The Good News: Weekend Refreshment, April 7, 2023

Dear Church,

As we reflect on Good Friday today and look to the rest of the weekend (Holy Saturday, and Easter Sunday) I find myself drawn to the promise that, in the cross, God says both yes and no to us. “Yes! I love you and see you; you are mine, worthy of love and salvation.” But also “No. The ways you often do things cannot continue. My love demands an end to shame; to manipulation; to one’s own gain having to mean another’s loss of safety and comfort.”

Today’s art, courtesy of  Hannah Garrity, reflects this idea. Says Garrity about the meaning behind her composition:

As I drew and cut the layers of this work, I contemplated the ways in which I play the role of Pontius Pilate or the crowd in my daily life. Where do I perpetuate hate? Where do I forward injustice? Where do I join the voice of the wayward crowd? Pontius Pilate depicts the weakness of the status quo. Structures—what holds them up? What makes them fall?

Again and again, we meet Pontius Pilate, knowing Jesus to be innocent, refusing to protect him from the hate of the masses, refusing to do the right thing.

 As I look around me now, I see the same things happening in our daily lives, in the life of our nation, in the life of the world. How can I pivot those places in my life where I resemble the crowd and crucify the righteous, or where I resemble Pontius Pilate and perpetuate the injustice of the status quo?

May this weekend prompt similar questions in each of us and make clear opportunities to repent, to pivot to turn around towards the love of God that is for all people.

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!

Join us this week for Easter Sunday and the message that “Again and Again…God Is With Us!!”

There will be 2 services:

9am in the Memorial Garden: A short prayer service followed by light refreshments and fellowship

11am in the Sanctuary: A full service of music, prayer, and proclamation that Christ is risen!

Bring flowers to each service to place on the flowered cross

*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.

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* Ida Joy meets on Tuesday, April 11th at 10 am. They will be starting a new unit on Romans using the Interpretation Bible Study series. All are welcome to join!

* H.O.P.E: Our next Saturday commitment for H.O.P.E is April 29th. There is a sign-up sheet in the narthex for those wishing to provide food, help prepare, set-up, serve, clean-up, or come and converse with the guests at H.O.P.E.

*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!

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