We Are All Children of God from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
In this video update, Dr. Cynthia M. Benz shares in the pain of our country as we mourn the loss of Mr. George Floyd. In the face of racism and inequality, we as Christians are called to help effect change in our community. To aid in this change, Cindy encourages us to participate in Myers Park Presbyterian's "Better When We're Back Together" 21-day race equity challenge. For more information, please visit
Return to Love and Justice: Sunday School Lesson 5/31/20
Craig Whitley presents today's Sunday School Lesson, "Return to Love and Justice," which studies Hosea 11 and 12. In this lesson, we learn that God's main purpose is not to punish, but to restore his people.  Hosea explains this concept by comparing the relationship between God and Israel to his own star-crossed marriage. Even when we are unfaithful, God still loves his people.  Hosea promises that we too may be redeemed and restored through God's steadfast love.
Practice Resurrection from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
Today Cindy reminds us how important it is to focus on what makes you happy! Whether it is calling a loved one or going for a walk outdoors, it really does help to make your day better.  In this video, Cindy also reads an excerpt from "The Mad Farmer Poems" by Wendell Berry.  Cindy makes special note of the line "practice resurrection." As we celebrate Pentecost this Sunday, it is important that we continue to remember Christ's resurrection as we move beyond the Easter season.
Thrive Worship Update with Matt Smith
In this week's staff update, we hear from Matt Smith, Thrive Worship Leader.  Matt expresses his thanks for everyone who has helped make our virtual Thrive service possible. Additionally, Matt encourages the congregation to participate in our church-wide music video by recording yourself singing along with the Thrive band's recording of How Great Thou Art.  Learn More at
The Myths of Grief from Pastor John H. Stanley
In this video, Pastor John H. Stanley discusses some of the common misconceptions we have about grief and mourning.  John remarks that having celebrated Memorial Day earlier this week, many of us are remembering and grieving loved ones we have lost. Grief, John explains, is not a weakness or a lack of faith.  Grief instead shows how deeply we have loved.
We are One in Christ from Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
In today's video update, Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore expresses her awe of God's creation, and how we are all synchronized to work together as one. Lauren explains that much like sea turtles whose eggs all hatch at the same time, we are all working our way toward the same destination at the same time.  And while we may move at different paces, in the body of Christ we have the patience to support each other, especially during the challenging seasons of our lives.
Memorial Day Prayer from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
As we celebrate Memorial Day, Cindy calls us to take a moment to pause and reflect on those who have given their lives to protect our country and freedom. Join us we give thanks for our many blessings and pray for God's peace.
Repent of Injustice: Adult Sunday School Lesson
Lynne and Claude Hathcock present today's Sunday School Lesson, "Repent of Injustice," which focuses on Jeremiah 22:1-10. In this lesson, we continue discussing the story of Jeremiah - a prophet who often felt like it was he and God against the rest of the world.  Throughout the book of Jeremiah, God calls the kings of Judah to show justice and mercy to those who the world ignores. Eventually, God presents his people with an ultimatum: repent of injustice or face destruction. But with that ultimatum, there is hope: repentance brings God's mercy and situation is irredeemable.
From the Reception Desk with Donna Kerns
In this week's staff update, Donna Kerns checks in to update us on how she is doing and what it is like working from home.  Donna comments that things have been challenging, but it has been exciting what she has been able to learn thanks to our modern technology.
Staying Connected with Each Other from Pastor John H. Stanley
Today John Stanley reflects on taking time to talk to God. Many of us are finding ourselves with a little extra time that we can use to pray or to stay connected with our loved ones. John says that God intends for us to stay connected with each other, so take a moment to reach out to someone and share God's love!
Lean Not On Your Own Understanding from Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
In today's video update, Lauren encourages us to trust in God and to lean not on our own understanding by reading Proverbs 3:5. Lauren says that while things are difficult right now, and we are all having to adjust, God is teaching us valuable lessons.  They may seem hard, but they are lessons nonetheless.  Lauren reassures us that God has not abandoned us, and is always at work in our lives!
Fill Me with Your Holy Spirit from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
On this beautiful Monday morning, Cindy reminds us to check our inbox and the church website for updates and announcements regarding worship. Cindy also shares The Breath Prayer by Sheridan Voysey, praying that you will be filled with the Holy Spirit and with God's peace.
Practice Justice: Adult Sunday School Lesson 5/17/20
Mary Layton presents today's Sunday School Lesson, "Practice Justice," which focuses on a passage from Jeremiah 21:8-14. In her lesson, Mary explains that Jeremiah is often known as "the weeping prophet." Jeremiah was sent by God to five different kings, warning of God's judgement. Eventually, Jeremiah delivered the news that God's people would be sent into exile at the hands of the Babylonians. This lesson leads us to ask, "What is the importance of being in covenant with God?"
Do Not Worry About Tomorrow from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
Happy Friday! Today Dr. Cynthia M. Benz continues to encourage us not to worry as she reads Matthew 6:25-34. Cindy reminds us to be intentional with our thought, and to not become consumed with worry. We must hold in tension the hope we have in Jesus Christ, she says, with the reality of our current circumstance, remembering that God is still good!
Raise You Up on Eagles' Wings from Pastor John H. Stanley
This morning John shares a favorite painting from his home of an eagle. Why is this painting so important? John explains that the eagle reminds us to wait and to hope when all we can do is wonder "when will everything be back to normal?" John tells us that the eagle knows when a storm is coming, yet it doesn't try to escape or complain about the storm.  Instead, the eagle uses the storm to lift itself higher and to rise above its current situation.
Here I Raise My Ebenezer from Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
Happy Tuesday!  Today Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore shares how singing hymns has become an important part of her spiritual practice while we are staying at home.  Lauren tells us that one of her favorite hymns to sing is Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, and takes particular note of the line, "Here I raise my Ebenezer." She explains that Ebenezer literally means "stone of hope." We hope that you can identify the "stone of hope" in your life today.
He Strengthens the Powerless from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
In this update, Dr. Cynthia M. Benz talks to us about Mother's Day, congregational updates, and, most importantly, shares a word of scripture.  Cindy tells us that Isaiah 40:27-29 is one of her favorite passages from the book of Isaiah, as it provides comfort for those who are feeling weak and powerless.  We hope this passage brings you some comfort today!
Peace and Justice Reign: Sunday School Lesson 5/10/20
Pat Glenn presents today's Sunday School Lesson, "Peace and Justice Reign," which focuses on passages from Zechariah, particularly Zechariah 8:1-8, and 11-17. Pat explains that Zechariah is known as the prophet of hope and encouragement, writing during a time when the Hebrew people were facing great stress and anxiety.  We hope that this lesson will encourage you today.
The Little Things That Bring Joy from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
On this lovely Friday, Dr. Cynthia M. Benz continues our theme of gratitude by talking about the little things that bring us joy.  Cindy tell us that we cannot wait for things to be good in order to be grateful, even if that means looking for one small thing to be thankful for.  Cindy says that she is thankful for the opportunity to take walks outside where she can focus on the little things that bring her joy. How are you staying in an attitude of gratitude?
Parish Nurse Update from Lisa Marisiddaiah
Lisa Marisiddaiah provides an update from our Parish Nurse Ministry. This ministry has been staying particularly busy during the COVID-19 crisis as volunteers sew face masks, create pocket prayer squares, and donate blood.  We hope that these resources allow you to stay well both spiritually and  physically during this time. In this video, Lisa also shares information on our upcoming webinar, "Navigating the Path to Emotional Wellness."
Attitude of Gratitude from Pastor John H. Stanley
Today Pastor John Stanley asks, "how do we develop an attitude of gratitude?" During these trying times, it can be hard to find things we are grateful for.  However, John explains that life becomes better when we make it a habit to express our gratitude and thankfulness.  Whether it is something big or small, what can you be grateful for today?
Feed My Sheep from Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
This afternoon, Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore provides an update on our Crisis Assistance Ministry food drive and encourages us to donate to this important ministry.  Lauren also tells us of the passage from John 21 where Jesus tells Peter to, "feed my sheep." She goes on to explain how this food drive gives us the opportunity to feed Christ's sheep by offering both spiritual and physical nourishment.
Think on These Things from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
On this beautiful Monday, Cindy talks about the importance of community and just how much we need each other!  She explains that even while we are physically distancing, we can still find ways to ease each other's anxiety and share our burdens.  Cindy shares that in Philippians 4:8, Paul tells us to think on whatever is pure, honest, and lovely, anything worthy of praise, and the peace of God will be with you. Just think on these things.
Called to God's Work for Justice: Sunday School Lesson 5/3/20
Dr. Bob Blake presents today's Sunday School Lesson, "Called to God's Work for Justice," which focuses on passages from Zephaniah, specifically Zephaniah 3:9-20. Bob remarks that Zephaniah is typically referred to as the least known book of the Bible, as the last of the pre-exilic prophets. However, Bob tells us that this book offers hope, reassurance, and the promise of restoration for God's people.
Blessed to be a Blessing from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
Happy Friday! As we begin our weekend, Cindy encourages us to prepare for worship on Sunday. This week's bulletin is now available to download or print, and you can go ahead and arrange your sacred worship space. This Sunday we will celebrate the sacrament of Communion from our homes, so Cindy reminds us to prepare our common elements prior to beginning the service. Lastly, share your prayer concerns with us by calling the church office or emailing one of our pastoral staff!
Faith Formation Update with Susannah Bryant
In today's video, Susannah Bryant provides a Faith Formation update and shares what she has been doing to keep our children and youth engaged while we worship from home.  Susannah tells us that she is grateful for technology that allows us to see familiar faces and learn about God's word. Keep an eye out for a few other familiar faces near the end of the video!
To Lie Down in Green Pastures from Pastor John H. Stanley
In this video, Pastor John Stanley reflects on how we as a people are always moving so quickly. Whether it is the speedy oil change, or the fast food drive thru, we want things done now, and we often want God to move at just that same pace. But today we find ourselves living in a much different world, and longing for things that feel familiar. John explains, using Psalm 23, that God might just be moving us to be still, to pray, and to lie down in green pastures.
The Armor of God from Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
In this video, Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore thanks members of our Sewing Ministry for their work making face masks for people in our community.  Lauren says that the mask she received is her "armor" in the event that she has to go out, protecting both her and those around her.  In Ephesians 6, Paul tells us to put on the armor of God, the belt of truth, and the shield of faith. What is your armor today? Lauren tells us that whatever it is, it will make a difference.
Do What Brings You Comfort from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
In today's video update, Cindy acknowledges that many of us are becoming frustrated with the current state of our world. We are feeling pressure to come out of this time of physical distancing having made big improvements to our life, such as a new skill or hobby.  Cindy reminds us that it is okay to simply do the things that bring us comfort during these strange times, and allow God to restore our souls.
The Lord Loves Justice: Sunday School Lesson 4/26/2020
Ellen Cinq-Mars presents today's Sunday School Lesson, "The Lord Loves Justice," which focuses on passages from Isaiah 61:8-11 and Isaiah 62:2-4. Throughout this lesson, we are reminded of the promise made by God that Jerusalem will be a place of justice and righteousness.  However, God upholds this promise through a covenant relationship, one that Ellen compares to a marriage. She explains that Christ vows to meet us with justice, grace, and love, and, in return, we should do the same.
God is in Control from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
In today's update, Cindy discusses how many of us are experiencing feelings of grief as we remain under the Stay at Home order, and under the stress the coronavirus is causing. Cindy lets us know that it is okay for us to experience that grief. We are grieving the loss of community and fellowship with those we love and with our church. However, Cindy urges us to turn from those feelings, to feelings of gratitude. Gratitude that we have the ability and technology to stay connected during these trying times, and that God is always in control.
I Am With You Always from Pastor John H. Stanley
Pastor John Stanley reflects on Matthew 28, where before his ascension, Christ tells his disciples, "I am with you always."  Christ is indeed with us during these trying times, we just may not be able to see his plan yet. Truly, "unrevealed until its season, something God alone can see."
Rejoice in the Lord Always from Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
Lauren checks in today as we are in our fifth week of self-isolation. She notes that the general atmosphere in our world seems to be one of disappointment, as plans and events are cancelled and postponed. However, Lauren encourages us to talk to God about our disappointments, so that we might begin to look forward to the things God is doing in our midst.
Running the Race with Perseverance from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
Happy Monday! Today, Cindy shares scripture from Hebrews 12:1-3, pointing out that while we might be weary, we need not lose heart. We can fix our eyes on Jesus to finish this race. Cindy also takes a moment to remind us of the importance of true sabbath and rest which will allow you to not only restore your body, but restore your soul.
Injustice will be Punished: Sunday School Lesson 4/19/2020
Craig Whitley presents today's Sunday school lesson, "Injustice will be Punished," which focuses on the book of Esther.  While Craig remarks that this book of the Bible is an unusual one, as it does not mention God or Israel at all, there are some great lessons to learn from this story.  Most importantly, Craig notes how God has a plan for his people and uses us to help make it happen.

Thrown into the Lion's Den from Pastor John H. Stanley
While we are staying at home and practicing physical distancing, it is easy to become stressed as everything is out of the ordinary.  John explains how this feeling reminds him of being thrown in the lion's den, a difficult place for us all. However, John explains that during times of stress there is no better place to turn than the Bible, where from Psalm 16:1 he reads, "protect me, O God, for in you I take refuge."
This is the Day the Lord has Made: Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
As the psalmist tells us in Psalm 118:24, "This is the day the Lord has made; we will rejoice and be glad in it!" In this video, Lauren discusses how easy it has become for our days to blend together.  Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday are all "just days" now. However, Lauren encourages us to use our days to celebrate Eastertide and to find the little, or big, things that bring us joy.  What has brought you joy today?
Fear Not! I Am With You from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
God repeatedly tells us, "Fear not! I am with you." In this video, Cindy remarks on how God is able to work miracles and arrange things to bring us peace and comfort at a time when it is much needed. She explains that God is at work now, so fear not! He is helping us find peace.
Resurrection of Hope: Sunday School Lesson 4/12/2020
Geoffrey Planer presents this week's Sunday school lesson, "Resurrection of Hope." In this lesson, Geof discusses Paul's account of the resurrection as told in 1 Corinthians 15. Geof explains that as Christians, we are Easter people and long to hear the Easter story.  Paul's account is just one story of the resurrection in the New Testament, but gives us hope for our own resurrection through Jesus Christ. Which account of the Easter story is your favorite?
Easter Sunrise Message from Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
In this Easter sunrise message, Cindy tells us that the tomb is empty. Jesus is not there, but has instead gone out into the world. On this beautiful Easter morning, let us together proclaim, "He is risen! Jesus Christ is risen indeed!"
Maundy Thursday Service: April 9, 2020
Our worship service is ready to begin! Tonight, we remember Jesus' last supper with his disciples and the washing of their feet. We will also begin to move toward the cross, and the ultimate sacrifice made by Christ for the forgiveness of our sins.

In the video below, our worship leaders have prepared a service which includes all regular worship elements such as hymns, scripture readings, a homily, and special music. We will also celebrate the sacrament of communion and invite you to partake using common elements from your home.

Join us as we virtually worship God together.
The Lord's Just Servant: Sunday School Lesson 4/5/2020
David Ratchford presents, "The Lord's Just Servant," a lesson on Isaiah 42:1-9. This passage, known as the Servant's Song, announces the coming of the Servant of the Lord, and, as David explains, the Servant-Messiah.  David contrasts this scripture with the beginning of Holy Week, and shares some insight into Isaiah as a person and as a book of scripture.
The Hands, Heart, and Feet of Jesus: Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
How can we show people the hands, heart, and feet of Jesus? Well, one way is to serve those in need in our community. In this video, Cindy shares information about our Meals on Wheels toiletry drive, and demonstrates how to prepare a bag for drop off at the PAD.
Getting Bitter or Getting Better: Pastor John Stanley
Pastor John Stanley shares words of encouragement as he discusses Dr. James Moore's book, "You Can Get Bitter, Or You Can Get Better."  With our world changing so rapidly, John tells us we have a choice: to stay bitter, or to embrace change and get better. John explains, "We can be of good cheer because Christ has overcome the world."
Be Still and Know that I am God: Dr. Cynthia M. Benz
Today, Dr. Cynthia M. Benz shares Psalm 46 where we are told not to fear and to, "be still and know that I am God." We pray that you will hold these words in your heart today, and every day. Cindy also encourages us to keep praying and to share what pieces of scripture are bringing us comfort.
Listening for God in the Wilderness: Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore
Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore reflects on wilderness as our Lenten theme, and shares insight on how we can listen for God in the wilderness. She explains that God is still "orienting" us and shares her prayers for what God can show us during this wilderness time.
March 29, 2020: Leading Justly Sunday School Lesson
What does it mean to be in covenant with God? And what is reverence, especially to God? These questions, and others, are addressed in this week's Sunday School lesson entitled, "Leading Justly." Mary Layton discusses these themes in this video.
March 25, 2020: An Update From Dr. Cynthia M. Benz

Cindy reassures us that God has never abandoned us and that God's grace is sufficient! She also encourages us to stay hopeful! Let us know one thing that brings you hope today.
March 23, 2020: An Update From Dr. Cynthia M. Benz

Cindy encourages us to set aside time for prayer, wash our hands frequently, and find joy in these unusual times.
March 20, 2020: A Message From Dr. Cynthia M. Benz

Dr. Cynthia M. Benz shares important news from the session and the pastoral staff.
March 17, 2020: An Update From Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore and Pastor John Stanley

Rev. Lauren Sease Vanacore and Pastor John Stanley share some insight into "the best of times, and the of worst of times." Watch for advice on how to faithfully confront these challenging times and COVID-19.