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February Worship Schedule

February 7

Sermon: Healing... Prayer... Proclamation

Old Testament Reading: Isaiah 40: 21-31

New Testament Reading: Mark 1:29-39

Preacher: Rev. Tom Groome

Worship Assistant: James Baker

February 14

Sermon: My Son, the Beloved

Old Testament Reading: Psalm 50:1-6

New Testament Reading: Mark 9:2-9

Preacher: Rev. Tom Groome

Worship Assistant: Cynthia Hintze

February 21

Sermon Moments in Time

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 9:8-17

New Testament Reading: 1 Peter 3:18-22

Preacher: Rev. Tom Groome

Worship Assistant: Bob James

February 28

Sermon God’s Promise

Old Testament Reading: Genesis 17:1-7, 15-16

New Testament Reading: Mark 8:31-38

Preacher: Rev. Tom Groome

Please check our weekly newsletter for more information on worship services.

Ash Wednesday - February 17, 2021

If you would like ashes for Ash Wednesday you may pick up a pre-prepared container beginning on February 8 in the Church Office.

Notes from Session

January 5, 2021 Synopsis

Call to Worship: Began with a Responsive Call to Worship and a unison Prayer of Adoration. Discussed a scripture that was read by Rev. Groome.

Congregational and Sessional Date: Current Membership-373. No congregational baptisms, births, deaths, or weddings reported since the last session meeting. Courtney Iverson transferred to Sandia Presbyterian in Albuquerque, NM.  Pastoral concerns were shared. Communications were announced (5 thank you notes for gifts from LPC).

Christian Education: Children’s subcommittee reported on the Advent Banners and Faith Village. Campus subcommittee sent cards to LPC college students and high school seniors with “how to connect to LPC for worship” information and a Subway gift card. Trying to keep in touch with local college students electronically.

Communications: Shared the Major Report to show all means of communications going on in the church now. Many of those avenues to communicate within our membership as well as with the larger community have had to change into different ways due to the pandemic. Responsible include ACS (software for financial bookkeeping), Realm, Website, Newsletter, Bulletin Boards, Welcome Packets, Zoom Worship, Staff Computers, Telephones, and Internet. 

Congregational Life: Prepared luminaries for Christmas Eve 5:00 p.m. service, delivered meals to members with needs, delivered RARA boxes, and will hold a soup making day to restock soups in the Brady kitchen freezer.

Financial Management: Gave an update to year-end 2020 financials. Even with an approved budget in place, adjustments will likely have to made as 2021 progresses due to various changes in stewardship and spending.

Outreach: Approved a grant to the Community Table from the Four Cents a Meal fund.

Planning:  Approved the updated 2021 Manual of Operations.

Property: Skip Hess will remain chair of the committee. However, Doug Caldwell will report on their work at session meetings.

Worship: Reviewed the status of reopening for in-person worship as case numbers of positive COVID-19 cases fluctuates in our area.

The next session meeting will take place on February 2, 2021.

Mary Atthowe, Clerk of Session

December 1, 2020 Synopsis

Call to Worship: All in attendance shared a favorite Bible verse, followed by the celebration of the Lord’s Supper.

Congregational and Sessional Data: Current Membership: 463. This number will be adjusted this evening in New Business. No congregational deaths since the November session meeting. Pastoral Concerns were shared.

The Task Force for Sound: We have a quote from Blair-Leigh Enterprises for installing a fiber network connection to the soundboard area in the sanctuary. Bid also includes other upgrades to the network. Working to secure a bid for formalizing the internet streaming system and install sanctuary cameras.

Christian Education: Zoom Faith Village classes continue. Activities to gather outdoors have been planned. Packets went to families of young children with activities included for projects. Advent banners will be colored on Sunday afternoons for all ages in Dunlap. The Youth continues with activities and with service projects. This group will build and set up the manger for Christmas Eve. Rev. Groome is providing a book club for the book CASTE by Isabel Wilkerson on zoom. Campus Ministry continues to try to connect with college students, which is difficult in these unusual times.

Communications: Advent activities will be advertised in the News-Gazette and on posters in town.

Congregational Life: Caring Friends continues to minister to members of the congregation who have needs for a visit, food, cards, prayer, etc. The freezer will be restocked after Thanksgiving. A group gathered to decorate the outside of the church and the inside of the sanctuary.

Financial Management: Some pledges have not been collected for 2020. Pledges for 2021 are lower than projected. Spending has been lower in some areas since we cannot have many of our programs due to the virus. A 2021 retreat of the session is planned to discuss repurposing some invested funds. The 2021 budget was approved. The plan will require mid-year adjustments.

Outreach: Agreed to help with the support of a homeless/disabled vet temporarily. Grants were given to Rockbridge Christmas Baskets and Rockbridge Area Habitat for Humanity.

Personnel: Janice Downey was hired as a part-time Administrative Assistant. Maggie Irby was hired as a part-time Communications Assistant. Rev. Kelly-Ann Rayle’s contract was extended through May 2021. Andy Coffey’s contract was extended through November 2021.

Property: Decorations outside and inside were done with the help of Property Committee, Congregational Life Committee, and volunteers.

Worship: Usher Teams are ready to go for in-person worship. Hardin Marion will coordinate Life of the Church schedule. Mary Ellena Ward will coordinate worship assistants for early worship. Continuing to line up people to assist with zoom worship assistants for a variety of necessary jobs.

New Business: The numbers on the Clerk’s church membership spreadsheet and the actual listed members in Realm do not agree. Much work has been done by many coordinated by Rev. Groome to realign the numbers and the actual list. The session voted to readjust the figures. Thus, our current membership is now 374.

Mary Atthowe, Clerk of Session   

2021 Lenten Bible Study

Join the Koinonia Sunday School Class led by Pastor Kelly-Ann for a Lenten Journey guided by the Book "Lent in Plain Sight" by Jill Duffield. Together using Jill's devotions and prayers we will explore how God uses the ordinary things in our lives, "so perhaps we might hone our sense of the holy, to the point we feel God's presence every single moment of our lives." 

The study begins on Sunday, February 14, at 9:45am and continues through Lent.

About the Author:

Jill J. Duffield was the former editor in chief of The Presbyterian Outlook. She holds an MDiv from Union Presbyterian Seminary and a DMin from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Jill recently moved from Charlottesville, VA to Greensboro, NC - accepting a call as the new Senior Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina.

Click HERE to order the book

Additional resources for the book, click HERE.

From Skip Hess,

Director of Culinary Ministries

These cold, rainy, evenings always put me in the mood for Italian food. There is something satisfying about the tomato sauce and cheese that helps chase the winter blues away.

This recipe is your chance to really cook. You will notice that I do not list amounts with the ingredients. That is because you need to be the chef.  You can adapt the recipe to the number of your dinner guests. 

Ready to try it? Let’s go! 


Eggplant or Chicken Parmesan

1 Eggplant or skinless, boneless, chicken breast(s)

1 Jar of your favorite marinara sauce (or your homemade sauce)

Egg(s) Depends on the amount you need for dipping

Bread crumbs (I use Italian Panko but you may use gluten free)

Flour (I use seasoned flour I find at Herman’s Produce or Food Lion) or you

   may use all purpose flour and season with sat, pepper, and garlic powder


Olive Oil

Vegetable Oil

Spaghetti (for gluten free version, use gluten free pasta)

Freshly grated parmesan cheese


If you are using eggplant, trim ends and slice the eggplant lengthwise in ¼ inch thick slices. You may wish peel it. Lay on a rack and sprinkle heavily with salt. Kosher salt works well for this. Let sit for about one hour. Rinse eggplant and pat dry with paper towel. 

If you are using chicken breasts, put chicken between two pieces of plastic wrap and using a heavy bottomed sauce pan, pound the chicken breast to about ¼ to½ inch thickness.

Warm ½ olive oil ½ vegetable oil in a frying pan, just enough for frying.  Put out three shallow dishes. Place seasoned flour in the first dish. Beat egg(s) and place in the second dish. In the third dish, put the bread crumbs. I use pie pans for the dipping station. Dip the eggplant or chicken in the seasoned flour first and then into the egg(s), and finally into the bread crumbs. Place the eggplant or chicken in the drying pan and fry until golden brown on both sides. Place on paper towels to absorb the excess oil.

While you are frying the eggplant or chicken, prepare the spaghetti just the way you like it and warm your sauce in a frying pan.

Drain spaghetti but do not rinse. Put spaghetti in frying pan with sauce.  Put on serving plate with a piece of the eggplant or chicken next to it. Ladle sauce over spaghetti and eggplant or chicken. Top with freshly grated parmesan cheese and serve. Add a toss salad and a glass of your favorite wine and you’re all set!

It is a long recipe, but it is very easy and surprisingly does not take very long to prepare. 

Enjoy! Skip

From the Music Director

HYMNS: some spiritual and mundane observations

I have written before about the profound effect which hymns, and particularly hymn texts, have had on my spiritual and musical development. Along with scripture, hymns are the constant source of my daily devotional study and prayer. As I work, I have a Bible and about a dozen hymnals within easy reach. In the bookshelves facing me are more than fifty other hymnals and psalter collections. These are my cherished resources in my work as part of the planning of our worship services. One might well ask, “Do you really need all of those different hymnbooks? Don’t they all contain a lot of the same songs?” My answer to both questions is a simple “Yes!”

My reasons for needing, or at least for using, just about all of these books on regular basis, are often musical reasons. The hymns I’m ‘checking out’ are both for the congregation’s singing and, in ‘normal’ times, the choir’s singing. During the ‘choir-less’ services in this pandemic exile from singing, the choir’s role of enriching our services with anthems and choral responses (often hymns or portions of hymns) has evolved into an expanded amount of congregational songs, which I hope many of you are still singing, or at the very least reading, in the muted isolation of your homes. While there is a substantial ‘core’ of hymns common to most of the books, there is a huge, rich variety in the hundreds of additional hymns showing up in only a few hymnals. There is value also in the commonality of the familiar and frequently recurring hymns. Repeated instances of the same hymn can be in different keys, different musical arrangements/harmonizations, and can feature different text stanzas. Hymns written before the twentieth century frequently had many, many stanzas (often 12 or more). Our modern hymnals, reflecting the ever-shortening attention span of human beings as well as a practical concern for controlling the page length/size of hymns as printed in our collections, tend to limit most of their contents to four or five stanzas. In our Zoom worship at Lexington Presbyterian, I try to provide you with easily readable (the magic word is ‘enlargement’) hymns which are included with your e-bulletin. At least some enlarging is possible when the hymn is contained on one hymnal page. Every major current hymnal, including our Glory to God (2013), does have a number of hymns spread out over two pages, or at least rolling over onto a line or two of a second page. For any of you managing not to actually print out your hymns form the e-bulletin, dealing with scrolling back and forth between two enlarged pages is not, I believe, ‘user-friendly.’ So I can usually find, in some other hymnal, a version of the same hymn, with the same (or occasionally better) stanzas, and contained on one page (which can then be enlarged).

This is a tiny glimpse ‘behind the scenes’ of my preparatory work for our worship services, along with the huge new expanded task of comprehensive documentation of copyright information. This church, like most others, has for years participated in a licensing service giving us permission to use most copyrighted material (texts/music) in our bulletins and other printed materials, when for our own ‘in-house’ use. The requirements changed substantially when we had to expand our license to include a ‘broadcasting’ component. Especially for YouTube, we have to document the ‘provenance’ of every song we print and/or sing. 

Returning from the above mundane, ‘behind-the-scenes’ references, I’d like to return to my persistent role as a champion of hymn texts for personal devotion. If you have a hymnal at home, explore it. You can do this in a systematic, orderly way, taking advantage of the book’s organization of its contents into seasonal or thematic categories. You can also trust the Spirit and just open the book. No matter what you find, there will be something on that page that will speak to you and engage you.

If you don’t have a hymnal, let me know. We still have many copies of the blue book, The Presbyterian Hymnal (1990), which is still a wonderful resource. The contents of any hymnal are the result of a committee’s deliberative choices. While our newer Glory to God expanded on its predecessor (the blue one) by increasing its contents from about 600 hymns to over 850, the 1990 book is a rich resource, including the great majority of the hymns you know, as well as at least a dozen treasures which I was saddened to find missing in the 2013 book.

There’s another way to access hymns in this digital age. On a weekly basis, I scan a half-dozen lectionary-related websites, many of which include hymn resources or references. I’ll share two sites with you now.

The first, and most comprehensive site is: hymnary.org

If you enter in your search the word ‘hymnary’ plus the first line of a hymn (e.g. hymnary hark the herald angels sing), you’ll get information of the text authorship and tune composition/source. You’ll get a full text if the words have passed into the Public Domain (i.e., they’re no longer copyrighted). Often there is a printable music version. If you enter ‘hymnary’ plus a scripture passage, the hymnary index will give you a list of every hymn which the scholar editors have referenced with that scripture. And every hymn entry includes a comprehensive index of its various inclusions in different hymnals.

One other site I’ll share with you is that of the pastor and prolific hymn writer, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, whose texts are written to be sung to a wide range of familiar tunes. (You have sung her words.)

You can find her work by searching her name, or by going straight to her site: carolynshymns.com

To close, as we celebrate this radiant season of Epiphany, in which we encounter each week in our worship another of the important events (epiphanies) in which Jesus was revealed to be the Christ, I leave you with a hymn which many of you will know, a memorable portrayal of the life of Christ.


(text: Louis Fitzgerald Benson, 1899 – PUBLIC DOMAIN. Louis Benson (1855-1930) was a Presbyterian pastor and professor (Princeton Theological Seminary), who wrote a number of hymn texts, as well as several books on hymnody.)

O sing a song of Bethlehem, of shepherds watching there,

And of the news that came to them from angels in the air.

The light that shone of Bethlehem fills all the world today.

Of Jesus’ birth and peace on earth the angels sing alway.

O sing a song of Nazareth, of sunny days of joy;

O sing of fragrant flowers’ breath, and of the sinless boy.

For now the flowers of Nazareth in every heart may grow.

Now spreads the fame of his dear name on all the winds that blow.

O sing a song of Galilee, of lake and woods and hill,

Of him who walked upon the sea and bade its waves be still.

For though, like waves on Galilee, dark seas of trouble roll,

When faith has heard the Master’s word, falls peace upon the soul.

O sing a song of Calvary, its glory and dismay,

Of him who hung upon the tree, and took our sins away.

For he who died on Calvary is risen from the grave,

And Christ, our Lord, by heaven adored, is mighty now to save.

Peace and grace,

William McCorkle

Help Fight Hunger!

Souper Bowl Of Caring

Lexington Presbyterian Church's Youth Group will be making a decision this week on where they would like to donate the funds we raise. Be sure to check our newsletters to see which community organization our youth selected! Please make your gifts no later than Sunday, February 7.

Giving Directions:

Drop off a check or cash in an envelope to the Church Office.

To donate online: https://onrealm.org/lexpres/give/SouperBowl

To donate via text: Text LexPresVaSouperBowl to 73256

"Souper Bowl of Caring is a youth-inspired movement working across the nation to tackle hunger in their local communities. Mobilizing grassroots resources including churches, schools, civic groups and caring individuals, the Souper Bowl of Caring movement has created over $160 million worth of support that stays completely local."

Four-Cents-A-Meal Offering

February 7, 2021

You can give online or drop off your collection cans, baggies, or check to the Lexington Presbyterian Church office Tue-Fri from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. If you need a collection can please contact Janice.

Please drop off by February 7th.

From the Campus Ministry Subcommittee

2021 Educational Grant Announcement

LPC will once again offer grants for educational assistance in Spring 2021. Instructions for submitting an application and the grant application form can be found under the "Learn" tab on our website, or click HERE.

Look for more announcements in the March and April newsletters.

All applications for the Educational Grants are due in the church office no later than May 1, 2020.

Many thanks to the members of the Campus Ministry subcommittee who prepared goodie bags for our 11 Rats at VMI who breakout on February 6.

Metsy/Rafiki Requests

Rafiki Image.png

It is a privilege for Lexington Presbyterian Church to be a part of the Rafiki mission through prayer, partcipation, and financial support.

For more information go to www.rafikifoundation.org


Go to our website at www.lexpres.org and select “Giving” at the top of the page, OR click the “ONLINE GIVING” green button at the bottom of that same page. This will take you to our REALM site for giving—select Rafiki under the “Fund” line.

Go directly to REALM: https://onrealm.org/lexpres/give/Rafiki

Our Realm account is setup to handle text giving for Metsy (Rafiki):

Text LexPresVA Rafiki $ to 73256 to give to Rafiki - Metsy using your text messaging.

Example: To give $50 to Metsy/Rafiki I would text the message “LexPresVA Rafiki $50” to 73256 (don’t use quotes) (Standard text message rates do apply).

Our Sympathy to the familes of:

Frances Swink

Sue VanLeer

Sally Wiant (mother)

Pam Luecke (mother)

Billy Harlow (sister)

Jim Joyner (mother)

Adam Sandridge (grandfather)

Marilyn Muller (her husband) 

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