New Race Book Study Begins Tuesday, January 18

The first discussion session for the Race Unification Committee’s new race book study will be this coming Tuesday, Jan. 18, at 6 p.m. on Zoom.
 

There’s still time to sign up.  Email RUC Chair Bill Keesler at wkeesler@triad.rr.com.  We are currently out of books in the church office but will gladly find copies for additional readers registering in these last few days.


The book is “America’s Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and the Bridge to a New America” (2016), by Jim Wallis, a white evangelical preacher, pastor, university teacher, bestselling author, and magazine founder who has worked on racial issues for more than 50 years.

 

A total of six discussion sessions are planned for the book.  Discussions will be held on the first and third Tuesdays monthly from 6 to 7 p.m.

 

The discussions, open to the entire congregation, offer an opportunity for combined discovery.  All participants are encouraged to share their own thoughts and personal stories.

 

The discussions will be led by three RUC members – Walt Rouse, Ken Davis, and David Durrell.  David will lead the first discussion session, which will focus on the Preface, Introduction, and Chapter 1.

 

The first discussion follows the celebration of the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Holiday on Monday and coincides on Tuesday with the National Day of Racial Healing, an outgrowth of the W.K. Kellogg Foundation’s Truth, Racial Healing, and Transformation (TRHT) efforts.

 

TRHT is a comprehensive, national, and community-based process to plan for and bring about transformational and sustainable change and to address the historic and contemporary effects of racism.  Organizations throughout the country, including Elon University’s Division of Inclusive Excellence and The League of Women Voters of Wake County in North Carolina, are holding National Day of Racial Healing events.
 


Volunteers Needed!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Worship and Music Ministry Team
The Worship and Music Ministry Team needs volunteers to serve as Lay Leaders for all worship services between now and the end of the year.
 
Lay Leaders serve a very important role since they represent the congregation of First Presbyterian Church as we minister to each other and to our visitors during each weekly worship service. And thanks to the wonderful organizational skills and support of our church staff, the job is not complicated at all! Each Lay Leader receives information well in advance of his or her chosen Sunday so that the job becomes very simple. All that’s required is your willingness to represent your friends and fellow members as we worship together.
 
Please consider helping in this vital worship activity! To volunteer, please contact Phyllis McGee with your name and the date in August, September, October, November or December that you are willing to serve so that we can establish a Lay Leader Calendar. Thanks in advance for your help!
 
Christian Education Ministry Team
Our Christian Education Ministry Team is looking for volunteers to fill a number of roles. If you would be willing to serve as a Sunday School Superintendent, Elementary Sunday School teacher, or Kingdom Kids volunteer, or if you would like more information about serving in any of these roles, please contact interim DCE Karen Carrickhoff.
 
 


Youth Sunday/Graduation Sunday 2021

Youth Sunday will be held Sunday, May 16 at 11:00 AM in the sanctuary. We will also honor our graduating high school seniors during the service. Please make your reservation with the church office (336-248-2140 or office@fpclexnc.com) through Noon, Thursday. After that time, you may make your reservation with Richard Goff.


A Return to In-Person Worship Is on the Horizon

By now you have likely heard that we will be offering indoor, in-person worship beginning April 11th, at 11:00 a.m. While virtual worship is still the safest choice on Sunday morning (—and be assured— we will continue to offer live streamed worship online), we also know there are some who feel able and are eager to return to the church building. The Reopening Committee has been hard at work trying to provide the safest possible environment for gathering together, and we await your smiling (but masked) faces!
 
For those who would like to worship in the sanctuary on Sundays, we have strict protocols to follow. Masks to cover both mouth and nose are required at all times for worshipers ages 5 and older. Reservations must be made by contacting Jeanna the week prior to the Sunday you wish to attend. You may call or email the office beginning Monday at 9:00 through Thursday Noon, or until the capacity is reached, whichever comes first. Your reservation must be confirmed by Jeanna, and seats will be assigned, with members of the same household being seated together.
 
For those who have CONFIRMED reservations, they should ask themselves the regular COVID-19 screening questions on Sunday morning:

  1.  Am I experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms:
       a. Cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing
       b. Temperature equal to or over 100.4?
       c. Feeling feverish, chills, fatigue, weakness?
       d. Muscle/Body aches?
       e. Loss of taste, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting?
       f. General feeling of unwell?
  2. Has anyone in my household experienced any of these symptoms in the past 14 days?
  3. In the past 14 days, have I come into close contact with anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?
  4. Have I travelled outside the United States in the past 14 days or been in close contact with anyone who has travelled outside the US in the past 14 days?
 
If you answer “yes” to any of these, you should stay home and worship online. Temperatures will be checked at the 3rd Avenue entrance. If the thermometer indicates you are higher than the safe range, you will need to leave the building.
 
Worshipers will enter at the 3rd Avenue/Lobby door (office entrance). Following a temperature check, they should sanitize their hands before entering the sanctuary. An usher will guide worshipers to their assigned pew. Following the service, an usher will dismiss the worshipers by pew, beginning at the back. Worshipers will depart out through the Narthex/Main Street doors.
 
A letter with more details will go out in the mail soon. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Richard Goff, chair of the Reopening Committee; Margaret King, Clerk of Session, or Pastor Nancy.
 
We look forward to seeing one another again, and we also anticipate the day when it is truly safe for all of us to gather in worship, learning, and fellowship again.
 
 


Community Prayer Wall

Friends, I think we can all agree that this year has been challenging in many ways. On the bright side, these challenges have pushed us to be more creative – in the ways we worship, fellowship, and stay connected as a community. In an effort to nurture our connections as a community, First Presbyterian has created a prayer wall, and you (yes, YOU!) are invited to take part.
 
The wall has been created on the outer garden wall (3rd Avenue side) at the church’s office entrance. There, you will find a table with instructions and supplies. We’re inviting everyone in our community to write a prayer and hang it on the prayer wall. Sharpies have been provided, but feel free to use your own if you have safety concerns.
 
Remember, the prayer wall is open to the community, so please help us spread the word by encouraging your friends and neighbors to add their prayers, hopes, and praises to the prayer wall. And for the prayer warriors in our community, please also help us by lifting these prayers before the Lord as we continue to love our neighbors this Advent season and beyond.
 
For those in the FPC family who have been largely housebound during the pandemic and who would like to add a prayer to the wall but do not want to risk possible exposure to COVID, please call or email Jeanna (336-248-2140 or office@fpclexnc.com), and she will add your prayer to the wall on your behalf.