The Spire (Newsletter)

 January 2018

January Spire 2018


The Spire

Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Garner

I have been thinking about the coming of 2018. The coming of the New Year is a time to wonder about what it might bring. Some years it is not difficult to anticipate. The new year may bring events like weddings, graduations, births of children or grand- children. It may be a year of milestone birthdays or anniversaries, even though we might not want to admit that we have hit that milestone. Let me share with you observations and hopes as we have shared part of 2017 and will share some part of 2018 together.

When I started last August you had said good bye to an Interim Pastor who had helped you to take a look deep into yourself as a congregation and ask; who are we now and who does God want us to be. You had begun to implement some of the things that you stated were important. You are shifting your focus from inside to outside of the church walls.

Your participation in the ministries of Family Promise and HOPE led to having bags to give to our homeless neighbors. The Lillie Circle collects specific items for Garner Area Ministries that are not ordinarily donated to them but are needed by the people they aid. Things like soap, paper products, feminine products, gas and food gift cards that are over and above our regular donations of money and food.

The Deacons are leading the way in being intentional about greeting and welcoming visitors. We have a beautiful welcome package with up to date information. We are working to welcome people during the service and develop a contact list. We have a beautiful and up to date web site that is the first place many new people learn about us. Your intentional efforts are bearing fruit. The Deacons and the Elders are living into new or different ways to work.

The New Year will bring a new Sunday School class that will discuss the Lectionary Readings for Sunday morning. The Lectionary is a resource of Scripture readings for daily use and for Sunday use. It uses a three year cycle.  Give thanks to for Kathy Blue teaching the Youth Class and Lisa Jackson for her leadership of your youth group. Thank all those who teach or lead our study opportunities.

The most anticipated part of 2018 for First Presbyterian Church is the calling and installing of a new pastor. The Pastor Nominating Committee is faithfully working to that end. At some point they will ask the congregation to meet and to vote on their recommendation for the person to join with you in ministry and mission in this community and beyond.

From where I sit, 2018 will be an exciting year for First Presbyterian Church. It will have joys and challenges.  Keep your eyes and ears open, watching and listening for the ways God is working. Be watching and listening for where God is leading you. Keep up your excellent care for each other while at the same time expanding it to those who are not yet a part of your faith community. Hold onto what is good and embrace new ways that you have not practiced before.

May 2018 bring each of you and the congregation a sense of joy and anticipation for all God has for you.

~ John Kidd



Worship News


Thank You to the Choir

Peace Has Come was beautiful. The choir did a fantastic job. Thanks to all of the members who faithfully rehearsed and presented this piece.  You are greatly appreciated.


If you would like to join the choir please attend choir rehearsal each week, 7:00-7:45 p.m. You can be a blessing without a long-term commitment.


Are you missing the handbells?

We would like to launch the handbell choir in January in order to play at Easter. Can you find the time to join the group? No experience is necessary. We will train new ringers! Speak to Rose if you are interested.


January Flowers

7th       Given to the Glory of God by Suzi and Marvin Perkins in memory of Preston Jinnette.

14th     Given to the Glory of God by Wanda VanDoornewaard and Will Brothers in memory of Frances Klein and Hans Van      Doornewaard.

21st      Given to the Glory of God by Georgia Morrison in memory of Neil Morrison.

28th     Given to the Glory of God by Jackie Dail in memory of Curtis’ Birthday.



Congregational Care


The Alzheimer’s Support Group will meet January 18th at 6:30 in the Faith Formation classroom. Anyone interested in learning more about Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias is encouraged to attend. For more information about the group, contact Donna Gould or Pat Yelvington.


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!


Prayer is the Key

The prayer group meeting on Thursday mornings at 9:00 a.m. welcomes new members. It is an opportunity to learn how to pray, to strengthen your relationship to God and to see God at work in a personal way.

If you are interested in forming a prayer group at a time that you can attend, please speak to Rose Gurkin to express that interest. A group may want an evening, a weekend or a Sunday that allows our working folks the same opportunity to pray together. Remember, where two or three are gathered, there God will be in the midst of them!


January Birthdays

 2nd       Francis Krawczyk

3rd       Jonah Krawczyk

4th       Martha Harris & Julie Woodcock

6th       William Lee

8th       Clinton Ousley

12th      Zada Page

14th      Stan Conyers

15th      Sarah Kramer

17th      Greg Cole

23rd      Brian Lee

24th      Carol Miles

27th      William (Bill) Lee & Kathy Henderson

29th      Jackie Dail

30th      Parks Gray



January Anniversaries

 23rd      Parks & Lorrie Icenhour


Mission Statement for First Presbyterian Church of Garner

Responding to God’s call, we challenge each other to grow in discipleship while embodying the love and grace of Jesus Christ.


We value:

  • Inspiring worship in Word and music
  • Inquiring study for adults, youth and children
  • Inclusive hospitality
  • Community outreach
  • Stewardship




Prayer Concerns

Members:  Carson and Rosemary Carmichael, Gabe Adams, Jeanne Johnson, Carol Sims, Joan Young, Georgia Morrison, Dr. Andy Cook, Barbara O’Hare, Adam Miller, Pat Yelvington, Mary Jo Atkinson, Ann Bagwell, Edith Conyers, Terri Carpenter, Carol Miles, Martha Harris, Elaine Watkins, Clint Ousley, John Watkins

Members’ Families: Stella Knabe (Knabe family), Glenda Creech (Connie Boykin), Thelma Pleasant (Rose’s mother), Martha Little, Naomi Lee (Bill Lee’s mother), Betty Monroe (Linda & Jerry Monroe), Martha Morgan (Emily Lee’s sister), Michael Regester (Losada’s grandson), Annette Hill, Ann Gould (Gould family), Karen Safrit (Olive Safrit), Morgan Miles (Carol Miles), Amanda Miller (Ruby Miller-Ousley), Ellyn Losada (Losada’s daughter in law), Tonya Boykin, Gary Lovering

Members’ Friends: Dennis and Janie Eldridge and family, Marjorie Cassada, Sylvia Harrison, John Beckley, David Myhre, Joann Overby, Skye Reece (2 1/2 year old anticipating third open heart surgery), Nicole Watson, Fran Tocci, The family of Pam & John Oliver (Wanda vanDoornewaard), Angela Parpan (friend of the Prater family)


Christian Education

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

The Wednesday Night Bible Study Group will start up again after the holidays beginning January 10, 2018.The group meets each Wednesday night at 7:30 in the New Beginnings classroom.Join us for fellowship and lively discussion.For more information, please contact Karen McCauley.

 Thursday Morning Bible Study

The Thursday morning Bible study will resume from the holiday break on January 4th. At this meeting we will be discussing our next topic of study. All are welcome to join us and we hope to see you there!

Ogburn Sunday School

If you are not currently attending Sunday School, please consider joining the Ogburn class each Sunday each Sunday at 9:45am in the Ogburn classroom. Join us for wonderful discussion and fellowship.

New Sunday School Class

A new Sunday School class will startJanuary 7 in the New Beginnings Classroom and all are welcome.class will read the scriptures from the Lectionary for each Sunday and discuss the relevance to our world today. This will be an informal class, with the hope that all will feel comfortable expressing their thoughts on the way the scriptures speak to us today. If you have any questions, please feel free to call Suzi Perkins at 919-612-2171.


 Men of the Church

The Men of the Church will have their next breakfast on Sunday, January 14th. We will meet in the fellowship hall for breakfast at 8:30:am. All men are welcome to attend and enjoy fellowship. For any questions please contact Marvin Perkins


Presbyterian Women

QUILT BEE will meet January 13th at 10am. This month we will have a demonstration on a new applique technique using Elmer’s school glue. This technique works great for both machine and hand quilting. The demonstration will last ~1.5hr so the afternoon will be free for anyone to work on their projects. Feel free to join us for just the demonstration. For questions please contact Lynne  Jackson at or cell 919-889-1227.

Prayer Shawl Ministry continues to share God’s love by knitting and crocheting prayer shawls. If you would like to participate with this ministry and assist in making shawls or making monetary contributions, contact Lynne Jackson or Martha Long.

The Lillie Circle will be collecting $5 gift cards for gas and Food Lion or Aldis, can openers, feminine hygiene products for Garner Area Ministries during the month of January. The donation box will be on the table in the hall outside the Faith Formation Classroom. As always these donations are not in lieu of food donations for Garner Area Ministries but in addition to. We are aware that these items are often forgotten when people make donations and we are trying to focus on those things that are needed by a family or individual for personal care. Please consider donating. If you have questions please contact Donna Gould at 919 302-3651. Thank you for your participation.

The Lillie Circle will meet on Monday, January 8th at 7:00pm in the New Beginnings Classroom. circle members are encouraged to attend. The hostess will be Judy Pittman and the lesson will be provided by Kathy Blue. All women of the church who are not affiliated with a circle are invited to attend the meeting and Bible study. Refreshments will be served. For further information contact Donna Gould.

The Lillie Circle has plenty of cookbooks still for sale. The cookbooks are $12.00 and make wonderful gifts. The proceeds will benefit the circle service projects. You can obtain one from a circle member or stop by the church and get one out of the church library. You can leave your money in the church office.

The Presbyterian Women will have a general meeting on February 18, 2018, immediately following worship service, in the Fellowship Hall.David Pease will present the program on his trip to Africa and the work he did training firefighters from South Africa.All church members, guests and friends are invited to hear this exciting program.A light lunch will be served.

The Friendship Circle meeting schedule:

January 7- regular meeting.

On Saturday, February 3, we will meet to decorate for our annual Soup-er Bowl luncheon on February 4.

March 4 – regular meeting.

April 1, is Easter Sunday. Our meeting will be held on our beach trip. Date TBA

May 6 – Last meeting of the year.

Proposed Projects

  • Fill lunch bags with non-perishable items such as water and snacks to give to people asking for money.
  • Backpack Buddies
  • Community project
  • Pancake supper – fund-raiser for the elevator fund
  • Collect school supplies for homeless or needy students. Fall wish tree for GHS students
  • Sherry’s Kids – money to put toward camperships.

Our lesson book for this year will be Christine Tate’s Women’s No    Homework Group Hug 2. We used the first book this past year. It helped to generate conversations about selected topics.


Mission Ministry Team Announcements


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.



FPCOG Serving at HOPE in 2018

As we begin another year, first THANK YOU for your generous support at HOPE during 2017!  Each time we served at HOPE, those we served were blessed with an abundance of wonderful food, smiling faces and caring hands to brighten their day and feed their souls…A day that FPCOG shared in providing dignity and grace to our brothers and sisters in Christ.


In addition to serving for the 2018 noted dates, we would like to organize a couple of additional opportunities to provide to the HOPE Ministry here in Garner.  Coming soon, we will sponsor a collection for men’s boxers and women’s underwear.  As you can imagine, the demand for underwear is an on-going need every week and it has been a while since we actively sponsored an underwear drive at FPCOG.


Also, collect funds to purchase towels and washcloths for HOPE.  The towels that are provided to HOPE and used by the homeless for their showers are hand-me-downs from donors, not always in the best condition.  Also, a lot of the towels are of color and do not do well when bleach is used for laundering.


Again, THANK YOU for your support at HOPE in 2017 and looking forward to being a continued blessing in our community in 2018!


Any questions, please contact:               Julie Tedder           919-622-2120

Sandy Lee             919-522-3416

Lynne Jackson      919-889-1227



The youth meet every Sunday immediately following worship (12pm). Lunch will be provided so we will always start in the fellowship hall.




Undecorate Day

Don’t forget, we will be taking down all of our pretty    Christmas decorations on January 6th starting at 9am. We can use help of all kinds as we ready our church for the New Year.


New Front Landscaping

In case you haven’t noticed, our front lawn has been relandscaped. We have all new plants along the front of the building that will provide beauty and color come spring and summer. Not only do we have the new plants and drainage but the yard itself has been leveled so it is easier and safer to walk. A huge thank you to George Rucker for making this all possible.


New Prayer Group

You are invited to participate in a new prayer group focused on preparing our church and our potential new minister to work together to further God’s mission through our church. This group will meet once a week for about thirty minutes. Together, we will pray for our PNC Committee, our potential pastor, the Session, Deacons, and all of our congregation. We will open our hearts to the leadership of the Holy Spirit so that we all are prepared for this new chapter in the life of First Presbyterian Garner. If you are interested in participating, please attend a meeting after worship on Sunday, January 14, to discuss the best time for the group to meet. For any questions please contact Rose Gurkin


Photo Directory

We are updating our church photo directory. If you need to have your photo taken please contact Lisa Jackson at or (919) 274-9414. We would like to update as many photos as possible.



The Worship Committee will be holding their next meeting on January 15th at 7pm in the New Beginnings classroom. Any interested are welcome to attend.


From the Clerk of the Session

The Grand piano is installed. A thank you to the memorials (Curtis Dale/Rick McHenry) and private donations that allowed for the purchase and installation. AEDs are coming. The Session has approved 2 AED for the church.

Building/Grounds: A light switch was installed in the balcony stair hallway to facilitate turning on the sanctuary lights.

Elders and Deacons: A joint Deacon and Session meeting with the newly installed members will be held on January 14th at 3pm.  Please plan to attend.



In order to be better stewards of the gifts God provides us, the Finance Committee has once again set a goal to develop a balanced budget for 2018.budget was presented during the stewardship luncheon (contact church office if you would like a copy) and will be voted upon in the January combined Session and Deacon’s meeting



The PNC is continuing the search for an installed pastor. To this end they have interviewed several candidates including skype/facetime with a few candidates. Please continue to keep the  PNC in your prayers as they continue their work.


Note From Financial Secretary

Good News, a year ago we had to borrow some funds from the Memorial account and we are pleased to announce that loan has been paid off! First Presbyterian Church of Garner will start 2018 debt free, this is a huge accomplishment.


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. Men, the top shelf is for 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.


Quilt of Holes

As I faced my Maker at the last judgment, I knelt before the Lord along with all the other souls. Each of us, our lives were laid out, like the cloth squares of a quilt, in many piles. An angel sat before each of us sewing our quilt squares together into a tapestry of our life.

As my angel took each piece of cloth off the pile, I noticed how ragged and empty each of my squares looked. They were filled with giant holes. Each square was labeled with a part of my life that had been difficult; the challenges and temptations I had faced in life every day. The hardships I had endured were the largest holes of all.

I glanced around me. Nobody else had such squares. Other than a tiny hole here and there, the other tapestries were filled with rich color, the bright hues of worldly fortune. I gazed upon my own life and was disheartened. Binding air, my angel put together the ragged pieces of cloth that seemed threadbare and empty.

The time came when each life had to be displayed and held up to the light–the scrutiny of truth. The others rose, each person holding up their own tapestries; so filled their lives had been. My angel looked up and nodded for me to rise.

My gaze dropped to the ground in shame. I hadn’t all the earthly fortunes. I had possessed love and laughter in my life, but there had also been trials of illness, wealth, and false accusations that took from me my world. I had needed to start over many times. I had often struggled with the temptation to quit, only to muster the strength to pick up and begin again. I had also spent many nights on my knees in prayer, asking for help and guidance in my life. I had often endured ridicule. But each time I had offered pain up to the Father in hopes that I would not melt beneath the judgmental gaze of other people.

But now I had to face the truth. My life was what it was, and I had to accept it for what it was, rose and slowly lifted the combined squares of my life to the light. An awe-filled gasp filled the air. I gazed around at the others who stared at me with wide eyes. I looked upon the tapestry before me. Light flooded the many holes, creating an image: the face of Christ.

Then stood before me, with warmth and love in His eyes. He said, “Every time you gave over your life to Me, it became My life, My hardships, and My struggles. Each point of light in your life represents each time you stepped aside and let Me shine through until there was more of Me than there was of you.”

May all our quilts be threadbare and worn, allowing Christ to shine through!