Pastors Note for Sunday, July 25th

July 25th icon

Dear Church Friends, As the upheaval caused by the pandemic begins, we hope, to subside, we see in the news a host of aftershocks that continue to reverberate through the world. Researchers are concerned that some of the progress that had been made in alleviating global hunger has now been reversed, with some areas of the world facing chronic shortages of affordable food.  World Vision notes that nearly 9% of the world’s people go to bed hungry most nights.  And researchers in Oregon note that nearly ¼ of Oregon’s population now find themselves food insecure, without the assurance of sufficient reliable food for themselves and their families. It can be overwhelming to read these statistics, and to envision the scope of the need and the impacts on individual lives.  Faced with all this, people sometimes find themselves at a loss [...]


Opera on the Plaza: July 29th-August 1st at 7:30 pm

Orfeo in Underland

Madeline Ross, FPC’s Soprano and Celebration Works administrator, is excited to welcome Renegade Opera, Portland’s unconventional opera company, who will be transforming FPC’s plaza into an opera stage! Orfeo in Underland is a modern adaptation of C.W. Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice, featuring Italian singing, English dialogue, larger-than-life puppets, and an original musical arrangement for chamber orchestra. Join Orfeo as she hallucinates a trial-filled journey to retrieve Euridice from Underland. It’s a live theater experience you don’t want to miss! Dates: July 29th, 30th, 31st, and August 1st at 7:30 pm. Find more information and get your tickets at [...]


Pastor’s Note for Sunday, July 18th

Robert S. Duncanson, Owl's Head Mountain, 1864

Dear church friends, “Come away to a deserted place by yourselves, and rest awhile.”  These are Jesus’ words to the disciples, encouraging them to take up the pattern that he practiced, with involvement with people in the wider world interspersed with time to withdraw and rest, for prayer and renewal.  Being incarnate in the world as one of us, he knew what it is to be weary at times, to give of ourselves in certain seasons until there is a need to pull back and recharge. Summer may bring a chance to come away to one of the quiet places in nature, whether watching the birds on the patio, on a walk around the neighborhood, or in travels to the mountains or coast, where we can set down the usual pattern of our days, lay aside our screens, and rest [...]


FPC at work in our Neighborhood

Alder House Food Pantry

I love stories where goodness flows out like ripples in a pond, which happened recently at First Presbyterian. A year ago in July, thanks to a grant from the Capital Campaign Mission giving funds, FPC was able to adopt the Alder House building through our mission partner Lift Urban Portland (Lift UP). This adoption meant that for the year we supported monthly food boxes that are specific to the resident’s needs, provided food and nutrition education through their supper club program, and the ongoing support of the Emergency Food Closet, housed in our Julia West building. Our Mission Committee was faced with a decision on how to fund the next year’s adoption fee after the overall church budget was hit hard due to the COVID Pandemic. Hope was not lost! FPC received a generous memorial gift and the Session voted [...]


Capital Campaign Mission Giving Update: Wild Fire Relief

2020 brought not only the global COVID-19 pandemic but also devastating wildfires to the Pacific Northwest, including here in Oregon. Five churches in the Presbytery of the Cascades were deeply impacted: First Presbyterian Church of Phoenix McKenzie Valley Presbyterian Church The First Presbyterian Church of Mill City Springwater Presbyterian Church Eagle Creek Presbyterian Church The Capital Campaign Mission Giving Committee of our church (with Session approval) designated $3,000 to each church for their relief efforts. Letters of gratitude received from the churches indicate the financial gifts have helped in the following ways: Assist church members who lost their homes or suffered other losses Help stock a food pantry and support of food programs Church repairs due to smoke damage Rebuild fencing around a church building Repair a church fire escape Rehab a church parking lot All of these churches are [...]


Pastor’s Note for Sunday, July 11th

The Rainbow

As we begin to emerge from the pandemic, there is a sense that things won’t go back to the way they were, as so much has changed.  Some of the changes may be good to retain, while others will be happily cast off as we embrace a wider life again.  As the direction ahead is still taking shape and as yet a bit hazy, the Scripture reading for this Sunday offers a path through ways as yet unknown. The reading is from Ephesians 1:3-14, and gives a sense of the mystery of God’s purposes and will, the direction God has for our lives and for all of life.  The writer Coleridge called Ephesians “the divinest of human compositions,” and Scottish commentator William Barclay called it “the queen of the Epistles,” as it encapsulates our hope in Christ, and gives a [...]


Pastor’s Note for Sunday, July 4th

How are you doing, church? If you are anything like me, the heat makes you tired and grouchy.  The youth and youth leaders who have been at Camp Attitude this week have put me to shame. They are out serving kids and families with great attitudes in 90-degree heat all day. Praise God for their inspiration and example!  In the meanwhile, if you are feeling depleted and are in need of a word of hope and encouragement, I hope you’ll gather among God’s imperfect, beloved, (and occasionally grouchy) people this Sunday to be fed by God’s Word and fed at God’s table. I’ll be preaching on Mark 13 and Jesus’ command to travel light and I assure you there is a word of grace and liberation in it for us all.  Before you prepare for the July 4th festivities, please [...]


Pastor’s Note for Sunday, June 27th

Christ Raising Jairus’ Daughter

 Lamentations 3: 22-24 The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases, God’s mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I will hope in God.’ As we begin to emerge and re-engage as the pandemic season eases, we’re grateful for how God has brought us through all the challenges that the past year has held.  At times, we’ve been weary as so many things that seemed firmly in place have been swept away by so much change. Scripture reminds us that while there are troubles for each day, God also gives mercy and strength sufficient for each day.  We recall how the manna was given to the Israelites in the wilderness, just enough for each day.  And this seems to be echoed here; mercy [...]


Calling All Parents and Grandparents

Do you have children/grandchildren that you occasionally bring to church? Do you want to receive regular updates about events and opportunities at FPC that may be a gift to these little people you love (birth through 5th grade)? Please make sure you are on Pastor Carmen’s email list to ensure you receive information about activities and classes that may be of interest to you. There are many wonderful things in store this fall and she wants you to have the calendar for the year so you can plan accordingly. Please reach out to to get looped in! [...]


Church Officer Nominating Process

In preparation for the election of Elders, Deacons, Trustees, and Congregational Nominating Committee (CNC) members at a Congregational Meeting to be held in the Fall, your help is needed. The CNC will send information on officers and members currently serving, including those whose terms are ending in January of 2022. Please help by sending the response forms to suggest names for consideration, along with supporting information to You can even suggest your own name if you have an interest in this form of ministry. Links will also be available in email blasts. Sunday, June 27th is the deadline for reception of suggested names. Thank you in advance, for your thoughtful responses. CNC Response Form 2021 [...]


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Every Sunday at 10:30 am

First Presbyterian Church
1200 SW Alder Street
Portland, Oregon 97205

Tel: (503) 228-7331