The Stated Clerk’s ReCAP
The Summer Meeting of Charleston Atlantic Presbytery was held on September 17, graciously hosted by Yeamans Park Presbyterian Church. The day was a mixture of worship, business and celebration. The Rev. Dr. Donnie Woods, recently retired after 22 years of service to the presbytery, 20 as Executive Presbyter (and more recently also Pastor to Pastors) brought the message in worship, assuring the congregation that “There is a Balm in Gilead.” The worship also included a Litany of Recognition of Retirements honoring Rev. Dr. Woods, Rev. Dr. Mike Fitze (who was to retire in two days) and Rev. Dr. John Miller Jr., (who retired May 1). Dr. Fitze also participated in celebrating communion. Of special note was beautiful music supplied by Michael Varnadore, the music director and organist at YPPC, and Elder Beth Cohen-Nault.
There were three special presentations that highlighted exciting programs and growth in the presbytery. Erin Norton, leader of the Journey Campus Ministry introduced a video highlighting that work at the College of Charleston and the Citadel. Rev. Colin Kerr presented a power point illustrating the programs and growth of Parkside New Church Development. The NCD plans to charter as a congregation as early as December of this year. Elder James Deavor, executive Director of the Hands of Christ (an organization of more than 20 CAP churche,) spoke about the joy and accomplishment of returning to in person distributions of school clothing and supplies.
The Commission on Ministry proposed a resolution that would recognize that the work and mission of the presbytery is such that temporary and associate pastors can be considered for installed positions in the church where they currently serve. The resolution passed. In each individual case, a three quarters vote of the presbytery will be required to determine that the exception shall be made.
The COM also celebrated what moderator David Yandle called “Hail and Farewell,” giving certificates of retirement to Rev. Woods, Fitze, and Miller and introducing two new members of presbytery: Rev. Dian Knauf who will be installed as Associate Pastor of First PC in Hilton Head in October, and Rev. Tricia Petraven, who is the Interim Pastor at James Island PC.
A final special presentation honoring Rev. Woods rounded out the business. The Executive Presbyters from other South Carolina presbyteries spoke Describing his service as their college as a mid-counsel leader. One said” Donnie, has been the Dean of EPS.” Synod Executive Joyce Lieberman and the Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), Dr. J Herbert Nelson both spoke via video, recognizing Donnie’s contributions to the denomination. Dr. Nelson’s wife, Rev. Gail Nelson joined him in recognizing their long friendship. The presbytery passed a special resolution recognizing and thanking Dr. Woods for his many services.