Welcome to Northminster

We are a biblically-based Presbyterian church seeking to experience and share God’s love to transform our homes, community and the world. We hope you will join us.
 

Join us this Sunday!

We have Sunday school for all ages at 9:45, and the worship service is at 11am. We look forward to seeing you! Click here to find out where we are and get in touch. If you are not able to join us in person, we invite you to follow our livestream, which you can find here.

Upcoming Events

November 2022

Tuesday, November 29

12:00 pm – 12:30 pm
Lynchburg Daily Bread Meal Distribution

Wednesday, November 30

12:00 pm – 1:00 pm
Midweek Prayer Time
7:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Choir Practice

December 2022

Saturday, December 3

9:00 am – 12:00 pm
Hanging of the Greens

Sunday, December 4

9:45 am – 10:45 am
Adult Sunday School: Adult Sunday School
9:45 am – 10:45 am
Sunday School (children & youth)
11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Online Worship
11:00 am – 12:15 pm
Sunday Worship
6:30 pm – 7:30 pm
Youth Group: Sunday Night Live

The Latest from our blogs…

June 2022 Pastor’s Corner – Change

 “In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” — Ben Franklin

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” — Hebrews 13:8

The past several years has taught us how quickly things can change, and change drastically.  Some of these changes have been good, many of them have been difficult, if not very hard.  Just about every area of our lives has been shaken and challenged.  Most of these changes have been as unexpected as they were unprecedented; some of them we could see coming.

I’ve been reflecting on change a lot lately.  Part of that has been stirred by the cultural changes we’re seeing around us, but closer to home it’s been triggered by my son’s graduation from high school and preparation for college.  Our family is moving into a season of change we’ve not experienced since my son was born.  Many of you have experienced that transition yourselves, some of you have a few more years.  When facing changes like these, it’s easy to begin to feel “unmoored.”  But, as my (great x6) uncle Ben Franklin said above, everything changes, except death and taxes.

There’s a lot of wisdom and a lot of truth in my uncle’s observation…but he missed something crucial.  As the author of Hebrews reminds us, Jesus Christ never changes either.  As part of the Holy Trinity, God the Son has always existed.  God the Son is as much the same before the incarnation as after it, as before his death and resurrection as after it, as before his ascension into heaven as after it, as before his ultimate return as after it.  His nature, his mission, his work, his hesed (steadfast lovingkindness — see the sermons on Ruth) is all exactly the same yesterday, today and forever.

We depend on consistency and stability to keep us anchored in our lives.  But if we anchor ourselves to something that will move or change, we can’t rely on that mooring.  Everything moves and changes — relationships, jobs, people, family, the stock market, politics, the weather, even church.  The only true certainty in life is Jesus Christ.  When we anchor ourselves to Christ, we can weather whatever storm may whip up around us, whatever change and transition might come our way.  How do we anchor ourselves to Jesus Christ?  He tells us that himself:

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock.” (Matt. 7:24–25)

Knowing the Word of God through Christ in Scripture and doing what He says is how we secure ourselves to Jesus Christ.  We “hear these words” of His by spending time reading the Bible and in prayer every day, by going to Sunday school and Bible studies each week, and by worshipping with the body of Christ each Sunday morning.  We “do what it says” when we put what we hear into practice each and every day.  

If there is any particular way we can help you work through the changes and challenges you are navigating by helping you hear His word and doing it, please don’t hesitate to reach out and let us know.

Blessings,

Rev. David Garrison


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May 2022 Pastor’s Corner – Irritating

 “So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?” (Rom. 7:21–24)

We are deep in the throes of pollen season.  You can’t really miss it, since we’re all driving greenish-yellow cars right now.  It is arguably the most singularly irritating season of the entire year.  If you suffer from allergies, it’s torture.  If you don’t, it’s irritating.  The pollen gets everywhere and covers everything.  Occasionally you can even see clouds of the stuff blowing out of the trees, but even when you can’t, you can taste it every time you step outside.  Constant sneezing, runny noses, and itchy eyes are part and parcel these days.  Considering how small pollen particles are, it’s pretty impressive how much trouble they cause.

The only relief we can look forward to is the next rain shower.  For a brief moment, perhaps a few hours or even a day if we’re lucky, the rain will wash the pollen away.  Our cars return to their usual colors, our decks and homes are washed clean, and the air doesn’t attack our nasal passages.  For a little while, at least.  Of course, that very rain triggers even more pollen to come, but I’m working on an analogy here so let’s not push things farther than they’re meant to go.

We focus a lot of our time and energy on avoiding the “big” sins (such as sexual immorality, rage, jealousy, envy, drunkenness and the others listed in Galatians 5:19-21), which we should.  But sometimes I think we forget about the “small” sins, or we think they’re not that big of a deal.  As long as we’re not “too bad” then we should be ok, right?  However, kind of like pollen, those small sins can become big irritants.  If we don’t attend to the small sins in addition to the big ones, they can irritate our faith and our walk with the Lord.  The simple truth is that sin is sin, regardless of its size.

Just like we yearn for rain to wash the pollen away, we can rest assured that, through the sacrifice and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we can “draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.” (Heb. 10:22)  Jesus didn’t just cleanse us of the “big” sins, but the “small” ones too.  The pure water of the Holy Spirit and the Word of God wash us clean.  May we take all of our sins to the cleansing waters of the Holy Spirit so that we can be refreshed, renewed and restored.

Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her, that he might sanctify her, having cleansed her by the washing of water with the word, so that he might present the church to himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or any such thing, that she might be holy and without blemish.” (Eph. 5:25–27)
 
Blessings,
Rev. David Garrison

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April 2022 Pastor’s Corner – The Son Rises

Now after the Sabbath, toward the dawn of the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. And behold, there was a great earthquake, for an angel of the Lord descended from heaven and came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. And for fear of him the guards trembled and became like dead men. But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the dead, and behold, he is going before you to Galilee; there you will see him. See, I have told you.” So they departed quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. (Matt. 28:1–8)
 
They say that it’s always darkest just before the dawn. I’ll be honest, I’m rarely up early enough to find out if that’s true, but I’m glad to trust those who are early risers. It was certainly true for the disciples the weekend Jesus died. Never had they experienced so dark a night as they did after Jesus died on Good Friday. I imagine that Saturday was spent in a grey fog of shock, fear, dismay and denial, with probably very little sleep. Their hopes had risen so high over the past three years, and in just a few hours, the heights of hope were replaced with the depths of despair.
 
I wonder if the two Marys had slept at all that weekend. Perhaps getting up and going to the tomb was something like, “well, we’re not asleep so we might as well go to the tomb” kind of moment. Luke tells us they took spices to place on Jesus’ body (Luke 24:1). It was the beginning stage of reluctant acceptance. But as they arrived at the tomb, just as the sun began to peek over the horizon, their world was shaken once again — literally, this time. A thundering earthquake, the piercing brightness of light — not the sun rising, but the Son rising! This light came from inside the tomb, not the sky.
 
“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:5) The darkness of night can not stand against the light of the sunrise. The darkness of our souls can not stand against the light of God’s love and forgiveness. The darkness of this world can not stand against the light of God’s power and might (Ephesians 6:12).
 
You’re invited to join us as we celebrate the Light of Jesus Christ rising and pushing back the darkness of our lives this Easter Sunday. Rev. Bob Mills will lead us in an Easter Sunrise service at 7:30am, and we’ll have a full Easter Celebration at 11am. Join us for both, or just one. Let’s celebrate the Light of the World together this Easter.
 
Blessings,
Rev. David Garrison

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March 2022 Pastor’s Corner – Trust & Hope

 1Yahweh, my heart is not haughty, I do not set my sights too high. I have taken no part in great affairs, in wonders beyond my scope. 2 No, I hold myself in quiet and silence, like a little child in its mother’s arms, like a little child, so I keep myself. 3 Let Israel hope in Yahweh henceforth and for ever. (Psalm 131, New Jerusalem Bible)

Every once in a while you happen across a passage of scripture that catches you off guard.  At first, you think, “that’s a nice Psalm.”  But then you keep thinking about it.  A few hours later, it becomes, “man, I can’t get that Psalm out of my mind.”  As the hours turn to days, you start to think, “Yeah, there’s something going on here.  Why is this Psalm continuing to rattle around in my head?”  If you haven’t already, this is the point when our thinking should turn into praying.  We ask the Holy Spirit to open our eyes and soften our hearts in order to hear what He is trying to tell us.

That’s what happened to me just a few weeks ago.  I came across this Psalm in preparation for last month’s Session meeting.  It made a very nice opening devotion for our meeting.  But then I couldn’t stop thinking about the Psalm.  I love the imagery it uses — the idea of resting contentedly in God’s arms the way a little child rests in his mother’s arms speaks to the deep longing of my soul.  But that’s not the part that stuck with me.  It was the first verse that wouldn’t leave me alone.  The hard truth of the matter that I’d prefer not to admit is that my heart is inclined toward haughtiness.  I do tend to set my sights too high.  I am prone to thinking that I’m the one who has to solve all of life’s problems, in great affairs and wonders beyond my scope.  It’s not that I’m terribly arrogant or boastful, rather more that I often think it’s my responsibility to figure everything out and know what the right course or solution should be.  I am often discontent with my lot, and think it’s up to me to change it.

But that isn’t what God wants from me, or from us.  Rather, we’re invited and encouraged to be still and quiet, to rest contentedly in His arms.  That’s the image of verse 2.  A child, whose every need has been met and trusts fully in her mother, peacefully at sleep, without a fear or worry.  That is the kind of relationship God yearns to have with us.  God yearns to provide for our every need, to keep us safe and secure, to hold us warmly and tenderly so we can rest in Him without fear or worry.  What keeps us from experiencing that kind of love is our discontent, our constant striving for more… in other words, the haughtiness of our hearts and the setting of our sights too high.

The Holy Spirit is still convicting me through this Psalm.  My soul yearns for this peace and rest, but my heart resists.  I find myself praying through this Psalm and also Paul’s words in Romans 7: “I do not understand my own behaviour; I do not act as I mean to, but I do things that I hate.” (Rom. 7:15)  Maybe that’s something you find happening in your heart and soul as well.  That’s ok, it’s part of the journey.  As soon as we learn to trust God a little bit, He invites us to take the next step and trust Him even more deeply.  To steadily and steadfastly rest in Him more and more; to become progressively more content with His provision.  It’s easier said than done, but the rewards are well worth it.

Not that I am speaking of being in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. I know how to be brought low, and I know how to abound. In any and every circumstance, I have learned the secret of facing plenty and hunger, abundance and need. I can do all things through him who strengthens me. (Phil. 4:11–13)

Blessings,

Rev. David Garrison


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February 2022 Pastor’s Corner – The Light Shines

“The true light, which gives light to everyone, was coming into the world. He was in the world, and the world was made through him, yet the world did not know him. He came to his own, and his own people did not receive him. But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.” (John 1:9–13)
 
We are about halfway through the Christian season of Epiphany. Epiphany begins on January 6 and runs up to Ash Wednesday (March 2 this year). I’ve long been fascinated with the wisdom the early church showed in the development of the Christian calendar, particularly in regard to this season — putting it in the middle of the darkest time of the year. Philip Reinders explains, “We know the word: a moment of piercing awareness, the sudden jolt of understanding. Imagine, then, that moment stretched out over a period of time. This is the season of Epiphany, a season celebrating the revelation of the Savior, the light of the world.”
 
This year seems particularly dark, doesn’t it? We’re almost two years into this pandemic, and we’re seeing numbers of infections that are higher than we’ve ever seen. Vaccinated or not, masked or not, it seems everyone is catching it. Thanks to the weather and the pandemic, our children have been home more than they’ve been in school. Our economy seems to be a mess. The political tensions on the local, state and national levels are stretched tighter than ever before. Internationally, we are sitting on the brink of war with Russia, a statement that frankly my mind struggles to wrap itself around. After a childhood growing up in the Cold War and worrying about nuclear war with the USSR, I thought we put that to rest in the early 90s?
 
These things are bad, and they are worrying. Put together with the long nights of this time of year and the darkness almost takes on a more visceral sense. That’s where the brilliance of the season of Epiphany comes in. As Paul writes in Ephesians 6, “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.” (Eph. 6:12) The real battle, the real threat, isn’t physical; it isn’t anything listed in the above paragraph at all. The real threat, the real darkness, is the spiritual darkness that envelops this world. The only thing that can stop or defeat that darkness is the Light of the World, Jesus Christ. He has already done so, the darkness just doesn’t know it yet. As John proclaims at the beginning of his Gospel, “In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” (John 1:4–5)
 
The wonder of Epiphany isn’t just that the Light of the World has come and that the darkness cannot overcome Him, but that when we receive Him, we become children of God. When we become children of God, we also become the light of the world. As Jesus says, “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” (Matt. 5:14–16) The closer we draw to Jesus Christ, the Light of the World, the more brightly our light shines, and the more the darkness is diminished in and around us. This season of Epiphany is a reminder for us to focus on the Light, to draw closer to the Light, to be warmed by the Light, knowing and trusting that as we do so, the Light of God’s love and truth will shine through us into the world around us. Over the course of the rest of this month, be intentional in seeking the Light of Christ and letting your light shine to others.
“For what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.” (2 Cor. 4:5–6)
 
Blessings,
Rev. David Garrison

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