July 25, 2020
Foothills Newsletter
Rekindle the Fire

12  The fire on the altar shall be kept burning; it shall not go out. Every morning the priest shall add wood to it, lay out the burnt offering on it, and turn into smoke the fat pieces of the offerings of well-being. 

13  A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not go out. Leviticus 6:12-13

In this selection from Leviticus, the church leaders (Israelite Priests) are commanded to “Keep the Fire Burning!” A perpetual fire shall be kept burning on the altar; it shall not go out (v13). The burning light was a symbol of the never-ceasing worship which God required of God’s people. The same theme shows up in the popular song,  “This little Light of Mine.”  We are called to share the love and grace of Jesus Christ; to let our light shine. 
I must say that these days my light feels like one of those dull energy-saving bulbs, and the fire is starting to look like the extinguished light in the fire pit below.
That is how I think many people are feeling now. It is hard to keep the fire burning. We went into the pandemic with purpose and some new things to try. We had a common challenge of working from home, learning at home, and sheltering at home.  We were persistent in discovering new ways to function. 
I am witnessing the initial energy surge wearing off, and fatigue and weariness are setting in. Our perpetual light is burning low. 
If you are feeling it, you aren't alone. Even if you aren't feeling it, I would bet a large sum that some people around you are. They may not say it or admit it, but it exists.

I invite you to take a minute to unplug, disconnect, and rekindle. Listen to singer, actress, and activist,  Odetta Holmes’  rendition of  “This Little Light of Mine.”  It will refresh your soul. Then, go check-in with those around you today. 

Take care of yourself too. What do you need to do to get reset, resettled, re-fueled, and ready to face the challenges and opportunities of God has in store for the rest of the year? These times are scary, but they also hold immense potential for our lives and our values to be transformed by the light of Christ in the world. 
Rev. Deborah G. Foster
Presbytery Leader & Stated Clerk
Click HERE for a list of important resources, update weekly!

Click HERE for a updated list of resources for your church.

NEW this week: Social Justice Resources for Youth Ministry:
Foothills Presbytery
Virtual Called Stated Meeting
August 8

For those interested, thiere is orientation for the
Virtual Presbytery Meeting
Thursday, August 4
5:30 pm
The zoom like and password is included in your presbytery registration confirmation.

 Register here:
Collaborative Build with
Habitat for Humanity and
Congregations of Foothills Presbytery

Congregations participating in Foothills Presbytery Habitat collaborative build:
With the number of COVID-19 cases in SC, and in the Greenville area in particular, being so high Habitat for Humanity/Greenville has postponed the build dates for the Foothills Presbytery building project at 102 Jim Logan Street. 
The tentative new date for beginning is middle to late August but will be amended again if there is not a steady decrease in the number of new cases and the percentage of positive cases.  
A revised schedule of dates and the work to be done will be sent soon but I wanted to get this information to you. Also included will be a copy of Habitat's safety protocols that will be in place for you to share with volunteers so they can make an informed decision about volunteering. When work does begin, the schedule will be for fall hours: 8 a.m. - 11:30 a.m. and 12 p.m. until 3:30 p.m.
An update about the financial needs of the project will also be sent as we learn what will be needed to bring the project to completion.  
Safety is the priority and your patience and continuing support of this ministry is greatly appreciated. Please let me know if you have any questions. 
grace and peace, 
Peggy Swann
Join us!
Youth Ministry Leader's ROUNDTABLE
Tuesday, August 4*
12:00 - 1:30 pm  
Details TBA

*We will not meet in July.
Did you miss PAM’s
(Presbyterian Association of Musicians)
Worship and Music Conference?  

Now for the first time you can register and experience the conference after it has ended!

You can view all 96 recordings of our conference content whenever you like – including Worship, Routley Lectures, Art Workshop, Concerts, Choral & Handbell Masterclasses, Programs for Children/Youth, and much more! These recordings demonstrate what physically distant worship can look like and can help supplement your church’s programming for the fall, especially during the current situation in our country.

Visit  www.presbymusic.org/2020conference to learn more and to register.
Presbytery Youth Council

2019-2020 was quite a year for PYC! We had an amazing group of youth and adults who began our year together last May as we were installed at the Presbytery meeting. We worked, planned and bonded as a group and hosted a incredible retreat at Bonclarken for 120 Middle School Youth and Adults in October. Planning began immediately for the Senior High Youth retreat at Montreat to be held in March. Until the weekend before, we were on schedule, with small group materials ready, t-shirts printed, keynotes and music, energizers and recreation and name tags printed and then Covid-19 became our reality. While we were all incredibly disappointed, we knew that canceling the retreat was the right thing to do! 

It was a tough was to end a fantastic year. Special thanks to this amazing group of leaders. We are so thankful for the many ways they stepped up to lead and encourage others while sharing their faith! These photos are from our last Zoom meeting at a 2019-2020 PYC!  READ MORE
 Mission! Alert!
Due to the pandemic, unemployment is high and as a result families in our communities are going hungry.

The churches of Foothills Presbytery can make a difference and it costs only a few cents a day! Cents-Ability (formerly 2 Cents a Meal) collects and distributes funds to food missions throughout the upstate and has been doing so for more than a decade. If your church has actively participated, please consider sending in your contributions today so they can be disbursed while the need is so great. Participants collect a few cents in appreciation for each meal; these are added to those of other Foothills congregations and can make a significant difference. If your church has not participated in the past, this is the perfect time to begin. If you know of a food assistance program in your area that should be added to our list of recipients, contact them and urge them to apply. 

You can make a huge difference and it’s so simple, all you have to do is put your 2 cents in! Thank you for supporting Cents-Ability during this time of crisis and always!
Interested in having a Zoom  Video Conference Meeting,
but you don't have an account? The Presbytery can help!

Foothills Presbytery has secured a second ZOOM account. This enables us to  offer access to Zoom technology  (to those churches who have a need) for session & committee meetings, and in some cases Bible studies & fellowship events. 
If you have a request,  please have your Pastor or Clerk of Session contact  LeAnne White (via email)  and include the following information:

  • Name of person making request
  • Church
  • Phone
  • Date for Zoom Meeting 
  • Time (begin and end) no more than 2 hours
  • Approx number of those attending

Introducing the 2020–2021 PW/ Horizons  Bible Study:
Into the Light: Finding Hope Through Prayers of Lament
P. Lynn Miller, author and artist Suggestions for Leaders by Dee Koza 

PW Gives Day is July 31 , just days away! On PW Gives Day, Presbyterian women across the globe come together to celebrate our 230-year mission of bringing God’s light to the world through our PW ministry. Let us encourage “one another toward love and good deeds” (Heb. 10:24). We bring love and good deeds to the world through our care of Presbyterian Women and our shared ministry.
Join others on July 31 or even today and give!
  • Give online at  www.presbyterianwomen.org/give (select PWGDAY20);
  • by phone (call 844/PW-PCUSA, ext. 5322); or
  • check (Presbyterian Women, Inc., PO Box 643652, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3652. Please indicate “annual fund” and PWGDAY20 in the memo line of the check.
Children’s Educators Gathering
July 16, 2020 11:00 AM

We will meet by Zoom.   

Zoom meeting ID will be sent to Christian Educators from Ginna. Please contact LeAnne White at the Foothills Presbytery office with any questions.
Stewardship Technology:
On-Demand Interview

Transitioning to a Virtual Event During a Crisis
Invitations to approximately 2,000 attendees were ready to be mailed when Jana made the call to transition her live event to a virtual event. Listen to Jana's experience in an On-Demand interview. DOWNLOAD INTERVIEW
Summer Sabbath (ongoing)
Summer in Montreat this year is a quiet retreat from the hustle and bustle, much different from our typical summer. While the usual conferences had to be cancelled this season, the Assembly Inn is currently open to overnight guests at a reduced capacity. Rooms at the inn are comfortable, peaceful, air-conditioned and yes, there is WiFi! Guests will enjoy their own cleaned and sanitized space, while staying close the heart of Montreat, plus the shops and restaurants in nearby Black Mountain. Come visit and enjoy cool morning walks, take a hike up Lookout, go rock-hopping in Flat Creek, get creative at the Currie Craft Center/Sally Jones Pottery or go shopping at the Montreat Store and Ten Thousand Villages. 
Full details on Summer Sabbath are available at   https://montreat.org/events/summer-sabbath , and you can learn more about summer activities at  https://montreat.org/summer-in-montreat
See this page for safety information:  https://montreat.org/visit/guest-health-and-safety
All of the  Vibrant Faith@Home activities  are now online for free.
This includes hundreds of activities for children (and families), teens, young adults, and adults. The activities are short (usually only 5-10 minutes) and include Bible Stories, Conversations, Learning about Faith, Prayer, Ritual & Tradition, and Serving. They are in PDF files with a simple formatting to make it easy to download and use for programming, on a webpage, in an e-newsletter, on social media, etc. You have permission to use these activities in a print or digital format.

Dear Friends of the South Carolina Inn,

            We write this letter to you from the front porch of the Inn. Today a gentle rain is providing nourishment to the North Carolina mountains. Tomorrow the sunshine should return to enjoy another beautiful day to walk around Lake Susan. The wonder of God’s creation seems to be made manifest clearly here in Montreat.

            We’ve wonderful news: the South Carolina Inn is open once again to welcome you to Montreat!!  Currently, the Inn is making adjustments to abide by county statutes now in place and to provide a safe and comfortable place to stay.  Read More
Virtual 2020   STEPS

The August 29 event theme is
For a Time Such as This
(Esther 4:14)-
There will be two workshop sessions with three options each. STEPS will conclude with worship. There will be no registration fee, but participants must pre-register to receive the links to join the workshops. Worship will include a video of how you are being the church in these unprecedented times - please send pictures of your drive up stewardship campaigns, graduation celebrations, and food pantries, etc and/or screen shots of your zoom worship and education opportunities to dblackwelder@capresbytery.org by August 10.
Remote Faith Formation for the Long Haul

The PC(USA) Office of Faith Formation has compiled this list of resources that could be helpful for you during the current COVID-19 situation and that may be helpful in developing sustainable remote faith formation for your community. In this list you will find resources to deal with the current crisis, studies for Christian education, blogs and ideas.  This is your toolbox . The list will be updated periodically over the coming weeks.
Also provided is a Faith Practices Toolkit Sampler for intentional intergenerational Sabbath rhythms. A toolkit for faith practices will be released in summer 2020. The completed toolkit will provide scriptural and theological grounding for each practice, as well as ways to engage all ages.  HERE  is a sampling from that toolkit to provide ideas of engaging in practices during these times.

Check out  these resources  for all ages groups provided by the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators.
Virtual Conference Registration is Open

Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers they shall not overwhelm you. – Isaiah 43:1-2

Please join us in the Fall for three consecutive Tuesdays: September 22, September 29, and October 6 at 11:30 a.m. eastern/8:30 a.m. pacific. Each week we will hear theological, practical, and actionable perspectives. After the presentation a live Q&A session will follow – allowing additional time to share and learn further.
  • September 22: Hear from Eric Barreto of Princeton Theological Seminary on the Acts of the Apostles in the 21st century — imagination, vision, and creativity in responding to our call; 
  • September 29: We will learn with consultant Bonnie Ives Marden about the ways in which faith shapes our financial health, and get practical tools for church financial management;
  • October 6: Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow will provide perspectives on engaging congregations across generations, cultures, and ethnicity to imagine building the church for forward thinking funding and functioning.
A link to participate in the weekly events will be emailed to registrants a few days prior to each program.

Register   Here  and see more at  StewardshipKaleidoscope.org

Covenant Connections BLOG
International Missionary Update: US-Mexico Border Ministry with Mark Adams and Miriam Escobar
By Cal Sawyer

Foothills Presbytery member churches have a longstanding legacy for supporting the work of international missionaries via Presbyterian Mission. Your financial contributions assist with sharing God’s love in many countries including Congo, Haiti and on the US-Mexican Border. I have communicated with missionary Mark Adams and received an update on their ministry, which I’d like to share.

Fort Hill Presbyterian Church began their official support of Mark Adams and Miram Escobar’s border ministry a decade ago in 2010. Mark is involved with church development, health, family counseling, and mission education in the Agua Prieta region of Mexico, near the border with Arizona. Over the past year, they have focused much of their energy on large numbers of families fleeing extreme violence and poverty. Mark said “We are grateful to God for the light that shines in unexpected places, the light that allows us to see and experience the hope in the midst of despair; peace in the midst of a conflicted border; joy in the midst of a community beset with sadness; and love in the midst of a world filled with fear and hatred.” Profound and meaningful thoughts on refugees and human migration. Read More

Over the last few years, a group of Foothills Presbytery’s Church Music Directors/Ministers has gathered four or five times a year to enjoy fellowship and discuss life and ministry. A few weeks ago, our Stated Clerk & Presbytery Leader, Debbie Foster, invited them to share a brief statement about Music Ministry during the restrictions and health concerns of COVID-19. Here is what they said.

Singing is a gift from God. Lifting our voices together in praise to the God of all creation is such an integral part of worship that it is hard for many of us to face the realities of what the near-term future looks like for Church Musicians during the Covid-19 Pandemic.
SC5 Presbyteries Minister/Educator Retreat

October 26-28, 2020

"'A Word in Its Season': Effective Speech in the Bible and Our Fractured Political Moment"

Speaker: Sam Adams

Mark your Calendars for these Upcoming Events

23 Transition Think Tank
23 Committee on Preparation for Ministry meeting (Zoom)

4 Youth Ministry Roundtable
6 Committee on Ministry meeting
14 Called Presbytery Meeting (Zoom)

Resource Center of Foothills Presbytery