The Spire (Newsletter)

April 2017 Spire


Come join us as we remember the last week of the life of Jesus Christ.


Palm Sunday, April 9, 11:00 AM

We will remember Jesus’ final week through scripture, song, prayer and drama, beginning with Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem and culminating with his sacrifice on the cross.


Maundy Thursday, April 13, 7 PM

We will celebrate the Lord’s Supper, remembering Jesus’ final meal with his disciples.  We will also remember Jesus’ last seven words from the cross, celebrating a Tenebrae worship, a service of “shadows”.


Easter, April 16, 11:00 AM

Join us in celebrating the resurrection, including a congregational singing of the Hallelujah Chorus!

The Spire   Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Garner

Volume 2017 Issue 4                                                                                                                         April 2017


Man of the Year Award

The Men of the Church “Man of the Year Annual Breakfast” was held March 26th with the guest speaker as John Taylor (Son of Rev Debbie). John is Currently working with the S.B.I., lives in Wilson, NC and is a special agent with the Bomb squad. This year’s winner of the “Man of the Year” is Henry Woodcock. Henry is a lifelong Presbyterian and has always been active in his church wherever he lived. He has a BS in Industrial Engineering from Tennessee Technical University, a Masters of Environmental Sciences from the University of Oklahoma, and is currently attending Campbell University Divinity School in their Biblical Studies program. Henry and Julie Woodcock have been married for 46years and have raised three wonderful children and now have five grandchildren.


Memorial Fund Policy

At the March 12, 2017 Session meeting, the Session adopted a new Memorial Fund Policy.  The new policy offers guidance to the Session and Finance & Stewardship Committee on how to better and more faithfully use the gifts given in memory of loved ones.  In addition to encouraging a more orderly and expeditious use of funds, the policy also allows for the creation of a list of recommendations and opportunities families may put gifts toward.  The current list includes money being put toward the installation of an elevator, the purchase of the latest edition of PCUSA hymnals, creation & development of a Memorial Garden, and on-going Mission of the Church.  The Session and Finance & Stewardship Committee hopes the implementation of the new policy will allow for our Church to be better stewards of the gifts God faithfully provides.  If you have questions, please contact Karen McCauley or Carol Sims.  And to review a copy of the policy, please contact the Church Office.

Flower God, God Of The Spring

by Robert Louis Stevenson


FLOWER god, god of the spring, beautiful, bountiful,

Cold-dyed shield in the sky, lover of versicles,

Here I wander in April

Cold, grey-headed; and still to my

Heart, Spring comes with a bound, Spring the deliverer,

Spring, song-leader in woods, chorally resonant;

Spring, flower-planter in meadows,

Child-conductor in willowy

Fields deep dotted with bloom, daisies and crocuses:

Here that child from his heart drinks of eternity:

O child, happy are children!

She still smiles on their innocence,

She, dear mother in God, fostering violets,

Fills earth full of her scents, voices and violins:

Thus one cunning in music

Wakes old chords in the memory:

Thus fair earth in the Spring leads her performances.

One more touch of the bow, smell of the virginal

Green – one more, and my bosom

Feels new life with an ecstasy.



Please welcome our newest members: Will Brothers and Wanda Van Doornewaard




Holy Week and Easter

The choir is busy preparing three very special worship services:  Palm Sunday, Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday.  The rehearsal time for choir begins at 7:00 p.m. until Easter.

On Palm Sunday, our worship will begin with the Palm Processional and conclude with the crucifixtion.  A drama with scripture readings will be presented and music is woven throughout the service.

Maundy Thursday will continue the story with the celebration of communion and the seven last words from the cross in a tenebrae service (light to darkness).  The service begins at 7:00 p.m. Again, a very special service.

Finally, we will bring back alleluias to our music on Easter Sunday. The choir is preparing two very special anthems with trumpet as highlights of the service and the service will conclude with the Handel’s Halelujah Chorus. The congregation will join the choir for this uplifting conclusion of Easter Sunday.

We hope you will mark you schedules for these three unique services and participate in as many as possible.



Rehearsal will be held on Sunday, April 9, but not on April 16. Handbells will play again this Spring, preparing pieces that are both challenging and beautiful. We still need ringers and would welcomd anyone to give handbells a try., Rehearsals at at 8:30 on Sunday mornings.

Flowers for April


2nd       Given by Ray Holland’s family in loving memory of Effie Mae Tally, Ray Holland’s mother.

9th        Given by Jean Johnson in memory of Carl Johnson.

16th      Easter Lilies

23rd      Given by Karen McCauley in memory of her grandparents, C.E. & Lela

McCauley and John & Ollie McLemore.

30th      Given in loving memory of Curtis Dail.



Prayer Concerns

Members:  Carson and Rosemary Carmichael, Gabe Adams, Jeanne Johnson, Carol Sims, Georgia Morrison, Dr. Andy Cook, Barbara O’Hare, Emilie Vlna, Adam Miller, Pat Yelvington, Mary Jo Atkinson, Edith Conyers, Cliff Johnson, Sandra Hodge, Ann Bagwell, Terri Carpenter, Joan Young, Bobbie Holland

Members’ Families: Ann Prater, Stella Knabe, Glenda Creech, Thelma Pleasant, Henry Jinnette, Martha Little, Naomi Lee, Betty Monroe, Martha Morgan, Michael Regester, Annette Hill, Lillian Dever, Christopher Davidio, Ann Gould, Bill and Judy Pittman’s niece, Rachel, Karen Safrit

Members’ Friends: Dennis and Janie Eldridge and family, Marjorie Cassada, Mimi and William Prickett, Peg & Dixon Earley, Sylvia Harrison, John Beckley

Our sympathy is extended to Jayne McBurney and her family in the passing of her father, Dean McBurney, on Sunday March 26th.


Thank you Church Family for your prayers, cards, food and visits during my recent surgery.  I am progressing slowly and hope to be back soon.   Your calls and concerns are most appreciated.      –  Ann Bagwell

Exciting news!  The Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) is now meeting to search for our next pastor.  The committee has received its direction and orientation from the Presbytery and is working on completing the required Ministry Information Form.  While the details of the committee’s work are confidential, we are committed to notifying the congregation when milestones along our journey are met.  In the meantime, we pray for God’s guidance and ask for your continued prayers and patience.                                                                                                   – The Pastor Nominating Committee



Joey Prater will be published in the Upper Room in the May/June book. The congregation and his parents are very proud of him!!



The Social Committee is looking for people interested in being on the Social Committee.  We are looking for new idea get-togethers.  Please contact Judy Pittman at or 919-661-3600. Or you can contact Kathy Henderson.


The Social Committee is sponsoring a Game Day every Wednesday at 10am. Please come and enjoy the morning playing your favorite games. Feel free to bring games or come and have fun learning new ones. We look forward to seeing you there!


The Alzheimer’s support group will meet the third Thursday in April, April 20 at 6:30. Anyone interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s disease and related dimensions is invited to attend.


The Finance and Stewardship Committee is pleased to announce that the mortgage debt on the fellowship hall is officially paid off!  We gives thanks for the many blessings God has given, and thank all members of the congregation for assisting in paying off this debt.  In the near future, we will have a time of thanksgiving and celebration to commemorate this milestone!

Prayer Group

You are invited to pray with this group on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. in the parlor.

This is not a Bible Study or fellowship group. The gathered pray for our sick, each other, and others in our church community. We lift up our church and our PNC as they work towards the call of a new pastor. We pray for our pastor and the pastor that God is preparing to join us in the future. The Bible says that “where two or more are gathered, there I am also”. As we pray, we do feel the presence of God. We try to spend as much time listening to God as we spend on our petitions. You may come as often as your schedule permits, so you are not signing up for a weekly commitment.  We welcome you to join us for this very special group led by Rose Gurkin.

The Carol Thompson Scholarship Fund

Once again, it’s the time of year when high school seniors are planning to attend college in the coming school year, and current college students are contemplating their next semester.  To assist the students in preparing for the future, the Finance & Stewardship Committee will begin taking applications for the Carol Thompson Scholarship.  This scholarship, which has been made possible through the generous donation of Paul Thompson in the loving memory of his wife, Carol, is available to church members seeking their undergraduate-level education at colleges, universities, or post-secondary technical schools.  Details about the Carol Thompson Scholarship, including guidelines and application forms and procedures, will be made available in the Narthex beginning in April.  The current application deadline is June 1, 2017 with grant awards to be made by July 1, 2017.  If you have interest in, or have questions about this scholarship, or if you are interested in learning how members and friends of the congregation may contribute to the fund, please contact Karen McCauley or Carol Sims.  Thank you, Paul, for this wonderful gift to the church.  What a blessing it is to be able to assist our members with their educational aspirations!



April Birthdays

3rd      Taylor Stephens

4th      Jesse Roach

5th      Taylor Pease & Judy Pittman

7th      Mary Jo Atkinson, Emma Sommerville, &

The Honorable William Pittman

8th      Joni Carter Robinson

9th      Kenneth Summerville

13th    Angela Tedder

14th    Katie Creel, Lucy Paradies, & Karen Summerville

17th    Olive Safrit

19th    Lauren Robison

23rd    Tim Miley

24th    Elizabeth Cole, Carol Sims

25th    Kenneth Bagwell, Christine Turpin, & Johnny


26th    Ruby Miller-Ousley

27th    Tom Waldrop

28th    Steve Wolicki

29th    Joe Jackson & Phillippe William Mendoza

April Anniversaries


8th      Michael and Rose Gurkin

25th    Leo and Darleen Payea



 Presbyterian Women Honorary Life Membership

Each year an Honorary Life Membership in Presbyterian Women is conferred upon an individual in recognition of faithful service and some area/areas of the Church’s work.  We will presenting this honor to one of our own on Mother’s Day, May 14th.


QUILT BEE will meet on April 22nd at 10:00AM till you need to go or 6:00PM in the Fellowship Hall. If you have wanted to learn to Quilt now is your chance for free lessons. Please contact Lynne Jackson at or cell 919-889-1227 if you have any questions.


PRAYER SHAWL MINISTRY continues to share God’s love by knitting and crocheting prayer shawls. If you want to participate with this ministry and assist in making shawls or making monetary contributions, contact Lynne Jackson or Martha Long. Four Prayer Shawls were given out last month (Olive Safrit, her daughter in law Kim Safrit; Ann Bagwell; and Stephanie Taylor) with our love and prayers.


The Lillie Circle will meet on Monday, April 10th at the home of Donna Gould at 7:00pm. Karen McCauley will provide the lesson and refreshments will be served. All women of the church who are interested in joining a circle are invited to attend. For directions call Donna Gould at 772-0018.


The Friendship Circle heads to the beach for their annual Beach Retreat March 30-April 2. Much fun, spiritual discussion, and how to better serve the congregation occurs at this retreat. The group will then be geared up for the next meeting, May 7th, hosted by Nancy Waldrop and Carol Oriel which Bible Study led by Suzi Perkins.




The Ogburn Sunday School Class will begin to study the Book of Psalms using the Dr. Mickey Efird study.  The class meets each Sunday morning at 9:45am for Bible study and fellowship.  If you are not currently participating in Sunday School, please consider joining us!


The New Beginnings Sunday School Class will be starting a new study reading and discussing Half Truths by Adam Hamilton.  In this study Adam Hamilton searches for the whole truth by comparing common Christian clichés with the wisdom found in Scripture. The clichés include: Everything happens for a reason; God helps those who help themselves; God won’t give you more than you can handle; God said it, I believe it, that settles it; and Love the sinner, hate the sin. Join the group each Sunday beginning at 9:45am for Bible study and fellowship.  If you have questions, please contact Suzi Perkins or Sandy Lee.


Thursday Morning Bible Study

Come join us on Thursday mornings at 10:00am in the Church Library for Bible study and lively conversation. We are beginning a study of The Gospel of John using primarily two resources- “Encounters with Jesus” by Frances Taylor Gench and “Imperfect Believers” by Susan Hylen. Biblical scholars believe that John’s gospel was written around 100 C.E.    It is characterized by a “high Christology”, emphasizing the divinity of Jesus the Christ.  There are many stories and encounters in John’s Gospel which are not found in the other three gospels. Hope to see you here!!


The Wednesday Night Bible Study Group is currently studying “On the Road to the Cross” by Rob Burkhart.   On the Road to the Cross allows you to experience Easter through the eyes of the everyday people who witnessed the triumphal entry, saw Jesus drag his cross to Calvary, and cried through Christ’s last words.  Each new perspective opens the door to a fresh consideration of Easter and its impact on their lives and ours.   Please join us for discussion and fellowship each Wednesday at 7:30 in the New Beginnings Room.  For more information, please contact Karen McCauley.




 Mission Ministry Team Announcements


HOPE Ministry and The First Presbyterian Church of Garner…


What is HOPE?  HOPE is the acronym for “Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement.”  HOPE Ministry began a number of years ago, organized and lead by the Garner United Methodist Church (GUMC) and assisted by area churches, local organizations, businesses and community benefactors. The First Presbyterian Church of Garner (FPCOG) works with HOPE and is committed to the 5th Saturdays during the year.


What happens at HOPE?  GUMC picks up the “homeless” at different locations in the Garner area and transports them to GUMC, others arrive by their own means (walk, bicycle, etc.).


Here they can have a hot shower, a home cooked meal and a change of clothes…a day in the week to experience “dignity.”


On average 50 – 70 homeless are served every Saturday at HOPE and additional special days.


Can’t assist on the 5th Saturdays at HOPE?  HOPE always needs…All sizes of NEW Boxers for Men & underwear for Women, NEW Socks and clean blue jeans of all adult sizes.  Sometimes HOPE will have a drive for a particular need, but NEW Boxers for Men / Women’s Underwear, Socks and Blue Jeans are always needed!!


Our responsibilities on the “5th Saturdays” are:

§  To provide the sides, bread and dessert to go with the entrée that is provided

§  Provide assistance in the shower area beginning at 8:00 am

§  Coordinate the warming / preparation, of the food, set up the serving line, organize the beverage table, serve the food / beverages and clean the kitchen and other areas before leaving.  Someone is needed in the kitchen by 10:15 am to begin preparation.  Serving begins between 11:30 am – 12:00 noon, depending on when the last person has taken their shower.

§  Converse with the homeless if able…share  in fellowship with our brothers and sisters in  Christ

§  Laundry – Wash the towels and items from the shower area and return to GUMC during the week (typically 5 to 6 tub containers)




More importantly, the homeless need OUR help!  If you have any questions regarding this important outreach ministry, please contact:


Julie Tedder                919-622-2120

Sandy Lee                    919-522-3416

Lynne Jackson 919-772-4446


Consider this…

There but for the grace of God, go I!



 2 Cents-a-Meal

Collected on the last Sunday in each month, the Two Cents-a-Meal offering invites the congregation to prayerfully contribute a few cents at each meal to help alleviate hunger and poverty.  Participation in Two Cents-a-Meal is a commitment to share with others in response to Jesus’ command, “You give them something to eat.”  The contribution of two cents (or more) per person at each meal, reminds us of the needs of others and our call to respond as Christians to their hunger. The money collected is dedicated during the morning worship service, and then distributed by the Ida Joy Bible Study Group to local hunger initiatives including Garner Area Ministries and Interfaith Food Shuttle.


Food Donations Needed

We thank you for the generous amounts of food and hygiene supplies you have donated throughout the year, but especially at this time of the year.  We appreciate that so many of you have been remembering to bring items on the first Sunday of each month as challenged by Reverend Debbie.


Family Promise is just around the corner and we will be needing a few things to get our program started.  Below is a list of items we are collecting.  Donations can be placed in the boxes in the narthex and breezeway.  If you would like to make a monetary donation make checks payable to the church and write “Family Promise” on the memo line.


High chairs (safety approved for infants and toddlers)       New or gently used toys for all ages

Board games or card games with all pieces                         Nail clippers

Travel size hygiene items                                                      Boxes of bandages

Basic school supplies (pencils, paper, rulers)                                   Night lights

Small table lamps


Optional items we could also use are:

A toaster                                                         Televisions

A gaming system                                            DVD players

Video games (rated E or E10+)                      Movies (rated G or PG)



Youth News


Easter Egg Bonanza!

 Come one, come all to join in First Presbyterian Church’s annual Easter Egg hunt! One of the biggest youth and children’s events of the year, this celebration is sure to be full of fellowship, festivities, and fun. On Saturday, April 15th from 10am – Noon, come join in multiple egg hunts, Easter Activities, springtime crafts, and fun prizes. Together, we will enjoy all of the fun of the Easter Season, while celebrating the resurrection of our Lord. The more the merrier, so please invite/bring your kids, grandkids, nieces and nephews, neighbors, and friends! Where 2 or more gather, God is there, but the bigger the crowd, the more smiles and laughter.


If you would like to help with the setup of the egg hunt or donate candy or prizes, we are all so appreciative of your support! Please email me at to get involved!


 Youth and Children’s schedule for April

 April 2 – Regular Youth 2-3:30pm Assemble Easter Baskets

April 9 – No Youth – Kat at her sister’s wedding 🙂

April 15 – Easter Egg Hunt! 10am-12pm

April 16 – Easter Sunday, Sunday School at 9:45am

April 23 – Youth after Church w/ lunch 12-1:30


Sunday School is every Sunday morning in the Youth Room, meeting at 9:45 and the lesson beginning at 10.



BOOK LOVERS, check out the book exchange shelves in the New Beginnings classroom.  Help yourself to books, bring in some of yours, and read and share.  There are all kinds of stories awaiting you.  More books come in each week.  Enjoy!

Submitting information for The Spire or the Bulletin:  When submitting information to be placed in the bulletin and/or the Spire, please submit to the office in writing or by e-mail to Stephanie Taylor at  Spire articles and pictures are due by 5:00 PM the third Tuesday of each month unless otherwise stated.