Month: April 2017

April 18, 2017

The final day of the spring Wednesday Worship series Act Now: How the Church Began will be May 24 at noon in the Sanctuary.

The series has explored what the disciples experienced after the resurrection and ascension of Christ, leading up to birth of the new church.

Wednesday Worship is followed by Eat@First at 12:30 p.m. in Wood Fellowship Hall.

Wednesday Worship concludes for the summer on May 31. Read more about the special service.

April 14, 2017

The first time I heard David LaMotte in concert was the summer between my freshman and sophomore year of high school at Montreat Youth Conference. I was blown away by his amazing musical gift. I immediately became a huge fan and bought every single album he had available that summer. My passion for him and his music continued throughout my college years.

His song We Are Each Other’s Angels inspired me to use some of the lyrics from that song for my final project in Photography II Class in college. While I was not in any way a professional photographer, I did enjoy being as creative as possible and trying new features with my camera. It was through this project that I learned the idea of double exposure and creating “ghost-like” images. While I found it challenging at first, in the end I found it fascinating.

An image from Natalie’s college project, inspired by a David LaMotte song


These are the lyrics from I used David’s song, We Are Each Other’s Angels:

We are each other’s angels. We meet when it is time. 

We keep each other going and we show each other signs. 

Sometimes you will stumble.  Sometimes you will fall down. 

Sometimes you will get lonely when there is nobody around. 

You might even lose your colors but don’t ever lose your faith

’cause we are each other’s angels and we meet when it is time.

Click here for the full song on Spotify.

Singer-songwriter David LaMotte

I am a strong believer that we are constantly surrounded by special people in our lives.  Whether they are with us physically, spiritually or emotionally, God places them in our lives to be our angels. These angels guide us along our journey through life and surround us with their steadfast love. They leave footprints on our hearts and strengthen our faith in God by being a constant presence in our life.

Just as Jesus called his disciples, Jesus calls us to go forth and answer our calling, to go and fill someone’s cup and be an angel to others.

If you’re interested in knowing more about David LaMotte—maybe even wondering how you can meet this amazing songwriter—I have good news. You will have the opportunity on Youth Sunday, April 23. Our youth will lead worship at 9 a.m. and 11 a.m., with a celebration of confirmands during the 11 a.m. service. David will join our musicians during both services.

Also, during the Formation hour at 10 a.m., you are invited to Wood Fellowship Overflow for a presentation from David LaMotte about a program (PEG Partners) he and his wife founded to support schools in Guatemala. This will also be an opportunity to learn how First Presbyterian will partner with LaMotte and PEG Partners during the summer of 2018 for a combined high school international youth music and mission trip.

I look forward to seeing you at both worship and formation on Youth Sunday, April 23.

-Natalie Raygor

April 7, 2017

As I write this reflection, my mind is seared by images of Syrian children fighting for life after exposure to chemical weapons. My heart hurts with the news of Charlotte’s rising murder rate. And my hands are busy trying to find some way to help in response to the Mecklenburg County Economic Opportunity Task Force report that lays out over 90 recommendations that seek to heal the brokenness in our city—a brokenness that I have had privilege to avoid.

I would rather avoid this suffering—but I also write on the precipice of Holy Week, a time in the Christian year when we accompany Jesus in his final days and through his suffering.

So in these days when the suffering of the world feels urgent, I would challenge you—and invite you—to resist the urge to look away. Instead, I would invite you to walk forward.

Come to worship this Palm Sunday, when we remember that Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem is immediately followed by his Passion.

Come to church on Maundy Thursday at 7:30 p.m. for a service of Tenebrae and communion where we mark Jesus’ last supper with his disciples and when we will recite the story of his betrayal, arrest and crucifixion.

Come, too, on Easter Sunday–to our community Sunrise Service at Romare Bearden Park at 6:30 a.m., or to our services in the Sanctuary at 9 a.m. or 11 a.m.

We cannot avoid the suffering of this world.  But because we follow Jesus, the suffering servant, we can walk through the darkest valleys in the knowledge that suffering does not get the last word.

For your reflection and devotion at the beginning of Holy Week, I offer this prayer by Dr. Walter Brueggemann:

Loss is Indeed Our Gain

The Pushing and Shoving in the world is endless.

We are pushed and shoved.

And we do our share of pushing and shoving

in our great anxiety.

And in the middle of that

you have set down your beloved suffering son

who was like a sheep led to slaughter

who opened not his mouth.

We seem not able,

so we ask you to create space in our life

where we may ponder his suffering

and your summons for us to suffer with him,

suspecting that suffering is the only way to newness.

So we pray for your church in these Lenten days,

when we are driven to denial —

not to notice the suffering,

not to engage it,

not to acknowledge it.

So be that way of truth among us

that we should not deceive ourselves

That we shall see that loss is indeed our gain.

We give you thanks for that mystery from which we live.


– Pen Peery