Last month, fifteen members of Southport Presbyterian Church joined Lena Fisher as she celebrated her 88th birthday at Universal Health Care Center in Bolivia. During this Aug. 19 visit, all fifteen wore masks, practiced social distancing, carried signs and banners and honored Lena outside as she sat in the lobby on the other side of the front door. She received cards, gifts, flowers, a balloon, and a Hummingbird cake (Lena’s favorite) made by Burney’s Bakery of Southport. A wonderful time was had by all!
Lena is bit of a legend in our area. She was born in Southport to Velma and Worth Ward. When she was very young, her family relocated to Maine where her father was stationed in the Coast Guard. Her family moved back into the family home on Atlantic Street in Southport when Lena was 8 years old. The house dates back to 1892 and was built by her great grandfather and occupied by her family for four generations. When she was 10 years old, Lena became a big sister to her only sibling, Sally, who now lives with her husband Ron in Bolivia. Lena attended school in Southport and loved playing basketball for Southport High School.
She met and married the love of her life G.W. Fisher, a Navy Veteran, whom she affectionately called “G”. He was a commercial fisherman and named his shrimp boat the “Lena W”. He also managed the local ABC Store. During their 48 years of marriage, Lena and G.W. lived in the family home on Atlantic Street. G.W. died in 2002 and is buried in the Northwood Cemetery.
Lena baked a delicious pound cake but has a special fondness for Hummingbird Cake. She loved flowers and enjoyed spending time working in her yard. She also loved cats owning two Maine Coon cats when she was younger. Later she fed and cared for two neighborhood cats whom she named Tiger and Nosey. Lena was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution and the Order of the Eastern Star.
Lena has always described herself as a “numbers person”. She worked as an accountant on Bald Head, riding the ferry to and from the island for many years. She then worked at Brunswick Community College, first at the Southport Campus and then at the main campus in Bolivia as administrative assistant for the VP of Finance. She joined the Southport Presbyterian Church in 1979 where she served as both the Treasurer and Assistant Treasurer. In 2012 Lena was awarded the Southport Presbyterian Women Honorary Life Membership.
Lena has faced numerous challenges during her lifetime and has handled them with courage. Her deep faith in God and her marvelous sense of humor continue to be sources of strength as she celebrates her 88th birthday during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Join the Rev. Robb Lapp Sept. 8, 3:00 pm via Zoom in a conversation about dealing with the stress of our days. Rev. Lapp is the Associate for Pastoral Care at St. Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, a Stephen Ministry Leader and expert on pastoral care and spiritual formation in our presbytery. This is a follow up suggested by our Stephen Ministry group who participated in a similar conversation with Rev. Lapp in August. This opportunity, sponsored by Congregational Care and our Stephen Ministry Program, is open for all congregation members who choose to participate. A Zoom link will be provided.
By Jonathan R. Kelley, DMin, LCMHC, Executive Director
While it may not be immediately obvious, Southport Presbyterian members are important partners in the ministry of counseling. Through the mission support of SPC, church members contribute to each therapy session conducted. The church also makes space available for a satellite counseling office. The main office is on Wrightsville Avenue in Wilmington.
The Center addresses a broad range of mental health issues. These include such things as depression, life adjustment disorders, grief/loss, marital/divorce, parenting, cancer/chronic illness. Substance abuse may also be a complicating factor in many cases. Sometimes clients are not able to put their finger on the specific issues. They simply feel stuck or sense that something is “not right” in their lives. Therapist and client explore together, identify and discover, and work toward resolution.
Presbyterians have proudly sponsored the Community Counseling Center and its work to provide mental wellness for everyone. Its tagline is “hope and healing for all.”
Members of Presbyterian churches established the Center 40 years ago as an independent non-profit organization. They wanted to extend the churches’ ministry of care into the community. As the field of psychotherapy developed, the Center also evolved thanks to gifted, highly-trained, licensed therapists.
A hallmark of the Center is welcoming everyone regardless of their financial circumstances. No one is denied services due to inability to pay. Last year the Center conducted 2,781 therapy sessions. The subsidized amount of counseling services amounted to $135,547. That’s the difference between the full cost of those sessions and what was collected.
The Center’s four therapists work with individuals, couples and families. Two are Licensed Clinical Social Workers. One is a Licensed Psychologist, and one is a Licensed Clinical Mental Health Counselor. Two of the four are also ordained Presbyterian ministers. Another is a Presbyterian Ruling Elder
Check out the Center’s website at: wantcounseling.com and “Like” Community Counseling Center on Facebook. Call the Center at 910-452-7370.
If you or someone you know is feeling anxious, isolated or frightened by the current circumstances, our Community Counseling Center offers counseling for all. While unable to conduct face-to-face meetings, a tele-medicine platform enables secure, confidential sessions online. To schedule counseling or to receive more information, contact the Center at 910-452-7370.
While the Southport Presbyterian Church facility is closed until further notice, our ministries continue to be busy communicating, nurturing and caring. As much as we long to be together in person, we recognize the necessity to be vigilant with social distancing. Loving our neighbor means caring for everyone’s safety and well-being. Please do your compassionate best to keep yourself and your neighbors away from risk. If you, or someone you know, needs help with groceries, medications, or anything else, please contact your pastors and/or the Church Office. We are ready to coordinate care.
Stay in touch with your church family with our regular E-blast messages. We send notices and reflections Monday – Friday.
Facebook and this website are updated sources of news and worship.
Stephen Ministers, Sally Barton and Phyllis Falkenstein participated in a week-long Stephen Leader Training in a week-long training Jan. 12–18. The leader’s training course is an engaging week of learning, discovery, worship, relationship building, and catching a vision for all that Stephen Ministry can be for our congregation. We are grateful to this church and the Congregational Care Ministry for providing funds and support to increase our number of Stephen Leaders in order to meet the future needs of our congregation. Stephen Leaders and Stephen Ministers all share a common passion—bringing Christ’s love and care to hurting people. See more information about Stephen Ministry.
SPC’s Congregational Care and Stephen Ministries are hosting this community program presented by the Alzheimer’s Association Eastern Chapter.
This presentation will cover:
– The impact of Alzheimer’s, including problems with memory, thinking and behavior
– The difference between Alzheimer’s and dementia
– Alzheimer’s disease stages and risk factors
– Current research and treatments available to address some symptoms.
– Alzheimer’s Association resources.
To register, go to alz.org/events and scroll down to “events near me” and input keyword “Southport.” You will be asked for your email and to create a password. Other registration options include calling the church office at 910-457-6811 or the Alzheimer’s Association at 800.272.3900. While registration is not required, doing so will ensure enough handouts are available and monitor that the minimum number of 30 attendees have been met.
Stop by the Narthex and pick up some Christmas ”Wish Lists” from our Angel Tree for local Southport ministries supported by SPC. The tree is decorated with Angel, Tree and Stocking gift category ornaments. Angels are for two families adopted through Southport Elementary, plus Angels for Providence Home ($25 Walmart Gift Cards). Tree Ornaments are for Matthew’s Ministry and the Food Pantry ($25 Walmart Gift Cards). If ornaments on the tree are taken before you have an opportunity to choose one, you can still support Matthew’s Ministry and the Food Pantry with extra gift cards as well as our two adopted families! Gifts for families should be wrapped and a permanent name tag attached to the gift along with the ornament tag. Gift cards can be placed in the gift envelope near the tree. All gifts should be returned to the church no later than Sunday, Dec 15! Our Mission Ministry thanks you for “Sharing the Gift of Giving and Caring this Christmas Season”!
Many thanks to Sue Meyer, Julia Hill, Doug Morrill, Mike Hill and
Carol Morrill (behind the camera) for setting up the 2019 Angel Tree.