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Christ in the Heart of Charlotte

Published by First Presbyterian Church, Charlotte NC January 2020

G l oba l M i s si on Su nda y January 12

Mark your calendars for our first big event in 2020—Global Mission Sunday, with a special message during both worship services, and a free congregation-wide brunch with special guests in Wood Fellowship Hall at 10 a.m. Contributions during worship will support Hope Baptist Church in Ryazan, Russia, a growing and thriving ministry despite religious persecution and economic difficulties. Our members participate in mission trips to Russian every few years, including 2020.

Make your brunch reservations on the Now@First page on the church website. Reservations are not necessary but will help us plan for plenty of food. Donations can be dropped in the baskets on each table during the brunch to help cover the cost of the meal.   PC(USA) mission co-workers Ellen and Al Smith will join us for Global Mission Sunday. They are based in Germany but also serve in Russia and Belarus. Ellen, the Regional Liaison for Eastern Europe, will speak at 9 and 11 a.m. worship. Al, the Outreach Facilitator for Minority Peoples in Russia, will speak about his work with the Roma and refugees during the Formation hour.   Have questions? Contact Mary Elizabeth Coley (

Save the Dates

February 23

Congregational Breakfast

March 1-7

Mexico Mission Trip

March 15

Willard Lecture

March 20-26

Cuba Mission Trip


Willard Lecture 2020: The Power of Boundless Compassion

Father Greg Boyle will offer the 2020 Willard Lecture on Sunday, March 15, at 5 p.m. in the Sanctuary. The topic will be The Power of Boundless Compassion.   Early access to tickets is available to members now; sales to the public begin on January 10. Tickets are $10. A Jesuit priest, Father Greg began to work with parish and community members in one of the poorest areas of Los Angeles in 1988 to develop positive opportunities for youth who were involved in gangs. The jobs program he launched became an independent nonprofit organization, Homeboy Industries. This program now offers a way out for young people stuck in a cycle of violence and incarceration. The organization’s holistic approach, with free services and programs, supports 10,000 men and women a year as they work to overcome their pasts, reimagine their futures, and break the intergenerational cycles of gang violence.   You’ll  have two opportunities to get to know Father Boyle better before he arrives in March—a combined Adult Formation class on January 5 and a congregational book read that culminates in a discussion on February 20.    Getting to know Greg Boyle: On Sunday, January 5, this combined Formation class meets in Wood Fellowship Overflow at 10 a.m.   Congregational book read: Everyone in the congregation is invited to read Tattoos on the Heart as part of a congregational book study. The discussion at the conclusion of the reading will be offsite on Thursday, February 20, 6:308:30 p.m. Contact the Reverend Robert Galloway ( with questions about the book study.   Supported by the Charles R. Willard, Jr., Endowment, the annual Willard Lecture focuses on matters of social justice, human dignity and inclusion, and other relevant issues of our time. These conversations of faith are open to all. They also reflect the common goal of nurturing and deepening our relationship with God and one another.

Being Human: Addiction and Recovery

Being human involves brokenness and dependency, but being human also involves love and compassion. It means belonging in spite of guilt and shame, and it means loving in spite of mistakes. As our church considers the mental and emotional needs of our community, we will explore addiction—its causes, its impact and long journey back home. Three 10 a.m. Sunday classes will be: • January 19 - Addiction definition and impact with Charles Odell from the Dilworth Center • January 26 - Connecting addiction to our community with Justin Perry • February 2 - Personal stories of the struggle and recovery with church or community members All classes will meet in Wood Fellowship Overflow. Passages, Conversations and Good Samaritan classes will combine for this event.

Mission Possible: Urban Ministries

Children in grades K-5 will learn about Urban Ministries, one of First Presbyterian Church’s major mission partners, on Sunday, January 26, noon-2 p.m. They will hear how Urban Ministries cares for people experiencing homelessness and what we do as a church to support their good work. This winter, the group will make care kits for our guests through Urban Ministries’ Room In The Inn program. Register through Realm.

FEAST & the Winter Games

Families with children who are infants through fifth grade are invited to this build-your-own sandwich lunch on Sunday, January 12, 12-2 p.m., followed by some FPC Mini-Olympic Games. A fun time to play together in the gym, during a gray month. Cost is $3 per child and additional $2 per adult, with a $20 cap per family. Deadline to sign up is Thursday, January 9.


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Coming up at First Presbyterian Church We Worship

Montreat Worship & Music Conference/Registration opens January 2. Grades 3-12. Global Mission Sunday/January 12/Sanctuary/9 and 11 a.m. Choir Rehearsal and Wednesday Dinners Resume/ Wednesday, January 8/Wood Fellowship Hall/ 5 p.m. Email Will Young ( if you did not participate in the Sanctuary Choir in the Fall and wish to participate now. Children may register online. Kirk Choir Musical Workshop/Saturday, January 11/10 a.m.-Noon. Souper Bowl of Caring Contributions during Worship/ Sunday, February 2/Sanctuary/9 and 11 a.m.

We Learn

Getting to Know Greg Boyle Combined Formation/ Sunday, January 5/Fellowship Hall Overflow/10 a.m. Youth Grade Level Dinner/Sunday, January 5/offsite/6 p.m. Montreat Youth Conference Registration Opens/Monday, January 6/July 26-August for current 8th-12th graders Fifth Grade Who Am I? Class/Sundays, January 12-March 8/Room P304/10 a.m. Fourth Grade Catechism Class/Sundays, January 12-March 29/P306/10 a.m. Parents & Child Catechism Meeting/Sunday, January 12/ P306/10 a.m. Third Grade Learning to Use My Bible Class/Sundays, January 12-March 29/P307/10 a.m. FEAST Children’s Lunch & Program (Infant-5th Grade families)/Sunday, January 12/Frances Browne Dining Room/Noon HS and MS PYC/Sunday, January 12/Wood Fellowship Hall/6 p.m. Being Human: Addiction and Recovery/Sundays, January 19-February 2/10 a.m. Holy Lands Bible Study/Monday, January 20/Providence Baptist Church/6:30-7:30 pm Bible & Beverage/Tuesday, January 21/Resident Culture/8 p.m. Middle School Winter Retreat/Friday-Sunday, January 24-26/Camp Grier High School Winter Retreat/Saturday and Sunday, January 25-26/Badin Lake Mission Possible: Urban Ministries (K-5th Grade)/ Sunday, January 26/Noon-2 p.m. Journey to the Holy Land Info Session/Sunday, January 26/Pattie Cole/12-1:30 p.m. Souper Bowl of Caring Lunch/Sunday, February 2/Wood Fellowship Hall/Noon Sorting Out: Racism and the New South/Sundays, February 9 & 16/Wood Fellowship Overflow/10 a.m. Youth Grade Level Dinners/Sunday, February 9/ offsite/6 p.m. Congregational Book Study: Tattoos on the Heart by Greg Boyle/Thursday, February 20/offsite/6:30-8:30 p.m. Congregational Breakfast/Sunday, February 23/Wood Fellowship Hall/10 a.m.

Willard Lecture: The Power of Boundless Compassion with Father Greg Boyle/Sunday, March 15/Sanctuary/5 p.m. Montreat Youth Conference/July 26-August 1/For current 8th-12th graders. Registration opens January 6.

We Care

Women’s Nutrition & Health Night/Tuesday, January 28/Home of Carmalita Monroe/6:30 p.m. First Fruits Fellowship/ Thursday, February 6/offsite/ 6-8 p.m. Pajama Party Movie Night sponsored by PW Circle 2, the Fellowship Committee and Children’s Ministry/ Friday, February 7/Wood Fellowship Hall/Doors open 5:45 p.m. Prime Timers Brunch Bunch/Sunday, February 9/ Frances Browne Dining Room/Noon

We Serve

Room in the Inn/Mondays and Tuesdays through March Moving Ministry/Saturday, January 11/Crisis Assistance Furniture Bank, 333 Dalton Avenue/9 a.m. Global Mission Brunch/Sunday, January 12/Wood Fellowship Hall/10 a.m.

Church Leadership & Administration

Joint Meeting & Examination of New Officers/ Sunday, January 12/Wood Fellowship Overflow/12:15 p.m. Ordination & Installation of New Officers/Sunday, January 19/Sanctuary/11 a.m. Church Offices Closed for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day/ Monday, January 20 Session Meeting/Sunday, January 29/Session Room/6 p.m.

PW Circles

Circle 5/Monday, January 6/Home of Mary Barry, Sharon Towers, 1205 North Tower/10 a.m. Circle 4/Monday, January 6/Pattie Cole Room (S203)/1:30 p.m. Circle 6/Tuesday, January 7/Home of Nancy Harris, 4226 Foxcroft Road/10:30 a.m. Circle 10/Tuesday, January 7/Home of Amy Hockett, 2128 Kenmore Avenue/7 p.m. Circle 12/Tuesday, January 7/Home of Jane Ives, 3634 Winslow Green Drive/7 p.m.  Circle 13/Tuesday, January 7/Home of Kay Hodges/2236 Overhill Road/7 p.m.  Circle 9/Thursday, January 9/Home of Katherine Orrell, 2440 Overhill Road/7 p.m.   Circle 15/Monday, January 13/Home of Melissa Self, 2009 Dartmouth Place/9:45 a.m. Circle 3/Tuesday, January 14/Home of Debbie O’Hara, 187 Lilac Mist Loop, Mooresville/1 p.m. Circle 2/Wednesday, January 15/Lunch in Uptown/ Details TBD   Circle 11/Thursday, January 16/Home of Susan Daniel, 4328 Belknap Road/5 p.m. Whenever registration or other sign-up is required, visit the Now@First page on the church website under Tickets & Signups.

Fifth Grade Who Am I? Class

This series is a great opportunity for FPC 5th graders to ask questions about faith and to grow in their relationship with God on Sundays, January 12-March 8, at 10 a.m. in room P304. There is no cost for this class, but registration helps us prepare enough materials.

Fourth Grade Catechism Class

The Presbyterian Church developed the Belonging to God Catechism in 1998. In a question-and-answer format, it focuses on Creation, Covenants, Commandments, the Work of the Spirit & Church, Worship & Sacraments, and the Lord’s Prayer. All children receive a copy so they have a reference to look back at as they grow in their faith and continue to have questions about who we are, who God is, and what the church is called to be. Before our tweens make the transition to Middle School we use this time to review major concepts from the stories they have been learning throughout their Sunday School years. It is a great opportunity to ask questions and see how these shape our discipleship. A Parents & Child meeting will be Sunday, January 12, at 10 a.m. in P306, with classes continuing Sundays through March 29 in P306 at 10 a.m.

Third Grade Learning to Use My Bible Class

At FPC we want our children to grow up with a love of the scriptures. As they are acquiring reading skills in school we do two important things at church: 1) We hold a Learning to Use My Bible Class, and 2) We present all third graders with their own Bible. The class gives them an opportunity to discover where the Bible came from, the different types of literature in the Bible, and how to locate various passages. We hope all third graders and their families will participate in both. Classes will be Sundays, January 12-March 29, in P307 at 10 a.m.

HS Winter Retreat

Registration opens Sunday, January 5, for the High School Winter Retreat at Badin Lake January 25-26. Youth will travel together but stay in separate lake houses. Cost is $40 per person, non-refundable. The deadline to register is January 17.

MS Winter Retreat

Middle School youth will travel to Camp Grier for a retreat January 24-26. Cost is $75. Registration opens January 5 and the deadline to register is January 17.

Montreat Youth Conference July 26-August 1

Current eighth through twelfth grades can register beginning Monday, January 6, for this summer’s Youth Conference at Montreat. Registration ends Feburary 3.

Journey to the Holy Land Info Session

A trip to Israel is planned for April 23 - May 4, 2021. Come learn more about this experience of deepened scriptural connection, personal transformation and community building on Sunday, January 26, in the Pattie Cole Room, 12-1:30 p.m. Registration is limited to 42 people and opens to church members on February 7, 2020. Non-members may register beginning March 27, 2020.

Holy Lands Bible Study

Participate in a Holy Lands Bible Study on January 20, 6:30-7:30 p.m. at Providence Baptist Church.



Mexico Mission Trip

Join us as we bond with our friends in the Yucatan Peninsula in a combination fellowship and working mission trip March 1-7. Highlights will include making improvements to the Villa Infantil Maya (painting, sanding, carpentry), visiting the local high school and interacting with the students at VIM. The work is appropriate for all ages. Cost is approximately $1500 with assistance available upon request. The team includes Martha and Eric Eubank, Elise Barksdale, Rich and Barb Neidinger, Shantiqua Neely, Louise Ripple, Karen Harris, Amy Hockett and others. We’d love to add you to the list. Contact Martha Eubank (

Moving Ministry

Help a family start the new year right—in a stable, permanent home. FPC’s Moving Ministry helps a family move from homelessness or transition into a permanent home on Saturday, January 11, at 9 a.m. Meet at the Crisis Assistance Furniture Bank, 333 Dalton Road. There is work for friends and family, including teenagers and their friends.


Women’s Nutrition & Health Night

Registered dietitian and nutritionist Jacy Schaffer will be on hand Tuesday, January 28, at 6:30 p.m. to discuss nutrition and healthy lifestyles during this First Fellowship event. She will be joined by Dr. Anne Barnard, who can also answer questions related to women’s health. Jacy previously worked as a clinical registered dietitian, providing medical nutrition therapy to heart and vascular patients. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Foods and Nutrition with a concentration in Dietetics from Appalachian State University. This event will be at home of Carmalita Monroe, 2341 Richardson Drive. Register online.

Stephen Ministers

Do you need a caring person to help you journey through a difficult time?  Stephen Ministers, our highly trained care givers, can offer you one-on-one confidential care through listening without judgment. If you want to learn more about how this ministry can help you, please contact the Reverend Anna Dickson, 704-927-0250.


The following activities occur each week on the days indicated.

Sundays Sunday Morning Fellowship Coffee in the Welcome Center, 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. Presbyterian Youth Connection Various locations, 6-7:45 p.m. Mondays Al-Anon Meeting Noon Tuesdays AA Meeting 11:30 a.m. Tuesday Morning Bible Study Pattie Cole Room (S203) 11 a.m. Wednesdays 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.

Joint Meeting & Examination of New Officers

• Calvin Handbell Ringers, 7-7:15 p.m.

First Presbyterian Church elders and deacons will meet on Sunday, January 12, at 12:15 p.m. in Wood Fellowship Overflow for an examination of new officers. Ordination and installation of new officers will be Sunday, January 19, during the 11 a.m. service.

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

MLK Holiday Closing

Thursdays Men’s Bible Study Frances Browne Dining Room (P212), 7 a.m.

Inclement Weather Updates

Thursday Morning Bible Study (women) Home of the Reverend Mary Margaret Porter, 9:30-11 a.m.

Church offices will be closed for Martin Luther King, Jr., Day on Monday, January 20, reopening at 8:30 a.m. on Tuesday, January 21. Winter storms can happen any time over the next few months. You can check the status of FPC closings due to inclement weather in various places on social media, on several television stations, and on our website. • On our website: When a decision is made, a red bar with the opening/closing/ worship service status will be at the top of the website. • On television: Visit Spectrum News, WBTV-Channel 3, WCNC- Channel 36, or WSOC-Channel 9. • Social media: We will post updates at our accounts on Instagram (firstprescharlotte), on Facebook (First Presbyterian Church of Charlotte), and in First Connect. Whenever registration or other sign-up is required, visit the Now@First page on the church website under Tickets & Signups.


Weekly Activities

Christ Care Group for Cancer Survivors P201, 10:15 a.m., Third Thursdays (Contact Lisa Evans, 704-358-0984) Fridays AA Meeting 11:30 a.m. Saturdays Sandwich Kitchen FPC kitchen, various times Depression & Bipolar Support Alliance Lemma Howerton (S202), 10 a.m. (First & Third Saturdays only)

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