The Summer 2019 stated meeting of Charleston Atlantic Presbytery was held September 21, 2019 at Zion-Olivet Presbyterian Church.
Before the summer stated meeting of the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery even started, commissioners had a great opportunity for food and fellowship, courtesy of the host church. Members of Zion Olivet Presbyterian Church cooked a full hot breakfast so everyone would be ready for the morning ahead. Good thing too—there was a lot to cover before commissioners could break for the equally delicious lunch also prepared by the church members.
Most first time commissioners took advantage of the orientation session offered at 9:00. The Moderator, Rev. Sam Martin, called the meeting to order precisely at 9:30. After introductions of visitors, including Kyle Collins, the new director of the Journey campus ministry, and the first time commissioners, the docket was approved and it was time to worship.
The Rev. Carolyn Kurtz-Heyward preached on “The Healthy Church” using scripture including Psalm 15:1-5 and Luke23:26-27. An offering (of over $900) was collected to benefit the Reverend Dr. Katie Cannon Scholarship Fund. Communion was served and some favorite hymns sung, helping to make worship an inspiring experience.
The Commission on Ministry introduced two pastors who have just begun serving congregations in Charleston Atlantic. Rev. Zachary Bragg is the new Associate Pastor of Dorchester Presbyterian Church. Rev. Anita Herbert is the new Senior Pastor at Summerville Presbyterian Church. They came to the meeting as members of this presbytery, having been examined and accepted by the Commission on Ministry. Each shared a little of the path that led them to CAP and their new calls.
The assembly also heard from one of our future ministers of word and sacrament. The Preparation for Ministry Team introduced Columbia Theological Seminary student Margaret Fleming, who was moving from Inquirer to Candidate. After sharing a bit of her faith journey, she answered questions propounded by the moderator and was welcomed to candidacy status by Rev. Richard Cushman.
Other highlights included the presentation by elder Lawrence Whaley on behalf of the Nurture Ministry Team, who spoke on the positive impact the 2019 Youth Triennium had on the youth from CAP congregations who attended. Rev. Colin Kerr reported on the planning and preparation that preceded the opening services on the Parkside Church NCD (new church development) and the plans for its future. Educating the participants on reformed theology, the Book of Order and other things Presbyterian is ongoing as the congregation plans to become a fully charted PC (USA) congregation in the future! Rev. Cameron Smith, moderator of the Service to Others Ministry Team, highlighted just a few of the outreach ministries that team has initiated and oversees. Opportunities for service abound. Among them are two mission trip opportunities: one to the U.S. / Mexico border Nov. 8-10, 2019 and to Puerto Rico March 21-28, 2020. Closer to home, the first annual Presbytery-Wide Day of Service will be held on January 25, 2020.
The Shepherding Team reported on the ongoing efforts to close the sale of the Hwy 61 presbytery office, in anticipation of moving to the Park Circle property.
The Committee on Representation, a.k.a. “COR” (which nominates members to all CAP commissions, committees and team), the Shepherding Team and The Service to Others Ministry Team held a breakout session for all in attendance to gather in their presbytery “neighborhoods.” They were encouraged to discuss their own outreach efforts and how the STOMT might assist them, fill out a survey on the “neighborhood” structure and hear more about the need to volunteer and recommend other volunteers for service to the presbytery. The teams, committees and commissions are essential to the work of the presbytery. COR can be sure the geographic, ethnic, age and gender diversity of our presbytery is reflected in its work ONLY if they have volunteers to nominate that also reflect this diversity.
Many thanks to the Rev. Sidney Davis and the members of Zion Olivet for the work and hospitality that made the Summer Stated Meeting a success. The next meeting will be held on December 10, 2019, at Williston Presbyterian. Although technically it will be the “Fall” meeting, There is every chance that this lovely church will have its beautiful Christmas decorations for all to enjoy. Be there!
Catherine Byrd, Stated Clerk
Joys from the Summer 2019: