Latest Guidelines for Faith Organizations - Friday, May 29
As you have probably heard, as part of the "Restore Illinois" plan the four regions of the state (including the two regions that cover the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois) have been moved from Phase 2 to Phase 3 effective today (Friday, May 29, 2020). Additionally, the Illinois Department of Public Health (ILDPH) has issued updated guidance for places of worship related to COVID-19 which does allow for in-person worship in certain situations.
This email is intended to assist Sessions, pastors, and congregations as they discern how to faithfully and most effectively respond to the pandemic in their local context. While the both the state and federal governments have issued guidance, within the polity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) it is the Session of the local congregation that determines how, when, and where to gather for regular worship. And we, as church leaders, are faced with conflicting possibilities much as Paul was addressing when he wrote to the Corinthians,
“All things are lawful,” but not all things are beneficial. “All things are lawful,” but not all things build up. Do not seek your own advantage, but that of the other.
(1 Cor 10:23-24, NRSV)
Updated Guidance for Communities of Faith
Released Friday, May 22, 2020
Two months. It has been two months since the new reality of "Stay at Home" began in Illinois. Like other major events in our collective life, COVID-19 has changed things in many ways and will be a point of comparison going forward (pre and post COVID-19). But we are also part of a great cloud of witnesses who have survived and thrived through countless pandemics, wars, and famines across the ages. Our call is clear, we are called to "love our neighbor as we would ourselves" while also loving God with everything we have and everything we are.
A reminder that the mailing address for the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois changed on April 15th. Our new mailing address:
Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois
60 Hawthorn Hollow
Carbondale, IL 62903
Online Worship Opportunities
With people sheltering in place and public health recommendations that gatherings be limited to less than 10 people, the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois has compiled a list of online worship opportunities being offered by our congregations via the link below.
We hope you will join us on Sunday morning as we celebrate through worship the love and grace of God that surrounds us. There are also other opportunities (such as prayer groups, daily devotions, etc) for gathering in community online included on the list.
Please know that you remain in our prayers.
Palm Sunday Hit the Road for Mt. Zion
Gathering and Open Conversation Time
Over the past week public health officials have recommended limiting the size of gatherings and encouraged people to practice social distancing.
To help reduce isolation and maintain connections as we follow these recommendations, the Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois is offering a time to gather and have open discussion via Zoom. Starting today (and continuing for at least the next several weeks) the presbytery will have a 60 minute gathering on Tuesdays and Fridays at 2:00pm CDT via Zoom.
These are not meetings and there is no docket or agenda. This is a time to gather, connect, and talk. Please feel free to come to every gathering or just stop by for a few minutes. Everyone is welcome!
The links to both ongoing calls are available by calling the Presbytery office
Session Records Review
All Session Records must be read prior to the November 19, 2020 Presbytery meeting. The events are held in regional locations, but you may attend one in. another region if that date is better for you.