Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois Newsletter February 4, 2021
First ever NIGHT Presbytery Meeting
Because our February 11, 2021 Stated Meeting will be held via Zoom and we don't have to travel for the gathering, the General Council of the Presbytery decided to try an experiment. We want to see if we could include more Ruling Elders with daytime jobs while not depriving Minister members of a Saturday for sermon writing and/or family time. Who knows, maybe more people who want to see what a Presbytery meeting is all about? With the Zoom meeting between 6:00 pm and 8:30pm, YOU might decide to join us. And if you have to sign off a bit early to put the kids to bed, have a great evening!

So watch for February's newsletter and emails sharing the Zoom link for the meeting and join us! If you are new to Zoom, there is information about how to use it on the website at

Grab your dinner plate and your glass of wine or water or tea and join us for worship, some education, and some business! Spread the word - we'd love to see lots of people!
RIP Medical Debt
Across the nation, there are large groups of people who are burdened with oppressive medical debt. 43 million Americans owe about $75 billion dollars in medical debt. Our most vulnerable communities are hardest hit – the sick, elderly, poor, and veterans. Middle class families who are barely getting by can find themselves in poverty because of medical debt. More than 60% of all bankruptcies have medical debt as a key contributing factor. This debt doesn’t come from bad decisions – it comes from seeking life saving medical care. And until it is resolved, medical debt lingers on one’s credit report, negatively impacting the ability to get a job, buy or rent a home, get a loan, or buy a vehicle.

The General Council decided in September that we want to do something about this medical debt in our area. We want to demonstrate Christ’s love for them in a concrete way. We want to help individuals and families get a fresh start, so that they can continue to seek needed medical care and find financial stability. Right now, there is approximately $1.7 million dollars of medical debt owed by those living in or near the poverty level in the Illinois counties our presbytery covers. And working together, we want to abolish all of it.
Are You Called to Be a Commissioned Moderator?
Even as we ask God's blessing for the first training class of Ruling Elder Commissioners that begins February 22nd, we pray for provision, as we need at least two dozen more Ruling Elders who could serve congregations without pastoral leadership. How are you (or someone you know) being led to serve as the moderator for a congregation?

Contact if you would like more information or perhaps want to apply for the next training class.
Back to Normal
When will things go back to normal?

As we adjust to the changing world around us, let us remember that we are not alone. God is with us, guiding us, and supporting us. And may the peace of Christ be with you in this season of change.

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Events, Programs, Continuing Education
Leading Your Congregation(s) Through and Beyond COVID
A Workshop on Leading Your Congregation(s) Through and...

Eventbrite - Synod of Lincoln Trails presents A Workshop on Leading Your Congregation(s) Through and Beyond COVID - Thursday, March 18, 2021 - Find event and ticket information.

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Registration will be live on early next week
Day of Interactive Stewardship
The Presbyterian Foundation is excited to offer a Day of Learning that will include three workshops with stewardship and church leaders in a casual, virtual setting. There will be time for questions and answer and an opportunity to see colleagues from across the country.

Join us March 2 for great content from the Presbyterian Foundation:

8:30 am PST/11:30 am EST - Church Mission and Sustainability with Stephen Keizer and Rev. Gail Monsma
11:00 am PST/2:00 pm EST - Virtual Campaigns and Online Giving with Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley and Karl Mattison
2:30 pm PST/5:30 pm EST - Practical Tips for Church Budgeting with Olanda Carr and Rev. Dr. Jonah So
ReKindle | Columbia Theological Seminary

On  October 18-20, 2021, each congregation that receives a grant will participate in a meeting of the cohort on the campus of Columbia Theological Seminary. Each congregation will consist of a member of the pastoral staff or pastor and a...

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Called to Justice:
Seeking Change Within the Classroom, Congregation, and Community
The center for Social Justice and Reconciliation (CSJR) of Presbyterian Seminary and the Leadership Institute is co-sponsoring a two-day virtual event entitled "Called to Justice: Seeking Change within the Classroom, Congregation, and Community" on February 24-25.

See the list of presenters, find out more about this event, and register via the link below.
Remote Retreat Offering for Spiritual Guides
Wilderness, Wisdom & new Wine: a three-day remote...

Wilderness, Wisdom, & New Wine: A Three Day Remote Retreat for Spiritual Guides 2020 was a year of wilderness like we have never experienced. Some of the greatest spiritual events in history have begun in the wilderness. Out of the wilderness...

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NEXT Church Event Registration Now Open
A Call For The Common Good
A FREE Live-Streamed Gathering for ALL Church Leaders
from NEXT Church
March 5-7, 2021

For more information and to register, visit
February Bible Study
Mark 1:29-39 (NRSV)
As soon as they left the synagogue, they entered the house of Simon and Andrew, with James and John. Now Simon’s mother-in-law was in bed with a fever, and they told him about her at once. He came and took her by the hand and lifted her up. Then the fever left her, and she began to serve them.
That evening, at sunset, they brought to him all who were sick or possessed with demons. And the whole city was gathered around the door. And he cured many who were sick with various diseases, and cast out many demons; and he would not permit the demons to speak, because they knew him.

In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went out to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim the message there also; for that is what I came out to do.” And he went throughout Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.

Questions for Reflection & Discussion

  1. How might you follow the example of Jesus after a full day of work making time to be apart from others and to pray?
  2. What might it mean that when the disciples told Jesus that everyone was looking for him, his response was to move on to preaching in neighboring towns?
  3. How might the Presbytery/congregation/committee be guided by this scripture?