COVID-19 Update

Resources for Our Work Against Racism

The work that needs to happen on issues of systemic racism is the work of white people. Here are some resources to help with that work. It’s time for action and change. Feel free to circulate this document on social media and with your friends, family, and colleagues.

Great is Thy Faithfulness: Discussion with The Rabbi Dr. Barbara Thiede

Pastoral Care

If you have a pastoral emergency, call 704.927-0256 for the on-call voicemail. Your call will be returned promptly. 

Your pastors are eager to support you in this season through prayer and pastoral care. If you have a need, or you know someone in our congregation who has a need, please contact the Reverend Anna Dickson.

The primary way that pastors will be offering care for the next few weeks is through calls and emails.  We are following the recommendations and requirements from the Centers for Disease Control’s (CDC), hospitals and retirement communities, and will only make in-person visits where allowed for emergency circumstances.

If you are interested in being a part of a team committed to connecting with people who need to be looked after (by making calls or running errands for those who cannot), please contact the Reverend  Anna Dickson.

 

 

 

Bible Study Opportunity: Moses

Beginning on Thursday, June 11, at 9:30 a.m., we will begin a seven-week discussion of the book Moses: In the Footsteps of the Reluctant Prophet by Adam Hamilton. The group will meet via Zoom for an hour. The same group will be offered on Sundays at 4 p.m., beginning June 14.

If you are interested in either group, contact the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter for details on how to access the meeting.

All are welcome!

Children's Ministries

Compassion Kits

This summer as we continue to care for each other and our community by sheltering at home, we have an opportunity to experience VBS in a fresh way through Compassion Kits.
The kit will include:
  • Scripture & Reflection Questions
  • Compassion Art Posters
  • Outreach Projects
  • Prayer Practices (create and use a prayer journal)
  • Builders Imagination Station
For some of us, the stations may be interactive with other family members. For others they might be more personal and reflective. It all depends on the number of people in your home and how your day is structured.
In all cases, we hope this kit equips you with a chance to explore Compassion as a way to learn to love more like God!
Register now for your kits, which will be available for pick up in Mid-June.

Webinar: Where is God in a Pandemic?

 

Did God, as the creator, create the virus, and does God have control over the virus? Why is there suffering among those who have been obedient to God? The Reverend Dr. Richard Boyce discusses these questions and others during his recent webinar with FPC members and friends.

Middle School Formation: The Promises of God

The Promises of God: Rainbows to Revelation is a weekly hour for our Middle School Youth to explore God’s covenants with God’s people. Zoom meetings will be Tuesdays at 6:30 p.m., June 2-July 14. Contact Bryce Lapping.

High School and Adult Formation: Great is Thy Faithfulness

Great is Thy Faithfulness: God’s Covenants is a weekly Bible study on the covenants of God, complementing the July/July Sermon series. Zoom meetings will be Wednesdays at 7 p.m., June 3-July 15. Register for the Zoom Meeting here. For more information, contact the Reverend Robert Galloway.

Outreach: New Ways to Support our Partners

New Ways to Support our Nonprofit Partners

Want new ways to work for Christ in the midst of the pandemic? Check out these new opportunities to support our ministry partners.

  • Masks needed: Is your Singer sewing machine humming away making masks? FPC member Nancy McKeown has made a mountain of them and the following nonprofits could use even more: Urban Ministry, Men’s Shelter and Dilworth Soup Kitchen. Learn how to make them.
  • Tents needed: Recent storms have damaged or destroyed tents being used by our neighbors and families experiencing homelessness. Urban Ministry is eager to put to good use any tents you aren’t currently using or those you wish to purchase. Offer your help online. The same link will tell you how to donate lunches and sandwiches as well as bottled water, medicine, hand sanitizer, puzzle books—all of which are desperately every day since a hot lunch is no longer being served and the shelters’ occupancy capacity has been cut in half.
  • Friendship Trays: Friendship Trays staff is still delivering to their most vulnerable recipients with the help of CMPD officers? And they still need donations of specific canned and packaged goods, which you can order online and have shipped directly to their warehouse.
  • Diapers for Loaves and Fishes: Large children’s diapers (sizes 4, 5 and 6) are needed for the Loaves and Fishes mobile pantries, as these items are harder to purchase right now. Donations can be dropped off on Wednesdays, 2-3:30 p.m., during the mobile pantry in our parking lot. Pull around to the back of the mobile pantry. Or contact Ministry Team Coordinator Flo Bryan about dropping of donations at her home.

 

Loaves and Fishes Results

During April, Loaves and Fishes delivered groceries to 15,535 individuals, a huge increase over the 4,500 individuals served during the same month in 2019. The need is overwhelming but they have available food and have increased their referral quota for the number of times an individual may receive food in a calendar year eight to 12 times.

FPC will continue to host the Mobile Pantry until our own pantry re-opens. Until that time, the warehouse on Griffin Road is accepting single item food donations such as a box of dried pasta or a box of canned tomato pasta sauce. The warehouse does not have volunteers to sort food donations that include a variety of items, but can use single item donations for its mobile pantries. Make a referral or donation online.

Spring 2020 Tapestry: A Family Legacy

This Week's Blog Post: The Work of Anti-Racism

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 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