Archive for May, 2012

What a fantastic time the church staff had yesterday!  As you may know, the “Fab Five” spent our Tuesday morning volunteering at Yokefellow Ministries – our community’s food bank.  Our primary function was filling bags of food for families who came by seeing assistance.  It was incredibly rewarding to peruse the aisles with grocery carts and bags and fill them up with an assortment of canned goods, pasta, breads, meats, and a host of other items – and then handing the bags over to their new owners with a smile.  For many of these folks, these items will help fill empty kitchen pantries and provide their families food for the foreseeable future.

This was a great exercise in staff-building and service – and I want to invite you to join in the act!  Yokefellow Ministries is in need of volunteers to do what we did tomorrow, May 31, from 9am-noon.  Children, youth and adults can all help.  If you are able, please either show up at 9am tomorrow morning or contact Mike Gatchel at 336.648.1995.

Thanks for meeting an important community need and serving Christ on behalf of our church!


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Read to Feed Book Swap

Help feed the needy in our community and pick up some great books to enjoy!

What: Swap books for non-perishable food
5 items of food = 3 books or audiotapes
5 items of food = 5 children’s books

The more food you bring the more books you can take home with you.

When: Thursday, May 31, 3:00 – 8:00 PM

Where: 1st Presbyterian Church Fellowship Hall. 326 S. Main St. Mt. Airy, NC

Who: Sponsored by the Beacons of 1st Presbyterian Church.

All foods collected will be given to Yokefellow Cooperative Ministries.

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“On hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Mark 2:17

I’ve always liked this verse. It’s comforting to know that Jesus comes to us like a doctor, tending to our “sickness,” our sin – that acts like a wedge between our relationship with God and our relationship with our fellow brothers and sisters. The reality of sin is something we all need to face. We should seek to turn away from the very thing that separates us from God and embrace God’s wonderful grace.

It’s how we face this reality, though, that I believe to be a real issue for the church universal today. There’s been a lot of talk recently about “calling sin ‘sin'” and – per the phrase that’s often mistaken for scripture but is not – “loving the sinner but hating the sin.”

The problem, though, is that sick people really aren’t in a position to tell someone else how sick they are. That’s the doctor’s job. When was the last time you saw a fellow patient at the doctor’s office going from room to room, looking over charts they didn’t understand, diagnosing ailments they had no knowledge of, and writing prescriptions for drugs they didn’t know? When folks do this, it leads to the bigger problem of some believing that they are no longer in need of Jesus’ medical services, while going to great lengths to point out to others that they are.

I get a little nervous when the church gets the reputation of being a place you can only go to if you’ve got your act together. Every now and then I’ll have a conversation with someone who honestly doesn’t feel they are worthy enough to come to church, or that they will be welcomed in the church for who they are. This saddens me, because the church should be seen as the very place where they can come and be loved, valued and accepted for who they are, whatever their condition.

Jesus’ comment here is in response to a question he surely got a lot – why, Jesus, are you spending all your time with the sinners and the “less-worthy” types, and not the righteous and religious leaders?  If we’re to use Jesus as our model, as we should, then it’s pretty obvious that Jesus never intended for the church to be a place of perfect health prior to his return. In fact, per the Mark passage, Jesus views the church more along the lines of a hospital – specifically, a large ER unit. Because in Jesus’ church, it isn’t about varying degrees of sin as much as it’s about the fact that all of us are equally in need of his healing and wholeness.

I know it sounds funny to say, but the church is a very sick place! And this is precisely what Jesus wanted, as evidenced by the life he led. When he ate with tax collectors and prostitutes, when he went to the woman at the well, when he decided to build his church on the back of a salty temperamental fisherman, when he traveled for three years with a motley crew of disciples who argued amongst themselves and wondered which of them would be first in God’s kingdom. And it was through these folks that God’s wonderful church came into being.

Our church is full of sinners. And you know what? That’s exactly the way Jesus wants it.  May God’s grace abound through our imperfections.  Thanks be to God!

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Bring your favorite side dishes and desserts with you to church on Sunday, May 20th and let’s celebrate our High School Graduates. The church will supply the meat and desserts.


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Memorial Service

Sympathy of the congregation is expressed to the family of Blanche Badgett, who passed away this morning.

A memorial service will be held at First Presbyterian Church at 3:00 on Friday, May 18th.  Visitation will be held in the Ladies Parlor of the church at 1:30 p.m.

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Meals for the Lowe Family

As many of you know Steven has had a stroke and is still hospitalized. We are needing to feed Annette and the girls for a few days. Steven will be home on the 25th and we will continue providing meals for at least another week, but possibly longer, to allow Annette time to get Steven settled.

Here is the link to the Take Them A Meal for you to sign up. http://www.takethemameal.com/meals.php?t=XBSQ4688&welcome=1

Let’s have a good showing for this wonderful part of our church family during this difficult time.

Thank you in advance for your loving care!

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Death of Helen Andrews

Sympathy of the congregation is extended to Andy Andrews & family on the death of his wife, Helen, who passed away last night.  The service will be held at Moody Funeral Home on Saturday, May 12, at 11:00 a.m.  Visitation will be held one hour prior to the service, at 10:00 a.m.  Prayers for the family.

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