The Good News, Weekend Refreshment March 24, 2023

Dear Church,

Today’s art piece from “ A Sanctified Art” is entitled “Written on Our Hearts” and is based on Jeremiah 31:31-34.

This passage is known as “the little book of consolation” in what is an otherwise very heavy volume of prophesy in which Jeremiah communicates God’s anger at Israel for turning away from the cause of justice and righteousness and going after other “gods” of wealth, privilege, power, and self-righteousness.

And yet in Chapter 31, amidst the listing of the consequences Israel will have to face, God promises there will come a time of renewal, of a fresh start, of writing God’s name upon the very hearts of the people.

The artist Rev Lauren Wright Pittman captures the power of that moment t in her artist statement on the work:

Despite humanity’s constant breaking of covenants, God continues to seek reconciliation and pours out grace upon grace…It’s clear we can’t keep the covenant on our own, so God steps in, offering and fulfilling the covenant at once. What a gift! In this image…The heart is surrounded by covenantal imagery—including the stars imaging the vastness of Abraham’s descendants, the parted seas on the journey to the land flowing with milk and honey, and the rainbow signaling God’s promise to all of creation. It creates a beautiful kaleidoscope of stories that define our pilgrimage with God. The common thread throughout these narratives is that when we mess up, God is ready with a promise, again and again.

May you feel God’s hands upon your heart as this week ends my friends—and may you dwell securely knowing that as difficult as things may seem now, God sees, knows, and writes his name upon you. You are God’s. The promise is true.

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!

Online participation via Facebook Live:

On Sunday, March 19th, we continue our Lenten series “Again and Again” proclaiming how “God Renews Us.”

We welcome Rev. Molly Smerko to the pulpit to share this message as Rev. Acton is away on Continuing Education leave.

After worship, we will enjoy “Lemonade on the Lawn” thanks to our Fellowship and Hospitality Ministry!

*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.*

*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.!AnVoq4myme-dojviM_kOHTMRgvRr?e=t5cQi1 )

*Building and Grounds Workday March 25: Join us 9am-12noon to spruce up our grounds for the spring! Spreading mulch and other outdoor tasks are on the punch list!  Bring water, gloves, and your own tools as you desire.

*Maundy Thursday Carpool: This year our Maundy Thursday service will be held on 4/6 at 7pm at  White Memorial Willow Springs, Their address is 1459 White Memorial Church Rd., Willow Springs, NC, 27592

WMPC is located about 20 minutes from the church when traffic is flowing! Most of the route is along Highway 50. Rush hour will make the trip a  little longer through parts of Garner. Give yourself at least 30-40 minutes of travel time or consider joining a carpool of FPCoG friends meeting at Cadence Senior Center (20 Minglewood Drive, Garner NC 27529) at 6pm. We will return to Cadence at 8:30ish pm. Please contact Rev. Acton with questions about this service.

*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.

*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 the “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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