Month: May 2019

May 29, 2019

May 28, 2019

The Formation Department and the Communications Department are joining forces to rebrand and relaunch the church’s podcast. The new podcast will be Faith Unfiltered: Seeking God in the 21st Century.

“We realized that there’s a great deal of synergy between our goals in Formation and what the Communications team is charged with doing,” said Director of Adult Formation Garrell Keesler.  “In Formation, we connect faith and life in meaningful ways so that we deepen our relationship to God and to one another. And part of the work of Communications is evangelism, spreading the word to those beyond our fence. So the partnership seemed like a natural step.”

Going forward, hosts and storytellers will be Garrell, Dartinia Hull, Bryce Lapping and Peg Robarchek. Savannah Jillani will be the editor.

“We want to let our community know that First Presbyterian is a place where we explore all facets of faith and how people acting on their faith create positive change in the world,” Peg said. “Podcasting is the new face of radio in the 21st Century and we’re excited about using this medium to reach people who search for information and perspective outside the walls of a church or their TV screens.”

Podcast guests currently in the works include:

  • Charlotte-Mecklenburg Sheriff Garry McFadden;
  • the Reverend Dr. Rodney Sadler, discussing the Oppressor God vs. the Liberator God;
  • the Charlotte Observer’s retired Faith and Values reporter Tim Funk, speaking on the growing diversity in Charlotte’s faith community and the marriage of faith and politics;
  • chefs Nick Kepp, Angelica Ellis and Keke Turner, as well as WFAE’s Amy Rogers and former Charlotte Observer food writer Kathleen Purvis talking about what happens when we share food and community;
  • Sam Bethea, the street evangelist with the big, bold voice at the corner of Trade and Tryon streets;
  • a follow-up with our 2019 Willard lecturer Dr. Jonathan Haidt.

If you volunteer with children or youth and need to update your training, we ask that you attend one of the following training sessions.

Sunday, June 2, noon, in P206
Sunday, June 9, 9 a.m., in P206

Childcare is available by reservation. Please email Tammy Winchip for more information.

We’ll offer two online interactive trainings with a limited number of participants each night. It is first come, first served and participation is required during the meeting. Meetings are Tuesdays, May 28 and June 4, at 7:30 p.m. Register here.

As part of the process, you will need to complete a new Application to Work with Children and Youth.  You may return it to Tanya Gaspar at the church or bring it to the training session.

If you no longer wish to work with children and youth, please let us know.






May 24, 2019

In early May, members of First Presbyterian met with Allen Walworth, fundraising principal with Generis Consulting, which has been hired to provide outside counsel on the proposed Capital Campaign.

Allen spent six days here hosting 29 confidential interviews with key stakeholders—those with a history of service and financial commitment to the church—from our congregation. He also hosted six focus groups of approximately 65 members, encompassing a broad range of membership—new and long-term members, a variety of ministry areas, and age groups ranging from 30 to 80-plus years of age. His findings will help us determine the scope of the campaign, whether we are headed in the right direction,  and a realistic, yet bold, campaign goal.

Allen has more than 14 years of full-time experience in the church stewardship ministry, having partnered with 130 churches to raise more than $350 million for their ministry visions. Before becoming a generosity consultant, Allen was a senior pastor for 17 years, leading congregations ranging from a small town church of 1,000 members to a large metropolitan congregation of over 9,000 members. Allen earned a Ph.D. in New Testament studies, and has taught at the college and seminary levels.

Mary Scott Peterson is Campaign Director and Pete Carlson chairs the Capital Campaign Cabinet. Members of the Cabinet are John Barry, Suzie Black, Lee Bradley, Milt Childress, Gene Cochrane, Mike Elliott, Kelly Graves, Marc Gustafson, Lauren Harnett, Page Hull, Mike James, Elizabeth Little, Wardie Martin, Sally McElwee, Dan Olmstead and Scott Reschly.

May 20, 2019

To grow our connections here at First Presbyterian Church, we will start small group Fellowship Feasts, similar to the previous Four by Four groups.

If you are interested, you will be grouped with about eight individuals (a mix of couples and singles) and encouraged to gather in fellowship four times over a period of 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.

Please sign up online or email Mary Margaret Porter if you have questions or want to be part of a First Fruits group.

Are you looking to serve others in the world? Here is our list of global mission trips for 2019-20

  • Mexico/March 2020: Contact Martha Eubank to learn more about this trip.
  • Haiti/Fall 2019 and February 2020: Contact Chuck Williamson for more information about these trips.
  • Russia/Summer 2020: Begin making plans now to go on this mission trip to Russia to continue our support of the ministry of Hope Baptist Church in Ryazan. Mary Elizabeth Coley  can give you more information.
  • Intra-National Mission/Fall 2019: Each year our church sends a mission team to an area in the US that is recovering from a natural disaster. Teams have gone to New York City to help with the recovery from Superstorm Sandy and to eastern North Carolina to help rebuild after the hurricanes of recent years. Contact David Burton for more information.

Camp Grier, Streets to Peaks (S2P) and the BELL summer enrichment camp sound like fun—and they are. But they also serve to accomplish the goals of Charlotte’s Economic Opportunity Task Force by using education to increase the chances of upward mobility for children who may have limited opportunities and advantages. First Presbyterian Church is very involved in that effort, which means there are plenty of opportunities for you to help enhance the lives of children this summer.

For more than 40 years, we’ve sent children to Camp Grier for outdoor activities and a break from the stressful environments in which they live and the adult responsibilities they often shoulder. To create a smooth pathway to this new adventure, each camper is assigned an FPC “camp parent” who works with them and their family to make sure they are ready.  S2P is an outgrowth of Camp Grier and also needs adult volunteers.

Sixty rising scholars in grades one through three will spend their summer mornings with us in BELL camp, learning reading and math from CMS teachers, then spend afternoons in enrichment activities such as music, art, STEM, coding and yoga. Fridays are reserved for all-day field trips. FPC members, including youth, can get involved by serving as a reading or math tutor, lunch buddy, enrichment helper or field trip chaperone.

Contact Heather Herring if you are interested in becoming involved with BELL or Camp Grier

Beginning June 1 through the end of July, Director of Music Ministries Will Young will be away for the final two months of his sabbatical.

Will took one month of his 90-day sabbatical in January, when he visited music programs around the country to learn from others and reflect on the music program here at First Presbyterian. This summer, his agenda is more simple: Rest.

“I plan to do as little learning as possible,” he said.

While he is away, organists will be Jim Twyne and Ginger Wyrick. Choir directors will be Kelly Potts and D.J. Godinez.

May 17, 2019

May 10, 2019

Nominations are now open for officers to serve a three-year term on the Session and the Diaconate beginning in 2020.

A Nominating Committee comprised of three elders, two deacons and four at-large members of the congregation will meet in coming months to discern members of our church who may be called to serve and to recommend nominees to the congregation, which will elect those officers this fall.

Please give careful and prayerful consideration about whom you believe God might be calling to serve as an officer in our church. Those called should be persons of strong faith who are dedicated to the discernment of God’s will and to discipleship and service within our church the greater community. Any confirmed member of the church, regardless of age or years of membership at First Presbyterian Church, is eligible to be considered.  They may be previously ordained to either or both offices, or this may be their first time serving the church through ordained leadership. The following are descriptions of the two bodies.

You may fill out the nomination form online and submit it to the church electronically. You may also download a copy of the form or pick up a paper copy in the Historical Lobby and mail the form to Tanya Gaspar, Executive Assistant to the Senior Pastor.