The Good News. Weekend Refreshment, June 16, 2023

Dear Church,
Greetings! As good as the vacation was and it was really great (you’ll be hearing plenty of stories!) it is good to be back in Garner and back among you all again. In that way, my last two weeks reflected the very best of what a “sabbath” is—a time not just of rest but of rest with a purpose of renewal, of being energized for the work ahead.

I admit I often struggle to take such rest and too completely unplug. I am heavily tempted to believe that the only way the world keeps on running is because of the part I play in it.

Scripture though tells us that’s not the case. At All. The one in control is not us, no matter how capable, bright, or hardworking we are. Rather it is God who is in control, who keeps things going just fine, thank you very much, while also inviting us to contribute what and when we can. And even this God, at the end of Genesis 1, takes a sabbath day, resting in order to be renewed after the initial work or creation.

My hope is to hold faster to this idea than I often have and to resist the temptation to do too much as summer unfolds and the call to “go, go, go “ whispers in my ear again. I hope the same for all of you. May we all lean into the trust that God is in control, that God desires our help but also our rest, and that God’s hope for us now and always is renewal.

May it be so! And May we greet each other with joy and grace as we reunite Sunday!

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, June 18, elder Komivi Ekoule will be preaching! Rev Acton will also be present to assist in liturgy along with two of Komivi’s children. Komivi is preaching as part of an annual tradition where an elder of the church preaches one Sunday per year. Komivi will bring a message about being a true Peacemaker. 

*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.*

*CHRISTMAS IN JULY : the silent auction fundraiser will be held on July 22nd at 2pm in the fellowship hall. Anyone interested in donating items for the event may contact Deb Wallace or any member of the Lillie Circle. The proceeds of the fundraiser will be going towards replacing the sound system in the fellowship hall. Everyone is invited to attend. Refreshments will be served and there may be a few surprises thrown in. Please invite your friends and children to attend as there will be something for all to enjoy.

*Town of Garner Freedom Celebration: Garner’s annual Freedom celebration begins Saturday, June 17, at the GPAC with a program of music and storytelling commemorating  Juneteenth. The celebration concludes with the annual Independence Day festival and fireworks at Lake Benson Park on July 3rd.

Both events are open to the publics and are wonderful opportunities to be connected with our community in ways that reflect the joy we have in shoring and living the good news. More information on the events can be found at the following links:


Independence Day:

*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.

*Walking Group: Join the Walking Group each Tuesday at 6 pm. We currently meet at Cadence Senior Living Center (200 Minglewood Dr.). It’s getting warmer so make sure to bring a bottle of water! 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.

*This is Our Story! Later in the summer, we will again share a worship series utilizing favorite scriptures and hymns of the congregation.
During June we will collect our ideas! You can email Ben at with your suggestions.

Please note, we will have four Sundays for these selections, and we must pay attention to the copyright on hymns since we livestream our service. Scriptures and hymns not used will be filed for future dates.

*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.

Our Group is now set! Thanks be to God for Elders Deb Wallace and Megan Snapp, Deacon Regina Ekoule, and at large members Kathy Blue, Sandy Lee, Joe Prater, and Ken Summerville for being part of this work. They will not be alone though as the whole congregation will have the opportunity to offer feedback and ideas as we discern together what God is calling us to be and do in 2023 and beyond.

*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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