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Transition News - September 2019

Since the Rev. Matthew Aldas accepted his new call at Buchanan Presbyterian Church, many of you have been asking about what our plans are for the future as a congregation. This article is intended to answer some of those questions.


We plan to call another associate pastor in the coming months. Presently, the Personnel Committee is reviewing the associate pastor job description and will take a recommendation to the Session for approval. At this point, the church’s Nominating Committee will assemble an Associate Pastor Nominating (Search) Committee who will work with the presbytery to call our next associate pastor. You will hear more updates as this process moves along.

In the Interim To help with general pastoral duties, the Session has approved the Rev. Dr. David Dixon as our Minister of Care. David has been part of RCPC for three years now as a worshiper, small group leader, Sunday school helper, and mission participant. As you will read in David’s biography, he is a member of the Episcopal tradition, but his background both in medicine and in his theological training gives him the skills and experiences to help us in areas of pastoral care and visitation.

David is ordained in the Episcopal Church as a deacon, for which there is no equivalent role or title in our Presbyterian Church. Our deacons are members of the church called to serve the body in ministries of mission, fellowship, visitation, and new member welcome. David’s deaconship, therefore, is different than how our tradition defines the role. David is also not a pastor, having not pursued the Masters of Divinity degree and fulfilled the requirements for ordination for that office. Our title, therefore, as “Minister of Care” acknowledges David’s unique education and spiritual gifts while acknowledging that his role is different from that of an ordained Minister of Word and Sacrament in the PC(USA).

David will, therefore, be carrying out some of our visitation duties within the congregation, caring for the grieving, those in hospice, and providing spiritual council. David will also facilitate the Wednesday Morning Communion worship services when Andrew is not present. Because he is not ordained in our tradition, however, he will not preside at communion. Serving alongside him on those Wednesdays will be the Rev. Dr. Russ Merritt and the Rev. W.D. Hasty, two retired Presbyterian pastors in Roanoke.


During this program year, our Youth Committee is working with Andrew and Leigh to make sure

that everything that was planned for the 2019-2020 year comes together. Andrew is working with youth and adult leaders for the regular Worship & Word nights of Youth Group. Leigh is assisting with overseeing Sunday school teachers and curriculum for youth and crafting the Small Group lessons for Sunday night youth group. We have six youth Sunday school teachers lined up, small group leaders for Sunday nights, and we will be soliciting YOUR help with meals, collection of necessary items for mission projects, and helping with other activities where we need drivers, chefs, chaperones, and organizers.


The older of two sons, I was born in Kinston, NC and raised there and subsequently in Raleigh. Graduating from Davidson College and the Wake Forest University School of Medicine, I completed my pediatric residency at the University of Iowa. Following two years of active duty as a pediatrician in the Army Medical Corps at Fort Hood, Texas, my growing family and I moved to Roanoke to join the practice of pediatrics at Physicians to Children. There I gladly remained until my retirement. Along the way I became the husband of one, the father of two, and the grandfather of three. My wife and I recently celebrated our 46th wedding anniversary and enjoy our volunteer efforts on behalf of our Lord and our fellow human beings.

As a cradle Episcopalian and upon my retirement from medicine, I discerned my call to the diaconate in the Episcopal Church.  Eleven years ago, and after two years of formal study, examination, and two internships, I was ordained to the sacred order of deacons. In the Episcopal Church a deacon is a member of the clergy, one of the three clerical orders, and is principally engaged in pastoral care, outreach, and education in the Church. Three years ago, it became apparent that a change was in the offing in my spiritual life. I began a search for a different worshiping community which brought me to Raleigh Court Presbyterian Church. Here I have joyfully participated in worship, outreach, Sunday School, and Bible study. I eagerly anticipate my new ministry with you good folks here at RCPC. 


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