The Good News: Weekend Refreshment, March 10, 2023

Dear Church,
Again and again, God loves us! What good news! Especially when we know we can be so unlovable. And that we can feel so undeserving. Or so overwhelmed. Or so saddened by the world’s division and ugliness. May we celebrate this love as Rev. Lisle Gwynn Garrity does in the image she crafted below:

Says Rev. Gwynn-Garrity: “For God so loves, that like light, God keeps traveling to reach us with that redeeming love. In this abstract painting, the gold leaf marks become like a wave gliding through the cosmos, moving endlessly until it reaches everything.”

Rev. Gwynn-Garrity suggests this is the way Jesus reaches out to Nicodemus in John 3:1-17, particularly in John 3:16. But it also seems to me that this is the way Christ invites us to love ourselves and each other. In ways that remember—no matter what—that love never ends, it always reaches, expands, and breaks through. And even the little bit we might be able to muster in any one moment goes a long way…bright as a flickering candle in an otherwise dark room.

Be that light. Be that love this day and in the weekend that comes, friends. And trust the light of love always reaches out to you as you do so.

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!

On Sunday, March 12th, we continue our Lenten series “Again and Again” proclaiming how “God Loves Us.” Such love surprises and startles and so as a reflection of this truth, we will have a guest in the pulpit: former FPCoG member Rev. Ed Johnson will join us as our worship leader while Rev. Acton fills the pulpit at Ed’s church, White Memorial, Willow Springs.

Online participation via Facebook Live:

*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.

* 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 again on 12th. The cost will be $16 per Lily and $22 per hydrangea. Please have orders in no later than March 15th.

*Don’t forget Daylight Savings is this weekend. We “Spring Ahead” 1hr so don’t forget to change those clocks before you head to bed Saturday night!

* The Building & Grounds Ministry Team is scheduling a SPRING-OUTDOOR Workday for Saturday, March 25 from 9:00am – 12:00pm. Our primary goal will be sprucing up the Memorial Garden and surrounding area in anticipation of planned outdoor worship on Easter Sunday. If you’re interested and able to help, grab your work gloves & favorite yard tools and contact Karen Lovering or Komivi Ekoule for more information. See y’all there!

*Family Promise Week is April 2-9! We had a wonderful visit from Family Promise on February 26 and are excited to again partner with them by serving meals to the families they host. Contact Lisa Jackson to see how your gifts can be put to use in this mission effort.

*Lent Celebrations! In addition to weekly worship, we have a number of programs that will help us focus on Lent. Wednesday Bible Study by Zoom, Thursday Morning Bible Study in person and online, and a Tuesday night prayer group by Zoom (with an encore on Sunday morning in person). Contact the church office for more information and to get the Zoom links for these groups.

*Wellness 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 Sunday’s. The collection will run through March 12.

*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 who 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.

*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
Stephanie Taylor, our church admin, and our Instagram Volunteer Susie Knabe will take it from there!

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