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Our Amazing Youth!

I have shared this story a number of times; but after sitting through another wonderful Youth Sunday service, I though it would be worth repeating.

Back in 2005, when Brooke and I were looking for a new place of ministry, we visited many churches. Some were in Pennsylvania, others in Virginia, of course some in North Carolina, and one was all the way up in Parkersburg, West Virginia. Each church had good opportunities for ministry, and we felt that we could have a meaningful ministry in any of them.

As we were trying to make our decision, Brooke asked to meet with the Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) of First Presbyterian to get a better idea of the ministry this church had with youth. She mentioned that not only were we looking for a place for me to serve as pastor we were also looking for a place to raise our children in the faith. The PNC invited Brooke to attend Acts Alive Sunday, and she was very impressed with the maturity of faith of those youth leading the service. For us, this was God’s word to us that First Church Lexington was the place for us. So we arrived with twin 8 year olds and a 4 year old as we began the formative years of raising our children.

Touching Davidson County with Love 2016

This day of community outreach will be April 16, 2016. Two project leaders from First Presbyterian are still needed. T-shirt orders are being taken through March 14.

A bulletin board for project sign-ups will be put in place soon outside the fellowship hall.

If you are interested in volunteering, need more information, or would like to order a shirt, please contact Jeff Davis.

Also, we are collecting the following items for the American Children’s Home:
Kleenex, hand sanitizer, Clorox wipes, paper towels, and bird seed.

Collection boxes will be placed in the Narthex and lobby of the church.

2016 Winnie Green 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 the following guidelines for the awarding of grants. (Click on "Read More")

Ash Wednesday 2016

We will observe the start of Lent on Ash Wednesday, February 10. We will have a meal of soup and sandwiches at 5:30 p.m. in the fellowship hall, and our Ash Wednesday service will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the sanctuary. If you plan to dine with us that evening, please contact the church office (336-248-2140 or office@fpclexnc.com) by February 7.

Women of the Word Winter/Spring 2016

This ecumenical Bible study for women returns Monday, Feb. 1 at 6:30 p.m. (Evening Class) and Tuesday, Feb. 2 at 9:15 a.m. (Morning Class) with Jen Wilkin's "Sermon on the Mount." The study book costs $12. Bring your pen, a Bible, and a friend and join the Women of the Word as they seat themselves on a mountainside to learn at the feet of Jesus.

WOW 2016WOW 2016

2016 Family Retreat

Our Annual Church-wide Family Retreat will be held March 4-6 in Montreat, NC, with lodging available at the Assembly Inn and Reynolds Lodge. Our theme for the weekend will be "Miracles." If you would like to attend the retreat, registration is due by February 14. Brochures are available in the Lobby or Narthex of the church, or it can be viewed or downloaded by clicking here.

Annual Report

Our Annual Congregational Meeting was Sunday, January 31, 2016 following our morning worship service. During the meeting, our Ministry Teams presented their annual reports for the previous year. Your may view or download a copy of the report by clicking here.

Lenten Sermon Series

Many people over the ages have tried to define who Jesus was. Historical Jesus studies proliferated a number of years ago, and recently even T.V. commentator Bill O’Reilly jumped into this genre with his book “Killing Jesus.” As a person who likes history and is a follower of Jesus, I have found all of these books interesting even if I didn’t agree with their conclusions.

It's A Wonderful Christmas!

Many families have Christmas Traditions that help set this time apart from all other times. One tradition that makes this season special for me is watching Frank Capra’s “It’s A Wonderful Life.” I am sure you remember the story: George Bailey is an average joe whose dreams of making it big and traveling around the world are constantly being interrupted by real life. First his father dies, and he has to give up his dream of college to his brother. Then his brother returns from college with a great job, and George agrees to stay with the family business so it doesn’t close. Eventually, George’s uncle Billy loses some of the Building and Loan’s money, and George faces the prospect of being arrested for bank fraud. In a desperate state, George goes to a bridge and considers jumping in and dying knowing that his insurance policy would cover the lost money and provide for his family. In the nick of time, his guardian angel, Clarence Oddbody, prevents him from going through with his plan, and then gives George a great gift - the ability to see what life would have been like if he had never been born.

It truly is an interesting idea to consider: what would life be like if you had never existed. What would or wouldn't have happened if you were not around? What would your loved ones be like if they had never met you? Who would they be? What would be different? If this exercise was really possible, you could discover the influence have you had on the lives of others that you just don't realize. You might find that you indeed have a wonderful life.

This idea got me to thinking: What if Jesus never came to earth as a baby wrapped in swaddling clothes? What if there had never been a Mary or a Joseph? A heavenly host, or humble shepherds? Wise men from the east, with gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrhh? What if the God of all creation, did not humble himself and become incarnate in the person of Jesus Christ?

Well, without the birth of the babe in the manger, our standing before God would still be based on our ability to fulfill the law of God. Since there is no one who is able to completely fulfill the law of God, we all would still be under condemnation. There would be no salvation.

Without the coming of the Christ, sin would still have power over us. Their would be no possibility for us to overcome sin and its effects in our lives. Sin would separate us from God and we could not experience true forgiveness. Without the ability to receive God's forgiveness, we would not be able to forgive others.

Without the gift of Jesus, his cross, and his resurrection, death would still have power over us. The grave would have the final word, and there would be no hope of eternal life with God and those whom we love.

Without the coming of Christ, there would be no gift of the Holy Spirit. Without the Holy Spirit, we would have no one to empower us and encourage us to good works.

Without Christ, hundreds of millions of people would have not been recipients of the church's mercy ministries over the last 2000 years. No St. Francis of Assisi; No Martin Luther, No Mother Teresa; No Billy Graham;

If the fictional Bedford Falls was worse off without George Bailey, can you just imagine where our world would be had the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords not come to that tiny manger, in a humble stable in almost forgotten city of David?

Praise the Lord, that on that Christmas night so many years ago, Jesus was born in Bethlehem. Because he was: We have been saved by Grace through faith; The power of sin has been broken and sin no longer has dominion over us; We have been forgiven and as a result can forgive others; The power of death has been shattered; and in Jesus' resurrection is the promise of our own; We have been gifted with the Holy Spirit who engenders faith in us and who encourages and empowers us to love and serve God. This Christmas let us all remember that Jesus Christ truly is the greatest gift ever given!

May each of you have a blessed Christmas and happy New Year!
Your friend and pastor,
Pastor Lee

Ten Years After

Ten years ago this November 21st, I walked into my office here at church and began my pastoral ministry with you. At that time, I had two 8 year olds and a four year old and was just about to celebrate my 40th birthday. Now my twins are applying to college and my youngest is a freshman in high school! (I am still 40!) When I look at my children, I truly realize how much time has past.

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