Mid-Week Messenger

May 9, 2024

Greetings Everyone

Greetings Everyone.

I was never a distance runner. I tried in my freshman year of high school simply because my father would not allow me to play football…too small. Even though I ended up doing OK, it was always work and never fulfilling. I tried distance running once again in college…as a class. Of the physical education offerings this one fit within my schedule. Still no joy.

However, short races did bring me joy. I loved the sprints. Back in my day they were measured by yards and not the international standard of meters. As a result, I did OK in the 100 yd dash and the 220 yard run. No world records mind you, but I did enjoy the events. I especially enjoyed knowing (and sometimes seeing) the goal I was striving to attain.

The running of a race is a theme that occurs at times in the Bible. I especially love the image given us in Hebrews 12:1-2a. It reads:

1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight and the sin that clings so closely, and let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, …

As God’s people, we are the cloud of witnesses for each other. When we pause at the beginning of our time of worship to Pass the Peace, it is the cloud of witnesses that interacts with each other. The cloud of witnesses also includes those of the faith who have preceded us into heaven. I can image them in the heavenly arena, watching as we run our race here on earth, cheering for us, wanting us to be our best and do our best for the glory of God. A cloud of witnesses.

In the midst of the cheering, the individual runner still must run. Those in the crowd cannot enter the tract or run on behalf of another. They can encourage and cheer, but they cannot replace those for whom they cheer. Each must learn the discipline of running and do the work of the runner. Doing the work.









pink cosmos

In the shorter races, staying focused on the finishing line is important. All a person’s energy must be focused on reaching that line. I remember in the 1988 Olympics when our #1 sprinter, Carl Lewis was competing for the gold medal against Canadian Ben Johnson. Ben Johnson won that race but had his gold medal removed because of a drug scandal. However, during that very fast race Carl Lewis was seen taking his eyes off the finishing line and looking over at his competition. Both men lost focus. Lewis by looking at his competition and not the line. Johnson by focusing on the performance enhancing drugs and not his natural ability. Staying focused.

As Christians the scripture is very clear. We are to lay aside the roadblocks, the “weights and sins” that beset us, develop perseverance (we are not in control of whether we are in a sprint or a longer distance race) and keep our eyes focused on Jesus…the One who is our finishing line who is the “pioneer and perfecter of our faith…” Focused on Jesus.

I believe pastor Tim helped so many in this congregation run well their race of faith. I have been blessed to be able to continue that work and assist as you have run your race staying focused on the Lord. This next week Pastor Raully will continue the work. Just as Tim and I have worked to faithfully serve, Raully will do the same. He loves the Lord and, as he gets to know you and walk with you, will come to love you as well. My prayer is that you will continue to Love God through worship, Learn to know and follow Jesus, and Live your faith in word and deed.

May the Blessing of the Lord be Upon You.

Pastor Paul

News & Events



Sunday, May 12th 

9:00 a.m. Adult Bible Study in the Chapel, Romans 12

10:00 a.m. The Last Sunday Worship Service with Pastor Paul Hayden

11:00 a.m. Farewell Celebration for Pastor Paul and Terri Hayden

Monday, May 13th 

7:00 p.m. Choir Practice

Tuesday, May 14th  

7:00 a.m. Men’s Bible Study and Breakfast

Wednesday, May 15th  

100:00 a.m. Ladies AM Bible Study (L.A.M.B.S)

Thursday, May 16th   

10:00 a.m. Bible Babes bible study

Sunday, May 19th

10:00 am Worship Service with Pastor Raully Donahue




Check out the Events Calendar for more upcoming events.


Celebrate the Haydens’ New Journey this Sunday After Worship!

Sunday, May 12th, after the service, please join us for a reception in the fellowship hall to extend our heartfelt thanks to Pastor Paul & Terri for their dedicated service to our church. Let’s shower them with blessings and well wishes as they embark on their next chapter in life.






Flower Sales Weekend is Coming May

17th &18th!

We are in Spokane this week picking out all the beautiful flowers that will be trucked in for our sale. WE NEED YOUR HELP! There is a series of sign up sheets in Fellowship Hall to volunteer to help us – even for an hour! This is an ALL CHURCH ministry project. Bring your kiddos, come and socialize, we need all gifts and talents and zero plant/flower experience required.




Community Outreach

Whitefish Care & Rehab is looking for donations of personal care items. When a new resident comes into the facility they are provided with standard items. It will be a beautiful collaboration if residents also see a basket filled with items donated by the community that demonstrates they are thought of and cared for.  

We are looking for the following travel sized items and hope to make 10 baskets in total.


Items to donate 

-Small wooden basket

-Shampoo -Dove

– Conditioner- Dove

-Lotion- Dove

-Deodorant- Dove

-Lip balm

-Toothbrush & Toothpaste

-Activity books like sudoku and crosswords

-Snacks- Protein bars, soft cereal bars, mixed nuts (salt free),

-Water bottle

-Juice box

You may drop off donated items in the church office or look for the Whitefish Care & Rehab box in Fellowship Hall.


Your Fellowship Team will be celebrating the inauguration of our new Weber gas grill on Sunday, May 19th following our church service. We will be grilling cheeseburgers and hotdogs on our new deck built by our own Drew Rhymes. A signup sheet will be posted in the Fellowship Hall, so please bring a side dish to compliment the entree.

Thank You,

Fellowship Committee


Final Wednesday for the school year will be on May 22nd at 6pm. We’ll have dinner, lesson and finish up at Sweet Peaks!

Parents, we’ll have some summer fun together! Once we have a plan, you’ll be the first to know!

2nd Sunday Food Drive – Fill the Basket

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat . . . “
                                  (Matthew 25:35)

This coming Sunday (May 12) is our next food drive day.

Last month our church donated 38 pounds of food to the North Valley Food Bank.

Here is a quick reminder of the food bank’s outreach to our community:
   Households served per week: 425
   People per household: 2.5 average
   People served per week: 1,125

The food bank still needs shelf-stable, canned or dried foods such as:
canned vegetables, canned fruit, dried beans, rice, canned meat (chicken, tuna), oatmeal, peanut butter, and cereal.

Thank you for all you do to help feed the hungry members of our community!

– FPC Deacons


If you are not in our church directory and would like to be, or need to update your info, please email the church office. And don’t forget to let us know if you would like to be added to the Mid-Week Newsletter list.


You may also like …

Mid-Week Messenger

Mid-Week Messenger

Greetings EveryoneGrace and peace to you all this week: Have you ever found yourself binging a television show or...

Mid-Week Messenger

Mid-Week Messenger

Greetings EveryoneGreetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! Here are three quick things to know for...

Mid-Week Messenger

Mid-Week Messenger

Greetings EveryoneGreetings to you all in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ! I really enjoyed preaching on food last...

301 Central Ave,
Whitefish, MT 59937