Youth Sunday/Graduation Sunday 2021

Youth Sunday will be held Sunday, May 16 at 11:00 AM in the sanctuary. We will also honor our graduating high school seniors during the service. Please make your reservation with the church office (336-248-2140 or office@fpclexnc.com) through Noon, Thursday. After that time, you may make your reservation with Richard Goff.


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.


Now Accepting Applications for 2021 Winnie Green Higher Education Scholarship

The Session and the Endowment Ministry Team of the Session would like to invite eligible persons to apply for a grant from the Winnifred Zimmerman Green Higher Education Scholarship Fund. The Scholarship was made possible by a generous gift from the estate of long time member Winnie Green to aid “worthy students of high academic achievement” with their college expenses.
 
The Session has established guidelines for the awarding of grants. Grants will be awarded each spring; students receiving scholarships shall not be guaranteed renewal of scholarships. Students must re-apply for a new grant each year.
 
The application deadline for this year is May 1. Application forms and the full list of applicant guidelines are available from the church office, on the lobby side of Jeanna’s service window, or may be downloaded by clicking here.
 
 


Letter to Congregation Re: Returning to In-Person, Indoor Worship

Dear Friends,
 
On Sunday, March 7, 2021, the Session voted to begin in-person, limited-capacity worship in the sanctuary beginning the Sunday after Easter. The Session wants to provide a safe and healthy environment for all worshipers, necessary volunteers, and staff. Worshiping in-person and indoors carries risks for all who gather; however, the Reopening Committee has worked very hard to create procedures and protocols to help provide a safer environment. Recommendations from the CDC, state officials, and our presbytery were used to create these protocols. We feel they encompass every aspect of our worship experience and will help us all feel more comfortable as we begin to worship in person again. Services will continue to be live-streamed for those who choose to worship at home.
 
If you wish to worship in person, you MUST make a reservation. Here’s how it works:
 
  1.  Calls may be received for the upcoming Sunday between Monday 9:00 and Thursday Noon of that particular week.
      1. Call the office at 336/248-2140 to speak with Jeanna. –If leaving a voice mail message, you MUST have a return voice confirmation from Jeanna for your reservation to be valid.
      2. Email the office at office@fpclexnc.com. —You MUST have a return email confirmation from Jeanna for your reservation to be valid.
  2. Jeanna will use a reservation chart to assign seating. Households will be seated together by an usher in their assigned spot. Please do not move to another pew as that will interfere with the seating chart.
  3. Availability will be first-come, first-served. Please be mindful of others who may want to worship in-person but who may have missed the cut-off. If you were in-person one week, please wait until later in the next week before making another reservation to give others a chance to attend worship.
 
Beginning April 11, we will have a capacity of 50 worshipers, plus the worship leadership staff and volunteers. All worshipers, ages 5 and older, must wear their face covering over both mouth and nose throughout the service and while inside the building. The Reopening Committee will continue to monitor our guidelines recommended by the CDC and state officials in order to evaluate, modify procedures, and/or cancel if/when circumstances are deemed necessary. The guidelines and protocols may be viewed by clicking here. Please read through them before making a reservation so you understand your part to keep others and yourself healthy.
 
The pandemic has disrupted all aspects of our lives for over a year. With love and respect for each other and with our guidelines in place, we hope to slowly begin to gather together in the name of the Lord.
 
Deep peace to you this Holy Week,
 
Margaret King                                      
Clerk of Session   
 
Richard Goff 
Reopening Committee, Chair   
 
Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer
Transitional Pastor


Mission Study Survey

The MST would like to remind the congregation that the Mission study survey was mailed out on 3/18/21. We look forward to hearing what you have to say!
 
You may complete the survey either online or on paper.  It is in depth and may take 30-45 minutes.
 

If completing a Paper survey:  Return completed paper survey to the church office.  Should you need additional paper copies for your family please contact Jeanna, our office manager, at 336-248-2140.

 

If you have questions about the survey, need assistance completing the survey, or need paper survey pick-up, please contact Beverly Black at 336-240-8496 (if no answer please leave a message) or by email bblack09@outlook.com.
 
 

The Mission Study Team



A Return to In-Person Worship Is on the Horizon

By now you have likely heard that we will be offering indoor, in-person worship beginning April 11th, at 11:00 a.m. While virtual worship is still the safest choice on Sunday morning (—and be assured— we will continue to offer live streamed worship online), we also know there are some who feel able and are eager to return to the church building. The Reopening Committee has been hard at work trying to provide the safest possible environment for gathering together, and we await your smiling (but masked) faces!
 
For those who would like to worship in the sanctuary on Sundays, we have strict protocols to follow. Masks to cover both mouth and nose are required at all times for worshipers ages 5 and older. Reservations must be made by contacting Jeanna the week prior to the Sunday you wish to attend. You may call or email the office beginning Monday at 9:00 through Thursday Noon, or until the capacity is reached, whichever comes first. Your reservation must be confirmed by Jeanna, and seats will be assigned, with members of the same household being seated together.
 
For those who have CONFIRMED reservations, they should ask themselves the regular COVID-19 screening questions on Sunday morning:

  1.  Am I experiencing any COVID-19 symptoms:
       a. Cough, shortness of breath, trouble breathing
       b. Temperature equal to or over 100.4?
       c. Feeling feverish, chills, fatigue, weakness?
       d. Muscle/Body aches?
       e. Loss of taste, abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting?
       f. General feeling of unwell?
  2. Has anyone in my household experienced any of these symptoms in the past 14 days?
  3. In the past 14 days, have I come into close contact with anyone with suspected or confirmed COVID-19?
  4. Have I travelled outside the United States in the past 14 days or been in close contact with anyone who has travelled outside the US in the past 14 days?
 
If you answer “yes” to any of these, you should stay home and worship online. Temperatures will be checked at the 3rd Avenue entrance. If the thermometer indicates you are higher than the safe range, you will need to leave the building.
 
Worshipers will enter at the 3rd Avenue/Lobby door (office entrance). Following a temperature check, they should sanitize their hands before entering the sanctuary. An usher will guide worshipers to their assigned pew. Following the service, an usher will dismiss the worshipers by pew, beginning at the back. Worshipers will depart out through the Narthex/Main Street doors.
 
A letter with more details will go out in the mail soon. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact Richard Goff, chair of the Reopening Committee; Margaret King, Clerk of Session, or Pastor Nancy.
 
We look forward to seeing one another again, and we also anticipate the day when it is truly safe for all of us to gather in worship, learning, and fellowship again.
 
 


One Great Hour of Sharing 2021

Started in 1949, One Great Hour of Sharing is a long-standing ecumenical effort aimed at raising the funds necessary to provide relief and reconstruction for communities in the aftermath of disaster.
 
Around the world, people lack access to food, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. Each gift to One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) serves to help change the lives of people in these challenging situations. This offering provides a way to share God’s love with our neighbors in need.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, Self-Development of People, and the Presbyterian Hunger Program share this offering. You may give to OGHS by sending your gift to the church (checks payable to First Presbyterian Church, “OGHS” in the memo line) at PO Box 586, Lexington NC 27293, by texting OGHS to 91999, or by visiting http://www.pcusa.org/oghs.


Session Digest for March 7, 2021

The Session met in a special called meeting on March 7, 2021 via Zoom to discuss the reopening of our church sanctuary for worship.
 
The Reopening Committee met on Monday evening, March 1, 2021 to revisit the possibility of worshiping in our sanctuary. The safety and well being of the congregation has always been the priority of this group. The protocols and procedures put in place last fall were reviewed and found to be in order and still very important in order to open our doors safely. These include limited capacity with social distancing on the pews, making a reservation with the office, the wearing of masks at all times, taking temperatures, registering everyone who enters, entering from the 3rd Ave. entrance and exiting out the front doors of the church. Moving indoors will also mean no congregational singing or responses. Special music will be provided by instrumentalists, soloists, etc.
 
The Session was presented with several options to consider. After much discussion, a motion was made to gather outdoors to celebrate Palm Sunday, March 28 and Easter Sunday, April 4, 2021. On April 11, 2021 we would begin opening our doors for worship in the sanctuary following the procedures/protocols listed above. All services whether outdoors or in the sanctuary will be live streamed. In the event of inclement weather the outdoor services would be canceled and a live stream service will be available. The Reopening Committee will be given the responsibility of revising or canceling in-sanctuary worship if they feel the safety of our congregation will be compromised, or we feel the protocols need to be reviewed. The motion carried.
 
As we move forward with this plan, it is with the hope that it will give our church family an opportunity to, as members of the body of Christ, worship and praise Him together once again.
 
Margaret King, Clerk of Session


Ash Wednesday 2021

Ash Wednesday Service Online, February 17, 7:00 p.m.
 
The imposition of ashes on our forehead is to remind us that we are dust, and one day we will return to dust. It is a sign of our humanity. However, lest that word be too heavy a burden to carry, the ashes are imposed in the sign of the cross, a symbol of power over death, a reminder of Jesus’ resurrection and the promise of our own.
 
First Presbyterian Church will have a worship service available online at 7:00 the evening of Ash Wednesday, February 17th.
 
GLAMA (Greater Lexington Area Ministerial Association) will offer “drive-through” imposition of ashes at various locations in town throughout the day. Clergy will use “long-stemmed” cotton swabs to impose the ashes. Masks must be worn by all members in the vehicle as well as the clergy.

If you aren’t able or comfortable with driving by one of these locations, you may wish to consider mixing some soil with oil and using that to place a cross on your forehead. If you live with others in your household, consider having a brief ceremony with them at the beginning of the day. Read Psalm 51 together and place the sign of the cross on each other’s forehead or hand, saying the words:
~Remember you are dust, and to dust you shall return.~
 
DRIVE-THRU IMPOSITION OF ASHES
9 – 11 AM   Parking Lot of First Baptist Church on Third Avenue (Rev. Alan Suber and Rev. Brian Alexander)
9 – 11 AM      East First and Salisbury Streets. (Rev. Kathy Watford and Rev. Arnetta Beverly)
 
10 AM Drive thru at First Lutheran Church 320 South State Street (Rev. Matt Miller)
 
12 – 2 PM East First and Salisbury Streets (Rev. Elizabeth Horton and Rev. Lester Smith)
 
5 – 7 PM Parking Lot of First United Methodist and First Presbyterian Churches (Rev. Kirk Tutterow, Rev. Cheryl Skinner and Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer)
 
**Pastor Nancy will be “on call” from Noon-2 PM at the church. Please pull up at the Third Avenue office entrance and call the church to let her know you are there.
 
 


Women of the Word – Spring Study 2021

FORMAT: ZOOM Study


“FINDING GOD FAITHFUL”
by Kelly Minter
 
 
In this 8-session video-based Zoom Bible study, you will:

* Encounter the trustworthy sovereignty of God.
* Learn to trust God’s purposes when life doesn’t make sense.
* Recognize how God is working in your waiting.
* Rest in the sufficiency of God’s presence in every circumstance.
 
Joseph suffered through betrayal, false accusations, and imprisonment. But throughout his story, we are constantly reminded of God’s faithfulness. No matter what we walk through, God’s presence is constant; His provision is enough; and His purposes are unstoppable.

BOOK COST: $18.00 (scholarships available)
** Books will be available for pickup at First Presbyterian Church beginning February 2. Church office hours are Monday-Thursday, 9 am-12 pm and 1-5 pm; Friday 9 am-12 pm. Please use the Third Avenue office entrance and ring the bell to the right of the double doors. Checks may be made payable to Katherine Team.

DATES: February 8-March 29 (8 weeks), Monday evenings only, 7:00-8:15 PM

REGISTRATION REQUIRED
Please register by February 1 to office@fpclexnc.com. Please include your name, email address, and
phone number (cell phone preferred). **Your contact information will not be shared
with anyone outside of Women of the Word.**