In today’s Weekend Refreshment, I invite you to consider the next image from A Sanctified Art’s “Again and Again” collection. This image, again crafted by Rev. Laura Wright Pittman, is inspired by the words in Genesis 9:8-17. These verses depict the covenant God makes with Noah and his children as they departed the Ark. The covenant was a promise of continued relationship and care between God and all creation, including every creature of the air, sea, and land.
The sign of the covenant, many might remember, was the rainbow, but Rev. Pittman’s artwork reminds us also that this covenant fulfillment is also found in the ways we faithfully live with other members and as a part ourselves of God’s created order.
Says Rev. Pittman: In this image, God’s hands hold various animals and plant life, and are surrounded by the bands of the rainbow, shielding Creation from the swirling waters of chaotic destruction.
I chose not to image humanity because the hands are at once God’s and ours. We must respond to God’s covenant by protecting and keeping the earth. It is our responsibility; it is our calling. God meets us where we are—utterly dependent and bound toward self-destruction—with a promise sealed with a bow bursting with the endless spectrum of colors light holds.
Prayer: God of Creation, remind us of our deep connectedness to all living things and the special responsibility we have to love and nurture what you have made. Again and again, meet us where we are but do not leave us there. Amen.
*In-Person/Livestream Worship: Join us each Sunday at 11:00am in person or online (via Facebook live) for worship!
On Sunday, March 5, we mark the first Sunday of Lent by proclaiming with trust how “Again & Again…God Welcomes Us” Explore with us how God welcomes all of who we are-certanti4es and doubts, joys, and concerns. This divine welcome will be shared in song, prayer, scripture, sermon, and communion.
All men are reminded to join us for our monthly Men’s breakfast as well–8:45am-9:30am in the Fellowship Hall.
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.
*Wellness Ministry Info:
- 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.
- 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. Items can be brought to the church office during the week or placed in a bin in the Library on Sundays. The collection will run through March 12. PLEASE BRING AN ITEM IF YOU CAN!
*Award Season! is here! No, not the Oscars, but awards the wider church gives annually.
The first is the Presbyterian Women Honorary Life Membership awarded each year to one of the women in the church who has contributed significantly to the church’s ministry.
The second is the Outstanding Older Adult Award, given by the Presbytery to 30 folks who are 60+ years of age and who have served church and community in impactful ways.
Nomination forms for both awards are in the worship bulletin this week. Be prayerful about who you’d like to place in nomination and honor for their service to God’s continuing work.
*Lent programs are continuing! If you’d like to know more about our weekly Lenten prayer group or ongoing Bible studies, contact the church office!
*2023 Vision Update: In January’s edition of the Spire, Rev. Acton wrote about church leaders (session, deacons, and staff) exploring an emerging vision for FPCoG, rooted in the idea of serving our “neighbors.” The session continued this conversation at its February meeting and approved the following recommendations:
1. Appoint a group that can help develop a consensus among the congregation for a vision of FPCoG rooted in the image of being neighborly towards our local, regional, and global communities.
2. Complete a demographic study of our region to better know who our neighbors are and what their needs might be.
The next step will be identifying people to serve on a “Vision Team” described above and identifying resources to help us complete a demographic study in a helpful way. The Team will be composed of active members of the Session, the Deacons as well as the congregation. If you might be interested in serving and helping clarify the call God is issuing to FPCoG for its ministry now and into the future, please contact Rev. Acton or Mike Koenig, the Clerk of Session.
*The Presbyterian Women will be selling Easter Lilies and Hydrangeas to be placed in the Narthex and Sanctuary for Easter Sunday. Circle representatives will be in the Ogburn classroom collecting money and order forms on March 5th and 12th. The cost will be $16 per Lily and $22 per hydrangea. Please have orders in no later than March 15th.
*Family Promise: Thank you to everyone who attended our potluck last week. A special thank you to those who set up, cleaned up, cooked, organized, and supported this event! Our week to serve is April 2 – 9, 2023. There is a signup sheet in the narthex where you can help cook a part of the meals or help deliver them. Wishlist items for the Easter baskets are: Easter grass (need 16 packs), Individually wrapped candy (need 5 bags), small toys/party favors, and small stuffed animals. Wishlist items for Family Promise are: toilet paper, paper towels, trash bags (13 -gallon & 32-gallon sizes), Cleaning supplies (string mops, sponges, Comet, Spic’n’Span, glass cleaner, please no disinfecting wipes), baby wipes, medicines (adult, child, infant – pain, fever, cold remedies), bus passes (day passes), sheet sets (queen, full, & twin), and twin mattress pads. Donations can be brought to church and placed in one of the boxes – there is one upstairs in the stairwell by the H.O.P.E. chest, and another downstairs in the hallway by the Garner Area Ministries baskets. All donations must be in by Wednesday, April 5th.
* The 2023 Flower Chart is up! The flower chart is posted in the hallway and ready for sign-ups. The cost of the flowers for the coming year is $40.00.
*Share FPCoG with Each Other and Our Neighbors! FPCoG is an active church! To help others know this (and to stay up to date yourself), please consider following and asking others to follow us on Facebook or Instagram!
If you have pictures of church events, please share them as well! Send to firstname.lastname@example.org
Stephanie Taylor, our church admin, and our Instagram Volunteer Susie Knabe will take it from there!