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

Happy New Year!
In 2018 I invite, entreat, encourage, and request that each person in the presbytery step outside of their congregational box and get involved in an event, meeting, gathering, or worship service at the presbytery, synod, or national level. The opportunities are numerous, and the experience will change your thoughts and hearts about the health of our presbytery, and denomination.
GA 223 will be held in St. Louis, June 16 – 23. This is an excellent time to volunteer and be a part of the larger Presbyterian family. I’ve attended every GA in the past 18 years. As a Presbyterian, it is an experience that should not be missed.
In additional to this national event, 2018 will be an exciting and experimental year for our presbytery gatherings. The new Presbytery Planning Team is looking for creative ways for us to learn, fellowship, worship, and conduct cooperative business together. Our February 24 gathering will be held in conjunction with Faith365 at Webster Groves. The format will be different, and will include a nationally known plenary speaker, Brian McLaren. If you are not familiar with Brian, watch him here. In addition, there will be workshops on the topic Moving your passion from your heart to the world. The event is free for all commissioners (except lunch is $10). However, I am encouraging all members of sessions to attend as well. The price for session members will be discounted, and scholarships are available. I want everyone who feels the Spirit calling them to be present for these workshops and plenary, to be able to attend.
Finally, when was the last time you attended worship in our presbytery, outside of your congregations? Well, you will have many opportunities in January and February! There will be several pastor installations in the first two months of the year in Giddings-Lovejoy. The ordination and installation of a pastor is a presbytery event. All members of the presbytery are invited to attend and take part in the worship experience. It is so encouraging to the installed pastor and congregation when people from outside of their church are present, singing, praying, and letting them know we are a connected church. All services are listed on the presbytery calendar.
It is a joy to serve as your Transitional Presbytery Leader, and I look forward to writing, visiting, teaching, preaching, and just being with you in 2018!
Rev. Craig M. Howard


  • Posted January 2, 2018 4:25 pm
    Jim Hartley, HR

    Mentioned above about volunteering for the GA in June. I’ve done so, but haven’t heard anything back or any pieces in this weekly email about what are needs and/or how to do that. Clarity would be appreciated.

    • Posted January 2, 2018 4:57 pm
      Carol DeVaughan

      Jim and others who are wondering, registration for GA volunteers will take place online beginning about March 1. We will do our best to publicize widely all the details in plenty of time.

  • Posted January 2, 2018 5:54 pm
    Mike Willock

    Well said, Craig. The presbytery needs talented and committed people to serve the larger church in numerous ways, and our congregations have lots of those people as members. Working at the presbytery level opens your eyes to what the church is doing beyond your congregation. AND, you will meet a lot of great people.

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