5 Things to Know This Week @ First Pres

1 Yes, again

Lent is the 40 days (minus Sundays) before Easter, and it begins next week. In preparation for this holy time, we’ll pause this Sunday to reaffirm our baptismal vows. It’s not a baptism--and it’s certainly not a re-baptism (we Presbyterians don’t do that!)--but it is a chance for those of us who have said “yes” to Jesus in the past to say “yes” to Jesus now and declare our intention to continue saying “yes” into the future. We’re especially excited this year that ECO, our national church, has published a new prayer service for just this occasion, and we’ll be using it on Sunday. Also, the Chancel Choir will delight us with a new arrangement of “Amazing Grace.”

2 In Lent

Here are some of the ways we’ll be marking the season of Lent together: A new worship series, “The Power of the Gospel,” celebrating Jesus’ power in our lives Sermon-based small groups (call ‘em “Power Groups!) on Sundays @ 11, Tuesday night at 6:30, or Thursday night at 6:30. Sign up Sunday or call the Church Office to let us know you’re coming. Friday nights at 5:45 with the Ministerial Association for Lenten worship. Locations to come! A variety of devotional material will be available on the table in the Church Foyer at no charge.

3 “Run to the Cross”

On March 29, in worship, our church choir will perform a musical in partnership with the praise band. Arranged by the noted worship leader Travis Cottrell, the musical expresses the journey of Christ to the cross and celebrates His final victory in 7 beautifully composed songs. Dean would like to invite anyone who might sing with the choir for a time to join us in preparing this “high-energy praise and worship Easter”. Rehearsals for this piece will begin immediately this Thursday at 6:30 and each Thursday following. A special kick-off rehearsal is scheduled for Saturday, February 29 with breakfast at 8:30 a.m. and rehearsal from 9:00-11:00. Dean says, “Let’s make this something truly special! Let’s make this a worship event!”


I’ll let you fill this one in.

5 Friday Bible School

School aged kids, join the fun on Fridays from 1 to 4 p.m. Check out more info and the link to registration at https://www.facebook.com/FridayBibleSchool/.

Finally, a thank you and a prayer…

Thank you...from the youth and childrens for your support of their fundraiser last Sunday. They raised just about $600 for summer camps and youth activities,...and prayers for all members, friends, and extended family undergoing treatment for cancer, especially Mike Miller and Brad Jones.

First Church Alerts

1 Zero to Hero

Nate Wilson will be here in worship on Sunday morning, February 16, to share his journey and passions with us. He wrote the book “Zero to Hero” about his recovery and how he has been renewed.


High School Youth group time has been changed. They will meet at 7pm instead of 6:30pm on Tuesdays. AWESOME Middle School Fellowship continues in Wednesdays at 6:30.

3 New Janitor

We would like to congratulate Steve Elwood on the new position as our Janitorial Engineer!

4 Pancake Breakfast

Stay for Breakfast on Sunday to help support our kids and youth! They are having a pancake fundraiser. Meals are $10 for adults and $5 for children 10 and under. ALL YOU CAN EAT!

5 A few good men and women

We are looking for 3-4 individuals or couples to lead sermon-based small groups during Lent, beginning March 1 and concluding with Easter on April 12. based on our worship series “The Power of the Gospel.” Different groups will meet on Sundays or Wednesdays. Please see Pastor MJ or Marilyn Chambers is you’re interested.

Finally, prayers... for Mike Miller, recovering from a mild stroke; for Wayne Tyler as he heals from a blood clot; for the family of Cheryl Freidenberger as they continue to mourn her death; for safety and success for Lexi Minck, Karl Ludwig, and Matthew Beard (their director) as they head to Pueblo tomorrow for the Festival of the Winds Honor Band; and for anyone who may be missing their own sweetheart during Valentine’s Day celebrations. The love of God is best of all.

Welcome to our Worship at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings at the corner of 20th and Raton. God's House, our children's Sunday School, meets after the children's message in Worship. We will go over Renewal in public life: Romans 13:1-7 Big idea: We are renewed in Christ as we learn to engage the world and its authority with integrity.

First Church Alerts

1 “8 Good Things” congregational meeting

It won’t be the usual, (boring) annual meeting this year on Sunday, February 2. Yes, we’ll look at the budget and approve the pastor’s salary (has to be done!), but then we’ll celebrate and sing and praise God together. Please plan to stay after worship that day!

2 Renewed in the world

“Renew: Spiritual Transformation” continues this Sunday in worship with “Renewed in the World” from Romans 13:1-17, “Let everyone be subject to governing authorities…” It’s a challenging passage. The Chancel Choir with help from the Praise Band will offer, “Sing to the King,” and we’ll hear updates on youth ministry from Kristen Elwood.

3 Speaking of Youth Groups

A few things: We’ve got a pancake fundraiser happening on February 16 to support summer camp and the ski trip. Everyone come eat! (2) No high school youth group this Tuesday, January 28. (3) Monarch ski trip info went in the mail today. Watch your mailboxes or have your parents check their email.

4 Goodbye to the playhouse

A huge thanks to Greg Holt who has spent the week demolishing the church playhouse. Unfortunately, vandalism had made the playhouse an eyesore and a safety hazard. We hope to replace it in the spring with a fun, more indestructible play structure.

5 Rule of Life

A rule of life is simply a set of commitments--prayed for and written down--that we follow to honor God and stay on track in our faith and relationships in the midst of our busy lives (www.ruleoflife.com). The “class” will take place in February, both in person and via Zoom meeting. It will be flexible to accommodate those busy lives of ours. If you’d like to join Pastor MJ for this experience, please e-mail her at pastor@lajuntapres.org.

First Church Alerts

1 Renew

Our five week worship series, “Renew: Spiritual Transformation,” continues this Sunday. Based on Romans 12-16, it’s about renewal of who we are, what we do, with whom we do it, and that to which we look forward. Here’s how the series will unfold: January 19 Renewed in the church family January 26 Renewed in a world divided February 2 Renewed in our relationships February 9 Renewed in hope We invite you to invite others to share the experience.

2 “Zero to Hero”

We’re excited to announce that Nate Wilson, author of Zero to Hero: The Tale of My Recovery from Drug Addiction and Psychosis, will be with us to share his testimony on Sunday, February 16. You may know Nate as Dottie Burnett’s nephew. He’s got a powerful story to tell, so please mark the date on your calendars and share with others.

3 Visions & visitors

The God’s House Kidz continue to learn the stories of the early Christians this month. On Sunday, they’ll meet Philip and his Ethiopian friend. With games, crafts, lessons and music, we encourage to help your kids find friends who can join them on the journey.

4 Youth ski trip

Both our middle school and high school youth groups are up and meeting now in the new year. Middle School Youth Fellowship happens on Wednesdays at 6:30 p.m., with High School Youth Fellowship at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday nights. The youth ski trip will happen on February 28-29 at Monarch. More info will be coming soon!

5 Congregational meeting

Our annual congregational meeting happens on Sunday, February 2, after worship, at 11 a.m. The theme of this year’s congregational meeting (yes, there’s a theme!) is “8 Good Things.” Come find out why!

Welcome to our Worship at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings at the corner of 20th and Raton. God's House, our children's Sunday School, meets after the children's message in Worship. This week we will begin our Renew series! We will also be starting a new series in God’s House, “Visits and Visions”.

5 Things to Know This Week @ First Pres

1 Renew

“Be renewed,” wrote the apostle Paul in his Letter to the Romans (12:1-2), but do we want to know God’s energy and peace? Even hungry people won’t eat if they don’t want the food. Do we want to be renewed? Join us in worship for the next 5 Sundays of this very special worship series, “Renew,” using the last 5 chapters of Romans. It’s going to be good.

2 8%!

While church membership and worship attendance continue to decline across America, we grew in 2019. Our average worship grew 8%! Thanks to all who make the commitment to grow in relationship with your church family, as well as those who took the brave step of bringing first time guests on Sunday mornings. God is very, very good.

3 God’s House

In this unit--“Visions and Visitors”--kids will learn about the first followers of Jesus: Stephen, Peter, Paul, and others. Kids (with help from you parents), bring your friends to make it even more fun.

4 Order in the chaos?

Chaotic? Overwhelmed? Maybe just a little adrift? Find your compassion with the “Rule of Life” class experience. Over 4-5 weeks, we’ll meet in person and Google hangout as we write together a written “rule of life” to guide us through our days. Join Pastor MJ for a preview following worship this Sunday. No commitment required. Just come find out what it’s all about.

5 Blessed to be a blessing

God has richly blessed us, and we are sharing that blessing with families in Central America. Just a little over $3100 was received for our Christmas Offering, thus meeting and exceeding our goal of $3000. We’ll be sending it to World Renew in the next week!

Finally, prayers... of comfort and strength for the family of Terry and Doug Miller, upon the death of Terry’s father, Joe McCall...and the same for Jeff and Kathleen Paolucci, upon the death of Jeff’s mother Loretta. May God’s peace and strength sustain all.

Welcome to our Worship at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings at the corner of 20th and Raton. God's House, our children's Sunday School, will perform "Joy Story". After worship we will be celebrating the pageant with a christmas lunch!

5 Things to Know This Week @ First Pres

1 Joy Story & Christmas Luncheon

Join us on Sunday for our annual Christmas pageant, “Joy Story.” Stay afterwards for our luncheon. The Fellowship Team will provide turkey, potatoes, stuffing and gravy. We’re asked to bring a side dish or dessert.

2 Five. Cinco. Cinq. Funf.

Our Christmas Eve worship begins at 5 p.m. this year. That’s a new time for us, and we don’t want you to miss it (at 5 p.m.). We’ll hear the story of Christ’s birth read by some of our returning young adults, sing the songs of our faith, consider the miracle of Jesus in Pastor MJ’s Christmas message, (at 5 p.m.) and celebration the Lord’s Supper before lighting the candles for the traditional singing of Silent Night. Don’t miss it! Bring family and friends! And did we mention that it happens at 5 p.m.?

2 A whole lot of thank-you’s

To Matthew, Dean, Chris, and all of our wonderful musicians for last Sunday’s remarkable Christmas concert, “Behold.” To Joey, Gloria, and the Evangelism Team for putting together the “Behold” Art Show. To our marvelous volunteers for the very fun and successful Parents Night Out. To Katy Jones for outreach to the LJ Primary School, and our gift wrappers at the LJ Intermediate School. Thanks for being those joyful disciples who make joyful disciples, to bless the world with Jesus’ love.

3 Pajama Day

The Sunday after Christmas is a casual day, with storytelling and a carolsing. We’ll make hot chocolate and eat a few leftover cookies. Wear your pajamas and enjoy the time together as family in Christ.

4 Congrats to our Art Show winners

Nancy Toth posthumously People’s Choice Adult: Nancy Toth “Bay” 1st Place: Dottie Burnett “Colorado Sunset” 2nd Place: Dr. Patrick Smith “Aspen Mountain” People’s Choice Student: Christian Smith-Pumalpa “Life Stipes” People’s Choice Child: Emma Gacnik “Lily” 1st Place: Skyler Finkner “Avengers End Game” 2nd Place: Weston Finkner “Joy”

5 Help wanted

Jerry Chambers will be stepping down as our Fellowship Coordinator just as soon as his replacement can be found. If you are super-organized and find joy in hospitality, please see Pastor MJ as soon as you can.


Epiphany Sunday, January 5, as we celebrate the arrival of the wisemen and the joy of sharing the light of Christ with the world. A brunch will follow worship, and some very special Epiphany games for all ages.

“Renew: The Time Is Now” It’s a worship series for a New Year. Jesus is Savior? So what? We’ll focus on the second half of the Book of Romans in this intensive four week series in worship, renewing our commitment to live out the faith we’ve received. Beginning January 12.

Welcome to our Worship at 10:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings at the corner of 20th and Raton. God's House, our children's Sunday School, meets after the children's message in Worship and will be continuing to practice for the Christmas Pageant. Join us for our Art Show in the Cranson Room beginning after worship and our Behold, An Angel Concert for Christmas during worship! It is also the 3rd Sunday in Advent and the Chancel Choir will be singing “Carol for Advent”.

We are pleased to have sponsored Hayden Bickel and Bethany Bender on an adult mission trip to El Salvador with Living Water International to assist with the drilling of water wells. They were in El Salvador June 11-15. Pictures from their mission trip.