First News
June 15, 2020

For the Sake of Greer, We Will Wait.

That is the decision your Session made on Sunday evening. As much as we might want to enter the doors of the church and join in worship together there, to do so would not be a caring act for our neighbors in this community. The COVID-19 infection rate is increasing in Greenville County. Epidemiologists tell us on a scale of one to ten, one being the safest place to be to avoid infection and ten being the most dangerous, worship services indoors is eight on the scale. Staying apart is not only to keep ourselves from becoming infected. It is to keep us from being ones who may infect others.

To that end, following the advice of our very capable COVID-19 Advisory Group led by Dr. Nichole Bryant, the Session decided to continue worship online only until that Advisory Group assures us that there has been a two week decline of infections in Greenville County. The Session will consider again the question of whether to re-gather in some form at its Stated Meeting on July 19. Remember, it is for the sake of Greer that we choose to wait.

In the face of this hard decision, the Session did something more. It authorized a gathered, outdoor Vesper Worship Service to be held on Sunday Evening July 19 (rain date, July 26). Put that date on your calendar. We invite you to attend this service, bringing your own lawn chairs, especially wearing your masks , and keeping social distance while at the service. The time of the service and the exact venue on the church property, or very near it, are being worked out. At this service we will also have our Annual Congregational Meeting where we will elect new elders and deacons. We will also welcome our Confirmation Class into church membership and introduce our newest members to the congregation. Watch for more details.

In all of this it is clear First Presbyterian Church is active, worshiping God, serving in Christ’s name in this community, caring for one another in the Body of Christ. And remember and tell everyone you know that we care for Greer, so we choose to wait to re-gather.
For the sake of others be diligent in minding the three “W’s” —
       wear your mask,
       wash your hands,
       wait at least six feet apart from others in any line or group.

This is the way we love our neighbors as our Lord has called us to do.

Grace and peace,

Pete Peery
Interim Pastor

Our Unraveled Summer Bible Study Series continues on Wednesday mornings from 10:30-11:30 via Zoom. Each week we look at a different Biblical text to help us consider what it looks like to seek God when our plans are changed, uprooted and fall apart, and then consider what new thing(s) God might be weaving in our lives. If you would like more information, please contact Whitney ( ). 
Each summer Montreat Conference Center invites persons from around the country to preach during their summer worship series. On Sunday, June 28th, Rev. Dr. Brandi Casto-Waters will be preaching for Montreat’s worship service. You are invited to log onto Montreat’s website for access to online worship, .  
Staff Update

Victoria Melin will remain with us through the Summer working with Youth and children in various capacities. She can be reached by email at
 Welcome Logan!

Logan Britt, who some of you may recognize from her time in our nursery early this spring, will be stepping in as our Faith Formation Intern in the fall and this summer will be learning the ropes from Victoria and helping out with children’s and youth programming. Logan is a rising Junior at Furman University, majoring in education and children/youth ministries, and a native of Greenville. She is a member of and grew up at John Knox Presbyterian Church. Please welcome Logan and introduce yourself through email or on Zoom calls. Her email address is
Our middle and high school youth and many of their families gathered on June 5th and 6th to play, connect, and discuss national protests. FPC family – you should be proud of your youth! They are remarkable followers of Jesus who are wrestling with important questions facing our nation in mature and thoughtful ways, and showing great respect as we talk and pray about the sensitive issues around race. This church family has followed through on your baptismal vows to nurture these youth in the ways of Jesus.

We’re gathering at Will James’ home on Saturday morning for a middle school and high school Kickball and Popsicles Rematch!
These small group outdoor gatherings have been carefully planned to maintain social distancing, will be staffed by Berry and Victoria as well as several youth advisors, and have been approved by our COVID-19 Advisory Group. 

We continue to gather weekly for Zoom gatherings to continue to study Acts together.
On Friday, rising 6th grade youth and their families are invited to Welcome to Youth Group orientation. Those new middle schoolers will join our Kickball and Popsicles on Saturday morning to start building relationships with our youth group.
Reflections from Al: “Slow and Steady” 

I had my first real hair cut in 4 months this morning—can’t say it did much for my looks but it sure felt good to “get my ears lowered” by someone else—although the sweet young woman about 5 feet tall and face-level with me asked me if I would like her to wear a mask??!! Well, yes please…reopening in Greenville County has happened—ready or not.

I am grateful for the careful, deliberate, wise and slower opening process that our session is following with the advice of the medical advisory team. They are balancing the desire to worship together with also being sensitive to the overall health of our Greer community.

Looking forward to our vespers service being planned outside for July 19-BYOCM-bring your own chair and mask…giving thanks for the creativity of staff, the patience of our congregation, and grateful to the Lord who sustains us with grace and steadfast hope.

Thank you for continuing to be the church!
Many in our church family are taking the 21 Day Race Equality Challenge and several of us met via Zoom Sunday evening for a thoughtful and respectful discussion. YOU are urged to check out the digital resources at Better When We're Back Together . This is a digital platform that invites Christians to read/watch/listen to brief articles/YouTubes/podcasts about race – you can invest 10 minutes and broaden your understanding of the issues our country is facing.
Berry will host another FPC Greer Zoom discussion on our responses and questions on June 21st at 2pm. Please reach out to Berry if you have any questions, or browse the website:

Dear Church Members ,
As you know, Thornwell is one of our mission outreach partners and we have the opportunity to spread some cheer and love among them during these difficult times. The people of Thornwell cottages will be very appreciative if we send the children and staff some cards of Encouragement, Love and Cheer or just to say hello!! “We are thinking and praying for you”.
If you have small children this is the perfect opportunity to ask them to make a handmade card and send to a cottage at Thornwell. (Information will be given to you about the cottages)
Typically a cottage has teachers and kids that live there. For example: Berkele Cottage consists of 4 teachers and 5 young women. We will provide details if you and your family consider this opportunity.
Please contact me by email or text if you and your family would like to participate. I will provide you with a cottage name, number of people living in it (to send each one a card) and address.
Thank you for considering.
Love and Blessings to you!
Adriana Hoskins, Thornwell Deacon , (864)561-9170
What is your favorite hymn? Lisa Dillard is planning a virtual hymn-sing in July and would like to include music that is special to everyone.
Please email her at l or text 864-787-5798 to share your favorite hymns.
Click on the picture to the left to see FPCG's recent photos.

Send us pictures of the ways in which you are connecting to your FPCG Family remotely. Maggie Wentzky
Our Daily Bread Devotional Books 
Our Daily Bread Ministries Devotional Books (June - August) are available for pickup at the church. Please pick up a copy from
the mailbox at Door B.
Joys & Concerns of FPC Family
Bruce Baker
Jamie Hall
Cindy Moore
Jenny Munro
Jim Stringer
Calendar of Events

June 16
1:30 Prayer Shawl Ministry via Zoom

June 17
10:30 Bible Study via Zoom
4:00 Middle School Gathering via Zoom
5:00 High School Gathering via Zoom
6:30 Choir Virtual Meeting
7:30 Handbell Virtual Meeting

June 18
10:00 FPCG Zoom Connections

June 19
3:30 Rising 6th Graders Welcome to Youth Group Orientation

June 20
10:00 All Youth & Families Kick Ball and Popsicles

June 21
9:00 Worship Available Online
10:00 Elementary Sunday School via Zoom
10:00 Book Study with Pete via Zoom
5:30 Youth Parent Zoom

June 22

June 23
1:30 Prayer Shawl Ministry via Zoom

June 24
10:30 Bible Study via Zoom
4:00 Middle School Youth Zoom
5:00 High School Youth Zoom
6:30 Choir Zoom
7:30 Handbell Zoom

June 25
10:00 FPCG Zoom Connections

June 26

June 27

June 28
9:00 Worship Available Online
10:00 Elementary Sunday School via Zoom
10:00 Book Study with Pete via Zoom
5;30 Youth Parent Zoom