The Good News, Weekend Refreshment, November 10, 2023

Dear Church,

Today we observe Veteran’s day. Rev. Erin Duke reminds us how and why we honor our veterans, writing:

In reading about the origins of Veterans Day, I was struck that both the president and later Congress noted that American celebrations of the day should honor veterans by working toward peace, justice, goodwill and mutual understanding between nations. We honor our veterans’ service and sacrifice when we take this call seriously.

In his letter to the Romans, Paul writes that Christians should render honor to those due honor and fulfill God’s law by loving our neighbor. How might we as Christians honor and love our neighbors who are veterans not just on Veterans Day but always? I think that we as a Church can do better than just singing patriotic hymns on American holidays or saying, “thank you for your service.”

Duke goes on to share how, by allowing space for veterans to tell their story beyond any one time or day and by pursuing peace, we might faithfully fulfill this call. You can read her thoughtful remarks in full here:

May these words challenge and inspire us to make such spaces where we can listen deeply and dedicate ourselves once more to Christ’s ways of peace and justice, and may the prayer below also lead us in this endeavor:

Holy and Loving God, we give you thanks for the veterans among us, those living and the saints who have gone before. Thank you for their service and sacrifice. We pray for actively serving members of the uniformed services and ask for your protection over them and their families.

Guide us, Lord, as we seek to love our neighbors who are veterans and render them honor. Heal our brokenness and bring us together as your people. And lead us, God, to work together toward the pursuit of your promised reign when nation shall not lift sword against nation, and neither shall we learn war anymore. Amen.

See you Sunday when we dedicate our hearts, treasures, and lives once more to living and sharing the good news of Christ’s love.

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:

On Sunday, November 12, we conclude our Stewardship Season Series on “Treasures in Heaven” by bringing forward our pledges in “Dedication” to God’s call in our lives and hope for our congregation’s present and future. Please contact the church office if you need a pledge card.

You can also begin bringing canned goods and hats and gloves for adults for the first of our Youth Confirmation Mission Projects. These collections will benefit Wrenn House (a shelter for youth) and HOPE in Garner.

*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. Don’t hesitate to get in touch with 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 is Ongoing! 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!

*The Presbyterian Women are once again taking orders for poinsettias to adorn the church during Advent. The poinsettia tree will be placed in the Narthex to hold the poinsettias. Orders will be taken this Sunday, November 12th. Please stop by the Ogburn Classroom right after church to drop off your order form and payment. The poinsettias will be delivered on December 1st and remain in the church until December 24th when you can pick up your poinsettia to take home after either Christmas Eve Services. Please make checks payable to: Presbyterian Women.

* 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.

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

*Cantata Practice!  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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