Guide to Getting Involved

Worship, Music, and Communion Committee

The purpose of this committee of the session is to promote the worship of God in the Reformed tradition at First Presbyterian Church.

We work closely with the pastoral staff and the Director of Music to ensure that appropriate worship is held both on a regular basis and on special occasions throughout the year. Our many responsibilities extend into the small details of the following broad categories:

  • Worship: consulting with pastoral staff regarding Sunday worship; assisting in preparing services for special occasions; ensuring that the sanctuary provides an atmosphere conducive for worship; providing opportunities for members of all ages to learn about the theology, content, and traditions of Reformed services; developing and administering policies for special services, such as weddings and funerals, and for baptisms; encouraging worship activities in the homes of members by, for example, preparing an Advent booklet for members.
  • Communion: helping the pastor and Session to schedule quarterly observations of The Lord's Supper; coordinating the arrangements for communion, including the preparation of the elements and cleanup afterwards; coordinating efforts to serve communion in the homes of members who are unable to attend regular worship services.
  • Music: Advising and assisting the Director of Music in providing music that enhances worship; facilitating the activities of choirs, which allow members of the congregation to participate in the Music Program; and supervising the work of the Church Organist.

We have subcommittees that focus on the needs of the sanctuary and that coordinate memorial and honorary flowers in the sanctuary during worship. See the pages on Worship and Music for more information about these aspects of our work.

Christian Education Committee

Our purpose is to teach the Word of God; to bring people into a meaningful relationship with God as revealed in Jesus Christ; to help people grow in that relationship through study and worship in fellowship with others; to encourage people to live their lives in turn with God's teachings; and to spread God's word through our own words and deeds.

We help to direct existing Christian Education programming and to initiate new programs. We help with or are responsible for the curriculum, administration, resources, and leadership for the FPC Church School programs. To accomplish our goals and complete our responsibilities, we have occasional task forces and the following ongoing subcommittees:

  • Church Nurseries
  • Children and Worship
  • Presbyterian Pathfinders
  • Vacation Church School
  • Christmas Pageant
  • Family Ministry
  • Bible Study and/or Small Group Ministry
  • Youth Committee
  • All-Church Retreat Subcommittee  (see below for more information)
  • Child Development Center  Advisory Committee
  • Confirmation Class

Our committee is responsible for designing and directing the Christian Education program at First Presbyterian. Therefore, we are expected to aid with curriculum selection for Church School classes; to find and coordinate opportunities for teacher training within our community or in the larger Presbytery or General Assembly; and to plan and oversee the Christian Education budget.

The FPC Foundation

The First Presbyterian Church Foundation of Raleigh, Inc., was incorporated on April 30, 1991, as a non-profit entity to better support the mission of the Church through special gifts and bequests. Income from these donations is used by the Foundation Board of Directors to help the Church broaden and accomplish its mission. The Foundation corpus is invested and managed in perpetuity to provide a continuing and growing source of income to support special benevolences and church?related capital needs. Under the Foundation By-laws, the corpus must be preserved, and none of the income to the Foundation may be used to support the general operating expenses of FPC.

Since its inception, the FPC Foundation has provided from earnings a total of over $552,000 for the Church's interests: $400,000 to the Capital Campaign; $25,000 to Union Theological Seminary/PSCE; $25,000 to Peace College; $47,000 to the FPC Child Development Center; $48,765 for FPC capital needs and historical renovation; and $7,000 to several smaller-scale FPC projects. The Foundation also made loans of $12,200 to the Visions of Tomorrow Campaign.

Growing the corpus of the Foundation through special bequests is important because such gifts extend the mission of the Church beyond the offering plate, which meets our daily operational needs. The Foundation does not compete with pledging or with targeted gift appeals like the Visions Campaign. Perhaps the greatest value of a bequest to the FPC Foundation is that it is a gift that keeps on giving. Because each donation is invested in perpetuity, the income from the donation provides a legacy of continuous support for the mission of the Church.

Please consider making a gift to the FPC Foundation as you review your personal annual charitable giving. In the process of your estate planning, whatever your age, consider the FPC Foundation when writing your will. An estate gift to the Foundation would leave a wonderful legacy and complete your lifelong cycle of stewardship to God through His Church.

Pastoral Care Committee

We want our members to feel at home at FPC, very much cared for and remembered by their church so Pastoral Care works closely with our Prayer Line, Martha Ministry, Bereavement Committee, the Associate Pastor for Nurture and Outreach, and First Friends and Families, which divides the congregation into groups of about a dozen church members.  Each group is assigned a deacon or elder. It is the responsibility of the deacon or elder to contact group members and develop and maintain a sense of fellowship with them.  As a result of these contacts, our Committee updates membership information in an effort to address the needs and concerns of our Church members.

In addition to caring for long-time members, the Committee assists new members to make sure they are connected to a Church school class, Church committee, Circle, Bible study or other activity. If you can serve in just one aspect of this ministry, please phone the church office, 919-821-5750 X104.

Hospitality Committee

Our purpose is to lead the congregation to invite others to come to Christ or to join our church (or both). We support and plan a variety of ongoing church activities, such as the following:

  • A regular visitation effort directed toward visitors to our worship services and to other potential members.
  • Occasional services and programs devoted to deepening the congregation's faith in and understanding of Christ?s invitation to come to Him.
  • Programs and courses of study aimed at supporting those who would seek to become stronger and clearer witnesses of Christ?s love.
  • Other activities consistent with our purpose.

Welcoming and encouraging new members is our particular responsibility. We are also charged with planning the annual First Presbyterian Church Spiritual Enrichment Weekend, held in early November. This weekend of spiritual renewal, fellowship, and faith includes a guest speaker, usually a pastor from another church, and a 24-hour prayer vigil. This year's guest speaker was Richard Boyce, a pastor turned professor with an extraordinary gift for teaching.

Stay tuned for information about next year's Spiritual Enrichment Weekend.

The Memorials Committee

The Memorials Committee meets on a quarterly basis to complete or review work concerning the money that has been given in memory or honor of members of our church.

We also do other kinds of work related to memorials around our church. As an example of the kind of work we do, we update the four Memorial Books found in the church and have plans to complete more in the near future for the Dames Den, the Kitchen Parlor, the Penick Classroom, and the Brides' Parlor.

We are responsible for the section that appears periodically in the church bulletin that highlights entries from the Books of Remembrance.

We have added to the Sanctuary Endowment Fund; used the Outlaw Preschool money for new equipment for the Child Development Center; used interest from the Mary Romefelt Medical Mission to support the Medical Ministry Alliance and the Mulanje Mission in Malawi, Africa; used the Louise Hester Memorial and the Paul Hoover Memorial to replace the sanctuary doors. We have drawn from the Wilks Hiatt Prison Ministry Memorial several times this year for worthy causes in our ministry to newly released prisoners.

We have organized the silver closet and acquired new pieces to be used at our receptions. And from time to time, we review and revise the guidelines for our committee.

We all enjoy our work with this group and thank you for the opportunity to serve the church in this important capacity.

Budget and Finance Committee

We aid the church staff and the session in formulating the annual budget, a sizeable and significant undertaking. It is our duty to help the church leadership balance the ministry we hope to accomplish and the resources that will be available to us.

By the end of August each year, we formulate a Challenge Budget for the following year. In the final quarter of each calendar year, we consider the Estimate of Giving and Time and Talent cards that church members return on Consecration Sunday (the last Sunday in October). Based on your pledges of financial support, on the annual budget requests of each committee and each program, on the past year?s budget, and on many other considerations, we work to formulate a tentative budget. Then, once final end-of-year receipts and carryovers are in, we finalize the budget and present it to the congregation.

We consult with the pastors, Session, and Diaconate to present goals to the congregation during Stewardship Season. We also work closely with the Treasurer and with the church financial staff to monitor the budget throughout the year and to decide whether adjustments should be recommended to the Session. We also nominate candidates for appointment to the post of Director of the FPC Foundation.

Long-Range Planning Committee

Our purpose is to aid the Session in its duties of leading the congregation continually to discover what God is doing in the world and to plan for change, renewal, and reformation under the word of God.

More specifically, we perform the following functions:

  • Study changes in the environment that will have an impact on FPC.
  • Study changes within the congregation that will require changes in programs, facilities, and personnel, and discuss ways to take advantage of opportunities.
  • Identify needs for replacement of equipment and alterations in buildings.
  • Identify mission needs and opportunities for us as a downtown church and as a member of our denomination.
  • Develop a five-year, long-range plan for the church.

To perform any of our duties, we solicit and incorporate input from the congregation, staff, and Session.

Mission Committee

The Mission Committee of First Presbyterian Church works to increase mission awareness and involvement by encouraging congregational support in the following areas:

  • Local congregational projects
  • Raleigh community and ecumenical ministries
  • National and International projects
  • Denominational mission projects of Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly

Our long list of responsibilities includes:
announcing and publicizing Church mission programs; supporting the Outreach Center programs and the Friendship Fund; helping recruit volunteers for various mission and outreach programs; coordinating Special Offerings; administering financial support to Candidates and Inquirers sponsored by FPC; communicating with, assisting and financially supporting PC-USA missionaries in Madagascar, Dan and Elizabeth Turk; encouraging youth to become involved in mission activities; administering grants to addresses funding needs of mission partners; administering scholarships for church members enrolled in academic programs; and developing new mission and outreach programs.

We also work to support the various downtown mission programs that use our facilities, such as the Wake Interfaith Hospitality Network, Linen Closet, AA, GED Program, etc.

To further our goals, we make presentations during worship services called "Moments for Mission"; write articles for the church newsletter; and encourage congregational participation in missions through interactive events (FPC Serves, FPC at Work, and Mission Fair). See our Ministries page for more information about what we and our mission partners do.

Stewardship Committee

Our purpose is to awaken and increase in all members of the church an awareness of their responsibility to use their time, talent, money, and resources to further the Kingdom of God and to minister to all people in need, and to encourage their desire to do so.

To accomplish our goals and those of church ministries and programs, we work closely with the Finance Committee, the Church Treasurer, and the church Financial Secretary to develop and conduct a Pledge Campaign each year. And as needed, we conduct other stewardship-related programs to encourage stewardship of time and talent.

All-Church Retreat Committee

Charged with planning the annual First Presbyterian Church All-Church Retreat, we are anticipating a deeply inspirational, meaningful weekend of spiritual renewal.

We keep the All-Church Retreat Page updated with information about when the retreat is scheduled each year, and how you can register. Join us for a weekend of fellowship and fun!

Disaster Committee

We plan FPC's response to natural disasters, such as  Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Rita. The Presbyterian Church (USA) has a long and proud history to responding to disasters with monetary relief, willing hands and strong backs, and spiritual support for those who have often suffered devastating loss.

When needed, we support mission trips for disaster relief and cleanup efforts.

Scholarship Awards Committee

A subcommittee of the Mission Committee, we are charged with overseeing and awarding church-sponsored scholarships to qualified church members who are enrolled in academic programs leading to associate’s, baccalaureate, or graduate degrees.

Each year, we place information in the church newsletter or bulletin announcing the availability of scholarship funds and inviting members to apply for them. After receiving the applications, we meet to review them and award scholarships.

Finally, we maintain contact each year with scholarship winners as they pursue their degrees. Scholarship awards are made on the basis of financial need and academic performance. The scholarship application for 2016 is available here.

Support of the scholarship program can be made by gifts to one of the specific named scholarship funds or to the general congregational scholarship fund.

Church Officer Nominating Committee

As set out in the Presbyterian Church (USA) Book of Church Order, this committee is responsible for developing a slate of nominees for the Session (elders) and the Diaconate (deacons). We present this slate of nominees to the congregation for approval, and we oversee the balloting process. In addition, we may recommend changes in the nominating and/or election process as we see fit and put forward the names of individuals who we think should be considered for the office of Elder or Deacon Emeritus.

When we develop our slate of potential elders and deacons, we consider every member of the congregation. We also encourage the congregation to submit names of appropriate persons who would be likely to serve well in these roles. We meet with potential nominees to gauge their abilities and willingness to serve. And we gather biographical sketches of each nominee to better inform the congregation about the persons they are voting for. Finally, we prepare, collect, and tabulate the ballots before notifying all nominees and the Session of the results.

Personnel Committee

This committee establishes and administers personnel policies for the church. In this capacity, we approve job descriptions for each employee; review salaries and benefits and recommend changes to the Session; consult with the supervisor of all employees to develop a performance review for each employee; receive and act on all requests by employees to terminate their employment or to terminate the employment of another employee; make recommendations for new hiring and develop job descriptions and salary and benefit recommendations for any new positions; review and revise policies in the Personnel Handbook at least every 3 years; provide management training for supervisors, as needed; grant absences due to illness; and schedule employee vacations.

It is the policy of First Presbyterian Church to consider candidate for employment without regard for race, ethnic origin, sex, marital status, or physical handicap.

Communications through Technology and the Television, Lights & Sound Committee

The Communications through Technology Committee researches, suggests, and spends available funds for any technological components the church needs, such as new computers and servers, new recording equipment to record the weekly worship services, and professional advice or expertise, when needed.

The Television, Lights and Sound Committee recruits, trains, and schedules volunteers to operate the sound, lights, and video equipment used for each Sunday worship service. Members of this committee must also make sure the necessary equipment is in good working order.

Property/Insurance Committee

We are responsible for all matters relating to the physical church plant, including improvements, maintenance, repairs, inventory, and insurance. We also oversee the following subcommittees:

  • Operations
  • Food Service
  • Television, Lights, and Sound
  • Parking and Landscaping

We work closely with the Business Operations and Facilities Manager on all matters relating to church buildings and property and play a leading role in understanding all such projects and advising the Session and Diaconate about them. We work to ensure that all required work is done at a reasonable price and completed as agreed. And we work with the church's insurance consultant to make sure the church and its activities are fully covered by appropriate insurance.