Welcome to the Presbytery of New Harmony

 
 

Office Hours
Monday - Thursday, 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.

(If you want to see someone in particular, you will want to call ahead to see if that person is available)  


Telephone 843-662-8411 

Street and Mailing address
2352 Presbyterian Road
Florence, South Carolina 29501


Electronic mail
Email general requests here.
Email webmaster requests here.

 

Building Community Through Information - May 18, 2022
 
Happening in New Harmony Presbytery
(All meetings by ZOOM,
unless otherwise noted.)
 
Cheraw Lunch - May 19, 12 pm, Rivers Edge.
 
SC Presbyteries Convocation - May 21, 9 am, Presbyterian College.
 
Presbytery of New Harmony - May 21, 9 am, Presbyterian College.
 
Camp Pee Dee Administrative Commission - May 23, 7 pm.
 
Florence Lunch - May 25, 12 pm, Julia Belle's
 
New Harmony Presbytery's Office Hours - Monday - Thursday, 9 am - 5 pm.
 
All Presbytery Staff are working at home (see announcement below). Therefore, it is best that you first contact them by way of the Presbytery number, choosing the appropriate extension or by emailing them.
 
Prayers...
 
 
for our two churches for the week:
 
Summerton Presbyterian Church, Vikki Brogdon, Pastor.
 
First Presbyterian Church, Sumter, Bob Brearley, Pastor.
 
for the victims and families in the shootings in Buffalo, NY and Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church and Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California.
 
for Ukraine and it's people.
 
for World Leaders in these trying times.
 
for the Presbytery of New Harmony Executive Presbyter Nominating Committee.
 
for all suffering from disasters, persecution, hunger, homelessness, COVID, mental illness, etc.
 
Candidates
 
Marcy B. Carl 
(Georgetown)
?Dubuque Theological Seminary.
 
Caitlyn Hathaway 
(First, Hartsville)
Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond.
 
Joseph Jumper
(First, Myrtle Beach)
Columbia Theological Seminary
 
Inquirers
 
Randolph Green 
(Congruity Presbyterian Church)
 
Darren Wilson
(Friendship)
Union Presbyterian Seminary-Charlotte.
 
Flury Wilson
(Friendship)
Union Presbyterian Seminary-Charlotte.
 
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Join with Other PCUSA Members in Support of Urgent Needs in Ukraine and Beyond
 
 
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New Items
Stated Clerk Prays for Healing
 
Our nation begins this week in a state of mourning. Two senseless tragedies on opposite ends of the country have left 11 people dead and several wounded. Once again, hate has destroyed families, shaken communities and has all of us asking why.
 
Our hearts go out to members of the Irvine Taiwanese Presbyterian Church and Geneva Presbyterian Church in Laguna Woods, California, after a suspect opened fire during a luncheon Sunday, killing one and injuring five. Most of the individuals at the luncheon were of Taiwanese descent.
 
Nearly 24 hours earlier, a gunman showed up in a Buffalo, New York, supermarket and opened fire on the crowd of shoppers. Thirteen people were shot; 10 died. Eleven of the victims were Black while two were white.
 
What consumed the 18-year-old suspect in Buffalo with so much hate that he felt the only way to deal with it was to kill innocent people? What would prompt a man in his 60's to walk into a Presbyterian church and open fire during a luncheon to honor a former pastor?
 
Geneva’s mission is “to remember, tell and live the way of Jesus by being just, kind and humble.” But Scripture tells us that despite the love and kindness that the Son of God shared with humanity during his earthly ministry, hate and violence still consumed people then as it does today.
 
We live in a world divided by political and religious beliefs, skin color, sexual identity and class structure. Anger resonates from the halls of our government leaders to the classrooms and sanctuaries of our neighborhoods. We’ve built walls that alienate and discriminate, and yet we are blind to our own role in the chaos we’ve created.
 
How many more lives must be lost? How much more blood must be shed before we throw down our guns and silence the voices of hate? 
 
Our hearts break not only for the victims and their families, but for the impacted communities who must now work to heal the wounds and find words that can comfort and reassure. We pray for the doctors and nurses attending those who have been wounded. May God guide them as they work to restore health to those suffering. We pray for church leaders and social workers who have the difficult task of healing the emotional and spiritual wounds of those impacted by these actions. We pray for the families who must now learn to live without that loved one by their sides.
 
Please hold all of these in your prayers and in your hearts in the weeks and months to come.
 
Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II
Stated Clerk of the General Assembly
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
 
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Montreat Lake
Get in Touch with Your Creative Side
During Fall Craft Week!
 
Fall Craft Week is our quest here at Montreat Conference Center to celebrate the profound idea of “craft” in a world where technology dominates and where people mainly use their hands to operate smart phones and computers.
 
Work with your hands, your voice, and your craft to create beautiful handmade works of art as you make time for renewal in a community of artists. Come gain proficiency in an art form of your choice, and enjoy the community of other artists during a fall week in the mountains. This is a great opportunity for individuals or groups. Bring your church, community, family, or come alone. We can help you figure out all the details!
 
Classes are filling up! Register today to reserve your spot.
 
 
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Perfect Summer Reads from The PC(USA) Store
 
?Whether you’re travelling this summer or enjoying a staycation, having a good book by your side to help you unwind from the day and connect with yourself is always a good idea. We’ve collected a great list of books, including spiritual biographies about Eleanor RooseveltJackie Robinson, and Mister Rogers. We also have adult coloring books, a collection of inspirational essays from Barbara Brown Taylor, and the best-selling Soul Feast, Newly Revised Edition: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life.
 
As always, you save 35% on each of these books. Click the link below to find your perfect summer books.
 
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Regarding Ruling Elders:
A Monthly Series for Serving Faithfully 
by Julie Hester
 
“Faith Must-Haves: Question D is the ordination question for this month.  Will you fulfill your ministry in obedience to Jesus Christ, under the authority of Scripture, and be continually guided by our confessions?  As I write this, I am deep in the process of decluttering and packing for an upcoming move. Everything is under scrutiny: “Whose is this?” “Do we still need this?” “What even is this?” My task for this week is to tackle all the books, and there are plenty of them among us, with a dual clergy couple and family of avid readers: children’s books, novels, memoirs, Bibles, commentaries, books on writing, travel, theology, faith formation, leadership. So many books.  I started off trying to decide which books to let go of. Duplicates were easy. The falling-apart paperbacks were not that difficult. Into the donation box they went. But then the process slowed way down, and I began thinking things like I loved this book. I used that book a lot at one time. I might read that one again someday. I should finally read this one. Not many were going in the giveaway box. Choosing books I was willing to part with wasn’t working.  Read more here.
 
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Choral Program at First Presbyterian Church, Hartsville
 
Join the Hartsville High School Choral Program tomorrow, Thursday, May 19th at 7:00 PM in the sanctuary of First Presbyterian Church, 213 West Home Avenue, Hartsville, for an evening of beautiful music. Under the direction of Liz Olson and accompanied by Ronda McElveen, the Beginning, Advanced and Chorus 2 Choirs will sing “The Water is Wide” arranged by Mark Hayes, “Somewhere Over the Rainbow” by Harold Arlen and Yip Harburg, “Good Night, Dear Heart” by Dan Forrest, “Al Shlosha D’Varim” by Allan Naplan, “Homeward Bound” by Marta Keen, “You Do Not Walk Alone” by Elaine Hagenberg, and “I Choose Love” by Mark Miller. The concert is free and all are invited to attend. A nursery will be provided.
 
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Items You Might Have Missed
Highlights of Synod of South Atlantic Meeting
 
The Synod of South Atlantic Meeting (held April 28-29, at Epworth by the Sea) highlights are available. You may view them here.
 
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Families Celebrate Summer
from Augsburg Fortress
 
Families Celebrate Summer is a colorful deck of 56 cards full of faith-based activities, rituals, reflections, and other ideas for families to try at home and on the go. Perfect for families with kids ages 3-12. Cards can be used all summer long. These make a great gift for families in your congregation!
 
Each card is color coded to show activity type: red for specific days, orange for at-home fun, yellow for ideas during travel, green for rituals to try, and blue for acts of service.
 
A free promotional pack is available to help you best use Families Celebrate Summer in your congregation or small groups. This pack includes suggestions for use, a letter to families, and a supply list.
 
Quantity discount available. 
 
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SC5 Minister/Educator Retreat Scheduled for October
 
DON'T JUST MARK YOUR CALENDAR! Register today for the October 24-26 Minister/Educator Retreat at Montreat. "Leadership Development Is Great And All That, And What I Really Need Is Some Time Rest, Refresh, & Renew!" Is it possible to lead from a place of wholeness? Is there room for creativity, imagination, and play? How can you experience the fullness of life and living and leading? as Children of God? Find out more.
 
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Pentecost Offering Supports Young People
 
The Pentecost Offering unites us in a church-wide effort to support young people and inspire them to share their faith, ideas, and unique gifts with the church and the world.
 
Psalm 71 testifies that a foundation of faith established during childhood helps ensure lifelong faith and service. The patterns and lessons established during these formative years continue to bear fruit throughout a person's life. By receiving the Pentecost Offering, you are nurturing the faith of those who are the church to come — children, youth, and young adults.
 
For more information and to contribute, visit the website.?
 
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PDA Logo
UKRAINE
 
 
We are grateful for the outpouring of prayers and calls from congregations and individuals asking how they can help. As the violence continues, the number of people being displaced internally and fleeing to neighboring countries increases by the day. And in the midst of the chaos, there are sibling churches and ecumenical partners who are already providing assistance with basic items for survival. Our first priority as PDA is to provide funding to these partners on the ground. While the scale of this crisis is new, receiving refugees from Ukraine and other countries in Central and Eastern Europe is not which means we have trusted, established partners with the knowledge and expertise to carry out this important work. 
 
We are hearing that the reformed churches in Ukraine and the region are also feeling called to join in the humanitarian response. PDA, therefore, anticipates that our response will include both financial and technical assistance as the network of faith communities providing humanitarian assistance grows in the months ahead.  
 
As we pray for an end to this violence, we ask the U.S. Government and our European allies to make a commitment to the Ukrainian people for a peaceful solution. We don’t know how long it will take, but we know that they will need help with the rebuilding of their country so that those who are fleeing now may one day return home safely. 
 
Funds are being used for emergency humanitarian aid such as food items, shelter, medicines, diapers, hygiene items, etc. 
 
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Registration has officially opened for Stewardship Kaleidoscope, an annual conference offering outstanding plenary speakers, informative workshop leaders, provocative worship experiences, and unparalleled networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and generosity.  Scheduled from Sept. 26-28, the in-person program of this year’s hybrid conference will be held in Savannah, Georgia.
 
Drawing leaders from across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and other ecumenical partners, Stewardship Kaleidoscope is designed to ignite generosity in faith-based communities, give practical tools for cultivating generosity in congregations, expand the leadership capacity of those who lead stewardship initiatives, and cultivate adaptive approaches for funding Christ’s mission.  For more information and to register.
 
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First, Sumter Looking for Church(es) to
Collaborate on Mission Efforts
 
First Presbyterian Church, Sumter is looking for opportunities to partner with other New Harmony Presbyterian churches on local and foreign missions efforts. If your church is interested in learning more, please contact Gus Blum (Missions Committee Chair for First Presbyterian Church, Sumter) at gustavo.blum@yahoo.com or cell: 803-847-4397.
 
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Synod of South Atlantic African American Clergy and Educators Virtual Retreats
 
Three Virtual Retreats for African American Clergy and Educators Scheduled for 2022. Synod of the South Atlantic African American Clergy and Educators Virtual Retreats have been scheduled. After much prayer and discernment for the need to remain connected, we will host a few more gatherings for African American Clergy and Educators. If you would like to receive information regarding these events, please submit your contact information at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/6FJMFWR. After you register with this link, the Event Link and details will be sent closer to the date of the events. The dates are; April 29 (following the Stated Synod Meeting); July 15 AND October 28.
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2022 Presbyterian Association of Musicians Conferences
 
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?Check out this Quarterly Resource Preview from the PC(USA) - it's a great list of helpful resources and upcoming events!
 
 
 
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Guidance for Councils and Congregation— from PC(USA) Legal Services
 
Over the past two years the Legal Services office of the PCUSA has posted a variety of articles to inform congregations and mid councils on a number of topics. Many of those articles can be found on the webpage under Resources, including:
  • Responding to Requests for Religious Exemptions from Vaccine Mandates
  • Coronavirus Issues
  • Issues with Groups That Use Church Property
  • Legal Issues Involving Ownership of Pastors’ Sermons, Books, etc.
  • Often-Seen Legal and Risk Issues with PC(USA) Councils—An Annual To-Do List for Congregations
  • Q&A for Councils on Reopening Worship and Vaccinations
  • Checklist on Business Continuity
  • Steps to Avoid Financial Fraud
 
All of these articles can be found on the Legal Resources page. In addition, the Legal Resource Manual is on the Resources page with information on issues such as employment matters, contracts, immigration, and what to do when a lawsuit is filed.
 
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Cybersecurity
 
The Insurance Board has posted a recent webinar, Protecting Your Ministry from Cybersecurity Threats.
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John Philip Newell is Speaking in Montreat this October
 
Register for the full NC School of Earth and Soul: Celtic Wisdom 1 conference, or register for the evening-only event. Read more about these events and register now.?
 
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Coaching for New Harmony Presbytery
Pastors in Full-Time Calls
 
New Harmony Presbytery seeks to be of continued and greater assistance and support of our pastoral leaders! This new initiative was recommended to the presbytery by the Goal and Staff Design Recommended Team through the Guiding Council this past November. It was placed in the 2022 budget which was approved in February. The Committee on Ministry approved last week the attached policy guidelines. Please contact Gavin or Tony Larson, COM Moderator, if you have questions.
 
Benefits of Coaching for Pastors:
  • Help you feel inspired about your call and provide time to reflect on that call.
  • Learn new skills such as in the areas of communication, conflict-management, time-management and problem-solving.
  • Learn to stay on task.
  • Create better goals.
  • Improve productivity and feel more motivated.
  • Reflect on your values.
  • Overcome personal obstacles and become more confident.
 
For more information, click here.
 
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Playology: Experiencing God Through the Art of Play
Sponsored by the South Atlantic Puerto Rico Region of APCE
 
We Love Playing. We Love Art. We Love God. Playology is a perfect storm of those three things, as well as a word made-up to capture our recreation-related workshops. Join us for a weekend chocked full of interactive training and practical resources to integrate recreation and play into your ministry.
 
Join others in our region (Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico) who serve in educational ministry at Epworth by the Sea on St. Simon's Island, Georgia, November 3 - 5, 2022 as we experience God through the art of play.
 
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Quarterly Workshops Designed to Help Communicators During the Ongoing Pandemic
 
The Presbyterian Communicators Network (PCN) is now planning for a series of quarterly online workshops for 2022.  The online workshops grew out of necessity to meet the communications needs of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches during the ongoing pandemic. One of the most prevalent issues facing churches in the age of COVID-19 is effectively communicating with church members while continuing to adjust to and discern how best to communicate. In addition to the planned workshops, there will be opportunities for more discussion around the workshop topics that aren’t covered in the one-hour event. A new session called “Open Mic” will be held the week after the workshop and will allow participants to ask questions related to the workshop topic or other communication questions they may have. Both workshops and the open mic events will begin at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. This year’s topics and dates include:
 
  • Helping pastors build communications teams: August 16. Open mic panel discussion to follow on August 23.
  • Video editing: November 8. Open mic panel discussion to follow on November 15.
 
Registration for the events will open in early March and is necessary to participate in the workshops. The open mic events will be held on the Presbyterian Communicators Network Facebook page.  Read more here.
 
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Mediation Skills Training
 
This summer the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will offer in-person attendance at our Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI) for the first time in two years! Grace Presbyterian Church in Fort Mill, SC will host this popular and practical event on June 13-17, 2022. Clergy and other church leaders are invited to join us for this essential training. The fee is $750 for five full days of instruction and a hard copy of the MSTI manual. Online registration is now open at https://lmpeacecenter.org/all-events/. For more information, consult the attached MSTI brochure, or contact the Peace Center at 630-627-0507 or admin@LMPeaceCenter.org.
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Presbytery Office - Temporarily Closed
 
To contact Juanita, email her or leave a message in her office voicemail box. To contact Gavin, as always, email him or use his cell (646-546-0522).?
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Thankful Thursday Prayer
 
Brothers and Sisters in Christ, we know the power of cooperative prayer. Thankful Thursday is a time for EVERYONE to thank God for ALL He has, is, and will do for us. Scriptures remind us of the importance of prayer. In Ephesians 6:18 we read: "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people."
 
Ruling Elder Delcia Harper-Baxter, Commissioned Pastor
 
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At It Again
 
Someone is again sending out emails, which look like they could be coming from Gavin Meek, asking for help, money, etc. They are not real! If you receive an email and you think it is from Gavin, look closely. If it is not from his gavin@newharmonypres.org email, then it is a scam. Don't fall for it!
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Links of Interest
 
New Harmony Presbytery www.newharmonypres.org.
 
Synod of South Atlantic
 
Presbyterian Church, USA
 
Thornwell
 
Presbyterian Communities of S.C.
 
Montreat Conference Center
 
South Carolina Inn at Montreat
 
Job Opportunities
 
If you have the need to advertise a job position, please send the relevant information to me at
 
Fourth Presbyterian Church, Greenville, is searching for a Director of Youth and Community Faith Formation to lead the congregation into a new expression of God’s work at Fourth. While this position centers on youth ministry, we are sensing God’s call to deepen the relationship between our students and all areas of church life including worship, mission, fellowship, and education. We are searching for a leader who values relational ministry, community building, creative visioning, and inclusivity. [more]
 
?Summerton Presbyterian Church is in need of a pianist or organist to substitute on Sunday mornings from 10:30 am until noon. The pay is competitive. If interested, please call 803-485-4593. If no answer, leave a message.
 
John Calvin Presbyterian Church is searching for a Nursery Assistant for Sunday mornings (1.5-2.0 hrs. per week). If you are interested download the job description by clicking on the link below. John Calvin Nursery Assistant.
 

 

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