Friday Message December 9, 2022

Dear Church,

This week has marked a new milestone in the way we communicate online!

As you may have noticed, the weekly messages have a new look courtesy of being more fully integrated into our new church website:

Designed by Jessica Pruitt with input from staff and elders (particularly the Administration Ministry team) this new site serves as our digital “front door” welcoming folks to a little of what First Presbyterian Church of Garner, NC is all about as we continue to live the good news of Jesus Christ together.

You can go to the new website by clicking on the title of the post. That will take you to the “blog” section and from there you can check out the rest of the site, including photos of recent events in the “gallery.” Previous messages and videos of worship are also archived there. The best news is that with this updated site, new neighbors in our area will be able to find our church and the information they want to know like service times, mission; and bathroom locations—believe it or not, this has long been a #1 question among visitors to many churches!.

I hope you’ll take a look at the site and bookmark it and share it with others. And that you’ll join me also in thanking the leaders who helped make this possible: Deb McHenry, Reggie Foster, Carrie Dixon-Cash, Henry Woodcock, and Stephanie Taylor-Morgan, chief among them! I’d also like to invite any wordsmiths to suggest a new name for this blog—now that we look a little more contemporary, a new name seems fitting. Please send suggestions to

A few other quick notes before I go about upcoming events for this Advent Season:

  • Our Mental Wellness Workshop is tomorrow 10am-11:30am: You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup. If this season of joy has been a time also of stress, wondering, or wrestling, this event will have something to say to you. Join us to find the gift of peace and rest among the holy way of following Jesus.
  • Our Christmas Cantata Returns on December 18 at 3:00pm! We hope to have many from the church and community with us! If you are planning to attend, please also consider bringing a finger food type of dish to share at the reception that follows. Please contact the church office or Linda Monroe of the Deacons to coordinate!

My dear friends, while the recent days have been full for me, I am hopeful that a spirit of God’s refreshment and joy might be with you this day and in days to come. May this prayer by the Rev. Teri Peterson (found at be the first breath on that continuing journey:

 Show us your ways, O Lord! Lead us in your truth, and teach us. Open our eyes, minds, and heart to know your will and to follow it. Reveal your vision for us, and keep us focused and faithful to what you would have us do. Bring us together to worship and work for your purpose, and move us forward into your future. Amen.

The Lord Bless and Keep You,

Rev. Ben


*In-Person/Livestream Worship: This Sunday we celebrate the Third Sunday of Advent! and present Prayer Shawls for December. The service will guide us in continuing to follow “The Way of the Lord” with surprising and interrupting “Joy!”  Join us in person or watch live online via Facebook! 


*Masks are welcome but optional during in-person worship as we continue to contend with COVID and an emerging flu season. We also ask everyone to be still mindful of social distancing and respectful of the personal space of others even as we give thanks for being together.*

*Advent Activities Our calendar is full of Advent Activities! Please see our Facebook page, Newsletter, Church posters/flyer, and other media for what’s upcoming!
*The Angel Tree:  Gifts should be brought back by December 11th or you can bring them by during the workshop on December 10th. Don’t forget to label the presents so we know who the gift is for.*Newsletter articles for the January edition of the Spire are due by December 21st.

*Wellness Ministry Updates! 

1) On December 10, 10:00am-11:30am, we will hold a workshop entitled You Can’t Pour From an Empty Cup. We’ll explore ways to take care of our mental health as we enter the hectic holiday season. Ruth Cooper, LCMHCA, will share some information and practical tips to help take care of ourselves during the holidays.

*“Living Generously” Thanks be to God for the call to share Christ’s love and create deeper relationships through the giving of time, energy, and money.  Thanks also to those who have already sent in pledge cards and those still discerning that possibility! If you would still like to offer a pledge, please send in a pledge card to the church office.

*Prayers for Peace: Our world continues to need prayers of word and deed for peace. As we in NC are especially aware, it is hurricane season. So our prayers for the world at this time are most notably with those impacted by Hurricane Fiona (particularly in Puerto Rico) as well as Hurricane Ian. Please continue to keep law enforcement and first responders in your prayers as well as those struggling with gun violence in too many places in our nation (including Raleigh, NC). Pray, too, for those for whom the holiday season can be heavy as they deal with loss in what is known as a “joyful” season.

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