The Presbytery of St. Augustine cares deeply about the welfare of our congregations and communities as the world responds to the Coronavirus / COVID-19. Our Coordinating Council met yesterday for the purpose of discussing the developing situation and reviewing the responses and precautionary steps the presbytery can take. In this fast-moving situation we want to be guided by taking faithful preparations for the common good and not by panic or fear.
These are the action items taken by the Council yesterday (March 13th) to express our love for neighbors as we face a national emergency and a global pandemic:
- All presbytery commissions, committees, teams and groups will meet electronically rather than in face-to-face through the end of March 2020.
- The Presbytery event called “Unity in Diversity” that was scheduled for Saturday, March 21st at Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center is postponed to a later date.
- The Administrative Committee of the Presbytery will take the lead on whether the staff that works in the presbytery office will work at home and will ensure that the resources needed are provided.
- We will enlist our Area Relationship Coordinators to connect with our congregation as our “eyes and ears,” learning their needs and finding creative ways to connect our congregations with each other in order to share “best practices,” build relationships, and strengthen our bonds and ministries.
- Council Member David Lee hosted an initial “Pastors’ Call-In” on Saturday, March 14th at 10 am to pray with, care for, and share together with all of our ministers as we lead and care for others. These opportunities will continue to be offered in the coming weeks. The next Pastors’ Call-In will be on Tuesday, March 17 at 3:00 p.m. (pastors will receive Zoom call-in information on Monday).
- Council Member Vickie Bossuot will help coordinate a prayer chain in the presbytery as we share our joys and concerns and affirm that in life and in death we belong to God.
- We are monitoring the possible need to adjust the date or format of the Spring Stated Meeting scheduled for May 5, 2020.
- We have placed on our website a link to the helpful resources published by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). It may be accessed here.
More updates and information will be shared as we move forward in faith together. In the meantime our prayers are lifted to Almighty God for our world’s health and wholeness and that we faithfully follow Christ in the faith, hope, and compassion of our response.
In life and death we belong to God; and we, who are many, are one Body in Christ. (Romans 14:8, 12:5)
Grace and peace in the storm,
Diane Wilson, Chair of Coordinating Council
Edd Norris, Moderator of the Presbytery
Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk
Chris Lieberman, Relationship Coordination Director
On Behalf of the Coordinating Council