Blog Archives

Help Make Singing in the Season Festive

October 14, 2019

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.

Singing in the Season Tickets

Free tickets for the 6th annual musical event will be available online beginning November 15. Join your church family 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.

Thanksgiving Sunday

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.

Westerly Hills Academy’s Curriculum Night

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.

Shop to Share

We know there is a desire to support children, families and staff at our partner schools (Lakewood Preschool and Westerly Hills Academy), but not everyone has the flexibility to make it to the school during the day. Shop to Share allows you to purchase items for our partners while you are doing your regular shopping, then bring them to the church to be delivered to the school. Items should be placed in the shopping cart in the hallway behind the sanctuary.

Our West Charlotte Neighbors Experience Reality of Toxic Stress

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



FPC Schools Lunch and Learn

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.

Heart, HELPS and Augustine Tutoring Opportunities

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.

Worship and Sacrament Education Class

October 1, 2019

During the 11 a.m, worship service, the 3rd and 4th Graders will meet and learn about the meaning of Baptism and Communion, discuss the Order of Worship, and practice various parts of worship together.  They will leave after the Time with Children on Sundays in October and return during the last hymn.  Register through Realm online.  Contact Tammy Winchip with questions.

Response to Housing Crisis in West Charlotte

While many of us gathered recently in Wood Fellowship Hall to view the documentary Resilience, our Session was voting to approve a response to this housing crisis, which will touch as many as 35 families and 50 children from our partner agency, Westerly Hills Academy.

Here’s the background:

  • Residents at the Lake Arbor property have learned that the landlord intended to vacate all units. That process began in August.
  • This action follows a series of complaints from residents surrounding unsafe living conditions, poor property management, and a neglectful landlord. This led to the filing of a class action lawsuit on behalf of the residents. That lawsuit is now under appeal.
  • Six of First Presbyterian Church’s nonprofit partner agencies are collaborating to help the Lake Arbor residents with relocation and critical needs, including Charlotte Family Housing, Community Link, Crisis Assistance Ministry, Men’s Shelter of Charlotte, The Salvation Army, and Urban Ministry Center. United Way serves as a convener to the group and Community Link is taking the lead in organizing support for the families’ needs.

Who’s been impacted:

177 residents must find new housing; units will be vacated now through mid-2020

35 families, including 50 children who attend Westerly Hills

How you can help:

  • Permanent housing: The first step is to provide stability through permanent housing for these families and students. If members of First Presbyterian Church have local rental property, and are willing to rent for an affordable rate, contact Shantiqua Neely, Director of Outreach and Mission.
  • Immediate basic needs: While the search for permanent housing and/or emergency shelter is taking place, collaborating nonprofits will provide for the families’ basic needs using funds from the Critical Need Relief Fund. First Presbyterian Church has answered the call and contributed $5,000 to this fund to be used for the most critical immediate needs. You can donate online  or via mobile giving by texting HELPCLT to 71777 to receive a text to the direct link.