Our Sr. Highs Are on Their Way to Montreat!!!

Our senior high youth leave Sunday morning for the Montreat Youth Conference. Twelve of our youth, ages 9th through 12th grade, and three adult chaperones will spend the week exploring their faith in the mountains of North Carolina. This year’s theme, Called to Connect, will inspire and challenge our youth and adults to explore how God is calling them to connect to one another, to our community, and to the world.

Please keep our youth and chaperones in your prayers both for safe travels, but also that they experience the transformational love and grace of God throughout the week.
Our Senior Pastors' Sabbatical Update

We wanted to let you all know that we are now in St Andrews, Scotland. St Andrews is the home of St Andrews University (founded in 1413 and the the oldest University in Scotland), and it has been so wonderful to be back in a college town. Like Auburn, the St Andrews University campus is the heartbeat of the town. We are enjoying the “city life” in our apartment near the town center. Walking around town is our favorite activity. With no car, we walk to the grocery store around the corner, to church a few blocks over, and to parks and the beach. As you walk around the town you quickly realize that so much history surrounds you. We will not bore you with every detail of every plaque we have read about scholars and theologians who walked these streets over the years. 
To paint a picture of the history that surrounds us here in St Andrews we wanted to share with you our Sunday worship experience this past week. We attended Holy Trinity Church. It is a church that was founded in 1412. As the reformation happened in Scotland this church was at the center of it all. As we sat in our pews, we listened as the preacher proclaimed the Word of God from the same pulpit that John Knox preached his first sermon as a minister of the Word and Sacrament in 1547. 
However it was not being in a place of historical significance that made our visit to Holy Trinity so special this past Sunday, it was our time after the worship service visiting with one of the elders of the congregation. After worship he sought us out, introduced himself, and offered to share more information about the church. As we sat around a table and sipped coffee (their version of punch on the lawn) we did not talk much about the history of the church, but what their church is doing in the year 2021 to fulfill their calling to proclaim the good news of God’s love for us through Christ. We found ourselves talking about all the adaptive ways they have been a church since the start of pandemic (not much different than what we have been doing over the last year), and he shared their hopes as a church over the next few years. This church could easily just talk about their role in the glory days of the past, but you could tell their true calling is in the here and now. What was so inspiring was the way they were happy to celebrate their past, yet were even more eager to step out in the 21st century and share the good news of the Gospel of Christ in ways they haven’t not tried yet.
This upcoming week Kathy will spend time exploring Iona, and then later in the week Nick will spend some time exploring reformation history in Edinburgh. 

We miss you all and look forward to see you all next month!
Nick and Kathy
Updates to FPC’s COVID Re-Opening Guidelines 

At its June stated meeting, the session discussed and approved new recommendations from our COVID Taskforce for our re-opening plan. These updates are based on CDC guidelines and seek to balance our commitment to public health, our mission of welcome and hospitality, and a recognition of the low number of COVID cases in Lee County.

The FPC session has approved that:

For Worship…
- Masks are optional while in the sanctuary.
- The choir will be masked while singing.
- The sanctuary remains at limited capacity and a weekly sign up will be sent out on Thursdays.
- The nursery (birth to 3 years old) and children’s church (kindergarteners to rising 3rd graders) will be available starting July 4. Worship bags will also be available for children who stay in the sanctuary for worship. For activities outside of worship in the sanctuary, all children three years of age and older and all people who work with children are required to wear a mask indoors.

For non-Worship activities…
- Groups should continue to let a staff person know in advance when they would like to meet and keep a record of all who attend.
- Groups do not need to wipe down their table and chairs after each use.
- For activities outside of worship in the sanctuary, all children three years of age and older and all people who work with children are required to wear a mask indoors.
- Punch on the lawn will return later this summer.

While some things are changing, many things are remaining as they are. Our order of worship will remain an abbreviated liturgy, and the livestream will continue. Anyone is welcome to continue wearing a mask during worship and other church events. We are continuing to ask members to sign up for worship in advance through our weekly email. If you would like assistance in signing up, you may contact Katie Cooper (770-630-4634), Denise Salo (313-304-3248), or Kirsten Yost (910-309-1625 or kmyost97@gmail.com), and they would be more than happy to sign you up. Additionally, though the sign up goes out on Thursdays, it remains open until Sunday morning; you may sign up for worship as late as 10:59am on Sunday!

Punch-on-the-Lawn Has Returned!

As a part of the church’s new re-opening guidelines, Punch on the Lawn is returning! If you would like to volunteer to host a Sunday Punch on the Lawn, you may sign up here. For more information about volunteering, please contact Kirstin Yost at at kmyost97@gmail.com or 910-309-1625.
Sunday, July 11

Welcome Back Guest Preacher Terry Newland

This Sunday we are pleased to welcome back Rev. Terry Newland as our guest preacher. Many of you who have been in and around the Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley for some time have worked alongside Terry when he served as pastor, presbytery executive, synod executive, or even Gulftreat volunteer!

✵ 11:00am: In-Person, Indoor Worship -  If you attend one of the indoor services in coming weeks you will notice many differences from our "normal" sanctuary worship. At this time, based on recommendations from our COVID Task Force and Session, we will have a very simple service without congregational singing, passing of the peace, and several other elements you might be looking forward to sharing with your church family. However, as local conditions and guidelines continue to improve it is our greatest hope that we will begin adding back in all these elements of worship we know and love. Thank you so much for your patience and grace as we try to maintain the greatest level of safety for our congregation, musicians, worship leaders, and our greater community.

At the sign-up link below (and the email containing the sign-up sent on Thursday), you will find detailed information on our current protocols for worship attendance.




✵ 11:00am: Virtual Worship - We are pleased to announce that we are live-streaming our worship service at 11am. What this means is that those worshiping from home will be able to watch the service live as it is happening in the sanctuary. To view the service you can go directly to our church’s YouTube Channel via your computer, smartphone, or Smart TV app (https://tinyurl.com/t7dl8vh) or you can access the worship service through our website or Facebook page.

If you are unable to watch live at 11am, a recorded version of the service will be available at these same links later in the day.
Session Notes

During its Zoom on-line meeting on June 21, the Session…

• learned that the church’s income for May 2021 was $47,339; expenses, $75,854; and net income, minus $28,515; and, for January through May 2021, income was $342,848; expenses, $333,984; and net income, $8,864;

• approved changes regarding the church’s reopening based upon CDC recommendations:

Worship/Sanctuary Action Items
1. Masks are optional in the sanctuary.
2. Weekly sign-up with limited capacity continues.
3. In compliance with CDC guidance, masks are required for all choir members when singing.
4. Nursery will be open for children (ages birth to three) on Sunday mornings.
5. Worship bags will be available for children during worship.

Non-Worship Church Activities Action Items
1. Groups to not need to wipe down tables and chairs after their meetings.
2. All people working with children under 12 years old are required to wear a mask while inside the church building.
3. Groups meeting in the church must still register in advance and keep a record of who participates.
4. Punch on the lawn may return.

• approved disbursal of locally held Pentecost Offering funds (40%) to the Auburn City Schools dental clinic;

• learned that the Congregational Life Committee wishes to survey the congregation regarding desired fellowship opportunities for the fall;

• learned that the Generosity Committee will initiate its campaign on September 26; and

• learned that the Presbytery trustees approved the easement requested by Alabama Power.

Church members may read the complete, approved minutes for this meeting in the church office after the office has reopened.
Adult Christian Education Opportunities

Old Testament Walkabout Class
9:30am, Baird Hall OR Zoom

The Old Testament Sunday school class has resumed meeting in person in Baird Hall. We also offer a live Zoom option. Our current study is what many refer to as Second Isaiah (Isaiah, chapters 40 thru 55). Class begins at 9:45. Please join us either in person in Baird Hall or contact Gayle Andress, if you wish to receive a Zoom invitation.


Bible Journaling Small Group
Mondays, 12pm, Baird Hall OR Zoom

You do not have to be an artist to find a great deal of meaning in the practice of Bible journaling. Join us in Baird Hall (or, if you are more comfortable, via Zoom) every Monday as we reflect upon the previous Sunday's sermon and Scripture text and explore various kinds of drawing, painting, and journaling techniques. For more information, please contact Susan Fillippeli.
CE News

For activities outside of worship in the sanctuary, all children three years of age and older and all people who work with children are required to wear a mask indoors.

Sundays, 10am, Church Courtyard, Weather Permitting
As our children and youth resume in person Sunday School gatherings, those in the pre-retirement phase of life are invited to bring your own chair and coffee for a visit in the courtyard while the children are having their lesson. For the time being the goal is catching up and enjoying fellowship, though we will be crowd sourcing for ideas on Adult Education offerings for this age/stage of life for the fall.

Children Pre-K through 5th grade
• The nursery will now be available from 10 until noon on Sunday mornings for children birth to age 3.
• Children’s church begins this Sunday. After the Word to Grow By, children ages 4 to rising 3rd grade will go together to the preschool room for the remainder of the worship service.
• Worship bags are also available for all children during worship.
• Children’s Sunday school will meet this Sunday from 10:15 – 10:45 in Conway Hall.
There will be a Zoom Sunday school meeting at 9:15 for those who can’t make it in-person.

Jr. and Sr. High Youth
• Youth Sunday school will meet this Sunday from 10:15 – 10:45 in the Senior High room.
• Jr. High’s, mark your calendars! We will have a pool party July 22nd. More details to come!!!
Procedures for In-Person Meetings in Church Facilities

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.

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 are now optional (unless children are present), although please be respectful of the level of comfort within your group. Proper social distancing should be observed and no food or drinks may be provided.
  • 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.

Sabbatical Summer Staffing Plan
from May 23 until August 8,

Please contact the following staff members with any questions or concerns in the
following areas:
Ministry Area | Staff Contact
Children and Youth | Chris Sarkowski
Music | Damion Womack
UKirk/University Ministry | Caroline Barnett
Worship | Damion Womack
Mission | Caroline Barnett
Adult Education and Presbyterian Women | Chris Sarkowski
Congregational Life | Caroline Barnett
Property | Chris Sarkowski
General Office | Kathy Rushing
Generosity | Caroline Barnett
Finance | Kathy Rushing
Personnel | Caroline Barnett
Pastoral Care/Blessings Bunch | Caroline Barnett

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
Birthdays

July 11 - Dotty Wells
July 12 - Melissa Wheeles
July 13 - Susan Bannon, Ed Jones
July 15 - Daniel Johnson, Bob Webeler

Anniversaries

July 15 - Eric and Allison Moore
July 15 - Nathan and Elisha Wohleb
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.

Concerns:

• We continue to pray for the community in Surfside, Florida, after the condo building collapse. For all who have received news they grieve and for all who are still waiting, we pray for comfort and mercy.
• Prayers for Gwen Reid as she recovers from knee replacement surgery.
• Prayers for Gerri Talley who is recovering from back surgery. Also prayers for her son-in-law, Gary Sagunsky, and his family as he begins chemotherapy as well as dialysis for multiple myeloma.
• Prayers for Bob Webeler's sister, Sue, who is receiving care at a facility in Phenix City after suffering a stroke.
• Prayers for rest and safe travels for the Reed family during their sabbatical this summer.
• Prayers for Katie Lee as she undergoes physical therapy after knee replacement.
• Prayers of healing and rest for Kevin Wells as he recovers at home from successful cardiac surgery.
• Prayers for members of the congregation who are waiting for results from medical tests.
• Prayers of healing and recovery for church members who had successful surgery and are now beginning the rehab process of their recovery.
• 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 Tom Webb’s sister as she recovers from successful surgery. Prayers for Tom as he cares for his sister in Oregon.
• Prayers for Melanie Jackson, Jessica Barnes’ childhood friend, who was recently diagnosed with cancer.
• Prayers of healing for Amy Well’s friend Suzi Bonifay undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
• Prayers of healing for Amanda Smith’s co-worker and friend, Susan Scales, as she undergoes cancer treatment.
First Presbyterian Church |info@fpcauburn.org | (334)887-5571 | www.fpcauburn.org