The latest news and updates from Cary Presbyterian Church

News & Updates from Your CPC Family
To Listen: To Look
By Ann Weems
Is it all sewn up - my life?
Is it at this point so predictable,
so orderly,
so neat, so arranged,
so right,
that I don't have time or space
for listening for the rustle of angels' wings
or running to stables to see a baby?
Could this be what he meant when he said
Listen, those who have ears to hear...
Look, those who have eyes to see?
O God, give me the humbleness of those shepherds
who saw in the cold December darkness
the Coming of Light
the Advent of Love!

Third Sunday of Advent 
Two Special Worship Services 
and Christmas Pageant
December 16, 2018
Contemplative Advent Worship Service: 8:30 a.m. service
Christmas Pageant: The Beginning, 11:00 a.m. service 
Ministers: Lori Pistor, Mitzi Lesher-Thomas
Director of Music: Ed Yasick
Choir: Chancel Choir
This coming Sunday after 11:00 a.m. worship
The congregational meeting scheduled to take place on December 9, 2018 has been rescheduled to take place immediately following the worship service today, Sunday, December 16, 2018. The purpose of the meeting is the same: to hear a report and vote on the recommendation from the Nominating Committee regarding the Pastor Nominating Committee. Please read the profiles of those recommended by the Nominating Committee that were sent in a separate email on Wednesday, Dec. 12.

After worship coffee fellowship will be held in the Fellowship Hall 
this Sunday. Come and greet pageant cast members and visitors.

Joy Offering, December 16
The Christmas Joy Offering of our denomination, the PC(USA), will be received beginning December 16, 2018. Needed assistance is provided to retired church workers and their families and to current church workers and their families facing emergency situations. Support is also provided to students at racial-ethnic colleges. Envelopes will be in the pews.  

Fair Trade Gifts for the Christmas Season

Stop by our Fair Trade table just outside Fellowship Hall this coming Sunday, from 9:30-11:00 a.m. to peruse our wide selection of coffees, chocolate, tea, and olive oil. ( We will also be open after worship before the Congregational Meeting so stop by and see us then .) We have gift baskets of coffee and chocolate, tea and chocolate, as well as festive packages of assorted teas or chocolates.  Need teacher or hostess gifts?  We have great ideas. This will be your last opportunity to purchase Fair Trade items. Have questions?  Contact Jeanne  Bolick at or Betty Boyd at

Sunday School Notes

This coming Sunday, Dec. 18, the following classes - Faith Journey, Middle School, and Confirmation - will not meet so pageant participants can practice. ALL children in those classes are welcome and encouraged to be in the sanctuary and Faith Hall of Fame for rehearsal, cast additions, and snacks!

All Adult Sunday School classes will meet as usual.

No Sunday School classes will meet on December 23 or December 30.
Remember, Respond, Rejoice!

A Reminder from the CPC Finance Manager
We are truly grateful to all who have shared God's treasure, regardless of how large or small. All of your gifts are truly appreciated.
If you are up to date with your planned giving commitment, we thank you. If not,
we graciously ask that you become current by the end of the year.  

(If you would like to provide your commitment  to the ministry of CPC online,  a pledge form is provided for you at this link.)

Loaves and Fishes 
Angel Tree

The Loaves and Fishes Angel Tree is in place in the Narthex.  

Please remember to return your gifts to the Narthex by this Sunday, December 16. Gift cards or checks made out to Loaves and Fishes are also needed. 

Some gifts for younger children may be designated for the Pride for Parents Store. Families who have been vetted as Low Income may come to the store and purchase gifts for their children at lowered prices. 
All the families live in Southeast Raleigh and have limited income. 
You can assist them in having a blessed Christmas. Thank you!  

A Special Advent Study:
God Is in the Manger
by Dietrich Bonhoeffer
This Advent study is led by Dr. Duane Hix (whose Ph.D. thesis was on Bonhoeffer). Come at 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday Dec. 19 for a soup supper. The class for this final week will be held from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Please sign up in the narthex or here:
You will need to have your own book (Google 'God Is in the Manger, Bonhoeffer').

Youth Group Events for December 
December 16
Middle School Group: Christmas Party
High School Group: Christmas Party
December 23 & 30
No Youth Group Gatherings
On the 23rd, we'll go out to lunch somewhere after the 11:00 service. We'll decide that day where to go.

Get Your Online Directory Photo Taken Sunday! 
Need your picture taken and added to the new online directory?  Meet Mitzi or Barbara in the Narthex by the Angel Tree following 8:30 and 11:00 a.m. worship this coming Sunday, Dec. 16. One of them will snap your smiling face(s) and post the picture to your Servant Keeper profile. Thanks for helping create the new online directory!

A Message from Personnel and Administration.
CPC is blessed with a wonderful and devoted staff. Beginning Sunday December 16, we are collecting monetary gifts. Small envelopes for the gifts will be in the Welcome pads. Place the envelopes in the collection plate or drop off checks in the office. Please be sure to write "staff gift" in the memo line. Thank you. 
Order Poinsettias by this coming Sunday, Dec. 16!

The inside back page of Sunday's bulletin will have an order form 
for you to complete and place in the offering plate 
or to drop off at the church office no later than December 16.
There is also a place on the form for you  to indicate 
dedications for your poinsettias.
Your gifts and dedications will be acknowledged 
in the Christmas Eve bulletins 
and at the end of the 8:00 p.m. service you may take your poinsettias home. 
Thanks for your continued support of this CPC tradition.  

Christ Be Our Light Labyrinth Walk,
Friday, December 21 at 5:00 p.m.
The word "light" is referenced often in the Bible to symbolize goodness, truth, and knowledge. On the winter solstice, the shortest day of the year, we celebrate the hope, love, and light of Christ's birth. 
Join us in the lower parking lot for a short service of song, prayer and poetry. We will then walk to the labyrinth to witness the light of over 100 candles. You may walk the labyrinth, simply stand, or sit as others do so.  Hot apple cider will be available to help keep us warm.  Questions?  Email Diane Garber at

Cool Books Club Meeting 
Tuesday, January 15, 8:00 p.m.

The Cool Books Club will meet on January 15 at 7:00 p.m. at the home of Peg Giesbrecht. We will read ALMOST EVERYTHING: NOTES ON HOPE by Anne Lamott. 

Reviews indicate that this book follows in typical Lamott style, encouraging readers to get on with life in spite of it all. If you enjoy Lamott and would like to join us, please contact Ellen Cline at 919-469-1456 or Peg Giesbrecht at 919-859-3951.


Advent Traditions and Symbols 2018

Advent is filled with images and symbols. Some of us have known them since childhood; for others these are new ways to engage Advent waiting and imagination.
We light candles as a reminder that the light of Christ "shines in the darkness, and the darkness shall not overcome it." Often there are 3 purple candles,
1 pink candle, and the white Christ candle lit on Christmas Eve. Each candle may represent a word or theme like peace, hope, joy, and love. The pink candle is often associated with Gaudete (joy) Sunday, representing Mary's joy. This year at CPC our Advent wreath lighting and liturgy draw on the ideas
of taking courage, preparing our hearts, going where we're sent, and the angelic reminder "do not be afraid," so all the candles are purple.
CPC's angels join the choir this year just a bit differently from the past with one added each Sunday.
The tree gracing the front of the sanctuary, decorated in white and gold ornaments, is called a Chrismon tree. The ornaments are a collection of ancient Christian symbols and crosses. For example, the shell represents baptism, the dove represents the Holy Spirit, and the crown calls to mind Jesus as King. The word Chrismon is a combination of the words Christ and Monogram as all the decorations are monograms or symbols which together tell the story of our Christian faith. (More symbols and their meanings can be found on the purple cards in the pew pockets.) You will also see Chrismons on the green swags or ropes along the sanctuary walls.
The paraments (the cloths on the lectern, pulpit, Table) are purple, which has long been the color used to represent both royalty and a time of waiting and preparation.
Finally, behind the pulpit is the Bethlehem banner with the star shining over the city. We see it as at a distance as we make our weary, expectant way; along with Mary, Joseph, wisemen and shepherds to the city of David where the Christ child will be born.
So this year, as we tune our eyes to the subtle changes of candles and banners, may we also tune our hearts to hear the old, old sto ry as if for
the first time. As Ann Weems wrote,

"When we are Bethlehem-bound
   we can no longer look the other way
       conveniently not seeing stars
            not hearing angel voices.
We can no longer excuse ourselves by busily
   tending our sheep or our kingdoms.
This Advent let's go to Bethlehem and see this thing
that the Lord has made known to us...
 This Advent, let's go to Bethlehem
  and find our kneeling places."

Resources for Advent Devotions

The following sites provide helpful resources to assist with your personal devotions during the Advent season. 

Each year Pittsburgh Theological Seminary offers free Advent devotionals as a gift. Read daily messages written by members of the PTS community. Scroll down on their site for this year's Advent devotionals, and learn more about the various ways you can read the daily messages.
  A new day, a new piece of classical music - FREE!   Naxos's new musical app for Advent features 25 complete tracks behind numbered doors. Each day, a new door is 'unlocked' to reveal a new piece of seasonal music from Naxos's classical music catalogue. 

These daily reflections were coauthored by Paul H. Lang and David Crean in the fall of 2012. David passed away before they were published. The paintings for these devotions are by Joanne Lang.

Interactive sharing of individual Advent meditations from the department of Lifelong Learning at Virginia Theological Seminary.

CPC Keypads are Installed and Active
The church keypads were installed Monday, Dec. 3 and were made active. 
You will now need to use the codes you have received to enter the church building. (
If you have not received a code and need one, you will need to come
to the church office during the week and sign to receive one. 
Your code will be immediately active.)

Here is how you open a door (see picture of keypad above):
  1. Enter your 4 digit code. There will be a beep, a red light above the numeric pad will turn green, and you will hear a lock release.
  2. Turn the latch below the keypad and above the keyhole to the right, fully.
  3. The door will  open. While the door is open, TURN THE LATCH BACK TO THE LEFT TO LOCK THE DOOR AGAIN WHILE THE DOOR IS OPEN. When the door closes, it will relock. 
  4. Please Note  if you don't turn the latch back to the left to relock the door, the door will remain unlocked for an indeterminate length of time.  
Thanks for your cooperation and patience as we get acclimated to the new security system.

CPC Security Team

CPC Church Service Podcasts
CPC Service podcasts are added weekly to Soundcloud and for posting to the website on this page. They appear with the most recent service featured at the top of the page, with the illustration from that week's bulletin as an identifier (as shown above).

(The services for August 12 and September 2, 2018 are not available due to recording difficulties those Sundays. December 9, 2018 service was cancelled due to inclement weather. You can find a copy of Mitzi's message 'Expectation Vs. Reality' for August 12 at this link.)

The public CPC Facebook page is a great continuing source of information about what is upcoming and what has happened at CPC. Visit it frequently for news and pictures you won't see elsewhere, and share the posts with your friends and on your own Facebook page! 

Follow the links to the public page and the CPC family page below: 

Need a Name Tag?

BE KNOWN! Wear your name tag!

Need a name tag?  Need a new name tag?
You can either:
Write "Need a name tag" next to your name in the Welcome Book
OR sign up for a name tag at the table by the TV in the Narthex.
As soon as yours is ready it will be on that same table.
Keep it where most convenient on one of the name tag racks.

Send Your News and Announcements

Bulletin and e-Link announcements 
to be placed in any upcoming print issue  or email 
are  due by 12:00 noon on the prior Wednesday.
Please send to Phil Melton at

CPC Calendar for December  16 through December 23

Did You Know?

Cary Presbyterian Church is a part of a larger family of churches comprising the New Hope Presbytery. 
From Efland to the Outer Banks, spanning 33 counties, with 122 congregations representing 28,314 members, we are a Mid-Council of the Presbyterian Church (USA) serving eastern North Carolina. 

To learn more about what is going on within our New Hope Presbytery, click here to sign up for the Presbytery of New Hope e-newsletter

Name | Company | Phone | Email | Website