Since our sub sandwich fundraiser falls on February 1, the first Sunday of the month, it will be our Table Sunday lunch. You are invited to eat your lunch together in the Fellowship Hall following the late service. Early service folks can still pick up their sandwiches at 9:45 AM. Pre-orders are STRONGLY encouraged, but we will have some sandwiches available at 12:15 PM following the late service. ORDER ONLINE HERE
Sage-ing (also called conscious aging, positive aging, vital aging, spiritual eldering and active aging) is a way of living the second half of our lives that is joyful, fulfilling and meaningful. Lynn Bledsoe will guide a conversation on meaning making in the second half of life. RSVP by calling the church office– carpool may be available upon request.
Hello everyone! We have made changes to our Journal in order to include more information in one place. Please take a moment to look around and familiarize yourself with the Journal. The change in our website domain name takes time to propagate, so you may get an error on your device or computer when you try to access the site. That is normal. You should take steps to clear cookies and restart– OR contact Penny in the office and she will walk you through it. (Info HERE and HERE) Continue reading
Adult Faith Development January 18: Conversations with the PNC :
The PNC invites participation of the congregation to answer important questions about the mission of First Presbyterian Church. As we seek a new Senior Pastor we must ask ourselves:
- Who are we as a congregation? What can be done through programs and ministries to strengthen our family of faith?
- How are we putting our mission in action as a congregation and what is God calling us to do in the next phase of our ministry?
- What skills, experience and personal characteristics would best help us carry out our mission and vision for God’s plan for First Church?
“So Great a Cloud of Witnesses” On display at FPCA Jan. 18 – Feb. 22
Sponsored by the Christian Education & Liturgical Arts Committees: This witness of faith is a collection of over one thousand liturgical stoles and other sacred items representing the lives of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people of faith. These religious leaders have served in 27 denominations and faith traditions, and come from six countries on three continents. This collection celebrates the gifts of GLBT persons who serve God in countless ways, while also lifting up those who have been excluded from service because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Continue reading
January Bible Story: Jesus’ Baptism (Matthew 3: 1-4, 13-17)
- 9:45 a.m. K– 5th Introduce Bible Story & Movie Room 104
- 11:00 a.m. Epiphany/ share Star Words/Children carry communion elements
January 11, 18, 25
- K-1st grade Meet for Cherub Choir Music Room 1
- 2nd– 5th meet for fellowship & snack Room 104
- 11 a.m. worship children collect 5¢ Meal Offering
- 12 p.m. TABLE SUNDAY lunch following worship RSVP helpful!
Saturday, January 24 Helping Hands Family Service & Fellowship Activity!
10:30 a.m.-Noon, Room 106 Potter’s House
Families/ children are invited to come bake cookies for our Saturday Sanctuary guests. Ingredients will be ready to mix & bake! If the whole family is unable to come, Elementary age children may come without parent supervision, we’ll have extra help on hand. Your family is also invited to stay and help serve our guests. RSVP helpful to Nancy McNeill
- Chorister Choir sings at 11 am worship
- 12:15-2:45pm 5th grade Bowling Party at Sky Lanes ($10, lunch and transportation provided-BJ shepherds will chaperone; RSVP)\
Wednesday Nights: January 7, 14, 21, 28 2nd -5th grade Chorister Choir Rehearsal 5:00-6 p.m. in the Music Room
- Camp Grier Summer Camp for ages 7 years + Early Registration Discount due by January 31st Information: www.campgrier.org; need scholarship assistance, call Nancy McNeill
- MarketPlace 29 AD – FPCA Summer VBS ages 3 years old – 5th grade; June 22, 23, 24, 25
The Haywood Street Congregation invites us to join them on Sunday, January 18 (12:30-2:30 PM) as they celebrate the one year anniversary of Haywood Street Respite with cake and ice cream in the fellowship hall (297 Haywood St., Asheville NC 28801). Hear from folks like Wayne about what this program has meant to them, and discover how you can get involved with this and other transformational ministries of the Haywood Street Congregation.
This year marked the 13th anniversary of our Loaves & Fishes Alternative Gifts Market benefiting local and international non-profit agencies who are doing God’s work in the world! Thanks to the many of you who purchased gift cards, as well as those who volunteered behind the scenes to benefit our 19 non-profit agencies. Special thanks to Jamie Brady who volunteered many hours accounting for all the donations! We raised close to $14,000!
A program of Homeward Bound supported by 45 local faith communities, Room in the Inn provides an overnight stay of hospitality for women who otherwise would be homeless. Many thanks to all the volunteers who helped host a wonderful week in December! If you would like to learn more about this ministry of hospitality for women, please talk with our coordinator jean Corliss. And mark your calendar for our 2015 hostings: March 1-8 May 3-10 November 22-29
Building Bridges of Asheville Mondays, Jan. 26—Mar. 23
Building Bridges of Asheville offers nine week seminars on race relations and community building. The mission of Building Bridges is to enable ourcommunity to confront and overcome racism through a continuing process of changing attitudes and hearts through education, consciousness-raising, nurturing, and ongoing support. Sessions are designed around the small group experience. A grant from the Community Foundation of Western North Carolina in 1995 helped tailor the curriculum especially for the Asheville area. The upcoming Building Bridges session will start on January 26 @ MAHEC (119 Hendersonville Road). The classes meet on Mondays from 7 – 9 pm. The registration cost for materials is $30. To register, see their website http://www.buildingbridges-asheville.org. For more information contact Michael Poulos at the church office, or FPC-A member Ann Kieffer who is a graduate of Building Bridges.
The opportunity of change…
As we begin 2015 our church officially enters a time of pastoral transition. On December 21 many of us gathered in Gardner Fellowship Hall to say goodbye to Mark Burnham. Words of gratitude, love and appreciation were shared for Mark’s many gifts and his leadership with us since 2010. The love and prayers of this congregation will remain with Mark, Pat, Charlotte and Eli in the months and years ahead.
Change is never easy, especially for us in the faith community who may see the church as a steadfast and reliable place in the midst of the world’s chaos and change. As a young Christian I found comfort learning this verse from the Letter to the Hebrews (13.8): “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever.” Though the promises of our faith are things we can count on, we know change is always happening. Change can present us with opportunities for growth and renewal, opportunities for us to deepen our relationship with God and our relationship with each other.
FPC-Asheville has a strong history of growth and vitality through times of pastoral transition. We have seen these times of transition as an opportunity for many to step up and to bring new energy and strength to our ministry together. Instead of hiring an interim pastor to handle most things, our session has adopted a plan for many of us to take on various roles until a new pastor is called later this year. Lynn Bledsoe and I will be sharing pastoral care responsibilities, working with the deacons to visit and care for those in need. Please do not hesitate to call either of us (Lynn: 828-989-1399; Michael: 828-713-3509) when you or someone you know needs pastoral care. Lynn and I, as well as the others on staff, are grateful for the ways many of you provide care for each other. I am deeply grateful for the way all of our staff see pastoral care as an important part of their jobs.
While the church staff will be taking on extra duties, the support and work of the congregation will be essential. As the body of Christ all of us are needed to do our part, and as we begin a new year I invite you to consider how God may be able to use your gifts in ministry through the life of our church. I encourage you to speak to any of us on staff and we can talk about areas where your help may be needed. I believe the vitality of our interim period will depend not on the staff but on how well everyone finds a way to strengthen their ministry through the life of the church.
Finally, we are blessed to have Paul Roberts coming this month to begin his time with us as our interim preacher. Paul will be preaching twice a month beginning this Sunday, January 4. We will have the opportunity to have conversations with Paul during the faith development hour on the 4th, and he will be with us again on the 11th. Our transition team will give a report and have time for conversation on the 11th during the faith development hour, and the Pastor Nominating Committee will ask for congregational feedback on the 18th during faith development. You are invited to be part of these important opportunities as we live into the changes before us in this New Year.