All Church Retreat 2020


Here’s your special invitation to join our church family on retreat. 

                          “On the road again” in May 2020

MONTREAT, North Carolina –

M is for mountains.  Lots of them all around.  Great for hiking or viewing and finding inspiration in the wonders of creation.  The stream flowing by, the children’s park, that cozy chair overlooking the lake – all of these in the unique freshness of spring in the forest will do your soul good.

O is for out-of-town with friends and away from the stresses and strains.  Oh, how nice to have God-time and personal time!  And, yes, there is childcare!!!

N is for now, the time to sign up.  A $50 deposit by February 11 guarantees you a place for all the fun during the May 15 – 17 church retreat.

T is for theme:  “God’s beautiful world” will speak to the nature we’ll explore and to the environment we must protect.   Laurel and early rhododendron will dot the woodland as we roam and reflect on earth’s pleasures and perils.

R is for room in the Inn.”  (Sounds absolutely biblical.)  You’ll have comfy accommodations to fit your preferences, and we’ll share social and gathering spaces.  $150 for a family covers lodging and three meals, with single rooms even less.  Count in travel cost and meals out and you’ll see that the Fellowship Team is making our retreat so very affordable.

E is for each other.  We see each other on Sundays, but to really know one another takes time and opportunity.  Across the dinner table, on a walk, bargain hunting at the Tobacco Barn, touring Biltmore House, sharing a coffee while the kids sleep – such moments move us from acquaintance to appreciation and affirmation.

A is for Arts and Asheville.  Just 16 miles west of our retreat is the lively and charm-filled arts capital of the South.  No city of its size gets better press today, and for good reason.  What’s not to like!  You’ll have afternoons to explore and enjoy.

T is for teamwork.  Our congregation’s potential to serve more effectively is bolstered by a balanced diet of worship, work and play.  Come be part of all three!  Time together makes our ties stronger.

Dates: May 15-17

Cost: $150 for a family unit, which includes room for two nights, pizza supper Friday night and breakfast both days.

Accommodations: The rustic Inn will be the center of our activities, with rooms to suit your personal needs as well as meeting and social spaces for our group.

Deposits due: Please have your $50 into the office by February 11 to reserve a place and help us with planning.

Who has signed up: Check the growing list in the Commons and pay attention to the weekly announcements for more revelations.

Transportation: Whether carpooling or driving separately, the four hour ride to the woods of Montreat will help renew our appreciation for the garden of nature which surrounds us.

Program: Yes, there will be times of worship and learning, but we’ll have plenty opportunity to just “hang out” or explore sites of interest in nearby Black Mountain or the best of Asheville’s art and food scene.

Contacts: Leanna Granillo, Laura Goins and Jeane Jones can answer your questions and testify to the fun we’ll have together.

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Sunday School for Busy People

We had a good problem at our Christian Education Team meeting this week. We’re running out of space in our regular adult Sunday School room. This is great! There are enough people who want to explore our common faith through the established Sunday School pattern that we are looking for a new home. So, if you want to continue to learn about the formation of the New Testament with our regular class, keep on heading upstairs and squeeze into a chair (or stay tuned for a soon-to-be announced move to the parlor).

Our good problem also uncovered another challenge, however—and that is, not everyone can make it to Sunday School. Some people teach children on Sunday morning, or some have a hard enough time getting their own kids together in time to make it. Some people have choir commitments. Some people are not early morning people and don’t want an obligation to slide onto the calendar like every other day of the week. Worship at 10:30 can be hard enough. We wouldn’t dream of trying to add something else during the week either.

But maybe you’ve shown up to church a little early before. You’ve gotten your coffee. You don’t have teaching responsibilities that day. You don’t want to interrupt the regular class because it’s hard to jump into the middle of things and there aren’t many chairs and people can be particular about the chairs they sit in. You don’t want to wait in the commons for half an hour before anyone shows up. Where do you go?

Now there is a place for you: Sunday School for Busy People.

Sunday School for Busy People will meet in the Library of the Martin House (first door on the left through the front door) almost every week starting at 9:20ish. There will be minimal structure, preparation, or need to stay if you don’t want to (so don’t worry about having to duck out to choir or to something else that you’d be rather doing). It will work like this:

  • Every week, people who see interesting articles or blog posts things online will post them to the FPC Connect Page (our closed facebook group) or email a link to Will. Will will pick one article to post to the FPC facebook page.
  • If you want, read the article, and come for a quick discussion on Sunday.
  • Note: we may discuss the article, or we may just talk about our lives, or chat, or have coffee.
  • Stay for as much or as little as you can.
  • Don’t feel guilty about leaving, or about not being there.

That’s it!

Our goal is to provide a space for busy church people to wrestle with interesting ideals related to faith and life without the burden of an additional commitment. So come as you are, if you can; prepare if you want; leave when you like; at no point feel guilty about commitment.

Start sending articles in the next week. I’ll see you next Sunday (October 20) at 9:20ish.


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Christian Education Volunteer Opportunities

Great news! We have a problem. Why is this great news? Our Children’s Ministry Program is growing and our Christian Education needs are growing along with it. As we build up our C.E. opportunities for our youngest members, we invite you to help be a part of the solution and volunteer a little time with us!

Here are some volunteer needs. Can you come volunteer with our kids?

Children’s Church Assistant:

Job Description: Shepherd our Preschool children up to the classroom after the Children’s sermon and stay with them for the duration of worship. Model good listening to the children as they listen to their Bible story. Respond to behavioral or bathroom needs. Encourage quiet reflection time. This requires no preparation on your part. You just show up on your assigned day! Minimal training is necessary (but will be provided). A review of our child safety policy and a background check are required.

Time Commitment: 1 Sunday every 8 weeks on average

Nursery Assistant:

Job Description: Be available to assist nursery staff with our youngest children (ages 0-3). Be ready to play, cuddle, and read some books! A nursery staff person will always be on hand to change diapers, provide snack, etc. so your presence is truly meant to provide connecting relationship for our littles and their families. A review of our child safety policy and a background check are required.

Time Commitment: 1 Sunday every 8 weeks on average

Joy Maker’s Art Teacher:

Job Description: Our Joy Maker’s Sunday School class (Preschool-Kindergarten age) rotates each week in leadership and content. Each month children engage with Storytelling, Music, Art, and Liturgical Movement. We are in need of a Joy Marker’s Art Teacher who can work with a partner to develop and lead art projects for the children. A review of our child safety policy and a background check are required.

Time Commitment: Class meets 1 Sunday a month during Sunday School hour (915-1015). Some preparation of class content. Help is provided in collecting any supplies you may need for your projects.


Please talk with Jo Beth Thompson about these volunteer opportunities or other ways you may like to serve our community through Christian Education.


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Young Ladies Book Study

A small group from our study (pictured: Laura Patterson, Kristen Sanders, Leanna Granillo, Katie Scott, Laurie Scott, Jeane Jones, and Becky Jolly) attended the Women’s Connection Conference Keynote Session at Montreat this past weekend to meet and hear Kate Bowler speak more about her book, her faith, her fears, and her hope found through God’s presence with her in her brokenness.

This spring our Young Ladies Book Study read the best selling book, Everything Happens for a Reason and Other Lies I’ve Loved by Kate Bowler. Kate is a theologian and professor of Church History at Duke Divinity School. The book chronicles Kate’s faith journey through stage IV cancer diagnosis when “ the prospect of her own mortality forces Kate to realize that she has been tacitly subscribing to the prosperity gospel, living with the conviction that she can control the shape of her life with ‘a surge of determination.’”

This book nurtured meaningful conversation for our group about what parts of the American prosperity gospel/American dream we also subscribe to even as our Presbyterian faith and theology calls us to believe something different about God and our lives as God’s children. As Kate says in her book, “God is here. We are loved. It is enough.”  We cannot recommend this book enough:

Click here to purchase the book.

If you would like to join the Young Ladies Book Study in reading A Year of Biblical Womanhood by Rachel Held Evans this fall, please contact Katie Scott by email or 724-991-1958).

The first meeting will be Sunday, September 9 at 7:00 Katie’s house.

As always, “young” is a self-determined status. You/All are welcome to join this group!

Click here to purchase September’s read.

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“New Life” Art Exhibit Opening

In the season of Eastertide we celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ and the new life found in the knowledge of him.  The Liturgical Arts Team is hosting our first collaborative congregational art exhibit called, “New Life”.  “New Life” is a collection of meaningful art pieces including painting, needlework, sculpture and more, gathered from (and some created by) members and friends of First Presbyterian Church. Throughout Eastertide we encourage you to wander through the designated spaces of the church to enjoy the art and experience how art shapes our faith and evokes a deeper spiritual connection with our Creator.

“New Life” Art Exhibit Opening2020-09-08T16:05:23-05:00
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