Beginning in April, you may notice a change in the church parking lot that may mean changes in how some of us use the parking lot. All parking spaces, including the ones on the side of the lot we currently use during the work week, will be numbered.
What will stay the same once the spaces are numbered?
Parking will continue to be for church services and any other church business or church activities. The entire lot will continue to be available to us on Sunday mornings. Members can continue to use the code for parking during church hours when the gate is down.
What will be different once the spaces are numbered?
Members and staff will not be able to use the code when the church is closed, but will need to pay for parking if they wish to use the lot for any other non-church-related activity.
“The policy about when we can park for free won’t be any different,” said Church Administrator Jesse Hite. “Parking has always been free for church activities and church business. But we’ve just signed a contract that will enable Preferred Parking, which manages the lot for us, to enforce a long-standing restriction that says parking is not free when the church is closed—and this includes during Panthers football games and other special events in Center City.”
A new contract with Preferred Parking means that revenue paid to the church will go up in 2018. This revenue supports the church’s missions. To make that increase possible, Preferred will begin to ticket vehicles that aren’t complying with the restrictions that have always been in place. Anyone who does receive a citation for failing to pay for parking when the church is not open can contact either Preferred Parking (704-375-6014) or Jesse Hite (704-927-0240).
“No matter what time or day of the week, if there is a church activity going on, people will be able to park free,” Jesse said. “When the gates are locked and the lights are off, people will need to pay at the kiosk. That applies to clergy and staff as well as members. We know this may impact some members who may attend church activities then decide to stop for dinner in town or attend other events in Center City. But we feel it is important for us, as a church, to honor our agreement with Preferred. In exchange, the revenue we’ll have to support church programs will go up.”
Session approved the new contract and the intention to consistently enforce parking restrictions at its November meeting. Email Jesse Hite or call him at 704-927-0240 with questions.
Accion Ministries’ Oscar Dorantes, Jr. and Roger Aviles will attend the organizational meeting immediately after the 11 a.m. service in Wood Fellowship Hall on Sunday, May 6. Join us to hear more information about the November 5-10 trip and the work of Accion in the Yucatan.
FPC will return to Villa Infantil Maya (VIM), a residence that enables Mayan students to attend middle and high school away from home in a caring environment, in November. During the 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.
The approximate cost for the trip will be $1300-$1400, with scholarship help available.
Can you help our neighbors at the Charlotte Rescue Mission celebrate Easter at breakfast or Lunch on April 1? Volunteers are needed for both the breakfast shift (5:45-8:45 a.m.) and the lunch shift (10:30 a.m.-2:30 p.m.). Visit the Volunteer page on the Charlotte Rescue Mission website to register for Easter meals on April 1.
Remember our Rise Against Hunger event in November? We had Kindergarten-Adults working side by side to package 10,000 meals to be used as needed in the wake of a crisis in some part of the world.
While we know where meals have gone in the past, we never know where those being packaged will end up. They could be shipped literally anywhere in the world.
As it happens, it is a small world!
The connections we have with others in our congregation and throughout the denomination always amaze me. Yesterday Pen and I received an email from colleague who overlapped seminary studies with Pen several years ago and who attended a retreat with me just last year. She was on a mission trip to visit a school in Haiti that her church, Quaker Memorial Presbyterian Church supports. To her surprise along with boxes from her church she found our Against Hunger boxes with labels from First Presbyterian Church–the boxes we packed last fall!
She shared her gratitude for the meals those children will eat and a special a creole saying they hear and repeat often—Bondye Aptravay! Which translates to God is working!
Amen to that!
~ Tammy Winchip, Director of Children’s Ministries
March 18 is the deadline to nominate First Presbyterian Youth for the Will Appleby Award for Spirit, Leadership and Dedication. Will Appleby was an outstanding youth who died in September 2001. He was an innovative force in the program. In honor of his life and service to the church, the Will Appleby Award is given each spring to one of our deserving youth. Any member can nominate one of our Youth. To receive a form, contact Jean Cochrane.
On Sunday, March 11, the Reverend Pen Peery will lead a conversation about Dr. Walter Brueggemann’s Willard Lecture. The group will view and discuss clips from the lecture. Wood Fellowship Overflow, 10-10:45 a.m.
Motherless Moms, a support group for women grieving the loss of their mothers as they are raising children, meets Tuesday, March 6, and on the first Tuesday of each month at noon in the Frances Browne Dining Room. Participants are welcome to bring their lunch. For more information, please contact the Reverend Katherine Kerr (firstname.lastname@example.org).
We love small children in worship, but sometimes small children find it hard to sit through the entire worship service. For times like those, families are welcome to move into the small Chapel to the right of the main sanctuary, where the service is available by TV.