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To arrange a baptism Contact Worship x1451 To arrange a wedding Contact Weddings x1453 To arrange a funeral or memorial service Contact Pastoral Care x1455 To donate flowers for worship services Contact Worship x1451 With questions about your pledge, donation, or budget Contact Finance x1479 With a change of address Contact Membership x1471 To purchase a sermon CD or DVD Contact x1438 To join the Chancel Choir Contact x1273 For child care reservations - Early Childhood Contact x2250 To reach the Security Office Contact 407-415-9793 For Weekday School Contact 407-996-5864 To find out about Sunday school classes Contact Spiritual Formation x1463 With questions about the FPCO Web site or this Columns publication Contact Communications x1467 To reserve meeting space Contact Special Services x1469 Hospital Calls: Hospitals are no longer able to notify us when our members are hospitalized. If you know someone who is in the hospital, please notify the Pastoral Care office at x1455. Pastoral Emergencies: For pastoral emergencies outside of the 8:30 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. church office hours, please leave a voice mail message at the main church number. The message center will page the minister on call, who will reply as soon as possible. Need Help? Dependency assistance, cancer support group, grief support, divorce care, infertility group, please contact Pastoral Care x1455

On The
“But just as you excel in everything – in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for us – see that you also excel in this grace of giving.” 2 Corinthians 8:7
cused on all that God wants FOR us in relationship to the material resources He places in our care, and then we moved from that into the reason we give: He gave first. The cross and the resurrection of Jesus are the core doctrines of our faith, and as we recognize what God has given to us, we freely and joyfully give our lives to Him. We live according to a different economy. What amazed me was not only the study and its content, but your response. Our worship attendance rose. The number of people who gave each Sunday increased. The number of people visiting went up. And we completed one of the largest First Connections classes we have had in the last five years. It’s exciting, and all of that from a discussion about money! I think it was further evidence of how much we are struggling in this area at this time. With that in mind, it is my sincere hope that this would not be a “series” or a “season”, but the beginning of a change in our way of life. The numbers DO add up in the Economy of God, and if we will take the steps to start living in that way, I know God will bless and grow this church. Towards that end, there are two things I would like to ask of you. First, we will be offering some very practical, hands on seminars in the next few months as a means of further equipping you in area of personal finance. The first of these will be held from 9:00am to noon on Saturday, April 25, with Candice Blomeley as our leader. She is well known in the Orlando area and teaches on budgeting, saving, and managing personal spending. One of our biggest problems is that we don’t really know where our money goes. This seminar will help you get a handle on that, so please



he past four months have been an amazing study for me as, together, we have explored The Economy of God. We fo-

Group: First Presbyterian Church of Orlando

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give it serious consideration. We are limited to 200 in attendance, and the cost is only $5.50. Contact Lori Needham in our church office if you would like to sign up. Second, I will be sending you a letter on April 15 asking you to start applying the last four months of study. It would mean a great deal to me, personally, if you would take the time to read that letter. As you know, we recently changed our fiscal year from a calendar year to July 1-June 30. Thus, our budget process begins this month. The pastoral staff and elders, in coordination with our finance office, will be looking at our giving trends while prayerfully considering what God is calling us to do in ministry between now and the summer of 2010. We will, as faithfully as we can, determine our budget. YOUR TASK is to take the time to read the letter I will be sending, and prayerfully consider what you will give in the next twelve months. Unlike past years when we asked you to turn in a pledge card, this year we will provide you the tools to analyze your finances and make a commitment, but that commitment will remain between you and the Lord. Then, start giving regularly. Bring your offering as an act of worship each week, the visible sign of your faith that God is the one, true God among many gods in this culture. Without question, this new budget design and commitment process will rely more on faith than it has in years past, and while that creates some anxiety, I think it is the right place for us to be, especially in times of such economic uncertainty. As a church, we are making a conscious choice to live according to the Economy of God. Thank you for your continued faithfulness to the Lord, and may your experience in this Easter season be one of great blessing and hope as you celebrate the resurrection of our Lord. With fervent joy in the cross of Christ, I remain Under His Mercy,

For more details contact our main office at 407.423.3441 April 6-10 Holy Week Noon Meditation Services Chapel; 12:00pm April 9, 2009 Maundy Thursday Worship Service (Communion) – Sanctuary; 6:30pm April 10, 2009 Tenebrae Worship Service Fauré Requiem – Sanctuary; 7:00pm April 10, 2009 Easter Egg Hunt & Mass Butterfly Release May 1, 2009 Big Wheel Deal Basketball Game May 2, 2009 OneByOne Dessert May 4, 2009 The Iron Chef Women’s Celebration: “The Battle” June 14- 18, 2009 Camp Geneva - Elementary Overnight Camp June 1-30, 2009 Camp Wee Ones June 9-July 29, 2009 MusikGarten Summer Classes June 1-August 13, 2009 Esther-It’s Tough Being a Woman Bible Study June 20-24, 2009 June 22-26, 2009 July 6-10 2009 Darrell Armstrong Basketball Camp July 13-17, 2009 Upward Basketball and Cheer Camp July 2009 Combined Adult Sunday School Classes July 13-17, 2009 Vacation Bible School July 19-24, 2009 Fun in The Son High School Retreat July 19-25, 2009 The Great Escape Middle School Retreat August 30, 2009 K-Kids Promotion Sunday August 25, 2009 Weekday School Prayer Walk

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came an alcoholic by the time he was in his early twenties. After years of alcohol abuse, his choices in life took him to the streets, where he slept in abandoned buildings, under bridges, and in local shelters. One Sunday he came to Good News Worship service and breakfast, which is held every Sunday morn-


ing, at 5:45am, in Lee Fellowship Hall. While there he felt cared about and asked the volunteers for some help. He was then led to the Compassion Corner where he frequently visited over the next two weeks until an opportunity opened for him to be interviewed for placement at Central Care Mission. He entered the program and while there, began to serve at the Good News breakfast. He had gone from one side of the table to the other. He had gone from receiving to serving. As his life continued to change and come together he began to work in the culinary field. As he applied himself, he was awarded scholarship money for training, from the funds raised by A Taste of Compassion. He was first hired by the Hyatt Grand Cypress, then by a local church, and then by the JW Marriott, where he is still currently employed. This past year, Keith has been honored as the Culinary Employee of the Year for JW Marriott, has gotten married, and has begun a new chapter in his life. When you come to A Taste of Compassion, make a point to say “hello” to Keith at the JW Marriott booth. There will be an opportunity to purchase tickets for A Taste of Compassion before and after services under the Angel Wing on Sunday April 5, 12, and 19. For more information, contact Dawn Neff at 407.617.3370 or n

By Dawn neff; Member
the Compassion Corner Ministry, First Presbyterian’s ministry to the homeless, now located on North Magnolia. Your generosity in bringing toiletries, socks, and blankets during January’s Bring your Heart to Church drive, your financial donations, and your personal labor in helping us to relocate made it possible to reopen our doors to our neighbors in need. During the first two weeks that Compassion Corner was open on Magnolia Street, two people were admitted into residential treatment centers, one person was reunited with their family in Kentucky, another person was employed, five people obtained scholarships for basic assistance, and most importantly, God’s Word was preached daily; it has been heard by an average of 35 people each day. Volunteers from 12 churches are working alongside each other, building trusting relationships with our frequent visiting friends and demonstrating God’s love to all. One of the tangible ways you can support the daily operational costs of Compassion Corner Ministry is to be a part of the upcoming A Taste of
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hank you so much for your continued prayers and support for

Compassion event. A Taste of Compassion will be held Tuesday, April 21, 2009, from 6–9pm on the campus of FPCO. It is an annual fundraiser for the Compassion Corner Ministry, Central Care Mission, and the Chef’s Scholarship Fund. It’s a night of superb dining with Orlando’s top chefs on hand to prepare a feast for you. Add to that, all the excitement, color, and entertainment of a downtown street party. Eighty percent of the proceeds raised are shared by Compassion Corner Ministry and Central Care Mission to assist the men and women of Orlando who, without an address, are facing some of life’s most difficult challenges. The remaining 20% benefits the Chef’s Scholarship Fund. Over the years thousands have been assisted by the proceeds from this event. I’d love to share with you a remarkable transformation story of a man who was positively impacted by all three organizations - Compassion Corner Ministry, Central Care Mission, and the Chef’s Scholarship Fund. One example of tremendous transformation through this work is seen in Keith Oldenburg, pictured above. Keith began drinking in his late teens and be-

in I Corinthians 11:1, “Follow my example as I follow the example of Christ.” Developing, training and investing in LIFE Community Shepherds (leaders) that will grow to follow Jesus more faithfully is the focus of our work in 2009. The purpose of LIFE Community is to move each person (in our church family) towards Christlikeness. We are committed to investing in our LIFE Community Shepherds to move towards this purpose in them, so that they, in turn, will be prepared to serve those of you in our church family, by leading and loving you in a LIFE Community in the year(s) ahead (Matthew 20: 26). To fuel this vision and purpose, on January 12 and March 23, we have hosted two desserts, for those who have lead small groups in the past; including our most recent Crown leaders. At these desserts, we shared the vision and invited all to prayerfully consider becoming a LIFE Community “shepherd in training.” From those desserts, we had nearly 60 people, individuals and couples of all ages, commit to participate in a Turbo Training Group, where each group (made up of 8-12 people) will meet weekly, learning and living

the Biblical values of a LIFE Community. In addition, each member of a Turbo Group will participate in ongoing training, outside of their group, in order to prepare all Shepherds to grow in their love for Jesus and others. These Turbo Groups will meet throughout 2009 and then split apart; where each couple or individual will then shepherd their own groups, primarily with those that live near them. Many in our church family are unclear as to the similarities and differences that exist between what we know of a typical small group compared with the values/purpose of a LIFE Community. The diagram below will hopefully be a way for us all to learn, embrace, and ultimately become a part of the LIFE Community vision for how we will seek, share, and serve together in the years ahead. If you are interested in joining us in our year of preparation for LIFE Community, please let us know! We would love to give you some more information on how you can join one of our existing Turbo Groups or become part of a new one. For more information, please contact Reagan Perkins at rperkins@fpco. org or 407.423.3441 x1497. n

By Kent Sterchi; Director of LIFE Community

unfold in phases, knowing that its success and longevity will be determined by our faithfulness to raise-up servant leaders to shepherd each LIFE Community in the years ahead. I, as the LIFE Community Director, and my assistant, Reagan Perkins, have teamed with a LIFE Community team to develop a systematic plan that is in the early stages of being rolled out. We view the year 2009 as our time of preparation, as God directs us to the people that He desires to help shepherd and lead LIFE Community groups in 2010 and beyond. Our vision of the LIFE Community initiative is, one day, to be a church where all are loved and cared for and developed as disciples of Jesus Christ. To prepare for the fulfillment of this God-inspired dream through LIFE Communities meeting all around our city, I think of what the Apostle Paul wrote


he growth of the LIFE Community ministry at FPCO is one that will

Traditional Small Group Experience vs LIFE Community

Small Group
- generally revolves around a set curriculum - has a marked beginning and ending date - a closed group - one predetermined leader who is responsible for the care of his/her group

LIFE Community
- no set curriculum

Common Traits
- generally 8-10 people - usually meets in homes - a weekly meeting time

- serve together within the church, community and world - each person is encouraged to “lead” using their unique gifts - each group remains open to invite, love and care for all group members. - Ongoing training, support and encouragement for LIFE Community shepherds | 5


esus said “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this

Christ’s radical call to love must have been challenging upon first hearing, one can only imagine how often the disciples must have looked back and been amazed by Jesus’ words. Facing His own betrayal and death, Jesus called those He loved to love others; a model that He then perfected in His sacrificial death on the cross. In light of this call, how are we at loving those around

all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:34-36 Just prior to speaking these words, Jesus washed His disciples’ feet and predicted Judas’ impending betrayal. While

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us, particularly those outside our comfort zone or who live contrary to our beliefs? Among those in our society who often struggle to feel the embracing love of Christ are the men, women, and children infected with HIV and AIDS. An estimated 1.2 million Americans are infected with this disease and Florida ranks third nationally for highest number of cases. With these startling statics, it is hard to imagine that any of us are free from the impact of the HIV/AIDS virus. But where are we to turn for support, information, insight, and encouragement when a relative, friend, neighbor, or acquaintance is diagnosed or engaging in behavior that puts them at risk to contract HIV/AIDS? Beginning on April 2, 2009, our church will begin hosting a weekly HIV/AIDS Support Group on Thursday evenings from 6:30-8:00 pm. This group is not limited to those infected with HIV/AIDS, but open to all who are impacted by this disease, whether loved ones, friends, family members, or those interested in ministering to those suffering from HIV/AIDS. The Support Group will be facilitated by Stephen Ministers, who are trained Christian caregivers. With the help of Christ, they will seek to provide a safe environment that offers encouragement and care for those who are looking for a place to share and connect in a confidential setting. People living with HIV/AIDS are able to empathize with each other’s situation better than anyone, and the interaction they share with each other during our time together will be invaluable. They will learn that they are not alone in this journey and that Christ’s love is greater than any burden or challenge they face. The vision for this support group came from the First Presbyterian Church of Orlando HIV/AIDS committee which formed in response to the Consortium on HIV/AIDS, hosted by First Presbyterian Church of Orlando in January of 2008. It is a small group of individuals who feel Christ’s call to actively minister to those suffering with HIV/AIDS as well as the people who love them. New members are welcome and encouraged to join with us in ministry! Please join with us in prayer for the launching of the HIV/AIDS Support Group, as we seek to heed Jesus’ call to love others in His name. Please also pass along this information to those outside our church who may need the support this group will provide. For more information, you may email Allison Reed at n

HIV/AIDS Ministry Growing at FPCO First Presbyterian Church is actively engaged in serving those with HIV/AIDS through our HIV/AIDS Ministry Team. Our goal is to share the compassionate love of Christ with those who are suffering from HIV/AIDS and to support their loved ones and families. This finds expression in our church through three primary efforts: Support Groups Effective April 2, 2009, we will offer a support group for anyone dealing with issues surrounding HIV/AIDS – patients, family members, friends or loved ones. The group is facilitated by three trained Stephen Ministers and takes place on the third floor (Room 300) of the Edington Ministry Center from 6:30-8pm. For more information, contact Allison Reed at Spanish-speaking support groups are offered as well, so please contact the church office if you are interested. HIV Testing In coordination with Hope and Help of Orlando, First Presbyterian Church offers free HIV Testing every Wednesday evening from 5:00-8:00pm. The testing location is on the corner of our campus at Magnolia and Church Street. The door is marked by a cross with red flags lining the sidewalk. The testing process (mouth swab) takes roughly 40 minutes and you will know your results by the time you leave. A counselor is available at all times to conduct the testing and to help clients process the results. For more information, including opportunities to serve as a ministry host for those hours, contact Susan Woodman at Haven of Hope On the second Friday of every month, our church joins the ministry of Haven of Hope, the only faith-based HIV/AIDS ministry serving people of Central Florida, by providing a meal for their clients prior to their weekly Bible study. If you would be willing to help serve or provide a meal, please contact Jodi Thorp at jthorp@ OneByOne HIV/AIDS often affects those who are struggling with sexuality issues. We are pleased to be partners with OneByOne, a ministry of hope and restoration to those struggling with sexual brokenness. For more information, contact Kristen Johnson at | 7

By Francis Johnson; Member

n the summer of ‘07, my husband Boyd and I were accepted to be a part of a 20 member short term mission team were encouraged to “adopt” a mission project, we took this very seriously and began exploring a variety of possibilities. After a few attempts at helping some different ministries, we settled on Wheels for the World, emphasizing the work in Brazil because that was one of FPCO’s target countries. Our exciting adventure in sunny Brazil began as we arrived in Rio de Janeiro. Met by one of the main translators, we joined other team members and headed over the long bridge to our destination, Niterol, a “suburb” of Rio. During this lengthy ride, we admired the jutting, sharp, pointed mountains for which Rio is so famous. They appeared as if God had reached into the watery abyss and pulled a drowning land mass above the water’s surface so they could breathe. On the very top of one of these mountains stood the awesome statue of Jesus called Christ the Redeemer. The great figure stood with his arms outstretched as if to bless all those that lived below. As we drove beside a mile of lined up transport rail cartons, we were told that this was how the wheelchairs arrived into the country. As a matter of fact, that was where they sat for a very long time, while many of us prayed for their release to deliver 200 wheelchairs to Brazil for Joni and Friends Ministry; Wheels for the World. The World Health Organization estimates that there is a need for 20-30 million wheelchairs around the world. In some of these countries the cost of a wheelchair can equal a year’s wages, resulting in the impossibility for people affected by disability to ever receive one. Wheels for the World aims to meet the physical and spiritual needs of the disabled around the world by providing wheelchairs and sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Boyd and I were excited to get the opportunity to observe just how this organization works. Almost the entire team was made up of much needed physical therapists; I was appointed the team’s photo-journalist, while Boyd was assigned to the evangelism team. Our enthusiasm for joining this group actually stemmed from the adoption of Wheels for the World by our small group Bible study called 40 Something +. This wonderful group first came together for the FPCO’s church wide study of Rick Warren’s book The Purpose Driven Life. When all of the groups
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from the Brazilian government. Thankfully, the local Rotary Club, realizing the desperate need in the lives of the poor of their population, used their influence to make sure the wheel chairs were delivered to the distribution site just in time for the purpose of our journey to be realized. On the first day of distribution, the team arrived early to begin with a circle of prayer. Then I started my “job” of photographing the courageous family who carried their beloved cargo, sometimes for miles, to the site with the hope of receiving a wheel chair that they could never possess, except as a gift. That’s what Wheels for the World is all about! With every click of the camera, I saw loving relatives tenderly holding brain-damaged children, ranging in age from 1 - 16 years old. It was difficult to hold back my tears as I saw pretty young mothers and tired grandparents patiently await-

My fondest memories are of three little ones nicknamed: “Scooter”, “Brave Bruno”, and “Little Lady in Pink”. “Scooter” had a sharp mind but useless legs. At the age of only two, her curiosity to “see and go” enabled her to cover a lot of ground in little time by scooting around the room on her tiny rear end. Her beautiful face and big dark eyes drew everyone to her to enjoy her chatty conversations with anyone willing to listen. Five-year-old “Brave Bruno”, was very tiny, but his smile was huge and stayed on his face the entire eight hours of grueling chair fitting. As his mother held him to her chest to place him in his chair, his long bony legs dangled helplessly, but you’d never know he had any problems looking into his happy face. Then there was Maria, tenderly carried miles by her mother who had faith her daughter would be given a gift from God...a wheelchair. Maria showed no expression what-

In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ Acts 20:35

soever, even with her mother’s soft touch as she cuddled and rocked Maria in her arms. Maria was unable to react in any way. The mother’s hope was displayed even in the detail of dressing her baby girl all in pink, even down to her little pink shoes. It seemed to say she believed the day would be full of light and love. We discovered that Maria’s mother was already a woman of faith, a believer who asked if she could pray for Wheels for

ing their turn for their child to be fitted for a chair by the strong, both in body and spirit, therapists. As these marvelously gifted professionals worked their magic, the children’s caretakers quietly sat nearby keeping a watchful eye on the preparation process to customize each chair for its special occupant. Finally, when a chair was ready for its owner, the recipient of the chair was circled by family, translators, therapists, and chair mechanics to be prayed over. That always brought smiles and hugs all around. The caretaker was taught how to manipulate the chair comfortably and safely before heading to meet with the evangelism team, made up of a translator and evangelist. That is where the importance of a loving and personal relationship with Jesus was presented. Boyd’s favorite memory was of a father who brought his little girl for a chair. Boyd said to him: “There will come a time when she will not be in a wheel chair.” Tears gathered in the father’s eyes as he exclaimed, “When will that be?” Boyd replied, “When she goes to Heaven and gets her new body, she won’t need a wheel chair.”

the World and those who gave them such a blessing on that day of delivery...the day her little lady in pink received the gift of a wheelchair. The experiences Boyd and I shared with the Brazil team, watching God at work and what a huge difference a chair can make in one person’s life is truly amazing; a small miracle. These miracles take place all over the world each year as teams are sent out to serve. As Joni likes to say: “Wheels For The World restores lives and changes lives one wheelchair at a time.” This work is what your prayers, donations, and help in collecting used wheelchairs, crutches, canes, and baby seat-supports. When you attend the fun, family Big Wheel Deal event, coming up May 1, you are helping to send a wheelchair to someone who desperately needs one. n | 9


Candice’s ministry, NINE12, grew from II Corinthians 9:12 “This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people, but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.” Her goal and intent is to provide information and tools that will encourage debt reduction, living in accumulation, and the opportunity to listen to God’s prompting and to be generous with the money you have available. During these last ten weeks, Dr. Swanson has been boldly preaching God’s Word and what that Word says to us concerning money. To follow-up those weekly messages, 375 individuals have participated in weekly small groups engaging in The Crown Ministry study on the stewardship of God’s blessings to us as well as our responsibility with the financial resources He provides. Many lives are being impacted by these messages and this study and this workshop will help us be faithful to what we’ve ask them questions, and try to understand them. The simple act of our active, listening, and caring presence sometimes seems to remind them that God is present — and that they already have spiritual resources that can bring them peace and comfort.; letting them know that they are never truly alone with their burden. They and God do the rest. Sometimes, our care receivers are witnesses to us, as Stephen Ministers, by the ways God has worked in their lives, or the times they have been particularly aware of His presence. Such times are really special to Stephen Ministers because we need to hear that message. We need to be reminded that we walk in the Kingdom,

heard and learned. Attendance is limited to the first 200 online registrations, so do not delay in responding if you want to attend! We will gather in Lee Fellowship Hall from 9:00am until noon and you will have some ‘homework’ to do in order to attend. Once you register, an information packet will be provided outlining how to prepare for the workshop. We want everyone that wants to attend this event to have an opportunity to participate so the registration fee has been drastically reduced for this workshop. The cost for each person will be $5.50 and this will include all tools and materials. Register at and look for the NINE12 Spending Plan Workshop registration. Registration will close when the event reaches 200 or April 19, 2009. Questions? Call Lori Needham at 407.423.3441 x1463. n




hat could be more appropriate than providing the tools to help

you and your family create a spending and budget plan that permits you to live well and within your means, just after we’ve completed an inspirational sermon series and group study on The Economy of God? Well, that would be the NINE12 Spending Plan Workshop! On Saturday, April 25th, Candice Blomeley will be on our campus to offer a workshop that will equip you to manage your household budget and assist you in summarizing your personal information so you can determine a monthly spending plan which will provide you an opportunity to spend wisely and give generously.


too - and we are reminded by our care receivers and by the wonderful fellowship of the other Stephen Ministers, our Stephen Leaders, and our Pastor. I can’t tell you who gets helped more by the Stephen Ministry relationship — the care receivers or the Stephen Ministers – but certainly by doing something, by being there for someone else, we have experienced God’s Grace and we have tried to share God’s Kingdom with others. If you or someone you know is struggling with different circumstances and could use a Stephen Minister to walk along side of you or them, please give us the opportunity to help. Call Tammas Smith, Director of Pastoral Care, at 407.423.3441 x1455.

By Tammas Smith; Director of Pastoral Care

who has found themselves in a circumstance during a season in their lives in which they must bear a burden of pain, physical or emotional illness, or personal misfortune that no one should have to bear alone. He or she has been reminded, suddenly, that we are fragile: that we live a heartbeat away from death and a thought away from despair. Care receivers are not only told that “God hears you,” we also communication that we walk along side of them, hang in there with them, listen to them,
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he typical care receiver of the Stephen Ministry is a strong Christian


By Tammas Smith; Director of Pastoral Care
tive or friend? If so, you know life after the death is different. Our lives have been changed forever. Grief differs based on who we are, whom we have lost, and how much of our day-to-day life is altered by the death. Grief is a normal reaction to loss and is unique in its impact, course, and meaning to each of us. Experiencing the loss of a partner, a parent or sibling, or a lifelong friend, with whom we share history, often has special meaning to us. Thinking about reactions to the loss of a loved one, we tend to think only of the emotional reactions. Yet, people also experience physical and behavioral reactions. The intensity of grief changes over time and through personal growth. We have a safe place to grieve and share your feelings with others, Walking the Mourner’s Path. The next session will begin Wednesday, April 15, 2009 and run through May 2, 2009. Walking the Mourner’s Path is a Christ-centered, eight week, non-denom-


ave you or someone you know experienced the death of a close rela-

inational grief program. The classes will consist of a series of lessons built on the stages of grieving from denial to acceptance. A clergy is present at all sessions, which are led by two trained bereavement facilitators. The purpose of the program is to transform grief into joyful living. Walking the Mourner’s Path offers the outstretched hand of Christ, inviting those who have felt the intensity of grief to come into our Lord’s loving presence and experience the abundance of His tender mercies. The workbook is based on Scripture. This program is distinct from many others in that we are Christ-centered and church based. Walking the Mourner’s Path is not group therapy, but is spiritually directed. We believe grieving is not a lack of faith but a natural part of living. Through the eight-week support group, complete with workbook, mourners will learn ways in which they may honor their loved ones, seek spiritual direction and discover Christ’s promise of comfort. Walking the Mourner’s Path is a non-

profit ministry.

However, there is a

nominal cost to cover program materials. Scholarships are available for those who may need them. For further details on this program, call Tammas Smith, Director of Pastoral Care at 407.423.3441 x1455. Space is limited and you must be registered to attend.


“The class was very helpful for me. It gave me an opportunity to get things out that I had been holding in since the funeral and maybe before that. you have helped me ease the pain and put something to rest.” “Facilitators were very good in making us feel comfortable, creating a non-threatening environment in which we could express our feelings. I could never talk about my loved one and I was able to talk about traumatic experiences with the group. “ n | 11

By rev. Donna McClellan; associate Pastor of Prayer and Spiritual Formation
from 9:30–11:30am. That is when I join with other women of all ages and stages in life who are participating in the Amazing Collection Bible study. Several other women are doing this same study on Monday morning or Monday evening. This study impressed the Women’s Ministry Council with the depth of teaching from the four women from Atlanta who had put the study together; each one of them teaching one book each week. The fact that we have been able to hear from our own teachers (Kelly Ballard, Barbara Francis, and Shelley Rife) from whom we hear every other week has made the study not only stronger, but more pertinent to the women at our church. Through a well thought study guide, learning “the big picture”, “a crucial chapter”, “a prominent player”, “a notable feature” and “a timeless principle” it is a great way to be in the Word on a daily basis. The small groups are a very essential part of the study as well…this is where we answer the “so what” part of the study and share ideas, concerns, and just come alongside one another to encourage and pray for one another. Listen to what some of the participants have said about the study…. “Every week the study brings a better understanding to my heart as to who is really in charge of my life.” “This is so exciting to walk through the Bible book by book and share with a great group of fellow believers.” “God works in and through all the circumstances of life. We can learn from those who trusted God in the past in the midst of their trials.” “The Bible study has begun to give me joy which I have never experienced before.” “How awesome to be in a group of women where we not only dive into the Word together and share in fellowship, but we have developed a deep trust and understanding of each other and of our glorious God!” “The Old Testament has really come alive for our group through this study. It is an answer to an unspoken prayer to know more about the Old Testament.” “The discipline of being in God’s Word and the sisterhood of group prayer has strengthened our walk. We all feel One small group felt like the study could be best summarized by the passage the author quotes from Psalm 130: 23-24. “Search me, O God; and know my heart. Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me. And lead me in the everlasting way.” The question asked following the Scripture is “ Are you willing to pray these words regularly for a number of days and record what God reveals to you about your heart? If so, begin right now.” Please plan to join these women and more for our fall study. Stay tuned for more details! n blessed by the prayer support our group offers on a weekly basis.”


ne of the highlights of my week has become Thursday mornings

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the Bible and growing in the knowledge of the Lord, she began volunteering at the John E. Polk Correctional Facility. In 1994, she became the Chaplain to the Women in Seminole County with Good News Jail & Prison Ministry. She has been ministering with Good News in this facility for 27 years, and has been a Chaplain for 15 years. For this event we would like to encourage each woman to bring one of the following items as means of showing spiritual support to the women incarcerated: 1. Target or Wal-Mart gift cards. (When women get released from jail they often have no clothes. Chaplains will buy inexpensive clothing for a newly released inmate who has no clothes.) 2. Reading glasses (No metal frames.

The Dollar Store often has inexpensive ones.) 3. Yellow legal pads in both 5x8 and 8.5x11. Inmates use these for the Scripture memorization program. 4. Stationary or boxed note cards. Chaplains use these as rewards for inmates when they complete Bible lessons. 5. White short sleeved undershirts, white athletic socks, and plain white underwear. Plan to bring friends and neighbors to also hear inspiring testimonies from inmates released and incarcerated, along with tasting incredible appetizers from the women of our church. For more information and entry details, please contact Lori Tipping at

at First Presbyterian Church of Dr. David Swanson, Rev.

Orlando to celebrate the “Top Chef” among us! Case Thorp, Rev. Sam Knight and Brad Staton will all decide the winning entry. The winning contestant will receive a gift certificate to a local spa and will have their tasty recipe honored in an upcoming Columns issue. Leigh Swanson will be the evening’s speaker. She will share how God has used her service in the Seminole County Jail to draw her closer to Him. Please plan to attend this spectacular evening and hear incredible testimony from Chaplain Joanne Westmoreland. At the age of twenty-six, Joanne was born again and released from addiction to alcohol. After eight years of learning

Register for the ICCC Tournament for the Tots to be Held on April 8
Join us on Wednesday, April 8, 2009 at Dubsdread Golf Course for an afternoon of golf, refreshments, fun and fellowship to benefit FPCO’s William E. Alexander Infant Child Care Center’s Scholarship Fund. Pick up a registration form in the ICCC office on the first floor of the Clayton Life Center. For more information please contact Sue Fulford at 407.859.01968.

Easter Egg Hunt and Mass Butterfly Release to Be Held on April 10
Please join the Early Childhood Ministry for fun and fellowship at this year’s Easter Egg Hunt and Butterfly Release to be held at Phelp’s Park in Winter Park on Friday, April 10 at 10am. Parents are encouraged to bring picnic lunches and blankets. Drinks will be provided. There will be a special guest appearance by the Easter Bunny! Pre-order your butterflies for $5 each, and drop off checks at the Clayton Life Center on the first floor or contact Cari Earle at carirocker@ or 321.229.2035. For more information about this free event, contact Kathy Mangascle at 407.423.3441 x2250

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or go to

neWs & nOTices
Experience the Stations of the Cross on Good Friday, April 10, 2009; from 8-10PM This is a time of meditative reflection on the different aspects of the cross. Come and experience the different elements of the cross in a way you’ve never seen them before. What is a Cat o’ Nine Tails? Have you ever held one? Take a walk with Christ and experience the cross with every step that He took on that historical day. This experience is open to all church members and visitors. Proceed to the 3rd floor of Allen and Yowell Hall following the Good Friday service and follow the directions as instructed by the staff. Register Now for Children’s Camp Geneva to be Held from June 14-18 Children who have completed 1st-5th grades are invited to attend to Camp Geneva; they will take what they will learn there about Jesus and Get Up…And Go! The message is simple: share what you know and make a difference in your world! Children will experience swimming, crafts, insane rec games, great food, paintball, canoes, a waterslide, and so much more! Register at For more information please contact Carol Welker at 407.423.3441 x1490. Homeless Ministry Seeks Volunteers for April 23 On Thursday, April 23, volunteers are needed to help with the IDignity event at the Orlando Rescue Mission. The IDignity program helps the homeless obtain birth certificates, IDs, legal counsel and other documents. To serve, contact Dawn Neff at 407.617.3370 or Congratulations to: Christy and Nate Groover, on the birth of their son, Jackson Tolleson Groover, born February 27, 2009. Michelle Marie Hanson and Mark Wilson Hatcher, married on February 27, 2009 in the Reformation Chapel. Michelle is the daughter of Ms. Karen Hanson. Audrey and Wilbur Sikes, on the celebrating 65 years of marriage. Audrey and Wilbur were married January 1, 1944. Sympathy to: Tricia and Bruce Berger, on the death of his mother, Kathryn Berger, on February 5, 2009. Mrs. Berger was the grandmother of Sarah and Meagan Berger. Marilyn and Jeff Sternberg, on the death of her father, George Hargrove, on February 9, 2009. Mr. Hargrove was the grandfather of Charlie Sternberg. Judy and Don Rhyne, on the death of his mother, Lucille Rhyne, on February 13, 2009. The friends and family of Angela Petrocelly, who died February 14, 2009. The friends and family of Anna Gay, who died February 18, 2009. Bonnie Tosi, on the death of her husband, Ernie Tosi, on February 19, 2009. Sylvia Lentjes, on the death of her husband, Paul Lentjes, on February 21, 2009. Mr. Lentjes was the father of Linda Barnhill. The friends and family of Jack Wilson, who died on February 21, 2009. Mr. Wilson served as the FPCO Minister of Music for 20 years. Fred Tidwell, on the death of his mother, Lillian Foster, on February 24, 2009. Sallie Douglas, on the death of her mother, Frances Douglas, on March 1, 2009. Caren Aubrey, on the death of her husband, Bob Aubrey, on March 2, 2009. Mr. Aubrey was the father of Jay Martinez and grandfather of Aubrey Kate and Mallory. Janet Pharr on the death of her husband, Walter Pharr, on March 2, 2009. Mr. Pharr was the grandfather of Chase Brackett, Carter Brackett and Holly Van Houten. Linda and John Sanders, on the death of her father, Dr. Arthur DiDea, on February 8, 2009. Dr. DiDea was the grandfather of Michael, Elizabeth and Caroline Sanders and Jeff Phillips.

February ’09 Giving Snapshot General Operating Contributions Budgeted $ 518,918 $5,141,857 Surplus/ (Deficit) $(21,722) $(435,733)

February Gifts $ 497,195 Fiscal Yearto-date Gifts $4,706,124 Line of Credit $0

Immeasurably More Outstanding Balance IM February Gifts $97,221


IM Fiscal Year-to-date Gifts $1,380,095 (net of 10% tithe to Missions) Contact Finance for a full revenue & expense summary. | 15

First Presbyterian Church of Orlando
106 E. Church St., Orlando, FL 32801
The First Presbyterian Columns (USPS 604-040) is published once per month, except for twice in March, by the First Presbyterian Church. Circulation: 4750. (3750 by US Mail, 1000 by on campus distribution). Periodicals postage paid at Orlando, Florida. POSTMaSTEr: Send address changes to COLUMnS, 106 E. Church St. Orlando, FL 32801-3390. ©2008 First Presbyterian Church of Orlando COLUMnS.


106 East Church Street Orlando, Florida 32801 407.423.3441 | Traditional Services: Sundays, 8:30 & 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary Genesis Services: Sunday, 8:30 & 11 a.m. in Lee Fellowship Hall

POSTMASTER: Time Sensitive Material

By rebecca Bedell; Minister of Worship and Culture
I can’t believe Easter is almost here…again! With the growth of our own church family and other guests that join us on Easter, we have decided to expand our service offerings. Even with the extra services, you can count on Easter services being full with God’s people, as we come to worship! This year, FPCO will offer six Easter morning worship services. The two 11:00 a.m. services tend to have the highest attendance with guests and extended family – so it might be a good idea to consider bringing your family to either the 8:30 or 9:45 services for that day. As we only have a 15 minute turn-around time between services, we wanted you to be aware of the logistical information that will help make your Easter experience the best it can be. Easter Service Times Traditional Genesis 8:30, 9:45, and 11am 8:30, 9:45, and 11am

Genesis Easter Services: 1. Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the service time. Genesis seating capacity is very limited. We will only be able to fill the room to seated capacity for each service. Standing room will not be available. When the Genesis service is filled to seated capacity, the Ushers will be happy to escort you to the Sanctuary. 2. Gather in the Angel Wing. Entrance to the Genesis Easter services will be through the Angel Wing (Georgia Room or Joseph Room) entrances only. Please remember that strollers may not be brought into the Genesis worship service. 3. Please proceed to the front of the Lee Fellowship Hall filling all available seats. This helps us to seat guests more easily as they arrive later. 4. After the service, please exit through the Lee Fellowship Hall door to the left of the stage or the exit to the left of the stage. Do not plan to exit back through the Georgia or Joseph Room into the Angel Wing as the congregation for the next service will be gathered there. Holy Week Noon Meditation Services April 6-10 Chapel; 12:00pm Maundy Thursday Worship Service (Communion) April 9, 2009 Sanctuary; 6:30pm Tenebrae Worship Service – Fauré Requiem April 10, 2009 Sanctuary; 7:00pm Don’t’ forget to turn your yard cross around and invite a friend or neighbor to church on Easter. As we have many visitors with us each Sunday, but especially on Easter – please extend the warmest welcome to them and help them to feel at home. We are looking forward to spending Easter with you!

Traditional Easter Services 1. time. 2. Gather in the Angel Wing or at the front (Narthex) entrance of the Sanctuary. Entrance will be through the Narthex doors only. In case of rain, entrance will be through the Great Hall or Narthex. 3. later. 4. After the service, please exit using any of the side doors. Do not plan to exit through the Narthex, as the congregation for the next service will be gathered there. Please proceed to the front of the Sanctuary filling in all available seats. This helps us to seat guests easily as they arrive Please plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to the service