On Sunday we celebrated the beginning of our 5th year as an official Earth Care Congregation of the PC(USA). This public commitment signifies we have fulfilled the “Earth Care Pledge” to be “humble stewards of all of God’s creation.” Our commitment is seen in 4 areas: Worship, Education, Facilities, and Outreach.
This past year, we met the standard in Worship with the number of Sundays, sermons, and “Minutes for Mission” devoted to earth care, and the use of our memorial garden as an outdoor prayer and worship space.
In Education, we excelled in the number of articles and announcements about earth care in our monthly newsletter and the number of books with an earth care focus in our church library.
With respect to Facilities, we excelled in the areas of heating/cooling, lighting (our ongoing effort to replace burnt-out bulbs with LED bulbs and fixtures), adding new recycling bins, and reusing resources where applicable.
We met the standard in Outreach because our church is a member of Presbyterians for Earth Care and we have collaborated with other groups on earth care. Most notable among these collaborative efforts was our participation with Presbyterian Climate Advocates in a series of seminars, and in Wake County’s Spring Clean-Up program. A group of children, youth, and adults also helped to plant a “sensory garden” at White Tail Deer Park in Garner.
These actions build on efforts over the last 4 years, including, sharing reusable cloth shopping bags, recycling electronics in a sustainable manner, and using “Eco Palms” (palms gathered in environmentally friendly ways) in Palm Sunday Worship.
New, upcoming efforts this year include our Presbyterian Women’s May 21 General Meeting. At this event we’ll hear a presentation by Dennis Testerman. Dennis is the Stewardship of Creation Enabler for the Presbytery of Charlotte. He is also a Fellow with Green Faith and the Natural Resources Institute at NC State and is certified as an environmental educator by the state of North Carolina. The meeting will be immediately after the 11:00 am worship service. All are welcome!
Additionally, our Earth Care Team (Mike Koenig, Sandy Lee, Roxann Porter, and Dee Foster) are beginning discussions with Presbyterian Women and our Deacons about using reusable plates and utensils for use during church fellowship opportunities.
Thanks be to God for this gift of the earth, the call God gives us to be good stewards of this gift, and the many hands and personal gifts of many people to fulfill this call.
The Lord Bless and Keep you!
*In-Person/Livestream Worship: Join us each Sunday at 11:00 am in person or online (via Facebook live) for worship!
Online participation via Facebook Live: https://www.facebook.com/firstpresbyterianchurchofgarner
See our service from April 23, the Third Sunday of Easter, and our Earth Care Celebration below…
On Sunday, April 30 we celebrate the third part in our series “Terms of Resurrection.” We’ll consider how resurrection doesn’t mean everything will always end in success for us, but rather means that we have a hope that can continue to pull us forward despite any failure. We will also celebrate the sacrament of baptism, a visible sign of this invisible grace of God that is the source of this hope.
*Masks are welcome but optional during in-person worship as we continue to contend with COVID and a 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.*
*Walking Group: Join the Walking Group each Tuesday at 6 pm. 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.
*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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