Pages Navigation Menu

News & Events Blog

The following is what’s going on at First Presbyterian Church in Rochester, Minn.

First Presbyterian Church/Good News in Brief for August 17, 2017 – August 25, 2017

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in News | Comments Off on First Presbyterian Church/Good News in Brief for August 17, 2017 – August 25, 2017

First Presbyterian Church/Good News in Brief for August 17, 2017 – August 25, 2017

#  From now through Labor Day Sunday we will have one service of worship at 9:30 a.m. each Sunday. Coffee and donuts will be available in the atrium both before (beginning at 8:45 a.m.) and after the service.


#  Happy Anniversary to Ronald and Nancy MacKenzie who will celebrate their 55th wedding anniversary August 25.

#  Happy Anniversary to Warren and Mary Potter who will celebrate their 67th wedding anniversary August 27.

#  Happy Anniversary to John and Ann Mitchell who will celebrate their 57th wedding anniversary also on August 27.
#  Happy Birthday to Pat Whisnant who will celebrate her 93rd birthday August 20. P
#  Happy Birthday to Omer Burgert who will celebrate his 93rd birthday August 22.
#  We extend our condolences to Linda Tillotson on the death of her husband, John Tillotson, August 11.  The memorial service will be Saturday, August 19 at 11 a.m. at FPC.
We are pleased to report that our job openings have been filled.
Brian Stevens has been hired as our custodian and began work August 8.

Susanna Stone, our new Coordinator for Youth and Christian Education, began August 15.

*Wednesday, August 16*

#  Crafters group will meet at 3 p.m. in the social hall. Bring that almost finished project or help make cards for C.A.R.E. members of FPC. All card supplies are furnished.
*Saturday, August 19*
#  First Presbyterian Rochester Habitat for Humanity work day from 9 a.m. until 4 p.m. or whenever you need to leave – lunch will be provided. The house is at 2268 Cedar Park Court SE. No construction experience is necessary as there are always jobs for every comfort level – from sweeping to hammering nails to using the power saw. Please let Sarah Edgerton know if you plan to come ( so there will be enough food.
#  Memorial Service for John Tillotson at 11 a.m. in the sanctuary. Visitation is at 10 a.m. at the church.

*Sunday, August 20*
#  Worship at 9:30 a.m.

*Monday, August 21*
#  Pizza Fundraiser for Friendship Place. A fundraiser that anyone can support is spelled s-u-p-p-e-r. Friendship Place volunteers will be at the Stewartville Pizza Ranch from 4 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. August 21. During that time Friendship Place will receive 10% of the sales and all of the tips. If you’re in the mood for pizza, please stop in. If you’ve never been to a Pizza Ranch before, you’re in for a treat.

*Monday, August 21 to Friday, August 25*
#  First Players hosts its annual Band Camp from 9 a.m. to noon each day. The final concert and ice cream social will be Friday, August 25 at noon.
*Tuesday, August 22*
#  Meet the Instrument night for new First Players from 5-7 p.m.

*Wednesday, August 23*
#  Bible Study at 6:30 p.m. in the lounge. The topic August 23 continues “What we believe – The Apostles’ Creed.” The study is led by Al Depman. This concludes the summer series. The fall series begins September 13.
*Friday, August 25*
#  Band Camp concert at noon followed by an ice cream social.

*Sunday, August 27*
#  Worship at 9:30 a.m.
#  Trail Walk at Willow Creek Reservoir. Meet at Willow Creek Reservoir in SW Rochester at 1 p.m. The parking lot is at the end of Lone Pine Drive SW. We’ll hike the trail that goes around the reservoir and we might even get to see the eagles that have a nest in the area.
*Tuesday, August 29*

#  Chancel Guild meets at 1 p.m.
#  Forum@First at 7 p.m. in the social hall. “Following the Boom: are we ready for aging in Olmsted County.” Learn about the increasing challenges for individuals and service providers. What can be done to provide a better future?
*Sunday, September 3* (Last Sunday with worship at 9:30 a.m.)
#  Worship at 9:30 a.m.
#  One of our parish nurses will be in the library after the service September 3 to take your blood pressure and answer questions you may have about your health.
*Monday, September 4* (Labor Day)
#  Church Office will be closed September 4 in celebration of Labor Day.
*Tuesday, September 5*
#  Back to school for students in Rochester Public Schools.
#  Grief Support Group meets at 11 a.m. in the library.     #  Deacons meet at 7 p.m. in the south fireside room.
#  Most committees meet. Check with your lead elder if you aren’t sure about yours.

#  We’re working on the all-church calendar for the coming program year (September 2017-September 2018). If you or your committee have activities you want included, please let Carol Evans know (reply to this e-mail, phone 282-1618, or leave a note in the church office).
#  As you know, some of the best kids on the planet attend First Presbyterian Church. The goal of your CE Committee is to create multigenerational Sunday School teacher teams. Parents of young children typically comprise the majority of our teams. We’d like to expand this pool. Please consider this opportunity to get to know some wonderful children! We provide teacher orientation, teacher-friendly curricula, ongoing support AND best of all flexible scheduling. From September-May, classes for pre-Kindergarten and elementary students are approximately 40 minutes long, held during the education hour (between 1st and 2nd services). We prefer at least two or three adults for each class and we’re eager include you –whether you can help out every week or just once a month. Please speak with or call Rev. Rowland (282-1618) to talk about the possibilities. (FPC Christian Education Committee)
#  Book giveaway continues. As the church library revitalization continues, outdated books are continually being removed and made available for free. Look for the “free books” note on boxes in the library and the foyer and on the cart in the atrium.

—————————— ——-

#  “You will never know how strong you are, until being strong is your only choice.” (Bob Marley)
#  “The first step towards getting somewhere is to decide that you are not going to stay where you are.” (J. Pierpont Morgan)

Put on your walking shoes and come take a hike!

Posted by on Jul 11, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Put on your walking shoes and come take a hike!

Put on your walking shoes and come take a hike!

This is a fun way to get outdoors, learn some local history, and spend time with other church members.  Don’t forget to bring a hat and water and wear sunscreen!  Please feel free to invite your friends to come along.  If you have questions, contact Mark at

If an activity needs to be cancelled, we will leave a message on the church’s answering machine.

July 23, 2017 –  1 p.m.  – Cascade Meadow Wetlands

The group walk for July will take place July 23 at Cascade Meadow Wetlands.  Meet at Cascade Meadow (2900 19th St NW) at 1 p.m. Cascade Meadow sits on a 100 acre site of which 90 acres of natural areas have been restored.  A system of approximately 2 miles of trails winds its way through seven different types of wetlands and three upland communities.  Renewable energy systems on site include electric generation with wind and solar, as well as solar thermal hot water and geothermal heat pump for heating and cooling.

August 27, 2017  – 1 p.m. –  Willow Creek Reservoir

Meet at the Willow Creek Reservoir in SW Rochester at 1 p.m.  The parking lot is at the end of Lone Pine Drive SW.  We will hike the trail that goes around the reservoir.  We might even get to see the eagles that have a nest in the area.

September 24, 2017 – 1 p.m. – Root River Park

Meet at Root River Park (4012 80th SE) at 1 p.m.  The Root River Park is a relatively new park and is another of Olmsted County’s best kept secrets.  When we get to the park we’ll check out the old stagecoach bridge and the 90-foot tall limestone bluffs.  The trail is about 2 miles long and is a nice wide grass covered trail.  The scenery is beautiful.  You might want to bring a camera!





Forums @ First Crisis: Your Future Independence

Posted by on Jul 5, 2017 in News | Comments Off on Forums @ First Crisis: Your Future Independence

Forums @ First Crisis: Your Future Independence

“And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus.”

(Philippians 4:19)

Having just celebrated our Independence Day on July 4, we tend to think in terms of not being a slave to others, or of not relying on others. It can also apply to the young person who leaves home for college and his or her ‘independence’ for the first time. Or when we pay off the mortgage and are independent of the bank. There is yet another form of independence – one that applies to those in their 30’s, 40’s — 90’s. It is the thought of living independent.

The present world is full of unknowns. How long will I live? How long will my loved ones live? Will I develop some incapacitating condition at some point? Who will take care of me? Will I have funds to pay for my or my spouse’s expenses? Will there be any government programs available, considering the possible elimination or decrease of funding given today’s political environment? These are the concerns of those 65 and older, but, “also,” the increasing concerns of the young people of today: and rightly so! Because it is that population that can do something about their prospects.

In 15 years, the population of Olmsted County is expected to have increased by approximately 18,500. Given the ratio of growth over the years of 2010 to 2015, the proportion of those 65+ is increasing dramatically faster than any other segment of the population (12.6 % of the population in 2010; 14.4% in 2015). Of the population increase from 2010 to 2015, 51.1% were over 65. From 2015 to 2035, that population will increase 59%. Remember, if you are 47 today, you will be 65 in 2035!

There is more than sufficient reason to be concerned if you live in Olmsted County. As indicated above, a dramatic increase (over and above that of the state of Minnesota) in the 65+ population is about to occur. And in an alarming manner. More people, from all over the country and world, are moving to the Med City because of Mayo Clinic’s high ratings in health care. The 65+ population is dramatically outpacing the working population, i.e., meaning more individuals are needing assistance of various forms with a decreasing number of individuals to provide the necessary attention. Government funding is decreasing as states and the country tighten budgets. Younger members of society have demonstrated less ability to save adequately for retirement.

On Tuesday, August 29, the Social Concerns Committee will present their 10th Forum @ First, a special panel on CRISIS: Your Future Independence. The panel will include Dr. Susan Brower, the State of Minnesota Demographer, making a rare appearance, given her very busy schedule. In addition to Susan, the Forum will include Ms. Emily Ties, Director of Adult and Family Services, and Mr. Scott Maloney, Executive Director of Rochester Family Service.

This invitation is to encourage you to attend and participate in a very relevant conversation. Remember to save the date.

Date: Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Time: 7 p.m.

Location: First Presbyterian Church


  ~ Social Concerns Committee / K.J. Aalderks

Festival of Music Announces Schedule of concerts for 2017-2018 Season

Posted by on Apr 3, 2017 in Music | Comments Off on Festival of Music Announces Schedule of concerts for 2017-2018 Season

Festival of Music Announces Schedule of concerts for 2017-2018 Season

 October 15, 2017 4:00 p.m.


LYRIC BARITONE                                            



November 19, 2017 4:00 p.m.





February 11, 2018 4:00 p.m.








March 18, 2018 4:00 p.m.





April 2, 2017 4:00 p.m.




The Festival of Music Concert Series was begun by Lee Afdahl when he became the Director of Music and Organist at First Presbyterian Church in 1991. Now in its 27th season, one of the series’ highlights is the annual “Lee and Friends” concert.  A graduate of Luther College, Lee has served as a church musician for more than forty years–leading active programs of choral and handbell ensembles in Michigan and Minnesota.  He has conducted festival conferences for the Handbell Musicians of America and several international handbell groups and led handbell classes for the American Guild of Organists.  He has served the Handbell Musicians of America in various capacities, including president. Lee represented the organization as a conductor at the International Handbell Symposia in Liverpool, UK in 2012 and Jeju, South Korea in 2014.


Lenten Organ Recital Series 2018

Noon-day thirty minute recitals, 12:15-12:45 PM

February 21, 2018

Jeffrey Daehn, freelance organist, Rochester, MN

February 28, 2018

Sebastian Modarelli, oganist, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Rochester, MN

March 7, 2018

Lois Marsh, freelance organist, Rochester, MN

March 14 2018

Ceri Benson, organist, St Luke’s Episcopal Church, Rochester, MN

March 21, 2018

Paul Kosower, freelance organist, Eau Claire, WI

Youth Ministry Update – April 2015

Posted by on Jul 6, 2013 in Youth Ministry | Comments Off on Youth Ministry Update – April 2015

Youth Ministry Update – April 2015


FPC Youth Group ~ Strengthening Youth through Faith & Service

Youth Group News:  The middle school group is currently discussing a video study entitled “Why Jesus” by David Nassar.  The senior high youth are currently discussing a video study entitled “Dare to Dream:  Creating a God-sized Mission Statement for Your Life.”

The groups are also planning a hands-on service project to fill meal-packs with the organization Feed My Starving Children this spring.

Wednesday Evening Dinners: If you are interested in providing a meal for FPC youth and adults who attend Wednesday Evening Activities, please call the office, (507) 282-1618.

Sunday School News: During the Gathering Time, tithing (donating) was discussed with the Sunday School youth. We discussed how we can use our donations to help others. It is awesome to see how the youth have responded to this discussion. Thank you to all the parents who allow the youth to locate spare change in the sofas and cars!

Youth Art Work Project: Can you draw, paint, color, and/or take pictures? If you can answer yes, please consider working on an art piece for the Youth Activity Lounge. It would be nice for the the walls to be covered with artwork from the Youth and the leaders.