February / 9/ 2021
The Life of a Chaplain
during a Pandemic 
What I knew less well – close up – was the incremental way the world of frail older adults begins to shrink. 
Our Presbytery - Our Work
Weekly Prayer Basket

  • Please pray for...Rev. Thirza Sayers, for healing.
  • Please pray for... Matt Lewis family as their family prepares for his 3-year old granddaughter, Juliana, earthly journey to end, and rejoin with her father who passed last year.
  • Please pray for... Lukas Smith, 16 year old nephew of Rev. Marilyn Gamm, who is showing slow but steady improvement while facing continued restrictions and monitoring for multi system Post-Covid Inflammation Syndrome.
  • Please pray for... our national leadership as we repair and unite, forgive and move forward this year and beyond
  • Please pray for...for those receiving vaccinations for COVID19, as our nation works for herd immunity; those battling COVID19 at home and in the hospital
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Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Upcoming Team Meetings
As Presbytery Ministry Committees and Commissions Organize, please check with your Moderator for meeting dates and times, or call the office at 314-772-2395, or email Office Manager, Leigh Porter at
Wed., Feb. 10
12pm-Transitional Pastors Click Here
1:30pm-COM Click Here

Thur., Feb. 11
3pm-Gather Planning Click Here

Mon., Feb. 15
12pm Teaching Elders (Since 2015)

Thur., Feb. 18
9am-Social Witness Click Here
9:30am-History Team Click Here
4pm-Vision Team Click Here
Post-Presbytery Gathering
Survey (Click Below)
Save the Date for the
Next Stated Presbytery Gathering
Sat., Apr. 24
News & Activities
Webster Groves Presbyterian Church Social Advocacy Film Club discussion will take place this coming Wednesday, February 10 at 7pm. This month's film is  Gospel and Guns: How Religion and Gun Law Intertwine in America. This short documentary will provide interesting food for thought prior to the following week's Education Hour on February 14 with a representative from Moms Demand Action about advocating for sensible gun laws. Click here for a Zoom link
How Is It Going?
Sun., Feb. 14 | 4pm to 5pm
Trinity Presbyterian Church, University City, is blessed to have several physicians among our congregation, including Dr. Rachel Presti, who has been leading COVID vaccine research for many months. Dr. Presti is frequently interviewed by local media seeking informed insights, and now we have the opportunity to hear directly from her during Trinity’s February Adult Education Zoom, Sunday, February 14 beginning at 4 p.m.
​​Dr. Presti is Associate Professor of Medicine ​and Medical Director of the Infectious Diseases Clinical Research Unit (ID CRU)​ at Washington University. She will discuss the vaccine rollout and answer our questions.
Everyone is welcome to join us for this important conversation: Sunday, February 14, 4 to 5 p.m. Click Here to Attend. If you are calling in, dial 312-626-6799, followed by the meeting ID: 829 8467 7345, and if prompted the passcode of: 020996
Social Witness Action Committee
What to do, and not do, before and
after your Covid vaccine shot

DO: Get your vaccine when it's your turn. You should be able to find out when it's your turn to be vaccinated and how to register in your neighborhood by reaching out to your state or local health department.
In Illinois CLICK HERE | In Missouri CLICK HERE

DON'T: Let disinformation on vaccines cloud your judgment. Social media is rife with disinformation about both Covid-19 and the vaccines that are available to prevent it. If you have doubts about the vaccine, get educated -- the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) can help. Click Here
The Black Tax:
The Cost of Being Black in America
Thur., Mar. 4 & Thur., Apr. 8

The Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy invites you to two special events with author, Shawn Rochester to discuss his book, The Black Tax: The Cost of Being Black in America. Rochester, a former corporate development, and global strategy executive quantifies the fiscal impact of the detrimental tax Black Americans pay in the auto, housing, online, job, and lending markets. The book examines the staggering financial cost from emancipation to the present day to answer the question of how, after 400 years, more than 40 million African Americans own only 2% of U.S. wealth. More than simply identifying the problem, Rochester lays out an empowerment plan to create much-needed jobs and businesses in the Black community. The first online session will meet on Thursday, March 4 and the second session is on Thursday, April 8. Both meetings will begin at 6:30 PM CST. There is no cost to attend, but advance registration is required. Advance reading of the book is highly encouraged, but it is not required. Please go to for more information and to reserve your spot.
Mental Health First Aid Training
Given generally growing mental health needs, especially due to stressors related to the pandemic, Light for the Darkness and the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy will offer Mental Health First Aid training. We encourage pastors, deacons, elders, youth leaders, and anyone interested in mental health to attend. Please share this and spread the word.
What is Mental Health First Aid?
Mental Health First Aid is an early intervention public education program. It teaches adults how to recognize signs and symptoms that suggest a potential mental health challenge, how to listen nonjudgmentally and give reassurance to a person who may be experiencing a mental health challenge. Also, it includes how to refer a person to appropriate professional support and services.
The instructor will be our newest advisory board member, Lawson (Cal) Calhoun, M.A, MHFA, also the clerk of session at Westminster Presbyterian Church St. Louis.
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid Training (30 spaces available): March 6th from 9am-4pm (deadline to register is 2/20)
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid Training (30 spaces available): April 17th, 9-4pm; (deadline to register is 4/3) (this class is to help adults identify signs in youth, not a class for youth)
The course cost per person is normally $170, but we are receiving the reduced rate of $24 per person, per course. If you need assistance with this cost, please note this in your registration and your fee will be covered.
To register please complete this link, then mail your check to the presbytery with MHFA in the memo, $24 for one course, $48 for two.
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, memo: MHFA, 1001 Craig Rd Ste 170, St. Louis, MO 63146.
How to Manage Expectations
Here’s what laypersons need to know: Your ministers may look OK, but they are not. All ministers, even those who thrive on challenges, are by now exhausted, anxious, and at least intermittently depressed. Ministers need affirmation and affection right now, but what they mostly need from you is that you manage expectations.
Continue to read from Congregational Consulting, by clicking here.
A different Lenten focus for 2021
While Lent is a time for prayer, fasting, service and contemplation, at the top of our list should be a prayer for the acquisition of peace. This year for the season of Lent, we invite you to reflect upon the gift of shalom, the Hebrew word for peace. In the Bible, shalom can be translated not only as peace, but also as tranquility, security, well-being, health, welfare, completeness and safety. How can we receive this gift of shalom and, in turn, bestow it upon the world? 
Find more from the Presbyterian Mission Agency - Click Here
Coming Alive in Christ: Training for PC(USA) Ruling Elders and Deacons Based on the Constitutional Questions
The constitutional questions asked of leaders within the PC(USA) when they are ordained, installed, and commissioned is the focus of a new resource created to assist teaching elders as they serve in ministry with ruling elders and deacons. Coming Alive in Christ: Training for PC(USA) Ruling Elders and Deacons based on the Constitutional Questions provides a study of these beliefs that are central to our lives of faith and in our community with each other and is available through Equip, the church’s online training platform. Beginning with an introduction on baptism, call, and membership, the study for each question has been written by a leader from across the diversity of the church with questions for reflection or discussion included in each section. Leader guides and a visual supplement are also included and available for download.
The resource is a focus of the Year of Leader Formation, which provides an emphasis on the ecclesial development of Presbyterian leaders for those currently serving and those preparing to serve PC(USA) congregations as ruling elders and deacons. Events, announcements, and links are available and updated on the Year of Leader Formation webpage. To receive periodic email updates, subscribe here.
Racism & Organizing 101
1001 Worshiping Communities
Training Opportunity
Racism is a frequent topic of discussion, but we often we often differ in our understandings of what racism really is. The 1001 team is excited to partner with The Open Table, a NWC in Heartland Presbytery to provide an opportunity for NWC leaders to build a common working definition of racism so that we can work together to dismantle systemic racism in all its forms. Learn more about the training on Feb. 24, from 7–9 p.m. Eastern Standard Time.
Planning Now for Black History Month
The 2021 theme for Black History Month, which is observed in February, is “The Black Family: Its Representation, Identity and Diversity.” The theme is an important one as we remember that we are made in the image of God (imago Dei). There is only one human race, and every member of it has the attributes of the Divine.
Technology Grants - Wave 2
When COVID-19 began to spread across the United States, Giddings-Lovejoy congregations responded in amazing ways to continue their worship and ministries. I am in awe. Congregations have stretched themselves beyond what they thought they were capable of doing. As I like to say, the building may be closed, but the church is not! 
Please submit your grant request to Note in the subject line Second Wave Grant.
In your request, include the church’s name and address, contact person and email address, and what the grant will be used for.  
By the way, First Wave Grants are still available. Please contact Liz Kanerva at the above email for more information. (Learn More Here)
Education & Training Opportunities
Synod Youth Workshop
July 12-17
The 2021 SYW Planning Team of youth and adults is once again energetically preparing for an in-person gathering at the University of Tulsa, July 12-17, 2021. It is through the Planning Team’s prayerful discernment that they invited Martin Osae to keynote the Theme: WhataGreatGod based on Romans 8:38-39 (‘…nothing will separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”) In this passage, they find assurance and hope that God is ALWAYS with us, and takes us far beyond fear to faith, hope and love. In fact, there is nothing which can interrupt God’s love for us…ALL of us. Learn more here
NEXT Church is Next Month
March 5-7
NEXT Church is teaching elders, students, educators, church members, youth leaders and ruling elders who care about the flourishing of the church of Jesus Christ in ways that are relevant to our communities.
NEW Virtual Social Justice Conference
Called to Justice: Seeking Change within the
Classroom, Congregation, and Community
February 24 - 25, 2021
This two-day event, co-sponsored by the Seminary's Center for Social Justice & Reconciliation (CSJR) and the Leadership Institute, features two keynote address and four workshop choices. REGISTER HERE
Becoming Matthew 25
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How Do We Engage Socially Distancing and still participate in Mission & Ministry?
Send us your stories of how your congregation is maintaining congregational vitality during this pandemic. Send stories to Office Manager, Leigh Porter at
Current Support Ministry Position Openings
Part-Time Pastor - First Presbyterian, Perryville

Part-Time Organist - First Presbyterian of Alton, IL

Associate Pastor - Dardenne Presbyterian, Dardenne Prarie

Organist/Pianist - First Presbyterian, Jackson, MO

Interim Pastor - John Calvin Presbyterian