October / 20 / 2020
My Octopus Teacher
Our system is bigger than one election. In spite of the advertisement, fear- mongering, and threats, we have seen it and overcome it before in our societal ecosystem.
Our Presbytery - Our Work
Weekly Prayer Basket

  • Please pray for... Rev Keith Michaels, the husband of Rev Vicky Michaels, who is recovering from lung cancer surgery and numerous complications
  • Please pray for...voters as they approach the polls either in person or in mailing. That they remain safe and healthy.
  • Please pray for...students and teachers in the change from online to in-person, and from in-person to online learning as we continue to be challenged by the pandemic.
  • Please pray for...our Pastors, that they remember to care for their own needs in the midst of caring for others.
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Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Upcoming Team Meetings
NOTE: In light of the Covid-19 Pandemic, meetings will be restricted to Zoom or conference call. If you are unsure how to participate, please contact your team moderator, or call the office 314-772-2395, and select Leigh Porter, Office Manager.

Presbytery Upcoming Virtual Meetings
This Week
Next Week
No Meetings Scheduled

Mon., Oct. 26
12pm - Rural Pastors - Click Here
Wed., Oct. 28
12pm - Interim Pastors - Click Here
Presbytery Gathering
Saturday, November 7
ALL are welcome to attend our Presbytery Gatherings. Please encourage your fellow congregants to join us. Click Here
This is the Presbytery's third Gathering Virtual Experience, and we anticipate that there will be some questions, on how to participate. We want to make it easier to communicate, so we hope that you can join us at one of these Pre-Gathering Training Sessions:
  • Wed., Nov. 4 at 7 p.m. 
  • Thurs., Nov 5 at 12 p.m.
The Zoom link for the training experience: 

If you would be calling in to the training experience, we welcome your call in to 312 626 6799, entering the Meeting ID 8598 9048 465, followed by the # sign

Missouri - October 22 (Click Here)
Illinois - October 29 (Click Here)

Be a prepared and knowledgeable voter - See your voting options here
A Note from Leigh & Janice....

Did you know we are notaries? We want to help you vote safely! Call or email us and set up an appointment to meet with one of us.

Webster Groves Presbyterian Church
Offers Notary Services
Webster Groves Presbyterian Church will offer free mail-in ballot notarization services on four upcoming Sundays, October 25 from noon to 3 p.m. The notary services will be held on the parking lot on the east side of the church at 45 West Lockwood in Webster Groves. Directions can be found here.
For more information, call: Janice Seele at 714-642-3376.
Guidelines for Presbyterians in
Times of Disagreement

A Guide to Maintain Healthy Relationships
While Disagreeing Politically

News & Activities
Dreaming & Discerning
Virtual Gathering
Tues., Oct. 20th | 7 pm.
Moderators, Rev. Steve Matthews and Pastor Rob Cardwell welcome everyone with questions or ideas to join them, and explore new worshipping opportunities.
Although many of our buildings may be closed for now, our churches are creatively open, continuing and even expanding the reach of their mission and ministry, with God’s Spirit inspiring many of us to see visions and dream dreams in ways we might not have imagined a few short months ago.
Please RSVP your interest to Leigh Porter at A Zoom link will be sent to you before the meeting in October.
Festival of Psalms
The 9th Annual Eden Seminary Festival of Psalms will be broadcast as a Facebook Live Premier event on Sunday, October 25 at 7:00 p. m. For us Presbyterians, the Book of Psalms is the classical locus of our spirituality, so you don't want to miss this event! It is free, but you need to register at the following website:
Once you register, you will be sent a link to use on the evening of the 25th. The Festival of Psalms is also the 4th Annual CROP Concert; and as in the past, it features Richard Bruxvoort Colligan and a host of other nationally and internationally known musicians. To register for the virtual CROP Walk or to make a donation to CROP/Church World Service (CWS), go to and be reminded that the PCUSA is a member of CWS. Questions? Contact Clint McCann at or 314-619-0599.
Interfaith Partnership of Greater St. Louis
2020 Celebration
Thur., Oct. 29 | 7-8 pm
“Repairing the World: Strengthening Connections in a Fractured Time.”
Despite our distance, we promise and engaging and special evening! To RSVP, watch, or donate, visit
Joint us in:
·        Celebrating the wisdom of our diverse traditions
·        Seeing highlights of the strength, resilience, and commitment of our religious and ethical communities during these challenging days
·        Honoring Sister Dr. Carla Mae Streeter, O.P., and Rev. Dr. Dieter Heinzl for their dedication to interfaith understanding and cooperation in the St. Louis region
·        Emboldening the critical bridge-building efforts of IPSTL through financial support
IPSTL’s annual celebration also serves as our largest fundraiser. Your donation helps heal our community where needed, repairing this fractured world by showing that love and respect for each other can lead to a community where all can flourish together as neighbors.
Bread of the World Midwest
2020 Midwest Regional Webinar
Tues., Nov. 17 | 12 p.m.
During the 45-minute webinar, you will receive an update on our advocacy campaign and what we have accomplished together this year. You will also be equipped with next steps you and your group can take in the final months of 2020. And you will get to hear from and ask questions of our special guest, Bread for the World's new president Rev. Eugene Cho!
Register by clicking here
Self-Care & Health Care
Light for the Darkness
Welcomes You to a Fireside Chat
Wed., Nov. 4 at 7pm
Light for the Darkness hosted our first fireside chat last week. It was a beautiful time of sharing, connecting, being, and feeling. If you live with mental health struggles, consider joining us next month: First Wednesdays we'll have a fire, an outdoor heater, hot chocolate and herbal tea, s'mores. Please bring a blanket or two and dress warmly. A restroom is available. Our next fireside chat is November 4th at 6:30, click here for event link or contact Thirza Sayers for more information at
Two FREE Virtual Workshops for Ministers
We offer these workshops to support your well-being, and to demonstrate our appreciation for your ministry. 
Preventing Burnout by Building Resilience in Ministry
Wed., Oct. 21 | 11:00 am
Ministry is demanding and complex, but burnout is not inevitable, and resilience can be developed. Learn how! 
Participants will learn:
·    Five predictors of burnout, and solutions to each
·    Three methods for preventing burnout
·        Six characteristics of resilience that ministers can cultivate in their own lives.
Mindfulness in Ministry
Wed., Oct. 28 | 11:00 am
 Mindfulness is a popular term, but do you know what it means? Do you know how mindfulness supports overall well-being? Do you know how to begin a practice of mindfulness meditation, or how it can be integrated with other spiritual disciplines? Here is your chance to find out!
·    Learn the definition and meaning of mindfulness
·    Gain an understanding of the current theory of how mindfulness meditation benefits the brain
·    Learn nine benefits of mindful practices
·    Be taught introductory skills of mindfulness meditation
Learn how mindfulness can be integrated with other spiritual
Covid19 & Seasonal Flu Shouldn't Mix
Flu season during a pandemic calls for urgency and ingenuity, which can mean getting vaccinated in your car or even in a hockey arena.
St. Louis area health providers are trying to make it easy and safe to get a flu shot this year by offering free drive-thru events throughout the community and even a walk-in location on Oct. 17 at downtown’s massive Enterprise Center where the St. Louis Blues play.
If you do not live in the St. Louis Area, please consult with your local Health Department for guidance on where you can get your Flu Shot. If you don't know how to contact your local health department, the following links will direct you to the appropriate office.
In Illinois - Click Here | In Missouri - Click Here
Mission Partners
Joining Hands Meeting on Zoom
Wed., Nov. 11 | 6:30 pm to 8 pm
This meeting will feature Jed Koball, Mission Co-Worker In Peru, and Valery Nodem, Presbyterian Hunger Program Associate for International Hunger Concerns. Recently they spoke at a Matthew 25 course on “The Underpinnings of Systematic Poverty.”  Their topic was “Colonization and Globalization.” They will present the same program for us.  If you would like read an article about this presentation by clicking here
SAVE THE DATE:  Fri., Nov. 27
Conrado Olivera will be retiring after 20 years as Director of Joining Hands in Peru. There will be a Zoom retirement celebration at a time to be arranged, probably late morning (CST) to allow participants from around the world to participate.
Paula Cooper
I pray that all is well with you and yours during these days of navigating uncharted waters with God’s help! I greet you in the name of our Risen Savior, Jesus, the Christ, from Lusaka, Zambia.
2020 Pivot Grant for
New Worshiping Communities
2020 has challenged all of us, and we know those challenges pose unique threats to our youngest faith communities who are particularly vulnerable to un-budgeted costs and perhaps a decline in financial support.
New Worshiping Communities recognized by their presbytery are invited to apply for a one-time Pivot Grant of $1000 to assist with shifting programs, new training, or unanticipated expenses due to the pandemic or racial injustices in your community. The application is simple and awards will be made on a first come, first served basis - so communities must act quickly! Applications can be submitted by clicking here.
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.
Education & Training Opportunities
APCE Scholarships Available
Deadline to Apply November 15
APCE (Association of Presbyterian Church Educators) offers your presbytery the opportunity to enhance Christian education in your churches by identifying up to 4 people in faith formation (educator, pastor, volunteer) to attend FOR FREE our 2021 Virtual Annual Event, Anything but Ordinary Time. This will be held on February 4-6, 11:00 am – 6 pm (Eastern) each day. Please click here to learn more.
Preparing for Advent
Thurs., Oct. 22
2:00 pm - 3:00 pm

Zoom Meeting - Click Here
Register for the remaining
Fall 2020 Pathways Online Courses
at Union Presbyterian Seminary
Courses open to all, including Commissioned Ruling Elder candidates or any individual seeking further knowledge & edification
  • Each course meets weekly for five (5) weeks, 7:00pm – 9:00pm EST
  • Two courses, Reformed Theology/Church History and Teaching the Bible, begin next week.
  • The Reformed Theology/Church History course is seeking interested participants for a second section, beginning Monday, October 19
  • For more info, click here: Pathways Online Courses
Brain Science & Bias:
Understanding How Your Brain
Works to Prevent Racism
Thur., Oct. 15 | 12 p.m. CT
Today’s organizations are working hard to raise employees’ awareness of unconscious bias. They think that by addressing bias, they can cut down on discrimination and boost inclusion all in one. Science tells us this conventional wisdom is wrong.
Learn to practice optimal inclusion in this free session. Register by clicking here.
Shelters of Last Resort: Examining Systems of Congregate Emergency Shelter for Homeless and Vulnerable Populations During COVID-19
Fri., Oct. 16 |1 pm
Every day, hundreds of thousands of homeless Americans are crowded into emergency shelters. Many of the homeless have severe and persistent co-occurring behavioral and medical disabilities, including drug and alcohol addictions. Using a public health and safety lens, this webinar will examine the challenges, options, and emerging model practices to address the daunting task of providing shelters and longer-term housing options for vulnerable populations during COVID-19.
This is the second installment of a three-part webinar series discussing the challenges and emerging model practices for housing, sheltering, and congregate population management during the pandemic.  More information on the other webinars in this series.
Forging a Path Forward
Resilience Amid the Pandemics
The 2020 Herencia Webinars will explore the ongoing impact of COVID-19, systemic racism, and a crumbling economy on the local and global church while offering a vision for developing a creative way forward, influenced by God’s revelation of “doing a new thing”—Isaiah 43:19. The webinars will be held in three parts over three days: October 22, 27, and 29. Registration is required. The price for admission is $20 each or $50 for all three.
Matthew 25 Online Event: Eradicating Systemic Poverty: Global Issues
Wed., Oct. 28 | 1 p.m. (CT)
Where in your church can you take action to address systemic poverty on a global level? The next online Matthew 25 event, scheduled for October 28 at 2:00 p.m. Eastern, will lift up how to engage existing partners for this work and where potential partnerships might exist. This event will follow the model of the previous Matthew 25 events with facilitated dialogue, guest speakers, and the sharing of resources. Mark your calendars today and 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

PRN Staff Chaplain at St. Luke's Hospital

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