Blog post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy
Transitional Leader

Have you ever had one of those days where if anything could go wrong, it did? That is what Saturday’s presbytery gathering felt like for me! We started out by forgetting the cash box! This meant we couldn’t provide change for those who wanted to pay cash for lunch. Then there was the need for copies. Ordinarily all of the copies of documents we need are done at the office. We don’t expect the host church to provide a copy machine. There was a last minute replacement of a speaker, errors in the online binder, reports that went too long and presentation time that was too short. My anxiety level was going skyward! Then, Leigh Porter, our office manager who holds everything together, took ill and had to go to the doctor. Yikes!
And the presbytery commissioners and teaching elders handled every foul-up, mix-up, and screw-up with grace, patience, and humor. Instead of taking the opportunity to point fingers or make a case out of each problem, the presbytery just rolled with the punches!
We’ve come a long way!
This spirit of cooperation and compassion is critical as we journey further into a future that is both exciting and fearful. It is a future of ideas, innovation, and risk taking. We will balance faith with reflection. We will seek to take chances, create theories, and take actions that produce observable and measurable results. It is a balance of faith (belief) and science (what is measurable).
I want to thank our science presenters again. They were Dr. Randall Flanery from the St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, Dr. Sara Miles from the Presbytery of Milwaukee, and our own Ellie Stock. Sara and Ellie have provided a copy of their presentations. You can access them here:

I also want to thank the presbytery for electing me as your “permanent” Presbytery Leader. It is an honor to serve you. I have received tons of “congratulations” by email and social media. I believe elections in the church are God’s way of speaking through the body of Christ. I take your vote seriously. There is plenty I could say about the joy, opportunity, and challenge of being in Giddings-Lovejoy, but that would take another article!
I will just leave you with one comment, this presbytery has a tremendous gift that the world needs, hospitality. You know how to express kindness and embrace others. What I’m seeing now is that you (I guess I should say we!) are turning hospitality and kindness, that we’ve always expressed to outsiders, toward one another.
I pray we continue to move from criticism to flexibility; from judgement to embrace. With the right attitude we can achieve anything, in the name of Jesus Christ!
Rev. Craig M. Howard

1 Comment

  • Posted November 6, 2018 4:50 pm
    Cecil Wood

    Congratulations on your well deserved election. You have been most instrumental in moving us forward as a presbytery. Blessings and best wishes for continued success in all your efforts.

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