Dear Presbytery Family,

As we as we approach our national election we join with you in prayer:

Under your law we live, great God,
and by your will we govern ourselves.
Help us as good citizens
to respect neighbors whose views differ from ours,
so that without partisan anger,
we may work out issues that divide us,
and elect candidates to serve the common welfare;
through Jesus Christ the Lord. Amen.
(Book of Common Worship, p. 628)

This week we want to highlight some of the ways we can stay connected as a community of faith:

  • On Sunday, November 8th, pastors and congregations may want to consider having a service of healing and wholeness following the election (no matter how it turns out) as an opportunity to begin healing divisions. The Book of Common Worship, beginning on page 729, has a suggested Order of Worship, prayers that can used or adapted, and possible scriptures.
  • Montgomery Presbyterian Conference Center’s Holiday Pie, Cake and Coffee Fundraiser is underway. The challenge this year is for each congregation to sell at least 10 gourmet pies/cakes or packages of coffee. Click here for information.
  • The annual Session Clerk Workshop, led by Sandra Hedrick and Ed Kelly, will be held via Zoom on Monday evening, November 16 or Saturday morning of November 21. Click here for the flyer and registration links.
  • One example of how the presbytery is living into Matthew 25’s invitation to see, know, and express God’s love for people in need, is taking root and flourishing in the Highlands Regional Ministry Center. Did you know the newly-launched Gainesville Counseling Center provided 420 counselling sessions in October? Or, that the Days for Girls ministry has been expanding at HRMC? Or, that HRMC is providing space for support groups, community meetings, a place for worship, and so much more? Click here to ready Matthew 25 Moments – stories from our participating churches. A highlight this week is a new story featuring Memorial and Middleburg outreach programs. Click here for a short (2 minute) video about the Matthew 25 vision and invitation.
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.

We also wanted to share a devotional prayer by Peter Marshall that Patti Phillips offered at our Coordinating Council meeting.
Father, I ask Thee to take from me now all that does harass and annoy, all that has laid upon my heart burdens of anxiety and care. I thank Thee for the stillness of this time of prayer — this oasis in my busy day when I can relax before Thee, lay my burdens down, and hand over to Thee all my anxieties.
At this moment, I open my heart to receive Thy blessing, knowing that in Thy presence
the furrows are being smoothed from my brow,
the lines from my face,
the load from my heart,
the doubts from my mind,
the fears from my soul,
that I am at peace.
And now, I thank Thee, not only for quietness without, but for Thy quietness at the heart of the universe and for quietness within. In Thy peace, I pray. Amen.

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