Dear Presbytery Family,

Many people are feeling a sense of loss and grief over changes in the worship and fellowship life of our churches. While much of the change is temporary, it is nevertheless real and significant. It has caused disagreements among friends about the best ways to promote people’s health, wellness and spiritual well being. 
 
Our hope is that we will not let our grief and disagreements divide us. The church has a long history of trusting God to keep us unified in Christ even when circumstances seek to separate and divide us. So, this is a word about staying connected as a community of faith. As the apostle Paul imagined it, we are joined together in the same way that parts of a body are joined together:

The eye cannot say to the hand, “I have no need of you,” nor again the head to the feet, “I have no need of you.” . . . that there may be no dissension within the body, but the members may have the same care for one another. If one member suffers, all suffer together with it; if one member is honored, all rejoice together with it. 
(1 Corinthians 12:21-26)

Simple suggestions for staying connected and caring for one another:

  • Use the telephone. At one of our smaller churches, a “saint in the church” has taken this on as a ministry to telephone people on a regular basis. At others there are multiple shepherds identified to reach out on a regular basis to check on the needs of members of the church family. Each congregation finds new, and old, ways to “tend the flock.” Reaching out with the phone is a valuable way to stay connected.
 
  • As we are reminded to check on people, we are also reminded to check on and maintain buildings that are used less frequently. For example, it benefits everyone to prevent the problem of mold growing in unattended buildings.

  • With Tropical Storm Eta affecting Floridians this past week, we celebrate being connected through the church’s Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program. Service teams can form to help neighbors in need and those suffering damages can get assistance. Please call the presbytery office if you need help. And click here for general information about PDA resources. https://pda.pcusa.org/page/midcouncil-epda/

  • Strengthening connections is part of the annual Session Clerk Workshop, led by Sandra Hedrick and Ed Kelly. Zoom sessions are scheduled on the evening of November 16, or the morning of November 21. Click here for the flyer and registration links. Please register by Sunday, November 15.

  • We also strengthen connections whenever we support our Montgomery Center. Have you ordered Thanksgiving pies (and coffee) to support their fundraiser yet (supporting upgrades to the dining room service)? The deadline is Monday, November 16, and the order form can be accessed here.
Remember that you can visit our Prayer and Devotions page to request prayers for you, your church family, and your community. That same page provides access to daily lectionary readings.

In writing to believers in Ephesus, Paul continued to emphasize our unity in Christ:

I therefore, the prisoner in the Lord, beg you to lead a life worthy of the calling to which you have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love, making every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to the one hope of your calling, one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, who is above all and through all and in all.
(Ephesians 4:1-6)

Diane Wilson, Chair of Coordinating Council
Edd Norris, Moderator of the Presbytery
Sandra Hedrick, Stated Clerk
Chris Lieberman, Relationship Coordination Director
On Behalf of the Coordinating Council
Previous Staying Connected emails are available on our website.