Harvey Assistance

A Presbytery of New Covenant Harvey Recovery Update (11/15/2017)

We continue to be grateful for the outpouring of love and compassion we are experiencing across the country.  People are in recovery mode now, hoping to have homes and church buildings repaired soon - perhaps in time for Christmas.  There are many who will not make that timeframe.  Our congregations are resilient, and those that were damaged are finding ways to stay together, even if it is Sunday worship under the "big top" as the members of Katy, New Hope are gathering under a tent while they abate the asbestos discovered after the damage from the flood waters.

We are in the process of hiring a Disaster Recovery Coordinator due to a generous grant from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.  We have received resumes from several excellent candidates, and will be making our decision soon.  We expect that person to be in place in the next month in order to help our congregations and communities towards the process of rebuilding.

The Houston Astros won the World Series in baseball, which was a boost to the morale of our region.  Congratulations to our hometown team!  

While many in our region are back to "normal", we recognize that there are many in need.  We appreciate your financial contributions to assist our friends and neighbors.

Download the Presbyterian Disaster Recovery Brochure

We appreciate your continued concern for us, and for our friends in Mission Presbytery where many towns on the coast were decimated by wind damage.  We know that you continue to pray for all of us, as well as those affected in Florida, Puerto Rico and the Caribbean, Mexico and Central America (earthquake), and California, Oregon, Washington and other places where fighting fires was difficult.

Lynn Hargrove (713-816-7051 cell)

Presbyterian Leadership Enrichment 2018

Spiritual Leadership: The Gift the Church Needs Today

Saturday, February 17, 2018
8:30 a.m. - 2:30 p.m.
First Presbyterian Church, Pasadena | 4647 Preston Rd. | Pasadena, TX
Sponsored by the Congregational Resourcing Team of the Presbytery of New Covenant Equipping Christians for life in Jesus Christ
Join us for this annual leadership training event. Whether you’re newly ordained or have years of experience you are invited to attend.
PRE-REGISTER ONLINE HERE or by mail until Monday, February 5. Download brochure for mail-in registration.
Cost: $16 each (includes continental breakfast and lunch) | $20 each after February 5, 2018

Schedule for the Day

8:30 a.m. Registration, coffee and fellowship
9:00 a.m. Welcome, Morning Prayer and Keynote address featuring Rev. Dr. Joan S. Gray
10:45 a.m. Workshop A options begins
12:00 p.m. Lunch
1:15 p.m. Workshop B options begin
2:30 p.m. Conference ends
Return to your congregation refreshed, equipped, inspired and renewed

Being an Effective Spiritual Leader

Elders and deacons are made spiritual leaders when they are elected by the congregation. Due to the nature of our polity, no Presbyterian church will ever rise above the level of its elected officers. Joan’s keynote presentation will explore what it means to be a spiritual leader, some characteristics of effective spiritual leaders, and how we can access God’s power to do God’s will in the church and to the ends of the earth.

Morning Workshop Descriptions

Workshop time 10:45 a.m. to Noon
A1 Listening for the Still Small Voice: Godly Decision-making
The personal decisions we make each day shape our lives in profound ways. The decisions church leaders make shape the
future of the church for years to come. God has promised to lead us in making decisions if we are willing to be led. This
workshop will help participants understand what we mean by “God’s will,” know how to make space to allow God to
shape our decision-making, and how to access spiritual resources to carry out Godly decisions.
Rev. Dr. Joan Gray is our Keynote Speaker
A2 Compassion Fatigue and Resilience: Burn Bright, Don’t Burn Out
After the turbulent season of initial hurricane recovery work following Harvey it will come as no surprise that burnout
can be a problem! Faith leaders who invest spiritual and physical energy in following the teachings of Jesus to serve and
support their neighbors face a world of need and diminishing resources and sometimes keeping in that commitment is
hard, and exhausting. Learn why we suffer symptoms of “compassion fatigue” and learn the five simple practices that can
refuel us and restore our joy and energy for doing God’s good work and our own.
Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus serves the PC(USA) as a Coordinator for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
A3 The Empowered Church Leadership Team
Church Officers are called to be a leadership team – not to simply manage programs. Come to this fast paced workshop
and be empowered to bring confidence and trust to your leadership role as you learn about best practices for ways high
performance teams work together, as well as tips for effective communication and for effective listening. Gain skill in a
simple and effective way to have difficult conversations.
Elder Dave Coles is a member of Pines Presbyterian Church and has provided leadership consultation in both church and corporate settings.
A4 Lord, Can We Talk?
Prayer is conversation with God – both talking and listening. This workshop provides you with techniques and
resources that will help enrich and empower your private, silent prayers, as well as your spoken prayers in front of
others. You’ll also get some exciting ideas on how to energize the prayer life of your church. Gain confidence in your
ability to pray with and for others as well as for yourself.
Elder Dianne Harrington is a member of Pines Presbyterian Church and is a leader of the church Prayer Team which intentionally bathes
in prayer the ministry and members of the church.
A5 In the Power of the Spirit: Polity and Spirituality in the PC(USA )
To be ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) means, at the very beginning, that one responds to “the movement
of the Holy Spirit in the individual conscience” (G-2.0103). But what is a “spirituality” appropriate to a life lived within
our polity? What are the ideas and commitments that shape that spirituality? This seminar will look at the connections
between our notions of what it means to be church as expressed in the Foundations of Presbyterian Polity and the way
those notions come to life in the Form of Government. Bring your 2017-2019 Book of Order to class.
Rev. Paul K. Hooker serves as Associate Dean for Ministerial Formation and Advanced Studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological

Afternoon Workshop Descriptions

Workshop time 1:15 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.
B1 Listening for the Still Small Voice: Godly Decision-making (Repeat of A1)
Rev. Dr. Joan Gray is our Keynote Speaker

B2 Light in the Valley of the Shadow, a Spirituality for Hard Times
It’s easy to believe and sense God’s blessing when times are good... but what about when times are hard? In seasons
of suffering, fear or loss, our core beliefs are challenged and sometimes God seems absent. But walking “through the
valley of the shadow” can be a powerful spiritual journey that deepens our faith and leads us into a life of wisdom.
This workshop takes on additional meaning for those who experienced or observed loss in the aftermath of Hurricane
Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus serves the PC(USA) as a Coordinator for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

B3 The Empowered Church Leadership Team (Repeat of A3)
Elder Dave Coles is a member of Pines Presbyterian Church and has provided leadership consultation in both church and
corporate settings.

B4 Lord, Can We Talk? (Repeat of A4)
Elder Dianne Herrington is a member of Pines Presbyterian Church and is a leader of the church Prayer Team which
intentionally bathes in prayer the ministry and members of the church.

B5 The Art of the Ask
As spiritual leaders, we are frequently charged with finding others to help with the work of the church. All too often,
we dread asking already overworked and weary members to “do one more thing.” In our time together, we will explore
fresh ways to approach our call… to invite others to grow as followers of Jesus, not as ‘warm bodies’ to fill a need, not
as someone “doing a favor for us”, but as full participants and partners in Christ’s service.”
Elder JoAnn Currie is a member and Director of Christian Education and Spiritual Formation at First Presbyterian Church
of Pasadena.

Reformation Challenge

Get ready!

This year marks the 500th anniversary of the legendary posting of Luther’s 95 theses, an act that galvanized the Reformation. Consider, if you will, participating in a presbytery wide study challenge to have 500 participants complete the Opening Doors to Discipleship 12 unit study on Reformed Theology. This FREE online study was developed by the PC(USA) in conjunction with some of our partner denominations. Opening Doors to Discipleship (odtd.net) offers solid, accessible study resources that could easily be adapted for a variety of settings.
  • Participating congregations would choose their own format and would sign up their own people. (This is a flexible program that congregations could use in many ways – individual students, midweek or Sunday morning classes, officer training, new member classes, etc.)
  • Congregations would notify the presbytery (via Mary Marcotte) how they are using the program and provide us with lists of those who have completed the study
  • We will celebrate participation at the November 18 Presbytery Meeting where we would announce results and provide certificates of completion to all whose names were submitted

Consider becoming part of the 500

The study features 12 interactive sessions which could each easily be completed within a one hour time frame. The course could be done by individuals online or could provide a structure for a group class. Churches might encourage folks to read and then post reactions to the reflection questions via a church Facebook page. To register, all that is needed for access is the denominational code (31627). Topics are:

Who is God?
Who is Jesus Christ?
The Holy Spirit
How We View the Bible
Reformed View of Sin and Salvation (How Jesus Saves Us)
Who is the Church?
Governing Ourselves in the Reformed Tradition
Worship and Sacraments
Mystery, Faith and Doubt
Our Hope
Major Threads in Reformed Theology
It is our hope that this initiative will
  • Connect congregations across the presbytery in a study that involves common language around core beliefs
  • Positively address the struggle many members have expressing what makes Presbyterians unique
  • It will connect congregations with tools that they can use in the future

Presbytery Meetings

2018 Presbytery Meetings

Saturday, March 17 @ First PC in Conroe
Saturday, July 21 @ Pines PC in Houston
Saturday, November 17 @ Location TBA

Materials for each meeting are posted HERE two weeks prior to each meeting. Prior to the meeting, Commissioners should study the documents. It is important to have access to these materials during the meeting, either through an electronic device or having paper printouts.

New Business (which is posted at least 3 days before meeting date) must be submitted to the Office of the Stated Clerk no later than 4 days prior to the meeting.

Postlude, a post-meeting publication, is emailed to commissioners after each meeting to assist in reporting to their sessions.

The Packet is in pdf format - you must have an updated version of Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer in order to access it. For information, systems requirements, and a free download of this invaluable web software click here

Past Meeting Materials

Read more: Presbytery Meetings