FPC News and Announcements

Update from FPC Missionaries Barry and Jan Potter

Learn what’s happening with FPC-supported missionaries Barry and Jan Potter.

Update from FPC Missionary Sue Mills

Learn what’s happening with FPC-supported missionary Sue Mills.

VBS 2020—Bolt! A 3-Day At-Home Experience for Your Kids!

We are going to miss the energy of VBS in person with your kids this summer! But don’t be dismayed! We have an incredible 3-day virtual AND physical VBS to offer you! With minimal preparation, easy-to-follow instructions, and a video that leads you and your kids step-by-step through each of the 3 days, BOLT is designed for you to perform with your family at home. It’s so simple!
During BOLT, your family will participate in fun games that illustrate what it means to listen to, focus on, and follow Jesus. Depending on your pace, you can expect that each day’s experience will last about an hour and a half. It’s great for kids 5 and up. Even middle and high school kids can enjoy it!
If you want to get a better idea of what BOLT is, you can watch the Day 2 sample video below. (But don’t let your kiddos see it just yet—we want to save the fun for later.)

To sign up for a link to BOLT!, simply register below. We are asking for a $25 donation per family which will go to Jumpah Ministries, our beloved school and Christian ministry for kids & families in Cambodia. You can watch a video about Jumpah Ministries below.
We’ll be sending you more information as we get closer to June 22nd. In the meantime, get your family excited about BOLT. This is going to be SO MUCH FUN!

Sign Up for The Marriage Course!

With so much time on our hands because of COVID-19, now is the most opportune moment to strengthen your relationship with your spouse and focus on navigating life together. Whether you’ve been married 6 months or 40 years, whether you’re in a good place or struggling, The Marriage Course will give you practical support to continue moving forward in your relationship.
Because of this unprecedented time, HTB Church in London (the same church that brings us Alpha) is offering The Marriage Course online for free!
Starting on May 17th, we’ll begin this seven week course together. All you have to do is sign up, order the course journals ($12 on Amazon), and then set aside a weekly in-home “date night”  to watch a new video online with your spouse. Sessions last approximately 1 hour and 55 minutes, with half of the time spent in conversation together.
Topics include:
• Building Strong Foundations
• The Art of Communication
• Resolving Conflict
• The Power of Forgiveness
• The Impact of Family
• Good Sex
• Love in Action

Online Good Friday Tenebrae Service

WATCH AT: https://vimeo.com/405654686 (password will be taken off before 7:30 pm on Good Friday).
Join us THIS Friday for our online Good Friday service at 7:30 pm. The link to the service should be posted on the home page of our website, fpctacoma.org by late Friday afternoon, and we also hope to notify people on our email list of the link on Friday afternoon. This year’s Good Friday service will be a simplified “Tenebrae” service, and you can participate in it, not just watch it. Read on and learn how.  Dating back to the Middle Ages, the Tenebrae service is a deeply meaningful service that tells the story of Jesus’s suffering and death for our sins through a series of Bible readings. Like Christmas Eve, the Tenebrae  service is a service of candles. But there is an important difference: On Christmas Eve, we light candles to symbolize the light of Christ coming into the world. During a Tenebrae service, we extinguish a candle after each reading, symbolizing the way we humans tried to extinguish God’s light by killing Jesus. At the same time, the Tenebrae service gives us hope by highlighting the free gift of forgiveness that comes through Christ’s suffering on our behalf, and by preparing us to celebrate Christ’s triumphant resurrection on Easter Sunday.
If you can do so safely, we encourage you to participate in our online Tenebrae service by lighting seven candles, and then extinguishing one candle after each reading. You will also have the opportunity to sing during the short service. We aren’t able to duplicate everything in a traditional Good Friday service, but we hope you will find it helpful in focusing your heart on the meaning of Good Friday and Easter. The short service will include participation by several of our members plus a special Good Friday message from Pastor Eric. We hope that your entire family will participate!

FPC Livestreamed Service Continues @ 10:30 am on March 29

FPC’s new livestreamed service will continue on Sunday, March 29 at 10:30 am. Watch here. There was some confusion this week about whether our Governor’s stay-at-home order prohibited livestreamed church services. However, the Governor issued a clarification at his press conference on March 26 making clear that streamed church services are allowed. Here is what he said: “There are also some exceptions to our orders that will help people stay connected, and staying connected is important. For example, religious institutions can have under our order a certain number of people present at the places of worship to ensure that online remote services can be afforded to their flocks.” You can watch the Governor’s comments below (starting at 2:22). So join us this Sunday for worship at 10:30 am online!

Online-Only Worship Starts March 15–Letter from Pastor Eric to FPC Congregation

See below for an important message from Pastor Eric. For the rest of March 2020, our 10:30 am worship service will only be available online. The easiest way to watch will be through our website’s home page (which will have a banner to connect you to Vimeo) or (if you are a Facebook member) through the church’s Facebook page. Also, please note, Sunday school and other regular Sunday morning programs are cancelled for the time being.
March 13th, 2020
Hello FPC Family,
As you know, the governor of Washington State issued a mandatory emergency proclamation limiting the size of all public gatherings to 250 people in response to COVID-19. As a result of this, and out of concern for the health and well-being of our congregation and the wider community, the elders of FPC and I have decided that starting this coming Sunday, March 15th, our Sunday morning services will be online until further notice (see below). As for upcoming special events, at this point they are continuing as normal but are subject to change at any time. We will do our best to keep you up to date on all changes that occur.

For the time being we will not be a “church gathered” together in one location but rather a “church scattered” throughout the city, which gives us the incredible opportunity to “love our neighbors as ourselves” and show our community that we are FOR them. I believe that our Vision 2020 to “end loneliness in the neighborhood,” is still very much our calling. And this crisis will provide new opportunities to live that vision out. We all need each other, and as a church, we will continue to explore new and creative ways that we can come together, to encourage and help one another despite being “scattered.”

We will get through this because we have each other and because we know where our hope and our help come from!

Pastor Eric

FB Livestream Info– To watch our service live via Facebook, you must follow our Facebook page (First Presbyterian Church Tacoma Official) . When the service is live, it will appear in your News Feed, and you can watch it there by clicking on it. If you do not see it in your news feed, you can go directly to our page and watch it there.

Home Page/Vimeo Livestream. You can access the worship service through our home page, which will connect you to our Vimeo livestream. We will also be emailing a Vimeo link to the livestream of our service to all members and regular attenders for whom we have email addresses. If you do/did not receive an email with this link on Sunday morning (at around 10:15am), this means that we do not have your email address in our database. To receive these emails, please send your email address to: abyers@fpctacoma.org

Giving. To facilitate regular giving during this season, please note that tithes and offerings can be given online via our website (fpctacoma.org) or our church app (FPC Tacoma). You may also mail in your giving (20 Tacoma Ave. South), 98402, or you can drop it off Mon.-Thurs. 9am-4pm.

Reminder: Daylight Savings Time Begins Sunday!

Just a final gentle reminder to turn your clocks ahead by one hour TONIGHT so you will be in time for church on Sunday! We have a wonderful worship service planned at 10:30 am featuring Holy Communion, the Chancel Choir, worship band, piano, pipe organ, and even a harpsichord! Plus, Pastor Eric will give another meaningful message in his sermon series on Exodus (this week we are covering the parting of the Red Sea!).

Update to FPC Community on the Coronavirus

Dear First Presbyterian Church Family,
In light of the recent COVID_19 outbreak in Washington State, please know, first and foremost, that your health and safety are very important to us when you are in our church.
At this time, we will continue with church services and events as regularly scheduled. As a precautionary measure, heightened daily sanitation practices have been implemented in all classrooms, restrooms, and public areas, including disinfecting of door handles and hand railings. In addition, we will be implementing some changes starting this Sunday, March 8th. Those changes include:
  • Asking and encouraging all FPC attenders to stay home if they are feeling unwell in any way. Our services can be watched from home. Join our Facebook Page, First Presbyterian Church Tacoma Official. The livestream of the service is posted on this page 5-10 minutes before the service starts. Or follow our Vimeo channel for past FPC Services. And let us know if you would like to receive a weekly email with a link to the livestream.
  • No handshaking during our greeting time.
  • No hand-holding during the singing of “Amazing Grace” on communion Sundays.
  • Serving communion using trays and individual cups.

FPC will continue to monitor updates from the CDC and the Department of Health. Should anything change, we will be updating our community via email, our website and through our social media with any and all changes you will need to know about.
Here is a resource that might help you during this time: Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department coronavirus page
We pray that as you contemplate the potential threats of the coronavirus, you will be reminded that we can cast all our anxieties on our Sovereign God, and we can rest in his loving care for us.

Stay healthy and safe,
Aaron Byers
Director of Operations


Spring Ahead One Hour on Sunday: Daylight Savings Time!

Just a reminder that Daylight Savings Time begins this Sunday, March 8. So remember to turn your clock ahead one hour before going to bed on Saturday night!