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Montreat Worship and Music Conference

February 19, 2018

Registration is open for children and youth (current third-twelfth graders) who wish to attend the Montreat Worship and Music Conference June 17-22. Daily activities include three core courses (Choir, Bible Study and Fun and Games) and 2-3 electives. Electives vary by age and include art, instrumental ensembles, auditioned chamber choirs, drumming, improv and worship, photography, and handbells. Evening activities include a talent show, movie and pizza night, and rock hopping. Housing and meals are in rented homes and the cost will be $375 or less, depending upon the number registered.

For additional information, you can read more online or contact contact Caryn Overbey or Will Young.  Registration will be done as a group, so contact Caryn to register your child or youth. A deposit of $50 is required and registration closes April 10.

A Snapshot of People Experiencing Homelessness

February 7, 2018

 

You wouldn’t believe what happened at First Presbyterian Church in the wee hours of the morning on February 1.

At 4:30 a.m. on that date, almost 100 volunteers arrived at FPC for the Mecklenburg County annual Point in Time count—an annual snapshot of people experiencing homelessness in our county. This was our fourth year to host the event and it was amazing to see how it has grown.

Point in Time counts happen all over the country in large cities, usually in the middle of winter.  It is a one-night, unduplicated estimate of sheltered and unsheltered homeless populations. Sheltered means that a person was in an emergency shelter or transitional housing at the time of the count. Unsheltered means, sadly, what it sounds like—that a person was on the street or in some other place unfit for human habitation.

Volunteers, bundled up in their warmest gear, gathered in our fellowship hall for a hot breakfast and to pick up the amazing amount of donations collected from individuals and agencies across the city. While out seeking individuals to count, they also handed out sleeping bags, blankets, socks, hand warmers, water and hygiene products.

It makes sense that FPC hosts such an important event, as we are located in the heart of Charlotte and serve the heart of Charlotte. Most volunteers head out our doors and walk to where people sleep on the streets or in outdoor camps. Their work is done by 8 a.m. You would never know they had been here. In that way, their work is not unlike the existence of too many of our neighbors who walk, eat and sleep unnoticed and unaccounted for on our city’s streets.

I am grateful that we are able to use our space and our location in way that embodies Christ’s call to see and to love the most marginalized of our society.

~ The Reverend Erika Funk

Take a look at photos taken in Wood Fellowship Hall during the Point in Time count last week.

You can read the 2017 Point in Time Report while waiting for the 2018 report to be published, usually in early April.

You can learn more about the Point in Time count.

 

You can now visit the landing page for our blog, where you can search previous blog posts by date, category or key word.

Location Change for Bible & Beverage Men’s Ministry

February 6, 2018

Join the Reverend Pen Peery and other FPC men for this new opportunity for discussion and fellowship on Tuesday, February 13, at Duckworth’s Taphouse on Park Road (4435 Park Road), 8-9:30 p.m. <RSVP to Pen> (ppeery@firstpres-charlotte.org) if possible, but don’t stay away if it’s a last-minute decision.

Mexico Mission Trip November 4-9

February 5, 2018

First Presbyterian Church will take a team to Villa Infantil Maya (VIM), a residence that enables Mayan students to attend middle and high school away from home in a spirit-filled, caring environment.

During the mission trip, First Presbyterian team members will stay in the dorm, interact with the VIM students and perform some construction work to improve the facility. Past groups have painted, sanded and installed concrete. A variety of tasks suit all ages and abilities.

If you are interested in being a part of this exciting and long-running mission, please contact Martha Eubank (meubank@bellsouth.net) for more details.

The approximate cost for the trip will be $1300-$1400, with scholarship help available.

Here is the anticipated itinerary:

  • Sunday: Leave around 9:30 a.m.  Arrive in Cancun in time to shop for supplies for the week.
  • Monday-Thursday: Work at VIM, meet the students and visit the schools VIM students attend.
  • Thursday afternoon: Travel to the quaint colonial town of Valladolid for an afternoon/evening of R&R.
  • Friday: Return to Charlotte

Watch this video to learn more about the work of Accion Ministries, our mission partners in the Yucatan.

The Lenten Season at First Presbyterian

This year during the Lenten season, our worship will be focused on the promises God makes to us in preparation for the ultimate promise that we find in a tomb that is empty and a world that is changed. Plan your Lenten season around these opportunities for worship. The Reverend Pen Peery is preaching except where otherwise noted below.

 

Sunday, February 25: The Promise of Taking Up Your Cross

Sunday, March 4: The Promise of Emancipation, the Reverend Dr. Walter Brueggemann preaching

Sunday, March 11: The Promise of Eternal Life

Sunday, March 18: The Promise of Belonging

Sunday, March 25, Palm Sunday: The Reverend Katelyn Cooke preaching

Thursday March 29, Maundy Thursday: Communion and Service of Darkness. Sanctuary, 7:30 p.m.

Maternity Leave for Director of Youth Ministries

February 2, 2018

Dear FPC youth and families,

When Director of Youth Ministries Natalie Raygor shared the news of her pregnancy back in September, her March due date seemed so far away! And now the time is coming for baby Raygor to make a big debut, and the time is coming soon!

As you may have heard from Natalie or through the FPC grapevine, Natalie is scheduled to deliver on Monday, February 12. We are so excited for her and Kyle to welcome their little one, and we know the FPC family is looking forward to celebrating with them too.

Natalie will be on maternity leave through the beginning of May, and we are grateful for the multitude of advisors, teacher,s and families who will keep things going during her time away.

While Natalie is out, the Assistant Director for Youth Ministry search committee will continue its work as well, and we appreciate your prayers for our discernment. We have every intention of continuing with business as usual over the next three months, and we also appreciate your patience and grace as we don’t have a full youth staff currently.

You will continue to receive weekly newsletters with info about upcoming events and retreats, and you are welcome to reach out to me or Elizabeth Cook if you have questions about youth ministry.

I’ll also be available this Sunday, February 4 from 10:00 a.m. to 10:30 a.m. in Wood Fellowship Hall to meet with parents and answer any questions you may have about our plans while Natalie is on maternity leave.

Being a church together means we get to experience life’s sorrows and celebrations with each other, and this is a fun season of celebration for Natalie and Kyle! Thank you for being part of it!

Grace and peace,

Katelyn Gordon Cooke, Associate Pastor for Christian Formation

Sharon Towers Valentine Party on February 13

January 29, 2018

The annual Sharon Towers Valentine Party, hosted by PW (Presbyterian Women), will be Tuesday, February 13, at 6:30 p.m. Residents of Sharon Towers look forward to this event, which is a special treat because of the homemade cookies made by First Presbyterian members.

Cookies can be delivered to the church by noon on February 13 or to the lobby of Sharon Towers by 3:00 p.m. that day. Please come and share fellowship with our friends Sharon Towers

Youth Grade Level Dinners

Each grade will receive an Evite for these dinners on Sunday, February 11, 6-7:45 p.m. Please RSVP by February 8.

Souper Bowl of Caring

Youth and adults will collect monetary donations and canned food items after both the 9 a.m. and the 11 a.m. worship services on Sunday, February 4, as part of this national movement of young people working to fight hunger and poverty in their own communities.

Please help us tackle hunger and poverty locally and turn the nation’s largest weekend of football into the largest weekend of caring. ​

Children to Make Countdown to Easter Calendar

 On Sunday, February 18, our K-3rd grade classes will make a countdown to Easter calendar. P307, 10-10:45 a.m.