The summer 2021 meeting of the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery was held on Saturday, September 18, at 80-plus locations (more if Facebook live viewers are included). Since covid-19 and its variants have made in person gatherings unwise, each pastor, commissioner and guest attended from the comfort of their chosen electronic device.
Once again, the best of a zoom meeting was exemplified by the worship. Rev. Will Robinson preached the sermon “You are In the Spirit,” from Romans 8:1-9, the considerable musical talents of members of First Presbyterian Hilton Head were on display, elders from a variety of churches prayed and read, and Rev. Cecelia Armstrong celebrated the sacrament of the Lord’s supper.
Special guest Sy Hughes of the Presbyterian Mission Agency brought greetings and a report form that entity. Rev. Colin Kerr gave an update on campus ministry in the Charleston Area. The stated clerk clarified that the next CAP meeting is Tuesday Dec. 14. At that meeting, commissioners to the 225th General Assembly will be elected.
Elections also will be held in December for the many vacancies that will be opening on various presbytery teams, committees, and commissions. The Committee on Representation, reporting through Rev. Lissa Long, is actively seeking nominations for these positions, as well as for GA Commissioners. To find out more, CHECK THE CHATLINE where a copy of the meeting handbook—including information about GA and the openings COR needs to fill—can be read by anyone, not just meeting attendees.
Also by accessing the handbook, the reader can experience much of the business of the meeting, since most teams, committees and commissions submitted reports that were not changed or expanded upon during the meeting. Elder Sandra Otero did address the meeting on behalf of the Service to Others Ministry Team, reporting that the team hopes to hold the previously postponed Puerto Rico mission trip March 20-26 of 2022.
The first reading of the 2022 budget was submitted by the Stewardship of Financial Gifts of Ministry Team. Team moderator Peter Jones reported that the budget is a “work in progress’ since it does not appear that contributions from the congregations that comprise the presbytery will be sufficient to fund even the reduced budget. He acknowledged that many churches also have seen their givings fall off during the pandemic, but encouraged all pastors and commissioners to return to their sessions and start the conversation of whether their church is giving what it can. The full financial report and the 2022 anticipated budget can be found in the Handbook and its Supplement. Ruling Elder James Deavor was recognized to speak and pointed out that CAP’s support of the General Assembly and Synod are similarly lacking.
Two teaching elder members of presbytery, Rev, Charles Heyward and Rev. Isaac Moore (both honorably retired yet still serving congregations) spoke up and personally pledged direct monetary support for the presbytery. They encouraged other teaching and ruling elders to do the same. By the close of the meeting, at least one other pastor had also pledge support. Anyone who wishes to do the same may send a check to the presbytery marked “direct support of presbytery budget.”
A high point of each meeting is the video of “Joys and Concerns.” This slideshow of pictures submitted by churches across the presbytery is reassuring evidence that the church continues its work: congregations find ways to engage in fellowship and mission, to work together, to pray together, and to have fun.
CAP Moderator Rev. Spike Coleman also opened the floor (and attendees’ microphones) for on the spot sharing of joys and requests for prayer. After prayer accordingly, he pronounced benediction and the meeting closed.