December 21, 2014
Fourth Sunday of Advent
10 AM Worship Service
 Psalm 146:5-10 / Luke 1:26-38
 "The Hidden Treasure"
            Rev. Paul E. Gilmore preaching      
First Presbyterian Church Choir
Cherub Choir; Sherry Tate, directing
Christine Mangone, piano
10:15 A.M. Sunday's Cool 
for Grades K - 7
11:15 A.M. Coffee Hour 

11:30 A.M. Pageant Dress Rehearsal

4:00 Call Cast for Choir

5:00 Christmas Concert




Plan to join us for worship on Christmas Eve.




Christmas Eve at 5:00 p.m.

The Cherub Choir, Angelus Chime Choir, Chrysalis Choir and Carol Choir will join with other children of the Church School to present our Annual Christmas Pageant under the direction of Allison Gray on Christmas Eve at 5:00 PM.  FPC is the place to be on Christmas Eve!





9:45 p.m. Prelude/10:00 p.m. Christmas Eve Candlelight Communion Service


Meditation by Rev. Paul E. Gilmore


Soprano Allison Gray will be featured soloist with the FPC Choir at the 10:00 p.m. Candlelight Communion Service, singing William Dawson’s setting of the beloved spiritual:  “Mary Had a Baby.”  Excerpts from Handel’s Messiah will include solos by Jennifer Groves, soprano, and the great chorus, “Glory to God.”  The English Handbell Choir will provide their own Christmas magic with carol arrangements for the extended Prelude at 9:45 p.m.  Ellen Taylor Sisson will present the vocal solo, “O Holy Night.”




Safe Church Policies for Children & Youth
Most every Sunday morning you hear me stand in front of the congregation and tell you that “this is a safe and sacred place…”  We wanted to inform and reassure you that we have put into place safe church policies that are guided by the policies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and reflect current practices nationwide for activities involving minors.  Here are the steps that we have taken to seek to insure the safety of our children and youth. 

·        All children are supervised by at least two adults at all times - in Sunday school, children’s and youth activities,  choir rehearsals, youth group meetings, confirmation classes, and youth overnight retreats, mission trips, and pilgrimages.

·        Infants and toddlers are cared for on Sunday mornings during worship by two or more professional adult babysitters who have undergone thorough background checks.

·        Youth participating in overnight retreats or events are supervised by at least one adult of each gender.

·        All adult chaperones of overnight trips will undergo a standard background check.

·        It is our practice to maintain a smaller youth-to-chaperone ratio than is required by the hosting organization during our pilgrimages and mission trips.

·        Ordained pastors, elders, deacons, and Stephen Ministers are considered mandated reporters by the Presbyterian Church (USA), as well as the state, and are charged with reporting any concerns immediately.

These measures contribute to the safe and sacred place that is First Presbyterian Church.  We appreciate your understanding and support of our safe church policies.  Together we will provide for the well-being of our children and youth, truly make this a sanctuary where all God’s children will not only be safe but will flourish. 

Grace & Peace,

Paul & Kibbie












Concert:  “Christmas Fantasia:  An English Christmas” 

The First Presbyterian Church Choir, Carol Choir, and Orchestra will present a Christmas concert under the direction of Sean McCarthy on Sunday, December 21 at 5:00 PM.   A number of evocative English carols are included in Ralph Vaughan Williams’ magnificent Fantasia on Christmas Carols for baritone, chorus, and orchestra.  Constantine Tsourakis, baritone, will be our featured soloist for this work, and also for Gerald Finzi’s equisite “Christmas Scene,” In Terra Pax, Op. 39, for soprano and baritone soloists, choir and orchestra.  Soprano Jennifer Groves will appear in the role of the Angel of Lord. Organist Stephen Rapp will return as soloist with the orchestra for a performance of the original version of G.F. Handel’s Organ Concerto, Op. 4, No. 4, which features a lively choral “Alleluia” conclusion. Our choir was privileged to present the American premiere of this newly rediscovered work in 2007.


The twenty children of our Carol Choir will join the adult choir for a selection of favorite carols from the British Isles, and will be featured in the English version of “Away In a Manger” and the traditional  carol, “See Amid the Winter’s Snow.”  The audience will be invited to sing-a-long on rafter-raising settings by Vaughan Williams and David Willcocks of the   carols “God Rest You Merry Gentlemen,” “Good King Wenceslas,” and that crown jewel of all English carols:  “The First Nowell.”  Of course, it wouldn’t be a truly “English” Christmas at FPCNC without something by John Rutter.  This year the choir will present his poignant setting of “What Sweeter Music.”  The concert will open with a performance by the orchestra of Vaughan Williams’ sweeping “Fantasia on Greensleeves,” which is based on the tune of the carol “What Child Is This.”

The concert is free with a donation accepted at intermission to benefit our church’s Outreach Ministries.  Plan now to join with our entire church family for this celebration of Christmas carols. Early seating is recommended.  For more information please call (203) 966-0002.
















A Service of Thanksgiving and Celebration for
William H. Harding
will be held on
Friday, December 19
at 11 a.m. in the Sanctuary
followed by a Reception in the Common Room



8:30 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.