January / 19/ 2021
Letter from a Birmingham Jail
But since I feel that you are men of genuine good will and that your
criticisms are sincerely set forth, I want to try to answer your statement in what I hope will be patient and reasonable terms.
Our Presbytery - Our Work
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.
Weekly Prayer Basket

  • Please pray for...for peace for our country as we transition in leadership
  • 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
Quick Connect
Support Ministry
Help Wanted
Parish Paper

Celebrating Rev. Dr. Craig M Howard
Join Us.....

Friday, January 22 at 5 p.m.

on Zoom to celebrate Rev. Dr. Craig M Howard who faithfully served our Presbytery for four years. We are sad to see him leave us, but excited to see him staying in the area and at the Presbyterian Foundation.
(No Registration is required)
If you are calling into the meeting, please dial 312-626-6799, and enter meeting ID: 868 8428 5693. To send well wishes to Craig click here
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
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

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
Presbyterian Church of Washington
Various Members of our Church
contributed these testimonials:

 “The live streaming of our church service has given my mom and me the connection we need during the isolation imposed by COVID. We look forward to seeing our church family every Sunday!” - Debrorah Bandy and her mother Laura Evans are both members of the Presbyterian Church of Washington

“We love being able to worship on line. We are in our 80's and I have M.S. We are not allowed in crowds of any sort. Our daughter in Chicago worships with us online at the same time giving us some closeness for the family. At this time, we have no choice but to stay home and the church services are a breath of fresh air.” - Sam and Mary Eleanor Farrell, members of the Presbyterian Church of Washington

“We have really enjoyed live-streaming our church service! My husband and I are both at risk for contracting COVID as he is in his 80’s with a heart condition and I have autoimmune illnesses. We are able to watch our church service from the safety of our home through YouTube and see our much-loved Pastor, hear his sermons, hear the special music, and see our church family. This experience is as close as we could get to actually being there. We are very grateful! This helps us feel spiritually filled to get through the week.” - Pamela and Roland Schwarzen, members of PCW
“We are very grateful that the PCW is now live streaming their sunday services. My husband has advanced MS and I am his carer. All of my husband’s doctors have suggested that both my husband and I distance ourselves socialy as much as possible. We especially enjoy the services now that they are live as it makes us feel even more connected to our church family.” – Pamela and Bill Kellerman – members of PCW
We asked a few members about their Live-Streaming experience and the above comments were submitted. I would also like to add mine as well. I worked on these grants and the Live-Streaming because God asked me to do this. When I didn’t want to learn the sound board, I still volunteered to do so and then also volunteered to figure out how video recording of services might work - by volunteering to bring in some simple camera equipment that I had recently purchased without knowing how to use it or what I was going to do with it. This was in September / October of 2019. At that time, we were struggling with sound, broadcasting to MediaShout for Church visuals and updating social media for Church information. I’m not particularly smart but asked a lot of questions and acquired relationships with others in the congregation, the community, and on the Internet that are smart. In March 2020, when we had to suspend live worship – we developed a temporary solution and a plan for a longer-term solution using my computer and camera equipment. We only missed one Church service during the 2020 year. Yes, this was God’s intervention in my life, but also His intervention in yours - in developing and funding the Innovation and Technology Grants that we received in 2020. These grants allowed us to fulfill God’s mission in our Church. We are still struggling and need to continue to work to move forward, but we are progressing through the generosity, time and talents of many members of our Church family who have found new callings in their lives as well.
 Submitted by Jolene Patterson
We welcome you, if you have not explored virtual worship, to see what is possible and what you might need. Click Here
News & Activities
Thurs., Jan. 21 | 7pm
Join a Zoom meeting showing Al Gore's "An Inconvenient Sequel" on Jan.21 at 7PM with a brief discussion following. The film follows Al Gore around the world to educate and inspire the next generation of climate champions. While the stakes are high as the atmosphere gets warmer and warmer, the solutions to the climate crisis are still within our reach. Register for Zoom link at: and receive the link by email.
Eco Video Nites are sponsored by the Ferguson Eco Team and partially supported by members of Presbyterian Churches in the area. Contact: or 314-941-9378.
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.
Franklin County United Virtual Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr Celebration
Register to attend! - Click here:
Our speaker this year is Ms. Mettazee Morris. Ms. Morris is an international storyteller, musician, and Social Worker. Ms. Morris will be telling the family history of Father Augustus Tolton, from the perspective of Fr. Tolton's mother, Martha Jane Chisley Tolton. Mettazee will sing Negro spirituals throughout her presentation. During the presentation, we will have opportunities to break into small groups to discuss, as well as question and answer sessions with Ms. Morris. Other music will be provided by Karen Stafford
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.
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.
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