Mailing address: PO Box 490, Maysville, KY, 41056. 

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“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?


Pastor Jim

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.”


Session Meeting

The Session will meet Monday,

January 27th at 5:30 p.m.

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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.

Thank you!

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: 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.

Click on puzzle to print

There is a basket on the table in the back of the sanctuary with note cards, envelopes, pens, labels and
stamps. These cards will go to people on the prayer list and the homebound.

 If you know someone’s address on this list please give it to Gwen in the office so she can make labels with their name and address for your convenience. Thanks!

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.

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