Category Archives: Calendar Postings

Greater Atlanta Church Guidelines for Re-opening

June 2, 2020

To the Clergy and Clerks of Sessions of Savannah Presbytery,  

“God is our refuge and strength,” proclaims the Psalmist.  We draw on this promise especially in times of turmoil and change. Though we have not been able to gather in our churches for the past three months, we know that God has not abandoned us. God has been guiding us during this sabbatical period.

As you know, there is a lot of discussion about opening our country and resuming normal activities such as worship within our sanctuaries. With differing opinions on how and when we resume our community life, we must keep in mind the vulnerable populations within our congregations. While it remains up to each Session to determine when its congregation resumes in-person worship, we strongly recommend for your consideration the three-phase guidelines from the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta for reopening their churches.

In Christian Service,

The Savannah Presbytery Council

 

Click the Link Below for Re-opening Guidance:

Greater Atlanta Re-opening Guidance 

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Savannah Presbytery News and Update

June 2, 2020

To the Pastors and Clerks of Session of the Savannah Presbytery,

Attached is a statement on the murder of Ahmaud Arbery that has been adopted by the Savannah Presbytery’s Council to be shared with churches and within our community. In light of all that has happened over the past week, I felt it was necessary to bring you up to date on the work of this document.

After two weeks of hard work, a subcommittee of our Presbytery’s Council, working hard with a subcommittee of the council of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, created this document to speak to the issues of racism as seen through the lens of the Ahmaud Arbery murder in Glynn County (Brunswick), Georgia neighborhood. The day after this was approved by our council and the day before it was approved by Greater Atlanta’s Council, George Floyd was murdered by a police officer in Minneapolis.

Unlike the case of Ahmaud Arbery’s death, in which it took two months for the video to be made public, videos of the white police officer putting his knee to the neck of Mr. Floyd were spread across social media almost immediately afterwards. Protests have broken out across our country. Some have turned violent.

As followers of Jesus, we are called into a family where all people, regardless of race, are one in Jesus Christ. While this statement does not address the death of George Floyd and others, it is important that we speak out on injustice within the boundaries of our presbytery. I encourage you to share this letter with our churches and within our communities.

Let’s live into that vision created by that childhood song we all sang in Sunday School which reminded us that we’re all precious in Jesus’ sight.

In Christian Hope,

Jeff Garrison
Chair of the Savannah Presbytery’s Council

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May 28, 2020

We, the Council of Savannah Presbytery, in alliance with the Council of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, honor the life and grieve the death of Ahmaud Arbery, beloved child of God.  Further, we hear God demanding faithful action in this teaching from Jesus: “’Lord, when did we fail to help you when you were hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in jail?’  God will answer them, ‘Whenever you failed to help any of my people, no matter how unimportant they seemed, you failed to do it to me’” (Matthew 25:44-45).  God calls all persons of faith to notice how we indeed fail our neighbors, especially our brothers and sisters of color.  The murder of Mr. Arbery in a neighborhood in Glynn County (Brunswick), Georgia, is a tragic case in point.

Re-committed to the struggle for racial justice, we highlight the anti-racism statement of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)*:

+ We affirm that “Racism is the opposite of what God intends for humanity. It is the rejection of the other, which is contrary to the Word of God incarnate in Jesus Christ.”

+ We affirm that “Racism is a lie about our fellow human beings, for it says that some are less than others.”

+ We affirm that we “will stand against, speak against, and work against racism” whenever it is expressed in the world around us, in our homes, in our workplaces, in our neighborhoods, and in the church.

We invite all who believe in the redemptive power of God’s justice, truth, and love to stand with the Councils of Savannah Presbytery and the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta in our pledge to:

+ Pray for all parties involved in Ahmaud Arbery’s murder;

+ Walk alongside his family as they endure the journey of grief and the quest for justice;

+ Hold local and state officials accountable as they investigate this crime;

+ Watch for God’s reign of love with hopeful eyes, grateful hearts, and unwearied hands.

Working together we can — we must — eradicate the sin of racism.  Please join us.

Rev. Dr. Alan Baroody
Transitional General Presbyter of Savannah Presbytery

Rev. Aisha Brooks-Lytle
Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta

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SP Transition Team Listening Session Links

The Transition Team continues working toward a sustainable and vital path forward for your Presbytery. Part of this process were the breakout groups held at the February stated meeting. And, as you probably know, those groups were to be followed up by Presbytery-wide listening sessions, which were scheduled for March and subsequently cancelled.

Those have now been rescheduled via Zoom and below you will find the dates and links to register. Each district has its own meeting time, but you are welcome to attend any session. Please register today and reach out to other Savannah Presbytery members and encourage them to attend as well. To register, simply click on the link and then provide your name, email address, and church home. After registering you will receive a link to the meeting. You may also dial in by phone using the number provided in the link. (You may also register by visiting the Presbytery website: www.savannahpresbytery.org)

Sunday, June 7: 

District 1: 2:00-3:00 p.m.

Sunday, June 14 (2 sessions):

District 2: 2:00-3:00 p.m.

District 3: 4:00-5:00 p.m.

If you have any questions, please contact Will Shelburne at wshelburne@gmail.com or 912-354-7615.

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Savannah Presbytery Presents:

“INTRO TO THE BIBLE ONLINE

Savannah Presbytery is excited to provide an ONLINE experience of our keystone School of the Laity course, “Intro to the Bible,” taught by Dr. Bob Bryant. We invite all to join us on this re-imagined opportunity to partake in the School of the Laity. Gone is the “drive” to Epworth by the Sea! Gone is the cost of the hotel and meals!

Instead, stimulate your mind, fortify your soul and build relationships with other Presbyterians- all from the safety of your own homes!

There are no pre-requisites to taking this class—we welcome first-time learners, School of the Laity graduates seeking a refresher course, folks considering a pathway to being a Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE), and even pastors who may want to experience Dr. Bryant’s instruction.

WHAT: The “Intro to the Bible Online” Course *

If you have ever questioned parts of the Bible, why it was written, and what it might have to say to people today, join Dr. Bob Bryant’s class. Dr. Bryant, Professor of Bible at Presbyterian College and favorite SOL faculty member of many years, will explore the Old and New Testaments, providing insight into who wrote them, how they came to be, and how we can better understand what they say to us today. *This course is a critical core class for those interested in the full 2-year School of the Laity program.

 WHEN: Our June Session will be offered over a four-week period that will optimize the course instruction and participant preparation with personal group interaction via the Zoom platform. Participants will need access to a laptop, tablet, or smart phone with video and audio capabilities. (Churches may seek to make these tools available to those who do not have access.)

The sessions will be:

Week 1: Friday, June 26 & Saturday June 27

We will kick-off our time together Friday from 7-8:00 PM with introductions, course expectations and Zoom guidelines. We will begin Saturday morning’s session at 10:00 AM. All Saturday sessions will be held 10:00 AM- 12:00 PM and 1:00-2:30 PM with a break for lunch.

Week 2: Saturday, July 11

Week 3: Saturday, July 18

Week 4: Saturday, July 25

HOW: Registration forms are available now and the registration fee is $95. Participants should register ASAP so pre-course work can be communicated and completed.

SOL Intro to the Bible ONLINE brochure

June SOL Registration Form

Questions? Contact Marty Susie, SOL Registrar at marbull@comcast.net, or 912-228-1353

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