The Spire (Newsletter)


October 2018

October Spire 2018

The Spire

Newsletter of First Presbyterian Church of Garner

“Though the fig tree does not blossom, no fruit is on the vines; though the produce of the olive fails, and the fields yield no food; though the flock is cut off from the fold, and there is no herd in the stalls, I will rejoice in the; will exult in the God of my salvation.” Habbakuk 3:17-18

Dear Friends,

The turning of seasons is even closer by than a month ago and I can feel the anticipation building. Soon—very soon—bursts of orange and yellow and red will blaze forth as leaves fall, green fades, and Autumn begins.

I mentioned in this space last month how much I loved this time of year,  but this month, I am mindful of a reason I didn’t mention previously: As Autumn begins so does another season of Stewardship.

Yes, it’s true: its that time in the church calendar where we begin to reflect even more intently upon our finances—and what they reveal about our heart and our hope.

It’s important work to be sure, but the truth is that it can be sort of a drag as well, an exhausting ordeal that can leave us all a little anxious for one reason or another.

That’s bound to happen especially if we think of stewardship season only as the months of October and November. If we think we have to pack a year’s worth of pledging into an 8 week span or if we think that stewardship means we only take care of our financial gifts and resources.

The truth of course is that while we call the next two months “Stewardship season” our whole lives are a season for stewardship, a time for receiving with gladness the multitude  of  God’s gifts—and considering with joy how we best share those gifts with others.

The prophet Habbakuk reminds us of this fact, noting how even in a season of distress, where the harvest is not plentiful, resources seem scarce, people feel cut off, the people of God can still rejoice in the goodness of the God who loves us.

We’ll be exploring  this month and next how inspired by the prophet’s words we can make our stewardship not just an exercise in financial management that can leave us anxious, but an exercise in joyful discipleship that celebrates God’s goodness.

That exploration can begin now as you peruse The Spire this month. For you will read in these pages about ministries, studies, and missions, that surely would benefit from the faithful giving, the faithful stewardship of your time, your presence, your prayers, and , yes, even your money.  As a new season begins, may our first steps on that journey yet burst forth and blaze anew with thankfulness for God’s church here, and the love of Christ in the world.

The Lord Bless and Keep You,



Worship News

Friends how good it is to worship God together!  On the next month we will continue exploring the Narrative lectionary, wrapping up one series and beginning another as we follow several story arcs in the Old Testament.

October 7 and 14 are our last two Sundays exploring “Profiles in Covenant” noting the ways God keeps promises to us and how we best keep our promises to God.

On October 21 we begin a new series—“Truth Be Told” which will feature several scenes of the kings and prophets of Israel. David and Nathan, Solomon, Elisha and Naaman, Isaiah, Jeremiah will all teach us about the ways God’s truth shapes us, challenges us, and calls us to be a more honest, open and faithful people.

Read on for more details!



The 10 Commandments.  Also known as the Law. They are rules to live by for sure, but the truth is we find it difficult to always follow them. Perhaps if we understood the law less as a set of steps to fulfill and more of a way that allows us to connect with God and others, we might live more closely to what the law requires.

*Welcome of New Members Trish and David Holmes


October 14 Text:  Joshua 24:1-8, 13- -26  Sermon Title: ‘Profiles In Covenant: Renew Your Vows”

As we conclude our series we reflect on how covenant is an ongoing enterprise—and if we are t live as faithful heirs, we must mark opportunities to remember and renew our promises, trusting God will also.

Congregational Meeting to Elect Officers


October 21 Text: 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9  Sermon Title: “Truth Be Told: The Heart of the Matter”

“The truth just sounds different” goes a line of dialogue in the movie Almost Famous. In this series on the kings and prophets we’ll explore different aspects of truth. Looking today at the prophet Nathan confronting David over his murder of Uriah, we see how the truth cuts us to the bone and how we might yet heal from the wound.


October 28 1 Kings 3:4-28  Text: Sermon Title: “Truth Be Told: Use It Wisely”

Solomon prayed for wisdom, perhaps the truest of gifts, and so God gave him that—and everything else.   But how well did Solomon use that gift? What can we learn from him about handling the truth —and all our other gifts—with care and love?

October Flowers

7th       Flowers given in memory of Marvin Racek by Philip and Sheree Penny.

14th      Flowers given by Pat Yelvington.

21st      Flowers  given in honor of the Ogburn Sunday School Class and the Wednesday Night Bible Study by Karen Lovering.

28th      Flowers given in memory of Gabe Adams by Jeanne Johnson.
 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


Christian Education

Thursday Morning Bible Study

The Thursday morning bible study has started up again. We meet in the library at 10am on Thursdays. We have chosen 1 Corinthians to study for the fall and Reverend Acton will lead us. Everyone is welcome!

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

The Wednesday Night Bible Study Group meets each Wednesday night beginning at 7:30pm in the New   Beginnings classroom. We are reading and studying Out of Babylon by Walter Brueggemann. It was the center of learning, commerce, wealth, and religion. Devoted to materialism, extravagance, & the pursuit of sensual pleasure, Babylon was a privileged society. But, there was also injustice, poverty, and oppression. We now find Babylon redux today in Western society. Consumer capitalism, a never-ending cycle of working & buying, little regard to life or resources, societal  violence, marginalized & excluded people, a world headed toward climactic calamity. Out of Babylon challenges us again to examine our culture, turn from the idols of abundance & abuse, and turn to lives of meaning and substance. Please join us for fellowship and lively discussion. For more information, please contact Karen Lovering (919-418-3568).

Ida-Joy Bible Study

The Ida-Joy Bible study members will meet on Tuesday, October 9th at 10:00 in the library. The lessons will continue in the book Twelve Ordinary Men by John MacArthur. These are in-depth studies of the twelve disciples. We welcome anyone who is interested to attend our study group meetings.

Ogburn Sunday School

If you are not currently attending Sunday School, please consider joining the Ogburn class each Sunday morning.We are currently using the Adult Bible Studies series from Cokesbury. Our fall lessons come from the Book of Genesis, the book of beginnings. Through its pages, God is revealed as the Creator, Sustainer, Judge, and Redeemer who brought all things into being. Our lessons survey God’s creation of the universe, earth, and people. Join us each Sunday at 9:45am for wonderful discussion and fellowship.

New Beginnings Sunday School Class

The New Beginnings class is currently doing a study on Jonah led by Rachel do not have a Sunday School class, consider giving us a try. The conversation takes many twists and turns as we look to see what the scriptures have to say to us in 2018.


Congregational Care

 October Birthdays

1st        Brianna Slaughter

6th       Jane Knabe & Diane Page

7th       Neal Knabe

9th       Carl Miller

13th      Helen Stephens

15th      Mike Koenig

17th      Caitlin Russell

21st      Glen Bagwell

22nd     Ashley McKinney

25th      Harry Gould

26th      Manuel Losada & Caden Schmidt

29th      Brittanie Love

30th      Glen Jackson

31st      Brett Tedder


October Anniversaries

7th       Gary & Karen Lovering

21st      John & Patricia Creel

24th      Henry & Julie Woodcock


Prayer Concerns

Members:  Carson and Rosemary Carmichael, Jeanne Johnson, Joan Young,  Georgia Morrison, Dr. Andy Cook, Barbara O’Hare, Adam Miller, Pat Yelvington, Mary Jo Atkinson, Edith Conyers, Carol Miles, Martha Harris, Elaine Watkins, Clint Ousley, John Watkins, Olive Safrit, Bruce &   Gloria Oelke, Cornelia Plyler, Bobbie Holland, Harold Bagwell, Bill Lee, Rose Gurkin, Sheree Penny, Sandy Lee


Members’ Families: 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 (Lorrie Icenhour’s sister), Ann Gould (Gould family), Karen Safrit (Olive Safrit), Amanda Miller (Ruby Miller-Ousley), Tonya Boykin, Susan (Georgia Morrison’s daughter), Donna Smith (Sandy Lee), Jerry & Brenda Cook (Kevin Wallace), Jacquie Glover (Rosemary           Carmichael), Debbie Carmichael (Rosemary Carmichael), Patrick Boretsky (June Christian), Walter Worden (Nancy Waldrop’s brother), Cheryl Weber (Jeanne Conner’s  sister), Schyler Tolbert (Nancy Waldrop)


Members’ Friends: Dennis and Janie Eldridge and family, Marjorie Cassada, Sylvia Harrison, John Beckley,   David Myhre, Joann Overby, Nicole Watson, Fran Tocci, Angela Parpan (friend of the Prater family), Dr. Sherri Edwards (Sandy Lee), Shawn Collier (Debra McHenry), Jeanne Kujawski Schmitz (Sandy Lee), Vanessa Tart (Donna Gould), Mike Brannon (Donna Gould), Chris Woodall (Peggy Wilkins), Jeff  Cadwallader (Losada),Maddox Cottle (3 month old friend of Sandra Hodge), Don Niemann (Donna Gould)


Our thoughts and prayers are will all those effected by Hurricane Florence and

all the responders aiding with the disaster relief.


Youth News

 The Youth Group is off to a great start with many new activities planned! We have been working hard on our missions projects and will continue our work with Presbyterian Disaster  Assistance. We also look forward to a presentation by Raleigh Youth Missions and invite everyone in the church to hear what mission opportunities are available in our area. The Youth can always use chaperones, drivers, and other support to help us complete these missions.

We also look forward to our annual Halloween celebration! Youth Group on this night will be held from 5:00 pm to 8:00 pm and dinner will be provided. Wear your costumes!

Youth calendar:

October 7, 12:00  – Guest Speaker from Raleigh Youth

October 14 – Church Picnic at Lake Benson

October 21, 12:00 – Regular meeting

October 28, 5:00 – Halloween Party


Halloween Party

Due to the hurricane, the Kid’s Club Water Day is postponed until spring. But the Halloween party is still on!  Join us for a fun night of monstrous games, spooky food, and mysterious prizes!!  Not to mention our annual scavenger hunt!

     Sunday October 28, 2018

     5:00 pm to 8:00 pm in the fellowship hall

     Wear your costume!


 Boy/Cub Scouts will be selling popcorn in the library and the breezeway downstairs after church beginning Sept. 23 to Oct. 21. Contact Melissa Miley (919-771-0487) or Christy Turpin (919-280-6223) with any questions. Come get your favorite flavors and thank you for supporting Scouts!



Mission Ministry Team Announcements

 On behalf of Garner Area Ministries I want to thank you all for the many backpacks you supplied last month. You can imagine all the happy smiles from those who received them!

Throughout the years you have also generously supplied us with food, clothing, and hygiene supplies encouraged by the Lillie Circle and items for our Thrift Store.

Our church has always been very generous in financial donations, enabling us to help our many clients in need who have past due utility bills, rent to prevent evictions and prescriptions. I will be leaving some updated brochures in the Narthex.

With gratitude,

Carol Oriel



        FPCoG, our time to serve at H.O.P.E. is

         Saturday, September 29, 2018

 The guests at H.O.P.E. are depending on us, Saturday, September 29!  Please consider your participation in our outreach ministry here in Garner.  FPCoG let us continue to show our love…“Feed the Sheep,” by providing a meal to    nourish the body, helping hands to serve and give hope to the homeless!

(Location: Garner United Methodist Church, 201 Methodist Dr., Garner – Near Papa John’s on    Vandora Springs Ave.)

FOOD – WE provide the sides, bread and dessert to go with the entrée that is provided by GUMC (each side enough to serve 50 – 75) — at least three (3) sides and assorted desserts

RESPONSIBLE FOR – 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 preparations.  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 4 to 6 tub containers of laundry)

Any questions, please contact:

Julie Tedder                  919-622-2120

Sandy Lee                    919-522-3416

Lynne Jackson            919-889-1227


Mark your calendars for our commitments to H.O.P.E. the remainder of 2018: December 29                                                      REMINDER ~ H.O.P.E. always needs NEW boxer underwear for men & underwear for women, blue jeans and new socks!! 

H.O.P.E. stands for, Homeless Outreach Providing Encouragement


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.

Able to Serve: Able to Serve is a faith based nonprofit that helps adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. They are located in the Buffaloe Road area so they are one of our neighbors. The program operates Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm.

Able to Serve emphasizes what their participants are able to do and help them continue to learn new skills such as   computer skills, cleaning house, using a washer and dryer, shopping, helping others, making friends, exploring the community, and so on.

When we asked how we can help they gave us a wish list of items. Soon you will be seeing a board in the narthex with the items on them. If you are interested in helping, please take a tag, purchase the item and return it to the church. Thank you for supporting one of our neighbors!

Angel Tree: We will be doing the Angel Tree again this year. The tree will be up the first Sunday in November. The party will be December 8th so please have your gifts at the church by the first week in December. We will be putting the gifts around the tree in the Fellowship Hall, please make sure the tag you take off the Angel Tree is on your gift so we will know who the gift is for. If you have any questions please contact Lynne Jackson (919-889-1227 or email



 The Alzheimer’s Support Group will meet on Thursday, October 18, 2018 in the Faith Formation classroom at 6:30pm. All are invited to attend who want to know more about Alzheimer’s  Disease and related dementias or are caregivers for patients with Alzheimer’s or related dementias. For more information about the group, contact Donna Gould (919-481-9905) or Pat   Yelvington (919-779-4989).

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.

The Lillie Circle will be collecting baby diapers (not preemie size), baby wipes, small containers of baby powder, and sanitary products for women and other personal hygiene items for Garner Area Ministries during the month of October. The donation box is 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 those donations.  Toiletries and other personal care 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 especially in this time of great need. If you have questions, please contact June Christian at 919-271-7709. Thank you for your participation.

The Lillie Circle will hold their next meeting on Monday, October 8 at 7:00 PM at the church in the New Beginnings classroom. We will be continuing to plan our activities for the circle year. Women of the church who are not a member of a circle are welcome to attend. The books for our Bible study arrived for pick up at the meeting. I will also bring the books to church on Sunday so members who have paid can get their books. Helen Losada is providing refreshments and Donna Gould will be doing the first     lesson. For further information, contact June Christian.

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 (919-889-1227) or Martha Long (919-744-0751).

Hai fame? That’s Italian for, “Are you hungry?” The Friendship Circle hopes everyone has a big appetite on Sunday, November 4, as they are  presenting an Italian luncheon after worship services.  In addition to the luncheon, there will be a silent auction.  All proceeds from the luncheon and auction will go to Garner High School to help homeless  students. For more information please contact Martha Long at 919-744-0751.

The Presbyterian Women Coordinating Team will hold their first meeting of the 2018-2019 Women’s year on Sunday, September 30th at 12:30 following Sunday service in the New Beginnings classroom. A light lunch will be provided. All newly installed officers of the CT and circle chairs are encouraged to attend. Presbyterian Women Coordinating Team Handbooks will be passed out to circle chairs for all members in early September. Future meeting dates are October 28th, January 20th, and March 31st.

The Presbyterian Woman General Meeting will be held in the Ogburn Classrooml at 12:30 following Sunday service on October 7th. Light refreshments will be served. This meeting will be hosted by the Search Committee. All women of the church are encouraged to attend. If you have any questions please contact Donna Gould at or Moderator Sandra Hodge at

QUILT BEE will be taking a break until the new year. Stay tuned for updates on when it will start back up.

 Special Committee Update: In August the session formed a special committee to review facility needs and develop plans and priorities for meeting those needs through upgrades and renovations. The group has been hard at work focusing on 3 areas: the Sanctuary, the Ground Floor, and the need for an Elevator/Improved   accessibility to our building. The group will meet again in October and will hope to have a report—including financial estimates– to Session by November. Please keep these people and their work in your prayers: Sandra Hodge,  Karen Lovering, Dan MciInnis, Christy Turpin, Jeremiah Snapp, Peggy Wilkins, Ben Acton (ex-officio member).

 Memorial Gifts Project List: The Session approved adding the two projects to the Memorial Gifts Project List: Choir Robes and First Presbyterian Church of Garner Scholarship Fund. There are now five projects that the families can chose for their Memorial gift monies to be designated to or they may bring a new idea to the finance committee to be considered. The current approved projects are:

  • Choir Robes: The current robes are over 10 years robes are needed.
  • First Presbyterian Church of Garner Scholarship Fund: The church’s Merrill Lynch Scholarship account has $5,135.97.current funds are allotted to the Carol Thompson Scholarship.funds will be received under the heading of FPCOG Scholarship Fund
  • Memorial Garden: The project is spearheaded by Deb McHenry.Memorial Garden will be located on the north side of the Fellowship Hall.plan is to have a beautiful location where one can sit and reflect as well as a place to spread loved ones ashes.
  • Parking Lot Improvements: The parking lot needs continual upkeep so that the lot doesn’t get ruined. Over time, lines and signage will need to be refreshed.
  • Elevator Fund: The Elevator project will be undertaken by the Special Session Committee.more information about the Elevator project, please review the “Building Needs Update and Action Plan” sheet that was mailed to the congregation in July.

Financial Update as of August 31st

August Income$14,774.85

August Expense $17,550.70

Other Account Balances:

Memorial $8,894.21

Endowment/New Covenant$56,810.21

Merrill Lynch (Scholarship)         $5,135.97

Rev. Ben’s New Home: If you have not heard, Rev. Ben, Rachel, & Nate will be moving into their new home the first weekend in October.  In preparation of the move, they will need some help packing during the preceding week.  If you are available to assist, please contact Karen Lovering.

Wanted: Special People for a Special Service, we are looking for some folks willing to do nursery duty on Sunday mornings. We are hoping to get some folks that would be willing to be available for a month at a time. If you are willing to help but cannot commit to such a long time that is OK, a week will be wonderful. Please contact Sandy Lee at 919-522-3416 or send an email to You can also leave a message at the church.

The lending library is available to all downstairs in the New Beginnings classroom., if you bring in books, place them on the table and we will shelve them.try to keep them in order, and your placing books on the table will allow us to alphabetize them properly. Continue to enjoy reading!

Spire articles and pictures are due by 5:00 PM the third Tuesday of each month unless otherwise stated. Please submit articles to the office in writing or by e-mail to the  Administrative Assistant at