…sharing the love of Christ with Athens and the world!

Important Events and Messages

Events

Prayers for Healing

Meets every Wednesday at 12:30 p.m. Members and friends gather in the sanctuary to pray for needs in the congregation and beyond.
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Honduras Mission Trip

Twenty-six FPC members have recently returned from a week of service and learning in Honduras. Thank you for your prayers, notes of encouragement, and support. They had a wonderful trip! Read about it on FPC’s Facebook page.

Team Reflections

Our team wrote notes of gratitude and reflection as their journey came to an end. You can read their notes on the bulletin board in the church office reception area.

Holy Joe Coffee

Jittery Joe’s house blend coffee is on sale in the church office during the week. All proceeds will benefit future mission trips.

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Bookless Book Group, August 22

A group of women meets on the second and fourth Wednesday of each month at 11:30 a.m. to enjoy lunch and conversation. We meet at a variety of restaurants and invite anyone interested to join us. For more information please contact Lynn West. Our next meetings will be:

August 8, White Tiger, 217 Hiawassee Ave.
August 22, Bone Island Grillhouse, 2055 Oconee ConnectorReturn to Home Page News: Messages and Events

Sunday School Begins, August 19, 9:45 a.m.

Everyone is invited to join a Sunday School class any time. If you aren’t currently attending Sunday School, fall is the perfect time to try out a new class. We offer Sunday School classes for all ages from 9:45 – 10:40 a.m.
Sunday School Classes for Children
Sunday School Classes for Youth
Sunday School Classes for Adults

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Books for Keeps Annual Sale, August 17-19 & 25-26

Thank you for donating two carloads of books to our Books for Keeps spring book drive! Now it’s time for their annual sale, held this year in the space between Aldi and Mannaweenta on the corner of Gaines School Rd. and Cedar Shoals Rd.

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Bicentennial 2020 Committee Meeting, August 20, 5:00 p.m.

FPC will celebrate its 200 year history with a year-long celebration in 2020. Work continues on a book of our 200-year history as well as events for 2020. Please join us at our next meeting and let us know what time and talents you have to lend to this exciting milestone. Contact Diane Adams, Chair
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Messages

Bruce’s Blog

My Friends,

We are beginning our new program year here at FPC, and I want to let you know about a change in one of our programs.

We will no longer be having a Wednesday@First dinner. Wednesday afternoon programs will continue, as well as Chancel Choir rehearsal, and a Bible Study will be offered on Wednesday nights beginning September 19. But we will not provide a dinner as has been previously offered.

Following discussion of this program at the Session Retreat this past February, the Fellowship and Evangelism Commission and the Education and Discipleship Commission, along with FPC Staff, considered all the factors for the dinner.

The dwindling attendance at the dinner seemed to be a sign of asking too much of an already busy congregation and the high subsidy of the meal pointed to our not being the best possible stewards of our budget.

Beginning with our Fall Kickoff Brunch, we will introduce Fellowship@First. These will be intergenerational food/activity/fellowship events (see the schedule below) offered at least once a month.

One of the marks of a healthy church is fellowship: how we enjoy each other’s company, how we get to know one another, how we build strong relationships.

I invite you to put each Fellowship@First event on your calendar so that we continue to grow our stories of friendships and faith at First Presbyterian Church.

Thanks and blessings,
Bruce Lancaster, Interim Senior Pastor

Fellowship@First, 2018-2019 Schedule:

Sunday, August 12
Fall Kickoff Brunch, 9:45 a.m.

Friday, September 28
Picnic with UGA Redcoat Band, 5:00 p.m.

Sunday, October 21
Church Picnic@Sandy Creek Park, 3:00 p.m.

Sunday, November 4
The Wayne F. Middendorf Memorial
Concert Series presents Fauré Requiem
& Reception, 4:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 2
Advent Workshop & Lunch, 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, December 9
Christmas Pageant & Dinner, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, January 27
Annual Congregational Meeting
& Lunch, 12:00 p.m.

Sunday, February TBD
Mission Lunch

Wednesday, March 6
Ash Wednesday Service & Dinner, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, April 21
Easter Brunch, 9:45 a.m.

Sunday, May 19
Scottish Reformation Sunday & Reception

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A Message from Carol: Meet Our New Campus Minister, The Rev. Will Norman

Will joins the Presbyterian Student Center (PSC) at UGA on August 1 as the new Executive Director and Campus Minister. He is moving from outside of Sacramento, California, but grew up in metro Atlanta and is a Georgia Tech graduate. He earned his Masters of Divinity at Columbia Theological Seminary, where he also met and was married to his wife Christin Johnson Norman (UGA ‘09). Christin and Will have a six-month old son named Jack, who loves bananas and apple juice. Prior to being called to the PSC, Will has served as a solo pastor, young adult minister, director of music and arts, youth minister, and college and campus minister both in Atlanta and in Northern California. He describes his sense of call to the PSC, saying, “I have often described campus ministry as a kind of first love of mine and cannot wait to get back onto the path with students as they journey through what is at the same time one of the most challenging and rewarding seasons of the life of faith.”

Plan to greet Will and his family on Sunday, August 26 here at FPC when he will give a Moment for Mission at each service. A welcome reception will follow the 11:00 a.m. service. Will offers this invitation, “Make sure you stop by when you are back on campus to introduce yourself, share a cup of coffee, and your hopes for the next years at the PSC!”

Patti Reed, I, and the rest of the PSC board are very excited to see what good things God will do through Will’s ministry.

Carol Strickland, Associate Pastor

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Music Notes

As I write this, it’s the middle of July. It seems like summer just started and we’re already looking ahead to the fall and a new season of church activities starting. How often do we say or hear, “Where does the time go?” Or to quote Isaac Watts’ hymn based on Psalm 90, “Time, like an ever-rolling stream, soon bears us all away.”

The theme of the Montreat Worship and Music Conference this summer was, “Sacraments and Seasons.” In a week, we celebrated the whole liturgical year from Advent to Pentecost. By observing the liturgical seasons, we learn about and are reminded of our story as God’s people. Over time, we read and hear stories of the creation, the Old Testament people and their struggles to follow God, the praises and laments of the psalms, the prophets foretelling of a coming Messiah, the stories of Jesus, his birth, life and teaching, his death and resurrection, and his coming again in the form of the Holy Spirit. The liturgical year will circle back around to the beginning and we’ll start all over again.

But why do we need to keep reading and hearing the same stories if we already know them? Because they help us grow and better understand our story as Christians. We grow in understanding and discipleship and are formed in faith. That’s a never-ending process. Also, though it may seem that we’re just repeating familiar stories (think of the Christmas story), it’s not mindless repetition. The old stories may not change, but we change. We are not the same as when we heard them last, so we hear them with different “ears,” with a new perspective. It also helps to think of our liturgical calendar not as a circle, but as a spiral, always moving forward, yet still circling and still connected to the past.

As we begin a new year let us be mindful of what our stories and seasons have to teach us.

Soli Deo Gloria  (To God alone be the Glory),
John Coble, Director of Music and Organist
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Thank You

Our congregation has had the sad responsibility of hosting many memorial services, including receptions, over the last several months. Serving our church members at this tender time takes many people working in countless ways behind the scenes. We would like to thank the response teams, flower committee, and ushers for their outstanding job.

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Our Church Family

We are blessed to have wonderful photographers in our church! Rick Simpson is always on hand to take beautiful photographs of church services, volunteer programs, and other activities. Please be sure to visit his photo gallery where you can find an album with pictures from our church, including many from Holy Week.

His latest albums include:

Dr E. L. Hill’s Bible
Fall Kick Off Brunch & Back-to-School Blessing
Senior Adult Sunday
Vacation Bible School

We are also happy that Dave Beck has joined our team of church photographers! Please visit his photo gallery where you can find his new FPC album with his pictures:

Fall Kick Off Brunch
Vacation Bible School
Palm Sunday

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Worship With Us

Worship Times

Sunday Worship: 8:45 & 11:00 a.m.

Sunday School
Sunday School for all ages: 9:45 a.m.
Begins August 19

Children’s Sunday School
Youth Sunday School
Adult Sunday School

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