Deborah G. Foster, Associate Stated Clerk
The Discernment Task Force recommendations asked Presbytery staff to take the lead in partnering with leaders and congregations across the East, Central and West regions of our Presbytery, as we explore ways we can support, encourage, and do Regional Shared Mission and Ministry together. The following is a snapshot of what is stirring in 2017.
Regional Shared Mission & Ministry success stories
- Three youth groups from Foothills Presbytery came together (Jan 8) for a concert. Youth from Fort Hill and First Anderson traveled to Central in Anderson to see Sam Burchfield perform. Sam is a child of this presbytery, of Fort Hill Church and past music leader for our presbytery’s Youth Retreats.
- The Easley Church hosted (Feb 26) well-known Author, Speaker, Consultant and Pastor, Skye Jethanye and invited all to attend. After two morning worship services there was an afternoon keynote presentation with dinner and fellowship.
- Central Anderson hosted (March 26) the Reverend Dr. Becky Davis, from Presbyterian College, and representatives from three churches as they learned more about the importance of Safe Church Policies and ways to write, implement and train around those policies.
- Eight churches in the Spartanburg area came together and published a Lenten Devotion booklet entitled Ordinary Saints. Covenant, First Spartanburg, First Woodruff, Landrum, Nazareth, Second, Tyger River and Unity all provided pieces for the publication.
- Holy Week brought together four churches in the Anderson area for shared Maundy Thursday and Good Friday Tenebrae Services. Central, First, Salem, and Midway Presbyterian Churches shared planning and resources, bringing four congregations together for worship.
- The Nazareth church hosted a Youth Ministry “Mini-Med School” with participation from the Covenant, Tyger River and Second Spartanburg Church’s Youth.
- Shared VBS Planning, Preparation and Resources – First Church Easley and Fourth Greenville discovered they were duplicating their VBS production and preparation work. So the DCE’s at both churches decided to join forces to build “Hero Central” VBS sets and create their themed décor together.
Regional Shared Mission and Ministry Plans underway
The Inman church (in partnership with Covenant) is hosting Reach Out with Ray Jones – Coordinator for Evangelism (PCUSA) Sunday May 21. Morning worship is followed by a meal and afternoon events include a presentation, community action planning and dessert. Website: http://reachoutwithray.com (East Region)
Lunch and Learn – First Church Greer has offered to open their doors, Wednesday May 10,12:00 noon for us to eat lunch together and hear from The Rev. Deb Richardson Moore and The Rev. Tandy Taylor from Triune Mercy Center. (Central Region)
Lunch and Learn – First Church Anderson has offered to open their doors on Tuesday May 30th for us to eat lunch and hear from Mark Tidsworth, author of SHIFT: Three Big Moves for the 21Century Church. (West Region)
Specifically for the Small Church:
WEST/CENTRAL Region – Piedmont Presbyterian Church: Thursday, April 27, 6:15
Our discussion will include case studies of local congregations who have begun partnerships with other churches to broaden their ministry and impact in their communities.
NEW: EAST REGION (Spartanburg & Cherokee Counties) – Limestone Church
Tuesday, May 2, 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Foothill Presbytery is pleased to partner with Presbyterian Foundation to offer a unique 90-minute event geared toward helping smaller churches toward greater financial and overall health.
Regional Shared Mission and Ministry projects underway
Early last fall approx 18 people from the East, Central and West areas of our Presbytery gathered to talk about Shared Mission and Ministry and possible dreams and goals for how that work might show up in Foothills presbytery. After assessing current shared ministry and creating a list of hopes for the future, they named 3 Shared Mission and Ministry areas to focus on and explore in 2017. The two projects that have gained traction are:
- Interfaith Gatherings: Who are our neighbors?
- Hunger: Response to the hunger deserts in upstate SC.
You will be hearing more about how you and your congregations get engage in the months ahead.
Peer Cohorts meet for food, fellowship and professional support
- Children’s Educators from the Large(er) Church – every 6-8 weeks
- Youth Leader Roundtable – once a month
- Spartanburg Area Clergy – once every 10-12 weeks
- Lake Cluster/Panera Anderson Clemson Blvd – every 6 weeks
- 7% Group (those mostly under 40yrs) – once a quarter
- Clergy Women (2-3 times per year)