A dear friend of mine is moving. TODAY. As in on the road right now as I type, and you read. He and his family are traveling from North Carolina to Arkansas, as he has taken a new call in “The Natural State.”
Like with all moves, this transition is a bit bittersweet. His family is excited, his previous church supportive, his new call hopeful and welcoming. And yet there have been tears, too. Friends to hug and miss; familiar places and routines to say good-bye to, and a whole bunch of years and memories to pack up. It’s wonderful! But not simple. It’s God’s call but not easy.
I’m mindful of this in the life of our church as this week we have received news ourselves of different transitions. Some families have experienced new birth and life; others have felt deeply the sting of loss and grief. Some are contemplating changes in living situations or careers; others are finding new discoveries and meaning in places and pursuits they have long treasured. Soon a new school year will be starting again; soon somebody will receive a party and a silver watch for a career of work well done.
I find it helpful then, that we are preparing over the next two weeks to celebrate the sacraments of our church once again: baptism and communion. Amid transitions and their bittersweet quality, these signs of God’s grace bring comfort and courage. Baptism reminds us that no matter where we go and what change comes, we are claimed by a God of extravagant love. Communion reminds us that in every step we are sustained and nourished by God and by each other—and are called to do the same for our neighbor.
What a holy and meaningful thing we do then by celebrating these acts in worship. As you see water poured and bread broken these next two weeks may your hope be renewed, your heart made well, and your own sense of purpose clarified. God is with us—always in every move we make.
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
See our service from July 30 here:
This Sunday, August 6, we continue our “This is Our Story!” series. Each week we will be looking at scriptures and focus in on one word that helps shape and form us as a Christian community. On Sunday, we read Proverbs 12:25-28 and Glatians:1-2, 7-10, exploring how these passages “Encourage” us by affirming the strength of God’s grace. We will see that grace made visible also in the sacrament of baptism!
* The Session has called a congregational meeting for August 6th following worship for the purpose of electing officers to the corporation. Those elected will serve for the remainder of 2023. Those nominated by the Session are Deb McHenry (President), Martha Long (Secretary), and Melissa Miley (Treasurer). During the meeting, other names for these positions can be nominated from the floor.
*Grief Workshop: On August 5, 10am-12 noon FPCoG will host a workshop on grief led by Ruth Cooper a licensed therapist well versed in this topic. Please plan to join us and share this opportunity with others who might be interested.
* Garner Area Ministry URGENT NEED: In June, FPCoG contributed 424 lbs of food to GAM to help alleviate food insecurity in our community. The shelves need to remain stocked though! Please bring donations of ANY and ALL non-perishable food items to the church or directly to GAM in the coming days, weeks, and months.
*Walking Group: The Walking Group meets each Tuesday weather permitting. During these warmer months, please take precautions and stay hydrated! Because it has more shade, the group will return to walking at Lake Benson Park until the fall. The group meets weekly at 6:00pm
*2023 Vision Update: Our Group is now set and meeting! 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. Please pray for this process to be faithful and fruitful.
*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!