150th anniversary celebration

First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe was organized on January 6, 1867, at the Palace of the Governors, making it the oldest established existing Protestant church in the territory of New Mexico.  The celebration of our 150th anniversary began with Celebration Week, January 6-15, 2017, and continued for several months. We invite you to celebrate with us and learn more about our history.

Memory of Celebration Week

January 6 through January 15, 2017

Friday, January 6

5:30 p.m.      TGIF Concert in the sanctuary

Sunday, January 8

Celebrating the Educational and Medical Missions of the Presbyterian Church in the New Mexico Territory
8:30 a.m.       MorningSong Service in Pope Hall
9:30 a.m.       Presbyterian Educational and Medical Missions in McFarland Chapel
11:00 a.m.     Worship in the sanctuary

Wednesday, January 11

7:00 a.m.       Morning Prayer in McFarland Chapel
5:30 p.m.       Celtic EvenSong in the sanctuary

Friday, January 13

5:30 p.m.      TGIF Concert in the sanctuary

Saturday, January 14

8:00 a.m.       Men’s Breakfast in Pope Hall
10:00 a.m.     Women’s Coffee in Pope Hall
11:30 a.m.     History Tour of church and archives
6:00 p.m.       Celebration Dinner* at La Fonda on the Plaza, Lumpkins Ballroom, with Tony De La Rosa as keynote speaker

Sunday, January 15

8:00 a.m.        Informal Breakfast in Pope Hall
8:30 a.m.        Former pastors share their memories of the church and Santa Fe in Pope Hall
9:30 a.m.        Panel Discussion in Pope Hall with denominational leaders from the Presbyterian Church (USA)
11:00 a.m.      Worship in the sanctuary with the Reverend Jan Edmiston preaching

* The dinner on January 14 is the only event for which reservations are required.

Special Music

The 150th anniversary celebration features programs and music in worship composed by talented members of our congregation and by others specifically for the congregation. The January 6 TGIF features Gregory Schneider’s “Melancholy Prelude” played by eSSO and David Beatty’s “Mélodie” and the South African National Anthem, both played by the Chancel Bell Choir.

The Chancel Choir performs Linda Rice Beck’s Requiem at the January 13 TGIF Concert. For the worship services, the choir sings Gregory Schneider’s “Hyfrodol” for the anthem on January 8 and David Beatty’s “How Lovely Is Your Dwelling” for the anthem on January 15.

There are two very special pieces that we will sing during the Sunday services on January 8 and 15.  The hymn, “We Need Each Other’s Voice” by Joel Martinson, was commissioned by the church.  The text is especially poignant as we celebrate the past, the present and the future voices of the church.  In part, it reads “We need each other’s voice to sing the song our hearts would raise to set the whole world echoing with one great hymn of praise.”

Linda Rice Beck has composed a hymn “Behold, Be Still, Become”, especially for the anniversary celebrations, and the congregation and choir will sing it on January 8 and 15.

Special Guests

First Presbyterian Church is welcoming guests from across the country to its weekend festivities. They include:

Presbyterian Church (USA) representatives:

The Reverend Jan Edmiston, Co-moderator of the 222nd General Assembly, Office of the General Assembly
Ruling Elder Tomy De La Rosa, Interim Executive Director, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Carol Winkler, Moderator, Presbyterian Women
Synod of the Southwest
Presbytery of Santa Fe

Former First Presbyterian Church pastors:

Jim Brown 1976–1987
John C. Piper 1978–1983
Robert T. Carlson 1985–1992
Sheila Gustafson 1995–2007

Partner church and organization representatives:

Westminster Presbyterian Church
Church of the Holy Faith Episcopal
Cathedral Basilica of Saint Francis of Assisi
New Mexico Conference of Churches
Menaul Historical Library of the Southwest
Feeding Santa Fe
Presbyterian Medical Services

Elected officials or their representatives
First Presbyterian Child Development Center Director and Teachers
Grandchildren of the Reverend William Hayes Moore, who was pastor of the church from 1897 to 1904
Cherished members of the congregation, including those who have been members for more than 50 years

January 8 Worship and Education

The proclamation from Governor Susana Martinez declaring the week of January 6 through 12 as “First Presbyterian Church of Santa Fe Celebration Week” in the State of New Mexico will be read at both services.

During the educational hour in the chapel, we will learn about the development of the schools and medical clinics in New Mexico. Julia Hudson, who spent 40 years teaching in the John Hyson mission school in Chimayó, will reflect on some of her experiences, and Larry Martinez of Presbyterian Medical Services will describe how this institution has further developed the Presbyterian efforts started by the Presbyterian Board of National Missions.  The program will be led by the Reverend Raymond Kersting.

January 14 Men’s Breakfast

The Presbyterian Men’s Breakfast takes part in the 150th celebration weekend by featuring Ana Pacheco, the City Historian of Santa Fe, as its guest speaker. She will give a portion of her popular lecture Spirituality in Santa Fe with a focus on the arrival of the Protestant denominations. Ana Pacheco is a writer, editor and publisher whose ancestral roots in Santa Fe stretch back 400 years to the arrival of the Spanish. In 2010 she published the official magazine for Santa Fe’s 400th anniversary. Her most recent book A History of Spirituality in Santa Fe: The City of Holy Faith was published in February 2016, and copies will be available for purchase at the breakfast. All are invited; the designation “men’s” only describes who is providing the food. The suggested donation of $2 for breakfast and coffee is almost 1867 prices!

January 14 Women’s Coffee

Historically the women of the church have played key roles in raising funds for the church and carrying out many of the primary responsibilities—teaching church school, gathering people in community, hosting events, and providing some of the best study and faith development opportunities. Carol Winkler is the nationally elected moderator (president) of the Presbyterian Women’s organization. In speaking at the coffee, she will highlight how women are still at the forefront of many of the activities and missions of the church. All are invited; the designation “women’s” only describes who is providing the food.

January 14 Celebration Dinner

Along with a special program celebrating our 150th anniversary, there will be entertainment at the dinner including guitar music played by member Gregory Schneider and performances by Mariachi Buenaventura and by a flamenco group with member Michael Roybal among the dancers.

January 15 Worship and Education

The morning’s activities begin in Pope Hall with a breakfast giving the congregation and guests an opportunity to greet one another. Former pastors of the church will share their memories of the church and of Santa Fe followed by a panel discussion on the work and mission of the Presbyterian Church (USA) with the visiting Presbyterian dignitaries participating.

Other Celebratory Events

Back Pew Gallery Special Exhibition

February 2017

A new exhibit Art 1-5-0  opens on Friday, February 3, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. after the TGIF concert and will be on display throughout February.   It honors the 150th anniversary of the church.

Celebration at Pete’s Place

January 25, 2017, at Pete’s Place, 2801 Cerrillos Road, 7:45 p.m.

Our festivities continue with a 150th birthday party at Pete’s Place on the evening of January 25th, as part of Interfaith Community Shelter Week.  After the dinner we are preparing for the guests, we will serve birthday cake and ice cream.  To make it a true birthday party, the 150th Anniversary Task Force is asking for your donations of new clothing items for Pete’s guests.  Donated items of new, warm long-sleeved women’s pullover shirts in medium and large sizes, men’s and women’s socks, gloves, and knitted caps can be placed in the large birthday box located in the church lobby. Pete’s guests are in need of new, warm clothing during Santa Fe’s cold weather and will appreciate your generous donations.

150th Anniversary Celebration Concert with James David Christie, Organ

January 20, 2017, at 5:30 p.m. in sanctuary for special TGIF concert

James David Christie has been internationally acclaimed as one of the finest organists of his generation.  He has performed around the world with symphony orchestras and period instrument ensembles as well as in soloist recitals.  He will present a full-length organ recital beginning at 5:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.

Fairview Cemetery Presentation and Tour

May 21, 2017

David Mason will give a presentation about the significance of the 133-year-old Fairview Cemetery during the Adult Education hour.   The emphasis will be on the 130 known former members of First Presbyterian Church who are interred at Fairview Cemetery, including the infant child of the Reverend David McFarland, the founding pastor of the church.  At 1 p.m., David will lead a walking tour of the cemetery that highlights the grave sites of prominent persons in Santa Fe’s history, as well as of former members of the church.  The cemetery is located in Santa Fe at 1134 Cerrillos Road, the corner of Cerrillos and Cordova Roads.