Virtual Voice - The First Edition
Thank you for taking a few minutes to scroll through this first edition of the Presbyterian Virtual Voice – the Synod of Living Waters’ electronic newsletter. We are excited to have this new tool for sharing the good news of what God is doing in and through the PC(USA) congregations in our bounds (roughly the presbyteries in the states of Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee, and Kentucky).
Synods exist in our church to serve as a vehicle for communication and relationship building at the regional level. There are 16 synods in the PC(USA), and while they vary in size and membership, the Synod of Living Waters is about at the nationwide average with 12 presbyteries, and around 70,000 total members in 600 congregations.
In the words of the Book of Order, a “synod is responsible for the life and mission of the church throughout its region and for supporting the ministry and mission of its presbyteries as they seek to support the witness of congregations, to the end that the church throughout its region becomes a community of faith, hope, love, and witness.”
In 2020, the Synod of Living Waters adopted the following mission statement: “As a council of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) we affirm these guiding principles and acknowledge and declare that our synod forms, fosters and furthers relationships in ways that empower our congregations and presbyteries, inspire our leaders, and nurture the next generation of the church.”
Twenty years ago, one of the major ways this synod formed, fostered, and furthered relationships was through its printed newspaper, the Presbyterian Voice, which was mailed to every PC(USA) household in our bounds. All 12 of our presbyteries had full page spreads in each issue that served as their own newsletters, in addition to articles about a variety of synod ministries, synod mission partnerships, covenant partners, and collegiate ministries – all of which still exist, but without much notice or communication.
This new Presbyterian Virtual Voice is being created to fill the gap in communication that has existed ever since our printed newspaper became too costly to publish and mail, in the hope that it will help us re-build connections among our presbyteries – both by creating opportunities to lift each other up in prayer and/or offer support for various ministries, and also by increasing our opportunities to engage in more shared ministry efforts – for which synod funding can be available – to better “support the ministry and mission” throughout our entire region.
You may be receiving this first edition because it was forward to you from your presbytery or some other source. Please click on this link to add your name and contact information to our permanent list and ensure that you are included in future distributions. And also, please forward this newsletter to every Presbyterian you know in our synod! Our goal is to continue expanding our readership. And please know that our plan is also to limit publications to about one per quarter, so signing up will not result in daily, weekly, or even monthly additions to your inbox.
May God bless you on your journey as Christ’s disciple in these challenging days in this Lenten season.
Greg Goodwiller, Synod Executive