Charleston Atlantic Presbytery hosted two officer trainings via Zoom in 2020. You can view them by clicking the links below:
Archives for 2021
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.
Due to the rising COVID-19 numbers STEPS had to “turn on a dime” and adjust to only virtual options for its August 28, 2021 event.
Once again your STEPS Planning Team put together a wonderful event. Feedback we have received so far has been positive. Those attending especially thought the workshops were relevant to the church today. Rev. Cece Armstrong brought the theme, “Living Stones” alive with her closing worship homily. The presbytery is grateful to Laurey Harrell and Hanna Crosby for serving as co-moderators of the event and to Ashley Sanders, Evelyn White, Lissa Long, Pat Jones, Kay Keeler, Lisa Schrott, Pamela Spivey, and Cece Armstrong- all who serve mightily and faithfully to make this STEPS happen.
If you are paying via check, please remit payment to: Charleston Atlantic Presbytery 4701 Park Pl W, North Charleston, SC 29405 Please write STEPS 2021 on the memo line and include names of registrant, if different from the check. If your church is paying, make sure to tell them you’ve registered so they know to include your registration fee.
Janis Blocker, Charleston Atlantic Presbytery Recording Clerk and Clerk of Session of Bethel Presbyterian Church in Walterboro, led a Clerk of Session Training via Zoom in the Fall of 2020. If you were not able to attend live (or just want a refresher), you can view the recording below as well as download relevant handouts.
The Spring Stated Meeting of Charleston Atlantic Presbytery was held Tuesday, May 18 via Zoom. You can view the meeting on Facebook Live.
DID YOU KNOW? That the Handbook for the Spring Stated Meeting is available for anyone to read on the CAP website? Well it is, so if this ReCap sparks an interest, one may find out more by “referring to the handbook.”
Despite some technical difficulties, the Spring Meeting of the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery was another success in the face of social distancing. About 100 individuals participated in the zoom meeting, which also was streamed on Facebook Live. Worship was presented in pre-recorded segments allowing worshippers a peek inside the sanctuaries of the various churches from which elders, pastors and musicians participated. The Rev. Tracey Daniel brought the message on “The Good Shepherd.” Rev. James Rogers led communion.
Three guests made presentations. The Rev. Joyce Lieberman, Executive Presbyter and Stated Clerk of the Synod of South Atlantic, Olanda Carr, Senior Ministry Relations officer of the Presbyterian Foundation, and Lauren Thompson, Advancement Officer of The Thormwell Home for Children expanded on the written reports they had submitted in advance and which are in the handbook.
Nothing illustrates our presbytery as beautifully and succinctly as the “Celebration of Joys’ video. Since Dorothy Blackwelder had this idea a few years ago, the photo submissions from congregations have been a a great way to show the many ways our many congregations are doing ministry. During this time of Covid, it is especially heartening to see the creative ways Presbyterians are continuing to connect within their own churches and in the greater community. A big thank you goes out to all who contribute these photos.
As Stated clerk, it was my joy to report that preparations are under way for the 225th General Assembly to be held in June of next year. The assembly will be a hybrid meeting, with commissioners meeting in person in committees in Louisville, but all plenary sessions via Zoom. Dates and calendar are in the Handbook with more information on the PC(USA) website.
The Commission on Ministry introduced the Rev. Margaret Fleming, who has been ordained by the presbytery to service as a hospital chaplain. Rev. Fleming was under care of the CAP Committee on Preparation for ministry. The Committee on Preparation for Ministry introduced two new inquirers joining those currently under care.
Rev. Lissa Long and Elder Cassandra Roper, speaking out of their own experience, encouraged all elders and ministers of word and sacrament to consider serving on one of the presbytery agencies. Anyone who is interested in the opportunities to serve in the presbytery should review the report of the Committee on Representation. It contains descriptions of all the commissions, committees, and teams of the Presbytery, all of which will need new members to be nominated for 2022. New members to fill certain spots for 2021 were placed in nomination and approved. The COR currently has a vacancy which needs to be filled for 2021.
The Shepherding Team presented various resolutions all of which passed. As a result, two churches, Lowcountry PC and Hebron Zion PC, will receive the deeds to their church real estate to hold in trust. Zion Olivet was approved to pursue the purchase of the Advent Lutheran property in which it has nested since selling its property in downtown Charleston. At the recommendation of the Shepherding Team, the presbytery approved the creation of a new commission: The “CAP Presbyterian Disaster Commission” will be a part of the South Carolina Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Commission. Descriptions of the commission and the initial members elected by the presbytery can be found in the handbook.
Four Churches in the Presbytery have been recognized as PC(USA) Earth Care Congregations: Dorchester PC, James Island PC, Lowcountry PC and St Andrews PC (Charleston). A description of the Earth Care program is in the Handbook. Cap Moderator, Rev Spike Coleman (pastor of St. Andrews) encouraged other churches to consider becoming an earth Care Congregation.
Service to Others Committee is very busy, planning, among other things, a vaccine clinic to be held at the Presbytery Office in June and a possible mission trip to Puerto Rico in October.
Nurture Ministry also highlighted its work in their report in the Handbook. In speaking for the ministry, Rev Brian Henderson called for youth to serve on the Youth Council.
The Presbyterian Women submitted a written report, but Elder Linda Rousseau also spoke, saying it was an honor to be Moderator of the PW. She encouraged participation in PW activities, noting that “all women who are Presbyterian are Presbyterian Women!”
Alas, not all news reported was good: So many great things are happening in our presbytery, yet we are running over the rather barebones budget carefully crafted by the Stewardship of Financial Gifts of Ministry Team and approved by the presbytery last December. Peter Jones, the team moderator reported the shortfall is due individual churches not giving as projected.
Currently, the next CAP meeting is scheduled to be a zoom meeting on September 18. We hope and pray that by December we will be able to meet again in person.
Catherine D. Byrd, Stated Clerk
Winter Meeting 2021 ReCAP
At the Charleston Atlantic Presbytery Winter Meeting 2020—a year ago—none of the plans we had going forward included learning how to function remotely. But Winter Meeting 2021 proved we have learned. Call to order on Saturday February 27, 2021, didn’t occur until 10:15, not because of technical problems, which would have been this stated clerk’s fear a year ago, but because the STEPS team of the Nurture Ministry Team presented their second electronic STEPS (Studying, Teaching, Equipping, Praying, Serving) event starting at 9:00. Three workshops were offered and were well attended from throughout our presbytery and beyond; at least one participant attended from his home in Colorado!
Worship followed closely upon the call to order. Once again the electronic format allowed attendance in ways we would not have imagined last year. Music was provided by Dr. JooSoo Son, Traditional Music Director at Providence Presbyterian Church on Hilton, head playing that church’s organ and piano. Rev. Cibele Santos Associate Pastor at Providence preached the sermon, “Prayer, Unite Us,” from Providence’s pulpit. For the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, worshippers were transported to Hebron Zion PC on Johns Island where Rev. Patricia Jones pronounced the words of institution. Other worship leaders participated from James Island PC, Bethel PC (Johns Island), and Edisto PC. Works of art relating to parts of the service were shown on screen, presented by “A Sanctified Art, LLC” which had presented one of the STEPS workshops. You can view the worship service HERE and download the worship bulletin HERE so you can follow along.
During the business portion of the meeting, Stephen McDonald, Camp Director of Bethelwoods Camp and Conference Center, presented the exciting news that Bethelwoods is planning for summer programs! There will be opportunities onsite at Bethelwoods, a one week day camp at the new CAP facility at Park Circle, and “Camp in a Van” opportunities for churches almost anywhere. Covid shutdowns dealt Bethelwoods quite a blow in 2020, and Stephen thanked CAP for its monetary support, which helped the camp persevere.
The moderator of the Committee on Representation, Rev. Cameron Smith, was live in person via zoom to report on vacancies on CAP teams and committees. She emphasized the importance of having members participate from across the presbytery, both Ruling Elders and Ministers of Word and Sacrament. Vacancies and Opportunities will be listed in the Chatline.
The co-moderator of Service to Others Ministry Team, Sandro Otero, reported that plans are underway to plan a return mission to Puerto Rico, if the COVID-19 way be clear, next fall. Additional work of that team was presented in the written report in the handbook and as part of the “Celebration of Joys” video that was played during the meeting.
The Celebration of Joys video also revealed the ways congregations across the presbytery have met the Covid challenges and moved their ministries outdoors (not just for worship but also for programs, fellowship and outreach), into spaces allowing for social distancing while masked, and online (many a shepherd and little angel are now on video for posterity). The creativity of our members is wonderful.
THE HANDBOOK contains the full reports of all ministry teams, committees and commissions. The work of the Shepherding Team, the Commission on Ministry, the Stewardship of Financial Gifts of Ministry Team, The Preparation for Ministry Team, Nurture Ministry Team and other information of interest are contained therein. The reader does not have to have been a commissioner or even in attendance at the meeting to benefit from this information. Questions or comments can be address to the moderator of each or to the stated clerk.
Submitted respectfully and with great joy,
Catherine Byrd, Stated Clerk
STEPS in Winter was held on Saturday, February 27 via Zoom. You can view the recorded workshops below.
1. The Pandemic and Children and Youth led by Rachel Ward- The pandemic has upended the lives of everyone, but how specifically does it affect our children and youth. This workshop will discuss ways parents and the church can ease the stress. Rachel Ward is a counselor and a member of Providence Presbyterian Church. View the workshop HERE.
2. Holy Disunity: How What Separates Us Can Save Us lead by Layton Williams- Join the author of this book as she proposes that our primary calling as humans is not to create unity but rather to seek authentic relationship with God, ourselves, one another, and the world around us. And that means actively engaging those with whom we disagree. Our religious, political, social, and cultural differences can create doubt and tension, but disunity also provides surprising gifts of perspective and grace. By analyzing conflict and rifts in both modern culture and Scripture, Williams explores how our disagreements and differences—our disunity—can ultimately redeem us. Layton Williams is an ordained PCUSA minister and writer. She has worked with Sojourners and NEXT Church. View the workshop HERE.
3. Planning for Holy Week and Easter with Sanctified Art- This workshop will provide creative and meaningful ways to celebrate Holy Week and Easter in your congregation and homes. Sanctified Art is a talented creative team formed as the result of each member discerning ways to blend their creative talents with ministry. They are trained theologians and pastors in addition to being artists and creators. Sanctified Art offers their creative gifts to resource, provoke, guide, facilitate, and enrich the spiritual lives of worshipers around the world. View the workshop HERE.