The Good News, Weekend Refreshment, August 4, 2023

Dear Church,

With the news this week of the death of a long-time and beloved church member, I’ve been thinking a lot about the Christian hope of resurrection. Particularly I have read and re-read the way the PC(USA) Book of Order describes this doctrine (teaching) as it pertains to a funeral, which our denomination calls a “service of witness to the resurrection”:

The resurrection is a central doctrine of the Christian faith and shapes Christians’ attitudes and responses to the event of death. Death brings loss, sorrow, and grief to all. In the face of death Christians affirm with tears and joy the hope of the gospel. Christians do not bear bereavement in isolation but are sustained by the power of the Spirit and the community of faith. The church offers a ministry of love and hope to all who grieve.

I appreciate and value this statement so much, for it leaves a lot of room for all the feelings death brings and it reminds us that the new life we see Jesus live in the last chapters of the 4 gospels, is one stand with tears but also full of the possibility of joy and laughter.

Tomorrow at FPCoG we have the opportunity to consider this promise of hope as we host a workshop on grief in the Fellowship Hall, from 10:00 am-12 noon. There will be coffee, food, fellowship, good conversation and insight, and most of all reminders of the promise that we are not alone in our sorrow and grief.

Join us if you are able, but if you are not, remember that resurrection is a central part of our journey of faith. Grief is not an endpoint of life, but rather one of the many ways the love of Christ still lives in our midst.

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:

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! Join us!

*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.*

* 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, 10 am-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 6:00 pm

*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!

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