THE BANNER
December 9, 2020
Devotional for the Third Week of Advent
“To begin again with God means seeing that we cannot go on as we are. To build again with God means we cannot go running or creeping in the old groove, in the old, bad, accustomed routine. It means looking to see if God’s light and power are not visible, and they are often closer than we think. It means waiting . . .not in the void, but for God’s redemption, for the bars of our prison to burst open suddenly. Jesus has summoned God’s kingdom into real life as the surest and most real of all things.”---Karl Barth 1886-1968
Congregational Meeting December 13, 2020
There will be a congregational meeting this Sunday, December 13, to act upon the Session's recommendation that Rev. Rachel Vogado be free to accept a calling to another congregation beginning in January, 2021, and to let her relationship with First Presbyterian Church conclude at the end of December, 2020.
Joy Gift Concert - A Thank You!
Thank you does not feel adequate for the efforts and talents that came together to create what we enjoyed as the virtual Joy Gift Concert of 2020! Our traditional dinner concert was beautifully re-envisioned by Shirley Brannan and Nancy Chikes, coordinators for the annual event. A special thank you to Hunter Morrison and the entire Worship and Music Committee for their assistance and support in the creating a video version of this concert for us to enjoy throughout the season! We appreciate Reverend Rush Otey and his inspiring closing prayer.

I hope you will join me in thanking Jacquie Yost and Jeff Price for directing and compiling the breathtaking arrangement of anthems and solos by our extraordinary Sanctuary Choir! 

Thanks for sharing the gift of your voices:

Ron Barus, Debbi Burke, Steve Burke, Joy Cook, Judy Davison, Sallie Dotger, Jerry Dyer, Mary Beth Eubanks, Buell Little, Cecilia Moneta Matthews, Keane Matthews, Judy Mongold,
Carrie Myers, Jennifer Preslar Newton, Marc Niblock, Doug Phillips, Bob Prescott, Nat Ross,
Carole Shaw, Mark Shelley, and Scott Vernor.

I will borrow these words from the program: “This concert was boldly prepared for your enjoyment in affirmation of Christ’s presence with and within us during this season of Advent.” Please continue to feel the spirit of Christmas again: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xfL46voY8wc&feature=youtu.be

The Christmas Joy Offering has been a Presbyterian Women tradition since the 1930’s. The Offering is distributed equally to two areas of need: the Assistance Program of the Board of Pensions, providing critical support to church workers and their families, and Presbyterian-related schools and colleges, providing education and leadership development while nurturing racial and ethnic heritage. Thank you to all who have generously donated this season. Donations may be left in the church office using the Joy Gift Offering envelopes in the foyer of the Fellowship House or on-line through this link: 
Advent Prayer Wall
The Christian Education Committee has created a new way for you to pray this Advent with an outdoor prayer wall in front of the sanctuary. If you are walking or driving by the church, you are invited to stop and add your prayer to the wall, as many times as you would like. This could be a wonderful weekly or even daily prayer practice. There will be a prompt for you to lift up a prayer for hope, joy, peace, and love and you will tie your prayer to the wall. Throughout the Advent season you will see the prayers of our congregation and community create a vision of Advent hope. 
Virtual Christmas Pageant
As we prepare for the season of Advent, the Christian Education Committee is working on many opportunities for you to learn, pray, worship, and ponder the birth of Jesus. While many of our beloved traditions will look a bit different this year, we are working to create meaningful expressions of those traditions. The Youth are working to share some Advent joy as we tell the Christmas story virtually. If you have pictures or videos from previous years' Christmas Pageant, please email them to Rachel. We appreciate your help as we gather some good historical photos from Christmas Pageants past!

Food Drive for the Blessing Box
What is a Blessing Box? A Blessing Box is a cabinet that provides food and toiletries to those who are in need... many of whom are homeless.
Where is the Blessing Box located? In the next few weeks, the box will be constructed on the backside of the church beside Church Street.
Who benefits from the Blessing Box? Homeless citizens, people experiencing hunger, and our congregation in providing items for this important mission of our Deacons and church.

What can I do to help? Drop off items Sunday December 13th 1-4 p.m. Look for us at the portico for drop off. See the list below as a shopping guide.

Packing Items:
Gallon zip lock bags
Sandwich size zip-lock bags
Lunch bags

Food Items:
Canned meals: raviolis, Spaghetti O’s
Soup
Small plastic bottles of juice
Juice boxes, Capri Suns
Crackers
Packaged flavored noodles or rice
Pasta
Spaghetti sauce
Peanut Butter
Jelly
Tuna Fish – canned and the packets
Baby food, formula, baby wipes & diapers
Individually wrapped snacks: crackers, breakfast bars
Macaroni and cheese
Plastic containers of cereal –individual size
Vegetables
Hormel meals

Personal & Household items
Toothpaste
Dish soap, cleaning wipes
Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, toothbrushes, deodorant
Christian Education
Be sure to check out 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 kits are available in the lobby area of the Fellowship House. Be sure to grab your kit to be ready to go for the lesson this Sunday. You can access the virtual classroom by clicking here or by going to the First Presbyterian Church website! The content will change weekly as we hear a new story each Sunday.
This Sunday we continue our unit, "The Birth of Jesus", which will walk us through the Advent and Christmas season.
Also, please help us as make our kits. Fill out this short questionnaire to help us best prepare for you and be good stewards of our resources! https://forms.gle/gVDJVUxn5X7vfw488
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. **If you didn't receive the Youth Newsletter last week, please be sure to check your spam or junk folder.
All youth families, please fill out the following short questionnaire to help Rachel best prepare and anticipate the needs for our various youth gatherings. Questionnaire found here: https://forms.gle/Z63UdUmwV43xojgG6
Girl Scout News
Girl Scout Troop 334 met on Sunday, to continue their Journey work as they prepare to launch Silver and Gold Award project ideas. During discussions, they assembled gingerbread houses and enjoyed fellowship in the courtyard. The Brownie and Junior troops will meet this Thursday to continue their respective Journey books.

Brownie Troop 323, Junior Troop 3142, and Girl Scout Troop 334 meet on December 19th for ornament making and delivery of their Night Shelter dinner.
Camp Counselors Wanted for Camp Grier
Working at Camp Grier is rewarding, challenging, and fun! You will make a tremendous difference in the lives of children while building your resume and honing your outdoor skills.
 
We are seeking enthusiastic role models that want to work with children ages 7 to 17 in the great outdoors.

Learn more at the Job Openings page on our website.
2020 Contributions and Stock Transfer
Please remember that year-end contributions must be received in the church office by noon on December 31st. For stock transfers, please notify Suzanne Russell so that the proceeds can be applied to the correct account in a timely manner. Thank you!
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 (https://www.facebook.com/firstpresconcordnc/),
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.
Calendar
Sunday, December 13, 2020
Rev. Rush Otey preaching

Wednesday, December 9
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
5:30 p.m. Personnel meeting
6:30 p.m. PNC online
Thursday,December 10
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:00 p.m. Junior Journey Meeting
6:45 p.m. Brownie Journey Meeting
Friday, December 11
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool Early Dismissal
12:00 p.m. First Kids Staff Training
Sunday, December 13
11:00 a.m. Worship
12:00 p.m. Congregational Meeting via Email
1:00 p.m. Drive by Food Drive
3:00 p.m. Circle 5 via Zoom
Monday, December 14
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
11:00 a.m. Circle 4 via Zoom
7:00 p.m. Boy Scout Roundtable
Tuesday, December 15
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:00 p.m. Cub Scouts
7:00 p.m. Scouts Pack 3
7:00 p.m. Session via Zoom
7:00 p.m. PW CT
Wednesday, December 16
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:30 p.m. PNC online
Church Report
Birthdays
December 9- Tony McBride
December 10 - Riley Olson
December 11 - Norman Beam, Garrett Perdue
December 12 - Janna Mitchell, Lauren Reese
December 13 - Sadie Carlough, Douglas Kelling, Steven Thomas, Todd Watson
December 14 - Jack Chaffin, Mary Ingram
December 15 - Peyton Bryant, Paul Lentz
December 16 - Steve Johnson, Kenneth Pegram, Beulah Thorson
**To enjoy a sung happy birthday, click here!**
Staff
Rush Otey
Temporary Supply Pastor 

Associate Pastor 
for Care and Mission

Associate Pastor
for Christian Formation



Director of Music and Organist

Choirmaster

Suzanne Russell
Church Administrator

Financial Secretary

Heath Ritchie
Maintenance Superintendent

Director of First Kids

Wedding Director
Contact Info
First Presbyterian Church
(704) 788-2100
suzanne.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:
Closed

Memorial Garden:
(704) 786-8009
36 Spring Street SW
Concord NC 28025
 
Garden Hours: 
Tuesday - Saturday, 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Sunday, 1:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Closed Monday