Co-Pastor's Sabbatical Update

We are grateful that while we are away this summer some of our favorite friends and colleagues from throughout the presbytery will be serving as guest preachers. Throughout the next several weeks we'd like to share more with you about who will be joining us for worship this summer:

Rev. Elizabeth Cole Goodrich is a minister member of the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley and a co-owner of Thank You Books in Birmingham. Elizabeth is an active community and Presbytery volunteer, and she serves on the board of trustees of Columbia Theological Seminary. She and her husband, Mike, have three children, Catherine (18), Gibson (16), and Andrew (11). They are members of First Presbyterian Church in Birmingham.

One of our greatest hopes for our sabbatical was to have a minister member of presbytery who could preach regularly throughout our absence. We were thrilled when Rev. Goodrich accepted our invitation to preach three times throughout the summer: May, June, and July. We know she will receive a wonderful welcome here in Auburn and that you will thoroughly enjoy her thoughtful preaching and warm presence.

Daylight Savings Time Begins

Don't forget to Spring Forward this Sunday!
Welcome to Phase Three!

As you read the information below, please note that the church building is NOT yet open for general use. PLEASE do not enter the building without first contacting a staff member (preferably as outlined below, via email at least 48 hours in advance) so that we can continue to provide the greatest level of safety and sanitation.

What happens in Phase Three? 
  • Worship will continue online, by radio broadcast, and outdoors;
  • mission work will continue through outreach as state and local guidelines allow;
  • *gatherings may be on site on church property starting with smaller groups.*

If I am a part of a small group (circle, committee, bible study, etc.) that would like to meet on site, what steps should I take? 
  • PRIOR TO YOUR GATHERING - Contact your group’s designated staff member (please see below for a full list of staff resource persons for each ministry area). Work with your staff person to schedule a time and space for your group to meet. They will explain to you which entrance, exit, and restrooms your group should utilize for the time you are schedule to meet at the church. 
  • DURING YOUR GATHERING - Masks must be worn at all times, proper social distancing (6ft apart) should be observed, no food or drinks may be provided, and we ask that, before you leave, your group wipe down all surfaces with cleaning supplies provided by the church.
  • AT THE END OF YOUR GATHERING - Coordinate with your designated staff person to ensure that a list of all attendees is submitted to the church (for contact tracing purposes), the space is properly cleaned and the church doors are locked upon exiting.

Who is my designated staff person and how do I contact them?
Please send an email at least 48 hours before your group would like to gather so staff members have plenty of time to communicate and avoid overlapping groups.

Ministry Area | Staff Contact
Children and Youth | Chris Sarkowski
Music | Damion Womack
UKirk andUniversity Ministry | Caroline Barnett 
Worship | Nick Reed or Kathy Reed
Mission | Kathy Reed
Adult Education and Presbyterian Women | Kathy Reed
Congregational Life | Nick Reed 
Property | Nick Reed or Steve Hickok
General Office | Kathy Rushing
Generosity | Kathy Reed
Finance | Nick Reed 
Personnel | Nick Reed or Kathy Reed

We thank you in advance for your patience and grace as we do our best to transition into this next (exciting!) phase of our reopening. Please know that in the weeks ahead we may find need to institute a more formal scheduling system in order to facilitate groups that desire to meet in the building. We will use the weekly email newsletter as a place to share these updates.

With much gratitude, The FPC Staff
Online Easter Prayer Vigil Sign Up

We will soon celebrate the Easter Vigil with hope and reverence in the time before Easter. It will be online again due to the complications of the pandemic. Please consider committing an hour to prayer through our online sign up sheet. We would like someone in our church community to commit to every hour between Good Friday evening until sunrise Easter morning.

If you do not have online access or you have questions, you may call Dorothy Hinkle-Uhlig (334 332 5809). She can sign you up online and fill out prayer request cards. May Christ live again in each of us for all of us.
Lent 2021 at First Presbyterian

Devotional Resources
Online - is an online daily devotional resource sponsored by the PC(USA), Cooperative Baptist Fellowship, and Episcopal Church (USA), providing inspiration during the Lenten season, beginning on Ash Wednesday and running through the Sunday following Easter.

Printable -
These daily devotional cards [Part A / Part B / Part C / Part D] from Sanctified Art may be printed at home or in this spreadsheet layout for easy viewing! Creative suggestions on how to use the devotional cards can be found here.

For Children, Youth, and Families
Keeping with our Lenten theme of providing for the needs of others from Matthew 25, this devotion guide is all about caring for our sisters and brothers in Christ. Included are weekly scripture passages, discussion guides, coloring pages, and other activities. This devotional guide is a great resource for families to explore what scripture says about giving to others and will help us examine why we give, what we give, the power of our gifts, and the impact our gifts have on those around us.
Also, parents of children Pre-K through 5th grade, mark your calendars and plan to join us for a Lenten Craft Day for families on March 21 at 2 pm in the church courtyard. Watch your email for more details to come!

Opportunities for Study 
Sundays at 9:30am
Throughout Lent, we will be offering a six-week course via Zoom on Latasha Morrison's book, Be the Bridge: Pursuing God's Heart for Racial Reconciliation. This study is a part of our congregation's commitment to the Matthew 25 initiative of the PC(USA). *copies are available at the Auburn Public Library*

Mondays at 12:00pm:
The Bible Journaling class will resume this semester on Mondays at 12pm. Even if you have never explored the art and practice of bible journaling before, all are welcome to explore the Lenten biblical texts in this creative and meditative way. To receive the zoom link for this class, please contact Susan Fillippeli.

Tuesdays at 12pm
Office Hours Bible Study Series for Lent: ”Jesus and the Way of the Cross”
Each Sunday morning a particular topic is explored with a biblical scholar (these recordings can be found on Facebook at "Office Hours Bible Study" or later in the day at this YouTube link.) On Tuesdays at noon the pastors then lead a discussion based on that week's topic. If you would like to receive the Zoom link for the Tuesday noon discussion group, please email Rev. Kathy Reed.

For College Students
Sundays at 7:00pm
UKirk has begun a four week Bible study on how the ancient words of scripture can inform our response to the modern day issue of racism. UKirk Bible Study meets over Zoom and is open to all university students and college-aged people. If you would like to receive the Zoom link for this Bible study, please email Rev. Caroline Barnett.
Outdoor Worship on Sundays

At its stated meeting on Monday, February 15 the FPC session approved a recommendation from our COVID19 Task Force to return to Phase 2A of our church’s reopening plan. The details of this phase are outlined in the graphic at the bottom. Phase 2A does include a return to outdoor worship (in addition to radio and virtual worship.)

Those wishing to attend are asked to:
  • Please note the time change from last fall - worship will begin at 11:30AM.
  • Sign up via the sign up genius link provided. Families should sign each member up on an individual line so we can monitor the number of participants. This will also serve as a resource if contact tracing is required later on.
  • Bring your own tailgate or lawn chair.
  • Wear a mask at all times on church property, inside and outside.
  • Enter the courtyard through the gate from Thach Ave. or use the breezeway entrance (next to the sanctuary) from the Gay St. parking lot to the courtyard.
  • Please observe social distancing (6ft apart) throughout the time you are on church property.
Other items of note:
  • The bathroom located off the sanctuary breezeway will be available.
  • If you wish to attend but are not one of the first 50 to sign up for a particular Sunday, you will be put on a priority waiting list for the following Sunday.
  • If you attend worship one Sunday, then the following week please allow others who may not have had a chance to attend the chance to sign up first. Wait until Sunday to see if there are any open spots on the sign up.
  • If there is inclement weather, we will not have service. Notification will be sent via email & Facebook.
Members who do not have access to internet but would like to attend may contact our Elder Denise Salo, (313) 304-3248, who will reserve them a spot on the sign up.
Sunday, March 14

✵ 11:00am: Virtual Worship - To view the service you can go directly to our church’s YouTube Channel via your computer, smartphone, or Smart TV app ( or you can access the worship service through our website or Facebook page. Knowing we are at the mercy of technology, we appreciate your patience and grace if all does not go according to plan. Attached you will find a bulletin for this Sunday’s service.
Sunday Worship now on 99.9FM

✵ 11:30am: In-Person, Outdoor Worship - At its stated meeting on Monday, February 15, the FPC session approved a recommendation from our COVID19 Task Force to return to Phase 2A of our church’s reopening plan, which includes offering the opportunity for Sunday in-person worship. See the article above for information and sign-up link.
Horizons Magazine

Horizons is the annual Bible study by and for Presbyterian Women. Whether you have joined a PW Circle or not, Horizons contains a wealth of information and insights for living in faith as a Presbyterian Woman. With mission stories, devotions, a short Bible study based on the theme of each issue, Horizons is a wonderful source of inspiration. A print subscription also includes a print version of the annual Bible study, and free access to the digital version, or a digital-only subscription may be purchased at a reduced price. We invite you to enjoy the annual Horizons Bible study as a part of your individual faith journey, or you will be most welcome to participate in the study as a member of a PW Circle here at FPC. For more information about joining a Circle, please feel free to contact Barbara Dunham 229.881.2957 (Circle 1), Marianne Cone 404.375.3940 (Circle 2), or Barbara Fletcher 334.203.1484 (Circle 3).

Presbyterian Women's Layette Project Spring 2021

Rejoicer’s are requested for Monday, March 22, at 10 a.m. to help sort through baby items at Kid's Clothes Connection. Note new location at 2550 Pepperell Parkway, Opelika near Tractor Supply/behind Hardee’s and beside the Plasma Center. Masks required.
Please contact: Denise Salo 313.304.3248 if you are available to help.
Items will be distributed to Clark/Wilcox Counties and Sumter County Department of Human Resources (DHR).
Mar. 14 - Carey Lovell
Mar. 15 - Robbie Barnes, Sue Retzlaff, Chuck Thurlow
Mar. 17 - Jim Dunham, Phil Garrett, Eric Moore
Mar. 18 - Janne Debes, Jason Lee
Mar. 19 - Nancy Calcott, Jim Foil, Kellye Joiner

Mar. 13 - Stephen and Katherine Irwin
Mar. 18 - Bob and Kay Recknor (60th!)
Mar. 19 - Shane and Laura Klugh
Mar. 20 - Barry and Mary Burkhart
CE News

Pre-K through 5th Grade
Parents of Pre-K through 5th graders, please note the Zoom Sunday school schedule change. Because of Spring Break and Easter, the schedule has been pushed back one week.
March 14 and 28, April 11 and 25

Pre-K through 1st Grade Zoom Sunday school classes will meet at 9:45am
2nd through 5th Grade Zoom Sunday school classes will meet at 10:15am
All Zoom invites will be sent at 9 am the day of class.

Jr. High and Sr. High Youth
Jr. and Sr High Youth are back to their regular schedule:

Jr. High Youth will meet at 4pm
Sr. High Youth will meet at 5pm

All youth meetings will be in the church courtyard, weather permitting. Please enter through the gate on Thach Ave. Bring a chair and masks are required.

Mark your calendars! Youth Sunday will be April 11. Our Youth are looking forward to leading our congregation in worship!

This semester, UKirk has multiple opportunities to gather and grow in faith, including a Bible Study and fellowship night over Zoom. If you are or know of a student interested in learning more about UKirk, fill out this form or email Caroline, and she will be happy to contact you with more info.
Prayer Concerns & Celebrations

For the time period in which our church family is worshiping virtually, our pastors have decided that prayer concerns will be shared via weekly email. These individuals will most certainly be prayed for during our Sunday worship service, but their names and specific concerns will not be shared via broadcast.

Prayer Concerns:
• Prayers of comfort for family and friends of Bill Johnston. Bill Johnston, husband of Ellen Scarsbrook Johnston, passed away February 7 in Pullman, WA after having recently retired from Washington State University. Ellen’s parents, Chick and Clarence Scarsbrook, were long-time members of Auburn First Presbyterian Church and Ellen was in the college class. Bill and Ellen met while Bill was working on a Ph.D. in Agronomy at Auburn University, and were married in our sanctuary. They always attended our church when visiting in Auburn, especially when Bill did a sabbatical at AU. Ellen often stated that AFPC would always be her church home. Ellen plans to live in Pullman for a while, but will eventually move to Tacoma, WA where her daughter, Miriam lives. Ellen’s address is 540 N.W. Sunset Drive, Pullman, WA 99163.
• Continued prayers of healing and wholeness for many in our church family and their loved ones who are dealing with significant health and wellness issues but do not wish to be mentioned by name at the moment.
• Prayers of healing for James Fukai’s father, Junichiro Fukai, who is now home and will continues rehab after significant surgery.
• Prayers of healing and wholeness for Kay Recknor’s sister Pat as she recovers from successful surgery.
• Prayers of healing for Amy Well’s friend Suzi Bonifay sash begins treatment for breast cancer.
• Continued prayers of healing for Dorothy Moran as she continues to progress with her rehab and recovery from successful surgery.
• Prayers for Carolyn Williams’ family friends Carole and Mallory who are undergoing cancer treatment.
• Prayers for Kathy Rushing’s cousin Amy and her husband Jung Sik and their children.
• Prayers of healing for Peggy Johnson as she recovers at home after successful surgery.
• Prayers of healing for Amanda Smith’s co-worker and friend, Susan Scales, as she begins cancer treatment.
• Prayers of healing for Rev. Little (Amy Well’s former pastor) who is beginning treatment for a cancer diagnosis.
• We continue to pray for healing and wholeness of so many in our community facing health issues, especially those dealing with issues related to Covid-19. We also continue to pray for all the health care workers as they tend to everyone’s well being, and we rejoice for the good news that more and more people are able to receive the vaccine.

  • We wanted share with everyone that Kay and Bob Recknor’s 60th Wedding Anniversary will be on March 18. All are invited to help Bob and Kay Recknor celebrate their 60th Anniversary on March 18 by driving-by their house and wish them well between 3pm-6pm at 151 Prathers Lake Drive, Auburn.
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