December 30, 2020
Here's to a Happy, Healthy 2021 for All,
from the First Presbyterian Church Staff
Session Meeting Highlights from December 15, 2020
Merry Christmas to everyone from the Session! We eagerly anticipate 2021 and the promises it brings for our congregation, community, and world!

  • The Session met on December 15th using Zoom Internet video and audio.
  • The Session convened as the members of the Memorial Garden Association to hold the annual meeting of the Association. At this meeting, the members elected Susan Schneider, Kay Wall, and Thomas Niblock as new Board members; confirmed having read Exhibit B that describes the history and ongoing management of the Garden; and reviewed the 2020 financial report and 2021 budget.
  • Apprised of the pledges received thus far, the Session urges all members who have not yet pledged to prayerfully consider returning a pledge to the church office by December 30. Our budget, supporting all aspects of our church life, is developed based on these pledges.
  • The 2021 budget will continue to be developed and a continuing resolution was passed to allow disbursements going into 2021.
  • The Session acknowledged the need to continue to evaluate the Covid19 situation in our community and base our decisions on reconvening in-person on the best available data and safety for all concerned.
  • Let’s all support the community Blessing Box that has been placed on the Church St. side of the Will Young building.
  • The annual meeting of the congregation will be held later in February, 2021.
  • We appreciate and thank Rachel for her ministry here and the many talents she shared with us. We wish her well as she responds to her new call at First Presbyterian Gastonia.
  • Welcome to Kim Mazzola who will join the staff on January 1st working with Christy Canupp to learn the financial system in preparation for Christy’s retirement.
  • The Session elected William Niblock as the Church Treasurer for a two-year term.
  • The next Session meeting will be held on January 12, 2021 at 7:00 p.m.

As Presbyterians, decisions affecting our worship, education, spiritual nurture, physical property, and budget are made by our elected leaders. To connect with church officers, see the list of Elders and Deacons and their committee assignments 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.
Patience and Hope and Re-opening in 2021
As stated in Romans 5:3-5,  
 "we also rejoice in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance brings about character; and character, hope; and hope does not disappoint... " 
And we are indeed in a time of tribulation.  We are just not able to safely gather in person for worship in our sanctuary. On behalf of the church leadership, the Reopening Committee, the Worship and Music Committee, and the Session, we will continue to review the covid data trends weekly, and while we all certainly hope for the time of in-person worship to come soon, right now we ask and pray for your continued patience, since we just cannot gather safely yet. According to the current trends, the surge may not peak for 6 more weeks, even with the promise of the vaccine.  
Please search your soul for the deep patience that we all need during this time, and know that we hope for a time of being together, but that will likely not occur until Easter at the earliest. Please know that as soon as it seems safe for all to gather, there is a detailed plan for reopening already in place, and we will be ready at that time!! Continue to be inspired by our wonderful recorded worship services online for the time being. We will keep you posted as new information becomes available. 
Blessings to you until we can meet again.
Holiday Staff/Office Information
Thursday, December 31 - office closes at Noon
Monday, January 4 - office closed
Rev. Keel is on vacation from 12/25 -1/1. If you have an emergency in her absence and need pastoral care, Rev. Otey can be reached at: or 704-707-6282.
"Racial Equity discussions continue..."
As racial tensions continue to plague our communities, the necessity of Christians to engage in this critical conversation as part of our commitment to be gospel-bearers remains important. Our Racial Equity Reads group is taking a brief hiatus from reading to view some lectures on the history of racism as taught by Jeffery Robinson, Deputy Legal Director and Director of the Trone Center for Justice and Equality. Please join us via Zoom to view these lectures and discuss on Sunday, January 10th at 4 p.m. for part 1, and Sunday, January 24th at 4 p.m. for part 2. For more information or to sign up to join the discussion, please contact Lynne Keel at  
Journey Sunday School Class Resumes
THE JOURNEY SUNDAY SCHOOL CLASS will resume - safely - in person meeting on Sunday, January 10, 2021 at 9:45 a.m. in the Sanctuary. This Winter we are going to study a newly released curriculum from The Presbyterian Outlook. Previously, we have studied the weekly article by Jill Duffeiled from The Presbyterian Outlook and she was involved in the creation of this curriculum. "TESTIMONY: Vocabulary of Faith" was designed with the hope it frees people to live their Reformed faith by remembering, reclaiming, and rearticulating what we believe about who God is and who we are so the patterns of our lives embody the liberating love and grace of Jesus Christ.  
Services Update- Worship Available earlier on Sunday Morning
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 8:30 a.m.
Completed Blessing Box/Drive by this Sunday 1-3
The Deacons invite FPC members and friends to drop off food and hygiene items in the box at their convenience .
Several Deacons will be at church this Sunday, January 3, from 1 p.m. – 3 p.m. for those who want to drive through with items for the box. Spread the word! There is also a plastic bin in the lobby of the Fellowship House, labeled “Blessing Box,” that is a collection point for items as well. Additionally, we will be sharing information on how people can become “Blessing Box Caretakers, “ and can sign-up to help oversee, clean, and tidy up the box over a specific time period.
Special thanks to MBBC, Starnes Painting, GNC Glass and Broome Sign for bringing the box into fruition!
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, January 3, 2020
Rev. Rush Otey preaching
Thursday, December 31
Office Closes at Noon
Sunday, January 3
8:30 a.m. Worship available online
Monday, January 4
Office Closed
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Tuesday, January 5
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
1:30 p.m. Circle 3
7:00 p.m. Board of Deacons online
Wednesday, January 6
9:00 a.m. First Kids Preschool
Church Report
Betsy Bare - Memorial Garden Fund
Ken Craig - Families in Need, Memorial Garden Fund
Gay Holding - Backpack Program, Families in Need
Judy Holloway - Music Ministry, Memorial Garden Fund
Nancy Odell - Backpack Program, Memorial Garden
Erwin Spainhour - Haiti Mission, Memorial Garden Fund
Evelyn Barrier-Light - Backpack Program
Jennie Bethune - Backpack Program
Lela BIshop - Backpack Program
Mike & Loretta Coltrane - Operating Budget
Argie Hardy - Backpack Program
Jim Holloway - Music Program
Margaret Irvin - Backpack Program
Cheryl Kelling - Backpack Program
Pam McDonald - Backpack Program
Helen Morrison - Backpack Program
Jim Morrison - Building Endowment
Grace & Olivia Rotan - Backpack Program
Jane Spainhour - Backpack Program, Joy Gift
Mr. & Mrs. Maxton Von Cannon - Backpack Program
Congratulations to Ariel and Christopher Hahn on the birth of their son, Robert Banks Hahn II on December 5 in Concord.
The sympathy and condolences of the congregation are extended to the family of Bill Hulett who died on December 18 in Concord.
The sympathy and condolences of the congregation are extended to the families of Elder Deborah Dees-Gladden (Bellefonte Presbyterian Church) and her mother, who both died on December 28. Deborah has been the Committee on Ministry liaison for FPC for many years.

December 31 - Linda Barnett, Chris Lippard, Sara Newberry
January 1 - Clark Hawfield, Margaret Hillman, Kasey Rohrer, Fred Schafer, Kaitlin Simpson, Roy Stamey
January 2 - Christopher Bradley
January 3 - Patsy Beeker, Wendy Irvin
January 4 - Matthew Gluf
January 6 - Jennifer Payne
**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