We are a gathering of Christ followers in Lexington, North Carolina, and we invite you to join us on the journey of faith.
Our Vision: First Presbyterian Church is a loving community in Christ where we Call People to Faith, Develop them as Disciples, and Send them to Serve.
The Early Service in our Fellowship Hall: 9:00 a.m. - 9:45 a.m.
Church School: 10:00 a.m.
Worship: 11:00 a.m.
Monday - Thursday - 9 a.m. - 5 p.m. (closed 12 p.m. - 1 p.m. for lunch)
Friday 9 a.m. - 12 noon
Mail: P.O. Box 586, Lexington NC 27293-0586
Office Email: email@example.com
300 South Main St.
Lexington, NC 27292
During 2014-2015 we are going through "The Story"
"The Story" is a condensed chronological Bible that helps us earn how our story fits in with God's grand story of Creation / Redemption / and Consummation.
April 12, 2015 - The Rev. Bill Sosebee
How To Be Born Again
April 19, 2015 - 9 a.m. Early Service Begins
Connecting the Dots
Acts 17:16-34; 1 Peter 3:8-22
April 26, 2015
May 3, 2015 - Today we conclude our journey through THE STORY.
1 Corinthians 9:24-25; Revelation 21:1-8
Well, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) made it into the national news this past week when a majority of Presbyteries (87 out of 172) voted to change the wording in the current book of order to allow churches to host and pastors to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies. This was the second step required to change the church’s constitution which grew out of the actions of the General Assembly this past summer. Our presbytery, Salem Presbytery, has not voted on the amendment yet, but of course the vote itself is now a moot point.
Last summer, when the amendments passed the General Assembly, I wrote a long article explaining the process and what the changes might mean for our church. I thought it would be helpful to revisit some of this explanation.
There are roughly 10,000 PCUSA congregations in the United States. These are geographically divided into 172 presbyteries. We are part of the Salem Presbytery located in Clemmons, NC. These presbyteries are geographically grouped into 16 synods.
Salem Presbytery has 4 meetings each year. Each church elects an elder (or more depending on church size) to be a commissioner to these meetings. All pastors are automatically members of presbytery. The pastors along with the elected elders make up the decision making body of the presbytery.
Every two years, each presbytery elects an equal number of elders and pastors from the presbytery to be commissioners to the General Assembly of the PCUSA. It is at this assembly that policy and decisions are made that “represent” the whole of the church.
Decisions to change the constitution made at the General Assembly have to be ratified by a majority of presbyteries. The action that was just ratified reads as follows:
Marriage is a gift God has given to all humankind for the wellbeing of the entire human family. Marriage involves a unique commitment between two people, traditionally a man and a woman, to love and support each other for the rest of their lives. The sacrificial love that unites the couple sustains them as faithful and responsible members of the church and the wider community.
In civil law, marriage is a contract that recognizes the rights and obligations of the married couple in society. In the Reformed tradition, marriage is also a covenant in which God has an active part, and which the community of faith publicly witnesses and acknowledges.
This change marks the most recent battle in the 20+ years of conflict over issues of human sexuality. The high water mark for those holding to “traditional views” was in 1997 when the denomination passed “Amendment B” which affirmed that human sexual expression was to be limited to those who were married (male & female) and was specifically applied to those who were to be ordained in the church. Those holding “progressive” views continued to work to overturn “Amendment B” and succeeded in doing so in 2011. Once this was accomplished, they turned to the effort to redefine marriage.
Over the years, many churches holding “traditional views” became weary of fighting over these issues and began leaving the denomination. The pace of churches leaving the PCUSA quickened after the 2012 General Assembly narrowly defeated the above change approved in the summer of 2014. As these churches have left, the “traditional” voice has diminished. As a result, the percentage of the “progressive” churches has increased. So, it was just a matter of time before the General Assembly took the above action and then that the majority of presbyteries approved it. As a result, I will not be surprised if even more churches now seek to leave the denomination. This will further increase the “progressive” percentage in the PCUSA.
There has been a significant change in the PCUSA in the 18 years since Amendment B. The church has moved from a “prohibitive” stance (1997) to a “permissive” stance (2011 & 2014). It is my opinion that as long as the PCUSA maintains the “permissive” stance and allows churches and pastors to make their own decisions regarding these issues of ordination and marriage, the denomination may weather this tumultuous time. However, it is possible that at some point in the future the “permissive” stance will become “proscriptive.” Or in other words, it would become a requirement for churches and pastors to host and officiate in same sex marriage services whether the church and pastor want to or not. If such a binding of conscience occurs, it is my belief that the PCUSA will disintegrate into chaos.
One of the things that I value most about First Presbyterian Lexington, is our ability to live, work, and minister alongside of one another even if we differ in opinions over social issues. Our efforts to call people to faith, develop them as disciples, and send them to serve is a compelling vision that unites us. As the storm of controversy continues in our denomination, I challenge each of us to look not at what divides but rather to our unifying vision and to continue to work side by side to do great things for Christ in our church and community.
Grace and peace to each of you.
Your friend and pastor,
Confirmation classes will meet on the following Sundays, 4:45-5:45 p.m. in the basement:
January 25 - "The Trinity -- Who is God?"
February 8 - "Jesus and the Holy Spirit"
February 22 - "The Bible -- Biblical History"
March 8 - "The Bible -- Bible as Scripture"
March 22 - "The Apostles' Creed (What Are We Saying, Anyway?)"
April 12 - "The Sacraments -- Baptism and Communion"
April 19 - "Church History and About Being Presbyterian"
May 3 - "Wrapping Up: What Does it Mean to Join the Church? -- Statement of Faith -- Q & A"
May 17 - 11:00 a.m. - Confirmation Sunday
The Presbyterian Table meets Thursday nights at 6:00 PM, reserving a table at a different restaurant each week. Anyone who wants to eat out is invited to come sit at "the Presbyterian table." This is an informal group open to all with each person being responsible for his or her own expense. We invite you to join us any week for good food, fellowship, and lots of laughter.
FaithHealth NC, a program through Wake Forest Baptist Health, is dynamic partnership between faith communities and health care providers. The mission and purpose of Faith/Health is to develop strong links between medical and faith communities in providing ministries of help and healing to individuals. In Lexington that partnership is between our own Lexington Medical Center and various churches. Our congregation, in fact, has covenanted to be a part of the FaithHealth program.
Several years ago, a number of people from our church took a Saturday to drive over to Madison, NC to observe the men of First Methodist Church cooking peanuts. We had tasted their peanuts and were interested in how they cooked them. Following that trip we searched for a cooker we could use to cook peanuts ourselves, but couldn't find one. We now have contracted with the Madison church to sell us peanuts wholesale.
NUTS ON A MISSION is a unique, delicious gift for your neighbor, a relative, or just for yourself! Contact the church office or Emmy Floyd to purchase. Each pint jar costs just $6.00, or pick up two jars for $10. A case of 12 jars costs $60. All proceeds will go toward missions.
I am excited to announce a new way that First Presbyterian Church can help you develop as a disciple of Jesus Christ. We have partnered with RightNow Media to make available to you a large library of free video resources. It's essentially the "Netflix of Video Bible Studies" because you will have instant access to thousands of great videos for kids, youth, parents, married couples and more. You can view these videos from your phone, tablet or computer. You can also view them in a group setting through a TV or projector. There are over 2000 videos from some great teachers including Max Lucado, Francis Chan, Bill Hybels, Andy Stanley, and more.