Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard, Presbytery Leader

Vanessa has been preaching to the presbytery office for some time now that as a presbytery, we are living in resurrection, and we get to decide what that will look like. One of the consistent concerns I and the staff received is that the presbytery doesn’t care about “us.” Us could mean those in congregations further away from the office or at a distance from St. Louis; us could mean congregations with very small attendance and membership; us could mean those who are theologically more conservative.
As a result of these concerns, I and the staff have attempted various ways of connecting with and communicating with all of our congregations. We have visited more congregations. We have made ourselves available for pulpit supply, session meetings, congregational meetings, and retreats. Now, we are going to try another idea called In the Neighborhood. The entire staff will go down to Cape Girardeau and camp out at the Drury Inn right off I-55. We are inviting churches in the southern region to come by and see us. You are welcome to bring questions regarding the Stated Clerk, pastor transitions, communications, congregation development, or administration questions. It’s okay if you just want to say “hi” and meet the staff. We will be there to meet with you because we care and because you matter.
My hope is that our office becomes a model of ministry that is risk-taking and transformational. The presbytery office is evolving. We are adapting to our new reality of size, geographic location, and theological perspectives that comprise Giddings-Lovejoy. Adaptive change means tackling questions we do not know the answers to, and problems we cannot solve. What we do know is that we need to be different. If we are ever going to be different, we have to try different things. We don’t believe that everything we try will work. But we know we will learn from each experience and experiment. And that is the way it should be.
Rev. Craig M. Howard


  • Posted March 19, 2019 4:50 pm
    Carol DeVaughan

    This sounds like a really good experiment. I hope people will take advantage of the opportunity!

  • Posted March 19, 2019 5:03 pm
    Charles Pfeifer

    I am praying for the staff and the churches in the Presbytery as you seek new ways to follow Jesus.

  • Posted March 20, 2019 7:36 am
    Julie Berger

    moveable tent – I love the idea. blessings.
    julie allen berger

  • Posted March 20, 2019 7:52 am
    Betty K Phillips

    When will you be there?

  • Posted March 20, 2019 9:06 am
    Patrick Gruber

    This is a great idea and I pray that it bears fruit. Do you have dates selected yet?

  • Posted March 20, 2019 7:02 pm
    Al Murray

    Sort of like being an Evangelical in our own church. Seeds will be sown, we’ll see what comes up.

  • Posted March 23, 2019 10:54 am
    Diane McCullough

    What a great idea! We are so blessed to have such a creative Presbytery team. It is always a deep and gratifying experience in meeting, prayer and decision making with you and with your wisdom. Thank you for this new creative effort of connection!

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