First Presbyterian Church Blog

Men’s Mentoring Workshop, Saturday, Nov. 21

Join Dr. Michael Orr of Moody Bible Institute for a Men’s Mentoring Workshop at FPC on Saturday, Nov. 21 from 8:00 am to 3:00 pm. Cost is $25 per person, which includes two meals. Download the flyer for more information. Questions? Contact Jim Boyd at 253-677-5891 or

Daylight Savings Time Ends this Weekend! Turn Clock BACK and Come to New Adult Classes!

You get an extra hour of sleep this weekend. Remember to turn your clock BACK on Saturday night. Consider using the extra time to join one of the new adult Sunday School classes that are starting this Sunday: For the Life of the World with Pastor Eric & elder Matt Pickard (South Chapel) and Managing Our Finances God’s Way with Aaron & Bob Byers and Scott Juergens (Gold Room 103).

Second Wednesday Potluck: A Monthly Evening of Food, Fellowship, and Prayer Starting Nov. 11

Join us on Wednesday, November 11 from 6:00-7:00 pm for our new monthly Wednesday night potluck! Spend an evening sharing stories and fellowship with others in our church. For those so inclined, we will end with a brief time for announcements or prayer requests that people might want to share. Please bring either soup, salad, entree or desert to share as well as beverages for your own family. We will supply tables, plates, and cutlery. Because of allergies within our church, please don’t bring anything with nuts and label anything that contains gluten. For more information, contact Richard Shepard,



The Mystical Organ: A Special Organ Lecture and Recital at First Presbyterian Church, Tacoma, Nov. 9


Experience God in a new way as the First Presbyterian Church (FPC) sanctuary is filled with the powerful and mysterious music of the pipe organ at a special FREE lecture and organ recital on the evening of Monday, Nov. 9 at 7:30 pm. The event will feature Sarah Duffy, who is earning her doctorate in music arts in organ performance from the University of Washington. During the first half of the evening, Duffy will tell the story behind the organ work L’Orgue Mystique and its composer. During the second half of the evening, she will perform selections from the work. Written by French organist and composer Charles Arnould Tournemire (1870-1939), L’Orgue Mystique (“The Mystical Organ”) has been hailed as a “blockbuster” organ work. Inspired by Gregorian Chants, L’Orgue Mystique took five years to complete and provides music for every part of the church year. Deeply Christian, L’Orgue Mystique has also inspired a series of paintings by noted artist Tom Walker. Celebrate the recent rebuild of our organ’s static regulator by attending this concert, and invite your family and friends!


About Sarah Duffy
Sarah Duffy is a professional organist, vocalist, and pianist from Allyn, WA. Currently, she is organist at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church in Tacoma. Prior to Duffy, Sarah 533x800that, she was organist for North American Martyrs Parish in Seattle for five years. Both parishes celebrate the Latin Mass, a beautiful liturgy in which the organ has a historical place. Sarah is also a DMA candidate in organ performance at the University of Washington, where she had experience as a music history TA and as a writing instructor. She is studying the music of Charles Tournemire, which is especially linked to the Latin Mass and Gregorian chant. Before coming back to Washington (Sarah grew up in Gig Harbor), she earned a Master in Sacred Music at the University of Notre Dame, and a Bachelor in Music at Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. Sarah’s husband Thomas is a general dentist in Shelton, and they have two lovely daughters who fill their house with giggles and joy.

About FPC’s Pipe Organ
FPC’s organ was originally built by the Reuter Organ Co. of Lawrence, Kansas and was presented to the church in memory of Edwin Swan by his wife Anna Rumbaugh Swan and was dedicated to “the glory of God.” According to a Tacoma News Tribune article from 1924, the organ required 15,000 feet of lumber to build, contained more than 3,000 pipes (which, if laid end to end, would extend for two miles), and weighed nearly 15 tons. The organ also used more than 35 miles of electric wiring and utilized 3,800 pneumatic bellows and pouches. Thanks to the generous contributions of FPC members and friends, the static regulator for the organ was rebuilt earlier this fall.

November is Stewardship Month

November is Stewardship Month at FPC, a time when we focus on giving to God and our community in all aspects of our lives. As part of our stewardship emphasis, we are encouraging FPC members and friends to participate each week by bringing something to share with our wider community. Here is the schedule of what you can bring:
November 1: Thanksgiving Food Baskets
November 8: Operation Christmas Child Shoeboxes
November 15: Disposable Diapers and Diaper Wipes for CareNet
November 22: Travel Sizes of Personal Care Items for Love, Inc.
November 29: New Socks and Underwear for the YWCA
For more details on what you can bring, download the flyer.
We will also be turning in financial pledge cards on November 22 during the worship service. During Children’s Church, FPC elementary children will be invited to participate in Stewardship Month as well by learning about tithing and being given their own pledge cards.
Also,  mark your calendars for Sunday, November 29. That’s when we will have a free celebration breakfast during the Sunday School hour!

Congregational Meeting Documents

If you missed the Congregational Meeting on Oct. 25, you can now download the documents distributed at the meeting.

Thanksgiving Food Baskets

Please help by donating the following items: Canned Vegetables, Canned Fruit, Black Olives, Apple Sauce, Stove-Top Stuffing, Boxed Potatoes, Boxed Pasta Mix, Rice-a-Roni. Financial donations to the Deacon Fund will purchase Turkey, Potatoes, Sweet Potatoes, Fresh Fruit, Eggs, Butter, Rolls and Dessert. Food will be collected through Sunday, November 15. Please bring your food donations to the collection boxes located in Fellowship Hall, the Narthex, and South Chapel. If you know of someone in need please contact Kathy Hawkins at

A Fall arrangement in a cornucopia on a white background

Ballet Jubilee This Sunday During Worship @ 10:30 am

During our worship service this Sunday, October 18, Ballet Jubilee will perform an interpretive dance to accompany our Chancel Choir, which will be singing “Let All Mortal Flesh Keep Silence” as arranged by Gustav Holst. Ballet Jubilee is a dance group from The Ballet Theatre School, a Christian ballet school in Edgewood. Two of the dancers (Rachel Quick and Katherine West) are from FPC, and the school’s director, Kathy Wilson, is the daughter-in-law of FPC member and usher Clay Wilson. Please come and invite your friends!

Suggest a New Name for FPCS

As you may know, our church school is working on becoming an independent K-12 Christian school. In coming years, First Pres will continue to operate its own pre-school, but the rest of its school will be launched as its own independent organization if plans come to fruition. The decision to spin off the elementary school was a decision made by the church’s leadership earlier this year. As part of the transition process, a new name needs to be chosen for the new school, and the transition committee has invited FPC members to submit their suggestions for a new school name by Thursday, October 22. Suggestions can be submitted by sending an email to or by completing a form in the school office.

Message from Camp McCullough

The word “new” has continued to make an appearance to us here at Camp McCullough. It has become our theme. Whether popping up in a simple conversation or being the foundational word in a daily verse, it is persistently seeping into daily life. This word can cause multiple reactions to different people. It can be scary because it most likely represents change or it can bring joy for that very same reason. We have experienced both. DSC_0284
We want to see Camp continue to be used in the lives of people of all ages and walks of life. We want to see it continue to be a place that people love to reminisce about. And we want to continue to see it be a place where Jesus is made real and big in the hearts of those who come. But we have come to a place where we need to look at “new” ways to help these things continue. This is why we are writing you.

One of the new things we are doing is starting a volunteer team for camp—a team of volunteers who would be willing to be called if there are needs for kitchen, cleaning or maintenance needs during weekend groups or special activity needs for FPC youth weeks during the summer. Volunteers could also be a part of a team or small group who come out to do service project days. We are hoping for volunteers who have hearts that have been touched by what God does through Camp McCullough and want to be a part of that continuing. This is not meant to be seen as overwhelming or looked at as “just another thing on your plate”. The more people we can have available, the less the load can be. There are endless stories to be heard of what joy can be found in service, and many of them come from service done at Camp.

This is new for us. We have survived on the sacrifice of the few who have helped us regularly over the years and we are beyond grateful. But it is time for a change. No more surviving. It is time to thrive.-1

Would you be willing to join the volunteer team? What about your small group or missional group?

If you would like to be on this list, please email us at with your name and phone number. We are putting together a list of the different needs and projects and will send that out as soon as possible.

Thank you!

Matt Miller
Camp McCullough Director

Shannon Sullivan
Camp McCullough Assistant Director

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