Month: January 2019

January 16, 2019

FUPC-FPC Discussion Series

For its tenth year, the lunch and discussion series with First United Presbyterian Church takes on the subject Can Life Be Fair? What Does Our Faith Say? The series runs for four weeks, features speakers such as the Reverend Dr. Rodney Sadler and de’Angelo Dia, and will alternate between FPC and FUPC at 406 North College Street.


February 3: Can Life Be Fair? The Reverend Dr. Rodney Sadler, Associate Professor of Bible, Union Presbyterian Seminary, gives an overview of the oscillating history of racism in the U.S., illustrating African American gains and subsequent loses. What have been some of the responses to the losses? What biblical lessons inspire progress? At FPC.


February 10: Black Lives Matter or All Lives Matter? Donna Fair, Wellness Ministry Director at Myers Park Presbyterian Church, brings us videos of the Black Lives Matter Movement founders and the Video Raising a Black Son. At FUPC.


February 24: Build the Wall! Federico Rios, International & Integration Manager of the City of Charlotte provides a look at the truth about immigration, both locally and nationally, and what people like us can do. At FUPC.


March 3: Can Life Be Fair? A Faithful Response. de’Angelo Dia, Advocacy Coordinator for the  Stan Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte speaks on perspective and personal transformation.

Fellowship is an important part of who we are as a church family. As brothers and sisters in Christ, we are called to uphold and support one another in faith and love. To further facilitate our fellowship connections here at First Presbyterian Church, we will be starting small group Fellowship Feasts. Similar to the previous Four by Four groups, if you are interested, you will be grouped with a total of 8 individuals (couples and singles) and encouraged to gather in fellowship four times over the next six months. The nature and location of your gathering is completely up to you – pizza and football, a formal dinner at someone’s home, bowling, etc. The hope is that by being introduced to a new small group of church members, we may strengthen our ties to one another and grow in faith and fellowship.

If you are interested in joining a Fellowship Feasts group, please email Mary Margaret Porter and we will be in touch.

January 11, 2019

January 10, 2019

Plan now to be part of the mission trip to Bayonnais, Haiti. The cost for the trip will be $1300-1400, and  scholarship support is available. Contact Glenna Cook (, 704.651.8017) or Amy Hockett (, 704.277.3223) for information.

January 4, 2019

Things at First Presbyterian Church will be different in 2019. Two associate pastors answered God’s call to set out in different directions in the last half of 2018, creating both challenges to keeping things rolling and opportunities to reshape our staff in response to God’s changing call to us as a congregation.

Here are a few questions you may have about staffing changes here at First Presbyterian. And we invite you to send us your questions so we can expand this information as the changes unfold.


Q. How many pastors are we going to have?

A. Three pastors—the Senior Pastor, the Senior Associate Pastor for Congregational Ministry and Care, and an Associate Pastor for Christian Formation and Young Adults.


Q. Why won’t we have an associate pastor for mission?

A. Session determined that FPC can elevate its historic commitment to this ministry by hiring a full-time Director whose sole focus is mission and outreach. Pastors have many other functions to fill—pastoral care and participation in worship, for example—that can pull them away from the work of mission. This director will report to Pen and will be part of the church’s Senior Leadership Team.


Q. When will the new Director of Mission be hired?

A. Since this is not an ordained position, the hiring process could move more quickly than calling a new pastor. We hope this role can be filled in the first six months of the 2019.


 Q. What roles does a part-time parish associate fill?

A. Parish Associates are typically part-time ordained pastors who fill specific roles as well as provide backup for full-time pastors with pastoral care and worship. The model here calls for three part-time parish associates—one for Formation, one for Fellowship and Connection, and one for Senior Adults. Our parish associates will provide oversight and leadership in ways that complement the work of our installed pastors.


Q. Will Chuck Williamson still work with senior adult members?

A. Yes, that is certainly our hope and intention. The Reverend Chuck Williamson currently fills a broad spectrum of needs for our older members, who require different levels of care.


Q. Will Mary Margaret Porter continue to be one of our parish associates?

A. We are delighted to have the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter as our Parish Associate for Fellowship and Connection, with the goal of expanding the ways we share our lives and our faith journeys.


Q. Will Becky Davis become our Associate Pastor for Formation and Young Adults?

A. The Reverend Rebecca Davis will serve as an interim parish associate in the area of Formation. In that role, she will teach on Sunday mornings and provide other forms of theological enrichment to the congregation. The new Associate Pastor for Formation and Young Adults will hire the permanent parish associate.


Q. When will we have a new Associate Pastor?

A. An Associate Pastor Nominating Committee (APNC), to be chaired by Libby Bell, was elected in late 2018 and will begin the search for our new pastor immediately. The hope is that someone will be with us by the time we start a new program year in September, 2019. The APNC will update the congregation about progress.


Have more questions? Send them to Tanya Gaspar, Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor.