First Presbyterian Church has been serving the Lexington, Nebraska community since 1873. At our web site, you will learn about the church, the people in our church and how you can find your place in our church. Feel free to browse around this site. If you have comments or questions about our church or simply need more information and want to contact us, click on the contact button on any page within this site. Thanks for visiting, come back again.
September 2014 - Letter from Pastor Caroline
Dear Friends in Christ,
“God welcomes all, strangers and friends. God’s love is strong, and it never ends.” We sing these words in worship occasionally. These are the translated words to an African song Scottish musician/theologian/church leader John Bell heard sung at an AIDS compound in South Africa; they were singing at a time when AIDS sufferers were ostracized, unwanted, and to be a person of color, and with AIDS - that meant you were particularly despised. But there they stood, singing, as their bodies wasted away, their faith grew stronger: God welcomes all, God’s love never ends.
While our Creator’s love is strong, we are God’s creatures, in the image of God but not God ourselves. We are frail, we can be fickle, and we are often fearful, and from our fear-place we lash out in anger. Prickly as porcupines, we struggle to live God’s welcome wherever we find ourselves. It’s not just in the sanctuary, on Sunday morn-ings where we are called to welcome the world God loves. Beyond the walls, outside our doors, we are given the commission: Make disciples, share the good news, be the good news, tell the good news.
So, Session has been studying a book, The Welcoming Congregation. We want to know more about how to share the welcome we have received from God with the world God loves.
* Eating together - so we’ll have a potluck on September 21, following worship. All welcome!
* Small groups/relationship opportunities - Welcoming Team will help us find ways to create more ways, new ways for people to join us in community.
* Guest-friendly facilities -- signage. We need more signage. As the “just right” work continues on our HVAC system, we will also add signage so people can find the Fellowship Hall, the Parlor, the nursery, figure out who the ushers are .... and upgrade our internet presence, such as sermons and events on Facebook. But there’s more :-)
* Worship -- making the bulletins more guest-friendly, such as explaining what a “narthex” is, keeping/making services an hour in length, and “nourishing worshippers for service”.
Why? Because the church is not a club for the comfortable, but a safe space, a sanctuary, for all of us who are “walking wounded”; our purpose is to pay God’s grace forward.
And your friendly smile, your handshake, your speaking to a guest before you catch up on the news of those you see every week: that is where the rubber hits the road for hospitality. That’s it - you’re welcome, there, right there, that’s God’s welcome.
FYI: I’m switching lectionaries. After over 25 years in the ministry, preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, I’m switching to the Narrative Lectionary. We’ll start with Noah on September 7, and go through the Bible, in chronological order; at Christmas, we’ll encounter Jesus, so in the New Year, the lessons will be from the life and teachings of Jesus as told in Matthew. To go along with the new lectionary, I’m starting a second lectionary group in October. Also, a New Member Class is forming -- God is sending new folks to join us on the journey.
God is good, all the time. God welcomes all; we welcome you!
Grace and peace,