Confessing Peace

Confessing Peace

Peace is not just a reaction to conflict and war.  Peace is the heart of the Gospel, and the heart of who we are as Presbyterians.  Join us as we explore themes of peace and reconciliation, and our call to be peacemakers, in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Book of Confessions.

The Peacemaking Committee is delighted to share this resource with you and your faith community.  It is our hope that this video and its accompanying discussion guide help you:

  • More deeply engage with the PC(USA) Book of Confessions, and the call to peacemaking woven through each confession.
  • Intersect Presbyterian and Reformed theology with an ethic of peacemaking and reconciliation.
  • Critically engage with issues of peace and reconciliation in your own communities, our nation and our world.
  • Explore new and courageous ways to be a person of peace as a follower of Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace.

You may play the video as a whole to see the scope of peacemaking in all of our confessions, or do a more in-depth study of a few confessions at a time, pausing to discuss and engage with each one.  Whether you use this video for small group study, for home reflection, as a powerful tool in worship, or listen to its peaceful call in your car, we pray that it is a blessing and call to action for you and your community.

Don’t miss the  discussion guide.

May the peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

The Peacemaking Committee of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina

Proposed Amendments to the Constitution

Each time the General Assembly meets it receives suggestions for amending the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (USA). After study and debate some of these suggestions are sent to the Presbyteries for vote. Our Presbytery will debate and vote on these items at the March 4, 2017, Presbytery meeting at First Church, Morehead City.

This year the General Assembly has proposed:

  • one amendment to the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity,
  • 10 amendments to the Form of Government,
  • a complete rewrite of the Directory for Worship, and
  • two amendments to the Rules of Discipline.

All of these sections are found in the Book of Order. 

The Office of the General Assembly has prepared an online booklet listing all of these changes together with the rational offered by the Presbytery or Synod which proposed each item and the advice given to the General Assembly by the Advisory Committee on the Constitution. In previous years the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) printed copies of these booklets and sent to the presbyteries for distribution to minister members and commissioners from churches in the presbytery.

Now that so many presbyteries distribute their information electronically, the OGA has determined that the cost of printing and mailing these amendment booklets is prohibitive. The OGA can no longer afford to do that printing and mailing therefore those who desire to read to proposed amendments will need to read them online or download and print them.

Click on the link below to open the booklet.

Download the Proposed Amendments to the Constitution.

2-Cents-A-Meal Zomba School in Malawi Africa

The Zomba CCAP School in Malawi Africa receives support from the Two-Cents-A-Meal (CentsAbility) offering collected  throughout our presbytery. This report is from the Associate Pastor at St Andrews-Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington which recently visited the school.

Bryant Holmes is the chair of our hunger committee that oversees the fund disbursement. Learn more about our other recipients at  and how you can apply for a hunger grant.

Letter page 1



Zomba3You can learn more about how St Andrews Covenant Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, NC connects with the school at their webpage:

See also the recent update on the impact of these Two Cents a Meal funds in Haiti.  Thank you for your support.

Even Small PEACES are Important…Calling All Peacemakers

Presbytery’s Resource Center wishes to share the following resources that can promote discussion about current moral issues and provide peacemaking guidance during the process. How does our religion impact our actions?

Please contact the Presbytery office (910-862-8300, ext. 5) if you’d like to borrow a resource or have a question.


1)      Peace DVD Especially for Youth – This DVD is designed to be used as a 6-session series of studies on peace for youth.  Youth will be encoPEACE DVDuraged to ask and answer the question, What can one person do to bring about peace in today’s world? Jesus’ sermon on the Mount is used as a guideline for the study. The study guide outlines for each session, including DVD segments, scripture passages, discussion questions, and an assignment.

2)      A Song of Peace – sung by the Zehnder brothers can be found on YouTube –


  • Reclaiming Civility in the Public Square by Cassandra Dahnke, Tomas Spath & Donna Bowling– This book explores 10 rules that promote civility in the public square.  10 Practical steps to help bring us into relationship with each other once again are shared in the book.  It explores a topic whose importance cannot be underestimated. As Lincoln said, “A nation divided cannot long endure”. The authors maintain that we can survive our division if they are handled with civility and respect. They are fully aware of the differences between groups that often lead to political friction and they offer constructive suggestions for all of us.

2)      Season of Peace Bible Study – free download at  .

Session 1: The Things that Make for Peace

Session 2: Finding Peace

Session 3: Practicing Peace

Session 4: Extending Peace

Session 5: Living Peace

 3) In Defense of Civility: How Religion Can Unite America on Seven MorIn Defense.bookal Issues That Divide Us, by James Calvin Davis. Book. From “the big four” (abortion, homosexuality, euthanasia, and stem-cell research) to war, poverty, and the environment, this timely book considers religion’s impact on moral debates in America’s past and present. James Calvin Davis argues for religion’s potential to enrich both the content and the civility of public conversation. This book will interest all concerned citizens yearning for more careful thinking about the role of religion in public debate.

Click here to see a TV interview with James Calvin Davis.

4)      American Politics and Christian Responses (downloadable study at

What happened to civility in public discourse? While civility has long been a factor of Christianity and even in American politics, more recently it seems that our society and many of its leaders suffer from an appalling lack of it. When everyone is screaming at each other it becomes difficult to conceive of a different, better way of thinking about politics and public debate. This three-session, adult study by James Calvin Davis considers ways to think about political discussion between people who disagree in light of the four virtues of civility and the principles of civility found in Christianity. Session three of the study provides guidelines and applications for practicing civility.

5)    The Things that Make for Peace – Bible study (free download) –  – The Things That Make for Peace is a five-week adult study for small or large groups to be used during A Season of Peace or any time of the year. It focuses on the inner and outer path to peace as foundational to faithful discipleship. Each session has a “dig deeper” section for study through the week.

Download PDF

6)  Neighbor: Christian Encounters with “Illegal” Immigration by Ben Daniel – Book. Using a blend of travel narrative, interviews, theological insight, and biblical scholarship, Daniel tackles the controNeighbor.bookversial issues that surround undocumented migration in the United States by taking the reader to the spiritual, legal, and geographical front lines of the immigration debate. Here, the political becomes personal and talking points have a human face. The result of this journey is a compelling argument that encourages Christians to meet undocumented migrants as neighbors and as friends. Study questions are included.

To listen to Ben Daniel’s interview about this book on WJK Radio with Dan and Jana, click here.

Praying that you find the peace of Christ in every step! – Kaye Bledsoe


Highlights from the 222nd GA (2016) Portland

Highlights from the
222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA) Held in Portland Oregon


The following summary of GA222(2016) is available formatted as a bulletin insert for use in your congregation’s bulletin or newsletter.

*************************** The Insert’s Text begins *****************

The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina sent nine commissioners to the 222nd General Assembly of the PC(USA) in Portland, Oregon from June 18th through June 25th.  This assembly proved to be very uplifting as we experienced a renewed Hope in our Calling.  This assembly celebrated our diversity as we discerned our way forward as a denomination.

Saturday, June 18, 2016

·         On the 60th anniversary of making women eligible to be pastors, and the 85th anniversary of ordaining its first woman elder, the PC(USA) made history again, electing two women as co-moderators for the first time.  Denise Anderson, a pastor from National Capital Presbytery, and Jan Edmiston, a presbytery executive from Chicago, were overwhelmingly elected Co-Moderators of the 222nd General Assembly.

Sunday, June 19, 2016
  • Nearly 2,500 participants in the GA spread out on Sunday to worship in about 30 congregations stretching from Vancouver, Washington, to Salem, Oregon.
Monday – Tuesday, June 20 & 21, 2016
  • The commissioners were busy in their various committees debating and voting on issues to bring before the assembly for approval.
Wednesday, June 22, 2016
  • Fifty years after it was birthed in South Africa by the Dutch Reformed Mission Church during its battle against apartheid, the Confession of Belhar is now included in the Book of Confessions of the PC(USA).  After a four-year-long process of study and periodic votes, this assembly voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to make Belhar our denomination’s 12th recognized confession, the first originating in the global south.  The historic moment was greeted with tears of joy by many in the Oregon Convention Center, including Allan Boesak, a co-author of Belhar who was moderator of the DRMC when it was adopted.
  • A slimmer, less restrictive Directory for Worship for the PC(USA) was overwhelmingly approved Wednesday by GA222.  The directory, which is part of the Book of Order, now goes to the denomination’s 171 presbyteries, a majority of which must ratify it to be adopted.
  • Also on Wednesday, with tears and prayer – and a remarkable apology from Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons – GA222 unanimously passed a comprehensive policy to protect children, youth and vulnerable adults.
Thursday, June 23, 2016
  • Several recommendations that would have drastically changed the structure and operation of the PC(USA) were rejected Thursday by GA222.  Commissioners instead adopted a compromise plan that would create a vision team and a separate administrative commission to address those matters.  By a vote of 480-86, commissioners authorized the creation of a 12-member Way Forward Commission, which would have sweeping powers “to study and identify a vision for the structure and function of the General Assembly agencies.”
  • Declining a proposal to admit to and apologize for harming the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning community, commissioners to GA222 instead opted to express deep regret for ways that those minorities of “God’s beloved children” have been led to feel that they stand outside the grace of God and are unwelcome in the denomination.  At the same time, the resolution expresses the deep sorrow of all in the PC(USA) who have left the fellowship of the church, and expresses appreciation to those who have maintained relationships despite profound disagreement.  Calling for deeper conversations about theological differences, the resolution adopted by a 463-51 vote calls upon Presbyterians to seek reconciliation and to reach out to those who have been marginalized across the spectrum of theological understanding.
  • A decision two years ago that would have reconfigured and reduced the number of synods in the PC(USA) was rescinded by a 421-158 vote.
Friday, June 24, 2016
  • J. Herbert Nelson was overwhelmingly elected Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) in an historic vote, becoming the first African-American elected as the top ecclesial officer of the nation’s largest Reformed body.
  • The PC(USA) will continue its investment in fossil-fuel companies after overwhelmingly turning back an overture to begin divestment immediately.  Instead, it will continue the process of selective, phased, divestment that begins with full corporate engagement.
  • After several hours of debate, commissioners voted to send to presbyteries a proposed amendment to the Book of Order that would restore the previous nomenclature for ordered ministry.  If approved by a majority of the denomination’s 171 presbyteries, those now called teaching elders would become ministers of Word and Sacrament; ruling elders would be elders; and commissioned ruling elders would be commissioned lay pastors.  The vote was 320- 218 to return to language in use prior to 2012, when the new form of government was adopted.
  • After a debate that stretched over the dinner hour, GA222 approved a lengthy report containing a re-evaluation of the PC(USA)’s historic support of a two-state solution in Israel/Palestine.  The document, “Israel-Palestine: For Human Values in the Absence of a Just Peace,” says the PC(USA) “should advance those efforts that best accord with its values . . . including, but not limited to, that of two sovereign states—Israel and Palestine.”
  • After a six-year discernment process throughout the denomination, GA222 approved a lengthy report underscoring the centrality of peacemaking to Christian faith and promising to “practice boldly the things that make for peace.”
Summary Notes
  • During the assembly there was intentional Bible study, prayer, and worship that commissioners found life giving. There are numerous items not mentioned in this summary. The work of the assembly is exhausting but our commissioners are available to speak in your congregation about their experiences in Portland.

For more information on these items and other business conducted at the assembly, please see

************* End of Bulletin Insert Text **************************

Videoga222-circle_1280w of worship, plenary sessions and more are online at


The commissioners from our Presbytery to General Assembly were:

East Community: John Causey, Pastor, Shallotte PC
Central Community: John Bryan, III, Stated Supply, Iona PC
West Community: Laura Lupton, West Mission Coordinator, PCC
At Large: LaVera Parato, Pastor, Antioch PC, Jacksonville

East Community: Mebane Boyd, Winter Park PC
Central Community: Rosia (Gerri) Freeman, Haymount PC
West Community: Naomi Newton, Silver Hill PC,
At Large: William Millar, St. Pauls PC

Alex Fisher, Westminster PC, Fayetteville


General Assembly Commissioners. Not Pictured Alex Fischer
General Assembly Commissioners. Not Pictured Alex Fischer.

Our commissioners will be giving a formal report at the October Presbytery meeting in Fayetteville.

2 Cents-A-Meal at work: Matthew 28 Project Update

Update from the director of Matthew 28 Project in Haiti supported by Presbytery of Coastal Carolina’s 2-Cents-A-Meal contributions.  June 2016

Dear Friends of Matthew 28,

End of School Year Celebration

Friday was an exciting day. The children of Matthew 28 had long waited for it. Early in the morning they geared up for a day filled with games, a soccer tournament, and academics competition. There were two huge trophies waiting for the winners of the soccer tournament. Prizes for the other categories were waiting as well, all to celebrate the last day of school. For lunch there was a special meal complete with Coca-Cola’s and cookies. All of this nicely organized by the staff of the school under the leadership of the principal Mr. Chesnel.


The children had a great time and were proud of the trophies but I am even more excited about yet another victory. And what a victory this is! A few days ago I asked LaLa, our school director, to summarize the achievements for the first year of school and her answer was: “OUR KIDS ARE READING!!!!”.

Matthew 28 School News

What an enormous step forward. In October last year we started school with only the oldest kids able to read somewhat. The majority of them had no reading abilities and certainly not enough to follow the schoolbooks. Now nine months later the world is standing open for them. They can read the almost 400 Creole books we have in the library, they can follow all the curriculum books in the classes and although they might not realize the most important step towards their education has been set.

This is the first chapter of a dream we have for our children and for Haiti. Of course besides the reading the kids have been learning all kinds of subjects. Math,  Science, Writing, Singing, Music, Bible study, Art , Geometry, History, Geography and if you will Home Economics where they learn how to plant a garden, bake bread, cook rice and all kinds of things that will help them in real life. Our new school has quickly earned a reputation in the community  from seeing the students walk in a group to the new school campus every day and I’m sure that come August they will be lining up to get their toddlers registered for the first pre-K class.

There will be careful screening to select the children that we want to accept, those with abilities but who lack a chance to ever go to a good school. The children will be tested and home visits will be made to determine whether the parents are really interested in good education or are just looking for a cheap opportunity. We have made the decision to start off with a three year preschool program at first. We know our teachers rock at that!.

We will decide in two years whether  to take the next step and only once we know everybody is prepared. To improve the teacher’s level we will, simultaneously with the school, operate a teaching school, during the morning. Interested persons from the community can apply for the teaching school as well. Of course all of this after they have been thoroughly tested.

At the home front we have a great group of people who are supporting the education effort. This includes people that teach education at college level, as well as two new board members for education, Lala and Andrea.

I cannot begin to tell you how proud I am of these people and to be part of an effort of making education in the Bohoc area really great. I want to take this chance to thank everyone who is involved in the school for all their support.

Matthew 28.playground

Matthew 28 Orphanage Update

At the orphanage, things are progressing real well.We have hired an additional person, Ms. Elienne, to oversee the spiritual upbringing of the children. In the last few months several projects have been accomplished such as the

  • rebuilding of the chapel,
  • construction of the playground, 
  • and the new building that contains a water filtration system which was a donation of Firefly missions.

Work has also started the improve the enclosure of the courtyard. We have also made some changes in the staff in order to improve the  care of the children. We are holding regular education classes for the employees, aimed at giving them more  abilities to deal with various situations. Liline has been stretched thin but has done a good job holding it all together.

Matthew 28.waterfilter

Matthew 28 Feeding Centers

Besides the orphanage she is also responsible for the feeding centers.

  • Until this month we had 14 centers but the Matthew 28 board has given approval
  • to increase his number to 19
  • provided we find the funding.
Severe Hunger Crisis in Haiti

You need to be aware that Haiti is facing the most severe food uncertainty in three decades.

This is the result of severe drought followed by severe rains.

  • The United Nations have issued a warning about the severity of malnutrition in certain areas and Bohoc is right in the middle of them.
  • In the month of May we have paid evaluation visits to several areas where the situation is dire.
  • In one of these villages the leaders told me that  on average they have three meals a week.
  • Potable water is only available  an hour and a half walk away crossing over a mountaintop. Can you imagine having to walk three hours for the 5 gallon bucket of water that will need to serve your entire family?

The situation in Haiti is certainly not getting any better at least not in the unserved area north of us. Thank God we receive additional food donations from two organizations called ” Feed My Starving Children” and” Love a Child”.

Check-Ups for the Children

Thanks to several doctors like Dr. Joe, Dr. Rodney and Dr. Scott, and other medical professionals we have been able to give the children in the feeding centers and our orphans, regular checkups. You will understand how important it is to address diseases before they become a problem.

Mission Partners & Visitors

Thanks to the willingness of almost 50 individuals who come to Haiti with me on a regular basis Matthew 28 continues to become a better place. All of them bring unspeakable joy to the children and  adults alike, and help us with the skills such as pastoring, teaching, construction and healthcare to name a few. Know that they look forward to seeing you again. You are part of their family; you are their aunts and uncles.

Thank you to our Supporters

Those of you who support us financially and/or in prayer we owe a lot of thanks to you as well. All of us together form the body of Christ operating to show His love to the least of His children and without you we would fail.

Although the summer seems to be time that things slow down and I’m sure your busy with many of your family activities, this is also the time that we need your support the most.

  • Please think of giving so that we can continue this task that God has entrusted to us.
  • Praise to God for His many blessings.

In His Service,
Hein V.

Learn more about 2-Cents-Meal  at

Copyright © 2016 Matthew Twenty Eight, inc, All rights reserved.
The mailing address is:
Matthew Twenty Eight, inc241 Willow Way, Warne, NC 28909

Sharing Together – Responding to God’s Grace

By Rev. Daniel Vigilante

Investing in the life and ministry of your church

Like most great ideas in life and ministry, we borrow from others what has worked for them and adapt those ideas to create something that works for us. We did that at the church I serve — and the results have transformed our annual stewardship campaign.

It all started when I went to hear a friend lead worship at another church. It was the fall and the congregation was in the midst of its stewardship drive. They had introduced a concept asking people to invest in shares in the church. A share was valued at giving $20 per week — or roughly $87 per month — or $1040 per year. They “sold” X number of shares in order to fund the annual budget. If the budget were $100,000 per year, they’d need to sell approximately 96 shares.

In some ways I thought this was enormously helpful as it broke down the total need into portions (shares) that seemed manageable. It facilitated thinking around peoples’ share in the church, not just their pledge to it (a subtle but significant distinction). I loved that they were asking folks to invest in the congregation’s life and future. “This is a great idea,” I thought! Soon after, we began talking about shares at our own finance committee meetings.

Thankfully, our team felt like we needed to try something new and was willing to experiment with the shares concept. We liked the simplicity of $20/87/1040 and thought offering a benchmark value might be useful for people planning their contributions to the church. While we knew even a single share would be a stretch for some, others could easily commit to two or five or even ten shares or more.

There were also several things we wanted to adapt for our own context. It was important for us to avoid words like “selling shares.” We’re not selling anything — we’re asking people to commit to, and invest their resources in, the life and ministry of our church (again, a subtle but significant distinction). In addition, we intentionally framed our campaign around a goal which wasn’t tied to our annual budget. Theologically speaking, it’s important for our folks to generously give as a response to God’s grace and love, and not because our church needs a certain total to meet next year’s budget.

We called our campaign, Sharing Together — which was a play on previous campaigns (Forward Together, Growing Together) and a way to incorporate the word “share.” We developed a campaign logo and produced materials to explain how this new concept would work.

The church I serve is small. During my first two years there our annual pledged income was around $85,000. During year three when we concluded our Sharing Together campaign, we had commitments for 122 shares or $126,880. We could hardly believe it! This year we saw our commitments bump to 149 shares, or almost $155,000.

Part of that increase (82%!) is certainly due to the fact that our congregation is growing. That said we’re still a small church, with just about 80 members. Our largest gift is 10 shares. We attribute most of our success to changing the language around stewardship.

In the age of the sharing economy we frame giving in such a way that emphasizes co-ownership and cooperation. Setting a value on what one’s commitment might look like is helpful for both newer folks and longtime members. And asking people to commit to a share (or more) in the life and ministry of our church communicates the role each of us plays in supporting God’s work in and through our congregation.

What’s exciting for me is that we don’t ask people to give out of our need — as if the campaign is a desperate plea to support the annual budget. Instead, we invite people to share in our life and ministry together and to invest in the church’s future.

Rev. Daniel Vigilante serves as Pastor of Grace-Trinity Community Church in the Uptown neighborhood of Minneapolis. He loves the work of congregational revitalization, as well as playing the piano, spending time with family and friends, and seeing the world.

Sharing image by Ryan Roberts; Creative Commons Image on Flickr.

Discover more in a rich database of stewardship resources at 

Central Community Gathers in the Midst of a Zombie Apocalypse

Zombies take over the first meeting of the Central Community to insist on keeping things as they always have been – “It’s working so well – just like always!”

The formal launch of the first gathering of one of the three Missional Communities of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina was interrupted by the sudden appearance of masses of Zombies who tried their dead level best to keep things as they always were.

Electing the same 4 elders.
One of the activities that the Zombie Presbyterians want to keep since they are working so well in our churches.





After all, as one of the living dead told this reporter, “We can’t imagine doing anything differently. It’s working so well for us now – just like it always has in the past.” This occurred during the first meeting of the Central Community held on Saturday, June 4, 2016 at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville.

Rev. Evan Harrision
Rev. Evan Harrison shares the morning message at the Central Missional Gathering on June 4th.

Following this amusing skit, Rev. Evan Harrison, pastor of Sunnyside Presbyterian Church, invited the capacity crowd gathered around tables in the fellowship hall to remember all that God has done for us and our churches in the past – and then to forget it! since, as Isaiah tells us, God is doing a new thing – a thing bigger even than the Exodus and the parting of the Red Sea! At the conclusion of her sermon Evan led those in attendance in the creation of an electronic directory of everyone who was there through the creative use of smart phone cameras.

Rev. Sally Henry
Rev. Sally Henry Leads in Worship

The rest of the worship service included praise music and hymns led by Revs. Sally Henry and Rick McDuffie and the Lord’s Supper led by Rev. Michael Garrett. An offering for the Fayetteville Habitat for Humanity produced $560.00 for their work.



Rev. Jordan Davis - Union Presbyterian Seminary
Rev. Jordan Davis from Union Presbyterian Seminary invites members of Central Community to “Union on the Move” at the Presbytery’s E-3 event on September 17th in Elizabethtown.

Rev. Jordan Davis of Union Presbyterian Seminary invited wide participation in “Union on the Move” when members of the faculty of the Seminary will present workshops at the Presbytery’s E3 Event on September 17th at the Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church. Seminary President, Dr. Brian Blount, will be the keynote speaker. Registration materials were given out to each congregation represented.

Dr. Ernie Johnson
Rev. Ernie Johnson introduces George and Beverly Thompson, Presbytery’s missional transformation coaches.

Rev. Ernie Johnson, chair of the Strategic Planning and Organizational Review (SPOR) Committee reminded the gathering of the Listening, Learning, Dreaming – Together process that helped to lead to these Missional Communities in each of the three Presbytery’s three Communities and introduced Missional Transformation Coaches Beverley and George Thompson who encouraged pastors and congregations to take advantage of multiple ways to explore what God is up to in this new day for our congregations.

Lunch was served by members of the Launch Team and volunteers from Westminster and other Presbyterian churches. During Lunch attendees of the Gathering were able to visit mission displays brought by a number of congregations in the Community.

Steering Team
Members of the Central Community Steering Team being installed on June 4th. (l to r) Bebe Briggs, Cassandra Thomas, Jim Moran, Clarence Page, Becky Raynor, and Bonnie Barr.

After lunch the Missional Community re-gathered for a brief Presbytery business meeting which saw Rev. Clarence Page elected as moderator of the Central Community and CRE Bebe Briggs elected as clerk. Teaching and Ruling Elders who passed away in 2015 were remembered, the Community approved the matching fund for the bridge church through 2017, and received as first readings the 2017-2018 presbytery budget and minimum terms of call for pastors. Members of the Community’s Steering Team were elected and installed by Rev. Steuart Link, Mission Coordinator for the Central Community.

Beverly and George Thompson
Beverly and George Thompson share ways for congregations to connect with their work on vibrant congregations.

Following the business, the Thompsons returned to lead the group in table discussions about how we might imagine using their gifts and interests in increasing the spiritual energy or congregational vitality in the Community. In a short period of time those gathered there came up with a significant list of possible ways to increase the unity, vitality, and spiritual life of the Central Community including the following:

  • a Community Music Festival
  • a Multi-Church Book Club
  • a Game Night
  • Joint Church visits to Senior Homes
  • a Movie Night
  • Shared Cantatas
  • Joint Support Groups (grief, addiction, divorce, etc.)
  • Joint Prison Ministry
  • Joint Outdoor Events
  • Story Reading/Telling Sessions
  • and other ways to come together for Hands-On Ministries.
Registration for Central Gathering
Steuart Link and Becky Raynor sign people in before the first meeting of the Central Missional Community Gathering in Fayetteville.

Presbyterian Women of Coastal Carolina

Overview of The Presbyterian Women of Presbytery


In all the below listings, MODERATOR mailings are to be sent to:
Moderator Priscilla Brower, 306 Brower Road, Cameron, NC 28326;
TREASURER mailings are to be sent to:
Galatia Presbyterian Church, Attn: Debbie Dawson, PWCC Treasurer, 8800 Galatia Church Road, Fayetteville, NC 28304,*.
Other recipients as noted. All “Forms” referenced are available for photocopying and use in the 2016-2017 Handbook for Moderators in the Congregation, at the page number(s) provided.

  • Due Jan. 31, 2017 – Annual Reports to Moderator [page 23];
  • Due Jan. 31, 2017 – 2016 Historian’s Questionnaire (only) to Acting Historian Jeanne Anderson,  P.O. Box 465, Olivia, NC 28368 [pages 30-31];
  • Due Jan. 31, 2017 – Completed 2016 Deceased Members Form to Facilitator of Spiritual Nurture, Joan Edson, 1362 Maryland Court, Sanford, NC 27332 [page 32].
  • February 13, 2017, LORENA CLARK PINER SCHOLARSHIP application deadline

We hope to send to each PW group a copy of the very helpful “Guidelines for Presbyterian Women… for submitting Church Histories to the Presbytery Historian.” In the meantime, you might consider joining with one or more other local churches to purchase a box of the required ‘acid-free’ or 100% cotton bond paper.

Additional items coming up soon are:

  1. Submission of Lorena Clark Pine Scholarship Nominee [pages 35-37];
  2. PW Honorary Life Membership Order Form [page 33].
  3. PWCC CT Treasurer, Debbie Dawson, reminds us all to allow ample time – 6-8 weeks – for processing and mailing of pin and presentation certificate. *Please correct email address [page 7]; and
  4. 2017 Annual Spring Gathering (April 2017).

The next scheduled meeting of the PWCC Coordinating Team is Saturday, February 11th in Elizabethtown. Please speak with or write your Regional Communicator with any ideas, comments or  concerns you’d like brought before the assembled Team.


Our first item is a sincere thank-you to the gracious hosting by the Presbyterian Women of First Presbyterian Church, Lumberton, of our 2016 Fall Gathering. Through their commitment and effort, every needed detail of the day was met and exceeded.

Rev. Judy Yates Siker, author of 2016-2017 Horizons Bible Study, “Who is Jesus? What a Difference a Lens Makes,” shared with the 187 or so women in attendance a behind-the-scenes view of the process begun in 2012 to bring this work to publication. As she shared her inspirations, she engaged the audience in contributing their thoughts and perspectives. All of which enhanced their abilities to lead their own circles in study.

Additionally, numerous workshops were offered in PW topics and Coordinating Team Facilitators set up displays and materials to further enhance the day’s experience. An offering for the designated “Wells for Ghana” project was received which totaled $1217, an amount sufficient to purchase a complete well set-up. God be praised!

Wishing you all Peace each Day,

Betty Robinson, Communicating Secretary for the PWCC Coordinating Team

For Upcoming Events and Announcements, please contact your Presbyterian Women Regional Communicator (open the roster above)


PW Resources & Forms:
LINKS For Presbyterian Women
  1. General Information about Presbyterian Women:
  2. Information about Horizons Magazine and Bible studies:
  3. PW Honorary Lifetime Membership Information

Prepare to be a Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE)

The Elder Ministries Committee of the Presbytery is pleased to announce a new program of training for persons interested in preparing to help local congregations as Ruling Elders Commissioned to Pastoral Ministry (CREs).

The same program can be taken by any member of the Presbytery for their own personal enrichment.

Beginning in September, 2016, Union Presbyterian Seminary will offer a two-year program designed to prepare students to be commissioned to pastoral ministry by their presbyteries. The four first year’s courses will all be entirely online. A streaming video lesson will be offered each Tuesday evening from 7 – 9 pm for 5 weeks. Students will also spend 2 hours per week in peer interaction online and 2 hours per seek in reading and preparation for a total of 30 hours per 5 week course. Click here to read more about the program.

The presbytery will appoint mentors to work alongside the students during each course.

In the second year each of the five courses will be online and will have a total of 18 hours of presentations, peer participation and reading and preparation. In addition there will be a total of 12 hours in face-to-face sessions. These session can either be at Union’s campus in Richmond and/or Charlotte or in the student’s presbytery guided by mentors who will partner with the Seminary to conduct the face to face meetings. Time and place for these gatherings will depend on where students are located.

Tuition for all the classes is $100 per course plus books, supplies, and travel and meals (when necessary).

The courses in the first year are:

  1. Biblical Interpretation with some Bible content, but primarily focused on how to interpret the Bible
  2. Reformed Theology and History
  3. Christian Life – worship, spiritual practices, ethics
  4. The Mission of the church – evangelism and mission

While completing the first year students interested in continuing in the program as candidates for commissioning to pastoral ministry would need to complete a psychological evaluation, get session endorsement, and meet with the Elder Ministries Committee of the Commission on Ministry of this Presbytery. Those who are taking the course for their own personal edification can take either the second year courses (Track A) or a more general program (Track B).

The second year courses are: (Track A for Commissioning)

  1. Preaching the Bible
  2. Teaching the Bible
  3. Pastoral Care – care of persons
  4. Administration – care of systems: leadership, polity, stewardship, redevelopment
  5. Worship and Sacraments

For those interested in a more general program, alternative courses may be offered as electives  for Track B.

Union Presbyterian Seminary will also develop some continuing education courses each year for those who complete this initial process.

If you are interested in this program please contact Bill Reinhold at or call 910-862-8300.

E3 Learning Fair Sept 17, 2016

Come to Presbytery’s annual E3 Learning Fair Saturday, September 17 in Elizabethtown – Connect with good ideas to strengthen your service and participation in the church. The Learning Fair has a new plan this year welcoming faculty from Union Seminary to be our instructors. The E3 Learning Fair offers spiritual enrichment for all church participants.

KEYNOTE is by Rev. Dr. Brian Blount

—President and Professor of New Testament in the Walter W. Moore and Charles E.S. Kraemer Presidential Chairs

Topic— “Looking for the Truth? Space Matters”

REGISTER ONLINE CLICK HERE – Please Prepay ($25) by check or credit card—after Sept. 12, cost is $35 per person.

Promotional Flyer

E3 Learning Fair — NEW Schedule
10:00 A.M.—Registration, Refreshments & Displays
10:30 A.M.—Plenary (keynote & awards)
12 Noon A.M.—Lunch, Bookstore, Resource Center, Displays
1PM—Session#1 Workshops
2:15 P.M.—Session #2 Workshops
3:15 end of day

Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church, 800 W. Broad St. Elizabethtown 28337
Online registration is open— $25 per person (includes lunch).

Don’t Miss Displays & Book Store…

  • PCUSA Congregational Ministries Bookstore,
  • Presbytery’s Resource Center, and more

NEW in the Resource Center!



Organic Student Ministry by Stephen IngramBookDo you find other youth ministry programs promise you can “plug and play,” only to fall short of expectations, forcing you to “adopt and drop”?  This book will help you:                                                                                                                  – Develop practices instead of just programs                                                        – Minister to students where they are instead of spending your time pleading with them to “get with the program.                                             -Focus on a way of doing ministry that grows naturally from the distinctively rich and fertile soil of you unique church.

Social Media Gospel by Meredith Gould BookFacebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, and a growing number of other social media tools can help you build church, deepen faith, and extend your reach in previously unimaginable ways. In this easy-to-understand, step-by-step guide to digital ministry, church communications professional Meredith Gould goes beyond “how to” and explains “why to” engage your parish in the world of social media.

Social media tools make it possible to share conversations and content with the long-time faithful, disaffected millennials, the homebound, and spiritual seekers within and beyond church-the-building. Inspired by the Gospel and centered on Christ, The Social Media Gospel gently guides you and your church leaders and volunteers through the rapidly changing world of social media, helping you preach the Good News in new ways.

Coming Home: Ministry That Matters with Veterans and Military Families by Zachary Moon – Book – How can your faith community go beyond gratitude to truly become a place of welcome-and ongoing service-for veterans and their loved ones? In “Coming Home,” commissioned military chaplain Zachary Moon fully equips you to mobilize a receptive and restorative ministry with military families. Includes discussion questions and veteran’s reflections.


Wonder Struck: Awakening to the Nearness of God by Margaret Feinberg. – Join Margaret Feinberg for this 7-session, DVD-based Bible study filmed in the spectacular Canadian Rockies that will remind you what it means to awaken to wonder-every day. Do you ever feel like you’re going through the motions of faith? We lose our sense of holy awe. In this study you are invited to drink in the fullness of life God intended. You will learn how to:

-Develop a renewed passion for God; Identify what’s holding you back in prayer; Find extraordinary moments on ordinary days; Discover peace in knowing you’re wildly loved!

Half Truths: God Helps Those Who Help Themselves and Other Things the Bible Doesn’t Say by Adam Hamilton – Book with DVD-based study – God helps those who help themselves and other things the Bible Doesn’t say – They are simple phrases. They sound Christian—like something you might find in the Bible. We’ve all heard these words. Maybe we’ve said them. They capture some element of truth, yet they miss the point in important ways.   Join Adam Hamilton in searching for the whole truth by comparing common Christian clichés to the message and ministry of Jesus. The clichés include:

  • Everything happens for a reason.
  • God helps those who help themselves. •God won’t give you more than you can handle.                                                                                                  •God said it, I believe it, That settles it.                                                            •Love the sinner, hate the sin.

Half Truths is also part of a small-group experience complete that includes a DVD, Leader Guide, and a youth study.


Embracing the Prophets in Contemporary Culture by Walter Brueggemann with Tim Scorer – DVD-based study.  Walter Brueggemann, arguably America’s leading Old Testament scholar and theologian, takes us on a wild ride through the poetic prophecy of the Hebrew Scripture, identifying cultural contexts, putting a framework to Israel’s history, and, most significantly—and at times challengingly!—drawing connections between Israel’s sociological, economic and spiritual status and that of America today.

Session 1: Moses, Pharaoh, the Prophets and Us                                              Session 2: The Prophets as Uncredentialed Purveyors of Covenant                                                                                                                                                     Session 3: Moral Coherence in a World of Power, Money and Violence                                                                                                                                      Session 4: The Shrill Rhetoric that Breaks Denial                                                                                                                                                                                                  Session 5: The Grief of Loss as Divine Judgment                                                Session 6: The Promissory Language that Breaks Despair                          This DVD contains all video content needed to conduct this six-session study. Each session begins with a 10-15 minute video presentation by Brueggemann followed by filmed interaction with a diverse small group. Leader’s guide included.


Faith Formation 4.0 by Julie Anne Lytle – Book – Using an ecological approach to study how emerging technologies impact individual and communal formation, Faith Formation 4.0 looks at how our efforts to be story-keepers, story-sharers, and story-makers have evolved over four eras of human communication. Framed by the Great Commission imperative to “make disciples,” this book offers a road map to help leaders develop goals to form, inform, and transform new members, as well as long-time believers, within a faith community. The author successfully illustrates that church success depends not only on knowing the Christian message of God’s enduring love, but also how to use today’s tools appropriately for evangelization and faith formation.

Holy Currency Exchange: 101 Stories, Songs, Actions, and Visions of Missional and Sustainable Ministries by Eric Law – Book – The book offers 101 stories, songs, actions, and visions of missional and sustainable ministries.

We all have resources – time, place, leadership, relationship, truth, wellness, and money.  What makes these resources holy is a dynamic process of exchanging them to empower the cycle of blessings that sustains communities.  This book captures the real life stories of these holly currency exchanges, most of which emerged out of Christian communities.

The book also offers innovative ideas for holy currency exchanges – some of which have never been tried. These ideas are dreams or visions of what can happen if we dare to follow the divine pattern of holy currency exchange.


Kids and Prayer – DVD hosted by Rachel G. Hackenberg is an author, speaker, and ordained minister. Introduce your kids, your classroom, to prayer with this lively new video presentation in four sessions, each asking a basic question. These four segments include explanations from Rachel G. Hackenberg, interviews with kids, onscreen storyboard Bible teaching, and “on the road” field trips to look at each question from a different angle. Your class will enjoy paying attention to this engaging instruction!

  • Session 1: What Is Prayer?                                                                                      Session 2: Why Do We Pray?                                                                                   Session 3: How Do We Pray?                                                                                • Session 4: Where Do We Pray?

Each DVD session is about 8 to 10 minutes. A discussion guide is included.

Contact or 910-862-8300, ext. 209 to borrow these resources.

Church Renews Commitment to Earth Care

Black River Presbyterian Church Renews Commitment to Earth Care

The Black River Presbyterian Church in Ivanhoe, NC, has once again been certified as an Earth Care Congregation by the Presbyterian Church (USA) Environmental Ministries – this time through February, 2017. The Black River Church was first certified as an Earth Care Congregation in 2010 when the program first began. This honor speaks to the great commitment that this congregation has to caring for God’s earth.

To become an Earth Care Congregation, the session of the Black River Church (led by Rev. Paul Layton) affirmed the Earth Care Pledge to integrate environmental practices and thinking into all facets of their church life. Members of the congregation also completed projects and activities in the fields of worship, education, facilities, and outreach.

The Earth Care Congregation certification is designed to recognize churches that have made the commitment to take seriously God’s charge to “till and keep” the garden.

The Earth Care Congregations program was started in 2010 by PC(USA) Environmental Ministries.  The goal of the program is to inspire churches to care for God’s earth in a holistic way, through integrating earth care into all of church life.  The Earth Care Congregation certification honors churches that made that commitment, and encourages others to follow their lead.

For more information on the Earth Care Congregations program go to


Suggested Lenten Studies

Presbytery of Coastal Carolina’s Resource Center provides…


To borrow these resources, contact or 910-862-8300, ext. 209.

Illuminating Lent by Donald K. McKim – Illuminating Lent deepens faith and enhances knowledge through the exploration of the Lord’s Prayer. Each of the six sessions examines a part of the prayer, its theological understandings, and what it means for Reformed Christians in practical ways during Lent. Leader’s guide and participant book.

Session 1: Introducing Lent

Session 2: Upward: What We Do for God – Glorify God

Session 3: Inward: What God Does In Us- Communion with God

Session 4: Downward: What God Gives to Us

Session 5: Forward: Where God Leads Us – Discipleship

Session 6: Onward: What God Will Do – Resurrection Hope

Who Is This Man?, by John Ortberg – In this 5-session, DVD-based study, Ortberg shows how Jesus’ influence has swept over history, bringing his inspiration to the fields of art, science, government, medicine, and education. And how his vision for us to lead lives of dignity, compassion, forgiveness, and hope continues to inspire and challenge humanity today. The study guide features video notes, group discussion questions, informative quotes, and ideas for personal application.

Session Titles:

  1. The Man Who Won’t Go Away
  2. A Revolution of Humanity
  3. The Power of Forgiveness
  4. Why It’s a Small World After All
  5. Three Days That Changed the World

The Way: Walking in the Footsteps of Jesus, by Adam Hamilton – Join Adam Hamilton in the Holy Land as he explores the life and ministry of Jesus in this DVD study of six sessions plus epilogue. Using videos shot on location, Hamilton takes you to the Jordan River where Jesus was baptized and the wilderness where he was tempted. Leader’s guide is included.

1- Baptism and Temptation

2- The Healing Ministry

3 – Proclaiming the Kingdom

4 – Calming the Storm

5 – Sinners, Outcasts, and the Poor

6 – The Final Week

This study has a separate children’s and youth study component.


What Wondrous Love Is – Six DVD sessions each approximately 7 minutes long. Every chapter features the reading of a passage of scripture, commentary by the scholars, and a Swanson work of art based on that passage. . The folk hymn “What Wondrous Love Is This?” which serves as the accompanying musical theme, is sung by award-winning Celtic vocalist Connie Dover.                                        

 Embracing Forgiveness – DVD based – In five lively, engaging presentations, Episcopal priest, author, and spiritual director Barbara Cawthorne Crafton shares stories and insights on forgiveness, what it is (and isn’t!), its potential for healing and restoration, why it’s so badly needed (both personally and corporately), and, how employing simple, concrete practices can more fully integrate forgiveness into our lives. Moving, challenging, and extremely helpful, this video/workbook combination provides any small group with the tools to learn to forgive! Barbara combines a passion for the arts with a life of faith. Her books, articles, and radio scripts have won many awards, including numerous Polly Bond Awards from Episcopal Communicators and the coveted Gabriel Award for religious broadcasting. Session titles: 1: Seventy Times Seven: Really? 2: You Have Heard it Said, 3: Chipping Away, 4: How to Start, 5: Why Forgive? To watch a sample YouTube video session, CLICK HERE. To view a sample session of this study, CLICK HERE.

Forgiveness: A Lenten Study by Marjorie Thompson, author of the best-selling book Soul Feast, takes a close look at our understanding of forgiveness in this encouraging study. In six brief chapters, Thompson addresses such questions as the following:

  • Is forgiveness a Christian duty under all circumstances? Or are there situations when Christians do not need to forgive?
  • Is forgiveness a matter between individuals, or is it meaningful only in the context of communities?
  • Is forgiving the best route to healing for the injured?
  • How do we get past emotional barriers to real forgiveness?

Using biblical examples and real-life situations, Thompson illustrates each chapter’s theme in an informative and engaging way. A study guide is also included that is appropriate for either individual reflection or group discussion. With clarity, insight, and sensitivity, this book is the perfect resource for examining both our ability to forgive and our own need for forgiveness.

 Enough: God’s Blessings in Abundance – As part of the Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding series this six-session study through the parables and other biblical materials participants explore dimensions of what it means to have enough.

Session 1 – We Don’t Have Enough

Session 2 – Becoming Unbound from Fears of Not Enough

Session 3 – Enough to Make a Difference

Session 4 – Enough for Transformational Giving

Session 5 – Enough is Good for the Body

Session 6 – How Much is Enough to Leave Our Children?

  • Blessings of the Cross – 7 session study invites you to explore God’s hope and presence presented in the Lectionary scripture readings for Lent and Easter.  Key Bible readings call us to praise God as we contemplate God’s redemption and new creation through the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ.  Through the readings, we hear the call to celebrate the blessings of new life offered through Jesus Christ.

On Ma Journey – a Lenten study based on African American Spirituals

  • Lenten Journey: Beyond Questions – by Eric Burtness. Book. This book is a guide to exploring questions Jesus asks throughout the Gospels. They are transformative questions that challenge us. It is designed for a 40-day journey on your own or with a friend, small group or congregation.

– What are you looking for?

– Where is your faith?

– Who do you say that I am?

– What do you want me to do for you?

– Do you love me?

– How will you believe what I say?

– Whom are you looking for?

  • Knowing God’s Triune Story by Michael Lindvall – Book. This study unlocks the Trinity from the church’s abstractions by interpreting it as a shorthand symbol for the long narrative of God. Lindvall examines how the three persons of the Trinity form the unity of God’s embrace of humanity. This is a 40 daily readings with small group guide – 2010 Moderator’s Lenten Bible Study
  • Alive to God in Jesus Christ: 40 Daily Readings with small-group guide by Joseph Small This book in the iBelieve series provides a disciplined study of Christian doctrine of the incarnation. Five session plans for small-group Lenten study are provided in the back of the book.
  • Bread & Broth: A Lenten Bible Study, by Cynthia E. Cowan. Serve a different kind of soup and bread each week as you study the lives of Jacob, Moses, Joshua, Elisha, John the Baptist and Jesus in this six-part study.
  • Unbinding Your Heart: 40 Days of Prayer & Faith Sharing, by Martha Grace Reece. A six-week version of the book Unbinding the Gospel. It provides a scripture and prayer exercise each day, a chapter to study each week, and a weekly worship w/ sermon, music and prayers.

The Jesus Creed Challenge by Scot McKnight – This spiritual formation package includes the book The Jesus Creed: Loving God, Loving Others with companion guide; 40 Days Living the Jesus Creed extends what is explored in the book; seven DVD-based lessons on loving God and loving others.

Countering Pharaoh’s Production-Consumption Society Today, one of the new DVD-based adult studies from Living the Questions. Described as a study for progressive Christians, this program has five sessions, 10 to 20 minutes each, and can be conducted over four to five sessions. Included is over an hour of video on DVD and a CD with printable written materials.

Hosted by Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman, each session begins with warm-up question video    clip like “Can you be a born again Christian and a progressive Christian at the same time?’” or “How are we to understand the role violence plays in the Scriptures?” Session themes are: The Way Out; The Decalogue; Countering Caesar; An Act of Imagination; and On Not Doing God Any Favors.

  • In the Dust of the Rabbi: Becoming a Disciple – by Ray Vander Lann – this 5 session study has a book and accompanying DVD that will investigate the world of the disciples in its cultural context and attempt to apply the message of the Bible in today’s world. Sessions: 1. When the Rabbi Says “Come” 2. When the Rabbi says “Go” 3. The Presence of God: A Counter-Cultural Community
  1. Living Stones   5. The Very Words of God
  • God is Closer Than You Think –       Six-session DVD study with book by John Ortberg.. The package has book, study guide, PowerPoint, & video presentations. Find God where you least expect to; listen to God’s voice; Identify which pathway of relationship you’re uniquely designed to travel; align yourself with the flow of the Holy Spirit; Draw closer to God even when God seems absent.
  • Seven Words to the Cross by J. Ellsworth Kalas is a 7-session Lenten study for adults which focuses on our response to the cross. Each lesson includes a scripture reference, a brief reflection, questions for discussion, prayer and focus for next week.
  • The Common People Heard Him Gadly by James W. Moore is a 7-session Lenten study for adults. In this study, the focus is on what it was about Jesus that attracted the masses to him? Just what was it about Jesus that touched people so deeply and so dramatically? Each lesson has scripture reference, brief reflection, questions for discussion, prayer, and focus for next session.

A Trail of Tears: Bible study for Lent, Bob Bankhead. Seven lessons (with texts from the three Synoptic Gospels) that trace the events of Jesus’ final journey into Jerusalem and toward crucifixion.

Journey To Jerusalem: Celebrating and Teaching the Life of Jesus, Boyd Lien. Book. This can be an intergenerational study using the learning center concept that can be adapted to each church’s needs. It can be done as Sunday school for six weeks, Vacation Bible School or mid-week programs.

From Palm Sunday to Easter, N. Raymond Day. This Lenten study has six lessons that reflect on some of the persons involved in Holy Week. The persons are Jesus, Judas, the high priests, Pilate, Herod, and Peter.

We Are An Easter People, Adrienne and John Carr. Book. A five-week Lenten study designed to help discover what it means to be “Easter People” – those who have discovered anew the power of God in their lives. Leader’s guide & participants book.

Meet the Risen Lord: Scriptures for the Church Season by, Kurt R. Schuermann Adult Study for Lent, ’99

  • DVD – The Four Acts of Prayer with Walter Wangerin, Jr. – Wangerin uses stories to explore these four vital elements of the complete circle of praying: We speak, God Listens, God Speaks, We Listen.

Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2016

Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2016
GO! Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2016
We are thrilled to announce the opening of registration for the 2016 Presbyterian Youth Triennium. We are registering a bit late because we were not sure we would be able to financially afford this trip. However, many of our young people continue to point to experiences like this, and Triennium specifically, as crucial moments in their faith development.

So we are a “GO” for Triennium.

If you haven’t guessed, the theme for this year’s Triennium is Go (into the world and make disciples). We will be taking a delegation of approximately 40 youth and adults to West Lafayette, Indiana to join 6,000 other youth and adults to explore this theme and worship God.
Triennium is July 19 -23,  2016 plus travel days!
Please use the Registration Packet to register young people.

Learn more about Triennium at

 If you are an adult and wish to attend Triennium, please contact me, Amy Hodges, at or 910-520-7934.  Please also contact me with any questions or comments!

Presbyterian Youth Triennium