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SUNDAY SCHOOL

FOR THE
WHOLE FAMILY

Vol 48, #5 May, 2008
ON THE WAY with Dr. David D. Swanson
Dear FPCO Family and Friends,

“Whoever has my commandments and obeys me, he is As I have struggled with this over the past few days, I wonder
the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my why I am not more obedient. I love the Lord, but do I love Him
Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him.” to the extent that I am willing to do what He says even if that is
John 14:21 contrary to my desire or the counsel of my culture? In the final
analysis, any unwillingness on my part to obey can be traced to
I had a great time in Dallas last month visiting my fam- an issue of trust. If I do this, do I really trust that God has my
ily, and one of the joys of those visits is getting to spend time best interests in mind? And then I realize my own lunacy. I am
with my nephews: Jack, Ben and Mark Spangler. Jack is in the assuming that the Creator of the Universe may make mistakes
first grade while Ben and Mark have yet to start school in ear- with me. I am thinking that I may actually know more that He
nest. They are 4 and 3 respectively. We had a lot of fun playing does. I am thinking I would make a better Lord of my life.
together, but I also noticed something fascinating about the In the end, I have to step back and realize the way in which
younger ones: they walk a very fine line between obedience and I project my finite understandings onto the infinite God and
independence. All children do. Since they are not my kids, I how that negatively affects our relationship. He has loved me
had a great time watching this unfold, but I doubt my sister and completely through His cross, and I respond to that with my
brother-in-law found it so humorous. They would give them a love. If I do, then I will do what He says, and as a result, I find
command – sit down, leave your brother alone, pick up that what I’m looking for: a deeper relationship with God. He re-
napkin – you name it – and then I would watch the little wheels veals Himself to those who love Him and those who love Him
in their mind begin to spin. They had to decide, “Am I going to obey Him.
do what I have been told to do?” Most of the time they did, but Like my little nephews, this is a day by day, moment by
sometimes, their human nature got the best of them! moment struggle. However, if I acknowledge my own fears and
This little drama plays out in our lives as well, doesn’t it? lack of trust, if I can stretch my faith enough to believe that God
We walk a daily tightrope between the things that God has is good and that from His goodness He loves me, then I am able
commanded us to do and the things we want to do. The wheels to walk in obedience a little bit more. I close with a prayer from
click along in our mind, and we think, “Am I going to do what I Stott’s book:
want to do or what God wants me to do?” It’s a simple question Lord Jesus, make yourself to me a living bright reality;
of obedience. Sadly, the concept of obedience is one foreign in
More present to faith’s vision
our “me” driven world.
keen than any object outward
I read a new book by John Stott entitled The Living
seen,
Church in which he wrote about this topic. Speaking about
John 14:21, he writes: More dear, more intimately
“This promise of Jesus is conditional. He reveals him- nigh than e’en the sweetest
self only to his lovers. And who are his lovers? Not earthly tie.
those who make loud protestations of love, and then
go out like Peter to deny Him. Not those who sing With love from a fellow pilgrim
rather sentimental songs “Jesus, I love you.” (It is all on the journey,
right, I sing them too, but they do not prove anything.)
No, those who truly love the Lord Jesus are those who
obey His commandments. To sum up, the test of love
is obedience, and the reward of love is a self-manifes-
tation of Christ.” David

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GET TO KNOW
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL
If you are only attending worship services on Sunday mornings, ourselves hanging out under the Angel Wing along with
you are missing out. At First Presbyterian Church of Orlando, several other couples. Crossroads has given us the fel-
we believe that the study of God’s word is not an option - but an lowship opportunity we have sought and consequently
essential. We are committed to equipping Christians, through we have developed great relationships with people. Be-
Discipleship, to follow Christ in every aspect of life. Each Sun- ing a discussion driven class, Crossroads has given us
day morning the 9:45am hour is dedicated to study. the opportunity to discuss God’s word with our peers
in an open and comfortable atmosphere. Several men
Sunday School is the term FPCO uses for this Sunday morning from the Crossroads class and I just completed a two
hour of study. Sunday School is a lifetime opportunity to deep- year spiritual journey together and I dare say that we
en your faith through study. We offer a wide variety of classes would have not connected to make this journey together
for adults of all ages. Classes range in size and style with some if it were not for the Crossroads class. Finally, I really
offerings for young adults, older adults, married couples, choir like the fellowship time we have before the class. Cof-
members and new Christians just to name a few. fee and snacks are provided by class members, adding
to the fellowship setting of the class. Carrie Beth and I
Adult Sunday School Highlight: Crossroads Class are very thankful for Crossroads and for anyone who
Crossroads Class meets in the Clayton Life Center, Room is looking for a Sunday school class that discusses the
305. Crossroads is diverse in age and each week studies the ser- Bible and actively promotes fellowship, we invite you
mon Scripture and message delivered that morning in worship. to check out Crossroads.
You are invited to get to know the Crossroads Sunday School
class through the words of one of its members. A listing of adult Sunday School classes is avail-
able in the Welcome Center or online at fpco.org/
John Guglielmi writes: discipleship. For additional information, please
The Crossroads Sunday school class is an answer to contact Rev. Donna McClellan, Associate Pastor
prayer. Carrie Beth and I had been nomads, wandering for Discipleship by calling the church office at
from class-to-class for several years. Finally we found 407-423-3441. n

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raise the roof
For Ng’ombe Presbyterian
Church & Community School A big
Zambia, Africa thank you...
for your incredible support for the
kick-off of the Children’s 2008
Mission project!
On Easter Sunday our children sold
their hand painted ceramic crosses
Kingdom Kids 2008 and collected over $3000 in
Mission Project donations to initiate the Raise the
Roof project. Special thanks to our
friends at Westminster towers and
the Questerian Sunday School class
who, as Scripture says, “became like
children” and wholeheartedly
embraced teaching the children that
we can affect the lives of people in
another place. Putting our hearts in
to action, we hope to add one more
roof to this thriving Presbyterian
community in Zambia pictured to
the left.

Hi Carol,
Congrats for such a wonderful job. $3000 already raised! That's
got to be the most exciting news that I have received this year! I
am also very excited about it and can already see three finished,
well roofed classrooms. God's divine favour is surely upon you and
us through you.
We are just planning to start digging the foundation now that
the rains are over. "Raise the Roof" help couldn't come at a
better time. Praise be to God for his love and faithfulness. On
behalf of the school's building committee, I send our sincere
thanks to you and the kids for your concerted effort in raising
the roof.
Finally one of our kids, Ms Abbigil Zulu received a letter from
Mackenzie Grzesik last Monday, April 7. The school postal
address the kids and the teacher used is the correct one. In
fact the school has been using it since inception. It is my
family private box number because the school doesn't have their
own postal box yet, and residential addresses are not used here. I
don't understand this long delay, unless the letters are coming via
surface mail (by sea) instead of airmail.

Affectionately, Debbie Shawa
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FIRST PRESBYTERIAN
MAKES A DIFFERENCE
IN THE LARGER CHURCH
By Dr. Paige McRight, Executive Presbyter

There are many ways in which members and pastors at First Presbyterian Church of Orlando are ac-
tively serving in the larger church through their involvement in the presbytery. Indeed, I’m quite sure we
would be hard pressed to find a congregation with more leaders involved at the presbytery level. Since I
have been in this presbytery, I have come to know many wonderful First Presbyterian members because of
their involvement in the life of the presbytery as commissioners to presbytery and as members of presbytery
committees. Here is the list I know of those currently serving on presbytery committees and task forces:

David Swanson Evangelism
Case Thorp Compassion Ministries (chair)
Keith Wright Endowment (chair)
Sam Knight Committee on Ministry
Donna McClellan Educational Ministries (events)
Bill Alexander (retired) Administration and Personnel
Rebecca Bedell Theology and Worship
Dawn Neff Council
Carolyn Ragans Administration and Personnel
Bud Amos Committee on Ministry
Murray Garbrick Strategic Planning Task Force

In addition, one of the presbytery’s attorneys, Christy Wilson, is a member at First Orlando,
and the presbytery’s attorney for many years, Jim Robinson is also a member. Rob Bullock has
served the last three years on the Presbytery’s Stewardship committee and has just left to join
the staff of the General Assembly Council in Louisville, KY.
The children’s summer camp (Camp Geneva) which First Orlando hosts each year along
with First Maitland and First DeLand has invited children from the other churches of the
presbytery to share in that camp experience for several years now.
The Youth Ministry Program at First Orlando has invited youth from other church-
es in the presbytery to share in a major event this fall.
The church has been gracious to host a meeting of the presbytery, a major presby-
tery event, a Presbyterian Women’s Gathering and a presbytery staff Christmas lunch
in the past four years.
FPCO members Retha Underwood and Joyce Rabe each volunteer 1 ½ hours one
afternoon a week as hostess and phone receptionists. We could not practice gracious
hospitality nearly so well without them.
Some at First Church may not know the church’s rich heritage as a leader in the
presbytery in planting new churches or of its leadership in the denomination across
the years supplying elders and pastors for service on General Assembly committees
and on the General Assembly Council as well as providing the former PCUS with three
moderators.
I’m grateful for the ways in which that rich heritage continues today in the leader-
ship of pastors and members in the life and work of the presbytery. n
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“Look What We Get to Be Part of…”
Compassion International is life-changing for FPCO member – and ‘her kids’
by Rob Bullock

God values children. He loves them passionately. God
gives to each child the promise of a hope and a future. I
know of only one source that can put the light of hope into
the eyes of a child like Yoseph – the love of Jesus. It breaks
the heart of God to see even one child suffering but then,
that’s the enemy’s agenda and nothing pleases him more
that to break God’s heart. But it doesn’t have to happen. We
have the privilege of reaching out to a child in poverty, to
help build God’s kingdom one child at a time. You change a
child and you change a family. You change a family and you
change a community. You change enough communities you
have changed a nation. Look what we get to be a part of. It
doesn’t get any better that that.
- Jean Severance

It’s written all over his face. The joy. The hope. The love
of Christ. You can see it so clearly. When you look at the pic- Sunday on April 13 to recruit sponsors for children in need.
ture today next to the picture from a year before, you know you She praised God for each child sponsored, and gets choked up
are looking at a life that has changed. And that’s all it took to about those still in need.
convince Jean Severance that the money she was sending was “It’s so simple,” she says. “There are no disposable children
having an incredible impact. in God’s economy.” She notes that 80-85% of Christians make
It started in 2006 when Compassion International’s presi- their decision to follow Christ before age 15. Compassion’s pro-
dent, Wess Stafford, visited FPCO. Jean listened to his min- gram offers a great way to reach the children who may grow up
ute for mission, and stopped by one of the tables where child to be their countries’ leaders.
sponsorship packets were on display. She picked out two boys, It turns out five was not the perfect number. Over the last
Yoseph in Ethiopia and Israel in Bolivia, and started sending a year, Jean has taken on more children.
check each month. Jean admits she did the minimum at first – There’s Brylle in the Phillipines, who writes his letters in
just writing checks. But that changed a year later when she got English and who dreams of building airplanes one day. Eka, in
Yoseph’s new photo in the mail. She could see the difference. Indonesia, who introduced her family in her first letter saying
The finance director at a local nonprofit, Jean saw it as re- “my father is a farmer in the fields and my mother is a servant
turn on investment. “I can see the results. I don’t have to worry in God’s field.” Arissa is 16 and lives and teaches Sunday school
about market fluctuation. Where else could I get that kind of in Thailand. “That’s the same age I was when I first taught Sun-
return?” she said with a smile. day School,” Jean notes.
Suddenly, she was hooked. She began writing letters to the Today Jean sponsors 12 children in 9 countries. She enjoys
boys. And praying for them each day. She put their photos on seeing their letters, written in different languages, some with
her mantle. And she began sponsoring more kids. A little girl. different alphabets. She writes to each of them monthly, and
And then another. And then another. At five sponsor kids, she keeps folders of correspondence to keep track of the conversa-
thought she had hit a good number. One child for each of her tions. It may seem complicated, but for Jean life actually seems
grandchildren. “I think of how blessed my grandkids are,” Jean much simpler. “I do a lot less shopping now. My life is so much
says. “I wanted to share the blessing.” simpler. I look at [the pictures of] my kids in the morning and
Wess Stafford says, “The opposite of poor is not rich. The op- smile. What could be more fun?”
posite of poverty is not wealth. The opposite of poor is enough.” For those who missed Compassion Sunday, Jean is quick
That’s a sentiment Jean takes to heart. She talks about Compas- to point out that you can sponsor a child any time – just go
sion’s Child Survival Program which assists children under five to the Compassion International website at www.compassion.
and their mothers. “For $20 each month, I can save lives,” Jean com. You can browse through the ranks of children needing
says. “Buy a blouse or save a life – it’s not a hard choice.” sponsors by age, gender, or country. Jean says it’s a great ac-
Jean hopes everyone will see the same value. This year, tivity for parents to do with their kids – introducing them to
Jean signed up to be the church’s advocate for the children in the joy of giving and connecting them with a child in another
Compassion’s program. She organized FPCO’s Compassion country, another culture. n

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The Easter season continues for fifty days through Pentecost Sunday, and our
desire grows to understand the gift of His only Son.

LOOK AT HIM NOW
Look at him now, as he hangs from the cruel beams stained peace and blessing, faith and joy and the voice that
with the blood of previous victims. Look at him now, who when spoke life into the dead man’s tomb crying; “Lazarus
born had been laid upon a bed of straw in the feeding trough come out”? And now from his tree of execution his
from which the animals of the field fed during the cool of the voice cries out “Father, forgive them for they know not
winter months. Then peaceful, content, surrounded by those what they do!”
who loved him; now surrounded by Roman guards gambling Look at him now, as his head once wrapped in warm
at the foot of his cross for the few belongings he could call his cloth resting upon the hay of the manger now crowned with
own. thorns blood dripping over his forehead. His bloodied face that
Look at him now, as he struggles to lift the weight of his had once frowned with heartache expressing disappointment
body high enough for him to be able to manage even the shal- with a young ruler unable to give up his wealth. With each drop
lowest of breaths. With each breath his flesh tears wider, deep- of blood flowing down his cheek the new covenant is sealed
er. Look at him now who had once breathed softly and deeply with God.
as he slept while shepherds came to see for themselves the Look at him now whose feet once wrapped in warm swad-
child of whom they were told by the host of angels in the still- dling cloth had walked mile upon mile to bring the good news
ness of the night? of the kingdom to those that will listen. Those feet once anoint-
Look at him now, as his mouth loses moisture as each min- ed with costly perfume and wiped with the hair of a devoted
ute passes. Hear him call out, “I am thirsty,” that same mouth disciple not realizing the significance of that action to come?
that cried out as an infant for the nourishment of his mother’s Look at his feet now soiled with dust of the lonely road up the
breast now yearning for even the smallest amount of moisture. hill of Calvary mixed with his own blood and sweat.
He remembers when in Samaria he had been thirsty near the Look at him now, those once tiny hands how they had
well where the woman shamed by her own decisions had heard curled at the gentle touch of his mother? Those same hands
him say “whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. curling at the cruel piercing of the sin-filled nails. Look at his
Indeed, the water I give will become a spring of water welling hands that had once mixed mud and saliva placing the unusual
up to eternal life.” balm upon the eyes of the blind; hands that had reached out
Look at him now, as he looks upon his mother, the woman risking infection for the flesh of the lepers, of whom only one
whose own body had writhed with pain as she brought forth returned to offer thanksgiving; hands once clasped in prayer
her child. Her face expressing her acknowledgment of the ful- for the same people now looking at the iron torn palms bloody
fillment of the promise God had given the first woman and her and broken.
enemy; “And I will put enmity between you and the woman, Look at him, listening to the taunts of his accusers; “if you
and between your offspring and hers; he will crush your head, are the Messiah come down from that cross, save yourself and
and you will strike his heel,” these ancient words now being the others!” Look at him now; it is as if he is once again hear-
accomplished. ing the noise of the stable creatures piercing the cold winter’s
Look at him now, looking heavenward in desperate hope; night. See he is listening again to the still small voice of God
he once looked with compassion upon the sick and the faces of stirring him into the wilderness. In recent days he has heard
friends as they broke through the roof of the home where Jesus the crowds declare, “Hosanna blessed is he who comes in the
was teaching seeking the master to heal their companion. Eyes name of the Lord” and then the same people crying out with
looking with love and forgiveness at the woman caught in sin vengeance, wrath and hate “crucify him, crucify him.”
and those same eyes that look at her accusers walking away in Look at him now, as his head turns to the thief next to him.
shame? Eyes filling with tears at the news of a friend’s death, The thief struggling for breath calls out; “Jesus remember me
now burning with the heat of the midday sun. when you come into your kingdom!” Listen to his compassion-
Look at him now, whose voice had stilled the storm; healed ate response, “today you will be with me in paradise.”
the sick; commanded the demons. The voice that had spoken of Look at him now as death draws its last few moments

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WALK TO THE CROSS WITH CHRIST
On Friday March 21, 2008, a group of 50 middle
school and high school students gathered to experience
and remember Good Friday like never before. Twenty-five
stations were set up in rooms on the 3rd floor of Allen Hall. Each
station included a different element of the crucifixion, like the crown
of thorns, huge nails, and a cat o’ nine tails. As students visited each
station, they were able to reflect and think about what Christ did for
them. After visiting each station, everyone gathered for a time of con-
tinued reflection and worship, at the cross. Students were able to re-
ally grasp and understand exactly what Christ went through, and the
sacrifice that He made. While it was different and admittedly difficult,
students recognized the weight and significance of Good Friday, many
for the very first time. Experiencing the heaviness of what occurred
on Good Friday allowed for more celebration on Easter Sunday. Jesus
reigns, and because He conquered the grave, we are given freedom,
from his writhing, redemption and LIFE. All for His glory.
agonized body. Hear Students were able to write out a prayer to God in response to
him as he cries out to what He had been doing in their lives through the experience of A
his father: “Why have you Walk to the Cross with Christ. It is obvious that God moved in the
abandoned me.” Crying out, hearts of students in a huge way.
“Into thy hands I commit my “God, there is no way that we can pay the price that you paid on
spirit.” Hear him cry, “It is fin- the cross for us. It’s impossible! You are amazing. I want to be a fol-
lower of yours in so many ways: at school, at home, with friends and
ished!”
with family! Please Lord lead me down the path of righteousness! I
Look at him now, as they take
love you!”
his still lifeless body down from his
“Lord I want to know you more. Show me more. Give me eyes
cruel cross. See how darkness covers
to see and ears to hear. My heart longs for more. I love you! Help
the mid-afternoon sky. Friends carry
me love you more. Help me love others more. I need you! You
him to a borrowed tomb. We cannot look,
are Abba. You are my father. You are my life, my light, my shield
we dare not look. His pain breaks the cru- from darkness. Lord, you satisfy. Amen.”
cible of tears, hope is shattered despair over- “God, I can never understand why you love me so much. De-
whelms us, all is lost. spite the fact that I’m disobedient and all about me, you’re still
Hear the voice of the solitary centurion wit- willing to take me back. Help me start listening. There’s no telling
nessing this sacred scene. “Surely this man was what I’m missing out on because I simply don’t listen. I know you
the son of God.” have plans to prosper me and give me a future, but I can’t wrap my
That is right, though there is nothing about brain around that. Help me to trust you more. I’ve been trying to run
him to which we are attracted, no beauty that the show and it’s not working. Fill me up. Please.”
turns our eye no splendor that heralds trump. “God, I still cannot believe you would do all of this for me. Not
But we do look upon the son of God, the Pascal just for me, but for everybody. Life with you in my heart is unexplain-
lamb sacrificed for us to pay the costly blood of- able! I am so thankful for everything you do in my life. You are there
fering demand by a just and holy God. All the for me when no one else is. I love you with all my heart.”
beauty, majesty and power of heaven now en- “God I deserve all the suffering that you had. I am a sinner and
cased in this lifeless body being laid in the dark- that will never change. I should spend my life praising you. But I get
ened tomb. caught up in materialistic things. I try to impress my friends but I’m
Just a little while longer now and we just making my sin worse. The weight gets heavier and heavier. Thank
shall look at him again and henceforth shall you for loving me and caring for me. I am thankful for all you do. But
we look upon his glory, majesty splendor and I will never forget the weight you took for me. I love you.”
power as the risen Son, the Lamb of God who “Lord, you are so Holy and deserve everything but being crucified.
I cannot imagine being through what you went through. You show me
comes to take away the sins of the world. Look
the way every day and I ignore it. I owe you so much more than going
at him now! n
to church and Bible Study. You are so deserving. You are the Way and
most days I just don’t seem to follow it. Just help me Lord to be more
like you.” n

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Jobs Partnership Prepares to
GRADUATE

FIRST CLASS by Paige Ragan, Mission Coordinator

Congratulations to the forty-two dedicated students of What FPCO Members say about Jobs Partnership
the Jobs Partnership Program, graduating June 1! They have I wanted to step outside my comfort zone and help oth-
worked very hard and we are praying for their continued suc- ers. During a Sunday Service, I discovered the need for job
cess and growth in their relationship with God! counselors and jumped at the idea. The JP program was an
Thank you to the over one hundred FPCO members who easy avenue to pass on career counseling experience that
gave of their time and hearts as mentors, job counselors, inter- I have gained in my profession. The challenge for me was
view coaches, preparing meals, coordinating classes, helping to let go and commit myself to serve. Reach out. You have
the students dress for success, and especially in prayer. This is more to offer than you think.
truly an example of our church connecting with our commu- - Chris Parent
nity and making an eternal impact in people’s lives.
I got involved in Jobs
Partnership after a presen-
tation in my Sunday School
class. At the time I was looking
for candidates for a company
that I am affiliated with. I am
thrilled to be able to do mis-
sion work right here in town.
- Holly Cooper
I serve because Jesus
served us first...this experi-
ence has opened my eyes to
how tough it is to get a job af-
ter you get arrested. And...to
help those in need. It is tough
after a long day at work to re-
energize and find the energy to
mentor at night for two hours.
But once we open in prayer
you realize this is a different
experience than our cultural
world. God is with us.
The Jobs Partnership program is a 12-week class for peo- - Charlie Sternberg
ple struggling to find lasting employment at a livable wage. The I have seen how society will negatively affect a person
idea was to start a partnership between churches, the county by labeling them as a homeless welfare mom. But like Job,
and businesses in the Mercy Corridor, have local pastors and no matter what they are going through they refuse to quit,
business leaders teach how to write resumes, interact with co- they refuse to turn their back on God. And they realize that
workers, discover what the Bible says about work, and practice God loves them but is allowing them to go through diffi-
interview etiquette. And God is definitely working through the cult times for a greater purpose. Their prayers are, “Please
students and volunteers – to help transform families and the Lord Grant me the patience to endure and to open my heart
community on Mercy Drive. and mind to what it is that you want me to learn.” To wit-
You can be a part of this transformational experience and ness such faith is beyond description.
serve next fall - watch for details in your upcoming Columns - Faye Commodorio
and at www.fpco.org/mission There are a variety of ways to get
involved and use your gifts to serve God! To read more, go to fpco.org/mission
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CELTIC HEALING SERVICE
on Wednesday, May 14 at 7pm
Monthly Healing & Wholeness Service Taps
into Ancient Roots for Special Offering

Spirit of the living God
Flow into your beloved child
Heal in you everything that harms you
Strengthen everything that is weak
And lift your heart to reflect his glory. Amen

A TESTIMONY OF HEALING
by Joe Aebischer

After three years of health problems, loss of my father, car and given an undue amount of hardships to endure. We had
wreck, my wife’s job loss, and possible civil law suit, I was very wondered “Why us?”
depressed. I decided that my wife and I needed to become more After hearing about Elijah and being blessed at the Heal-
active in FPCO and turn to God for help. I started to attend the ing Service, we are progressing onward and making career and
monthly healing service where I was able to receive nearly a personal changes in our thoughts and attitude. We are thankful
dedicated service to me and prayers offered up by Sam Knight for all the prayers and support from FPCO, the Healing Service,
and 2-3 elders. Sam also made every attempt to keep informed Answers for Living, and blessing of the prayer shawl from the
about my problems with numerous phone calls and cards. The Holy Stitches. We are indeed grateful for everyone’s love that
Holy Stitches, FPCO’s knitting group, also made a shawl for me we found at the Church. The Church has provided us with the
which was blessed by Sam Knight for my recovery. We have most individual attention that we have ever had. We encourage
been attending the Healing Service and Answers for Living everyone to attend the monthly Healing Service for individual
Sunday School class which has enriched our lives and brought prayers and healing. Everyone needs prayer to help them with
us closer to God. physical, mental, and everyday life stress.
At the last Healing Service we were introduced to I Kings I feel the attention and prayers given me and my wife by
19:4-13, in which Elijah is complaining to God and had given the FPCO staff and elders has been invaluable in deepening
up. God answers him by saying “What are you doing here, Eli- my faith in God and realizing that I have many blessings to be
jah? Instead of serving the Lord, he wanted the Lord to take his grateful for and that these trials and tribulations given me over
life and was not willing to move forward. Like so many of us the last 3 years were God’s way of trying to grow my religious
do, Elijah was complaining to the Lord, which is selfish and un- roots deep and strong. n
productive. We felt like we had been complaining to the Lord

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NEWS & NOTICES
Sympathy to: FPCO Website Improvements Coming
Grady Cooksey, Sr., on the death of his wife, Jean Cooksey, • Mobile version of popular pages of FPCO.org for viewing
on March 4, 2008. Mrs. Cooksey was the mother of Grady on a cell phone. Pages such as Preaching Schedule
Cooksey, Jr. (Judy) and grandmother of Cara Batterson. will be available on your cell phone - if your phone has
Jeanette McClellan on the death of her husband, William internet capabilities.
“Bill” McClellan on March 12, 2008. • Better search capabilities. Search will be more intuitive.
The friends and family of Grady Wease, who died March 27, • Easier to use main navigation including a menu listing
2008. that will appear when a section is highlighted for quicker
navigating.
Rick and Jill Dye on the death of his father, Roy Titus Dye,
on April 1, 2008. Mr Dye was the grandfather of Lindsey, • Increased website width for a larger viewing area. This
Chandler, Lisl, Annys, Olivia and Hunter. means less scrolling to find the items you are looking for.

C. Jeffrey Arnold on the death of his mother, Evelyn Arnold, • The online sermon section will have an area where you
on March 14, 2008. can type in notes while watching a sermon and then
email them to yourself or print them out.
Congratulations to: • Low bandwidth option for viewing sermons online for
Emily and Dyar McComb on the birth of their son, Carter users with a slower internet connection such as dial-up.
Thomas McComb, on December 31, 2007. Proud grandpar-
ents are Pam and Dave McComb and Aunt Colby McComb. A Special Dedication
Morgan Marie Swanson and Matthew Jackson Allen who The FPCO Communication Team dedicates this issue to our
were married on February 2, 2008. Morgan is the daughter friend and colleague, Rob Bullock, who for many years served
of E. Daniel and Ella S. Swanson. the FPCO Communications Ministry and as editor of this news-
letter. We wish Rob well in his new role as the Director of Mis-
Holly and Seth Swanson on the birth of their daughter, sion Communications for the PC(USA) in Louisville, KY.
Mackenzie Smith Swanson, on February 28, 2008. The
proud grandparents are E. Daniel and Ella S. Swanson May 4 Brings a Second Genesis Service at 8:30am
Anne Lanier Stewart and Eric Matthew Bartels who were A second Genesis service begins at 8:30am with Dr. Swanson
married March 15, 2008 in the Sanctuary. preaching. This will alleviate the 11am service overcrowding
and provide room for more guests. Sunday mornings now offer
Young at Heart Gathers on May 7 four outstanding worship opportunities. See you Sunday!
All older adults are invited to join us at 10:30am in Lee Fel-
lowship Hall for a program and lunch. Our guest speaker
will be Leigh Swanson. Cost is $8 per person and reserva- March ‘08 Giving Snapshot
tions are required. Please call Sharon to RSVP Today at General Operating Contributions Budgeted Surplus
407-423-3441 x1159! (Deficit)
March Gifts $486,041 $481,489 $(4,552)
Year-to-date Gifts $1,902,019 $1,775,132 $123,887
Telecare Ministry Offers Training
Cash In Bank $1,301,917 Line of Credit $0
What is telecare? Join us May 6, from 6:30-8:30pm, in the
Sterchi Conference Room. Come and find out what happens Immeasurably More Outstanding Balance $6,564,649
when we make our phone calls, how we do it (very easy!!), March Gifts $84,169
what we say (also very easy!) and why we can’t wait ‘til the Year-to-date Gifts $470,066
next month! Come and be an integral part of this vital minis-
Contact Dr. Keith Wright for a full revenue & expense summary
try! For more information, contact Rev. Sam Knight.

12 | www.fpco.org
FAREWELL RECEPTION FOR

DR. CAIN

With mixed emotions, we wish Dr. Bill Cain godspeed as he leaves
FPCO to pursue God’s call at Bethel Presbyterian Church near Char-
lotte, North Carolina. We are sad for the loss of his gifts and person-
ality here, but excited for the calling God has placed on his heart
to serve as a senior pastor in a new setting. It has been just a few
years since Bill joined the ministry staff here, and in that time he
has touched countless lives through the Alpha Class, First Connec-
tions classes, Bethel Bible Studies, his preaching and teaching, and
numerous other ministry initiatives. We are so grateful for his time
here and for the caring, compassionate ministry he has offered.

Please join us on Sunday, May 25, to wish
Bill and his wife Jill farewell. A reception
will be held in King Parlor following the
11:00 services.

www.fpco.org | 13
By the Word
of Their Testimony
– the Ministry of

by Kristin Johnson

It takes a lot of courage to stand up in front of a group of Bible-reading, Jesus-loving, Jolly-Joe
your peers at church and confess to struggling with sexual Christians that I am addicted to sex,
addiction, same-sex attraction, and the effects of sexual pornography, objectification of women,
abuse. However, that is exactly what happened for four and promiscuity. They will never understand.
weeks in a row in Altared, FPCO’s Young Adult Sunday GOD: Look, just have faith in me and I will get you
school class. through it. Your story, and more importantly,
your rigorous honesty, will help people in
Listen to the words of one young man who, with much trepi- that room. You may never know who it will
dation, agreed to speak in front of the class: help or how it well help them, but I need
I remember the conversation I had with God when you to do this.
he asked me to share my story in the Altared class.
It went something like this: This young man shared how for many years he had lived
GOD: I need you to share your story and struggles a double life, always hiding his sexual addiction, until two
with sex addiction in the Altared Class next years ago he went to a 12 – step group and began to be hon-
month. est with God, himself, and with other men and women in the
group. However, he said that even though he was in recov-
ME: Um, what?
ery, he still felt like he was living a double life. He explains:
GOD: You heard me. I could share my struggle with those in my 12-Step
ME: Come on man, are you serious?? group, but I still had to keep it hidden from my
GOD: I am God, of course I am serious. brothers and sisters in Christ. “Surely this is not
what Christianity is about!” I often thought.
ME: God, there is no way I can tell a room full of

14 | www.fpco.org
This man discovered that when he stepped out in the truth as we were driving along I kept putting the
faith in obedience to God and shared his testimony, talk off. I kept saying to the Lord, “How about the
he was accepted with compassion and gratitude. Each next light Lord?” The Holy Spirit said, “Do it now,
week the class heard from men and women who had do it now,” and I could not put it off any longer. I
the courage to share their struggles - not only sexual talked with [my daughter] and I am glad I did. We
addiction but with unwanted same-sex attraction and talked about [her struggle with homosexuality and
the effects of sexual abuse. the things we had been reading from Exodus Inter-
national and OneByOne] and how it impacted each
A young man who attended the classes responded: of our lives and my wife’s, opening our eyes wider
The testimonies were incredibly honest and than I thought they could open. [My daughter]
sometimes painful to hear. We don’t like to talk agreed that it did her as well. My wife and I are in
about sexual addiction or sin, unless it refers continuous prayer for [our daughter] as well as all of
to “someone else.” By having several members our kids, and we are praying for the many kids that
from the class openly share their own struggles, are struggling with same-sex attraction. God Bless
it brought the message home in a real and pow- and I will definitely keep in touch.
erful way.
There is much that we can do as parents and as a church
A young woman in the class shared: body to prevent ourselves and our children from struggling
with sexual brokenness. The first step is to be honest with
It is very encouraging to hear how others have
one another and share our stories.
found healing through Christ. This has given me
hope that I, too, can be healed from poor sexual
decisions and that God wants to accompany me
on that journey. He has not turned His back on
me. He wants to free me from the shame. Some helpful resources and
upcoming events are:
John writes in Revelation 12:11 that they “overcame 1) A Parent’s Guide to Preventing
by the Blood of the Lamb and the word of their tes- Homosexuality by Joseph Nicolosi
timony.” Honesty creates intimacy, and being hon- and Linda Ames Nicolosi.
est with one another, especially with our children, is
2) NARTH www.narth.com (Great articles
important in preventing them from struggling with
on healing homosexuality)
sexual brokenness in their own lives.
3) Love Won Out Conference coming
For the second year, Jonathan Christian has asked me to to FPCO June 7, 2008.
come and speak about homosexuality to our church’s high (See www.lovewonout.org for more
school students. I shared my own testimony of struggling details or call the church.)
with unwanted same-sex attraction, and I showed a video 4) Exodus International has a website
of young man and woman who talked about how they found for youth and resources for parents:
healing from homosexuality. This DVD is called Truth www.exodusyouth.net
and Tolerance and is distributed by Exodus Internation-
5) OneByOne’s office is on the second
al (www.exodus.to), an FPCO mission partner along with
floor of the Edington Ministry Center.
OneByOne. Jonathan shared with me:
My email is kjohnson@fpco.org. Our
Not only have the students had their eyes opened,
website has a “ministry partners” page
but I have as well. Kristin’s message provided me
with links to ministries that address
with more insight into a subject that has always been
sexual addiction and the effects of
a bit of an enigma to me. Now, I can confidently and
sexual abuse. www.oneby1.org.
lovingly speak into the topic of homosexuality and
better help individuals dealing with this struggle. 6) Our church and ministry can refer
you to counselors who understand
Along with teaching, I have been privileged to speak one- issues of sexual brokenness and can
on-one with parents who have children who experience provide help.
same-sex attraction. Here is an excerpt from an email:
Hi Kristin, I just had to drop you a line...I had a
heart to heart with [my daughter], and to tell you

www.fpco.org | 15
Women’s Ministry Council
Looking at LIFE
The Women’s Ministry Council has a strong desire to en- June 2. Rev. Donna Mc-
gage as many women as possible in ministry and service. We Clellan will facilitate this
hope you will prayerfully consider opportunities to serve on six-week study. Another
project/event committees as we seek many women to share Beth Moore study, Believ-
their talents and gifts with the body of believers. The friend- ing God, will be held on
ships we create while extending the love of Christ to others Monday evenings beginning June 2. This eleven-week study
as well as the fellowship we enjoy nurtures our faith journey will be facilitated by Lori Needham. Registration forms are
which results in a desire to be engaged with Christ – to serve available on our website at fpco.org/register or in the EMC
others in our church, neighborhood and the world. Welcome Center.

Bible Study Women’s Retreat
Walk
ing with
Realizing all women have different life circumstanc- Sometimes, you need to get away from the daily routine
Jesus Walking with
Jesus Walking with es and seasons of life, connecting with other believers and purposefully engage in nurturing your own faith journey.
Jesus Walking with Jesus
Walking with Jesus Walking with
Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
through Bible study opportunities provides ways Take a weekend, a journey of discovery of the God who is ever
esus Walking with Jesus Walking with
sus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus to develop a life of following Christ. Please con- present, revealed in all the works around us but too seldom
lking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking
h Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus sider attending one of the two studies being
king with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
recognized because we are too busy to see. Join other women
offered at the church. Living Free, Beth
king with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
king with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus as our retreat speaker, Rev. Donna McClellan, guides us on a
lking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking
Moore study, will be held on Thurs-
th Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking
path of connection to the One who adores us and beckons us to
day mornings at 9:30am beginning
with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with follow Him! Register on-line at www.fpco.org/register.
Jesus Walking w ith Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
Jesus Walking w ith Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
Jesus Walking w ith Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
Jesus Walking w ith Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking
with Jesus W alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
Jesus Walking w ith Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
Jesus W alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
Jesus W
Jesus W
alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking
For more information about the retreat or Women’s
with Jesus W
Jesus W
Walking
alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
Ministry, please contact any of the council members
Jesus W
Walking
alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with
or Lori Needham at the church.
Jesus W alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus
Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking
with Jesus W alking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus Walking with Jesus

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FPCO Main Office: ( 407-423-3441 Please Deliver by April 26, 2008
www.fpco.org

Traditional Services: 8:30am & 11am
Genesis Service: 8:30am & 11am
Sunday School: 9:45am