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First Word


 Pastor's Corner


A Word from our Pastor


Dear friends at FPC,

When I first arrived at First Presbyterian Church of Franklin, I was party to an unusual, but encouraging, habit. Every Wednesday, Cardy White would deliver to my desk her interpretation of Sunday’s sermon. Cardy, a writer and enthusiastic liturgist, could be seen on Sunday mornings taking notes. Visiting her house with her son Bert, there were stacks of summarized sermons. It reminds me of how our elders are now practicing an active listening to worship so that they can capture a seed of thought to use as our weekly benediction.

I write this as I am on study leave at Montreat. Basically, this leave is about getting away to clear my thoughts and look, in a fresh way, at the upcoming Scripture texts for sermons. It is a chance to ‘take note’ of the world around with appreciation, and not just go through the weekly schedule.

I am grateful to the church for the ability to write this letter from the lobby of lovely Assembly Inn at Montreat. I am thankful for Cardy who reminds me this week to take note of every moment of this unstructured time. I am thankful to my ordinary weeks that allow me to do over and again the things that I have always loved and the things that will continue to challenge me in ministry.

Taking note includes not only seeing the wonders around us, but also envisioning those who would also be nurtured by these sights. I think of those in our church who are facing surgery, and wish they could put their toes in the cool waters of the Montreat Creek. I think of those in hard places and wish they could hear the ensembles and instruments practicing for morning worship here on the conference grounds.

As you travel this summer, take note. Travel journals are a wonderful gift to yourself. Taking note of the world around with bold appreciation is a wonderful gift to our God. Taking note of the places you would love to share and remembering us in your travels is a wonderful gift to our community of faith.

I pray you will be able to travel with intention, and “take note!”


                With love through Christ,