This post was taken from the newsletters of
First Presbyterian Church and Westminster Presbyterian Church

Cape Girardeau, Missouri.
We truly are the church together!

“Presbytery” has been considered a four-letter word by some congregations (and probably some pastors). “The presbytery” in general has often been accused of ignoring congregations when they are struggling or obstructing progress when calling a new pastor. I once heard someone suggest, “Maybe we should become independent if “the presbytery” isn’t going to fix our problems.”

When I hear such things, I want to remind us that WE are the presbytery. Every congregation has at least one vote at every Presbytery meeting. I’m proud to say that our Cape Girardeau churches have four individuals serving on committees: Sarah Holt, Georganne Syler, Joanna Shaver, and Trudy Lee.

All I had to do was look at last week’s 8-page newsletter from our Presbytery of Giddings- Lovejoy to be reminded of how vital and hard-working “we” are as a Mid-Council (i.e., presbyteries, synods). The newsletter contained Save-the-date information about our upcoming stated meeting (which we call a Gathering) on August 24. It is a hybrid meeting, and anyone may attend either in person at LoveJoy United Presbyterian Church of Wood River, IL, or via Zoom. Each Gathering begins with worship, including a sermon and communion, and continues with 60-90 minutes of educational time, then moves to the business portion of the meeting – which is often quick and painless!

This will be the second year in which Thursdays in September offer evening workshops on a variety of topics from training for ruling elders to faith formation in small churches. There is information about a Day of Learning for Strengthening Stewardship Practices on August 23 and a Presbytery-wide picnic on September 30th in Crystal City, MO. A History Tour of the

Underground Railroad is planned for October 20. Tips for Caring for God’s Amazing Creation (from the Earth Care Action Group) suggested putting an insulating water heating jacket on your hot water heater and turning down the temperature to 110-120 degrees Fahrenheit. The APCE (Association of Partners in Christian Education will hold its high-quality annual event

January 24-27, 2024 in St. Louis, and volunteers are needed. Higher Education Scholarships for members of small churches are available from the Synod of Mid-America, and job openings in various churches are posted.

Aside from 5 paid staff (2 of whom are part-time), the presbytery operates with a fairly equal number of Ruling Elders and Teaching Elders from member churches – another reason that the presbytery is US.

Anyone is invited to take part in the events I mentioned above. Perhaps we can arrange a carpool. I’m certain you’ll be pleasantly surprised.


Rev. Ellen Gurnon
First Presbyterian and Westminster Presbyterian
Cape Girardeau, Missouri

1 Comment

  • Posted August 1, 2023 5:58 pm
    Kathy Sherrick

    Thank you for your blog. I appreciate what you said and am also proud that a number of people from our small church are serving the Presbytery.

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