What People Think About Us ....

What do people think about First Presbyterian Church? Here are some of their thoughts....

   
“First Sunday of Advent, I attended services at First Presbyterian Church. It was a rich experience with warm greetings, Advent candle lighting, meaningful congregational and choral music, and a sermon on ‘holy waiting‘ that had a sticky factor. Pastor Matt Schultz stressed that Advent was about waiting. As Schultz concluded his message, he urged the congregation to consider waiting a few minutes before eating meals, and waiting again before laying heads on pillows before going to sleep, to ponder what waiting and Advent’s theme of waiting really means. In my mind it was an excellent application of his remarks.”
Chris Thompson

From: Advent and Christmas are much more than consumerism
Alaska Life: Church Visits
Alaska Dispatch News , Saturday, December 10, 2016, p. A-6.
   
“Great energy, great people. Lots of activities that help make our community a better place to live, if you’re into that kind of thing, which I am. And if you’re not, that’s okay too. I’ve yet to fall asleep during a sermon... I started attending a couple of years ago and plan on joining. I’m not one who can brag about perfect attendance. But when I do attend, I’m glad I did.
Katherine Pfeiffer

on our Facebook page, September 15, 2015.
“As the holiday season progresses, various faith organizations are gearing up to help others in our community. A pair of significant events this weekend are worthy of note. The Reform Jewish community and local Presbyterians are holding separate, but similar events this Sunday to raise funds for worthy organizations.
....

A similar event to Mitzvah Mall is First Presbyterian Church’s Alternative Gift Market (AGM). Open from 9:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday,  (except during worship, which begins at 11 a.m. and lasts about an hour) it offers gifts from a variety of mission partners First Presbyterian Church, Presbyterian Church (USA), and Yukon Presbytery. Now in its third year, it’s slightly different from Mitzvah Mall.

According to organizer Danna Larson, the market is  “a combination of alternative giving and supporting agencies by buying fair trade products. We offer a fair and just way for our congregation to shop at Christmas, either through organizations that sell fair trade products or those that provide opportunities for one to donate in someone else's name.”

This year’s partners include Bean’s Café, Downtown Soup Kitchen, Anchor Presbyterian Church (homeless ministry), Presbyterian Hunger Fund Equal Exchange (fair trade coffee, teas and chocolate), Yukon Presbytery: Gambell (new church building), Haiti Artisan Network, Presbyterian Church (USA) Gift Catalog (featuring different projects to donate to in honor of someone), Pal Craftaid, Emergency Cold Weather Ministry at First Presbyterian Church, Two Spirits Carving Studio (cooperative studio for Native artists), and Presbyterian Women.

For refreshments, Presbyterian Women are hosting a Christmas bake sale. A soup lunch that raises support for Downtown Soup Kitchen will be offered. In years past, I've purchased Haiti gifts and a variety of soups; both make great alternative gifts.

Curious about the focus of their ministry, I asked Larson for more information. “AGM is an appropriate nonprofit response to consumerism and provides a fair and just way for our congregation members to shop at Christmas and choose gifts that will make an important difference in helping people in our community, our nation and our world,” Larson said “In addition, congregation members have an opportunity to learn about the ministries represented and the importance of supporting those who are involved in fair trade practices. Often times, connections made at the AGM lead to other involvement in the local agencies represented.”

First Presbyterian Church is located at 616 W. 10th Ave.

It’s heartening to see individual faith organizations, like these, stepping up to the plate to infuse new spirit and meaning into a holiday season that has become devoid of meaning for many. If your organization is doing something innovative in the spirit of the season, like these two congregations, let me know. I’m always happy to share the joy.
Chris Thompson

From: Two faith traditions, one common cause—helping others
Alaska Life: Church Visits
Alaska Dispatch News , Saturday, December 2, 2016, p. A-6.