Christmas Cantata Rehearsals Wednesday 6:30pm

The Mystery and the Majesty
The Christmas Cantata at First Presbyterian has and is a fun time for singers to gather for 12 weeks to prepare for sharing the Good News through music. The Christmas Cantata being planned for this year is “the Mystery and the Majesty” by Joseph M. Martin. From the jubilant glories to gentle manger lullabies, this inspirational cantata celebrates the wonder and splendor of Christmas! Traditional carols and newly composed seasonal anthems blend with thoughtful narration to help create a meaningful experience for our community of faith. Titles include: A Christmas Flourish; Carol of Longing; Advent Jubilation; The Coming Joy; Upon a Midnight Clear; A Call to Christmas Joy; Journey to Bethlehem; The Beautiful Impossible and A Noel Proclamation. We have professionally made CDs available for learning parts. We could use a few more tenors.  Sign up sheet is in the music room or email Kris at

Cantata rehearsals: Wed evenings Sept. 12th through Dec. 12th
Dress rehearsal Sat., Dec. 15th at 10:30am
Performance Sun., Dec. 16th during 10:30am worship service

Kris Bartelt
Worship Coordinator, First Presbyterian

November Worship Team Minutes

Worship Minutes 11-16-2017

Present: Pastor Jack, Kris B., Cathy W., Linda D., Katie J.
Excused: Mike F., Dan M., Sara K.

Cathy W. (Session Liaison) led us in prayer.

Mission statement was shared. Christians serving, learning and loving.

Looked at the suggested budget. Shared budget addendum for audio visual equipment.

Mission Purpose
We serve by prayerfully discerning the spiritual life of the congregation and the needs of the world,
so we may craft joyful worship experiences that share divine compassion, nurture understanding,
foster confidence in God’s loving care and shape vision for each person’s personal life in Christ.

Learning from relevant models that teach the mutual exchange of loving respect to enhance healthy relationships.

Usher Training January 21, 2018
how to add wicks in the candle lights
in emergency exit the building as rapidly as possible, reminder of doors behind front wall
volunteers to light the candles and Christ candle

Christmas Eve prep
Considering options for candelabra with artificial candle flames for the 7pm Christmas Eve Service.

Puppet making is coming along. Youth will be doing papier-mȃché on Friday evening as part of their lock-in.
A workshop is scheduled to take place this coming Saturday to consider costumes and mechanical functions
of the puppets.

Dave W. will make sure individual candles are ready to go as well as the large Advent candles for the
Advent Log.

Upcoming Themes
Advent Theme – Prepare for the Light
Epiphany Theme – Reform and Reforming
January 28th – Congregational Meeting
Lent Theme – Mourning and Loss, Learning to Let it Go
April 1st – Easter
April 29th — Confirmation
May, 6th thru May 27th  – Time of Thanksgiving
Summer Theme – What do People need to Process?
Building 20 years old

Supply Pastors – January 7th, Sam Hamilton-Poore
January 14th, Darren Beachy

Worship Playground presently on the back burner as education is focusing on integrating Youth Praise Band and Classrooms accommodating special needs.

Next meeting Thursday, January 4th, 2018

November Creative Arts Minutes

Creative Arts November 2, 2017
Present: Pastor Jack, Deb C., Sara K., Jennifer Z, Kris B, Deb H.
Excused: Barb M., Joanne M., Kim B., Lynn M., Beth S.


Pastor Jack opened the meeting with prayer.

Opening Slide for Advent /Christmas
Team review Christmas Images submitted by Deb C. – slide #10  (see below)

Puppet Worship
Discussion regarding upcoming puppet workshop. Supplies we have amongst us, what others might bring etc.

Block off back part of Fellowship Hall as a production area.

Distinct voices for the Kings, touch base with Noah B. regarding distortion of voices.

5pm Worship Service
Reading of Matthew passage. Dialogue among puppets, bow to creche and then leave.
Have the puppets come in down center aisle turn at the chancel and then come up the side aisle. Need to watch the chandelier in the narthex and projector in center aisle.

Storage of Puppets
Stands to put the puppets in for storage and plastic over them – Bill K.?
5 gallon pail of sand to secure base of puppet? Stored in the basement?

Use them next year in the Fond du Lac Christmas Parade (First week in December)

Lighting of the Advent Candles
Advent candles need to be up on the Chancel for Advent and Christmas to avoid puppets and candles in the same place.

Candelabra for 7pm – check with colleagues and rent a shop.


Next meeting December 14th at 6:30 pm.

Message from Sept 24, 2017

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“Called to Eat Pruned Fruit Salad”
Luke 3:7-9
John 15:1-12
Ruling Elder Pedro Arellano

Click HERE to listen to the message.

Growth in Worship

Growth in Worship –
From the beginning, we were created to worship. The spirit within us yearns for something, someone bigger than we are. From the beginning God created women and men for community and called a people into covenant. Jesus called, commissioned, and promised to be present to a people gathered in His name. The Holy Spirit calls, gathers, orders, and empowers the new community of the covenant. To each member, that Spirit gives gifts for building up the body of Christ and for equipping it for the work of ministry. A Christians’ response to God is in community.
Directory For Worship: The Dynamics of Christian Worship – Chapter 1 – p.76

Growth in worship has nothing to do with how many people are gathered. True worship begins with a deep respect or reverence for God, a frame of heart, and attitude. Grady Scott writes that the Bible talks about several “kinds” of worship.
Ignorant Worship – Acts 17:23
1. “For as I was passing through and considering the objects of your worship, I (Paul) even found an altar with this inscription: TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Therefore, the One whom you worship without knowing, Him I proclaim to you;
2. Ignorant worship is not pleasing to God for he is not glorified by accident, but by a conscience praise of His name.
Do we enter worship in anticipation of wanting a closer relationship with God and those around us? Something as simple as Google worship might give you a jump start, a set of training wheels. We need to push ourselves beyond it is Sunday morning and this is where I go to do 59 holy divine minutes.
Vain Worship – Matthew 15:7-9
Hypocrites! Well did Isaiah prophesy about you, saying: “These people draw near to Me with their mouth, and honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. In vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men”
Many times, we find ourselves repeating words without really thinking about them. One definition of God that is used a lot this time of year is God in 3 persons blessed Trinity. Have you given that any real thought? Short of well of course, He is God!
In my confirmation instruction, there was one class we spent on trying to understand the Trinity. Father, Son and Holy Spirit all one. The Associate Pastor assigned to this task in desperation took a deep breath and explained it as follows: Your dad has a purpose and responsibility to you as someone who loves you, teaches you and had part in your creation. He is also your Grandpa’s son. As a son, he answers to his father, shows respect and continues his father’s instruction by relating to you. He is also your mother’s husband. As a husband, he completes their relationship and together they create, nurture and prepare you to go out into the world. Three purposes yet one person.

Perhaps you need another image. A few years back I led a book study. The book we read at one point was The Shack. In this book God is described as female and black. I did not struggle with this because I firmly believe as a human being here on earth I cannot possibly know what God looks like. One of the women in the study was moved to tears by the image because God the father was always a stumbling block for her. Her father had left the family when she was little and never had a loving relationship with him. Her mother however was a spiritual, loving presence in her life. She could relate to that. It comforted her to know God could be like the parent she had come to love. Her mother was a daughter to her grandmother, a mother to her and a wife to her father. The 3 in one made much more sense to her because someone defined God outside of the box we like to put him in.
Will Worship – Colossians 2:23
Worship that centers in satisfying self. This is the same type of worship that we often have today, that which calls for “audience centered” worship.
True Worship – John 4:23-24
“But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshippers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Remember my opening comment regarding Worship? From the beginning God created women and men for community and called a people into covenant. Jesus called, commissioned, and promised to be present to a people gathered in His name. The Holy Spirit calls, gathers, orders, and empowers the new community of the covenant. To each member, that Spirit gives gifts for building up the body of Christ and for equipping it for the work of ministry. Three purposes yet one person. Come Worship God with an open heart and mind. Come, now is the time to Worship as a community.

Kris Bartelt, Worship Coordinator

Prayer is the heart of Worship


Prayer is at the heart of Worship. Prayer may be spoken, sung, offered in silence, or enacted. Prayer grows out of the center of a person’s life in response to the spirit. Prayer is shaped by the Word of God in Scripture and by the life of the community of faith. In prayer we respond to God in many ways.

Adoration = praise God for who God is
Thanksgiving = we express gratitude for what God has done.
Confession = we acknowledge repentance for what we have done and left undone.
Supplication = we plead for ourselves and the gathered community
Intercession = we plead for others, on behalf of others, and for the whole world
Self-dedication = we offer ourselves to the purpose and glory of God.

If you are not sure where to start in prayer, pray the prayer Jesus taught his disciples, pray the Lord’s Prayer.  It has been referred to as the perfect prayer. It has all the above-mentioned pieces.

Our Father, who art in heaven hallowed be thy name,  (adoration)
thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven. (self-dedication)
Give us this day, our daily bread. (supplication)
And forgive us our sins (confession)
as we forgive those who sin against us (intercession)
For thine is the kingdom and the power and glory forever. Amen. (thanksgiving)

Matthew 6:9–13, Luke 11:2-4

Song Wrkshps


Our first New Song Workshop was help Sunday, January 29th with great success! 36 people attended. The goals of the workshop were threefold: 1) develop a greater understanding of why music holds such personal meaning for us, 2) develop a favorite-music profile for the church, and 3) begin constructing the lyrics for a song that encapsulates our LMPC journey over the past two years. To create a framework for discussion, we used Jeff Todd Titon’s Music Culture Model (from World’s of Music). This model is on display in the Fellowship Hall, inviting YOU to add your thoughts to our church-wide discussion. We also revealed the results of our favorite-song survey. A total of 104 people responded to the survey. 52 people chose a favorite song in the style of a pre-1900s hymn. 32 people chose a favorite song in the style of a song from 1900-1980s, and 17 people chose a song in the style of music from 1990s to the present. The next phase of our workshop will be held during the Sunday School hour on February 26th. We will choose a song-structure that can be played equally well with organ and our Praise Band. We will also flesh out more details of our song, and begin putting it to music. Once again, this workshop will be presented in a way that anyone can participate, not just musicians. Don’t worry if you missed the first workshop—you can still join us on February 26th. This is a COLLECTIVE effort to shape the future of who we want to be as a congregation, and we want YOU to be a part of that. And, of course, thanks to everyone who attended the first workshop and shared your inspiring stories!

Kristina Arellano

Sing a New Song Part 2, February 26, 2017
In Deuteronomy 27, right before Israel is about to enter the Promised Land (after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years), Moses reminds Israel about the covenant that God made with them on Mt. Sinai (back in Exodus). He reminds them how God took them out of a period of suffering and slavery, a very terrible period in the history of Israel, and freed them. However, Israel was quick to forget God’s commands and His salvation (which is why they ended up wandering for 40 years). So Moses reminds Israel that if they follow after God, loving Him, and keeping His commands, that God will bless them as they enter the Promised Land. Even though they are entering the Promised Land, the work is not done yet. They still have a lot to accomplish, but God will stand by them and help them on their journey, and as long they don’t stray away from Him, God will bless them, but if they do stray away from God, they will end up experiencing a lot of suffering all over again. So Moses tells them in Deut. 27:2-3 “2 When you have crossed the Jordan into the land the Lord your God is giving you, set up some large stones and coat them with plaster. Write on them all the words of this law when you have crossed over to enter the land the Lord your God is giving you, a land flowing with milk and honey, just as the Lord, the God of your ancestors, promised you.”

These large stones were set up to remind Israel about this covenant from Mt. Sinai. So in our church, we’re not going to use large stones. Instead we are going to write a song that will help us remember how our church went through a dark time. This song is going to represent our covenant with God. We still have a lot of work to do as a church, but God will help us on our journey as long as we follow Him.

And then in Ephesians 5:8, 15-20
For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Live as children of light 15 Be very careful, then, how you live—not as unwise but as wise,16 making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.17 Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is…18b Instead, be filled with the Spirit, 19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

So our church went through a dark period, but we have come out of the darkness, and must remember to make wise choices, being filled with the Spirit. God commands us that rather than living foolishly, we should spend our time “19 speaking to one another with psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit. Sing and make music from your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.” So our song that we are going to compose will help us to remember to make wise choices, and to live in a spirit of thankfulness that God never left our side during this experience.


Kristina Arellano

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