The Good News: Weekend Refreshment May 5, 2023

Dear Church,

On Wednesday, I shared some reflections and a video about the sacrament of baptism. So, it makes sense to me to also share a word or two about the other sacrament we Presbyterians practice and which FPCoG will observe this coming Sunday, May 7: the Lord’s Supper, AKA Communion AKA, “the Eucharist” (which means “thanksgiving”).

The church’s practice is based on Jesus’ “last supper” before his arrest and death and resurrection in which bread was broken and cup shared. In the meal, Jesus gives instructions to remember him and to realize how his presence unites and binds us together in the love of God. The resurrected Jesus pointed to this ongoing spirit of unity by sharing quite a few meals with the disciples. And Paul tells the church in 1 Corinthians that this communion meal is a vital part of how we, as Christ’s present-day disciples, continue to share Jesus’s love and grace.

The YouTube recording below of a song from the late musician David Bailey adds another important element to this discussion though as it offers a vision of what sharing this love and grace actually looks like. The song is entitled “Big Joe” and tells a story of a homeless man who wanders into a Sunday morning worship service that also features a celebration of communion.

My favorite part of the song is the way that the celebration is so disruptive. I have been taking communion for so long that I am often tempted to take it for granted. Or to think of the ways we say the meal connects us to each other and to Christ in purely abstract ways. But the song speaks to the profound power of this holy meal to unite us, feed us, and connect us to real life, flesh, and blood neighbors.

So, as we go into this weekend may we consider how we will “break bread in his name” Sunday and how we might continue sharing this bread among others who need a fullness that only God provides.

The Lord Bless and keep you,

Rev. Ben


*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:

On Sunday, May 7, we continue  our series “Terms of Resurrection.” With all the “bad news” that so often permeates the airwaves and our lives, we will draw hope from the “Good News” of salvation that resurrection announces in Romans 1:1-17.

*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 about 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: A Habitat for Humanity work group is shaping up for May 27. If you are interested in joining the work team, please contact the church office! 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.

*Youth Group Baseball Outing: Youth Group (5th grade and older) will be attending the Holly Springs Salamanders vs South Wake Sharks baseball game in Holly Springs on June 25 at 5:40pm. All youth 5th grade and older are invited to attend. Please RSVP by June 15 to Christy Turpin, Roxann Porter, or Stephanie at the office.

*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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