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First Presbyterian welcomes everyone

This may seem an odd sort of letter to send to The Tribune. It probably will be surrounded this time of year by differing political opinions, but I wanted to say this to everyone in the area, and I couldn’t think of a better way.

I’ve lived in three different Ohio towns in the last two decades and spent a lot of that time visiting churches, trying to find one that “fit,” one that strengthened me spiritually with a message on Sunday morning that I could take home and live by all week.

About five years ago your paper did a feature article on Jan Williams’ having accepted the pastor’s position at First Presbyterian Church. Although I had never sat under a lady pastor, her education and background made me curious and I attended First Presbyterian the next Sunday.

That was more than 5 years ago, and I haven’t missed a Sunday since, except for very rare occasions that involved sickness or out-town-travel. I do not go because I feel I have to. I go because every service is so interesting and inspiring that I look forward to it like Christmas!

The choir sings with spirit and wonderful harmony. Sharon Bradshaw, a formally trained organist, is there each service to make the big historic pipe organ resound with a mix of traditional hymns, gospel music, and classical pieces that gives this music lover continuous goose bumps!

Pastor Jan always has an interesting talk that reassures us that although we are weak in ourselves, we can do great things united by faith.

I have never met such a loving, caring, forgiving congregation. I went through cancer surgery, chemo, and radiation while attending, and I can’t tell you how their support and lovely services lifted and soothed me throughout the whole ordeal.

Our congregation is small and that baffles me. Every Sunday I sit in the beautiful old sanctuary and wonder why the seats aren’t packed.

Surely there are other people like I was, longing for a home church or at least somewhere to attend when you feel the need. If this is true of you, I highly and without reservation suggest First Presbyterian. No obligation, no expectations. Just come and see what I’m talking about.

Services are at 10:30 every Sunday morning (Sunday School at 9:30 for you early risers.) I know you’ll be glad you made the effort!

Judith Sanders

Ironton