The Spire (Newsletter)

March 2017 Spire

Ash Wednesday
March 1, 7:00 PM

Come join us for a special Ash Wednesday worship service on Wednesday, March 1, at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary.
According to the gospels, Jesus spent 40 days fasting in the desert immediately following his baptism. While there, he endured many hardships and temptations. The season of Lent originated as a mirroring of this wilderness wandering and it begins with Ash Wednesday. Ash Wednesday derives its name from the practice of blessing ashes made from palm branches blessed on the previous year’s Palm Sunday, and placing them on the heads of worshippers. Our tradition uses the ashes to mark our foreheads with the visible sign of the cross. With the imposition of the ashes, we are reminded of our mortality and sinfulness and our need to repent.


Don’t forget Daylight Savings Time begins on Sunday, March 12. We will “spring” forward, losing an hour!


The Spire Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Garner
Volume 2017 Issue 3 March 2017

Lenten Sunday Morning Study
March 26, April 5 and 12
9:45 AM in the Ogburn Classroom
Come join us as we begin the journey toward the cross and the resurrection. Pastor Debbie will lead us in a discussion:
“Under the Unpredictable Plant: The Story of Jonah”
By Eugene Peterson
Our conversation will revolve around these topics:
“Heading in the Wrong Direction: Jonah 1”
“Living in the Belly of the Fish: Jonah 2”
“Getting Over Our Pride and Ungratefulness: Jonah 3”

Lenten Sermon Series
Beginning on March 12, Pastor Debbie will preach a series of sermons on “The Seven Deadly Sins and Saving Virtues”. Come join us in worship as we begin our journey to the cross and the resurrection!

Lenten Luncheons
Round Table Conversations

We will be exploring our “Fear of the Other” using a resource by Dr. Will Willimon, professor of the practice of Christian Ministry at Duke University Divinity School in Durham, North Carolina.
March 7, 14, 21, 28 and April 4, 2017

Lunch begins at 12 noon in the Fellowship Hall and consists of homemade soups, sandwiches and desserts.
Conversations around the table begin at 12:30 PM, concluding at 1:00 PM.
Our conversations will explore:
Who are the people in our communities we would label as “other”?
What drives our fear of the “other”?
What does the Bible have to say about the how we are to relate to those we call “other”?
How do we overcome our fear with love for neighbor? What is love in action?
Jesus as “other”.

(If you can help with lunch preparation, call Suzi Perkins or Rose Gurkin. If you would be able to be a conversation facilitator, call Pastor Debbie)


From the Clerk of the Session:
Greetings all! FPCOG has exciting new things that are happening at the church.
• The session has passed a balanced budget for 2017.
• The Fellowship Hall will be paid in full by March 2017.
• Pastor Nominating Committee has been elected and will be moving forward in our search for a new pastor.
• Lenten Bible Studies- Rev. Deb. The book she will be using is Under the Unpredictable Plant, by Eugene Peterson.
• Lenten Lunches- Fear of the Other by Will Willimon. They will be on Tuesdays starting in March. Letters are going out to all the churches in Garner. Signups are needed for Soup, Sandwiches, and desserts. See Suzi Perkins for list.
• On Feb 25th- Deb McHenry will be representing the Session and FPCOG at our New Hope Presbytery meeting.
• The ministry teams have been formed. Here are a list of your Session and Deacons at work. If interested in assisting the ministry teams, reach out and volunteer.
• Clerk of Session: Carrie Dixon
• Treasurer: Jane Knabe
• Worship: Suzi Perkins and Carrie Dixon
• Christian Education: Tim Miley, Philip Penny, and Debra McHenry
• Administration/Finance and Steward: Karen McCauley and Carol Sims
• Building and Grounds: Alan Hodge
• Personnel and Missions: Sarah Kramer and William Pittman
• Deacons: Moderator- Cheryle Prater
• Hospitality: Bettie Hamilton, Julie Tedder, Jackie Dail, Cliff Johnson, and Ruby Miller-Ousley
• Social/Fellowship: Judy Pittman and Kathy Henderson
• Communication: Henry Woodcock and Helen Losada



Our Handbell Choir started rehearsals on Sunday mornings at 8:30 AM. We still need one or two additional ringers to do the music we have selected. Veteran handbell ringers are encouraged to come out of retirement or if you have always wondered if you could ring bells, we hope you will give it a try.


Flowers for March

5th Given by Neal and Jane Knabe in celebration of their anniversary.
12th Given by Kay Carroll in loving memory of Lea Carroll.
19th Given by June Christian in loving memory of Joseph James Hinds Jr and in
honor of Ann B. Hinds.
26th TBA



Kenneth Summerville and the late Patricia Summerville request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter Karen Summerville to Mr. Frederick Hubbard, son of Jane Hubbard and the late Edward Hubbard on Saturday, March 18th, 2017 at 12 o’clock noon at Garner First Presbyterian Church. A joyful and light reception will follow in the Fellowship Hall.

Intercessory Prayer Group to Begin
“Where Two or More are Gathered”
Thursday, March 2nd at 9 a.m. Thursdays (before Bible Study)
This gathering will spend time praying together for one another, the church congregation, our community, our nation and our world. It will be a contemplative group with each person volunteering to pray aloud or to pray silently. We will open with some reflection on a Bible verse followed by guided prayer. This group is open to anyone who wishes to participate. We will meet in the parlor.

Prayer Concerns
Members: Carson and Rosemary Carmichael, Gabe Adams, Jeanne Johnson, Carol Sims, Georgia Morrison, Bobbie Holland, Dr. Andy Cook, Martha Harris, Barbara O’Hare, Emilie Vlna, Adam Miller, Carol Oriel, Pat Yelvington, Mary Jo Atkinson, Edith Conyers, Cliff Johnson, Sandra Hodge, Ann Bagwell, Terri Carpenter
Members’ Families: Ann Prater, Joan Hopkins, Stella Knabe, Glenda Creech, Thelma Pleasant, Henry Jinnette, Martha Little, Minnie Mong, Naomi Lee, Dean McBurney, Betty Monroe, Martha Morgan, Michael Regester, Annette Hill, Lillian Dever, Christopher Davidio, Ann Gould, Bill and Judy Pittman’s niece, Rachel, who gave birth to triplets; two have died after birth
Members’ Friends: Dennis and Janie Eldridge and family, Marjorie Cassada, Mimi and William Prickett, Peg & Dixon Earley, Sylvia Harrison, John Beckley


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.


There has been a request to resume the Alzheimer’s Support Group. There will be a meeting on Thursday, March 16th at 6:30 in the Faith Formation Classroom for continuing and new participants. If you are interested in attending, please contact Donna Gould at 919 302-3651 for details.


The Men of the Church “Man of the Year Annual Breakfast” is scheduled for March 12, 2017 at 9:00 am in the Fellowship hall. Our guest speaker is 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. Everyone is invited to the breakfast, men and ladies. Breakfast will be catered by The Lily Circle.


The Men of the Church are considering selling bundles of pine straw on April 1st. and 8th, 8am-5pm (Saturdays) from the Church parking lot as a fund raiser. We are in need of 12-15 volunteers to assist with the sales. You do not have to be a member of the Men of the Church to help. If you can volunteer for a day or even a half-day, contact Marvin Perkins at: 919.625.9359, or



March Birthdays
2nd Ryan McHenry
3rd Cameron Pease
8th Robert Dennison
9th Connor Cole
11th Kevin Wallace
15th Sandra Hodge
17th Emilie Vlna
19th Suzi Perkins
20th Amanda Penny and Lars Robison
24th Roxann Porter
31st Bettie Hamilton and Lynne Jackson

March Anniversaries

4th Wilbert (Gabe) Adams and Jeanne Johnson
8th Neal and Jane Knabe
12th Allen and Sandra Hodge
16th Tom and Nancy Waldrop


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.

The Presbyterian Women will be selling Easter Lilies on March 19, March 26 and April 2 in the Ogburn Classroom after worship. The cost will be $10.00, the order forms will be in the bulletins.

QUILT BEE will meet on March 25th 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. One Prayer Shawl was given out last month (John Beckley, friend of Sandy Lee) with our love and prayers.

The Lillie Circle will hold their regular monthly March meeting on Monday, March 13, 2017 at 7:00 in the New Beginning Classroom. The hostess for the meeting will be Diane Page. Emily Lee will provide the lesson. Any woman who is not affiliated with a circle at church is welcome to attend. For information contact Donna Gould at 919 302-3651.

The Lillie Circle is beginning to layout plans for a cookbook to be released in the spring. So, we need the congregations help with filling up the book with recipes! We will be collecting through March 12. Please give us copies of your family favorites. No special format is needed… just a legible, clear copy. Hard copies of the recipes can be given to June Christian, Sandra Hodge, Karen McCauley, or dropped off in the office. Electronic copies can be sent to the following emails: June – Karen – Thanks for all the help!!!

The Lillie Circle will host a Wedding Shower for Caitlin Russell and her fiancé James McRae on Sunday, April 2nd immediately following the morning service. The shower is open to all members of the congregation. We want to show Caitlin and James how happy we are for them and their families. A light lunch will be served by the Lillie Circle. For that reason, we are asking that you RSVP by March 29th to Donna Gould 919 302-3651, Caitlin and James are registered at Bed, Bath and Beyond, Target, and Belk.

The Friendship Circle had a wonderful turnout for the Super Bowl Luncheon. We want to thank you for your continued support for our fundraisers! The circle raised over $500.00 for the various community missions and church activities that we support throughout the year. The book, that we are using for the bible study is: The No-Homework Women’s Bible Study: Group Hug, by Christine Tate. If you are wanting to join a great group of Christian women fellowship and food, come and visit during one of our upcoming meetings.

Friendship Circle Schedule:
Date Host/s Bible Study
3. March 5, 2017 Lynne Jackson Karen Summerville
4. March 30-April 2, 2017 (Beach) N/A Carrie Dixon
5. May 7, 2017 Nancy Waldrop/Carol Oriel Martha Long




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 is currently reading and discussing Christianity and World Religions by Adam Hamilton. The study explores four major world religions- Hinduism, Buddhism, Islam, and Judaism – and compares the beliefs of each with those of Christianity. 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 will be continuing reading and discussing Seven Events That Shaped the New Testament World by Warren Carter. This concise introduction to the worlds around the New Testament focuses on seven key moments in the centuries before and after Jesus. It enlightens readers about the beginnings of the Christian movement, showing how religious, political, and economic factors were interwoven in the fabric of the New Testament world. 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

2 Cents-a-Meal at Work
Contributions from the 2-Cents-a-Meal fund are being distributed to the following: $300.00 to Interfaith Back Pack Buddies and $100 to the Pastor’s Discretionary Fund. Your contributions to this fund continue to make someone’s day-to-day life a little better. Thank you for your generosity.

Garner Area Ministries is in need of a few people to help in the food pantry. If you can spare 3 or 4 hours one day a week, Monday through Friday beginning at 9a.m., please call Tom or Carol Oriel at 919-779-7355.

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

Thank you to everyone who attended and donated toward the spaghetti dinner! You helped the Scouts raise over $700. Thank you for supporting Pack 392.

Can you believe it’s still winter?!? As I sit on my porch with sandals on, it’s a sure thing that I can’t! But while North Carolina might have beat the calendar to it, the official start of Spring is just around the corner! In the last few weeks of winter, the youth group will be spending time in reflection as we study what the Lenten season means to our church, as well as Christians around the world. Our studies will include reflecting on the things we consider most important in our lives, “burning” away the things that clutter and restrain us, and so much more. All youth middle and high school aged are invited to join us in these activities!


All Children and Families are invited to the Youth and Children’s Spring Celebration to welcome the new season! Sunday, March 26th after church until 2pm we will be having a drop-in party where we celebrate Spring and the new life it brings by creating something unique and beautiful ourselves! Please let me know if you are coming in church or by RSVPing to so I can make sure we have enough supplies for everyone! Light snacks and drinks will be provided.


Youth and Children’s Schedule for March:
March 5th – Regular Youth Group “Reflections” – 2-3:30pm

March 12th – Regular Youth Group “Burn” – 2-3:30pm

March 18th – Go see the GMHS Musical! (RSVP for Tickets)

March 19th – Youth Group Breakfast and RAK – 10am

March 26th – Spring Celebration! Event for All Noon-2pm

Sunday School is every Sunday morning in the Youth Room, meeting at 9:45 and the lesson beginning at 10.
Save the Date: Saturday, May 6th – Chinese Auction and Craft Fair



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.