The Charleston Atlantic Presbytery Youth Council is a unique opportunity for high school youth to gain valuable leadership skills, learn more about the Presbyterian Church (USA), get to know other youth from around the presbytery, and serve the church in an important and challenging way! Learn more and fill out THE APPLICATION by May 31 or pass along to youth you know who would may like to serve in this way.
Virtual STEPS 2020
The August 29 event theme is For a Time Such as This (Esther 4:14)- There will be two workshop sessions with three options each. STEPS will conclude with worship. There will be no registration fee, but participants must pre-register to receive the links to join the workshops. Worship will include a video of how you are being the church in these unprecedented times – please send pictures of your drive up stewardship campaigns, graduation celebrations, and food pantries, etc and/or screen shots of your zoom worship and education opportunities to firstname.lastname@example.org by August 10.
Watch for more information coming soon.
For helpful tips and strategies and a list of things to consider when making decisions about meeting in person, please refer to the Guide for Discussion developed from a document created by the Presbytery of Tropical Florida and revised by the CAP Stated Clerk with input from the Shepherding Team.
For further reflection, read the Beginning Conversations for Re-Entry from the PC(USA) Office of Theology, Formation, and Evangelism and Returning to Public Worship: Theological and Practical Considerations. The PC(USA) Website has a page devoted to resources for such a time as this that is updated regularly with new information.
The Presbyterian Association of Musicians has shared their response and some ideas to Church Music and COVID-19.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has created Building Resiliance Webinars for Emotional and Spiritual Care
The Child Mind Institute provides resources for Talking to Kids About the Coronavirus.
Illustrated Ministry has provided free coloring pages with Prayers When You Feel Anxious. These are a great tool to help have conversations with children (and adults) about their fears and worries in these difficult days.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency has compiled a list of Mental Health Resources for children and adults as well.
Rev. Lisa Schrott, Associate Pastor of First Presbyterian Church on Hilton Head Island shared the following message with her congregation and gave us permission to share here as well. She provides many great resources.
On Monday I had one of those moments where the reality of the COVID-19 outbreak hit me hard. The reality of what we are facing swept over me, and I was overwhelmed by the depth. I needed the assurance of comfort from God. Maybe you have had a moment or two like that over the last two weeks, or maybe you will as the weeks of physical distancing stretch on. You are not alone.
As news reports and social media surround us, we will inevitably have moments of anxiety, fear, and despair. Our stress systems are on overload as our daily routines have been completely upended. Just as we need to take care of our physical health during this outbreak, we also need to attend to our emotional and mental health.
Mental Health America has collated resources for responding to this outbreak, with a focus on mental and emotional health. Click on the topics below to learn more:
- General Mental Health Information During Disease Outbreaks
- Financial Support
- Tools and Information on Anxiety
- Tools to Connect With Others
- Crisis Helplines
- For Parents
- For Caregivers
- For Older Adults
- For Domestic Violence Survivors
For individuals coping with any kind of health condition, the stress of the COVID-19 outbreak is more than just an inconvenience. And if you are one of the tens of millions of Americans with a condition affecting your brain, the ability to cope with this increased stress, anxiety, and isolation may be even more challenging.
- The National Alliance on Mental Illness has provided this helpful information for those who are experiencing anxiety because of the coronavirus.
- To find a support group, visit the NAMI Resource Library. It provides an extensive list of in-person and online support groups, and other mental health resources.
- Contact the SAMHSA Disaster Distress Helpline (800) 985-5990. It provides 24 hours per day, 365 days a year crisis counseling and support to people experiencing emotional distress related to natural or human-caused disasters.
- See also Taking Care of Your Emotional Health from the Substance Abuse Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).
What if I need help?
Reach out to someone. Call a neighbor, call a family member, call a pastor, or call a friend.
The South Carolina Department of Mental Health provides Community Crisis Response and Intervention (CCRI). The CCRI provides on-site emergency psychiatric screening and assessment to individuals experiencing mental health emergencies within 60 minutes of contact. The service is available 24 hours per day, 365 days a year. The phone number is 833-364-2274.
Suicide affects people of all ages and walks of life. Help is available! If you are in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. Learn more at the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention at https://afsp.org/find-support/
The State of South Carolina is in the process of setting up a new Virtual Crisis Counseling Program to help those struggling with stress and anxiety related to COVID-19. The goal is to connect people with specific resources. The program should be up and running soon and I’ll provide updated information as it comes on-line.
My prayer for you today is that you remember that you are never alone. No matter how long we are physically separated from each other, we are connected through the love and grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. Of the places we interact in the world, the church is a place where we are able to share our whole selves. Paul reminds us in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 we have been comforted by God so that we comfort others. The prophet Isaiah preaches a word of comfort to the exiles. Let us comfort each other. Let us support each other. Let us be honest with each other about our struggles. Let us be the light of Christ in this world.
Grace and peace,
Resources, including recent relevant legislation like the CARES Act, recommended by PC(USA) General Counsel Mike Kirk can be found HERE. Laurie Griffith, Associate Director for Constitutional Interpretation offers her Constutional Musings on churches and loans.
Information about the CARES Act and how it can benefit your ministry can also be found in the Small Business Administration’s FAQ. Church Law and Tax has also compiled many resources (but some may require a Church Law and Tax membership for full access):
- Step-by-Step Guide on How to Apply for Loans
- What the CARES Act means for churches and church staff
- How the CARES Act affects FMLA and churches
- On Demand Webinar: Churches and the CARES Act
Jan Edmiston, general presbyter of Charlotte Presbytery and former General Assembly co-moderator, offers a video on The CARES Act in a Nutshell on facebook.
The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has put together a list of resources for churches and individuals.
The PC(USA) Board of Pensions is offering dues relief for small churches and deferments for other congregations. Learn more HERE.
The Presbyterian Communities of SC is asking for help making masks to help protect their patients and staff as traditional supplies begin to run short. Check HERE for the pattern, and view instructional videos ONE and TWO for extra help. Please bring them to The Village of Summerville at 201 W 9th North StSummerville, SC when they are complete, and call Tim Barresi at 843-873-2553 to notify him you are coming as they are not allowing visitors. If you are not able to deliver them, please contact Tim at email@example.com to arrange a pick up.
Hymnal and Book of Common Worship Rights and Licensing Information
Worship Times Webinar on how to “Optimize Your Homepage for Covid-19 Isolation”
Zoom demos and video tutorials
Ten Tech Tips for Meeting Online from Next Church
1001 Worshipping Communities online ministry tools
Practical Resources for Churches has many pre-recorded webinars on technology and social media.
The Church.Digital also has many resources compiled on their website.
The PC(USA) Stated Clerk’s Office offers some suggestions.
Online Giving resources from the Presbyterian Foundation.
NEW FREE DEVOTIONS from These Days: Daily Devotions for Living by Faith! Access the full month of May devotions to continue your spiritual practices even during a time of social distancing: http://bit.ly/395qFnY
From Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center: Stephen McDonald, Camp Director and Lexi Green, Camp Program Director are providing various activities throughout the week. To see the schedule and participate please visit their Facebook page.
The PC(USA) Office of Faith Formation has compiled this list of resources that could be helpful for you during the current COVID-19 situation and that may be helpful in developing sustainable remote faith formation for your community. In this list you will find resources to deal with the current crisis, studies for Christian education, blogs and ideas. This is your toolbox. The list will be updated periodically over the coming weeks.
Also provided is a Faith Practices Toolkit Sampler for intentional intergenerational Sabbath rhythms. A toolkit for faith practices will be released in summer 2020. The completed toolkit will provide scriptural and theological grounding for each practice, as well as ways to engage all ages. HERE is a sampling from that toolkit to provide ideas of engaging in practices during these times.
Check out these resources for all ages groups provided by the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators.
Due to the generous financial support of Central Seminary’s Thriving Congregations Initiative funded by The Lilly Endowment, Pinnacle Leadership Associates is able to offer free webinars each Tuesday. You can engage the recorded webinars on their website, while also seeing the topics coming over the next few weeks. If you would like to participate in the webinars, please register on the Pinnacle COVID-19 Emerging Church Practice webpage. Mark Tidsworth, Pinnacle Leadership Associates Founder and Team Leader, has also created An Emerging Church Practice Resource – Church Leadership Guide: Stages Of Response To Coronavirus.
Looking for something for families and children to do? Sarah Coggins, Director of Children and Youth Ministries at First Presbyterian Church Orangeburg, has been sending out Bingo cards to her congregation. Check out the Adult and Children’s samples.
Brennan Breed, from Columbia Theological Seminary, and Chris Holmes, from First Presbyterian Church of Atlanta, are teaming up with guest professors to offer an in-depth, spontaneous and unrehearsed five-week study of Paul’s letter to the Philippians. “Office Hours: An Online Pop-up Bible Study” is a free, hour-long conversation livestreamed to Facebook every Sunday morning from 9:30AM to 10:30AM EST, beginning THIS SUNDAY, April 19th to May 17th. Participants who want a deeper experience may also register here to receive free access to course material, complete with syllabus, downloadable readings, and audio-video links for further study. If you are not on facebook, you can still enjoy the videos on our youtube channel. Videos will be posted after the Facebook livestreams.
Palmetto Presbyterian Church PenPals – Lynn Wiard, the Director of Faith Formation said, “We are having “Pen “Pals” for the time being. I am encouraging my parents to have their children write a note or a letter or draw a picture and mail it to one of our seniors in our church to let them know they are thought of and prayed for and loved. I got great parental support!”
The Presbyterian Mission Agency has put together resources for Remote Faith Formation for the Long Haul.
The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation is offering free resources, including These Days devotions and activities for children.
Presbyterian Women Bible Study – To help Bible study participants who cannot attend a face-to-face Bible study (or even pick up the disc at the church) continue their study, lessons seven, eight, and nine of the Love Carved in Stone Companion DVD are now available on PW’s YouTube channel. Many thanks to Ellen Stroup, PWP moderator of Tampa Bay (and others), for suggesting this new way of being PW community. Says Ellen: “We need to let the women know that we can all stay connected even in difficult times.” Visit PW Youtube Channel to access the videos.
Free Resources from Illustrated Ministry – HERE. They are also offering 20% off digital resources to help churches provide Lent and Easter Resources. Search their great offerings HERE and use code MARCH20.
Looking into the Lectionary – Reflections from The Presbyterian Outlook’s Editor, Jill Duffield can be found HERE.
Growing in Grace and Gratitude – Each week the PC(USA) Store be providing on their Facebook page a free story with corresponding activities and a pack of five coloring pages from the children’s curriculum, Growing in Grace and Gratitude. Click the links above for this week’s offering.
Won’t You be My Neighbor? – A free intergenerational online curriculum based on Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood that could be adapted for families to use at home.
Because of the rapid spread of COVID-19, all in person meetings for presbytery groups or ministry teams are suspended until further notice. The staff is still hard at work and can be contacted by phone or email (details in the Staff tab above). If you would like to pick up resources during this time, please call the office to make an appointment. The Shepherding Team met virtually on March 17 and strongly recommends that congregations suspend in-person worship services.
The PC(USA) has released an Advisory Opinion on serving communion during a pandemic.
Several of our churches are live-streaming services or posting pre-recorded services on their websites. Follow the links below to worship with your brothers and sisters in Charleston Atlantic Presbytery:
- First Presbyterian Church, Beaufort
- First Presbyterian Church, Hilton Head Island
- First (Scots) Presbyterian Church
- James Island Presbyterian Church
- Lowcountry Presbyterian Church
- Mount Pleasant Presbyterian Church
- New Wappetaw Presbyterian Church
- Palmetto Presbyterian Church
- Parkside NCD
- Sea Island Presbyterian Church
- Second Presbyterian Church
- Summerville Presbyterian Church
- The Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island
- Williston Presbyterian Church
The following churches will be worshipping via facebook live:
- Edisto Presbyterian Church, 10:00am
- First Presbyterian Church, Moncks Corner, 9:00am
- First Presbyterian Church, Orangeburg, 11:00am
- Harborview Presbyterian Church, 9:30am
- Hebron Zion Presbyterian Church, 10:00am
- Peace Presbyterian Church, 10:00am
- Providence Presbyterian Church, 11:00am
- St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, Charleston, 11:00am
We will be posting helpful tips and ideas and resources as we find them on our Facebook Page, so like and follow us there! We are a connectional church and are finding new ways to connect while practicing healthy social distancing.
The 224th General Assembly of the PC(USA) will be held June 20-27, 2020 in Baltimore, MD. For more information about the upcoming assembly, visit their website. UPDATE: due to the spread of COVID-19, GA will be held online. Read more HERE.
Charleston Atlantic Presbytery elected its commissioners at the Fall 2019 Stated Meeting on December 10, 2019. Please keep our commissioners in your prayers as they prepare to attend General Assembly and serve God, their homes churches, our presbytery, and the PC(USA).
Ruling Elder Commissioners:
Priscilla Holtzclaw grew up in Charleston and received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in chemistry from Furman University. Earning her MD degree from MUSC, she practiced as a family physician and a full-time hospice physician. She is now enjoying retirement. She and her husband Jim have three children and five grandchildren. Being a Gigi is fun!A long-time member of Westminster Presbyterian. she sings in the choir, plays in the handbell choir and is active in the Women of the Church. She has served as an Elder, worked with numerous committees and currently has the privilege of serving as the Clerk of Session. Additionally, she serves on the Board of Directors for the Presbyterian Communities of South Carolina, helping to provide quality senior living facilities for our older members. Over the past three years, Priscilla has been attending the SC Lay School of Theology with the intent of becoming a lay pastor, which will hopefully provide new opportunities to work with her church and the Presbytery. She has made mission trips to a sister church and school in Coban, Guatemala over the past three years, and remains passionate about the need of our churches to be involved in effective global mission partnerships.
Irene M. Whaley is a member of Edisto Presbyterian Church on Edisto Island, SC. Irene presently serves as an Elder, Shepherd Leader, Co-Chairperson of the Worship Committee, Vice Moderator of Edisto PW, a member of the choir, a member of the Presbyterians Concerned about African American Youth Steering Committee (PCAAY), and the Clerk of Sesson. Irene also served as a Youth Advisor and Sunday School Teacher. Irene is also the Secretary of CAP PW, a member of the CAP Shepherding Team and Personnel Committee, and a member of the CAP Hands of Christ Steering Committee. Irene has also completed the Lay School of Theology. Irene is married to Charles A. Whaley, who is also a member of Edisto Presbyterian Church. They are proud parents of three adult sons and two awsome grandchildren, Kasen and August Whaley.
Teaching Elder Commissioners:
Reverend Patricia Bligen Jones, a native of Edisto Island, SC, was born in Charleston, SC. She is a 1985 graduate of Baptist Hill High School; and a 1989 graduate of Morris College, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and a minor in History. She is a 2016 graduate of Erskine Theological Seminary, where she earned a Master of Divinity degree. Reverend Jones served as a Ruling Elder in St. James Presbyterian Church, (USA) for three-terms, where she served as moderator of several ministries, including Service and Worship. For nearly 20 years, Rev. Jones worked in 9-1-1 Public Safety Communications, where she served as a training supervisor and instructor. In 2018, she was ordained and installed as pastor of Hebron Zion Presbyterian Church, (PCUSA), making her the first female pastor in the church’s history. She has been married to Carl Jones for 28 years and they have two children, Avery Jordan, 24, and Peyton Leigh, 18.
Reverend Dr. Patrick Perryman was born in Texas and grew up in Orlando, Florida. He received a Bachelor of Arts in Humanities from Rollins College, a Master of Divinity from Columbia Theological Seminary and a Doctor of Ministry from Fuller Theological Seminary. Patrick has served for 22 years in churches in Tennessee, North Carolina, and South Carolina as well as Chaplain for Hospice Atlanta. Since 2010, Patrick has served as Head of Staff at First Presbyterian Church of Beaufort. He has a passion for local outreach and has also led rural and urban mission trips to Mexico, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Jamaica. As a member of several presbyteries, he has served on the New Church Development Committee, Self Development of Peoples Committee, Committee on Peace, Unity and Purity, and has served our own presbytery’s Vision Task Force. Patrick was the guest preacher for the Charlotte Presbytery for a meeting devoted to race relations in the wake of the tragic events Mother Emanuel Church. Patrick has been married to Sissy for 21 years and is the father of Walker and Holland, a junior and sophomore in high school.
Young Adult Advisory Delegate:
John White is a senior vocal major at Charleston Country School of the Arts. When he’s not volunteering, studying, singing Sinatra at a local restaurant, teaching Cotillion at Society Hall, or Hosting at Grace and Grit, he’s probably at church. John White has been a member of First Scots since he was confirmed in the 8th grade. Prior to becoming an adult member of the church he sang in church choir, volunteered in the nursery, travelled to several Maryville conferences, and served on the Youth Leadership Team and as a Docent giving tours of the historic church. As an adult member he took an even more active role in the church serving on the Stewardship Committee for three years as well as becoming ordained and installed as an elder. In his sophomore year John joined the Presbyterian Youth Council to lead middle and high school retreats to Bethel Woods. In the summers he travels to Montreat with his youth group. They have also traveled to Chicago, the Dominican Republic, San Francisco, and Puerto Rico on mission trips. John White also volunteers with several local nonprofits. He has spent the last three summers volunteering with Hands of Christ distributing school supplies and uniforms to students in Charleston. Additionally John White is a Team Leader for Charleston Area Justice Ministry, an interfaith coalition of congregations that fight to right injustice in the community, working on issues like high suspension rates in failing schools and increased access to affordable housing for Charleston’s working class. His involvement with these organizations has not only allowed him to better serve the community but also make lasting friendships with members of fellow congregations in the presbytery. After graduation John White looks forward to attending college to study Engineering and Vocal Performance and potentially attending the 224th General Assembly in Baltimore.
Alternates are Elder Betty Bryan and Rev. Lisa Schrott.