Dear Friends in Christ:
The past month has been full of previously unimaginable changes. For each of us, routines, relationships, work, healthcare, hobbies (the list goes on and on) have all undergone rapid and unprecedented transformations. Of course, this also includes how we do church.

It still feels so strange to not be gathering on Sunday mornings or Wednesday evenings or for Bible studies or choir practice or service outings or any of the other activities that normally bring us together each week. Even knowing that all of this is ultimately temporary does little to ease the sting.  And yet what has been equally remarkable and moving for me in these days is to witness the myriad ways that the love of Jesus Christ continues to be spread through the people and ministry of St. Simons Presbyterian Church.

So many of you are stepping up and reaching out to serve and care for others in big ways and small. It is not only inspiring but also a testament to the fact that though the earth may shake and the mountains may tremble, the steadfast love of our God  never  changes. Listed below are just some of the ways our congregation is continuing to be the hands and feet of Christ in this challenging time. You will also find some useful updates regarding the ongoing ministry of the church.

Please do not hesitate to contact any of the pastors, staff, or officers of the church if you have questions or are in need of any kind of assistance. May God bless and keep you all in this Eastertide as together we seek to live into the light of the resurrection.


Rev. Alan Dyer

  • Since March, the Deacon’s Fund has distributed over $8,000 in direct assistance to individuals in need as well as to support organizations serving the hungry in our community in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Deacon’s Fund stands ready to continue providing emergency assistance to anyone facing hardship in coming weeks/month. Feel free to direct others to the church or contact us yourself if you are in need. The church is here to help! Additionally, if you would like to contribute to the Deacon's Fund, feel free to contact Jeannine Torbert at the church (638-2220 x102).   

  • The Manna House and Hunger Action Teams are both adapting on the fly to continue serving individuals and children lacking adequate access to nutrition here in Glynn County. The Manna House team assembled and served several hundred brown bag lunches earlier this month, and the HAT safely gathered to pack over 120 boxes. HAT continues to work with principals and guidance counselors in the school system to identify and distribute to children and families in need.

  • The Congregational Care Ministry Team established a network of Neighborhood Care Coordinators in mid-March to regularly check-in by phone on other more vulnerable church members. In addition to phone calls, coordinators have run errands, picked up groceries, and done other tasks as needed.  

  • The children’s ministry began “Presby Pals,” a ministry aimed at pairing some of our younger and older saints of the church. Each week, children and adults are exchanging notes and words of encouragement with one another via USPS. 

  • Additionally, there are countless individual mission projects happening. One church member is sewing masks and donating them to anyone in need. Another member has started “Porch Art,” setting pieces of personal artwork on her porch each day for neighbors to enjoy as they walk. Still others are calling on church friends regularly and purchasing meals for strangers and dropping off treats at front doors “just because.”

  • Taken together, all of these things represent the hands and feet of Christ at work in the world! I think it is very possible that the church of Jesus Christ - both at SSPC and everywhere - will come out of this crisis not only stronger but also with greater clarity on the very reason we exist: to care for and serve others.

  • One of the first hurdles to jump through was shifting from in-person to online worship. While there is simply no substitute for worshipping in-person together, we have succeeded in trying to translate the best of our music and liturgy and preaching into a video format. We are particularly grateful to our communications director, Ada Owens, and to the worship planning team for helping to make this transition as smooth and meaningful as it has been.

  • In the coming weeks you will be able to see additional improvements as we seek to involve more voices and participation in each week's worship content.

  • This Sunday we will begin a timely sermon series about the early church – another group of people trying to follow Jesus in a period of upheaval – titled “Lessons from Acts: Being Church in the New Normal.”  

  • The church is working hard to stay connected in this time of physical distancing. This is happening in a variety of ways each week. For starters, various committees, Bible studies, Sunday school classes, and the church staff are all utilizing Zoom and other video conferencing platforms so that we can meet and interact virtually. These tools are not perfect but they do allow us to stay in touch in a more personal way.

  • In addition to continuing to send out newsletters, we also want to be sure that we are able to visually see each other’s faces. One way we want to do this is by sharing photos of what we are up to. You can participate any time by sending your pictures to We will take these pictures of what is going on in each other's lives and share them in our periodic weekly connections emails, newsletter, social media, and as part of our Sunday worship videos. 
Finances & Giving

  • The church is currently in a stable financial position with strong giving in January, February, and March. While pledges can continue to be mailed into the office, we are also encouraged by the fact that we have seen more pledged and non-pledged giving being made online through the church Web site.

  • Following the passage and signing into law of the CARES Act, the session met virtually and unanimously voted to approve applying for a Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Loan. We received notification earlier this week that the loan in the amount of $164,695 was approved. These monies are fully forgivable - effectively making it a grant - as long as the terms of the loan are adhered to. You can read more about the PPP by clicking here

  • Although the PPP loan will certainly assist with any potential shortfalls in giving in coming months, with an annual mission budget of approximately $1.12 million, the generosity of our members and friends remains the most vital piece to staying financially sound as we continue our ministry together.

  • The Sanctuary and Ashantilly renovation continues. RH Tyson, our renovation contractor, briefly halted work last week (April 6-10) following the shelter-at-home order from the governor. However, they have since changed course and decided to resume work on the project effective April 14. They plan to continue working so long as they deem it safe to do so.

  • The Building Committee - Tom Baltzell (chair), Karen Schmidt, and Matt Hodgdon - also continue to meet regularly by video with our architectural and contractor teams. They are also being assisted by church member and interior designer, Dee Davis, who is providing an expert interior design perspective.

  • An updated rendering showing final design decisions is currently being developed. This rendering along with a full update on the project from the Building Committee to the congregation will be shared in the near future.

  • Finally, the capital campaign continues to be very encouraged by the support it is receiving. In March, a new $100,000 pledge was received, which brings the total raised to approximately $4.1 million. The campaign goal needed to fully fund the building project stands at $4.5 million. The capital campaign committee remains available to talk to anyone interested in learning more about how they can support this transformative project in the life of our congregation.

  • Last but certainly not least, the dedicated staff and pastors of the church continue to work hard. Most staff have been working from home since late March; however, we continue to check-in regularly by phone and Zoom.

  • Each week, the staff are... planning worship, recording music and content, facilitating meetings/Bible studies/Christian Education by Zoom, paying bills and providing administration for ongoing ministry, planning for summer and fall ministry happenings, responding to pastoral care needs as they arise, and checking in on members and those in need.

  • Your prayers and kind words of encouragement are invaluable. Even though it looks (and sometimes feels) different than what we are used to, the ministry of St. Simons Presbyterian continues!