My family’s devotions this week have been exploring different passages in scripture that describes God as a “Shepherd.” This is primarily because the Revised Common Lectionary for Sunday, April 30, 2023, includes Psalm 23 (“The lord is my Shepherd) and John 10:1-10 (in which Jesus states that he is the gate by which the sheep enter, before saying in 10:11 that he is also “The Good Shepherd.”).
Our scriptures for this Sunday’s worship service are different than these. And yet, as we prepare to gather again to receive encouragement in our life of faithfulness to God; to share gifts, thanks, and concerns with others; and to celebrate baptism, this image of God’s faithfulness will be present.
God’s guiding love that restores and refreshes will be felt in our greeting, praying, singing…
Christ’s call and claim upon us will be felt in the splash of water and the offering of promises for a young one;
The Spirit’s persistent encouragement and leading will be felt as we leave, hopefully, a bit wiser and more courageous than when we came.
To prepare us to receive this gift again, I invite you to listen (and even sing along) to one of my favorite hymns: “My Shepherd Will Supply My Need.” Its writer, Isaac Watts also penned other much-loved hymns such as “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”, “Joy to the World”, and “Our God, Our Help in Ages Past”
May our Shepherd truly fill whatever need we have this day; and may you feel welcomed home as God’s own child at FPCoG this and every Sunday.
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
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 allergy, cold, and 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.*
*Youth Group Re-Starting: On Sunday after worship, youth, their families, and members of our faith Formation Ministry team will meet to brainstorm ideas for re-starting our Youth Group–a regular time of fellowship, study and service for young people (5th grade and older.) Please contact the church office and speak to Rev. Acton for ways to be involved.
*Men of Church May Meeting: Men of the Church will gather on Sunday, May 7 from 8:45-9:30. Join us for breakfast and prayer!
*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.
*Mission Opportunities: Thank you to all who helped serve HOPE on Saturday, April 29!
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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