Co-Pastors' Sabbatical Update

Thanks to the generosity of the FPC Auburn Pastors' Sabbatical Policy and a grant received from the Lilly Clergy Renewal Program, Revs. Nick and Kathy Reed will be on sabbatical leave from May 15-August 7th (Kathy) and May 22-August 14 (Nick).

We are beyond grateful for this congregation and the gift of sabbatical leave. Thank you is not enough. We are thrilled to have this opportunity for our family and will be eager to return in August with renewed energy and love for our shared ministry here with all of you. "May the Lord watch between you and me, while we are absent, one from the other." -Kathy & Nick Reed
Sunday Morning Worship Livestream Begins This Week 

We are pleased to announce that this Sunday, May 2, we will begin live-streaming our worship service 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. We are grateful for the hard work of our staff, especially Steve Hickok, as well as the team of volunteers that has stepped up to be trained on our new system and help facilitate the broadcast.

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.

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.
FPC Family and Friends,

As you may know, Steve and Karen Hickok will retire from their positions at First Presbyterian on May 31, 2021. As we thought about what sort of gift could possibly honor the astounding level of time, energy, and love they have poured into their ministries, we realized that the greatest gift we could offer would be one of the heart. Therefore, we are asking YOU to do the following:


a) Mail a hand written note with a memory, blessing, or word of thanks (on a card no larger than 4x6”) to Karen Cochran, who will compile the notes into a scrapbook for the Hickoks to enjoy. Any photographs you have of choir and handbell events, church workdays, and more are all most welcome and will be included!

Hickok Retirement
c/o Karen Cochran
121 Lee Dr.
Auburn, AL 36830


b) If you don’t trust yourself to write and mail that note, do it right now! Type your message to the Hickoks into the Google form and your message will be printed and included in the scrapbook!

If you have any questions or items you might like to include, please contact Karen Cochran at
Nominations Needed for Elders, Trustee, and 2022 Nominating Committee

The 2021 FPC Nominating Committee is asking the congregation to submit nominations for the positions of elder, trustee, and the 2022 nominating committee. HERE you will find an online form where you may submit nominations.

2021Nominating Committee: Wesley Anne Barnes, Marianne Cone, Graves Lovell, Tracy Parsons, Stites Whatley, Elizabeth White.
Sunday, May 2

✵ 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. As always, masks and social distancing are required at all times.

✵ 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

In Person Lay Readers Needed for Sunday Worship

As we look forward to having our new camera system installed in the sanctuary to enable a live-streamed service, we are in need of individuals willing to serve as lay readers on Sunday mornings.

As a reader, you will be provided a prayer and Scripture reading and simply asked to arrive a few minutes early so one of the pastors can instruct you on when and where to stand. You'll find the sign up for all summer dates HERE.
Session Notes

During its Zoom on-line meeting on April 19, the Session…
· approved the transfer of membership of Patrick and Hannah (Fisher) Darden to First United Methodist Church, Waycross, Ga.;
· learned that the church’s income for March 2021 was $61,590; expenses, $84,799; and net loss, $-23,190; and, for January through March 2021, income was $237,262; expenses, $201,270; and net income, $35,991;
· learned the final financial figures for 2020: income, $733.610; expenses, $739,806; and net loss, $-6,196;
· approved the membership of Sandra Weber, by transfer of letter from Cove Methodist Church, Owens Crossroads, Ala.;
· approved June 21-24, 2021, as the dates for Vacation Bible School;
· approved Karen and Steve Hickok’s request to use church facilities for piano recitals on May 16, 2021;
· approved a clarification of the responsibilities of the Trustees regarding work services and contracts;
· approved reducing the size of the Nominating Committee from eight to seven members;
· elected elders Elizabeth White and Marianne Cone to the current Nominating Committee;
· elected Barbara Fletcher and Deborah Thomas as commissioners to the Presbytery’s stated meeting on May 20, 2021; and
· learned that Kathy Reed has completed her DMin course work at Columbia Theological Seminary and will begin work on her terminal project.

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

***Beginning this week - Office Hours Bible Study, Psalms***
Tuesdays, 12PM via Zoom (*if you are interested in participating but cannot attend at this time, please contact Harriette Huggins - the meeting day and time are flexible!)

The Office Hours Bible Study will begin a series on the Psalms this coming Sunday (May 2) at 8:30am on FB Live and Zoom. You can join the course on the Faith Formation Network here: Once you've joined, you'll have access to the syllabus as well as learning resources for going deeper. Be sure to check it out and then join FPC Members for weekly discussion via Zoom.

Old Testament Walkabout Class
9:00am via Zoom

The Old Testament class has followed the story of Israel from its beginning as a people through the establishment of its nation to the downfall of that nation and the dispersion of its people. We are now in the period of the Exile. In this section of our study, we will explore exilic and post-exilic writings to try to gain a better idea of what exile was like and, also, attempt to see the impact of this new chapter in the history of Israel’s life and faith. To receive the zoom link for this class, please contact Gayle Andress .

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

Mark Your Calendars!!!
Vacation Bible School will take place June 21 – 24. We are working on making sure in-person VBS will be safe for our children and volunteers, and the Children and Youth Committee has begun the work of putting together all of the details. Stay tuned for more info about all safety protocols as well as registration.

Children Pre-K through 5th grade
Every other Sunday through May, we will have in-person Sunday school in Baird Hall from 10:15 – 10:45. We will be alternating Sundays with Jr. and Sr. High Youth since Baird Hall is the only large space available as of now. As always, masks are required and social distancing will be observed. There will also be a Zoom option at 9:15am on the days that class meets.
Children’s Sunday school class schedule
May 2
May 16
May 30

Pre-K through 5th graders will also continue meet from 2 – 2:30pm on Sunday afternoons in Baird Hall for fellowship and recreation. Masks are required. Please have your child bring a water bottle.

Jr. and Sr. High Youth

Jr. and Sr. High Youth will meet in-person every other Sunday through May from 10:15 – 10:45 in Baird Hall, alternating Sundays with children since Baird Hall is the only large space available as of now. As always, masks are required.
Youth Sunday school class schedule
May 9
May 23

Jr. High youth will meet at 4pm on Sunday evenings in Baird Hall for youth group. Sr. Highs will meet at 5pm on Sunday evenings in Baird Hall for youth group.

Parents, don’t forget to join other parents of youth and children in the courtyard at 10:15 for a BYO coffee hour of fellowship!
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 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

May 2 - Nancy Gamble, Jack Irwin, Mike Mastin
May 3 - Karen Herring, Jackson Wheeles
May 4 - Jim Bannon
May 5 - Terry Ley
May 8 - Margaret Davis


May 4 - Chuck and Suzanne Biles Thurlow
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.


• Prayers of healing for Joy Elam who is now home and continuing her recovery from hip surgery.
• We lift up prayers of joy with the Lane family as they gather together this Sunday for Victor Lane’s baptism at the 11:00am worship service.
• Prayers of healing for Kevin Wells as he prepares for surgery next week at the Cleveland Clinic.
• 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.
• Continued prayers of comfort for Amy, Kevin, and Lily Wells as they grieve the sudden death of their close family friend, Thaddeus Nifong.
• Prayers of healing for Mary Dalrymple’s brother-in-law Charles Otto. Charles suffered a serious stroke and is currently in a hospital in Rhode Island. Prayers for Mary’s sister Carol as she tends to her husband’s health.
• Prayers of healing for James Fukai’s father, Junichiro Fukai, who is now home and will continues rehab after significant surgery.
• Prayers of healing for Amy Well’s friend Suzi Bonifay undergoing treatment for breast cancer.
• Prayers for Carolyn Williams’ family friends Carole and Mallory who are undergoing cancer treatment.
• Prayers of healing for Amanda Smith’s co-worker and friend, Susan Scales, undergoing cancer treatment.
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