Dear Church, I have recently begun reading the book Liturgy of the Ordinary: Sacred Practices in Everyday Life by Tish Harrison Warren. The book contains Warren’s reflections on messy, everyday human living and the Christian practices that help sustain the church on the most average of days.
AND I LOVE IT. There are so many passages in the first 2-3 chapters that have connected or challenged me. As a way to share this love I’m planning to share a few of those passages (and subsequent ones I have as of yet not read) over the next several weeks as our Weekend Refreshment. Here’s the first:
The psalmist declares, “This is the day that the Lord has made.” This one. We wake not to a vague or general mercy from a far-off God. God, in delight and wisdom, has made, named, and blessed this average day. What I in my weakness see as another monotonous day in a string of days, God has given as a singular gift.
So as we prepare again to end this week and begin another (with worship on Sunday!) let this thought hold us fast: this day, this moment, and the next is all a gift. No matter how ordinary or unglamorous it or we may feel. So let us take a breath of thanks and feel the sacredness of an ordinary moment wash over us.
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, June 25, Rev. Acton returns to the pulpit for the second in a 3 part series on “Keeping the Sabbath”. This Sunday we focus on the joy at the heart of sabbath keeping. This joy can remind us from where true fulfillment and wholeness-which God desires for us–comes from.
*Masks are welcome but optional during in-person worship. 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.*
*Garner Area Ministry URGENT NEED: THE GAM Food Pantry is in need of ANY and ALL non-perishable food items! The shelves are low and any contribution can help feed food-insecure folks in our area. Please bring donations to the church or directly to GAM in the coming days, weeks, and months.
*Town of Garner Freedom Celebration: Garner’s annual Freedom celebration which began, on Saturday, June 17, at the GPAC with a program of music and storytelling commemorating Juneteenth, continues with the annual Independence Day festival and fireworks at Lake Benson Park on July 3rd.
More information on both events can be found at the following links:
*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.
*Youth Group will be attending the Holly Springs Salamanders vs South Wake Sharks baseball game in Holly Springs on June 25 at 5:40 pm. All youth in 5th grade and older are invited to attend. Please RSVP by June 15 to Christy Turpin, Roxann Porter, or Stephanie at the office.
*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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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!