session updates

The session wants to communicate clearly about what they are working on and how they are shepherding the congregation. Below you will find updates on what they are working on each month. If you have further questions, you're welcome to contact your shepherding elder. If you're unsure who your elder is, the church office is happy to point you in the right direction.


JUNE 7, 2021

  • Esther Talley was received as a new member transfer from Calvary Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove, Pa.  Her husband, Jeff, an ordained pastor, is a member of another presbytery.  [Pastors are not members of local churches in the PCA.]
  • Pastor Tim Kirk went over his outline plans for “The Church as …  Community (Family), Corpus (Body), and Cause (Mission)” sermons for the last 3 weeks in September, followed by vow renewals.  There was a season of prayer.
  • It was noted that our Church Directory has been completed and is available.  Realm (on-line directory) is being updated and all members are encouraged to enter and update their information there by going online at clemsonpres.org/contact/realm or using the church app.  If you need help, contact Ruthann Crane or Sara Dixon.
  • There were shepherding issues and needs discussed, followed by a season of prayer.
  • Pastor Tim Kirk presented his proposal for CPC Vision & Values Forum: A Season for [Re]gathering and [Re]newal @ CPC Summer 2021 which included an all-adult & youth Sunday Forum (9-10 am) to [Re]cast CPC’s 6 Core Values, presented in the Fellowship Hall from July 11th – August 22th.  This 7-week Sunday School approach was approved. “Biblically Grounded” will be the first core value scripturally and practically addressed on July 11th led by an elder team headed by ruling elder Barry Swiger.
  • All three pastors and several other CPC elders will be attending the PCA’s General Assembly that starts June 28th.  Please pray for them and for it.

MAY 17, 2021

Session met Monday the 17th for our ministry meeting. Lehmon Dekle continued his role as acting moderator so that Tim Kirk could be part of the meeting rather than leading his first time at our ministry meeting. Tim will begin serving as moderator in June. 


Here are a few notes from our meeting this week:


  • Kate Dodd presented the plan for Children's Ministry Wednesday night activities for the summer. The kids will learn about the life of the church through various ministries coming and speaking to the kids each week. She encouraged the elders to come June 16 for the first week when there will be a scavenger hunt on our campus. 
  • Liz Lyles spoke about nursery ministry and how we as a church are serving our young families. She gave each elder a list of those in their shepherding group who are in the nursery and encouraged the elders to reach out to the mom's of these little ones to encourage them. She also expressed the need for additional volunteers and asked the elders help with getting additional workers so our current volunteers are not having to serve every month. 
  • The session received and acted upon reports from the various ministries of the church.
  • The session acted on multiple recommendations from the regathering committee that will be announced to the congregation soon. 
  • We prayed for several specific members and shepherding situations.

may 3, 2021

This was our first meeting that included interim pastor (pending Presbytery approval), Tim Kirk.  Lehmon Dekle continued as acting moderator so Tim could observe and get ready to moderate our next meeting on the 17th.  We were very encouraged to have Tim with us.

  • Steve Dickey and Bill Fisk were assigned to develop a draft proposal for a staff review process.
  • Steve Dickey, Will Huss, Lehmon Dekle, and Mark Dodd (and possibly Bill Fisk if available) were approved as our delegates to the PCA General Assembly in St. Louis June 28-July 2.
  • We shared various prayer requests and spent time in prayer.

april 19, 2021

  • Lucy Jones (10) and Brooks Batt (10) were interviewed and received as new members.
  • We discussed how to send off a missionary couple from our church at one of our worship services. 
  • The youth's use of a charter bus for RYM summer trip was approved.  
  • Clemson Pres will participate in the Church Board of the Hills Retreat with Matthew Icard as our representative. 
  • Rob Porter is the new chair of the Children’s Ministry Director search, freeing some of Matthew Icard’s time.  Position announcements/advertisements have already been sent out.
  • David Woodard, Steve Dickey, and Will Huss will be CPC representatives at the next (Thursday 22nd) Presbytery meeting.
  • An outside consultant has been used to assess the current status of the staff members’ and elders’ situations, communications, and functioning.  A report for our use is forthcoming.
  • The Session agreed to extend a call to Pastor Tim Kirk to be the CPC intentional interim pastor (BCO calls it pulpit supply) contingent upon approval of Calvary Presbytery. A special email with video will be sent to the congregation on Friday with more information on Tim and his arrival.

APRIL 5, 2021

  • Aubrey, Judah, and Naomi Tell gave their testimonies as new members and joined the church. 
  • The staff were invited to the meeting and there was an extended time of sharing between the staff and session. Barry Swiger was established as the designated Session liaison to the staff.
  • The sermon series through the Psalms will continue. The schedule is as follows: 4/11 Matthew Icard; 4/18 JR Foster; 4/25 Matt Miller; 5/2 TBD; 5/9 Jay Crout; 5/16 Rod Mays; 5/23 Matt Miller; 5/30 TBD
  • In the upcoming church directory, there will be a separate, non-pictured section for regular attenders to help identify people.
  • We decided to remove from consideration the Interim Pastor Candidate we met with two weeks ago and are bringing in another candidate for personal interviews as soon as possible.

MARCH 15, 2021

  • Molly Snipes, new interim Children’s Ministry leader, visited and shared about the exciting things happening in Children’s Ministry.
  • Rob Porter reported that he and Steve Dickey are working on a curriculum for Friday morning men’s Bible study, hoping for an April 9 or 16 restart.
  • The concept of a part-time media technology coordinator was approved.
  • The new church directory effort was briefly discussed.
  • There was much time spent in discussion of interim pastor candidates brought forward by the screening committee.  The session’s GOAL is to decide on an interim pastor by the end of March as progress continues.

March 1, 2021

The Session met on March 1, 2021. After prayer and a brief devotional, there was sharing and discussion of various congregant needs and prayer requests. This was followed by an extended period of prayer.

Items addressed thereafter included:

  • Organizing and updating the member, shepherding, and regular attender lists.
  • March preaching schedule was shared: 7-Matt Miller, 14-JR Foster, 21-Matt Miller, 28-Brian Howard
  • Interim pastor search: The screening committee (Batt, Peters, Fisk) reported that several candidates have been identified and are being reviewed. The committee hopes to present 2-3 candidates to the Session to begin full review next week.
  • Servers of communion for 2 services March 14th and for Maundy Thursday were assigned.
  • A staffing update shared that Molly Snipes accepted the Interim Children’s Ministry position and Liz Lyles accepted the Interim Nursery position. The search committee for a full-time Children’s Ministry position has sent job announcements out and awaits applicants.
  • The PCA General Assembly announcement, June 28 - July 2, or Sept. 20-24, St. Louis Missouri, was mentioned. We will have at least one elder, Will Huss, attending as our representative.

FEBRUARY 15, 2021

In addition to several times of prayer, the elders dealt with a number of things including:


  • Addressing the nomination and training of future elders and deacons.  Created a subcommittee of Mike Haas, Mark Dodd, and Matthew Icard.
  • Inviting Molly Snipes to our next meeting to have a conversation about Children’s and Nursery Ministries.
  • Assigning the Budget Committee (Steve Dickey, Bill Caldwell, Mark Dodd, Bill Fisk, Bill Harley, Tommy Barron) to meet and review giving and budget.
  • Approving the proposed MUM’s mentoring ministry plan; and appointing Rob Porter as elder liaison to Children’s and Nursery Ministries.
  • Approving an interim minister job description; and approving written and video update interim pastor search update communication to the congregation (watch for it this week).
  • Agreeing to go to 2 worship services, at 9am and 11am, with nursery only at 11am and livestreaming only at 9am, as of February 28th.
  • Asking Mark Dodd and Ruthann Crane to continue organizing and identifying shepherding assignments, especially for adult children.

february 2, 2021

  • The gospel-centered testimonies of 4 new member candidates (Peter & Samantha Shaner and Matt & Sarah Lombardi) were received and accepted. They affirmed the membership vows and were welcomed into CPC. Shepherding elders for each family were assigned.
  • Several motions were passed: A.) An agreement with a consultant was approved to assist us in identifying an interim pastor. B.) A subcommittee of Chris Peters, Greg Batt, and Bill Fisk was created to be a liaison between the session and the consultant and help recommend a slate of candidates. C.) We agreed that hiring of an interim pastor should be done as quickly as feasible, prioritizing candidates with experience and gifts that qualify them to shepherd the staff and officers, be available for congregational members with questions, be full time, and be a solid biblically grounded teacher.
  • The agenda was interspersed by several seasons of prayer.
  • Given our major current need for children’s ministry guidance and oversight for the shepherding of our children and their families, the search for a full-time Children’s Ministry Director will restart ASAP. 
  • It was agreed to meet monthly with the deacons for prayer and shepherding discussions.
  • Several keys ideas emerged as we sought to be more intentionally relational: A.) It was decided to send out a summary after each Session meeting – twice a month. B.) Ideas for more communication were given to the Communications Committee (Caldwell, Fisk, Dickey) to consider, including: doing short videos; proper use of worship announcements;  use of weekly social media blasts. C.) It was noted that it is important to explain the action “whys,” e.g., hiring an interim pastor is to shepherd and help heal and to help us do a search more efficiently and effectively than we could do on our own. d. It was noted that more 1:1 shepherding contacts and discussions are needed.
  • In trying to meet the spiritual needs of our people we hope to continue opening up the campus as soon as it seems reasonably safe to do so.

JANUARY 18, 2021

On Monday, January 18, 2021, the Session met and discussed several topics. The following is a synopsis of some of the topics discussed and actions taken.


Discussion topics:

  • We discussed the next steps to be taken during this time of transition at CPC including future interaction with the Shepherding Committee of Calvary Presbytery. Please see action item 1 below.
  • We interacted with McGowan and Associates, a group that helps churches in transition. Please see action item 2 below.
  • We discussed the need to improve communication with the church body. Please see action items 3 and 4 below.
  • We discussed our desire to meet more regularly with the Diaconate. Please see action item 5 below.
  • We discussed the need for a stated counseling policy at CPC.  Please see action item 6 below.
  • We discussed a request from TE Steve Dickey to pursue additional studies in Biblical counseling. Please see action item 7 below.
  • We discussed a recommendation from the Outreach Committee to provide support to our African-American brothers and sisters at New Hope Baptist Church in Clemson and a renovation project that they are engaged in. Several CPC men have developed relationships with our friends at New Hope. Please see action 8 below.
  • We discussed how soon we would be able to re-open the church to ministry activities. Please see action item 9 below.

Action items:

  1. The Session has affirmed the Shepherding Committee's recommendation that our interactions with the committee be concluded at this time.
  2. The Session thinks that CPC will be best served by hiring a full-time intentional interim pastor to serve from six to eighteen months. McGowan and Associates will be assisting CPC in the securing and hiring of an intentional interim pastor.
  3. Effective immediately the Session will provide a monthly summary of discussions and actions taken at Session meetings. The summary will be communicated in a church wide email.
  4. The Session appointed a sub-committee to study and report back to the Session ways in which we might communicate with the congregation more effectively.
  5. The Session will meet with the Diaconate on January 24, 2021 and plans to schedule more joint meetings with the Diaconate in the future.
  6. The session appointed RE Greg Batt, RE Rob Porter, and TE Steve Dickey to formulate a proposed counseling policy and report back to the Session.
  7. The session approved and endorsed plans for TE Steve Dickey to pursue online studies in Biblical counseling with CCEF, the counseling arm of Westminster Theological Seminary.
  8. Upon recommendation from the Outreach Committee, the session enthusiastically voted to provide New Hope Baptist Church a gift in the amount of $15,000 for assistance in their renovation efforts.
  9. The Regathering Committee is meeting weekly and hopes, if and when the virus subsides, to possibly re-open portions of the church campus for ministry.

JANUARY 4, 2021

On Monday, January 4, 2021, the Session met and discussed several topics. The following is a synopsis of some of the topics discussed and actions taken.


Discussion topics: 

  • Discussed the impact COVID-19 was having on our ability to host activities on our campus. See action item 1.
  • Discussed the need and desire to meet with the Diaconate. See action item 2.
  • Received the preaching schedule for January/February. See action item 3.
  • Received a committee report and discussed the qualities needed in, and the process for interviewing, men for interim pastor. See action item 4.
  • Discussed potential timing and approach for hiring a full-time children’s ministry position. See action item 5
  • Heard credible professions of faith from three candidates for membership. See action item 6.

Action items:

  1. Approved the recommendation to immediately stop CPC indoor meetings. All outdoor  activities are still available.
  2. Several elders will attend the next meeting of the Diaconate.
  3. Approved the following ministers to preach on the following dates:  Jan. 10-JR Foster, Jan. 17- Rod Mays, Jan.24-Matt Miller, Jan.31-Rod Mays, Feb.7-Matt Miller, Feb.14-Reid Jones, Feb.21 Matt Miller , Feb.28-Mattthew Icard
  4. Session met with an individual who provided guidance about appropriate next steps from those experienced with the interim pastor model.
  5. No action taken at present time.
  6. Received into membership the following individuals: Roger and Wanda Heffelfinger, Tim and Janice Hinson, and Beck Muse. To be presented to congregation at earliest possible date.
  7. RE Mahony, RE Robert Vaughn, RE David Woodard granted a yearly sabbatical. Sabbaticals are typically offered to elders every fourth year.
  8. Devoted a significant amount of time to sharing and praying for the individual needs of the congregation.