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January 27, 2023
CLICK HERE to watch the announcements video for this week.
Our Sunday Worship Schedule:

8:15 a.m. Chapel Worship Service in the Tree of Life Chapel 

9:05 a.m. Arise! Contemporary Service in Fellowship Hall

11:00 a.m. Traditional Worship Service in the Sanctuary
(live-streamed on website & Facebook)

Con Spirito Concert on Sunday at 3 p.m.

Join us for the next concert in our Con Spirito series!

W. Mark Akin will be performing on Sunday, January 29th at 3 p.m. in our Sanctuary. Award-winning classical guitarist, W. Mark Akin, is a St. Louis based musician who has engaged audiences across the country with his dynamic on-stage presence and musicality. This program is FREE and will run approximately one hour. The concert program is entitled "World Sets" and includes music from Argentia, Paraguay, Australia, Russia, the Balkans, and more.

If you would like to read W. Mark Akin's full bio, or learn more about the Con Spirito concert series, CLICK HERE.

If you would like to preview some of W. Mark Akin's work, please CLICK HERE to visit his YouTube page.

Preschool Registration Opening Wednesday!
Registration for the Children's Center opens on February 1st for Church members. For information or to schedule a tour please contact Sherry Peters at

Pastor Nominating Committee Update

Your Pastor Nominating Committee has been actively reviewing and evaluating candidate applications for our Pastor / Head of Staff position in the past few months. We have been blessed with quite a few excellent candidates and to date have received 79 candidate applications and several referrals from the congregation. 

A few of our top candidates will be invited to Kirkwood in the coming months so that we can meet with them face-to-face, and give them the opportunity to get to know us, the staff, the church facility, and the Kirkwood community. For these initial visits, the candidates will not be introduced to the congregation and will not be preaching or attending Sunday worship out of respect for their confidentiality.

That said, we are still accepting and reviewing new applications, and appreciate your help in our search. If you know a candidate who would be a good fit, please encourage them to apply or have them send materials to
When you visit our website, you will find the Presbyterian Church (USA) steps in the process of calling a new pastor. The green circle indicates where we are in the process. To learn more about the process of “Calling” a new pastor click on THIS LINK to see a document used by churches nationwide. Our Ministry Information Form is available online through the PCUSA Church Leadership Connection (CLC) and posted here on the church web site along with the results of our church’s Mission Study Survey.

It is our pleasure and honor to represent the congregation of First Pres as your PNC, and we will continue to do our best to keep you informed on our progress. Feel free to reach out to any PNC member or send an email to  
Giving Statements

2022 Giving Statements were mailed/emailed in the past week. 
If you are expecting a statement, but haven't yet received one, please contact Business Administrator, Bill Larson, and a copy will be sent immediately.

From the Director of Music Ministries

February is Black History Month, and along with hearing about our Matthew 25 call to eradicate systemic racism, we will feature sacred music of Black composers and arrangers at the 11:00 a.m. service each Sunday in February. There will be a note in the worship bulletin highlighting these composers and their contributions to our sacred music repertoire.
It is not too late to consider joining Chancel Choir or Chancel Ringers as we prepare for Lent and Easter! We would love to have you join us and share your talents. Contact me if you are interested or have any questions.
Faithfully yours,

Starting Next Weekend:
New Sermon & Education Series

Matthew 25, Part II: Dismantling Structural Racism 

Sermon Series

In the spring of 2021, the First Presbyterian Session voted to become a Matthew 25 congregation. Matthew 25 is a movement within the larger Presbyterian Church, designed to focus the hearts and minds of disciples on the challenging, justice-focused ministry priorities taught by Jesus in the twenty-fifth chapter of the Gospel of Matthew. The Matthew 25 movement has three foci – 
  • Dismantling Structural Racism, the focus of our February sermons; 
  • Eradicating Systemic Poverty, which we explored last fall; and, 
  • Building Congregational Vitality, which we will focus on this spring.   

Dismantling Structural Racism is an enormous, and challenging, and overwhelming topic to address. It is tempting, and would be easier in the short term, to say that any conversation about racism is too big and too difficult to address in a brief series of sermons. And yet, for followers of Jesus, grappling with the pain and brutal realities of racism is at the crossroads of our Matthew 25 discipleship and cultural engagement in 21st Century America.  
These sermons are designed to be conversation starters, for dismantling structural racism is the work of generations.

Class - available in-person and on Zoom
Title: Dismantling Structural Racism
Dates: Sunday, February 5, 12, 19, 26
Location: Classroom 9 
Time: 10:00-10:45 AM
Series Description: First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood is a Matthew 25. In February, 2023, we will continue of our exploration of the Matthew 25 focuses. The series for February will be Dismantling Structural Racism. Please join us for the education series, beginning at 10 AM in Classroom 9.

Zoom Link:
Room ID: 87308860471
Password: 63122
Work Camp Auction

Save the Date for the Work Camp Auction!

 Our Senior High Fellowship students are excited to get back to the most fun night of the year - the Work Camp Auction! Join us for our biggest fundraiser on Sunday, March 12th for dinner, silent auction and a live dessert auction. We are on the hunt now for items to include in the silent auction - please reach out to Rob Monroe ( or 314-965-0326) if you have something you would like to donate! We are especially hopeful for tickets to events or a weekend vacation spot rental right now but are open to all sorts of things in new or like-new condition. 

Christian Concerns Class

Join us on Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Fireside Room or on Zoom for our Christian Concerns Class. Our topic for Jan. 29 is: "Rejecting Antisemitism and the Rise of Christian Nationalism" Our speaker is the Rev. Dr. Ruben Rosario Rodriguez. He holds the Clarence Louis and Helen Steber Professorship in Theological Studies at St. Louis University. This week he will focus on The Rise of Anti-Semitism.

If you would like more information or the Zoom link, please contact Ann at

The Zoom link is :

Meeting ID: 838 3632 0060

Passcode: 63122

If the link does not open directly, copy it and paste it into your internet Search window and find us there.

Food Outreach Event  - Next Week!
Please join us on Saturday, February 4, 2023, to help package and distribute meals for Food Outreach. We will partner with our friends from Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church. We will work at the Food Outreach facility, from about 8 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.
Food Outreach’s mission is to provide nutritional support and enhance the quality of life of men, women, and children living with HIV/AIDS or cancer. Their comprehensive program includes Made-From-Scratch Meals, Fresh Fruits and Vegetables and Shelf-Stable Grocery Program designed by their on-staff Chef and Registered Dietitian.
If you would like to volunteer, or to find out more about this project, please contact Georgina Sikorski at, or call her at 678-644-2782. To learn more about Food Outreach, please visit their website at
 Thank you!

Veterans' Personal Hygiene Items

During the month of February, we will be collecting personal hygiene items for local Veterans, in partnership with Youth in Action. Please bring your donations of shampoo, deodorants, soap, toothbrushes, toothpaste, etc. to church. We will have a box set up near the information desk for donations. Thank you for your support!

A Lenten Bible Study

Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. during Lent you are invited to a book study, Meeting Jesus at the Table by Cynthia Campbell and Christine Coy Fohr. Each week we will look at a story of Jesus eating with people and what we can learn from these meals. After the class, if you would like, we will go to eat lunch at a restaurant somewhere in Kirkwood. 

The class will begin on February 22nd, Ash Wednesday. After class we will go to the Ash Wednesday worship Service and then to lunch. We will not meet on March 1st. The class will continue on March 8ththrough April 5th. We will meet in the Fireside Room.

Special Request for Our Afghan Families

It was just one year ago this month that our Congregation met our first Afghan family. In April, we connected with our second family. Your committee members have put in countless hours in counseling, transporting, entertaining, teaching and befriending this group of FUTURE CITIZENS. If you would be interested in joining our FUN GROUP of volunteers and to spend time with our new friends, please contact Tom Edelstein 314-973-4235 or Sharon Croissant 314-909-8136. If you would be willing/able to assist our families in filing their 2022 income tax, contact Sharon Croissant at 314-909-8136 or

Breakfast Casseroles for St. Patrick's Center

St. Patrick’s Center provides opportunities for self-sufficiency and dignity to people who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless. Individuals and families build permanent, positive change in their lives through safe and affordable housing, sound mental and physical health, and employment and financial stability. 
Please join us by preparing a delicious breakfast casserole for St. Patrick’s Center. CLICK HERE for the recipe.

For more information, please contact Julie Nesvig at

Book Clubs

We have several active book clubs! Check out the info below!

Tuesday Book Club – Meets weekly at 10:00 a.m. on Tuesdays in the Fireplace Room. Our current book is The President and the Assassin: McKinley, Terror, and Empire at the Dawn of the American Century by Scott Miller. We always have room for more participants! Contact Karen Koch,

Wednesday Book Club - The next meeting of the Wednesday book club is February 22 at 1:30 p.m. over Zoom. We will be reading The Henna Artist by Alka Joshi. Escaping from an abusive marriage, 17-year-old Lakshmi becomes a henna artist and confidante to the wealthy upper class women in Jaipur, India in the 1950’s. If you would like to join the discussion, please email
History Book Group – Meets on Thursdays at 10:30 a.m. every other month at church. Over the next four months we are reading Barbara Tuchman’s A Distant Mirror about Europe’s 14th century. It was a time of climate change, plague and loss of faith in secular and clerical leaders; a century with major repercussions today. The group’s goal is to read through chapter 5 for the upcoming meeting at 10:30 a.m. on January 26 at church. All are welcome. For more info, contact Carlin Scanlan ( or Don Lewis (

Give Online
Have you tried giving online? 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.
Go to and follow the prompts, 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

Staff Directory:

Rev. Dr. Bill Smutz, Interim Senior Pastor
Rev. Linda Maconochie, Interim Associate Pastor
Bill Stein, Director of Music Ministries
Rob Monroe, Director of Children, Youth, and Family Ministries
Bill Larson, Business Manager
Megan Ligeti, Communications Director
Dee Robinson, Head Custodian
Sherry Peters, Preschool Director
First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood | (314) 965-0326
Copyright © 2023 First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood, All rights reserved.

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