Since Sunday, I have been thinking a lot about the term “chosen family.”
As far as I know, this phrase is a rather recent invention, perhaps no more than 5 or so years old though the idea it encompasses is much older.
“Chosen family” refers to the concept that the bonds of kinship extend beyond just relationships of blood and biology. That even friends can be sisters, brothers, and parental figures to us; that children and youth not our own can still have a special place in our hearts.
Scripture is full of examples of such “chosen family: Pharoah’s daughter and Moses, Ruth and Naomi, Jesus and the disciples; Paul and Timothy, just to name a few. Covid-19 also brought to light these same sorts of relationships as groups of friends became “pods” together in ways to ward off feelings of loneliness and isolation that kept us from seeing family members of all kinds.
The reason I have kept thinking about “chosen family” though is because I truly believe days like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day are meant for those bonds as well as our more traditional ones. For God shows us there are many shapes to families and that the most essential element is not our DNA but our love.
So just on the off chance that you did not hear this sort of message on Sunday, let me repeat it for you now: Thanks be to God for all our different family bonds, motherly and fatherly figures, brothers and sisters. Thanks be to God for families of origin and families that God chose for us whose bonds are no less strong than any other. Thanks be to God for anyone who loves another like their very own whether you share a last name or not. And thanks be to God most of all for choosing us to be loved Children held always in God’s own heart.
The Lord Bless and keep you Today,
*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 May 14, the Sixth Sunday of Easter, below…
On Sunday, May 21, we continue our series “Terms of Resurrection.” Also, we continue our (rescheduled!) annual tradition of conferring the Presbyterian Women’s Honorary Life Membership Award for a member of our congregation. Celebrate with us as we see how eternal life is a gift not just given in the future but “Here and Now.”
*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.
*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.
*Garner Area Ministries: The GAM food pantry needs for the month of May are peanut butter and travel-size hygiene items (toothpaste, soap, deodorant, etc.)
* Presbyterian Women General Meeting: You’re invited! The PW General Meeting will be held today in the Fellowship Hall, immediately following service and ALL are invited to attend. Dennis Testerman will be our guest speaker. In addition to serving on the Board of Friends of Plants Conservation, Rev. Testerman is a resource to the four Earth Care Congregations in the Presbytery of Charlotte. Light refreshments and cake will be served.
* 2023 Birthday Offering of Presbyterian Women: Today the Presbyterian Women will collect the annual Birthday Offering. For 101 years, Presbyterian Women have given to this offering and helped provide transformative grants ($75,000 to $150,000) to projects throughout the world. This year, the recipients are Making Miracles Group Home (MMGH) and Berhane Yesus Elementary School. Thank you for your continued support of the Birthday Offering and Presbyterian Women!
*June Spire articles are due May 22nd!
*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!