All Church Labor Day Retreat – September 2-4

WHO’S INVITED? You! All of us! Come as you are… Newer to our community and those who’ve been at FPC for a long time. Young and “more life-experienced.” Single or with your partner and/or kids and/or other folks dear to you. People of all colors, shapes, sizes. Whatever your letters: LGBTQIA+ … AA … OSU, PSU, U of O… Outdoorsy or happier sitting on the porch. Church retreat veterans or not quite sure what you’re signing up for.   WHAT IS THIS ALL ABOUT? The All Church Labor Day Retreat offers our faith community time together in a beautiful location for an exceptional experience. Stepping away (or escaping) our lives’ usual responsibilities and distractions gives us a chance to breathe fresh air, marvel at creation, have more meaningful conversations/interactions with our fellow church members and look for God’s presence among [...]


Weddings at First Presbyterian Church

  First Presbyterian Church (FPC) is a unique treasure nestled in the heart of the city. With its Victorian Gothic-inspired architecture, it is the perfect location for a large or intimate affair. Built in 1890, it is one of the oldest and largest churches in Portland. The hammer-beam trusses, original hand-carved pews, Povey stained glass windows, and magnificent Jaeckel pipe organ provide the perfect setting for a romantic and unforgettable wedding ceremony.   Click here to learn more about booking your wedding at First Presbyterian Church.   [...]


In-Person Children’s Sunday School and Nursery Closure

Because of the particular vulnerability of babies in this season of the pandemic, the church nursery will be closed throughout the month of January. Children’s Sunday School will continue to meet in person (children gather in classes immediately following the Children’s Moment in worship). Thank you for your flexibility, families! If you have questions or concerns please reach out to Pastor Carmen. [...]


Pastor’s Note for January 2

The introduction to the gospel of John is both a poetic and theologically rich text. It calls forth images of a time before the world was created. I always imagined it to be a rich darkness with a soupy swirl of light in the center. The center of what, I am not sure. I imagine it to look like the pictures that satellites are shooting back from deep space of wonderful things. Things like bursting stars and new galaxies; but that in this light rests God, Christ, and the Holy Spirit. The text goes on to talk about John’s role of not being part of the light but to testify to the light. I can’t help think what an enormous task that must have been. Let us not forget that this is not just John’s task but it is something that [...]


Pastor’s Note for December 26

This year, we’re grateful for the hope that Christmas brings, that we will hear again the Christmas story of the angels announcing the birth of the Christ child, born in Bethlehem.  We are glad for the carols of Christmas that lift our hearts as we celebrate the Savior’s coming. This year, we’re grateful that we can gather (whether in person in the sanctuary or by streaming the Christmas Eve worship online from home) to remember and take heart that the Christ Child is born, and the light shines in the darkness. There will be a 5pm Children and Family Christmas Eve service, in which children attending are invited to take part, and a 9pm service of Lessons and Carols with candle lighting.  These services will be live-streamed, and also available to view after the times of the service.   I look [...]


Pastor’s Note for December 19

Here we are, right in the middle of the “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All” season.  I think we might widely agree that this isn’t the case in our world right now.  I’m reminded of a time when our world was a good deal more violent.  It was the beginning of the First World War, Christmas 1914.  Somehow, people on both sides of No-Man’s-Land managed to call a halt to the hostilities; at least for a little while. One website wrote: The starting of this Christmas truce was very amazing! It bubbled up from the ranks, with both armies making small gestures of goodwill in the days before Dec. 25. In France, some Germans suggested a brief, local cease-fire, even sweetening the deal with a chocolate cake. Along the Lys River, a battalion of Welsh infantrymen hoisted a banner reading [...]


Pastor’s Note for December 12

“Saint John the Baptist,” Alvise Vivarini, c. 1475

In this season when the days darken so early, it’s a joy to see the myriad Christmas lights strung on our energetic neighbors’ houses, shining in the dark, a note of hope amid all that these days are holding. Next week, on the evening of Wednesday, December 15, we will have a Blue Christmas service that is a time to remember, to grieve what has been lost in the year we’ve had, and to begin to look ahead in hope, to take comfort in the presence of Christ’s Spirit. This service will be both in-person in the sanctuary and streamed for viewing at home. This Sunday, we read the story of John the Baptist, or John the Prophet, as might better describe his work and witness. We hear of his call for us to turn and to look for light [...]


Pastor’s Note for December 5

"Sunrise on the Sea" Camille Pissarro, 1883

As December begins, we’re delighted to welcome our new Parish Associate, the Rev. Dave Dornack, who will be with us in worship this Sunday.  Dave has recently retired from Rose City Park Presbyterian, and is joining our staff, where he will be involved in pastoral care and worship, and as pastoral liaison to our Deacons.  We’re grateful for the Spirit’s call for him to join us for this next chapter of ministry! Our readings will include Luke 1:68-79, the song of Zechariah, heralding the birth of his son John, born to be the one who prepared the way for the coming Christ. This includes the beautiful passage that is often part of morning prayer: By the tender mercy of our God,    the dawn from on high will break upon us,  to give light to those who sit in darkness and in [...]


Pastor’s Note for November 28

As we enter the holiday season, expectations are high for a cozy and festive time, yet all the busyness of preparations and the overlay of the continuing pandemic season finds many feeling a bit stressed or overwhelmed, sometimes struggling to keep spirits high. Harvard Medical School has done research that shows how something that is at the heart of Thanksgiving can help us in weathering and enjoying the holidays, the very act of giving thanks. Having a practice of taking time daily to be grateful for life’s gifts, its researchers have found, “helps people feel happier, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.” This year, there is much for which we can give thanks. We’re grateful for this Thanksgiving that (unlike last year’s) has allowed more chance to gather with loved ones. After a [...]


Pastor’s Note for November 21

This Sunday in worship, we will celebrate a joyous occasion in the life of our church and our regional church, the Presbytery of the Cascades, in the ordination of Alexander Wendeheart to the Ministry of Word and Sacrament.  Alexander has been a candidate for ministry under the care of our church Session, and recently passed his final ordination exams and examination at Presbytery. To understand the path that Alexander has taken, and for any who may be interested in exploring the possibility of training for Ministry of Word and Sacrament, the long and winding journey toward ordination unfolds with a number of markers along the way.  First, a person considering ministry becomes an Inquirer, and undertakes a process to discern whether they have a call for this ministry.  The call is both an inward one of the Spirit and a [...]


Join Us for Worship Service

Every Sunday at 10:30 am

First Presbyterian Church
1200 SW Alder Street
Portland, Oregon 97205

Tel: (503) 228-7331