September 16,2020
Live Streaming and Reopening: We are working on it!
 Please bear with us as we make plans for Fall/Winter worship services.

1) At Session earlier this week, a vote was approved to reopen our campus. This means that small groups may begin to use spaces for meetings, if all participants agree to our policies of wearing a mask, distancing, not attending if sick, not having any food or drinks, etc. We are happy to be able to see an increase in activity on our campus, as long as these safety protocols are followed. Group leaders will need to sign an agreement about our policies.
2) Equipment to help us be able to "live stream" our services is on the way. Please call the church office if you are willing to volunteer to help run this equipment after a short training session.
Once we can "live stream", we hope to then be able to offer some in person worship gatherings for those interested in being together.

3) The Reopening Advisory Committee, led by Dr. Amy Woolwine, has been working hard, along with a subset of the moderators from the Building and Grounds, Christian Education, and Worship and Music committees.
We are using several documents provided by our senior pastor Scott Kenefake AND the "Guidance for Places of Worship and Religious Services" authored by the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services. Here is a link to that document.

We will keep you informed of the protocols once we get closer to a date/time of a possible in-person worship service. Some of the details we will share concern the limited # of attendees per service via reservations, masks (required), hand sanitizer, seating in designated pews by ushers, bringing your own Bibles, singing (not by the congregation), entry and exit by ushers, and no communion (yet),  We ask for your prayers as we struggle with these options in a thoughtful way to keep everyone safe yet try to offer some form of in-person worship for those that choose to gather. Of course, our plans will constantly be based on the virus trending data, even on a weekly basis. So, hang tight, bear with us, and hope that we may have an opportunity to see each other again soon.

God's grace and peace to you,
Carol Hovey
Chair, Worship and Music Committee
Christian Education
Have you watched the Rally Day video to learn about all the opportunities for faith formation and connection in the Fall? Join us as we learn, serve, and grow in faith together.

One new thing for the Fall for family faith formation is our Virtual Sunday School Classroom with our new Growing in God's Love curriculum. For Pre-K through 5th grade children, this includes a monthly supply kit to take home and use with the virtual classroom each week.

The first bags are available in the lobby area of the Fellowship House. Be sure to grab your kit to be ready to go for the first lesson this Sunday. You can access the virtual classroom by clicking here or by going to the First Presbyterian Church website! This month we are learning about creation. The content will change weekly as the we hear a new story each Sunday.
First Youth Fellowship
If you are a family that has a Youth in grades 6th through 12th, be sure to sign up to receive the First Youth Fellowship newsletter. That is the best way to see all the ways youth can get connected and deepen their faith through service, community, and fun! Sign-up here to receive the Youth Newsletter for detailed information about all youth happenings.

The Fall Youth Kick Off is this Sunday at 5 p.m. via Zoom and more information, along with the Zoom link for the kick off will be in this week's Youth Newsletter! Both parents and youth are asked to attend this zoom gathering as we hear about what the plans are for the fall.
News from Presbyterian Women!
It was great to see many of you Sunday at our drive-up event. For those who were unable to attend, Circle Study Guides and Presbyterian Women Directories are available for pick-up in the foyer of the Fellowship House. Please plan to pick-up Monday through Thursday either 9:30 a.m. - noon or 1:00 p.m. -4:00 p.m. to avoid preschool traffic. Contact-less home delivery is also available, please contact Rene Prager or the church office. PW pledges may be mailed to the church or made online.

PW Kick Off Event, via Zoom Wednesday, September 30th, 6:30 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Please RSVP Spiced Sunday Event via Zoom, Sunday, October 18th, 2:00 p.m.
First Kids News
Our 65th school year is underway! The sorely missed sounds of laughter and play fill our hall once again and our hearts are full.

The Masked-Super Heroes that Make up our Staff include:

Pam Prentice- Assistant Director and 4-Year Class
Holly Westbrook & Kristin Morgan- TK
Amy Murphy, Julianna Willis and Nicole Hollis- 5-Day Four-Year Class
Julia Holshouse & Carolyn Ritchie- Three-Year Class A
Maddy Brooks- Two-Three Year Class B
Lisa Sackeli & MaryAnn Harrison- Two-Year Class A
Amber Huggins & Teresa Bonnett- One-Year Class
Kinsey Garrett- TK & Two-Three B
Maureen O'Bryan Director

First Kids Kudos
To- The Building and Grounds Committee for the Birthday Sign, what a lovely surprise!
To-The Christian Ed. and Preschool Committees for their help and guidance
as we established many new policies for this unusual year.
To- The Boy Scouts of Troop 3 who worked to clean the playground and fluff sand on a very
hot evening.
To-The church and preschool staff for going above and beyond to both prepare and keep our
building safe and clean.

We appreciate each and every one of you and look forward to
a wonderful year at First Kids.

Learning and Playing Together,
Ms. Maureen
Backpack Program
Coltrane-Webb School has requested that the Backpack Programs at First Presbyterian and Central UMC provide bags of basic pantry staples and toiletries for our families. This gives us a great opportunity for hands-on service! If you would like to help fulfill this request, you can drop off any of the items listed below in Fellowship House during Church office hours.
Items provided by Thursday, September 24, will be packed and delivered on Thursday, October 1. Our goal is to prepare 15 bags.
2 lb. bag of sugar
2 lb. bag of all-purpose flour
2 lb. bag of self-rising corn meal
baking powder
baking soda
mustard (plastic bottle; medium size)
ketchup (plastic bottle; medium size)
mayonnaise (plastic jar; quart size)
salt/pepper combo
shortening (16-ounce container)
white vinegar (plastic bottle; 16 ounces)
dishwashing liquid (14-ounce bottle)
bath soap/face soap
shampoo (plastic bottle)
mouth wash (plastic bottle)
Thank you for supporting this important mission of Presbyterian Women!
Session Meeting Highlights from September 8, 2020
  • The Session met on September 8th using Zoom Internet video and audio.
  • The Session reviewed a plan, developed by Session members and the reopening advisory committee members, which outlines safety precautions that would allow the campus to begin to reopen to small groups. The Session voted to use this document to guide us as we reopen the campus for small groups, such as AA, Boy/Girl Scouts, or other small group meetings (without food) as long as these policies and procedures are followed. 
  • Inline with the campus reopening guidelines, there are many opportunities in the works for the Fall including virtual Sunday School and faith formation for youth, and options for adult Sunday School.
  • Congratulations to First Kids for their 65th anniversary, and to Maureen O’Bryan for her stellar leadership over many years! Maureen reported to the Session that First Kids has 80 students enrolled. She thanked the Boy Scouts for cleaning the playground and thanked the staff and Session members who have worked to prepare for the preschool to safely reopen.
  • Church Members are encouraged to please continue to share your pledges and contributions by mail, online, or through the new TEXT-to-Give option (text to 704-228-7459).  This is important as we work hard to meet our budget during this unprecedented time.
  • Session members are working to enhance the video recording capabilities in the sanctuary in preparation for in-house recording of services and future live streaming.
  • Memorial Garden is open and we are all encouraged to visit and enjoy the garden’s beauty and serenity.
  • A Church grounds workday is being planned for October 19, 2020.
  • The Deacons notified the Session of a great need for drivers being experienced by Meals on Wheels. The number of meals being delivered has doubled! Please consider volunteering for a regular route or as a substitute driver!
  • The next Session meeting will be held on Tuesday, October 13, 2020 at 7:00 p.m.

As Presbyterians, decisions affecting our worship, education, spiritual nurture, physical property, and budget are made by our elected leaders. To connect with church officers, see Elders and Deacons and their committee assignments listed on the church website under the “ABOUT” tab, “Staff and Leadership.”
The Session meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Minutes are open and available by request after they are approved at the following month’s Session meeting.
Cabarrus Meals on Wheels
In case you haven’t heard yet, Cabarrus Meals on Wheels is moving from their current location in Kannapolis into their new forever home at 342 Penny Lane, Concord, at the end of September. This move will triple their current space and will include an almost 3,000 square foot commercial kitchen and a pet food room among other designated spaces. This new location also provides ample parking. 
CMOW currently serves on average 488 meals every weekday. This move allows them to serve over 1,000 meals a day. This is great for those seniors who rely on this service, but the organization needs drivers. If you are looking for a volunteer opportunity, this might be just the thing! The only requirement is that you have a valid driver’s license and proper insurance. This might also be a great opportunity for teens needing to fulfill a community service requirement. Volunteers use their own vehicles on an assigned delivery route. You may work a scheduled day or on a substitute basis.
If you want to help but are unable to make a standing commitment, CMOW sends a weekly email that has a link to all of their upcoming route openings. You would be able to click the link in the email and sign up to fill whatever open route fits your schedule and geographic limitations. 
For more information, click here. .
Pastor Nominating Committee Report
Since our last report, we have seen an increase in Pastor Information Forms (PIF’s), and to date have received over 40. Each individual candidate requires hours of review including examining their PIF, listening to sermons, and being evaluated by the PNC as a group.

We have had numerous interviews with some very qualified candidates. God has been faithful throughout this journey and continues to open doors for us. Your PNC trusts in the search and call process provided by Presbytery and we remain committed as we discern who God is calling to our church.

Your continued prayers for your PNC are deeply appreciated.

If you have any questions for the committee, please contact Betsy Liles at or 704-791-6166.

Peace from the PNC,
Betsy Liles – Chair
Dave Goff, Margaret Hillman, Cheryl Kelling, Rindy Moore, Todd Phillips, Kathy Pilkington,
Nathan Woolwine
Hallelujah for Haiti
Friends Empowering Haiti, (formerly Friends of OFCB), is a mission of love and hope for Bayonnais, Haiti. Our church has partnered with Friends Empowering Haiti, Lynne Keel has led two mission trips to Bayonnais, our Market for Mission supported this mission, and our congregation sponsors 33 children in Bayonnais providing each child an opportunity for education. Current conditions in Haiti are severe due to crime, civil unrest, kidnappings and Covid-19. The community of Bayonnais is suffering, many families are starving, some children are not in school, the clinic needs supplies, and demonstrations, tire burning, and roadblocks are frequent. They need our help!

Friends Empowering Haiti is launching a virtual fundraiser to raise support and money for Bayonnais. The event begins on Friday, September 18 and runs until Friday, September 27. During this time, we will celebrate the people of Bayonnais, their culture, and the long-standing relationship shared between us. We will rejoice in the grace of God and together will empower our friends in Haiti.

Check our Facebook page often for photos, videos, testimonials and a town-hall meeting with Actionnel Fleurisma, civic leader in Bayonnais. Please join us for a brilliant raffle including art, local gifts and so much more.

I hope you will join me in supporting Hallelujah for Haiti!

Betsy Liles
Board Member
Friends Empowering Haiti
Date Change! - Be Enneaware: Created in God's Image
Join us for a three series time of learning with Rev. Carol Hassell. We will discover the fullness of who God created you to be as we explore the 9 enneagram types, learn about the 3 Centers of Intelligence (head/heart/body), and use the Harmony Triads for a whole person response to God and life!
This class will meet virtually on Thursdays at noon on October 15, 22, and 29.
You will receive a code to the Wagner Enneagram Personality Styles Scale to begin your type exploration with an option for a one on one consultation with Carol before the classes begin. You will also receive a customized enneagram profile packet.
Cost for Class: $10
Cost for optional Consultation: $40
The customized enneagram profile packet is included in the registration fee.
Registration deadline is October 8. You can sign up here!
Please take the WEPSS no later than October 12.

Rev. Carol Hassell is a retired Presbyterian pastor and is currently serving as a spiritual director, enneagram teacher and workshop facilitator. She is certified for Enneagram work and has done training through The Enneagram Spectrum of Styles, The Changeworks, REALIFE Enneagram Circles, and The Enneagram Institute. You can find more information here:
If you have questions, please contact Lynne at
PW Honorary Life Membership Awarded
On September 2nd Marcia Brooks was awarded the Presbyterian Women Honorary Life Membership Award. It was a rather unorthodox presentation, as it is normally presented at a PW event in May each year.
Marcia has devoted her life not only to her ever growing family, to our church, her circle, as a tireless volunteer in our kitchen and Davis Hall for all events, Gracious Greens Garden, holiday decorating of the Sanctuary, and much more.
She has been a long faithful servant of the Salvation Army Women's Auxillary serving as chair of EVERYTHING. She volunteers with determination for Meals on Wheels. I was so proud to present this to such a deserving woman; I could take a lesson by following in her generous and tireless footsteps.
Susan Hannah
Girl Scouts
We invite ALL girls of our neighborhood, church, and community to join us for Girl Scouts this year! 
Brownie Troop 323 (2nd & 3rd grade), Junior Troop 3142 (4th & 5th grade), and Girl Scout Troop 334 (6th-12th grade) are kicking off a new year of scouting! All troops are looking to GROW! If you are interested in more information, please contact Rene Prager ( We are meeting in person, outdoors, and masked, but can provide programming for those who prefer not to meet in person. Upcoming events: International Day of Peace celebration, hike with the wild ponies at Grayson Highlands in Virginia and celebrate both the Day of the Dead and founder, Juliette Gordon Low's birthday. Our theme this year is celebrations and holidays, as we learn about different countries & cultures. Our 6th-12th graders will also be working toward their Silver and Gold Awards.
On Saturday, the Girl Scouts dropped off dinner at the Night Shelter followed by a tour of Historic Concord. Norman McCullough taught the scouts about Warren C. Coleman in front of Mr. Coleman's former Union Street storefront (now Union Street Bistro) and Peg Morrison shared the Cannon family's history and contributions to Concord and Cabarrus County.
Red Cross Cabarrus County VIP Blood Drive
Monday, September 21st, in Davis Hall
2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit and enter Cabarrus VIP
to schedule an appointment.
Common Issues Facing Congregations
I have been doing Interim Ministry for more than a decade now and there are certain issues I see in congregations again and again. For example, issues dealing with:

--Church Identity. Disagreements about identity often reflect a fear of losing place or status as a church in the community. They may express the anxiety members have about the future. The identity issue is about who we are now and what we understand our purpose to be in this time and place. What do we understand as the purpose and mission of the congregation? How will we relate to the denomination? How should we divide mission dollars between local outreach and national or world outreach?

--Who is in Charge? This issue often manifests itself in a struggle between the clergy and the lay leadership, or between formal and informal leaders in the church. Many members or churches believe they have the "right" to know what is going on in church governance and that they also have the "right" to have some voice in decisions affecting them as members. The positive element of that attitude is healthy involvement. The negative element is unhealthy interference with appropriate, orderly processes that may require some degree of privileged information.

--What do We Believe? This issue may be about how a church interprets the Bible or about what curriculum is taught to children and youth. It may have to do with lifestyles or social issues and the church's stand on those issues. The issue may be about how people are helped with their own spiritual growth. What one group or an individual wants or needs may result in a clash with what other groups or individuals believe or feel they need or want.

--How do We Worship? Tensions often escalate around the distinction between traditional and contemporary worship. The type and style of music, preaching, dress, time of services, and how formal or informal the atmosphere for worship are all part of ongoing discussion. Attempts to compromise by including some aspects of the traditional or "old" forms of worship and some aspects of "new" forms may exacerbate the problem by offending everyone who prefers one style or another.

--Role Expectations of Leaders: Most often this issue focuses on the clergy or the program staff, but sometimes the focus is on the lay leaders and their roles and functions. The issue regarding clergy is often the result of confusion about the differences between leadership and management. The conflict may also have to do with the minister's and staff's use of time and priorities, and with who determines those time allocations and priorities.

--Limited Resources. These issues may be about the use of resources such as dollars, space, scheduling, or volunteers. When these kinds of issues arise, the congregation must return to its mission and goals for guidelines about allocating resources.

--Focus Inward or Outward? Do we emphasize care and nurture of the membership, or service and care beyond membership? Some people view the church as a provider of services or products and ask, "What can we get from this church?" Others view the church as a community that offers services and help to others. They ask, "What can we provide for those who are in need?" Disagreements often result from any effort to change the congregation's emphasis.

Every church has certain conflicts or tensions around these issues and the best way to deal with them is through dialogue. Note that the Greek roots for the word dialogue are dia, meaning "through," and logos, meaning "word" or, more broadly, "meaning." The main idea of of the word dialogue is a free flow of ideas between people. "Dia logos" is what we want to create in the church in times of disagreement. "Dia logos" means that we enter into conversation with each other not only to state our perspectives, needs, and views, but also to genuinely hear the perspectives, needs, and views of others. Genuine dialogue is intended to help church leaders and members to make wise and "spirit-led" decisions.

For example, prayer that enables participants to examine themselves and that calls for openness to understanding of each other helps with dialogue. Careful study of a variety of scripture texts from a variety of perspectives that open the subject to several different views is also a spiritual resource for healthy dialogue.

As Peter Senge observed:

"The purpose of dialogue is to go beyond any one individual's understanding ... In dialogue, individuals gain insights that simply could not be achieved individually ... The result is a free exploration that brings to the surface the full depth of people's experience and thought, and yet can move beyond their individual views.

In my experience, congregations who practice the principles of dialogue well are the healthiest. Why? Because not all conflict or disagreement can be resolved. Sometimes the only answer is to negotiate ways in which people can continue to live together in community. In the end, an intentional effort on the part of all people to use spiritual resources--and what those resources are and how to use them--is in itself a movement toward resolution of disagreement.


Scott Kenefake
Interim Pastor
Services Update
Our pastoral staff continues to preach and teach through various means of technology. Please join us for all of our worship opportunities on Facebook (,
Worship is posted at 11.00 a.m.
Sign-up Links
Sign up here to receive the Youth Newsletter for detailed information
about all events related to youth who are in 6th-12 grade.
Sunday, September 20,2020
Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake preaching

Thursday, September 17
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Friday, September 18
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Sunday, September 20
11:00 a.m. Worship
4:00 p.m. Racial Reads online
5:00 p.m. Youth Fellowship Zoom Kick-Off
Monday, September 21
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
2:30 p.m. Red Cross Blood Drive
Tuesday, September 22
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Wednesday, September 23
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:30 p.m. PNC online
Church Report
The sympathy and condolences of the congregation are extended to Joy Cook and family, whose mother, Arlene Baker, died on September 13 in Valdese.
September 20- Bethany Beaver
September 21- Grant Conversano, Danny Meendering
September 22 - Beth Younce
September 23 - Layne Cuthbertson, Kevin Garrison, Lina Gibson, Gwyneth Keel, Betsy Liles,
Mary Margaret Underwood
**To enjoy a sung happy birthday, click here!**
Scott Kenefake
Interim Senior Pastor 

Associate Pastor 
for Care and Mission

Associate Pastor
for Christian Formation

Director of Music and Organist


Suzanne Russell
Church Administrator

Financial Secretary

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:
Monday: Closed
Open for scheduled groups:
Tuesday,Thursday, Friday
Open to Public:
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 am - 6:00 p.m.
Sunday mornings for FPC

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