God is Building at FPCGV
2020 Pledge Card
When you and your family are ready, you can securly and confidentially make your pledge using our online pledge card. Your information is processed only through our Administrative/Membership staff person, Jill Compton. Any questions or concerns about your pledge can be directed to her by calling the church office or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Time & Talent
Our Time and Talent inventory is designed to help us and you discover not only which ways you would like to serve, but also how we can effectively serve you as a member of our faith family. You can fill out the inventory online or download the same version to print.
Consider making a legacy gift (redirect to TPF website)
Psalm 127: Unless the Lord builds the house, those build labor in vain
Best to admit it: A lot of folks understand the word stewardship as code language for church fundraising. However, that’s not actually what the Bible means when it speaks of stewardship. Stewardship is not about fundraising, or volunteer recruitment, or even gift assessment. Stewardship is the realization that who we are and what we possess ultimately belong to God, and therefore should be employed to God’s glory.
In other words, the question that guides stewardship is never “What do I owe?” or “What can I afford?” Rather, it is “How am I called to respond to the gifts that God has already given me?” Our hope is that as you read about the life of our church in this annual newsletter, you will realize that God is building something here – community, family, mission, outreach. In the coming weeks, please pray about how you can join us in this God-given opportunity.
Your brother and sister in Christ,
Robert S. Crilley and Ashley A. Hood
Three church members shared their stories of loving congregational support from the past year.
Rick Wilhelm faced a cancer diagnosis and treatment, but never felt alone thanks to support from fellow choir members and the congregation.
“I know that support from my fellow choir members is there – it wraps me and comforts me like a warm blanket in a cold hospital waiting room. Another kind of support is unexpected, but enjoyed and cherished. Many members of the congregation have overwhelmed me with cards and calls letting me know that they are praying for me in this period of my life (and those prayers have been felt and are very helpful). Through this, I know that I’m not alone in my journey!”
Not long after joining FPCGV, Rick Kinsella was diagnosed with throat cancer. He quickly felt the embrace of his new church family.
“Without asking, the congregation of FPCGV stepped up with love and support. Ashley started weekly prayer requests from the pulpit and gave us a book from the Stephen Ministry on what to expect from this disease. We also received prayer shawls and casseroles ... The most wonderful congregation, whose faces I am not familiar with yet, sent cards of encouragement when I needed it the most.”
Music Director Rick Walsh felt the love of Christ when he faced a string of medical challenges, including shoulder replacement and retinal surgery.
“Along the entire way, the members of this congregation have been a loving family to me. With cards expressing concern and love, with prayers for my well-being, with words of kindness and compassion, this congregation has shown what it means to love kindness (Micah 6:8) and to take care of the sick (Matthew 25:36). I have experienced in these human interactions what the love of Christ can be.”
When Kevin and Emily Stull were looking for a new church home last year, they were seeking a place that lined up with their Christian beliefs. After attending the youth-led Christmas service at First Presbyterian, they knew they had found a spiritual home for their young twin daughters, Chloe and Zoe. They quickly formed relationships that convinced them they had found a church where they would not disappear into the pews.
“You know there are people thinking about you even though it is a big church,” Kevin said. “You feel like an individual in a crowd.”
This is what God is building at First Presbyterian Church of Grapevine: a church family dedicated to Christian ministry where members form bonds that shape their lives. Amidst the winds of a changing society that are buffeting traditional denominations, First Presbyterian is holding true to its core mission of Christian worship and education, building upon a solid foundation of love and Christian fellowship.
In the past year, we welcomed 109 first-time visitors, and many have become familiar faces. To expand our reach beyond the traditional walls of the church, we began broadcasting the Sunday service online via Facebook Live in June 2018. Each week, approximately 10 people watch the service remotely, including members and visitors who are homebound or traveling.
The newest members of our church family say they were attracted by a hospitable spirit that makes everyone feel welcome and by the inspirational worship services. Late last year, Larry and Denise Francis came to First Presbyterian to attend a memorial service for a friend, Jim Mattingly. They soon began attending, and now Larry is a fixture serving up coffee and conversation on Sundays in the Perking Lot. "Everybody is accepting of everyone, no matter where they come from," Larry said. "You feel like you're part of a family."
Now First Presbyterian is charting a course for the future. This summer, a Vision Committee composed of church leaders held meetings to discuss our passions and strengths and how we can best focus our limited resources to make the biggest impact on people’s lives. The Committee’s report will soon be shared with the congregation.
God is building, and we are excited about what is being created.
Photos: (upper right) Kevin and Emily Stull with their twin daughters, Chloe and Zoe.
(lower left) Larry Francis enjoys meeting people each week at the Perking Lot.
Through worship, Sunday school, weekly Bible studies, Christmas and Holy Week services and prayer groups, First Presbyterian seeks to keep God at the center of our daily lives. Members are taught to praise God for our blessings, ask his mercy for those who are suffering, seek guidance for how we live and o er thanksgiving for answered prayers. All visitors are welcome and invited to become part of the life of the church, no matter where they are in their spiritual journey.
Since going to a single Sunday service in 2017, our church now gathers as one family each week to share their love and concerns with God through prayer, song, and fellowship. This is where the heartbeat of First Presbyterian can be felt, as friends greet each other with a smile and a handshake and catch up on their lives in the Narthex. In the sanctuary, the music is uplifting, children’s time delivers a relatable message, prayers are heartfelt and the sermons are inspiring.
It is a meaningful hour, a time to pause from our busy lives and contemplate something deeper.
And because we believe our faith extends beyond the walls of our church, First Presbyterian has reached out to people of other churches and faiths in our community. As a founding member of the Peace Together coalition, a group that also includes Jewish, Islamic, Mormon, Catholic, Methodist, and other organizations, we helped to organize a community walk last fall which attracted several hundred participants, demonstrating neighborly bonds in Northeast Tarrant County. We have developed an ongoing relationship with the Islamic Center of Southlake to learn more about each other’s faith and enjoy each other’s company.
Photos: (upper left) After being confirmed during worship, the confirmation class, their families, and their mentors pose together in the sanctuary.
(lower right) Members of FPCGV participated in the 1st Annual Peace Together Walk.
First Presbyterian is committed to discipleship through service and demonstrates that commitment in a number of ways.
We operate a Christian-based preschool; offer education and support for families and friends of those suffering from mental illness, in conjunction with the National Alliance of Mental Illness; offer support for foster parents; host a support group for LGBTQ+ youth and the people who love them; host Trunk or Treat Night to provide a safe Halloween experience for neighborhood kids; provide lunches for food-insecure kids in Grapevine through Feed Our Kids; and serve as a site for Meals on Wheels pickup and delivery.
Over the summer, our church hosted its second Summer Creative Arts & Movement Program, or SCAMP, an alternative to traditional Vacation Bible School with an emphasis on singing, music, dance, and art. It attracted 66 children, including 27 from the community outside our church membership. We have held four Kids Night In events, which offer an evening of food, crafts, and other activities in a safe environment for kids ages 3 months to 12 for a small fee. The last Kids Night In hosted 44 children, and each event has reached capacity.
In the past year, our adult and youth members once again went on mission trips to lend a helping hand to those in need in the United States and abroad. Seven church members went to Honduras in coordination with another church and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA); high schoolers went to Panama City, Florida, in partnership with PDA and Catholic Charities; Rick Wilhelm and Beverly Cherno joined other Presbyterians to continue hurricane relief in Corpus Christi; and Harry Bremer went to Zambia with another organization to help complete 25 water wells with villagers.
Photos: (upper left) FPCGV children served at Graceful Buys during SCAMP. Consensus: "Let's go back!"
(upper right) Middle School youth visited Heifer Ranch as a part of their yearly mission trip.
(lower left) High schoolers went to Panama City, Florida in partnership with PDA and Catholic Charities,
(lower middle) 500 cookies were baked for Feed Our Kids.
(lower right) Prayer shawls and blanks for PCHAS are dedicated during church.
Thanks to generous giving and fiscal responsibility, First Presbyterian has maintained a solid foundation to support our church’s programs and Christian ministries. Despite a gradual decline in membership that has reduced our overall budget, we have made strides in reducing the outstanding mortgage balance in recent years and taken steps to control expenses.
For 2019, the budget was reduced by 11 percent to $932,656; administrative expenses were trimmed as staff duties were consolidated and the church stopped making extra payments towards the mortgage. Through July 31, total giving was running about 7 percent below 2018 levels. The session is keeping a close eye on expenses to achieve a balanced budget.
In recent months, we have seen a reduction in contributions to the mortgage fund, requiring us to dip into reserves to make monthly payments. To maintain a fund with 6-9 months of payments in reserve, we prayerfully ask that the congregation consider increasing contributions directed to the mortgage. Following successful efforts to accelerate payments in the past, the projected payout date is currently April 2025.
GOD IS BUILDING AT FPCGV
Please prayerfully consider the ways you can contribute to First Presbyterian Church in Grapevine in the upcoming year, so that we may continue to build our faith, build our church family, and serve our community, always with the presence of God.
We recognize that contributions to the life and progress of this church come in many forms, but today we ask you to consider the powerful impact that making a financial pledge will make to the vision of creating a solid foundation for FPCGV. If this is your first year to pledge, we are excited to have you join us in creating a strong financial foundation upon which God will work wonders. If you have pledged in the past, we ask that you consider whether you have had changes in your life that could lead to a change in your giving level.
Our leaders will revise next year’s budget to reflect the expectation we have in financial giving, so please know that each and every pledge makes a big difference!
Pledge cards may be completed online at http://www.fpcgv.org/online-pledge-card or physical cards may be returned to the offering plate or church model in the Narthex. If you are willing to offer your time in small or large amounts - please be sure to indicate that you are willing to give your time/talent on the pledge card as well!