FPC's Response to Concerns of COVID-19 (Coronavirus)

Family and Friends of First Presbyterian Church (Lynchburg),

How well can we make lemonade out of lemons?  This time in our lives is unorthodox, unprecedented, and very interesting.  It is fair to say this Lenten season is presenting us with a true wilderness story.  But as the saying goes, when life gives you lemons, it is time to make lemonade (even if you don’t like lemonade).  

A colleague and mentor of mine, Rev. Dr. Ron Shive, has stated, “During this time, church is not canceled.  Worship will just look a little different.  Music is not canceled. It will just sound a little different. Committee work and ministry will not be canceled.  It will just take place a little differently.  Relationships will not be canceled. They will just feel a little different for a while. Faith will not be canceled. It will just grow in different ways for a while.. Love will not be canceled.  In fact, we will need more of it for a while.” 

I would like to add that God has not gone away.  The power and presence of the Holy Spirit is still very much alive.  And it will be our hope and faith in God that can give us the courage, strength, and hope to take the sour lemons of life and add some water and sugar to make lemonade.

Run the Race, Fight the Fight, Keep the Faith!
Pastor Peter Thompson

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General Comments & Information

  • As of March 16, 2020 through March 29, 2020, ALL in-person worship, meetings, bible studies, and gatherings are cancelled or postponed.  This includes Sundays!  See the --> for more details about virtual alternatives to worship.
  • From March 20 - March 29, the church offices will be closed.
    • Pastors on call
      • Peter Thompson (336) 269-7270 or
      • Chad McCain (617) 304-9802
    • Members Helping Members for March (phone only):
      • Jenny Osinga (434) 426-1675 and
      • Rebecca Trexler (602) 359-6909
  • We are continuing to assess, review, and evaluate the situation.  We will adjust our communication and ministry accordingly.  Please stay tuned to all forms of communication (email, FPC's Facebook page, Instagram (@firstpresoflynchburg), church website, and office voicemail) for future updates.
  • At the bottom of this page, we have a section of resources, devotionals, and information for you to use and share with others as we walk through this season.

Worship Sundays, March 22, March 29, and April 5, 2020

Sundays, March 22, March 29, & April 5 we will ONLY have the 10:30 am worship service broadcast over the radio and Facebook Live.  The Sanctuary will NOT be open.

The service will be broadcast in two mediums:

  1. On the Radio via our normal Sunday broadcast through WLNI 105.9 FM or
  2. Via Facebook live on our First Presbyterian Church Facebook page.
    1. We will have Facebook live set up approximately 5 minutes before 10:30 am.
    2. We will share a copy of the bulletin (inclusive of hymns) prior to going live.
    3. Use our virtual friendship pad to share your presence with us in worship!
  3. You can find also find a copy of the bulletin here or from our homepage!
  4. We have also added a copy of our Lent for Locals brochure that you might miss from the pew racks!

We are the church!  May we worship God as His people wherever we are!

Ways to Give During this Time

As we will not be meeting in person each week, you may have questions about making your offering or pledge contributions, please make note of the options below:

  • Consider making an online donation through our online giving portal.
  • Download the "GIVE+" Mobile App and contribute through your phone.
  • Set up an automatic payment through your bank's Bill Pay System.
  • Mail a check to the church office (1215 V.E.S. Road, Lynchburg, VA 24503) to the attention of Lori Wright.
  • Request an electronic payment through your bank account or credit card by contacting This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (434-384-6231) in the business office!

Updates from First Presbyterian Church Pastor and Staff (Please read carefully!)

Update Six, March 25, 2020, Church Office Closures March 30-April 3 & April Event Updates

Church Offices will be closed for business Monday, March 30 through Friday, April 3.  Additionally, all in person spiritual growth, small group, children and youth, and worship activities for April 5 will be canceled.

Worship on Sunday, April 5 will ONLY be available on the radio (WLNI 105.9 FM) or Facebook Live.  Bulletins can be viewed from our home page. The bulletin will be made available the Friday before.

We have also canceled three Congregational Life events previously planned for April.

  • Easter Egg Hunt
  • Wednesday Night Fellowship, Musical Trio
  • Spring Fling

Stay tuned daily on our Facebook and Instagram pages or this page for encouraging scripture, book readings from our staff, devotional resources, and connections to other FPC members!

We will share communication next week about any additional closures after April 5.

If you have an emergency and need to talk with either Peter or Chad, please call them directly.  Members Helping Members are also available through phone contact only.

Pastors on Call:

  • Peter Thompson (336) 269-7270 or
  • Chad McCain (617) 304-9802

 Members Helping Members for March (phone only):

  • Jenny Osinga (434) 426-1675 and
  • Rebecca Trexler (602) 359-6909

Members Helping Members for April (phone only):

  • Brenda Sanzone (434)384-0416 / (434)426-8025
  • Persis Tinsley (434)384-1547

May we continue to pray for each other, our church, our community, and country as we continue to walk through this interesting time together!  May we turn to our God for strength, hope, and peace! You are not in this alone!

Update Five, March 19, 2020, Church Office Closures through March 29
Update Four, March 17, 2020--Church Office Hours Adjustment through March 29
Update Three, March 16, 2020--Adjustments to Worship and Program Schedule through March 29
Update Two, March 12, 2020--Adjustments to Program and Worship Schedule for Sunday, March 15
Update One, March 11, 2020--Four actions FPC staff have implemented to enhance healthy worship practices

Resources

Lenten Devotionals

As we walk through this wilderness season that coinsides with our liturgical Lenten season, we would like to share some resources with you.

  • Fast from...Feast on! This resource encourages us to think and reflect on things in our lives that we can fast from and trade them in for things that we can feast on!  How we can grow if we just chose one from each side!
  • Lenten Prayer Service At Home Edition, March 18, 2020. With our Lenten Prayer Service cancelled on this date, we encourage you to use the resource link to a guided walk through the Fast From...Feast On Resource above.
  • Lenten Prayer Service At Home Edition, March 25, 2020. With our Lenten Prayer Service cancelled on this date, we encourage you to use the resource link to a guided walk through last Sunday's scriptures AND calming coloring pages. Note, we had to save the PDFs of the guide and coloring pages separate because of the file size, but both links are highlighted here.

Sabbath Devotional

Sabbath rest has been a discussion point in our church community over the last year.  Earlier in March, a group of members participated in a Sabbath Retreat at Massanetta Springs together to learn, grow, and experience Sabbath.

  • We encourage you to use this Sabbath resource as a reflection and Spiritual Growth experience for you and/or your family.
  • As you engage in Sabbath activities, we invite you share photos or posts on social media and tag @firstpresoflynchburg or email the church office at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  We can't wait to see!

Immerse Devotional

Immerse is a devotional series developed by Pastor Peter Thompson as a part of his Doctoral Research and Program. They were developed to be used in 1 to 2 day segments as an alternative form of worship when being present at church has been impacted.

Healthy hygiene practices

Please consider some of the following health practices to help protect yourself and others.

  • Wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds before eating, if interacting with anyone who's ill, and after using the restroom.
    • If 20 seconds seems like a long time, consider singing or saying the following familiar titles while washing
      • Happy Birthday song
      • Jesus Loves Me
      • Lord's Prayer
      • Chorus to Blessed Assurance (This is my story, this is my song)
  • If you are feeling ill or under the weather, stay at home and rest.
  • Avoid using handshakes in your greetings.  Consider a simple smile, eye contact, and a verbal greeting.  People will understand greetings without contact.
  • Regularly clean/disinfect cell phones, doorknobs, handrails, and other hard surfaces that are touched frequently.

Articles or References for Information

 

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Celebrating God’s grace, Inspiring the next generation for Christ… each and every day!!!

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