May 2023 Reverend Reflections

Hello First Presbyterian Church,

This is my last Reverend Reflection before my family and I depart for Ohio, and I want to use this space to simply say, “Thank you.” 

I am grateful to have had the opportunity to serve you and to know you these past five years. It has been a great privilege of mine to have served as your pastor, and I am thankful that you gave me this opportunity. You took a risk in hiring me as your pastor. I had never served as a pastor on staff at a church before First Presbyterian Church. My only experience had been as a chaplain in a hospital or as a pastoral intern, but by God’s grace you took a flier on me. For that I am profoundly grateful. This experience has changed my life.

It is my most sincere prayer that I have served you and our God well. I know my faults all too well, and I know that you also witnessed them in me. It is my comfort that God deals with me according to his grace and love, and I thank you for dealing with me in the same spirit. You bore with me and showed me love during my time at First Pres. I can only hope that I have honored your love through my labor on your behalf. 

May you continue to grow in the likeness of Christ long after I am gone and may the next pastor benefit from having served here as much as I have. I am confident of this hope, because I am confident of Christ’s work in you. 

You will always hold a special place in my heart and story, and you will always be in my prayers. I hold much love in my heart for you, First Presbyterian Church. Thank you.

The Lord bless and keep you, now and forever, world without end.

In Chirst,
Jonathan +

This Week at FPC

Spring Break Meet Up
For those around during spring break, we are going to have a bring your own picnic at the Bob Henry Park on March 22 at 5:00 p.m. We will meet at the pavilion by the main playground. All are welcome!

Church Information Survey

If you haven’t already, please fill out our brief survey, which includes questions from the CIF. This is the last day to complete the survey. 

Adult CE Survey

The Christian Education (CE) Committee has sent out personalized emails to the congregation to participate in the Adult CE survey. If you did not receive an email, you can still participate at and be sure to check with the church office to update your info. All surveys are anonymous.

Holy Week
Sunday, April 2 – Palm Sunday
Wednesday, April 5 – Stations of the Cross (6-7:30 p.m.)
Friday, April 7 – Good Friday Service (6 p.m.)
Saturday, April 8 – Easter Eggstravaganza (10:30 a.m.)
Sunday, April 9 – Community Sunrise Service at Chautauqua Amphitheater (6:30 a.m.); FPC Easter Sunday Service (10:30 a.m.)

Spring Break
No Sunday School, Youth Group, Family Gathering, or Evening Office from March 19-26.

Hidden Word Class
A 6-week scripture memory class for children 3rd grade and above, including middle schoolers on Wednesdays from 6-7 p.m. April 29 – May 3. Students will be challenged, as Psalm 119:11 says, to hide God’s word in their hearts. There will be prizes and an opportunity for students to share their word with the congregation. Please pre-register your students at so we know how many to expect. High School students who want to be helper-teachers can sign up there as well.

Easter Eggstravaganza
Mark your calendars for our annual Easter Eggstravaganza on Saturday, April 8 at 10 a.m. We’ll have fellowship, refreshments and an egg hunt for the kiddos. In the case of inclement weather, the egg hunt will be inside. We have many empty eggs from last year, but you can bring candy donations and place them in the gray baskets at each entrance now through April 2.

Stations of the Cross
Wednesday, April 5, we will have an Experiential Stations of the Cross downstairs in the classrooms for all ages. Walk through at your own pace anytime between 6-7:30 p.m. This will be the Family Gathering activity for the evening. The Hidden Word Class and those attending Evening Office are encouraged to go with their families after their class/office.

Youth Rummage Sale

As you do your spring cleaning, set aside and box up your donatable items for our youth’s final fundraiser! The youth will collect donated items to sell the week of April 23 and have a rummage sale during the Dogwood Festival.

This Week at FPC

One-Day VBS Registration
One Day VBS Registration is now open!
This year’s theme is “I Wonder…” where we’ll be wondering how we can spend time with God and exploring all the ways to know him better. Join us June 24 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., lunch provided. Visit to register your students today.

One-Day VBS Volunteers
Can you be a part of the 2023 One-Day VBS, Saturday, June 24, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.?

Here are some ways you can be involved:

  • Join the VBS planning team – We’ll meet a couple of times this month to plan out our schedule, activities, lessons, etc.
  • Volunteer as a group leader – We will have two groups of kids with two group leaders each. You escort them to each of the stations and act as crowd control at each station.
  • Volunteer as a station leader – Kids will rotate through stations like music, crafts, story, games. The station leader organizes and leads the kids and their group leaders through their station.
  • Volunteer in support roles – These are the heroes behind the scenes that prep the lunch, organize the supplies, pre-cut or prep any activities, help set up and transform the building to our theme, etc.

Host Homes

The Middle School Mix Conference is at JBU, but we need a couple of host homes for July 24-27. No meals needed, just space for sleeping bags and a bathroom for 4-5 students and a leader. Contract Dri if interested.

School Supplies Needed

Trisha and Oliver Posey will be traveling to Uganda in early June. They are receiving donations of supplies for Save Street Children Uganda, a ministry to street children that First Presbyterian Church has supported in the past. The ministry has an affiliated school and they are in need of school supplies (any supplies will do!), jump ropes, and children’s Bibles. If you would like to donate items please drop them off to the Poseys’ house (contact Trisha for address) by May 31. You can leave them on the front or back porch if the Poseys are not home. Please remember that there will be a weight limit with luggage, so the lighter the items the better! If you have any questions, feel free to contact Trisha at

Canopy NWA
Canopy NWA is a refugee resettlement agency that helps families as they arrive to the U.S and make a new home here. They need volunteers to be on co-sponsor teams that will help the family move into their house, get groceries, and learn about the community, etc. Co-sponsor teams are the “first friends” of our refugee families. Contact Caitlin Kretzer for more information or to get involved. 

We’re Hiring
Family Ministry is expanding with two new part-time positions. Check out for more information.

Summer Picnics in the Park
Join us this summer on the last Wednesday of each month for a bring your own Picnic in the Park. We will meet at Bob Henry Park [downtown] at 5:30 p.m. for play and fellowship! (May 31, June 28, July 26)

Visit our calendar for a full list of summer activities. 

Community Event

Amy Hannon - Churches Slide