July 22, 2020
We are in the "Compassion" Business
A number of years ago I remember attending an ordination service for two Ministers of Word and Sacrament (Teaching Elders). Each had selected a friend to deliver the “Charge” at the end of the ceremony (which is a significant honor!). One friend delivered a lengthy, flowery, theologically-correct charge that was not memorable.

The other friend, however, delivered a “short and sweet” statement that I remember to this day. She said, “the people you will serve have two simple questions in their minds: “Am I alone?” and “Am I loved?’” and then she said, “For the sympathy of one human being, I would make peace with all.”

What a wonderful summary of what we are called to be and do as followers of Jesus!

I share this with you because it highlights the contemporary theological “conundrum” that majority white Christian communities have in early 21st century North America: the larger culture perceives that a large “gap” exists between what we say we believe and the way many behave.  (In other words, people still like Jesus and his teachings, but are not so wild about “the church”).

John Pavlovitz put it this way:

“The Christianity of Jesus left people with more dignity and greater care; with healed wounds and fuller bellies, with calmed fears and quieted worries. It left people seen and heard and known. It left a wake of kindness and generosity and goodness and compassion.” (See Matthew 5:3-10, the Beatitudes).
Or, as one of my millennial-generation friends recently put it: “I don’t care what you believe. I only care what you do.”
We need to put our believing and our doing back together so that they reflect the teachings of Jesus—and not some of the worst aspects of North American culture.

As my friend, Chris Glazer recently said, “We are all creatures. We have love in us the likes of which can scarcely be imagined and rage the likes of which can hardly be believed. If we cannot satisfy the one, we might indulge the other.”

Scott Kenefake
Interim Pastor
4th Grade Bibles
Be sure to tune into worship this week as we celebrate a very special milestone for our young disciples. Part of our worship this week will include a recognition and prayer for our students who have just completed the 4th grade and will receive their Bible. Please join in lifting your prayers for them as they celebrate this next step in their faith journey.
Habitat for Humanity Update!
Home is where we shelter from the storm and hold our friends and family close. Home is where we gather to grieve our losses and rejoice in our triumphs. In our community, one group uses hands and hearts to bring people home. Due to the pandemic, and the loss of several fund raising events, Habitat for Humanity needs your help. A link below is provided for contributions from the congregation, and during the month of July, those contributions will be matched up to $5,000 by your Board of Deacons! Please give now. Help Habitat bring people home.

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We have now raised $8,175.00! Can we make it to $10K??

Go to our website to give by clicking here and choosing the Habitat for Humanity fund from the drop-down box. If you'd like to pay by check make it payable to FPC, put Habitat in the memo line, and mail to the church's PO Box 789, Concord, NC 28026.

Click here to watch our YouTube video on this campaign.
Session Highlights from July 14, 2020
  • The Session met on July 14th using Zoom Internet video and audio. 
  • The Session is working very hard to evaluate when we can return to in-person worship! They heard a report from Amy Woolwine describing the current COVID19 situation in the community. Amy shared that there has been an increase in cases since June, mostly in younger people, and a corresponding increase in hospitalizations. She described the situation as more dangerous now than back in March, noting that there are known community outbreaks associated with churches. Strict guidelines would need to be followed when we move to any in-person gatherings including physical distancing and masks. The Session voted to continue no in-person gatherings until the Sunday after Labor Day and to evaluate the opening of schools as it might inform their decision.
  • The re-opening of First Kids is closely related to the opening of the church as well as the opening of the schools. Many factors are being researched and considered by Maureen, staff, and Session members to ensure safe reopening of the preschool.
  • Church Members are encouraged to please continue to share your pledges by mail or online! The budget is suffering from low receipts and yet we continue to have the majority of annual expenses. The Finance Committee is also seeking ways to offer “quick click” donation options so look for those soon!
  • The Session would like to honor Todd Hobbie by bestowing him with the title of Pastor Emeritus. The Session approved the first step in this process and will plan to hold a ceremony as soon as we are able to gather together again. 
  • A new Pastoral Relations Committee has been formed that includes small committees who will work closely to support each of the ministers.
  • The next Session meeting will be held on Tuesday, August 11, 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 2 nd Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Minutes are open and available by request after they are approved at the following month’s Session meeting.
Update from the Worship & Music Committee
The Worship and Music Committee has been working diligently with the pastors to enhance the remote Sunday service. For instance, lay readers will once again assist by reading scripture. Anyone interested should contact Susan Otteni at .

In addition, Ashley Fischer is exploring creative ways to Pass the Peace via video. Those interested in participating should contact Ashley at

Members of the Worship and Music Committee realize how much members are missing the familiar aspects of worship and our campus. Any ideas on how to make members and guests feel more comfortable may be directed to Carol Hovey at
S & D Sunday School Class
The S & D Sunday School class invites you to join us via Zoom on Sunday mornings at 10 a.m. In our virtual hour together, we enjoy some social time and are studying Adam Hamilton's book: Half Truths. We will continue this Sunday, July 26th.  Please contact Rene Prager at for more information.

Here is the link to join the Zoom Meeting:

Meeting ID: 959 515 8676
CVAN Current Needs
There are containers in the Fellowship House for donations to CCM and CVAN. The CCM list was in the Banner last week; this is the list from CVAN:

Laundry Detergent
Dish Detergent
Toilet Paper
Zip lock Bags – sandwich, quart and gallon size
Trash Bags – 13 gallon (kitchen)
Trash Bags – 30 gallon (black, yard)

During Covid-19, we are putting some residents in hotels. These types of food are easier to provide for hotel stays:
Cereal or Granola Bars
Tuna Packets
Microwaveable Meals – not frozen (Ex. – pasta)
Boxed Meals (Ex. – Hamburger Helper)

These items are harder to find, but if you happen to see them:
Mr. Clean/Spic N Span*
Disinfectant Wipes*
Hand Soap*
Services Update - Summer Worship Schedule
Our pastoral staff continues to preach and teach through various means of technology. Please join us for all of our worship opportunities on Facebook (,
Summer Worship is posted at 10:00 a.m.
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.
Shepherd for Sunday School
Sign up here to be a Shepherd in our Elementary and Middle School Sunday School.
A Shepherd helps our teachers by being another adult in the room, to make sure that we have a safe classroom, and to fulfill the requirements of our Child and Youth Protection Policy. If you have questions about what it means to be a Shepherd, please reach out to one of the members of the Christian Education Committee or Rachel Vogado.  
Youth Newsletter
Sign up here to receive the Youth Newsletter for detailed information
about all events related to youth who are in 6th-12 grade.
Sunday, July 26, 2020
Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake preaching

Sunday, July 26
10:00 a.m. Worship online
Church Report
The sympathy and condolences of the congregation are extended to the family of Wilma Carr Caldwell, who died on July 21.
July 22 - Debbie Brannan, Karen Byrd, Mary Margaret Campbell, Max Gould, Maggie Teague
July 23 - Paul Liles, Jordan Rotan, Phil Smith
July 24 - Leona Fulghum, Dakeita Vanderburg
July 25 - John Wesley Goff
July 26 - Jane Batson, Chris Christy, Jessica Garmon, Kara King, Jim Monroe, John Morrison, William Niblock, Laura Davis Rinker
July 28 - Paul Caldwell, Olivia McMillan, Jack Phillips
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
s uzanne.russell  

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