June 9, 2021
As my last Sunday in worship is June 13, I thank each and all of you for the honor of serving with you since early November. It has been a wondrous gift for me to go through the liturgical seasons with you from Advent through Pentecost and Trinity Sunday, and along the way to observe the other church traditions of Thanksgiving, New Year’s, MLK weekend, Youth Sunday including a confirmation, ordination and installation of Elders and Deacons, Memorial Day, and more. You have an inordinately gifted staff, and I have so appreciated their forbearance with my technological ineptitude and their collaboration and friendship on all things. During the pandemic year you met your benevolent commitments and began some new ones, and solidified a budget for 2021, and provided for maintenance and care for all the FPC buildings and grounds. You generously supported special offerings including a new Blessing Box, and more than a ton of food for food pantries, and meals for the homeless shelter cooked by adult members and by youth, and holiday turkeys for hundreds of people. There were also many phone calls and zoom meetings and e-mails and personal notes and choir practices by which we stayed connected and raised our spirits. There were online worship videos, Bible studies and reading groups, and a weekly newsletter to keep us reliably informed and hopeful. As social distancing allowed, there were pastoral consultations and some visits and at least three graveside services, and children’s/grandchildren’s births were celebrated along with a baptism. The Reopening Committee has been prudent and wise and hopes to go out of business soon!  The Elders and Deacons and PW leaders, and so many others, display a visibly deep love for Christ and the Church as well as keen and prayerful insight and the mature capacity to listen and to plan. Your Pastoral Nominating Committee has brought an experienced and energetic new minister to town in due time, and she is now hard at work on her first sermon for June 20! Two amazing natural images of the months for me were the floral cross on Easter morning, and the astonishing growth of the zucchini and other plants in the new raised boxes established by First Kids—seeds growing rather secretly but now unmistakable gifts of the Creator’s fruitfulness. If zucchini can be majestic, there it is near the playground!
One of the histories of First Presbyterian Church is called “The Psalm Singers of Concord Town.” Presbyterians have long held the Psalms close to our hearts and minds and worship. I keep several at hand. Psalm 1 is a summons at the beginning to an ethical life. Psalm 23 of course many of us memorized early on and has been a strength as we have walked through the valley of the shadow of death and also have been pursued by goodness and mercy every day. Psalm 27 begins “The Lord is my light and my salvation. Of whom shall I be afraid?” Psalm 51 reminds us of our personal and corporate need for penitence and forgiveness. Psalm 77 is among the many profound laments which are so poignant around the globe in our time. Psalm 121 is beloved because it assures us that the Lord will keep our going out and our coming in from this time forth and forevermore. The Psalter concludes with soaring images of a symphonic praise (148-150) which include young and old, sea monsters, birds, flowering things—everything that breathes. But maybe through the years the Psalm of Presbyterians is Psalm 100. “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all lands. Serve the Lord with gladness. Come into his presence with singing . . .” As I now “go out,” I am certain that will be your witness together always, in such reliable and surprising ways. Though many things may have changed during the pandemic, “the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit” abide in you and for you.
Reopening Update
Sunday worship attendance in the Sanctuary has been increased to 175 people.
If you were signed up for Outdoors or on the Wait list - you have been moved inside the sanctuary. You do not need to do anything else.*
Contact Suzanne Russell in the office if you have any questions. Thank you.
VBS - Set-up Crew and Miscellaneous Items Needed
The excitement of VBS is building as we prepare for S’more Adventures with God! We are looking for a small team of people to be part of our set-up crew each morning. June 21-24 (Monday through Thursday), we will set the stage for camping fun starting at 8 a.m.. Most rotations are outside this year, which allows us to have a safe, outdoor VBS program, but it does involve a little extra work with daily set-up. If you can contribute to the success of our program with less than an hour’s worth of effort each morning, please let René Prager know:
There are also a few supplies that we still need:
Plastic reusable shopping bags (*these items will not be returned)

We will return all below donations unless you specify otherwise!
Christmas trees of all shapes and sizes.
Camp cot
Camp stools
Inflatable raft
Blue sheets
2” or less branches, cut 24” long….a lot of these!
Cooking tripod
Blue plastic tablecloths or roll
Rope….sisal 20 yards
Fake plants like ferns and bushes
Youth News
The Youth have been meeting over the last week to paint backdrops and props for VBS. If any of our 6th-12th graders are interested in joining us this Sunday, June 13th, please use this link to sign-up. The sign-up will allow us an easy way to communicate in case of inclement weather.
Reopening News on the Website
Visit the NEWS section of the church web site for up-to-date information on the re-opening of our Church campus for worship and other activities. We anticipate things to change frequently over the next several weeks and will post all updates for the congregation under that section of the website.
Sign-up Links
Lay Liturgists
Sign up here to be a lay liturgist to
read scripture in worship on Sundays.
Sanctuary Flowers
To give the congregation a gift of
sanctuary flowers, please click here
to sign-up for one or more Sundays
during the year.
Worship Sign-Up
Click here to sign-up for our
Sunday worship services.

Sunday, June 13, 2021
Rev. Rush Otey Preaching

Sunday, June 13
9:00 a.m. Choir Practice (Choir Loft, Sanctuary)
10:00 a.m. Worship (Sanctuary or Live-stream)
11:00 a.m. Journey Sunday School (Ed Bldg)
11:00 a.m.S & D class (TBD)
Monday, June 14
9:00 a.m. First Kids VBS Summer Camp
7:00 p.m. Boy Scouts District Roundtable (DH)
Tuesday, June 15
9:00 a.m. First Kids VBS Summer Camp
6:00 p.m. Cub Scouts
7:00 p.m. Boy Scouts Pack 3
Wednesday, June 16
9:00 a.m. First Kids VBS Summer Camp

Church Report
June 10 - Kristin Morgan, Lisa Ostema, Amy Woolwine
June 11 - Jennie Morrison, Mary Niblock
June 12 - Gray Carpenter
June 13 - Woody Liles, Hines Liles, Mollie Norris
June 14 - Hayes Clark, Daniel Johnson
June 15 - Taylor Haynes, Kimberly Leatherman
June 16 - Rich Leeman, Jeff Monroe, Lisa Niblock, Alex Teague
**To enjoy a sung happy birthday, click here!**
Rush Otey
Temporary Supply Pastor 

Associate Pastor 
for Care and Mission

René Prager
Interim Youth
Programs Coordinator

Director of Music and Organist


Suzanne Russell
Church Administrator

Kim Mazzola
Financial Administrative Asst.

Heath Ritchie
Maintenance Superintendent

Director of First Kids

Wedding Director
Contact Info
First Presbyterian Church
(704) 788-2100

70 Union Street North
Concord NC 28025 

Mailing Address: 
PO Box 789 Concord NC 28026-0789

Church Office Hours: 
Monday - Thursday, 8:00 am - 4:00 pm
Closed Friday
The Commons Prayer Room Hours:

Memorial Garden:
(704) 786-8009
36 Spring Street SW
Concord NC 28025
Garden Hours: 
Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 5:00 pm
Sunday, 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Closed Monday