May 25, 2023

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Great Day at the Lake!

The 123rd Stated Presbytery Meeting


Over one hundred sixty (commissioners, youth, and children) of us gathered on the shores of Lake Greenwood at Camp Fellowship last Saturday, May 20th. The cloudy, misty morning gradually broke into sunshine as we worshiped, welcomed new pastors, celebrated retirement, accomplished the business of Presbytery, and enjoyed a cookout lunch together. It was such a beautiful day; many stayed to play and enjoy camp amenities.

Our own Presbytery Youth Council (PYC) led a powerful worship service centered on the theme of Pentecost. A processional of bright colors and music set the tone. The scripture for the service was from Isaiah 43 and Acts 2. The Acts passage was an antiphonal choral reading from the PCUSA Office of Theology and Worship.


PYC Co-Moderators Sophie deMaine (John Knox) and Eva Grow (Fourth) proclaimed the text with a sermon entitled, “What Happens Now?” They expressed gratitude for how the church has formed their faith and equipped them. They also challenged us to listen to the new ways God calls us to be the future church. We collected over $1,300 to kickstart a new scholarship program to support youth and adults from smaller churches participating in PYC and attending the Presbytery youth retreats. The 2023-2024 PYC (27 youth from 12 of our congregations) was commissioned during the service.


The Rev. Julie Schaaf (Nazareth), Council Chair, welcomed the Rev. Trish Gwinn (Grace Covenant) as our new Moderator for the Presbytery.  


The Committee on Ministry introduced and welcomed the Rev. Joe Hill (Pines Presbytery) to Foothills. We celebrated the ministry of the Rev. Jim Caprell and conferred upon him the status of Honorably Retired. We rejoiced over his ministry and marked the fulfillment of his calling. Jim has faithfully served in Foothills Presbytery since 1996.


Based on research conducted by the Work in Terms of Call Subcommittee, the Committee on Ministry recommended, and Presbytery approved, increases in the minimum terms of call for our installed pastors and Certified Christian Educators.  


The Rev. Ben Dorr (Westminster, Greenville), Chair of the Examinations Commission, presented four ministry leaders.

  • Elder Susan Oldman, who has previously served as a Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE), was approved to be commissioned from First Spartanburg’s Session to serve the Presbytery as a Pulpit Supply CRE.  
  • The Presbytery approved Elder Elliott Grow to be commissioned from Fourth Church to serve as a Commissioned Ruling Elder at Providence.
  • Mary Moore Driggers, a candidate certified and ready for a call under the care of the Foothills Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM), was examined and approved to be ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament and serve as the Associate Pastor at First Presbyterian Church in Peachtree City, Georgia.
  • Ally Pexa, a candidate certified and ready for a call under the care of the CPM in Seattle Presbytery, was examined and approved to be ordained as a Minister of the Word and Sacrament and serve as the Associate Pastor at First Church, Greer.


The Rev. Jackie Putnam, Chair of the Committee on Shared Mission and Ministry, highlighted the work of three of their ministry areas: Youth, Camp & Campus, Leadership Development, and Mission & Outreach. The worship leadership of PYC at Camp Fellowship evidenced the work of the Youth, Camp, and Campus team. They are also hosting an Enneagram Retreat for Educators, Youth Leaders, and Pastors in August.


The Leadership Development team, which explores ways to support leaders and partners with congregations to provide education, resources, and training, provided each congregation access to Amplify. This online streaming service provides quality videos and other educational materials. They are hosting several Mental Health First Aid workshops beginning in August.


Julie Schaff, Chair of the Coordinating Council, reported that Council had approved renewals of three-year contracts for Robin Morris, Associate Stated Clerk, and Pressley Cox, Associate for Shared Mission and Ministry.  


Moderator Trish Gwinn closed the meeting in prayer before we adjourned for a delicious cookout lunch provided by Camp Fellowship. Many stayed to play games, walk around the shore, and canoe on the lake after lunch.

Click HERE to see more photos

from the May 20 Presbytery Meeting.


Welcome Ally Pexa, Candidate Under Care of Seattle Presbytery.

Ally has been called to serve First Church, Greer as their Associate Pastor.

Congratulations to Elliot Grow, Commissioned to serve as Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE) at the Providence Church.

Congratulations to Mary Moore Driggers, Candidate Under Care of Foothills, who has been called to serve as Associate Pastor at First Church, Peachtree City, Georgia.

Please join us for an ELDER REFRESH Workshop!

Saturday, June 3

9:00 am - 12:30 pm

at Inman Presbyterian Church

26 S. Main Street, Inman 29349

The Rev. Dr. Tom Malone has offered to lead a workshop* for Elders (newly ordained and those who have previously served) at no charge. This event will focus on the four areas on which our Book of Order* requires each new officer to be examined:

1) Personal Faith,

2) Reformed Doctrines and Beliefs,

3) Presbyterian Polity

4) Duties of the Office of Elder or Deacon


*Having a copy of both the PC(USA) Book of Order and the PC(USA) Book of Confessions is a requirement for attendees. You can download free copies of these books at the PC(USA) Store:

* Please confirm how many participants you have from your church by emailing LeAnne White, [email protected]. *

A Path to Belonging: Overcoming Clergy Loneliness, by Mary Kay DuChene and Mark Sundby. Fortress Press, 2022. (253.2 DuChene)

Loneliness, or the feeling of being cut off from others, is an epidemic among people in America. While some may think that clergy have a strong built-in community, this is not often the case. According to leadership development consultants Mary Kay DuChene and Mark Sundby, clergy are as lonely as the general population.


DuChene and Sundby argue that clergy need to address their experience of loneliness—becoming more effective leaders and connecting with others around the topic. Using case studies they draw on both original research about loneliness among clergy across denominations and on years of experience working directly with clergy and congregations. The authors then offer tools and remedies for the path toward a healthy sense of contentment and belonging.


The book also explores what judicatory leaders, congregations, and friends and family of clergy can do to support clergy. By normalizing and reframing loneliness, DuChene and Sundby propose that clergy can also help the congregations they serve become social connectors in their communities.

“Our Synod highly recommends this must-have resource for clergy and those who equip and support them.” –Elona Street-Stewart, ruling elder, synod executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and co-moderator of the 224th General Assembly of the PC(U.S.A.)

—Adapted from publisher’s description

Review of 2022 Session Minutes

The time has come for the annual reading of session minutes. This year we are grateful that we offer four opportunities to gather and review minutes.

You may choose whichever option is better for you. 

  • June 5 at 6:00 pm at Pickens Church (Pickens)
  • June 15 at 6:00 pm at Central Church (Anderson)
  • June 20 at noon at Westminster (Greenville)
  •  June 27 at noon at First Church (Spartanburg)

If you are unable to attend one of these gatherings, you may drop off your 2022 Session Minutes at the Presbytery Office, 2242 Woodruff Road, Simpsonville. Or you may contact Robin Morris at the Presbytery Office to make other arrangements. (Email is [email protected] or telephone: 864.288.5774.)

 Please complete two forms that you will bring with your minutes to the review. (Click on the title of each form below to open the document)


1.   Clerk’s Session Minutes Review Form  


2.   Financial Review & Audit Form 


Thank you for your continued service to the church and for your faithful work as a Clerk. We look forward to seeing you at one of the regional gatherings where we can learn from each other as we complete the annual review of Session minutes.


Grace and Peace,

Representation & Review Committee Chair Fred Hyslop

Foothills Peer Ministry

Christian Educators Gathering

in June

Date TBD

Youth Leaders Roundtable

Thursday, June 1

12 noon

at Gather Greenville

Music Ministry Leaders 

Wednesday, June 14

at 9 am


CRE Cohort

Tuesday, August 8

12:30 pm

at the Presbytery office

Bring your lunch.

Validated Ministry

Pastor Gathering

Wednesday, August 16

11:30 am

at Westminster, Greenville

Prepare for May’s Mental Health Awareness Month—A message from PC(USA) Store

May marks Mental Health Awareness Month, a time to focus on our own and others’ emotional well-being. At PC(USA) Store you'll find resources that minister to both children and adults, equipping readers with information on identifying and accepting emotions, processing daily experiences, utilizing trauma-informed care, and other related topics. These resources can serve as valuable aids in ministering to congregants and act as proactive measures to demonstrate your congregation’s commitment to the mental well-being of all members, regardless of age. 

Learn more and browse books.

Resources we have found challenging & inspirational:

On Monday, June 19, a Juneteenth Celebration for the entire community will take place at the historic Mattoon Presbyterian Church located at 415 Hampton Avenue.

The theme of this year’s Juneteenth Celebration is: “When I Liberate Myself, I Help Liberate Others…” These words are taken from the Civil Rights champion, Freedom fighter and Womanist warrior Fannie Lou Hamer.

This family friendly event welcomes all to attend. Performances will include the rhythms of the African Drum Circle of Poe Mill Achievement Center (PMAC), gospel messaging and music from the Sounds of Destiny Choir of St. Mark’s United Methodist Church, freedom songs provided by TJ Edwards and Jazzy Trinity Band, verse from Upstate Spoken Word artists, and the sounds of Negro Spirituals, Minister Michael Frayer.

A bouncy house, face painting, a storyteller along with arts and crafts for children will also be available throughout the event. Food trucks will be available.

The day's celebration will culminate with Courageous Conversationz©, a two-hour facilitated dialogue and discussion about race and racism coordinated by the Speaking Down Barriers Team, whose mission is, “Equity for All.” Last year’s powerful dialogue and discussion began with a question: When did you become race conscious? This year’s discussion will go deeper and explore two critical questions, “What is your liberation project?” What is your liberation work?"

“We’re excited to acknowledge and embrace the history of the ancestors together with the beloved community through our Juneteenth Celebration,” said Rev. Dr. Lerone Wilder of Mattoon Presbyterian Church. “The vision and values of the ancestors align with those of Mattoon of educating, empowering, engaging and equipping the beloved community in meaningful conversationz to end systemic racism in Greenville.”

Registration & Schedule


SEPTEMBER 9-16 2023


NEW Full Flyer with QR Code


Does Your Church have a Cemetery?

Save the Date: 

July 25th at 5:30 pm

for a Gathering to discuss the Perpetual Care of Church Cemeteries

Many of our congregations are the caretakers of cemeteries. These properties, hallowed ground that shelter the dead until the Resurrection, may be as small as a few gravesites or as large as 40+ acres. The responsibilities facing church Sessions and cemetery trustees are significant, as we have an obligation to provide for these properties’ perpetual care.


The Presbyterian Foundation is receiving increasing numbers of inquiries from congregations and presbyteries about the financial implications of cemetery maintenance and upkeep. Church leaders are seeking strategies to operate with proper care and provide for the funding of (especially older) graveyards and columbaria.


Paul Grier, a Foundation Vice-President and elder and trustee at Greenville’s Westminster Church, will be leading an informative workshop on the “hows and musts and must-nots” of cemetery operation. Time for group discussion of individual challenges and opportunities is included in the agenda.

Location will be in the Greenville area and will be announced at a later date. 

Contact information

Kim Smith Ph.D.

[email protected]


Bethesda Presbyterian Church

to offer Computer/Media Literacy training.

If you don't have a Facebook page or an email account, or if you want to learn how to use Canva to produce flyers and such, there's an app for that: Me. Bring a charged laptop or tablet, or your mobile phone. (First Saturday of every month at 11)

Bethesda Presbyterian Church, USA, will offer basic computer and media literacy training workshops on the first Saturday of every month, beginning in April. This workshop is for people wanting basic knowledge about such popular programs as Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, and working with Google docs. 

In addition, it will also cover more complicated programs and topics. They will include such as how to: use Audacity (a free audio editing program); produce podcasts; produce flyers, logos and infographic resumes with Canva; write for the web; design websites; produce social media videos and slideshows with express.adobe; write a press release and maximize positive news coverage for your church or non-profit; visualize data; and set up and use Zoom for remote meetings. READ MORE

Read More at PresbyterianWomen.Org

Grants and Scholarships

As part of our mission, we have several grant and scholarship programs that assist people, organizations and congregations.

View these opportunities and more HERE!

Fourth Presbyterian Church and North Anderson Community Church Presbyterian Church are Certified as PC(USA) Earth Care Congregations!

These two Foothills Presbyterian Churches are certified as an Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Presbyterian Hunger Program through February 2024. The Earth Care Congregation certification is designed to recognize churches that make the commitment to take seriously God’s charge to “till and keep” the garden. 

This status speaks to the serious commitment these church have made to care for God’s earth. To become an Earth Care Congregation, this congregation affirmed an Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into their worship, education, facilities, and outreach.

Started in 2010 by the PC(USA), the goal of this program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way, through integrating earth care into all aspects of their church life. The Earth Care Congregation certification honors churches that make that commitment and encourages others to follow their example.

These two churches are part of the 9 churches certified in South Carolina and two of the 305 churches in our denomination that chose to dedicate themselves to intentional care of God’s earth this year. This congregation’s activities and commitment brings hope to their community and indeed to the world. We believe that these churches will inspire others to respond intentionally to God’s call to care for the earth,” says Jessica Maudlin, Associate for Sustainable Living and Earth Care Concerns for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

For more information about Fourth Presbyterian Church’s earth care program contact [email protected] and their Earth Care Team and/or North Anderson Community Church Presbyterian’s at 864-940-6060 or [email protected] .

For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program visit

In the fall of 2022, Presbyterian College unveiled a new strategic plan that introduced a new market position—America’s Innovative Service College. The strategic plan includes seven pillars of focus, one of which emphasizes our Presbyterian-relatedness. PC’s distinctive approach uses innovative service as a tool of self-discovery, an amplifier of problem-solving skills, and a catalyst of curiosity. Some of the new church-related initiatives include:


Read Full Flyer

College Scholarships

Let youth and young adults in your churches know that the PC(USA) supports their formation and education through 2023–2024 scholarships. PC(USA) undergraduate and seminary students are eligible for $4000–$8000 from the Presbyterian Mission Agency through the Office of Financial Aid for Service.

Applications are open from now till May 15, 2023, for full-time students enrolling for the 2023–2024 academic year. For more information see our full-page advertisement in Presbyterians Today.

To apply in English, Spanish or Korean, follow the QR codes pictured or click links below.

Summer Camp Registration is LIVE!


  • ...that Since 1948, Camp Fellowship has provided unique summer programs for children & youth of all ages. We strongly believe camp is for everybody and work diligently to create exceptional programs that engage campers and guests in faith formation, community building, personal growth and development, and fun!

  • ...that the first 25 campers who register from Foothills Presbytery churches will automatically get a $50 Campership

  • ...that this is the 75th Summer on the lake!

Check out the 75th Anniversary Celebration Activities below and on the Camp Fellowship Website

Summer Camp Registration

SC 5 Lay School Fall Semester

The dates for the Fall term for the

SC5 Lay School

have been changed to

October 27 -28, 2023

at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC.

We will update the site with Registration materials as soon as they are available.

Grants offered through the Presbyterian Mission Agency:

Grants and Scholarships

As part of our mission, we have several grant and scholarship programs that assist people, organizations and congregations. View these opportunities and more HERE!

The Worship and Music conference is an intergenerational conference for children, youth, & adults, who serve as pastors, directors, instrumentalists, ringers, worship leaders, choir members, or anyone who loves to sing, play, learn, worship, and fellowship.

Information & Registration

2024 Churchwide Gathering for Presbyterian Women

August 8 - 11, 2024

St. Louis, Missouri

led by Beth Mueller

author of A Common Sense

Guide to the Enneagram for Youth Ministry,

August 22 -25, 2023

Join colleagues from Foothills and Trinity Presbyteries at Camp Fellowship on August 23-25, 2023 for a few days of learning, rest, and renewal.

Beth Mueller, author of A Common Sense Guide to the Enneagram for Youth Ministry, will lead us through a deep dive into the Enneagram and how you can use

the wisdom of the Enneagram to enhance your ministry with

accessible information and practical applications!

For those familiar with the Enneagram, the insights and wisdom offered have obvious benefits for personal growth and relational sanity. But how do you effectively use this tool in ministry? Do you have to know everyone’s number?

Do you have to be a master yourself for the Enneagram to be useful?

It is recommended that you read “A Common Sense Guide to the Enneagram for Youth Ministry” before coming. The book is available on

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary (UDTS) is excited to share that it will be offering two new master's degrees beginning fall 2023. 


The master of arts in Reformed theology, a collaboration between UDTS and Theology Matters, is a fully-accredited 36-credit degree, funded in part by the Lilly Endowment. It will focus on a Reformed understanding of the Scriptures, study of classic texts and practices valued by the Reformed tradition, and congregational ministry. Instructors will include members of UDTS faculty and pastor-scholars whose knowledge has been tested in the academy and significant pastoral ministry.


The master of arts in ministry will prepare graduates to be pastoral leaders in local, regional, and missional contexts, especially those pursuing non-traditional pathways to ordained, lay ministry, and Christian formation positions. The fully-accredited, 30-credit degree will provide a flexible, 100 percent online asynchronous curriculum that is ecumenically welcoming, biblically and theologically informed, practical in expression, and focused on serving the Church in its many contexts. The program will also offer optional residential opportunities. 

Register and pay online OR...

Download the Border-to-Border Registration Form and pay by check 

Two ways to learn this June at YDS: The in-person, residential YDS Learn, Lead, Inspire Summit or our traditional online

YDS Summer Study program.

YDS Learn, Lead, Inspire Summit 2023

“The Other”: Defining, Defending, Problematizing

Today’s world is marked by an increasingly sharp divide between “us” and “them.” Social, political, and religious tribalism is on the rise. The current cultural debate centers around who belongs to the in-group and who is classified, implicitly or explicitly, as the “other.” Who counts as “other”?

What is the proper attitude toward or responsibility for the “other”? To what extent is the very idea of the “other” problematic?


Through lectures, faculty-led discussion groups, and social events, participants will explore past and present, where we are, how we got there, and how we can effect positive change for the future.


Join us in person on the beautiful Sterling Divinity Quadrangle in New Haven, June 26-30, 2023. For more information and to register, go to YDS Learn, Lead, Inspire Summit.

YDS Summer Study 2023

This renowned program of study returns online June 5-9, 2023. Classes meet daily, are small to allow for maximum engagement, and feature YDS faculty teaching topics in the Bible, theology, or religion. This year’s schedule includes courses on Faith and Reason, Bible Through Art and Artifact, Romans, music history, the sermons of Jonathan Edwards, the ethics of love, the Book of Exodus, and the Red (and Blue) Letter Bible.

Summer Study includes a keynote lecture on Tuesday, June 6 with YDS Professor Dr. Donyelle McCray on Pauli Murray's spirituality and preaching.

Participants receive a YDS Certificate of Completion at the end of the course week. For more information and to register, go to

Click HERE for Full Fyler

Florence Presbyterian Community Part-time Chaplain

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What do Navy Chaplains and Poverty Advocates Have in Common?

May 18, 2023

Did you know there are twenty-one validated ministers in Foothills Presbytery?

What is a validated ministry?

A validated minister is a Minister of Word and Sacrament with a call to a particular work that may be helpful to the church in mission. It’s a minister with a call beyond “traditional” ministry in a church. Validated ministers are ministers…ministers who serve as pastoral counselors, chaplains, poverty advocates, justice workers, professors, etc.

Validated ministers serve the broader church in ways particular to their God-given gifts. For example, in Foothills Presbytery, validated ministers are nonprofit executives and staff people, chaplains in residential facilities, professors and college deans, pastoral counselors, case managers, military chaplains, poverty advocates, writers, hospital and hospice chaplains, campus ministers and chaplains, theological advisors, and professional coaches and facilitators. Several serve both these already mentioned roles as well as in a congregation as a stated supply. Most participate in a congregation, their presbytery, and/or in ecumenical relationships.

Validated ministers are a God-given blessing to congregations as well as the broader community. They often are privileged to work with people who are not your usual Presbyterian: unhoused people, abused women, people living with Aids, people with medical issues and end-of-life situations. They also work with people who are searching in various ways for clarity, understanding, purpose, living into calls for justice, health, family and peace.


Mark your Calendars for these Upcoming Events



29 MEMORIAL DAY! The office will be closed.


1 Youth Roundtable & Committee on Ministry meeting

3 Elder Refresh Workshop

5 Session Minutes Reading - Pickens

8 Committee on Shared Ministry meeting - ZOOM

10 Racial Ethnic Cabinet meeting

14 Music Ministry Leaders gathering - ZOOM

Foothills Presbytery Calendar

2023 Foothills Presbytery Stated Meetings

November 14, 2023

10:00 am - 2:30 pm Foothills Presbytery Stated Meeting #124

Location TBA

2024 Foothills Presbytery Stated Meetings

February 20, 2024

May 18, 2024

August 3, 2024 (Virtual)

November 12, 2024

Resource Center of Foothills Presbytery

Stewardship of Creation Connections May-June, 2023 Newsletter