News & Events

Pastor’s Note for September 5th

The golden light of September has arrived and there are signs of autumn emerging all around us: the mornings are growing cooler, rich blue skies are giving way to a setting sun earlier and earlier each day, and heavy-laden apple and plum trees remind us that summer is coming to a close.  My friend Lindy Vogado says, “There is something terribly optimistic about the smell of early fall.”  My hope is that despite the challenges you are facing, there are threads of optimism running through the tapestry of your lives. The world is not an easy place and life is full of challenge.  We are mindful that suffering exists across the globe and as Christians we feel an urgent pull to bear one another’s burdens, to offer healing and wholeness where we are able, and to experience the goodness of [...]


Pastor’s Note for August 29th

As we come to the end of August and look ahead to fall, amid the customary hopes and expectations for a new school and church program year, we are feeling the weight of this prolonged season of responding to the virus, and the ways it is changing our lives and upending our usual patterns. It is in just such times of challenge that our faith gives us support and strength, while also calling us to live out our faith with greater dedication. This Sunday’s reading is from the letter of James, a passage that asks us to “be doers of the word and not hearers only.” This is linked to the great commandment of Christ that our church is taking up as a new mission motto: Love God. Love our Neighbors. One of the ways we can be doers of [...]


Pastor’s Note for August 22nd

This week’s Old Testament scripture comes from the prophet Jeremiah who long ago declared this promise from God; “I know what I’m doing. I have it all planned out—plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for. (Jeremiah 29:11, The Message) I am not sure about you but in the face of rising COVID cases, the Taliban taking over of Kabul, and natural disasters raging in all four corners of the world, it is hard to believe in the future I hope for. I hope for a world without war, without hunger, where we respect and love all people and care for the world that sustains us. These are big hopes, I know! But I believe in a God that loves creation and wants to see all parts of it cared [...]


Pastor’s Note for August 8th

Elijah and the Angel by Bernardino Luini

“These are the times that try our souls;” words that were penned more than two hundred years ago by Thomas Paine, and that seem all too resonant in the days through which we are living. With the pandemic still tenaciously refusing to relinquish its grip, and our living through a summer with fires and aberrations in the weather that seem far from usual, we find ourselves in a season that tries our souls. Our reading for Sunday is part of the story of Elijah, at a time in his journey that found him worn down by life, dejected and bordering depression, edging toward what we would now see as burnout.  How God offered him sustenance to sustain his soul, and how we can stay sustained in such times is the theme of our service this Sunday. I hope you will [...]


Pastor’s Note for August 1st

Manna in the Wilderness

The Table of Our Lord We once again gather at the Table on Sunday, some actually in the sanctuary, but many more of you still participating from your homes. We rehearse the stories told and retold many times. We tell stories of manna in the wilderness and stories of meals shared by the familiar people of Israel’s centuries-long story of trust in the Holy One. We tell stories of Jesus’ meals with new acquaintances or old friends or disciples who called him Teacher. We tell stories of the meals of the new fellowships of the churches in Corinth and Ephesus and Philippi. We tell stories of the meals shared by Christians in congregations and church orders across time. All these stories are stories about how the Creator and Redeemer has chosen to enjoy fellowship with us and to encourage us [...]


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 [...]


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