Coronavirus April Advisory from Presbytery

March 27, 2020
“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth should change,
though the mountains shake in the heart of the sea…

The LORD of hosts is with us;
the God of Jacob

is our refuge!”


There can be no doubt that our world continues to shift and change due to the Covid-19 Pandemic. And what makes matters worse is that the changes come rapidly. It is hard to find comfort in a new rhythm that continues to be challenged and changed. These disruptions, while for the common good, are still disruptions from our comfortable norms.

Nevertheless, I find great comfort in the affirmation of the 46th Psalm. In this Psalm I am reminded that in the midst of overwhelming change, God is my place of refuge. In this Psalm, I am reminded that God is the strength I need to thrive in chaos. It is in this Psalm that I am reminded that God has been and continues to be present, steadfast, with us in times of trouble. Even if the mountains (or things we thought permanent) were to change, falter, or disappear; the Lord is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge. Thanks be to God.

Presbytery of Coastal Carolina LogoYesterday, the Board of Directors for The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina, responding to the challenges of our day; mandated that all scheduled presbytery gatherings be convened virtually until May 1st and recommended to sessions that face-to-face worship services prior to May 1st transition to incorporate use of available technology.

In March the board took similar action to cancel events of presbytery scheduled in the month of March. This recent action of the board requires that meetings of presbytery commissions, committees, and subcommittees be convened virtually at this time. By meeting virtually, we can continue to do the work that needs to be done resourcing congregations and “equipping the saints for the work of ministry”.

Please note that the board is again recommending to sessions that face-to-face worship be suspended until May 1st. The board can only make recommendation to sessions regarding the worship of a particular congregation.

To aid session deliberation, I have attached(linked) to this correspondence

The two advisory opinions from the PC(USA) will help answer questions for those considering virtual meetings (session and congregation) and celebration of the Lord’s SupperPCUSA Logo when worship is not face-to-face. Additionally, sessions should use the attached executive order. This order acknowledges places of worship as “essential activities” (Section 1, paragraph 3, subsection vi & Section 2C.10). This document provides information about management of administrative staff, the number that constitute a mass gathering, and the number of attendees allowed for funerals.

Sessions should also consider ways to stress the importance of faithful stewardship.

  • Ensure utilities are not running in unoccupied facilities. Inform members that ministry is on-going.
  • Remind contributors to the ministry that their financial support is critical.

These are strange and challenging times. Nevertheless, I have been encouraged by the commitment of our congregations to share The Good News – news desperately needed during these times – in new and different ways. I have heard of a commissioned ruling elder that posted a sermon reflection to YouTube for a congregation of 20. By the afternoon that sermon had over 200 views. And another pastor reported that she received a message from a sick-and-shut-in member that they felt connected to their church for the first time in months thanks to a sermon she posted on Facebook.

Be encouraged! The Lord of hosts is with us. The God of Jacob is our refuge!

Lenten Blessings,
Rev. Jerrod B. Lowry

Click here for the PDF Print friendly version of this letter.

The PCUSA has provided a resource page of helps for getting online and ways to respond to this emergency. View it here


Click here to see a list of the latest resources from the PCUSA Mission Agency – Prayers, Advisories, Grants from PDA for COVID19 response, ways to help, and more.

Coronavirus Advice to Churches

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not rely on your own insight.   In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.”            Proverbs 3:5-6 (NRSV)

To the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina,

Friends, like you, I have worries around this pandemic called Covid-19, also known as the Coronavirus. I worry about those that will get sick and those that will die. I worry that I may have missed the opportunity to respond in ways that could have saved lives, and I worry that time will prove my recommended response to have been an overreaction that does harm to our faith communities. I’m worried about our presbytery staff and ensuring that they have the resources they need to do the jobs that they are called to do in the safest and healthiest ways possible. As the pastor to this presbytery, I’m concerned about adequately resourcing all our congregational leaders to ensure that congregations are doing the right thing for themselves and their neighbors. As a father I’m worried about my family. I have children in schools and my wife has health concerns that put her amongst those most at risk. Like you, I have worries as I read about the spread of this pandemic.

Yet as I wrestled these past few days, I have found reassurance in our confessions – documents written when the church was facing challenging times and felt the need to unify around declarations of faith or to teach the faith. These days I have leaned upon the words offered in the Heidelberg Catechism and the Brief Statement of Faith. Both speak about a deep trust in God. They speak about trusting God completely and totally. They speak about trusting God who is both present and active amid all that is known and whatever is to come.

We trust that we belong to God, the confessions affirm. We trust in Jesus Christ. We trust in the Holy Spirit. Aware of what is going on around us and no matter what the outcomes may bring – in life and in death – our trust is in God. This is the trust that we sing in one of my favorite hymns as we proclaim Christ is like a solid rock upon which we stand when all other ground is sinking sand.

These are the thoughts that have encouraged me as I’ve discussed with your presbytery staff about how to respond as faithfully as possible to the challenges raised by Covid-19.

  • Our faith does not make us blind to the terrible reality of pandemic around us. Instead, with Bible in one hand and “newspaper” in the other, we seek to share the Gospel in word and in deed…but to do so in ways that will be healthy for us and for those that we seek to encourage with Good News of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
  • Our deep faith and trust in God does not mean that we ignore what is going on around us. Instead we are challenged, and I believe we are guided by the Holy Spirit to respond in new, innovative, and creative ways.

Guided by both a firm faith that we are called to ministries bearing love, light, and peace found in Christ (a message needed these days) and that we must do this work in ways that do not place us or hearers of the gospel in danger; I am recommending to the 180ish churches in the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina that all gatherings be cancelled until April 1st.

It is my hope and prayer that things will improve and as April 1st approaches we can reconsider how we do ministry in the coming weeks and months.

Meetings and events of the presbytery may be rescheduled for a date after April 1st. Some meetings of presbytery committees will shift from face-to-face meeting and become meetings that are convened either by conference call or using web-based video conferencing. And it is my recommendation that worship services and fellowship activities in local congregations be cancelled until April 1st. Please know that this is my recommendation based upon information received from the Centers for Disease Control, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, state and local health organizations. It will be the responsibility of each session to determine whether they will cancel gatherings of their congregation.

  • Some sessions may decide to cancel services.
  • Some may decide to worship over conference calls (low tech option) and some may decide to offer live streamed worship services (a high tech option). Trying new things will be challenging and frustrating.
  • However, I’m optimistic that choosing options that limit face-to-face interaction are not only safest options but may put us in contact with new ears in our communities that are searching for words of comfort and hope.

If a session decides to continue meeting face-to-face, Rev. Laura Lupton, Mission Coordinator for the West Community, has developed a list of things that need to be considered. This is not an exhaustive list but it a great place to start for those deciding to worship as they normally would worship. (see the text below).

As your presbytery staff receives information, we will do our best to disseminate it as quickly as possible so that you can make healthy, safe, faithful decisions for yourselves, your families, your congregations, and your neighbors.

Friends remember that we do not just “do church”. We are the CHURCH. May we approach this crisis with eyes wide open about the challenges we face, but also with hearts wide open that we may be guided by the Holy Spirit to respond in full trust that even now God is with us and has given us Good News of Christ to share with the world! I am not sure what the future holds but I am confident that it is God who holds the future.

May God bless us all!

Rev. Jerrod B. Lowry
General Presbyter and Stated Clerk Presbytery of Coastal Carolina

 Live Streaming Tips & Helps:

  • The ADMINS of your church’s Facebook group can livestream (or upload) video that will appear to be “ABC Presbyterian Church is live”
  • a good internet connection or quality data plan is needed. (practice in advance of worship)
  • Some ministers might do a video message sitting at their desk if the congregation is not gathering.
  • a phone holding adapter can be purchased for use on a tripod
  • Please consider copyright issues when livestreaming music.
  • Consider SLOWLY showing the bulletin at some point in the video. This will give people away to find song titles and names of persons speaking, if they want to know those things.
  • Consider videoing the service horizontally (wide not tall).
  • Clean the camera lens of the phone being used.
  • Please read this cautionary advice
  • PAUSE the video stream when simi-PRIVATE prayer concerns are being shared (think HIPPA). The video is available GLOBALLY when online with many platforms.
  • If you don’t want to use Facebook, please check out

SHARE with your Sister Congregations:

If you are offering a live streaming option or a call in option, please let your mission coordinator know the details (time, link, phone number, etc.) because some churches are unable to do this and would like to invite members to be part of your service.

Phone Calling Services

  • One church is recommending the use of as a way to text, call or email congregants news, updates, a devotional message, information about online events or call-in access information, and other advisories. This service has a free trail but is a paid service at reasonable cost. If you have questions Rev. Shane Owens of Union PC in Carthage may be able to help you.  Reach him at (910) 638-1609.
  • Mt Pisgah PC is using to contact members.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Pandemic Information Sheet (click here)

COVID-19 Practical steps Congregations can take:

  1. Hand sanitizer at all entrances
  2. Clean the upper back edge and arm rests of all pews
  3. Do not use hymnals – print or display words
  4. Do not pass offering plates; Have persons come forward during the offertory music or have donation plates at the exits
  5. Persons handling money after the service should wear gloves (and persons handling mail)
  6. Some are suggesting that water fountains be closed with a “do not use” sign.
  7. Enhanced cleaning of nursery area and toys.
  8. Wipe down all door handles, push plates on doors, chairs, tables, light switches, thermostats, etc.
  9. Persons preparing communion should wear gloves, masks and hairnets.
  10. Add signage about hand-washing in all restrooms.
  11. Put bulletins on a counter for pick up rather than handing them out.
  12. Doorman/woman to hold doors open so it is not touched by all person entering/exiting
  13. For Communion (see below)
Social Distancing
  1. Ask people to sit with spacing between them (sitting in every other row is one idea)
  2. In SS classes ask persons to sit in every other chair.
  3. Do not pass the peace – when greeting use hand on the heart gesture, elbows or the peace sign, etc.
  4. Do not serve communion by intinction – use cup trays held by one person (do not pass the trays), Consider the use of the sealed self-contained communion cups. To order these search online for “Prefilled Communion Cups with Juice and Wafer”
  5. If anyone is coughing, ask them to wear a mask or go home.
Congregational Care
  1. Establish Care Team (Response Team) of persons willing and able to help persons who need to be quarantined at home. This team would be available to pick up groceries or prescriptions, etc. and leave them the porch or in a mailbox of the home-bound person.  Arrange for payment online or by some other non-cash means.
  2. Increase the use of Live Streaming on Facebook or recording and posting to church website or YouTube or Vemio, etc. for spiritual messages – sermons, devotions, hymns, etc.
  3. Pray for one another and for the virus to cease!
Inform & Educate
  1. In the bulletin print appropriate reminders (washing hands, available hand sanitizer, maintaining social distances) instructions for the offering and information about care teams or a point person in your congregation.
  2. Let people know about any livestreaming options.
    How to participate online in worship or by phone
  3. Communicate the need to continue to financially support the church.
  4. Remind people of the need to get medical care if ill. Some hospitals are offering drive through COVID19 screening, call your hospital to find out more.
Contact the Presbyterian Foundation about adding online giving options.

If you have additional suggestions,
please feel free to send them to your mission coordinator.

One Great Day of Service-West Community

One Great Day of Service- POSTPONED

A West Community Initiative of the Presbytery
across 5 Counties

Sign-Up  ~  Go  ~  Rejoice

In the afternoon: Come Rejoice & Celebrate at 2:30PM-3:30PM
Hear from others ~  Share your Story ~ See photos ~ Pray
at Bethesda Presbyterian Church, 2:30PM
1002 N Sandhills Blvd, Aberdeen, NC 28315

Scotland County Locations

Monroe Camp & Retreat Center, Inc. 24501 Camp Rd, Laurel Hill    8:30AM- 1PM  (25 people)  Bring: work gloves, yard tools, gas trimmers, tool box, etc. for Yardwork, Roadside Cleanup – Adopt a highway. Various minor repairs around camp. Flexibility is of the essence!   Wish List idea…Assembling or Creating picnic tables for the pool area (Up to 8 Needed/NOTE: Volunteer Group would to donate/obtain materials.)

Hoke County Locations

See Camp Monroe above.

Moore County Locations

Habitat for Humanity of the NC Sandhills “the Carthage site” 103 Old Glendon Rd. Carthage  8AM- 1PM  (10Max) Must be at least 16 years of age Specific work is determined on site.

Food Bank of Central & Eastern North Carolina, Southern Pines Branch, 195 Sandy Ave, Southern Pines, NC 28327 – 9AM – Noon (30 people) Food sorting, cleaning, learning about the Foodbank. Participants will need to complete a second registration required by the Food Bank.

Harnett County Locations

Crossing All Borders Ministry, 1446 James Norris Rd., Angier, NC 27546.  8:30AM until 12:30 (50 max, any age) Making hygiene kits, Sorting clothes & Medical supplies & donations, Yard maintenance Volunteers may bring items for hygiene kits: 1. Gallon zip lock bags 2. Toothbrushes 3. Toothpaste 4. Mouthwash 5. Combs 6. Deodorant 7. Floss 8. Nail Clippers 9. Washcloths 10. Soap 11. Lotion 12. Shampoo.

Lee County Locations

Christians United Outreach Center in Sanford (CUOC) 2885 Lee Ave, Sanford,  9AM- 12:30  (10 persons) Various tasks of sorting, stocking, cleaning

Liberty Home Care and Hospice – 1005 Carthage Street, Sanford, NC. 9:00 AM – 1 pm with lunch included.   (20 Teenagers – Adult)

Boys and Girls Club of Central Carolina, 1424 Bragg St. in Sanford.  9:30 AM – 1 PM.  (10)  Painting an inside room. Wear clothes for painting & bring disposable gloves if you want them.

Sewing Sisters at Pocket Presbyterian Church, 669 Pocket Church Rd, Sanford, NC 27330  8:30AM to 12:30 Learn about sewing dresses that decrease human trafficking in impoverished areas.  Optional to bring any of the following: Sewing Machine, Sewing Serger, Fabric Scissors, and a snack to share.

Register by Tuesday, March 17 at Noon.
Please do not contact agencies directly.
Please contact Laura Lupton with any questions.


  • There is no cost to participate.
  • Advanced registration is REQUIRED – no walk-ins permitted due to limited space at each site and the preparation of supplies and refreshments.
  • Each individual must register by Monday, March 9. No Group reservations.
  • Participants volunteer at their own risk and must exercise caution and safe practices at all times.
  • If available, additional details may be emailed to registered participants a few days prior to the 21st.
  • Due to the limited spaces, please notify Laura Lupton of any cancellations as other may be waiting.
  • If the projects in your county are full, we would welcome you to create your own community service project for that day and let us know the details and for you to come to the closing conversation and prayer at Bethesda PC at 2:30.
  • Coming to Bethesda for the closing gathering is optional but will be worth your time.

Laura Lupton can be reached at 910-818-9938 or

Ongoing Hurricane Florence Response

Ongoing Hurricane Florence Response

PDA Deploys Long Term Recovery Specialist

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Florence Presbyterian Disasters Assistance (PDA) sent a team of six people to stand with the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina and to assess the magnitude of the disaster caused by the hurricane. ….   <continue reading>

PCC Churches Continue to Response

Within hours of the restoration of power and communications across the area Facebook and other social media were abuzz with reports about what the churches of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina were doing in response to Hurricane Florence. Examples of neighbors helping neighbors….
<continue reading>

Camp Kirkwood can host work groups

Learn More (PDF)

Highland Presbyterian is Hosting Work Groups in Fayetteville

for an overnight group willing to work in Fayetteville or Lumberton, please contact Eden Roberts who is the PDA Mission Specialist II for Hosting and Volunteer Management of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance at the National Call Center  1.866.732.6121 (toll-free)  VOLUNTEERS NEEDED NOW

Resources Available

  1.  Ministry Continuation Grants
  2.   Can my church become a Volunteer Hosting Site
  3.   Emotional/Spiritual Support

Important Links Below

PDA Deploys LTR Specialist

In the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Florence Presbyterian Disasters Assistance (PDA) sent a team of six people to stand with the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina and to assess the magnitude of the disaster caused by the hurricane.

Now only a few weeks later, PDA has deployed David Tahlman, a specialist in Long Term Recovery (LTR), to work with the three presbyteries most affected by Hurricane Florence – Coastal Carolina, New Harmony, and New Hope. David is based in Raleigh where he can easily coordinate with FEMA and State of NC authorities but has begun a tour of our presbytery along with PDA National Response Team member Dave Tahlman. After meeting with presbytery staff in Elizabethtown, the team is moving east to visit Duplin, Pender, Onslow, and Carteret Counties over the next few days.

The purpose of this visit is to get a sense of the needs related to our congregations, to help churches consider becoming host sites for volunteers, and to encourage the development or redevelopment of Long Term Recovery (LTRG) organizations.

PDA specializes in three areas of disaster response within the United States – long term recovery efforts, hosting of volunteers, and emotional/spiritual resilience. David  and his colleagues from PDA are available to work with  churches and groups in any of these areas. They can be contacted through the Presbytery office or through your Community’s Mission Coordinator.

PCC Churches Continue to Response

Within hours of the restoration of power and communications across the area Facebook and other social media were abuzz with reports about what the churches of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina were doing in response to Hurricane Florence. Examples of neighbors helping neighbors lifted the spirits of all who saw the Body of Christ at work.

While the initial burst of activity has slowed down, the churches of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina continue to be engaged not only with continuing needs for food, shelter, and cleaning supplies, but also in building up the infrastructure that our communities will need to connect the volunteers eager to help with those who need assistance.

Led by decades of experience by PDA, Presbyterians excel in the creation of committees and work teams who are there for the long haul. The lessons we learned in parts of our Presbytery following Hurricane Matthew are now available to the eastern portion of our Presbytery which escaped much of the damage caused by Matthew two years ago.

In the days and weeks to follow we will use this page to inform you of where Long Term Recovery (LTR) groups are being established and where volunteers can be hosted. If you or your church has something to offer to the effort, please contact the Presbytery office or your Community’s Mission Coordinator.

Resources Available

  • Ministry Grants

Very limited financial resources are available to assist congregations in recovery of their ministry. These funds are designed to come in after insurance and other resources have been tapped. Contact the Presbytery office for details and application forms.

  • Setting Up a Hosting Site for Volunteers 

PDA has specialists who can help your congregation evaluate their capacity to host teams of volunteers to assist in recovery efforts. Call the Presbytery office or your Community’s Mission Coordinator

  •  Emotional/Spiritual Resilience

Disasters, like any other sort of trauma, leave us exhausted and spiritually drained. Anxiety within congregations, like in any human system, tend to flow to the top. Pastors often carry the heaviest burden of this additional load of anxiety. PDA makes available retreats and other opportunities for emotional and spiritual respite and recovery of balance. Contact the Presbytery office or your Mission Coordinator for details.

Important Links

Special Presbytery Meeting

The Mission Cabinet has called a special meeting of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina for Thursday, August 30, 2018, to act on these items:

  1. Hear the report of the GP/SC Search Committee … and Vote on calling Rev. Jerrod Lowry as our next General Presbyter/Stated Clerk.
  2. Vote on the 2019 Terms of Call for Ministers and Certified Christian Educators (second reading),
  3. Vote on the revised 2019 Budget (second reading), and
  4. Hear the report of our Commissioners to the 2018 General Assembly

The meeting will begin at 2:00 pm.
Registration will begin at 1:30 pm.

Thursday, August 30, 2018
at Elizabethtown Presbyterian Church
800 W Broad St, Elizabethtown, NC 28337


Photo of Jerrod Lowry
Rev. Jerrod Lowry

A brief reception for the new General General Presbyter/Stated Clerk nominee and his family will follow the meeting.

Complete Packet with terms of call (20 pages)

Click here for the original packet (18 pages) and please open the Terms of Call for Rev. Lowry (2 pages)

NOTE: The commissioner elected to go to the June Community Gathering my serve as your commissioner to this meeting without having to have a session meeting. A new commissioner may also be elected by the session.

NO PRE-Registration is needed.
Please simply come and register on site.

General Assembly Report


By Clarence G. Page, Mission Coordinator


Members of the Presbytery of Gid­dings-Lovejoy’s Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) did an outstanding job planning the 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis that was held at the America’s Center Downtown, June 15-23, 2018.  Theme chosen for the Gathering was, “Kin-dom Building of the 21st Century” (Matt. 6:33).


At the Pre-Assembly Gathering, Dr. Liz Theoharris, co-founder of the New Poor People Campaign, captivated the audience when she spoke about her experience from campaigning for the poor.  She and some others were put in jail for praying on the steps of the state house. She encouraged the audience to keep standing up for the poor and not be silent.


Opening Worship Communion

Opening Worship began with participants reflecting on the two Missouri and Mississippi Rivers merging together.  The 222nd General Assembly’s co-moderators, the Revs. Jan Edmis­ton and Denise T. Anderson encouraged PC(USA) support for oppressed peoples in today’s Mid­dle East, the United States and other parts of the world. The co-moderators delivered a co-sermon, their last message together after two years in that role.

It took commission­ers four ballots Saturday evening to elect Co-Moderators Who are: an English as a Second Language (ESL) teacher and a mid-council exec­utive as the Presbyterian Church (US­A)’s. These are the PCUSA’s second-ever co-moderators.

Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri and Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly (2018)(PHOTO BY Danny Bolin)

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri of the Presbytery of Tropical Florida and the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann of the presby­teries of Boston and Northern New England gained their victory over two pairs of challengers.

Cintrón-Olivieri, who grew up in Puerto Rico, is an ESL teacher and rul­ing elder at First Spanish Presbyterian Church in Miami.

Kohlmann currently serves as Resource Presbyter for the presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England. The vote was 266 to 253.

New Mission Leader:

Diane Moffett, PCUSA
Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency at PC(USA) General Assembly. (Photo by Danny Bolin)

The 223rd General Assembly confirmed the Rev. Diane Moffett as president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency by voice vote on Wednesday evening. Moffett will lead the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) agency charged with conducting the church’s national and international mission endeavors. A vet­eran Presbyterian pastor, Moffett comes to the role from Saint James Presbyteri­an Church in Greensboro, N.C., where she served for 13 year.

The Way Forward Commission:

Commissioners approved Way Forward plan  in strengthening the role of the stated clerk and for the church in matters of faith and practice.  They rejected the amendments that would have eliminated his ability to exercise pastoral authority during times of crisis and would have required that stated clerk to consult with agency leaders before making a decision to take action.

Per Capita Approved:

in an unusual move, commissioners waited until the Saturday morning plenary to approve an increase in the per capita rate to $8.95 for the next two years after postponing the vote on Friday night in an attempt to assure the increase covers the financial implications of all actions taken by this assembly.

Mission Budgets:

The General Assembly on Saturday approved mission budgets of $71,589,237 for 2019 and $70,531,957 for 2020.

The budgets were passed as submitted by the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), but the PMA will be required to deal with financial implications of items approved during the Assembly. The financial implications total $1,030,978 for 2019 and $857,305 for 2020.

  • The General Assembly approved to adjust ministers’ compensation to include gender disparity by giving equal benefits to all.

Local Impact of the Assembly –

On Tuesday, June 19, hundreds of Presbyterians joined in a march to St. Louis Justice Center to protest the citizens who are unable to post bail from imprisonment and as result have lost their jobs, child custody and other increasing fines.  The Bail Project is to help pay those fees that are less than $5,000.  The Stated Clerk, J. Herbert Nelson presented a check from the Presbyterian Church.  Over $54,000 was raised to assist those citizens which is a part of Rev. Nelson’s Hands and Feet Campaign.

Committee on Environment Issues

made a recommendation to the Board of Pensions and Presbyterian Foundation to divest from investing in fossil fuel industries was (disapproved) and inste

ad, the General Assembly sent action to Mission Responsibility Through Investment to do further evaluation and report back to 224th General Assembly.

 Young Adult Advisory Delegates…

put their money where their hearts were during Saturday’s closing plenary, directing a $1,605 special offering they collected toward causes important to the General Assembly’s co-moderators and stated clerk.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

….received $535 for Puerto Rico hurricane relief to honor Co-Moderator Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri. PDA’s refugee support efforts received the same amount in the name of the other co-moderator, the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann. The remainder honored Stated Clerk the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson and one of his favorite movements, the Poor People’s Campaign.


  1. Church property held in trust for the use and benefit of PCUSA unless the state law requires otherwise – recommendation disapproved
  2. When a former minister of Word and Sacrament who renounced jurisdiction while being accused in a disciplinary case wishes to work for the denomination again must receive concurrence from the next higher council – recommendation approved.
  3. Composition for congregational Nominating Committee to have a minimum size of at least three persons of whom one must be an elder active on the session and there must be a majority vote – recommendation approved.
  4. Amendment to instruct Board of Pensions to include 12 weeks of paid parental leave as part of the benefits package was referred.
  5. Composition and responsibilities of the Session – when the pastor or designated moderator is unable to be presence or is sick, a member the session may be appointed to preside at a single meeting – recommendation approved.
  6. Amendment to allow congregations to elect individuals to be ruling elders without serving on the session – recommendation disapproved.
  7. Amendment to prohibit public endorsement of individuals running for public office – recommendation approved.
  8. Authoritative Interpretation Request from Presbytery of Coastal Carolina about whether a non-PC(USA) minister can moderate a session in those cases where the presbytery has accepted these pastors who have “satisfied the requirements of preparation” … recommendation approved.

for going on behalf of the Presbytery of Coastal Carolina:

You are fee to contact these persons to see if they are available to come share with you about their experience at the General Assembly.

Teaching Elders:

  • Mamie Hooker (West),
  • Steuart Link (Central),
  • William (Bill) Young (East);

Ruling Elders:

  • William (Paul) Pope (Central),
  • Curt Simpson (East),
  • John Baker (West);
RE John Baker Speaking at the Assembly

Young Adult Advisory Delegate:

  • Adrian Jackson (East);

Theological Adult Student Advisory Delegate:

  • Christopher Taylor (East).

Mexico Partnership Trip 2018

Rev. Sue Hudson
Rev. Sue Hudson (in rose) and other members of the 2018 Mexico Trip

A group of 13 adults and young people will be going to Tabasco, Mexico as part of the Presbytery’s ongoing partnership with the Gulf of Mexico Presbytery.

This year’s trip is being led by Dr. José Rivera and Dr. Jaime Martinez both of Laurinburg Presbyterian Church. Most of those who will be going to assist with the building of the José Coffin Sanchez Health Clinic and Vacation Bible Schools in three different churches come from the Laurinburg Church but members of the Bethesda Church and Presbytery ledership will also take part including Rev. Sue Hudson and Rev. Bill Reinhold, our Genreral Presbyter.

The Mexico partnership is part of our our Shared Mission in the Presbytery.

Becky Durham

Becky Durham Photo
Becky Durham Photo

Becky Durham was approved as pastor of the Peace Presbyterian Church in Fayetteville by the Central Commission after an examination of her on May 9, 2018. She was recommended for examination by the Central Missional Community for ordination as a minister of the Word and Sacraments on June 2, 2018 pending her election as pastor by the Peace Church congregation.

Peace Church’s congregation accepted the recommendation of their Pastor Nominating Committee (PNC) on May 27, 2018 and is pleased to bring Becky to the Central Community for examination for ordination and, if approved, for confirmation as pastor of their church. Pending the approval of the Central Community, Becky’s home presbytery (Western Kentucky) will be asked to ordain her on behalf of Coastal Carolina in her home church. She will be installed as pastor of Peace Church at a later date.


Sacred Stories

Are only high budgets sacred? Are only high attendance congregations holy? What are  sacred stories in our Presbytery?

Sacred Stories is an endeavor to share with each other what is sacred: the surprising moments and delightful outcomes where God is active in our congregations—regardless of their size! There are simply too many stories of exciting things congregations have been inspired by God to do that can be shared during presbytery meetings or even pastor luncheons.

That’s why this Presbytery has taken time to put together videos and audio recordings of stories from over 18 congregations throughout our presbytery so you can rejoice at what God is doing in our midst!

With your help we can add stories from your congregation in the future. Audio/podcasts are perfect for drives or while doing chores at home. Videos are great if you’re near a computer device at home or work. You can help share the good news by watching them and sharing them throughout your congregation at fellowship meals, worship, bible studies, small groups or through email and facebook.

Simply CLICK HERE to reach the current collection of sacred stories that bear witness to the movement of the Spirit in congregations throughout Coastal Carolina Presbytery.

Questions or comments about this endeavor, please contact Rev. Evan Harrison at .

CLICK HERE for Sacred Stories

Coastal Carolina Seeking New General Presbyter/Stated Clerk

The Presbytery of Coastal Carolina is seeking candidates to serve as General Presbyter and Stated Clerk of the Presbytery. The joint position (GP and SC) is for a three year term which is scheduled to begin in November of 2018 when the incumbent retires.

Position Description

For More Information

Contact: Pastor Jim Smith (CRE)
Secretary of Search Committee

Middle School Retreat March 2018

Middle School Retreat ~ March 10-11, 2018

Please join us for this year’s Middle School Retreat, March 10-11, 2018 at Camp Kirkwood. The retreat will be led by youth and adults of our Presbytery and our Presbytery Youth Council. We will have keynotes, worship, music, and fun recreation options around the camp.

The retreat begins with registration Saturday morning between 9:00-10:00am followed by a Welcome and Keynote. We will conclude after worship Sunday morning no later than 11:30 AM.

Middle School Retreat Promo

This year we are offering the option of arriving on Friday evening. The program will not officially begin until Saturday morning, but realizing some of our groups have far to travel, we offer this opportunity.

The cost is $25 extra per person (for breakfast and housing) and we ask that you not arrive before 8 PM Friday night. We will have snacks available Friday night and a gathering space available. If you want to take advantage of the Friday evening option, you must register BEFORE March 1.

About Camp Kirkwood:
Camp Kirkwood consists of 195 acres of pristine nature and is just outside of Watha, North Carolina. The camp has eight cabins (with heating/ac and indoor bath facilities) which are scattered though the camp and each is capable of sleeping 8-10 persons bunk style.

Near the main lodge, where we will have keynote and meals, there is an eight-acre lake which is canoe and kayak accessible. One highlight of the lake is its breathtaking Vesper Dell which seats approximately 150 people.

Camp Address:  2015 Camp Kirkwood Rd.; Watha, NC 28478

For More information please contact:

Erin Wehrmeister (“Wear-My-Stir”)

Office (910)862-8300 or Mobile (910)578-7724

Or contact Bonnie Barr at carlbarr8 @  910-990-0624

Our Newest Church


First Hispanic Presbyterian Church of Fayetteville

With Presbytery approval, the day of fruition finally came!

Started as a small Hispanic mission ministry in 1999, our newest church in the Central Community of the Presbytery was joyfully chartered on November 12, 2017, at Galatia Presbyterian Church.   We celebrate with thanksgiving and praise to our Lord, Jesus Christ for the pastor, CRE Trinidad Martinez Solis, the elders, deacons and members of the new First Hispanic Presbyterian Church of Fayetteville and the full support of the Galatia Presbyterian Church which has hosted the community from the very beginning.

Prayer over the New Church leaders
Prayer of Ordination & Installation

From 1999 to present several persons served on a steering team to work with members and evangelists to help this new church grow.  The other congregations in Fayetteville showed support in many ways over the years to help this congregation thrive. The Presbytery staff, especially Eduardo Moreno, nurtured this congregation diligently over these years.

Rev. Moreno continues to teach a CRE/QRE course on Saturdays to raise up more Spanish speaking leaders and evangelists. It was through one of Rev. Moreno’s 2 year programs that Trinidad Martinez became eligible to serve as pastor of this congregation.

As this new church moves forward to be the church God is calling them to be, let us keep them lifted up in our prayers.  Anytime when you are available, you are cordially welcome to worship with them.

Worship service happen each Sunday at 1:00 P.M. in the sanctuary of Galatia Presbyterian Church, 8800 Galatia Church Road, Fayetteville. All are welcome.

Commission to Charter the New Church

Participants of the Commission to charter were:

  • Rev. Ben West, Honorable Retired, Chair of the Mission’s Steering Team
  • Rev. Clarence Page, Central Community Mission Coordinator,
  • Rev. Bill Reinhold, General Presbyter of Presbytery of Coastal Carolina,
  • Pastor Brett Johnson, Galatia Presbyterian Church,
  • Rev. Cassandra Thomas, College Heights Presbyterian,
  • Elder Deborah Dawson, Galatia Presbyterian Church, and
  • Rev. Eduardo Moreno, Hispanic Mission Coordinator.

Youth of the New Church

Our Presbytery continues to nurture Spanish language out reach in St Pauls, Fuquay-Varina, Sanford, Seven Springs, and Faison. Your continuing prayers and support make these ministries possible.

Shared Mission Support of Presbytery makes this evangelism and new church development possible. Together we are in Mission.
Learn more about the PCUSA and Hispanic Ministries

For more information about how you can be involved,
contact Eduardo Moreno or Bill Reinhold

Inspiration, Learning, & Fun in the East

East Community Gathered for
Inspiration, Learning, and Fun

On November 4th, a perfect fall day, the East Community of our presbytery came together at beautiful Camp Kirkwood for a time of workshops and worship.  The theme “Refresh, Renew, Redeem – The Next 500 Years” was an opportunity to acknowledge the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, but most of all, to equip participants to be effective missional leaders for the church today and tomorrow.

Workshops included

  • “Leaders for the Next Reformation” led by Rev. Tim Havlicek, First Presbyterian Church of Morehead City;
  • “Youth Ministry on a Shoestring Budget” led by Erin Wehrmeister, Presbytery’s Associate for Youth Ministries; and
  • “About Music and Art:  Using our Senses to Know and Love God” led by Ginger Hedblom and Laurie Russ, Southport Presbyterian Church.

The event concluded with worship which included a piper, art and music created and led by workshop participants, and a meaningful message of God’s grace and power preached by Rev. Ann Jahnes.

Worship also included an offering for hurricane relief to assist folks in Pender County who continue to recover in the wake of Hurricane Matthew.  It was another inspiring, fun time for the East Community to be together!


For more information on East Community Happenings, Please contact Nancy Gladden at NancyGladden @

or subscribe to the Presbytery’s ENews by going to


Youth Events- Fall 2017

Inviting All Presbyterian Youth

Senior High Retreat at Camp Kirkwood!

November 18-19.

Since a lot of us are delayed with Fall Fest/Halloween, I’m extending the RSVP deadline to Sunday, Nov. 5.

Registration Form Packet

The event is filling FAST. Please make sure you are getting the correct paperwork for all of your participants, and that you have sent payment into our Presbytery office.

some are bringing forms  on November 18. That’s fine, but if you can send early, please do! i need to know you  are coming.SH Retreat 2017 Info Packet pdf

Each youth needs an Emergency Form, Covenant/Likeness Waiver, and the Kirkwood Waiver (for zipline, canoes, etc).

Each Adult needs an Emergency Form, Covenant/Likeness Waiver, Background Cert. Form, and Receipt of Child Protection Policy Form. **Kirkwood Waiver Optional.

Montreat College Conference.

College Students, please send deposits and registration forms by November 13. I can mail hard copies, if needed.


Raleigh Youth Mission

has sent some updated information about RYM and its program this summer. Their theme this Summer is “Living Our Faith!”  Below is a link promoting the Summer Theme – please feel free to share along with their director’s contact info of:

Rev. Linda Harding, Director Raleigh Youth Mission, 970-217-6325,

Hurricane Matthew Update & Invitation

The Blessing of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in our Presbytery…

Because of your generosity to PDA and the One Great Hour of Sharing, both the Long Term Recovery Committee of Fayetteville and of Lumberton have each been able to employ Executive Directors to manage and guide this unprecedented long term recovery process in these communities. $120,000 in the form of two grants has funded these positions. Now under the leadership of these new directors, these communities can move more smoothly to welcome volunteers, raise needed funding, properly report on the use of funds, coordinate the communication of the many agencies and churches aiding in disaster recovery.

PDA Logo     In addition to funding these two positions, PDA has worked with Highland Presbyterian Church to enable them to host work groups. Arriving groups will be able to serve in both Fayetteville and Lumberton as needed.

When people call the PDA National Call Center, PDA ensures that  the group’s skills and dates are in alignment with local rebuilding projects and opportunities. Highland Church will welcome partner churches to assist in welcoming hospitality for these arriving groups. Contact Rev. Bobby Newman to learn more about assisting with hospitality for incoming groups.

Groups are being scheduled now.

— Laura Lupton & Clarence Page

Robeson County Since Hurricane Matthew

The storm lingered for about 20 hours, leaving behind over 18 inches of rain. When Hurricane Matthew finally left the area, October 8-9, 2016, it left an incredible amount of damage and devastation in Robeson County, particularly Lumberton.  The continuous rain caused the Lumber

River to overflow and many homes, churches, and businesses, including two schools and the district office flooded.  The electrical power went out for several days, and the city water had to be turned off as it too was contaminated.  Many people left their homes feeling shocked, afraid, and very discouraged, and were placed in temporary shelters.

From that unexpected natural disaster, Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee was organized.

Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee has been actively involved in providing support to families in getting them back in their homes or in a place where they can call home.  The Committee has employed a full time executive director, Cassandra Campbell, and four case managers to work closely with families.  If you would like to know how you can help or make a donation, please see the information below:

  1. Keep the families and volunteers in prayer.
  2. Send skilled work teams (carpentry, plumbing, general helper, etc.)
  3. Adopt a family by assisting with unmet needs.
  4. Adopt a house by supplying building materials.
  5. Make a donation payable to:
    Robeson County United Way.
    Reference to: Robeson County Disaster Recovery Committee,
    ATTN: Chairman of RCDCC,
    2512-A Fayetteville,
    Lumberton, NC 28358.
  6. To learn more please come to any of the weekly meetings, held each Tuesday.

— Clarence Page

Fayetteville since Hurricane Matthew

Six families remain in hotels now, 9 months after the hurricane.

        Can you imagine living in a hotel for 9 months?

Likely having no real kitchen to speak of, no refrigerator, no stove, no individual bedrooms, one bathroom for everyone, no room for books or toys, no privacy…. further away from your place of employment or your school…  This kind of living is stressful, expensive, challenging, disruptive.   In Lumberton the number of families still in hotels is much higher. This is why the rebuilding-recovery work remains urgent.

       In addition to people in hotels many people are in temporary housing – rentals, trailers, living with extended family, etc. while homes and businesses are rebuilt.

Paying both rent in temporary shelter while also paying a mortgage on a home you cannot use is a financial nightmare for so many survivors.

The Long Term Recovery work provides not only mental health support for these stressful realities, it also provides case management to assist people in navigating the various sources of help needed to live in these challenging times.  Our Long Term Recovery Groups speak with and on behalf of survivors to raise money and volunteers to get our neighbors back on their feet.

  • We leverage grants,
  • we appeal to business,
  • we seek volunteers,
  • we raise awareness,
  • we care, we help,
  • we offer light in darkness. 
This rebuilding can only be truly done with your help.

Urgently NEEDED in Fayetteville:

  • Dressers (in like new condition)
  • The Fayetteville CDRC needs an accountant to review the books and bring the accounting policies up to date.
  • The Fayetteville CDRC needs the participation of community members to be on committees (this is not construction work!)
  • The CDRC meets every other Tuesday at 5:30PM. Visitors are welcome.
  • The Fayetteville UMCOR (United Methodist Group) is seeking funding ($40,000) to employ a construction manager or a volunteer construction manager. Job sites are waiting now. Also needed is a heavy duty construction level pick-up truck or $20,000 to secure one.

— Laura Lupton

To Schedule Lodging & Work Assignments

  • for an overnight group willing to work in Fayetteville or Lumberton, please contact Eden Roberts who is the Mission Specialist II for Hosting and Volunteer Management of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance at the National Call Center  1.866.732.6121 (toll-free) or
  • for working in Lumberton, Contact Camp Monroe in Laurel Hill who can also hosts groups after the summer camping season ends Aug 4, 910-276-1654. (The Monroe staff does not arrange work sites.)
  • To volunteer but not stay overnight, just contact CDRC or RCDRC  as listed below.

To learn about donations needed for long term disaster recovery work:

For  Fayetteville,
For Lumberton

Money is always needed both for
rebuilding supplies, materials and
overhead coordination expenses.

Give to either Long term Recovery Group or to the Presbytery Of Coastal Carolina

Thank you for Caring, Praying and Helping!