Pastor’s BLOG

Expanding Leadership

Dear Friends,
 
I hope you are enjoying the worship series on the Book of Acts this summer. This past Sunday we learned about the need for expanding leadership to carry out the church’s ministry. I am grateful for the 9 new elders-elect who have heard the call to serve on Session for the next two years. Of course, a reason they could say “yes” was knowing that you, the congregation, are willing to serve alongside them, sharing your Spirit-given gifts. Those who are ordained and installed promise to pray for and serve the people with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love. They will be holding you in their hearts as they lead this congregation in the way of Christ. Please uphold Session in your prayers this coming year, as well.
 
One of their first acts as a Session in the next month or two will be to approve the Mission Study Report. This important report will set a direction for this congregation. As it unfolds, we hope you will begin to discern what part you might play in the body of Christ at work in Lexington. We look forward to growing together as disciples of Jesus.
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Nancy

Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer,
Transitional Pastor
 
 


Celebrating Our Independence

As our nation prepares to celebrate Independence Day, I am spending a week of vacation in Williamsburg, VA, right in the heart of United States history! The “Historic Triangle” (Williamsburg, Jamestown, Yorktown) is one of our family’s favorite places to visit. So much to see and do and learn. This week especially, the energy there is high!
 
It can be easy to get carried away in patriotism around the Fourth of July, when we remember the sacrifice people made (and continue to make) in the fight for independence and freedom. With each fight for freedom, we know blood has been shed, and we grieve the loss of life, of family member, of service man or woman, of friend. We give thanks to God for all who have given so much so that we may enjoy the privileges we experience today, such as freedom of worship or freedom of speech.
 
The shadow side of patriotism is to think that the United States is the only land God has chosen to bless and her people the only ones deserving of God’s blessing. Sometimes we think that for the United States to be the best, other peoples, other places must be “less than.” Shortly after 9-11, I heard This Is My Song sung by a church choir. It is such a gentle and important reminder that all are precious in God’s sight. I share it with you as a prayer-song that is as strong and meaningful as America the Beautiful or God Bless America. Perhaps you will add it to your lineup of patriotic songs this week, remembering that God’s blessings are not limited to time or space.
 
This Is My Song
Hymn text by Lloyd Stone, 1934; Tune: Finlandia (Be Still My Soul)
 
This is my song, O god of all the nations,
a song of peace for lands afar and mine.
This is my home, the country where my heart is;
here are my hopes, my dreams, my holy shrine;
but other hearts in other lands are beating
with hopes and dreams as true and high as mine.
 
My country’s skies are bluer than the ocean,
and sunlight beams on cloverleaf and pine.
But other lands have sunlight too, and clover,
and skies are everywhere as blue as mine.
So hear my song, O God of all the nations,
a song of peace for their land and for mine.
 
May we remember with servants’ hearts that the whole world is in God’s hands.
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Nancy

Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer,
Transitional Pastor
 
 


Summer is Nearly Upon Us!

Dear Friends,
 
Summer is nearly upon us. That time of cookouts, swimming pools, and lightning bugs! I enjoy the change-up of schedule that summer often brings. This year is somewhat different. Instead of things slowing down, they are starting to open up!
 
After more than a year of COVID-19 limitations, we are now able to gather more safely and even, praise the Lord, begin to sing in the last part worship! We rejoice in the miracle that is taking place with the various vaccinations that allow us to be together. If you are a teenager or adult and have not yet received a vaccination, I encourage you to make an appointment for one. Just like wearing masks, the COVID-19 vaccination is a way to love your neighbor. As of June 13th, 35% of Davidson County has had at least one dose of vaccination and North Carolina is almost at 46%, but we can do better. Talk to others about it and let’s do our part to improve our county statistics and health! We can be part of this unfolding miracle.
 
Peace to you,
 
Pastor Nancy
 

Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer,
Transitional Pastor


Caught in the Acts!

Dear Friends,
 
Grace and peace to you! Thank you to all who joined the Mission Study Team for lunch and conversation on May 23rd. We are grateful for your participation as the team continues to discern God’s direction for FPC.
 
In June we will begin a worship series on the Acts of the Apostles. Acts is written by Luke. Where in Luke’s Gospel we read of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, in Acts, we learn how the Church came to life and continues the work that Christ began. In Acts, God sends Gospel into motion. The Risen Christ accompanies the church. Gifted by the Spirit, apostles preach, teach, heal, baptize, and witness God’s expanding inclusivity and grace.
 
While at first, the church is painted as a nearly perfect group of people, we soon come across their humanity, foibles and all. Acts helps us imagine that early community of believers. It includes harmony and dissonance, unity and division, sharing and withholding, wilderness roads and riverside chats, jailbreaks and shipwreck, and even someone falling asleep during a sermon! All the while, the word of God moves into the world. The Apostles’ response might be, “The Spirit led us to it. In Jesus’ name we’ll do it. God will see us through it. So be it, Amen!”
 
I first read Acts as an older teenager and couldn’t put the book down. It read like a novel. I encourage you to open it up and take a look this summer! You will get to know the Church a little bit better!

See you in worship!
 
In Christ,
Pastor Nancy

Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer,
Transitional Pastor