December / 10 / 2019
Deciding Versus Discerning
“At a time when meeting to make decisions is the norm, perhaps God is calling us to ancient practice of discernment.”

Rev. Dr. Craig Howard
Our Presbytery - Our Work
Weekly Prayer Basket Update

  • Please pray ... Rev. Chris James, in the death of his father, Bill James
  • Please pray...for children of First Presbyterian - Park Hills, Emmett Black and Henry Lowry, who were both hospitalized for infections this past week.
  • Please pray...for those who are struggling with loss during this holiday season.
Click on the prayer basket to find our current prayers.

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Upcoming Team Meetings
NOTE: Meeting locations are as follows: Oaks - is the meeting room next door to the presbytery office; St.Andrew - refers to the Board Room of St. Andrews on the second floor, directly above the presbytery office; Pres - refers to the Presbytery Office Resource Center; Ladue - refers to Ladue Chapel; WG - refers to Webster Groves Presbyterian, Kirkwood - refers to First Presbyterian of Kirkwood. Contact the office at 314-772-2395 if you are unsure where you will be meeting.
Week of: Dec. 11 to Dec. 17

Wed., Dec. 11
1:30 p.m. - PTCC (Oaks)
Mon., Dec. 16
1 p.m. - Social Witness (Oaks)
Week of: Dec. 18 to Dec. 24

Thurs., Dec. 19
6:30 p.m. - CPM (Ladue)

Many Ministry Teams will recess in December. Please check with your Team Moderator, for a definitive meeting schedule for December.
2019 Holiday Office Schedule

DECEMBER: Closed on Tuesday, December 24 and Wednesday, December 25 for Christmas; Closing at noon on Tuesday, December 31, and all day Wednesday, January 1.
Uprooting Hunger - 2019 Presbytery Wide Goal
StL Volunteer This Holiday Season
Do you want to make an impact and serve your neighbors, but sure how or where? Check out StLVolunteer...Go from ordinary to extraordinary by helping those in need this holiday season. Giving your time has never been easier. Check out our online Holiday Volunteer Guide featured below choice from Do-It-Yourself projects to opportunities at different nonprofits
Find our more information by clicking here.
Uprooting Hunger - Hunger Action Team
In 2019 the presbytery will work toward establishing Certified Hunger Action Congregations. This  handout will be helpful to your congregation, as we journey together.
We welcome any questions you might have - email us at or call 314-772-2395.
We celebrate, in thanksgiving, our 20 Certified and 25 Covenanting Congregations for their dedication to eradicating hunger in their communities!
Questions on how to get your congregation involved email us here.
Ministry Teams News & Activities
Holiday Tips for Caring for God's Creation!
Make this an eco-friendly Christmas:
* Bake or do family activities together
* Give gift of self: service/time/skill/food/volunteering
* Reuse wrapping paper, ribbons, bags, envelopes
* Avoid plastic decorations
* Decorate a large plant/tree inside instead of a traditional tree
("TIPS" are brought to you by the Earth Care Team of presbytery composed of members of the eight Certified Earth Care Congregations in the presbytery. Contact and 314-941-9378)
A Place of Grace and Trish's Tastey Treats invite you to a Christmas Open House on Thursday, December 12th, from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m, at 233 Church St., Shipman, IL. Directions found here.
Enjoy appetizers made with Tastefully Simple products, shop, relax with a healing pathway. Don't forget to "Like" their Facebook Page!
Congregational/Event Happenings
An Appalachian Christmas
New Hope Presbyterian Church
Sun., Dec. 15 | 3 p.m.
The New Hope choir will present "An Appalachian Christmas" on Sunday, December 15 at 3:00 p.m., featuring Joseph Martin's Rhapsody in Bluegrass. The composer writes, “Rhapsody in Bluegrass is a celebration of pure Christmas joy. It is inspired by American folk song, bluegrass, gospel, hymn and traditional music styles. The cantata takes the listener on the Christmas journey from prophecy to proclamation." We hope you'll support our music program with your attendance and that you'll invite some friends as well. Y'all come! Directions can be found here .
First Presbyterian - Kirkwood
Sun., Dec. 15 | 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Our Chancel Choir, along with orchestra, organ, and bells, will put you in the Christmas spirit as they fill our magnificent sanctuary with sounds of the season. Enjoy settings of traditional carols along with original Christmas repertoire from across the centuries. Come listen and sing as we celebrate the holiday!
First Presbyterian - Kirkwood is located at 100 E Adams Ave., Kirkwood, Missouri. Directions can be found here.
Blue Christmas Services

Thurs., Dec. 19 at 6:30 p.m. at
Oak Hill Presbyterian, St. Louis Directions Here
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Fri., Dec. 20 at 6 p.m. at
Southminster Presbyterian, Crestwood
Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church
        Music Ministry presents a
    Christmas Vespers Service
Sun., Dec. 22, 2019 | 3 p.m.
Cote Brilliante Presbyterian Church is located at 4673 Labadie Ave., St. Louis, MO 63115. Directions can be found here . This service is open to the public. A freewill offering will be accepted.
Most of our Churches will be having services on Christmas Eve, however....
First Presbyterian - Brighton is announcing a NEW TIME for Christmas Eve Services - Services will now be starting at 5:30 p.m.  Please take note of the change.
Announcements & Free Items
Stained Glass - New Home
A stained glass window from the Kampsville Presbyterian Church, which closed in 2019, is now in a permanent lighted display built by the talented Bernie Loft, in the neighboring Hardin Presbyterian Church. What a tribute to Kampsville!
Dear White Christians Book Study
As part of our Matthew 25 initiative, I would like for you to join me in a presbytery wide book study using the book, Dear White Christians: For Those Still Longing for Racial Reconciliation by Jennifer Harvey. Jennifer will be our speaker and lead a workshop on the book at the February 6 th Presbytery Gathering. I am encouraging everyone to read this book over the next couple of months. Use the study guide to help guide your thoughts and reflections. 
The book can be purchased on Amazon in paperback or Kindle. The Kindle version is only $1.99! A study guide can downloaded for free here:
I am looking forward to a robust conversation during the February presbytery gathering!
Rev. Craig M. Howard
FREE Hymnals Available
Southminster Presbyterian Church, Crestwood, has 196 The Singing Church hymnals. These hymnals were published by the Hope Publishing Company. These need a new home and are free to whoever will come and claim them. First come first serve, must take all of them. Please contact, Bill Thomas at 314-323-8041, if you are interested.
Space For Rent in Imperial
1600 square foot space, five rooms and common room, second floor. Perfect for office, preschool, daycare, etc. Rent all or individual rooms. Located at Rock Presbyterian Church, Imperial, Missouri. Call 314-420-9477
For the asking, a barely used (5X, maybe) Collegiate preachers cold weather cloak from the '70's; MSRP $520. Fits someone (any gender) around 5'10". E-mail with request.
Complete List of Educational Opportunities: Found Here
Empowering Commissioned Pastors Conference
Registration is open for the Empowering Commissioned Pastors Conference, to be held May 13th–16th, 2020, at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church, Richardson, Texas (Dallas–Fort Worth area). 
Continuing Education Classes Announced
Union Presbyterian Seminary Theological Institute Upcoming Continuing Education Events offered January through March 2020, can be found by Visiting their Events page
Congregations Can Get up to $50k to Help Their Pastors Find Renewal
Applications available for the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program from the Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program
Congregations seeking renewal for their pastor are invited to apply for the  Lilly Endowment Clergy Renewal Program  at  Christian Theological Seminary  in Indianapolis, Indiana.
According to a news release from the program, congregations may apply for grants of up to $50,000 to underwrite a renewal program for their pastor and for the pastor’s family. Up to $15,000 of the funds are available to the congregation to help cover costs for ministerial supply while the pastor is away
Pilgrimage:  A long journey to a sacred place
as an act of devotion.
YOUR ARE INVITED to be part of the 2020 Joining Hands Partnership 20th Anniversary Peru Pilgrimage. This pilgrimage includes journeying to the coastal, mountain and rainforest regions of Peru, to meet with our Joining Hand's Partners, to hear updates about the socio/economic context of Peru, to experience historical and cultural events and places, and to join with Red Uniendo Manos Peru (Peru Joining Hands Network) and others in a 20th Anniversary Celebration.
This Pilgrimage will be framed by daily bookends of morning and evening prayer and reflection on our Matthew 25 Pilgrimage Theme: When Did We See You?--Where and when do we experience the Christ 
Presence of compassion, love and justice in the people and places along the journey and in each other?
It will be a pilgrimage of listening and learning and accompaniment of our partners and returning to our congregations and groups to continue the pilgrimage of love and justice.
This year there will be two options for participating in the Pilgrimage:
-Participation in the whole journey: August 1-15, Weeks 1 and 2 or
-Participation in Week 1 only.
See the flyer for specific cost and deadline details. Found here.
For additional information or an application, please contact:
Ellie Stock: or (314) 521-8418 or
Mark Strothmann: or (314) 779-6940
224th General Assembly (2020)
Hands and Feet Service Opportunities
During the 224th General Assembly (2020) and as a part of the OGA’s Hands and Feet initiative, The Center: Mission Outside the Box will offer hands-on service opportunities for GA-affiliated visitors, family members, youth groups, and friends. We will offer up to four service options, from 8:30–noon, Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday, June 22, 24, 25, and 26. 
Find our more by clicking here.
Current Support Ministry Position Openings
Administrative Assistant - LoveJoy United

Young Adult's Co-Coordinator - Pendo Presbyterian

Christian Educator - First Presbyterian -Edwardsville

Children, Youth and Family Ministry - Second Presbyterian
Full-Time Director of Youth & Children’s Ministry - First Presbyterian, Columbia, Missouri (Missouri Union Presbytery)