Sunday, December 4

Second Sunday of Advent

  • Sermon: Dr. Rev. Fritz Ritsch.
  • Worship Leader: Joanna Refvem
  • Scripture Reader: Derek Higgs
  • Head usher: Margret Cockerell
  • Pennies for Hunger collected
  • Lighting the advent candle: Keenagers
Bulletin for Sunday, December 4, 2022
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Read Past Sermons

Pennies For Hunger: Dec. 4

The first Sunday of the month we pass around yellow buckets for our Pennies for Hunger offering. You can also give to this fund through the Realm app.(click here) Just go to the giving tab and select the fund "HUNGER"

Thurs., December 1- City Christmas Tree Lighting

  • Beacons will be serving hot chocolate

Sun., December 4 - Second Sunday of Advent

Wed., December 7- 5:30pm

Advent Dinner and Candy Houses

Sun., December 11 - Third Sunday of Advent

  • Sermon: Dr. Rev. Fritz Ritsch.
  • Worship Leader: Laura East
  • Scripture Reader: needed
  • Head usher: Valerie Parker
  • Lighting the advent candle: Beacons
  • Congregational Meeting following service

Sun., December 18 - Fourth Sunday of Advent

  • 11am: Lessons and Carols
  • Sermon: Dr. Rev. Fritz Ritsch.
  • Head usher: Joy Barlow
  • Reception following worship to celebrate Christmas and our choir
  • Lighting the advent candle: First Steps

Thurs., December 22, 4-6pm: Dress Rehearsal for Christmas Pageant and Happy Birthday Jesus Party

Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve

  • 3:00 Children's Pageant
  • Bring gifts for Helping Hands
  • 7:00 Candlelight Service
  • Message: Dr. Rev. Fritz Ritsch.
  • Communion
  • Special Offering to help pay off low income students' outstanding lunch tabs at MACS Click here to donate

Sun., December 25- CHRISTMAS DAY

  • Casual worship, scriptures, prayer, and carols
  • Worship Leader: Peter Pequeno

Dec. 26 - 27: Church office closed

Dec. 26: noon-2pm Beacon Homecoming

(see writeup in Beacon section)

Jan. 2: Church office closed

Complete Church Calendar

Candy Houses:

Wednesday, Dec. 7

Mark your calendars for one of our most popular fellowship events! We will be having dinner at 5:30, then creating our candy houses. All supplies will be provided.

Cost is $7.00 per person with $25 per family max.

Relam users can CLICK HERE to RSVP. You can also email the church at or call the church office at 336-786-2803.

Click here to pay online through Realm. Once you enter your amount, you can leave a memo as to who will be attending. You can also pay at the door.

Click here to read what Rev. Ritsch said at the Nov. 20th Luncheon


Click here to see the video of Rev. Ritsch's talk at the Nov. 20th Luncheon

Nominations for the

Transition Team: Dec. 11

There will be a congregational meeting on Sunday, Dec. 11, following the 11 am service in the sanctuary. The purpose of the meeting will be to elect elders and also to submit nominations for members of the Interim Transition Team.

The Transition Team is a group of 6-8 people who will help Dr. Ritsch implement the interim process. This is an intensive commitment of at least one year, during which the team will plan church-wide events focusing on five areas: heritage, community relationships, mission and vision, leadership and the future, culminating in a shared strategic planning process that will ground the search for a new pastor. Please prayerfully consider whom you consider best qualified to serve on this team. The meeting Sunday will not be longer than fifteen minutes. 

Sunday, December 18:

Lessons and Carols

Mark your calendars and please plan to attend our special music service, Lessons and Carols, on Sunday, December 18! This is always a very special day in the life of our church where we showcase our music ministry. Our adult choir and children and youth choirs have been working hard to prepare all the lovely music for this day.

We will also welcome back guest brass ensemble Rodney Money and Max Kinard playing trumpet, and Kenneth Schechter and Cornelius Logan playing trombone. Jane Tesh will accompany on piano, and Pete Pequeno and Gavin and Evan Bush will play guitar. Please plan to be in attendance and invite friends in the community as well!

The Giving Tree

This year the Missions Ministry Team will have a "Giving Tree" in our foyer for donations for Helping Hands to assist in their ministry to the neediest in our community.

We are collecting items and $10 gift cards to fast food restaurants. We will also encourage people to bring these gifts to the children's pageant on Christmas Eve. Contact Beth Pequeno ( if you have questions.

Wish List

Dec. 4: 5-7pm, Scout Hut

We will be meeting for our weekly Bible study and fellowship time together. We will enjoy a meal together, play fun games, and will be reading through the Book of Luke together as we celebrate the beginning of the liturgical year in Western Christianity and the mystery of Advent in great anticipation of the coming of Jesus Christ our Messiah.

Meal provider needed.

Dec. 11: 5-7pm, Scout Hut

We will be creating ornaments with Ms. Beth.

Meal provider needed.

Dec. 18: 5pm, Fellowship Hall

We will be meeting for a special meal then going to Grace Moravian Church for a Christmas Lovefeast. Afterwards we will go to the Pequenos' house for Moravian sugar cake. More details to come.

Beacon Homecoming: Dec. 26

Current Beacons will host our former Beacons and helpers from noon to 2pm in the Fellowship Hall. We are looking forward to getting together for some food and fellowship. Former Beacons will also have the opportunity to paint their handprints on canvases to be hung in the Scout Hut. Please share this information and RSVP to

Meals for the Beacons

The Beacons are looking for people to provide light suppers for their meetings on Sunday evenings. If you are willing to be a supper host, click the button for available dates and more details.

Meals for Beacons

For more information about our Children's Ministries, contact Loida Slate at

Godly Play: children ages 3 - 1st grade

Faith Friends: 2nd-5th grade

Meetings held on Wednesdays

in the Scout Hut

12/14- Godly Play:5-6:30pm We will be learning all about the Advent season as we prepare for and remember the real meaning of Christmas! We will be doing our Advent Bible lesson and verse memorization, a fun Christmas craft, snacks, music with Ms. Anna and outdoor playtime - weather permitting! Hope to see your precious little ones this week as we prepare our hearts and minds for the birth of Jesus!

Please let Loida know if your child wants to be in the Christmas pageant on 12/24, and if they'd like a speaking part.

Thurs., December 22, 4-6pm: Dress Rehearsal for Christmas Pageant and Happy Birthday Jesus Party.

Sat., December 24: Christmas Eve: 3pm:

Children's Pageant

  • Bring gifts for Helping Hands

Financial Update

2022 has been a challenging year for FPCMA’s finances, but the Session is working hard to manage through those challenges.

Giving to the Church has been lower than we hoped. We believe the challenging national economic conditions have directly contributed to our current income level.

Expenses have generally exceeded our income, despite the fact that we are about 10% below the 2022 budget. A significant portion of this expense challenge is a direct result of our parting ways with Pastor Gatewood, which led to a significant overlap in pastoral expenses through the end of November.

The Session and Pastor Fritz are working hard on the Generosity Campaign for 2023. (see article below)

The result of that Campaign will be a major consideration in drafting our 2023 budget for congregational approval.

-The Financial Oversight Committee

2022 Financial Giving Update:

Thank you all for your charitable giving to the church in 2022. Your offerings allow us to continue programs and ministries in the life of the church and in our community. Current statements of giving have been mailed out. If you would like to make any final contributions before the end of the year, they must be received or postmarked by December 31, 2022. You can give online using Realm, mail to PO Box 1286, or drop it by the church, and leave it in the mailbox outside the preschool entrance. We also continue to receive 2023 Generosity campaign pledges. If you have not turned yours in, please do so as soon as possible.

Generosity Campaign

Our 2023 pledge campaign, "Cast Your Bread Upon the Waters" is still accepting pledges.

We ask that you prayerfully consider increasing your pledge over last year's gift by 3%. Pledges may be made by the pledge card you'll receive in the mail or Click Here to Pledge on Realm. Cards are also available at the church and can be turned into Anna or Fritz.

Click here for PDF of Brochure with Form

Application Time

It is that time of year again .. The Endowment Ministry Team is accepting applications for college scholarships. Students must have been a member of FPCMA for at least a year and currently enrolled in a field of study. Please contact Anna Bush at or Nelson Clark at to obtain an application and details of the process. Fully completed applications are due no later than 12/12/2022. 

First Steps needs substitutes! If you are a lover of little ones, and open to spending an occasional morning substituting, please reach out to Director Mary Alice Leonard at

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Support Our Area Charities 

Baskets are located in the Foyer outside the sanctuary for:

Yokefellow: Tuna and Mayonnaise

They are also low on canned corn, Ramen noodles, spaghetti noodles, and saltine crackers.

Shepherd's House: Toilet bowl cleaner

Also see the article about Giving Tree.

Community Coat Drive:

If you have coats you can give, community coat racks are located at:

  • Donna's Barber Shop
  • White Elephant
  • Chase n Charli's
  • PLLC NIT (by the new Dollar Tree on W. Lebanon)
  • Ol' Farmer in Cana, Va.

Books Needed

The Missions Ministry Team is working on a project for The Shepherd's House and Helping Hands that we will kick off in January. We need new and gently used books for children and young adults. There will be a box for donations in the foyer. Contact Beth Pequeno ( if you have questions.


Worship Volunteers Needed:

There are lots of ways to get involved during Sunday morning worship. We need scripture readers, flowers for the sanctuary, greeters, nursery helpers and Little Church helpers. There are sign-up sheets in the foyer, click a button below, or reach out to Anna at

Be watching for the 2023 signup lists in next week's message.

Flower Arrangement Sign-up
Scripture Reader Sign-up

Adult Sunday School:

Odds and Ends: This is our longest established class and it meets every Sunday at 10am in the classroom located at the end of the long hallway upstairs.


Prayer List

Please keep the following people in your prayers:

Antonio, Debbie Arrington, Jim and Janice Younger, Jean Arrington, Ron Atkins, Becky Lyons, Terri Keck, Pam Church, Denny Holder, Kathryn Benfer, Debbie Stoltz, and Wendy Bryd.

If you have a prayer request, contact Anna in the church office or email

Welcome Louise Harrison

Louise Hues Harrison was born at 10:08am on November 11, 2022. 7 pounds 10 ounces and 21 and 1/4 inches.

Parents are Skyler and Nicole Harrison. Big sisters are Mary Miles and Foster.

Welcome Smith Trotter

Smith Hasten Trotter was born at 8:35am on November 23, 2022. He measured 7 pounds 7ounces and 21.5 inches.

Parents are Gray and Eve Trotter. Big brothers are Wes and Kit.


December Birthdays

12/8 Chase Kniskern

12/9 Catherine Beal

12/10 Gray Parker

12/12 Mike Beal & AJ Clabough

12/13 Wayne Barlow & Ann Yokeley 12/15 Cathy Cloukey

12/17 Gavin Bush

12/19 Robert Moody

12/20 Jillian Roach

12/21 Liam Barlow

12/24 Nina Bowers & April Horton 12/27 Bettsee McPhail &

Anne Rachel Sheppard

12/30 Libby Pell & Meris Roach

12/31 Jane Tesh

November Anniversaries

12/5 Jim and Janice Younger

12/22 Mike and Legh Beal

The Keenagers Travel to Wohlfahrt Haus: Nov.15

The Keenagers had an excellent time on their annual trip to the Wohlfahrt Haus Dinner Theater in Wytheville, VA on November 15th. The food was delicious and the show was very entertaining! Special thanks to Bob Chilton for organizing the trip and for driving the bus.

Putting Together Thanksgiving Meal Kits on Nov.23

The Beacons and other church members put together 34 Thanksgiving meal kits for people in our community referred to us by the Salvation Army. Four went to the Children's Center for their residents. Not seen is 45 hams given to Helping Hands for the meal kits they put together. Your donations, and money raised by charging for parking in our lot during the Autumn Leaves Festival, made this possible! Special thanks to Marty and Justin at the W. Lebanon Food Lion for helping us with the food going in the kits. They even gave us bags to put everything in!

Serving Hot Chocolate: 12/1

The tradition of our Beacons serving free hot chocolate at the city's tree lighting event continues.

Hospice Afghans for Veterans

Hospice is running low on afghans for their veterans. Afghans need to be no more than 3'x3' and use red, white and blue yarn in any pattern you choose.

They can always use 3x'3' afghans in any color you choose.

Contact Beth Pequeno for more information.

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

9-8-8 is the new three-digit dialing code to reach help for suicide and crisis help across the United States. Please help to spread the word about this very important topic, and encourage anyone you know who may need help to dial 9-8-8. Texting is also an option.

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Session Members

Moderator: Dr. Rev. Frederick "Fritz" Ritsch

Clerk of the Session: Bob Keck



Class of 2022:

Mary Ellen Goad, Joy Barlow, Nelson Clark, and Valerie Parker

Class of 2023:

Will Sheppard, Margaret Cockerell, and

Beth Pequeno

Class of 2024:

Barry Schneider, Lydia Taylor, and David Rives

Visit our Website

First Presbyterian

Church Of Mount Airy

326 S Main St

Mt Airy, NC 27030

(336) 786-2803

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