Letters from Pastor Robert

May 13, 2020

Hello FPC members & friends,

As a congregation I want to keep us connected, even though we cannot yet gather in-person. Read about the church’s ministry… AND GET INVOLVED!

1.  FPC Deacon’s Food Challenge. As of May 13, we have almost filled the red grocery cart once! Only 4 more to go by the end of May! Food or personal care items can be dropped off at the church through the rest of May during the following times: Monday 10am - 12noon, Wed and Thurs 6pm-8pm and Friday 10am-12noon. Items will be taken by the Deacons to the Grove City Food Pantry.

2.  Covid 19 ministry fund established to help people in the congregation (and out). Money given to date is $ 800.00. Consider tithing (10%) or more of your stimulus check (if affordable) to this ministry fund. The need is real. Indicate “Covid 19” on your check or Vanco field.

3.  To my knowledge, nobody in the church has the coronavirus.

4.  Masks are available. Church member Kathy Bohanan has made hundreds of masks and is giving them to anyone in the community who needs one. Contact the church office to get one (fpcofgc@gmail.com or 614-875-4322).

5.  Sunday worship begins at 10AM. Prelude music begins at 9:50AM. Do not miss the music offered by our church musicians Randy Fagan & Kristin Stephens.

6.  Last Sunday (May 10) twelve of our church children met for on-line Sunday School/youth meeting.  Begins at 11:30am. Invite a friend. Led by Phyllis Gibbs and Beth Wiggall.

7.  FPC high school or college graduates. If there is one in your house (or you know of one in the church), please email their name and school to office administrator Christine Manns at fpcofgc@gmail.com by May 15.   

8.  Worship services from the past several weeks can be viewed on our church website at http://www.fpcgc.org. Kirk Bohannon, Roland Kreml and Hannah Stewart are continually improving our broadcast of Sunday worship.

9.  The May/June “Upper Room” devotionals are available. If you want one mailed to you, please contact Christine in the church office (fpcofgc@gmail.com or 614-875-4322).

10.  We are making a new church directory. YOU NEED TO BE INCLUDED! Take a picture of yourself and send it to the church office OR mail/bring a printed picture and we can scan it into the computer. Do not be left out!

11.  Ministry offerings are still faithfully coming in. Thank you! Commit to make your ministry offerings during this uncertain time. Remember.... God is in control!

12.  Church staff: I (Pastor Robert) am in the office (M, W, TH, F) from 9:30 to 4).  Office Administrator, Christine is working from home most days. She’s in the office on Monday and off and on throughout the week. Phone messages and emails are returned every day.

13.  Make a short video (1 to 2 minutes max) of what you and/or family are doing during this time apart and send it to me and Christine (fpcofgc@gmail.com). A different video is sent to the congregation each Friday in the FPC Friday News.

14.  GROW VEGETABLES for the food pantry! Whether it is volunteering here at FPC’s community garden, using your garden, or planting vegetables in a pot, you can help those in need!

15.  Congregational meeting (using Zoom, contact the church office for instructions) is set for this Sunday, May 17 at 11:30 am. The slate of Deacon nominees to be voted on during the meeting are Cindy Ferguson, Kate Hardin – Hernandez, Carolyn McIntire, Becky Miller. The slate of Session (Elder) nominees are Christian Ed: Beth Wiggall, Kristin Kiaski (2 year term), House: Ted Nixon, Membership: Paige Tolar (2 year term), Pete Forbes, Stewardship: Georgia Voss, Worship: Don Brown, Pat Wiedner (2 year term).
  
Uncertain times? Yes. But God is in control!

Remember… Our lives are defined by faith, not our fears.

In Christ, Pastor Robert

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May 6, 2020

Hello FPC members & friends,

To keep us connected, here are some things going on in the life & ministry of FPC.

1.  It appears the first ever FPC virtual Lord’s Supper (May 3) went well.  We were not together physically, but we were together spiritually in the unity of bread & cup.  If you have suggestions on ways to improve the celebration… let me know.

2.  Sunday worship begins at 10AM.  Prelude music begins at 9:55AM.  Do not miss the music offered by our church musicians Randy Fagan & Kristin Stephens.

3.  This Sunday (May 10) there will be on-line Sunday School/youth meeting for all the church children.  It will begin at 11:30AM.  A Zoom link will be sent to all the church children/parents.  Needed materials will be dropped off at each child’s home before Sunday.

4.  Last Sunday, I challenged the congregation on what to do with their “stimulus check” coming from the government.  If you can afford to do so, send 10% (or more) to the church to be used for covid virus-related needs in the life of the church & community.  The church elders voted to let me (as pastor) use the money at my discretion (with oversight by the church treasurer) to meet any need.  FYI… there are people in the church who now have no job/salary.  If you choose to give, mark your check (or online giving) “covid virus needs”.

5.  “1 at 1” – Remember, at 1PM (or 1AM) pray for one minute for those who are struggling with the covid virus challenges.  Pray for those who are sick, those who have lost loved ones, and for those working to find a cure.

6.  We now have people worshiping with us in seven states and one foreign country.  (It may be just one person per state/country; but the number is growing!)

7.  A congregational meeting is presently set for May 17 (following worship) to elect new elders and deacons.  It has been proposed to do this meeting online by using Zoom.  Once details are in place, more directions will be given.

8.  FPC high school or college graduates.  If there is one in your house (or you know of one in the church), please email their name and school to office administrator Christine Manns at fpcofgc@gmail.com by May 15.

9.  Kirk Bohannon and Roland Kreml are continually improving our broadcast of Sunday worship on facebook live.  There are still some more upgrades to come (two new cameras, etc.)  Give them a work of thanks for their ministry.

10.  Last week I mentioned a need for TV for a church member who could not afford one.  I was hoping to find one used one.  Yet, EIGHT church homes/people said they would buy one!  You met the need.  This congregation is wonderful!

11.  All church Ministry Teams (formally known as committees) are meeting on-line.  Lots of work & ministry is going on… even though we are not in the same room!

12.  The May/June “Upper Room” devotionals are available.  If you want one, please contact Christine (614-875-4322 or fpcofgc@gmail.com) and she will mail it to you.

13.  I am still looking at beginning an online bible study & fellowship.  This will begin soon.  More details to come.

14.  We are making a new church directory. YOU NEED TO BE INCLUDED! Take a picture of yourself and send it to the church office OR mail in a printed picture and we can scan it into the computer.  Do not be left out!

15.  Ministry offerings are still faithfully coming in.  Commit to make your ministry offerings during this uncertain time.  Remember.... God is in control!

16.  Office Administrator, Christine is working from home.  She is in the office for several hours on Monday to process bills and checks, etc.  The church phone is forwarded to her house Monday through Friday.

17.  I am in the office, keeping in touch with as many church people as possible (phone, e-mail, text, etc.). 

18.  To my knowledge, nobody in the church has the virus.

19.  Make a short video (1 to 2 minutes max) of what you and/or family are doing during this time apart.  The videos are sent to the entire congregation on Fridays.  We will send a new video each week.   Make a video and send it to me and Christine.  This will be an on-going event TO KEEP US CONNECTED.

20.  GROW VEGETABLES!  I invite EVERY church member/friend to grow vegetables for our local food pantry.  (Paige and I are growing lettuce)  As the restaurants are closed, MANY farmers/suppliers are TOSSING fresh vegetables.  This then means that in the summer, there will not be enough vegetables .... especially for people at the local Food Pantry. WHETHER YOU HAVE A LARGE GARDEN PLOT, OR SIMPLY A POT TO PLACE OUTSIDE, GROW VEGETABLES that can be given to the neediest in our community.  We have a garden site here at the church.  Volunteer here OR use your own pots, etc.  THIS IS A CALL TO BE A MATTHEW 25 CHURCH!  Let us make this happen!

God's blessings on you and your household as we go through this uncertain time.
Yet, know that God is in control!

Keep in touch with me.
And if you hear of a need....let me know.

Remember.... "We live by faith, not by fear."
(Our lives are defined by faith, not our fears)

In Christ, Pastor Robert
______________________________________________________________



April 29, 2020

 Hello FPC members & friends,

To keep you up to date, here are some things going on in the life and ministry of FPC:

1.  We WILL celebrate The Lord's Supper on Sunday, May 3.  (Of course this will be done in our own homes).  Therefore, each household needs to get bread and grape juice (or wine).  I will be in the sanctuary and guide us through the process when the time comes.

2.  After worship last Sunday, twelve of our church children, and their leaders, met on-line for Sunday School.  They heard the scripture (as preached during worship) and then did crafts together.  So, our children are keeping connected.

3. Kirk B. and Roland K. have greatly improved our broadcast of Sunday worship on facebook live.  There are still some more upgrades to come (two new cameras, etc.)  Give them a word of thanks for their ministry.  (To the right is a picture of them, and the sanctuary, on a recent Sunday morning.)

4.  We now have people worshiping with us in six states.  (It may be just one person per state; but we have six states!)

5.  I am still looking at beginning an online bible study & fellowship.  This will begin soon.  More details to come.

6.  Do you or a friend need a Bible?  The church has several new ones.  Let me know... they are free to whomever wants one.

7.  I need a used/new TV for a church member who cannot afford one.  The one she has stopped working.  This is her connection to the outside world!  If you have a used one, or wish to buy her a new one, contact me.

8.  Ministry offerings are still faithfully coming in.  Church treasurer, Steve Nelson, says a majority are coming in by mail (checks).  Yet there is a notable increase in giving by using our on-line options.  The giving is down (as would be expected) but we trust God will see us through.  Commit to make your ministry offerings during this uncertain time.  Remember.... God is in control!

 9.  ​​One church member is making face masks (pictured on the left) for anybody who needs one (or more). This one person has made close to 400 masks!  Want to learn more?  Contact me.

10.  Office Administrator, Christine Manns, is working from home.  She can do there what she can usually do in the church office.  She does come into the building on Mondays to process bills and checks, etc.  The church phone is forwarded to her house Monday through Friday.

11.  I am in the office, keeping in touch with as many church people as possible (phone, e-mail, text, etc.).  It appears almost everybody is holding their own.  There are a couple exceptions (job loss, stir craziness, etc.).  

12.  To my knowledge, nobody in the church has the virus.

13.  I request your assistance... in the weekly "Friday News", emailed to all church people, I am having different people (households) make a short video (1 to 2 minutes max) of what they are doing during this time apart from one another.  Show your arts & crafts, books read, boredom, yard mulching, etc.  The goal is to keep in touch!  Paige and I did the first video last week.  Regina and Pete Forbes are doing it for this Friday.  We will place a new video each week. AS CHURCH MEMBERS, PLEASE DO ONE.  Send it to me and Christine.  This will be an on-going
event TO KEEP US CONNECTED.

14.  GROW VEGETABLES!  Since we are a "Matthew 25 Church" I invite EVERY church member/friend to grow vegetables for the food pantry.  As the restaurants are closed, MANY farmers/suppliers are TOSSING fresh vegetables.  This then means that in the summer, there will not be enough vegetables .... especially for people at the local Food Pantry. WHETHER YOU HAVE A LARGE GARDEN PLOT, OR SIMPLY A POT TO PLACE OUTSIDE, GROW VEGETABLES that can be given to the neediest in our community.  We have a garden here at the church.  Volunteer here OR use your own pots, etc.  THIS IS A CALL TO BE A MATTHEW 25 CHURCH!  Let us make this happen!

15.  We are making a new church directory.  YOU NEED TO BE INCLUDED!  Take a picture of yourself and send it to the church office.  Pictures are coming in!  You do not want to be left out.  Send it to the church office.

God's blessings on you and your household as we go through this uncertain time.
Yet, know that God is in control!

Keep in touch with me.
And if you hear of a need....let me know.

Remember.... "We live by faith, not by fear."
(Our lives are defined by faith, not our fears)

In Christ, Pastor Robert