July 29, 2020
After Covid-19
After Covid-19 We Will Need Churches That Heal
Here are a few of the words spoken to me within the last four months since America woke up to the reality of a virus we still do not understand:
Pastor, this has been overwhelming for my family.”
“I feel like I’m stuck in grief because we did not get to mourn with our friends and family.”
“I miss singing with my friends at church.”
“I have not seen anybody in four months except the nurses who come to check on me, and I am really lonely.”
“We have to move because I lost a job due to the COVID-19 crisis, and we cannot afford to live here anymore.”

In addition, parents are having to scramble to determine how to work and home-school their children. That does not even touch the challenges some families in our area face, including food insecurity, lack of access to Wi-Fi, and possible eviction. Anecdotally, people are suffering from “Corona-somnia”– insomnia caused by the anxiety of the coronavirus epidemic. And on top of that is our national reckoning on race, the constant bombardment of information through our social media platforms and instant news, and the bloviating of talking heads, we have, in the words of Hamilton, “a powder keg about to explode.”

And so, in reading the signs and times, the new missionary field of the church just might be mental and emotional health coming out of this pandemic. We will need churches who heal.

Remember that when Jesus started his kingdom ministry, he went around Galilee preaching, teaching and healing (Matthew 4:23). That is how news spread about Jesus all over the region. Later in Matthew, Jesus sends out an invitation to all who are “ weary and burdened and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28).

Ray P. Miller, a Baptist Pastor in Nashville and an Adjunct Professor at Belmont University, put it this way:
One way of healing is to allow people to lament. Lament expresses the soul’s disorientation and hurt to God and trusts that God will do something about it. Nearly 40% of the Psalms are those of lament … On the other hand, churches who heal will point to a God big enough to handle the worst of us, still loves us, is present with us and shepherds us through what we are experiencing.
Churches who heal will give space to the human experience, listen to people’s stories and tell stories of the goodness of God. Churches who heal will not be afraid of emotion or mental anxiety but will sit non-anxiously with the peace that passes all understanding leading the way. Churches who heal will recover the idea of sanctuary.

In the meantime, here are Ten Ways to Maintain Mental Health During A Pandemic
  1. Focus on what you can control in your life, not on things outside your control.  
  2. Set and follow a daily routine, including your sleep schedule.  
  3. Stay connected to friends and family. 
  4. Select balanced, professional sources of news, and then limit your exposure to it. 
  5. Get plenty of sleep and exercise. 
  6. Spend as much time outside as possible. 
  7. Eat healthy food, drink plenty of water, and limit caffeine and alcohol. 
  8. Talk about your fears. 
  9. Include time in your day for prayer and meditation. 
  10. Find things that make you laugh. 

Scott Kenefake
Interim Pastor
Virtual Communion this Sunday
Join us “virtually” this Sunday, August 2nd, at 10 a.m, to celebrate Communion together. Plan to have your bread and juice ready when you tune in.
Presbyterian Women Sign-Up
All women of the church, ages 18-118, are invited and encouraged to explore opportunities in Presbyterian Women.
Our year will certainly look different and will likely evolve during the year. The opportunity for fellowship and Bible study, and our commitment to serve our congregation and larger community, are both great ways to connect with one another and share God's love.

 Please take a moment to view last year's circles and this year's leaders, then click here to sign up for this year so that we can update our 2020-2021 directory. Thank you!
Habitat for Humanity Update!
Home is where we shelter from the storm and hold our friends and family close. Home is where we gather to grieve our losses and rejoice in our triumphs. In our community, one group uses hands and hearts to bring people home. Due to the pandemic, and the loss of several fund raising events, Habitat for Humanity needs your help. A link below is provided for contributions from the congregation, and during the month of July, those contributions will be matched up to $5,000 by your Board of Deacons! Please give now. Help Habitat bring people home.

Thank you to everyone who has donated so far. We have now raised over $10,000!!

Go to our website to give by clicking here and choosing the Habitat for Humanity fund from the drop-down box. If you'd like to pay by check make it payable to FPC, put Habitat in the memo line, and mail to the church's PO Box 789, Concord, NC 28026.

Click here to watch our YouTube video on this campaign.
Collection of School Supplies - 2020 Style
 Even though students may not be in the classrooms as in the past, the need for school supplies still exists. Necessary items may have changed, distribution may differ, but collection certainly has taken on a new look.
As in past years, our church will be collecting school supplies in partnership with The Rotary Club of Concord-Afton Sunset and WSOC’s #9SCHOOLTOOLS. On Sunday, August 9, from noon until 3:00 p.m., volunteers will be accepting school supplies in the circle drive in front of the sanctuary. Volunteers will be donning masks and gloves.
A list of suggestions has been tailored from past collections and is listed below. For additional information, contact Susan Smith at .

        Suggestions for School Supplies
·          Wooden pencils (pref Ticonderoga)
·          Small pencil sharpeners*                     
·          Mechanical pencils
·          Pens (blue, black, red)
·          Crayons and colored pencils
·          Highlighters and glue sticks
·          Notebooks (wide rule)
·          Filler paper (college rule)
·          Pocket folders
·          Headphones and ear buds*
·          Dry erase markers
·          Individual packs of tissues*
·          Boxes of tissues
·          Disinfecting wipes
·          Hand sanitizers
      * New items on the list or items
       helpful to students working remotely.
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.
Sign-up Links
Lay Liturgists
Sign up here to be a lay liturgist to
read scripture in worship on Sundays.

Sanctuary Flowers
To give the congregation a gift of
sanctuary flowers,  please click here
to sign-up for one or more Sundays
during the year.
Shepherd for Sunday School
Sign up here to be a Shepherd in our Elementary and Middle School Sunday School.
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
Sign up here to receive the Youth Newsletter for detailed information
about all events related to youth who are in 6th-12 grade.
Sunday, August 2, 2020
Rev. Dr. Scott Kenefake preaching

Sunday, August 2 with virtual communion
10:00 a.m. Worship online
Church Report
July 29 - Bess Bryant, Heidi Johnston, Ben Williams
July 30 - Elizabeth Brannan, Marianne Morgan, Robert Rogers
August 1 - Keith Alley, Locke Floyd, Mary Garrison, Chris Leeman, Aya Paul, Porter Peterson
August 2 - Daniel Ellis, Hunter Horton
August 3 - Harrison Entwistle
August 4 - McNeill Bethune, Forrest Cannon
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