January / 26/ 2021
God Is There
“God continues to show up in miraculous ways in my life through provision and people”
Our Presbytery - Our Work
Weekly Prayer Basket

  • Please pray for...for those receiving vaccinations for COVID19, as our nation works for herd immunity.
  • Please pray for...those battling COVID19 at home and in the hospital
  • Please pray for...for those dealing with loss of a family or friend, and those who are in hospice settings and preparing for their return home.
  • Please pray, unexpected and troubling health diagnoses. For hope, for healing and for peace in a new and challenging journey
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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., Jan. 27
12pm-Honorably Retired
Pastors Click Here
6pm-Clerks of Session Click Here

Thur., Jan. 28
9:30am History Team Click Here
Mon., Feb. 1
6pm DRAP Click Here
Presbytery Stated Gathering
Thursday, February 4
Meeting will be on Zoom
(No Need to Register)
If you are calling into the meeting, please dial 312-626-6799, Enter meeting ID:
826 9432 2882

Featuring Rev. Dr. Damayanthi Niles
A frequent lecturer, Dr. Niles, Professor of Constructive Theology at Eden University, has expertise in Asian theology and missiology. Her areas of interest and teaching include constructive theology, inter-faith, comparative theology, theology and power, contextual theology with a particular interest in Asia, language of theology in a landscape of conflict and violence, using aesthetics in the teaching of theology. She has also served as the research associate of the Christianity in Asia Project at the Centre for Advanced Religious and Theological Studies at Cambridge University, United Kingdom.
Please watch the prepared video and download the support outline (both below) Email your follow up question to:
Zoom Training Session
Wed., Feb. 3 | 6pm
(No Need to Register)
If you are calling into the meeting, please dial 312-626-6799
Enter meeting ID: 810 9884 7294
Note that Zoom has updated their program. If you have not yet updated the software on your device, it is now time to do so. If you have questions, or don't know how to update your software please let us know, in reply to this email.
Tech Grant Testimony
First Presbyterian Church
Jerrysville, Illinois
Common Wisdom holds that every cloud has a silver lining, right? It cannot be denied that our church was not keeping pace with the world’s technology. We were lacking a virtual presence in practically every aspect of our church’s ministry. The miseries and challenges presented our church in the form of a pandemic certainly lit that fire of remediation. We were so grateful to have not only the technical resources the Presbytery provided us- practically on a weekly basis- but also the needed grant money to put these resources into action. With our grant we were able to buy two YETI microphones which enabled us to transmit a clear, in-time virtual church service. As the rate of contagion ebbed and flowed and our sanctuary closed, then opened, then closed, the mics allowed participation from a home or in church, and sometimes from both places. When we found that we were severely hampered in our ability to process electronic giving due to a decade’s old computer, we were able to replace that machine and give people a way to contribute without coming to church. Throughout all of this, we were able to stay connected with our entire church membership in an interactive way. Being able to say hello to each other was just so wonderful. An unexpected bonus was that we were able to invite old friends, former members, and relatives who live out of town to join us in worship. Church family reunion! We still have things to accomplish but with increased confidence in our technological expertise, we will surely continue these many needed and beneficial upgrades.

 Submitted by Christine Bear
We welcome you, if you have not explored virtual worship, to see what is possible and what you might need. Click Here
News & Activities
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.
Tips for Caring for God's Unbelievable Creation: 
Drive more slowly!
Lowering your average driving speed can lower gasoline cost, reduce air pollution and global warming, and contribute to safety for you and your family on the road. And of course, make plans for getting an electric car if you don't have one already!
"TIPS" is brought to you by the Earth Care Team of presbytery, composed of members from 9 Presbyterian-certified Earth Care Congregations. To learn how to become an Earth Care Congregation, contact: or 314-941-9378.
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
Church Property Issues Survey
A message from Research Services
Does your congregation own a cemetery? Changing state laws concerning the management, selling, and deeding of cemeteries raise questions for congregations and presbyteries as congregations merge or sell property.
What was the pre-Covid occupancy rate of worship space: the total seating capacity of worship space and the average pre-Covid attendance (2019 average attendance)?
Does the church have rental income? From whom?
These questions are raised by Presbyterian Foundation staff and others who study property issues for the PC(USA). Depending on the response to some questions, the survey has a maximum of seven (7) questions along with the congregation’s name and presbytery. Here is the link to pass along to your congregations. Please contact us with your questions or technical issues about this survey; it will close February 1.
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.
We live in turbulent times. Every day we see and hear about violence directed at individuals or groups because of their religious beliefs, political views or social justice initiatives.
As the inauguration of a new president occurs tomorrow, threats have been made on the capitol and on government buildings all over the country. Our history tells us that houses of worship should also take particular care for security in these days.
We know of no specific threats against churches in the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy and we do not want to alarm or overreact. However, we do encourage you to be vigilant in caring for the well-being of your congregants, ministers and facilities.
We encourage all our churches to make sure you have a safety plan in place. The federal Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency offers some helpful resources including the following:
And if your congregation is meeting in person for worship, please ensure that someone is monitoring all entrances and exits.
Gracious God, we pray for non-violence during this time and for the safety of all your children now and forevermore. Amen.
New Year = Reports Are Due
The Start of the Year Checklist provides congregational leaders reminders and guidance of annual reporting requirements to the presbytery, IRS, and Board of Pensions.
Included in the toolkit is the attached Benefits Connect Employer Guide. This document walks treasurers/ administrators through the steps of reporting changes in employment and salary. The employer representative for your council of the church may find it useful.
FREE to a Church in Need
St. Mark Presbyterian Church recently did some technology updates and has a few 2 GHz Cisco wireless access points it no longer needs. They are free to a good home. Please contact Pastor Dave Burgess at if you are interested.
Scam Alert !!!
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 yourselfClick 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. (Learn More Here)
Education & Training Opportunities
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.
Have you Considered Attending Workshops
You can learn new ideas and generative practices by participating in a workshop. EBW events are crafted with adults in mind, focusing on active, experiential modes of learning and on content that is relevant to the changing landscape of ministry.
Click Here to learn what workshops are available.
Virtual Clergy Self-Care Retreat
Sat., Jan 30 | 11:00 AM - 1:00 PM
This virtual retreat geared towards clergy and ministry care-givers will offer self-care practices attendees can embody in their personal lives. Tips for self-care techniques will be modeled to assist participants with building their own care regimen. Time and space will also be provided to discover encouragement amongst peers as well as experience rejuvenation within a supportive community of care-givers and care-seekers. The two-hour virtual retreat will include various elements, including presentations from the leaders on spiritual practice, small group work and large group discussion and sharing, as well as grounding exercises incorporating basic yoga techniques and the arts.
Click Here for Information
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