The Good News, Weekend Refreshment, August 11, 2023

Dear Church, this Sunday’s worship service, including the sermon, revolves around the theme of “help!” In addition to scripture (which mentions this topic quite a bit!) I have two other things on my mind, which I share for your musing as well.

The first is non-religious but no less compelling: the boys from Liverpool’s first single from their 5th studio album released 58 years and almost one week ago on August 6, 1965:

The second is a poem/prayer attributed to St. Teresa of Avila, a central figure of a mid-1500s spiritual and monastic renewal in the Roman Catholic Church:
Christ has no body but yours, No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which He looks
Compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which He walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which He blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are His body.
Christ has no body now but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks
compassion on this world.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.

The song reminds us of our need for help; the prayer that God’s sure and steadfast help comes most often through our limited, fragile, but still vital acts of kindness.

Of the two, Teresa is most likely to make the sermon’s final cut, but may both of these creative expressions stir in us an awareness of the world’s need, and the blessing God has given us to help.

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:

This Sunday, August 13, 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 Psalm 121 and Hebrews 4:10-16 which tells us our story is never a solo adventure. We all have “Help.”  This help comes from God who also gives us other people to help us live and share the good news of Christ. We will see that help again also as we celebrate the sacrament of communion and are fed by the grace of God’s presence with us.

*NC Department of Health reports and data shows a recent increase in COVID-19 rates, perhaps due to a summer seasonal surge. The church encourages people to be mindful about ways to protect themselves and others, including maintaining distance, washing/sanitizing hands, wearing a mask (always welcome at FPCoG but still optional), avoiding large crowds when you are not feeling well, and having a COVID test on hand. The church office is gathering test kits to have on hand for those who need them. Please contact the office or pastor if you need one.

*September Spire articles are due to the office by Friday, August 18th!

*Food and Water for Raleigh Neighbors ACORNS– Addressing Crises through Outreach, Referrals, Networking, and Service is a unit of Raleigh PD that assists those in need in a variety of ways. We got to know them through our friend Andre as Acorns assisted him in gaining his current housing. Acorns needs our help again for an annual event where they provide services for over 200 friends who are experiencing
homelessness, mental health challenges, and addiction and recovery.

They are asking for us to help provide on-the-go breakfast foods (muffins, granola bars, cereal, yogurt, etc.), and cases of water. If you can assist with donating these items, please bring them to the church by August 21, 2023. There will be a place in the narthex and near the church office. Thanks in advance for your helping hands!

*Lemonade on the Lawn returns on August 20! Join us for a time of fellowship following worship and say thank you to our FPCoG staff as we honor them in worship that day as well.

* 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 has returned 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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