Blessed to be a Blessing!

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1 Blessed to be a Blessing! Do you know that you are Blessed to be a Blessing! Why? Because the result of our recent Mission Tea/ Luncheon garnered over $13,000. Except for a very few expenses, those monies will be divided between the two partner churches involved West Plano Presbyterian and our congregation. WPPC s share will go toward YaYa Velasquez s scholarship fund. FPCR s share will be divided between YaYa s fund and David and Addy Markham s Biblical Translation Ministry, Traduccion Biblico de Mexico, in Oaxaca, Mexico. We did pray for this opportunity and we were blessed to be a blessing. This mission endeavor was a massive undertaking which required the love, devotion, heart and energy of untold members of both churches. Think physical set-up for 135 people men, women and children, food preparation and service, table settings and floral arranging, creating a program and entertainment, requesting contributions and organizing a lovely and colorful arrangement of Silent Auction items, tickets sales, publicity, and clean up! When you consider the recent exciting news about what we were able to give to Presbyterian Children s Services and other special mission ministries from the sale of property to the City of Richardson, it is exciting to add these gifts from the Educate a child Change the world Tea Luncheon to our outreach giving for this year. Special thanks to the many who labored countless hours to make the luncheon the outstanding success it was, and to all of you who participated in so many ways! Peace of Christ, The Mexico Mission Tea Luncheon Team Quoting Paul to the Philippians and thinking of the FPCR family: Every time you cross my mind, I break out in exclamations of thanks to God. Each exclamation is a trigger to prayer. I find myself praying for you with a glad heart. Philippians 1:3-4

2 Hello faithful readers and welcome to summer in Texas! Here are a few of the many things happening around the church this summer that you ll want to make a note of. Vacation Bible School kicks off on Monday, June 19, and continues through Friday, June 23. Registration forms can be found on the church s website or you can come by the office and pick one up. The week will be full with a variety of activities: crafts, music, Bible stories, games and snacks. Come be a part of something special. Reserve your place in VBS now! Summer Cinema is scheduled for the four Fridays in July and our theme is Faith in the Movies. Show times begin promptly at 7 p.m. in Ernst Fellowship Hall. These movies may have fallen off your radar when they were first released, but they re definitely worth a look! The first movie on July 7 is The Case for Christ, based on Lee Strobel s bestselling book of the same name. Strobel, an award winning reporter for the Chicago Sun Times and an avowed atheist, must come to terms with his wife s recent acceptance of Christ. Undaunted in his beliefs, Strobel sets out to research the resurrection using his tried and true reporting techniques. The Shack will be screened on July 14. The novel was hugely popular with books clubs both in and out of the church and was made into a movie with an all-star cast led by Sam Worthington and Octavia Spencer. Worthington plays a grieving father coming to terms with the death of his youngest daughter. In the throes of depression, he encounters God in a unique way. The movie on July 21 is Risen! The quasifictional story follows one of the Roman guards present at Christ s crucifixion who is appointed by Pilate to find out what happened to the body after it was discovered missing from the tomb. Joseph Fiennes plays the guard whose quest brings him unexpected answers. The series concludes on July 28 with the dramacomedy, Leap of Faith. Steve Martin, in one of his early film roles, plays a wily and charismatic evangelist who travels small town Texas bringing his healing services to the faithful. The film also stars Debra Winger and Liam Neeson. The movie was produced in Las Colinas and was filmed around the North Texas area. Join us at the movies this summer! We ll have the snack bar ready and waiting for you! The Sanctuary Choir will be singing throughout the summer. Music for Sunday worship will feature your favorite anthems and psalms along with inspirational solos prepared by choir members. You are more than welcome to join the choir! The music is not hard and you ll be seated by a veteran choir member who knows your part well. Sunday rehearsals begin at 10 a.m. in the choir room. Give me a call and I ll make sure you have everything you need when you arrive. Even though I have officially left my position at Temple Emanu-El, I m still very connected there through my longtime friends and colleagues. I m pleased and very proud to announce that the Temple s senior rabbi, David Stern, has been elected president of the Central Conference of American Rabbis (CCAR). This is a very important position and a great honor within the Reform Jewish movement. David s grandfather and father both served in this position as well. Mazel Tov, David! Grace and Peace, Ralph Purple Churches One of the foundational principles in the PCU- SA Book of Order is unity in diversity. In it we recognize that God brings together people of different races, ethnicities, ages, genders, abilities and theological convictions. Sometimes they sit right next to each other in church. These are the purple churches, mixtures of conservatives and progressives who gather to worship each week. Individuals and churches across the denomination seek to be faithful to the gospel. But they don t always agree on the best way to do it. Christ calls people from the right and left, the North and South, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party to be his community. Princeton Theological Seminary s president, the Rev. Dr. Craig Barnes, says that the church is not defined by culture or its boundaries, but by its center Jesus Christ. He adds that agreement isn t always necessary for a church to be faithful. Parishioners have to get over the idea that their pastors expect them to agree with their sermons or editorials, Barnes said. The pastor is not the center. Nor is any political agenda at the center. In many churches, Republicans and Democrats (Continued on page 3)

3 I always find it interesting when the topic of Bible study comes up in conversation. There is a wide range of opinion on what actually constitutes a good study of the Bible. Some folks want to just read the text and discuss. Others want to know the background, the context, information about the author or the intended audience. Some folks take it a step further and want to know how the passages of scripture have traditionally be interpreted, where the pitfalls might be, and how to successfully apply anything learned in a careful reading to everyday life. At times, arguments arise, because there are so many positions on what Bible study may entail and because we all have our favorite (or comfortable) methods of digesting the text. Really, there are few straight-out wrong ways to study the Bible. There are certainly some ways that have been proven to be more helpful over time, but that doesn t mean that other methods should just be thrown out. We are always searching for new ways to experience the text. Recently, Emme, my 9 year old daughter, asked why we are renovating our Christian Education building. I was stumped. How could anyone ask such a question? I replied something to the effect, Because it really needed it. Again, she asked why. I began to see what her question was really getting at. She wanted to know more of the background story. She wanted to know how this renovated building will be different than it was before. She wanted to know how the building will impact the life of the church. I began to be able to answer her question, from a number of different angles. It will be a safer space. It will be more aesthetically pleasing. Functionally, it will be organized in such a way that multiple things can be happening at once, without significantly disrupting those things. I started to think of my answer to her question from a different view point and it made a big difference. For example, we will have new LED lighting throughout most of the building. This may go unnoticed if you are just using the space, but we will see a significant change to our electric bill. To the casual user, that may not be important. To those of us who are attempting to be good stewards of the church s resources, it is a big deal. It is kind of like what happens when you have a gourmet meal. Knowing a little about the food helps us to enjoy it more. Was the food locally sourced? Is it prepared in a special way? Are there components on the dish that are delicacies? The more you know about the dish, the more it can be appreciated. Perhaps it is made from very common ingredients, but painstakingly prepared. Maybe it contains some special spice that you have never encountered in your whole life, and will encounter no place else. Take the leap with me, as we use that same metaphor for Bible study. There is a banquet prepared for us. For some, especially the hungry, knowing that it is food is all that matters. The starving do not care if the meal has been labored over for thousands of years. They want nourishment now. But what happens when that initial hunger has been satisfied and there are other layers of experience to be appreciated. One can learn to appreciate different cooking styles, menus, dishes that compliment each other. There are even parts that have a family story attached. Some parts are funny. Some are sad. Some are life changing. When I think of Bible study, I think of it as a banquet meal. Sometimes I am starving and need daily nourishment. Sometimes, I am full and need dessert. At times, I read the pages of scripture and understand a little better how much I am loved. I can tell because of all the preparations that have taken place. In the end, studying the Bible helps me to know and love God a bit more than before. As we embark on a new stage of building use, I hope to keep that in mind. There is much on the menu, and the good news is that it is all made with love. Blessings, Pastor David Purple Churches continued from page 2 are baptized in the same font and eat at the same Communion table. They worship the same Christ and share the love of God even when they don t agree. We can have diverse and even conflicting convictions about politics and the best way to pursue social justice, Barnes said. But those differences shouldn t be more important than Jesus. The center will still hold, he said, if it is Christ. From an article in the May 20, 2017, issue of Presbyterians Today, in conjunction with the Presbyterian Mission Agency. See

4 An Earth Care Quiz How much do you know? Plastic is versatile, lightweight, durable, and relatively inexpensive. Plastics play an important role in our daily lives, but its overuse is causing unpresedented environmental problems and serious health risks especially for children. Take the following Earth Care Quiz answer true or false. 1. The average American throws away approximately 185 pounds of plastic per year. 2. The production of plastic uses around 8 percent of the world s oil production. 3. Americans throw away approximately 35 billion plastic water bottles every year 4. Plastic in the ocean breaks down into such small segments that pieces of plastic from one liter bottle could end up on every mile of beach through out the world. 5. Annually approximately 500 billion plastic bags (more than a million a minute) are used worldwide. 6. It takes 500-1,000 years for plastic to degrade, so if the signers of the Declaration of Independence had used plastic coffee cups they would still be around. 7. The Great Pacific Garbage Patch is located in the North Pacific and is a floating mass of plastic twice the size of Texas. 8. Plastic constitutes approximately 90 percent of all trash floating on the ocean's surface with 80 percent of it flowing into the oceans from the land. 9. One million seabirds and marine mammals are killed annually from plastic in our oceans. 10. Virtually every piece of plastic ever made still exists in some shape or form. (with the exception of the small amount that has been incinerated) All of the above statement are true. Are you surprised? It is time for all of us to do our part to decrease our use of plastic and to help solve the problem of plastic pollution. Is it possible to go plastic free? Check in the bulletin, on the epress and in next month's newsletter for ideas to decrease your use of plastic. Key reference: Plastics and the Environment, by Anthony L. Andrady Website Life Without Plastic Scholarship application forms for any FPC member who will be enrolling in college for the Fall 2017 semester are available in the church office and on the church website. Forms, including transcripts of spring semester grades, must be completed and returned to the church office no later than Friday, June 16. All applicants will be notified by letter of the Permanent Funds Committee's decision by the end of July. Mission Ministry Thanks Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ, Please accept the Mission Ministry s humble appreciation of your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing. Our gift so far is $1,551, not bad not bad at all. Here are some of the ways your money will be used. provide training for farmers, business people, and skilled workers, provide potable water to many who have none. help the more than 2,500 children who were orphaned by the Ebola virus, provide education for countless children, teach illiterate adults to read and write, educate vulnerable people making them independent and successful,. provide direct disaster and food relief to those facing natural and man made disasters, This list could go on and on, but the most important thing our money will do is to give HOPE! Your gifts combined with the gifts millions of fellow Christians make our world a better place. Thank you again! Dear Church Family, Just a few words to let you know that I am overwhelmed by the work, dedication and love that went into the High Tea. I thought it was absolutely Grand! Everything was just outstanding. Words cannot express the appreciation I feel for all of you. Frankie Markham

5 Celebrate Graduations! Lane Dawson Culpepper graduated with honors from Poteet High School on Saturday, March 27. He will be ahead of the game starting college already with some college credits obtained while in high school. He is dedicated daily to his work out routine and growing faith. Lane will go on to take his basics for a kinesiology degree at Collin College then he will transfer to Dallas Baptist University. Lane is the son of Mike and Vicki Culpepper and the grandson of Dona Blodgett. Sam Grimes graduated from Plano High School and will attend Collin County Community College in the fall. Proud grandparents are Bob And Mary Jo Grimes. Kyle Alexander Owens graduated with honors on June 4, from Richardson High School. He will attend The University of North Texas this Fall to study Mechanical Engineering Technology. Kyle is active in Boy Scouts and is working to achieve the rank of Eagle this summer. For his Eagle project, Kyle refurbished and expanded the wood fence by the Education Bldg. Kyle is the son of Bret and Laura Owens and grandson of Richard and Barbara Chapman. Brionna Minde graduated from Texas Women's University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. She will begin working at Presbyterian Hospital - Dallas on an orthopedic medical/ surgical floor in July. Brionna is taking the NCLEX (state boards for RN license) on June 13. Brionna is the daughter of Kathy Minde. Kayla Nicole Owens graduated from The University of Texas in Austin on May 19 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts. Kayla will be working at Walt Disney World in Orlando as part of the Disney College Program until January. New Members! Pentecost Sunday was an exciting time in the life of FPC. We got a preview of the CE Building renovation, the worship and music were inspiring, and new members were welcomed. Steve and Kate Forisha and Jackson Andy and Vanessa Forisha and Maggie Cele and Randy LeBlanc Jeanne Stone

6 News You Can Use Sunday Book Club We meet at 5 p.m. on June 11, to discuss Dinner at Mr. Jefferson s, by Charles Cermi. Contact Ginger (Doug) Anderson for more information. Monday Book Discussion Following the heavy subject matter of The Nightingale, we've chosen A Man Called Ove for June. Written by Fredrik Backman and translated from Swedish, it is a charming story of an aging curmudgeon, cranky yet showing a sadness. Join us Monday, June 26, at 2 p.m., in the church library, as Suzanne Katz leads our discussion. Future selections, all in paper back, include Sing For Your Life, the 2017 Richardson Reads One Book, by Daniel Bergner, in August, and Marilynne Robinson's novel, Gilead, in September. All are invited to join this lively group. Questions - contact Anne Healy. Shufflers The Shufflers meet for casual bridge on Wednesday, June 28, at 1 p.m. sharp. To reserve your seat, contact Barbara Chapman or Frankie Markham. Wednesday Morning Circle Because we won't meet again until September, June is our last chance to assist with the Pastor's Emergency Fund and Fellowship of the Least Coin, and to sign up for next year's Horizons Study, Cloud of Witnesses: The Community of Christ in Hebrews. Questions - contact Susan Johnson or Anne Healy. Volunteers Still Needed Individuals and groups are still needed to volunteer for the recovery effort in Canton If you are interested, please call or visit the Volunteer Reception Center on Monday - Saturday between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. The phone number is The address is State Highway 64 in Canton. Many of the groups that worked to feed the volunteers have left, and organizations are needed to continue that effort. If your church or group is able to do this, please contact Damian Morales at News from the pews In a letter to Lindy Gotts, Dr. Doug Dalglish, President of Presbyterian Pan American School, wrote in praise and thanks for the work done by Ernie Gotts. Ernie worked to begin a partnership between the school and FPC, and to bring Yaya Valesquez to the school for an education. In memory of Ernie, the school is placing an engraved brick on the campus to remind students of the importance of individuals who support the worldwide mission of the church and bring the gift of education to young people. On May 13, Richard Chapman was one of the honorees at the Rice University Alumni Dinner at River Oaks Country Club in Houston. He received the Laureate Award as a Distinguished Alumnus of Rice. The plaque reads, for his internationally recognized career in Physics and renowned technological innovations. Congratulations to Katie Haun and Caleb Black who were married on May 29, in Aubrey, Texas. Katie is the daughter of Mike and Julia Haun. The couple will reside in Arizona. Mike and Vicki Culpepper have new address in Mesquite. Call the church office for details. Kyle and Brent Owens are pictured below as they worked on Kyle s Eagle Scout project to repair the fence around the Sometimer s shed and the HVAC. Thanks! It looks great! Congratulations to Kim and Brian Everett on the birth of their son, Elliott Louis Everett, May 24, in Austin. Proud grandparents are Jill and Bob Tillinghast.

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