Women's Ministry Newsletter



by Jennifer Talley

The dictionary defines Advent as the following: “an arrival or coming, especially one which is awaited.”

Christmas brings back so many wonderful memories of when my boys were younger. Not that we don’t make memories now, but there is nothing quite as special and magical as Christmas time when children are young and so full of life! Decorating the tree, hiding baby Jesus from the nativity, baking cookies for Santa, wrapping up gifts, and the traditional Christmas pageant at church. 

The season of advent, with the Christmas music playing 24/7, just exudes joy, peace, and love! We all revert back to children during the season of Advent. 

However, I wonder how Mary felt on her first Christmas? Not knowing what Christmas would feel like and not even understanding the season of what would be called Christmas. No music was playing in the background, no cookies were baking in the oven, and it didn’t smell of cranberry and cinnamon in the stable. A scared and frightened teenage girl with her new husband, and not the father of the baby, traveling on a donkey across the country. Makes my road trips sound like a dream. Mary had faith! I’m going to take this one step earlier… from the angel Gabriel’s perspective. In Max Lucado’s book In The Manger - 25 Inspirational Selections for Advent, he writes a chapter about what the Angel Gabriel thought:

Gabriel must have scratched his head at this one. He wasn’t one to question his God-given missions. Sending fire and dividing seas were all in an eternity’s work for this angel. When God sent, Gabriel went. And when word got out that God was to become a man, Gabriel was enthused. He could envision this moment: 

The Messiah in a blazing chariot. 

The King descending on a fiery cloud. 

An explosion of light from which the Messiah would emerge.

That’s what he expected. What he never expected, however, was a slip of paper with a Nazarene address. “God will become a baby”’ it read. “Tell the mother to name the child Jesus. And tell her not to be afraid” 

Gabriel was never one to question, but this time he had to wonder. God will come as a baby? … The heavens can’t contain him, how could a body? … And what of this name - Jesus? Such a common name. There’s a Jesus in every cul-de-sac.

Come on, even Gabriel had more punch to it than Jesus. 

Must be a special girl, he assumed as he traveled. But one peek told him Mary was no queen… she was a jewish peasant who’d barely outgrown her acne and had a crush on a guy named Joe. 

For even though he couldn’t answer the questions, he knew who could, and that was enough. And even though we can’t answer them all, taking the time to ask a few could be a good start.

Gabriel had faith! Never underestimate the power and will of God. His plans are greater than we will ever know. He sent His son as a baby, to live as a human, and to die as our sin-bearer so that we may live in eternity with Him. During this season of Advent, may we all live expectantly and understand that things can come in unexpected ways. May we prepare our hearts as we prepare our homes with decorations, food for our families, and gifts for others. May we live with the submissiveness and faith of Gabriel and Mary. 

May God bless you all this season and forever more.

Dear Heavenly Father, may we wait with great expectation knowing, but not fully understanding, your plan for us. You have sent us good news, a baby will come and he will be called Wonderful, Counselor, The Mighty God, The everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. So, fill us with the obedience that Gabriel and Mary had that first Christmas knowing you are sovereign and dwell in us with the Holy Spirit. Amen.

Every December, the organization Joni & Friends sends out teams of people across the nation to deliver Christmas gifts and carols to families impacted by disability. For 6 years, FPC has been one of those teams ministering to families in our congregation and community. This is an incredible ministry opportunity for all generations! 

We will meet at FPC at 5 PM on Wed. Dec. 13th for some cookies and hot chocolate, and will then travel around town to visit families in their homes to sing Christmas carols, deliver a special gift, and pray together. Text Jordan Orr at 770-546-9703 by Mon. Dec. 11th if you plan to attend!

Ministry Opportunities

Please consider supporting the women of our church through any of the following opportunities.

Help with Sunday Worship Flower Arrangements

If you have flowers in your garden and/or want to help with floral arrangements for Sunday morning worship services, contact Evelyn Storey.

Donate Books to the Highland Rivers Ministry

Our missions team is now supporting Highland Rivers, which is a behavioral health healing organization engaging with the community of Rome, GA to foster hope, empower change, and enhance the quality of all lives. We are developing relationships through discipleship for women who are in need of services for mental health, substance use, and intellectual and developmental disabilities. 

One specific way you can help to support this ministry is by donating books to their library! We request that they are biblically-based books and can be from any genre. To donate or ask questions, please contact Abby Holcombe.

Gift a Cookbook

Church cookbooks make great gifts and stocking stuffers! Each cookbook is $15. All proceeds fund women’s mission trips.

Order at fpcrome.org/women. We will also have them available for sale at the Women’s Christmas Dinner!

New Members Spotlight

Brenda Dubs

I’ve been married to my high school sweetheart, Tyler for 19 years. We live in Rome with our three children, Sophie(16), Dallas(13), and Tessa(7), and our chocolate lab, Tovey. I worked as a pediatric nurse before becoming a stay at home mom. I enjoy traveling to national parks and international destinations, reading, hiking, volunteering, and am trying to learn to knit. We made the decision to join FPC because of the wonderful student and children’s ministries. Our daughter was invited to small groups by friends and found a unique place to worship and grow in her faith. After attending worship with the whole family and praying over our decision, we knew this was the place for each of us to grow spiritually.

Marsha Thompson

I moved to Rome (originally from Boaz, AL) in 1997 to teach P.E. & coach at Coosa MS. Keith and I met at The Church at Northside in ‘99 and married in ‘00. We have 3 kids: Caleb is a sophomore at Grand Canyon U; Eli is a freshman and plays football at The College of the Holy Cross; and Sydney is a sophomore at Unity Christian. We also host Aisha Percentie who will attend Unity for the next 4 years. She is from the Bahamas. I love hosting and planning retreats. The Lord blessed Keith and I by allowing us to found and direct Cumberland Wilderness Retreat (CWR). CWR is a 501(c)3 ministry that operates on 3600 beautiful acres on the Cumberland Plateau in Altamont, TN. I also enjoy designing and making jewelry. Several years ago, I started a business to provide an outlet for my interest and gifting in this area, I call it “A Beautiful Mess”. I have two booth locations – one at The Dirt in Summerville and another at River City Antiques in Rome. We’re excited to join the FPC community. I’m particularly looking forward to getting involved with the women’s ministry.

Women's Retreat

January 26-27, 2024

Gather with the women of FPC for an in-house retreat featuring speaker and author Jen Oshman. 

Jen spoke at our Christ & Culture Forum earlier this year and we invited her back! She has been in ministry for over two decades as a missionary and pastor’s wife on three continents. Her latest book “Cultural Counterfeits” encourages women to reject the empty, destructive promises these idols offer and embrace something much more satisfying.

Mark your calendar for this enriching event!

Christmas at FPC

December 6 | Christmas Dinner @ 6pm

Join the women of FPC for a night of fun, fellowship, and food as we enjoy a catered dinner and hear from several women on the theme of the evening: “Be Still.” 

This is sure to be a restorative and reflective time that will center our hearts as we enter the busy Christmas season. 

Nursery will be provided for children 8 weeks through 5 years. Please contact Mrs. Nell directly at nellm@fpcrome.org for your nursery needs.

Deadline to register for the event and nursery is Sunday, December 3rd. Tickets are $20 each. College students are free. Register online at fpcrome.org/women

Sign Up for Dinner

Women’s Ministry Theme Verse


“God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship him in spirit and truth.”

John 4:24

Spring Bible Studies

1, 2, 3 John

Led by Joan Brock

Mondays, January 8 - April 30

in Hardy Classroom

9:30 - 11:00 am

nursery provided; must register

Women of the Bible

Led by Mary Holcombe

2nd Monday of the Month

in Fellowship Hall

6:30 pm

Rest in The Lord

Led by Susanna Pippel

Tuesdays beginning January 9 in Hardy Classroom

9:30 - 11:00 am

nursery provided; must register


Led by Amanda Davidson

Tuesdays, January 9 - April 30

8:00 am in Van Dyke Room

1:30 pm in Hardy Classroom

Topic TBD

Led by Bethany Johnson

Tuesdays, February - March

in CLC 203

6:30 - 8:00 pm

Women’s Community Groups

Led by Amy Davis, Robin Sorrow, and Joan Brock

Wednesdays after FPC Family Dinner 

6:15 - 7:15 pm

nursery provided

December Birthdays

1 - Davena Stephens

2 - Anita Good

3 - Zoe Dillmon

4 - Catherine Burns

4 - Debra Gilbert

5 - Neal Morgan

5 - Anita Smith

6 - Bekah Chadwick

6 - Gia Pyles

8 - Sue Swann

8 - Nancy Foster

10 - Stacy Peek

10 - Jacqueline Cline

10 - Susanna Pippel

10 - Louise Hunt

11 - Mary Arrington

11 - Denise Hudson

12 - Kelly Stovall

12 - Kendall Duggan

13 - Kelly Espy

13 - Katy Linebach

14 - Clare Harvey

16 - Jane Cavaness

18 - Pat Shetter

19 - Theresa Stevens

19 - Darby Moore

20 - Mary Lyn Stegall

20 - Beth Tharp

20 - Lynn Beaver

21 - Emily Claytor

22 - Annie Davis

24 - Juanita Harris

24 - Lynn Maddox

25 - Mary Ann Askew

25 - Taylor York

26 - Margaret Crego

28 - Myra Frances Johnston

29 - Alicia Rix

31 - Mary Anna Fricks

31 - Sue Hartley

31 - Lauren Jones

31 - Dawn Irmscher

Upcoming Events

Women's Christmas Dinner

December 6 at 6:00 PM

King Hall

Register online!

Joni & Friends Deliveries/Caroling

December 13 at 5:00 PM

Start at FPC

Undecorate the Church

December 27 at 9:30 am

Contact Chris Morgan to help!

Women's Retreat

January 26-27, 2024

Christian Life Center

Westminster Shorter Catechism

Question #9

What is the work of creation?


The work of creation is, God’s making all things of nothing, by the word of his power, in the space of six days, and all very good.

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