Mature Ministries

2017-2018 Programs

The Mature Ministries Program has many interesting lectures, trips, and conversations that you are invited to join! Our monthly gathering is a lunch and learn that we call “Hilltoppers.” If you are 60 and up and are not getting our email news update, email Lisa Haddrill at

First Thursday Writing Group

Join us for a Writing Group on the first Thursday of the month at 10:30 a.m. to noon in the Vance Room. Limited to 15 people. Sign up with Rev. Rogers at NO charge!

Upcoming Special Trips

Royal Eagle Restuarant at St. Sabbas Russian Orthodox Monastery, Harper Woods

April 19, 11:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. (bus leaves at 10:00 a.m. pronto!) The nicest surprises are often found in our own back yard. One of those ⎯ the Royal Eagle restaurant in suburban Harper Woods ⎯ will be the destination of a Mature Ministries adventure planned for April 19. Set on the grounds of the St. Sabbas Russian Orthodox seminary, the Royal Eagle restaurant has become known for their five course Russian tea services. First Pres members are in for something special!

  • English-Style Cucumber Star Tea Sandwiches
  • Roast Beef Canape with Horseradish Dipping Sauce
  • Brie-Cranberry Chutney Canape
  • Smoked Salmon Lox with Dill and Capers
  • Ukrainian Borscht
  • Paprika-Infused Chicken Skewers with Herb-Garlic Sauce
  • ...and our luscious Dessert Sampler

This relaxed meal will be served in a setting straight out of Dr. Zhivago. You won’t believe you’re in Michigan! Enjoy this special day with old friends and come prepared to make new ones. A guided tour of the seminary will round out the day’s adventure.

Price: $30 (includes tea and transportation), payable in advance. Reserve your spot with Rev. Melissa Anne Rogers or with the Church Office.

Detroit 67 Exhibition

Thursday, May 17, 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. (bus leaves First Pres at 9:00 a.m.)
Cost: $20 paid in advance
Lunch: On your own, across the street at the Detroit Institute of Arts Café.

2017 marked the 50th anniversary of the great civil unrest in Detroit⎯long known as the Detroit race riots⎯which remains a watershed moment in local history and in the collective memories of those who lived in the area at the time. Mature Ministries is proud to announce an outing to "Detroit 67," a critically praised reassessment of those events, currently on display at the Detroit Historical Museum.

Participants will be led through a tour of the exhibition, one designed to challenge both our memories and our current thinking about the event. The historical evidence is guaranteed to surprise you. The tour will include an opportunity to talk to the exhibition’s curator at length and even participate in sharing personal memories, which will become part of the museum’s historical record. This is sure to be a great opportunity, with good friends, to challenge our minds and broaden our humanity.

Reserve early with Rev. Melissa Anne Rogers. This trip is limited to 30 people!

Save the Date

Trip to the Fair Lane Estate on June 28 - Sign up and information coming soon!


“Greatest Hits”: Our Ten Best Speakers from the Last 10 Years!
Generally the Second Thursday of the Month at Noon

January 11 (Thursday) - Scott Ellsworth

Dr. Scott Ellsworth, teaches courses on African American history, Southern literature, and crime and justice in contemporary U.S. society at University of Michigan. His new book, The Secret Game (Little, Brown), won a 2016 PEN Book Award. Lunch: $5

February 8 (Thursday) - Sheryl Kurze

Dr. Sheryl Kurze, MD, a board certified hospice and palliative care physician with 25 years of experience in primary and end-of-life care. Lunch: $5

March 15 (Thursday) - Jim Walsh (UM)

"And as romantic as it may sound, I think we are all called to try to leave the world a better place. The desire to better understand relationships, done with a clear eye on enhancing our well-being, animates nearly everything I do."

Jim Walsh is an Arthur F. Thurnau Professor; Gerald and Esther Carey Professor of Business Administration; Professor of Management and Organizations; Professor of Strategy.  Lunch $5

April 5 (Thursday) - Mark Heppner

Come to get a special preview of one of our upcoming 2018 outings—to Henry Ford’s Fair Lane Estate in Dearborn. On Thursday, June 28, we will visit Fair Lane, the final residence of Henry and Clara Ford. It is currently closed to the general public for a five year $62 million dollar renovation, but… our First Pres mature members have been invited to visit the home midway through its renovation and talk to the team responsible for its unparalleled transformation. Mark Heppner, Vice President for Historic Resources at the Historic Ford Estates, will be our featured speaker, sharing the story of the estate’s construction, residency by the Fords, post-Ford ownership by the University of Michigan-Dearborn, and recent transfer back to the Ford family, who have undertaken the current ambitious restoration. Mark is leading the team charged with breathing new life into this American treasure. Join us for a sneak peak into one of next year’s most exclusive—and exciting—opportunities. Lunch: $5

May 10 (Thursday) - Vic Strecher (UM)

Life On Purpose: How Living for What Matters Most Changes Everything
Socrates said that an unexamined life isn’t worth living. Aristotle went further to say that a purposeless life isn’t even worth examining. Vic Strecher, Professor and Director for Innovation UM School of Public Health, reconsiders directions taken in health and wellness and discusses new strategies for improving health, well-being, and resilience. This presentation examines ancient philosophy along with the latest scientific knowledge for living a more fully engaged life. Lunch: $5

June 14 (Thursday) - Dr. Jim Peggs (UM)

Gun Violence and Injury Prevention: The Physician’s Role
Dr. Jim Peggs will discuss practical ways that doctors and other health professionals can reduce the risk of gun violence among their patients, particularly children, depressed patients and those exposed to intimate partner violence. Dr. Peggs is a member of the executive committee of Physicians for the Prevention of Gun Violence, a locally-based organization dedicated to informing physicians of safe practices and promoting political solutions for a safer world. Lunch: $5

Health and Wellness - Monthly Health Screening

For a Sunday blood pressure check, email or call the Parish Nurse, 662-4466, ext. 350, to schedule a visit. Our Parish Nurse, Sandy Talbott, also makes home visits.