December 11, 2019
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Presbytery Pledge
Remembering Those in the Margin During Advent: Notes in Transition

I am continuing to linger in Advent. I am finding it counter-cultural. Since I mainly listen to sacred music of the season, and since I was ordained forty years ago, I was startled by the cacophony of secular Christmas music that assaulted my ears yesterday at Lowe's (Laurie and I are in the midst of a move, down the street from where we are now). I am unfamiliar with a generation of such music, though I will confess I have come to have a grudging appreciation for Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas Is You" (maybe I can give it a spiritual interpretation, like the monks who professed ardent devotion to Jesus, the Bridegroom of the Soul). 

I like the time of preparation, recalling the words of the prophet in Isaiah 40 and of John the Baptist, "Prepare the way of the Lord." I like purple paraments and the sense that Advent, like Lent, is a penitential season. In the Orthodox tradition - I'm not buying into this! - they fast from November 28 to January 6 (imagine!), but I do know there are things in my life that need to change, that I need to change, and I think others may feel the same. 

We step carefully into making such observations on a larger scale, about the lives of our churches and the life of our nation. But as we prepare to go to Bethlehem and greet that baby lying in a manger, I have trouble as I remember - though I manage to evade the thought much of the time - babies separated from their parents by our government and parceled out to others with no accounting. As we read the Christmas stories, we see stronger connections than we would like between the time into which Jesus was born and our own. 

Kyrie eleison . Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Come, Lord Jesus!

In Advent hope,

Steve Scott
Transitional General Presbyter

The photo above is a winter view from Iona, looking toward the Isle of Mull.
We Grow In Support of Salem Presbytery

Ministry Leaders and Pastors,

Thank you for sharing your appreciation for Salem Presbytery and Christian Stewardship at the last Presbytery Meeting.  You shared some great stories and ideas.  It was so inspiring to hear how Salem Presbytery had reached out and helped each congregation. We even shared an abundance of leftover Halloween candy! Most importantly you rekindled for us all energy and passion for the shared ministry that is Salem Presbytery.

We also asked something monumental of you. We asked for each one of our churches to come together and make up the difference in our budget for 2019. We are asking for $120,000.00 that we had to pull from reserves above the planned budget. For some congregations, that means catching up on your pledges or your regular annual giving. For others, it means making an additional gift here at the end of the year. For some congregations, it is simply a request to give anything at all. At the meeting, we asked for you to think of a number, pray about it, and to write it down to take home with you. That was the easy part. 

The hard part comes next. Now, we are challenging you to talk to your pastors and your church leadership about that number. We are asking for you to be bold enough to ask them to help Salem Presbytery. We want you to share some of the stories you heard and some of the great ideas lifted up during the meeting. Try our strategy! Have the whole church spend a few minutes reflecting on the ways the Presbytery has made a difference in your church. Invite your members to make an extra gift in honor of your pastor. Find ways to get more members involved in the work of the presbytery. Ask for matching donors to support Presbytery's mission. Find a way to do it differently than simply asking those faithful finance volunteers to figure out how to do more than the budget would ever allow. Find a way! 

And the good news is if you're having trouble finding that way, you now have Salem's Stewardship Committee to help. Feel free to call on us. (Follow the links below to email.)

Kim Priddy, Sedgefield (Committee Co-chair)
Kyle Goodman, Alamance (Committee Co-chair)
Ken Broman-Fulks, High Point First
Myles Fish, Greensboro First
Bill Hoyle, Clemmons
Jeff Sockwell, Shallowford
Stephanie Williams, Burlington First

Annual Statistical Report - Note to Clerks of Session

The OGA system is open for your input for your 2019 statistics. (Of course, much can't be entered until the calendar year has concluded!) Please also submit the Salem documents so that we can update our files; the "Information Form" and the "Necrology 2019" (ruling elders in your congregation who died in 2019) can be found at the following web address:

Inlighten Your Congregation?

Consider taking advantage of Inlighten Films for use in worship or educational activities. Produced by award-winning filmmakers, they are based on the lectionary, with more being added to the library all the time. The first five churches in Salem to subscribe will receive a 50% discount. See the link to Inlighten Films and the linked brochure as well. 

Salem Online Resources

Take advantage of this handy resource, to which you have access through the Salem Presbytery website. As our staff grows smaller, and as fewer are available to answer the phone, you will find this directory easier to use (password = clemmons3950) than calling the presbytery to get phone numbers and email addresses of committee members or others you want to be in touch with. If using a list you received an email that bounces back, check the directory.

Click HERE for the 
2019 Prayer Calendar
December Prayers for:

SEND Mission Committee
Diane Givens-Moffett, President and Executive Director of Presbyterian Mission Agency
St. Paul - High Point
Jacqueline Kunkel - Chaplain_ Hospice of Iredell County

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. 
Add Your Information Here
Become a Peace and Justice Church!

Become and Peace and Justice 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.
Email Frank Dew
2019 Prayer Calendar

Click the link below for the 2019 Prayer Calendar for Congregations and Ministries of Salem Presbytery.

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.

Meeting Calendar Available

Don't forget to use our Calendar of Meetings for planning your 2019 monthly agenda. 

Hunger Action

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

If your congregation is celebrating a significant anniversary (25, 50, 75, 100, etc.), please let the presbytery office know.
Board of Pensions

Click below for Board Bulletin - Fall 2019

  Board Bulletin
Board of Pensions Call to Health

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

Board of Pensions Call to Health
PCUSA News and Announcements

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

Salem Presbytery | PO Box 1753, 3950 Clemmons Rd., Clemmons NC 27012
336.766.3393 | Email | Website