2013 D.Thomason Grants

First Presbyterian Church Shreveport

First Presbyterian Church is blessed to have many members who have remembered the church through testamentary and life-time gifts to the Legacy Fund. These permanent gifts have enabled us to minister to the needs of others in the name of Jesus Christ above and beyond the work and gifts made possible through the church’s annual operating budget. D. Thomason is one member in particular whose testamentary gift has made possible the making of grants approaching $5,000,000 to support the work of our Outreach partners and Presbyterian ministries locally, nationally, and around the world.

D. Thomason grants for 2013 totaled $111,600. The recipients of the 2013 D. Thomason Grants were recognized and thanked for their good work during worship on February 9, 2014. Those receiving grants were:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, for the seminary’s capital campaign

Church of Bangladesh, to fund laptop computers for a number of the church’s pastors

First Presbyterian Church-Natchitoches, to help fund HVAC repairs and sanctuary lighting

Holmes Chapel Presbyterian Church-Monticello, AR, to fund a program to assist students to stay in school and graduate

Joy to the World Ministries, to help fund a secondary school project in Dzuwa region of Malawi

Montreat Conference Center, to fund a new LCD projector for Anderson Auditorium

Mo-Ranch Assembly Center, to remedy a particular accessibility issue at the King Dining Hall

Providence House, to replace futons at the Cotton St. facility

Volunteers for Youth Justice, to support its youth diversion programs

The ARC of Caddo-Bossier, to support its pre-school/daycare program

Common Ground Community, Inc., to fund a portion of the cost of replacing a floor in its main building

Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, to fund the replacement of sorting tables

Highland Center Ministries, LLC, to fund the purchase of school uniforms (Maggie Lee’s Closet) and support for men’s clothing closet

Hope for the Homeless, for furnishings for the main day room of the drop-in center at the new Hope Connections

Interfaith Pharmacy, for prescription medications for its clients

Literacy Volunteers, for computers and furnishings for its students

Martin Luther King Health Center, to fund an upgrade of its electronic medical records system

Samaritan Counseling Center, to help convert to an electronic records system

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Typhoon Haiyan

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The following information comes from the PC(USA) website:

Typhoon Haiyan left monumental devastation when it struck the central Philippines November 8, 2013. The storm, known as Yolanda in the Philippines, has been identified as one of the worst recorded typhoons in history. A CNN report states that Haiyan was stronger than both Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy combined.

At least 1,200 people have died, according to the Philippine Red Cross; but unconfirmed sources estimate more than 10,000 deaths. Hundreds of thousands of people are displaced.

Local sources and international news agencies report severe destruction with damaged roads and buildings, downed power lines and telecommunications, and flooded villages.

The damage to airports and roads is hampering initial relief efforts. A report from the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) states that roundtrip travel on the only cleared road which connects the airport to the city currently takes about six hours.

Hardest hit is the central Philippine city of Tacloban, which is said to be flattened and where hundreds of thousands of people have been displaced, but cities and towns in other parts of the Philippines are also facing huge losses. The areas hit cover already poverty-stricken communities, which have suffered from successive and simultaneous emergencies.

Six mission co-workers and four Young Adult Volunteers along with former moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow were in the Philippines when the storm struck. All of them are safe.

How you can Help
Give. Share your financial blessings by designating gifts to DR000012-Philippines. Individuals may give through their local Presbyterian congregation, online
( https://www.presbyterianmission.org/donate/make-a-gift/gift-info/DR000012/ ),
or by mailing a check to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) P.O. Box 643700 Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700. You can also text ‘PDA’ to 20222 to donate $10 for disaster response.

Act. Sign up to receive PDA RIN (Rapid Information Network) emails to be aware of current responses and urgent needs you can share with your congregation. Like us on Facebook PDACARES.

Pray. Please pray that through the response of the faith community, the people and communities impacted by Typhoon Haiyan and those offering assistance will be strengthened, have their needs met, and be reminded of the hope and compassion that are found in Christ.

If they prefer not to give online, members of First Presbyterian Church can make out their checks to the church and earmark them for “typhoon relief.”
Other disaster relief agencies at work in the Philippines in addition to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance are Doctors Without Borders https://www.doctorswithoutborders.org/donate/onetime.cfm?source=AZD130000S02&utm_source=google&utm_medium=ppc&gclid=CIyHrL6F77oCFSEV7AodRRIATw&mpch=ads
And Oxfam America http://www.oxfamamerica.org/

Ordination

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Andy Greenhow, one of the seminary students who received scholarship support from FPC last year, was ordained this past Sunday at Wayne Presbyterian Church near Philadelphia, his home congregation. He has been called to work now with Broad Street Ministry in Philadelphia, a ministry with which we also have ties. Andy has a two-fold role at BSM. First, he serves the worshiping community as a pastor. His second role is working on the development team, focusing on faith-motivated individuals and institutions, working with mission and outreach committees, volunteers, and individuals.

Andy graduated in May from Princeton and received the C. Frederick and Cleta R. Mathias Memorial Award for Worship and Pastoral Leadership. Your gifts to the Legacy Fund ear-marked for scholarships made it possible for this congregation to participate in a small way in Andy’s ministry.

Caddo Council on Aging

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Ever wonder what the Caddo Council on Aging does? Well, it’s more than just Meals on Wheels (as important as that is to many of our neighbors in Highland and all around the city). Here’s a link to a video that gives an overview of the complete program work of this outreach partner of ours and a video that covers the Meals on Wheels program in particular. These videos were produced with the help of a grant from this church. The co-star of the Meals on Wheels video, in addition to the wonderful volunteer delivering the meals, happens to be the homeowner we helped in the 1HouseAtATime project in June 2012.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HtCUDi628ag (Meals on Wheels)
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pu27iEYaF2o (Caddo Council on Aging)

A Prayer for Bangladesh

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A Prayer for Bangladesh
14 October 2013

God of all creation, we pray for Azim, a Hindu cobbler working in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Every day, on the side pavement of a crowded city street, he props up a small plastic awning, lays out his shoe repair tools, brushes, and bottles of polish, then waits for customers. For a place to sleep at night, he shares a single room with three other men also trying to make a living in the capital city. Only once every couple of months can he afford to visit his wife and children in his distant rural home. Lord, help Azim bear the hardships of living and working in Dhaka. Give strength and hope to him and all those who live as impoverished minorities in Bangladesh. We pray in the name of the One who gave his life for all. Amen.

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Written by Drs. Leslie and Cynthia Morgan
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Mission Co-Workers / Bangladesh

A Prayer for Bangladesh

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A Prayer for Bangladesh
7 October 2013

Lord of all life, we pray for the unborn child of Moly and Uttom Biswas, due to be delivered next month in the district hospital of Gopalganj in southern Bangladesh. Moly has had two miscarriages, possibly because she has Rh-negative blood, which is rare in Bangladesh. Now she and Uttom worry that the child forming within her may require specialized care not available in their district. Lord, look with tender mercy upon this unborn child and make available any medical care that may be necessary. We pray in the name of the One who loves us even before we are born. Amen.

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Written by Drs. Leslie and Cynthia Morgan
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Mission Co-Workers / Bangladesh

Prayer for Bangladesh

A Prayer for Bangladesh
16 September 2013

Gracious God, we give you thanks for the ministry of Rt. Rev. Sunil Mankhin, who, since being ordained as a Bishop of the Church of Bangladesh in 2009, has faithfully served the Diocese of Kushtia, which covers most of the western half of the country. From its historical roots in Anglican and Presbyterian mission efforts of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, Kushtia Diocese has grown to include thirty-nine congregations, many among the poorest communities in Bangladesh. Lord, continue to guide and strengthen Bishop Mankhin as he leads your people into deeper relationships with you and into more peaceful and loving relationships with their neighbors. We pray in the name of Jesus Christ, the Light of the world. Amen.

Written by Drs. Leslie and Cynthia Morgan
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Mission Co-Workers / Bangladesh

Slide1 b First Presbyterian hosted Bishop Mankhin during his visit to this country in 2011.

Theological Education Sunday

Sunday, September 15, is Theological Education Sunday in the Presbyterian Church, and we are pleased to have Dr. Ted Wardlaw, President of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, as our preacher for that Sunday. We also want to use the focus on theological education as an opportunity to introduce you to the seven students receiving scholarship help from the church this year, all made possible by gifts earmarked for scholarships that were made to the Legacy Fund over the space of many years. Please take a minute to get acquainted with these exceptional men and women who have answered a call to ministry.

blackman Gordon Blackman, Jr. is a member of this church in his third and final year at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. This summer, Gordon completed his Clinical Pastoral Education requirement through a chaplain internship at a hospital in San Antonio, and he has just finished taking his ordination exams. This fall, he will be working with the Rev. Drs. Laura and Chuck Mendenhall at the Presbyterian Church of Lake Travis in Austin in Supervised Practice of Ministry course in addition to his seminary classroom work.

photoLisa Schrott and Fred Young are both students at Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta.

Lisa is a member of this church in her first year of seminary at Columbia. Lisa has already completed her New Testament Greek course this summer and is looking forward to a fascinating and challenging set of courses this fall. She will be sharing her seminary experiences with us on the Musings blog and Skyping in to the Pathfinders Sunday School class this fall.

Fred is a native of Knoxville, TN, who answered a call to ministry in 2012 after many years in the corporate world. He is beginning his second year at Columbia Theological Seminary after serving this summer as a minister intern for Columbia Presbyterian Church located in Decatur, GA. He and his wife, Jennifer, are expecting their first child, a boy, in November, and they were among the first people to greet Lisa Schrott and Brian McWilliams upon their arrival at Columbia this summer.

LukataLukata Mjumbe is in a Masters program at Princeton Seminary after receiving his M.Div. degree this past spring. This fall, he is looking forward to taking advantage of a range of practical theology courses as well as continuing to work with Elmwood United Presbyterian Church as he prepares for the work that lies ahead for him in parish ministry, including working with the church to expand and focus its impact in the public square. He is also the Organizer of a new inter-faith organization made up of Christians, Muslims and Jews (supported by the New Brunswick Presbytery) known as the United Mercer Interfaith Organization.

Photo 243Amy Wilson-Stayton is the daughter of our former associate pastors, Claude and Margaret Wilson-Stayton. Amy is in her final year at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. This fall she will be finishing an internship at Central Presbyterian Church of Austin, working as the Seminary Liaison for the Young Adult Volunteer/Americorps Site at the seminary, and serving as an Instructional Aid for Elementary Biblical Hebrew.

??????????????????????Aaron Neff grew up in southern central Pennsylvania. Aaron is beginning his first year at Princeton Theological Seminary. Aaron graduated from college in 2010 and received a Master’s degree in Biblical Exegesis in 2012. He is currently an inquirer for ordained ministry under care of the Presbytery of Western New York. Aaron is married to Laura, his wife of one year, and he enjoys spending time with his family, reading, hiking, backpacking, cross-country skiing, and playing the guitar.

photo--joshua 3Joshua Gritter grew up in West Michigan and graduated from Seattle Pacific University. After Joshua finished college, he felt called into youth ministry and served as youth director for the First Presbyterian Church of Bellevue, Washington, for the past two years. Josh and his wife, Lara, will be entering seminary together at Duke Divinity School this fall

Prayer for Bangladesh

A Prayer for Bangladesh 

Gracious God, we pray for Basonti Hasda, our sister in faith who lives in a mud hut in the rural village of Astapukur in northwest Bangladesh.  Having already lost two children, each within hours of birth at home, Basonti fears for the life of the child now within her womb, due to be born in October.  Lord, in a country where every day 150 newborns die within the first twenty-four hours of life, bless Basonti with a safe environment and a trained attendant during her delivery.  Have mercy upon both mother and child, that they may live to glorify you, in the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ, we pray.  Amen. 

Drs. Leslie and Cynthia Morgan, Presbyterian Church (USA) Mission Co-WorkersKONw4e545LDBK6h8HXcb-uBBZxK7-RAcZN2I_RdR7hA

Congratulations!

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Barrett Abernethy, a recent graduate of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary who received scholarship support from this congregation during his seminary years, will be ordained as a teaching elder on Sunday, August 18, at 4:00 p.m. in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, Livingston, Alabama, the church he has been called to serve.  Please keep him and his wife Braegan in your prayers as he is ordained to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament.  We wish them all the best as they begin this new leg of the journey.