This Week's Newsletter
September 23, 2020
Today is my grandmother’s 104th birthday. She has celebrated the last 20 birthdays in Heaven at the feet of Jesus. She was known for her ceramic studio where she created delicate porcelain dolls. She was also known for her love of God, the Bible and dedicated church work. 

As much as she tried, I never had much patience for, or interest in, making anything out of porcelain. But the lessons she taught me at church have never left me. 

What a blessing to have—or be—a Godly grandmother who instills the love of Jesus into the youngest generation!

One thing my grandmother taught me was the value of Sunday School. Not only the fellowship and the ongoing Biblical education, but the personal relationships and the foundation that Sunday School programs set to truly live a life that encourages others to know God.

This is what we are trying to do in the Saxe Gotha Kid’s Ministry: Knowing God and Telling Others. This year our Sunday School classes look very different than in years past. We are meeting outside, under canopies, in the Lord’s classroom of His creation. We are surrounded by trees and birds and bugs and sunshine—and the kids are loving it! We have joined the adults with a study of the Characters of the Bible. Before I begin teaching, I always ask questions to see what they know. The church has done a good job creating a foundation for Bible knowledge; the kids who have conversations at home with their parents or grandparents have even more layers of knowledge and win every Bible trivia contest we play!

A few weeks ago, we ordered God’s Big Story Cards to give to all active families with children ages 4 to 5th grade. We are in the process of getting those to all of our families now. Let me know if you still need your box. (You can contact me at mboyle@saxegotha.org). These cards offer instant family discussions to engage your children or grandchildren in learning more about the Bible and praising the God who has created them. I look forward to making our Bible trivia times more competitive because more and more kids are learning and knowing about God and His Word and his world.

Speaking of competitions….other unique opportunities we have coming up include our usual fall fest, creatively re-imagined this year as our Car-nival, a drive thru trunk or treat. This event with candy, competition to see who has the best decorated trunk, games you can do from your car and more candy. More details will be unveiled soon, but go ahead and save the date for October 18.

Also, another friendly competition is box packing for Operation Christmas Child. Since we can’t pack the boxes the way we’ve done in years past, we are asking that you pack a box, encourage your neighbors, friends and coworkers to pack boxes, and we’ll see which class packs the most. Plus, NextGen will match all the boxes that are donated! Our first drop-off time will be on October 18 at the Car-nival, when we hope to fill the inside of Justin’s Jeep with your boxes.

Even in the midst of our pandemic society, our fall is full of activities that allow for all generations—from people like my grandmother who are leaving a spiritual legacy to little ones who are only beginning to learn who their Savior is—to pour Jesus and His love into the lives of our children, the community and the world. 

May God abundantly bless all of our efforts so that others know Him!
Grace & Peace, 
Melinda Boyle
Prayer Focus for September:
The sick and suffering.
Christian Love is extended to the family of Maurice Holloway on his passing and to Tara Black on the death of her grandmother.

Giving Envelopes:  If you would like to start receiving or discontinue the printing of your church offering envelopes, please contact Andrea Summers: asummers@saxegotha.org or 803-359-7770 ext. 34.

Encounters with God Books Available: We have the current booklets available. Please email Pansy Floyd to let her know that you would like to receive one via the mail: pfloyd@saxegotha.org.
Join us for the 38th Annual Kirkin' O' the Tartan:
Celebrate Saxe Gotha's Scottish Heritage!
This Year's Fall Festival is a Drive Thru
Trunk or Treat Car-nival!
We NEED your TRUNK and lots of CANDY!
  • We want bags of candy to hand out. Please place candy donations in the collection points in the Narthex, Atrium and by the Main Office. Please contact Melinda Boyle with questions.
  • We need lots of decorated trunks for the trunk or treat. Please contact Patrick Cherry if you have questions. If you are willing to decorate your trunk, please sign-up below.
Operation Christmas Child
This year, Samaritan’s Purse has requested that we hold off on holding packing parties, but that doesn’t mean that OCC will be forgotten! This year, we are approaching things a little differently, but with the same excitement and enthusiasm. We are asking that you begin putting together your OCC Shoe Boxes now. You and your family can go ahead and start gathering supplies for your boxes. If you need help figuring out what to purchase, just visit https://www.samaritanspurse.org/operation-christmas-child/what-goes-in-my-shoebox-suggestions/ and select the gender and age range you prefer. We will begin collecting boxes on October 18. Stay tuned during the coming month for shoe box displays around the church. 
 
BUT...here is where the fun comes in. We would like to make this a friendly little competition. The Next Generation Ministry is going to match every box collected up until November 11. You heard that correctly. If you donate two boxes, then that just became four. If you bring eight, then that just became sixteen. Think of all the boxes we can load into that truck! 
Since we will not be able to have our packing party, we would like to have a Drive Thru - Drop Off Parking Lot celebration in its place, on November 11. It is going to be fun for the whole family! 
Church Safety Plans for In-Person Worship:
There are 2 services: 8:30 am Traditional in the Sanctuary and 11:00 am AWE (Contemporary) in the Light House. This arrangement allows us to use the facility once a week, since it would be impossible to sanitize the Sanctuary and AWE Auditorium for a subsequent service.

To keep participants safe, social distancing, masks, and use of hand sanitizer are required. The pews and chairs are staggered and set-up for social distancing, and family units are asked to sit together. In addition, please note that during services to help make sure that the speakers can be heard, masks will not be worn by those speaking or singing on stage, but 3 times the recommended spacing is utilized as a precaution. Congregational singing is a part of our worship service again. Outdoors social distancing is required, but masks are optional.  Nursery is available for infants through 3 year olds. Temperatures will be taken for each child.
Sunday School Has Resumed -
Class Locations Listed Below:
Please know that the chairs in your classroom will be spread 6 feet apart and everyone will be required to wear a mask indoors. Outdoors social distancing is required, but masks are optional.  Please also remember that the coffee machines and the water fountains will not be available. Finally, because we are still livestreaming both the 8:30 am and 11:00 am services, Lonnie and his AV team are unavailable to help any Sunday school classes with technical issues. Again, I appreciate your patience and flexibility with this new configuration of our Sunday school classes. I am sure it will continue to change as the fall progresses. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact me directly at hhham@saxegotha.org.

Grace and peace, Helen Harrison Ham
Wednesday Nights - WorshipLife
Wednesday Nights at 6:30 pm,
September 9 – October 14

(Also available via livestream at the Saxe Gotha YouTube page - there are two videos streaming, one for adults and one for students.)

We gather in the gym from 5:30 – 6:30 pm to eat a picnic-style supper that attendees bring their own meals, drinks, utensils, etc.). Adults move to the Sanctuary for their study, which is live-streamed on our YouTube channel for those who cannot join us.  The Students are in the Light House Auditorium for the Worship Service/Lesson at 6:30 pm followed by small group break out time. The Kids will meet in the gym.

WorshipLife: This 6-week campaign is designed to lead you on an exciting journey of discovering how to honor God in the everyday!

The goals of the WorshipLife campaign are:
  • To disciple believers about true, biblical praise.
  • To encourage believers to praise God in their private devotional times and lives.
  • To challenge believers to fall more in love with God, the object of true worship.
  • To foster common respect and appreciation for the various tastes in worship styles and songs.
  • To develop sensitivity in believers to God’s leadership both in their private worship and within a corporate worship gathering.

Please let us know that you plan to attend by emailing Helen Harrison Ham at hhham@saxegotha.org.
Change for South Sudan Collection
 You may choose to donate online at saxegotha.org/give. (TODAY is the last day for online giving).

South Sudan, and especially our mission area, has been hit with flooding, tribal conflict, COVID-19, insects and serious economic problems.

Tribal fighting was accompanied by a COVID-19 outbreak, an invasion of desert locusts which ate everything in their path, horrible inflation which has caused most people to be unable to purchase food and a second flooding which is in progress now. It’s easy to understand that their needs list is “Food and Non-Food Relief” i.e. EVERYTHING.

We provided $20,000 to help the people in Eastern Jonglei Presbytery recover. Thankfully, our church partner there has been able to purchase and distribute things like: tarpaulins for temporary shelter, cooking utensils, blankets and clothing to replace things that were lost in the floods and conflict.

Take a moment to consider a South Sudanese woman's situation. She said, “I was born in war, grew in war, was married in war, gave birth in war, raised my children in war and probably will die in war.” God’s ministry in South Sudan is not getting easier, but it is becoming more vital.
Thank you for your prayers and financial support. With both we can continue to carry out our part of God’s mission to the people of South Sudan.
Saxe Gotha Officer Nominations:

Please prayerfully consider nominating church members that you feel will serve our congregation well.

Healthy leadership is essential to the spiritual vitality of our congregation. Therefore, the importance of the process for selecting Saxe Gotha Presbyterian’s leadership cannot be overstated. It is imperative that you very carefully and very prayerfully choose the individuals to suggest as nominees for either elder or deacon. Ultimately, the responsibility of every congregation to elect its own officers is a fundamental and distinctive element of our Presbyterian church government.

The policy-making body of a Presbyterian congregation is the Session, which is comprised of both elders and pastors. The Senior Pastor serves as the moderator. In their role at Saxe Gotha, the deacons function alongside the elders on the various ministry teams and lead some of these teams in carrying out the work necessary to further the witness of our own church.

Officer nominations forms are available in the Narthex and in the Light House at the Welcome Booth or by clicking on the link below.

Thank you in advance for participating in this valuable part of Saxe Gotha's church life.

Current Elders:
Pete Eckert, Graham Gardner, Matthew Gissendanner, Susan Herndon, Byron Kirby, Stephanie McGee, Trish Proctor, Bryan Rivers, Kathy Seymour, Tina Stallard, Scott Taylor, Sonya Turner, Joe Moore (Clerk).

Current Deacons:
Candi Ashcraft, Sami Blanchard, John Carpenter, Cliff Carter, Ron Cathey, Frank Chapman, Judy Chettinger, Renn Claypool, Kelly Delk, Joe Durham, Marti Evans, Michelle Faust, Jenni Gannon, Loretta Gobbel, Alex Hackett, David Halfacre, Wayne Hall, Carl Hammond, Ryan Jenkins, Brian Keisler, Kim Koon, Paty Mabeus, Kristin Nabors, Diana Patterson, Katherine Rawl, Terrie Walley, Kalie Wehunt, Andrew Woodham, Patricia Zeigler.

Deadline for submitting officer recommendations is October 1, 2020.
First Impressions Team - Call for Volunteers!
The First Impressions Team is in need of Ushers and CREW members. Please call or email Carl Hammond at 803-767-0864 or hammondcb@yahoo.com if you are interested. All volunteers assist once every 6 weeks.

Wednesday Nights:
Worship Wednesdays from 6:30-7:30 pm in the gym. Bring your own dinner and join us in the gym at 5:30 pm for time of togetherness and fellowship.
Sunday School:
Sundays from 9:45 - 10:30 am. Kids will be outside (in case of rain, we will move to the gym). Grade schoolers will spread out under canopies in the space between the Light House (kitchen side) and parking lot. Preschoolers and Kindergartners will meet on the playground. Babies and toddlers will be loved on in their usual nursery location.
Club 45:
Calling all 4th-5th graders!!! Club 45 is held on Sunday evenings from 4:00 - 5:30 pm outside the Light House (weather permitting). We have a great time of fellowship and fun. Bring your Bible, a mask and most importantly a friend! Contact Patricia Zeigler with questions: pdmz@rocketmail.com.
Sunday School:
Sunday School is back, so check the info below for where each room is:
Middle School: 146/145
High School: 144/143

But if you arrive before 9:55, you'll find us all hanging out in the Atrium for some fellowship before Justin sends you back to your classroom.
The Oasis:
Calling all 6th-8th graders!!!
The Oasis is a place of refreshment for Middle School students. We'll be in the Light House Atrium every Sunday afternoon from 4:00-5:30, so come out and join in!
Girl's Small Groups:
6th-8th Girls Bible Study: This group will be going through the book of 1 John. We will study what it means to love one another and the love of God. As we dig into the Word together, we will also have some time to deepen our friendships and fellowship with one another. We will meet on Tuesdays from 6:00 to 7:00 pm at Stephanie McGee’s home starting September 8. This group is led by Kalie Wehunt, Livvy McGee and Stephanie McGee. For more information contact Kalie Wehunt.

9th-11th Girls Bible Study: This group will go through the timeline of the Bible, exploring how God is not in a hurry, but He grows things. We will study how the Old Testament points toward Jesus and how the Lord used His people to bring redemption to all mankind. We will also learn how to grow deeper fellowship with one another as we study the Word together. We will meet on Tuesdays from 6:15 to 7:15 pm at Gaby Hackett’s house. For more information contact Gaby Hackett

12th Grade Girls Small Group: This group will be going through a semester of apologetics. We will learn how to defend our faith and how to handle the Word of Truth to do so. We will meet on Mondays 6:00-7:00 pm at Gaby Hackett’s house. For more information contact Gaby Hackett.
Boy's Small Groups:
High School Boys Small Group: We know that iron sharpens iron, so why not pump some iron, too? We're going to get together twice a week to study the Word, work out and get better. Barry Morgan and Justin Hall are going to be leading this small group as we dig into the Word and then hit the gym. We'll meet twice a week in the church gym. Monday afternoons at 5:00-6:00 pm and Thursday mornings at 6:00-7:00 am. You can join in for one or both meetings each week, but make sure you have rides worked out beforehand because we won't be doing school runs since we'll be done around 7:00 am on Thursdays. Wear clothes you can work out in and close-toed shoes. And bring a Bible!

Middle School Boys Bible Study: Join Mr. Nick and Mr. Cliff for a Bible Study that's just for the guys. This group will meet every other Tuesday from 6:00-7:00 pm in the Light House Cafe. Next meeting is September 29.

Please contact Justin with questions: jhall@saxegotha.org.
Lexington School District One Backpack Program:

Saxe Gotha will be partnering with Lexington School District One to support the Backpack Program. As a partner, we will help fill backpacks and send them to schools for weekly distribution to children who have great need.

Each child identified as having need will receive a backpack filled with child-friendly, nutritious, easy-to-open food to last over the weekend. 

Items Needed for Backpacks:
juice boxes
cereal/granola bars
snack crackers
single serving cereal boxes / bowls
mac and cheese / Chef Boyardee
peanut butter
fruit cups/pouches, raisins (please no applesauce cups)
pudding cups
oatmeal packets

Please contact Holly Waldrip for a donation pick-up: 803-931-6218 or waldrip@sc.rr.com.

Food items should be left in the Narthex, Atrium or outside of the main office in the box labeled "backpack ministry." Monetary donations can be made to SGPC with “backpack ministry” in the memo line.
Upcoming Sermon Series: Characters
Characters gives us a glimpse into the lives of people of faith. During the next year, we will be challenged as we dig deeper into the context and setting of each person’s life – gaining new insights into the world in which they lived and connecting their world with ours. Along the way, truths that impact our lives today will be discovered as we see the challenges, struggles and opportunities faced by people seeking to follow God. In many of these stories, we will find ourselves and our need for a Savior. We pray that through these studies, we will be transformed and better equipped to fulfill God’s purposes in our world today.
Moms in Ministry
Saxe Gotha has a new group just for Moms...we will connect you with other moms (with kids under the age of 21) who are going through the same challenges you face. This is a place to share your concerns, be encouraged by God's Word, and enjoy fellowship with moms.

Please like and follow this group on Facebook at SG Moms in Ministry or on Instagram.
Join the Saxe Gotha Men in Ministry for the annual Wild Game Night on Thursday, October 22 here at the church.

A delicious meal will be served in the parking lot followed by showing of Free Burma Rangers, the true extraordinary story of the 20-year journey of missionaries Dave and Karen Eubank. The film follows Dave, Karen, and their three young children, as they venture into war zones where they are fighting to bring hope. Dave Eubank is a rare hero of the faith. He is a former U.S. Special Forces soldier turned missionary to conflict zones. The film is a real life adventure movie. Viewers will follow the family into firefights, heroic rescues, and experience life-changing ministry.

Tickets are $15. Men age 12 and above.
Sermons Available Online: To listen to past sermons, please go to saxegotha.org/media. To watch past sermons, please go to our Saxe Gotha YouTube Channel and make sure to subscribe.
GriefShare Meetings Near You:
Are you or someone you know dealing with the loss of a loved one? If so, GriefShare is available both online and in person. If you are looking for a group, you can go to their website at www.GriefShare.org and search for a current meeting list. Below are some nearby places that are offering the group weekly meetings to help deal with a loss.
Monday Morning Women's Bible Studies:
Debbie Knight’s Monday morning study has resumed. They will finish Chasing Vines by Beth Moore for 3 more weeks and then begin a new study Take Courage: A Study of Haggai by Jennifer Rothschild. They’ll be located in Light House Room 112/113. To contact Debbie Knight: lexdeb73@gmail.com

The Young Mother's Bible Study will resume after the trial period of school. More details will be provided at a later date. They will be studying Its Not Supposed To Be This Way by Lysa TerkHeurst. Please contact Meredith Cully with questions: mcully@saxegotha.org.
The Monday Morning Men’s Bible study is online!
They will be connecting at 8:30 am next Monday for a brief lesson on Galatians and to pray for each other and for other people. Contact Scott Welborn at bleedbabyblu@gmail.com for meeting information. This Bible study is open to men of all ages.
Daily Devotionals:
Welcome to our daily devotionals that your church staff will be offering. Our prayer is that you and your family will use these devotionals to enrich your family's spiritual life.  Perhaps these devotionals can be used as a conversation starter for your mealtimes together.
 
Our prayer is that you will look back on this crisis years from now and see that it was a turning point in your being the family God intended you to be - a family built on the foundation of Jesus Christ to love each other as Christ loves you.  
 
In case you have missed one of our daily devotionals, you can go to the Saxe Gotha Devotional Playlist. https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLea6ndHzArf_GGgSnTna8lW6cUZHQlCew.
Did you know that Saxe Gotha has its own customized library on Right Now Media?
Here is the specific link to it if you already have your account set up:
https://www.rightnowmedia.org/CustomLibrary/8737. Right Now is like the Netflix of Christian media and Bible studies. And if you're already tired of watching TV and scrolling the internet, then feed your mind and heart with good stuff! We have several different channels within Saxe Gotha's custom library: Adults, Youth, Children, Worship and the Arts, Missions and Outreach, Marriage, and Parenting. 

If you need help setting up your Right Now account, you can contact one of the following:
Helen Harrison Ham: hhham@saxegotha.org
Patrick Cherry: pcherry@saxegotha.org
Justin Hall: jhall@saxegotha.org
Melinda Boyle: mboyle@saxegotha.org
Hal McIntosh: hmcintosh@saxegotha.org

The studies and videos inside Saxe Gotha's library on Right Now are just suggestions from our staff. Please feel free to explore and enjoy the many wonderful videos on Right Now while you are at home!
Giving Update:
5503 Sunset Boulevard
Lexington, SC 29072
803.359.7770
Office Hours
M – Th  8:30 – 5:00pm
Sunday Worship
Traditional       8:30am
Contemporary 11:00am