World Communion Sunday and the Peace and Global Witness Offering
October 3, 2021
The Peace of Christ belongs to everyone, everywhere.  

This Sunday along with Christians around the globe we will be celebrating the sacrament of communion on World Communion Sunday. Those worshiping virtually or through our radio broadcast are reminded to have something handy to serve as your bread and something to fill your cup as the Spirit binds us together from our various places of worship, both here in the Auburn/Opelika community and around the world.

As we shared last week, in the Presbyterian Church (USA) this is the time in the church year when we participate in the denomination's Peace and Global Witness Offering. 25% of our congregation's offering will be used by our church to peacemaking ministries in our local community; 25% is shared with our mid council region, and 50% is shared with our denominational partners to extend our witness to peace, making it possible for those who need it most to imagine peace – not just in the moment, but at all times and in every way.

In addition to our traditional ways of giving, you may also give to the Peace & Global Witness Offering by clicking ‘Give’ at and entering your donation under "Special Offerings."

If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.
"Rooted and Grounded in Love"
2021 Stewardship Season

"that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith, as you are being rooted and grounded in love.” - Ephesians 3:17

Make both your financial and time and talent pledge for 2022 today at:

To learn more about the session's vision for ministry at FPC in 2022, click here to access a PDF version of the campaign brochure (a physical copy will be mailed out in October).

Save the date! On Reformation Sunday, which will also serve as this year's dedication Sunday for our 2022 Stewardship Campaign, we will have two options for worship. Our 9am service will be held as usual in the FPC Sanctuary (with communion, shared virtually at 11am for those worshiping at home) and our 11am service will be held outdoors at the Town Creek Park Pavilion with a bring-your-own picnic lunch to follow. Mark your calendars and look for more details to come!
Flu Shot Clinic

Flu Shot Clinic will be on October 10, 11:30am until 1:30pm. We will primarily give the current flu vaccine using a drive-through encounter, or you may visit the table in the rear parking area of the church after worship. If you have not participated previously you will need to bring your insurance card. If you participated last year, your information is on file unless you changed health insurance.

We will also have available a few Pneumonia and Shingles vaccines. However, if you want either of those, you must be ABSOLUTELY sure that you did not already have a dose of Pneumonia vaccine or #2 of the Shingles vaccine. We will not have access to your computer records, but want you to know that the insurance will not pay for the injections if you have already gotten them. Cost is $185 so be absolutely sure you are eligible for those vaccines. This is ONLY for the pneumonia or shingles vaccines. If you have questions, feel free to call me at 334-663-6668.

Jan Widell, Parish Nurse
We Need Hosts for Punch-on-the-Lawn in October!

What a treat to be able to enjoy a time of refreshment and fellowship following worship. A big thank you to our hosts! However, there are a whole lot of Sundays coming up with open slots. If you would like to volunteer to host a Sunday Punch-on-the-Lawn, you may sign up here. For more information about volunteering, please contact Kirstin Yost at atkmyost97@gmail.comor 910-309-1625.
Sanctuary Flower Sponsors Needed

It's been lovely seeing beautiful arrangements back in our sanctuary on Sundays. We still have several open dates (two in October) on the calendar. If you would like to cover the cost of flowers for Sunday morning worship, please sign up for a date on our SignUp Genius page. If you are unable to sign up online, you may contact Sarah Wolak at 334-728-7853 to sign up for a date. While the Sign-Up Genius page only has one slot available for each week, you are welcome to split the cost with another family-- just be sure to write both names in the comments section. The cost of the flowers has been increased to $50 per arrangement, not including tax and delivery fee. As before, you are welcome to bring the arrangements home after the service, or to leave them to be delivered to other members of the congregation.
Trunk or Treat, October 24!

Calling all church members! Join our children and youth in Fall Fellowship and take part in our first ever Trunk or Treat!! You are invited to park your car in the church parking lot, decorate it with a spooky or fun Halloween theme, and then be ready at 5pm to hand out candy to all of the trunk or treaters. There will be prizes for the best decorated cars!

Look for a Sign Up Genius next week to sign up for a parking space. Need more information about trunk or treating? Click this link to see what a trunk or treat is all about!

All children, youth, and their families are invited to come at 5pm show off your best Halloween costume ideas and enjoy a time of fellowship...and candy!
9 AM In-person including weekly communion
11 AM In-person and virtual via YouTube/broadcast on 99.9FM

ALL Ages meet at 9:45 AM
(contact Chris Sarkowski for information on classes ages preK-12th grade 
and Rev. Kathy Reed for information on adult classes)
Worship Reminders: 
  • for Families of Nursery Aged Children - The nursery will continue to be available at the 11 a.m. service each Sunday and by request for the 9 a.m. service. If you would like to have the nursery available at the 9 a.m. service, please contact Chris Sarkowski at (no later than 5 p.m. Friday) so that arrangements may be made.
  • for Families of Children and Youth  - At this time, there will be no children’s church during the 9 a.m. service and Worship Readiness will only be held during the 11 a.m. service. However, should attendance patterns suggest that a children’s option needs to be added to the 9 a.m. service this will be reevaluated as soon as possible.
  • for those attending Adult Sunday School - Our hope is that the 9 a.m. service will last no more than 30 minutes, allowing you plenty of time to begin your Sunday School class at 9:45 a.m.
  • for all attending worship, Sunday School, and Punch on the Lawn - Please continue to be mindful of varying comfort levels in our congregation regarding hugs, handshakes, and proper distancing. With more opportunities to interact comes an increased responsibility to keep our church family safe and healthy.

Regular Worship Reminders: 
How many people can sign up per pew?
In order to maintain six feet of social distance, one family unit may sign up per pew. A family unit of four or five can comfortably sit in a pew together, depending on your own preference for personal space. Those attending in the high-risk category are encouraged to sit in the back (higher numbered pews) for better ventilation and the ability to exit first. 
Can I sit with someone who does not live in my household? 
We recognize many church members, especially those who are now fully vaccinated, may wish to share a pew with church “family” who do not live in their household. Individuals are encouraged to communicate ahead of time and sign up together. Please be respectful and do not sign up to sit in someone else’s pew unless you have communicated with them beforehand.
How will I know which pew to sit in? 
Pay attention to which pew number you sign up for. Each pew will be numbered along the side and center aisles. An usher will be happy to to help direct you to your pew. (Ushers will have a copy of this sign up.) 
Do I need to wear a mask? 
Masks are once again required for all people at all gatherings inside the building, including worship. This change was based on the recommendation of the FPC COVID Reopening Task Force and approved by the Session at a called session meeting on July 26. 
Sunday, October 3

This Sunday, we will celebrate the sacrament of communion at the 11 a.m. worship service as well as the 9 a.m. For those worshiping in-person, prepackaged elements will be available for all. If you are worshiping from home via the live-stream or radio, you may wish to have your own bread and juice on hand for the service. 

✵ 9:00 & 11:00 a.m.: In-Person, Indoor Worship -  If you attend one of the indoor services in coming weeks you will notice many differences from our "normal" sanctuary worship. At this time, based on recommendations from our COVID Task Force and Session, we will have a very simple service without congregational singing, passing of the peace, and several other elements you might be looking forward to sharing with your church family. However, as local conditions and guidelines continue to improve it is our greatest hope that we will begin adding back in all these elements of worship we know and love. Thank you so much for your patience and grace as we try to maintain the greatest level of safety for our congregation, musicians, worship leaders, and our greater community.

At the sign-up link below (and the email containing the sign-up sent on Thursday), you will find detailed information on our current protocols for worship attendance.

✵ 11:00 a.m.: Virtual Worship - We are pleased to announce that we are live-streaming our worship service at 11 a.m. What this means is that those worshiping from home will be able to watch the service live as it is happening in the sanctuary. To view the service you can go directly to our church’s YouTube Channel via your computer, smartphone, or Smart TV app ( or you can access the worship service through our website or Facebook page.

If you are unable to watch live at 11 a.m., a recorded version of the service will be available at these same links later in the day.
Adult Christian Education Opportunities

Masks are once again required to be worn by anyone inside our church buildings.

Modern Families
9:45am, FPC Chapel
In her book, More Than Words: 10 Values for the Modern Family, author Erin Wathen explores what it means to practice family values such as compassion, sabbath, authenticity, and joy. While this class was initially requested by parents of our church's youth and children, it is open to individuals, couples, and families of all walks and phases of life. Participants are encouraged to purchase a copy of the book. If you are interested in attending, please contact Rev. Kathy Reed.

Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living
9:45am, Room 309
This fall, the Burton Bible and Bible Basics classes will be combining to explore a new PC(USA) curriculum, "Follow Me: Biblical Practices for Faithful Living." Based on practices followed by Jesus and that he taught us to do as faithful followers, this new curriculum examines where these practices are found in the Bible and how they have been used in Christian faith then and now. If you are interested in attending, please contact co-teachers Jim Bannon and/or Henry Brandhorst so that enough participant guides may be ordered.

Old Testament Walkabout Class
9:45am, Baird Hall OR Zoom
The Old Testament Sunday school class is now in the post-exilic period of the story of Israel. Our scripture during this phase of our study will come from the books of Ezra/Nehemiah, Third Isaiah, Haggai, Zechariah, Esther, and Daniel. In person class begins in Baird Hall at 9:45. A Zoom option is also available. Please contact Gayle Andress if you wish to receive a Zoom invitation.

Bible Journaling Small Group
Tuesdays, 2pm, Library OR Zoom
You do not have to be an artist to find a great deal of meaning in the practice of Bible journaling. Join us in the church library (or, if you are more comfortable, via Zoom) every Monday as we reflect upon the previous Sunday's sermon and Scripture text and explore various kinds of drawing, painting, and journaling techniques. For more information, please contact Susan Fillippeli.
Provide a Meal for College Students! 

With the university back in session, UKirk is restarting dinner and Bible Study on Sunday nights at 7 p.m. If you are interested in providing dinner for UKirk, you may sign up for a Sunday here.

When you volunteer for a Sunday, we ask that you provide dinner and dessert for 15-20 students, including a vegetarian option for those who do not eat meat. UKirk will provide the utensils, plates, and drinks. You are welcome to join the students for dinner, drop off a meal beforehand, or make a donation to our meal fund (to donate: please make a check out to FPC with “UKirk Meal Fund” written in the memo line). All meals will take place in our courtyard to ensure the greatest level of safety.

If you are interested in providing a meal, but Sundays do not work for you, please contact Caroline; there are mid-week events where we also provide dinner!

Thank you so much for your willingness to support our UKirk students!

--The University Ministry Committee
Worship Arts: Dance/Movement/Exercise 

Join us on a moving journey on the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th Monday each month, 9-10 a.m. in Baird Hall. Contemporary Christian music is used with a prayerful focus on scripture for each week. No dance experience necessary just come have fun as we respond to the word. Masks required and FPC Covid protocols enforced. Contact: Denise Salo 313.304.3248
Children and Youth News

Parents of Children and Youth - please see the update in Adult Christian Education Opportunities about the new “Modern Families” class that will begin this Sunday. If you have any questions, please contact Kathy Reed.

Children Pre-K through 5th grade
•     First Sunday Fellowship for children will meet this Sunday at 3pm in the church courtyard. This will be a time of fellowship, recreation, and devotion. Hope to see you there!
•      Worship Readiness has begun. This year, Worship Readiness is offered for 2nd and 3rd graders. Each Sunday for six weeks children will learn about all of the different pieces of worship and why we worship the way we do. At the conclusion of Worship Readiness, our 2nd and 3rd graders will be prepared to stay in worship for the entire service. We meet in Room 111 next to the Godly Play room.
•      The nursery is now available from 9:30 until noon on Sunday mornings for children birth to age 3.
•      Godly Play: After the Word to Grow By (at 11 a.m. worship), children ages 4 to 1st grade will go to the Godly Play room to worship together for the remainder of the worship service.
•      Worship bags are also available for all children during worship.
•      Children’s Sunday school will meet this Sunday from 9:45 – 10:45 upstairs in the children’s classrooms. There will be two classes, Pre-K through 1st grade and 2nd through 5th grade.
•      Masks are required indoors for children 3 & over and youth, as well as all adults working with them.

Jr. and Sr. High Youth
•      First Wednesday Fellowship for Jr. and Sr. Highs will meet this Wednesday from 7-8pm. We will walk over to downtown. Bring money for ice cream.
•      Mark your calendars, the Montreat Youth Conference for rising 9th graders through graduated seniors will be July 10-16, 2022
•      Mark your calendars, the Montreat Middle School Conference for rising 6th through rising 8th graders will be July 20-24, 2022 (this is a new conference, more info to come)
•      Jr. and Sr. High Sunday school meets weekly from 9:45 – 10:45am upstairs in the Sr. High room.
•      Jr. High Youth Group will meet this Sunday at 4pm in Baird Hall.
•      Sr. High Youth Group will meet this Sunday at 5pm in Baird Hall
Procedures for In-Person Meetings in Church Facilities

As you read the information below, please note that the church building is NOT yet open for general use. PLEASE do not enter the building without first contacting a staff member (preferably as outlined below, via email at least 48 hours in advance) so that we can continue to provide the greatest level of safety and sanitation.

If I am a part of a small group (circle, committee, bible study, etc.) that would like to meet on site, what steps should I take? 
  • PRIOR TO YOUR GATHERING - Contact your group’s designated staff member (please see below for a full list of staff resource persons for each ministry area). Work with your staff person to schedule a time and space for your group to meet. They will explain to you which entrance, exit, and restrooms your group should utilize for the time you are schedule to meet at the church. 
  • DURING YOUR GATHERING - Masks are now optional (unless children are present), although please be respectful of the level of comfort within your group. Proper social distancing should be observed and no food or drinks may be provided.
  • AT THE END OF YOUR GATHERING - Coordinate with your designated staff person to ensure that a list of all attendees is submitted to the church (for contact tracing purposes), the space is properly cleaned and the church doors are locked upon exiting.

Who is my designated staff person and how do I contact them?
Please send an email at least 48 hours before your group would like to gather so staff members have plenty of time to communicate and avoid overlapping groups.

Please contact the following staff members with any questions or concerns in the
following areas:
Ministry Area | Staff Contact
Children and Youth | Chris Sarkowski
Music | Damion Womack
UKirk and University Ministry | Caroline Barnett 
Worship | Nick Reed or Kathy Reed
Mission | Kathy Reed
Adult Education and Presbyterian Women | Kathy Reed
Congregational Life | Nick Reed 
Property | Nick Reed or Steve Hickok
General Office | Kathy Rushing
Generosity | Kathy Reed
Finance | Nick Reed 
Personnel | Nick Reed or Kathy Reed

We thank you in advance for your patience and grace as we do our best to transition into this next (exciting!) phase of our reopening. Please know that in the weeks ahead we may find need to institute a more formal scheduling system in order to facilitate groups that desire to meet in the building. We will use the weekly email newsletter as a place to share these updates.

With much gratitude, The FPC Staff

Oct. 3 - Lila Wright
Oct. 5 - Vonda Ball, Joan Duffett
Oct. 7 - Donine Cooper
In memoriam

Geraldine A. Talley
November 28, 1933 - September 30, 2021

  So we do not lose heart. Even though our outer nature is wasting away, our inner nature is being renewed day by day. For this slight momentary affliction is preparing us for an eternal weight of glory beyond all measure, because we look not at what can be seen but at what cannot be seen; for what can be seen is temporary, but what cannot be seen is eternal. For we know that if the earthly tent we live in is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
II Corinthians 4:16-5:1
Prayer Concerns & Celebrations

For the time period in which our church family is worshiping virtually, our pastors have decided that prayer concerns will be shared via weekly email. These individuals will most certainly be prayed for during our Sunday worship service, but their names and specific concerns will not be shared via broadcast.

• Prayers of comfort for Paul Talley and all of Gerri’s family and friends as they grieve her death. As of now there are no specific arrangements for a memorial service. We will be sure to keep everyone updated. 
• Prayers of healing for Bill Combs as he seeks medical treatment for cancer. Prayers of comfort and guidance for Bill and Patsy as they process this diagnosis. 
• Prayers for Carolyn Crinkley (cousin of the Barnes family), who just received news that her cancer has progressed. Prayers of comfort and guidance as they struggle with this news.
• Prayers of healing for Bob Webeler’s sister, Rev. Susan Webeler, who is now receiving daily physical therapy at facility near son who lives in Ohio.
• Prayers of healing for members of our church who are recovering from medical procedures this week, but do not wish to be named at this time. Also please continue to pray for many members of our church who are dealing with illness or significant health issues, but at this time do not wish to be mentioned by name.
• We continue to pray for healing and wholeness for those dealing with issues related to Covid-19. We also continue to pray for all the health care workers as they tend to everyone’s well being.
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