The mission of Foothills Presbytery, a governing body of the Presbyterian Church (USA), is to connect the PC(USA) congregations of Upstate South Carolina in Christian service to God and humanity.
II. CORE VALUES
As we carry out our mission, we the members of Foothills Presbytery seek:
To center our common life in Jesus Christ, Immanuel (God with us), our Savior, our Friend, and our Servant-Lord;
To look outward to God, outward to humanity, and outward to our earthly environment–in our every act of worship, ministry, service, and mission;
To be flexible in structure, dynamic in practice, and imaginative in all things, as befits service to the Lord, engaging the many and various gifts God has given the members of our congregations;
To serve intentionally as Presbyterians;
To focus our efforts on the context, needs, and possibilities in the communities of Upstate South Carolina, the USA, and the world.
In the light of our mission and core values, the goals of Foothills Presbytery are:
To bear witness to Jesus Christ.
To equip the saints for the work of the ministry.
To excel in building up the Church.
To maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.
The goals of Foothills Presbytery work themselves out in the following vision:
IV. VISION STATEMENT
To bear witness to Jesus Christ.
A Commitment to Holistic Growth.
In the twenty-first century, it is critically important that we take seriously the responsibility of handing our faith over to others. Foothills Presbytery, located in an area of dynamic change, is committed to helping our congregations grow. We embrace a holistic understanding of growth, which includes congregational growth, congregational health, and an understanding of the cultural context in which growth takes place, including new venues for witnessing to the love and grace of Jesus Christ.
Foothills Presbytery will complete the current plans for New Church Development (NCD), to include completion of the Riverside Hills
NCD and the initiation of a predominately African-American NCD project.
Foothills Presbytery will explore new and creative models of NCD.
Foothills Presbytery will develop new goals for further New Church Development
Foothills Presbytery will develop a systematic, effective program for redevelopment and revitalization of existing churches.
Foothills Presbytery will support its small churches by advocating and promoting ways that small churches may be effective and healthy,
with particular attention to racial ethnic congregations.
Foothills Presbytery will encourage mentoring relationships between churches.
Foothills Presbytery will provide training in programs that encourage congregational health and growth.
Foothills Presbytery will identify potential demographic shifts, groups, and trends that will enable the congregations of the Presbytery to minister to the needs of the people of the upstate with the gospel.
Foothills Presbytery will network with other church governing bodies and agencies in order to compare, assess, and evaluate trends and practices in other areas.
Foothills Presbytery will explore the possibilities of ministry and mission in immigrant communities (e.g. Hispanic and Asian communities).
To strive to excel in building up the church (1 Cor. 14:12)
A Web of Connection
Saint Paul encouraged and edified the Christians of the first century with his letters to the churches. The early church was built through a network of teachers and leaders who were inspired by the Holy Spirit. Foothills Presbytery is committed, in the twenty-first century, to the development of an effective and dynamic web of connection among the congregations of the Presbytery.
Foothills Presbytery will assist local congregations in upgrading computer and Internet capabilities so that meetings may be held online, resources may be accessed, and communication among pastors, leaders and presbytery staff can be improved.
Foothills Presbytery will devise a way to listen to its congregations and leaders on a regular systematic basis, and will use information gained from this process to assess its effectiveness.
Foothills Presbytery will continue publication of the Presbytery newspaper with an increased emphasis on getting the paper into every upstate Presbyterian home, and in having each issue available online. The paper will focus on stories and information on mission, ministry and news from churches within the Presbytery.
Foothills Presbytery will conduct “Foothills Forums” on a regular basis, offering opportunities for fellowship, discussion and community building for pastors and lay leaders.
Foothills Presbytery will lead the way in the clustering of churches for fellowship, learning and idea-sharing.
Foothills Presbytery will plan for a new centrally located Presbytery office which upstate Presbyterians will identify as a place where they may find resources and assistance.
To equip the Saints for the work of ministry (Eph. 4:12)
Inspired and Educated Leadership
The Presbytery must play an essential role in the equipping of leaders in the twenty-first century church. The work of ministry in the church and the world includes the work of Ministers of Word and Sacrament, Christian Educators, Commissioned Lay Pastors, elders, deacons, musicians, administrative staff and other lay leaders. Foothills Presbytery is committed to the calling, enrichment, and support of competent and inspired lay and ordained leadership in the church, the community and the world.
Inspiration and Support
Foothills Presbytery will develop an aggressive program for the recruitment of quality persons for the ministry of Word and Sacrament and find ways to provide financial and spiritual support for inquirers and candidates.
Foothills Presbytery will develop programs and resources for ministers and Christian Educators to experience intentional spiritual growth and renewal.
Foothills Presbytery will ensure that pastoral care will be provided for ministers and Christian Educators.
Foothills Presbytery will develop a program to support and train Christian Educators and other lay professionals. This will include promotion of the various certification processes, increased resources for Continuing Education, and financial support for advanced degree work.
Foothills Presbytery will provide relevant, creative and “cutting edge” continuing education for pastors, Christian Educators and other lay leaders
Foothills Presbytery will explore ways to expand the opportunities for education and training for lay leaders in the church, including commissioned lay pastors, elders and deacons.
Foothills Presbytery will explore forming relationships with institutions of the church that will expand educational opportunities for clergy, Christian Educators, and lay leaders (e.g. PC(USA) theological institutions, Montreat Conference Center, and Presbyterian College)
To make every effort to maintain the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace (Eph. 4:3)
A Unified Body with a Shared Vision
The Presbytery is more than a collection of congregations. It is one living, unified body composed of many members who seek to share a common vision for ministry and mission. We seek to be related, complimentary, and integrated in service to Jesus Christ, and are committed to the development of a sense of unity in our Presbytery so that we may serve Christ as one body.
Foothills Presbytery will develop a sense of unity among its congregations, pastors, educators and lay leaders. We will seek to break down walls which may exist between clergy and lay leaders, small and large congregations, and geographical sections of our Presbytery.
Foothills Presbytery will see the theological diversity we experience as a blessing. We will engage in theological conversation with respect and appreciation for each other, celebrating those things we hold in common and agreeing to continue committed discussion on those things on which we may differ.
Foothills Presbytery will meet in the context of worship. We will cultivate an atmosphere of reverence, joy, and celebration when we meet together.
Foothills Presbytery will develop a shared vision and keep it before the governing body and its congregations. We will continually seek to live by that vision, share that vision, and provide resources and support which enable all of our congregations to embrace and live that vision.