First News
October 6, 2020
Preparing to Gather
We had a wondrous in-person worship service this past Sunday in our parking lot. It was our first gathered worship on a Sunday morning since March 15. It was good to see many of you there.

Our limited, by reservation, in person worship approved by the Session last month, will begin at 11 AM on Sunday October 25 in the Fellowship Hall. As I noted in my sermon a week ago this will not be “normal.” As the recent news has vividly made abundantly clear, the coronavirus is still loose among us. It remains highly contagious. It is powerful in causing illness and death.

I continue to believe God is giving us science, the science of good public health protocols, as manna to sustain us in navigating this pandemic wilderness passage. So in care for one another we must abide by those protocols especially in our worship of God.

In preparation for this in person worship you will receive an email with procedures that must be followed to attend. Watch for that email. And remember, the worship will be sort of a “watch party” — sitting in the Fellowship Hall appropriately distanced from one another receiving the worship via screen as it is led in the sanctuary. The service will be live streamed, so you may participate in it from your home.

Prior to the advent of this in person worship in our building, we will have one more in person Vespers on the lawn of the Century Three Company across Main Street from our building on Sunday, October 18 at 5:30 PM, weather permitting. As before, bring your own chair, wear your masks and join in that service. I would love to see you there.

Grace and peace,
Pete Peery - Interim Pastor
The PNC has been working diligently, meeting weekly since January and examining a tremendous number of candidates from multiple references and the Church Leadership Connection. This process typically averages anywhere from a year to eighteen months in our denomination, as we are searching for a leader who will be with us, ideally, for at least a decade. We are not suggesting that we will take that long, but we are not willing to compromise our values in this search for the sake of speed.  

The onset of Covid has hindered our work, but the multitude of services posted online since March has made it easier to get to know candidates without traveling to hear them. On the other hand, some very good candidates have been hesitant to leave their flock in such a turbulent time.  

We are having meaningful conversations with some excellent candidates. We are seeing the work of the Holy Spirit in multiple ways. Please pray for us and have patience as we work to find an installed pastor who will minister to us all. 

The Pastor Nominating Committee – Jessica Bruce, Christy Driggers, Heather Gordon, Bob Greene, Will James, Travis Olmert, Rudy Painter, and Harriet Williams
Congregational Dialogue on Racism
2nd Wednesday of each month
October 14, November 11, and January 13
7:30 p.m. - 9:00 p.m. via Zoom

Our next Speaking Down Barriers Conversation about Race will be held via Zoom on Wednesday, October 14th from 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. The first conversation was stunningly rich and poignant. Any participant in the congregation may join in this next conversation regardless of whether you participated in the first one. If you want to join, please notify Lisa Johnson at by 4:00 p.m. on Monday October 12th. She will send you an email with a Zoom link to join. All participants in the first conversation will receive an email with the link by noon on October 14th.
“For Such a Time as This . . . .”

Stewardship Dedication Sunday is November 8th. You are invited to prayerfully consider your pledge for 2021 to sustain the ministry and life of this congregation in such a time as this. Stretching toward welcoming the ministry of a new senior pastor, equipping the church for a new era of life post pandemic - all depends on how you respond to God’s grace in such a time as this.

Watch for more information in your mailbox and in upcoming newsletters about our Stewardship Season.
at 5:30 p.m.

Join us for an outdoor service of prayer and song. Weather permitting, we'll meet on the Century Three lawn directly across from the church. Bring your chair, wear your mask, and join us in an evening of worship.
“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11. 

The youth group has been staying connected through Zoom calls, recorded Sunday School sessions, and small group gatherings! Youth families are invited to fill out this feedback form to share ideas on how to help your youth’s faith grow. For the month of October, you can expect to see more gatherings, small group meetings, and Zooms. Enjoy this “throwback” photo from last year’s Escape Room adventure! Blessings.
Children’s Faith Formation Update
Reminder: Beginning October 18th Children’s Sunday School will move to 9:30 am, but will still be on Zoom. Thank you to our teachers who are continuing to be creative and make Sunday School possible. 

Music Ministry Rehearsal Update

Chancel Choir: Outdoor gatherings weekly on Wednesdays at 6:30pm in back parking lot. Bring your lawn chair for fellowship and socially distanced singing with masks. We will work toward a recording of a Christmas anthem for our virtual Joygift service.  

Resounding Joy Handbell Choir: Weekly rehearsals on Wednesdays at 7:30 in the fellowship hall (enter via Door A), socially distanced with masks. We will play for worship on the 3rd Sunday each month. We will also prepare a Christmas piece for our virtual Joygift service.  
Flu Shot Drive-Thru Clinic on Sunday, October 18th
4:00 - 5:30 pm

Vaccines will be administered in the back parking lot at the corner of School & Randall Streets. Sign ups are NOT required and there is no cost.
The vaccine available is approved for ages 6 months and up. Unfortunately, we unable to offer the higher strength dose recommended for those 65 and above. 
Click on the picture to see FPCG's recent photos.

Send us pictures of the ways you are connecting to your FPCG Family remotely. Maggie Wentzky
Prayers for the FPC Family
Bruce Baker
Luanne Baker
Vincent DeMaria
Jamie Hall
Joe Moon
Cindy Moore
Marie Moore
Patty White
Carolyn Wright

Christian sympathy is expressed to Karen, Alex, Lucas and Jon Cummings in the death of Eric; to the family of Steve Dillard; and to Joe Moon and his family in the death of Susan. 
Tracy, Jennifer and I want to thank our congregation for all the love and support you have shown us during Steve’s illness and death. The food, cards, calls and all the love expressed have helped us through this time. We appreciate the help of so many to put together the family service for Steve. Most of all we are grateful to God for the blessing of having Steve in our lives. 
Sincerely, Elizabeth Clayton
The next issue of First News will be sent out on October 20th. If you have content for the newsletter, please email it to Lisa Johnson at by Friday, October 16th.
Calendar of Events

October 6
1:00 Prayer Shawl Ministry via Zoom
3:00 Book Club

October 7
10:30 Fall Bible Study via Zoom
6:30 Chancel Choir Outdoor Gathering
7:30 Hand Bell Rehearsal

October 8
October 9
October 10

October 11
9:00 Worship Available Online
10:00 Elementary Sunday School via Zoom
3:00 Mid High Girls Small Group
7:00 Jazz Ensemble Small Group
October 12

October 13
1:00 Prayer Shawl Ministry via Zoom
3:00 HC Circle Group

October 14
10:30 Fall Bible Study via Zoom
7:30 Speaking Down Barriers Dialogue via Zoom

October 15
October 16
October 17

October 18
9:30 Elementary Sunday School via Zoom
11:00 Worship Available Online
12:00 Session Meeting via Zoom
2:30 Elder/Deacon Training
5:30 Vespers Service
7:00 Jazz Ensemble Small Group

October 19