The Good News, Weekend Refreshment, September 22, 2023

Dear Church,

Like many I am spending this Friday morning waiting with bated breath to see what happens with Tropical Storm Ophelia and the winds and storms it will bring this afternoon into Saturday. I am clinging to the promise God made to Noah and all creation in the rainbow, but I am also praying still for those who will be caught in the worst of the storms and damage that ensues.

This posture made the devotion from Kate Bowler that I have been reading connect even more deeply for me than usual. The line that spoke most clearly to me (and hopefully to us) is this:

Blessed, are you who realize you can’t go it alone.
You who are learning that dependence is not something to be ashamed of.
That your needs do not make you weak.
It is just what it means to be human.

Blessed are we who create and live in communities that cost us something.
Inefficiency, our dignity, our time.

May these bring wider and wider rings of belonging that reach beyond ourselves.
Because thank God, we are a group project.

As difficult as it is to wait, to worry, to wonder how we can help and have no clear answer, this is a  helpful reminder that our human connections which prompts those concerns, is a blessing. We do not do any of this alone. We go. even through a storm, together. May that be the light that shines behind the clouds, the rainbow that reveals itself in needed, unexpected ways.

To God Be The Glory,

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:

On Sunday, September 17th, we continued our worship series “Created to Be” which will take us through the stories of Genesis. This past Sunday we explored “New Beginnings” with God’s response to sin in Genesis 6-9.

*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. Also, remember to get your COVID booster and Flu shot as you are able and feel led to do so.

*Confirmation has Begun! Our young people are undergoing the process of Confirmation during September and October, where they will deeply consider what it means to be a disciple of Jesus Christ. e have approximately a half dozen youth and adults serving as mentors involved in this process. Please pray for them!

* October Spire articles were due to the church office by Thursday, September 21st but you can still submit through today. It’s hard to believe how fast September is going and October is right around the corner. Now is the time to let us know what your groups will be up to in October!

* Garner Area Ministry URGENT NEED: 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!

*Outstanding Older Adult Award Ceremony On Sunday, October 1, join a carpool to First Presbyterian Rocky Mount to celebrate with the Bagwell’s and other Outstanding Older Adults for their witness of love and peace in Christ’s name! We’ll meet at 1:45pm and return to the church parking lot, around 5:30pm.

*Our Fall Church Picnic will be on October 15 at 5 pm on the church grounds. Bring an appetite for good food and good fellowship!

*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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