Over the years of being pastor at First Presbyterian Church one of the things that I have noticed is when I enter into worship, I often times miss some of the details and make a  mistake in the service.  Like...skipping the Lord's Prayer, missing the Children's Moment, or even offering the cup before the name a few.  Although there are moments when I enter into a worshipful state - they are usually temporary - and I quickly come back to making sure the details are handled appropriately. 

On this year's Christmas Day, I woke up early while everyone else in the house was still sleeping. It had been a little while since I had participated in worship through a recording of our live-stream on YouTube, so I decided to watch the Christmas Eve service.  As I watched the service, I realized I was not watching it as much as I was worshiping. It was a wonderful experience to simply enjoy being moved and truly worshiping. 

As I worshiped, I grew in my appreciation for many aspects of the service, as well as those who offered their gifts in the service:
*For the music of our worship team, small choir, the organ and the flute.

*The beauty of the sanctuary filled with the poinsettias, the advent candles, the paraments, the lit Christmas tree and physical space.

*The special guest (a live shepherd) who shared his experience of the first Christmas.

*Our recently formed "tech team" who makes our streaming possible.

I was also grateful for each staff person and volunteer and their contributions to making our worship happen.  Our worship could not take place without the many members of our congregation who offer their time and talents.

While this season of COVID has been difficult in many ways, I have been making an effort to look out for the gifts that we have received during this most challenging of times. And on Christmas morning, as I participated in worship from the night before, I am grateful for how this season has moved us to a place of being able to truly worship together even when we are apart.
If you have been missing worship, either in person or via our
live-stream or later on YouTube, I would invite you to

join us to experience the gift of worship!

**Sacred Rhythms for Women**
We are continuing to meet the 3rd Sunday of each month from 4:30-6pm. Our intent is to support one another in developing practices which keep our faith vital and flourishing. In keeping with this pur 5 Essential Reads About Snow and Ice - EcoWatch pose, we are currently using Eugene Peterson’s book, Living the Message. In his book, Mr. Peterson offers a brief thought upon which to reflect for each day. So, you never are behind, needing to catch up. You need only read today’s message. We would love to have you join us. For more information, feel free to contact Bev Ruston at 881-1391 or Louise Campbell at 799-4071.  Next meeting is Sunday, January 16, 2022.




Recently First Presbyterian held a warm clothes and boots drive for the inmates at the La Crosse County Jail.  There are many reasons why people getting out of jail would need these warm items.  Sometimes when people are arrested in warmer months in shorts, t-shirts and sandals are then released in December.  Or there are times when people are released and are homeless, the jail staff will bundle them up as much as possible so they stay warm.  For others, they may have left their belongings in an unsecured location and therefore don’t have anything warm for someone to bring them to wear.  Whatever the reason, we don’t ever want anyone to leave the jail in the winter unprotected from the cold.  

Recently a homeless women was able to secure a spot in a treatment program.  She had all of her belongings with her when she was arrested but when it was time to go, the jail staff noticed she had no boots.  All she had were shoes that would not help in the cold weather.  One of the jailers immediately went back to the donated items to find her a pair of boots.  She was thrilled; her feet would not be cold.  This story happens over and over again. 


On behalf of all of us, working with the inmates in the jail, we thank you.  Your generous donations are appreciated.  This is a great example of you following Jesus by visiting those in jail or prison (Matthew 25:3) through  warm clothes. 


Chaplain Ann Wales

 269,737 Angel Stock Photos and Images - 123RF
When the song of the angels is stilled,
When the star in the sky is gone,
When the kings and princes are home,
When the shepherds are back with their flock,

The work of Christmas begins:
To heal the broken, To find the lost,

To make music in the heart.
To bring peace among brothers,
To rebuild the nations,
To release the prisoner,
To feed the hungry,
Thanks to the many faithful volunteers who provided music
ministry during the Advent/Christmas season and throughout
the year.  Music is truly one of God's greatest gifts.
Stars and Constellations - Home | Facebook  A Blessing:
  May God who gave us this year,
  And the Savior,
  who walked at our side each day,
  And the Holy Spirit,
  who filled us with life abundant,
  Grace the coming year with
  Peace, Hope, Joy and Love

Morning Circle will meet Wednesday, January 19th at 9:30 in the Gathering Area at First Pres. Ansun - Simple English Wiktionaryyone wishing to join in the fellowship and study is most welcome. We will continue with "What my Grandmothers Taught me…Learning from the Women in Matthew's Genealogy of Jesus," lessons 4 and 5.  Discussion will be led by Elsie Patterson. The hostess will be Judy Rowley.

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First Presbyterian Church
233 West Ave. S
La Crosse, WI 54601

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First Presbyterian Church · 233 West Ave. S · La Crosse, WI 54601 · USA

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