Month: October 2019

October 14, 2019

Support Charlotte’s children by tutoring through one of our partner agencies. There are children waitlisted for both Heart math and HELPS literacy tutoring, and they will continue to fall behind without the benefit of individual attention. Learn more and sign up using the links below.

Travel to Russia next summer with members of your First Presbyterian family. June 19-29, 2020, a group will engage in a ministry of presence with our partners at Hope Baptist Church in Ryazan, Russia.

“This partnership is based on building and strengthening relationships,” said Mary Elizabeth Coley. “We would love to have group members who are open to hearing stories and getting to know our Russian friends. Flexibility is also important as we travel across the world and in a different culture.”

The cost of the trip is approximately $2500, which includes flights, hotels, most meals, two nights in Moscow, and three nights in St. Petersburg. While we are in Ryazan, we will worship with our partners in their newly completed sanctuary and support and build relationships with congregants who deal with tension and discrimination in their daily lives simply because they worship in a Protestant church. Group members must be confirmed by Sunday, January 5, 2020, so there is time to get Letters of Invitation and visas, so contact Mary Elizabeth Coley ( if you’d like to be part of this mission trip.

Yes, we know Singing in the Season is all about the music. But you can help set the stage by providing goodies or decorating one of the trees in Wood Fellowship Hall.

Trees go up in Wood Fellowship Hall on December 2 and will be up through Christmas. If you would like to decorate a tree with your family, friends, circle or other group, contact Caryn Overbey ( to reserve a tree and a time to decorate.

Other ways you can help include baking cookies or other treats,  helping set out treats and beverages before the event, or carrying trays and beverages to the kitchen after the event.

Contact Caryn Overbey if you’d like to help.

Free tickets for the 6th annual musical event will be available online beginning November 15. Join your church family at 5 p.m. in Wood Fellowship Hall on Sunday, December 8, for an evening of musical fun and a sing-along of your favorite Christmas music with the Sanctuary Choir, Kirk Choir, Ivey and Knox Handbell Ensembles and orchestra.

Join us for worship on Sunday, November 24, as we express our gratitude for all that you make possible through your stewardship dollars. Scripture for the day will be Psalm 46 and Colossians 1:11-20.

October 7, 2019

Westerly Hill’s Curriculum Night will be on Thursday, October 17, and we will need three volunteers to help with dinner from 5-6:15 p.m.  During this parent night, school administration will survey parents to learn how the school can best support them to establish and maintain successful homework and home reading routines, and the feedback will help determine how our church will support the school and its families.  If you can help, please contact Heather Herring.

You can support the children, families and staff at our partner schools, Lakewood Preschool and Westerly Hills Academy, through Shop to Share.

This new twist on the weekend food bag effort provides a monthly shopping list created from our partners’ most-needed itms. You can purchase items for our partners while you do your regular shopping, then bring your items to the church to be delivered to the school. Place your items in the shopping cart in the hallway behind the sanctuary.

Sign up online.

October 4, 2019

Our neighbors in west Charlotte are experiencing firsthand the impact of our city’s lack of affordable housing. The condemnation of Lake Arbor apartments has left 171 families searching for a new place to live, with some families living in motels or cars as they search for a solution. The documentary Resilience, which many of us viewed together on a Sunday evening last month, showed us the impact of toxic stress on children, and housing instability is certainly a source of incredible stress.

You may learn more online about this situation, as well as our decision to provide financial support in a collaborative effort of Charlotte nonprofits to secure housing for affected families. Right now, based on what we know, there are two ways you can help:

  1. support financially via the United Way, who is overseeing the collaborative nonprofit effort and
  2. identify (or provide) affordable rental housing. If you are able to offer a housing solution, please contact Shantiqua Neely.

FPC staff is working with school counselors and the school’s Communities in Schools site coordinator to determine how best to support affected Westerly Hills families. As we know more we will keep the congregation updated so that we may respond.

Resilience is a skill needed not just by those who experience poverty and housing instability. Of the 73 who responded to the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) survey at the September 22 movie showing, 67% had one or more ACEs, and 24% had 4 or more ACEs. In fact, everyone has some form of stress and has good reason to build resilience.

There are many ways to offset the effects of toxic stress.  The experts who were part of the Resilience event offered ways to support others and yourself. Below is their contact information:

If you want to refresh your memory of or share the findings from the movie, this TED Talk with Dr. Nadine Burke Harris:  How Childhood Trauma Affects Health Across a Lifetime summarizes the information.

– Garrell Keesler



October 3, 2019

Join us at for a discussion about Christian Formation in the FPC Schools. Meet us on Wednesday, October 23, Wood Fellowship Overflow, at 11:30 a.m.

Support Charlotte’s children by tutoring through one of our partner agencies. There are children wait-listed for both Heart math and HELPS literacy tutoring, and they will continue to fall behind without the benefit of individual attention. Learn more and sign up using the links below.