First Presbyterian Church Blog

September 2015 Update from Mark Barnes

When I last wrote in August I mentioned,  “several major achievements that happen in July that look to move us to regions beyond, into “new possibilities” I want to share some of these with you all now.

#1) We are in the final steps to buy a hotel near Nova Contagem to server as a regional operations base for the deck. We stayed at this hotel during our last outreach in july and are currently using it to run our drug rehab program.
This hotel as a base enables further development of our program on a larger scale focusing on drug and violence prevention, in the metropolitan northwestern part of BH and is close to our pilot project in Nova Contagem. It is in the town of Esmeraldas and located in the middle of some of the most violent parts of in the metropolitan region of BH.

The hotel has 52 rooms, 14 acres and a theme park called the “land of knowledge” where we plan to build a theatrical track/stage called “the drug tunnel” for a  preventive action to take 10,000 students per year on field trips. This together with continuous actions in the same schools ( amigos do bem na escola)  in the generic format of “school chaplaincy” and the equipping and support of a group of missionaries / agents for community development through U of N courses.

the hotel was built 40 years ago, it needs some work, “the land of knowledge” is in great shape and we have already used it to run the drug tunnel.
the mayor of emeralds went through it and cried, he loved !!!

#2) The drug tunnel is a program that connects us with a cross sections of Brazil society, because of the scope it can work with pre teens round drug prevention and murder reduction. ( we think we can do 100 field trips a year for a total of 10,000 kids a year going through this experience.) Right now we are connecting with government, business, education, church, sports, arts and media leaders, institutions and organizations. (Part of this program will include on long term partnership with public schools.)

#3) A new part to the circo manifesto artistic program was something we called “O placo e Voz” (the stage and the voice). This is a community rendition of the TV show “the voice”. We had over 100 people try out  for this singing competition from Nova Conatgem with 20 finalist competing for three weeks ends. These 20 were give special coaching in sing and stage performance by top entertain people during the three weeks. The community turn out for this part of the circo manifesto program was great.  We had over 1000 people come to last performance. we plan to keep this as a core part of how we connect with communities.

Beyond these three big new assets coming on line, what was incredible for me to see was the quality of our artistic missionary company of young leaders that are now working with us. We had well over 100 volunteers with very high quality of artistic performance and spirituality.

Bob Moffit spent most of the month of July with us and told me how impressed he was with what is happening in our midst. Through Bob I also reconnected with Graham Kerr recently and was very happy to share this up date with him as well.

Right now we are working on a business plans for the hotel, the drug tunnel and the deck as a whole. Our next outreaches will be in Maues in the Amazon in January, Nova Conatgem in July and Rio de Janeiro during the Olympic in August. ( I am also hoping to organize a full time 6 month community development school, “FCD” from the U of N, starting in June to be housed in the hotel.)

We are in over our heads, as usual, but taking great joy and comfort in how we see the Lord leading us.

A family note,

Iris and Gabriel were both in Brazil in July. It was so good for iris to see her mother for the first time in 4 years. We are all back into our groove in SC respectively, the kids in school, iris working her day care job and I now have 3 part time jobs that avail me with the flexibility to travel to brazil when I need to but keep me very busy when at home. My jobs are, substitute teaching, working for stop hunger now  running food packaging events and doing wilderness therapy  in the blue ridge mountains of NC, teaching coping skills for troubled teens.
Peace, Mark


Amazon Smile Program–Help Raise Funds for FPC!

If you purchase items at Amazon.com, did you know that you can get .5% of your purchases donated back to FPC? You can do this by using the Amazon Smile program. Note that we aren’t endorsing Amazon or encouraging or discouraging people to shop there… but if you do shop there already, consider doing it through the link provided and your purchases will also help support your church!
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Hear Our Organ THIS Sunday

FPC’s magnificent pipe organ is back! Its Static Regulator was rebuilt, and it was reinstalled this past week. (See what it took to reinstall it.) Come to church this Sunday and hear our organist Patrice Barnett play “Now Thank We All Our God” by Karg-Elert and “Prelude in G Major” by Bach. You don’t want to miss this debut of our organ with fuller sound. If you love organ music, also be sure to mark your calendar for the upcoming Organ Recital at FPC by Sarah Duffy from the University of Washington on Monday, November 9 at 7:30 pm.

 
 
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The Return of Our Organ’s Static Regulator!

It’s back! The Static Regulator for our wonderful pipe organ has been re-built and reinstalled. You can see what it took to get it reinstalled by checking out the picture gallery below. Thanks to everyone who helped out! And thanks to Chuck Hayden for supplying the photos and captions. Be sure to come back this Sunday to hear what our organ now sounds like!
 


Woman to Woman Mentor Meeting

Interested in learning what mentoring is all about?  Sunday Sept.27, Noon to 1 come to
the Gold Room for information on what is involved in being a mentor, a mentee, or a
prayer warrior in FPC’s Woman to Woman Mentoring Program.
 


Alpha Prayer

Anyone who is interested in praying for the upcoming Alpha program at FPC, starting in
January, please contact Betty McCartney at bettymccartney46@gmail.com.


Submit a Prayer Request Online!

You can now submit a prayer request online and have it submitted to the Prayer Chain, the Pastors, or the weekly bulletin. And check out the Prayer Ministry page for thoughts and updates about prayer from FPC’s Prayer Coordinator Betty McCartney.




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