February 2019

Charity Lodge

 

I would like to continue introducing the staff of First Presbyterian Church. Charity Lodge is our housekeeper and nursery attendant. Unless you have children in the nursery or show up at the church early in the morning during the week, you might not have run into Charity. She does her work long before most of us arrive at church. If you do have contact with her, you will be met by a very cheerful greeting and a smiling face. Charity is always quick to help and   thorough in her work. It is very evident that she cares about people and takes her job seriously. Charity is the longest serving member of our staff and will celebrate 35 years with us soon. Or, better yet, WE are thankful for her many years of faithful service to this church and to the families that she has so lovingly cared for. If you do run into Charity some early morning or on Sunday near the nursery, thank her for being a part of First Presbyterian Church and for her faithfulness to us.

Scott

 

January 2019

Staff of First Presbyterian Church

The staff of First Presbyterian Church, Rocky Mount would like to wish you a blessed Christmas and Holiday season and thank you for allowing us to serve you in 2018. We look forward to supporting the ministry of this church in the new year to come. I have been impressed with the care and professionalism these employees have shown in carrying out their responsibilities. They are all assets to the ministry of this church. Over the next few months, I would like to introduce you to the staff that some of you may have had little contact with. First on the list is Mary Hilliard.

Mary is our Nursery Assistant and in charge of keeping our youngest children safe during Sunday School and the worship service. Mary was first hired in 2007 and is dedicated to serving our church families through this ministry of caring. If you see Mary, be sure to tell her how much we appreciate her service and kindness with the children of this church.

 

Scott

 

 

December 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

 

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor.  We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next.

 July 2017  Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

 November 2017 Interim minister is hired and begins work.

March 2018 Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

 July 2018  Mission Study report approved by Session.

September 2018  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

 September 2018  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

 November 2018   Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

 __________    Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

 __________    Congregation votes on candidate.           

Scott           

 

 

November 2018

                                   

All Saints

 

According to Lives of the Saints ed. Rev. Hugo Hoever, S.O.Cist., PhD, every day of the year except Christmas, and some days during Holy Week, celebrate at least one Catholic saint. The Orthodox church and Coptic church have a different list of saints to honor. Some protestant denominations also recognize and honor saints. The practice of honoring martyrs and those prominent Christians who had passed away was an early occurrence. Each church and area had their own celebrations of local saints in early Christianity. It wasn’t until later that the church began canonizing saints and assigning days of celebration. Soon, however, there were more saints to celebrate than days in the year. So, “All Saints Day” was designated to celebrate all those Saints that didn’t have a day to celebrate.

All “Hollows Eve” became a Celtic celebration in which the dead Saints were thought to have one evening to walk the earth again. You can take it from there to understand our present celebration of Halloween.

Our protestant understanding is that all those who confess Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior are saints whether living or dead. But I think it is important to ask the question: “Who are the heroes of the faith?” Who were the Christian influences in your life? This is what it truly means to be a saint whether canonized or not. So, happy November 1 to all you saints of the Lord!

Scott       

October 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

 

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor.  We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next.

   

 July 2017  Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

November 2017 Interim minister is hired and begins work.

March 2018 Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

July 2018  Mission Study report approved by Session.

September 2018  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

 September 2018  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

 To be completed:

__________    Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

__________    Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

__________    Congregation votes on candidate.  

 

Scott                                                    

 

September 2018

Coming To Worship

Scriptures tell us that we were created to worship and that our relationship with our awesome God is central to faith and life. We are not just a personal religion that can be practiced in secret and without interaction with fellow believers. We are the Church, the body of Christ, and individually members of the whole. Each Sunday we gather to build the body and to worship our gracious God. In worship, God is the focus, Christ is the message and the Holy Spirit is the power. It is important that before worship we prepare ourselves both as individuals and as a community of faith.

Each Monday at noon, the Brown Bag Bible study meets and focuses on the Scripture for the message on Sunday. This helps me as a preacher and those who are gathered to prepare for the next Sunday’s worship.

In September, Sunday School begins again. This is also a way to prepare for worship. Often the Sunday school lesson follows the lectionary and theme for worship and gives an opportunity to discuss the topic of the day with fellow worshipers. It is also a time to get to know some folks that you share this ministry with.

As we gather for worship, it is important to “build the body” by catching up on news of your friends and welcoming visitors. Sunday morning may be the only time that some are able to interact with one another. Come a little early and gather in the narthex or in the pews and visit. And the friendliness of a church (or the lack of it) is the greatest determination of whether a visitor will return the next Sunday.

But worship begins not with announcements or the welcome by the pastor. When the prelude begins all conversation should stop and all attention should be drawn to the presence of our magnificent God. It is not “dinner music” to accompany your continued conversation. Or worse yet, an impediment to your speech so you have to talk LOUDER to be heard.

It is not simply rude to whoever is offering that part of worship, but a misunderstanding of the important role the prelude plays in gathering our attention to the one we worship. Visit, welcome new people, but also be a model for true worship. Be inspired not only by the Scripture reading and message but the wonderful music that is not there for entertainment but to draw attention to our awesome God.

Scott

 

August 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor. We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next.

(Completed) July 2017 – Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

(Completed) November 2017 – Interim minister is hired and begins work.

(Completed) March 2018 – Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

(Completed) July 2018 – Mission Study Report approved by Session.

________  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

________  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

________  Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

________  Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

________  Congregation votes on candidate.

Scott

July 2018

Chart of Progress in the Pastoral Search

This is a check list of the process in finding a new pastor. We will provide this as a way to keep you informed about where we are and what needs to be done next. The next two steps should be accomplished quickly.

(Completed) July 2017 Bridge interim is hired and search for an interim begins.

(Completed) November 2017 Interim minister is hired and begins work.

(Completed) March 2018 Mission Study Review Committee is appointed and begins their work.

________  Updated Mission Study is approved by Presbytery.

________  Pastor Nominating Committee is elected by congregation.

________  Ministry Information Form is circulated and search begins.

________  Candidate is found, and approved by Presbytery.

________  Congregation votes on candidate.

Scott

June 2018

An Update on the Pastoral Search Process

In keeping the congregation informed, let me update you on where the search process is for your new pastor.  A Mission Study Review Committee has been appointed by the session.  A congregational survey has been circulated, compiled and the results are being reviewed.  The next step for the committee is to update the rest of the 2016 Mission Study for approval by the session and then the Committee on Ministry of New Hope Presbytery.  When the Committee on Ministry approves the Mission Study they will also give permission to form a Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC).  At that time a congregational meeting will be called and the Congregational Nominating Committee will offer the seven member Mission Study Committee as the PNC.  The congregation will be given the option of nominating from the floor additional members to this committee.  The PNC will work on the Ministry Information Form (MIF) which will be circulated and used to match candidates for the position.  The committee will be then ready to receive Personal Information Forms (PIF) and begin interviewing potential pastors.  I believe that the PNC will be interviewing ministers by the early fall.  When there are new developments, I will try to alert the congregation through the newsletter.

 

Scott

 

 

May 2018

Just as Advent, Lent, and Easter are seasons of the church and not simply one day, Pentecost is also a season. The day of Pentecost (50 days after Passover) was the Jewish harvest festival. The word  Pentecost (fiftieth), is found only in the New Testament (Acts 2:1; 20:16; 1 Corinthians 16:8). The   festival is first spoken of in Exodus 23:16 as “the feast of harvest,” and again in Exodus 34:22 as “the day of the first fruits” (Numbers 28:26). Besides the sacrifices prescribed for the occasion, everyone was to bring to the Lord his “tribute of a free-will offering” (Deuteronomy 16:9-11). The purpose of this feast was to commemorate the completion of the grain harvest. Its distinguishing feature was the offering of “two leavened loaves” made from the new corn of the completed harvest, which, with two lambs, were waved before the Lord as a thank offering.

The day of Pentecost is noted in the Christian Church as the day on which the Spirit descended   upon the apostles, and on which, under Peter’s preaching, so many thousands were converted in Jerusalem (Acts 2). It is celebrated on the seventh Sunday after Easter. But the Christian season of Pentecost goes from the day of Pentecost (May 20, 2018) all the way to Christ the King Sunday (November 25, 2018). In recent years there has been a move to de-emphasize this time as a season and transfer the designation as “Ordinary Time”. The liturgical color for Pentecost is red but for Ordinary Time is green. Now red is only displayed on the Day of Pentecost.

 

For Christians this is the season of the Church. We celebrate the establishment of the church when Peter gave his speech to the crowd and thousands were added to the Church. But it is also the time we celebrate the life and work of the Church throughout history. As we enter this season, let us    remember our own life and work in the church.

 

Peace,

Scott