Shrove Tuesday

While Shrove Tuesday is an ancient observance it is new to Union Presbyteriay. Shrove means this is the day to get shriven, which means the day to make confession and repent. The idea is that after the final preparations for the church season of Lent one goes and confesses and begins a season of repentance. The preparations for Lent include eating up all the fat that may still be in the house before the fast of Lent begins. That is where pancakes come into it. Pancakes are a good way to eat up all the butter and eggs that are left in the house.

Come and join us at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, March 4. We will have a pancake dinner and some fun, a pancake relay if you are up to it and some Mardi Gras music.

After dinner we will have a brief Ash Wednesday service. An authentic observance of the day would have us stay up until midnight to start Ash Wednesday, but we will get everyone home at a reasonable hour for the whole family.

Youth Work Trip

We had another successful youth work trip this summer. Our plan was to join a Presbyterian Disaster Assistance project working to help people in the Houston area who were still recovering from hurricane Harvey last fall. Jess and Kurtis and I left for Texas on Saturday, July 28. It was two 12 hour days drive to Beaumont, Texas, about an hour from Houston. The St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Beaumont let us stay in their youth lounge while we were working. They were very kind. They checked in with us everyday, stocked the refrigerator with sandwich makings and invited us to dinner with their committee one evening.

Our work assignment was to work with the church’s project manager. As it turned out it was a case of the cobbler’s children. The project manager “Buzz” had spent months directing volunteer crews and helping with the repair of many other people’s homes, but had never quite had time to finish up his own home. We did finishing work in his home, doors, wainscoting, closet doors, baseboards, crown molding and caulking. We worked 8-4 Mon. through Wed. and 8-3 on Thursday. Buzz’s wife was recovering from a broken leg, but insisted on feeding us. She made fabulous lunches for us, pulled pork sandwiches, gumbo, spaghetti and one day breakfast burritos. We all learned new skills and felt as though we left the home in much better shape than when we arrived. Buzz and Barbara were very grateful for the progress we made.

One night we went to a state park and swam in the gulf and toured a nature area. Another evening we met Jess and Kurtis’ aunt and uncle and sons and friends for dinner near Houston.

We had an uneventful drive home Friday and Saturday. Jess and Kurtis both reported on their experience in worship on Sunday. They are both remarkable young people. It was great to have this experience together and to be able to help out people who are still struggling to put their lives back together after the hurricane last fall.

Introduction to Mindfulness

We all have brains. Our brains have evolved with predictable default settings. Our experience and ways of thinking shape and reshape our brains. Mindfulness is a way for us to get our brains to run in healthier ways. Last year for his continuing education the pastor learned the practice of mindfulness. He has been sharing what he learned with people at the jail. In response to several requests, he has scheduled a short course for Monday evenings starting April 16 from 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the church. There is no charge. Everyone is welcome. Invite a friend. If you miss a session, that’s OK. If you have questions, please ask.

The Gospel in Folk Music

We are excited to present a program of Folk music and gospel reflections on Sunday, February 25 at 3:00 pm. The presenter is Karl Heimbuck. He grew up in Gernsey, WY. He went to UW and was instrumental in developing the student ministry of the Laramie church. Now he is that pastor at First Presbyterian in Mountain View. He is also a talented musician. He put this program together because he enjoys playing Folk music and it is a great opportunity to reflect on the gospel message that many songs carry.

Admission is free. A free will offering will be received.

Gary Harvey

Gary Ralph Harvey

January 23rd, 1950 – May 20th, 2017

I am a husband, father, grandfather, brother, friend to all, jokester, and a man of many hats…. literally. Some might also say that I am of a thorough, particular, scrupulous character, in fact you might find my name in Webster’s Dictionary under “meticulous”…. but it’s always been important to me that things are done with excellence, class and careful consideration.

My journey began in the freezing December of ‘49. Tucked away in the warm comfort of my mother’s womb, I realized it was too cold to make my entry …so I waited for a warmer day and arrived on January 23, 1950.

I had a wonderful life with my parents and sister Linda. Every time we had an outing, Mom would chase us with a wash cloth to make sure our faces were clean- that happened often. Later on the grandkids had that pleasure.

On May 18, 1974, I married the love of my life, Peggy Ramón. We had three beautiful children, and after them came eight wonderful and “not” spoiled grandchildren.

My passion has always been the outdoors; admiring everything God has created, including all things historical, wise, and beautiful given to us by Native Americans. Of course you all know that I love fishing, maybe you’ve even heard a good fishing story or two and wondered if they were true…I’ll let you use your own imagination. I especially love fishing in the middle of winter and sleeping on the frozen lake, listening to the ice crackle, wondering if it would break beneath me. During summertime, I love walking the hills where the birds are free to sing. This is when I can best hear their beautiful voices, filling me with joy. At lunch time I sit on the tailgate of the old truck, listening to my favorite: Bar J Wranglers. While doing this, I enjoy my chocolate milk and donuts as I watch the ants and scorpions. Yes, I said scorpions, scurrying away with the leftover crumbs. (Just a side note, scorpions would rather have salami.)

As a member of the Presbyterian Church, I hold the position as an Elder and I am Clerk of the Session. I was quick to help with janitorial duties; shoveling snow, mowing the lawn, and helping all those in need. Unfortunately, as my illness progressed, I could no longer help as much as I wanted to. However, at any time of my life, I always tried to spread the Lord’s words and teachings and tried my best to serve others in a Christ like way.

I have been a Mason for over 25 years and held several offices, including Master of the Blue Lodge twice and KYCH, the Worthy Patron of Ester Chapter 9, Order of the Eastern Star. I also enjoyed many years alongside the lovely ladies in Job’s Daughters, Bethel #19. I am a proud member of the Korein Temple. As a Shriner, I have held several offices, including president of the Evanston Shrine Club. It filled my heart with joy to help the many children receive the care they needed. The yearly May Onion Sales was one of my favorite fund raisers, with all the proceeds going to the Shriners Hospital in Salt Lake City, Utah. Thank you to everyone in the community who made the sales successful.

For over 15 years, I was a member of the Evanston Car Club. I made many forever friends, participating in the various car shows throughout the west. It was always a great time (sometimes stressful) organizing the many car shows in Evanston, but it was well worth it knowing all the proceeds were for the children to have warm coats and dry boots. Thank you to the many who contributed their time and donations to this fundraiser.

Recently I have taken great honor in sketching various pictures for family and friends…well, really anybody, sometimes leaving a little piece of art on my napkins at restaurants. If you were lucky I might have even included a good joke.

My journey here on earth ended peacefully on May 20th, 2017. I am going home to be in God’s loving arms, with my parents, Ralph and Olympia Harvey, my mother and father in-law, Isabel and Deloris Ramón, as well as my grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, and our family dog Chico.

With love, I leave behind; my wife, Peggy of 43 years, my children, Lisa (Jerimy) Silcox, Stephanie (Wesley) Mills, and Casey (Janalee) Harvey; my grandchildren Cutter, Kodi, and Kaitlynn Silcox, Jeffrey and Jacob Mills, and Caleb, Carter, and Cayllen Harvey. I also leave my sister Linda (Randy) Ottley, her daughter Darby (Mike) Bailey, and their son Aydyn; Shawn (Roni) Ottley, Jamie (Bret) Cook; my brother-in-laws Ed Ramón and Steven (Jo) Ramón, as well as my Uncle Vic and Aunt Isabel of Las Vegas, Aunt Mary of Bridger Valley, Ron Harvey (my other-brother), and numerous cousins and dear friends. Last but not least, I cannot forget my devoted pup, Juno.

To my family, Church family, Car Club friends, Masons, Shiners, fishing buddies, and numerous pals collected over the years; thank you for everything. I am forever grateful for the things you have done, visits you have made, food you have brought and love you have shared. I also want to give a special thanks to Compassionate Journey Home Health, and Sara and Sam at Best Home Health and Hospice.

My journey has ended, but yours has not. Cherish and enjoy our memories together, and know that my spirit is with you as you continue to love and serve others.

….Happy Trails to You, Until We Meet Again….

There will be a graveside service at the Evanston City Cemetery Tuesday, May 30th at 11:00 AM. A Celebration of life with light refreshments will directly follow at the Evanston City Roundhouse, 1500 Main Street. In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Shriners Hospital or the Union Presbyterian Church.

Taize Prayer

We invite you to experience a beautiful time of prayer and music. Join us on Wednesday evening, March 29th at 5:30 p.m. The simple and repeating music can open for you the opportunity find peace and lift up your prayers. Candles will be provided if you would like to use them to help express your prayers. If you have not experienced this type of prayer service before you will not want to miss this opportunity. Gathered together in beauty and song we each seek God’s presence and lift up our prayers.

There will be no preaching and no collection.

You have heard, but I tell you

I got delayed on my way home from vacation. I had planned to be in worship on Sunday morning, but instead I was in an airport still on my way home. I had prepared to preach on Matthew 5: 21-37. As long as I was sitting around in the airport I decided to preach anyway. I did think that perhaps I could get this video there in time to show it in worship, but the upload over public wi-fi thwarted me. I was grateful that the congregation was understanding and the Ron was ready at the last minute to share his witness. If you would like to see it what I did in the airport click on this link.

Christmas Day Worship

The beautiful Christmas Eve worship is a highlight of the year. We sing carols and light candles and enjoy the warm fellowship. This year Christmas day is on Sunday. Instead of inviting everyone to make it out for worship, we are inviting everyone to stay home. In the Presbyterian tradition there have always been two places of worship. The gathered church meets for worship and then we worship in our homes. That is what we are encouraging this year. On Christmas day we are inviting you to worship in your homes. We are not planning a worship service at the church on Sunday, Christmas Day. Of course, you may worship in any way you find meaningful. If you have traditions or spiritual practices you usually use that is good. If you are unfamiliar with worshipping at home or if you would like some guidance we are making a resource available here  You will need a Bible and it would help if you have a way to sing Christmas songs. Please adapt this resource to your setting. Small children may need to sing and dance to the scriptures. The prayers may be used as they are or you may find that you need to make the concerns more specific to your family.

However you worship, we pray that worship and praise will be lifted up to God from all corners of our community.

Lent ‘n’ Soup

This year we will be sharing lunch together on the Wednesdays during Lent. The dates are Feb. 17, 24, March 2, 9 and 15. A simple lunch of soup and bread will be provided. We will explore together the theme of compassion and how that brings us into new partnerships and spiritual practices to help others. We will put out baskets for donations. The donations will help cover the cost of the lunches and then all the rest will be added to our offering to One Great Hour of Sharing.