C O N TA C T U S

407.423.3441
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
“In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, for I have overcome the world.”
John 16:33
white, but rarely are things that simple and clear cut. Yes, there are black and white Scriptural truths, but the application of those truths is not always easily discernible. In fact, Jesus gave us a core truth in the text from John printed above: we WILL have trouble. Loved ones will get sick. Nations will be at war. The innocent will die. Criminals will be punished. Despondent people will take their own lives. Addicts will hurt themselves and those that love them. And when it happens, what do we do? How do we understand God’s presence in it? No, this life won’t be easy, but we have hope in Christ and in the power of His resurrection which we celebrate in this post-Easter season. And if that’s true - if we do have hope - then I think we need to dig a little deeper into the “trouble” we face and the hard questions that are created. God has something to say about all of it. In the same way we tackled the “Economy of God” and all the things related to our financial and material lives, I think we need to take a look at some of these “hard” things and deal with them head on. Let’s not leave them to moments prior to falling asleep or quick comments uttered in social conversation. Let’s bring them out into the open. Let’s look at them – walk around them – view them from a number of angles – and seek the counsel of God’s word. That is the foundation for the sermon series that will take place this summer called “Tough Questions.” I find the summer months are a good time to talk about more challenging topics because we tend to be more relaxed and perhaps a bit less busy. We

WITH Dr. DaVID D.
S

ome things are just hard. They don’t have easy answers. Perhaps there was a time when I thought life was black and

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have more down time to reflect and consider what God is teaching us. I hope that will be the case for you this summer. Here are the topics I’ll be looking at along with the other Associate Pastors: • Issues related to life: The Beginning of Life, Abortion,

Group: First Presbyterian Church of Orlando

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SWanSOn

Way
Suicide, Euthanasia and Capital Punishment • Freedom • Human Sexuality • War • Alcohol and Drugs • Gambling • Politics • Education • Youth Culture With each tough question, there are challenges. Each one touches us or has touched us in some way. My hope is to help us see the range of thought on each topic, to understand what God’s Word says and how it might be applied, and to offer grace and hope to those who have experienced some of these things in a personal way. Each week will be a ‘stand alone’ message. In other words, you don’t have to hear the prior week to be ready for the current week. Needless to say, I think the series lends itself well to those who may not believe in Jesus Christ. Take the initiative and either share the series information with others, or invite them to attend with you. Together, I pray that we will be able to process the issues that face us as Christians, and to walk through them faithfully and in a manner that pleases and honors God. I would also greatly appreciate your prayers for me and the pastoral staff in our preparations. We don’t have all the answers, but we know God does, and we trust that He will give His wisdom in our study and preparation. May God bless you and yours with joy and peace this month, and I remain In His Grip,

SAVE THE DATE!
For more details contact our main office at 407.423.3441 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 September 2009 Back to School Date Night September 13-November 15, 2009 SONday Times September 1-November 17, 2009 MusikGarten Fall Classes September 13-November 15, 2009 Fall Adult Class Events

David

September 17, 2009 Health and Fitness Fair

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By Debbie Farah, Bajalia Trading Company

I

’ve always had a deep desire and longing to be a mother. I was always the family babysitter, and I looked for opportu-

shout, you who are not feeling birth pangs, for the desolate woman has many more children than she who has a husband.” I will admit that these were just words to me until about six years ago when I began an organization called Bajalia Trading Company. In the course of doing the research and beginning the company that would reach out to women around the world, I began to understand more than ever “having more children than she who has a husband”. I have so many spiritual and adopted children depending on our company for their sustenance, I can’t keep count. In ways that only God can explain, I have grown a mother’s heart myself as I serve these women and the needs of their children. Although I have never been as desperate as they have been or had to make the decisions that they have made, I have learned firsthand their struggles and have learned to love them [women] and stand in intercession for them as if their children were my own. I remember watching out of my taxi window one night in tears as a young mother swept the sidewalk under an overpass on a busy street in Mumbai, India to prepare a place for her children to lay their heads on the hard, cold sidewalk. I wept and be-

nities to be with children and engage them. My friends’ children would always gravitate towards me, and I to them, spending time with them in a variety of ways. I also used to serve in the children’s ministry and nursery, until the longing for my own children made me worry one day I wouldn’t give one back. Yet the closest I have come to my own children is a relationship with my nieces and nephews who are always on my heart and, although I am still involved in their lives, they are now past college age and I have now been relegated to a role as a mere Facebook friend. (I’ll take what I can get, and how else can I

find out the news?) I was never blessed with my own children, and I will never understand like some of you the pain and joy of childrearing. So for that reason it seems a bit daunting to me that I would be writing about a mother’s heart. That being said, I am beginning to understand more and more the passage in Galatians 4:27 (Amplified Bible): “For it is written in the Scriptures, Rejoice, O barren woman, who has not given birth to children; break forth into a joyful
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IMPACTS OF WORlD POVERTy
One half of the women in the world have been abused by an intimate partner. Trafficking in human beings is now the third largest moneymaking venture in the world, after illegal weapons and drugs. The United Nations estimates that, around 4 million people a year are traded against their will to work in some form of slavery. Young women are being sold so that their families can eat, or lured into slavery with promises of jobs. 30,000 children die every day from extreme poverty. That’s one child every 3 seconds. Half the world lives on less than $2 per day and cannot satisfy the most basic human needs
is too late for me,” she would say, “but please help me, so my children will not have the same life I have had.” This is the universal heart of a mother. Bajalia Trading Company is all about serving women like this. Over the last six years, we have come alongside sustainable businesses in the poorest countries in the world and have become a voice for these voiceless mothers. I have learned that poverty keeps redefining itself for me and I have learned that the worst form of poverty is the lack of hope. And if through our work we can provide a glimpse of that hope by showing the love of Christ in tangible ways, we can make a difference, one mother, one voice at a time. In China, Ming Xaio was 12 years old when the man came into her village and offered her a job in the city to help her parents. After going into the city, her virginity was auctioned off to the highest bidder. Too ashamed to return to the village, her only option was to enter into a life of prostitution and the brothel. She tried to commit suicide three different times over the next few years before being rescued and invited into the continue on page 6

came burdened for the issue of poverty and all of the symptoms that came with it. And through that I understand more about the strength and determination of a mother’s heart and a mother’s drive to provide a home for her family, even if it is only a sidewalk in India. All over the world poverty shows up in prostitution, slave trade, exploitation, human trafficking, children soldiers, forced abortions and slave labor. And women bear the greatest burden of the abuses. However, I have had the privilege of seeing the strength, determination, and power that comes when women receive the help that they need; when they join together, with their voices and their labor. This was the case of the women I worked with in Afghanistan. There I met the group leader, Fatima, a woman who could not speak well because her husband had broken her jaw in order to keep her from coming to the meetings. Yet she came anyway, broken jaw and all, and because she could not seek medical help, her jaw healed in its broken state. Yet she continues to help others, with the constant reminder of the price she pays. “It is worth it,” she says, “he can beat me, and as long as I am not dead, I will come to teach so others have a chance.” Over and over again I ask, ‘what can we do?’ ‘How can we help?’ The answer from continent to continent is the same. “It
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depressed and bedridden, it was her job to try to help. She went from place to place begging for a job. Her passion and desire touched our hearts and she was able to be trained to begin a business making jewelry. She is now employing her siblings and caring for her family as well as employing other women in similar situations. US AID has proven that putting money in the hands of women go to the betterment of society and the community as a whole, which is another indication of a mother’s determination. I have found working with women in this way brings the sustainable, empowering, change we long to provide. This Mother’s Day, as we face the worst economic times in the history of our country, I thought we should be reminded of the blessings we have. Through their suffering and determinashelter work program. She is now one of our jewelry designers, handling new designs and productions of the jewelry. Xiao Liu was the wife of a Mafia boss and a brothel owner herself. After two years of watching the women in the shelter reach out to the beautiful women in her brothel, she became curious and began going to the shelter herself. She has now closed her brothel and released all of the women and is part of our jewelry projects. In Uganda, Mama Nagumbi is one of hundreds of grandmothers living in abject poverty who need to provide for their orphaned grandchildren who lost their parents to AIDS. The only opportunity for income is through an income generation project creating recycled paper bead jewelry. Starting businesses and expanding the market for these necklaces has created hundreds of jobs for women that would have been considered too old to work. In India, Young Molle Khur, 15, grew up in northern India. Her father left her mother and her four sisters to fend for themselves as he went to find a new wife who would provide a son. The family was left in dire need and, with Molle’s mother Debbie Farah is a first generation Palestinian-American. Both of her parents were born in Ramallah, Palestine. A frequent international traveler she speaks Arabic and English and can get to the bathroom in Dari, Hindi, and Mandarin. n Bajalia Trading Company is a Mission Partner of First Presbyterian Church of Orlando. To learn more about their work and the women they help, stop by the Angel Wing Sunday morning, May 10, Mother’s Day. To support Bajalia or purchase products made by these mother-owned businesses, see www.Bajlia.com. tion, I wanted you to hear the voice of many mothers and their children as we celebrate a mother’s heart. As I pray about how we determine our progress as a ministry, it seems to me it is through one mother at a time.

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‘[IT’S] A GREAT OPPORTUNITy TO SERVE GOD’
new staff member John Watts gets down to business at FPCO.
mind, and an extensive resume that shows he’s been around the block (more than just a few times, too). Graduating with an MBA from Belhaven College, he put his degree to practice as operations manager for Kodak, overseeing a $40 million-plus budget and nearly 350 employees. But he’s not all business: He plays a mean game of basketball and sees himself as the character “Jim” from NBC’s “The Office.” Read on to find out what brought John to First Presbyterian, what he hopes to learn, and why he thinks ice cream should be its own food group. Q: What made you choose to work at FPCO? A: The position of Church Business Administrator fits my skills and gifts and is a great opportunity to serve God in a full-time role at this stage in my career. Q: What is your title at FPCO and what do your job responsibilities include? A: Direct/oversee operations, finance, HR, facilities, and support. Q: What are three things you couldn’t live without? A: God, family, meaningful work. Q: If you were an answer on Jeopardy, what would the question be? A: A Christian leader who loves to discover where God is working in business and the community. Q: What is your favorite cereal? A: Frosted Mini-Wheats. Q: If you were a super hero, what would your power be? A: Ability to instantly infuse common sense, constitutional adherence, Biblical Worldview as our Founding Fathers possessed, and a servant leadership mindset into every politician I encountered. (I’m sure many of them would hide from me.) Q: What place in the world best represents your personality and why?

C

hurch Business Administrator John Watts, 46, may be “the new guy” at FPCO, but he comes with a full heart, an open

A:

Washing-

ton, D.C. It is the City on a Hill. The United States was founded on Christian principles by men who believed in God and came to this country for religious freedom and individual liberty. I love the Lord and what this country was founded on. I love history and leadership. In addition to being in the mountains or on the beach, it is my favorite place to hang out. I could stay there for weeks just absorbing all the history. Q: What’s your favorite song on your iPod (or CD player) right now? A: “Take You Back” by Jeremy Camp. Q: What’s your biggest pet peeve? A: Leaving cabinet doors open and people driving slow in the fast (left-hand) lane. Q: What word do you use the most? A: “Thanks.” It is important to be gracious and thankful. Q: What was the most important lesson you learned on your first day of work? A: It is an honor to serve God and First Presbyterian Church of Orlando in this new job. Q: What do you hope to learn in this position? A: How to effectively serve God in this full-time leadership role. Q: What’s on your desk right now? A: My planner, newspaper, notes from recent meetings, my 90day objectives. Q: If you held a record in the Guinness Book of World Records, what would it be for? A: The most ice cream consumed over a lifetime! Q: If there was a symbol that represented you—think Prince— what would it be? A: The Nike swoosh. Just do it.
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a ride! The After School Outreach Ministry (ASOM) has been through its share of ups and downs: transitions in leadership, new school hours, and budget cuts. We said goodbye to two of our beloved servants, Kathy French and Alice Meister, as they made the trip home to be with our Lord. But, through it all, we remain thankful for the one and only constant: Jesus. He is the reason we serve. He is the reason we can offer hope to inner city teens surrounded by hopelessness. He is the reason we love. So, what is this wild ride called ASOM? It is a ministry, over 13 years in existence, which serves the youth of Orlando.

I lIKE THE
ROllERCOASTER
By Jenny arrison, Director of after School Outreach Ministry
trip to the amusement park. She reminisces, “When I was 19, Grandpa took me on a rollercoaster. Up, down, up down. Oh, what a ride! I always wanted to go again. You know, it was just so interesting to me how a ride could make me so frightened, so scared, so sick, so excited, and so thrilled all together. But, some didn’t like it. They went on the merry-go-round. That just goes around… nothing. I like the rollercoaster. You get more out of it.” Life often feels like an amusement park. At times, we are spectators of mysteries and wonders. Sometimes we are on the Ferris wheel, on top of the world. And sometimes we feel trapped on that merry-go-round. Very often we find ourselves playing Whack-a-Mole, frantically hammering at life’s problems which seem to pop up faster than we can we can smash them down. When life got rough, my own grandmother often joked: “Stop the world! I want to get off!” But, as overwhelming and confusing as life may be, we do not have that option. Whether we like it or not, life is not simply an amusement park; and we often can’t choose which ride to take. Life is a rollercoaster. We can choose to ride with our eyes squeezed shut and our fists clenched tight; or with eyes and hearts wide open and hands in the air, shouting, “Oh what a ride!” What an honor it has been for me to serve here as the Director of the After School Outreach Ministry… and, oh, what
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ASOM offers spiritual, educational, and social support to teens and their families. ASOM activities include tutoring, mentoring, college and career exploration, character building, and coping skills. This year we have attended art museums, Magic games, theaters, and jails. We have acted as judge and jury with attorney, LaShawnda Jackson. We learned respect from Dan Cross as he taught the fundamentals of basketball. But, most of all, we are learning what it means to love. God’s love is different from the world’s love. Love is not a feeling. Love is a choice. God calls us to love when we don’t feel like it, when it is difficult, when it feels unjustified. God calls us to overcome evil with good and to love our enemies. God calls us to stand apart from this world and, through Him, all things are possible. So, get on board ‘cause it’s an AWESOME ride! ASOM Student Testimonies: “ASOM means to do what’s right and help people. ASOM means to be a better person. But most important, ASOM means to believe in God and that He forgives us for our sins.” –Bacari Dozier “ASOM has taught me a lot about God and showed me how to get closer to God. I get closer to God by reading the Bible and doing “popcorn” prayers. ASOM has helped me in school by tutoring me in math and reading.” –Cristal Cooper While I was in All Pro Fundamentals Basketball Camp I learned that there’s more to respect than I thought. I learned how to shoot balls in a hoop. I also learned how to keep rhythm with the ladder exercise. What I liked about Dan Cross was that he was nice and fun to work with. He taught us not to say, “I can’t”. He’s also patient and kind-hearted.” –Elaine Wiggins “I learned that you give respect to get it and I learned to play basketball. I liked Mr. Dan Cross because he was pretty cool and he taught me all of that.” –Nathan Robinson

O

ne of my favorite movie clips comes from Steve Martin’s Parenthood in which his elderly grandmother tells of her

“I learned that even though people are in jail, that doesn’t mean that they don’t want to learn about God. I expected it to be mean people treating us how they were treated. It is important to have a ministry in jail because if the people don’t share their feelings they might hurt themselves or someone else.” –Bacari Dozier “I say thank you for my life. Thank you for my parents, for my family and I have a small house. I prayed what you give me. My mom my dad please Lord give them a better job. And I please you a lot for giving us a better life. Thank you for what you are going to do. Amen.” –anonymous

“I am thankful for ASOM because I could be out there on the streets like some kids, going to jail. I am grateful to have our great leader of the whole program, Ms. Jenny. This thing couldn’t run without the great mentors. These people, who take time off their jobs to come help us kids, must care about us a whole lot because they don’t get paid to do this. I am thankful for having people that would like for us to succeed in life. Without ASOM I might not know about GOD the way I do.” – Dwayne Wilson

FUND RAISING NEWS
By Barbara Hampden, after School Outreach Ministry Volunteer

Mr. Andrews noted that at that exhibition:

“I had the

chance to speak to the kids and answer some questions about art and my experience living in Italy. I was so impressed with the children and understood the potential these bright young minds possess. I’m grateful that through the ASOM program, we as the body of the church have the opportunity to use our gifts and blessings to reach out to those who can benefit from them the most.” Luke Andrews’ fondness for the ASOM program prompted him to donate to the ASOM an original painting of First Presbyterian’s own Reformation Chapel as well as the Clayton Life Center. This image was an outgrowth of Mr. Andrew’s entries in the Paint the Town 2007 exhibition at Orlando City Hall. The Reformation Chapel painting will be on display Sundays during May. Mr. Andrews also has allowed ASOM to use the paintings’ images to create beautiful note cards, which will be sold in boxes of 10 for $15 to support ASOM. In the future, ASOM plans to auction or raffle the painting itself to raise funds to support the ASOM mission. Your purchase of the Reformation Chapel note cards is greatly appreciated and will be directly applied toward the operating budget for ASOM. You may request the note cards by contacting Jenny Arrison, ASOM Director, at Jarrison@fpco.org. ASOM warmly thanks Luke Andrews for his generous support and Nancy Kirk, ASOM team leader, whose unflagging devotion to the children of ASOM made this creative fund raising idea a reality!

L

ike all mission work, the After School Outreach Ministry (ASOM) depends on the generous time, talent, and trea-

sure donations of individuals who have a heart to serve God and the young adolescents at ASOM. Local artist Luke Andrews is one such individual. Mr. Andrews, a Florida native, was born in 1975. From his earliest youth he was strongly inclined toward the art to which he devotes himself. He studied intently for years and received an art degree from the University of South Carolina. A sojourn through Italy further inspired his creativity. He experimented in different techniques, but presently acrylics and colors on canvas are his preferred form of expression. In addition to many previous exhibits in Italian and foreign art galleries and exhibitions, Mr. Andrews’ current work is featured in Melbourne in the “Highway Girls Gallery” as well as an exhibition at “The LoPressionism Gallery” that runs from April 18 through June 19, 2009. You can view some of his creative works on-line at www.lukeandrewsart.com When the City of Orlando hosted a “Paint the Town” art exhibition, the ASOM children were invited to view the Mayor’s Gallery. During that tour, Mr. Andrews had the opportunity to meet several of our ASOM students.

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By ritsy Carpenter, Member

SERVING GOD: A FAMIly TRADITION
By Kristin Davis, Staff Writer
day, he wakes up, sits in his favorite chair and reads the Bible. Afterward, he prepares coffee and breakfast for his son Scott, 57, with whom he moved in after his wife Rebecca passed away in 2006. He ends each day the same way he began it: By spending some quality alone time with God, in Bible study and in prayer. And, if it’s Sunday morning, rest-assured he’s at FPCO for the Genesis service and Sunday school class with Scott and, when he’s in town, his grand10 | www.fpco.org

THE STUART FAMIly lEARNS TO lIVE THE WORD THROUGH THEIR GRANDFATHER’S ExAMPlE.

N

inety-year-old Harold Stuart is a creature of habit. At 6am every

son, Scott. Harold’s kind demeanor is just as consistent as his schedule. Born in San Antonio, he’s every bit the Southern gentlemen: Well-mannered, softspoken and a man of few words. That’s because Harold speaks the same way he lives … with intentionality and purpose. And that purpose is to serve God and to serve others. “It’s so unusual to see someone live and breathe the word,” Scott says of his dad. A father of three, Harold’s other two sons, Ken and Drade, live out-of-state, but are also believers and followers of

the Word. Harold’s grandson, Scott, also lives a faith-led life. He was an FPCO supported missionary with Campus Crusade at Florida State University and is now studying at seminary to become a pastor in the PCUSA. He grew up at FPCO and often attends Genesis with his wife. His father’s and grandfather’s examples have helped guide him in the right direction in his faith walk. Harold says his own faith became strengthened by his marriage to Rebecca, and further developed when they began attending FPCO together in 1983. Over the years, he’s served as

a Sunday school teacher and a deacon for two terms, visiting other members in the hospital and offering them an encouraging word or prayer. “I got more intense with my relations with the Lord when I came here,” he says. “I kind of woke up.” Although he attended Sunday school regularly as a child, his relationship with God grew distant as a young adult. “It was kind of a hit and miss [in] grade school, junior high, high school, [and] college,” he says of his commitment to Christ. “Looking back I realized He was watching over me, but I wasn’t walking with Him.” He served as a pilot in the Air Force for more

coincidence that crossed Rebecca’s path with his during his time in the service. She was living in Tennessee when she applied to a job opening as a hostess overseas to serve the troops. She was hired for the position in Korea, where Harold happened to be stationed as a Post Exchange (PX) Officer. Rebecca worked in a service club for enlisted men there and would serve them coffee and doughnuts and lead games of bingo. “One day, she came over and asked if she could buy prizes for the club, and I’ve forgotten what my reaction was, but apparently I turned her down,” he says. “And she went back to her boss and said, ‘If we get anything from that PX officer, you’ll have to do it.’ The next day, I realized I made a mistake and I asked her out to lunch. That’s where we met, dated and got married. I guess I just fell for her.” Harold’s love for his wife only grew with time and age. Scott says he’s never seen a more devoted husband than his dad. Just as he does for Scott now, Harold would brew coffee and cook breakfast for Rebecca every morning. “He waited on her hand and foot,” Scott says. “She would rattle her cup and that meant she wanted more. At dinner, she would do the same for him.” When Rebecca suffered from a long list of health problems, including heart disease and dimensia, Harold stood by her side every step of the way. For four years, he went with her to doctor’s offices, hospitals, rehabilitation centers and emergency rooms. Although it tore him apart to watch her suffer, Harold trusted that God was there with them and he called on Him often during those hard times. “Oh did I pray,” he says. “That I did.” When Scott thinks about his mom and dad’s relationship, there is one memory that stands out above the rest, and still warms his heart. “When mom had mul-

tiple strokes and her mouth and face was distorted, he would distort his face just to kiss her,” he says. “That’s the kind of guy he is.” Losing the person he’s shared his life with has not been easy, Harold says, but he’s determined to look at the bright side. “I feel now that she’s much better off,” he says. “No more doctors, no more rehab, no more medicine.” He says that the Stephen’s Ministry at FPCO helped show him that, although his wife had passed away, he still had a purpose to fulfill here. “They sent me a grief book that says you have two options: You can sit there and grieve or you can get up and do something. That’s what I decided to do. The Lord didn’t promise us all peaches and cream,” he says. “[The] Stephen Ministry came out a couple times to visit. That helped, to know that somebody cares. They’d come out and they’d pray with me.” Since then, Harold has become a volunteer with the Meals On Wheels program, providing meal services to those in need. “I hope I’m a good model for others,” he says. “I hope what I do and what I say and any impression I give is a good one for other people.” He’s had to overcome challenges of his own, such as battling and winning a fight against Leukemia. He still faces skin cancer scares, but he doesn’t let that slow him down. “When he had cancer cut off of him, he never said, ‘I served you for all these years [God], why me?’” Scott says. “[His reaction was,] ‘Thank you Lord for another day of living.’” And with his children, grandchildren and FPCO family by his side, Harold has more than a few reasons to feel blessed. He takes great pride in his family and hopes they will carry on the tradition most important to him: “Every opportunity you have to help somebody, do it.”
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“EVERy OPPORTUNITy yOU HAVE TO HElP SOMEBODy, DO IT.”
than 12 years and, although he wasn’t a follower at the time, he began to get an undeniable feeling that God was looking after him. One such instance was in 1941, just days after Pearl Harbor. He was sent on a mission with the Air Force to China, when they were alerted that a flight of enemy aircrafts were headed their way. They took off to intercept them. “Shortly after takeoff, I could see the enemy aircraft, but then a very odd thing happened. My vision was fading; I could not see. I hadn’t put my oxygen mask on. Something told me to dive. When I reached the lower altitude, my vision restored. By that time, my flight was gone and the enemy was gone.” Harold felt certain that God had guided him to safety. He’s also certain that it was more than

HAPPy ENDING:
A TRIBUTE TO TWENTy-FOUR VERy SPECIAl SENIORS
By ritsy Carpenter, Member
school small group. I had no clue what I was doing, but God did. Little did I know then that long after being young, cool and hip and now into my grandmother years, that God would still be growing me and giving me some of my most rewarding times through involvement with high school students. In the past 30 years, I have been so blessed and spiritually challenged by sharing friendship in Christ with our (God’s) precious young people. I continue to enjoy and learn from those who once were students of our FPCO Student Ministry, some of whom are now in their 40s. Through the years, though, I will have to say there is one incredible group that stands out. That is the 24 senior girls who are currently a part of the Happy Ending weekly small group
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I

n 1979 I embarked on a new adventure and what an adventure it has been. At age 24, I began to lead my first high

which has been meeting on Sunday nights. (Their name came from an Eagle Rock “God Moment”). Happy Ending has had four years of striving to know God more, feeling one another’s joy and hurts, sharing our weekly journeys, being accountable to one another, embracing friendship, growing in amazing and surprising ways, appreciating family, mending relationships, seeking to walk more like Christ, experiencing God’s new places . . . emotionally, physically and spiritually, loving God’s people and all along the way . . . God has been so good! From our trips to the beach, chasing full moons and sunsets, boat tours on the lake, adventures in the woods, Eagle Rock, FITS, to studying the Parables, Significant Spiritual Friendship, the Fruits of the Spirit, Spiritual Gifts, experiencing D-Now, UF’s Crusade meetings, prayer, various mission work, and host-

ing senior seminar - it has all been such joy! There has been a memory behind every moment, and a God Story behind every memory! Even more powerful than all the memories, the growth, the fun in Christ, is the unconditional love and servant hearts that these 24 young ladies have had for one another and those around them. If any of us older students in Christ want to learn how to love more or need an extra dose of love ourselves, just come hang out with Happy Ending for three hours. “We love because he first loved us.” I John 4:19 At the beginning of this year, co-leader, Anna Cowan, and I suggested we split into two groups of 12. The girls decided to stay as one because they recognized that God’s love had no limits. They knew of God’s all encompassing love. These 24 young ladies have discovered there is boundless freedom in loving others as Christ first loved us. As these very uniquely created and specially gifted 24 disciples step out of high school onto their next adventure that God has for them, know that as a church family our investment in them will multiply a trillion times over because the love of Christ has been poured into them and will continue to flow out of them. Relationships don’t happen over night. Investments are for the long haul. It has taken this one small group four years to get here, but now that we’re here at what appears to be the end of a season, it is really only the beginning of one eternal continuous HAPPY ENDING! Here are some favorites from the Happy Ending girls… “There are so many wonderful experiences I have had with my wonderful small group!! We have all grown so close with each other and with God. They have held me accountable and have given me strength to stand up for my love for God. Having a Godly place to go every Sunday night where friends encourage your love for God has been what i needed to start off every week with God on my heart. I wouldn’t be where I am today if it weren’t for the girls and Mrs. Ritsy and Anna! I love them so much!!” - Sarah Hepner “Something that I strongly value about our small group is how I always know I have those girls to come to and really be able to open up with and dig deeper into who God is and the relationship we can have with Him. Our group is a place of peace and relaxation and we are always having fun and being challenged in our faith. One of my distinct memories I have from our small group is when Ritsy took us to the beach condo in

ninth grade. It was a mixture of girls that weren’t really friends at the time and we weren’t totally comfortable with each other. On the trip, God worked in our friendships the whole time! We all bonded like we never had before and ended up staying up the whole night to watch the sunrise. As the night went by, our conversations got deeper and deeper. We found more in ourselves, each other and God. That night will bring eternal glory to God. The memories like this go on and on and i know more are to be made.” - Olivia Shirek “There have been many special moments in our small group but two stand out to me. I really liked it when Bryant Carpenter came to talk to us because he opened my eyes to the “boy mind”. I realized all the mistakes i was doing in my relationships with my guy friends. It just revealed a whole other realm that I hadn’t even known existed. Being able to put our random (and some embarrassing) questions in a basket and to get honest answers from a Godly guy was so helpful. Also, watching the Beth Moore Esther video about our mean world and specifically, mean girls, was very good because mean girls are something i deal with everyday. I never actually thought about what they were feeling or how to handle the situation peacefully. It also helped me control my own inner mean girl from flaring up. I have better control over the ugly side of my personality or the things that trigger it.” - Laura Uncapher “Being a part of Happy Ending has been such a blessing. One of our favorite times was going to University of Florida’s Campus Crusade weekly meeting with Peter Tebow. Being there with 800 other students gave us hope that we will find other believers at college. As a group, we all became closer to each other on our trip to Gainesville. And we had lots of fun doing it especially when one of us accidently spit on Peter at the Steak n’ Shake).” - Laura Beth Guglielmi and Callie Jewett “This small group has been so welcoming to me. I am not even a member of this church. My favorite memory from Happy Ending would be getting together every Sunday night to spend time with each other, studying and growing closer to the Lord. I have loved having friendships with all these incredible girls and being able to strengthen my relationship with the Lord at the same time. I have been so blessed to be a member of this group that has been inclusive to everyone.” - Annie Stephens “I was invited to Happy Ending half way through my senior year. Most of the girls knew each other since 9th grade, I knew only one or two girls. So i would have to say my favorite memory from Happy Ending was being so immediately loved and welcomed into the group by Ritsy and the rest of the group. It is such a special group of people and i am so thankful to be a part of it.” - Katie Dunham

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word and we did every time!!”- Tiffany Kitts “My favorite memory of Happy Ending is hard to pick because every week is amazing but I would have to say it would be trying to find apple pies somewhere between Gainesville and Orlando after we went to hear Joe White from Kamp Kanakuk speak in the O’Connell Center with 9,000 other students. This group has been an oasis at the end of the week that I always look forward to.” - Amy Morgan Mycoff “Having a small group has given me a place where I fell loved and safe from judgment. I know everyone is there to support each other and they will help me through any problems. The confidentiality and accountability is incredible. And although I was not able to make many gatherings this year, I am still greeted with warmth and love every time I see one of the girls. I have a group of people who I can always turn to and who share in my beliefs. We treat each other as a family. Small group has made a big impact on my life for the short time I have been involved, and I don’t know where I would be without them. It has taught me not to let the stresses of high school get to me, to give it all to God because He has a plan for each of us.” - Chelsea Schonhoff “One of my favorite memories was when the “Happy Ending” title originated our junior year. We would ride up and down the hill in Ritsy’s big car to our group meetings at the Eagle Rock lodge. On those many trips, we would listen loudly to the “Happy Ending” song. At first, no one had heard the song but by the end of our time at Eagle Rock, all of us could loudly sing every “I haven’t been in the group since 9th grade, but you probably couldn’t tell. This group of girls has been so cool and accepting that I look forward to our Happy Ending dinner every Sunday. Not only have I grown in my relationship with Christ through their fellowship but i have also made friendships that will last.” - Lacey Harris “My best Happy Ending memory was driving through the mountains at Eagle Rock listening to Happy Ending and singing at the top of our lungs, and watching the sunsets every night with each other. Growing, uninhibited, with each other in Christ has been an unforgettable experience I will always hold dear.” - Alex McClelland “My favorite memory from Happy Ending was the trip to Gainesville, it was so great to get to connect with a smaller group of girls on a whole different level. We had so much fun experiencing a college atmosphere full of people who love the Lord.” - Katie Richardson “It is really so cool to see and be a part of God bringing together all of us girls from different schools for fellowship, fun and growing in Christ.” - Anna Reiman

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HEART OF THE CITy FOUNDATION

CElEBRATES ITS SCHOlARS
By amy Bishop, Heart of the City Foundation
Heart of the City Foundation manages for its scholars. After each student’s respective school receives the scholarship funds from the foundation, the students are contacted on a consistent basis through email, mail and gatherings with the purpose of tying spiritual support to the financial support of the scholarship. Last year, the students received letters from several pastors including Dr. David Swanson and Dr. Keith Wright and the book The Reason for God by Tim Keller. They also received birthday cards and participated in a luncheon at Rossi’s Pizza over Christmas break where guest speaker, Chris King, spoke on how to use the challenges that college presents as a way to strengthen your faith and trust in the Lord. Greg Carlson, one of the 2008 Miller Scholarship recipients, has learned the importance of giving back at an early age. “Your generosity has inspired me to help others to give back to the community. I hope one day I will be able to help students achieve their goals just as you have.” Scholarship Sunday is a day to recognize and celebrate our students who of leaders. “Go into the world and do well, but more importantly, go into the world and do good.” – Minor Meyers, Jr. If you are interested in giving to HOCF’s current scholarship funds, establishing a new scholarship fund, or discussing ways to become involved in the scholarship program, please contact Amy Bishop at abishop@fpco.org or 407.423.3441 x1484. are embarking on a new and exciting phase of their lives. It is a day to honor the work they have put into their past education and to celebrate the leadership they have shown in the church, their schools, and community. It is also a time to encourage and pray for these students as they develop into our next generation ship recipients on Scholarship Sunday, which will be held on May 17 this year. The scholars, families of the scholars, donors, and board members will gather in King Parlor prior to the 11am service for a time of celebration and fellowship. To date, HOCF has awarded over $1 million in scholarships to a diverse group of recipients. Scholarships are available for infants at the Infant Childcare Center, children at the Weekday School and students at The Christ School. HOCF also awards several seminary scholarships annually and has supported several pastors and staff members of the church including Dr. Rebecca Bedell, Browning Wood, and Rev. Case Thorp. But the majority of scholarships are typically awarded to undergraduate students attending various colleges and universities through out the country. Because many of HOCF’s scholars are graduating [high school] seniors, Scholarship Sunday has traditionally become a time to honor the foundation’s annual scholarship recipients. This day is just the beginning of a year long program that

E

very year, the Heart of the City Foundation (HOCF) honors its scholar-

“GO INTO THE WORlD AND DO WEll, BUT MORE IMPORTANTly, GO INTO THE WORlD AND DO GOOD.” – MINOR MEyERS, JR.

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THE WOMEN’S MINISTRy COUNCIl

REMAINS “AMAzED” AT CURRENT BIBlE STUDy SElECTION L
ast year when the Women’s Ministry Council diligently our own lives. reviewed Bible study offerings, we would have no idea how God was leading us to a series, The Amazing Collection, that would permit our women to begin the awesome journey of studying the Bible, book by book. We have to be honest, the thought of studying the Bible, book by book, can and is intimidating. But, somehow God placed on each heart a promise and a reason to offer this study, so the Council held strong to His nudging, praying over and committing to completing it from Genesis to Revelation. This study permits us to see clearly the plans, promises, and provisions of God played out against the backdrop of history. Now fully engaged in the study and no turning back, we have caught the vision of the themes which weave their way from Genesis to Revelation; and everyone has appreciated the fact that the material is presented in an easily digestible and retainable format. We have found the workbook and DVD’s to be richly filled with inspiring stories, focused teaching, memorable quotes, helpful charts, maps, and outlines complete with memory verses; all of which are strongly building up our knowledge of the Lord, wooing us into a more intimate relationship with Him, and enabling us to apply the lessons learned to the rhythms of
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The feedback from our women has been joyfully positive

because we persistently pursue Him through His Word, “He will teach us His ways so we may walk in His paths.” Micah 4:2 Last fall, three hundred women enjoyed The Pentateuch and many remain committed to the current study and small group with whichthey started. Women are continuing to grow in the Word and are engaged in spiritual development with a group of friends on the same journey. Isn’t that just like God to give us travel partners through His Word! At the end of April we completed a portion of the Old Testament, the first twelve books to be exact. If you did not or could not participate in these first two study installments, it’s not too late to join in! That’s another thing we loved about this study! Your workbook only contains a few books to study at a time, allowing for study breaks – opportunities to go back and complete reading or review the material. We are currently planning a study break for the summer months and will offer another option beginning in June. However, if you want to join in on our amazing journey through the Bible and begin with the Post-Exilic Books, 1 Chronicles

through Esther, we’ll begin again this fall in September. Stay tuned!

WOMEN’S MINISTRy SUMMER
By Lori needham, Prayer and Spiritual Formation Ministry
“…for such a time as this.” There is always a time to be engaged in His Holy Word…the Word that contains treasures to aid us in our hurried, harried, and pressured lives. Because the season of summer instills in us a time to relax, slow down, and enjoy lazy days, that doesn’t necessarily happen. For many of us, we must take the initiative to schedule our days to enjoy the slower times we dream about. Sometimes we are successful at it, most of the time we are not!

BIBlE STUDy OPTIONS
June 4 from 9:30 – 11am, and will also gather on the third floor in Edington Ministry Center. This series concludes on August 14. Register now at www.fpco.org/register or pick up a registration form in the lobby of the Edington Ministry Center. Registration concludes on May 26. The cost of the study is $20 and includes your study guide. For additional details contact Lori Needham at 407.423.3441 Every ‘season’ is a great time to gather for fellowship, share our life experiences with one another, pray for one another, and learn through God’s Word that he has a perfect plan for our life and desires fellowship with us. Join us this summer for two offerings of Beth Moore’s latest Bible study, Esther: It’s Tough Being a Woman, where Beth will peel back the layers of history to show us a very contemporary and applicable story of Esther. This book of the Bible demonstrates God’s sovereignty and His loving care for His people. It also contains drama, power, romance, and intrigue – the things we look for in a summer best selling novel! However, this book is so much more. It reveals strong character, faith, integrity, and a God-given opportunity that was seized in a courageous act that made a difference to a nation. Are you slowing down to hear if God is preparing you to act in “such a time as this?” Beginning June 1, Monday evening sessions will gather from 6:30-8:30pm on the third floor in Edington Ministry Center to begin this ten-week journey through the book of Esther. We do not meet the week of July 6 and will conclude our summer time together on August 10. A Thursday morning offering begins x1463 or email lneedham@fpco.org.

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WHy ATTEND

By Stephanie Mixner, Worship arts Ministry

S

?

ome parents might be asking this question: Why is music important to my child? All children are musical. They have

music long enough to build a foundation of musical knowledge, they will begin to make their own music. MusikGarten is a great tool for children to explore and develop those musical abilities. As children, they’re not expected to sing an aria or play a sym-

an innate and uninhibited musical sense that they act on whenever they hear music. If children are exposed and experience

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phony. It is assumed they will simply act upon their musical instinct and learn from their experiences. Their learning is mostly through you, their parent, not through the teacher, which is why it is so important for you to experience music class with them! Below are examples of the benefits of enrolling your child into a MusikGarten class. The following information is directly from the MusikGarten website: www.musikgarten.com. Experience – Our founders have been involved in early childhood music education since before it was recognized. Dr. Lorna Lutz Heyge has been developing early childhood music curricula for 30 years, while Audrey Sillick has been training early childhood educators for 40 years. Reputation – Musikgarten has an impeccable track record. Our teacher educators and Musikgarten staff are known for their integrity and professionalism. Our founders, authors and teacher trainers can be heard speaking at MENC, MTNA, Orff and Suzuki conferences across the globe. Training – The early childhood music professionals who teach in our workshops are authorities on children and early childhood music education. Our trainers have an easy-going style that blends lecture with hands-on activities. Our training is a reallife experience, not a videotape or online degree. Because of the quality of our training, parents and children will recognize you for the high quality of your classes. Aural Emphasis – We emphasize active, thoughtful participation, not entertainment. We emphasize movement, not visual stimulation. Musikgarten is unique in these respects. Research documents that kids today are over-stimulated visually and need

purposeful movement and music training now more than ever. Comprehensive Pedagogy – The Musikgarten program is the most pedagogically sound available, covering children birth to age nine – a complete bridge from early childhood to piano lessons. Our curricula are uniquely effective because we have designed learning sequences that repeat and build patterns to continually reinforce and stimulate our students. Students will enjoy their lessons more and you will be able to retain them for up to nine years. This continuity is as valuable to you as it is to the child. Level A (Birth -14 mos) Level B1 (15 – 23 mos) Level B2 (2 – 3 ½ yrs) Level C (3 ½ - 5 years) Tuesday Wednesday Tuesday Wednesday 11:00am 11:00am 10:00am 6:30pm 10:00am AYH 211 AYH 211 AYH 211 AYH 211 AYH 211

Family Class Wednesday (siblings/mixed ages)

Please note age ranges have been changed… for the last time! *** In order for these classes to make, we must have no less than 8 children registered. We sing, play instruments, move, and listen to music. Come and continue your child’s musical growth during the summer as we transition into the Fall! Invite your friends to join you for this wonderful opportunity for you and your child! For class descriptions as well as other information about our program, visit our website www.fpco.org/childrensmusic. x1186 or smixner@fpco.org. Online Registration: Classes: May 18 – June 13 June 9 – July 28 If you have further questions, contact Stephanie Mixner at 407.423.3441

Fee: $50 per child (includes CD, music book, and instrument or prop)

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By rev. Sam Knight, associate Pastor of Congregational Life

Christian life in a realistic way. My interest was captured while preparing for a sermon series I preached through in the church I previously served in Texas, “The Road of Life.” When we become Christians, we feel such an emotional high; we begin to believe that everything is going to go
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I

n his book, My Utmost For His Highest, Oswald Chambers speaks of the

smoothly from now on. Reality quickly sinks in when life continues and the trials resume. We cry out to God to rescue us from adversity. Hear what Chambers says about this issue. “The typical view of the Christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity. But it actually means being delivered in adversity, which is something very different.” He goes on to state, “if you are a child of

God, you will certainly encounter adversities, but Jesus says you should not be surprised when they come.“In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) He is saying, “There is nothing for you to fear.” The same people who refused to talk about their adversities before they were saved often complain and worry after being born again, because

they have the wrong idea of what it means to live the life of a saint. God does not give us overcoming life—He gives us life as we overcome.” Growing up in the home of a minister in Wales, there were many occasions that life’s adversities seemed to be unfair. Our family had little money, we lived in the church’s manse, I did not get the toys my friends had, and we struggled sometimes even for groceries when repairs on the car became too expensive. It was, however, in those moments of trial that I saw God’s hand at work and our family’s faith strengthened. Throughout my life and ministry, many other struggles have been present (“real life” is also experienced by a pastor and their family). Chambers believes this to be an important aspect of the Christian faith. He writes; “The strain of life is what builds our strength. If there is no strain, there will be no strength. Are you asking God to give you life, liberty, and joy? He cannot, unless you are willing to accept the strain. And once you face the strain, you will immediately get the strength. God never gives us strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the moment.” While we journey together through life with all its adversity and celebration, I urge you to pray for one another. Paul reminds us to endure and remain united in Romans 15:5-6 “May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.” First Presbyterian Church of Orlando offers various support groups where you will find people who understand your adversity because it is their own. You will find a place where people are willing to pray with you and for you, a place of

sanctuary and safety, a place where your emotions can be ventilated and will be validated, and a place where the word of God will be shared as a source of hope and strength. Those groups include: Men on Masculinity A group of men gather to share questions and answers to questions such as; where does my significance come from? Do I have what it takes to be a real man of God? Questions of freedom and self reliance often get asked and men don’t comprehend that freedom is an incremental process that happens inside relationships with Jesus and others. Men usually want a quick fix, a solution that does not feel too risky, and one I can do without anyone’s help. This explains why there are many places in our lives where men get stuck. In order to work through their “stuff,” this group is learning to venture outside of their comfort zone to find the strength and courage God created men for. It is a difficult journey, but one full of goodness and healing. Divorce Care/Divorce Care for Kids The divorce recovery ministry provides a structured support program to help you and your children learn to cope with the changes taking place in your life and heal the hurt caused by divorce and separation. Divorce Care is a weekly support group and seminar conducted by people who understand what you are experiencing. You will find encouragement and wise counsel as you seek healing and balance in your own life. Women’s Cancer A comforting place for women to come and share, compare notes, and get the information and help that they need

while dealing with cancer.

Each meet-

ing is planned to educate and encourage women of all ages and stages of cancer. Speakers are brought in from the church and community to share their knowledge and experience. The group offers a safe place to honor your courage, give love and support, and share your journey with hope, healing, and God’s power. Walking the Mourner’s Path Walking the Mourner’s Path is a Christ-centered, eight week, non-denominational grief program. The classes will consist of a series of lessons built on the stages of grieving from denial to acceptance. A member of the clergy is present at all sessions, which are led by two trained bereavement facilitators. The purpose of the support group and 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. Infertility Support The group seeks to provide a place where others can hear stories of hope and encouragement, receive relevant information and resources on infertility and adoption, and most importantly be surrounded by a body of Christians to listen and support them as they wrestle with this all too common problem. Other support and care ministries include Stephen Ministry, TeleCare, Deacon Bereavement Care and the Intercessory Prayer Team. Check our webpage for further details, meetings times and locations.

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neWs & nOTices
Congratulations to: Christine and John McCully, on the birth of their daughter, Emma Anne McCully, born March 8, 2009. Anna Maria Rico and Brandon Thomas Reinert, married on March 28, 2009 in the Sanctuary. Brandon is the son of Ms. Debbie Thomas. Mandy and Wally Klee II on the birth of their son, Noah William Klee, on March 30, 2009. The proud grandparents are Linda and Wally Klee. Sympathy to: The friends and family of Frances Graves, who died February 1, 2009. Aubrey and Wilbur Sikes on the death of her sister, Maxine Graff, on March 2, 2009. Linda Williams on the death of her husband, Robert “Bob” Williams on March 15, 2009. Kim and Mike Rhodes on the death of her father, Charley Pittman, on March 14, 2009. Mr Pittman was the grandfather of Brad, Heidi and Austin Rhodes. Claude Wolfe on the death of his daughter, Allison Wolfe Best, on March 15, 2009. Jon Batman on the death of his wife, Linda Batman, on March 17, 2009. Marjorie Gilbert on the death of her husband, Lawrence Gilbert, on March 18, 2009. The family and friends of Frances McGehee who died March 23, 2009. Jane Meister on the death of her mother, Alice Meister, on March 30, 2009. Mrs. Meister was the sister of Carolyn Tavel. Anne Banta on the death of her brother-in-law, Bobby Rainey, on March 31, 2009. Scott Milke on the death of his grandmother, Margaret Baggett on April 1, 2009. Patricia Bean on the death of her father, Marvin Nelson, on April 3, 2009. The family and friends of Currie Melvin, who died April 3, 2009. Barbara Francis on the death of her mother, Alva Persike, on March 20, 2009. Attend A Fresh Encounter with God on Wednesdays Please join our weekly Wednesday Prayer Services in Lee Fellowship Hall at 6:30pm for another opportunity to seek the Lord. The topics will be as follows: May 6 – “The Invisible Jesus” Matthew 25:31-46 Ministry Focus: The Mercy Corridor Initiative: Jobs Partnership, Jail and Prison Ministry, HIV/Aids Ministry May 13 – “Restoring the Broken in Our Jerusalem” (Nehemiah 1:3-4) Ministry Focus: ASOM (After School Outreach Minis try), Compassion Corner, The Homeless Services Center, and ICCC(Infant Child Care Center) May 20 – “A Light to all Nations” (Luke 2:27-32) Ministry Focus: Global Mission Teams (Sub-Sahara Af rica, Latin America, Muslim World, Central Europe) and Mission Partners. We will be joined with some of our Mission Partners via Skype, and will have specific prayer requests for our partners around the World. Parent Connect Meeting to be Held on May 10 All Student Ministry and 5th grade parents are invited to join us for a parent meeting to fill you in on what’s up in the Student Ministry. You’ll learn about summer and fall trips, events, and what the Student Ministry is all about! There will be a time focused on new incoming 6th grade parents, introductions to our staff and a discussion on how to best get your kids plugged in. We’d love to have you join us on May 10, 2009 at 9:45am, during the Sunday School hour. We’ll meet in the Warehouse located on the 3rd floor of Allen Hall. We look forward to sharing with you! March ’09 Giving Snapshot General Operating March Gifts Fiscal Yearto-date Gifts Contributions $ 649,665 $5,356,996 Budgeted $ 577,415 Surplus/ (Deficit) $72,249

$5,719,272 $(362,276) $4,724,649

Line of Credit $0 Immeasurably More Outstanding Balance IM March Gifts $122,342 IM Fiscal Year-to-date Gifts $1,502,437 (net of 10% tithe to Missions) Contact Finance for a full revenue & expense summary.
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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.

PErIODICaLS raTE US POSTaGE PaID OrLanDO, FL

106 East Church Street Orlando, Florida 32801 407.423.3441 | www.fpco.org 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 Please Deliver by May 1, 2009

FUN AND ADVENTURE AWAITS yOU

AT VACATION BIBlE SCHOOl
By Susie Dunlap, Children’s Ministry
Calling all children: come spend the week with us at Vacation Bible School (to be eligible, students must be 4 years old by July 1, 2009 through completed 3rd grade in the spring of 2009). “Little Carol” and “Sammy the School Boy” will lead off the morning with hilarious skits. We will be making our own t-shirts and learning some “rock-in” new songs and games, making new friends and just having fun. Did you know that you can catch a goldfish with a gummy worm and a pretzel? Come to Vacation Bible School and find out how. Children will build lasting friendship as they discover that their true identities are not formed by where they go, or what they can do, or what others think. Like the Apostle Peter, they’ll explore who they are in Jesus Christ – the most important relationship of all. Because of His love for us, He is the rock upon which we build our lives! As they watch Jesus call Peter away from his fishing nets, they’ll discover what it means to be accepted by Jesus. Later, when Jesus invites Peter to step out of the safety of a boat and onto a churning sea, they’ll discover what it means to be protected by Jesus. As they witness Peter’s confession of Jesus as the Messiah, they’ll learn how to be saved by Jesus. From Peter’s shocking denial and Jesus’ redemptive forgiveness, they’ll know that no sin is too large to be forgiven by Jesus. Finally, as they discover how Peter’s faith in Jesus made a lame man walk, they’ll know the power of living for Jesus. This summer, send your kids to SonRock Kids Camp Vacation never forget!

Bible School: July 13-17, from 9am–12pm. An experience they’ll

Make an investment in the lives of Children through Vacation Bible School. Teachers and teacher helpers needed. Our planning team is still looking for someone willing to work with the crafts. “I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith” Philemon 1:6 Nursery is available for teachers younger children. The Recreation Ministry Department will be offering a Basketball camp in the afternoon after Vacation Bible School if you are interested please contact Alice Fortunato at 407.432.3441 x2347.