• published a newsletter

    ReadFirst Church Alert
    August 5th, 2020

    5 Things to Know This Week @ First Church

    1  Confirmation this Sunday

    We’re excited (finally) to celebrate the confirmation of Livia Smith, Megan Rouille, Keo Fisher, and Jayden Dunn this Sunday at the 9 a.m. service.  Join us in-person or on-line as we welcome them into the fellowship of faith and our local church family!  Find us online at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXTs_9jRVMSXuzpfEIJKknA.


    2  Baptism too!

    At 10:15, between worship services, we’ll continue the celebration by baptizing Megan and Jayden, as well as Gabby Cunningham, who’ll be presented for baptism by parents Jeff and Vi Cunningham. The baptisms will take place on the church lawn.


    3  God’s House returns

    Kids (PreK-5th grade), please join us in-person at the 9 a.m. service or online at www.firstchurchlajunta.org/gods-house as we celebrate God’s creation. Both in person and online, we’ll hear the story of creation, sing, and participate in a hands-on activity to support the learning. In person, we’ll practice all the good safety guidelines prescribed by state and local officials.  We’re excited to be able to offer this ministry again.


    4  Nursery reopens

    Our nursery reopens this Sunday during both services. It will look a little different, with the unused or un-sanitizable toys removed.  Miss Stephanie will be there to welcome the kids, and Miss Elisabeth & Miss Lexi will take turns helping her. Again, we’ll be practicing all the safety guidelines prescribed for childcare facilities.


    4 A debt of gratitude

    A debt of gratitude to Meredith Bradfield, David Book, and Jerry Bradfield, who helped pack and move Dave Kuebbeler’s belongings to storage.  Thanks too to Ross and Ruth Vance for providing the storage space.


    Finally...

    Are you worshiping from home on Sunday mornings?  We could still use help moderating the comment thread on the YouTube channel while services are streaming. Our current set-up does not allow the AV Tech to see and respond to comments being made, so you’d be greatly appreciated. Interested?  Let us know in the Church Office. 


    Pssst…

    We’ve got a big announcement to make this Sunday about our Youth & Children’s Ministries, so don’t miss it!


    Find us:

    On YouTube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXTs_9jRVMSXuzpfEIJKknA/featured?view_as=subscriber

    Facebook https://www.facebook.com/lajuntapresbyterians

    Twitter https://twitter.com/FirstChurchofLJ

    Instagram https://www.instagram.com/firstchurch_lajunta/?hl=en

     



    1. published a newsletter

      ReadFirst Church Alert
      July 29th, 2020

      5 Things to Know This Week @ First Church

      1  Memorial service for Dave Kuebbeler

      The Kuebbeler Family invites us to a graveside service for Dave on Monday, August 3, at 11 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery.  The service will take place at the cemetery’s columbarium (i.e. the memorial wall for urn storage near the center of the cemetery).  The service will be livestreamed at Peacock Larsen’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Peacock-Larsen-Funeral-Home-161576353863267/.  Memorial contributions can be made to the church or to the Arkansas Valley Hospice, of which Dave was an organizing board member. 


      Note:  As we know, Dave Kuebbeler had no local family, so we (his church family) are being asked to assist in several ways:  packing his room at Evergreen, storing his belongings, and storing his car until further arrangements can be made. Do you have any extra storage space? If you are available to help with the packing this Friday afternoon between 1 and 3 p.m., please contact Pastor MJ directly at 719-469-7717.  


      2 Dysfunctional:  Old Stories, Same Problems

      The pandemic has brought us closer to our families (in good ways and bad) than ever before.  Are our families perfect?  Of course not, and no family ever was.  Join us in August for this fun worship series from the Book of Genesis, as we learn how God blesses our families, even the dysfunctional ones, with stories from Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  This week, we’ll start with Father Abraham himself.  We’ll celebrate the Lord’s Supper, and enjoy special music.  Join us in person or online (except for the communion--sorry) at https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXTs_9jRVMSXuzpfEIJKknA.


      3  Move!

      A lovely bunch of kids are moving (and moved and moved) to the Holy Spirit as our mini-VBS continues.  If you’d like to join the kids for their closing program, join us on Thursday at about 8:10 p.m. in the upper parking lot.  A big thanks to Karen Gacnik, Arah Minck, Cathy Lease, Joey Gacnik, Lexi Minck, Elisabeth Chambers, and Elly Ludwig for their fabulous, faithful leadership.


      4 Welcome, Nik!

      We’re so, so blessed to welcome Nik Fishkin as our new AV Tech.  Nik will oversee all of our sanctuary audio visual operations, as well as our live streaming services.  Nik and his wife Erika live here in La Junta. Nik works full time at Walmart.  


      5 A little help from home?

      Are you worshiping from home on Sunday mornings?  We could use help moderating the comment thread on the YouTube channel while services are streaming.  Interested?  Let us know in the Church Office. 




      Find us!!!

      On youtube https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXTs_9jRVMSXuzpfEIJKknA/featured?view_as=subscriber

      FB https://www.facebook.com/lajuntapresbyterians

      Twitter https://twitter.com/FirstChurchofLJ

      Instagram https://www.instagram.com/firstchurch_lajunta/?hl=en

       


      Prayer meeting Zoom Invite

      If you do not have the link to join the meeting please email the church office at office@lajuntapres.org.



      1. published a newsletter

        ReadFirst Church Alert
        July 15, 2020

        5 Things to Know this Week @ First Church

        1 Move it, move it

        Our action based Vacation Bible School, “Move,” will happen Sunday, July 26, through Thursday, July 30, from 6:30-8:30 p.m. It’s fun, games, and learning in an outdoor environment that will allow us to work within social distancing guidelines--no masks! Register at https://form.jotform.com/201905696162155.  


        2 Graveside service for Leonard Vance

        The family of Leonard Vance invites the church family to be present for a graveside service, on Saturday, July 18, at 10:00 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery. We anticipate that the service will be streamed on Peacock-Larsen’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/Peacock-Larsen-Funeral-Home-161576353863267/


        3 Breakthrough

        Join as we continue “Breakthrough” this Sunday, July 19, in worship. This worship series encourages every person to experience a breakthrough. No life is too far gone for the all-sufficient, forgiving Savior. Jesus can take any life at any stage and make it a trophy of grace. This week, we’re reminded to listen to the voice of Jesus as we meet the Gerasene demoniac in Luke 8. We welcome Hannah Smith, singing, “Remember.”


        4 God’s House neighborhood club  

        Join us next week, July 22, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. as we shipwreck with the apostle Paul on the island of Malta. Participation is limited to 8 kids, so please RSVP to the Church Office or to Pastor MJ’s daughter Elly at eleanor.ludw@gmail.com. There will be no Neighborhood Club on July 29 during Vacation Bible School.


        5 Next steps

        Please keep your church leaders in your prayers as we look ahead at next steps for reopening our children’s and midweek ministries in ways that will help faith flourish while keeping each other as safe as possible.


        Prayer meeting Zoom Invite

        If you do not have the link to join the meeting please email the church office at office@lajuntapres.org.

        1. published a newsletter

          ReadFirst Church Alert
          July 9, 2020

          5 Things to Know this Week @ First Church

          1 Breakthrough

          Join as we begin “Breakthrough” this Sunday, July 9, in worship. This four-week worship series encourages every person to experience a breakthrough. It highlights four people within the Gospels who experienced a personal breakthrough that completely changed their life. No life is too far gone for the all-sufficient, forgiving Savior. Jesus can take any life at any stage and make it a trophy of grace. This week, we meet the Samaritan woman in John 4 and discover how grace broke down barriers between her and God.


          2 Graveside service for Leonard Vance

          The family of Leonard Vance invites the church family to be present for a graveside service, tentatively scheduled for Saturday, July 18, at 10:00 a.m. at Fairview Cemetery. We anticipate that the service will be streamed as well, so we’ll let you know where to find it as soon as we know.


          3 Love Your Neighbor

          Our Love Your Neighbor program got the chance to bless our first neighbor last week, when we did yard work for a family in Rocky Ford.  Do you know someone who could use some help? Let us know!  Call the Church Office or find Chad Smith.


          4 Move it, move it

          Our action based Vacation Bible School, “Move,” will happen Sunday, July 26, through Thursday, July 30, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.   It’s fun, games, and learning in an outdoor environment that will allow us to work within social distancing guidelines--no masks!  Thanks to all of you who came forward to volunteer your time and talents.  


          5 God’s House neighborhood club  

          We enjoyed our first God’s House neighborhood club this week, and boy was it fun.  Join us next week, July 15, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. Participation is limited to 8 kids, so please RSVP to the Church Office or to Pastor MJ’s daughter Elly at eleanor.ludw@gmail.com.  



          Prayer meeting Zoom Invite

          If you do not have the link to join the meeting please email the church office at office@lajuntapres.org.



          1. published a newsletter

            ReadFirst Church Alert
            July 1, 2020

            5 Things to Know this Week @ First Church

            1 Worship with celebration of the Lord’s Supper

            We celebrate the Lord’s Supper this Sunday, July 5, as we conclude our series, “I Get Knocked Down Again,” from Lamentations 3:21–33, 55–66. It’s all about hope and the promise that God always helps us back up again when we’re knocked down.  


            2 Church Camp

            Exciting and true, our summer church camp is happening the week of July 20-25 at Ponderosa Camp outside Monument.  There’s still room for more, so see Pastor MJ as soon as you can if you’re interested.  Open to kids who finished 3rd - 8th grade in this latest school year.


            3 Move it, move it

            Karen Gacnik has plans for a wonderful, action based Vacation Bible School called “Move.”  It’s fun, games, and learning in an outdoor environment that will allow us to work within social distancing guidelines--no masks!  We have the dates: July 26-30, from 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Now, all she needs is you!  We can’t do it without volunteer leaders, so please see her just as soon as possible to let her know you’re available.


            4  God’s House neighborhood club  July 8

            A God’s House neighborhood club will happen Wednesday, July 8, from 1:30 to 3 p.m. at the home of Pastor MJ at 912 Santa Fe Avenue in La Junta. We’ll complete that week’s God’s House lesson and play in the sprinklers, so wear clothes that can get wet.  Participation is limited to 8 kids, so please RSVP to the Church Office or to Pastor MJ’s daughter Elly at eleanor.ludw@gmail.com.  


            5 A “white church”?

            Did you know that our own church that has been known in La Junta as a “white church”?  What does that mean for us?  Join us on Sunday evenings for four weeks, beginning July 12 at 7 p.m., as we read and discuss The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby.  It will be an enlightening, challenging, and hopeful discussion of race and justice in the church.   We’ll decide on a location for the discussion as the time gets closer and we know what kind of restrictions we’ll be under.  In the meantime, you can order the book from Amazon or any of the online local booksellers such as www.tatteredcover.com.


            Finally...thank you, thank you, thank you

            To the many hearts and hands who helped make the funerals for Midge Cranson and Chris Johnson happen this week.  We grieve, but not as those without hope, and we celebrate these two giants of faith who will greet us in heaven someday.


            Prayer meeting Zoom Invite

            If you do not have the link to join the meeting please email the church office at office@lajuntapres.org.



            1. published a newsletter

              ReadFirst Church Alert
              June 25, 2020

              5 Things to Know this Week @ First Church

              1 Update on funeral services

              The funeral service for Sheriff Chris Johnson happens next Wednesday, July 1, at 10 a.m. at Tiger Stadium.  Interment will follow, and we’ll host a private meal for just the family afterwards.  We will need several volunteers to help with different aspects of the morning:  a team to purchase and hand out bottled water at the stadium, additional ushers who can navigate the stairs at the stadium, and someone who can answer phones here at the church on Wednesday morning. The Bereavement Team is handling the lunch. If you are available to assist with any of these tasks, please call the Church Office at 384-2852.


              Also, the Cranson family will be holding a private family service for Midge on Tuesday, June 30, at 10 a.m., in the sanctuary, according to building guidelines.  Tuesday would have been Midge’s 95th birthday.  We could use just 2-3 people to assist with ushering, so again please call the Church Office.


              2 I Get Knocked Down...But I Get Up Again 

              We’re continuing our series, “I Get Knocked Down Again,” with a timely message acknowledging the fact that getting knocked down is no fun at all (Lamentations 2:11–12; 3:19-20). Our focus is the prayer of lament, and we’ll spend a brief time at the close of the service in prayers of lamentation for all of those people in our lives to whom we have recently had to say goodbye, but especially our dear friends Leonard, Midge, and Chris.  We welcome the Summers Family (Natalie, Teagan, and Lexington) at the 9 a.m. service, singing, “Beautiful Name.”


              3 Handyman of the Month

              A handyman of the month checks in once a week with the secretary about building concerns, picks up work requests, and completes small maintenance work. If a job needs outside help, the handyman (or handywoman) contacts Ron Bay (Building & Grounds Chair) before moving forward.  Call the Church Office to get on the schedule.


              4  God’s House neighborhood club

              We’re still getting your input for July.  We’d love to host a God’s House neighborhood club, but we’re struggling to find a time that works for families.  So far, we’ve heard that Wednesday afternoons are a possibility. Anybody else interested? Please e-mail Pastor MJ or her daughter Elly at eleanor.ludw@gmail.com.  


              5 A “white church”?

              Did you know that our own church that has been known in La Junta as a “white church”?  What does that mean for us?  Join us on Sunday evenings, beginning July 12 at 7 p.m., as we read and discuss The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby.  It will be an enlightening, challenging, and hopeful discussion of race and justice in the church.   We’ll decide on a location for the discussion as the time gets closer and we know what kind of restrictions we’ll be under.  In the meantime, you can order the book from Amazon or any of the online local booksellers such as www.tatteredcover.com.


              Prayer meeting Zoom Invite

              If you do not have the link to join the meeting please email the church office at office@lajuntapres.org.



              1. published a newsletter

                ReadFirst Church Alert
                June 17th, 2020

                5 Things to Know This Week @ First Church

                1 I Get Knocked Down...But I Get Up Again 

                We’re back in worship at 9 and 11 a.m., and the series is, “I Get Knocked Down” from the Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament.  This week, we get back up again, with a deep dive look at Lamentations 3 and the topic of self-examination. We’ll have special music from Dennis Golding at the 9 a.m. service, singing “One Pair of Hands.”  We’ll honor our dads in both services too for Father’s Day.


                2 God’s House neighborhood club

                We’d love to host a God’s House neighborhood club, but we’re struggling to find a time that works for families.  Wednesdays at 10 interferes with some other activities, so we’re open to suggestions.  Please e-mail Pastor MJ or her daughter Elly at eleanor.ludw@gmail.com.  


                3 Help Wanted

                We have a couple of volunteer opportunities around the church:


                AV Tech

                The AV system has been hugely upgraded, so this is a great opportunity to get your inner tech-geek on and give it a try.  Contact the Church Office if you’re interested in being trained to run the AV system during one or both of the summer worship services.


                Handyman of the Month

                A handyman of the month checks in once a week with the secretary about building concerns, picks up work requests, and completes small maintenance work. If a job needs outside help, the handyman (or handywoman) contacts Ron Bay (Building & Grounds Chair) before moving forward.  Call the Church Office to get on the schedule.


                4 Trying to understand the racial unrest in our nation?

                Join us on Sunday evenings, beginning July 12 at 7 p.m., as we read and discuss The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby.  It will be an enlightening, challenging, and hopeful discussion of racial injustice in American churches.  Did you know that our own church that has been (and still is for some) known in town as a “white church”?  What does that mean for us?   We’ll decide on a location for the discussion as the time gets closer and we know what kind of restrictions we’ll be under.  In the meantime, you can order the book from Amazon or any of the online local booksellers such as www.tatteredcover.com.


                5 Love Your Neighbors program

                The Love Your Neighbors Program is a chance for us to bless our neighbors with yard work and simple home repair. Here’s how to join us:  

                1. Call the Church Office and leave us your name and phone number.  Cell phone numbers are preferred for texting, but home phones work too!
                2. Let us know if neighbors in need of assistance.  Call the Church Office or Chad Smith directly at 469-5924.
                3. Be ready for us to contact you with Saturday morning work projects.

                It’s just that simple!


                Finally…

                A quick welcome to some new praise band musicians:  Brandon and Ashley Bass are leading praise singing through the summer, and Sean Green is handling drums. Brandon, Ashley, and Sean join Chris Ludwig, Terry Miller, Steve Elwood, Chris Green, Karl Ludwig, Omayra Pumalpa, and Vi and Gabby Cunningham, along with Dean Rees on piano and organ. Thank you all so much for sharing your gifts with God and our congregation.


                Prayers...

                For the family and friends of Midge Cranson, as we continue to mourn her death. Midge has been a member of the church since 1945, making hers the second longest membership after Fred Freidenberger. We miss her sorely. The family graciously reminds us that they do NOT need food right now. Funeral services will happen at a later date….for Dave Kuebbeler, awaiting next steps after his initial diagnosis of pancreatic cancer.


                Prayer meeting Zoom Invite

                If you do not have the link to join the meeting please email the church office at office@lajuntapres.org.

                1. published a newsletter

                  ReadFirst Church Alert May 27th

                  5 Things to Know This Week @ First Pres

                  1 Get ready for drive-in worship!


                  Pentecost Sunday is this Sunday, May 31, and we’ll gather in the church parking for drive-in worship with praise and communion at 10 a.m. Please enter the parking lot from 20th Street, where you’ll be directed to a parking space. Vehicles will be spaced well apart, so you’re welcome to bring a lawn chair or sit in the back of your car or bed of your truck. Join us and spread the word to friends, family, and neighbors!


                  2 Return to in-person worship on Sunday, June 7


                  We joyfully return to in-person worship on Sunday, June 7. To ensure your safety, we’ll worship at two services: 9 a.m. modern praise worship or 11 a.m. blended traditional worship. We’ll observe all the necessary safety guidelines from Otero County and the CDC: masks on, hand sanitizer at every entrance and throughout the building, sitting in every other pew, households 6-8 feet apart, using the screen rather than hymnals (with copies for folks with visual impairment), no donuts or coffee, but plenty of the Holy Spirit.

                  For the curious, here is the wisdom that’s been guiding us as we prepare:

                  https://www.erinbromage.com/post/the-risks-know-them-avoid-them?fbclid=IwAR2_Xx45PN8UIQyfjsMtpp7wx9xoq1Onasr0jsIj9tWidd8HhYrFXNKO0hU

                  Watch your inbox and our church Facebook page for updates as the time gets closer.


                  3 Needs @ Associated Charities


                  5 lb bags of Flour and Vegetable Oil is needed. If you are able to bring it to the church that would be greatly appreciated, Associated Charities said they will pick up any donations we have or you may deliver directly to them.


                  4 Love Your Neighbors program


                  Click Here to go to the webpage.

                  The Love Your Neighbors Program is a chance for us to bless our neighbors with yard work and simple home repair. Here’s how to join us:

                  Call the Church Office and leave us your name and phone number. Cell phone numbers are preferred for texting, but home phones work too! Let us know if neighbors in need of assistance. Call the Church Office or Chad Smith directly at 469-5924. Be ready for us to contact you with Saturday morning work projects. It’s just that simple!


                  5 Thank you from Pueblo Soup Kitchen


                  We received a lovely thank you note from Helen Benavidez, Director of the Pueblo Soup Kitchen, for the $1500 received through the Easter Offering. She writes, “I would like to personally thank you all for your generosity and hopefully, when we get back to some “normalcy” I may be able to do so at one of your services.” (Quick aside: Several more gifts have been received to the church since we sent this initial check to the soup kitchen. Those gifts will be forwarded in the next week.)


                  This week:

                  Thursday Prayer Meeting 7 p.m. See login below!

                  Friday Worship rehearsal 9 a.m. Sanctuary MOPS 8:30 p.m. Email Aricka Hulsey at office@lajuntapres.org for login

                  Saturday Drive in worship 9 a.m. Church parking lot walk-through Sunday Drive in worship 10 a.m. Church parking lot Monday Casa Bible Study 10 a.m. Email Don Klinkerman at dandpklink@bresnan.net for link CTW 7 p.m. Fellowship Hall


                  For the Prayer Meeting Link, please email the church office.


                  1. published a newsletter

                    ReadFirst Church Alert June 10th

                    4 Things to Know this Week @ First Church

                    1 I Get Knocked Down


                    We’re back in worship at 9 and 11 a.m., and the series is, “I Get Knocked Down” from the Book of Lamentations in the Old Testament. This week, we get honest about the fact that, sometimes, we knock ourselves down. God still helps us back up. We’ll have special music from Omayra Pumalpa at the 11 a.m. service.


                    2 Trying to understand the racial unrest in our nation?


                    Join us in July as we take a uniquely Christian approach to the racial unrest in our nation. Join us on Sunday evenings, beginning July 12 at 7 p.m., as we read and discuss The Color of Compromise by Jemar Tisby. It will be enlightening, challenging, and hopeful. We’ll decide on a location as the time gets closer and we know what kind of restrictions we’ll be under. In the meantime, you can order the book from Amazon or any of the online local booksellers such as www.tatteredcover.com.


                    3 Love Your Neighbors program


                    The Love Your Neighbors Program is a chance for us to bless our neighbors with yard work and simple home repair. Here’s how to join us:

                    Call the Church Office and leave us your name and phone number. Cell phone numbers are preferred for texting, but home phones work too! Let us know if neighbors in need of assistance. Call the Church Office or Chad Smith directly at 469-5924. Be ready for us to contact you with Saturday morning work projects. It’s just that simple!


                    4 MOPS


                    Our Moms of Preschoolers are still meeting throughout the summer on Zoom, if you are interested or know a mom that would be, please give the church office a call and we can make sure they know how to access the meetings and get involved.

                    This week: Thursday Prayer Meeting 7 p.m. See login below!

                    Friday MOPS 8:30 p.m. Email Aricka Hulsey at office@lajuntapres.org for login

                    Sunday Contemporary Praise Worship 9 a.m. Sanctuary Blended Traditional Worship 11 a.m. Sanctuary Monday Casa Bible Study 10 a.m. Email Don Klinkerman at dandpklink@bresnan.net for link CTW 7 p.m. Fellowship Hall


                    Prayer meeting Zoom Invite


                    If you wish to join this meeting, please email the church office for that information.