The Good News, Weekend Refreshment, September 8, 2023

Dear Church,
This Sunday our young people gather together for a new chapter in the life and ministry of First Presbyterian Church of Garner. After several years—partly due to COVID—our youth group is resuming with a focus on Confirmation. Confirmation is a process by which young people (approximately 6th grade and older) begin to dig deeper into questions of Christian faith in order to envision how they might live personally as disciples of Jesus Christ beyond the idea of “because my family goes to church.”

These young people will be accompanied on their journey by adult mentors who will work with them asking good questions, exploring answers, and implementing a service project. This intergenerational connection is a vital and joyful part of discipleship in Christ’s name.

At the same time our older young people are engaging in Confirmation, those below the 6th grade age will be in a “pre-confirmation” class where they, too, will have the opportunity for fellowship, conversation, and most of all, service. You’ll even see around the church some of their projects in the coming weeks.

Again, these ministries are only possible because of the number of people who invest in them: parents, grandparents, extended family, caregivers, elders, our faith Formation Ministry team, deacons, and all of our congregation. What these young people experience will be the fulfillment of baptismal vows made some time ago on their behalf. I’m excited to see the fruit that these promises in action bear.

To continue upholding these young people and their mentors, I invite you to keep this prayer with you. Say it often over the next few months as these young people meet. And when you see them, ask how their experience is going and what they are learning and doing. In this way, each of us will play an important role in the journey God has in store for them—and for us.

The Lord Bless and Keep you,
Rev. Ben

Prayer For Youth and Mentors:
Gracious God, as youth and adults gather in your name, we are thankful for each Child of God, no matter the age. We celebrate the variety of things they enjoy doing, and the experiences of their lives that have shaped who they are today. Be with them and with all of us on the beginning of a new journey of confirmation, of serving, of learning what it means to be claimed by you and to live for you. In Jesus’ name we pray. Amen.



*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, September 10th, we continue our worship series “Created to Be” which will take us through the stories of Genesis. Come hear, share, and live the good news of who God is and who God made and calls us to be from the very beginning! On this Sunday we engage with our own sin as well as God’s grace in Genesis 3 and 4. Come and worship and see how we are “Created to be Forgiven.”

*The Congregation elected Rachel Acton, Carrie Dixon-Cash, Parks Icenhour, and Kevin Wallace, to serve with Elders Roxann Porter and Lucy Paradies, and Deacon Chris Turpin to serve on the congregational Nominating Committee. Please pray for these folks and the people God is directing them toward who will serve as Elders or Deacons for our church. If you have a name the committee should consider please offer it to one of these folks.

*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 undergo the process of Confirmation during September, where they will deeply consider 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 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.

* Crafting Crew: Attention crafters and other handcraft creators! The monthly crafting collective is restarting. We’ll be meeting on the first Saturdays of the month starting October 7th from 10 am until noon. Bring whatever you’re working on and a beverage of your choice. We’ll spend the time in fellowship and learning new skills. Kathy Blue will teach any crocheters who want to learn how to do broomstick lace. Come join us!

*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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