September 25, 2019
"The Gospel According to Pip!"
Some of you know that Gail and I have a new puppy named, “Pip.” He is a five-month-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel (Ruby Colored) who weighed a little more than five pounds when we brought him home in July, but he now weighs more than nine pounds and is growing fast! 
Cavaliers are small, companion dogs—he will only get to about 15 pounds when full grown—but they are very devoted to their “people.” In fact, even though he is currently “teething” like a human toddler and wanting to chew on everything in sight, it is hard to find much fault with him:
• He loves unconditionally—he has not met a person he doesn’t like! He is non-discriminatory!
• He rarely barks (I think he is still learning how to do this)
• He is small, so he is easy to clean-up after
• He doesn’t take up much room in our bed (we’re trying to fix this!)
• He excels at taking naps!
• He is almost always happy
• He doesn’t need much exercise—zooming around the house on occasion seems to suffice
This reminds me of a bumper sticker I saw recently that read: Love Dogs: It’s Humans that Annoy Me
Our relationships with humans, of course, are much more complicated than our relationships with our pets, but I suspect some of you can sympathize with the sentiment of the bumper sticker!
When I was a Presbytery Executive, much of my time was spent working with congregations who were going through some sort of conflict (the mediation skills I learned in Law School came in very handy!). Often it had to do with disagreements about how to spend (or not!) the financial resources of the church, personality conflicts between people, theological differences within the congregation, or disagreements about uses of the building.  
One of the things I quickly learned is that these disagreements that presented themselves in congregations were often not the real source of their displeasure. Almost always, when I would talk to people one on one I would discover that many of these folks were experiencing significant loss or trauma in their lives: physical or mental illness, physical or sexual abuse, the limitations of aging, grief due to the loss of a spouse or other significant loved one, loneliness, addiction/substance abuse, marital problems, difficulties with adult children or grandchildren, loss of a job, unhappiness and frustration with their work and/or retirement, or PTSD.  
In other words, life just wasn’t “going their way” and this was often acted out by proxy within the life of the church. Which is why we would be wise to heed this adage: Be Kind: You Never Know What People Are Going Through. Or as the Dali Lama has said: “Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.”
And as Jesus said in the Sermon on the Mount: “In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets” (Matt. 7:12). 
So, I encourage you to be gentle with one another. Give one another the benefit of the doubt. Think twice before rushing to judgment. Learn to disagree agreeably without questioning people’s motives or intelligence. (And this goes doubly for the things we may be tempted to say about others online!). It’s how we learn to live in the diverse, complex (sometimes frustrating) community that we call the church.  
Scott Kenefake
Interim Pastor
This Sunday is GIFT Sunday!
Join us this Sunday for a time of hands-on intergenerational learning. All ages are welcome to experience GIFT Sundays - Generations in Faith Together, a new Sunday program by the Christian Education Committee. Beginning with breakfast at 9:45 a.m., we will be learning about who are our neighbors and how we can be a good neighbor. This will be the only Sunday School offering that morning, with all classes meeting together in Davis Hall. A nursery will be provided for infants-2 year-olds. Come learn and grown in faith together!
Prepare for the Exodus!!
On Sunday September 29th, wear your sensible shoes and dress comfortably for worship as we are putting you to work! Immediately following the service, those who are able, (and so inclined) are invited to help move the 65 Church St. Market sale items into Davis Hall. We need to have the items in place by Monday morning to have a full week to organize and tag the merchandise as it is a time intensive job.The work will start at the conclusion of worship. If you have a two wheeled hand truck please bring it along. Plan to make a trip or two or 10! It will be so appreciated and a way to take part in our mission effort to support our Bayonnais partner in Haiti.

If you have larger/furniture items, please bring them directly to Davis Hall this week, Monday - Thursday, September 30-October 3.
Youth Fellowship
Youth Fellowship for all 6th-12th graders will meet from 3-4 pm in the Davis Hall kitchen this Sunday, Sept. 29th, to bake goods to offer at the Church Street Market to help raise money for our mission partners in Haiti. Come with clothes that you can bake in and be ready for fun! There will not be a Youth Fellowship meal. See you Sunday!
Wednesday Night Fellowship
Join us on October 2nd as we help the Church Street Marketplace team get ready for the sale on Saturday, October 5. We hope to see you there! Dinner will be sandwiches, chips, fruit and dessert. Be sure to make a reservation with the church office by Noon on Monday, September 30th. There is a sign up sheet in the Fellowship House.
Blessing of the Animals
Mark your calendars for Sunday, October 6th, 2 p.m. - 3 p.m.! We will be having a Blessing of the Animals Service for  church and community. We will gather with our pet friends (farm friends are also welcome!) on the church lawn in front of the main sanctuary entrance on Union Street (or Davis Hall if raining). [Participants may choose to bring a picture of their pet instead if such a gathering would be frightening or stressful for their pet]. We will enter into a brief liturgy extolling God's good creation and sing together, All Things Bright and Beautiful. Then, each animal (or picture!) will receive an individual blessing from participating clergy. We will also remember beloved pets that have died by name. Finally, we will enjoy some refreshments/fellowship together and learn about the work of the  Concord and Greater Cabarrus Humane Society.  

The Blessing of the Animals liturgy has ancient roots in the Christian tradition and usually coincides with the Feast of St. Francis in early October (see:  Blessing of the Animals - Let All Creation Praise  for more information). Families with children and grandchildren are encourage especially to come! I look forward to seeing you and your neighbors there!
Donations for the Humane Society
As part of the Blessing and Remembering the Animals event, our congregation will collect donations to benefit our local Humane Society, who was so excited to hear that First Presbyterian wanted to support them! They have provided us a very specific list of their most-needed items. Please do all of the animals a favor and stick to the requested brands of pet food (switching from brand to brand suddenly can be very hard on a dog's tummy)!
The Humane Society's great needs are:
Pedigree Small Breed dry food * Pedigree Puppy dry food * Pedigree canned puppy food * Pedigree canned adult food * canned chicken breast * Tidy Cat cat litter (not the feather lite) * Purina Kitten Chow * copier paper * Tide Liquid Laundry Detergent * Clorox bleach * paper towels
Items will be collected on October 6, both before the 11:00 a.m. service and during the Blessing event that afternoon at 3:00 p.m. Thank you for your support!
Calling All College Students!
Hey College Students, if you are looking for a retreat away and a space to connect with other college students and young adults, all while exploring your faith and issues that matter, then this is the conference for you! The theme this year is "Remembering Sabbath" with many great speakers and conversation leaders. Contact Rachel Vogado if you are interested in going. The conference is January 2-5, 2020 in Montreat, NC. 
Deadline to sign up is October 10th with a $50 deposit.
Total cost for the trip is $150 which includes conference fees, lodging, and meals. 
You Are Invited
2019 Cabarrus County CROP Hunger Walk
What Is It? The Cabarrus County CROP Hunger Walk is a great opportunity for our church family to work together by donating money and time to end hunger in our community and in the world. This event includes stations (First Presbyterian of Concord is hosting the clean water station again this year) and a 1 mile and 3 mile walk. Fun for all ages.

When Is It? Sunday, October 13th. Registration and education stations are at 1:00 PM. The walk is at 2:00 PM.

Where Is It? This year, the walk is happening at Forest Hills United Methodist Church at 265 Union Street N., Concord, NC 28025.

How Can I Donate? To make online donations click here. Select donate, click team, type First Presbyterian Concord. You can also donate in the church office or in the collection plates on Sundays with checks designated to CROP walk. Last year, our church collected an amazing $1,706 for this event and we have been challenged to meet that goal again this year!

How Can I Join In? You can use the above website to register for the team or you can call the church office. You can also join in by just arriving that day! All are welcome!
Is There Any Other Way I Can Help? Yes! You can spread the word and encourage your friends and family to support this fun event. You also can help with our education station that day by helping to show other walkers what it is like to have limited access to clean water (we supply the educational tools) and handing out candy to the kids who visit our station.

Who Can I Contact with Questions? Our church's CROP walk coordinator this year is Edy Johnston. Feel free to email her at or call her at 704.796.6230 if you have questions or want to help.  
Sign-up Links
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Wednesday Night Fellowship
September 25th
6:00 p.m., Davis Hall

Circle 3 Lunch
Tuesday, October 1
11:45 a.m., Davis Hall
S ign-up
Youth Newsletter
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about all events related to youth who are in 6th-12th grade.
Sunday, September 29, 2019
Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake preaching
This Sunday is all about the "Prophets." (And they weren't all male!). Our texts will be Amos 6:1a, 4-7 and Luke 16:19-31. My sermon title is: "The Prophetic Imagination" (I borrowed this title from a famous book written by Old Testament Scholar, Walter Brueggemann),    We will discover that the primary role of the prophet was to speak truth to power; to hold those in leadership positions to account and to condemn social and economic injustice (not to predict the future as is commonly misunderstood today).  We will reflect on the roles and actions of Amos and Jesus in their prophetic work and consider who some of our modern-day "prophets" might be. I look forward to seeing you.      
Thursday, September 26
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:30 p.m. Boy Scouts Adv. Board of Review
Friday, September 27
9:00 a.m. No Preschool - Teacher Workday
9:30 a.m. Adult Literacy Tutoring
Sunday, September 29
9:45 a.m. Sunday School -GIFT Sunday
10:30 a.m. Sanctuary Choir
11:00 a.m. Worship
12:00 p.m. Church Street Market Exodus
3:00 p.m. Children's Choir
3:00 p.m. Youth Fellowship
4:00 p.m. Youth Choir
Monday, September 30
8:00 a.m. Church Street Market Set-up
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
10:00 a.m. Garden Council
11:30 a.m. AA
Tuesday, October 1
8:00 a.m. Church Street Market Set-up
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
10:00 a.m. Adult Literacy Tutoring
11:45 a.m. Circle 3
6:00 p.m. Cub Scouts
7:00 p.m. Boy Scouts Troop 3
Wednesday, October 2
7:30 a.m. Men's Bible Study
8:00 a.m. Church Street Market Set-up
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
2:00 p.m. Staff Meeting
6:00 p.m. Fellowship Supper
7:30 p.m. Sanctuary Choir

Church Report
September 25 - William Austin, Richard Canter, Mike Coltrane
September 26 - Bill Richey, Margaret West
September 27 - Connor Dunlap, Amy Kluttz, Buddy Leatherman Jr., Bob Prescott, Pat Wannamaker
September 28 - Tyler Stark, Walter Vuchnich
September 29 - Eli Farmer
September 30 - Lilly Bryant, Dean Phillips
October 1 - Matthew Bishop
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

Church Hostess

Wedding Director
Contact Info
First Presbyterian Church

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 Summer Hours:
Monday: Closed
Tuesday/Thursday/Friday - Open for Scheduled Groups
Wednesday: 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
Saturday: 10:00 a.m. - 6 p.m.
Sunday mornings for FPC

Memorial Garden:
(980) 621-0719
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