Dear FPC—
I am so proud of this congregation! I am grateful for your support and care for our staff, for our building and (most of all!) for our neighbors. Our outdoor worship last weekend was a lovely and meaningful time. The Organ Concert on Sunday was a terrific kickoff to our 150th Anniversary celebration. All of that happened because of YOU. We are collecting items for Homewarming Kits for our Homeless Friends—we are making at least 150 kits in honor of our 150 years of ministry so far. I am also excited about how many of you have already signed up to participate in Immerse Beginnings. There is literally nothing like reading God’s Word—and doing it so we can learn and discuss it together is particularly powerful. It is not too late to sign up and our books are here and available to pick up. We will be doing the first week of readings the week of September 12. I love how our refurbished main floor is looking (thank you Lisa, Shannon, Karla, Mike, Andy and Nathan!! Thank you Squeak Squad!!) and I am astounded at our beautifully refinished sign that is now near the C St main door (thank you Bob Cook!!). Your generosity, hard work and commitment are inspiring.
Many activities are good and a sign of a healthy, vigorous congregation. But busyness is not the goal. Busyness can even be a distraction from the goal! Our goal is to become more like Jesus—to reflect Jesus’ love into the world. Each of us as individuals and all of us as a congregation are called to follow Jesus and let him shape us to be more and more like him. That is why we worship, pray, study the Bible, make sandwiches, make phone calls, reach out to care and more. As we step into this busy fall let’s keep first things first—Jesus, then Others, then You (that spells JOY!). I hope you will set apart special time to pray and read scripture and listen to what Jesus may be calling you to do at this time. Let His Spirit refresh and renew and energize you. As we all get better at stopping, at “wasting time with Jesus”, and at listening for His nudges, who knows what God will do through us! I bet we can make more than 150 homewarming kits!

Thanking God for You!
Pastor Steve

Dear FPC—
School is underway, there is (sometimes!) a little snap in the air, plans for the fall are cranking up. I love the promise of new things! New activities, new people to meet, new experiences. I hope you will join us as we jump into the end of summer and the beginning of fall! Here are just a few things THIS WEEKEND!
Outdoor worship THIS Saturday, up Millcreek Canyon at the Terraces. Bring your own Picnic with a casual time of worship at 6.
Worship on Sunday morning—Pastor Chris will lead us as we see the great story of God’s redemption played out in the end of the Book of Ruth
The 150th Anniversary Organ Concert on Sunday evening at 7 pm—both in person and on line! This will rock your socks off!
Coming up in a few weeks are the Women’s Retreat, the Youth Retreat, the Avenues Street Fair, and the launch of our Immerse Beginnings Study. Actually ALL of those things are the same weekend 🙂 September 10-12! Choose your adventure and join us!

I am excited about Immerse Beginnings. We will get to see the great stories that lay the foundation for the whole Bible and see how God’s rescue mission was put into action so long ago. Visit this page for more information and to order a book or sign up for a group!
Immerse – First Presbyterian Church – Salt Lake City (fpcslc.org)

I can’t wait to see you soon!

Pastor Steve

Dear FPC—
The beginning of School is here. I never really got used to school starting in August, but whether it is now or in two weeks, school, fall, and everything that comes with it are upon us. Even all through my work career (so far!) this time of year has marked the kickoff of a new time of busyness and productivity after a more relaxed summer time.
I know some of our students started school this week (!) and more are starting next week. I have to say that the weather certainly seems to be doing its bit to make it feel like fall!
I am excited about the fall we have coming up at First Pres— Immerse Beginnings (starting September 12), our choir returning from break, the Avenues Street Fair, and most of all, our 150th Anniversary and all of the celebrations we will have as part of that. I hope you will be a part of it!
I came across these prayers for people returning to schools and wanted to share them with you Collect Prayers for Back to School | Churches for the Sake of Others: C4SO

Here are prayers for parents and teachers::

A PRAYER FOR PARENTS
O Lord, you who promise to guide us through the wilderness and to protect us through the storm, we ask that you would make us wise where we cannot clearly see the way forward, make us brave where we feel afraid, make us strong in the face of our weakness, and make possible what to us seems impossible, so that we might joyfully entrust ourselves and our children into your tender care in these trying and troubling times. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR TEACHERS
O Lord, you who have called and equipped the teachers in our community, we pray for them today. Watch over them, provide for them, guide them, sustain them. May you be their sun and shield, so that they might do the work that you have entrusted to them and sense your care in these uncertain times. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
May God bless you in whatever adventures this fall holds for you!
I hope that you can join us in worship on Sunday, where we’ll learn more from Ruth and see how God’s love shows up in unexpected ways.

Pastor Steve

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