First News
May 18, 2023
New Things

What a wonderful time in the life of First Greer! This spring has been full of new things. A youth service that inspired, a bluegrass service that lifted our hearts and souls and included Travis Olmert’s incredible original, “Old Mount Tabor,” and a packed congregational meeting to introduce new Associate Pastor, Ally Pexa. On Pentecost, May 28th, our five confirmands will publicly confess their faith and officially join the church, and then, in June, we will ordain both Mary Moore Driggers and Ally.

We have so much to be thankful for and so many things to be excited about for the future. Personally, I am grateful for this wonderful community, our incredible staff, and our APNC for their diligent, faithful work. Most especially, I am grateful for our God who is always faithful. I am excited about what God has in store for us and I ask that you keep the church and especially Ally in your prayers as we welcome her and celebrate and honor the gifts she brings to ministry.

Grace and Peace,
Getting to Know Our New Associate Pastor
Welcome to Ally Pexa!

What is your favorite scripture and why?

One of my favorite passages of scripture is Numbers 27:1-11, the story of Zelophehad's daughters. This passage of scripture has long been a favorite of mine and has been formative for my understanding of ministry. I think it is a powerful example of what can happen when we listen to one another, engage with the world around us, and are open to the radical and mysterious ways that God is at work!

What are your hobbies and what do you like to do for fun?

I love to be outside! You will often find me on a run, trying to find a good hiking trail, or walking Bubba, our dog! I love food, participating with my virtual book club with my sister and mom, yoga, art, and spending time with friends. My husband and I enjoy exploring new places and look forward to getting to know the Greer area. 

What are your hopes for our youth program?

My hope for the youth program is that it can continue to be a safe space for youth to grow in their relationships with each other and with God. I hope that we are able to envision new and creative ways to draw youth into the life of the Church. 

What feeds your soul?

The people in my life feed my soul! Quality time is a love language of mine and I am so thankful for my community. 

Where did you grow up? 

I grew up in Northern California. I have spent the majority of my life right outside of Sacramento, and then brief stints in both Seattle, WA and Princeton, NJ.

What one thing would you like to share about your family?

One thing about my family is that I have 4 nephews under the age of 6. This, partnered with the fact that my parents just adopted a 10 month old German Shepherd, makes visits home to California a hoot. 

What is one thing that excites you about ministry?

This is a hard question because there are so many things that excite me about ministry! Ministry excites me because it is a beautiful opportunity to build meaningful relationships, engage in critical conversations about faith and the world, and discern together where God is at work around us. I do not take this honor lightly! I am beyond excited to get to know the community of FPC Greer and think about the ways that we can serve one another and the larger community. 
FPC Greer Financial Snapshot
As of April 30, 2023

Budgeted Income = $322,288.00
Actual Income = $300,031.00
Variance = (-$22,257.00)
We enjoyed two inspiring worship services on Bluegrass and Gospel Sunday. Thank you to Wendi Arms, Mike Branham, Ameka Cruz, James Humphrey, Travis Olmert, and Chad Wentzky for using their musical talents to enhance our worship.

Several folks have asked that we share the lyrics to Old Mount Tabor, a song written by Travis Olmert especially for Bluegrass Sunday.

There's a place long ago, down a dusty dirt road where the people got together to worship the Lord. They weren't free from sin, but when the choir chimed in, you could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. The lessons they learned, from God's Holy Word, would lighten their path and level their way. God had a plan for every woman and man that came to worship at Old Mount Tabor.

And when the blossoms all froze and peaches wouldn't grow, God's call to serve was a letter away. They weren't free from sin, but when the choir chimed in, you could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. The elders did meet and they rolled up their sleeves to draw up a plan to move down into town. Listen to the sound of the mules kicking up the ground, as they pulled that little church down the main town road.

There's a place long ago, down a dusty dirt road where the people got together to worship the Lord. They weren't free from sin, but when the choir chimed in, you could feel the presence of the Holy Ghost. The lessons they learned, from God's Holy Word, would lighten their path and level their way. Through the blood, tears, and sweat, let us never forget, what the Lord did down at Old Mount Tabor.
Graduate Recognition on May 21st During 11:00 a.m. Worship

High School Graduates: Sophia Fury, Caroline Greene, Owen Humphrey, Carter Jones, Alex Olmert, and Vittoria Swalm.

College Graduates: Jackson All, Tate Bowers, Creighton Boyd, Alexandra Katz, Jackson Keller, Andrew Marpes, and Grady Mauney.
Sunday Funday is May 21st! Meet Ms. Maggie in the gym at 4:00 p.m. and wear clothes you can get dirty.
Congregational Potluck Lunch on
May 28th following Worship!

Fried Chicken and Beverages will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share.
Please note the church office will be closed on Monday, May 29th in observance of Memorial Day. The church staff wishes you a safe holiday.
Memorial Day is Monday, May 29th. In appreciation of your service, Bill Koehler, Colonel USA, Ret. invites you and your significant other to share your military experiences and those of your parents and grandparents over a meal on Tuesday, May 30th. We will gather at the Great Bay Oyster House at 109 E. Poinsett Street from 5:30 p.m. until 8:30 p.m. Please RSVP to Bill Koehler by Wednesday, May 24th. 
It’s time to register for VBS!
Join us June 12th —16th from 9:00 a.m. to noon for Hero Hotline:
Called Together to Serve God!

As kids (called Heroes) experience Bible stories through music, drama and storytelling, games, arts and crafts, science, and even snacks, they’ll learn that Heroes are called to Follow Jesus, Help Others, Work Together, Listen to God,
and Show Grace! 

Click here to register for VBS!
VBS Supplies Needed!

We need all sorts of supplies for VBS. Everything from items you probably have around your house to things that may need to be purchased. These items will help us with decorations, crafts and games throughout the week. Feel free to buy locally (Dollar Tree is a great resource) or through the Amazon wish list linked below.

Supplies are needed by May 28th and donation boxes are located around the church.

Shop for VBS Supplies Using Our Amazon Wishlist:

Items you may have around the house
Brown Paper Bags
Plastic grocery bags
Plastic bottle caps
Toilet Paper Rolls
Paper Towel Rolls
Cardboard Boxes of all sizes
Various Sports balls: soccer ball, tennis ball, golf balls, softball, etc. 
Playground balls
Old Telephone to be used as a prop

Other items
Children's Capes & Masks
Modeling Clay
Hula Hoops (5-6)
Pool Noodles (lots of them)
Tie-Dye Kits
Brown Craft Paper
Plastic Table Cloths in blues, purples, greens, oranges, etc. 
Foil streamer backdrops
Aluminum foil
Command Strips
Brightly colored Duct Tape
Foam Insulation in a spray can
Foam board
Nursery Staff Update:
Welcome, Erin Prins!

We are excited to welcome Erin Prins as a nursery worker on Sunday mornings! Please stop by the nursery and introduce yourself.

Erin is a rising Sophomore at Furman University. She was born in Kalamazoo, Michigan but has lived in the Raleigh area of North Carolina since she was 11 months old. She is a Mathematics major and plans on becoming a high school math teacher after graduation. Church has always been a place where Erin has found community and she is very excited to work at FPCG. Erin loves volunteering with children at her home church and can’t wait to create a loving environment in the nursery this summer!
It's time to register for Camp!!!

Our week at Camp Fellowship this summer will be June 18th - 23rd.

Programs are available for K5 thru 12th grade and camp scholarships in the amount of $300.00 are available to all FPC Greer members. To apply this $300 discount to your registration use code: 1stGreer23

Camp Fellowship celebrates its 75th anniversary in 2023 and we hope everyone will join in on the fun.

If you have questions about camp, please reach out to Maggie Wentzky or click here to access the Camp Fellowship website.
Men’s Monthly Breakfast on June 7th at 8:00 a.m. in the fellowship hall. RSVP to Cal Cannon via text at 864-384-5225. All are welcome!
The Simply Supper Group invites you to join them for dinner and fellowship on Friday, June 9th at 6:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall. Fried chicken tenders and beverages will be provided. Please bring a side dish or dessert to share. If you know someone who would like to join us, please invite them to come. For more information, please contact Kathy Vanderhoff or Faye Jenkins.
Prayer Concerns
Louise Ables
Luanne Baker
Dick & B.J. Baldwin
Buddy Clayton
Marguerite DeMaria
Hugh & Jo Earnest
Joe & June Johns
Abbie McWilliams
Bob Schmidt
Bob Wiesner
Patty White

We extend Christian sympathy to Thad McCord and family at the death of his father, Hugh, on April 25th in Anderson, SC.
Dear Church Family,
I just again want to thank you for all the cards and prayers. I am doing pretty well and am getting out a little more. Hope to see you soon. Rita Moseley

Dear church family,
Thank you for your support and caring during my recent recovery from surgery. Your prayers, phone calls, cards, food, and flowers were greatly appreciated. Barbara Greene
The next issue of First News is June 7th. If you have content for the newsletter, please email it to Lisa Johnson at [email protected] by Monday, May 15th.