Blog Archives

Holiday Closings and On-Call Pastoral Care Emergency

December 5, 2019

Church offices will close at noon on Tuesday, December 24, and reopen on Monday, December 30, for Christmas Eve and Christmas holidays. The church offices will also close at 3 p.m. on Tuesday, December 31, and reopen at 8:30 a.m. on Thursday, January 2, for New Year’s Day. If you have a pastoral care emergency while the offices are closed, please call 704.927.0256 for the on-call voicemail. Your call will be returned promptly.

Giving Tuesday

December 2, 2019

Your stewardship contributions allow us to …

Create a meaningful worship experience. About 10 staff members—sometimes more—contribute to creating the worship experience we love. Clergy, music, facilities and administrative staff work all week on the music, the liturgy, the sermon, the bulletin and the sanctuary.

Nurture your children. Support the team of people who help shape the faith life of your children at all stages of their lives.

Care for this building. Many hands and many hours provide loving care to the 109,000 square feet that make up First Presbyterian Church. Stewards is your chance to support all that cleaning and maintenance for our historic sanctuary, the fellowship hall that is used day in and day out in so many different ways, the classrooms, meeting rooms, the Fresco Lobby, the chapel and more by helping us meet the budget that makes all this loving care possible on Tuesday, December 3. #GivingTuesdayFPC

Grow our faith. Creating thoughtful ways to help us grow in faith involves at least nine staff members who design classes, line up speakers, develop materials and handouts, create a podcast and get the word out about all these offerings. Help us meet the budget that supports the growth of our faith.

Serve our city. Mission trips, initiatives that fight the impact of poverty and hunger, and partnerships with organizations all over town require countless hours by dedicated and committed staff members, and would not be possible without your support in stewardship.

To help us meet our budget goal for next year, we ask that you make a financial pledge to the life of this church, top off your pledge if you’ve already pledged, or make a one-time contribution to meet the budget for next year. Email Jan Gaddis to declare your pledge for 2020 or to declare your newer contribution.

 

Deadline for 2020 Cuba Mission Trip December 31

November 27, 2019

Walk with, support and have fellowship with the students and faculty at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba, during our trip March 20-26. We will be building and strengthening this new relationship.

The estimated cost for the trip is $1600-1900 and a Visa for travel is required. Elizabeth Little (eliz.little@gmail.com, 252.723.8653) will arrange travel visas and will need your passport information by December 31.

Emergency Funds to Haiti and an Update

November 22, 2019

With Haiti experiencing increased violence, shortages of electricity, food and running water, the shutdown of travel, businesses and banks, First Presbyterian Church’s Global Missions Committee recently designated $5000 in emergency relief funds to our mission partners in Bayonnais as a response to our concern about the escalating violence and unrest in Haiti this year.

Haiti also needs our prayers.

Although our mission in Bayonnais is alive, it clearly has been affected by the political and economic crisis in the country. A recent report in the Washington Post and another in The New York Times provide context for the unrest in Haiti.

Current unrest was caused when when it was revealed that employees of the government have misappropriated more than $3 billion donated by the Venezuelan government through discounts on fuel imports. This revelation has created an unstable environment in the greater Port-au-Prince area—an instability that now extends into smaller surrounding towns on the 90-mile travel route to Bayonnais.

Crime is rising throughout much of the country, including an increase in incidents on the main highway we travel. Food and fuel are scarce, schools are closed and banks do not have money to open. (The emergency funds we designated can be held by our mission partner FOFCB until banks can make funds available.) Businesses are closed and there is little electricity or running water. Churches from the Charlotte and surrounding areas have cancelled all mission trips this fall.

Despite these dire hardships, mission partner Actionnel Fluerisma writes often to express his hope and declare his faith.  This week, he wrote the following to the Ministry Team via email to Glenna Cook:

“Good morning, Nurse Glenna! Thank you so much for such a big action on behalf of the Bayonnais community! It is huge. Not a small thing at all. The spirit which is behind it goes way over $5,000.00. If anyone can count the depths of love and admiration, we can also calculate the depths of what the leadership of your church has done. Thank you for the message and immense thanks to the whole leadership of First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte, North Carolina! Actionnel”

Although the school in Bayonnais is temporarily closed, the clinic is open and continues to see patients as supplies allow.  Please continue to:

  • Pray for children and families in Bayonnais
  • Sponsor school children through World of God (contact Sherri Buzzard at sbuzzard@mac.com)
  • Contribute to financially support the mission through the Alternative Gift Market 2019  FPC Historic Lobby
  • Contribute to the food supply for maternity patients at the clinic (contact Glenna Cook at glennadc@gmail.com)

The First Presbyterian Church Haiti Ministry Team is grateful to the many members who have expressed concern about the escalating violence and unrest in Haiti this year. Our travel may be suspended for a time but our mission can thrive until such time as we can resume travel.

Peace and blessings,

Haiti Ministry Team

Faith Unfiltered Podcast: Advent Devotionals

November 14, 2019

Faith Unfiltered will offer brief weekly Advent devotionals tied to the devotionals featured in each week’s bulletin wrap and in the mailings delivered to your inboxes each Sunday afternoon. These podcasts begin December 6 and continuing on Fridays through December 27. Watch for details on the Now@First or the Learn pages on the church website.

Advent Celebration

Join us for our congregation-wide Advent Celebration on Sunday, December 22, at 10 a.m. in Wood Fellowship Hall.  We will put hope, peace, joy and love into practice with food, activities, and fellowship for all ages. This is an opportunity to enjoy time with your church family and friends before Christmas.

Light of the World Advent Bible Study

Using the book by New Testament scholar Amy-Jill Levine, this class will meet on Tuesday, December 10, in the Pattie Cole room, 11:45 a.m.-1 p.m. Contact Garrell Keesler with questions.

Adults Combine for Advent Sunday Classes

On Sundays during Advent, adults will come together during the 10 a.m. Formation hour for the  following combined classes:

  • December 1 and 8, the Reverend Robert Galloway will explore Advent themes of hope, peace, joy and love in the Chapel.
  • December 15, children will tell the story of the nativity in Wood Fellowship Hall.
  • December 22, all ages will participate in an Advent Celebration in Wood Fellowship Hall.

Young Adult Advent Study

Young Adults will meet Wednesday nights in Advent (Dec. 4, 11, and 18) at 6:30 p.m. to engage in a small group bible study. We will explore different scriptures each week and use modern writers to deepen our understanding of the text. Meetings will be in members’ homes. Contact the Reverend Robert Galloway for location and any questions.

Advent Devotions

A weekly devotional for reflection by all in the congregation begins December 1. Each week, the devotional will focus on one of the words we associate with Advent: Hope, Peace, Joy and Love. These devotions are designed to be done individually, with study groups, or with family.

The devotional includes an Advent wreath-lighting liturgy specifically designed for families with young children, though all are encouraged to use this liturgy in their advent devotion. Also, the church’s Faith Unfiltered podcast will offer brief episodes each week to coincide with our devotionals. Links to the podcast will be on the Learn and Now@First pages on the website and in the weekly enews every Friday.

The Advent devotional will be available as part of the Sunday bulletin, via a special Sunday afternoon email and on the church website. Printed copies will be available at the church.