Archive for March, 2013

Easter Service tomorrow at 10am!

579906_10151256754952242_769234979_nCome worship the risen Lord on Easter Sunday at First Presbyterian Church!

Remember to bring flowers to help us flower the cross, a favorite Easter tradition. Communion will also be celebrated, and all who wish to experience the joyous gifts of God are welcome to participate.

And don’t forget that worship begins an hour earlier than normal at 10am!


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holy_weekI hope you’re enjoying your Holy Week and finding time, amidst the hustle and bustle of life, to stop and reflect on the journey that is this week.  On Sunday, we welcomed Jesus into Jerusalem with palm branches and loud “hosannas” – noticing that not everyone in the crowd seemed thrilled with his arrival.  Earlier this week, Jesus taught and preached to those who were longing to hear the good news.  He also turned over the tables in the temple because of those who were preying on the misfortune of others, and he locked horns with the Pharisees and Scribes.  On this Wednesday, plans were already in the works for Jesus’ capture and trial.  Jesus had to have known this – and not because of some “super power” divine ESP, but because of the simple fact that preaching and teaching and living out God’s unconditional love threatens the established order of things, and those who are part of that establishment.

Let me invite you this day to make ten minutes to read the following article by noted Christian author and activist Shane Claiborne:


The title of the article, “What If Jesus Meant All That Stuff?”, is not intended to be sarcastic.  It’s a worthy question for us.  What if Jesus really did mean for us to love our enemies and serve others without question?  What if Jesus really did mean for us to focus on this life and making it better for all, rather than focusing on the life to come and who goes where?  How does that affect the life that you and I lead as followers of his?  How might this radically change us from the inside out – and, like Jesus himself, draw the ire of those who don’t want things to change?

Words, I think, that are important for us to ponder this Holy Week – all the way to our Maundy Thursday service at 6:30pm in the sanctuary, and then to Easter morning at 10am (note the earlier time!)  Of course, they are words we should ponder after Easter and every day.  But let’s take it one week at a time.  We are in Holy Week, friends.  Let us journey with Jesus together.

Your pastor and friend,

steve signature8

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Sunday, March 24                

11:00 am –Worship

5:30 pm – Beacons in the Tiki Room

Wednesday, March 27          

7:30 pm – Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, March 28             

8:00 am – Bob Chilton Memorial Bible Study

6:30 pm – Maundy Thursday Service

Friday, March 29                  

Church Office Closed

Saturday, March 30             

3:00 pm – Children’s Easter Party

9:00 pm – Holy Saturday Prayer Vigil


March 17, 2013 Contributions:

Pledged:           $        2,568.00

Non-Pledged:   $              1.00

Weekly Total:   $        2,569.00

Total Monthly Receipts


 Monthly Budget Need:


 Amount we still need for March:




Prayers: Jay & Alex Whitaker, Samantha Riggs, Mike Hensley, Flat Rock Baptist Church, Evelyn Dark, Dennis Edwards, Kenneth Richie, Jr. & wife, Sarah, Octavia Edwards, Jack Hardy, Frieda Chauncey, Billie Bradley, Lee Montgomery (Granddad), Joyce Windley Adams, College Students, Family and friends of Brenna Currie, Our military & their families. Praises: Our Choir


 Easter Lilies:  Will be placed in the sanctuary on Sunday, March 31st.  Cost is $15.00 each.  Deadline to order is TODAY.

 Beacons in the Tiki Room: Tonight at 5:30 p.m.  Parents: Pickup is at 8:15 p.m.  The Heath family will be providing dinner for the Beacons.

 Easter Eggs & Candy: Please bring bags of individually wrapped candy and plastic Easter eggs to Shasta’s office by this afternoon.  Thanks for making our Children’s Easter Party a success!

 Bob Chilton Memorial Bible Study: Will be held on Thursday, March 28th, at 8:00 a.m. at Pages Bookstore.

 Maundy Thursday Worship Service: Thursday, March 28, at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary.  We will remember our Lord’s last night as we worship together.

 Church Office Closed: Friday, March 29th and Monday, April 1st, to celebrate the Easter holiday.

 Children’s Easter Party: Saturday, March 30th, 3:00 p.m. in the Fellowship Hall.  Please sign up on the board in the upstairs foyer.

 Holy Saturday Prayer Vigil: Sign up to help keep watch for sunrise and the resurrection of Jesus all night.  This is an amazing part of Holy Week.  Individuals or families can sign up for the same time slot, but we’d like all the slots to be filled.  Sign-up sheet is in upstairs foyer.

 Flowers for the Cross: Please bring flowers with you on Easter morning to help flower the cross.


 Birthdays: 3/25: Eden Isaacs, Jack Denny, Annette Lowe; 3/27: Laura East; 3/29: Ambra Thompson; 3/30: Dalton Mayes

 Anniversaries: 3/17: None this week

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Little Voices Choir Practice

Little Voices (Preschool – 5th Grade) will practice today at 5:30. They will also practice Sunday, March 24 at 10:15 in preparation to sing later that morning as part of the Palm Sunday Processional. If you can’t make it today please plan to be here Sunday, the song is easy and you’ll pick it up in no time. We’ll also have donuts and juice after practice. We need all our Little Voices to help us sing praises on Palm Sunday I hope we’ll see and hear you. 

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Two “Don’t Forget’s” for this Sunday, March 10th:

First, don’t forget that we’ll have our monthly Hope & Hunger offering this Sunday.  Please bring your financial gifts for our Cents-A-Bility offering, as well as your food offering for Yokefellow ministries.  This month, the food will be crackers and peanut butter.

Also, don’t forget to set your clocks ahead one hour on Saturday before you to go bed, as Daylight Savings Time begins.  Otherwise, you’ll arrive at church for worship just as Steve is giving the Benediction!

Blessings to you all, and see you Sunday!

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To say it’s been a wild six days would be putting it mildly.  Last weekend I had the honor of keynoting the Salem Presbytery Sr. High Retreat at Camp Hanes just down the road in King.  I want you all to know that the Beacons currently serving on the presbytery youth council (Daniel Hatcher, Sam Brown, Aimy McCrosky and Shasta) were a critical part of the leadership of this event and did a fantastic job representing our church. If you saw what I saw, you’d be proud!

Sunday afternoon took me down Hwy. 52 and I-85 to Charlotte, joining 650 Presbyterians from all over the country for the annual NEXT Church Conference. If you’ve never heard of NEXT Church, rest assured that you will; as I believe that this new movement in our denomination is going to play a huge role in current and future conversations about how PC(USA) can grow in faithfulness and service. I wrote a blog post about my thoughts after the event and encourage you to read it HERE, as well as visit the NEXT Church website.

While at the conference, I got word that a video interview I had been invited to participate in with ChurchNEXT (not affiliated with NEXT Church) had gone live.  I filmed the Skype interview with organizer Chris Yaw back in late January, sharing the story of small town ministry and our great church. Let me encourage you to watch the video for yourself by clicking HERE (note: it’s nearly an hour long).  This was a lot of fun, and I’d love to hear your feedback.

All of this was topped off yesterday with some knee surgery to repair a torn meniscus. So I’m at home today and tomorrow, doing my physical therapy and getting to know my ice pack very well.  It’ll be good to stand behind the pulpit on Sunday morning – not just because I’ll be on the road to recovery, but because there’s no place I’d rather be on a Sunday morning than worshipping God with you.

Here’s hoping your week has been less eventful but just as grace-filled!

In Christ,

steve signature8

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Head Usher: Mike Gatchel

Side Usher: Sara Bailey

Nursery: Kelsey Carlisle

Spark Teachers: Mae Daniels, Jai Daniels, Mary Glen Hatcher


 Sunday, March 3                  

11:00 am –Worship

Tuesday, March 5 

10:00 am – Circle 1

Wednesday, March 6            

6:30 pm – Lenten Bible Study

7:30 pm – Choir Rehearsal

Thursday, March 7               

5:00 pm – Friends Feeding Friends


February 24, 2013 Contributions:

Pledged:           $        6,103.00

Non-Pledged:   $             62.00

Weekly Total:   $        6,165.00

Total Monthly Receipts


 Monthly Budget Need:


Amount we fell short for February:

$ 2,374.00



Prayers & Praises: Slips of paper are provided in your bulletin.  Please use them to list any prayers and praises you have and place them on the bulletin board in the hallway outside the church office.


 Raise the Roof! Today is the LAST day!  Consider making a one-time donation of any size to our church’s capital campaign. Use the envelopes in the bulletin.  For more information, please go to http://raisetheroof.fpcma.com.  Thank you!

 Thank you!  For bringing in newspapers & magazines for the Beacons for their Lenten Study!  We now have plenty to work with!

 Beacons: Will not meet this evening.

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

 Do you tweet?  You’re encouraged to “tweet the sermon” during Lent and interact with the message!  Use the hashtag #FPCMAsermons and follow the hashtag to see what others are saying.  And remember to be discreet for your non-tweeting worshippers! (Church wifi is FPCMA; password is 326smain)

 Lent Studies: Our Lenten studies are held each Wednesday at 6:30 p.m.  Studies will continue through March 20th.  Classes are available for Adults & Beacons.  Childcare is provided for Preschool-5th grade.

Spring Clean-up!  We will be sprucing up the church, inside and out, in preparation of Easter.  Outside work will mainly be focusing on the playground.  Join us on Saturday, March 16th, at 9:00 a.m.

 New Member Sunday: Interested in possibly becoming a member of First Presbyterian?  New Member Sunday is March 17th.  Check with Nancy Davis, Moderator of the Membership Outreach Ministry Team, or Steve, if you’d like to learn more.

 Little Voices Wanted: If you are in Pre-K through 5th grade and would like to join us in learning some songs to sing on Palm Sunday, we’d love to have you.  Please see Anna Bush for more information about rehearsals.


Friends Feeding Friends: Thursday, March 7th at 5:00 p.m. The following have signed up to assist: Bruce Hodges, Sandy Bowers, Alex Bowers, Samuel Eads, Cristi Arington, Steven Lowe, Mae Daniels, Philip Daniels, Jane Rountree, Maggie Beal, Bobbie Hinton and Brian Bennett.


Birthdays: 3/4: Leslie East Meador, Sofia Stafford; 3/6: Wendy Carriker; 3/7: Bruce Arnold; 3/9: Holly Mills, Catherine Scott

 Anniversaries: None this week

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