June 17, 2020
Getting to" We"
(or how to get along with your new Millennial or Gen X Pastor)
Thirty years ago, I was called to serve a congregation in “upstate” New York near the state capital, Albany. Guilderland (the Dutch phrase for “land of opportunity”) is a suburban/semi-rural area between the cities of Albany and Schenectady. The church I served had roots dating back to the mid-1700’s. The community was incredibly diverse: old Dutch farm families that had been tilling the same land for hundreds of years, a steady flow of suburban “newcomers” who came and went according to the election cycles (mostly from “downstate”) who worked in state government, engineers and business people who worked for General Electric (which was then headquartered in Schenectady), a large number of medical professionals who served the regional hospitals, and a significant (but small) African American community that could trace their ancestry back to “free blacks” before the Revolutionary War. On a typical Sunday, farmers, often still smelling of manure from the fields, would be sitting next to Ivy League graduates of various professions and everyone in-between.

So, how did this rag-tag group manage to get along? (I used to think of them as refugees from “the island of ‘misfit toys’ that, some of you will recall, were featured in an old Burl Ives Christmas special.)

I didn’t understand it at the time, (I’m a baby-boomer) but the values of their World War II generation leadership were the key. They valued things like personal responsibility, integrity, humility, a strong work ethic, service to community and nation, and commitment. They weren’t perfect, of course, but they were “institutionalists” who naturally put the interests of the common good above self-interest.  They were willing to compromise to make things work for the greatest number. It’s not surprising, then, that their greatest achievement (in Presbyterian circles) was the reunion of the northern and southern streams of the church in 1983.

Those who were profoundly shaped by the great depression and World War II (and the “Silent generation” that followed) are mostly gone now or have aged out of leadership positions. They have been replaced (both in church and society) by Baby-boomers (and now Millennials) who have had very different life experiences. Baby-boomers typically have valued things like individual choice, self-actualization, health and wellness, prosperity, and ownership. So, it’s not surprising that baby-boomers were attracted (in large numbers) to “independent” churches in the 1970’s and 80’s and that this generation of church leaders within Presbyterianism have led the exodus of “conservative” churches out of the denomination. It fits with their general “anti-institutional” sensibilities (we don’t want Presbytery or General Assembly telling us what to do!).

Now, however, we are living through another generational transition in leadership in both church and society as Millennials (the largest and most diverse generation in American history) move to center stage. What values do they live by? Generally speaking, they are open and adaptive to change, have an intuitive knowledge of technology, are free-thinking and creative, are comfortable with diversity, have a passion for learning, live locally but think globally, and place importance on specific tasks rather than time.  These are the folks in the church who are passionate about bringing the old-line/mainline “mostly white” churches kicking and screaming into a more diverse 21st century through organizations like “Next Church” ( with a strong emphasis on racial equality and social justice for the poor. Conversely, this generation is also the most “allergic” to “mono-culture” institutions like American churches (that tend to be segregated by race and class). They view this as an anachronism.

So, we have all these generations and all of these differing and competing values swirling within church and society and we are often talking past each other because we tend to think the values of our own generation should be normative for everyone.

But most importantly, how will your next Pastor, who is likely to be either a Millennial or Gen-X (who value independence, work-life balance, and flexibility), be received and supported?

What I am describing is nothing new but raising it into consciousness can make shared church life together (across generations) much better and less conflicted if we are aware of these dynamics and have empathy for those whose life experience is different from ours. It “makes sense” of how people of different generations can have such widely divergent notions of how we should worship, how the church should manage and spend its money, and how we should engage in mission.

In short, it is how we get to “we.”


Scott Kenefake
Interim/Transitional Pastor
Update for Racial Equity Reads
In faithful response to the biblical commands to love our neighbor, and in light of the current events of our country, we seek to create an intentional space for dialogue, understanding, and action for anti-racism and justice work.
Since we have shared about this starting this group, we have heard from a few folks about their desire to be a part of the group, but the time did not work. Our first meeting will be this Sunday at 4 p.m.
If you are interested in joining this group, or already planning to attend, please contact Lynne. She will be sharing the Zoom link and information about our gatherings.
Our first book will be “So You Want to Talk about Race” by Ijeoma Olou. As a great first step in anti-racism work, we invite you to consider purchasing your book from a black owned bookstore, such as Key Bookstore or Mahogany Books. Here is how you can already begin preparing for discussion:
  • Our first gathering will include time to create a group covenant together, as well as covering the introduction and chapters 1 through 4.
  • In the following weeks we will cover the chapters in groups: chapters 5 through 8, chapters 9 through 12, and chapters 13 through 17.
Come if you are curious. Come if you are hopeful. Come if you are sad, angry, or apathetic. Come if you are wondering what to do next. Come if you seek to love your neighbor.
Session Meeting Highlights from June 9, 2020
  • The Session met on June 9th using Zoom Internet video and audio. This was the last meeting for the outgoing class of elders and the first meeting for the incoming class of elders as a transition into the 2020-21 Session year.
  • The Session will hold a called meeting on Tuesday, July 14, 2020 at 7:00pm.
  • At the recommendation of the Reopening Advisory Committee, virtual worship will continue potentially until the Sunday after Labor Day. The Session will reassess each month beginning with the called meeting on July 14, 2020.
  • Elders want to encourage all members to continue to tune-in to the online worship services. As a reminder, watch at a time that is convenient for you! The videos are available all week beginning at 10:00am on Sundays and services from previous weeks are always available for viewing.
  • Session approved a request from the Deacons for a church-wide Habitat for Humanity fund raising campaign. The Deacons will spearhead this and will seek to raise $5000 from the congregation. They will match the funds raised, up to $5000, from the discretionary fund.
  • Session members were informed that Toby Prewitt would no longer be serving as Treasurer. Members expressed their appreciation for Toby and gratitude for his many years of dedicated service. Beth Younce was elected to serve as Interim Treasurer. A committee was also formed to research treasurer roles and job descriptions at peer churches in order to write a treasurer job description for our church. The members are: Chrissy Rotan, David Harrison, John Bishop, Dale Carpenter, Harris Morrison and Erwin Spainhour.
  • The Session voted to become a Matthew 25 church which is a church following Matthew 25:31-46 by becoming active disciples and making a difference in our community and the here for more information
  • Gina Goff was elected to serve as the Clerk of Session.

As Presbyterians, decisions affecting our worship, education, spiritual nurture, physical property, and budget are made by our elected leaders. To connect with church officers, all Elders and Deacons and their committee assignments are listed on the church website under the “ABOUT” tab, “Staff and Leadership.”

The Session meets monthly on the 2nd Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. Minutes are open and available by request after they are approved at the following month’s Session meeting.
Workday at FPC
On Monday, June 15, the Building and Grounds committee had a great workday with 11 members participating in weeding, trimming and general cleanup on the church campus grounds. After a threat of rain, the weather provided us a great backdrop to get a lot accomplished. Thanks to all you came out!
(pictured, Erwin Spainhour and Brad Barnett)
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 (,
Summer Worship is posted at 10:00 a.m.
First Presbyterian Church 2019 Annual Report
The 2019 Joy of Giving Annual Report has been added to the church website under the ABOUT button.

Please continue to share this information with your family, friends, and neighbors as a way of showing how Christ's work was woven like a tapestry by our church family in 2019 to create programs that touched the lives of so many. The sharing of our gifts in many forms--time, talent, pledges, and estate gifts--helped make this exciting year possible!
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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
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about all events related to youth who are in 6th-12 grade.
Sunday, June 21, 2020
Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake preaching

Sunday, June 21
Happy Father's Day
10:00 a.m. Worship online
4:00 p.m Zoom Race Equity Reads discussion
Tuesday, June 23
7:00 p.m. Al Anon meeting
Church Report
June 18 - Linda Fesperman, Jim Iglehart, Tara Trahey, Pat Verner, Sarah Younce
June 20 - Anne Austin, Rachel Entwistle, Ben Flowe, Barbara Hunt, Mary Margaret Morrison,
Brooke Niblock
June 22 - Romy Paul
June 23 - Dave Dulmage, Mary Ann Johnson, Ben McGuire, Mary Morrison, Carlisle Moser,
Lauren Quintana, Ethan Wilder
June 24 - Katherine Epler, Robbie Epler, Glenda Steel
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
s uzanne.russell  

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