Memorial Service for Art Gray

A service celebrating the life of Art Gray will be held in First Presbyterian’s sanctuary on Saturday, September 25 at 3:00 PM with the Rev. Tommy Wilson presiding. Friends will be received in the fellowship hall prior to the service, from 1:30 PM until 2:30 PM.


Women of the Word Postpones Fall Study

With many prayers and thoughtful consideration, the WOW facilitators have decided to resume our Bible Study in the Spring of 2022. With so many uncertainties with COVID and the Delta variant rise in NC, it seems best to postpone our study for a few months. We look forward to meeting again next year, praying our community will be at rest with our health situation. In the meantime, we will be praying for God’s guidance and wisdom as we plan for our next study.
 
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” – Proverbs 3:5
 
WOW Facilitators – Katherine Team, Ann McMurray, Lynnae Benton, Stephanie Shoaf, Tanya Leonard, and Debbie Auman
 


World Communion Sunday 2021: Helpers Needed

Sunday, October 3rd is World Communion Sunday. On this day, churches throughout the world will celebrate our unity in Christ as we gather around the Table for this holy sacrament. October 3rd is the first Sunday of the month, so we will worship together at 11:00. (No Crossroads at 9:00.)
 
Our service that day will reflect upon the sacrament of Communion and how we meet Christ at the table. We will need a number of people as readers and musicians. Children and Teens are also needed. If you would like to help out, please contact Pastor Nancy as soon as possible. Thanks!
 


2021 Fall Worship Schedule

Sunday, August 29, is the last Sunday for our summer schedule. Worship will begin at 10 AM.
 
We will return to our regular worship hour of 11 AM beginning Sunday, September 5.
 
Our Fall Kick-Off will be held Sunday, September 12. Breakfast will be served at 10 AM. Worship will follow in the sanctuary at 11 AM.
 
On Sunday, September 19, we will return to our full, pre-pandemic worship schedule. Crossroads Worship, our contemporary service, will be held in the fellowship hall at 9 AM, followed by Sunday School at 10 AM and our Classic (traditional) Service in the sanctuary at 11 AM.
 
We will worship together on the first Sunday of each month and celebrate the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper.


RACE BOOK STUDY TO BE HELD ON ZOOM; START TIME ADJUSTED

Because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 delta variant, the Race Unification Committee has decided to hold its new Race Book Study on Zoom rather than in person this fall.

 
Also, because of participant requests, the start time for the book discussion meetings has been changed to 6 p.m. The hourlong meetings will still be held on the first and third Tuesdays of the month, beginning Sept. 21 and concluding Dec. 7.
 
Signups for the book study continue. To register or for information, please contact Bill Keesler by email at or by phone at 336-250-0439. So far, 17 people have indicated plans to attend.
 

Additional copies of the book, Howard Thurman’s “Jesus and the Disinherited,” have arrived and are available for pickup from the church office. Please consider donating to help cover the $13 book cost.

 
The Sept. 21 meeting will include a welcome/introduction and a discussion of the book’s Foreword and Preface, pages vii-xx.

 

 



Golf Tournament to Benefit Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry

Golf FORE! Good is the major fundraiser for the Loaves and Fishes Food Pantry.
 
This program operates a food pantry on Saturdays for those in need in Davidson County. The pantry is part of Open Hands Ministry and is located at Trinity United Methodist Church. All profits from this event will go to feeding the hungry.
 
Loaves and Fishes Pantry operates in partnership with the Second Harvest Food Bank of Northwest North Carolina. Second Harvest coordinates food donations from local retailers along with providing a food warehouse from which purchases of nonperishables / canned items can be obtained for distribution at the Pantry. The strength of this program resides both with Second Harvest and the goodness of volunteers from First Presbyterian as well as many other local churches.
 
Please consider joining us to help make this year’s fundraiser a success. Along with golf teams and sponsorships, donations of items for prizes for contests held within the tournament are welcomed as well.
 
The cost of a round of golf is $60 per player or $240 per team The tournament will be played on Saturday, September 18, 2021 at the Lexington Golf Course. Tee time is at 2:00 PM. Sign up forms are available outside the church office.
 
For additional information and registration sheets, please contact David Durrell.
 


2021 Backpack Blessing August 22

What’s in Your Backpack? As the start of a new school year draws near, it is time to prepare the backpack. In a school backpack, we might find pencils and pens, crayons, a notebook, books of all sizes and a brown paper bag lunch.
 
Backpacks are also a symbol of newness, of anticipation, of challenge. This year’s backpack may also carry joy mixed with trepidation for returning to in-person learning while still in the pandemic. No matter your age or grade, and whether you are the student or teacher, the backpack, briefcase, or tote bag you carry signals that you are a learner! An openness to learning is important for every child, youth, and adult. I wonder how we will grow in the coming year?

On Sunday, August 22, we will have a blessing of the backpacks in our 10:00 worship service. Bring your pack, briefcase or tote bag with you that morning. You will be invited to come forward with it for a brief prayer. Bag tags will be offered to help you remember God’s presence is with you wherever you go.
 


Donations for Eagle Scout Project Requested

My name is Brady Coltrane, and I have been a member of First Presbyterian Church my whole life. I am a Boy Scout of Troop 205, and I am currently working on my Eagle Scout Project.

 

During these unprecedented times, I thought it would better to explain my Eagle Scout Project and ask for donations through the church’s website and the ACTION. Currently, I am renovating a room at the Domestic Violence Shelter. The purpose of this renovation is to allow domestic violence victims to bring their pets with them when they are fleeing dangerous situations. Forty-eight percent of Domestic Violence victims do not leave their homes, because they cannot bring their pets with them. We all know how important our pets are to us and to our families.  It is difficult to imagine having to leave our pets behind.

 

Right now, I am working on getting supplies to organize and renovate the room. These supplies include wood, sheet rock, screws, FRP board, dog crates and other dog necessities. Any financial donations would be greatly appreciated. If you would like to donate, please make your check out to Brady Coltrane and drop it by the church office by August 30. Donations will be used towards this project, and any overage will be donated to the Domestic Violence Shelter. Thank you so much for your consideration.
 
Brady Coltrane, Boy Scout Troop 205
 


Autumn 2021: The Morehouse Connection

Morehouse College, a tradition-rich, historically black institution in Atlanta founded two years after the Civil War, has a history of providing liberal arts education for students who go on to divinity schools in the North and become some of this country’s most respected and influential ministers.
 
Martin Luther King Jr. was one.
 
Members of First Presbyterian Church in Lexington will have opportunities this fall to get to know two others – one through a study of his most famous book and the other in-person in a sermon delivered from our pulpit.
 
The book study, offered by our church’s one-year-old Race Unification Committee (RUC) and open to all church members, will focus on Howard Thurman’s Jesus and the Disinherited.
 
Thurman, a grandchild of slaves in Florida, earned a bachelor’s degree as Morehouse’s valedictorian in 1923 and three years later was valedictorian again in earning a divinity degree from Rochester Theological Seminary in New York. Afterward he served as dean of Howard University’s Rankin Chapel in Washington, D.C.; founded with a white co-pastor an interracial, interdenominational church in San Francisco; and then became the first African American to serve as dean of a chapel at a majority-white university – Marsh Chapel at Boston University. He also provided guidance for civil rights organizations and other social justice movements in the 20th century.
 
Martin Luther King Jr. visited Thurman, a friend of his father, who also studied at Morehouse, while King Jr. was completing a PhD at Boston University. In a trip pioneered by Thurman in the mid-1930s, King Jr. traveled to India to learn about Mahatma Gandhi’s political use of nonviolent protest, which also became the principal strategy of the American Civil Rights Movement. King was said to carry Thurman’s book with him during the movement.
 
Our church’s study of the book will meet twice monthly beginning Sept. 21. The RUC has permission to offer the book discussions in-person in the Fellowship Hall at 7 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays. However, the RUC would like to know if different days and/or times would better fit your schedules. And the committee wants to know if individual church members would prefer to meet in-person, via Zoom, or have the ability to do both.
 
Register for the book study by emailing Bill Keesler, RUC chair. Copies of the book are available in the church office. Church members are encouraged to consider donating to help cover the church’s cost of $13 per book.
 
Howard Thurman died in 1981, 13 years after King. But on Sunday, October 10, 2021, a third Morehouse graduate will deliver the sermon at our church.
 
Since 2019, the Rev. Dr. Jonathan Lee Walton has been dean of the School of Divinity, the holder of the Presidential Chair in Religion and Society, and the Dean of Wait Chapel at Wake Forest University.
Walton, who grew up in Atlanta, spent his college freshman year at Wofford in Spartanburg, SC, on a football scholarship, but returned home and earned a bachelor’s degree at Morehouse in 1996. He then obtained a master’s degree and a Ph.D from Princeton Theological Seminary. While at Princeton, he served as pastor of a Presbyterian church in nearby Newark, New Jersey.
 
In 2006, he became an assistant professor of religious studies at the University of California. In 2010, he was hired as an assistant professor of African American religions in the Divinity School at Harvard University, where in 2012 he became Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and Pusey Minister in Harvard’s Memorial Church.
 
Walton is a social ethicist whose scholarship and first book have focused on black televangelism. His second book, “A Lens of Love: Reading the Bible in Its World for Our World” (2018), explores the Bible from the perspective of the most vulnerable and violated characters toward developing a Christian social ethic of radical inclusion and human affirmation. Harvard philosopher Cornel West described “A Lens of Love” as “rooted in the legacies” of King Jr; Benjamin Elijah Mays, a Howard University religious-studies dean who became president of Morehouse College for 27 years and a King adviser; theologian Reinhold Niebuhr; and Mississippi civil rights activist Fannie Lou Hamer.
 
Walton has been an outspoken advocate for civil rights and social justice and is often quoted by national and international media. In the past year, RUC members have heard him speak to Salem Presbytery’s Peace and Justice Committee, deliver the King Jr. Holiday address at High Point University, provide expertise during Henry Louis Gates Jr.’s documentary, “The Black Church,” on public television, and interview Isabel Wilkerson, author of the book “Caste” on American racism, on Wake Forest’s Face to Face Speaker Forum.
 
RUC members have been impressed and hope our congregation will be, too.
 
Bill Keesler, Race Unification Committee Chair


Confirmation and Youth Sundays to Be Held Outdoors

At its stated meeting on April 18, the Session voted to hold the worship services for both Confirmation and Youth Sundays (May 9 and 16, respectively) outdoors in order to accommodate more attendees.  In the event that we experience inclement weather, the services will be moved indoors with a limit of 50 attendees and priority seating given to the teens’ families. If you would like to attend the indoor service in the event of inclement weather, you will still need to make a reservation with the church office the week before. No reservation is needed if you only plan to attend the outdoor service.