The Good News, Weekend Refreshment, August 25, 2023

Dear Church,
In the past few weeks, members and friends of our congregation have experienced a wide range of ailments, sickness, and hurts. Some have recently had surgery; some surgeries are being newly scheduled. Some have had emergency calls and visits to the ER; some have had to be quarantined as new COVID variants emerge. Many have had to bear heavy loads of sadness, uncertainty, guilt, and grief.

I believe though that our prayers help us stay connected in such times and help us see God’s presence even in gray clouds and stormy winds. To that end, I share with you today a prayer for healing and wholeness from our denomination, the PC(USA):

Holy God, we praise you for your love—you are light in our darkness
healing for our brokenness, water in a dry and weary land;
you are bread for our hunger, drink for our thirst, eternal and abundant life.

We give you thanks for Jesus Christ—word made flesh, light of the world,
living water, oil of healing, cup of blessing, bread of life.

Pour out your Holy Spirit upon us—in the water, the oil, and the light,
in the word, the bread, and the cup, in the beloved body of Christ.
Make us holy, make us whole; make us one as you are one.
Bless and keep us, now and always. Amen.

May you be uplifted heading into this weekend. May we gather on Sunday to share our burden and our joy as God’s beloved children, living and sharing the Good News that we are not alone.

The Lord Bless You 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 27, we conclude this summer’s edition of “This is Our Story!” with a Hymn Sing! “Rejoice!” is an appropriate guiding word also as we celebrate ministries of faith formation: blessings for teachers and learners, installation of church officers, and a congregational meeting to elect our 2023 Nominating Committee.

During worship, we will also celebrate our prayer shawl ministry! 

The Session has called a congregational meeting for August 27  for the purpose of electing the 4 at large members of the Congregational Nominating Committee. Those individuals are Rachel Acton, Carrie Dixon-Cash, Parks Icenhour, and Kevin Wallace. If the way is clear these 4 will join Elders Lucy Paradies and Roxann Porter and Deacon Chris Turpin already appointed by their respective boards.

*NC Department of Health reports and data show 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.

*Confirmation is Beginning! Our young people will be undergoing the process of Confirmation during September where they will consider deeply what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. If you as an adult are interested in working with these young people as a mentor or teacher, contact Rev. Acton!

* Garner Area Ministry: 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 6:00pm

*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!

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