First Call: The 1st Presbyterian Blog 


Posted by Andy McCaskey on Tuesday, October 17, 2017 @ 2:38 PM

Oct. 14’s work on the Kulish Habitat home in Middlebury made good progress - not to be hampered by a bit of rain on and off. With the roof on and shingled, we were able to work both inside and out. Team spirits were high, and nobody was visibly worse for wear. Sloppy joes may not sound special, but after a morning’s effort, they never tasted better!  Thanks to all who came out to work, and to our Foundation - that contributed generously to this project.

Kulishes hope to be moved in by Christmas, and we hope to host several of their talented musical family in worship at FPC in January 2018. Parents Ben and Nadya were there working, and are eager to visit our church to express their gratitude for our support. Stay tuned for a special morning of their music during Epiphany!


                                                       Mary Rasp and Lynnette Valentijn score flashing for gutter system.


PeaceMaker Update

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 6:57 PM

by Tom Lefevre


Since 1999, Connie Minzey has faithfully coordinated our Student Peacemaking Recognition grants to four area high school Seniors. The purpose is to encourage and recognize graduating Seniors who actively promote justice and reconciliation, and conflict resolution among their student peers.

Each individual receives a $500 cash grant. In some years, this has been funded solely by member gifts - other times, by our Foundation - sometimes, shared. Because of pressing needs, special hurricane-related offerings, and our imminent Stewardship Campaign, we have chosen to focus on a Spring 2018 Peacemaking offering, to hopefully be matched by our Foundation, to raise the needed resources (~$2,500).

For more information, contact Connie Minzey and the Serving Commission

Back in the HABIT(TAT)

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Thursday, September 21, 2017 @ 6:53 PM

by Tom Lefevre

The long-anticipated county-wide “Faith Build” is getting underway in Middleburg for the Ben and Nadya Kulish family of eleven. They hail from Ukraine, from whence they emigrated to avoid religious persecution. They were (are) Baptists, in an intolerant Eastern Orthodox culture.

FPC Foundation has contributed $3,000 to this build, and our scheduled work day is Saturday, October 14 - rain or shine! We need to field a team of 14 builders, and can also use two lunch makers. Please check your schedules and sign up on the sheet which will soon be found in or near the Gathering Place. Maps and directions will also be posted there. 

Braden McCormick and the Serving Commission

Welcome to Austin Wicks - Our New Seminary Intern

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 4:47 PM

We are happy to have Austin Wicks with us for the coming year.

With his aspiration to be an ordained pastor in the Presbyterian Church, we are eager to give him wide-ranging opportunities in our church. He will lead worship and preach on Sunday, September 17th.

Austin's main responsibilities will be to lead and grow our
Children and Youth Ministry.

Austin recently graduated from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He went to Alma College where he got his Bachelor’s degree, majoring in economics, and met his wife. Austin and Alicia celebrated their 3rd anniversary last June.

Austin comes from a family of pastors (both his mom and dad!), and having lived in Sturgis, MI for most of his youth is no stranger to our area of Michiana.

Austin currently lives in Dowagiac, Michigan where his wife is working as a Residence Hall Manager for Southwestern Michigan College. Austin plays the guitar, likes to play video games, go for walks in the woods, and draw.

Habitat Build Update

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 4:43 PM

by Tom LeFevre

Braden McCormick reports that the often-delayed County-wide Faith Build  will continue through September.

This planned two-story home will be for a Ukrainian emigre family of eleven - several of whose members are musically gifted. It’s not known how and where they have been enduring through the many delays, but they could surely testify volumes on the subject of patience and family cooperation!

We hope to host them in a Sunday worship soon. Note to all builders: this project is gender-inclusive - dust off your tools, and stay tuned for how and when FPC will be invited to participate.

 We happily note that our Foundation has directed a grant to this effort of $3,000.

More information will be forthcoming soon! 

Beardsley School Update

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Friday, August 25, 2017 @ 4:40 PM

by Tom LeFevre

FPC’s focal community outreach remains the students of Beardsley School. Presbyterian Women - with Harriet Sloop’s faithful guidance - have also delivered many special supplies.

The ongoing ministry of 30-30-30 mentoring and tutoring has made a great and lasting difference in the lives of many young students. Improved test scores, language skills, and deep gratitude of school leaders has evidenced this.

We invite our experienced mentors and tutors to consider helping again during 2017-18. Organizing of teams for this year will begin during September and October, and Susan Lehman will organize 30-30-30 and tutoring teams. If you feel the call to help again - or for the first time - please call Susie at home (See directory). She can answer your questions or concerns. Orientation is likely to occur in late September or early October.


Jazz Sunday Recording 2017

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Monday, June 26, 2017 @ 1:50 PM

Amazing Race 2017

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Wednesday, June 14, 2017 @ 8:38 AM

by Mindy Weiricch


New Carpet Installation

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Thursday, June 1, 2017 @ 8:28 AM
by Debby Burton


The week of June 5th,new carpet is being installed in the hallways and offices. CALL BEFORE YOU COME to the church because Cinda may not be in the office.

Amazing Racers - Take Your Mark!

Posted by Andy McCaskey on Tuesday, May 23, 2017 @ 9:06 AM
by Tom LeFevre

The Amazing Elkhart Race 2017 is coming Saturday, June 10. First Presbyterian is continuing its tradition of supporting our local Church Community Services by staffing one of the race stations. If you can help between 8:30 am and 12:30 pm, please contact Mindy Weirich at 825-1573 or email Thanks!

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