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December, 2012

First Presbyterian Church 112 S. Jefferson St.

Athens, AL 35611

Vision Statement:

“Worship God, Serve Others and Make Disciples” FROM DAVID'S PEN . . . Dear Friends – This past Sunday, a father and his four children were sitting on the bench in front of our prayer garden when someone from our congregation noticed them and asked if they needed any help. The man replied that they had just rented a house for the month but had no money left over for food. After being alerted of the situation, I went outside to speak with the family and learned much more about their situation. Their story was a sad one – the mom had been killed in an automobile accident less than a year ago and that had put the family into an emotional and financial tailspin. Now serving as a single parent, the dad found himself having a hard time working a job while raising his kids at the same time. He was let go from one job because he had to take so much time off caring for his children. He had no car to get back and forth because it was totaled when the mom was killed in the wreck. Another job soon became available, but with the current economy, the man had to be laid off. As the man continued to talk, my mind whirled over the validity of his story. So many people come by the church this time of year with pleas for help, but so many of their stories turn out to be scams. Was this guy telling the truth? Were the expressions on the children's faces really from the mourning of their mom's death or were they embarrassed by what was happening to them?

Inside . . .

Presbyterian Home for Children The Heritage Children’s Chorale Children’s Christmas Pageant The First Noel - Chancel Choir Christmas Christmas Eve Service


Noteworthy News: Communion Happy PM Circle Presbyterian Men’s Breakfast Session Meets 2012 & 2013 Flower Chart Cursillo FPC T-Shirts (Price Reduced) Children’s Church News from the Vine Big Cove Presbyterian Library News VIP Trip Year End Reports 2012 Christmas Joy Offering

From David’s Pen

Front Cover. . .

Sunday School Assembly December Birthdays Happy PM Bake Sale! Thank You! December Calendar, Acolytes, Flowers & Communion Servers Turn in Info for January Youth: News & Happenings FPC Art Show & Sale Order Poinsettias Contact Information

With little hesitation I invited the whole family into our Rodger's Center. There I asked Miss Hazel and Miss Chris to get these folks something to eat while I collected some bags of food for them from under the Christmas Angel Tree and some information to contact our friends at the Family Resource Center and LCCI come Monday morning. And with the quick work of some good FPC members, all five of our needy family's immediate needs were met and off they went back into a world most of us will never know. Surely God's work had been done that morning on the Square! On Monday, however, my interpretation of the situation was challenged. Price Boyd, a long-time volunteer at LCCI, stopped by the church office to let me know that a man and his four children had hit at least three other churches that Sunday telling a similar story. Apparently, there was a fifth child and a mom, one who was still very much alive. The first thought that came to my mind was, "I've been duped." And the second thought was even worse, "Shame on that man for bringing his children into such a blatant scam." But then I began to think with my heart. As my anger subsided and as I looked at this situation with a servant's heart, I eventually was able put my feelings into words. I thought to myself, "I can't stand to be taken advantage of, let alone lied to, but what we did for that family on Sunday was nothing to be ashamed of because we were proclaiming the love and generosity of Jesus Christ." It is true that all kinds of scams exist in this world, and who better to fall for such scams than a church on a Sunday morning. But as Christians we are called to a way of life that is in this world but not of this world. When asked which is the greatest commandment in the Law, Jesus replied: “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. And the second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.” (Matthew 22:36-39) And that is exactly what happened with our church members last Sunday morning! As the weather gets colder and as the fiscal needs of our community begin to increase, do take the time when approached by someone in need to listen to their story. Don't give them money, but do give them hope. One way to do this is to refer them to the proper agencies in our community who help those in need -- namely LCCI and the Family Resource Center. And if these two agencies happen to be closed at the time, give me a call, for I in turn will give either Price Boyd or Sarah Chadwell a call. That way we can meet the people's needs while at the same time preventing a potential scam from running its course through our community. The saying is true, "'Tis the season for scams." But so is another saying, "For unto us is given a Saviour, which is Jesus Christ the Lord." Grace and peace to you, my friends, this Advent season,

David William David Palmer, Stated Supply Pastor - First Presbyterian Church, Athens, Alabama

Noteworthy News COMMUNION will be observed on Monday, December 24, 2012 during the Christmas Eve Worship Service. “HAPPY PM” CIRCLE will meet on Tuesday, December 4, 2012 at 12:00 noon at Camilla Spencer’s home for a wonderful Christmas Luncheon. Following lunch Joyce Counter will share the Christmas story. Virginia Calvin and Camilla Spencer are the hostesses. PRESBYTERIAN MEN’S BREAKFAST will be Sunday, December 9, 2012. Planning Ahead: The Presbyterian men will be giving out candy during the Athens Christmas Parade on December 6, 2012. Please consider helping by donating a bag of candy to them. SESSION WILL MEET Tuesday, December 11, 2012 at 6:30 p.m. in the Blue Classroom. THE 2012 FLOWER CHART is still up in the hallway behind the sanctuary. No one has signed up for flowers on December 2, 9 or 30. The 2013 Flower Chart is also ready for sign-ups!! FPC T-SHIRTS ARE STILL AVAILABLE - Price reduced! T-shirts are now $12 each. Please come by the church office and get one of these cool green shirts! Sizes are small, medium, large, x-large. Make checks payable to First Presbyterian. CHILDREN’S CHURCH WILL 11:00 a.m. worship time.

1 Gavin Greenhaw Elizabeth Price 3 Margaret Clem 4 John Noel 6 Leslie Palmer 7 Charles Creech Dale Flannagan 8 Justin Barnes Becky Goggans 9 James Toney 15 Robin Palmer 19 Susan Fogg 20 Adam Lauderdale 21 Regina Greene 22 Kirk Garrison

23 Matt Copeland Mary Hand Julie McNeese Winston Spencer 24 Doris Estes 26 Duane Counter 28 Emily Gossett 30 Brittany Jackson 31 Lee Garrett Dehone Toney

MEET Sunday, December 9, 2012 during the

The Vine Pastoral Counseling Center and the Tennessee Valley Combined Federal Campaign of United Way. The Vine has been approved as a new charity in the Tennessee CFC of the United Way. If you are a Federal employee, we ask you to consider designating “Vine Counseling Ctr”, agency code 53497 when you participate in the CFC this Fall. We would also love the opportunity to speak to the staff of your federal agency please contact Amanda Ragland, 256-461-8580 for information. BIG COVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH member Ray Waldrop would like to invite everyone to the BIG COVE CHRISTMAS BAZAAR for the benefit of THE NEW HOPE CHILDREN’S CLINIC on Saturday, December 8, 2012 from 9:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. The primary focus of the Bazaar will be sales of handmade goods by local artisans through a Craft sale. We also will be having a Bake Sale, a Classic Car Cruise in, Raffle Baskets and on site concessions. For more information please visit: or NEW ADVENT BOOKS IN LIBRARY. Emily Clem would like for everyone to stop by the Library counter and “check-out” the new Advent books. VIP’S IT’S TIME FOR A TRIP!! A trip for all our “Very Important Presbyterians” (VIP’S) is planned for Thursday, December 13, 2012. We plan to leave the church at 4:30 p.m. drive to Decatur for a meal and then take a bus ride through the neighborhoods to enjoy the Christmas lights. Please fill-out a reservation form on Sunday or call the church office (256-232-0122) to save your seat on the bus. IT’S TIME FOR YEAR END REPORTS! All committees and organizations will need to turn in their 2012 reports by Monday, December 31, 2012. 2012 CHRISTMAS JOY OFFERING. A long standing Presbyterian tradition, the Christmas Joy Offering is one of the four special offerings designated by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to provide congregations direct ways of supporting specific causes that help those in need. Fifty percent of the receipts to the Christmas Joy Offering are distributed to the Board of Pensions for assistance programs that provide support to retired and active church workers and their spouses and families. The other fifty percent supports Presbyterian-related racial ethnic education through the General Assembly Council. First Presbyterian Athens will be receiving the Christmas Joy Offering on Sunday, December 23, 2012. (You may make your Christmas Joy Offering anytime during the month of December, especially if you are going to be away on the 23rd.)

SUNDAY SCHOOL ASSEMBLY and CHILDREN’S CHRISTMAS PAGEANT will be Sunday, December 9 at 9:00 a.m. in the sanctuary.

Your Presbyterian Women wish to express our deep gratitude to all who baked and purchased items at our pre-thanksgiving bake sale. We made $1167.50 and plan to use the funds to purchase new rugs for the Rodgers Center hallway where you can enjoy seeing them each week. A heartfelt “THANK YOU” goes to John Noel for cooking the pulled pork, weighing, bagging, labeling and making the sauce for our sale. Bonnie, we are sure you helped in some way and we appreciate all you do to help Presbyterian Women. Our hearts are full — UNTIL NEXT TIME — Thanks to all of you!

Charlotte K. Lyle Moderator, Presbyterian Women

THANK YOU! Thank you, Shari Duke, for all the hard work involved in keeping the prayer garden and front gardens looking so peaceful and serene!



Thank you to our pastors and to all our church family for the sweet prayers and beautiful cards we received. Our mother’s loss is more bearable because of the kindness you have shown. you can view her memorial page at http:// homepage.aspx if you are so inclined. Much love,

Regina Greene & Family 

Youth Group meets each Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. Remember to turn in your reservation and $100 deposit to Jaina Anderson. We need to know who is planning to go by the first week of December 2012. Montreat week will be July 6-13, 2013.

Non-Profit Organization U.S. Postage Paid Permit #118 Athens, AL 35611


The Annual FPC Art Sale will be held at Jaina Anderson's house (1202 SW Jefferson St.) Friday, Dec 7 (6pm-?) and Saturday Dec. 8 (9am-3pm). If you have items to sell, please let Jaina know, and plan to bring them by either Thursday evening or Friday by 3pm just prior to the sale. Each "Vendor" will bring a tray of goodies and a beverage to serve the shoppers, and will be serving as "host" or "hostess" during the sale. We will have paintings, pottery, duck decoys, hand-made bow ties, novels sold by the author, fresh sausage, pepper jelly, metal work, and many other items! Friends of and members of FPC are invited to participate. Just let us know if you plan on selling so we can promote your items See you there!!! This Christmas, we will be placing Poinsettias in our Sanctuary on Sunday, December 16 & 23. Cost for each poinsettia (large 3 quart size) ordered will be $10.00. You may take your Poinsettia home at the end of the December 23, Worship Service. Please fill out the form below and mail, bring or call the church office, or drop it in the offering plate, along with $10.00 per Poinsettia ordered by December 10.

Your Name _____________________

# ordered ____________

Total amount enclosed ($10.00 Poinsettia) _____________ In Honor of _______________________________________________________ In Honor of ________________________________________________________ In Memory of _______________________________________________________ In Memory of _______________________________________________________

From the Editor . . .

112 S. Jefferson Street Athens, Alabama 35611 Phone: 256-232-0122 Email:

Office Hours: Monday - Thursday 8:00 a.m. - 12:00 noon 1:00 p.m. - 3:00 p.m. Website:

Information for the newsletter is due by 2:00 p.m. on the third Tuesday of each month. CHURCH STAFF: Rev. David Palmer, Stated Supply Pastor cell: 256-509-2250 Rev. Jaina Anderson, Associate Pastor cell: 256-206-1855 Niles Patrick Bacon, Music Director Duane Counter, Treasurer Sandra Mitchell, Administrative Assistant Cynthia Daniel, Sexton

Church Office Closed: December 24, 25 & 26 January 1

To receive an email edition, submit information, or to make address corrections please contact the church office at:


Please let the church office know what information you would like to see in the newsletter The Grapevine is your newsletter! We look forward to hearing from you!!

December 2012 Sunday






Saturday 1

December 2012 ALTAR FLOWERS : 2 9 16 23 30

________________ ________________ _Flower Committee__ _Flower Committee__ _________________

2 9:30a Sunday School 10:30a Fellowship 11:00a Worship

3 RODGERS CENTER CLOSED TODAY “Learn to Read” Christmas Dinner

6p 4th Day @ Don & Diane Payne’s home 9 8:00a Men’s Breakfast 9:30a Sunday School Assembly: Children’s Christmas Pageant 10-:30a Fellowship 11:00 a Worship & Children’s Church


10 9:00a-2p Friendship Quilt Guild Mtg (RC) 4-10p Master Gardener’s Christmas Party (RC)

6p 4th Day @ Don & Diane Payne’s home 17


Emily Gossett Ella Romine 9 Jon Lewis Kiep Dustin McGlothin 16 Sean Miller Victor Miller 23 Joseph Davis Sara Lehman 30 James Clem, Ellis Gossett

24 (Sandra Off)

9:30a Sunday School 10:30a Fellowship 11:00a Worship

Church Office Closed

Christmas Joy Offering!

7a Gideons (RC) 9a - 3p Rodgers Center & Sanctuary Closed 11:30 a Wedding: Mac Baugher Lindsey Clark

4 5 6 7 (Office Closed) RODGERS CENTER RODGERS CENTER 10 a 4th Day @ CLOSED TODAY CLOSED 9a - 3p. Copeland Presbyterian 12:00 noon PW Christmas Luncheon 2p “Happy PM” (RC)

8a-2p Athens Study Club Christmas Lunch (RC)

6p Athens Study Club (RC) 6p Youth Group (RC) 6:30p Committees 7p Choir Rehearsal 11


6p Athens Christmas Parade starts at the High School 13 8a - 2p Limestone County Courthouse Employee Christmas Luncheon

6p ADK Sorority (RC)

6:30p Session (Blue Room) 18 Newsletter Info Due

9:30a Sunday School 10:30a Fellowship 11:00a Worship 6-9p Heritage “The First Noel - Born Children’s Choral Program (FPC) is the King!” Choir Christmas Cantata 6p 4th Day @ Don & Diane Payne’s home 23

Please turn in your information for the January 2013 Calendar and Grapevine Newsletter by Tuesday, December 18, 2012. You can bring to or call the church office (256(256232232-0122),or you can email to

4:30p VIP Trip to Decatur 6p Youth Group (RC) 7p Choir Rehearsal 19

8 7a Gideons & Ladies Auxiliary (RC) 9a John Wade Keyes DAR (RC) 9a -3p FPC ART SALE @ Jaina Anderson’s 6-9p FPC ART SALE home @ Jaina Anderson’s 4-10p Sons of home. Confederate Veterans Christmas Party (RC) 14 (Office Closed)

15 Bus Reserved 7a Gideons (RC)

6a-1p Rodgers Center Reserved for Chancel Choir Brunch & 6p Youth Progressive Rehearsal Dinner 2-5p Emberton Family Christmas (RC)

20 21 (Office Closed) 10a 4th Day @ Copeland Presbyterian

22 7a Gideons (RC)



No Youth Group Tonight

7p Choir Rehearsal 25

26 (Sandra Off)

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28 (Office Closed)

Church Office Closed

V{âÜv{ byy|vx VÄÉáxw 6p Christmas Eve Worship & Communion No Youth Group Tonight

30 9:30a Sunday School 10:30a Fellowship 11:00a Worship


6p 4th Day @ Don & Diane Payne’s home

COMMUNION SERVERS December 24 , 2012 Mike Holdren, John Colvin Carrie Powless, Ted Smith, David Dezwaan, John Noel Joyce Counter

Just a note from the Worship Committee: When you provide floral arrangements for a Sunday morning service. Please remember to remove them following the service. If you wish to leave the flowers, please call the Church Office (232-0122) the following Monday and let us know, so we can have the Sexton remove them. Thank You!

Program: Sunday, December 9 9:30 a.m. - Sanctuary 2012 CHRISTMAS EVE WORSHIP & COMMUNION SERVICE will begin at 6:00 p.m. on Monday, December 23, 2012. Mark your calendar and plan to be present for this very special time of worship. District Attorney Brian Jones' office will be having a food drive for us during this year's Athens Christmas Parade. Also, Publix is having the Food for Sharing program that benefits LCCI now through Christmas.

The Chancel Choir of First Presbyterian Church Athens, Alabama invites you to join them as they share their Christmas gift of music with the congregation Sunday, December 16, 2012 11:00 a.m.

David Jaina Duane  Sandra  Cynthia   Gwen & Pat 

dec 2012 Grapevine