Pastor Lee's blog

Facing Lent

“When the days drew near for him to be taken up, he set his face to go to Jerusalem.” - Lk 9:51.

Near the end of his earthly ministry, Jesus “set his face” toward Jerusalem to experience the pain of the cross on our behalf. From that point on, he did not allow anything to distract him from his mission to go to the cross.

Dancing Out of Your Comfort Zone!

It may be a cliche, but it is important to step outside of one’s comfort zone. As many of you know, on Sunday afternoon, I didn’t just step outside of my comfort zone, I ran....I danced....far away from that zone!

Restructuring #3

On Sunday, January 27th following our 11 a.m. worship service, we will hold our annual congregational meeting. At this meeting, we will vote on the Session recommendation to restructure our leadership. As I mentioned in a previous newsletter article, we will be streamlining our elected leadership by combining the Diaconate and Session into one body and reducing the numbers of elected leaders from 30 to 18. We will change the terms of service from three years to two years.

We will also be structuring our ministry around three large emphases:

Leadership Restructuring 2

About a month ago, I explained the Session recommended plan to do a major restructuring of our leadership. This time, I want to explain how we need your help to make our ministry happen.

What We Can Learn from Mary...

When Christmas time rolls around, I begin thinking about all of the people who where involved in the miraculous event in Bethlehem. Of all of them, it is Mary who most impresses me . Here was a teenage girl who accepted the most unbelievable news and stood strong in the face of cultural condemnation. She is inspirational. Now as long as we are careful not to put Mary on the same level as Jesus or on a higher level than any other faithful follower, she can be a model of Christian discipleship for us today. In fact, the early church considered her to be one. So what are some of her characteristics that make her a good model and which we would do well to imitate?

First off, she was very thoughtful. She pondered the words of the Angel; she pondered and treasured all that happened on the night Jesus was born, including the words of the shepherds; she thought about and treasured what Jesus said when he stayed behind in Jerusalem when he was twelve. Mary reflected on what God was doing in her life and in the life of her son.

We would do well to develop a life of discipleship that is characterized by deep thinking on the issues of faith and action and the presence of Christ in our lives. Too often we rush through life leaving little time for quiet contemplation on the things of faith. This fact is one reason why I believe the discipline of keeping Sabbath is helpful. It creates unhurried space in which we can ponder and treasure the things of God.

A New Leadership Structure Proposal

Greetings in the name of Jesus Christ!

As you may know, last January the Session formed a restructuring task force to look at streamlining our leadership structures in order to become more efficient and effective at ministry. At the November meeting, the Session unanimously approved the recommendation of the task force to bring a restructuring plan before the congregation for its approval on January 27th.

Link to Restructuring Plan

Process to get to plan:

Fear God

Fear God
For the first time since I moved here in 2005, I was able to attend the Lexington Barbecue Festival. In all my previous years here, on Barbecue Saturday, I was either coming home from or going to the Dominican Republic for our Adult Mission Trip.

As a first timer, I was impressed with the sheer size of the festival. It truly was shoulder to shoulder, and the only way to move forward was to waddle. Music filled the air, as did the smell of barbecue! I made my way to the square and came across what you see in the picture. I couldn’t help but comment on here goes.

FPC is Selected for a Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Grant

The Session is excited to announce that First Presbyterian Church has been awarded a 2012 Clergy Renewal Grant from the Lilly Endowment for Pastor Lee. Now in its 13th year, the program invites Christian congregations and ministers to plan a period of intentional reflection and renewal. It gives ministers time to take a break from their daily obligations and gain the fresh perspective and renewed energy that a carefully considered “sabbath time” of travel, study, rest and prayer can provide.

In Full Swing

Activities have picked up around the church as fall begins in earnest. Here are just a few to highlight:

Our Acts Alive and Young Disciples Youth Ministries are in full swing and are being enjoyed by participants and leaders alike. Sara Ramirez, Mac Ingraham, and Brian Turlington are leading the YD’s this year; and the Acts Alive Advisors are: Fran & Lane Morton, Mike & Ann Kiefer, Ryan & Joy Harman, and Margaret King. Thanks to all for their ministry.

Our adult choir is hard at work preparing music for each Sunday as well as looking forward to December 9th for our Christmas Music Program with guest orchestra. There is an article in the newsletter about recruiting new choir members, so I encourage you to read it and consider participating in this meaningful ministry.

The search committee for the Director of Music position has received 6 applications so far and have chosen a few to follow up with by checking references. The committee will be getting together soon to review those references and schedule first interviews. Please be praying for the search committee who are: Jimmy Holsehouser, Lisa Horne, Margaret King, Cathy Fulp, and Jack Harman.

Achieving the Goal

"Not that I have already obtained this or have already reached the goal; but I press on to make it my own, because Christ Jesus has made me his own. Beloved, I do not consider that I have made it my own; but this one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and straining forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the heavenly call of God in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 3:12–14).

Goals are important. They give focus and motivation during the journey and fulfillment and satisfaction when achieved. Just this past Friday, I finally achieved a goal that I have been dreaming about for 20 years. I successfully passed my oral and practical exam for the Private Pilot Certificate. It has been a long journey.
When I graduated seminary and went to my first church in Lexington, Virginia, I looked into beginning my flight training, but it was just not convenient. The closest flight school was an hour drive away, and I just didn’t have the time to tack on two hours of driving to each lesson.
When I went to my second church outside of Charlotte, there was a closer airport and I did inquire about it. However, three new children and a burned up transmission made it financially impossible.
When I came here, I had put the dream behind me and put my efforts into other endeavors. I nearly forgot that I wanted to learn to fly. A flight with a friend rekindled my desire to achieve this goal. For the next two years, I began studying. Then last February, with the prompting and encouragement of my wife, I began lessons. All this culminated last Friday.

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