March 2018  
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Independence, Iowa


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  • Trivia Night Winning Team.... Congrats!
  • Fellowship Fun after church....
  • Youth travel to the Mall of America....
  • Youth work on Valentine's....
  • Youth Super Bowl Party fun....
  • Treasure Seekers having some fun....
  • Treasure Seeker's Christmas Program....
  • Jr/Sr High Youth sing in the Christmas Program...
  • Youth go Christmas Caroling....
  • Christmas Caroling at the Rozendaal's....
  • Youth sort gifts for Adopt-A-Family...
  • Children's message time with Lynda Fiester....
  • Bell Choir
  • Youth enjoy Christmas lights....
  • Youth go ice skating...
  • Youth outing in Coralville...
  • Youth shop & pack for Operation Christmas Child....
  • Youth help out at Mobile Food Pantry....
  • Family Fun Night....
  • Our quilters display quilts they are donating to Iowa City Veteran’s Hospital, Operation Threshold, Human Resources, & Hospice.
  • Youth help with Trick or Treat for the Food Pantry....
  • Treasure Seekers working on crafts...
  • Youth putting together Operation Christmas Child boxes....
  • Youth Attend Fields of Faith....
  • Youth Campfire to kickoff the new year....
  • Youth help out at the Community Garden...
  • Victory VBS was a great time.... Thanks for all who participated!
  • Mission Trip 2017...
  • Confirmands join our church on June 4, 2017
  • Our 2017 Graduates....
Welcome to First Presbyterian Church of Independence Iowa!  

Friday, February 16.  I’m heading to Minnesota to see my tax person and enjoy dinner with my dad.  I jump in the car and decide to grab a cup of coffee at McDonald’s on my way out of town.  I’m feeling hungry so I decide to order a breakfast sandwich as well.  In front of me is a white Chevrolet with a specialized license plate.  The lady driving it is taking her time ordering and moving her vehicle through the drive through.  I’m getting a little impatient.  After all McDonald’s is supposed to be fast food and I have places to be.  When I get to the payment window the woman there tells me that the car in front of me has paid for my coffee and breakfast sandwich.  Really?  This is great. No one has ever done that for me before.  I head to Minneapolis feeling  special.

As I make my way north on Hwy 218 the announcer on the radio asks a question, “Does anyone know what today is?”  I have no idea, but I’m curious about the answer.  The announcer continues, “It’s national be kind to a grouch day.”  What?  Suddenly I see my whole McDonald’s  experience in a whole new light.  Instead of feeling special I’m left to wonder was this nice lady in the white Chevy being kind to a grouch?  I go from feeling special to feeling sheepish.  I was being a grouch.  And her act of kindness did make my day.  The more I thought about it the funnier I found the whole experience.  I laughed most of the way to Minneapolis.

A lot of people I know lack emotional intelligence.  They lack self-awareness.  They have no idea how their presence and attitude impact other people.  They walk into a room and have no clue as to the emotional states of the people around the table.  The number one problem that causes problems in all of our relationships is self-absorption.  I am focused on myself and unaware of the others around me.

Jesus offers a great characterization of a person who lacks emotional intelligence.  “Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother’s eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye?  How can you say to your brother, ‘Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,’ when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye?”

Presbyopia is an eye condition where we cannot see the things closest to us.  It’s more than an eye problem.  It’s a relational problem.  We can so clearly see the small problems in other people.  When it comes to our larger problems we lack such clarity.  We pay no attention to our own lack of awareness of our issues.  This impacts the quality of our relationships.  When life is mostly about you I will absolutely guarantee that the effects will be felt in your relationships with family, friends, coworkers, and even the strangers you fail to notice.

If I get to meet my new friend in the white Chevy I want to thank her.  Not for breakfast.  But for reminding me I am not the center of the universe.  Yes, at times   I can be a grouch. (Though rarely.)  It’s amazing how an act of kindness can bring clarity to my living and make my day.  You have the power to positively affect the lives of others.  Wake up and smell the coffee.  Better yet, wake up and buy the coffee.

Pastor John




Contact Us  
First Presbyterian Church
115 6th Avenue NW
PO Box 188
Independence, Iowa 50644
Map  •   Directions
Phone 319 334 3523
Fax 319 334 4134
Regular Schedule  
  • Sunday Morning Worship
    – 10:00 AM
  • Fellowship
    – 11:00 AM
  • Treasure Seekers (K - 6th Grade) - 1st & 3rd Wednesdays During School Year
    – 3:30 PM to 5:00 PM
  • Adult Bible Studies - 1st & 3rd Wednesdays during the school year
    – 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Bell Choir - 2nd & 4th Wednesdays during school year
    – 6:00 PM to 7:00 PM
  • Youth Bible Studies (Grades 7-12) - 1st & 3rd Wednesdays at FUMC during school year
    – 6:30 PM to 7:30 PM
Make This Church a Welcome Place Video
2017 Victory VBS Video
2017 FPC High School Graduate Video
Youth Group Video - Created by Avri Ruffcorn
2018 PER CAPITA IS $37.00