Salem Matters News of What Matters This Week
in Salem Presbytery
September 1, 2021 | Volume VII Number 35
First Presbyterian - Thomasville
Guilford Park Presbyterian - Greensboro
First Presbyterian - Lexington
Salem Matters Matters!

In our ongoing effort to be better connected as a presbytery, it is important that the communication we offer through Salem Matters continue and expand.

To that point, we are encouraging those within the presbytery - pastors, churches, presbytery committees, and especially Engagement Pastors, to relay information about news and events within the presbytery so that the word can get out.

The deadline for submitting something for the Wednesday morning mailing is each Tuesday at 2:00 pm. Information can be submitted HERE.

When you submit something for Salem Matters, please include photos or graphics if appropriate, and all pertinent information.

As we head into the fall, we want to expand the reach of Salem Matters, and to connect in a more consistent and intentional way, all within our bounds.

Salem Matters Matters!
Opportunities to Partner With UKIRK Greensboro This Year

Good Morning Colleagues & Friends!

UKIRK Greensboro is off to a great start this year and we are excited about what we’re planning to learn and do this school year. As in the past, we’re inviting you to participate in what we’ve got going on! You’re always welcome to join us for the last Tuesday of the month when we have UWorship with Communion, but beyond that we’re looking for guest leaders and teachers every now and again. After all, the students do get tired of hearing just Katie’s voice for everything. ;)

This year our book study is: God, Improv & the Art of Living by MaryAnn McKibben Dana and we will spend the first Tuesday of the month covering different chapters. We welcome any of you to come and take a role in leading discussion, improv games, and reflection on some of our chapters throughout the year.

Does your congregation have a unique mission opportunity which our students could join or help with on a third-Tuesday evening of the month? Cards for shut-ins, organizing a food pantry, re-stocking worship bags, garden harvesting? If so, please let us know and we’d love to come participate and learn more about your congregation!

We gather on the front porch or the front lawn of the UKIRK House (409 S Mendenhall) on the last Tuesday each month for worship with communion. Do you have special musical talents or would you like to test-run a sermon/discussion with our college students? Do you have a special message you’d like to share with them as they head into exam week or for Holy Week? We’d love to have your voice and leadership for UWorship with us this school year.

Also, would you like to lead our students in a labyrinth walk at your church? Do you have a special topic you’d like to share? Is your congregation involved in anti-racism work? Does your church building reside on a historical site with a unique story to share? Are you a spiritual director who’d like to introduce our students to your ministry? Is your church doing something extra special and you think college students would benefit from learning about it, or make great partners in the ministry? UKIRK Greensboro is open to all sorts of ideas of ways we can partner with you and your congregation. If you have an idea, let us know!

If any of these sound like something you’d be interested in leading, here’s a link to claim a date for a Tuesday night at 7pm. Or, feel free to reply to this email and ask your questions of Katie and we’ll get them answered. Thanks for considering partnering with UKIRK Greensboro this school year. The students appreciate your time and energy spent with them, and the Board appreciates your partnership with our mission and ministry.

Katie Barrett Todd
Church Lease and Covenant Issues

PC(USA) General Counsel Mike Kirk has prepared advice on best practices when a church is considering allowing an outside group to use its building. This information should be shared with your Sessions and other interested parties.

You may find the document HERE.
It's Not Too Late! Submit Your Response to the "Elephants" Presentation at Presbytery

Go to the survey form HERE.
Presbytery Meeting Digest Now Available

A digest of the meeting of Salem Presbytery (virtually) on August 14th is now available to view or download HERE.
An Update from Barbara Smith Concerning Her Planned September Visit

Dear Friends –

As I said last week, I like the color red – just not in COVID maps!
Numbers of COVID cases are still on the rise. Hospital beds are at a premium. And breakthrough infections are not uncommon. As I shared with you in my August 14 report to the presbytery, I was planning to be back in North Carolina from September 7 – 19. And as I also shared, I thought that plan might need to be revisited as time got closer. And so it does.
After discussions yesterday with Randy Harris and Penny Hedrick (co-chairs of the Transitional Presbyter Search Committee) and Charlie Lee (chair of Personnel) – who have been my conversation partners for on-the-ground visits - I have cancelled my September flight reservations. If I came to town, I would – in effect – be encouraging and condoning in-person, indoor gatherings. And I can’t – in good conscience – even appear to suggest that is safe. 

To that end, David Vaughan and I are recommending that indoor Presbytery sponsored activities cease for a time. We will continue to watch the trends and projections and re-evaluate as time goes on. 

I wish the news was better. And I wish that churches were not having to have hard conversations about mask mandates, and about returning to virtual worship. But this is reality, and I continue to encourage you to exercise care for yourself and for those around you. 

Blessings –

Elkin Presbyterian Sponsoring David Lamotte Workshop & Concert


The Elkin Presbyterian Church is sponsoring the David LaMotte October 8th concert and the October 9th workshop. A special thanks to the Reeves Theater for assisting with the Friday night concert.

David LaMotte is a peace activist, award-winning songwriter, speaker, and author who lives in Black Mountain, NC.
David highlights his concerts & workshops with messages about how to: promote large scale positive change in communities; approach conflict resolution; and live our lives on purpose. Using a story-based style, LaMotte looks at questions of daily work, helping us to discover both our potential to have an impact and how we can get started. He is challenging, encouraging, inspiring, and motivational. Anyone who wants to move toward meaningful action in their lives will find something of value in David’s work.

Questions: Contact Sherry Burman 404-550-9461 or Robin Chandler 336-902-2572 The October David LaMotte event in Elkin is sponsored by the Elkin Presbyterian Church. A special thanks to the Reeves Theater for their support.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Responds to Hurricane Ida

Click on the image for more information and how you can help.

The Hosanna Preaching Project

The Hosanna Preaching Project is gearing up for a great 2021 cohort, and you can be a part of it! The Hosanna Preaching Project is an online professional development opportunity for preachers, educators, and advocates. The cost for the experience is $100, but no one will be turned away.
We will meet the following days:
September 10 (7-9p, EST)
September 11 (11a-3p, EST)
September 25 (11a-2:30p, EST)
October 9 (11a-2:30p, EST)
October 23 (11a-2:30p, EST)
Our featured speaker this year is the unmatched Taurean Webb, who will lead us through the “Journeys Toward Justice” curriculum, which explores the profound, intersectional connections and divergences between the Black and Palestinian freedom struggles.
Want to learn more or interested in signing up? Visit our website HERE.
Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2021

Stewardship Kaleidoscope is an annual collaboration between the PC(USA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA) to provide theological foundations and practical tools you and your congregations can use encouraging stewardship in a post-COVID church. Offered in a hybrid format September 13-15, either in person at the Northern Kentucky Convention Center in Covington, KY (just across the Ohio River from Cincinnati) or online, speakers and leaders include the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA), Bishop Elizabeth Eaton, Presiding Bishop of the ELCA, Tod Bolsinger, Aimée Cole-Laramore, Brandi Casto-Waters, and others. For more information, contact the Mission Engagement Advisors listed below. Use the link below to register.

Presbyterian Foundation Program on Managing and Stewarding Church Property

The Presbyterian Foundation is pleased to offer a second Day of Learning with presentations focused on the stewardship of church property. There will be time for questions and answers and an opportunity to see colleagues from across the country.

Join us October 12 for this FREE learning opportunity.


11:30 am EST/8:30 am PST - Maggie Harmon will discuss the importance of defining Mission, Vision and Values in Managing Real-Property Assets.

2:00 pm EST/11:00 am PST - Olanda Carr and Robert Hay will give a presentation on Considerations in Property Use, Re-Purposing, and Partnering.

5:30 pm EST/2:30 pm PST - Paul Grier will provide an Overview of Understanding Finances Related to Property.

For more information or to register, click HERE.
DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy) Training Offered

This one day seminar will focus on life skills, drawing from Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), to help folks more effectively deal with distress, manage emotions, and build strong personal relationships. These skills can be helpful in dealing with everyday life, as well as unprecedented stressors such as the global pandemic.

Contact Evan Harrison HERE for more information.

Pandemic Resources

A recent webinar from the Insurance Board on COVID-19 Liability Considerations for Ministries was posted HERE.

Some other Insurance Board pandemic resources can be found HERE.

The Wisconsin Council of Churches has been a trusted source of advice throughout the pandemic. Their latest resources can be found HERE.
Commissioner Nominations for the 225th General Assembly in 2022

The 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) will convene on June 17, 2022 in Louisville, Kentucky, and online. Each presbytery in the denomination will send commissioners to the assembly, include Young Adult Advisory Delegates, Ruling Elder Commissioners, and Teaching Elder Commissioners. Please see the attached documents for information and for nominations. Contact the Stated Clerk if you have any questions.

How Do We Talk About Matthew 25?

On Tuesday, September 21 at 11 am the Reverend Frank Dew (Peace and Justice advocate) will present a conversation: How do we talk about Matthew 25? This will be a Bible study and theological reflection based on the PCUSA mission focus of Matthew 25. CLICK HERE for the Zoom link to this study. Our conversation will last one hour. Please share and join us!
Mid-Atlantic Black Caucus to Meet

The Mid Atlantic Black Caucus will hold its annual meeting virtually October 9, 2021, 10:00 AM to 12:00 PM. Please clear your calendar for this time to be with us. There are many items we need to cover. To attend this meeting, you must register to receive an invitation by way of Zoom. This is our first announcement, another email will give you instructions how to register. For those without internet access, why not plan a gathering of church members to attend together. If you have questions, contact John Etheredge email, ( or leave a message at 202-977-6479.
From the Salem Presbytery EQUIP Team
Returning to Normal: What Is That?

As we began talking about returning to in person ministry, I heard many people say, "I just want to get back to normal." I wondered and sometimes asked out loud, "What is normal after all of this?" 

I look around and everything I see, looks normal. The trees bloomed and turned green, causing my typical spring allergies. The weather is warm (and humid) again. The birds are nesting and singing in the morning. Our church building is still standing and still in need of maintenance. My office is still cluttered (a sign of a creative mind, I like to think) and my calendar is full. 

So I wonder, is everything "normal?"

From the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators (APCE) Website:

Quick Reminder:
The Presbytery mailing address remains the same at P.O. Box 1763, Clemmons, NC 27012, and the Presbytery phone number remains 336-766-3393. We no longer have an available fax number.
Links of Interest
Prayer Matters
September Prayers for: Presbyterian Women and Presbyterian Youth Leadership Team
Please Hold the Following in Your Prayers
  • The people of Haiti following the devastating earthquake and tropical storm
  • The people of Afghanistan as they live in turbulent and uncertain times
  • All those that are suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Ida

We will list these prayer requests for two weeks unless we are notified that they are to be continued. You may submit prayer requests through the link below.

More Matters
Other Special Events
Are you hosting a special event *(concert, speaker, training, etc.) at a time OTHER than on Sunday morning worship? Submit your event through the link below to be included on our SPECIAL EVENTS Calendar.

Mission Leaders in Salem Presbytery
Salem Presbytery is compiling a list of "Mission Leaders" in each of our congregations. We seek contact information for mission committee chairs, mission coordinators (staff or volunteer), or those excited about the mission of the church. Click the link below to add your info. 

Become a Matthew 25 Church
Become and Matthew 25 church! Let your Salem Presbytery Peace and Justice Task Force help, inspire, equip, and send you on a journey. Contact Frank Dew at the link below.

Hunger Action
Become a Hunger Action Congregation! Check the links below for more info.

PCUSA Matters
PCUSA Job Opportunities - Updated 08.31.21
Click below for Job Opportunities listed in Church Leadership Connection

Board of Pensions
Click below for Board Bulletin - Summer 2021

Board of Pensions Call to Health
Click the link below to join the Board of Pensions Call to Health.

PCUSA News and Announcements
Click below for the latest news and announcements from the PCUSA.