The Good News: Weekend Refreshment, April 14, 2023

Dear Church,
In addition to being the Easter Season, it is Tax season—a fact of which any number of us may be painfully aware. I include myself at times in that category of being frustrated by taxes. My history as a student who did not always take his time or fully comprehend his math lessons contributes to that. So too, does my own anxiety around money and finances and that shared, common worry about there being “enough.”

But then I remember that the church’s own Finance and Stewardship Ministry team met this week. Among that group are several folks who use their God-Given gifts staring at screens, calculating numbers, helping make decisions about how best to share the financial gifts we have been given. What a blessing they are! And what a blessing, too, that so many folks with those same gifts volunteer their time and efforts in this way during the very height of tax season, when their workload can be quite heavy.

So as we head into this weekend, rather than give into frustration and anxiety I’m trying to lean into gratitude and blessing. To that end, I wanted to share this prayer, adapted from one written and posted by Rev Michelle Torigian, a pastor in the United Church of Christ, on her blog:

Divine Spirit Who Abides in Numbers,
For the bookkeepers and accountants and all who work in finances diligently balance books and giving good guidance, we give our gratitude. For their tireless hours staring at screens and ledgers, we acknowledge their efforts. For their talents they share with the Church, the community, and the world, we share our thanks.

Allow them to rest their eyes when the days become long and the numbers do not balance. Grant them patience when additional computations and reports are needed.

Likewise grant patience and strength to all of us as we do the unglamorous laborious and even at times frustrating work of paying our taxes; keep us mindful of the common good to which those dollars go; and help us celebrate always the blessing and opportunities we have to model stewardship and share your abundance with others. Amen.

May this prayer and the God who is always in the business of giving, bless us with “enough” and may we respond by being a blessing to others.

In Gratitude,
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:

Join us Sunday for the beginning of our Easter Series “Terms of Resurrection” as we focus on Jesus showing the disciples his scars and wounds in John 20:19-29.

*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.*

*Thank You for Supporting Family Promise! During our week we supported 3 families with a total of 14 children. We provided materials for 30 easter baskets for these friends as well as for others. We also filled up 4 shopping carts full of urgently needed items. Well done good and faithful servants of FPCoG!

*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.

*Upcoming Mission Opportunities: Our next service to HOPE will be Saturday, April 29--save the date!

Also, check out the sign-up sheet for Habitat for Humanity in the narthex. Put your name down if you would be interested in helping in any way with the Spring Faith Build. We will pick a day and project that suits the skills, abilities, and time of those who would like to be involved.

*May Spire articles are due on April 20th!

*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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