Call to Stewardship By: Alice Ensley

Author Neil Gaiman states, “A book is a dream you hold in your hand.” As parents, we all know the power and value of reading to our children to open their eyes to the larger world, to build a love of language and literacy, and to lay a foundation of a future as a reader and writer.  But what if you don’t have books in your home?  What if your parents work while you are home from school?  What if you are learning a new language? That is the case for many of our students at Blue Ridge School.

Blue Ridge School serves 651 kindergarten through fifth grade students.  100% of these students qualify as economically disadvantaged and 33% are English Language Learners. This year 17 students at Blue Ridge are new to our country.

Three years ago, our mission team felt called to invest our time and resources in local projects that would promote literacy and help reduce the adverse effects of poverty.  We decided to create a partnership with Blue Ridge School.  We began a Book of the Month club with the goals of instilling a love of literacy, creating a classroom collection of quality children’s literature, and building relationships with the students and staff. We began reading to kindergarten classrooms once a month.  That year we served approximately 100 students and donated 10 books to each classroom for a total of 50 books.  We also helped with a Valentine’s Day Party for each classroom and some of our volunteers even went on field trips with the students.

The next year we added more classrooms and more volunteers to serve both kindergarten and first grade. In our third year, we have expanded our program to include all kindergarten, first and second grade classrooms. This would not have been possible without your support and our core of volunteers, which has expanded to include members of Saint Mark’s Episcopal Church and other community members.

Reading a book a month doesn’t seem like much, but sometimes it is the small, deliberate acts that have the biggest impact.  When we enter Blue Ridge School, we are greet by smiles, hugs, and hellos from the 300 students that we serve. 15 teachers look forward to our visits so they can share the work their students are doing and also have a small break in their busy day, and the classroom libraries are growing…including 300 books donated by our church!

3 years, 300 students, 300 books and 300 dreams.

Thank you for your support of this project and please join us anytime for what will certainly be your favorite hour of the month!

Alice Ensley

Call to Stewardship By: Alice Ensley2020-09-08T16:05:18-05:00

Call to Stewardship By: Roger Rollins

The Family Support Council and Camp AIM are based on the belief that all children … all children … have the right to be valued, and the right to live in a safe, healthy environment where they can grow into their human potential.

For us, and probably almost all the people that we know, that doesn’t sound like that big of an ASK.  We take it for granted that we will keep our children safe … that we will protect them from … in the words of our sacrament of baptism … “the perils of childhood”.

When these childhood perils tragically include sexual abuse, that victimized child will most certainly carry that experience for life.  The way that burden is carried can make the difference toward a successful life.

So, that’s where the FSC and Camp AIM come in, and it’s why this church is such an ardent supporter.

Camp AIM stands for Adventures in ME.  It’s a 2-week therapeutic day camp where kids from kindergarten age through high school come together and interact with peer victims and trained counselors and teachers.  Each day, in their group sessions these kids work on self-esteem, strategies for keeping themselves safe, and … for me, this is the most heart-wrenching … learning to trust again, and finding the courage to believe that it was not their fault.

The FSC was formed in 1980.  Over the years, various programs under the FSC umbrella have grown to the point where now each year it serves over 16,000 individuals.  Camp AIM was started in 1992, and now serves about 40 kids each summer, plus or minus.  Peggy started our family’s support over 20 years ago.  About 6 years ago, when I heard about the poor quality of the food provided to the Camp, the decision was easy.  I knew I couldn’t fix the kids, but I could fix food for them.

So, our participation as a church has grown to the point where we now prepare and serve both breakfast and lunch for both weeks.  In total, we contribute well over 100 hours of service each year.  The Mission Committee now provides the money to buy the food, and about 25 of you, my dear friends, give of your time and talent to pick up, prepare and serve healthy meals to these beautiful kids.

The Camp is always the first 2 full weeks in June.  Some time in late April or early May, I’ll begin communicating with everyone who is on my volunteer roster.  Huge thanks and gratitude to everyone that I’ve had the privilege of working with over the past few years, and a big invitation to any of you who can help during next year’s Camp.  I don’t ever want to NOT do Camp AIM.  There’s a bit of work to it.  But, it’s one of the most rewarding things you can do.  Mark your calendars, and consider joining us this year.

Roger Rollins

Call to Stewardship By: Roger Rollins2021-03-11T11:48:30-05:00

2019 Stewardship




Dear Friends in Christ,

“The church exists by mission as fire exists by burning.” So said the midcentury theologian Emil Brunner. Mission is what the church does. It’s what makes us special. It’s what makes us who we are. If we stopped for a minute, we would cease to be the church.

What is the church’s mission?

This is what we do on Sunday morning and beyond. This is the way we feed the hungry person who comes in off the street; or care for the children in our community who lack access to basic educational opportunities that we take for granted. This is the group of people gathering together on Tuesday mornings to collect supplies to give to people recovering from natural disasters; or ushers opening the church on a Saturday to support an organization that provides basic healthcare for those who otherwise couldn’t afford it. This is care for children finding healing after abuse through a welcome and some food; and church members thinking about how we can be better environmental stewards in our own lives.

Mission is everywhere in our church—and we want it to grow.

This Fall our stewardship season will focus on mission. What is the church doing to show the love of Jesus Christ in our community and world? How can we join in?

Come to worship on November 4 and 11 to hear inspiring stories about how mission at First Presbyterian Church changes lives. Consider how you can get involved. And come on Sunday, November 18 as we pledge our gifts to the mission of Jesus Christ in this congregation. Let’s add fuel to the fire together.







To see all the ways we are involved in mission and service activities throughout the year, click here.

2019 Stewardship2021-03-11T11:51:10-05:00

Dalton Middle School Success Academy

The Mission Team is excited about a new opportunity supporting some of most as-risk middle school students on Thursday, August 30th from 12:00-2:00.  Read more to learn about how you can participate!

“65 young journalists-in-training from the Dalton Middle School Success Academy, a program that seeks to re-engage struggling learners, will embark on their first field trip into the Dalton community on Thursday, August 30.  They will start by learning about the Creative Arts Guild and the Dalton Daily Citizen newspaper before having lunch with area journalists and publishing professionals at the First Presbyterian Church of Dalton.  Thanks to the support of the church, students will not only get to meet with writers and photographers in small groups to eat, but they will host their own panel with prepared questions.  The students hope to start their own magazine as a result of what they learn and will call the publication “Just Saying.” The school staff hope this endeavor will not only increase the students’ reading and writing skills but also give these marginalized youth a real voice in their school and community. “

We will need:

Volunteers to serve and clean up lunch.  Lunch will be served from 12:00-12:45.

Volunteers to set up the sanctuary and run technology for the panel discussion.  Discussion is 12:45-1:45.

Volunteers to attend the discussion as an audience member.

Please contact Alice Ensley if you can help! 

Dalton Middle School Success Academy2020-09-08T16:05:19-05:00

2018 Blue Ridge Book of the Month Club

We need you!

The Mission Team is proud to begin our third year of our Book of the Month Club at Blue Ridge School.  Each month a group of volunteers goes to the school and reads a new picture book to a class of students. The book is then presented to the class to add to their classroom collection. Not only do you get to share a great story, you will receive lots of hugs and smiles from these wonderful children!

This year we will be adding second grade to our club.   We will gather from 9:30-10:00 in room 225 for coffee, fellowship, and book previews.  We will read to K-1 from 10:00-10:30 and to 2nd  grade from 10:30-11:00.

If you would like to be a reader please email Alice Ensley (  If you have a request for grade level or classroom, please let her know!

We will read on the following dates:

Monday, December 17

Monday, January 14

Monday, February 11

Monday, March 18

Monday, April 29

2018 Blue Ridge Book of the Month Club2020-09-08T16:05:20-05:00
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