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Archive for December, 2013

Tomorrow we begin our journey through the Bible together. Here are just a few things to keep in mind.

1 – Here is the link to the reading guide:

http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/readingplan/oneyearbiblereadingplan.pdf

2 – We’ll begin with Genesis, Matthew, Psalms and Proverbs. Here is a quick overview of Genesis, watch for overviews of the other books in coming days.

GENESIS AT A GLANCE

More than simply being the first book in the Old Testament/Hebrew Bible, Genesis is truly the foundation of the Jewish faith.  The first eleven chapters contain four significant stories: The Creation (there are actually two creation stories – did you notice?), The Fall, Noah & the Flood, and the Tower of Babel.  More than just being historical synopses, these stories play a very important role in informing the people of some of the foundational elements of their faith and how they as Hebrews see the world in which they live.  The creation stories gave the Hebrews some context as to how the world as they knew it came to be (the main point here being that God created it, taking chaos and giving order to it).  The Fall story helped “explain” why there was evil in the world.  While it’s easy to view the Noah & the Flood story as punishment for what happens when you fail to follow God’s will, the Hebrews actually saw this story as a sign of great promise when one (like Noah) was faithful (the rainbow!)  Finally, the Tower of Babel story not only emphasized the importance of aligning one’s self with God’s plan, but served to explain the existence of differing nationalities and languages in the greater world.

The second half of Genesis chronicles the four primary matriarchs and patriarchs of the Hebrew faith.  God called Abraham to be the father of God’s people, promising him descendants that would number “as many as the stars in the sky.”  Abraham married Sarah, and after Abraham had Ishmael with Hagar (supposedly the great-grandfather of the Muslim prophet Mohammed), Abraham and Sarah gave birth to Isaac, the second patriarch.  Not much is known about Isaac, other than he married Rebekah and had Jacob.  The sibling rivalry between Jacob and his older brother Esau is legendary, with Jacob coming out on top with the family blessing.  He would go on to marry Rachel (after being tricked to marry her older sister Leah), and would many sons that would go on to become the 12 tribes of Israel.  Another son was the famous Joseph.  Sold into slavery by jealous brothers, Joseph wound up saving his people from death at the hands of a horrible famine that devastated the ancient world, bringing them to Egypt and setting the stage for what would follow in Exodus.

Genesis covers a lot of history for sure!  But a foundational history it certainly is. Enjoy soaking it up over the next few weeks!

3 – If you are planning to be a part of this exciting adventure please let Shasta know and send her your email so you can get discussion questions, updates and more.

4 – Beginning in February we will gather once a month to talk about what we are reading. After worship we’ll gather in the Fellowship Hall to talk, share and encounter God’s word. We hope you’ll pack a lunch, or run get something and make this a part of this journey. Meetings will be the 2nd Sunday of the month at Noon: February 9, March 9, April 13, May 11, June 8, July 13, August 10, September 14, October 12, November 9, December 14 2014.

This is going to be a blast. See you tomorrow!

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Weekly Grapevine – December 29, 2013

WEEK AT A GLANCE

 

Sun, Dec 29              

10:30 – Choir meets to rehearse

11:00 am – Worship

Mon, Dec 30              

12:00 pm – College Beacon Lunch

Wed, Jan 1                

Church Office Closed/Happy New Year!

Thurs, Jan 2              

1:00 pm – College Beacons to Montreat

5:00 pm – Friends Feeding Friends

Sat, Jan 4                  

9:00 am – Sandwich Saturday

 

PRAYER AND PRAISE MINISTRIES

Prayers: Alex Whitaker & family, Rob Evans & family, Mae Turpin, Louise Wall, Connor Rife, Peanut Owens, Mike Glasscock, Jay Aron, Andy Fulton, Jannin Linville, Family of Mike & Susan King, John & Sonnie Sanders family, Family of Verna Inman, family, guidance, our church, safe travels for the holidays; Praises: Members of the Session, outgoing and incoming

CHURCH MINISTRIES

Beacons: Will not meet this evening.

College Beacon Lunch: All college Beacons are invited to lunch at Chile Rojo on Monday, December 30th, at 12:00 noon.

Church Office Closed: The office will be closed on Wednesday, January 1st in celebration of the New Year.  Have a safe, happy and prosperous New Year!

Montreat College Conference: Jan 2-5; If you are participating in this conference, please plan to be at the church on Thursday, January 2nd, at 1:00 p.m.  Eat lunch before you come.

Sign-ups Galore for 2014! There are sign-up sheets for: Scripture Readers, Friends Feeding Friends, Flowers, Sandwich Ministry & Recycling volunteers.  They are on the board in the upstairs foyer.  Check them out today!  The Keenagers have lots planned too!  See the Keenagers board if you are interested in joining them. 

WITNESS

Friends Feeding Friends: Thursday, January 2nd; The following have signed up to assist: Steven Lowe, Wayne & Joy Barlow, and Laura Belk. Please be at First Baptist Church at 5:00 p.m.

Sandwich Saturday: Saturday, January 4th; The following have signed up to assist with this ministry: Bobbie Hinton and Brian Bennett.

Offering for Hunger & Hope: Next Sunday, January 5th, we will receive our Cents-A-Bility & Yokefellow offerings.  The food(s) for the month of January are: Cereal and Tuna

CELEBRATIONS

Birthdays: 12/29: Samantha Cockerell; 12/30: Libby Pell, Anna Wood DeHaan; 12/31: Scott Graham, Katy Denny; 1/4: Andrew Gitt

Anniversaries: 12/31: John and Ginny Mills, P. J. and Joy Snow;   1/3: Russ and Teresa Bouma

 

Random Act of Spiritual Growth

“Never stop learning all you can about your faith.”

Brought to you each week by the Spiritual Growth Ministry Team

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A message from Rob

Hello Everyone!
Thanks for the lovely, beautiful Advent/Christmas Season at First Presbyterian!  You have received me with great grace and I’m so thankful!  Speaking of Christmas, well, it’s not officially over in the church until January 6, which actually is Epiphany or the 12 days of Christmas.  This Sunday, in keeping with the Season, we will actually sing a good number of Christmas hymns, with a narration and story behind them.  We never get to sing all of the Christmas hymns during Advent, so we’ll have a chance to sing most of them Sunday. This will take place of the sermon, which I’m sure no one will mind . … at least that has been my experience!!  I hope you can come and enjoy worshiping in song and in the spirit of our Lord’s birth among us!
Grace, peace, and love to all!  I look forward to the New Year ahead!
Love in Christ,
Rob

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Make reading the Bible, all the way through, part of your 2014!

 

HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE,
SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT….

WHAT IS THE “BIBLE IN A YEAR” CHALLENGE?
• An opportunity for you to do something amazing – read the whole Bible!
• A leap of faith – but a leap taken with others!
• A personal way to celebrate our church’s new journey!

WHY??
• NOT just because “it’s something all Christians should do!”
• Many of us feel we intuitively “know” the Bible. But it’s important to read it for ourselves and engage it in the community of faith.
• Reading the Bible should be seen as an act of spiritual discipline.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
• Each day of the year, beginning on January 1st through December 31st, you will read selected passages from the Bible. The readings should take no more than 15 minutes.
• A schedule of the daily readings will be provided.
• You will sign the “covenant” posted on the wall in the upstairs hallway, committing yourself to this task for the year.
• Each month, you’ll have the opportunity to gather with others taking part in the challenge – probably a once-a-month lunch after worship – to discuss what you have read and learned.

All ages welcome!
All Bible translations acceptable!
Do it as a family, a couple, a Sunday school class, or just by yourself…
Friends and guests are more than welcome to join in too!

SO….WILL YOU ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE?
• Prayerfully consider in the next few weeks if God is leading you to join in the BIBLE-IN-A-YEAR challenge. Ask yourself: do you have the discipline to make the time? Can you make it through Numbers?
• If you are up to the challenge, sign your name on the “BIBLE-IN-A-YEAR” Covenant board, provide your email address so we can send you updates, reminders and discussion questions, get your schedule “Reading tips” sheet, and get ready for the journey of your life!

Here is the link to your reading plan: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/readingplan/oneyearbiblereadingplan.pdf

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Weekly Grapevine – December 22, 2013

WEEK AT A GLANCE

Sun, Dec 22              

10:30 – Choir meets to rehearse

11:00 am – Worship

4:00 pm – Children’s Christmas Eve Rehearsal

5:30 pm – Beacons in the Tiki Room

Tues, Dec 24             

Church Office Closed

3:00 pm – Children’s Christmas Eve Service

7:00 pm – Candlelight Communion Service

Wed, Dec 25              

Nativity of Our Lord

Thurs, Dec 26           

Church Office Closed

Fri, Dec 27                

Church Office Closed

 

PRAYER AND PRAISE MINISTRIES

Prayers: Alex Whitaker & family, Rob Evans & family, Mae Turpin, Louise Wall, Connor Rife, Peanut Owens, Mike Glasscock, Jay Aron, Andy Fulton, Jannin Linville, Family of Mike & Susan King, John & Sonnie Sanders family, Family of Verna Inman, family, guidance, our church, safe travels for the holidays; Praises: Members of the Session, outgoing and incoming 

CHURCH MINISTRIES

Our heartfelt sympathy is extended to Felton & Joan Godwin and family on the death of his sister, Joyce Raynor, who passed away on December 12, 2013.

Poinsettias: If you placed poinsettias in the church for Christmas, please take them with you following today’s worship service.

Children’s Christmas Eve Rehearsal: Will be held this afternoon at 4:00 p.m. Please make every effort to be here if you are participating.

Beacons in the Tiki Room: This evening from 5:30-8:15 p.m. The Dixon family will provide dinner.

Christmas Eve Services: December 24th; Come be a part of the joy that IS the Christmas story!  You have two opportunities: The Children’s Christmas Eve service will be held at 3:00 p.m. The Candlelight Communion service will be held at 7:00 p.m.

Church Office Closed: The office will be closed December 24-27.  We hope everyone has a very Merry Christmas! 

Sign-ups Galore for 2014! There are sign-up sheets for: Scripture Readers, Friends Feeding Friends, Flowers, Sandwich Ministry & Recycling volunteers.  They are on the board in the upstairs foyer.  Check them out today!  The Keenagers have lots planned too!  See the Keenagers board if you are interested in joining them. 

FINANCIAL

Contributions for 2013: All contributions must be received or postmarked, whether pledge or non-pledge, by Tuesday, December 31st, 2013.  If you contribute via eGive, you should have received an email regarding end-of-year contributions and how & when they would be recorded.

CELEBRATIONS

Birthdays: 12/18: Gary Arington; 12/24: Nina Bowers; 12/25: David Beal; 12/27: J. D. Bartley, Bettsee McPhail; 12/28: Eva Caldwell, Cathy McCluskey, Paul Riekehof

Anniversaries: 12/22: Mike and Legh Beal; 12/25: Bob and Leona Banks; 12/27: Richard and Judy Rhoden, Rob and Debbie McKee

 

Random Act of Spiritual Growth

“Give yourself a year and read the Bible cover to cover.”

Brought to you each week by the Spiritual Growth Ministry Team

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Bible-In-A-Year Challenge!

HERE’S YOUR CHALLENGE,
SHOULD YOU CHOOSE TO ACCEPT IT….

WHAT IS THE “BIBLE IN A YEAR” CHALLENGE?
• An opportunity for you to do something amazing – read the whole Bible!
• A leap of faith – but a leap taken with others!
• A personal way to celebrate our church’s new journey!

WHY??
• NOT just because “it’s something all Christians should do!”
• Many of us feel we intuitively “know” the Bible. But it’s important to read it for ourselves and engage it in the community of faith.
• Reading the Bible should be seen as an act of spiritual discipline.

HERE’S HOW IT WORKS:
• Each day of the year, beginning on January 1st through December 31st, you will read selected passages from the Bible. The readings should take no more than 15 minutes.
• A schedule of the daily readings will be provided.
• You will sign the “covenant” posted on the wall in the upstairs hallway, committing yourself to this task for the year.
• Each month, you’ll have the opportunity to gather with others taking part in the challenge – probably a once-a-month lunch after worship – to discuss what you have read and learned.

All ages welcome!
All Bible translations acceptable!
Do it as a family, a couple, a Sunday school class, or just by yourself…
Friends and guests are more than welcome to join in too!

SO….WILL YOU ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE?
• Prayerfully consider in the next few weeks if God is leading you to join in the BIBLE-IN-A-YEAR challenge. Ask yourself: do you have the discipline to make the time? Can you make it through Numbers?
• If you are up to the challenge, sign your name on the “BIBLE-IN-A-YEAR” Covenant board, provide your email address so we can send you updates, reminders and discussion questions, get your schedule “Reading tips” sheet, and get ready for the journey of your life!

Here is the link to your reading plan: http://www.oneyearbibleonline.com/readingplan/oneyearbiblereadingplan.pdf

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December Musing

Hello Everyone and Merry Christmas!

The hustle and bustle of December may not be good for some folks, but this year, it has truly been a good thing for me!  I can think of no better time to become immersed in the life of a congregation than in December.  The many opportunities for fellowship and service, as well as Advent worship, have helped me “hit the ground running!”  

I have noticed in my first three weeks just how giving you are – Beacons serving Thanksgiving dinners to 50 needy families, the success of sandwich Saturday, volunteers serving the homeless through Friends Feeding Friends, helping various people in various ways through the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund, the choir and music ministry giving a wonderful cantata that blessed us all . . . .And the list goes on and on and on! ‘Tis the Season for giving and you exemplify that very well!

Yet I have also learned in my brief time here that there are some financial challenges before us.  Based on the spirit here and what I have seen, I see no reason why these challenges cannot be met.  So I encourage you these last two weeks of December and as we move into the New Year, to be liberal in your giving to your church.  The many ministries which we support and the overall operation of the church itself cannot happen without your continued generosity and faithfulness.   If you have not met your commitments for 2013, perhaps as a Christmas offering, you can do that.  If you have not made your pledge for 2014, we would love to hear from you.  It takes each one of us, giving and sharing and pulling together, to be the church and to reflect the love of God to the world!  

I’m happy to be your interim pastor and blessed to share the bounty of God’s love in Jesus Christ with and among you!

Blessings to all of you, this Holy Season!

Rob

 

 

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