December / 22 / 2020
Our relationship has been a true gift exchange. I have learned so much and become a better leader and person because of you. Thank you.”
Our Presbytery - Our Work
We pray that each of you have a very Merry Christmas. May we all look forward to a brighter, healthier 2021.

Craig, Junie, Joy, Leigh, and Janice
Weekly Prayer Basket

  • Please pray for...for the ministry of Rev. Dr. Craig Howard as he begins his journey with the Presbyterian Foundation.
  • Please pray for...for the family of Paul Cash, who have lost both Paul and his wife Helen, within months of each other.
  • Please pray for ... for those struggling from anxiety, depression, irrational worry, and all other mental health concerns that they find comfort, healing and support as this difficult year continues into a difficult winter.
Quick Connect
Support Ministry
Help Wanted
Parish Paper

Saddened to Report
Saddened to report the passing of Rev. Keith Michaels, loving husband of Rev, Vicky Michaels. Please pray for their family in the coming days. No arrangements are available to share at this time.
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Upcoming Team Meetings
During Advent, Presbytery Ministry Teams are asked to recess from meetings, if possible. If you are unsure if your team is meeting, please ask your Team Moderator, or contact the office at 314-772-2395.

Meetings will resume virtually in January.
Presbytery Holiday Schedule
Thur., Dec. 24 & Fri., Dec. 25 - Office Closed
Thur., Dec. 31 - Office Closing at Noon
Fri., Jan. 1 - Office Closed

We will return to regular office hours
Mon., Jan. 4 at 9 a.m.
Working On
Matthew 25
During a Pandemic
Second Presbyterian - St. Louis
Creative Changes to Annual Christmas Party
This is the first time we put together a Christmas (non)party for our Good Ground Pantry guests, with the guests outside and volunteers both inside and outside. Normally in addition to the food bag and gift card there would be a Christmas party in the church dining room with chili and accompaniments, coffee, Christmas cookies, Santa Claus, music, gifts for the children, clothing for the guests to shop and, most of all, table fellowship for an hour or so on a December Saturday morning.
This year just the bag and gift card, with saxophone accompaniment. The gift bags contained staple items plus oranges, apples, cookies, face masks, hats and gloves. Gift cards went to all of the guests who came to the pantry twice in 2020. We’ve remained open throughout the pandemic with procedures modified to fit St. Louis City and session guidelines, serving guests at the door with a “Farmer’s Market” fresh food aisle outside for the guests to make their selections.
Presbytery is Called to Gather
Saturday, January 9, 2021 at 10:00 am
Meeting will be on Zoom

Purpose of the Gathering
* To act on the resignation of The Rev. Dr. Craig Howard and to dissolve the relationship between Dr. Howard and the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy.
* To elect a Presbytery Leader Search Committee (PLSC) to begin working immediately.
* To approve the call to The Rev Elizabeth Kanerva to serve as Associate Presbytery Leader.
* No other business will be conducted at this time.
News & Activities
Christmas Eve
Our Congregations have been challenged this year to be in worship, while keeping congregants safe. Their creativity is appreciated. Some congregations will hold special services on Christmas Eve and we have shared all that we could find.
Ballwin, MO – St. Mark Presbyterian
  • Bundled up in Joy Christmas Eve family service at 3:30pm in the church parking lot. (601 Claymont Dr.) Virtual Traditional Christmas Eve service that will premiere on YouTube at 7:00pm on December 24.- Click Here
Belleville, IL – First United Presbyterian
  • I Will Light Christmas Candles - Live and interactive Zoom Christmas Eve Service at 6:30pm on Zoom - Click here
Belleville, IL– Westminster Presbyterian
  • Facebook LIVE on Christmas Eve at 11pm. Sit beside a Christmas tree, sip some hot chocolate, read the Christmas scriptures, and reflect on what ELSE was happening in Bethlehem that same night. Click Here
Boeuff, MO – Boeuff Presbyterian
  • Online Worship at 7:30pm. There is a special guest that is to come by for the children. So please join us! Click Here
Bridgeton, MO – John Calvin Presbyterian
  • Christmas Eve Candlelit Service at 11 p.m. Worship with JCPC on Zoom! For dial-in options, please call: +1 (301) 715-8592 or +1 (312) 626-6799 | Zoom Meeting ID: 735-558-7972
Brighton, IL – First Presbyterian
  • Worship will be virtual through Zoom at 5:30 p.m. All are welcome to join us! The meeting ID is 6067465872
Cape Girardeau, MO – First & Westminster (Joint Service)
Collinsville, IL – First United
  • Candlelight Service on line this year at 7pm. Please join us on Zoom or Facebook live. Please email for zoom invite.
Cuba, MO – Trinity Chapel
  • Lessons in Carols at 11 p.m. In person, masks and social distancing recommended. (1631 Highway 19)
Dardenne Prairie, MO – Dardenne Presbyterian
  • Services at 3, 5 ,7 and 9pm. Reservations WILL be required for all services. Click Here for details. (As with all of our church gatherings, Masks and social distancing are REQUIRED.)
Ferguson, MO – First Presbyterian
  • Simulated Live Worship Christmas Eve Service is at 5:30pm and 10:55pm – Click Here
Glendale, MO – Glendale Presbyerian
  • Zoom Christmas Eve, beginning at 5:00 p.m. Meeting ID: 835 7283 1330 Passcode: 959263. Outdoor Service, beginning at 7pm, as we gather amongst the Nativity for a brief outdoor service. Please wear a mask and practice safe social distancing guidelines. (500 N Sappington Road)
Hardin, IL – Hardin Presbyterian­­­
  • Candlelit worship at 5pm. Masks provided, social distancing will be marked. (302 Main St.)
Hillsboro, MO – First Presbyterian
  • Christmas Even Service at 7pm, in person. Masks and Social Distancing is required. 10790 Business 21 Hillsboro, MO 63050
House Springs, MO- Hillside Presbyterian
  • Service of Word and Song at 8:15pm. We will read the Holy Scriptures, sing Christmas carols, and share the light of Christ as we celebrate the reason for the season. Click Here
Jerseyville, IL – First Presbyterian
  • We will celebrate the Candlelit, Christmas with Communion. Prepare the communion elements ahead of time (bread and juice, or whatever you have). In addition, have a candle that can be lit at the beginning of the service and also be used when we sing at the end of the service. Click here
Kirkwood, MO – First Presbyterian
  • Christmas Eve Live Stream Worship 5pm with Bells and Soloists; 8pm with Octet and Strings and 11pm Lessons in Carols Click Here
Ladue, MO – Ladue Chapel
  • O Come, All Ye Faithful for our Christmas Eve drive through! Join us on Thursday, Dec. 24 between 1-2:30 p.m. as our pastors and staff distribute goodies for the Christmas Eve services (9450 Clayton Road)
Moro, IL – Moro Presbyterian
  • Worship will be virtual through Zoom at 7:30 p.m. All are welcome to join us! The meeting ID is 6067465872
Pacific/Union, MO – Presbyterian (Joint Service)
  • This year Christmas Eve Service will be a joint Fireside Chat (both congregations) worship experience at 7pm, as we reflect with those gathered around the manger. This will be held through Zoom. If you would like the link, please email Rev. Bill Vincent - Click Here
Potosi, MO – Potosi Presbyterian
  • Online service at 6 p.m. using Zoom. Please email Rev. John Goodwin for the link. Click Here
St. Charles, MO – St. Charles Presbyterian
  • Christmas Eve Service will be live at 5:30 on Christmas Eve and available anytime after that. Friends- Even though we aren’t having in person Christmas Eve worship- what we have recorded is spectacular! Click Here
St. Charles, MO – New Hope Presbyterian
St. Louis, MO – Oak Hill Presbyterian
St. Louis, MO – Westminster
Steelville, MO – Steelville Presbyterian
  • In person and virtual at 7 p.m. For in person, masks and social distancing is required. In Person (First/High St) For virtual, Click Here
Sullivan, MO – First Presbyterian Church
  • In person with communion, masks and social distancing recommended. (285 E. Springfield)
University City, MO – First (St. Louis)
University City, MO – Trinity Presbyterian
  • Trinity U City will premiere an intergenerational Lessons and Carols service video recording at 5:00 p.m. Christmas Eve simultaneously on our Facebook and YouTube pages. Here are the links to the pages: Facebook | YouTube
Webster Groves, MO – Webster Groves Presbyterian
  • Live Stream at 5pm The first Christmas Eve took place at home, with only family and pets around. This year, we're returning to our roots. Worship with us from your home on Christmas Eve as we welcome the infant Christ with candlelight and music. Click Here
Wildwood, MO – Woodlawn Chapel Presbyterian
  • Live streamed worship & the celebration of the Lord’s Supper. Worship will be available on Facebook, YouTube and our Website beginning at 5 p.m. Click Here
Wood River, IL – LoveJoy United Presbyterian
  • Carol Sing at 7pm with service at 8pm – Click Here
The Christmas Eve Text, 
Isaiah 9:2-7, Comes Alive
This brief video creatively offers a relevant reading of Isaiah, while also bringing the Light to our current darkness. 

(Produced by Light for the Darkness: Learn more here.)
Please watch here and
share this Light. 
Creative Advent Experience
During a Pandemic
Oak Hill set up a Community Advent Calendar this year. We invited church members to contribute a painting (that they made safely at their own home) to be one of 24 pieces, one for every day in Advent. Then a small group gathered (masked and distanced) in person to wrap each bit of art and to post them to our outdoor art wall. Each day this month, someone from the Oak Hill Community stops by and makes a short video as they unwrap the day’s art work. We’ve seen and heard from neighbors to walk, ride, and roll by and check out the art each day. It’s been a super fun and pandemic safe way to create something together and share our Christmas joy with our neighborhood.
Follow this Advent experience here:
Red Cross Blood Drive
First United Presbyterian - Collinsville
Mon., Dec. 28 | Noon - 5:00 pm
All donors must schedule an appointment. Walk-ins will not be accepted. All donors must wear a mask and will have their temperatures taken before entering the building. These measures are being taken to limit the number of people in the building during the drive and provide adequate social distancing.
To make an appointment you can:
Call the Red Cross at 1-800-RED CROS (1-800-733-2767)
Call Warren Carter at 618-344-0730. Please donate if you are able. Please share with family and friends. There is always a need for blood. Your donation is greatly appreciated. Located at 201 E Church St., Collinsville, IL
A Christmas Celebration From Peru On Zoom
January 6, 2021 at 5 pm (CST)
For many of us in the United States, the Christmas season culminates on December 25th.In other parts of the world, like in Peru, the Christmas celebration is only just beginning and then comes to completion on January 6th, Epiphany, when the 3 Kings arrive to the manger. 
This day, known as the Bajada de Reyes, is often celebrated with music, small gifts for children, and a chocolatada! What is a chocolatada? As you might discern from the word, it involves chocolate - namely, hot chocolate!  Our partners in Peru want to celebrate it with us! 
Join us on January 6 at 6pm Peru time (6pm EST/5pm CST in the USA)) to celebrate the arrival of the 3 Kings. We will hear pre-recorded messages and music from partners in Cusco, and San Martin. We will also be joined by Pastor Pedro Pablo Garcia of the House of God Presbyterian Church in Lima. Pastor Pedro has been instrumental in orchestrating dozens of community kitchens in the more impoverished areas of Lima throughout the pandemic and will tell us how Christ has been born into the world again in Peru and how we can honor him from afar with the gifts we have to share. Our mission co-workers in Peru will be hosting the event and translating as needed. 
This event is being organized by the Peru Mission Network and our Mission Co-Workers in Peru, Jed Koball and Chenoa Stock who will send out a Zoom link soon.
Well see you then! And, don’t forget to bring your Hot Chocolate!!! 
Tips to Care for God's Wondrous Creation
Have an Eco-Friendly Holiday!
Celebrate an Eco-Friendly Holiday: Enjoy the spirit of the season safely with small groups (outside if possible), reaching out to those in need, and respecting the health of God's good earth! And mask up when outside your home!
TIPS is brought to you by the Earth Care Team of presbytery, composed of representatives of the nine certified Earth Care Congregations of the PC(USA) in our presbytery. Contact: or 314-941-9378.
Phishing is about...
If you have recently received an email requesting a gift card, credit card information or any other financial request from the Presbytery office or a Pastor within our Presbytery-someone is Phishing. No one, either in our office or our member churches, will ever solicit funds in this manner. Please notify any party, by phone, if you receive any suspicious email or text message.
What is Phishing?....a scam by which an Internet user is duped (as by a deceptive e-mail message) into revealing personal or confidential information which the scammer can use illicitly
How to recognize and avoid it? Scammers use email or text messages to trick you into giving them your personal information. But there are several things you can do to protect yourself. Click Here
Self-Care & Health Care
COVID19 & Seasonal Flu Shouldn't Mix
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
Heritage Preservation Grants
To assist congregations with the preservation of church history, the Presbyterian Historical Society awards annual Heritage Preservation Grants to PC(USA) congregations, covering up to $500 of the cost to digitize official church records. Qualifying congregations must be at least 50 years old.
For 2020, applications are due on December 15. Grants must be used within a two-year time period. You might want to share this with your congregations, especially older and smaller churches. Learn how to apply.
Hunger Action Grants Available
The COVID 19 pandemic has created an unprecedented loss of jobs and hardship on families within the geographical boundary of the presbytery. Food pantries connected to our presbytery and PCUSA congregations are reporting a much higher demand than usual. As we enter the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons, the presbytery is making available Hunger Program grants to hunger programs connected to our congregations or those programs that partner with the presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
Security Grant Program Application Support
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a program called the Nonprofit Security Grant Program (NSGP) to help nonprofits and faith-based organizations prevent, protect against, respond to, and recover from terrorist attacks.
Here are several examples of projects the NSGP funds: Surveillance equipment; Physical protective measures such as fences, blast-proof windows, and concrete barriers; Active Shooter Training; Security Training for employees, or members/congregation
PDA is here to assist in the 2021 application, which is always a difficult, complicated and time-bound process. If you are interested in learning more, please let PDA know by November 30, by contacting David L. Myers, Senior Advisor at or by calling 502-200-4878.
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
Wisdom of Incarnation
Embodied Practices for Health
Registration Required by January 10
The Presbytery of the Cascades invites all PCUSA Pastors and Chaplains to a Continuing Education Mental Health Practicum, January – June, 2021.
Opening Retreat: January 24th, 1pm through January 25th, 3pm.
  • Followed by monthly, one day Retreats — February to June, 8-4pm, days to be determined by participants.
  • Cost: up to $150 for supplies (list to follow upon registration. you may already have some).
  • In between retreats, there will be optional opportunities for small group check-in, spiritual direction and embodied practice.
  • Please invite other clergy friends/minister colleagues in other Presbyterian/Denominations
  • Sign up by January 10th
Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches (CTS)
The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will present a Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches workshop which is scheduled for Saturday, January 16, 2021. With all the hustle and bustle of the holiday season, that date will be upon us before we know it. If you have colleagues who you believe might benefit from this training, would you please remind them that the discount deadline for this event is Dec. 31, 2020 (barely three weeks away).  If someone whom you refer eventually registers for any session of CTS — Jan. 16, Feb. 13, March 22, or April 10 — then we would like to thank you by allowing you to register free of charge for The Language We Use, a 90-minute webinar on the morning of December 16.  Learn more here
APCE 2021
Registration is open for the virtual event hosted by the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators, to be held February 4–6. Explore “Anything But Ordinary Time” with APCE, from the comfort of your own home.
Lux Summer Theological Institute
for Youth
A New Earth: Thinking Theologically about Environmental Justice
June 13-27, 2021 
What does it mean to care for creation? Are Christians called to respond to climate change? Is it possible to LIVE SUSTAINABLY for the benefit of future generations? Theologically curious high school students are invited to apply before January 1, 2021 for the 2021 Lux Summer Theological Institute. Safety permitting, the program will be held in-person at Presbyterian-related Monmouth College (Monmouth, IL)
Funded by the Lilly Endowment, the Lux Institute is an opportunity for students to engage with a topic of global importance and participate in a living-learning community through study, worship, service, recreation, and vocational exploration.
Scholarships are available to cover all program expenses for the two-week program, with the exception of travel. A free shuttle to/from Chicago airports is provided.
For more information:
Becoming Matthew 25
--- --- ---
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