Mailing address: PO Box 490, Maysville, KY, 41056.
“First Presbyterian Church is Like a Clipper Ship”
By Pastor Jim Dougans
The dictionary defines metaphor as “a figure of speech that makes an implicit comparison between two things that are unrelated, but
which share some common characteristics. A common trope is, "The assignment was a breeze."
Back in July, I asked session members to complete this sentence: "First Presbyterian church is like… The elders responded with
these metaphors: First Presbyterian Church is like: home, a safe place, a family reunion, and your cousin's home. These are all
beautiful metaphors, emphasizing the warm relationships enjoyed at First Presbyterian. I completed the sentence in a different vein, comparing First
Presbyterian with a clipper ship.
Why did I say that? Why do I think First Presbyterian Church is like a clipper ship. Before answering, let's think about the characteristics of a clipper ship. According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, a clipper ship was renowned for its beauty, grace, and speed. “In its ultimate form it was a long, slim, graceful vessel with projecting bow and radically streamlined hull, carrying an exceptionally large spread of sail on three tall masts. One clipper ship, The Flying Cloud launched in 1851, made the voyage from New York City to San Francisco in a record 89 days, and the clipper ship James Baines set the transatlantic sailing record of 12 days from Boston to Liverpool, England.”
As I look at the church building, it reminds me of a ship carrying sail. The steeple is like the mast of a sailing vessel. The church is painted white, the color of sails. The profile of the church is tall and sleek, again like a graceful vessel. Its mission is urgent, carrying the good news to a hungry world. Its cargo of human souls is precious.
Since the earliest Christian times, a ship has been a symbol of the church. I happen to think First Presbyterian Church is a particularly elegant symbol. What do you think? What is First Presbyterian Church like to you?
Adopted Christmas Family
Thank you to the congregation who gave to
this family at Christmas. Your generosity
was greatly appreciated! Here is a copy of
the thank you note written by the children’s
From Outreach Director Erik Wesley
On an unseasonably warm 26th of December I am at an uncharacteristic loss for words. This, our first Christmas at First Presbyterian was breathtaking in all of the right ways. Our modern society, and indeed the United States at large has never been known for putting a premium on tradition and posterity (at least not when it gets in the way of “progress”), but our little church has proven itself a stalwart exception
to the unwritten rule.
In speaking with our members and guest following the service, it seems as though everyone had a favorite
part. Whether the tolling of the bells, their echoes seeming to reach back in time itself to all who’ve heard
their song, to the lighting of the Advent wreath, our wonderfully talented instrumentalists, the festive, humorous and profound sermon and the hauntingly beautiful candlelight rendition of Silent Night, there was something to suit every mood, every disposition and every facet of this wonderful celebration that is the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Though separate from the rest of our flock, mine was to observe the wonderful pageantry of this occasion
from the privileged position of the balcony (from whence I was operating a camera). Taken in as a whole, it
was impossible not to be stirred by the mingling of family, guests, international visitors, friends and generations. The fellowship would’ve been palpable to a complete stranger or alien visitor. To anyone who knows Maysville and is connected to the personalities involved, even as a transplant, the unity of this church body was downright edifying.
Though this can be a stressful time of year, this was not apparent during the time between the bells, and
even the occasional protests of confused toddlers took on an endearing and almost musical property. Lori
and I felt very blessed to have met so many of your extended family members and friends. Connecting the
dots, hearing the best stories and writing a few of our own, let us all finish this Advent season in a spirit of
Thanksgiving and brother/sisterly love that we may all carry forth into this new year.
Love In Action
Martin Luther King Jr., whose life and legacy we honor this month,
spoke often about the power of love. In fact, he equaled the practice
of nonviolence with “absolute commitment to the way of love.”
Love, declared the minister and activist, “is the only force capable
of transforming an enemy into a friend.” And, he said, anyone
who’s “devoid of the power to love” is “devoid of the power to forgive.”
King distinguished between true love and “empty sentimentalism,”
however. He taught and showed that love is “the active outpouring
of one’s whole being into the being of another.”
Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross is the ultimate “active outpouring” of
love, and we can choose to follow his example daily.
“Because of Calvary I’m free to choose,” writes Max Lucado in When God Whispers Your Name. “No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice warrants bitterness. I choose love. Today I will love God and what God loves.”
The Session will meet Monday,
January 27th at 5:30 p.m.
Our facebook site is: www.facebook.com/maysvillepcusa.org
Church mailing address is P O Box 490, Maysville, KY 41056.
The post office will not deliver if addressed to 21 W. 3rd St. !
Safety and Security Committee will meet on Thursday, January 16th at 5:30 p.m.
Worship Committee will meet after church on Sunday, January 12th in the chapel.
Per Capita: The per capita for 2020 is $38.44. Please write “per capita” on the memo line of your check.
Session Committee Chair reports need to be in the office by January 19th. Thank you!
Annual Congregational Meeting: The Annual Congregational Meeting will be held on Sunday, January
26th following church service. Soup will be provided. Please bring sandwiches and desserts.
Clerk of Session: Andrew Wood will be stepping down in January as the Clerk of Session. He has served
superbly for more than three years in that role. Perhaps you would consider taking on that position for a
one year term. The Book of Order requires the Clerk of Session be a ruling elder (G-3.0104). The session
elects the Clerk. You do not have to be serving on the session at the time you are the Clerk. If you would
like more information please see Pastor Jim.
Pledge Cards: Anyone wishing to sign a pledge card for the coming year may pick up a card off the table
in the back of the sanctuary or in the secretary’s office. Thank you!
Curious Conversations: Would you like to learn more about First Presbyterian Church, its ministry and
mission? Do you know how to answer your friends if they ask you what it means to be a Presbyterian? We
will discuss these questions and more at “Curious Conversations” on Monday, January 6 and Monday,
January 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the pastor’s office. Curious Conversations is open to long-standing members,
new members and those interested in becoming members. Please let Pastor Jim Dougans know if you plan
to attend: email@example.com or 606.564.3639.
A special thank you to the Presbyterian Women for the wonderful Margaret’s Angel Tea held on December
7th! It was very nice and enjoyed by all. There were around 80 ladies who attended.
Christmas Eve service was attended by 176 people. There was $210 collected for donations to the Mason
County Food Bank.
Over 200 families are served by the Mason County
Food Bank each month. Please keep bringing nonperishable
food donations each week to our basket in
Fellowship Hall. Please also consider a financial
contribution to Limestone Ministries, Inc. and/or the
Mason County Food Bank, because despite regular food donations
from area churches, food still needs to be purchased each month.
Mason County Food Bank is the only one available since the Calvary
Baptist Food Bank closed. Any non-perishable item will be accepted,
but the most needed items are: spaghetti sauce, boxed spaghetti,
macaroni & cheese dinners, dried beans, saltine crackers, cornbread
mix, peanut butter, oats, cereal, canned soup, canned vegetables, and
canned fruit. Cash donations are welcome also! If you write a check,
please make it payable to the First Presbyterian Church and put
‘FOOD BANK’ on the memo line. Or you can send funds directly to the Mason County Food Bank, located at 1679 Forest Avenue, Maysville, KY 41056.