PNC, RUC, and Matthew 25

Dear Friends,
 
Congratulations! Your Session approved the Pastor Nominating Committee’s Ministry Information Form (MIF). Later this week it will go to Salem Presbytery’s Commission on Ministry to be approved.  Once that happens, the MIF will be uploaded to our denomination’s “Church Leadership Connection” (CLC). The CLC is a matching service between pastors and churches. This means that pastors searching for a new call will be able to find our MIF and decide if they wish to apply. It can still take months for the right match, but the PNC is moving along in the process. We give thanks to God for this team and their attentiveness to one another and the Holy Spirit.
 
Last Sunday, I began a series on the Matthew 25 Church. Our Presbyterian Church (USA) denomination encourages congregations to commit to being a Matthew 25 Church, meaning that the congregation is committed to at least one of these three denominational priorities:
 
1. Dismantling Structural Racism by fearlessly applying our faith to advocate and break down the systems, practices, and thinking that underlie discrimination, bias, prejudice and oppression of people of color.
 
2. Eradicating Systemic Poverty by acting on our beliefs and working to change laws, policies, plans and structures in our society that perpetuate economic exploitation of people who are poor.
 
3. Building Congregational Vitality by challenging congregations and their members to deepen and energize their faith and grow as joyful leaders and disciples, actively engaged with their community as they share the gospel of Jesus Christ in word and deed.
 
On January 23rd, I preached about the first priority. Did you realize FPC Lexington is already addressing this?  Your Race Unification Committee has been wading in these waters for over a year now. The new book study on America’s Original Sin by Jim Wallis had its first meeting last week. It’s not too late to join.  Let me know if you need a copy of the book. The city of Lexington recently hired a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) agent, Dr. Patricia Smyre, which tells us this is a priority for your community, as well. 
 
On January 30th, I will address the second of the three, and then touch upon the third one on February 6th, our First Sunday blended service, followed by the Annual Meeting and Baked Potato Lunch.  If you would like to learn more about the Matthew 25 Church initiative, I encourage you to go to our denomination’s website, www.pcusa.org, and put “Matthew 25 Church” in the search.  There is great information and you’ll find examples of what other churches are doing, as well. 
 
{{If you Google Matthew 25 on your web browser, be sure that it is PCUSA or Presbyterian Mission Agency related.  There are many choices that will come up, and many of them are not tied to our denomination!}} 
 
For your convenience, you may wish to check out this link:
 
We have so much to learn as we work and grow in God’s kingdom! 
 
Grace and peace,
Pastor Nancy
 
Rev. Dr. Nancy Jo Dederer,
Transitional Pastor