Presbytery of Sheppards and Lapsley

"partner with and equip present and emerging

PC(USA) faith communities in central Alabama

to serve Christ and our neighbors"

South Highland Presbyterian Church will celebrate its 135th anniversary on Sunday, October 29, and all are invited to join in the celebration! It all begins during 11 a.m. worship in our historic sanctuary (or online at, during which we will also celebrate Reformation Sunday and receive pledge commitments for our building campaign (feel free to make a pledge!). Following the service, join us in Davis Family Hall for a celebratory BBQ and Bluegrass Luncheon, featuring special side dishes prepared from recipes by great member cooks from our past. We’ll also enjoy music from SHPC’s own No Longer Strangers Band, celebrating fifteen years of playing fantastic bluegrass and folk music. Advance lunch reservations are requested online at

The Gift of Small

Annual Conference

The Association of Smaller Congregation's Annual Conference returns to Epworth by the Sea on February 29, 2024!

The theme for this next gathering is "The Gift of Small," which we will explore together with our speakers and workshop leaders—including keynote speaker Mark Tidsworth.

Read more and Register

Living River's Annual Fall Elementary Retreat is Nov. 9-11

" justice, love kindness, walk humbly with God."

Find more information here.


Continuing the legacy of the Presbyterian School of Christian Education


Presbyterians Supporting Christian Education (PSCE) is a program of Union Presbyterian Seminary. The program provides collegial, personal, and professional support for those engaged in ministry.

In 2024, the program will provide two different types of cohorts: one emphasizing Christian Education for professional educators, volunteer educators, and pastors; the second for Commissioned Ruling Elders/Commissioned Pastors (CRE/CP), persons serving as solo pastors in small congregations.

Cohorts of up to eight participants meet together monthly for a year (January – December) via ZOOM and are guided by a facilitator. More information, as well as an application, is available at  Deadline for applications is November 30, 2023 for this innovative opportunity.

Looking for a Few Hosts

One of the joys of being Presbyterian is that we gather at least four times a year to give thanks to God for the ministry of our congregations and to discern what God is calling us to be and do. We are now in need of a few congregations willing to host these meetings of the Presbytery next year.

When? May 16, 2024; August 15, 2024; November 21, 1024

How many? If your congregation has the technical capacity to host a ZOOM meeting, we usually have 60-80 persons present. If you will host an in-person meeting, we would expect 100 or so to participate.

Where? We prefer to meet across the Presbytery, north, south, east, west.

For more information, please contact Tammy or Jay in the Presbytery office.

A different opportunity to host a smaller gathering of the Presbytery is the Session Minute reading and review. We prefer to meet quarterly in different regions of the Presbytery, usually for a couple of hours on a convenient morning. Clerks of Sessions and pastors read each other's minutes, share questions, and support each other with new ideas. We had three gatherings in June and one in July. So, I welcome invitations for October and November. Please contact Jay at [email protected].

Upcoming Leader Formation Webinar for Ruling Elders

Leading by Listening: Ruling Elders and Presbyterian Polity

with Gradye Parsons

Ruling Elders lead by listening to the Word, the Holy Spirit, and their congregation, and our polity invites us into conversations and responsibilities. Those conversations develop relationships which build up the church family. The responsibilities of the Ruling Elder are to nurture, support, and provide for the spiritual life of a congregation and beyond. Join us for a conversation into the joyful journey of this service on Thursday, November 16, 7:00-8:30 p.m. Eastern. When promoting, please share this web link as registration will close on November 8.

Please be sure to check out the job openings around our Presbytery at the bottom of the Newsletter.

Communion Cups Needed

Southminster Presbyterian Church is in need of glass communion cups. If your church has glass communion cups you can spare, please contact Tom Bryson. [email protected]

The Manna Retreat

January 26-28, 2024

Montreat Conference Center

A new retreat for young adults is coming back in 2024! Keep reading to learn more about how you can participate.

APCE Annual Event, January 24-27, 2024 in St. Louis, MO


The theme for the Association of Partners in Christian Education event is "Come All who are Thirsty," and registration is open now. Look for details on workshop offerings, speakers, scholarships and registration here. This event is available in person, online, and online in Spanish. Due to the partnership between the Christian Formation Office in the PC(USA), Global Language Resources, and APCE, there is no cost to participate in AE Online in Spanish.

PW Churchwide Gathering 

Save the date!

August 8-11, 2024

St. Louis, Missouri

More information 

Please set your calendars for this fall and help a family get affordable housing. And, you may meet this family as they work on their house.

The 2023 Habitat for Humanity House has Begun

The Birmingham area churches in the Presbytery will sponsor a Habitat for Humanity House for this year, 2023. Construction on the house has started and the family for this location is Karla Tolbert and her son. The address is 923 13th Avenue Circle B, Pleasant Grove, Alabama.

As of last week the framing for the house has begun. Volunteer work days are on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Volunteers do not have to be knowledgeable about construction (although it helps). There will be plenty of jobs to do: digging, helping frame walls, painting, nailing, pulling nails out because you bent them, installing siding and lots more.

There will be no construction at the house the first two weeks of October because Habitat is having a blitz build at another site.

New Season—The Along the Road Podcast

After a summer hiatus, new episodes of Along the Road are back. Enjoy! Share!

Selma Disaster Relief-Funding

Many of you generous people have asked how to help out in Selma. The January tornado destroyed 250 houses and damaged 350 more. The Dallas County Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) has been set up. It will coordinate the recovery work in Selma.

The Dallas County long term recovery group has begun funding projects. This Presbytery has contributed $1300 to help replace a family's beds and washing machine and dryer. We will continue to attend the LTRG meetings to help with other projects.

Funds are needed to finance the rebuilding effort. We recommend giving to the Black Belt Community Foundation. The BBCF has two disaster funds set up: the Communities Helping Communities Fund (which aids all the Black Belt counties affected by the tornadoes) and the Selma Rebuild & Recovery Fund (which helps the Selma area). The website to go to is: Then click on the Selma Rebuild & Recovery Fund to help Selma.

You may contribute online by credit/debit card or by PayPal. Network for Good is administering the collection of the donations. It charges a 3% fee per donation.

You may also donate by check. Make the check payable to Black Belt Community Foundation, and in the bottom left corner put Selma Rebuild & Recovery Fund. BBCF charges 5% per donation for its administrative costs. Mail the check to:

Black Belt Community Foundation

P.O. Box 2020

Selma, AL 36702

More information will be posted as things develop during the recovery work.

Newsletters, Bulletins, News

Prayer Concerns

Rev. Rachel Winter, Mark Winter, Betsy Murphy and all of the Winter family.


Just a reminder that the Presbytery office is open Monday, Wednesday and Friday's from 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM (4 PM on Friday). The staff works from home on Tuesday and Thursday's.

Please check with the office for availability before scheduling committee meetings.

On-going Newsletter Articles

Ponderings by: Rev. Dr. Sue Westfall

PHFC Thrift Store Donations

Perry Dallas County Fund

Online Church Services

Matthew 25


Sue Westfall

General Presbyter

[email protected]

Tammy Strickland

Presbytery Administrator

Assistant to the Stated Clerk

[email protected]


[email protected]

Jay Wilkins

Stated Clerk

[email protected]

Linda Burrowes

Recording Clerk

[email protected]

Jean Russell


[email protected]

Ralls Coston

Volunteer Mission Coordinator

[email protected]

Pat Goodman

Volunteer Nurture Coordinator

[email protected]

James Ephraim

Volunteer Liaison for

African American Churches

[email protected]

Edgewood Presbyterian Church

Edgewood is searching for an Accompanist/Organist. Please click here for the job description.

Westminster Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL is in need of a Musician. If you or someone you know are interested in applying, please contact the church office at

(205) 322-0161 for more information.

Oakmont Chapel Presbyterian Church in Hoover, AL, is searching for a Choir Director due to the retirement of our long time Director. In this position you will work with Dr. Jonathan Brown in selecting music for our Sunday services, directing practice on Wednesday evenings and rehearsal on Sunday mornings prior to each service. Additional time would be required for special services such as Easter and Christmas services and other special occasions. Salary information will be available during interview process. Please contact Dr. Jonathan Brown at [email protected] with your information or questions concerning this position.


We will discuss salary during interview process as this will be determined by experience of the applicant.

Immanuel PCUSA in Montgomery is searching for an individual to serve as part-time Director of Family Ministries; for full position description contact the Immanuel Church Office - 

3603 Lorna Ridge Drive ~ Birmingham, AL 35216
Phone: 205-978-0320 ~ Fax: 205-978-0330
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