Month: August 2019

August 12, 2019

The Westerly Hills Academy Apple Tree, sponsored by Presbyterian Women, will be in full bloom August 18-September 15 to provide a goody bag of supplies for all 45 classrooms. You can show your support in three ways:

  1. Pick an apple from the tree, which will be in the lobby, and purchase the supplies or a gift card and return them to the bin in the back hall behind the sanctuary.
  2. Mail a check to the church with “Westerly Hills Academy Apple Tree donation” noted in the memo line.
  3. Make an online donation. The donations will be used specifically to purchase teacher planners, dry erase markers, felt tip pens and sticky notes.

Please have all donations to the church by Thursday, September 19. If you have questions, Contact Christe Eades,

Are you looking to serve others in the world? Two global mission trips planned for this program  year are:

  • Mexico/March 2020: Contact Martha Eubank ( In Mexico, we partner with Accion Ministries to work to improve the lives of Mayans who live in the Yucatan peninsula including: Working on home and church construction projects in rural villages; constructing and supporting CEM (Casa Estudiantes Merida) providing room and board for indigenous Mayan men attending universities and graduate programs in Merida, and constructing and supporting VIM (Villa Infantil Maya), a residential program for indigenous rural Mayan children that provides them the opportunity to attend middle and high schools in the area.
  • 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. Contact Mary Elizabeth Coley (

Presbyterian Women (PW) will provide a special welcome on Sunday, September 29, to women who have joined the church in the previous six months. New members will be able to meet other women members of the church, learn about ways to get involved at FPC, and hear about PW events, circles and activities. This event will be held in Lemma Howerton, room S202, at 10 a.m.

If you joined the church recently or want to refresh your information about First Presbyterian Church, you are invited to our First Welcome classes on Sunday, September  22. This session will include a tour of the church.

Will meet in the Lemma Howerton Room (S202), 10-10:45 a.m. Contact Lucy Caldwell ( with questions.

August 7, 2019

Once a month, member Sue Loeser spends an afternoon volunteering in First Presbyterian Church’s Loaves and Fishes pantry. Here is one of her experiences from last spring.

Empathy was on my mind in April when I helped Jane (not her real name) as she shopped for her family of six. Jane was my dream client because she liked to cook and was searching for healthy options. We were offering several fresh vegetables that day, and Jane used her points to “buy” everything fresh.

Jane was especially excited about an extra-large bag of salad greens she chose, exclaiming, “My daughters love salad…they will be thrilled!”

Just then, another client entered the vegetable aisle, engaged in a discussion with a volunteer about what that client might like. He spied Jane’s bag of salad greens, pointed to it and said, “I’d like one of those!”

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” I told this second client. “We had just two bags of salad greens and that’s the last one.”

That would have been the end of it, except beside me Jane smiled and said to the young man, “If you give me a bag, I’ll give you half!”


If you give me a bag, I’ll give you half.  You have no idea how often I’ve wondered if I would share my family’s desperately-needed food—food I couldn’t replace—with another person in need.   I can’t say for sure I would.

The people who come to a pantry are screened by the Loaves and Fishes organization. Their need is documented, their visits to a pantry are limited, and they have a referral for our FPC pantry that specific day. No walk-ins are allowed.  The system is well-organized. As a volunteer, I help clients select items from different food groups, using their family size to determine how many points (i.e. currency) they have in each food group.

As we shop together, I talk to my clients about food, and sometimes they move on to stories about their life and family.  What I hear is often heartbreaking.  While we bag their selections, it’s not uncommon for a client to weep with relief and gratitude on seeing all they have to take home to their family.

Yet, in spite of their need, a client like Jane is not rare. I often hear clients say, “I have enough (vegetables, fruit, etc.) so I won’t take any more.”  It would be easy to assume they refuse the items because they can’t carry more cans on the bus, or they don’t have storage at home.  But almost always the client adds, “Leave it for the next person.”

I started volunteering at Loaves and Fishes because I wanted another service opportunity, and I thought the distribution team’s camaraderie would be fun. (And it is!) What I didn’t expect was an education in sacrificial generosity.

—Sue Loeser

August 6, 2019

A few spots are still available for this trip to support the health clinic, church and schools in Bayonnais, Haiti. We will team up with members of Sardis Presbyterian Church and the local Friends of OFCB (Operation Force for Christ in Bayonnais) Ministries board to serve our brothers and sisters in Bayonnais. Contact Glenna Cook (, 704-651-8017) to learn more.

All rising 9th graders through graduated seniors are invited to lunch at noon each Wednesday. Meet at Chipotle located off Providence Road.

All middle school youth are invited to participate in the final local service project of the summer on Monday, August 12. Contact Bryce Lapping (

The sermon series God at the Movies has come to an end, but the discussion of biblical themes in favorite movies will continue during the Formation hour. Here’s what you can look forward to:

  • August 18: Tarzan
  • August 25: Monsters Inc.
  • September 1: Curpigeon

See you Sunday at 10 a.m. in Wood Fellowship Hall for film clips and conversation.

August 5, 2019

Contact David Burton, ( or  704-363-8511) to find out how you can get involved in this fall’s mission trip to assist with hurricane relief October 2-6 in eastern North Carolina.