Sunday, November 20, 2022

8:30 a.m. Worship in Williams Chapel
11:00 a.m. Worship in the Sanctuary

Call 888-969-5508 to listen to the service

I attended the monthly gathering of the Friendship Group today. Dinny Sisley led the gathered faithful in a few traditional “hymns of gratitude.” One of these, “We Gather Together,” is a familiar hymn that many families sing at Thanksgiving. I am grateful that we as a nation hallow a day that we are encouraged, even decreed (in the past) to be thankful. Dinny recounted to the Friendship Group the story of how Thanksgiving became a national holiday, observed on the last Thursday of November. George Washington set aside the last Thursday of November to be a day of gratitude for the year 1789, as a response to the establishment of the new country, but it was not yet a national holiday.

Then came Sarah Josepha Hale.

The Library of Congress records, “between 1846-1863, influential author and editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book, Sarah Josepha Hale, petitioned Congress and five different presidents (Taylor, Fillmore, Pierce, Buchanan, and Lincoln) to create a national annual holiday for Thanksgiving. Hale was from New England where, by the mid-19th century, celebrating and giving thanks for abundant autumn harvests was an established tradition. She finally had success when in 1863, President Abraham Lincoln declared Thanksgiving a national holiday on the last Thursday in November. Lincoln’s proclamation urged the nation to heal its wounds and restore “peace, harmony, tranquility and Union.”

Hale was tireless in her pursuit of setting aside a day for giving thanks. As people of faith we know that every day should be a day of gratitude, we have so much to be thankful for, and yet, I am grateful that we as a country set aside a day; it is a powerful reminder that we all need to be thankful to a gracious and loving God.

Enjoy your Thanksgiving Day and be grateful for the blessings that you enjoy in this life. 

Worship This Sunday - Christ the King
Sermon Title:
  • "The Head of the Body" - Rev. Dr. Stewart Rawson, preaching

Scripture Readings:
  • Psalm 46
  • Colossians 1:11-20

  • A Mighty Fortress Is Our God
  • I Greet Thee Who My Sure Redeemer Art
  • Crown Him With Many Crowns
News & Events
Mission Study Now Available

A Mission Study Team was created by the Session to provide a review of the church in preparation for a Head of Staff. The members of the Team are Katharine Frazier, Bob Hill, Scott Moffitt, Nan Perkins, and Hal Vincent. The Team developed a strategy and methodology to gain insight from the congregation and staff of the church with the purpose of better understanding the current state of the church, hopes for the future of the church and qualities desired in a new pastor. 

The work of the Mission Study Team is now available for all to see. Click the link below to download your copy.
Christmas Decorations

Poinsettias ($35 each) for use in the sanctuary may be ordered as memorial or honorary flowers. Contributions as memorials or honoraria may also be made to defray costs of wreaths for our church doors, lamp posts, sanctuary sconces, balcony garland, etc. Please submit checks made payable to First Presbyterian Church (marked Christmas Decorations) and the order form below to the Church Office or place your notated check and the order form below in the offering plate. The deadline to order is Tuesday, December 6th. 
Advent is just around the corner! Join with your First Presbyterian family and take advantage of this wonderful devotional resource for the season of Advent. You can pick up a hard copy of the booklet at the church on this Sunday, or click on the link below to download a digital copy.
Special Presentation - Footsteps of Paul: A Journey to Turkey and Greece

Please plan to join us Sunday, November 20 at 9:45 in Shive hall when several members who recently participated in the “Footsteps of Paul” trip to Turkey and Greece. All three of Paul’s missionary journeys were centered in ancient Turkey and two of them ended in Greece. We visited the cities of Athens, Corinth, Thessalonica, Philippi, Ephesus, Hierapolis and Troas. At these sites we discussed the birth, growth, trials and development of the earliest Christian congregations as they struggled not only to understand their new faith in Christ, but also as they dealt with false teachers and hostile forces opposed to the church. We will share our photos and stories from our trip. Hope you can join us. 
Friendship Group - November 17
Dinny Sisley, our Friendship Group guest speaker on A Thanksgiving Retrospective
Some of our Friendship Group enjoying our Thanksgiving luncheon,
Some of our Friendship Group enjoying our Thanksgiving luncheon,
Some of our Friendship Group enjoying our Thanksgiving luncheon,
Some of our Friendship Group enjoying our Thanksgiving luncheon,
Some of our Friendship Group enjoying our Thanksgiving luncheon,
Presbyterian Women Life Membership Awards

A few weeks ago the Presbyterian Women held their Memorial Service and Life Membership Awards ceremony. The winners of the two awards were Pat Smith and Julie Monroe. You may read about each below:
A Word About Church Security

I think most of us have thought of church as a safe place. And those of us who are tasked with looking after the church, our policies and the buildings work tirelessly to make sure that we have a safe place to gather. The world often conspires to work against our efforts. Over the last month or so we have had a couple of incidents where someone has come in to the church during worship time (both times it has been someone who is not looking for the sanctuary), when almost everyone is in the sanctuary. In the past we have kept some doors on the church campus unlocked during the Sunday morning time so as to facilitate ease of entrance. Starting this Sunday, there will only be two doors unlocked other than the sanctuary doors. The chapel door will be unlocked from 8:00 a.m. until 9:00 a.m. for those coming to the 8:30 a.m. chapel service and the double doors in to the black and white hallway will be unlocked from 9:00 a.m. until 10:15 a.m. during Sunday school. Eddie Lee Lipscomb who is our Sunday morning staff member will do his very best to help with opening other doors as needed. We apologize in advance for any inconvenience caused, we seek your patience and support as we seek to provide adequate safety for everyone on our campus. We will continue to evaluate changes that need to be made. Thank you again for your understanding and patience.

Quiet Spaces Meditations
Thanksgiving – not a holiday but a way of living, thankful to God for life itself. Quiet Spaces Meditations will come to you via email each Monday during the Thanksgiving season. These short, thoughtful contemplative passages will focus on our response to God for the bounty that fills our world. These short, thoughtful and contemplative meditations will give each of us space and time to share our thanks to God for life and for all that God has shared with us.
Our New Communications Coordinator

In late October, following the departure of Jane Cunningham, John Johnson joined our staff as Communications Coordinator. John is a familiar face to many, as he served on staff during the 1990s as Church Educator. John recently retired from ministry having served for 42 years, most recently as pastor of Bethany Presbyterian in Graham. John is excited to be back at First Pres in this new role! He can be reached at
SAVE THE DATE for a RETREAT! — Friday, March 3-Sunday, March 5, 2023
We will be heading to Montreat for a congregational (intergenerational) retreat. The planning team is forming and we’ll have more details SOON, but please put this on your calendars! Contact Carrie Tuttle ( if you are interested in assisting in the planning of this special new event.

A Stewardship Season Message from the FPC COVID-19 Re-Entry Task Force
Lectio Divina Update

The FPC Tuesday morning 8:00-8:45 a.m. weekly Zoom Lectio Divina Meditation has been temporarily discontinued. However, please enjoy the FPC Contemplative Committee’s other wonderful meditation opportunities into this fall and throughout next year.
Sign Up for Ushers Guild 2022

Please contact John Walton (336) 263-6512 or for more information. SIGN UP HERE!
Adult Formation
Sunday Formation, November 20
  • The Pointe Class 9:45 a.m. in Room 227
If you have questions about Adult Studies, email Charlotte Nance-Allbright at

Weekday Formation
Enrichment Class.
  • On November 16 & 23, the Enrichment Class will do a two-week study from the Thoughtful Christian entitled "Older Adult Spirituality." We will discuss our attitudes about growing older and the impact faith has on them. Follow the Zoom link HERE.
  • Join the Enrichment Class via zoom at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesdays, November 30 through December 21. Paul Reeves will be facilitating discussion based on the book Holy Disruption, Discovering the Advent in the Gospel of Mark by Tracy S. Daub.

To view the entire Adult Formation schedule and Zoom links, click the button below.
Children's Formation
Children's Sunday School

To view the Fall Schedule for Children's Sunday School, click the button below.

Nursery Hours – Sunday Mornings, 8:00 a.m.–12:00 p.m. in Room 101.
Missions News

Alamance County Meals on Wheels (ACMOW) is our mission focus for November. This agency offers hot nutritional home-delivered meals, frozen home-delivered meals, and winter weather emergency meals to homebound seniors in our community. ACMOW is expanding its current facility to serve its growing number of clients adequately. This agency serves over 525 seniors on 24 different hot and frozen meal routes. Please refer to the lists attached here — Food Pantry List (link HERE) and Birthday List (link HERE) — to see what supplementary food items and birthday treats you can contribute for the ACMOW clients. Please leave your donations in the box marked "Meals on Wheels Donations" by the CDC entrance. Thank you for giving generously!
FURNITURE MINISTRY - The Furniture Ministry needs donated items! We have been helping a number of clients, including several refugee families referred by Church World Service, a new partner agency. Our inventory is low on sofas, kitchen or dining table and chairs, end tables, coffee tables, lamps, pots and pans and sets of dishes. Larger items can be picked up. Small items can be delivered to the Garrison Building Mondays between 1 and 5 pm. Call 336-212-2937 first. Thank you for your ongoing support! 
The Food Pantry
Please bring non-perishable foods for the Food Pantry. Drop them off in the collection bins outside the CDC entry anytime during the week or when you come to worship on Sunday morning.
Celebrations and Concerns
Diane Barnwell- Home
Patricia Johnson - Eddie Lee Lipscomb’s family
Jay Johnson
Ron / Sharron Joyce
Dean Vaughn
Kathy / Peter Johnson
Dale Walker

Christian Sympathy is expressed to Peggy Harrelson and family at the death of her husband, Clark Leonard on Friday, November 4, 2022. A Service of Witness to the Resurrection will be held on December 12, 2022 at 2pm in the First Presbyterian Church sanctuary.

 Please note:
Requests for prayer are intended to be private and confidential. Please be respectful of the privacy of those on the list. When in doubt, please consult with one of the pastors.
Church Business
Church Elders and Deacons
For a current list of the FPC Elders and Deacons, CLICK HERE.
Financials & Meeting Minutes 
Click here to view the September 2022 Financial Statement
Click here to view the September Session Minutes
You may give through our online platform Tithely here or mail your contribution to the church office: 508 West Davis Street, Burlington, NC 27215. Thank you for your support!