First News

June 7, 2023

The Call to Vulnerability


With Mary Moore Driggers ordination this past Sunday and Ally Pexa’s ordination and installation coming up this Sunday, I have been thinking a lot about call. This past Sunday, I shared one of my call stories, a time when I felt God’s urging very closely and clearly. Many of you commented that you appreciated my vulnerability and willingness to share something personal.

This got me thinking about how call and vulnerability are related. Vulnerability seems to be a requirement in our scriptures in order to properly receive God’s call and to faithfully follow it. Of course, the most profound example is Jesus Christ, whose ministry was defined by both his humility and his willingness to be vulnerable. Our minds might go straight to his washing the disciples’ feet, but his willingness to make himself vulnerable certainly did not start “on the night he was betrayed.” His whole ministry was defined by a vulnerability that defied logic, especially for the Son of God. It was holy vulnerability.

Clearly, being vulnerable is a part of being faithful to Christ. But it is most certainly easier said than done. It is hard to be vulnerable because you open yourself up to being taken advantage of, even harmed. Also, our culture does not encourage vulnerability. It is often viewed as a synonym for weakness and being weak is seen by many as a moral failing. Perhaps there is no better place to see how deeply Jesus’ way of living creates tension with the values of our world.

Some of the most prominent accounts of Jesus’ vulnerability are with people who stood outside the societal norms of acceptability. The many times married woman at the well, the hemorrhaging woman, the Samaritan woman, tax collectors, and lepers were all outsiders who Jesus spent time both seeking and hearing out. And always there was someone or many people, whether his disciples or church leaders, telling him he should not do what he was doing; that he should not, as a proper Jewish man, make himself vulnerable to “those” people. Jesus never listened to them. His love and compassion drove him always closer and closer to those who were drifting farther and farther away from community.


I believe what drove others’ efforts to stop Jesus from living vulnerably was not so much anger and hatred, as discomfort. Or, at the very least, it was discomfort that drove them to hatred and anger. This underscores the truth about vulnerability, it is uncomfortable. And, quite frankly, it is easier to hate than it is to be vulnerable.


But we are called to be followers of The Way of Jesus Christ, and that means being vulnerable in our pursuit of loving others. It also means taking a self-inventory about what, and, particularly, who it is that makes us uncomfortable. And then, following the way of our Savior, we are commanded to seek these people out in order to listen to their stories and let them change our hearts. Jesus never worried about what challenges and discomforts might arise as he pursued the messy work of relationship and community; he simply moved forward in love. And this holy vulnerability calls us to do the same. To move forward, even if we awkwardly stumble, in love.

Grace and peace,


A Note from Ally

“We serve God in the world with joy, humility, and enthusiasm.” This is one of many statements from First Greer’s MIF that captured my attention. I have found myself reflecting on this statement over the past few weeks as I learn more about this vibrant community. I have experienced immense joy, witnessed profound humility, and felt overwhelming enthusiasm….and that was all within the first week! What an honor it is to see the ways that you all embody this statement, not only in your individual lives, but in your communal life together. Words cannot express how grateful I am for the warm and loving welcome I have received. I look forward to getting to know you all and seeing the ways that God will continue to work in and through this community!



FPC Greer Financial Snapshot

As of May 31, 2023

Budgeted Income = $381,806.00

Actual Income = $368,522.43

Variance = ($13,283.57)

Dear Friends,

Let me begin by saying how blessed I have been to work for this amazing church for the past 17 years. I felt God leading me to serve at First Presbyterian, Greer. In this new season of my life, the Lord has provided an opportunity for me to work full-time. Many tears have been shed while seeking God’s direction for my life. I appreciate all your support, both in my role as financial administrator and for me, personally, as I celebrated joys and suffered losses. I will be forever grateful for this congregation as it was a joy and blessing to come to work each day. 

Thank you for the phone calls, cards, and emails over the past weeks. I appreciate all of them. I pray that God will continue to bless each of you.

In Christ,

Lynn Bennett

All Church Summer Book Read

The Faith Formation Ministry Team is sponsoring an all church book read this summer with “Blessed Are The Crazy: Breaking the Silence about Mental Illness, Family & Church.” Author Sarah Griffith Lund is an ordained minister and a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary. Lund looks back at her father’s battle with bipolar disorder, and the helpless sense of déjà vu as her brother and cousin endure mental illness, as well. Her book is more than a memoir; it’s a resource for churches to provide healing and comfort. We will meet together on Sunday, August 20th at 4:00 p.m. to discuss the book and the intersection of faith and mental health.

Books are available for purchase on Amazon or a limited number of copies are available for $10.00 in the church office.

We welcomed these new members into the fellowship of FPC Greer on May 21st!

Matthew, Tricia, Fiona, and Maeve Hook

Annette Hull

Congratulations to our 2023 Confirmands!

William Shelburne, Jr.

Marley Mangum

Maeve Humphrey 

Harper Cash

The Greer Soup Kitchen is getting ready for their Summer Lunch Buddies program and needs donations of the following items:

Canned Hot Dog Chili

Snack Size Bags of Chips

Fruit and Pudding Cups

Lance Crackers (No peanut butter)

Cream of Chicken and Cream of Mushroom Soups

Bottled Water

Sugar (5 lb. bags)

Please drop your items off at the Greer Soup Kitchen located at 521 E. Poinsett Street, Monday - Saturday between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 1:00 p.m.

The Prayer Shawl Ministry Team has provided a basket of wraps for those who may need one during worship. You are invited to pick up a shawl from the baskets in the sanctuary narthex or in the fellowship hall.

Prayer Concerns

Luanne Baker

Dick & B.J. Baldwin

Marguerite DeMaria

Hugh & Jo Earnest

Bill & Barbara Greene

Barry & Diane Groce

Bonnie Holmes

Jack House

Joe & June Johns

Abbie McWilliams

Deb Dobson Moore

Bob Schmidt

Patty White

Bob Wiesner

Thank you to everyone for your calls, cards, and most especially, your prayers during Buddy’s recent health issues. He is doing much better and we truly appreciate the loving support of our church family.

Elizabeth and Buddy Clayton

The next issue of First News is July 6th. If you have content for the newsletter, please email it to Lisa Johnson at by Monday, July 3rd.

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