COLA Co-Moderators, Rev. Cedric Portis and Rev. Carol DeVaughan

Rev. Craig M. Howard
Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy Transitional Leader

I’m going to need my Thesaurus to find the proper words to describe the job our Committee on Local Arrangements (COLA) is doing at General Assembly. I will need help finding words to thank all of the volunteers who are participating in GA. Let me start with outstanding, and admirable. I have to add fantastic and incredible.
The Friday night Welcome to St. Louis event, which had never been done in the history of GA, was a sensational success. The music, food, and raffle created a spirit of fellowship and family. This was the goal that Carol Devaughn had when she came up with the idea. We believe this will become part of GA going into the future.
Saturday Worship was extraordinary. The theme of water was brilliant. Thank you Susan Niesen. The reading of the scripture was astounding. The choir was angelic. The dance and singing of “Wade in the Water” thrilled the hearts of the worship participants. I have been attending GA since the year 2000. This was one of the best worship services I’ve been a part of.
Allow me to give a shout out to the video! We have a link on the website, but you can view it here. The video helped to put Giddings-Lovejoy in context. It lifted up our diversity, challenges, opportunity, and the way we have come together as a presbytery. Great idea. Great job.
To all of the churches who hosted convention attendees during Sunday morning worship, thank you! The busses arrived back from the congregations with people full of smiles and joy! Thank you all so much!
Did you attend Bible Study? On Monday morning Deborah Krause created the theological template for becoming a 21st century church and presbytery. Tuesday morning Raj Nadella followed her lead on Tuesday morning. Our souls and spirits were fed. Their teaching was a feast in the Holy Spirit!
And then there was the march on Tuesday. Hundreds of Presbyterians marched from the convention center to the Justice Center to bail our kin out of jail! The denomination raised over $47,000 and the presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy raised over $2,000 through the giving button on the webpage. Erin Counihan had a crazy dream for a public action. Well, this is what God can do with our dreams.
I wish I could name and thank everyone for your work, help, and efforts. I hope to meet and greet all of the volunteers while you are serving at the convention center. I am so proud of you. I am so proud, happy, and humbled to be your presbytery leader. Giddings-Lovejoy has become a shining light of what a presbytery can do when we all work together.
Rev. Craig M. Howard


  • Posted June 20, 2018 3:19 pm
    Karen Blanchard

    Well put…it has been amazing and a really powerful experience on so many levels. I can sense how this opportunity has been experienced as a highlight
    for those in our congregation as well. The Spirit is moving and it is powerful!

  • Posted June 20, 2018 3:30 pm
    Rev. Karen Dumey

    I don’t think the video put Giddings-Lovejoy in context, rather the St. Louis metro area.

  • Posted June 20, 2018 3:44 pm
    Janice spencer

    Your words make all of our hearts sing. God Bless everyone this week.

    • Posted June 20, 2018 4:07 pm
      PAT COOK

      It was a blessing to be part of it. We had great fun greeting at the airport and hosting on sunday. And Craig is correct-the worship service Saturday was amazing!! Blassings to Carol and Cedric and all who worked so hard!!!

  • Posted June 20, 2018 4:02 pm
    Virginia Messersmith

    The GA Introductory Video is amazing. I hope every church member in our Presbytery has an opportunity to view it. Thank you so much for providing the link and for your leadership in our Presbytery

  • Posted June 20, 2018 4:13 pm
    Bernice Thompson

    Bernice Thompson on June 20th 4:00 pm
    Yes God Is Real!

  • Posted June 20, 2018 4:37 pm
    Eldon McKie

    Congrats and gratitude to all the volunteers. Big efforts. Huge impacts for the life and strength of our Church.

  • Posted June 20, 2018 4:43 pm
    Gail Lee

    It has been a great honor to volunteer each day at GA. I have appreciated the opportunity to serve in this way. Gail Lee

  • Posted June 20, 2018 4:45 pm
    Paul Reiter

    Giddings-Lovejoy has always been known for its spirit of collaboration! Thanks to all the good folk who witnessed toniur PCUSA family, and thank you Craig For your leadership. Blessings on the rest of your week!

  • Posted June 21, 2018 8:49 am
    Liz & John Thomas

    You are welcome! As frequently happens to volunteers, we are receiving more than we we have shared! God’s Spirit prevails! Thanks be to God, AMEN!!!

Add Your Comment