Thanks to your faithful support, the community of First Presbyterian Church has thrived over the past several years of transition between leaders. We are thankful to all who carried extra responsibilities during this season. Even without a permanent Pastor, we continued to generously support our mission partners, our members, and our future. Now, we are celebrating God’s generosity and our faithful Pastoral Nominating Committee’s determination that we call Amy Starr Redwine as our new Pastor and Head of Staff. On this page, you will see highlights of the generosity of the various generations in our church family. Whatever generation you are in, this is your chance to invest in our future.
Significant events in 2019:
January/February: Amy Starr Redwine becomes our new Pastor-elect and begins her ministry with us
April/May/July: 49 new members joined our FPC family
April: the Planned Giving Committee announced the creation of The First Fund, an endowment fund established to receive estate gifts and provide for FPC’s future
Throughout this year, we have grown through the changes that happen when new leadership comes to a church, including changes to organizational structures and staff
With gratitude to God for our past and with great hope for our future, let us faithfully continue to support the generations of our FPC family and community.
Thank you for your generous gifts of money, talent and time.
With hope and joy,
The 2020 Stewardship Team
Bruce Arnett, Chair, Hannah Gray, Cynthia Haw, Ian Nimmo, Bill Overton, Amy Starr Redwine, Terrie Sears, Micki Stout
Who We Are
First Presbyterian Church has a rich history of 200+ years serving the Richmond, Virginia and surrounding areas. During those two centuries, we have consistently been a congregation that welcomes people of all ages and stages of life into our church family.
Here are some examples of our generational community and how church members of all ages inspire, nurture, and serve our community and the world God so loves:
Members of our session and deacons represent a cross-section of generations so that people of all ages and backgrounds are contributing their time and talents to our community.
Volunteers from each generation are active throughout the church, including as Sunday School teachers and youth advisors; serving at George Mason Elementary School, Caritas, and other outreach partners; participating in Presbyterian Women circles and men’s Bible studies; choir members and other musicians; and all manner of council and committee members.
Thanks to the presences of our highly-respected preschool, we have the opportunity nearly every weekday during the school year to educate future generations and support young families.
Our giving reflects that members of each generation faithfully seek to increase their financial support for God’s church.
After searching for a new church home for almost three years, we finally made our first visit to FPC about a year and half ago. It should have seemed like an obvious choice since our children have gone to preschool here, but as an Episcopalian, Presbyterianism was unfamiliar to me. I didn’t know quite what to expect. On our first visit though, I was instantly hooked by the welcoming congregation and staff, the buzzing life of the church and the many opportunities to get involved. Being a part of FPC is a blessing to us and stewardship is critical to maintain the vibrant life of this church.
On a personal level, FPC enriches me spiritually through weekly worship and adult Sunday school. I feel grateful to have formed close relationships with our amazing pastors as well as many of my peers. I have found so much comfort in the intergenerational friendships I have made as well; I love having role models and mentors who have walked similar paths before us on the journey of family life.
As for our family, FPC has provided a place for our children to grow their faith through the fantastic Children’s Sunday School curriculum. I love that our kids feel a strong sense of belonging in this place, even at such a young age.
I cannot fail to mention the ways our gifts support FPC’s Outreach partners. For me, volunteering at George Mason is one of the highlights of my week during the school year. There are many other organizations doing important work that benefit greatly from the assistance of our congregation as well.
FPC is the robust place it is today because of generosity; let us continue to give faithfully so it can continue to thrive.
For Elizabeth and me, it’s about gratitude and grace. We’ve been taught, and we believe, that everything we have is a gift from God. Everything. Our health, our home, kids, marriage, our faith, our friends, all of it. And we try not to take these things for granted, or to believe we did anything to deserve them.
Giving money to the church is a gesture so small in comparison to what God has given us, it sometimes seems like a drop in an ocean. But for us, it’s not about the money, it’s about the meaning. God asks us to give our time and money to the church. And so we do, remembering that they are not ours to give or keep in the first place. They are God’s.
Stewardship is also an old and personal family tradition for each of us. Elizabeth and I both grew up in the Presbyterian Church. My grandfather was a Presbyterian minister. So is my mother. We are pleased beyond words that our children are growing up in a church like FPC, and we are committed, as our parents were, to teaching them about the joys and responsibilities of meaningful giving.
But on a more “operational” level, when we give money to the church, we give it to our fellow members of the Body of Christ, just as they give theirs to us. As a church community, it’s how we fund our fantastic ministries, pay our incomparable staff, and otherwise keep the lights on so we can do our best to share the good news Jesus has for Richmond and the rest of the world. No small task!
Here are the church and the steeple. Open the doors and see all the people. The people are what I love the most about First Presbyterian Church. Nothing brings me more peace than to feel God’s tender touch through the kindness of a church friend.
After moving to Richmond following college, I joined First Presbyterian where I found a vibrant church with a beautiful sanctuary and welcoming people. Not long after, I was recruited to help with the Youth Group. Was that a nudge from God? He’s been nudging me ever since.
The question of giving to the church is easy for me. It is my responsibility, for I benefit greatly from inspiring sermons, beautiful music, enlightening programs and the opportunity to serve with wonderful and faithful people. Like many Baby Boomers, I want to make a difference. My financial gifts combined with the gifts of others feed and shelter the homeless, provide clean drinking water to families in Nicaragua, and helped build a church in Belarus. In considering The First Fund, again it is easy. I join with other members to make a difference and preserve the ministry of First Presbyterian Church for years to come.
Sally & Lee Brown
Establishing a church family has always been a top priority wherever we have lived. It’s where we have met our best friends—people who share our deepest values and our faith in Christ. It’s a community that not only literally feeds us on occasion, but nourishes us spiritually, mentally, and emotionally, and challenges us how to live out our faith in the larger world.
We’ve been grateful for opportunities to serve in various capacities within the church and to be involved in outreach efforts such as RISC and the water ministry in places like Haiti and Nicaragua.
Financially supporting the work of the church has always been a very important way for us to act on our enormous gratitude for ALL that God is doing, now and for generations to come.
Every day since becoming your pastor, I have been amazed at the boundless generosity with which members and staff engage in our ministries. From teaching our youngest disciples in preschool and Sunday School to tight-knit Bible studies and small groups that grapple with life’s most challenging questions to musicians who present their talents with gratitude and joy to volunteers who offer invaluable support to our many community partners, FPC members from across the generations find ways to put their faith into action and help us live out our vision to inspire, nurture, and serve God’s people. I have especially enjoyed getting to know members of the congregation through the spring socials, my weekly Bible study, lunches at local retirement communities, and in facilitating meetings of the Young Adult Group this summer.
As we look forward to 2020, I am excited by a number of new initiatives, including:
Offering new, inter-generational opportunities to deepen our relationships with one another and with God through all-church fellowship events and an all-church retreat
Adding to our staff a Director of Communications to help us effectively communicate who we are and who God is to the community both inside our building and online, and a temporary, part-time pastor to help us deepen our members’ faith and put that faith into action in the community
Using our building to reflect our mission, vision, and values by creating welcoming spaces for gathering, learning, playing, and praising God together
Planning an inter-generational and international travel experience to learn from and serve our siblings in Christ
By coming together as the church, the body of Christ, we share the good news of God’s love and manifest God’s realm here on earth. Thank you for all the ways you use the gifts God has given you in service to this work!