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Newsletter for July 29, 2022
CLICK HERE to watch the video of announcements for this week.
Support Flooding Clean-up and Relief Efforts

On July 26, the St Louis area received between 5 and 12 inches of rain bringing flooding and related damage to many homes and businesses. If you would like to contribute to the clean-up and relief efforts, please CLICK THE BUTTON BELOW. First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood will gather your gifts and pass them to the entities performing this important work.
Donate Now
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! 
Review Draft of By-Law Changes
Review Presentation of By-Law Changes
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.

Funeral Service Announcement

Delbert J. Maseey, age 95, passed away on July 20, 2022. Private services will be held. In our prayers, let us give God thanks for the life of Delbert, the gift of resurrection to new life, and remember his family at this tender time.

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
Dear Friends,

It is hard to believe that August is just around the corner! These summer months are flying by.

We have one Notes@9 concert left – the Piano Ensemble. We traditionally end the series with the Piano Ensemble, and this concert is great fun. 2 pianos, 4 pianists, 8 hands making music! Join us in the sanctuary at 9:00 this Sunday, July 31st.

Summer Choir will sing two Sundays in August – the 14th and the 28th. All are welcome to sing in Summer Choir! Are you considering joining the Choir? Summer Choir is a great way to take it for a test drive. Have you always wanted to say you’ve sung with the Choir? Summer Choir is for you. Wonder what the Sunday morning view is like from the choir loft? Summer Choir will show you!

We meet in the Choir Room on the lower level at 9:00 August 14th for rehearsal. It’s informal – we don’t wear robes or process. The rehearsal for August 28th is at 8:45. The earlier time is to accommodate the congregational meeting at 9:30. If you have questions, please contact me.

Chancel Choir, Bell Choirs, and Children’s Choirs all resume weekly rehearsals, singing, and ringing in September. Now is the perfect time to consider becoming a part our wonderful ministry of music. We would love to have new members join us! See or contact me if you are interested or have any questions.

May God continue to guide us as we journey together.

Faithfully yours,

Youth Work Camp Group Returns
We are BACK from Work Camp 2022!

We were blessed to be able to take 37 students and 7 adults away to Grand Rapids, Michigan, for two weeks of Work Camp this month. We worked with a variety of causes around town ranging from demolition and construction to weeding a field of squash and painting. (Okay, way more painting than any of the other stuff, but all of it was fun!) We are grateful for the support shown for our trip - for advice about Michigan planning to the amazing fundraising efforts that were supported so greatly.

There are so many stories from this trip to share - if you see Rob any time in the next month or two be sure that you have a long time to hear about our work projects, our fun and our challenge to each student and volunteer that they try something new!

Hosting Iowa Youth Group Work Camp
Next week we are excited to be hosting a group of students and adults from First Presbyterian Church in Williamsburg, Iowa. They are coming to work at a variety of sites around Saint Louis and have some local fare - we will pick up some Gooey Butter Cake on Sunday for when they arrive, don't worry! This is a great opportunity to use our space to host a group as we are hosted for our Work Camp trips each summer. 

Please keep this group in your prayers as they help our community, fellowship together and spend time learning together on their first-ever mission trip!

Rob Monroe is coordinating this group. If you have questions please reach out to him -

Afghan Families Update – July 2022

Both families are extremely grateful for what 1st Presbyterian Church has done for them to date.  Here is a brief synopsis of what is happening with our dear families:

Family #1:  The oldest son (age 26) continues to work at Mercy Hospital South and to serve as the head of the family. We are helping him to find a better paying job and to pursue his dream of an advanced medical career. His younger brother has finished Summer School and has a part time job. He excelled at Roosevelt High School and will enter 10th Grade in the fall. The Mother in the family continues her sewing classes and would like to work in a food preparation setting. She communicates by phone with her husband who is still at their home in Kabul. The daughter opted NOT to go to summer school. Her English skills are progressing slowly. She will enter high school in the fall. The family has made application to move to the same apartment complex as Family #2...see below.

Family #2:  The 30 year old man and his wife are both working now and he is hoping to find a position using his experience in Logistics. The wife is working at a spa in The Galleria. The Mother to the 30 year old woman has had many health problems and is being seen regularly to solve headache and falling issues. Consequently, she is unable to work. Her 12 year old Grandson has completed Summer School and his English improves daily. He often acted as a “short term” interpreter when his Grandmother was hospitalized. We are happy to announce that the family will be moving to an apartment complex in Affton at the end of July. The 12 year old will enroll in the Affton School District where he will be in 7th Grade.

  1. Created the best team of individuals to provide care and to be available when needs arise.
  2. Through CAMP K provided over $140.00 in Laundry Money.
  3. Driven to countless appointments for medical and housing issues.
  4. Successfully searched for affordable housing options for BOTH families. Funded the application process.
  5. Participated in a variety of activities through Welcome New Neighbor
  6. Celebrated birthdays with a party and a picnic.
  7. Provided a bicycle (with lock and helmet) to the 12 year old and the 18 year old.
  8. Funded applications for Immigration Issues.
  9. Funded some medical assistance not covered by Medicaid and other medical expenses.
  10.  Took both families to Home Sweet Home for furnishings and household goods. Funded a moving van for free furniture.
  11.  Provided mentoring and job assistance
  12.  Enjoyed showing them around STL and getting them out of their little apartments. Took them swimming.
  13.  Plans for moving one or both families at the end of the month is “in the works”.
  14.  A project for the women to make Christmas ornaments has begun.

  1. Family #2 still needs a car. 
  2. In moving to new housing we have only an estimate of utilities costs which have risen lately. Both families are quite frugal with their expenditures, but their present salaries are barely covering the basics. Perhaps you would like to contribute to make utility payment easier for these wonderful people. If so, please contact Tom Edelstein or Sharon Croissant (see below).    
  3. The families are also appreciative of Target or Aldi’s gift cards.
  4. Back-to-school supplies for the 3 students (7th , 9th and 10th grade) would be helpful.
  5. Please continue to keep the families in your prayers. 

Our goal is twofold: To welcome them into America and to help them become the productive citizens that we feel sure that they will become. Thanks again to 1st Presbyterian of Kirkwood and the love that you continue to show to our new friends!

Blessings to all,
Sharon Croissant                       

Tom Edelstein
Mission Trip to Help Rebuild in Kentucky

***UPDATE: There will be an informational meeting on September 11, 2022, at 10 a.m.***

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.

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
Backpacks and
School Supplies

We are supporting the Meacham Park Neighborhood Improvement Association's Back to School Rally and Backpack Giveaway!

If you'd like to help, back packs and school supplies may be dropped off on Tuesdays 10 a.m.-12 p.m. on August 2, 9, and 16 at:
Mercy Building 1001 S. Kirkwood Road suite 330 

If you know a family who would like to participate in the rally or giveaway, please see the flyer above, or contact Harriet Patton at 314-822-8814 for more info.

History Book Group, 10:30 Thursday, Every Other Month
At our next meeting, September 22 at 10:30 a.m. in Room 029, we will talk about Benjamin Franklin: An American Life by Walter Isaacson, an applauded biography that demonstrates even remarkable greatness does not mean being flawless. For more information, contact Carlin Scanlan ( or Don Lewis (

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.

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
Food Outreach
Needs Volunteers
Food Outreach’s mission has always been to provide nutritional support and enhance the quality of life of men, women and children living with HIV/AIDS or cancer. They have been able to serve some of the most vulnerable members of our community for over 30 years. First Pres is working in partnership with Faith Des Peres Presbyterian Church to recruit volunteers to help pack meals on September 24, 2022, at the Food Outreach facility, Adults, and families with older children, are welcome to volunteer. 
For more information, please contact Georgina Sikorski at
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
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!
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.
First Presbyterian Church of Kirkwood | (314) 965-0326
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