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Christ in the Heart of Charlotte

Published by First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte NC April 2019

Journeying through Holy Week to Easter The eight days beginning on Palm Sunday carry us through the full range of emotions related to the life, death and resurrection of Jesus: his triumphant entry into Jerusalem for the celebration of Passover, his bold actions in driving merchants out of the temple and reclaiming it as God’s house, the final supper with his disciples, his betrayal and crucifixion as the week grows darker. And on Easter morning, we rejoice in the resurrection. Here are dates to note in your calendar: • Palm Sunday, April 14 • Maundy Thursday Tenebrae Service with communion, April 18 • Easter worship & Citywide Sunrise Service, April 21 On Palm Sunday, we will experience the waving of palms to remind us of Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem. The Reverend Pen Peery will preach on The Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem, based on Luke 19. On Maundy Thursday, the Service of Tenebrae will be held in the Sanctuary at 7:30 p.m. A deeply moving service, it sets the tone for Good Friday by recreating aspects of the passion story using scripture, solemn hymns and the gradual darkening of the church as candles are extinguished. Communion will be offered. This year’s Easter Sunrise service at Romare Bearden Park will be at 7 a.m. on April 21. About a dozen churches and a community choir are expected to participate. Gail Henderson-Belsito, Director of Worship at Caldwell Presbyterian Church and a member at First Presbyterian Church, will preach. Breakfast pastries and coffee will be available at the park after the service. In the Sanctuary, worship will be at 9 and 11 a.m. The flowering of the cross will take place throughout the morning. Coffee, pastries and fellowship will be available in Wood Fellowship Hall from 10-11 a.m. There will be no formation classes on Easter, but all ages (preschool through adults) are invited to a short lesson on the gift of new life as symbolized by the children’s butterfly release on the lawn at 10:30 a.m. For more information about Easter activities for children, see page 2.

Save the Dates

May 9

PW Birthday Dinner

May 19

Music Sunday + Food Truck Lunch

June 24-27 Vacation Bible School

What’s new?

Children’s Musical: Good Kings Come in Small Packages

Wednesday, April 10/Wood Fellowship Hall/ 6:30 p.m. You know about David and Goliath. You know about Joseph and his coat of many colors. But do you know the story of Josiah, the boy who became king when he was eight years old? Josiah appears twice in scripture, in 2 Kings and 2 Chronicles. In April you can learn about his story and how God can use people of all ages who seek God’s wisdom and guidance when the Carol and Kirk choirs present Good Kings Come in Small Packages on Wednesday, April 10. Along the way, you’ll meet characters such as King Amon (he’s a bad, bad king!) and his tax collectors, the palace cook, the priest and others. The musical begins at 6:30 p.m. in Wood Fellowship Hall. You can arrive for dinner beginning at 5:15 p.m. in the fellowship hall. Dinner is $8 cash or check for ages 12 and older, $5 for ages 5-11 and free for children 4 and younger.

Bible & Beverage + First Fruits Fellowship Support New Program Tuesday, April 23/Resident Culture Brewing/7:30 p.m. Bible & Beverage joins forces with First Fruits Fellowship on Tuesday, April 23, to explore and support a new program for our young friends in West Charlotte. Camp Grier, a ministry partner for many decades, is launching a new outdoor enrichment program for youth who have limited access to wilderness adventures. Called Streets to Peaks (S2P), the program will give participants ages 11-18 the opportunity to overcome obstacles, set long-term goals and imagine a future with greater possibilities. Experiences include rock climbing, whitewater paddling and skiing.

Coming up at First Presbyterian Church We Worship

Deadline to Purchase Easter Lilies/Sunday, April 7 Registration for Montreat Worship and Music Conference/through mid-April/Open to current 3rd12th graders (June 16-21). Contact Caryn Overbey ( Children’s Musical: Good Kings Come in Small Packages/Wednesday, April 10/Wood Fellowship Hall/6:30 p.m. Palm Sunday/April 14/Sanctuary/9 & 11 a.m. Maundy Thursday: Service of Tenebrae/April 18/ Sanctuary/7:30 p.m. Citywide Easter Sunrise Service/April 21/Romare Bearden Park/7 a.m. Easter Worship/April 21/Sanctuary/9 and 11 a.m. Youth & Confirmation Sunday: Peace by Piece/ Sunday, April 28/Sanctuary/9 & 11 a.m. FPC youth lead worship services and celebrate confirmands at 11 a.m. Music Sunday & Food Truck Lunch: Tune Our Hearts/ Sunday, May 19/Sanctuary/11 a.m. with food trucks in the front drive at noon.

S2P was formed in Asheville and expanded to Charlotte last year. This year 10 FPC campers are participating in these adventures every quarter, during holiday weekends and school breaks.

We Learn

All are welcome to gather at Resident Culture Brewing Company, 2101 Central Avenue, for fellowship and a chance to learn how we can support this program for youth who might otherwise experience more limited opportunities. Admission is free, with food and beverages available for purchase. Donations for S2P will be accepted, and we’ll have a raffle to support the program.

5th Grade Sexuality & Spirituality Retreat/Friday & Saturday, April 5 & 6/Meet in Historical Lobby/6:30-8:30 p.m. Friday, 9:30 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday

Children’s Activities for Easter

MS & HS Grade Level Dinners/ Sunday, April 7/ Offsite/6 p.m.

Catechism Presentation/March 31/During 11 a.m. worship

Mark your calendars for three different children’s activities in the days leading up to Easter: •

• •


Elementary Flashlight Egg Hunt for children in grades K-five. Join us on Friday night, April 12, 6:30-8:30 p.m. for a yummy dinner, glow-in-the-dark games and a flashlight egg hunt on the church lawn. This is a drop-off event, but parents are welcome to stay. If you plan to stay and eat, please register yourself as well. Cost is $5 per person and includes dinner. Register on the Now@First page on the church website.

Confirmation Meeting with Session/Sunday, April 7/ Wood Fellowship Hall Overflow/10 a.m.

Elementary Flashlight Egg Hunt (K- 5th grade)/Friday, April 12/Front Lawn/6:30-8:30 p.m. Preschool Egg Hunt/Sunday, April 14/Wood Fellowship Hall/Noon No PYC/Sunday, April 14 Preschool & Elementary Butterfly Release (Toddler5th Grade)/Sunday, April 21/Wood Fellowship Hall Stage/10:15-10:45 a.m. No PYC/Sunday, April 21

Preschool Egg Hunt. Bring your preschooler to Wood Fellowship Hall after the 11 a.m. worship service on Sunday, April 14. Preschool & Elementary Butterfly Release for toddlers through grade five. Children are encouraged to bring their butterflies back to church on Easter, April 21, for our release on the front lawn, 10:30-10:45 a.m. Everyone is welcome. Gather at 10:15 a.m. at the Wood Fellowship Hall stage for an Easter message for all before the release. continued on next page

2019 Willard Lecture/Tuesday, May 7/Sanctuary/7 p.m. (Details on page 4.) Middle School Sabbath Retreat/May 8-9/Offsite/Register beginning April 1 Vacation Bible School/June 24- 27/9:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m. (Details on page 4.)

We Serve

Moving Ministry/April 13/Crisis Assistance Furniture Bank/9 a.m.

Calendar, continued from previous page

We Learn, continued from previous page

We Care

Welcome to the Welcome Center

Youth Parents Fellowship/Sunday, March 31/Dandelion Market, 118 W. 5th Street/6-7:45 p.m.

“We’re so excited to dedicate some of this space to welcoming guests and providing a space for guests and members to learn more about First Presbyterian Church,” said Lucy Caldwell, Membership Development Coordinator. “We hope everyone will get into the habit of dropping by, especially when they bring visitors with them to a service.”

Sparkle Party Donations/April 1-20/Reception Desk

Young Adult Fellowship/Thursday, April 11/Catawba Brewery (933 Louise Ave. #105)/6:30-8 p.m. Prime Timers Brunch Bunch/Sunday, April 14/Offsite/ Noon Bible & Beverage + First Fruits Fellowship/Tuesday, April 23/Resident Culture Brewing/7:30 p.m. (Details on page 2.) First Fellowship: Spring into a New Restaurant Routine/ Thursday, April 25/Offsite/6:30 p.m. PW Retreat/April 26-28/Kanuga Conference Center, Hendersonville, NC First Fellowship for Dads & Kids/Saturday, April 27/ Fashion & Compassion, 1717 Cleveland Avenue/3-5 p.m. Sparkle Party to Support Summer Camps/Sunday, May 5/Home of the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter/2-5 p.m.

Church Leadership & Administration Session Meeting/Sunday, April 14/Session Room/6 p.m. Diaconate Meeting/Sunday, April 28/Pattie Cole (S203)/6 p.m. Easter Monday/April 22/Church offices closed/8:30 a.m.-5 p.m.

PW Circles

Circle 4/Monday, April 1/Pattie Cole Room (S203)/2 p.m. Circle 5/Monday, April 1/Sharon Towers City View Club Room/10:30 a.m. Circle 6/Tuesday, April 2/at the church, followed by a walk to lunch/10:30 a.m. Circle 10/Tuesday, April 2/Home of Mary Margaret Porter, 1910 Beverly Drive/7 p.m. Circle 12/Tuesday, April 2/Home of Marianne Winn, 1500 Providence Road/7 p.m. Circle 13/Tuesday, April 2/Sharon Towers City View Club Room/7 p.m. Circle 15/Tuesday, April 2/Home of Page Hull, 1528 Biltmore Drive/9:45 a.m. Circle 9/Thursday, April 4/P206/10 a.m. Circle 3/Tuesday, April 9/Home of Molly Johnson, 4504 Lake Shore Road N., Denver, NC/1 p.m. Circle 2/Thursday, April 14/Location to be determined/7:30 p.m. Circle 14/Thursday, April 18/Home of Cameron Strubinger, 2306 Charlotte Drive/7 p.m.

FPC Schools

Come Play With Me/ Sunday, March 31/Front Lawn/35:30 p.m.

Beginning Easter Sunday, we will discover that the front part of the church’s library has been transformed into a Welcome Center.

A tour of the church will leave from the Welcome Center at 10:15 a.m. each Sunday. And in addition to a big-screen TV where anyone can drop by to view the church’s welcome video and to review headline news about activities and events going on at the church, the new Welcome Center will be where Lucy has office hours during the week. All are invited to stop by.

Annual PW Birthday Dinner

Thursday, May 9/Wood Fellowship Hall/5:30 p.m. Celebrate community and connections at the annual PW (Presbyterian Women) Birthday Dinner on Thursday, May 9. This year’s speaker will be Gail Henderson-Belsito, an FPC member who is a student at Union Theological Seminary and Director of Worship and Congregational Care at Caldwell Presbyterian Church. In addition, Honorary Life Memberships will be awarded, this year’s Benevolence Grants will be announced, the 2019-2020 PW Coordinating Team will be installed, and a book will be donated to the church library in honor of members who have died over the past year. Items left over from the Sparkle Party (see page 4 for details) can be purchased at the dinner as well. The evening begins at 5:30 p.m. with appetizers in the courtyard, followed by a buffet dinner and the program. Reservations are open through May 2. You can reserve your spot online, by phone to the church receptionist, by mail or in person on Sunday mornings in the Historical Lobby April 7, 14 and 28 from 9:30-11 a.m. and for a short time after worship. When registering, you can also request child care.

Youth & Confirmation Sunday: Peace by Piece

Join us Sunday, April 28, as our FPC youth lead 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. worship services. We will celebrate confirmands during worship at 11 a.m. There will be no PYC that evening.

Mary Scott Peterson to Work with Capital Campaign

The Capital Campaign Cabinet has selected Mary Scott Peterson as the director for the 2020 Capital Campaign. Currently the church’s Ministry Team Coordinator, Mary Scott will transition into her new role beginning April 1. Her contact information and office will remain the same.

The search committee for the Director of Outreach and Mission expects that the new person will be on board later this spring. Until then, the Reverend Chuck Williamson will handle Mary Scott’s previous duties.

Meet Jennifer Graves

Our new front desk receptionist on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays is Jennifer Graves. Jennifer was born and raised in Washington, DC. In the 1990s, she and her husband, Louis, moved to Richmond, VA, where he became a pastor. He was called to pastor a church in Charlotte in 2006. Louis passed away in 2010, but Jennifer loved Charlotte and decided to stay. Jennifer has a BA in social work from Catholic University and volunteers as a crisis counselor. She has four cats, loves ballroom dancing and studies nutrition related to disease reversal.

Here’s How to Get Involved Easter Lilies on Sale/through April 7

Honor or memorialize a loved one by purchasing a lily to adorn the Sanctuary for Easter Sunday, April 21. The final day to order is April 7. You may order online


under Tickets & Signups on the Now@First page on the church website or by sending a check made out to First Presbyterian Church to Diane Maye, PO Box 1008, Huntersville, NC 28070.  Be sure to indicate the name of the person you want to recognize and whether the lily is a memorial or an honorarium. 

First Fellowship/Thursday, April 25/6 p.m.

Spring into a New Restaurant Routine is the topic when Charlotte historian Tom Hanchett speaks on little-known restaurants on April 25 at 6 p.m. Offsite. Space is limited so contact the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter for details.

First Fellowship for Dads & Kids/Fashion & Compassion 1717 Cleveland Avenue in Dilworth/Saturday, April 27/3-5 p.m.

While women are away at the PW retreat, dads and children are invited to gather in fellowship on Saturday, April 27, and shop for Mother’s Day. Drinks and snacks will be provided. Fashion & Compassion partners with artisan projects in six other countries to teach women to make jewelry and other crafts. These products provide supplemental income to the women and an income stream for the organization.

Sparkle to Support Summer Camps

On Sunday, May 5, all are invited to the PW (Presbyterian Women) annual jewelry sale, organized by Circle 14, to support BELL, the summer academic enrichment program, and Camp Grier. Enjoy fun, fellowship, food and fashion from 2-5 p.m. at the home of the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter, 1910 Beverly Drive. Lightly used jewelry, accessories, scarves and bags wll be accepted at the church reception desk through April 20. So start going through your accessories now for items that you know someone else could rock!

Becoming a Healer in an Ailing World

2019 Willard Lecture/Tuesday, May 7/Sanctuary/7 p.m. Rise Above: Becoming a Healer in an Ailing World will be the topic when Dr. Jonathan Haidt (pronounce it “hite”) presents the 2019 Willard Lecture on Tuesday, May 7. Tickets are available now on the website for this event with the social psychologist, New York Times best-selling author and TED Talk presenter. The lecture will be 7-8:30 p.m., with an opening reception in Wood Fellowship Hall at 6:15 p.m. Dr. Haidt is the Thomas Cooley Professor of Ethical Leadership at the NYU-Stern School of Business. His three TED talks have been viewed more than three million times; you can view one from the Events page on the church website. His three books are The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion, and The Coddling of the American Mind: How Good Intentions and Bad Ideas Are Setting Up a Generation for Failure. Funded by the Charles R. Willard, Jr., Endowment Fund, the Willard Lecture creates opportunities for First Presbyterian Church to deepen and enrich the spiritual lives of its members and the Charlotte community. The cost is $10 and tickets may be purchased online. Childcare will be provided for infants through children in the fifth grade. There is no cost; however, reservations are required.

Vacation Bible School: To Mars and Beyond

June 24- 27 from 9:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Join us this summer for To Mars & Beyond, a Vacation Bible School experience where we will help kids discover the wonders of God’s universe. Exploring where God’s power can take them, they will become voyagers on a journey through space. Registration is open to children who will be five years old by June 1 through fifth grade. Cost is $20 per child. We don’t want anyone to miss VBS due to financial concerns, so please check the box for a confidential scholarship request when registering on the website. Childcare and preschool options are available for volunteers.

There’s still time… Congregational Read for Lent

Henri Nouwen’s book Life of the Beloved: Spiritual Living in a Secular World will continue to be explored in Conversations, Passages and Senior High classes on Sunday mornings and in the Thursday Morning Women’s Bible Study (ThuMBS).

Fifth Grade Sexuality & Spirituality Retreat

Register before the end of day on Sunday, March 31, for the Sexuality & Spirituality Retreat for fifth graders on April 5-6. Read more online or contact Director of Children’s Ministry Tammy Winchip (, 704.927.0265) with questions.

Weekly Activities Calendar

The following activities occur each week on the days indicated. Check out the Events Calendar, beginning on page 2, for special events at various times throughout the month.


Sunday Morning Fellowship Information tables in the Historical Lobby, 8:45-11 a.m. Worship Sanctuary, 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. Sunday Morning Formation for All Ages Details in the Historical Lobby Various locations, 10 a.m.


Al-Anon Meeting Noon

Tuesdays AA Meeting 11:30 a.m.

Tuesday Morning Bible Study Pattie Cole Room (S203), 11:45 a.m.


Wednesday Evening Music Ministry Schedule

• Dinner, $8 adults; $5 children 5-11, free for children under 5. Cash or check Wood Fellowship Hall, 5:15 p.m.

• Children’s Choirs, 6-7 p.m. • Youth Choir, 6:30-7:15 p.m. • Calvin Handbell Ringers, 7:05-7:30 p.m.

• Knox Handbell Ringers, 7:15-8 p.m. • Sanctuary Choir, 7:30-9 p.m. • Ivey Handbell Ringers, 8-9 p.m.


Men’s Bible Study Frances Browne Dining Room (P212), 7 a.m. Thursday Morning Bible Study (women) Pattie Cole Room (S203), 9:30-11 a.m.

Fridays AA Meeting 11:30 a.m.


Sandwich Kitchen FPC kitchen, various times Bipolar Disorder Support Group Lemma Howerton (S202), 10 a.m. (First & Third Saturdays only) Whenever registration or other sign-up is required, visit the Now@ First page on the church website under Tickets & Signups.

Profile for First Presbyterian - Charlotte

FirstNEWS April 2019  

Read about the events and programs of First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. In this issue, we have details about Holy Week and Easter, abo...

FirstNEWS April 2019  

Read about the events and programs of First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte. In this issue, we have details about Holy Week and Easter, abo...