Archive

Month: May 2020

May 31, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church,

I am resigning from my role as Director of Children’s Ministries as of June 30.  It has been a joy to serve in and among the members of the church and schools.

Thank you for your involvement in, leadership with, and support of Children’s Ministry programs.  My prayer is that you continue to share your gifts with the children of the church and community that they would be nurtured in this faith and flourish as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace,

Tammy Winchip

Dear FPC Family,

We want to thank Tammy for her work as the Director of  Children’s Ministry. We appreciate how Tammy has shared her love of Jesus Christ with the children and all people of our church.  She has used her talents to help our children discover God in their lives  and how to live as beloved children of God. We are grateful for the impact she has made in Christian Formation, the FPC Schools, and the larger congregation.  We ask for prayers for Tammy and Joel as she begins this new stage.  Tammy will continue to serve in her role through June 30th. We hope to celebrate Tammy and thank her at the end of June as safety and COVID related guidelines allow, more details to follow.  If you have any questions about the transition please email me.

In Christ,

The Reverend Robert Galloway

Comments and prayer from the Reverend Pen Peery on Pentecost 2020

Before I call us to come before God in prayer, I would like to take a moment of pastoral privilege to address, directly, the moment we are in with our country roiling after the death of a another black person at the hands of law enforcement. What happened to George Floyd in Minnesota was tragic and wrong. Unfortunately, it was not new. George Floyd is a name we will add to a litany of names of black and brown people whose lives have been lost because of systematic racism. 

What we are seeing around the country is the cumulative impact of so many wrongful deaths. It’s not only about one black man. It needs to be addressed. It requires action. It is change that God desires and demands.

For the past 10 weeks I have treasured and been enriched through partnering with First United Presbyterian Church in worship.  To have our congregations – one proudly African-American, the other largely white, with our shared history – worshipping together in these times has been, I think, evidence of the gift of the Holy Spirit. 

But what I am very clear about – informed by my sisters and brothers of color – is that the work of being anti-racist (not simply “not-racist”) is work that white people must engage. So this morning I want to challenge the members of my congregation – First Presbyterian Church – to join me in getting serious about that work of being anti-racist. And I want to suggest two ways we can start – or continue – that work.

First, we need to educate ourselves about the impacts of racism and privilege. At noon today on our church’s webpage and social media pages we are publishing a curriculum of sorts for white people. I hope you will join Lindsey and me in reading, discussing, and learning from it. 

Second, we need to agree that we will confront racism in our own lives, circles, places of work…even families. Change starts small, but it starts with us. 

I believe this work of being anti-racist is a way we can respond to the good news of God’s claim on our lives and God’s hope for the world.

Now let us pray…

Most Holy and Gracious God –

On that day of Pentecost, when your presence was made manifest in the rush of mighty wind…

When you mixed up speech, in order that your name might be more widely shared…

When you agitated what seemed so decent and orderly, so that a small band of followers might become the body of Christ…

When you set your Spirit upon us, giving us both courage and boldness to face a broken world with resurrection hope and the conviction that what is broken will be redeemed…

On that day of Pentecost you reminded us that in these days, our young would see visions and our old would dream dreams.

And that in these days, our business would be about living into the promise of your kingdom, so that all who call upon your name would be saved.

And so, on this day of Pentecost, we pray that we might be so bold as to believe that there are still visions for us to see. And dreams for us to dream. That your Spirit still mixes us up, and agitates our order, and infuses us with courage, because we are still your people, anointed and charged with being your body in the world.

We pray for your world – that you call us to love.

And we ask, O Lord, that by your Spirit, you would dismantle systems and racism and free us from its stain and legacy. We pray for the family of George Floyd. We pray for communities who are sick and tired of being sick and tired. We pray for people of color who are too familiar with pain and fear. We pray for white people to wake up and get about the work. We pray for local and state officials who are charged with maintaining order and ask that they also practice patience. 

We pray for your church, that when people see us – be it in this room, or in our place of work, or in our neighborhoods – we pray that when people see your church, they would see love…love willing to sacrifice and stretch…willing to be odd for the sake of your promise and your vision.

And, finally, we pray for ourselves. A people who navigate many different worlds. A people who are capable of mischief and of mercy. A people who have all experienced joy and pain.

Bind us up where are a broken and weary.

Fill us up when our reservoirs are low.

Help us to shine as we reflect the light of your grace.

And keep us aware to the freshening wind of your Spirit.

We make this and all of our prayers in the strong name of Jesus.  AMEN

May 29, 2020

Dear Members and Friends of First Presbyterian Church,

I am resigning from my role as Director of Children’s Ministries as of June 30.  It has been a joy to serve in and among the members of the church and schools. 

Thank you for your involvement in, leadership with, and support of Children’s Ministry programs.  My prayer is that you continue to share your gifts with the children of the church and community that they would be nurtured in this faith and flourish as faithful disciples of Jesus Christ.

Grace and Peace,

Tammy Winchip

Dear FPC Family, 

We want to thank Tammy for her work as the Director of  Children’s Ministry. We appreciate how Tammy has shared her love of Jesus Christ with the children and all people of our church.  She has used her talents to help our children discover God in their lives  and how to live as beloved children of God. We are grateful for the impact she has made in Christian Formation, the FPC Schools, and the larger congregation.  We ask for prayers for Tammy and Joel as she begins this new stage.  Tammy will continue to serve in her role through June 30th. We hope to celebrate Tammy and thank her at the end of June as safety and COVID related guidelines allow, more details to follow.  If you have any questions about the transition please email me.

In Christ,

The Reverend Robert Galloway

May 5, 2020

With CMS closed for the year and Charlotte under stay-at-home orders, the members of Girl Scout Troop 15 are missing their end-of-year activities.  One much-anticipated event was a weekend trip in May to Jason’s Getaway in Nemo, NC, where the girls planned to hike to a waterfall, ride horses, and pet animals/have a hayride at a working farm.  We hope to reschedule the trip this fall.

By the way, the girls will be planning their next trip with the cookie money they raised, selling Girl Scout cookies here at First Presbyterian Church.  In total, they raised $580!!  We are so thankful to the members of FPC for making the girls’ first time selling cookies such a positive one!

Looking for a way to connect with the Scouts in today’s environment, troop leaders wondered if the girls could cook for their families using the skills they learned last December. At that time, they earned was the New Cuisines Cadet Badge when they met at FPC and prepared chicken enchiladas under the guidance of FPC member and personal chef, Melissa Toth.

Ruth Ellen Gill texted Scout parents to ask if this was a good idea.  “YES!” was the immediate response. So, groceries were purchased, recipes printed, and we were set to go Saturday, April 25.


Girl Scout volunteers Holly Ham and Kathryn Raby prepare to deliver ingredients to each Scout’s home for her to prepare enchiladas for her family’s dinner.  The Scouts learned to cook enchiladas with FPC member and personal chef Melissa Toth in December, and now they would make them for their families.

When Holly Ham dropped off the supplies to one Girl Scout, Amari, she looked confident and ready to start cooking!
Some Scouts cooked that very night and shared photos of their enchiladas, saying they were “delicious”!

Along with the food package, we included a badge they could work on at home – the Comic Artist Badge – as well as paper and colored pencils, to tell their own story by making a comic strip.

With the success of this experiment, troop leaders are now considering a second meal kit for the families. New Orleans gumbo was the runner-up choice when the girls decided to cook enchiladas in December, so that is a possibility.  If you have a family favorite –and simple!—recipe for gumbo, please send it to Barb Neidinger.

Thank you, FPC, for all the ways you support Girl Scout Troop 15!