May 2015 – First Presbyterian Church of Mankato, Minnesota The 1st “Blog” & Home Page

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Salvation Army – Bundle Me Warm “Coat off Your Back” Event

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Alzheimer’s & Dementia Resource Guide                 August 6, 2015


 The Mankato/North Mankato ACT on Alzheimer’s team has put together a resource guide which also has an online version.  The guide includes the FPC caregivers’ support group and the online version has a hyperlink to the FPC website—cool!!!

Here is the link to a PRINTABLE PDF:

Here is the link to the online version:

The action team understands that people in our community want information when the need arises and this is an excellent way for people to get started. We want the resource guide to get out to as many people as possible.


Ecumenical Prayer Service    Saturday June 20th at 4:30 pm
An ecumenical prayer service will be held to honor and rememberthe shootings at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, South Carolina. 

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Generated by IJG JPEG Library

The service will be at Bethlehem Lutheran Church, 720 S. 2nd St, in the chapel.

All are invited.




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FREE Monthly Class
May – August, 2015 | 6:30-8 p.m.

Are you or is someone you love living with Alzheimer’s disease or other dementia? These FREE education classes will help you understand the disease, what you can expect and provide you with resources. You are not alone.

Join us!

May 28
The Basics: Memory Loss, Dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease
Debbie Richman, BS, ACC, Vice President, Education and Outreach, Alzheimer’s Association MN-ND

June 25
Learning the Language: Communication, Behavior and Memory Loss
Debbie Richman, BS, ACC, Vice President, Education and Outreach, Alzheimer’s Association MN-ND

July 23
Legal and Financial Planning Following a Dementia Diagnosis
Nancy M. Kiskis, Attorney at Law, Moss & Barnett

August 27
Partnering with Your Doctor
Debbie Richman, BS, ACC, Vice President, Education and Outreach, Alzheimer’s Association MN-ND

Classes will be held at Old Main Village, 301 South 5th Street, Mankato, MN from 6:30-8:00 p.m. No pre-registration is necessary. These events are free and open to the public.

Legacy Planning Educational Series                        Beginning May 17th!


The first of a 3-Part series will start on Sunday, May 17, 2015 at 12:15 p.m. Please click on this link for information or to print for your reference! Please RSVP to the church office at 387.2160 as a light lunch will be served.

Information Sheet – Click Link Here….

This first session will be presented by local attorney Stacey Edwards Jones and will focus on the various legal documents associated with one’s estate plan. Stacey will stress the importance of a written estate plan regardless of your age. She will also explain and detail the various documents associate with an estate plan.

Our second presentation will be in early September, presented by a financial planner, will focus on your personal estate plan, and the third and final presentation in early October will introduce you to numerous ways of making tax efficient charitable gifts.

Thank you, The Endowment Committee


Bells Across The Land – Thursday, April 9th at 2:15 p.m.

church bell 001-1This coming Thursday April 9 will mark the 150th anniversary of  the end of the Civil War.  Bells will ring at 2:15 PM for four minutes. The time marks the meeting between Generals Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee at the Appomattox Court House in Virginia, and the duration represents one minute for each year of the war.

150 years ago our historic  bell at First Presbyterian Church would have been in the steeple of the newly built brick church located kitty-corner from our present location, and would likely have been rung out to celebrate the end of the Civil bell 004

Our bell will be rung this Thursday at 2:15.  Anyone wishing to participate may come to the church at 2:00 that day and help pull the rope in the balcony.

Jason Gray Live                                                              Posted 4/5/2015

Tickets will be distributed first to FPC members following Sunday services on 3/22, 3/29 and 4/5 (Easter). Up to 6 tickets per person.Tickets available to public starting April 7, these tickets will be distributed at the door labeled Narthex Entrance (Hickory Street side with stairway) from 2-5 pm Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday to hand them out.

Jason Gray

Holy Week Schedule                                                    Posted 3/1/2015

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First Presbyterian Church of Mankato, Minnesota The 1st “Blog” & Home Page

First Friday’s Speaker Series
April 3rd, Pam Determan!                                      Posted 3/10/2015
FIRST FRIDAY PosterApril2015
First Friday’s Speaker Series
March 6th, Julie Gerndt!                                            Posted 2/13/2015
Julie Gerndt, M.D. is the Chief Medical Officer and Psychiatrist at the Mankato Clinic, Ltd,  Mankato, Minnesota.   She is passionate julie Gabout patient care and supporting other physicians as they care for patients.  She believes health starts before patients see the doctor—where they live, work and play.   She will talk about why that is, and why healthy minds lead to healthy bodies, families and communities.

Link to First Friday’s Facebook Page!

“New Beginnings” is beginning!                                Posted 2/4/2015
new-beginningsPlease join us to share you opinions and observations about our churches strengths and weaknesses, challenges and opportunities.  We are looking for as much participation as possible to make this process successful.

When:     Tuesday, February 24, 2015
Time:       7:00 pm
Where:   Lower Level

All are welcome!

Adult Sunday School                                                     Posted 2/1/2014
Please join us for an informational meeting!

When:     Sunday, February 22, 2015
Time:       9:00am – 9:50am
Where:   Deacons meeting room, Upper floor
Who:       You!

                                                 Hope to see you there!

Interfaith Service Celebration        Posted 1/12/2014An interfaith celebration based on Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr’s. Vision of Social Justice will take place on January 18th a t4:00 p.m.   A service or reading, prayers, and music led by clergy and members of…


  • Centenary United Methodist
  • First Presbyterian
  • Grace Lutheran
  • Mankato Islamic Center
  • St. John’s Episcopal
  • Unitarian Universalist Fellowship

After the service we’ll gather in the Fellowship Hall to share refreshments.

Location:  1st Congregational UCC
150 Stadium Court, Mankato, MN 56001

Christmas Eve Services – All are Welcome!        Posted 12/22/2014

Wednesday, December 24  xmas eve2
2:45 pm Orchestra Rehearsal
4:30 pm Christmas Eve Orchestra
5:00 pm Worship Service w/ Candlelight

xmas eveChristmas Eve Orchestra
Our Christmas Eve Orchestra will again play carols preceding the 5:00 p.m. service. We hope that you will come at 4:30pm to listen to us!  If you would like to join in on the playing, we will have one practice on that day at 2:45pm.  Please bring your instrument and a music stand if possible.  Any questions?  Call Carrie Willodson at 381-4601.


Celebrate the Child ~ Jonathon Swenson, December 10th
6 Characters, One Actor                                        Posted Nov. 12, 2014

SwensonCelebrate the Child, a one-man play featuring Christian actor and speaker Jonathan Swenson, will be performed at First Presbyterian Church at 220 East Hickory Street, Mankato on December 10, 2014 at 6:00 p.m. Written by Curt Cloninger, this combination of “characters and carols” explores the birth of Jesus through the eyes of six different people whose lives were somehow intertwined with the birth of Christ. Both entertaining and thought-provoking, the drama invites the audience to experience the Nativity in fresh and meaningful ways.Swenson is a graduate of Gustavus Adolphus College (B.A. in Psychology, Theater and Music, 1988) and Luther Seminary (Master’s of Divinity, 1994). As an ordained pastor, he has served parishes in IA and MN for nearly 20 years. As a professional Christian actor and speaker, and the founding director of Paraphrase Theatre, Swenson travels throughout the country speaking and performing at churches, national conferences, camps, retreats, and other special events. This year he will also share his ministry internationally, travelling to China and Vietnam on an outreach mission trip to schools and communities in Hong Kong, Shanghai and Hanoi.

His regional theatre credits include such roles as Tevye (Fiddler on the Roof), Daddy Warbucks (Annie) and Nathan Detroit (Guys and Dolls). He is also a regularly featured soloist with Orchestra Iowa’s Follies.

For booking information please visit or contact Jonathan Swenson at


First Fridays Speaker Series ~ Bob Chesley, December 5th
Are you ready?  Directing your Legacy After you Leave This Life
                                                                                                       Posted Nov. 9, 2014
Bob-103-Edit-199x300On Friday, December 5 at 12:00 the speaker will be Bob Chesley presenting “Are You Ready?”, directing your legacy after you leave this life. Bob has practiced law for over thirty years. He is currently a member of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys and the Elder Law Section and Probate and Trust Law Section of the Minnesota State Bar Association. He specializes in Elder Law and Estate Planning. He is also a lecturer at Minnesota Continuing Legal Education seminars on Medical Assistance. He has served on several committees including being an officer for the Mankato YMCA. Bob is also a past president of the Sixth District Bar Association. He is a member of First Presbyterian Church of Mankato.


New Sanctuary Choir Director – Grace Stromer
This Coming Sunday                                   Posted 11/8/2014
We are pleased to announce Grace Stromer as First Presbyterian Church’s new Sanctuary Choir Director.
Grace is currently a Junior at Bethany Lutheran College and is majoring in Music Theory and Composition.  While piano is her main instrument, she also composes for organ and choir.  She has studied conducting with Professor Dennis Marzolf and hopes to attend grad school to earn a masters in Music Education. She is a native of Good Thunder.
New Music Director & Organist – Christine Phelps 
This Coming Sunday                                   Posted 10/16/2014
christinephelpsWe are pleased to announce Christine Phelps as FPC’s new Music Director and Organist.
A native of Lake Crystal, MN, Christine has served as Organist/Director of Music for congregations in San Diego, New York and Los Angeles.  Additionally, she has performed and sung professionally in many opera, concert, and theatre works throughout her career, and has taught, coached, accompanied and toured professionally.  A former FPC choir member, Christine is thrilled to be back with our congregation.


Christine and her husband, Mark Martinez, live in West Mankato.  They enjoy all kinds of music, theatre, art, travel, and the great outdoors.


This Coming Sunday                                   Posted 10/13/2014

HEALING HEALING HEALINGWe all need healing many times in our lives.  Healing can mean restoring our physical bodies by removing illness, or restoring our ability to deal with illness.  It can mean restoring our emotional well-being, or restoring our souls in the midst of a spiritual struggle.  It can also mean restoring our relationships with our families, our God, and outselves.   In a healing service we invoke not only the power of our individual faith but more importantly the faith of our whole Christian community.

NEXT SUNDAY, October 19th, the Congregation of Care Task Force invites you to participate in a brief healing service.   Immediately following Sunday worship we will gather at that front of the sanctuary for a brief time of prayer, comfort, and encouragement.   Normally, we hold this service on the fourth Sunday of the month, but due to the annual congregational meeting on October 26, we are holding it one week early.   The November service is scheduled for November 23rd.


Speaker – Kari Berit!                                          Posted 10/8/2014
Kari Berit is the author of 2 books:  The Unexpected Caregiver and
Mental Fitness Guide.  She hosts her own syndicated radio program and is a  frequent guest lecturer throughout the nation.   


Recognizing that care-giving for elderly parents is a huge concern for
a large majority of the 78 million Baby Boomers, Kari seeks to open
dialog about the care of our loved ones and how it it affects our
> lives, both emotionally and financially.    Her positive, humorous and uplifting message is not to be missed!


Speaker – David Braveheart                                                 Posted 9/4/2014

Dave Brave Heart

David Brave Heart is an Oglala Lakota enrolled on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota. He currently works as a Tribal Liaison Technical Assistance for Central CAPT, Associate Director and Technical Assistance Specialist for the Tribal Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center, and Technical Assistance Specialist for the Tribal Juvenile Detention Reentry Training and Technical Assistance Center at Education Development Center in Waltham, MA. He has over 20 years of experience in reentry work with American Indian offenders; adults and juveniles, and has over 30 years of experience in working with American Indian communities in addressing chemical dependency and substance abuse. David earned a Bachelor’s degree in Education and is currently working on his Master’s Degree in Strategic Leadership, and has dedicated his efforts in the promotion of holistic well-being through cultural teachings and way of life.

Upcoming Speakers:  John Thavis and Kari Berit

Fellowship and All That Jazz                                                Posted 7/16/2014
ezThe First Church will “make a joyful noise” Sunday July 27, hosting a jazz worship service at 10 a.m.  The service will feature the EZ Jazz Trio, with Evan Bierer on sax, Ben Marti on piano, and Eric Zimmerman on bass. There will be great music including old-time gospel singing. Fun for the kids as well!

The service will be followed by a barbeque picnic lunch in the fellowship hall.  Bring a friend!

With a mission to glorify God and enjoy God forever, all people are invited and welcome to worship Sundays at 10:00 a.m.

bt2A tour of historic First Presbyterian Church was the featured Sunday morning June 29 event for the Betsy-Tacy Deep Valley Homecoming celebration. Guests then attended the worship service and were able to visit with descendants of Mankato persons featured in the Betsy-Tacy series of books at a special coffee hour honoring them and new church members received that morning. First Presbyterian Church is the oldest church mentioned in the books that is still serving as a church.

New Treasurer & Bookkeeper!                            Posted – June 16, 2014The Budget Committee and staff at First Presbyterian Church Mankato is pleased to introduce to you our new church Treasurer/Bookkeeper, Jamie Goulson.  Jamie resides in Lake Crystal and works full time as the Senior Accountant at BENCO Electric Cooperative.  She has two adult children and is looking forward to soon being a grandmother.  Jamie looks forward to her duties at FPC as a way of expanding her social network and continuing her involvement in not for profit work.

Jamie’s extensive accounting experience and exceptional efficiency will allow her to perform her duties at FPC on a part time basis.  She anticipates being in the church office immediately following the worship service on Sundays as well as two or more additional evenings throughout the week.

Feel free to contact Jamie at <> with questions regarding your pledge or other financial matters involving FPC.  Please keep in mind it will take Jamie a few weeks to become fully acquainted with the church’s various funds and record keeping system.

Stop by the Treasurer’s office after worship and give Jamie a warm welcome.

Seeking Two Staff positions                                                 Posted 5/21/2014
Wanted:  A part-time church treasurer for our church! Job responsibilities include processing all financial transactions.  We are also currently seeking an organist to provide music for Sunday worship services. The organist will also accompany the Sanctuary Choir for performances as well as rehearsals. Please send a cover letter and resume to or PO Box. 495, MN  56002, if you are interested in either position.

Resignation of Ken Tate & Mariya Bergquist            Posted  5/18/2014

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It is with sadness that we have accepted the retirement of our Organist, Music Director & Treasurer, Ken Tate as well as the resignation of Mariya Bergquist, our Sanctuary Choir Director.  Both are effective as of May 31. Ken has been our organist for 15 years, and our treasurer for nearly 4 years.  He is well-deserving of a wonderful retired life ahead of him.  Mariya will now enjoy some free Sundays to be with her family. We send them both with our well wishes and gratitude for their service to our FPC family.  Mariya will be recognized at the coffee fellowship hour on Sunday, May 18, and Ken will be recognized on Sunday, May 25. Please join us for these events!
~ ~ ~

We are currently seeking to fill their positions.  If you, or anyone you know would be interested in these positions, please contact Pastor Chris, Pam Grems – Chair of Personnel Committee, or Doug Otopalik – Clerk of Session.


All Church Spring Clean Up                                               Posted 4/30/2014

Saturday, May 3, 2014 at 9:00am.

Have you ever wondered how we change the light bulbs way up in the dome of our sanctuary?    Join us on Saturday to find out.    While the youth group will be working on sprucing up the  memorial garden, we could use help with projects such as wiping down the kitchen cupboards, sorting the silverware and purging unnecessary items.

Post Secondary Education Scholarships            Posted 3/22/2014

Small_Hispanic_Female_Grad_crop380x250The Endowment Fund committee is pleased to announce that post-secondary education grant applications are being accepted for the 2014-2015 academic school year.  

Guidelines for the grants:

 1.    The applicant must be a member of First Presbyterian Church, Mankato.

2.    Grants will be available to enrolled or enrolling college/university and post-secondary students.

3.    One grant application per school year will be accepted with a lifetime maximum of four grants awarded per person.

4. The application deadline is April 30, 2014.  Late applications will not be considered for award.

5.   Application is to be made on the form provided and can be submitted in either written or electronic form.

6.   Applicants must include a current transcript with their completed application.

7.   If awarded, grant money will be forwarded directly to your school upon verification of your enrollment.

8.   You must re-apply annually for a grant even if you previously received a grant and meet all other eligibility requirements. 

 Applications are available in either a hardcopy form (sent to you via the USPS) or in an electronic format that can be emailed to you and/or your student. 

If you, or a student you know, meet the grant eligibility requirements and would like to apply, please contact Kimberly in the church office to have an application form sent to you.


 Photos of the Installation Ceremony of Pastor Chris Conlin last Sunday, March 2, 2014                                                        Posted 3/4/2014

ChrisInstallationOfficials ChrisJohn ChrisPatti ChrisPattiCindyDanAllison

Mankato's most Historic Family Church. (507) 387-2160, 220 East Hickory Street, Mankato, Minnesota 56001 Worship with us! Everyone is welcome… Time: 10:00 a.m. Sunday