Archive for February, 2013

Last Sunday for “RAISE THE ROOF!”

ImageThis coming Sunday, March 3, is the last Sunday for our “Raise The Roof” campaign! So far it has been a resounding success, but we are still looking for the final push to put us over the top and reach our goal of $100,000!

The main thing we have emphasized throughout this campaign is the oppotunity for everyone to participate.   Any gift of any size matters!  Your gift to “Raise The Roof” is a one-time gift, above and beyond your normal-pledged giving.  If you give by check, make sure to write “Raise The Roof” in the note so it will be properly accounted for.  If you won’t be in church this Sunday, you can also mail your gift to the church at: PO Box 1286, Mount Airy, NC 27030.

For more information about what the capital campaign will fund, please visit: http://raisetheroof.fpcma.com.  And we encourage you to watch the “Raise The Roof” video below (if you’ve already seen it, watch it again – it gets better each time!)

Thanks for your help as we put the finishing touches on RAISING THE ROOF at First Presbyterian!


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Just a quick note to all Beacons and their parents: due to various circumstances (sick and out-of-town advisers), there will be no Beacons tonight.  

Also, any senior high Beacons who are planning on attending the Salem Presbytery retreat March 2-3 need to turn in their registration and money TOMORROW to the church.

Have a great rest of the Sunday!

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More and more in my preaching, I find myself gravitating toward sermon series. I think it’s because I’m naturally drawn to continuity, and sermon series help me clarify my thoughts and the message I feel God calling me to give over a period of time. I had an absolute blast with the “Living Biblically” sermon series last fall, and based on the response I heard from many of you, you did as well.

Lenten sermon series are my favorite.  It’s the perfect vehicle to ask questions about how we take part in the journey of Christ’s life, to the grave and beyond.  ImageFor Lent 2013, which starts this coming Sunday, I’ll be focusing on the what, why, and how of spiritual growth in the church.  And like last time, it’ll center around a book.   In his book Five Practices of Fruitful Congregations, Methodist minister Robert Schnase examines how churches can become fruitful (read: grow spiritually) through the following:

  • Radical Hospitality
  • Passionate Worship
  • Intentional Faith Development
  • Risk-taking Mission and Service
  • Extravagant Generosity

Each sermon will focus on one of these and will push us as a congregation to consider: how can we become “radically hospitable?”  How can we “worship passionately?” You get the idea.  The book, by the way, is an easy read; and I want to invite you, as I did with my “Living Biblically” sermons, to pick up a copy for yourself.  I’ve asked Sandy at Pages Bookstore in town to keep a few copies on hand.  Thanks for reading, and thanks for supporting a local business.

ImageThere’s something else I’m going to try in the sermons.  A number of you are on Twitter and use it to keep up with the latest news and friends.  Twitter, though, lends itself to other cool uses.  There are a growing number of churches encouraging Twitter users to “tweet the sermon” – in other words, send tweets during the sermon with a quote or a personal thought about the sermon.  It’s a great way to engage and interact in real time with the sermon, which in mainline Protestant circles tends to be exclusively one-way communication.  It’s also an effective witness to those who follow you on Twitter, expanding the worship audience beyond our sanctuary walls.  Participants should include the #FPCMAsermons hashtag in their tweets so others can follow during and after the sermon itself.

There are, of course, legitimate concerns about introducing electronic devices into worship, so let me encourage some reasonable guidelines (silence the phone, mute any “clicking” keyboard sounds, be generally discreet).  Also, search for and follow the #FPCMAsermons hashtag so you stay focused on the sermon and not your usual Twitter feed. We’ll do this as a test-run for the five weeks of the sermon series and then see how both tweeters and non-tweeters feel afterward.

(Incidentally, if you’re not on Twitter, simply go to http://www.twitter.com and set up an account.  It’s free, as are most of the smartphone apps that allow you to use Twitter on the go).

One of the challenges of preaching a sermon series is that you inevitably miss folks who can’t be there every Sunday.  So let me remind you that you can always listen to the worship service in their entirety at our website, as well as subscribe via email and read/listen to weekly sermons at www.themayberrypreacher.com. But always try to be in worship when you can – that’s where the body of Christ really comes together to make a difference in the world.

I look forward to the preaching and hope you’re looking forward to the tweeting!

Your pastor and friend,


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RAISE THE ROOF at First Presbyterian!

(Click HERE to watch the video if you don’t see it above)

In the Old Testament book by his name, Nehemiah led God’s people in rebuilding the crumbling walls of Jerusalem and preparing the holy city for the next generation and beyond. For the past year, members of the Capital Improvements Committee of our church have met to discuss some of the long-term needs of our historic facility, specifically making much-needed repairs to specific areas in our church facility.

After much thought and prayer, the committee, under the leadership of Mike Branch, created the following plan for 2013:

  1. REPLACE THE ROOF: Re-shingle the entire church facility and repair the various leaks and plaster cracks inside the church. To be done in the first quarter of 2013 – $33,800.
  2. REPAIR THE COURTYARD: Fix a faulty drainage system that has caused our courtyard to “sink” and create a safety concern. To be done in the second quarter of 2013 – $28,000.
  3. REPAVE AND RECURB PARKING LOTS: Install an entirely new parking lot surface over the existing one and install curbs in the upper parking lot to facilitate drainage. To be done in the third quarter of 2013 – $18,600.
  4. OVERAGES AND SEED MONEY FOR A NEW BUILDING FUND: Budget for those “surprises” that are inevitable in capital campaign efforts, and allocate any leftover funds to start a new Building Endowment – $19,600.

Repair costs for all of these projects combined will cost $100,000. The good news is that over the past six months, a number of individuals in our church family have already stepped up and donated $80,000. This means that we only need an additional $20,000 to fund the project in full.  And this is where YOU come in!

On Feb. 10th we launched the “Raise The Roof” campaign with a special sermon in worship (you can read and listen to the sermon HERE)  and luncheon afterwards.  The following three Sundays – February 17 and 24, and March 3 – members will be given an opportunity in worship to make a one-time donation of any amount to help us meet our goal.  You can access a PDF copy of our timeline HERE.

Please give prayerful consideration over the next three weeks to how you can support our church’s “Raise The Roof” campaign with a one-time gift, above and beyond your normal pledged giving.  No gift is too big or too small. The important thing is that everyone gets a chance to participate.  Please make checks out to “First Presbyterian Church” and note them to “Raise The Roof campaign.”

Our church has a tremendous opportunity to follow in the footsteps of Nehemiah and, once again, step out in faith and continue the long-term viability of this great church for the next generation. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact the members of the Capital Improvements Committee listed below.  THANK YOU for helping “raise the roof” at First Presbyterian in 2013!

Members of the Capital Improvements Committee: Branch, Mae Daniels, John Merritt, Ann Floyd, Mike Gatchel, Lydia Taylor, Steve Lindsley (ex-officio) 

RTR Logo

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Got Newspapers and Magazines?

Hey FPC Family! Shasta needs your help with a Lent project she is doing with the Beacons and kids of the church. Between now and February 20th please bring your used NEWSPAPERS and MAGAZINES. She needs lots of BOTH. There will be boxes outside her office that you can drop them in. Thanks for your help.

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raisethe-roof_logoCALLING ALL FPCMA MEMBERS: please make plans to attend the “Raise The Roof” lunch at First Presbyterian this Sunday, February 10th, immediately following worship. Come enjoy food and fellowship with your church family, as we learn about a wonderful opportunity we have in 2013 to provide for the on-going care of God’s house!  Lunch will be catered by The Derby and – due to a generous donor – will be ENTIRELY FREE! Child care for grades 5 and under will be provided.

Mike Branch, resident expert in FPCMA Facility Knowledge, will share some of the details of the capital campaign plan going forward. A fun little video will add a Biblical emphasis (and some levity as well).

Look forward to seeing YOU at the “Raise The Roof” this Sunday!


P.S.  Facebookers?  Check out our Facebook event HERE.

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Weekly Grapevine – February 3, 2013


 Sunday, February 3              

11:00 am –Worship

12:00 pm – Chili Lunch for Souper Bowl of Caring

5:30 pm – Beacon Super Bowl Party

Tuesday, February 5            

10:00 am – Circle 1

Wednesday, February 6       

7:30 pm – Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, February 7          

5:00 pm – Friends Feeding Friends

Friday, February 8               

7:00 pm – Voce: “Sweets & a Song”


January 27, 2013 Contributions:

Pledged:           $        2,133.00

Non-Pledged:   $           321.00

Weekly Total:   $        2,454.00

Total Monthly Receipts                                               $29,926.00

Monthly Budget Need:                                                $21,000.00

Amount we have exceeded for January:                     $  8,926.00




Prayers & Praises: There are slips of paper in your bulletin for you to use to list any prayers and/or praises that you have.  Please place them on the bulletin board just outside the church office.


 Souper Bowl of Caring Chili Lunch: Immediately following worship today, everyone is invited to join the Beacons for a bowl of chili and some wonderful fellowship as they raise money for their summer work.

 Beacon Super Bowl Party: This evening at 5:30 p.m. in the Tiki Room. Come on over for some food, fun and football. Parents: please pick up whenever you need to, but they are welcome to stay until the end of the game.

 Circle 1: Will meet on Tuesday, February 5th, at 10:00 a.m. in the Ladies Parlor.

 Friends Feeding Friends: Thursday, February 7th; The following people have signed up to assist: Steven Lowe, Mike Gatchel, Shasta Brown, Sara Bailey, Mae & Philip Daniels, Paul Belk, Bobbie Hinton and Brian Bennett.  Please meet at First Baptist at 5:00 p.m.

 Beacons Summer Mission Trip Reminder: A $50.00 deposit to secure your spot is due by Friday, February 8th. Make checks payable to FPC Beacons.

 Children’s Ministry Team: Is currently looking for 8 people to finish out our SPARK year. If you would be willing to teach a three week rotation, please see Laura East to sign up.

 Signup Sheets: There are new sign-up sheets on the board in the upstairs foyer for Flowers, Scripture Readers, Recycling and the NEW Sandwich Ministry.  Please check them out & sign up in any area you wish to volunteer.

 Member-Led Music Sunday: Will be held on Sunday, February 24th.  If you are interested in sharing your talents, please sign up on the board in the upstairs foyer and indicate how you would like to take part.



 Birthdays: 2/3: Tony Stoltz; 2/7: Linda Gatchel, Joel Taylor, Erin Mayberry

 Anniversaries: None this week

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