Hear about our mission work in Haiti during worship and during brunch during the Formation hour.
Preaching during worship at 9 and 11 a.m. will be Pastor Actionnel Fleurisima, who works with OFCB (Organization of the Christian Force of Bayonnais) in Bayonnais, Haiti. During the Global Mission Brunch at 10 a.m., all are invited to meet and hear from Bill Nathan, a Haitian drummer who will tell the story of his connection to OFCB. The brunch is free and your RSVP (online or January 13 and 20 in Wood Fellowship Hall) on will help us plan for food.
OFCB and Actionnel work with a school, medical clinic and a non-denominational church in the mountains of the Bayonnais region of Haiti, where Actionnel grew up and returned to raise his family after receiving his education in Haiti and in the U.S. The area is home to tens of thousands residents, struggling for daily survival, many trying to support families with subsistence farming.
Bill was forced into slavery after the death of his mother when he was seven. He has since been able to study drumming in Senegal and Gambia, Africa, and performs at churches and universities around the U.S. He now works with other children who have been enslaved and will tell us about his connection to OFCB’s work in Bayonnais.
The Reverend Mary Margaret Porter will lead this class on the Apocrypha, a large body of writings about the Bible and Jesus that cannot be found in the books in our pews or on our bookshelves. Many of these writings tell ancient stories about Jesus as a child and the beginnings of Christianity. Some may have been written by and about powerful women of the time.
In this series, learn why some books appear in the Bible and others do not, who decided what to include and what to leave out, how we know about these other writings and what we should think of them.
Classes will be at 10 a.m., during the Formation hour, in the Pattie Cole Room (S203). The final three classes will be:
February 3 – The Ministry Gospels
February 10 – The Passion Gospels
February 17 – The Post-Resurrection Discourse Gospels
We take a breather between Christmas and the New Year with one service at 11 a.m. and no formation classes on Sunday, December 30. Worship will be led by some of our members and staff who are currently attending seminary. Selina Malherbe will preach the sermon, “Praise the Lord!”; assisting in worship will be Natalie Raygor and the Reverend Katherine Kerr.
This winter, watch for First Fellowship gatherings, opportunities for First Pres members and friends to gather for fun and fellowship both within the walls of the church and beyond. Among these opportunities will be neighborhood/area gatherings in church members’ homes. The church will help with logistics and other support, but we need hospitable hosts. If you are interested in hosting a gathering in your home anytime between now and May, or have other ideas for fellowship, please contact the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter. Fellowship is an important part of Congregational Care. The time and consideration we provide one another is vital to keeping this church vibrant and nourished to continue to be for Christ in the Heart of Charlotte
Students at Westerly Hills Academy still need tutors. Currently, 18 students who could benefit from tutoring aren’t being served.
Training is available for tutors as part of HELPS, a reading intervention program supported by both Read Charlotte and Augustine Literacy Project. Tutors work with third-grade students for one hour per week, or tutoring “buddies” can sign up together for one shift every other week. The easy-to-follow curriculum is provided. Progress is graphed at the end of each lesson, and seeing improvement is exciting for both tutor and student. Sign up online or email Melissa Walker with questions.
FPC’s Moving Ministry helps a family move from homelessness or transition into a permanent home. Meet at 9 a.m. at the Crisis Assistance Furniture Bank, 333 Dalton Road. There is work for friends and family, including your teenagers and their friends. Sign up here.
If you weren’t at the Advent Communion service on December 6, you missed something too wonderful to miss. So we’ve made a video of the story the Reverend Katherine Kerr told to introduce her meditation, “The Manager.”
Director of Music Ministries Will Young has been granted three months of sabbatical, to be taken in January, June and July of 2019.
“I am deeply grateful to First Pres and the Personnel Committee for its generosity in offering me this time for both educational opportunities and personal rest,” Will said.
The Reverend Pen Peery said this reflects the fact that music is very much a part of the experience of worship.
“Great leadership in worship happens when we have the space to think deeply and faithfully about what worship is and what people need in order to connect to God’s presence,” Pen said.
In January, Will plans a month of travel to observe, learn from and perhaps even participate as a choir member with music departments at churches around the country with programs that are similar to FPC’s in size and scope. During the summer months, he will take time for renewal as well as for further study in the areas of choral conducting, service playing and organ improvisation.
“My gratitude also extends to those who will inevitably be working behind the scenes—the FPC music team and church members—to make sure things carry on in my absence,” Will said.
Existing staff will provide leadership during Will’s time away in January. Guest organist in January will be Ginger Wyrick, music faculty at UNCC.