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March, 2008 Newsletter

• Lenten and Holy Week Events
Easter flower orders will be due March 10 (see form on page 4). Lenten dramas will continue through Palm Sunday (March 16). We will have our traditional Maundy Thursday (March 20) soup and bread supper, with communion during the worship service following. The Community Good Friday (March 21) worship service will be held at noon. Communion will again be served during the service on Easter Sunday (March 23).

• Fellowship Events
Games & Snacks Night – Saturday, March 8
Bring your favorite games (board & action) and snacks to Fellowship Hall on March 8 for an evening of fun and fellowship between 6-8 p.m. This is an evening for young and old alike, and it’s an especially great opportunity to invite friends, neighbors, and co-workers.

• Easter Picnic – Sunday, March 23
Following Easter worship, we’ll gather at Giant City State Park for the now annual picnic. Food and fellowship begins at 1 p.m. Watch bulletin announcements for the number of the shelter that is reserved. Bring a dish to share as well as your own table service and drinks. Please indicate what you will be bringing on the sign-up sheet in the narthex, so that the meal will be balanced. As you are able, please bring lawn chairs, fire wood, and outdoor games. Dress is casual (and quite possibly we may need to bundle up!). If you have family or friends visiting for Easter, bring them along. All are welcome!

The Church Newsletter for March shows the Restaurant Group dinner scheduled for Thursday March 20. Because this is Maundy Thursday the dinner has been rescheduled for one week later to Thursday, March 27, 5:30 PM at Tres Hombres. If you plan to be there please let Bob Leigeber know at 549-7513 or 529-3885.

Lindell Koonce 510 Koonce Road
Murphysboro, IL 62966 618 457 5357

• Godspell – Saturday, April 26
Join us for an evening of entertainment at John A. Logan for the performance of Godspell at 8 p.m. on April 26. Sign-up sheets will be available in the narthex and will include the ticket price. More details will be available in the April newsletter.

The main topic of our meeting will be the possibility of forming the group “Adult Children of Aging Parents”. There are so many areas of concern. For example:

Dealing with Aging Family Residing Afar
Effects of Being an Adult Child of Aging Parents
Frauds and Scams on Elderly Parents
Activities to Improve Quality of Life anYS Care
Developing a Support System

If you have any questions or comments about such a group, please speak to anyone on our team: Phyllis Beck, Harry Davis, Flossie Langin, Karen Hippensteel (Elder), Dorothy Baker (Elder).

Elena Balaita and Bob Luebbers invite you to help them celebrate their wedding.

When: Saturday, March 15, 2008
Where: First Presbyterian Church
Time: 11:30 a.m. – Wedding ceremony in the sanctuary followed by a reception in Fellowship Hall at 1 p.m.

A sit-down dinner will be served and music will be provided by the acclaimed Swinging Seniors.

Come help us celebrate. RSVP by March 5:
Elena’s phone – 618-924-3116
Bob’s phone – 618-985-6175

The 2008 RELAY FOR LIFE will be held at SIU’s McAndrew Stadium on Saturday, April 26 beginning at 6 p.m. Cindy Buys and Reona Daly are coordinating the team from First Presbyterian Church of Carbondale, otherwise known as the “Presbyteamians.” Please mark your calendars and plan to walk with us to raise money and awareness in the fight against cancer. There is a $100 fee to register our team. If you are interested in donating the $100 registration fee, please let Cindy or Reona know right away.

The Worship Ministry has been receiving some questions about how Janice’s upcoming sabbatical will affect our worship service. Below we’ve addressed two of the most commonly asked questions; if you have additional questions, feel free to ask them!

How will the pulpit be filled on the 17 Sundays during Janice’s sabbatical?

The pulpit will be filled using both internal and external resources:
· 1 Sunday filled by Dick Malmburg, Executive Presbyter
· 5 Sundays by First Presbyterian Lay individuals
· 8 Sundays by same ordained Presbyterian minister (for the sake of continuity and also to serve communion)
· 2 Sundays by local pulpit supply.
· 1 Sunday will have a musical message from the choir
These arrangements are well under way. Four Sundays have been confirmed with an additional seven nearly finalized. The goal of the Worship Ministry is to have the pulpit filled every week prior to Janice’s sabbatical.

Who will plan the order of the service and put together the bulletin each week? Again, plans are in the works! After some instruction from Janice, a team will work together to plan the elements of each week’s service. The necessary information will be given to Barb so that she can print the bulletins for us as always. Pat Manfredi and Alisa Simpson will be serving on this team, as well as several others. Much of the planning will take place before Janice’s sabbatical. Elders Steve Dawson, Bob Luebbers & Alisa Simpson

Gateways to God’s Galaxy is the Christian Education program for children from age 4 through the 5th grade. Every Sunday morning they gather in room 140 about 10:30 before going to their activity for the day. Learning about Palm Sunday is being done via music, computers, art, and Bible Study this February and March. Because of Spring Break in the schools, and our celebration of Palm Sunday and Easter, the Gateways program will be modified March 9, 16, and 23.

Kids In Christ is an extra activity for the Gateways children. They meet on occasional Sunday afternoon for special activities. Beth Forsberg coordinates those activities. They can participate in Relay for Life, and go on a spring hike.

The Youth Group includes the children in grades 6 through 12. Every Sunday morning, their Christian Education is led by Diane Cash. These days, they are enjoying the newly refurbished Youth Room: orange walls, black ceiling, new carpet, and some subtle changes. Take a look. A couple of times a month, the youth meet on Sunday afternoons for other group activities. Their involvement in the Valentine Dance was wonderful, so-o-o-o SWEET. How fortunate we are to have this group and their participation.

Jitendra wrote to us in January. Perhaps you saw his letter on the bulletin board near Fellowship Hall. Along with the letter, was a photo of Jitendra and his family. He has a younger sister, Yosada, and an older brother, Raja. Yosada is two years younger; his brother, three years older. His father and mother are also in the photo. His father is 30 years older than Jitendra; his mother, 20 years older. His father has a job. His mother takes care of the house and children, and also grows vegetables in their small garden. They live in Varrat, India, a town in the state of Orissa on the eastern coast of the country.

Jitendra Gahan and his family, he is on the left.

A letter came from The Christian Children’s Fund, through which we sponsor Jitendra. It told us that Jitendra is in school. He enjoys playing with his friends. Jitendra says in the letter, “ May God bless you.”

Thank you all for remembering Jitendra and the entire Gahan family in Varrat, India. Every Sunday morning, the children in the Gateways program, give an offering to help support Jitendra and his family. You are welcome to add to that offering.

Junior - Senior High Youth Group Activities for March 2008:

The Youth Group will meet on March 2 in Fellowship Hall at church from 5:30-7:30 p.m. to make dinner and have a meeting.

On Saturday, March 15, also at 5:30 p m., the Youth Group will meet again in Fellowship Hall to make pretzels for Palm Sunday. We will give away the pretzels and ask for donations after the service on Palm Sunday, March 16. On Easter Sunday, March 23, the Youth Group has been asked to be the greeters. Please arrive early for worship that morning. The youth are also invited to attend the church picnic at Giant City State Park at 1 p.m.

As always, if you have any questions, please see Cindy Buys or Jesse Danley.

Souper Bowl Sunday
Thank you to everyone who made Souper Bowl Sunday such a great success! We had lots of fun and hope that you enjoyed your soup. Thanks to your incredible generosity, the youth raised over $1,800 for the Food Pantry!

Valentine’s Dance and Desserts
The youth would also like to thank everyone for their generous donations for the desserts and beverages at the Valentine’s Dance on February 15. We hope to use those funds towards a mission trip later this year.

The Restaurant Group will be getting together for food and fellowship at Tres Hombres Restaurant on March 20 at 5:30 p.m. Let Bob Leigeber (549-7513 or 529-3885) know if you plan to be there.

On Saturday, March 15, also at 5:30 p m., the Youth Group will meet again in Fellowship Hall to make pretzels for Palm Sunday. We will give away the pretzels and ask for donations after the service on Palm Sunday, March 16. On Easter Sunday, March 23, the Youth Group has been asked to be the greeters. Please arrive early for worship that morning. The youth are also invited to attend the church picnic at Giant City State Park at 1 p.m.

Don’t forget that Vision Shirts and Mugs are available. Your donations are invited (suggested: Shirt -$10.00, Mug - $7.50, Combo - $15.00)

March 2, 9, 16—Lenten Study Continues

Millions of people throughout the world turn to the Myers- Briggs Type Indicator™ to guide their career choices, improve their relationships, and resolve conflicts. In this book, two experts in the field, Sandra Krebs Hirsh and Jane A. G. Kise, help readers discover the approach to spirituality that is most natural for them; past \spiritual experiences and what made them joyful, hollow, or even painful; and new spiritual paths that add fullness to life even in the midst of difficulties. Leaders: Jane Swanson and Janice West. It is never too late to join our discussion!

March 30, April 6, 13 -- O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing!

From the Church’s earliest days music has played a central part in the worship and spiritual lives of Christians. Join us for an exploration of this musical tradition that looks at what we have lost, what we have kept, and what we might be hearing in the future. Leaders: Susan Davenport and Kathy Manfredi. Don’t miss it!

Stewardship led everyone to believe that the new Sanctuary lighting was imminent, and as of this date there is not much physical evidence of anything happening. But not so!! Some preliminary wiring in the basement has been accomplished, the fixtures and bulbs are all here at the church, and the seeming ‘no progress’ can be attributed to the usual, but still very frustrating, unforeseen delays caused by realizing at the last minute that we, in fact, don’t have everything we need. As of this writing, all problems are solved and the visible and perhaps disruptive work will be underway in a matter of days.

Carlyn Zimmerman and Sarah Wiggins, both students of Susan Davenport, were selected as members of the collegiate repertoire choir of the Central Division convention of the American Choral Directors Association. Approximately 50 students from Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio make up the choir. Selection to the choir is based on teacher recommendations. It is a considerable honor for two students from SIUC to be part of this distinguished group.

Even though the Preschool was not in session for three days because of ice and snow they were able to have their Valentine’s Days parties the day after Valentine’s Day. Valentine’s were exchanged and special treats were had by those in attendance. The Frogs, Tadpoles and Polliwogs made Valentines to give their parents.

There is a new student in the Tadpoles class which brings the total for that class up to 12. All three classes are starting to work on the class paintings for the Scholarship Dinner. The paintings are in demand by parents and friends of the Preschool. The Dinner is April 4th from 6-9 p.m.

We have had two visitors, The first was Officer Mathis with McGruff the crime dog they came to talk about being safe. The second visitor was fromthe Fire Department and the arson dog named Pal. Pal showed the children what he could do. The children had fun with both of these visitors.

We had our annual Valentine’s Day dance and party. The children dressed up in their best clothes and had lots of fun.

The three-year-olds and the preschoolers took a field trip to Dr Durr’s dentist office. There they showed the children all kinds of things from how to brush there teeth to Mr. Thirst.

We have scheduled our annual Easter egg hunt and party for March 20 if you can come and join us.

We also do a trike-a-thon for St. Jude and this year it will be Friday, March 28. If you would like to help out by counting laps, let us know. We would appreciate your help.

Let’s do it again! Last year’s Church Women United World Hunger Sale set a record, earning $13,129.69 for nine local and six worldwide agencies that feed hungry people. With so much need among our neighbors near and far, how can we not do it again?

The Sale is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, April 11-12, at the Newman Catholic Student Center, 715 S. Washington, Carbondale. The hours are 12 noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.

In addition to being a giant yard sale, the Sale features an auction of antiques, collectibles and much more, including some popular limestone planters. It will be held Saturday at 10 a.m. Gorgeous hanging and bedding plants from McNitt’s Greenhouses are another Saturday feature. Snacks, sandwiches and baked goods will be sold both days.

Donations of usable items of all sorts are needed. Donations of plants, baked goods, and auction items are particularly welcome. If you have something special to donate, large or small, that might be considered for the auction, call Chair Margie Parker at 549-7193 by April 1 so it can be advertised to attract high bidders!

If you like to help others and can spare some time April 9-12, please sign up with your church coordinator or call Margie at 549-7193.

Save the dates, clean out your closets, check whether you have a green or white thumb (gardening or baking) and sign up to help us have another great Sale.

According to Jerry Stroud in the STL Post Dispatch, the law allowing people over 70to make charitable contributions of their mandatory IRA distribution and not treat the contribution as income has been extended thru the year 2008. Our announcement of this last year resulted in a tremendous and generous response. We are pleased to announce that the same opportunity is available again this year.