--73 Sam Houston Way--Lexington, VA 24450 --- Sunday School 9:30AM --- Sunday_Worship at 11:00am

City Church

Historic Presbyterian Church built in 1756.

COVID-19 — CHURCH UPDATE

​​Update: June 21, 2020

​ On Sunday, June 7th, the Session of Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church decided to open the church building to accommodate Sunday Worship ​starting ​on Sunday, July 5th, 2020.

It is recommended that in-person worship within the building maintains safety standards recommended by ​the State of ​Virginia and including, but not limited to, the 6-foot distancing rule, use of masks, training for ushers, use of hand sanitizer, and the sanitizing of the building.

We believe to love God is to love our neighbor. We intend to always act to the benefit of the health and safety of our members, friends, and guests. The session is encouraged to ​continue in making decisions that promote and maintain the health and safety of all persons who participate in the Church and to follow the example of Jesus giving particular care for those who are most vulnerable and at risk.

I have purposely resisted the term of re-opening the Church; for Timber Ridge, the Church, never closed. We have maintained Sunday Worship, albeit from a safe distance; Sunday School study has continued, and with the efforts of Linda Kuehne, this includes the children of our Church. The Church, being the people and not the building, continues to pray for one another and to serve the least in our community through the food pantry efforts of Dixie Steck and by tithes of both food and money.

As we move forward with the intention to worship-in-person, I beseech all involved in thinking first to doing no harm​ and to remember that the decisions they make ​in gather​ing​ can seriously affect and injure others. We can do this safely by using prescribed precautions.​ ​We will ​be diligent in remaining as inclusive as possible, considering all those who could be affected by our decisions.

We uphold the Apostle Paul, who said, “When one suffers, all suffer. When one rejoices, all rejoice.” (1 Cor. 12.26)

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Friday, April 10, 2020

 If Jesus suffered and died, why is it called GOOD FRIDAY?

At first glance, Good Friday seems like the ultimate misnomer. If Jesus suffered and died on this day, then why is it called Good Friday? On one level, the answer is about the meaning of words. The term “Good” as applied to Good Friday is an Old English expression meaning holy. It’s often called Holy Friday also. But in another sense, Good Friday is always tied to Easter Sunday, which is a joyful celebration of the resurrection of Jesus. He could not have been resurrected if he had not died first.

Theologically, we must keep Good Friday and Easter together. Good Friday without Easter is doom and despair. Easter without Good Friday is empty sentiment and sentimentality. We must remember what Jesus did on the cross, which is the fulfillment of God’s eternal plan for the whole world. It has eternal consequence.

What is more important, the death of Christ or His resurrection? Without the sacrificial death of Christ, we would still be in our sins, unforgiven, unredeemed, unsaved, and unloved. The cross of Christ is vital to our salvation and was thus a main theme of the apostles’ preaching (Acts 2:23, 36; 1 Corinthians 1:23; 2:2; Galatians 6:14).

If Christ is not physically risen from the dead, then we ourselves have no hope of resurrection, the apostles’ preaching was in vain, and believers are all to be pitied. Without the resurrection, we are still sitting “in darkness and in the shadow of death” waiting for the sunrise (Luke 1:78–79).

It is impossible to separate the death of Christ from His resurrection. To believe in one without the other is to believe in a false gospel that cannot save. For Jesus to have truly arisen from the dead, He must have truly died. And for His death to have a true meaning for us, He must have a true resurrection. We cannot have one without the other.

And together we pray.

God, we trust that you are good and do good. Teach us to be your faithful people in this time of global crisis. Help us to follow in the footsteps of our faithful shepherd, Jesus, who laid down his life for the sake of love. May your Holy Spirit inspire us to pray, to give, to love, to serve, and to proclaim the gospel, that the name of Jesus Christ might be glorified around the world. Glorify his name as you equip us with everything needed for doing your will. Amen.

 Pastor Patrick

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Thursday, April 9, 2020

 Thursday of Holy Week has also been called: MAUNDY THURSDAY.

The Thursday before Easter is known as either Maundy Thursday, or Holy Thursday. Maundy is derived from the Latin “mandatum novum do vobis,” a new commandment I give to you refers to Jesus’ commandment to the disciples to “Love one another as I have loved you.”

Maundy Thursday commemorates the Last Supper, the institution of Holy Eucharist, also known as the Lord’s supper or communion. It is described in the Gospel of Luke, chapter 22. At the Last Supper with his disciples, Jesus breaks bread, saying, “This is my body,” and pours wine, saying, “This is my blood.” He then asks the disciples to “Do this in remembrance of me.”

Maundy Thursday and Easter Sunday have always been associated with, and a celebration of, the sacrament of the bread and wine. There are some churches in our community and presbytery that are going ahead with a virtual communion service. A service where each viewer from their home will have prepared bread and juice ready to consume on their own.

Sacraments are actions that give new meaning to things. The current questions about the way we worship in a time of radical physical distancing invites the question of what we are prepared for a given sacramental encounter to mean. Sacraments are communal actions that depend on “stuff”: bread and wine, water and oil. They depend on gathering and giving thanks, on proclaiming and receiving the stories of salvation, on eating and drinking together. These are physical and social realities that are not duplicatable in the virtual world. Gazing at a celebration of the Eucharist is one thing; participating in a physical gathering and sharing the Bread and Wine of the Eucharist is another. Of course, God can be present in both experiences – but in a virtual setting… will he be readily recognized by the celebrants.

The session of Timber Ridge has decided that instead of the chance of leaving some patrons out of the sacrament and also the possibility that the sacrament may not be received with full devotion, they have postponed the event for the first day we gather again, together in worship and song.

Easter Sunday worship bulletins have been mailed out today and should be received in time for Sunday worship. I have also included a home Sunrise Service for your consideration. I will send information tomorrow of our Easter Worship service and how to access it.

Bye the by, just what is good about Good Friday. This is for tomorrows’ email.

And together we pray.

 Pastor Patrick

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Tuesday, April 7, 2020

 USING THE ZOOM VIDEO PROGRAM SAFE AND SECURE

Dear Church,

It was brought to my attention that the Zoom video platform we use for meeting and Sunday School may be insecure and that less than nice people are breaking into meetings uninvited and, usually in a very profane manner, disrupting the meeting. This has happened to some, but rarely, if ever, to Zoom hosts who have researched how to set-up and manage their meetings.

For privacy and trolling concerns, though, there are plenty of settings you can tweak to make Zoom a safer place for you and everyone else on the line.

  1. Every Zoom meeting is based around a 9-digit meeting ID. If that ID becomes public somehow, or trolls find it in a web search or guess it, they can pop into your chats and disrupt them. That’s obviously a problem, and an increasingly common occurrence.
  2. There are a few ways to guard against this. First and most obviously, be careful who you share the meeting ID.
  3. When I schedule a meeting, the options panel lets me generate a random ID for the meeting rather than using a personal one. Using a random ID is another way to avoid uninvited guests.
  4. To absolutely lock down a meeting, I make sure participants need a password to access it. Again, this can be found in the options pane when you create or schedule a meeting. Of course, be careful how you share the password and who you share it with. I always assign a password to each meeting. You may not be aware of it, for if you are using the link in the Zoom invitations I send, the password is already embedded in that invitation and automatically is posted it for you. (If you are calling in on your phone you need to manually enter the password in the invitation.)

Finally, there are advanced options for hosting meetings such as Enable Waiting Room option. People are put on hold here before you give them specific approval to join, and it can help to block out anyone I am not expecting. All these options I have set as defaults in my Zoom settings

Add all these measures up together. And along with safeguards Zoom has already use, such as end-to-end encryption, we you can be very confident that our next Zoom meetings will not be interrupted. I do very much appreciate this concern being brought to my attention. It is when we become complacent in our internet use that mistakes are made.

 Pastor Patrick

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Saturday, April 4, 2020

As one of our biblical ancestors once cried out, “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land?” (Psalm 137).  How shall we sing the Lord’s song in this alien and strange land of COVID-19? How shall we provide pastoral care to people who are sick, dying, and those in need? How shall we conduct the public worship of our Almighty God?

During these unusual times, it is essential for our church body to worship with one another. Until the social gathering restrictions are lifted, you and anyone you know are invited to join in for Sunday School at 10 AM & Worship at 11 AM every Sunday morning. These events are currently available only online; Sunday school by Zoom and Worship by YouTube.

Instruction on how to sign-in to the Zoom Sunday School will be sent out by email later today along with instructions on how to dial in from your phone. Our class last week enjoyed 13 persons coming together for fellowship and instruction. Also Fellowship mid-week is starting to catch on using Zoom video conferencing. On Wednesday at 3:00 PM we had 7 persons sharing joys, concerns, prayers in general conversation.

Our worship service is being finalized and uploaded to YouTube. I will send out the internet address for the service which will also be posted on Facebook and on our Church Website at www.TRPChurch.org.

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday; a pivotal day in the life of Jesus with eternal consequences for each of us. It also hosts the longest Gospel reading in the lectionary, Matthew 26:14-27:66. We have segmented the reading by using church liturgists: Art & Linda Kuehne, Donna and me. The service also contains three standard Palm Sunday hymns and in addition, I have embedded the video of our Choir’s performance from last year: “Sacred Head, Wondrous Love” into the service.

So, how do we worship? “How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land (of virus and suffering)?” We just do, for we are Easter people. The work of telling the story of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection in a strange time and in strange new ways are upon us now for the pastoral care of our communities and for the public good. As disciples of Christ, care for your own health and wellness is crucial for the long haul of this work. We will sing the Lord’s song – and we will trust the Holy Spirit is ahead of us and will meet us there.

Pastor Patrick

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Thursday, April 2, 2020

“Life with God is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”

This expression is seen all over social media with C.S. Lewis’s name on it, so you would assume… it must be true. But when we look a little deeper, we discover these words are not from Lewis. You won’t find him associated with this saying in any books of quality and sound standing.

However, just because Lewis didn’t write it doesn’t take away from the truth of this saying. I personally enjoy this expression, as it is a great reminder that even though life will have challenges, we don’t have to lose heart. In fact, John tells us we can have peace despite our troubles because Jesus has “overcome the world.”

 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)

How am I so confident that Lewis didn’t penned this quotation? In addition to it not being in his published writings, I discovered that with a minor change in the wording the actual source is most likely from a book edited by Arthur James Russell that first came out in the 1930’s. In God Calling, for a devotional from January 8th you find this: “Life with Me is not immunity from difficulties, but peace in difficulties.”

And that is where my hope and yearning lie at times like these. I ache for peace. Peace for myself, my family, our church, peace for our country and for all God’s Kingdom. I believe true peace, not the mere satiation of material desires, but true peace is from God alone. Christ clearly stated “Peace. Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives.” Having been inoculated by the Holy Spirit with the true peace infused in us, we can now focus on the application of peace in our lives – “Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

Dear church, pray that the spread of the Covid-19 virus is contained by such measures as staying at home, social distancing, and the regular washing of hands. Pray for your fellow church members. Be sure to check-up on your neighbors who may be in need. More importantly, may Jesus Christ be glorified in all that we say and do during this unprecedented public health crisis.

May you each receive the Peace of God which passes all understanding, for that is what will guard your hearts and your minds during this crisis; in Christ Jesus we pray.

Pastor Patrick

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Tuesday, April 31, 2020

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,

    my glory, and the lifter of my head.

I cried aloud to the Lord,

    and he answered me from his holy hill.  (Psalm 3:3)

Our church sesion met yesterday in a called meeting to decide the immediate future of our church. Our meeting started less than two hours after the Virginia governor announced that he was immediately implementing a ‘Stay at Home’ order for Virginia, taking effect from March 30 until June 10, unless it’s later amended or rescinded. I imagine this was a somewhat easy decision for Governor Northam to make considering how quickly the virus is spreading through our country – and now through our state of Virginia.

Heeding the directive from authorities and relying on the wisdom God has granted, the session decided to extend our voluntary exile from our church building, committees, activities, meetings and unfortunately … from one another for one more month, until the end of April. At that time, the local situation will be revaluated.

We will continue with both our Sunday School instruction and Sunday worship to be online. Sunday school available Sunday mornings online using the Zoom video format, and Sunday worship will be available on YouTube, which can accessed on our church website (www.TRPChurch.org) and our church Facebook account. There will be more information in our newsletter which will be mailed out soon. Final editing of our newsletter was delayed while waiting for the session’s decisions.

The scripture chosen today comes from the 3rd Psalm. This psalm of David was when David (in his later years) fled from his son Absalom. As is often the case with the Psalms, psalm 3:3 begins with the problem, reasons for fear and anxiety. Then, the voice of the psalmist changes his tune to one that recognizes and praises God.

 

But you, O Lord, are a shield about me,

    my glory, and the lifter of my head.

I cried aloud to the Lord,

and he answered me from his holy hill.  (Psalm 3:3)

In these coronavirus days, we don’t have human enemies but emotional foes. Fear, anxiety, the unknown looms before us. Just as for the psalmist, God’s shield for us is spiritual.  The “shield” around is not a magic bubble of physical protection, but the very nature of God’s being and the reason for our own.

Trusting in him does not mean there will be no trials in our own lives. It means with him always and everywhere present in them, we have every reason to look towards him and not fear. He is glorious, the reason to lift our heads and look toward him in trust. He sustains us (v. 5), we will not be afraid (v. 6).

When a believer gazes too long at his enemies, the force arrayed against him seems to grow until it appears to be overwhelming. But when he turns his thoughts to God, God is seen in his true, great stature, and the enemies shrink to manageable size.

 

And may the Lord be with you.

Or if you were born in Texas (as I was),

“May the Lord be with y’all.”

Pastor Patrick

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Friday 27, 2020

Dear friends, during this time of great uncertainty with the Covid19 pandemic, we must remember that we are called to be the Light of Christ to the World. How? When fear and anxiety are our constant companion as an invisible enemy lurks outside our doors, we fix our eyes on Jesus, who is our hope and joy. The glory of Christianity is that we always have love, hope, and joy deeper than any foe threatening our lives.

We have an opportunity today to help spread that Light – the truth that God turns tragedies into something beautiful. We can do this by sharing the news that the movie “I Still Believe” is available for only two days on most streaming movie providers – TONIGHT!

FRIDAY NIGHT MOVIE AT THE MANSE – NOW IN YOUR OWN HOME

Lionsgate Brings Hope-Filled Movie I Still Believe from Theaters Directly into Homes tonight. From the makers of “I CAN ONLY IMAGINE” comes the true-life story of Christian music mega star Jeremy Camp. Jeremy’s remarkable journey of love and loss proves there is always hope amid tragedy and that faith tested is the only faith worth sharing.

Experience this inspiring true story of music megastar Jeremy Camp and his remarkable journey of love and loss that proves there is always hope amid tragedy. A very timely message for all of us during this forced sabbatical from normal life. The powerful true story of faith, hope, and love comes home when I Still Believe becomes available in households everywhere through Premium On-Demand. The film will be available to rent through On-Demand platforms such as Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Google Play and cable providers starting Friday, March 27.

I have been searching all week for the conditions and price to watch this movie – without any success. Regardless of the cost, this is a “family-worthy” event at a much lower cost than those who watched it in the theater. This Premium on Demand release follows a shortened theatrical window that began on March 13 and then closed early because of the Corvid-19 outbreak. This movie rated a 98% Audience Score on Rotten Tomatoes* earning $9.1M on its opening weekend.

Gather the family. Pop some popcorn. And pray. As a community of believers, it is time to join in prayer and love for our neighborhoods, our nation, and the world.

May the Lord continue to bless you and keep you safe in your homes,

Pastor Patrick

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TRPC Broadcast Email – Thursday 26, 2020

‘Our God of Silence” – Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

It’s very surreal for me sitting in my study watching the empty church across the road. I have the perfect view of the north side of the building. The side where Jerry starts each day as the first one in the church, and not just on Sundays, but most days of the week. This side of the church, I watch flowers brought in and flowers that gave their best for Sunday worship carried out. Often, I will notice the cars that use this side of the church as an exit, having visited the church office or community building. But lately, all is quiet on the northern front. Usually there would be cars trading places as driver and passenger switch sides and then drive off. Often, I am distracted as distracted drivers pull in our lot to conduct business, safely texting and talking in their cars. But lately, there is little action to pull my attention from my computer screen. I miss the diversion. Those moments in life when you let your mind wander.

And as my mind wanders, my soul wonders. Where is God in all this silence. My mind reaches back to some dusty corner long forgotten and stumbling back with a quote from Rumi “Silence is the language of god, all else is poor translation.” [1] Elijah met our God of silence. In 1 Kings 19, Elijah experienced a great wind, but God was not in the wind; an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake; a fire, but God was not in the fire. Finally, Elijah heard, “the sound of sheer silence.” We usually carry so much inside of ourselves: winds of thoughts, seismos [2] of emotions, fires of passion. Distracted so much, we can’t hear the silent language of God, as well as of our own soul until we “calm down”. Which is not easy. Many in the Bible went through their seismos [3] events and yet God safely brought his faithful out of the storms.

The best example is “When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the seismon [4] and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” (Matthew 27:54) And still, three days later our forever-faithful God brought his own Son out of the cave. And as he did, he pulled the world out of our storm of doubt and despair. And God will do the same for us today. He will see us through this seismos, this virus event that exiled us from our normal lives into one of isolation. This event for us is something unprecedented and yet it is in the providence of God. His purpose for us now is to demonstrate our faith and their trust in the Lord, enjoying the peace that surpasses all understanding and to wait and see how all these events allow the gospel to advance. We cannot know what tomorrow will bring, but we can say with confidence that whatever it brings, God will be with us, and we will be with one another, and in that promise, we will find hope.

Blessings of Peace, Joy, Love and (of course) Hope,

Pastor Patrick

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[1] Rumi was a 13th-century Persian poet, Islamic scholar, and theologian.

[1] a shaking (as an earthquake); a storm.

[1] Ibid

[1] Ibid.

 

Announcement for Saturday, March 21st, 2020


How to sign in to the Zoom Video Class

The invitation to sign in to our practice session has been emailed to those on our church email list.

(If I put the invitation here on this webpage… anyone who accesses this page could enter our class uninvited in untold numbers.)


TRPC Broadcast Email – Saturday, March 21, 2020

Dear Church,

Vacation is over – school’s back in session!

Everyone is invited to join in our Lenten Sunday School Class this Sunday, March 22nd at 10AM. This class will be available only online using the Zoom video interface program. You will need an internet connection and computer (preferably with camera). I will post Instructions on how to connect to this class on our church website. In addition, I will setup a “training” session for today between 4PM and 5PM to give everyone an opportunity to practicing connecting to the class.

Sunday Worship March 22nd –4th Sunday of Lent

A truncated Sunday worship will be recorded and uploaded as a YouTube video. The link to connect will also be posted on our church website at: TRPChurch.org. This will be available by 11AM Sunday morning and can be watched over the next few weeks.

I have received positive feedback concerning this broadcast email. If you have any suggestions or additions for this letter – please send them to me along with your prayers and concerns to be shared with the church.

We have a unique opportunity to walk through this crisis with hope as we trust in the Lord. We want people to ask us about our hope.

But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have.

But do this with gentleness and respect.  (I Peter 3:15)

Let’s pray for those opportunities and then be alert for them! Remember, our hope is not in this world and our citizenship is in heaven. Let’s be careful about complaining or making this situation into a political issue. We know the One who sits on the throne; worthy of all praise; died and rose again to give us life and hope greater than this world!

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because

the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (I John 4:4).

Together in Christ’s Service,

Rev. Patrick Lanaghan

Timber Ridge Presbyterian Church