December 2, 2020
Virtual Communion this Sunday
Please join us this Sunday as we celebrate a virtual communion.
Be sure to have your bread and drink ready when you tune in.
Devotional for the Second Week of Advent
Advent has a renewed urgency, a heightened significance in 2020. This year all of us have witnessed unimaginable events and processes which are not expected and for which we could not be prepared. Many feel economic distress and are grappling with personal issues and crises. We recognize and can identify the darkness better than we could a year ago. Grief seems unabated and on the rise.
Such a time calls for Christians to respond with clear-eyed hope rather than fear, nostalgia, or sentimentality. Such a time can be redemptive as we open ourselves to the Gospel. We may discern what is essential (and what is not), and what is important (and what is not), and what abides (and what does not). The light of the Advent candles beckons to us through the uncertainties, chasing the darkness.

Howard Thurman (1900-1981), the great African American theologian and preacher, said so clearly what we need to ponder this year: Hope is the growing edge! I shall look well to that growing edge this Christmas. All around worlds are dying out, new worlds are being born, all around life is dying but life is being born. The fruit ripens on the trees while the roots are silently at work in the darkness of the earth against a time when there shall be new leaves, fresh blossoms, green fruit. Such is the growing edge! It is the one more thing to try when all else has failed, the upward reach of life. It is the incentive to carry on. Therefore, I will light the candle of hope this Christmas, that must burn all the year long
Angel Tree Deadline
Even in this challenging time of Covid19, the Board of Deacons is pleased to confirm that First Presbyterian Church will once again join forces with The Angel Tree Fellowship Ministry.
We are excited to announce that through the launch of the Virtual Angel Tree Program you can easily send the child of an incarcerated Cabarrus County parent a Christmas gift, which will strengthen and restore loving relationships, using the link below.
The Virtual Angel Tree Program allows our church community to sponsor a child of a prisoner for $22.00. The child will receive a Christmas package on behalf of their incarcerated loved one, and will include: a gift card to Walmart (based on selected sponsorship level), the prisoner parent’s message, a Gospel presentation, and an opportunity to request a free Adventure Bible.
To access the Virtual Angel Tree Ministry website and effectively navigate your way to sponsor children, the Ministry has assigned First Presbyterian Church this URL link.
Simply click here . You will then be prompted to add the Access Code: VTI52
The deadline for gifts is December 7.

Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 2 Corinthians 9:7

Many Thanks,
The Board of Deacons
Advent at Home
This year join First Presbyterian Church in celebrating Advent at home with a special kit for you and your family to learn more about the lessons of Hope, Peace, Love, and Joy. This kit is an opportunity for families to to take time each week during the Advent season to be intentional and focus on their faith through devotions, advent wreath, and calendar practices, creative expressions, and mission opportunities.
If you plan to use the kit this season, please sign up for one so we can adequately prepare and be good stewards of our resources. Thank you and we hope you will join us this Advent! There are some extra kits available if you would like one, and if you have not picked up your kit yet, you can pick it up from the lobby area of the Fellowship House.
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. 
Night Shelter Sign-ups for December
It's time to volunteer to provide meals for the Night Shelter! First Presbyterian's upcoming week is Sunday, December 13 - Saturday, December 19.

Due to COVID-19, the Night Shelter has decreased its capacity by more than 50%. This December, we will be preparing meals for 8-10 residents instead of the usual 28. We will not serve the meals. We are asked to deliver the food in disposable containers and drop them off with the attendant at the main entry by 6:30 p.m. each evening. In addition, we will be providing disposable plates/bowls, napkins, and utensils for the residents to use.

Click here to sign up now.

Please let me know if you have any questions. As you already know, your help is very much needed and appreciated.

Betsy Morrison

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
Keep an eye out for a new addition to our church Campus. The First Presbyterian Blessing Box will be built on Church Street providing food and toiletries for those less fortunate. Sunday, December 13 from 1 p.m. -4 p.m., your deacons will conduct a donation drive to assist in filling our box. Drop any and all of your items in this drive-through donation. Please note the list of suitable items below. If you have any questions, please call Dakeita Vanderburg at 704-793-8972 or Kate Morrison at 704-942-6426

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

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

Personal & Household items
Dish soap, cleaning wipes
Shampoo, conditioner, lotion, shaving cream, tooth brushes, deodorant
Joy Gift Concert
Don't forget that our Virtual Joy Gift Christmas Concert will be released this Sunday, December 6, at 1:30 p.m. (It is NOT Zoom,) This is a recorded Concert and like our Sunday Service, it will be released and then available for viewing afterwards.

"The Joy Gift assists church workers in their time of need and students in their time of promise."
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 new 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!
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:
Purchase an Ornament/Honor a Loved One
For more than 35 years, Hospice & Palliative Care of Cabarrus County has been providing expert, personalized and compassionate care for those nearing the end of their life due to an illness or a disease for which there is no cure. Hospice care focuses on helping the patient feel as comfortable as possible, physically, emotionally, and spiritually.

For the past 10 years, Hospice has partnered with Carolina Memorial Park on a project that gives families an opportunity to memorialize a loved one and raises awareness for the work that HPCCC is doing in the community. For a minimum $3 donation, you can purchase an ornament that will be inscribed with your loved one’s name with all proceeds benefiting Hospice. During the holidays, the ornaments will be displayed on lighted trees at Carolina Memorial Park, 601 Mt. Olivet Rd. in Kannapolis.

Thank you in advance for your support. For questions, call 704-403-5277 or email
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 (,
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.
Sunday,December 6, 2020
Rev. Rachel Vogado preaching

Wednesday, December 2
6:30 p.m. PNC online
Thursday,December 3
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
3:00 p.m. GS Troop 334
6:00 p.m. Girl Scouts
Friday, December 4
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Sunday, December 6
11:00 a.m. Worship with virtual communion
12:00 p.m. Circle 3 Gift Drop Off
1:30 p.m. Virtual Joy Gift Concert
Monday, December 7
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:30 p.m. Circle 1 online
7:00 p.m. Boy Scout District Steering Comm.
Tuesday, December 8
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
1:30 p.m. Circle 3
6:00 p.m. Cub Scouts
7:00 p.m. Scouts Pack 3
Wednesday, December 9
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
6:30 p.m. PNC online
Church Report
Judy Holloway - Music Ministry
Erwin Spainhour - Boy Scouts Troop 3, Commons, Salvation Army, Operating Budget
Nancy Odell - Backpack Program
Ken Craig - Families in Need, Todd & Betsy Hobbie Scholarship Program
Jim Holloway - Music Ministry
December 2- William Shelley, Jane Spainhour
December 4 - Emily Johnson, Jackson Williams
December 5 - Connie Bixler, Collier Leatherman, Doug Phillips
December 7 - Alice Grant, Carlos Lopez
**To enjoy a sung happy birthday, click here!**
Rush Otey
Temporary Supply 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:

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