Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
On behalf of the Session I would like to introduce you to our Bridge Interim Pastor. The Session met last week and had a wonderful discussion with Rev. Troy Lesher-Thomas about our church's needs during this initial time of transition, and we are confident that his gifts match what we need from our Bridge Interim pastor. Rev. Lesher-Thomas will begin serving RPC this coming Sunday, August 2nd, and as Bridge Interim will serve on a month-to-month basis until our Intentional Interim Pastor has been selected.
The Session has also named the following church members to be on the Interim Pastor Nominating Committee (iPNC): Mark Harrill, Kjersti Lockhart, Beth Miller, Mary Tucker, and Sam Wilson.
We ask your prayers for Rev. Lesher-Thomas, the iPNC committee members, and for RPC during this time of change.
Rev. Troy Lesher-Thomas is our Bridge Interim. He lives in Pittsboro with his wife, Mitzi, and two children, Mackenzie and Andrew. Troy has been pastoring in NC for over 20 years including 14 years of service to Pittsboro Presbyterian Church. Troy is a trained Interim Pastor through the Interim Ministry Network having completed Levels I & II along with supervised fieldwork. He holds a D.Min. from Union Presbyterian Seminary focused on Small Church Leadership and Family Systems Theory.
In his spare time Troy loves to garden, read, work on projects in his garage, and play music. Troy is very optimistic about the role of small churches across our denomination and in the present Covid environment. Troy serves as Co-Moderator for the Commission on Ministry(COM) of New Hope Presbytery and has served as a commissioner to the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic while serving in Salem Presbytery. He's looking forward to serving us here at Roxboro and getting to know the membership and our passions for ministry.
Troy is part-time and will be working Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday in Roxboro. Occasionally, due to his service on the COM, he may adjust his day in the office. You may contact Troy by contacting the church office on Tuesday or Thursdays.
Rev. Betty Hale will be preaching tomorrow morning at 11:00 EST on Facebook Live! She will be giving her message from Genesis 12:1-5.
Beloved of Christ,
Philippians 2:4-5 reads, “Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interest of others. Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus.” Friends, we have this opportunity to live into these words as a family of faith. The Session recognizes that many of us miss our communal worship, the time of fellowship, and sharing together. We also know the Covid-19 is still a very real and present threat. We have already seen numerous accounts of infections traced back to worship services. Roxboro Presbyterian does not seek to be the next report. We do however seek to honor God and each other as plans are enacted to restart worship within the walls of the building. The measures outlined are compiled after much prayer and considerable reading and researching. Most of what is outlined follows the recommendations from the CDC, Person County Health Department, and Denominational recommendations.
Roxboro Presbyterian Church has never been closed or cancelled. We have simply had to be physically apart and worship in alternative ways. I have heard so many stories of love and care for each other and was overwhelmed at the response to the Mission Committee to serve our community. Indeed, the Spirit is alive and well within the church and you, the church, are serving God in amazing ways.
Before all things – the Session encourages all who for whatever reason wish to continue to worship remotely to do so, particularly those in the high-risk categories. All online offerings will continue so please join via Facebook Live. Also, the Session requires that any who are currently sick or who are being tested for Covid-19 to refrain from worshipping within the sanctuary until he/she tests negative or is cleared by the health department.
The details for resuming worship now follow and will detail all the steps being taken to maintain the safest environment possible for us to worship together.. This was approved by the Session at the June 16 meeting and will remain in place until the Session determines conditions have changed. Worship will be vastly different for a little while. The Session acks for your patience and understanding. The goal is always to glorify God and to love each other.
PRIOR TO REOPENING
DAY OF WORSHIP
The Session thanks you for understanding and following the recommendations to care for our brothers and sisters in Christ.
To the glory of God,
Rev. Evan Walker
The Missions Committee would like to express our immense gratitude for your overwhelming support of the May Donations Project. Your generosity in giving items and cash donations is greatly appreciated by all four groups being helped. It was heartwarming to hear what one project leader said in a simple and touching way-“Please tell your church thank you for caring.”
The last day to drop off items will be as planned, this Sunday, May 31, from 1:00-2:00. Moving forward, once we are meeting in the church building we may make this an ongoing project. More information will be passed on at that time.
RPC Missions Committee
Beloved of Christ,
The Session remains in prayer for all of you in this strange time. We are aware that many of you have questions and concerns. This email will hopefully address many of those. In what will be shared, I (Pastor Evan) know there will be many thoughts and feelings across the board. Please know every decision has been made after considerable prayer, lots of reading and researching, and thoughtful discussion by the Session.
Rev. Ted Churn, Executive Presbyter of New Hope, sent a letter to all churches. In the letter, the presbytery recommends for all churches to remain physically closed for the remainder of May and the month of June. The letter also recommended that each session in this time create and implement a plan for safe reopening. I (Pastor Evan) agree with the recommendations and explained to the session that I felt completely uncomfortable to reopen until we examine all of our practices and procedures. Truthfully until there is an medically accepted cure and/or vaccine, any and all public gatherings will be a risk. However, there are steps we can take to mitigate and lessen those risks.
The Session of Roxboro Presbyterian met in a stated meeting last night (May 19) and desires to keep the church apprised of what we are doing and decisions being made. The basics of those follow:
1) The physical church building will be closed according to Presbytery recommendations (May - June). This decision will be revisited at the June Session meeting on June 16. We are aware that the situation can and does change rapidly. If possible to alter the date earlier, the Session will certainly do so. If the situation changes negatively, the dates may be extended. What is offered is a tentative schedule. Any changes will be communicated to the church. One member of Session made the wise comment, "We will not hurt anyone by moving too slowly. We certainly can hurt people by moving too quickly."
2) All online offerings (daily devotions and worship) will continue. The church has the capability to set up Zoom meetings for Sunday School classes, Presbyterian Women, and any other groups that may desire. Pastor Evan will be available to train anyone who feels uncomfortable.
3) The Session is examining options to keep those without computers as connected as possible. Hard copies of the worship services are being delivered each week by Beth Miller. If you would like one, please email the church. If you know of someone who would like to receive them and cannot email, please email the church on their behalf.
4) The Session established a sub-committee consisting of Property Chair, Sam Wilson, Worship Chair, Kjersti Lockhart, and Pastor Evan Walker to establish a plan for reopening and how to make it as safe as possible for all who come. That plan will be developed over the next couple of weeks and shared with the session by the beginning of June for further input, clarification, and alterations as needed. Once officially approved, the plan will be shared with the congregation.
5) I (Pastor Evan) continually stay in prayer and try to read as much as possible and share those articles with the session members. The session asks that the church pray for its leaders. We are making the best decisions we can with the best information as possible and also ask for your patience and understanding.
The Session is aware that many members will not like this plan for it either being too slow or too fast, we ask for your patience. When the plan for reopening is released, many of you will think the guidelines are strict while others will think they are not enough. The church universal and particularly Roxboro Presbyterian has a unique opportunity to model humility, patience, and love. This will not divide us or destroy us. We all seek to glorify God, to love each other, and to share the love of Jesus Christ within our community.
Paul urges the church in Ephesus: " I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:1-6).
May the Spirit of God guide, protect, and nurture each of us.
To the glory of God,
Rev. Evan Walker
The Mission Committee would like to thank all of you that have contributed so far. If you have not had a chance, we would like to invite you to partner in the donations project. There are some immediate and ongoing needs in our community and beyond that we may easily be able to help with, as many of us staying home have been doing some long overdue cleaning and organizing. Listed below are four groups/projects in need of donations, with specific items needed, and a schedule of when and where to drop off any items you would like to donate.
RPC Mission Committee
*If you have any questions, please contact Jane Forton by email, phone or text.
The session has been in discussion and is prayerfully considering how the church will re-open as we enter Phase I. We hope you have been able to enjoy the morning devotions and Sunday worship services that are being streamed live. Stay safe and healthy!
The Health Department and Alcohol Law Enforcement (ALE) Agency have cancelled this event. We will let you know if it is rescheduled.
All WW Meetings held at Roxboro Presbyterian Church have been cancelled until further notice.
Has been cancelled until further notice. Please stay healthy!
11:00 Worship Facebook Live
10:00 Bible Study Facebook Live
Morning Devotion - Time TBD