THE BANNER
May 13, 2020
New Officers
Congratulations to each of our newly elected church officers! Thank you for your commitment to our church and thank you to the congregation for participating in the first ever online voting process! 169 (update the number if needed) votes were cast to elect these new Deacons and Elders.

Office of Elder
Dale Carpenter
Merl Hamilton
Harris Morrison
Amy Murphy
Susan Otteni
Susan Smith
Erwin Spainhour

Office of Deacon
Linda Barnett
Tripp Carpenter
Kimberly Leatherman
Jeff Nelson
Ellie Sherrill
Dakeita Vanderburg
Amanda Williamson

Deacon 2-year terms: Class of 2022
Kate Morrison
Scott Verner

Training for church officers will take place this Thursday evening using Zoom, and the officers will meet with the Session Monday evening, May 18, also using Zoom. A special process for Ordination and Installation is being planned for Sunday, May 31!
First Kids News
Our caring First Kids' staff continues to stay connected with our little ones by reaching out across the internet with daily circle times, songs, stories and fun activities that can be enjoyed at home. With help from the Concord police department and community friends, we will be celebrating our 45 First Kids graduates with the Silver Lining Graduation Car Parade!

Date: Tuesday, May 19th
Time: 5:30 pm

Our graduates, with their families, will drive from the parking lot of Forest Hill United Methodist Church, down North Union Street, then up the driveway at First Presbyterian Church, where they will receive diplomas and gifts, safely, through their car windows.

Over the past 64 years, over 2000 children have graduated from First Kids and crossed over the Graduation Bridge. On Wednesday and Thursday, May 20th and 21st, the bridge will be set up in the courtyard so our 2020 graduates will be able to return, diplomas in hand, to have their photo made crossing the bridge.

We invite neighbors and friends to celebrate our little ones as they head down North Union Street next Tuesday evening, maintaining all proper social distancing guidelines, of course. Banners, music, balloons, or simply waves and smiles would be so appreciated. This class has missed out on so many traditional end-of-year festivities. We want to make this evening as special, as possible. Questions or suggestions? Please call 704-788-2812.
Learning Together,
Miss Maureen

Congratulations to our First Kids Class of 2020 and their teachers:

MWF Fours (Ms. Pam Prentice and Ms. Vicky Nicastro)
August Thompson, Aya Paul, Dawson Stell, Easton Crutchfield, Elijah Whitlow, Emily Johnson, Gabriel Chikes, Hunter Crisco, Madelyn MacGrogan, Olivia Hollis, Paxton Celetti, Scarlett Porter, Theo Miller and Victory Esekhaigbe

M-F Fours (Julianna Willis, Amber Williams and Lauren Denny)
Able Sprinkle, Ainsley Wood, Braxton Hall, Charlie Miller, Ellie Branham, Harper Dement, Holden Campbell, Hudson Shaffer, Knox Plemmons, Mary James Huneycutt, Mason Wilkinson, Michael Shaffer, Parker Hill, Ryland Henry, Sophia Elvikis and Wyatt Meendering

TK Class (Kristen Dain and Holly Westbrook)
Audrey Booth, Autumn Black, Bryan Lambert, Finn Pilczak, Gibson Carpenter, Graham Troutman, Hudson Konawalik, Hutch Laughter, James Perry, Kian Ward, Lennon Sooklal,Oliver Taylor, Reid Meyers, Tallulah Blackwelder & Tucker Seifert.
Calling All Graduates
Do you have a high school, college or higher education graduate in your household? If so, we need your help! Various groups in the church are working on some special recognitions for our class of 2020, and we would love your help so that we can creatively celebrate our graduating seniors. We are asking for a recent or senior class photo, as well as special remarks about their graduation, such as rewards they have won or meaningful clubs and projects they were a part of. We are also asking for next plans, such as what college they will attend, what they will be studying, or jobs and roles that they are stepping into. You can send those things to Rachel.vogado@firstpresconcord.org. Also, we would like to know if they are willing to have that information publicized from our church's social media and other avenues. Please, if you are willing to share that information, email it to Rachel by next Tuesday, the 19th. Thank you for your help!
"Believing When We Haven’t Yet Seen"
Blog post shared from our Executive Presbyter, Jan Edmiston
The Bible speaks about this.
There was a widely shared news story over the weekend about a particular church in Calgary, Alberta with 24 cases of COVID-19 among its members. Two of those members did not survive.
It was mid March - just as wide spread quarantines were getting started in the western hemisphere. 42 members of Living Spirit United Church had attended worship followed by a birthday party for a beloved member. The church did all the right things:
• There was social distancing.
• There was hand washing.
• There were less than 50 people present.
• There were safety gloves.
As some of our congregations consider reopening in the coming weeks, I hope we listen to scientists. And I also hope we listen to Church People who wish they'd been even more cautious. The Pastor of LSUC Rev. Shannon Mang offers this reflection:
There seems to be this huge divide between those who've experienced (COVID-19) and the majority who haven't. Think about the oldest person that you hang out with and visit and take care of. Are you willing to give them up?
Many of us don't believe it's a problem - or it's not as big a problem as the media is reporting. Some say we are wasting time not opening up our church buildings again.
As with so many things in life, we don't believe it unless we see some evidence. We need to know someone who has personally had COVID-19. Or we need to have less than two degrees of separation from a COVID-19 victim.
Look at the lovely face of Dennis Edmund Morey pictured above. He was one of the members of Living Spirit United Church who recently passed away with complications related to COVID-19. He attended the March 15 worship service and birthday gathering.
Mr. Morey could be a member of our church. I can see him as one of our ushers or one of our elders or a member of the choir.
Picture your favorite member of the deacons. Picture the woman who leads the Tuesday morning Bible Study. Picture the ladies who volunteer in the office on Friday. Are we willing to lose these people - real human beings - so that we can return to worship in our sanctuaries?
A wise colleague pointed out yesterday that there is a certain generation of church people who will always attend Sunday morning worship services if they possibly can. If the church building is open, they will be there out of devotion to God. It could be snowing. There might be a tornado warning. Perhaps there's a pandemic.
We need to think of this generation before we open up our church buildings.
Yes, we miss each other terribly. We miss seeing each other apart from screens. But we need to stay safe and keep our loved ones safe. Rev. Mang wishes they could go back in time and cancel that March worship service and birthday party.
This time next year, I hope that our Church Leaders can look back and feel confident that we did what we could to keep vulnerable people safe. The Bible says something about this too.
The image is Mr. Dennis Edmund Morey, beloved husband of one, father of four, grandfather of five.
“So You Wanna Go Back to Church?” Considerations for Once Restrictions Lift
Click here for a 60 second video on church re-openings.
Another Read for Consideration About Reopening
Click here for more information about opening.
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 ( https://www.facebook.com/firstpresconcordnc/),
Summer Worship will begin, virtually, a week from this Sunday, on May 24th, with the worship service online at 10:00 a.m.
Virtual Sunday School
You're invited to join us for virtual Sunday school as we will gather to connect, hear stories from and for our faith, and learn together. All ages are welcome! It is probably helpful to have some paper and something to write or draw with close by as there will be time to reflect and create. We will meet at 9:30 a.m. on Zoom; you can access the meeting here:
Password: 008305
or call (646)558-8656 and use
Meeting ID: 861 1855 9522
Password: 008305
Gather your family around the computer or phone as we learn and grown in faith together!
Film Discussion Series Thursdays at Noon
Please join us for a seven week film discussion series where Walter Brueggemann discusses key concepts from his new book, Materiality as Resistance: Five Elements for Moral Action in the Real World. We will be discussing who we are called to be in the world through the lens of loving God, loving ourselves, and loving our neighbor. It is not necessary to purchase or read the book to participate in the discussion. We will continue this Thursday, May 14, at noon via Zoom.

Click here to join the meeting.

Time: May 14, 2020 12:00 PM Eastern Time (US and Canada)

Meeting ID: 881 2988 8528
Password: 28683
Journey Sunday School
This Sunday, May 17th, JOURNEY will continue virtual Sunday School via Zoom for May.
The link below will be used for all meetings, which will be live on Sundays at 10 a.m.

Topic: FPCC Journey Sunday School - May 2020
Time: This is a recurring meeting. Meet anytime - live meetings Sundays 10:00 a.m. - 10:30 a.m.


Password: 565630
Meeting ID: 965-475-4450
Spring Book Discussion
What : Holy Envy: Finding God in the Faith of Others , by Barbara Brown Taylor 

When : Wednesday evenings (May 6, 13, & 20), 7 p.m. - 8 p.m. 

Where : Zoom 

Who : all curious adults 

Host/Discussion Facilitator : Scott Kenefake (please email at Scott.Kenefake@firstpresconcord.org to get Zoom information!

Order the book here
A summary of the book is here
Discussion guide is here
Red Cross Cabarrus County VIP Blood Drive
Monday, May18th, in Davis Hall
2:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Please call 1-800-RED-CROSS or visit redcrossblood.org and enter Cabarrus VIP
to schedule an appointment.
2019 Joy of Giving Annual Report
The 2019 Joy of Giving Annual Report has been mailed to our church family. Please contact Suzanne Russell if you have not received it by the end of May.
The Annual Report is a combined project of our First Presbyterian Foundation and the Stewardship Committee. The content focuses on how our church family uses the gifts God has bestowed upon us to serve others. Jim Monroe, who edited the Annual Report, said, “We were overwhelmed with the support of so many who provided information and photos for the Annual Report. Their enthusiasm and the investment of their time for this project is another testimony of God’s spirit among us!”
Deacons Response to Covid - 19
Since the stay-at-home order was issued in NC, our Deacons have approved discretionary funds for the following:
* $750 to supplement our Coltrane Webb Back Pack program with Food Lion gift cards
*$3,000 to help Meals on Wheels create additional shelf stable meals, and
*$1,000 to CCM for the food pantry

Additionally, Deacons have been calling our older adult members along with our Visitation team to chat and receive prayer requests. We will continue to listen for the needs of our congregants and our community and respond with Christ's love. If you are aware of additional needs or would like to become involved with these and/or other efforts, please let Lynne Keel or Janna Mitchell know.
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.
Calendar
Sunday, May 17, 2020
Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake preaching

Thursday, May 14
12:00 p.m. Zoom film discussion
Sunday, May 17
9:30 a.m. Sunday School via Zoom
10:00 a.m. Journey Sunday School via Zoom
11:00 a.m. Worship on Facebook
Tuesday, May 19
7:00 p.m. Al Anon meeting
Wednesday May 20
7:00 p.m. Spring Book Discussion via Zoom
Church Report
Memorials
Barbara McCoy - Memorial Garden Endowment Fund
Birthdays
May 14 - Holt Morrison
May 15 - Timmy Jones, Joe Mitchell, Lauren Paul
May 16 - Edy Johnston
May 17 - Joel Cain, Cathy Floyd
May 19 - Nate Woolwine
May 20 - Roc Bauman, Gabbie Frech, Sadie Harrison, Wyatt Meendering
Staff
Associate Pastor 
for Care and Mission

Associate Pastor
for Christian Formation

Director of Music and Organist
Director of Music and Organist

Choirmaster

Suzanne Russell
Church Administrator

Financial Secretary

Heath Ritchie
Maintenance Superintendent

Director of First Kids

Church Hostess

Wedding Director
Contact Info
First Presbyterian Church
(704) 788-2100
s uzanne.russell @firstpresconcord.org  

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