The Good News, Weekly Addition, October 25, 2023

Dear Church,

Last Sunday I shared a memory of a dear friend, mentor, and saint, now in God’s embrace forever, Patti Winter.  Patti’s Service of witness to the Resurrection will be this Friday, October 27, in Birmingham, AL, and I will be blessed to attend. I’ll also be back in plenty of time for our All Saints Celebration on Sunday. I anticipate many emotions as we light candles for our loved ones, including Patti and many others.

That candle lighting is a visible reminder that even in the darkness of grief and death, the light of the world, Jesus Christ, still shines with love and peace. And Jesus leads that great cloud of witnesses–and us–onward in every stage of life, death, and life after death.

But the wax candles are not the only reminder of this love. In many ways, we also are the lights through which Christ’s love shines.  Our smiles, our words, our prayers, our financial commitments,  our care, our imperfect but genuine faithfulness to God and others–these all are actions that make a weary world lighter and brighter. What a blessing! What a responsibility! What a  deep trust God has to call us to share such gifts.

As we spend this week remember with bittersweetness those who are gone, may we also remember how close they still are and how brightly they still shine. And may we also respond to the call God has given us and the light we have that the world–with all its many conflicts at home and abroad–so desperately needs.

The Lord Bless and Keep Us Always,

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:

Our service from October 22 can be seen here:



On Sunday, October 29, we continue our Stewardship Season Series on “Treasures in Heaven.” During worship we also observe “All Saints Day” and remember loved ones we have lost, lighting a  candle in their honor.  If you have a loved one you would like to remember by name and with the lighting of a candle, please submit their name to the church office ASAP. Join us for worship as we live and share good news together!

*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 has test kits 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.

*November 5th Chili Bowl and Stewardship Luncheon! On November 5, after worship, we will enjoy good fellowship and good food courtesy of the Friendship Circle’s annual Chili Bowl Fundraiser! While we gather we will also hear about our Faith Budget for 2024. Bring an appetite for chili and conversation about what good news God is sharing through us!   All funds raised will benefit Habitat for Humanity and Garner Area Ministries

*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. We have approximately a half dozen youth and adults serving as mentors involved in this process. Please pray for them!

* Garner Area Ministry 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 from 10 am until noon. The next date will be November 4. 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. Starting Oct. 17th, the walking group will meet at the Village at 6pm to walk. We will park at Cadence assisted living on Minglewood Dr. and walk 2 laps around the Village. If you have any questions, contact Martha Long at 919-744-0751. In the event there is inclement weather, we’ll just gather the following week.  The group meets weekly at 6:00 pm

We are also walking to Bethlehem from October-December! See the below for more details and call the church office to join with us!

*Cantata Practice Has Begun!  Join the choir for Christmas Cantata Practice every Wednesday! The Cantata will be held on December 17, 2023, at 3pm in the sanctuary of FOCOG:

*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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