Here's what's happening!
March 19, 2020
"Lent begins in the wilderness. The Spirit guides Jesus into the wilderness where he comes face to face with temptation and struggle. Yet, in his forty days of fasting, resisting, and wandering, Jesus is shaped and formed for ministry. Similarly, through the wilderness of Lent, we are invited to surrender to the wild leadings of the Spirit. We rarely enter the wilderness willingly, but hopefully through our wandering we remember who we are and whose we are. The wilderness can become sacred even if it remains dangerous. There is no wilderness space too harsh or threatening for God’s love. This Lent, we welcome you to the journey" (from Sanctified Art ).

During the season of Lent we will provide weekly reflections on poetry and art based on the work of Sanctified Art. The full Lenten Devotional from Sanctified Art , which includes artwork, can be downloaded here . Printing instructions are here .
Update on FPC
March 19 through March 29
Church family,

I write this to you all recognizing the grief that comes with it, and yet, at the same time, the reassurance we are called to love one another through these trying times. The session of FPC voted tonight, via video conference, to only gather online for the next two Sundays: March 22 and March 29. We will reassess on March 26 as we enter April. This will assure that we continue to provide an intentional worship experience for you all through our Facebook Live and Instagram Live platforms. The worship service may look a little different as we seek to be faithful to reformed worship while recognizing the complexity of live stream services.

Worship Resources, Lenten Resources, and Christian Education Resources can be found on our Church’s website home page. We invite you to join us in various ways through engaging the resources provided and our interactions on social media.

The church office will remain closed. Please do not hesitate to reach out for pastoral care needs. Below you will find opportunities to connect, serve, and grow all while practicing social distancing.

For this Sunday our lectionary text includes Psalm 23. This psalm is a reminder of God’s presence with us. God is with us. God is Sovereign. God is enough.

May we take time to reflect on how we just might lean in to the shelter and comfort of our Shepherd this day and every day.

“Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord my whole life long.” Psalm 23:6

The Peace of Christ be with you,
We know how important physical connection is to us, and to our church family. Please know that we can't wait for the day we can gather together again!
Sunday School
Continues in New Ways!
Christian Education continues to be an important of what we do here at FPC. Therefore, there will be Christian Education content created for all ages each week.

Content can be found on our website . Be sure to check back regularly for updates.

You can already find a Lenten reflection from Neeley and Story Time with Kimmy .

Please know that we are exploring ways to creatively engage with one another.
Family Care Shoppers
Please note the Pastoral Care Round Table has been postponed, but caring for those in need continues to be an important part of who we are FPC.

We recognize many of our members are fearful of going out in public during this time. Therefore, some church members have volunteered to be your personal care shopper. If you are in need of food and/or other household items please contact  Neeley  and we will get what you need on your doorstep.

If you are willing to join the shoppers in shopping/distribution please let  Neeley  know.
First United Methodist Food Pantry
Sign up to Volunteer
The Food Pantry at the First United Methodist is looking for volunteers. Click  here  to sign-up, but please read below for criteria for volunteers. You cannot just walk up to volunteer.

All direct care volunteers (on site at the food pantry, distributing sack lunches or super packs in the community) must agree to the following guidelines for your safety and the safety of others:
  1. You are not in a high risk group (over 65 years old or have a chronic medical condition such as heart disease, diabetes, or lung disease)
  2. You do not reside with a member of a high risk group
All volunteers, whether direct care or indirect (making sandwiches, dropping off supplies, putting together super packs) must agree to these best infection control practices:
  1. You will monitor your own health status. If you develop a fever of 100.4 or above, have a dry cough, or experience shortness of breath, you will contact your healthcare provider for guidance.
  2. You will follow recommended hand washing guidelines (20 seconds with soap and water, hand sanitizer), respiratory hygiene (cover your cough and sneeze in your elbow or a tissue that is disposed of), wear single use gloves at all times, and sanitize all surfaces before and after use
  3. You will follow social distancing recommendations: only work in very small groups (maximum 4 in a room), maintain 3-6 feet between you and other volunteers.
Truck Drivers for Food Pantry
The Methodist Food Pantry also needs additional drivers for the refrigerated box truck. Here are the requirements:
  • Age 25 to 64
  • No chronic health conditions (heart disease, diabetes, lung disease)
  • CDL license is a plus but not necessary. Our truck is a 26 ft refrigerated truck, so basic knowledge of how to drive that vehicle is helpful
  • Must pass a criminal background check (we will pay for)
  • We will temporarily add the driver to our insurance
Pickups are Monday and Friday mornings. You can volunteer to drive once or multiple times.

Contact their  Coordinator  to volunteer.
During this season the church is continuing to operate, though in modified ways. But we need your help by continuing to give to the church.

You may continue to give by mailing checks to the church, dropping your offering in our mailbox (open the box and drop it in, then close the box. This box can only be accessed by a key) or by giving on-line.

To use Realm click here .
  1. Log-in with your email and password
  2. When your page opens click on “Giving” on the left-side menu
  3. At the top click on +giving tab
  4. Fill out form with amount and fund (you can change it to any fund by clicking on the menu arrow)
  5. If you pledge you need it to say “2020 pledge”; or non-pledge or other fund
  6. Click continue when you’ve filled out that page;
  7. On the next page you can choose credit card or bank; continue to put in account information
  8. After you complete that the program leads you into clicking through the process and then “finish”
Call the church office if you need help. If you’ve never set up a Realm account (or forgotten your password), Peni can send you a link to do that. Be sure after you’ve entered your log-in information to save the page to your favorites so you can click on it to go back to the site when you want to access it again. 

The FPC Realm page has a specific URL; you can’t get to it by going to “Realm”.
88 Keys: International Piano Day Concert
Sunday, March 29 at 3:00pm
The Arts Association is hosting an International Piano Day Concert on Sunday, March 29 at 3:00pm at the Porter Performing Arts Center. The concert will feature our own Alice Walker and Phil Anderson!

There has been no official announcement about the scheduling of this event, so stay tuned for updates.
Find us on Facebook and Instagram!
If you haven't seen our pages on Facebook or Instagram recently, please be sure to "like" and "follow" us.

The best way to spread the word about the exciting things at FPC is to "like" and "share" our posts.
Interested in Joining FPC?
If you're interested in joining the FPC family, you are welcome to reach out to Neeley . You can enjoy coffee together and discuss what it means to become a member.
Early Learning Center Registration
Now Open!
Registration is now open for the Early Learning Center 2020-2021 school year! More information can be found here .

Please contact Darlene Alley , the Preschool Director, with any questions.
Save the Date: All Church Retreat at Montreat
November 6-8
Save the Date for our All Church Retreat at Montreat! All are welcome, from the youngest to the oldest. More details to follow.
Food Pantry
Donations for the month of March
The Food Pantry is now open on Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00-12:00. Donations of any non-perishable food items are welcome.

Suggestions donations for March: canned vegetables
Please keep the following people and their families in your thoughts and prayers this week:

Prayer Updates:
  • Greeley Ellis - Piedmont Newton
  • Karen Moss - treatment for breast cancer. You may sign-up for take them a meal by clicking here.

  • Jodi and Jonny Atkins are home with baby Lo! She is precious and can't wait to meet her church family! To see a picture of baby Lo click here.

Ongoing Prayer Concerns:
  • Warren Liem - recovery from broken hip
  • Chris Martin - recovering from cataract surgery
  • Tricia Hinton - recovery from fractured hip
  • Natalie Phillips - thyroid cancer
  • Carter MacKenzie - neck injury (son of Julie and Jeff MacKenzie)
  • Olaava MacKenzie - stranded in Thailand due to the corona virus (daughter of Jeff and Julie MacKenzie)
  • Richard Juliano - surgery (friend of Jeff MacKenzie)
  • Miles Bryant - family concerns (son of John and Nancy Bryant, friends of the Liems)
  • Roger Tingler - hip replacement
  • Tom Bass - bone marrow cancer and dialysis (friend of Beth and Danny Vining)
  • Martha Daddario - kidney surgery (friend of Jeff and Julie MacKenzie)
  • Brenda Howell - breast cancer
  • Anderson Krieger - leukemia (friend of Trista Hooten-Wilson)
  • Denny Dobbs - knee surgery
  • Koen Ardis - Navy training in Pensacola
  • Noah Hicks - recovering from knee surgery
  • Wilford Reed - daughter was in car accident; his brother has age-related issues (friend of Jeff MacKenzie)
  • Denise Vining - recovering from kidney transplant (Danny & Beth Vining’s niece)
  • Julia Jones - cancer treatment (friend of the Carmichaels and Boltons)
  • Karen Lein Kaasa - cardiac bypass (sister-in-law of Julie MacKenzie)
  • Bob Darby - kidney problems (friend of Jeff MacKenzie)
  • Sharon Beasley Strickland - tests for oral cancer (classmate of Jeff MacKenzie)
  • Bill Miller - vascular dementia (Beth Vining's brother)
  • Joyce Williams - Alzheimer's Disease (Danny Vining's sister)
  • Peter Milner - cancer (nephew of Day & Larry Kennon)
  • Larri Harris - melanoma treatment (friend of Susan Boteler)
  • Angela Gregory - cancer treatment, in Scotland (sister of Dave Gregory)
  • Robby Ashworth - treatment for brain tumor (son of Joyce Ashworth)
  • Matt Cooper - CPD officer at home but still recovering
  • Brandon Massey - blood cancer (grandson of Chuck & Sherry Brasher)
  • Carol Baynes - cancer (friend of Phyllis Yoder)
  • Robin McKeown - cancer (friend of Phyllis Yoder)
  • Sophia Hawley - cystic fibrosis

Independent Living and Assisted Living:
  • Penny Blakeney (home)
  • Maxine Blankenship (The Oaks)
  • Patti Borders (Merryvale)
  • Julia Brubaker (Benton House)
  • Jean Elder (The Oaks)
  • Dot Fincher (Merryvale)
  • Jerry McGaffney (Merryvale)
  • Guy McGiboney (Merryvale)
  • Betty Robinson (Merryvale)
  • Roger Wallace (Merryvale)
  • Louise White (Merryvale)

Please update your prayer requests this week! 
Email: or call the church office, 770-786-7321.