God saw the great needs of the world and offered a perfect gift, Jesus Christ. In Jesus, we receive the perfect gift of God being with us, and of being with those in need—the gift of being together when we are near, and being together when we are apart.
When we give to the Christmas Joy Offering, we share our love with the leaders of our Church — past, present and future.
50% of your gifts make it possible for students to learn and grow in faith at Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.
50% of your gifts provide assistance for current and retired church workers and their families with critical financial needs.
View this year's Christmas Joy bulletin insert for more information. This year, we will not be providing special envelopes for this offering. Please make your contributions:
- in the regular offering envelopes during worship,
- via check mailed to the church office, with "JOY" in the memo line, or
- through Online Giving.
The December DOES It, the 12 Days of Christmas food drive will be from Sunday 12/5 through Sunday 12/27. Lists with needed items and instructions will be available in the December newsletter and in the Narthex. Boxes can be returned to the Narthex or church office during that time or at a contact-less drive-thru on 12/19 from 10 am-noon in the east parking lot of the church.
Our Palma Sola DOES It (Done On Every Sunday) for November is collecting stuffed shoe boxes to give to clients served by Meals on Wheels PLUS this Christmas. Filled boxes will be delivered to seniors through the holidays, and are sometimes the only gift they will receive.
Fill the wrapped shoebox you received with items on the list included in each box, and return it to the Narthex or church office through Sunday 11/29, or deliver it in the contact-less drive-thru on Saturday 12/5 from 10a-12p in the church's east parking lot.
When returning shoe boxes to the Narthex or church office, please remember to maintain a 6' social distance from others.
Our Outreach Offering for October and November is Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA)
PDA enables congregations and mission partners of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) to witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis and catastrophic events.
The need is great. PDA is currently responding to the Louisiana Hurricanes, Western Wildfires, Iowa Derecho, and Beirut Explosion, plus other recent disasters. Learn more on the PDA website.
Donations may be made...
- in your offering envelope, placed in the offering basket during worship,
- by mailing a check to the church office, with "PDA" in the memo line, or
through Online Giving
The Angel Tree program has been part of Westminster and Palma Sola's Mission-Outreach programs in years past. This year, Westminster is coordinating the program, and instead of shopping, we are providing monetary donations so that the Salvation Army can provide gifts to the Manatee County “angels” whose tags don’t get chosen from a tree. Donations can be made with a check made out to PSPC with “Angel Tree” in the memo line. Donations will be accepted during the worship in the sanctuary (bring your own envelope and pen) or at either church office from now until November 22nd. If you have any questions please call Joyce Johnson at 941-792-2393.
Enjoy a night of fellowship and fun under the stars watching the inspirational story of a team of female African-American mathematicians who served a vital role in NASA during the early years of the U.S. space program.
Bring your own chair and grab a socially-distanced spot in the church's east parking lot at 6:30 pm. Facemasks are required except when seated. Individually packaged snacks and drinks will be available or you may bring your own. The event is free and open to the community. See you there!
Recognizing the importance of in-person worship in the spiritual life of many people, session decided last night to continue in-person worship in the sanctuary for the near future. In Manatee County, COVID-19 new cases continue to rise each week, as does the percent of people testing positive. Last week, test positivity was 6.7%, above the 5% threshold set by session for being open, following WHO recommendations.
Session recommends that members of the congregation considered high risk (over the age of 65 or with serious underlying medical conditions) carefully take this information into account when deciding whether to continue to attend in-person worship. We will continue to monitor the data, including attendance data, and will keep the congregation informed of any changes.
We will also continue to provide video-recorded worship services for at-home worshipers through this website and email messages sent to Palma Sola and Westminster church members.
I think I told you last year that November is my favorite month of the year. Cooler weather, my birthday, Thanksgiving, Christ the King Sunday, and most years the first Sunday in Advent.
My earliest memory to which I can attach a date is the first Tuesday in November 1948. That was about ten days before my second birthday. I remember sitting in my highchair, in the breakfast room, of the house at 2360 Linden Avenue in Knoxville, Tennessee. I think it was oatmeal with brown sugar in my bowl. Aunt Bonnie came through the door with the morning newspaper. She exclaimed something about that blankety-blank Dewey with his mustache didn’t win after all and Harry Truman will still be President.
My Aunt Jo, the matriarch of the Land family, scolded her, saying, “Don’t use language like that in front of the baby.” I looked around the room to see where the baby was, before realizing it was me.
I think my family enjoyed being different, marching to their own drum, with their own fife, bugle, and trombone. In staunchly Republican East Tennessee, where “everybody” was Southern Baptist, the Lands were Democrats and Presbyterians. And though the Presbyterian Church on the next corner was Transitional Pastor, Dr. Ted Land November Ola! Ola Palma Sola! Greetings Westminster!January 2020 - Green ConceptPage 2 closer, we drove several blocks because it was a “Northern” Presbyterian Church and we were Southern Presbyterians.
Several years later, when Dwight David Eisenhower defeated a ticket that included family friend Estes Kefauver, I made some snide remark about “Ike”, and Aunt Jo took me to task for it. She said, “General Eisenhower is the President. Always speak respectfully of the President of the United States, whether you voted for him or not. He is the President. Whether you like it or not. Show respect for the office.”
Somewhere between 1956 and today, things have changed dramatically. Drastically. Civility and respect have vanished, and the bad language that Aunt Bonnie used in 1948 wouldn’t cause a raised eyebrow today, much less a rebuke from her older sister.
Most of us have already voted, either by mail or early voting. Many counties in Florida are experiencing record turnout of early voters, and mailed in ballots. I don’t know whether we will have long lines at our Fellowship Hall on Tuesday when it serves as a Polling Place, or whether everyone who is going to vote will already have cast their ballot. I lack the ability to predict that as much as I lack the ability to predict the outcome of the election, or the outcome of any football game, unless Alabama is playing.
In the run-up to this year’s election, I have seen bitterness, insults, harsh words, ridicule, accusations, at an unprecedented rate. And some of it done in the name of Christianity. I’ve read on Facebook that one of my dear friends doesn’t see how any Christian can vote for the Republican candidate. Another dear friend doesn’t understand how any Christian can vote for the Democratic Party’s nominee. I love them both. I’ve been their pastor. I laid hands on them and ordained them as elders years ago. But they are both wrong. They are both sinful human beings. And so are all of the candidates for all of the political offices and so are all the voters who will vote. We are sinners. And while we were yet sinners, while we are yet sinning, Jesus Christ died for our sins.The Apostle Paul wrote those words. In Romans 5:8.
When you look at the face of that politician that you abhor, of that person that offends you, of that miserable wretch that you cannot stand, remember that you are looking into the face of a person whom God loved so much that God sent Jesus to die for that person’s sins, as well as your own.
And remember that they will know we are Christians by our love not by the candidate for which we voted
Clean out your closets (or purchase new) for us to donate warm-wear items to Turning Points to give for those in need as the weather turns colder. Gently used coats, jackets, sweatshirts, blankets, hats, gloves, and scarves in all sizes for men, women, and children are needed. Put donated items in your trunk and drive through the east parking lot, where volunteers wearing face masks and gloves will remove your items.
This is a great way for your unused items to warm another’s heart, literally, this winter. Hope to see you there!
You may also drop off empty shoe boxes with detachable lids for the upcoming Meals on Wheels program that provides Christmas goodies for seniors.
Our support for Feeding Empty Little Tummies is ongoing throughout the year.
F.E.L.T. provides weekend backpacks of food to over 800 homeless students in Manatee County each week, a time when these children often go hungry.
Your contributions of spare change, soft money and checks are GREATLY APPRECIATED, and will really make a difference in the lives of these children. Please make your contributions by using your offering envelopes during worship, or by sending checks to the church office with "FELT" in the memo line.
Thanks to all who participated in our July 11 'Drive Away Hunger' food collection for The Food Bank of Manatee. About fifteen cars drove through the East Parking Lot to have food items removed from their trunks by volunteers Don Azbell, Myrna Felix, Andrea Harmon, Janice Saylor, and Al Zimmer--who sported face masks and gloves. Three of our large rectangular tables in the fellowship hall were filled with items from The Food Bank of Manatee wish list, donated by WPC and PSPC members. The donations, totaling 520 lbs, were later packed up in boxes and delivered.
An Older Adult Support and Connections Event: Join attorney Jim Johnson via Zoom on July 31 at 10am for a one-hour informative presentation to assist in pre-death planning and the distribution of assets at death, including preparation of a will.
Mr. Johnson is a certified Elder Law Attorney with Greene Hamrick Quinlan & Schermer, P.A. and practices primarily in the areas of Probate and Trust Administration, Estate Planning, and Medicaid Planning and Application. The presentation is free and open to the community. Please contact Gregg Pead at email@example.com to receive easy instructions for how to join this Zoom session.
Immokalee (from the Seminole word for “my home”) supplies 90% of the winter tomatoes grown in the United States. The thousands of migrant farm workers who live in Immokalee plant, harvest, and process those tomatoes, along with a substantial number of other crops. Their day begins early with a long wait for buses which transport the workers to the fields – sometimes over two hours away. Although traveling consumes a significant amount of the workday, workers are paid only for the buckets of crops they pick. Buckets weigh approximately 32 pounds when filled. To earn the $500 necessary to pay the weekly rent for a family of four, a working couple would have to pick 1000 buckets – 32,000 pounds or 16 tons – in one week, under difficult working conditions. And that pays only the rent.
Misión Peniel exists to give the farm workers of Immokalee a place to find spiritual renewal, food for their bodies, clothing, and other personal supplies for themselves and their families. What began in 2006 as an extension of the Beth-El Farm Worker Ministry, in 2013 became a ministry of Peace River Presbytery. This is a mission dependent upon weekly volunteers, donations of food and clothing, prayer and financial contributions.
In January, Pastor Ted and members of Palma Sola’s Outreach Team toured the Misión Peniel facility and the Immokalee area, seeing firsthand the importance of this ministry. Housing for farmworkers was extremely overpriced and conditions were poor. Resources for food, clothing, and basic necessities were geographically limited. Misión Peniel is a bright spot in the migrant community, connecting those in need with available services. Through our financial support of this ministry and the Immokalee Fair Housing Alliance, Palma Sola is partnering in this process. Listen for future programs and volunteer opportunities being planned by the Outreach Team where we can provide additional support of this community and their needs.
On Sunday Feb 23, PSPC participated in the 2020 Manatee County CROP Walk to help raise awareness and funds to end hunger locally and around the world. A PSPC team walked two miles from First United Methodist Church in Palmetto across the Green Bridge and back, and their efforts were supported by special donations from the congregation.
CROP Walks are community events throughout the United States sponsored by the Church World Service (CWS) and organized by local churches and other groups. 75% of the money raised goes to CWS to help fight hunger around the world and 25% goes to local hunger relief efforts (such as here in Manatee County). Money is raised by two means, sponsoring walkers and direct donations.
CROP stands for the Christian Rural Overseas Program, which was active in the late 1940's and involved American Midwest farmers who donated food and seed to help feed the hungry in post WWII Europe and Asia. The historic name (CROP) was kept when the first CROP Walk was organized in the U.S. in 1969.
On February 9th we were blessed to welcome our Scouts BSA for a special Scout Sunday worship. It was wonderful to see so many young people, their parents, and Palma Sola members gathered together to renew their commitment to Scouting on our campus. Prior to the worship service, many people enjoyed a pancake breakfast fundraiser hosted by Pack 22 in the Fellowship Hall. A great day was had by all!
Friday, February 7 at 7:00 pm, we show the movie 'Harriet', which tells the story of Harriet Tubman's escape from slavery and transformation into the most famous conductor on the Underground Railroad. With tenacity, ingenuity and courage, Harriet freed 70 slaves on multiple trips before retiring to Auburn NY. Bring a friend, grab some popcorn and a drink, and enjoy the movie. The event is free and open to the community. The movie will be shown in Palma Sola's Fellowship Hall at 3rd Ave and 67th St, one block north of Manatee Ave.
Our first work day for Manatee County Habitat for Humanity’s 25th Interfaith Build was Saturday, January 11, 7:30 am-noon. We participated in landscape prep, painting, and hammering. A small tree and shrubs were removed and dirt was graded and leveled in preparation for sod. It was a beautiful day and all volunteers felt a wonderful sense of accomplishment in helping to provide a forever home for the Harris family. We look forward to attending the dedication sometime later in the Spring. Before then, we expect another work day and opportunities to get this house move-in ready! For more information about the Habitat for Humanity program, see the February Newsletter (posted soon).
An Older Adult Support and Connections Event: Join David Kennon for presentation on achieving financial peace of mind in retirement in the Fellowship Hall from 10-11 am on Thursday, January 23.
The presentation will include basic principles for investing, spending, and giving in retirement. David is an Accredited National Social Security Advisor (NSSA) and Certified Wealth Strategist (CWS). The presentation is free and open to the community. The Fellowship Hall entrance is through the door on the circle driveway off 3rd Ave.
The team that traveled to Agape Flight's hangar in Venice FL on October 24 packed 210 Thanksgiving-meal care packages. Each package included a hand written message of gratitude and encouragement written by the congregation. The packages were then flown to missionaries in the Caribbean in time for Thanksgiving. We received thank you letters, including this one from the Dominican Republic.
Palma Sola hosts a community Rise Against Hunger meal-packing event Saturday, October 12, 9:30 -11:30 am, to lend a hand to people in critical need of food across the globe. In two hours, in a fun and educational assembly-line process, we'll pack thousands of life-giving soy and rice meals. Adults have both sitting and standing jobs. Children accompanied by an adult(s) age 5 and up are welcome, with special run-around jobs available! Packing will be in Palma Sola's fellowship hall at the corner of 67th St and 3rd Ave W. Please reserve a space by calling the church office at 792-3141, or signing up after Sunday services.
An Older Adult Support and Connections Event: Our ABC of Dementia program was well attended by Palma Sola Presbyterian and community members. Presenter Debbie Selsavage, founder of Coping with Dementia, shared many insights, stories, and techniques helpful to those suffering from dementia and their caregivers--drawing from her personal experience as caregiver to her husband Albert and expertise as a trainer of the Positive Approach to Care.
As a result of our participation, Palma Sola Presbyterian is now a certified Dementia Friendly Congregation, allowing us to better serve those affected by dementia. To listen to the 1.5-hour presentation, beginning with its introduction by Roger Tyrrell, go to Resources > Worship Online and click on the September 14, 2019 soundtrack.
On September 12, representatives from local Catholic, Islamic, Jewish, and Protestant faith communities, including Pastor Ted, turned shovels of soil at home site for the 25th Anniversary Interfaith Build. Future homeowner, Markisha Harris, shared her excitement about the project and experience working on past Manatee County Habitat for Humanity projects. Markisha, born and raised in Florida, is a single mother of three, works as an LPN at an assisted living facility, and dreams of going back to school to complete her RN degree. We also learned about Habitat’s advanced construction techniques that dramatically reduce maintenance and energy costs for homeowners, while keeping construction cost low. Look for volunteer opportunities in the coming months on ways you can participate.
Join the talented youth of one of our campus partners, Creative Arts Academy, on Friday, May 31 at 6 pm in the Fellowship Hall for original poetry and live entertainment by the Creative Percussion Ensemble. Plus food, raffle items, and art by a local artist!