Weekend Refreshment, February 17, 2023

Dear Church,

This weekend we head into what is called Transfiguration Sunday. For those who may be unfamiliar or just needing a reminder, this is special church holiday that commemorates a story found in the gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. In the story, Jesus takes his closest disciples (Peter, John, James) up a mountaintop. There, Jesus is transformed (or “transfigured’) appearing in a bold, bright dazzling white. Moses and Elijah also appear and God’s voice is hard calling Jesus beloved” just as God did at Jesu’s baptism.

While the 3 accounts differ on some particulars, they all agree that basically, Peter mentions building dwellings for Jesus and the heroes of faith who have shown up, God speaks, the disciples freak out, but when they open their eyes Jesus is alone and they go back down the mountain, with Jesus telling them not to tell anyone about this until a later time (which includes right now, so we’re okay.)

The picture below (created by Rev. Lauren Wright Pittman in her work with “A Sanctified Art”) depicts all of this weird, fascinating, mysterious stuff, because isn’t change, transformation, transfiguration always all of those things?


I love the contrast between the white and the black; the simple figures that rides tension with the significant and world changing event happening around them; the way the lines move down the mountain into every nook, crazy corner, and valley, suggesting that God’s light of transforming love and grace will shine in every place that yearns for its warmth and glow.

May that light shine on your harts this weekend and into the weeks ahead. May it settle the fear and certainty that can disturb our hearts and may it encourage us to led what love we can to a world that struggles with violence, hunger, poverty, illness, and longs for a transformation. We may not do it as fast or as grand as God does but we can, slowly and surely, be part of the change that we all desire to see.

The Lord Bless and Keep you,

Rev. Ben


*In-Person/Livestream Worship: Join us each Sunday at 11:00am in person or online (via Facebook live) for worship!

See and share the Sunday, February 12 service, that continued our new sermon Series: The Church: Then, Now, Next.

On Sunday, February 19, we conclude this series, as we also celebrate Transfiguration Sunday–the last Sunday before the beginning of Lent.

Online participation via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/firstpresbyterianchurchofgarner

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.*

*Lent Begins February 22! Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent, the 40 days before easter. On Feb. 22, at 7:00pm FPCoG will host a service of prayer, music, and imposition of ashes to mark this time. We will also be joined by friends from White Memorial in Willow Springs, NC as we share the journey towards the cross and beyond together.

* Walking Group: Join the Walking Group each Tuesday at 6pm. We currently meet at Cadence Senior Living Center (200 Minglewood Dr.). Dress warmly! If you have any questions, contact the church office at 919-772-0727. In the event there is inclement weather, we’ll just gather the following week.

*February is Heart Health Month and our Wellness Activities Team is sharing helpful advice (like joining the Tuesday Walking Group!) for maintaining a healthy heart lifestyle each Sunday in worship. Come and see how you can feel God’s wholeness in body, mind, and spirit.

*Boy Scout Troop 392 is having a Krispy Kreme fundraiser. Please contact the church office at (919) 772-0727 for information on how to get your certificate for a dozen glazed donuts. The cost is $15 for each certificate which can be used at any Krispy Kreme location across the United States. (Not valid for in grocery store purchases.)

* Family Promise Potluck Luncheon: Family Promise is fast approaching! Our time to host will be April 2 – 9, 2023. To kick off our service to this mission we will host a luncheon and short program about Family Promise on February 26th. Representatives from the Wake County office will give a short presentation on homelessness and its current trends and will answer any question we have. The Missions team will provide the main course – BBQ. Bring your best side dishes and desserts! Come learn about this mission we have supported for 7 years!

*CNCB and Wellness Hygiene Item Drive: Community Navigators, Community Builders Youth group is planning a Women’s Health Event on Saturday, March 18. As part of the preparation for the event, the Wellness Activities Ministry team is coordinating with CNCB to have a Women’s Hygiene Item Drive beginning on February 12. Items can be brought to the church office during the week or placed in a bin in the Library on Sunday’s. The collection will run through March 12.

*Follow FPCOG on Facebook and Instagram!   http://www.facebook.com/firstpresbyterianchurchofgarner www.instagram.com/firstpresbyterianchurchgarner/

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