September 2, 2020
Virtual Communion this Sunday
Join us “virtually” this Sunday, September 6th, at 10 a.m, to celebrate Communion together.
 Plan to have your bread and juice ready when you tune in.
Backpack Program Update
School has started, and along with that we are starting a new year of support to children and their families through the Presbyterian Women’s Backpack Program. Partnering with Central United Methodist Church, we support up to 30 students at Coltrane Webb Elementary School by providing rolling suitcases full of food every week during the school year, enough to feed four people over a weekend.

Due to Cabarrus County Schools’ decision to begin the year with virtual instruction, the school has requested that we provide gift cards rather than food bags. Beginning September 10, we will be giving the counselors at Coltrane Webb $25 no tobacco/no alcohol Food Lion gift cards to pass along to the students they approved for this program.

Typically, we would take this opportunity to highlight specific foods from our shopping lists for supporters who enjoy providing hands-on support to the program. By the grace of God, we will be able to do that again soon. In the meantime, your financial contributions are always welcome. We’ve even made it easy for you – just click here to go to our online giving, click choose a fund, and select the Backpack Program button.

As we are not coming together for worship, we are also not collecting our Noisy Offering which supports this program. But continue to hoard those scarce coins and keep an eye out for a future notice about a drive-thru Noisy Offering opportunity!

When we give these gift cards to the school, they are inserted into blank note cards, which we are running low on. So, if you have any cards with blank insides and envelopes that you do not need, consider dropping them off at Fellowship House for the Backpack Program. If you are feeling especially ambitious, you could write the following inside the card: From First Presbyterian Church, Concord, NC.

Thank you for your enthusiastic and generous support of this important program.
Rally Day
Mark your calendars for Rally Day on September 13th as we celebrate as a church family and kick off the Fall season!
All ages are invited to tune in for a special video from the Christian Education Committee to learn about all the opportunities for faith formation and connection in the Fall.
Look for more information next week in the Banner about Rally Day details. Join us as we look forward to the ways that we will learn, serve, and grow in faith together.
Night Shelter Volunteers Needed
One of the many missions of the Presbyterian Women is The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope - Night Shelter. The center provides guests with a safe and comfortable place to spend the night in addition to meals and laundry service. Three times a year, volunteers from First Presbyterian provide meals for residents for a week.
Our upcoming week is September 6 - September 12. Because of COVID-19, the shelter is operating at 50% capacity (12-15 residents) and we are asked to drop our assigned meals in disposable containers at the main entrance each evening by 6:30 p.m. We will not serve meals as we have in years past.
Your support of this program is very much needed and appreciated. Contact Betsy Morrison (704.661.8848) with any questions you might have.

Please click here to access the Sign-Up Genius to volunteer.
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 September 17, 24, and October 1.
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 September 11. You can sign up here!
Please take the WEPSS no later than September 14.

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
Racial Reads
In faithful response to the biblical commands to love our neighbor, in light of the current events of our country, and as part of our commitment to be a Matthew 25 congregation, we seek to continue hosting intentional space for dialogue, understanding, and action for anti-racism and justice work.

Our first book was “So You Want to Talk about Race” by Ijeoma Olou. We had a great group of 20-25 people each Sunday afternoon engaging in eye-opening and respectful dialogue. We will continue the discussion with our new book selection "White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity" by Robert P. Jones. If you missed out on the last book, now is a great time to join!

Discussion begins Sunday September 13th at 4pm via Zoom. If you would like to sign up to join this group, please let Lynne Keel know by emailing her at We encourage you to order your book ASAP (through a black-owned bookstore, if possible) as there are book shortages and shipping delays associated with the current pandemic as well as increased interest in discussing racial equity. We hope you will join us for this critical conversation.
Molly Bynum earns Girl Scout Gold
Congratulations to Molly Bynum, of First Presbyterian's Girl Scout Troop 334, for earning her Girl Scout Gold Award on July 29th. In her project, Healthy Kids in Cabarrus County, Molly addressed the issue of childhood obesity through the promotion of balanced nutrition and physical activity in a fun activity and coloring book, designed specifically for Cabarrus County's young children. Molly designed the book, which is bilingual, written with both Spanish and English translations. The book is expected to go into print this month and distributed soon afterward through Cabarrus Health Alliance. Thank you, Molly!
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
Seculosity by David Zahl
Seculosity: How Career, Parenting, Technology, Food, Politics, and Romance Became our New Religion and What to do About It, by David Zahl

Clergy are always looking for new sermon material—particularly books, blogs, and articles that have compelling and interesting stories that apply biblical truths to contemporary life in meaningful ways. I stumbled across just such a book this past week (see above).

David Zahl is an Episcopal Priest who has served as a Campus Minister at the University of Virginia for many years and his book makes the interesting claim that Americans are actually just as religious as ever—we have just shifted from what he calls big “R” vertical religious worship found in historic religious institutions to small “r” horizontal worship of things like sports, politics, food—and many other things.

He argues that we are all on a quest to find what he calls “enough-ness,” seeking ways to “justify” our existence and to find meaning in life. But unfortunately, argues Zahl, our small “r” preoccupations ultimately are not satisfying and are simply modern forms of what big “R” practitioners formerly called “works righteousness.”

Here is a quick summary:

At the heart of our current moment lies a universal yearning, writes David Zahl, not to be happy or respected so much as enough--what religions call "righteous." To fill the void left by religion, we look to all sorts of everyday activities--from eating and parenting to dating and voting--for the identity, purpose, and meaning once provided on Sunday morning.
In our striving, we are chasing a sense of enoughness. But it remains ever out of reach, and the effort and anxiety are burning us out. Seculosity takes a thoughtful yet entertaining tour of American "performancism" and its cousins, highlighting both their ingenuity and mercilessness, all while challenging the conventional narrative of religious decline. Zahl unmasks the competing pieties around which so much of our lives revolve, and he does so in a way that's at points playful, personal, and incisive. Ultimately he brings us to a fresh appreciation for the grace of God in all its countercultural wonder.

This would make a great book for an Adult Study Group—in fact, there is a discussion guide for just such a purpose at the end of the book!


Scott Kenefake
Interim Pastor
Services Update - Fall Worship begins Sunday, September 13
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. We will return to 11:00 am on September 13.
Sign-up Links
Sunday, September 6, 2020
Rev. Lynne Keel preaching

Sunday, September 6
10:00 a.m. Worship online
Night Shelter Meals Week
Monday, September 7
Office closed for Labor Day
Night Shelter Meals Week
Tuesday, September 8
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Night Shelter Meals Week
7:00 p.m. Session online
Wednesday, September 9
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Night Shelter Meals Week
6:30 p.m. PNC online
Church Report
Susan Hannah - Backpack Program
Wilma Caldwell - Building & Grounds, Todd & Betsy Hobbie Scholarship Fund

September 3 - Mary Bost Gray, Eric Johnson
September 4 - Mary Ida Beaver, Nickolas Reid
September 6 - Loretta Coltrane, Winslow Leatherman,. Anna Younce
September 7 - Josh Monroe
September 8 - Lori Clay
September 9 - Trent Blackman, Pat Hollingsworth, Kelly Jones, Aaron Rotan, Jim Waters
**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
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