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Newsletter for July 15, 2022

July Sermon Series
Disciples Are Neighbors (The Gospel According to Mr. Rogers)

Fred Rogers, an ordained Presbyterian pastor, offered the world around him many timeless truths of God’s love and grace through the medium of television. Many of his most enduring lessons are built around the importance of neighbors…ideas taken straight from the Gospel-witness of Jesus and his concern and care for neighbors…that everyone is our neighbor and has value; that being a neighbor requires active giving to and receiving from others; that God has created us to exist in community, rather than isolated individualism. Even though Mr. Rogers has been dead for several years, he left an extensive body of printed and video material that can be utilized in talking about neighbors. Texts of commencement addresses and other speeches can be found on the web. A collection of his quotes organized by his wife after his death, The World According to Mister Rogers: Important Things to Remember, is a
useful resource as well.

Join us for worship this summer!

Our Sunday summer schedule:

8:30 a.m. Arise! Unplugged worship in the Tree of Life Chapel

10:00 a.m. Traditional worship in the Sanctuary
***Reopening Task Force Update***
Due to rising COVID numbers, the church's Reopening Task Force
encourages and welcomes all to wear a mask while in the
church building.
***Parking Lot Update***
The parking lot will be unavailable for 5 days: from July 18-July 22. The lot should be ready to use on July 23. This is, of course, weather dependent. We will update you in the event of any changes
to this plan.

By-Laws Informational Meeting

An important interim-time task for church leaders is a review of the congregation’s by-laws. Through this review, the Session determined that First Presbyterian’s by-laws needed updating. Clerk of Session, Lisa Ward, interim pastor, Bill Smutz, and Nancy Droesch, volunteer, have redrafted the church’s by-laws for the congregation’s consideration to be in line with the current needs of the church under the guidance of the Book of Order.

At its July meeting, the First Presbyterian Church Session voted to send an updated set of church by-laws to the congregation for approval. Session also called a Special Meeting of the Congregation for Sunday, August 28 at 9:30 a.m. to consider the updated by-laws as well as elect church officers to begin terms in 2023. An official call for this meeting will come in August, but please put this information on your calendar now.

In preparation for the August 28 Special Meeting of the Congregation, there will be a by-laws Information Meeting on Sunday, August 7 from 9:00-9:50 a.m. in Fellowship Hall. The purpose of this gathering is to offer background and context on the proposed by-laws updates and to answer questions those gathered may have. Copies of the proposed updated by-laws will be distributed soon. Please keep an eye out for the proposed by-laws, read them, and become part of the conversation! 
Pastor Nominating Committee Update

Your Pastor Nominating Committee has been hard at work in the past few months, getting to know each other, getting organized, and being educated on our task. Our PNC Co-Chairs have been elected, Ron Evens and Sue Hosack, leading team members Tom Edelstein, Ivy Hartman, Bennett Lasater, Mark Robinson, and Lucy Tidwell. Interim Pastor Bill Smutz is our advisor and will provide invaluable guidance and support for the committee throughout our journey.

The first task before us in the Call Process is the preparation of a Ministry Information Form, which is kind of like a job description but follows a format prescribed by the presbytery and will ultimately be posted on the PCUSA web site as an “opportunity” for interested individuals. Our goal is to have this completed by end of summer or early fall.

It is our pleasure and honor to represent the congregation of First Pres as your PNC, and we will do our best to keep you informed on our progress. We very much want your input and welcome any questions, concerns, or referrals (yes!) you may have. Feel free to reach out to any PNC member or send an email to Click on the Pastor Search button on the church’s web site for additional information.

From Bill Stein, Director of Music Ministries
Photo of Bill Stein, Director of Music MInistriesOur Notes@9 series continues, this Sunday! We invite everyone to join us for these half hour concerts in the sanctuary. If you are attending the 8:30 a.m. Arise unplugged service, come on down to the sanctuary right after worship. For those attending 10:00 a.m. worship, please arrive early to hear some great music.
  • July 17: Hazel Shipley, clarinet and Bill Stein, piano perform music of Reade and Brahms
  • July 24: The Perseid String Quartet performs music of Brahms
  • July 31: The Piano Ensemble – 2 pianos, 4 pianists, 8 hands
The Con Spirito Concert Series is also preparing to announce our 23rd season and ask for your support in the coming weeks. We are thrilled with our lineup of musicians and programs and know you will be as well.

This is also another reminder that NOW is the perfect time to consider joining the Chancel Choir or a Bell Choir this Fall. Let me know if you are interested or have any questions.

Faithfully yours,
Prayers for Work Camp
Lift up in prayer the youth and adults on the two-week Senior High Work Camp trip to Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Rob is keeping track and sharing about the trip on the SHF Blog:
Mission Trip to Help Rebuild in Kentucky

Mission Committee members are busy arranging a mission trip to western Kentucky from October 30-November 5 to help rebuild after a catastrophic storm in 2021. You might not recall the specifics of the storm, as there have been too many disasters of all kinds. To refresh your memory, in December, 2021, a violent, long-track tornado moved through Western Kentucky, causing catastrophic damage and taking 57 lives. Residents are now in the rebuilding phase. This area is a 3-hour drive from St. Louis, which means it's convenient even if you can only come for part of the week. We will be working with Hopkins County Emergency Management and with Habitat for Humanity. They promise there will be plenty of work for all skill levels. If you're interested, just pencil in that week and watch for more details this summer.

If you have questions, email Liz McCane ( or Georgina Sikorski (
Heart-to-Heart Tutoring
Needs Your Help!

We are a group of volunteers who are passionate about helping children in our area thrive in education. We offer free tutoring to families in the Kirkwood and Meacham Park areas. Our focus is on literacy for the critical grades of K-3, where you build the foundation for reading and future academic success.

We are seeking volunteers for the 2022-2023 school year. Teaching/tutoring experience is not required. * We have a tutor trainer who will help you get started. All you need is a heart for kids, education and reading. An hour per week of tutoring can make a big difference in a child’s education! 
We meet each Wednesday after school until 5:00 p.m. We follow the Kirkwood School District Calendar. When the District is scheduled off, cancelled for the day or cancels after school programming for any reason, we will not tutor on that day. 

For more information about us, and how to get involved, please contact:  

Heart-to-Heart Tutoring
Phone:  314-966-8167 ext. 133

Jane Barnett
Nel Carlisle-Gray
Verneda Carrier
Genevieve Hodges

We represent these organizations:
First Baptist Church of Meacham Park
Kirkwood Social Justice Coalition
Kirkwood United Methodist Church
Kirkwood United Church of Christ
Saint Peter Catholic Church

*All volunteers are required to have a background check and complete online Safe Gatherings training.
Horizons St. Louis Kirkwood
Horizons St. Louis in Kirkwood is a transformational, community-centered program proven to close the opportunity and achievement gaps for under-resourced students in the Kirkwood, MO school district. Horizons offers high-quality learning experiences outside the traditional school year to support academic achievement and healthy youth development.

Check Out Our New Online Giving Platform!
The Church has adopted a new online giving platform which will integrate our back office systems, improve the user experience and lower our fees. If you have not tried online giving, here is your chance. You can do a onetime gift or set up reoccurring payments and pay with ACH direct from your checking account, via credit card or using GooglePay. 

CLICK HERE: and follow the prompts. Or, text GIVE to 314-293-4922, or, scan the QR code to go directly to our giving portal. If you have any questions, please reach out to
Donate to Kirk Care
Pick up a bag outside of the sanctuary to donate a meal to Kirk Care. CLICK HERE to learn more about their mission.


Vienna Sausages, Pork 'n' Beans
Canned Fruit Cocktail, Corn Muffin Mix (no eggs required)
Optional: Peanut Butter,
Canned Juice

Tuesday Book Club Info
The Tuesday Book Club is on recess during the summer and will resume after Labor Day with our weekly Tuesday morning 10:00 a.m. meetings in the Fireplace Room. Our first book in the fall will be THE PRESIDENT’S CLUB: Inside the World’s Most Exclusive Fraternity.

Anyone who wishes to be added to the mailing list for the group can notify
Karen Koch at

All are invited.

Little Free Pantry Donations Needed!
Our Little Pantry is a part of the solution for those with food insecurities. Our Little Pantry
is located near the Jefferson Avenue entrance of the church. Whether there is a need for
food or a need to give, our Little Pantry helps feed neighbors, and nourishes all of us.

Please give what you ‘can’ (we especially need canned meals/meats, fruit, and veggies). Thank you!
Ushers Needed!
We are in need of new ushers! Serving as an usher is a great (and simple) way to
serve our community. 

Please contact Art McDonnell ( or Bill Stein
( if you are interested or have any questions.
4th Wednesday
Book Club
The 4th Wednesday Book Club will meet again on August 24, 2022 at 1:30 p.m. over Zoom. We will be discussing Red Notice: A True Story of High Finance, Murder, and One Man’s Fight for Justice by Bill Browder. A financial caper, a crime thriller and a political crusade, this is the true story of one man taking on Putin. 

Bookmarks for next year are available at the church welcome desk and in a wicker basket by the back door under the doorbell. If you want to be added to the email list, please contact Julia Abreu at
History Book Group, 10:30 Thursday, Every Other Month
At our next meeting, July 28 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 029, we will talk about The Trials of Harry Truman: The Extraordinary Presidency of an Ordinary Man by Jeffry Frank, a newly published and well-received book about Missouri’s favorite son. The book for September 22 is Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson, another applauded biography that demonstrates even remarkable greatness does not mean being flawless. For more information, contact Carlin Scanlan ( or Don Lewis (
Men's Bible Study
First Pres men of all ages are invited to join us Saturdays at 11:00 a.m. on Zoom. We take turns reading aloud, ask questions, discuss what the Holy Spirit might be saying, and even share in laughter.

Contact Tim Morrison at  (314) 456-9936 or with any questions.

Feeding the Homeless
St. Patrick’s Center provides opportunities for self-sufficiency and dignity to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Thanks to you, First Pres members cooked and donated over 300 breakfast casseroles to St. Patrick’s Center last year! The need is ongoing. For more information, please contact Julie Nesvig at
First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood | (314) 965-0326
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