First News

August 31, 2023

A Time of Transition

This past Sunday was an incredible day of worship and a wonderful celebration of Wendi Arms and her sixteen years of music ministry at First Greer! The day included uplifting gospel music with clapping hands (not necessarily in rhythm), new members joining our community, a challenging sermon from Ally reminding us to keep our eyes open for overlooked theologians, a wonderful reception overflowing with food and cake, and a fitting resolution of thanks, written by Nick Nicholson, in honor of Wendi’s service to this congregation. While it was a sad day, it was also a great reminder of the love that makes this church so special.

With Wendi’s departure, there are, understandably, a lot of questions about what will be happening with the 8:55 service, so I want to try to answer some of them here. At its August 13 stated meeting, the Session discussed and approved a plan to continue the early service with Lisa and Pam taking turns playing for the service. The services will be identical, but the choir will continue to sing at the 11:00 service only. The plan is to continue this format (except for the Sundays already scheduled for one service) through November 19. From November 26 through December 31, we will have one service in the sanctuary at 11:00. This will allow Lisa and Pam to focus their energy on making our Joy Gift and Advent/Christmas Eve services special. Also, the majority of our worship services will be held in the sanctuary, allowing for Lisa and Pam to fully utilize both the piano and organ.

The Session has tasked the Worship Committee with forming a subcommittee, comprised of both 8:55 and 11:00 attendees and staff members, to look closely at the 8:55 service during this interim period. The subcommittee is being formed now and will soon begin their work of evaluating the early service, listening to input from church members, researching what other PCUSA churches in Foothills Presbytery are doing with their early services, and envisioning together what this service might be in the future. When the subcommittee has completed its work, they will present their ideas to the Worship Committee who will discuss and present a plan to the Session for their consideration. 

While transition always brings some level of anxiety, it also presents great opportunity. Opportunity to stop, take a breath, evaluate what we are doing and, most importantly, prayerfully seek God’s will. This is the primary task of the subcommittee; to listen for God’s voice and seek to discern where God might be calling us to go in this next chapter of our worship ministry. I ask that you pray for the subcommittee, for your staff, and for God’s continued guidance. We appreciate your patience as we work through this process and we will keep you informed as we move forward.

Grace and peace,


The Session has called a congregational meeting for September 3 at the beginning of 11:00 worship for the purpose of hearing a report from the Officer Nominating Committee and for electing the slate of nominees for Elder and Deacon, Class of 2026, one Elder to fill an unexpired term in the Class of 2024, one Youth Elder for the Class of 2024, and the slate of corporate officers for the class of 2024. The nominees for your consideration are:

Elders - Heather Gordon (Class of 2024); Lucy Smith (Class of 2024); Jessica Bruce, Jim Caldwell, Rick Danner, Val Hendrickson, Sallie Smith, and Bob Wiesner (Class of 2026).

Deacons - Diana Babineau, Marguerite DeMaria, Arnette Johnson, Doreen Magaha, Ginger Mauney, Kelly Thorfinnsson, and Ansley Wright (Class of 2026).

Corporate Officers - Leland Burch, President;  Elizabeth Clayton, Vice President; Carlton Greene, Secretary; Jack House, Trustee; Nick Nicholson, Trustee; Heather Gordon, Trustee (Class of 2024).


In accordance with the Book of Order (G-2.0401), full opportunity shall be given the congregation to make nominations from the floor by any active member of the congregation. Nominations made from the floor require prior consent of the person being nominated. All active members of the congregation present are entitled to vote.  

Please note the church office will be closed on Monday, September 4th

in observance of Labor Day.

Carrie and Jason Edmonds

The Edmonds live in Campobello and joined FPC Greer by reaffirmation of faith. Carrie is a self-employed counselor and Jason works at King Asphalt. Their son, Hudson, is a sophomore at Clemson University.

Dr. Cynthia "Cindy" Midcalf

Cindy lives in Lyman and is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Erskine College. She joined FPC Greer by reaffirmation of faith. Cindy has three grown children and enjoys cooking in her spare time.

Susan Solomon

Susan moved to Greer from Bristol, TN and is the mother of FPCG member, Jennifer Humphrey. She enjoys bingo and shopping. Susan joined FPC Greer by transfer of her letter from First Presbyterian Church in Bristol, TN.

All are invited to participate in the FPC Book Club. Monthly meetings resume on Tuesday, September 5th at 3:00 p.m. at the church. The first selection of the 2023-2024 year is The Book of Charlie: Wisdom from the Remarkable American Life of a 109-Year-Old Man by David Von Drehl. Please contact Jenny Munro with questions.     

Hello Bible Study Friends!

I look forward to seeing you at our Fall Wednesday Morning Bible Study which begins on September 6, 2023 at 10:30 a.m.

We will focus on the Book of Ephesians using Eugene Peterson’s book: Practice Resurrection – a conversation on growing up in Christ. You may purchase the book on Amazon for around $15 OR know, as in the past Bible studies, I will be emailing homework with information each week prior to our Bible Study.  

Please register by emailing Lisa Johnson in the church office so you will receive our class outline and weekly preparation notes.  

Lastly, please note that, with most of us older than 21, we will be moving the study to Classroom 104 under the sanctuary for easier access. I look forward to Practicing Resurrection with you!!

God's Peace to you all,


Foothills Presbytery Event at Fourth Presbyterian Church

in Greenville, SC

Youth Mental Health

First Aid Training

Thursday, September 7th

9:00 am - 4:00 pm

Youth Mental Health First Aid is designed to teach parents, family members, caregivers, youth pastors, teachers, school staff, peers, neighbors, health and human services workers, and other caring people how to help an adolescent (age 12-18) who is experiencing a mental health or addictions challenge or is in crisis. Youth Mental Health First Aid is primarily designed for adults who regularly interact with young people. The course introduces common mental health challenges for youth, reviews typical adolescent development, and teaches a 5-step action plan for how to help young people in both crisis and non-crisis situations. Topics covered include anxiety, depression, substance use, disorders in which psychosis may occur, disruptive behavior disorders (including AD/HD), and eating disorders.

Cost: $5 per person

Click on the link below for more info and to register:

Stewards of God’s Creation 

As our intergenerational Sunday School this summer reminded us, it is our responsibility to care for God’s creation. As a small step toward being better stewards of what we have been given, starting September 17th, we will no longer be using disposable coffee cups or individual creamers during the coffee and donut fellowship time on Sunday mornings.  

There will be reusable cups available in the kitchen each Sunday or you are welcome to bring your own. Milk and half and half will be available in refillable carafes. 

What do we need from you?

  • Patience as we adjust to this change.
  • Volunteers to wash cups after the 11:00 worship service or on Monday mornings.
  • If you have any extra coffee cups at home that you’d like to donate please contact Maggie Wentzky.

Children’s Faith Formation

Upcoming Events

F3: Faith, Fun and Fellowship for third through 5th grade children will kick off the new year on September 10th. We’ll meet from 12:00 to 1:30 pm for lunch and a mission project. 

Beginning September 17th, Mary Ludlow will lead a worship education class for our 1st graders in Room 201 during the Sunday School Hour. Classes will also be held on September 24th and October 1st. Class participants will sit together in worship for World Communion Sunday on October 1st.

Come GROW with us! Kindergarten - 2nd grade children are invited to participate as we explore and nurture faith through fellowship, study, and fun. Our first GROW event will be September 17th, from Noon to 1:30 pm.

Please reach out to Maggie Wentzky with questions on any of these events.

A Word from Ally

With Rally Day just around the corner, I am growing in excitement for this new academic year! We have spent the last few weeks getting ready for another year of youth group, which kickoffs on September 10th. We have many fun things planned from game nights to mission opportunities! During our time together this year, we will also be exploring what it means to belong to God and belong in God’s community. This will give us ample opportunity to reflect on our centering verse of the year: Romans 12:4-5 “For as in one body we have many members, and all the members do not have the same function, so we, who are many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another.”

Paul’s words have taken on new meaning for me during the past few weeks of a heavy and hate-filled newscycle riddled with multiple counts of gun violence. While we have aspirations for a better tomorrow, one in which hate has no home among us, Paul reminds us that we are all one in a God who took on human flesh. We belong to a God incarnate. In other words, it is time to move beyond aspiration to incarnation. As a people that belongs to God, may we embody God’s love, compassion, mercy, and justice in a world that is in desperate need of those things.



Upcoming Youth Events!

PYC Youth Retreats 2023-2024

We are excited to be taking groups to both the Mid High and Senior High retreats again this year. These retreats, hosted by Foothills Presbytery PYC, are a great opportunity for youth to grow in their faith and their relationships with other youth. 

Registration is $100 and scholarships are available, if needed.

All forms and payments for both retreats are due to

Pastor Ally by September 25th, 2023. 

The Young Ladies’ Ensemble will sing for 11:00 worship on September 10th. Please meet in the sanctuary by 10:40 a.m. following the Rally Day program. 

Want to learn handbells? Join us for Joyful Noise Ringers! Our first rehearsal is September 17th from 1-2 p.m. This is a group for beginner to early intermediate level ringers and is great for both youth and adults. We'll have three rehearsals in preparation for playing in worship October 8th. If interested or for more information, please contact Lisa Dillard by September 10th.

Singers needed for Christmas! Save the date for October 22nd. We'll gather for a choir lunch at 12:00 p.m. and hold our Christmas kick-off rehearsal from 1:00 - 2:30 p.m. Come join us!

FPC Greer Financial Snapshot

Year to Date Actual Income as of 7/31/23 = $446,618.50

Year to Date Budgeted Income as of 7/31/23 = $482,288.00

Variance = ($35,669.50)

Prayer Concerns

Luanne Baker

Dick & B.J. Baldwin

Judy Brown

Marguerite DeMaria

Hugh & Jo Earnest

Barry & Diane Groce

Bonnie Holmes

Jack House

Joe Johns

Abbie McWilliams

Patty White

We extend Christian sympathy to Joe Johns and family following June’s death on August 22nd. Visitation will be held in the fellowship hall at the church on Friday, September 15 from 1:00 p.m. to 1:45 p.m. with a service following in the sanctuary at 2:00 p.m.

Dear friends,

We would like to express our thanks to our church family for the prayers, calls, and cards that we received when I had the revision surgery on my knee and the attention and care given to Larry.

We appreciate you all so much.

Carolyn and Larry Caldwell

A dear friend told me during the process of preparing for my recent heart surgery that, "all will be well in all manner of ways". Thank you, thank you, dear church family for your faith and hope offered to me through your prayers, cards, and visits. The procedure went better than the doctors or I expected and I am so grateful that you had the faith that all would be well.

Blessings and love to you and your families.

Marguerite DeMaria

The next issue of First News is September 28th. If you have content for the newsletter, please email it to Lisa Johnson at [email protected] by Friday, September 22nd.

Follow Us
Facebook  Instagram  Youtube