Director of Music Ministries Will Young has been granted three months of sabbatical, to be taken in January, June and July of 2019.
“I am deeply grateful to First Pres and the Personnel Committee for its generosity and willingness in letting me have the space and much-needed sabbatical time, which is usually granted only to clergy,” Will said.
The Reverend Pen Peery said this decision does not reflect a change in policy, but an exception to the policy that grants sabbatical time to members of the clergy who have served a congregation for seven years.
“Great leadership in worship happens when we have the space to think deeply and faithfully about what worship is and what people need in order to connect to God’s presence,” Pen said. “Music is very much a part of that experience of worship.”
In January, Will plans a month of travel to observe, learn from and perhaps even participate as a choir member with music departments at churches around the country with programs that are similar to FPC’s in size and scope. During the summer months, he will travel abroad, incorporating time to visit other church music ministries with periods of reflection and restoration.
“My gratitude also extends to those who will inevitably be working behind the scenes—the FPC music team and church members—to make sure things carry on in my absence,” Will said.
Existing staff will provide leadership during Will’s time away in January. Guest organist in January will be Ginger Wyrick, music faculty at UNCC.
Take a look at what FPC volunteers and others from neighboring churches have created in the last two months! And join us for the Dedication Ceremony on December 8 at 1 p.m., when homeowners will receive the keys to their new homes.
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus urges his listeners to “be on guard so that your hearts are not weighted down with…the worries of this life….” Beginning Dec. 2, First Presbyterian will send you a daily email that will invite you to unburden your hearts – to pause, ponder and welcome the gift of love revealed in Jesus the Christ.
Weekday emails will offer a prompt to draw you deeper into the Hope, Peace, Joy and Love of the season, and Sunday emails will provide a liturgy for lighting the Advent wreath candles. If you missed the emails, check the links below daily.
Add these to your calendar, make your reservations or get your tickets now.
Help us stock, set up and inventory books for the Westerly Hills Christmas Bookapalooza on December 18. You can also help provide books for our students. Our goal is to provide three books for every student. Drop by the table on Sunday mornings through Dec. 16 to check out the list of books recommended by their teachers, make your selections and we’ll purchase at a discount from Scholastic Books. Students will be able to choose their own books at the holiday book fair. Or make your gift online and we’ll take care of buying the books.
Find a meaningful gift for your special friends and loved ones at this year’s Alternative Gift Market on Sunday mornings in Wood Fellowship Hall. You can also make a gift here.
Join us at 9 or 11 a.m. in the sanctuary on Dec. 16 for a music-filled service of traditional Lessons and Carols will be led by the pastors, Sanctuary Choir and guest instrumentalists. A series of scripture passages, carols and anthems will lead the congregation through the fall of humanity, the promise of the Messiah and the birth of Jesus.
Bring your need for healing and hope God through prayer, scripture, music and reflection at the Service of Wholeness and Healing, 7:30 p.m. on December 20, in the sanctuary. Childcare for infants through TK will be provided by reservation only.
Welcoming Love at Christmas, Sunday, Dec. 23, in Wood Fellowship Hall. 10-10:45 a.m.
All ages will gather to welcome Jesus, who is God’s Love made flesh. We will have stations where you can aste Love Feast buns and have hot chocolate, or watch watch a short video, “The God that is Coming,” with time for discussion. You can color a Love poster, create Moravian stars with scripture of the season, and take a Nativity scene photo
Christmas Eve Services, Monday, Dec. 24.
4 p.m. Worship is open to everyone and is particularly suited for children.
8 p.m. Candlelight Service
10:15 p.m. Handbell Concert, Wood Fellowship Hall
11 p.m. Candlelight and Communion Service
Read more about Advent and Christmas programming in the holiday issue of FirstNEWS, which is also available for pick-up at the church.
On Sunday, November 18, the Session at First Presbyterian Church voted unanimously to approve a recommendation from the Worship and Music Committee to pause the noon Wednesday Worship service. The recommendation was in response to declining attendance over the last few years and the departure of two pastors in late summer.
The change goes into effect immediately and continues until the pastoral staff shortage is filled and leadership is available to explore alternative mid-week worship opportunities.
The church will offer a midweek Advent service at 11 a.m on Thursday, December 6. All are invited to attend this hour-long service with Communion.
“We’re grateful for those who have been part of this mid-week worship opportunity for so many years,” said the Reverend Pen Peery. “We look forward to a time for prayerful discernment on creative ways to expand FPC ministry beyond the sanctuary and the church gate.”
It’s a wrap! After 10 weeks and 13 work days, the Charlotte Church Partners have completed Habitat houses 29 and 30. Join the celebration as these homes are dedicated to the glory of God and the happy homeowners receive the keys to their future. Saturday, Dec. 8, at 1 p.m., at the home sites, 4203 and 4309 Howie Circle