Welcome to the
Presbytery of New Harmony


The Mission of the Presbytery of New Harmony is to strengthen, nurture, and sustain its congregations and ministers, and to participate in the wider mission of the church through its higher governing bodies.

The Presbytery of New Harmony, a member of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is situated along the northeastern coast of South Carolina. We have 7,534 members across 12 counties in South Carolina. The presbytery office, located in Florence, supports 65 congregations and 80 resident ministers.

Please feel free to browse our website to find out more about us.

If you cannot find what you're looking for, please feel free to contact us at the addresses listed below.

Presbytery of New Harmony
2352 Presbyterian Road
Florence, SC 
29501
Phone  843-662-8411

office@newharmonypres.org

 

Please Note

 

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has an extremely helpful resource which we have previously sent out and made available through our NHP web site. Please read it thoroughly and repeatedly and forward it on to your Session, Deacons and staff:  https://pda.pcusa.org/pda/resource/disease-guidance-for-congregations/

 

Constitutional opinion from the Stated Clerk laying out the authority of Councils, in particular Sessions, with regard to worship and congregational business:  https://pres-outlook.org/2020/03/church-in-an-emergency-pandemic-advisory-opinion-from-the-office-of-the-general-assembly/

 

We completely affirm that it is the Session that decides whether or not to suspend in-person worship. We encourage each Session to consider that possibility for the next few weeks and to explore what alternatives and plans it will undertake. We encourage all moderators to call a Session meeting in order to discuss this situation, maybe even calling it for immediately after worship.

 

We are aware that many of you have already taken prudent measures: urging elderly and sick members not to attend worship, suspending any hand shaking during the passing of the peace, or passing the peace verbally or with a bow, suspending communion, asking worshippers to spread out in the sanctuary, directing the pastor, deacons or congregational caregivers to contact the homebound and sick by phone rather than in person. Again, refer to and share the resources above for good ideas to discuss and consider.  Continue to get the most up-to-date information from the CDC.  

 

It is strongly suggested that the Session give authority and commission powers to a smaller group of Ruling Elders (They must be Ruling Elders!) perhaps 3 to 5, to make decisions for the Session, such as suspending worship and other measures. That small group would, of course, include the pastoral leader/moderator and Clerk of Session, and possibly the chair worship and as ex. Officio, the head of the Deacons.

 

Regarding electronic meetings and email voting, what follows is from NHP’s Standing Rules. If your Session/congregational bylaws don’t already include a provision like this, then this could be adopted by your Session, substituting “Presbytery” with “Session:”

 

“Electronic Meetings: Committees, commissions, boards and other official entities of the Presbytery may, from time to time when physical meetings are impractical, arrange to meet and conduct business via electronic video and/or audio teleconference. Reasonable notice of the date, time and set-up procedures of electronic meetings will ordinarily be given by the group’s chairperson or moderator. The conduct of electronic meetings will conform as closely as possible to the procedures for physical committee meetings set out in the latest edition of Robert’s Rules of Order, including (but not limited to) those for quorums and the recording of minutes. Actions taken in teleconference meetings shall be reported to the Presbytery in the same manner as any other actions are reported. Minutes of teleconference meetings shall be treated as official minutes, must be approved by the entity at its next physical or electronic meeting and shall be kept and forwarded in the same way as minutes of physical meetings.”

 

“Email Voting: Committees, commissions, boards and other official entities of the Presbytery may, from time to time, cast binding votes through email or other commonly used but individually addressed electronic tool. Email voting is limited to action items believed to be routine and/or not controversial. In such cases, the chair or moderator of the entity will make a motion (a second is not required) by sending the motion’s text and any significant background material to all members of the body. The group’s moderator or chairperson will also include an announcement which clearly indicates the deadline for receipt of responses and offers any and all members the opportunity to stop the email vote and call for an electronic meeting to consider the matter. Members of the group voting will use the “respond all” facility of email or otherwise respond in a way by which all participants can see all the votes. Email voting produces a valid action when the number of voters responding meets or exceeds the group’s normal quorum, and the measure being voted on receives positive responses from at least 3/4 of those members who respond.”

Worship Online/Streaming: Send the bulletin electronically towards the end of the week in order for members to be able to more easily follow the worship service.

From a Presbytery Leader colleague:

“I can't help but wonder if this is the "disruptor" that changes everything for American public worship?  After one, two, THREE+ months of no Sunday worship and folks get use to the extra hour of sleep, another cup of coffee and the Sunday paper (digital version if you insist) why go back?  I'll catch worship...online...at any church I want.”

“In our area, there is thinking, analysis and sometimes desire to be disrupting.  Obviously tech driven - think typewriters, paper maps, encyclopedias, newspapers, taxi cabs, travel agents, anything with a cord.   Start-ups seek to be disruptors in their field.”

“I know that what you’re thinking...it won't replace relationships, Christian fellowship, care and concern, genuine agape.  And I agree, but, still I wonder...”

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