Salem Matters News of What Matters This Week
in Salem Presbytery
January 18, 2023 | Volume IX, Number 3
Danbury Community Church
Pittsboro Presbyterian
Grace Presbyterian - Winston-Salem
Bethel Presbyterian - McLeansville
“No branch can bear fruit by itself”     
~John 15:4
Save the Date
February 2, 2023
Who:  Teaching Elders of churches with installed ministries
What:  Call to Conversation on innovative ideas being pursued by churches in Salem Presbytery, resources to help, and how we can walk alongside our struggling churches
When:  11:00-1:00, lunch will be provided! LUNCH RSVP NEEDED BY JANUARY 29TH
Where*: Fellowship Presbyterian Church (Greensboro) and on ZOOM. See below for Zoom link.
In the deep of winter, come enjoy the warmth of fellowship with your colleagues and begin reconnecting and sharing lessons learned as we prepare to lead the beloved into a new
Chapter of Kin-dom life in Salem Presbytery.  
*In person attendance is highly encouraged. A Forbes Insight  study shows 85% of people say they  build stronger, more meaningful  and effective relationships during in-person meetings. We do understand and respect  that this is cold/flu season so  please know we’d still rather see you on ZOOM than not at all!
Salem Mission Trip

A group of mission volunteers from Salem congregations are going to Fort Myers, Florida to do disaster assistance work following the destructive damage inflicted by Hurricane Ian in October. They will leave January 23rd and return January 28th. The focus for the trip is to clean out flooded homes getting them ready for reconstruction. The Team will serve alongside Inspiritus, a Luthern disaster assistance agency and will be housed at Anthem Church in the city. Area congregations will provide meals. An earlier group from Salem congregations went down in November.
Mission History

A new book entitled  Just Say Yes!  has recently been published by author Charles Newsome, an elder in Thyatira Presbyterian Church of Salisbury, NC. The book recalls the congregation's leadership in the reestablishment of the Mwandi Mission Hospital in Zambia, Africa. The effort was initiated in 1989 following a Sunday School class discussion about how they might be called to mission. Following much discussion and prayer, a visit to the devastated hospital, the guaging of interest among other congregations and with the guidance of the Medical Benevolence Foundation, the church decided to embark on the Mwandi mission project. Twenty-one other congregations in the area joined Thyatira in the effort. 

Over a ten year period, the hospital was rebuilt, medical staff was employed, new buildings were built, electric service was installed, medical equipment was purchased, educational programs were developed and patient care was greatly expanded. A mission collection and distribution center was established at Thyatira to support the effort. Over the years, the congregation has expanded the Mwandi mission and recruited over 100 additional congregations across the United States to support that hospital and to develop additional hospitals in other countries. 

The book contains many heart warming stories of individuals and congregations who have answered their call to service with a resounding "Yes!" For additional information contact the author at
Per Capita Sunday

On the Per Capita Sunday website, you’ll find all kinds of resources:
  • The Lectionary Reading for the day;
  • Per Capita Sunday Liturgy including Spanish and Korean translations;
  • Per Capita Hymn - "Together We Are Joined;"
  • Videos of Per Capita Sunday Minutes For Mission; and 
  • A wonderful story, “Understanding Per Capita,” written by Rev. Dr. Timothy Hart-Andersen, Senior Pastor/Head of Staff at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Minneapolis, MN. In his story, Tim writes, “Without per capita payments that provide the funding for presbytery, synod and General Assembly, the support needed in a crisis by the congregation I now serve, would not have been there.” The story also has Spanish and Korean translations.
First Presbyterian Salisbury - Lewis Preaching Series

Please plan to join us on Sunday, February 5, for our 2023 Lewis Preaching Series. The Rev. Dr. Scott Black Johnston, senior pastor at Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church, New York, NY, will be our speaker for Sunday School, unified worship, and a dinner presentation.

Here are a few words from Scott to describe this year’s event: “Fight like Jesus? Most people seeking a few pointers for an upcoming boxing match probably wouldn’t turn to our Lord. Jesus excels at many things. Mixed Martial Arts is not one of them. On the other hand, Jesus does talk about conflict. Jesus tells story after story about family members who are at odds with each other. He acknowledges that forgiveness is hard for us. He also reminds his followers that anger can eat holes in a person’s heart. When preaching, Jesus regularly challenges people to treat their neighbors with respect, and yes, he goes way out on a limb and commands that we love and pray for our enemies. What do you say? Got conflict in your life? Need a few pointers? Feeling uncertain about whether you even want to walk down a path that could lead to reconciliation? Well, friends, then this year’s Lewis Preaching Series is for you. Come to First Pres on Sunday, February 5, and learn…to fight like Jesus!”
The Rev. Dr. Randy Harris to preach on ‘Day 1’
Pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C.  
The Rev. Dr. Randy Harris, pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church in Winston-Salem, N.C., is the featured preacher February 12 on “Day 1” with host Peter Wallace, the nationally broadcast ecumenical radio program also accessible online at and by podcast. 

His sermon “Fully Human” draws from Matthew 5:21-37, the portion of the Sermon on the Mount in which Jesus’s comments seem to make portions of the Torah even more demanding. “Let’s be honest. We really wish he had said something different,” Harris says. “But that’s not what he does. Jesus sets a high bar here for sake of life together.”

Before going to Winston-Salem in 2008, Harris served congregations in Pickens, S.C., and Columbus, Ga. A graduate of Hampden-Sydney College in Farmville, Va., he earned his M.Div. and Th.M. degrees from Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Va., and a D.Min. from Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. He was the book review editor of “Presbyterian Outlook” and has published homiletical essays in “Feasting on the Word,” Feasting on the Gospels,” and “Interpretation: A Journal of Bible and Theology.” He serves as an adjunct professor at Wake Forest University School of Divinity. 

The program includes interviews with Harris conducted by Wallace, who is also executive producer. 

“Day 1” has been broadcast every week for 78 years, formerly as “The Protestant Hour.” Featuring outstanding preachers from the mainline denominations, “Day 1” is currently distributed to 200 radio stations across America and overseas, and the “Day1 Weekly Program” is on all podcast apps. The program is produced by the Alliance for Christian Media, based in Atlanta, Ga. "Day 1"® is registered in the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office by the Alliance for Christian Media, Inc. For more information, check the program’s website,
Save the Date - Sunday, January 29, 2023

Please mark your calendar for a special upcoming event at Guilford Park Presbyterian Church in Greensboro. On Sunday, January 29 at 4:00 p.m. in the Sanctuary, we will hold “A Service of Inspiration Honoring the Words of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.”  The service will include our reading of “A Call for Unity,” the April 12,1963 letter written by eight Alabama clergymen directed to leaders of America’s growing civil rights movement (including Dr. King), and Dr. King’s April 16, 1963 response now known as the “Letter From Birmingham Jail.” Our reading and reflection upon these significant and inspiring words will include prayer and music. Please plan to attend, and please encourage your family, friends, and neighbors to come with you. Childcare will be provided. 

Jesus instructed and still instructs his disciples to seek justice for the oppressed and downtrodden, even when those efforts might be unpopular and face resistance. May this upcoming celebration of Dr. King and his words inspire us to love God with all our hearts and to better love our neighbors as ourselves.

People can RSVP on Facebook by clicking here.
Job Opening - First Presbyterian Salisbury

First Presbyterian Church of Salisbury is advertising for the position of Christian Formation and Discipleship. For a full Job Description and Information, click HERE.
Installation at Lexington First!

The presbytery is invited to celebrate the upcoming installation of Rev. Jon Martin as pastor of First Presbyterian in Lexington. The service of installation will take place on Sunday, January 22, 2023 at 4:00 pm. Snow day is January 29th.
COVID Update

People who haven't had COVID will likely catch XBB.1.5 – and many will get reinfected, experts say new COVID variant XBB.1.5 is very contagious, meaning everyone is at risk for infection even if you've already had COVID. Here's what that means.

Upcoming Ordination Anniversaries!

Please Pass along congratulations to the following who are celebrating anniversaries of their ordinations:

Parish Matters
Parish A Update, QUIZ & Prizes

Congregations are continuing to do amazing ministry in this remarkable time in history. Parish A will indeed hold its normal 3rd Tuesday Zoom call at noon (contact Evan for info), and monthly gatherings third Thursdays at Shiloh Presbyterian’s Scout Shelter at 11:30am near 2638 Grand Oaks Blvd, Burlington NC 27215 (anyone from Parish A Congregations is invited!). Bring your own lunch. 

Parish A values those of you who read every article in Salem Matters and especially those who read about our beloved band of congregations in Parish A. Therefore we seek to “show the love” by offering at least one more playful quiz, which –if you play your cards right—can earn up to $100 dollars. Remember, people’s motivation to read Salem Matters may have nothing to do with $100. Many simply appreciate weekly edification on new ways that congregations in our presbytery work together to bless each other in our common service to Christ, drawing from a common, treasured, Reformed heritage. Note, if this quiz goes well, it may be our last one offering a monetary participate boldly and share the good news widely (about Jesus or this Quiz...both have great rewards)!

Last Time’s Quiz: David Vaughan won ¾ of the prizes with his ¾ correct answer! Congratulations, David, your check for $15 will come to you Presbyterianly (an ancient adverb which means decently, orderly and in God’s good time according to God’s own will and sovereign, loving providence). 

“The church’s founding came less than fifteen years after the first white settlers took up land along Hogan and Horsley’s Creeks in what was then Orange County. The congregation is 12 years older than Caswell County, 11 years older than the first NC Constitution, and began its existence while its membership still paid allegiance to the British King.” BETHESDA

  2. This church, organized in 1753, recently finished remodeling their sanctuary “from the dirt up,” with new joists, subfloor, and flooring—just in time for Advent!  GRIERS
  3. This church, located in Yanceyville where 86 hits 158, helped support the Caswell County Parish, which helps meet the emergency needs of neighbors in the county that far exceed what any one church could do alone. PLEASANT GROVE

Click here for Parish A’s Quiz worth up to $100, submissions due by this Sunday, 1/22/23. 

Answer by Sunday, 1/22/23 – Winner will receive choice of free coffee with Evan or $15 check plus any valid bonus dollars. (Winner will receive bonus dollar for every other unique correct entry submitted by the deadline from someone in their congregation …limit 85 extra bonus dollars). 
Prayer Matters
January Prayers for:
 Budget and Finance Committee
Campus Ministry Leadership
Please Hold the Following in Your Prayers
  • Elder Parks Williams, recovering from surgery.
  • CRE Kevin Dodd, recovering from surgery on January 17th.
  • Rev. Will Heyward, whose mother-in-law, Marietta Breidenthal, passed away on Sunday, January 8, 2023. She was a member of Springwood Presbyterian in Whitsett.
  • Rev. Travis Milam, whose mother Kay passed away peacefully on January 10, 2023.

We will list these prayer requests for two weeks unless we are notified that they are to be continued. You may submit prayer requests through the link below.

PCUSA Matters
Board of Pensions Call to Health
Click the link below to join the Board of Pensions Call to Health.

PCUSA News and Announcements
Click below for the latest news and announcements from the PCUSA.