june 4, 2017

What a wonderful day of worship we had at RRPC!  A family breakfast before Sunday School, honoring our graduates during worship, welcoming 9 new members to the congregation, confirming 10 of our youth and commissioning the team headed on the mission trip to York Alabama! Wow! There were over 200 people in the Sanctuary for worship and you could feel God's love everywhere. Neal's sermon focused on meeting people "Where They Are" and I believe we accomplished that this weekend. Let's continue to spread the Rocky River love (and God's love) everyday this week - meeting people where they are in their lives and assuring them that they are loved and never alone!

  • COLIN JONES

    (NEW MEMBER)

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  • Patrick & cindy spickard

    (new members)

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  • Brent & Mandy williams

    (new members)

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  • Julia cagle (confirmand)

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  • Ali dulin (confirmand)

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  • brandon earley (confirmand)

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  • joe eason (confirmand)

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  • aydenn harris (confirmand)

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  • trinity ide (confirmand)

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  • lily mcconnell (confirmand)

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  • ellie shepard (confirmand)

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  • emma wakeman (confirmand)

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  • ben watson (confirmand)

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  • Brad & Ashelyn Earley

    (New members)

    Brandon (confirmand)

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  • Scott & Susan jones

    (new members)

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august events

Check the Calendar for a complete list of upcoming events.

  • wednesday nights at rrpc!

    WEDNESDAY NIGHT FELLOWSHIP MEAL at 6pm


    To RSVP—Sign the Friendship Pad in the pew on Sunday mornings or send Cyndi a quick note at churchadmin@rockyriver.org.  We are happy to share in fellowship with our church and community. The cost is $5 per meal with a max of $15 per family.


    CHIMES REHEARSALS —Chimes rehearsals will resume on Wednesday, September 6th at 6:30pm.  All children ages 5 thru 5th grade are encouraged to take part in this ministry.


    YOUTH BIBLE STUDY at 6:45 after dinner


    CHOIR - Rehearsals resume on Wednesday, August 23rd at 7:00pm -- We would love to have more young voices if you can find the time to help us out!


    Questions? Please contact Cyndi Conway in the church office at 704-455-2479/ churchadmin@rockyriver.org

  • healing touch clinic

    Sunday, August 13th, 3:00 p.m.-5:00 p.m., Upstairs-Fellowship Building


    This clinic is available for anyone interested in experiencing a relaxing, 30-minute session to restore your balance and energy. There will be several experienced Healing Touch Practitioners and possibly some students of Healing Touch from the CMC College of Health Sciences available for these sessions. While there is no charge for the clinic, donations are accepted for the use of the building. Most of the evaluations of previous clinics have rated the experience as a valuable one and most enjoyable. The clinic is held the second Sunday of each month and is open to the public.


    Questions? Please contact Julia Alexander, 704-455-9753/2jralex@ctc.net


  • griefshare

    Every Thursday starting August 17th


    Fall Series Begins Thursday, August 17, 6:00 p.m., Upstairs in the New Building. 

    The group is open to anyone who has lost a child, spouse, parent, or significant person in their lives. We welcome those from our church family and community who need comfort and healing. 


    To register, contact the church office, 704.455.2479/churchadmin@rockyriver.org or Julia Alexander at 704-455-9753 /2jralex@ctc.net

  • free community meal

    August 2nd

    (1st Wednesday of Every Month)


    We welcome our neighbors and friends to join us on the First Wednesday of the month at 6:00pm for a FREE meal and friendship. Come meet the members of our church and feed your body and your soul.


  • rocky river readers

    Monday, August 28th at 7:00 pm

    Hatteras Light by Philip Gerard During World War II, a German U-boat sinks ships off the coast of the Outer Banks. The Hatteras lighthouse keepers and the tight-knit community’s routine life is shattered.  Over a few crucial days, we become acquainted with the men and women of Hatteras and with the German officers aboard U-55.  Based on historical facts, this novel weaves an interesting NC story. 

    Philip Gerard teaches in the Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts program of the Department of Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina Wilmington.  He often writes historical articles for Our State magazine. 


    Rocky River Readers will meet at 7pm on August 28th in the Parlor.  We invite new members to join our discussion. 



    Questions? Please contact Marie Morrison at 704-455-2487/morrison1960@windstream.net

  • women's circle

    Tuesday, August 1st


    Morning Circle: 10:00a.m., Church Parlor

    Evening Circle: 7:00 p.m.


    All of the women of the church are invited and encouraged to be a part of the Presbyterian Women Circle and Bible Studies. We strive to minister to the congregation as a whole and to the women in particular through Bible study, prayer and fellowship. We would love to welcome some new faces to our groups! We meet the first Tuesday of each month.

    Questions? Please contact Priscilla Giuliano at 704-706-3203/tttandsp@gmail.com

  • Men's fellowship breakfast

    Sunday, August 20th at 9:00 am


    As always, we welcome ALL men in the congregation to join us—husbands, fathers, sons, grandfathers and brothers. What a great opportunity for fellowship among our men.


    Questions? Please contact Jerry Clark at 704-596-0062/gclark6@bellsouth.net


staff / session members


  • JD Mcnutt

    Youth Director

    youthrrpc@gmail.com



  • Sharon Vanpelt

    Director of Christian Education 

    Sharon Vanpelt is a Certified Christian Educator in the Presbyterian Church (USA).  She holds degrees in Christian Education from Lenoir-Rhyne College and Pfeiffer University.  Before coming to Rocky River in 2016, she served churches of various size in Kannapolis, Concord, and Charlotte.  She also serves the church through presbytery leadership and ministry with national Christian educators.  Her favorite parts of her job are seeing the looks on children’s faces when they are having a great time at church.  When she is not working, she enjoys reading and travelling, spending time with her husband and two sons.  

    dce@rockyriver.org

  • Stephanie campbell

    Music Director



  • Cyndi conway

    Church Administrator

    churchadmin@rockyriver.org



  • NEAL cARTER

  • Anne Beach

    Organist

    Over the span of several decades Anne served as a church organist to many Charlotte area churches. She also served for 13 years as an ordained pastor in West Virginia and North Carolina. Honorably retired by Charlotte Presbytery from active pastoral ministry in 2009,  Anne assumed her present position as Organist/Choir Accompanist at Rocky River Presbyterian Church in July, 2011.

    The mother of two grown children, Anne resides in Rocky Ridge subdivision off Lower Rocky River Road in Mecklenburg County.



  • volunteers needed to help with vbs!!!

    August 6-9, Sunday through Wednesday evenings. We Need Help!! 


    Contact Sharon Vanpelt


    We desperately need volunteers! There is a lot of talent in this congregation—please consider helping!


    DECORATING ITEMS NEEDED TO CREATE ROME IN OUR FACILITY


    We are in need of pop-up canopy tents, artificial or potted greenery, and pottery items. If you have any of these items to loan, put your name on it somewhere and drop it off in the front corner of the Fellowship Hall before July 30. Identified items will be returned promptly after VBS.  


What is “Bellefonte Sunday” and What Is Its’ Background?

The third Sunday each May is “Bellefonte Sunday” when the congregations of Rocky River  and Bellefonte Presbyterian Churches worship together. In even-numbered years, like 2016, the congregation at Bellefonte is invited to worship at Rocky River. In odd-numbered years, like 2017, our congregation is invited to worship at Bellefonte. This annual joint worship service is also an exchange of pastors since the minister of the visiting church preaches and the visiting choir sings.


This year, Bellefonte Sunday will be May 21st at Bellefonte Presbyterian Church when Neal will preach and our choir will sing.


During the ministry of Rev. James Murray, the session invited Dr. Davis to preach at  September Meeting. He replied that this would leave his congregation without a minister that day.  The session responded by inviting the Bellefonte congregation to come to September Meeting.  There were also joint officer training classes with Rocky River, Bellefonte and Harrisburg churches  during Mr. Murray’s pastorate. 

After Rev. Dr. Corey Ingold became our minister, he and Dr. Greg Davis, pastor at  Bellefonte, discussed worshipping together. The Bellefonte session invited us to worship with their congregation. On April 18, 1999, at a called meeting of the Rocky River session a motion was passed to accept the invitation to worship together at Bellefonte Presbyterian Church on May 23, 1999. It was purposefully set as a worship service without any extras—no refreshments, no meal, no communion served. This way each congregation could look forward to the fellowship of worshipping together without the stress of other activities. During Rev. Dr. Kyle Hite’s ministry, these annual services continued. At some point, the two ministers decided to have two joint special services together each year. The two congregations have the Ash Wednesday service at Rocky River and the Maundy Thursday service at Bellefonte.


Bellefonte Presbyterian Church was organized in 1867 by Rev. Dorland of what was referred to as the “Northern Presbyterian Church.” The black members of Rocky River Presbyterian Church were now free and ready to organize their own congregation.


This year marks a milestone for Bellefonte as they prepare to celebrate 150 years of service to Harrisburg and the surrounding communities. Please join us for worship at 11:00am and plan to stay afterward for a luncheon with our Bellefonte family.


Neal will be preaching, our choir will be singing, and we hope to see our former pastors Rev. James Murray and Rev. Dr. Corey Ingold there as well. The meal is something new this year—and we would really like to see a lot of our members attend. Let’s show our support of Bellefonte, our sister church, by worshipping together and enjoying a delicious meal and fellowship afterward. 



Tip: The members of Bellefonte pronounce the name of their church this way---

Bell – like ringing a bell

Font – like the various scripts available when printing

History of may meeting

What is May Meeting? How did it begin?


Sunday, May 7, 2017 is a special day at Rocky River Presbyterian Church, and we invite you to come  and worship and eat dinner with us. It is our annual “May Meeting.” Don’t worry – it’s not a “meeting.”


May Meeting evolved over the years and is a variation of a tradition the early settlers brought from the Church of Scotland. In the earliest days of our congregation, when there was not a full-time minister, the Synods of New York or Philadelphia sent Presbyterian ministers to churches in the backwoods of North Carolina in the spring and in the fall to hold the sacrament of communion and to baptize children and  adults since these sacraments could only be performed by an ordained minister. It seems that the spring communion service has always been the first Sunday in May. The fall communion service has moved around to different dates. September Meeting is now the second Sunday in September. 


May Meeting begins with Sunday School classes for all ages at 10 am. The worship service at 11 am  includes communion. During the early days of our church, which was organized in 1751, the sacrament of communion was not observed as often as it is today. There was a seriousness associated with this sacrament. Prior to May Meeting Sunday, there were Preparatory Services each evening for a week to prepare the hearts of the members for the Lord’s Supper. For many years the Scottish tradition of giving

those who had attended the services a token which they would turn in on the Sunday morning of May  Meeting in order to receive communion. The theory was that only those who had attended the Preparatory Services were mentally and spiritually ready to receive communion. For much of the twentieth century, there were Preparatory Services on the Thursday and Friday evenings prior to May Meeting. No tokens were distributed or required on Sunday, but it harkened back to this earlier tradition. Due to decreased attendance, the Preparatory Services were discontinued some time ago.


Dinner in the Grove around two long wire tables between the sanctuary and playground follows the worship service. Folks bring favorite foods to share along the table. There is no organization to the food. Each family just puts all the foods they bring together on the table so they can find their empty dishes later! Plates, utensils and napkins are scattered along the length of the table so there is no specific starting place. You can just peek in and see something you want to eat, ask the person closest to the table to let you jump  in and get what you want, then move out. Or you can walk down the length of the table and find what you want to eat. Tea, water, juice, lemonade, colas that folks bring are placed on a table where ice and cups are available. 


For many years, families ate together whatever food their group brought. Different families staked  out specific areas of the grove and returned to those family spaces year after year. In 1949, the Wilcox Education Building was dedicated at May Meeting. This was a long-awaited event, so the Women of the Church organized everyone coming together to gather around a single long table instead of splitting up into family groups. It was such a success and so much fun being together that the current tradition we enjoy was born.


May Meeting has always been a time for special events at our church. For many years,  babies were baptized at May Meeting. Records from the 1800s show that some years there were over thirty children baptized and many people united with the church at May Meeting. The current sanctuary was dedicated at May Meeting in 1861. As noted above, the Wilcox Education Building was dedicated in 1949. In 2013, the ground-breaking for the new education building was at May Meeting and that building was

dedicated on May Meeting in 2014.


The spring down the hill from the playground is owned by the McCachren family. When Rocky River  Presbyterian Church built its third sanctuary in what is now the cemetery behind the current (4th) sanctuary, the McCachren family gave the congregation use of the spring as long as there is a church at this location. Families in those early days got water from the spring to have with their May Meeting meals. Walking down the hill on those wide steps to the spring was a May Meeting tradition for children and families for many years – and possibly still is a tradition for some.


Until around 1980, there was also a worship service about 1:30 on the afternoon of May Meeting.  Again, a decrease in attendance led to the demise of this tradition. This service probably started when families coming from long distances who maybe did not get to worship services every week wanted the opportunity to worship a second time on that special day.


The roots of May Meeting go very deep at Rocky River Presbyterian Church. It is one of the traditions that is unique to our congregation. May Meeting has evolved over the years to the special Sunday we now know, but it has always been a special time that draws those who love this church back year after year. There are people who come back “home” to Rocky River every May Meeting. Others who have only heard of our church through family stories often develop a new tradition of coming to May Meeting to feel a kinship with past generations of their families. Many families end the day with a walk in the cemetery. At

May Meeting more than any other Sunday, the connection is felt to earlier members of our church and the  “cloud of witnesses” who have sat in those same pews we now occupy.

The Kick Off for Operation Christmas Child was a success! We packed 39 shoeboxes for Samaritan's Purse and are well on our way of beating last years goal of 100 shoeboxes packed! RRPC members and friends donated so many items for the shoeboxes that our original goal of filling 20 boxes doubled to 39! God is good at RRPC!!!


We still have empty shoeboxes in the vestibule.  The deadline for filling a box is Nov. 6th.


Vacation Bible School

June 16 - 18


A FREE Simple Super will be served Thursday, Friday and Saturday for all at 6:00 pm.


To register simply call the church office at 704-455-2479 with the Name, Age and Gender of each child attending and if they will be coming for the Simple Supper.


We look forward to seeing everyone!





Reserving rooms

Please remember to check with the office BEFORE you plan your event to make sure the room/rooms that you need are available.  We are having a lot more activities at the church—(both members and non-members) and everything has to be approved by the church administrator.  We try to post all of our activities on the calendar on  the website, but don’t assume that a room is available just because you don’t see it on the website.  Always check with me before you book an event! 

Church Bus

Reserving the Church Bus—The same policy holds true for reserving the church bus. Please  do not make plans to use the bus until you check with me. I have a sign up sheet in the office that we use to keep track of who is using the bus and when. When we know that a group needs the bus, we can make sure it is running properly and by booking in advance we avoid any confusion or double bookings. 

Locking church doors

If you or a group you are a member of, are using the buildings after  hours, can we ask for your help in making sure that all of the doors are pulled/pushed shut?  Please double check the doors after you walk out to make sure they have locked properly.