Congregational Care

February 1, 2019
I sit down to write this piece with a flurry of emotions. I am both excited and sad about the path ahead.
After much thought and prayer, I have made the decision to pursue further education in order to become a Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. This means that my time serving First Presbyterian as the Parish Nurse must come to an end. My last day will be March 14th.
It is hard to put into words what I would like to convey to all of you. I will be forever grateful for the generosity, support and encouragement that I have received from staff and members of this wonderful church. I know in my heart that my experiences here have strengthened my resolve and built my confidence in ways that make this exciting, yet intimidating, next step possible. For this and much more, I will be forever grateful.
First Presbyterian is a very special place. I feel honored to have worked with you. I want you to know this: Your presence in my life has made this discernment process possible. Thank you for that.

~ Kristin Foster, RN


A message from the Reverend Katherine Kerr:

For close to two years, First Presbyterian Church has been richly blessed by the ministry of Kristin Foster.  When Kristin started with us, it had been many years since we last had a Parish Nurse, and so in many ways, she recreated the position.  With her characteristic joy and compassion, Kristin has cared for church members and friends,  brought structure to our Health Ministry, and encouraged us all to think more wholistically about the intersection of our faith lives and our health.

Saying goodbye to her will be difficult, but knowing that she is going to pursue her deep passion for mental health care through continued education is a cause for celebration.

As a way to express our gratitude to Kristin for all that she means to this community of faith, we will be collecting cards and notes for her through her departure date of March 16.  If you’d like to send her a note, you may drop it at the church or mail it to her attention at the church address.

We are working with Novant Health, our partners in the Parish Nurse program, to begin the process of receiving applications for this position.  Please keep this process in your prayers, and if you know of anyone who might be a good fit for this position, please let me know.

December 17, 2018

This winter, watch for First Fellowship gatherings, opportunities for First Pres members and friends to gather for fun and fellowship both within the walls of the church and beyond. Among these opportunities will be neighborhood/area gatherings in church members’ homes. The church will help with logistics and other support, but we need hospitable hosts. If you are interested in hosting a gathering in your home anytime between now and May, or have other ideas for fellowship, please contact the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter. Fellowship is an important part of  Congregational Care. The time and consideration we provide one another is vital to keeping this church vibrant and nourished to continue to be for Christ in the Heart of Charlotte

July 10, 2018

Before I left work in March medical leave, somebody wiser than I (KATHERINE) said, “Let us take care of you. Food, visits – don’t be one of those folks who says ‘I’m ok, don’t worry about me.’ ”

That was a tall order. But I thought about my family. Who would take care of them? We’ve been down the extended illness road before, and it’s not easy.

So I said “Thank you. Maybe a meal?”

Three months later, we are still eating (and I am healthy). Lasagna, good homemade bread, Marwen’s miraculous banana bread. There’s actually something in the workroom freezer that Kay kept forgetting to bring to me and that I now keep forgetting to take home.

The husband chuckled when I said food would be coming. “You’ve got your buddies snowed,” he said. “YOU don’t do the cooking around here.”

Which is true. But when he was sick and I was running around like a chicken, this miracle ziti showed up from Kay, and the kids and I ate it while sitting on the floor in the living room, discussing Troy’s cancer.

We still call it “that ziti.” And we needed that time together, on the living room floor, just the kids and me, to regroup and to think and to cry and pray.

This time, when I was sick, Kay visited us two days after I was out of the hospital. She had bags and bags of everything – meatloaf, veggies, veggie meatloaf, high-protein casseroles, bread, cake – from herself and Addison and several other kind church members.

And then Peg came, with a stack of super spicy treats from the Dumpling Lady’s food truck.

And then Diane came, with Tupperware filled with fresh green beans (FRESH, as in she snapped those beans herself), and casserole, cole slaw and cake, from herself and from Jane.

The day after my second surgery, Troy had to run to Greensboro to get Alex from college. He also had to run to get medicine. He also had to pick Mack up from work. He had to have been tired of running around.

When he called and said “What do you want to eat?” I said “Mack put a lasagna into the oven before she left. There’s salad here. And cake. Just come home.”

I resisted the urge to say “see?”

It occurs to me that this is how God is, showing up, quietly sometimes, but there, taking care of you, a force that lets you know “it’s OK. You are fed, in more ways than one.” Stop worrying. Your family is cared for. That’s how God is, and that precludes anything that society can throw at us. It’s a vision of his kingdom here on earth, of being community, of taking care of each other, of bearing each other’s burdens, of simply sitting and being with each other. How uncommon is that these days, getting into a car and taking our lives into our hands on 177, spending an hour with someone, when we are perfectly happy to sit behind screens and type our thoughts and prayers.

But these small acts made big differences. And it’s simply what folks around here at First Presbyterian do.

Just come home, and sit, and be fed, and be. This is God, always.

Dartinia Hull, Communications Manager

December 27, 2017

Motherless Moms, a support group for women grieving the loss of their mothers as they are raising children, meets on the first Tuesday of each month at Noon in the Frances Browne Dining Room (P212). Participants are welcome to bring their lunch. For more information, please contact the Reverend Katherine Kerr.