggai 1:15b-2:9. Cynthia Logan will be leading the study. Amos Disasa will be preaching on it.

November 13 - Studying Psalms 8 and 2 Corinthians 11:21b-30, 12:6-10. Tracy DuPue will be leading. Rev. Dr. Bill Carl will be preaching on it.

November 20 - Studying Jeremiah 23:1-6. Amos Disasa will be leading the study.

Times: 12:00 p.m. to 1:00 p.m.

Where: FPC Dallas Parlor


Lunch break Sign-Up

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