Whether it is a copy of a recent sermon, an announcement concerning upcoming events, or a weekly devotional about a particular idea relevant to the life of FPCH, you can find it here! Please check back for regular updates, and we hope that you will benefit and learn from this space.
In this time of restrictions on gathering, we at First Presbyterian Church are trying something new in an effort to offer an online worship service to our family of faith.
We are sending out an email that will include both a link to a recorded worship service and the service bulletin. You are invited to watch and participate at home. Each week there will be scripture, song, preaching, and prayer. We encourage you to watch at 11 am on Sunday — we can all attend worship together virtually.
If you need aid or help, please call the Pastoral Care lines:
404-558-9449 or 336-264-0856.
In this strange and difficult time, we
can all hold each other in prayer. We don’t know what is coming our way, but
the most important thing for our church and our community is to work together
to stay healthy.
After much thought, prayer, and discernment, we have made the difficult but necessary decision to cancel adult education and worship this Sunday, March 15th. We make this decision with the health, wholeness, and care of all of God’s people in mind.
These are indeed strange times. As each day brings news of the growing outbreak, we will continue making decisions about future church gatherings. The Session will meet on Monday, March 16th, to discuss the church calendar to communicate to our congregation. Our office hours remain unchanged.
The Community Table meals on Tuesday evenings have been suspended for the next few weeks, with hopes of returning on April 21st.
While we won’t meet in person, we are still the church of Jesus Christ! We can join together in prayer, we can call and check in on one another, and those who are able might be capable of providing care. If you are in need of care – a trip to the grocery store or pharmacy, a ride to the doctor, a problem in your home – please contact the church office (828-526-3175), Curtis (336-264-0856), or Emily (404-558-9449). If you are in good health and willing to support those who are ill or in need, let us know, too!
Meet Angela Swain, below, and Michelle Flores, next photo — our Sonshine After-School Program teachers. Angela, a 5th grade teacher at Highlands School and mother of two sons, has been with the Sonshine School for the past two years. She is a kind and giving soul, and the children love her.
Michelle is a senior at Highlands High School and a superb student teacher. She gives of her time every afternoon to help the children with after school talks, homework and fun. The program includes time for homework, structured lessons, crafts, music with Angie Jenkins, and free play time. The youngsters are quick learners and engage in the activities with enthusiasm.
Our annual Ash Wednesday service, marking the beginning of the season of Lent, took place on February 26th, 2020. During the service worshippers came forward to receive the imposition of ashes to symbolize our mortality and penitence. Participants were invited to write down on slips of paper any regrets or shortcomings they wished to confess; these papers were burned on the church steps at the close of the service. A delightful lunch of Marty’s famous soup, salad and quiche followed in Coleman Hall.
The Service of Ordination and Installation of Ruling Elders took place on January 5th. Candidates Sherrie Cathcart, George Manning, Delaine Nelson and Ann Sullivan came forward for the Constitutional Questions, prayer and laying on of hands by all ordained elders present in the congregation.
The ecumenical Blue Christmas worship service was held in our sanctuary on Saturday, December 21st, offering a time and space for grieving our losses, acknowledging our pain, and taking comfort in God’s abiding love and care for us. The service was one of prayer, litany, scripture and hymns, in an atmosphere of quiet meditation.
Christmas Eve Service
Candlelight, harp and pipe organ music, and the singing of Christmas carols filled the sanctuary on December 24, the night of our annual Christmas Eve service. Worshippers filled every seat, including the chairs on the chancel, and overflowed into Coleman Hall where the service was shown live.
This Advent service is based on a composition by E. W. Benson, Anglican Bishop of Truro, England in 1880, for a Christmas Eve service at that time. In 1918 it was adapted for the chapel of King’s College, Cambridge, by its Dean, Eric Milner-White, who also wrote The Bidding Prayer. The current service at First Presbyterian incorporates out Chancel Choir, a guest harpist, flutist and oboist, and congregational members who read scripture verses foretelling the coming of the Lord. It is a beautiful, heart-felt service of scripture, prayer, the lighting of candles, and music.
Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet Concert
Always popular and loads of fun, especially at Christmas time, the Smoky Mountain Brass Quintet was once again a crowd-pleaser at First Presbyterian on December 7th.
Empty Bowls Luncheon
The ninth annual Empty Bowls fundraiser for the Food Pantry
“Empty Bowls” is an annual fundraiser for the Highlands Food Pantry, co-sponsored by the Bascom. Area potters and wood turners contributed handmade bowls for purchase, which entitled participants to enjoy a luncheon of hot soups prepared by local chefs. The bowls are a reminder of the many in our world who go without food on a regular basis.
Harpist — Kela Walton
November 2 — Kela Walton, harpist, accompanied the Chancel Choir and played the Prelude and Offertory for the worship service on November 2nd. Kela is based in Spartanburg, South Carolina, and performs with many regional symphonies as well as giving private harp lessons and writing for harp journals.
Bluegrass — Charles Wood and Friends
October 20 — Charles Wood and Friends, a much-loved regional bluegrass band, had the congregation tapping its toes and singing along during the Sunday morning worship service.
Amernet String Quartet
Saturday, October 12 — As part of the Highlands-Cashiers Chamber Music Festival, the Amernet String Quartet from Miami, Florida, offered a spectacular Saturday afternoon concert in the sanctuary.
The Rabun Gap-Nacoochee Singers
September 29 — Our sanctuary was filled to overflowing with the glorious music of Rabun Gap-Nacoochee School’s Gap Singers, directed by Allegra Boggess.