Church News

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Sunday, February 3rd

We will not have youth this Sunday evening, February 3rd.

Since we will not be having SVPC evening worship and hand bell
practice and the Presbyterian Women quarterly meeting will be right
after worship, this should help simplify for some of you. I know some
of you will be ALL about watching the Super Bowl AND trying to get
homework done!!

I hate not meeting 2 weeks in a row so I sure hope I will see you at
Sunday school this week.

We will be collecting for Souper Bowl of Caring again immediately
following worship. Thanks for helping with this. We collected over
$300.00 last week from this very giving congregation. That should be
a nice gift to our local Meals on Wheels and the wonderful ministry
they lead. Did you look us up on their website?

(Also, do you have March 2nd marked off for us hosting the Greatest
Generation Celebration? I need to hear from you on that, please.)

Thanks and love,
Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach

Update on Eugene Latta

I wanted to just update everyone about my father-in-law's (Eugene
Latta) condition. The hospice nurse was out today and she said he is
declining rapidly. The cancer is now in his bones, liver, brain, and
possibly other organs. He is now on morphine for the pain and he is
experiencing some personality changes(nurse did say this was normal).
She said that he would be wheel chair bound soon and that probably
within a week or two he will start having trouble remembering his
family. (if at all). Please continue to pray for him and our family.


Vicki Latta

Saturday, January 26, 2013

update on Helen Holmes

Please say a special prayer for the Holmes family this morning.  Helen is not very responsive.  No extraordinary measures will be taken for her except for the prayers of the faithful of the Lord.  Please remember Mike and Donna and their family.


Friday, January 25, 2013

update on Phillip Contorno

To Special Friends & Church Family,

Everyone has been waiting to know about Phillip's test.  It wasn't totally what we were praying for, but God is still Blessing us!!!  Small marble size recurrence in right lung, but the rest of the body was CLEAR!!! (We saw Pet Scan) PRAISE GOD!!!

Dr. Y recommends Cyber Knife treatment for this one spot.  This is a noninvasive non surgery treatment.
It is a robotic arm that precisely identifies tumor location and delivers high beams of radiation with      extreme accuracy.  Dr. Y says 99.9 % he feels this will take care of this spot!!!  Will see radiologist next Tuesday and find out more about treatment and when to start.




Thursday, January 24, 2013

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Dear Church Family,

This Sunday morning in worship we will take just a moment to honor our own Sarah Southerland.  Sarah graduated from Auburn University in December and we want to give her our congratulations and well-wishes!

Also, immediately following worship our youth will be collecting for Souper Bowl of Caring.  Our First Presbyterian youth have taken part for years in this time of collective sharing all across America.  This year we will give our monetary donations to our local Meals on Wheels, a very special ministry of this church. No food items will be gathered for this offering.  We will also have another chance for you to give next Sunday, February 3rd. Thank you for always being so giving in the name of Christ.

Then, also on this Sunday, January 27th, we will have a lunch bunch.  If you have not turned in your reservations, please call the church office if you plan on joining us.  We will enjoy a wonderful meal together, a time of fellowship, and hear from our elders about their ministry teams and their goals for the coming year.

We will NOT be having The Way worship services out at Shepherd of the Valley this Sunday evening since the lunch bunch keeps us later in the afternoon.  Also, we will NOT have those SVPC services on February 3rd due to the Super Bowl game.  We hope this will help you in your planning and scheduling for your family.

Let's all be together, sisters and brothers, this Lord's Day in worship of His Holiness and Grace!


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Greatest Generation Celebration request

Dear Friends,

Our January newsletter included an article about an upcoming event that the youth of our church are planning.  I hope you read it and are ready to do some jitter-bugging!  We will be celebrating our church members, family, and friends who are part of The Greatest Generation and we would appreciate your help in these efforts.

In case you did not remember the details from the newsletter, here is an excerpt: 
Do you remember The Great Depression, World War II, Citizen Kane, Glenn Miller, gas rationing, scrap drives and Fireside Chats?

If so, then you are invited to a party in YOUR honor!  Our youth at First Presbyterian would like to honor and salute you if you were born before 1946 or if you are part of what our nation considers its "Greatest Generation."

We will have good music – (REAL music, like you remember!) great food, a little dancing, and fellowship to celebrate all that you have given to us through your sacrifice and patriotism.

The entire congregation is invited to this time of celebration on Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 11:30.

The Fellowship Team is on board for helping with the lunch and other food items.  Russell is learning about the Andrew Sisters and other amazing music. Randy is sharpening up his interview techniques so we can find out some wonderful details of those exciting and trying days in our nation's history.  

Could you play a part in this very special celebration?  We would love to have you help in honoring these great folk!  If you are interested, please, just give me a call (church 424-3950, cell 914-7034, home 425-7325) or an email and then we can talk more details as our team comes together.

Your efforts will greatly bless those who have blessed us so very much!

Thank you,
Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach

Presbytery retreats and camps

Hello, one and all!!!

I am attaching two flyers from the presbytery about youth camps and retreats for your information. If anyone is interested, please let me

The senior high retreat coming up very quickly in February, is for 9-12th graders, and is at Camp McDowell. I will not be able to attend but anyone who would like to could just let me know and we can chat.

Have a great week!

Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach


SLPYC Senior High Winter Retreat at Camp McDowell

What: Sr. High Winter Retreat

When: February 1-3, 2013

Time: Sunday, 11 am (after 10 am Worship)

Cost: $85.00 - A $10.00 late fee will be charged after January 28.

2013 Living River Summer Camp Schedule

Elementary Camp @ Rolling Hills, completed 2 - 5 grade, June 2 - 7

Middle School Camp @ Rolling Hills, completed 6 - 8 grade, June 9 – 14

Discovery Camp @ Rolling Hills, completed 4 - 8 grade, June 16 - 21

Senior High Camp @ 4-H Center, completed 9 - 12 grade, June 23 - 28

You & Me @ 4 -H Center, completed 5K - 2 grade, June 24 - 29


~All camps begin Sunday afternoon and run through Friday afternoon except You & Me.~

Camp Committee is looking for Camp Co-Directors. If you are interested or have a suggestion, please contact Robert Hay at 205-978-0320 or

Sunday, January 20, 2013

update on Bradleys and Sumner

Foster and Ann Bradley along with Jimmie Lou Sumner on their way to Atlanta Sunday morning had an automobile accident.  They have been to the hospital and are now on their way home to Birmingham.  They will hurt from seat belt burns and air bag deployment for a while and Jimmie Lou has a broken hand.  Other than this they are well. Kathy is with them and helping them on the return trip.  They ask us to thank the Lord for the blessing of not being injured more than they were.


Wednesday, January 16, 2013

final details on Snow Mountain

We will leave from Shepherd of the Valley in McCalla in the church van at 7:00 am on Saturday, January 19th.  That is THIS SATURDAY!  We are guessing that we will be back by 8:00 pm.  Your student will call you when we get on the road and know a more specific time.

Please have plenty of extra dry clothes and socks with you.  Extra shoes would even be a good idea!  They suggest water resistant clothes including your boots and gloves. 

You may want to bring sunglasses for the glare of the snow but you will need to have them on a string of some sort, I would think.

I will need your signed permission slipIf you are bringing a guest please make sure you have theirs with you that morning!!!! The only one I have so far is Caroline's.  The form is attached to this email again.

We will stop at some point for a little breakfast but I do not know what time or where so if you need food early, please eat something before you leave home.

I will have some little snacks and waters on the van.

You will need money for that breakfast and for lunch and supper.  You will also need money for snacks, hot chocolate, etc. at the park and that is never cheap.  The S'mores packets you can buy for the fire are $5.00.  There are also gift shops so you know what that means!  A trip to a theme park can be expensive so be sure your student knows how much you want her/him to spend.

Here is the Snow Mountain website link if you would like to check it out some more.

Please feel free to email or call me if you have any questions. 

I am so excited that we have been given this day together to share in the wonder of faith family enjoying God's creation.  I am thankful that our church is funding this trip and that we have the health in our bodies to do this!  Thanks to all you adults who are giving up your Saturday to go with us!  You are a treasure!

Barri Pratt
Director of Youth and Outreach

Sunday, January 13, 2013

Sympathy to Brenda Atkins

We extend love and sympathy to Brenda Atkins, our church secretary, tonight.  She texted me a few minutes ago that her mother had died. When she knows more, she will let us know.  Her mom had been in very poor health for quite a while but I believe her death was unexpected. Please remember Brenda, Mike and family.  Thank you.


Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Bible Study resumes

Bible Study resumes this evening at 5:30pm.  We'll be studying 2 Kings 1 about the translation of Elijah and the continuation of prophetic ministry by Elisha.  I believe that these two prophets probably form the nucleus in St. Mark's thinking in the formulation of the First Gospel.  Jesus' ministry has several significant parallels with their lives and miracles.  We welcome  you to join us in the Chapel for this opportunity for Christian spiritual formation.

Randy Kesler
First Presbyterian Church
Bessemer, Alabama 35020