First Presbyterian Church Non-Profit Organization 1054 West Clinton Street U. S. Postage paid elmira, ny 14905 Permit No. 470 May 3, 2011 Elmira, ny return Service Requested


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First Presbyterian Church Non-Profit Organization

1054 West Clinton Street U.S. Postage PAID

Elmira, NY 14905 Permit No. 470

May 3, 2011 Elmira, NY

Return Service Requested


Please put address label here

You can give without loving. But you cannot love without giving.” ~ Amy Carmichael
Dr. Betsey R. Crimmins, Pastor Robert Dumas, Music Director
Barbara Squires, Clerk of Session Gary Tucker, Organist
Susan Weaver, Financial Secretary Scott Kelley, Instrumental Director
Dawn Thomas, Church Secretary Richard Brown, Church Sexton
Claire Metcalfe, Director of Childcare Paul Kirschke, Sunday Sexton

Church Office (607) 734-1614

Visit our website:

PRES CLIPPINGS – May 3, 2011

Dear Friends in Christ,

When I look at our church, I see that we a long history of people being so on fire for the Lord to the point that we have a pattern of being daring, innovative and pioneering in our mission and ministry. Our church was born in 1795 on the front tier with pioneering men and women as its first members. As the area grew and became more populated, we moved out from here, founding six churches in the area.

In the 1880’s we sent missionaries to Japan, just as Japan was beginning to open itself to the west. That was a pretty pioneering and daring act.

In the 1960’s, we took the risk of moving out of a building that had major structural issues and moving to a new neighborhood. The decision to move was not universally popular, but then yet, ministry isn’t a popularity contest. Sometimes hard decisions have to be made in order to further the mission and ministry of the church and this church has not been afraid to make those hard decisions.

Here are more examples of the daring spirit God has given us: We’ve sent pilgrims to Iona since 1988. While the Presbytery has been in mission with the Presbytery of Caribe for over 15 years, they never saw to it to send a group of kids on that mission trip – only groups of adults, with a precious few children of the adults mixed in sometimes. So once again, the daring, innovative spirit of God grabbed our hearts and we did something that hadn’t been done before in our church and in our presbytery: we commissioned a group of teenagers, St. Teresa’s angels, to be the hands and heart of Jesus in Mexico.

We have been innovative and pioneering in local ministry, too. I don’t know how many of you know, but Meals on Wheels of Chemung County was started by members of this church in our kitchen. Our church was the first in the area to give to the glory of God a Service of Comfort at Christmas time – which is something that a lot of other churches in the area have picked up and copied. We have led way in going to the places of woundedness in people’s lives, through our Divorce Care, Divorce Care for Kids, and Grief Share programs – because being in the wounded places of people’s lives is the place where we find the wounded risen Jesus.

Yes, ours is a church with a pioneering spirit. We have a way of being the ones who pave the way. God grabs our souls and hearts with a vision, and with the fire of the Holy Spirit in our souls, we work to make the vision a reality.

Now God is grabbing our souls and calling us to pave the way into a new and different mission – to build relationships with the college-aged and twenty something people of the churches in the Presbytery of Caribe who are longing for Christian fellowship and purpose beyond what they know and experience now. At the same time we build relationships with the college age and twenty-somethings of the churches in Mexico, we also have an opportunity to build relationships with the collage age and twenty-somethings in our church and in our neighborhood.

Jesus is totally in the business of transforming lives. Our service in mission is a means through which the spirit of Jesus works through us to transform the lives of others, but at the same time and more importantly, that same spirit works in us to transform our lives while we are serving. While we serve the people in mission, we pray that God will transform us and deepen and expand our service to the college students and twenty-somethings in our church and in our neighborhood.

In the meantime, if you or someone you know (even if you or the someone you know isn’t college aged or twenty-something) are interested in finding out more about this trip, please come to a meeting that will be taking place immediately after worship on Sunday, May 15. Details about this meeting are contained in this issue of Pres Clippings. Also, please pray for this mission that God may use us and transform us too.

Love, peace and prayers,


THANK YOU to all who participated in Sunday’s worship service on May 1st, 2011, especially to…Adam & Emma Paro for being Acolytes…Mike Crimmins, Paul Hornbuckle, and Dottie & Reidar Tholfsen for greeting and ushering… Chancel Choir for singing…Alida Schamel for being the Lay Reader…Alida Schamel and Chuck Stewart for preparing the Communion Elements…Elders Lynn Hornbuckle, Mike Mitchell, Rehana Stanley, Fred Betschen and Donna Hutchison for serving Communion…Joanne Tunison for giving a Minute for Mission…Shelly Hutchison and Brionna Rafferty for doing the Children’s Worship…and the Stapleton family for providing the Chancel Flowers “in Celebration of May Day”.


Our prayers for comfort extend to God on behalf of the family and friends of S. Wayne Close, who died on April 23, 2011, in Boise, ID. Rev. Crimmins conducted a funeral service in loving memory of him on May 2, 2011.

Our prayers for healing extend to God on behalf of David Ellis, who was recently a patient at Arnot Ogden Hospital.

A Memorial Service will be held at the church on Saturday, May 28th, 2011 at 11 a.m. for Finley Steele. A luncheon will follow the service. Everyone is invited to attend!

TREAT YOUR MOM TO BREAKFAST this Sunday, May 8! A Dress and Go Breakfast is being served in the Hoffman Great Room at 9 a.m. on Sunday, May 8. The idea is to dress and go to church for breakfast! Everyone is invited!

Sunday, May 8th10:30 a.m.

Third Sunday of Easter, Mother’s Day and Dress & Go Breakfast

Please join us at 9 a.m. for breakfast in the Hoffman Great Room. Enjoy fellowship around the tables and then stay for Sunday School at 9:30 a.m. and worship at 10:30 a.m. The Rev. Dr. Betsey Crimmins will lead us in worship. The Chancel Choir will sing. The Greeters & Ushers will be the Stanley family. The Lay Reader will be Steve Proudfoot. Shelly Hutchison and Brionna Rafferty will provide the Children’s Worship. The Chancel Flowers will be provided by Isabel Benham. All are welcome to attend!! Childcare and Children’s Worship will also be available.


Sunday, May 15th10:30 a.m.

Fourth Sunday of Easter

The Rev. Dr. Betsey Crimmins will lead us in worship. The Chancel Choir will sing. The Acolytes will be Christopher & Philip Stanton. The Greeters & Ushers will be Bob Bell, Kammie Morrisey and Jane Ivanick. The Lay Reader will be Sheila O’Bireck. The Chancel Flowers will be provided by Fred & Marilyn Betschen. All are welcome to attend!! Childcare and Children’s Worship will also be available.


Please join us on May 15th at 9:30 a.m. for breakfast and information about First Pres. Have you been thinking about joining First Pres? Do you want more information as you think and pray about membership? Then come to the New Member Breakfast! We’ll enjoy a yummy continental breakfast and fun conversation around tables in the Hoffman Great Room. For further information, please contact Scott Proudfoot (732-2957) or Rev. Crimmins (734-1614).

ADOPT-A-HIGHWAY CLEAN UP – Saturday, May 14th

Spring has finally arrived and it is time again to clean up our section of Route 352.  We need volunteers to make short work of our 2 mile stretch of Route 352 which stretches from Golden Glow, west towards Big Flats.  The clean up team will gather at the Church at 9:00 AM on Saturday, obtain instructions and get equipment.  We will then assign starting points for clean up.  From the looks of the sides of the road, if we get enough volunteers, we should be able to finish it by noon.  If we cannot finish we will schedule a second event.  If you can help, please phone Greg Lamb at 562-3134 or e-mail to    Thanks in advance for your support.

NOONTIME BIBLE STUDY CLASS is now in progress. The class begins about 15 minutes after the conclusion of the morning worship service. It is now meeting in room 10. This class is also studying John’s Gospel. Bring your Bible and join in!
ADULT SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS invites you to bring your Bible and join the discussion of John’s Gospel. On May 8th, the lesson will be on John 7:1-52.
DIVORCE CARE AND DIVORCE CARE FOR KIDS (DC4K) is in the middle of another 13 week session. The group meets on Monday evenings. A light dinner is provided at 5:30 p.m. and the class begins at 6 p.m. If you or someone you know is going through a divorce or separation, please consider this healing and helpful ministry. The only cost is $15 for the workbook; which you get to keep. Joan Ostrander (732-3370) and Laurie Desmaris (215-1529) can give you further information. The group can accept newcomers at any time.
GRIEFSHARE is in the middle of another 13 week session. GriefShare is for anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one to death, recently or not so recently. GriefShare is a friendly, caring group of people who will walk alongside you through one of life’s most difficult experiences. You don’t have to go through the grieving process alone. Meredith Tifft and Barb Squires will lead the group for the 13 weeks of this video based, Christ-centered support group. Newcomers are welcome at any time. The only cost is $12 for the workbook.

May 4, 2011 ~ 7:30 p.m.

Ithaca-based, award winning singer/song writer Jody Kessler will be in concert at our church on Wednesday, May 4, 2011. The concert will begin at 7:30 pm. A free will offering will be taken to help offset concert costs.

Jody has written many songs that speak to the connection of the Spirit with personal growth and mindful living. Through her music she shares inspiring stories about remarkable people and events.

The concert will be preceded by a Pot Luck Supper which will begin at 6 p.m. Place setting, beverages, and dessert will be provided. The evening’s festivities will include a Silent Auction.



On Saturday evening, May 21, the regional Salvation Army Band, Chorus, Timbal and Dance Group will perform in the sanctuary of our church. The concert begins 7:00 p.m. This concert is free and open to the public

On Sunday, May 22 our church and the local chapter of the Salvation Army will have a joint worship service at 10:30 a.m. here at our church. The worship service will include the Salvation Army’s regional Band, Chorus, Timbal and Dance Group. A luncheon will follow the worship service.


FPC Elmira is stepping out in faith!  We are looking to travel to Mexico during the first week or so of January 2012.  This event differs from the Geneva Presbytery mission trip in that its intent is to foster fellowship and build relationships among young adults (college aged and "twenty somethings") between the United States and Mexico.  There will be an organizational meeting on Sunday, May 15 at the First Presbyterian Church of Elmira from 12:00 PM until 2:00 PM with a light lunch provided.  If you or someone you know are interested, please e-mail Joanne Tunison @ or call 607-739-8474. 


We are still looking for housing for three Kidshine counselors. We have learned that our counselors DO NOT have allergies to pets, so households that meet all the other criteria are suitable. (Other criteria: air conditioning, two bedrooms with 3 real beds and a private bath.) In housing Kidshine counselors, you are not responsible for any meals. All the counselors ask is a little space in your kitchen and refrigerator for their breakfast and lunch-making foods, which they purchase and provide. Housing for three is needed June 26 through July 2. If you can help, contact Donna Hutchison (734-4411) or Rev. Crimmins. Thank you.

YOGA CLASSES ARE CONTINUING! The schedule for the segment of classes is as follows: 4:30-5:30 p.m. on the following Wednesdays: May 11, 18, and 25. Cost: $8 per class. Stress reduction, muscle strengthening and increased flexibility are the benefits of yoga. Part of our stewardship is to take care of our bodies. No previous experience is necessary.

In order to facilitate the work of our sexton, the church is looking to collect some tools for his use. The list includes: a hedge trimmer, pliers, vice grips, screw drivers, wrenches, a drop light (aka “trouble light”), drill and drill bits, a snow shovel, star and allen wrenches (both metric and SAE), a tool box and gardening tools. If you have any of these items just lying around unused and would be willing to donate them to the church, the church would gratefully receive them. It will make our sexton’s job a lot easier. Thank you for your help.


Open dates on the Coffee Hour chart include May 8, 15, 29 and June 5. Hosting a Coffee Hour is easy and fun! Gather friends, members or your committee or the people who sit with you in your pew on Sunday and chose a date. The sign up sheet is on the bulletin board in the hallway by the kitchen. When hosting the Coffee Hour, the church provides beverages, napkins, cups and paper plates. All you need to do is to provide the goodies. Anything that your imagination can come up with is appreciated. You can have a theme such as store bought cookie Sunday or crunchy stuff Sunday, or just go with something simple and easy such as pretzels and crackers.

SPRING GATHERING OF PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN OF GENEVA will be held on Saturday, May 14, 2011 at Western Palmyra Church (101 East Main, Palmyra). The registration begins at 9 a.m. followed by fellowship and worship with Communion. The program will be Canandaigua’s Mission Partnership with Mexican Christians. The Birthday Offering will be received and dedicated. Bring your own bag lunch and a carload of women form your church.

CIRCLE OF WOMEN will meet at the church on Monday, May 9th at 10 a.m. in the Hoffman Great Room. All are welcome to attend. For more information, please contact Eileen Kingsbury at (607) 732-7698.


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