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.

    • We had the privilege of hearing testimonies from Reagan, Dawn, Jonathan & Charles Schaupp and Rich & Mary Kranick and then welcoming them to our church as new members.
    • We confirmed a schedule with the Crossroad Resolution Group for them to come back in early August to meet with officers and staff. We are looking forward to how God will use this time to come alongside us as we seek to grow in ministry and relationships.
    • We received an update from Bryan Counts regarding their pending arrival in Clemson and we are excited for he and his family to be with us. There are still many details to work out but the general schedule is for them to arrive in Clemson in mid-July. He will begin day-to-day duties when he arrives and being preaching in August. He and Erika will have a week after they arrive in which all of their kids will be away so this will use this as some personal time to prepare for the fall.
    • We discussed Sunday School for the summer. We will be offering three adult classes: a study on 1 Peter in the library, a study on Galatians upstairs in the education building and a study on Psalms in one of the side rooms of the fellowship hall. We will also be offering a Newcomers class for 4 weeks starting on June 12th which will meet upstairs in the worship center.
    • We discussed our small group program. Doug Bull is going to review our current small group offerings and develop a plan for how we might revitalize our small group ministry as we head into the fall.
    • We began a discussion about possibly revamping our new member process to make the process easier to navigate.
    • We will begin meeting with the deacons each month for a dinner fellowship before our second meeting each month. We are looking forward to this time of fellowship with our fellow officers.
    • Due to the July 4th holiday being on a Monday we are not going to meet that night.
    • Our speaker on June 26, Dr. Kelly Kapic has volunteered to lead a discussion during Sunday School that week on "human finitude and how it brings glory to God in his creative acts and brings a richness to the idea of rest for mankind". This will be offered in addition to our regular Sunday School classes for those interested to hear Dr. Kapic on this topic.
    • To close our time together, we discussed several shepherding situations and prayed for the individuals involved.

    • David Thorsland opened our meeting with a time of reflection on sacrificial giving challenging us to see what that looks like in each of our lives. 
    • We welcomed several new communicant members: Matt, Catherine, Arlen, and Kaiser Smith; Ben Lewis; Kevin & Ashley Bouchillon.
    • We approved to offer a counseling service provided through the PCA to our staff. The service is exclusively focused on providing counseling to church staff members and their families.
    • We approved a time of corporate prayer on Sunday, May 29th during what would normally be the Sunday School time (We are not meeting normal Sunday School classes that day due to the Memorial Day Holiday Weekend). 
    • We received further information on the arrival of Bryan and Erica Counts and their family. Bryan's installation as Senior Pastor has been scheduled for August 7th. 

  • *this meeting got moved to the forth Monday so that elders could attend Bryan's meeting with the Examination Committee

    • Reid Jones gave a devotion on Psalm 127 and 1 Corinthians 15 reminding us that if the Lord is doing the work then it isn't in vain. God is at work. 
    • We reviewed, discussed, and approved a policy on the employment of relatives. 
    • We approved a list of men to fill our pulpit for the summer and decided to allow them to independently choose the topic on which they will preach.
    • We approved adding two women to our personnel committee. 
    • We approved to have Pete Shaner come under Clemson Pres's oversight as part of his internship in Calvary Presbytery. He will continue his work with Clemson RUF but will take part in specific areas of ministry at Clemson Pres to fulfill his requirements of the Calvary internship. 
    • We approved elders to serve on the budget and mercy committees and to attend General Assembly in June.
    • We spent a great deal of time discussing shepherding needs in our body.
    • We confirmed a schedule for meeting with Crossroads Resolution Group this coming weekend and next week to discuss staff and session concerns relative to events and experiences we as a church have gone through over the past few years and how it has impacted our relationships and ministries.

    • Matthew shared a devotional on Isaiah 49 and how we should be encouraged that Jesus is faithful to bring his people home.
    • Liz Lyles joined the meeting to encourage the elders in their work and share her appreciation for all they do for our church. She said we have several new nursery-age families who have begun attending recently.
    • Elders heard the testimony of faith from Thomas Campbell and he was accepted into communicant membership.
    • We heard a report from the Pulpit Nominating Committee.
    • We appointed delegates to the next presbytery meeting which will be on April 28th and began discussions about delegates for General Assembly which will be in June.
    • We approved a plan to expand retirement offerings so that all our staff members are covered. 
    • As we plan for the summer we voted to not have Sunday School on April 17, May 29, July 3, and August 7. These dates correspond to Easter, Memorial Day, Independence Day and the start of school for our local school systems. 
    • We spent a good bit of time discussing shepherding needs of the body and praying for those needs. 

    • Brian Becker joined our meeting this week and gave a short devotional on Proverbs 3.
    • Bill Harley joined us and gave a report from the deaconate. We are in need of additional deacons and as officers we will be working on ways to encourage men to serve our body and hopefully seek the office of deacon.
    • We approved a 12-week sermon series on Titus to follow our current series in Isaiah. This will take us back to the New Testament after a series in the Old and will focus on the life of the church.
    • During our worship service this Sunday, we will be installing our new elders, Doug Bull, Jacob Repokis and Doug Wilson. 
    • Session heard testimonies from Jeff and Annette Broomfield. They were welcomed into our fellowship as members and will stand before the congregation in an upcoming Sunday service.
    • Session reviewed the minutes from Sunday's congregational meeting and the vote count. It was determined that all three men received approval from a supermajority of the votes and are duly elected to serve as Ruling Elders at Clemson Presbyterian. There will be a service of ordination and installation for these men in the near future. 
    • Session approved to work with a firm named Crossroads Resolution Group in order to address staff and session concerns relative to events and experiences we as a church have gone through over the past few years and how it has impacted our relationships and ministries.

    • We were able to hear from David Thorsland regarding the diaconate.
    • We discussed an update to the way we will be serving the Lord's Supper and will present the process to the congregation this Sunday before we observe it together this week. 
    • We had an opportunity to discuss several items relative to the church staff and are encouraged by several things moving forward. 
    • We discussed a few updates to the church counseling policy including approving several women to help serve in this area and adding a new counseling team to our list of available counselors. 

    1. We heard testimonies from Emma Platz (husband Josh, already a member) and Missy Howard (husband Brian, Teaching Elder member of presbytery) and approved them into membership.
    2. We had a lengthy discussion regarding how we are being led by the Spirit regarding possible changes to the way we observe the Lord's Supper. We will have further discussion at our next meeting on the 21st and will therefore wait to have the Lord's Supper this month until the 27th. 
    3. We had a long season talking about shepherding needs of our body and praying for several members of our congregation.

    1. We are working with the deacons to establish regular meetings together and we hope to start those in March.
    2. In order to help support our core value of being prayerfully dependent, we are going to continue gathering during the Sunday School hour on the first Sunday of each month in the fellowship hall to pray as a body.
    3. At this time we are disbanding the Regathering Committee at their request. While COVID is still an issue we feel this committee is no longer required and the session will respond as appropriate going forward. Please express your thanks to the members of this committee.
    4. Due to the snow weekend on the 9th we were unable to announce the planned congregational meeting relative to our officer candidates and so we will be calling a congregational meeting for March 6th to vote on Doug Bull, Jacob Repokis and Doug Wilson for the office of ruling elder. 
    1. We heard testimonies from Frank and Donna Plessinger, Bruce and Shirley Woods & Ron and Kay Sporrer and accepted all three couples into membership. They will come before the congregation this Sunday to stand as new members.
    2. Over the last few meetings we have been meeting with officer candidates and met with our last candidate this week. As a result of these meetings we are recommending Doug Bull, Jacob Repokis and Doug Wilson to the congregation for the office of Ruling Elder. Soon we will be calling a congregational meeting for the purpose of voting on these three men. The BCO (Book of Church Order) requires 30 days after calling a meeting to elect office. (***Due to snow we were not able to call the meeting last week. Schedules are being checked to call a meeting as quickly as possible. The meeting will be called during a worship service and will happen at least 30 days after that.)
    3. In an effort to better come alongside our deacons and serve in better fellowship with them Chris Peters is going to serve as an intentional liaison between the session and deaconate. He will be working with the deacons to setup multiple joint meeting times where we can come together throughout 2022.
    4. As a result of Jim Mahony retiring from active service and transitioning to Elder Emeritus we reviewed his shepherding list and connected his families with different active elders. If anyone from his list hasn't been contacted by their new elder please reach out to Mark Dodd, Clerk of Session.
    5. In an effort to be current with our membership so that we can faithfully serve our body we reviewed each elder's list of shepherding families to update them relative to changes that need to be made. 
    6. Please be in prayer for our Presbytery and our elders who will be attending the next meeting which will be Saturday, January 22nd at Mitchell Road Presbyterian in Greenville.
    1. In response to requests and comments made by congregants at the summer congregational meeting (August 15), we approved the following to honor our staff for their excellent work in very difficult times:
      • We will give bonuses at the end of this calendar year, over-riding our budget policy (which does not recommend bonuses in 2021 based on current giving).
      • We will provide an additional week of vacation to our full-time staff members and 3 additional days of vacation for our part-time professional (office) staff members in 2022.
    1. We approved a small adjustment to our Sunday morning announcement schedule.  Under our previous policy ministries could not make an announcement at the beginning of the service on the second Sunday of the month. Beginning in January, the second Sunday of the month will now be open to a pre-service announcement from a ministry. While the pastoral announcements will continue with no changes, from this point forward, we will have no more than one non-pastoral announcement prior to service each Sunday morning. Practically, this means the vast majority of our announcements will be made by the pastor prior to worship service. The Gospel-in-Action announcement will continue to be available to our respective ministries on the third Sunday of the month. Both pre-service announcements and Gospel in Actions will continue to be organized by our Communications Coordinator, Sara Dixon.
    1. We revisited our practice concerning the Lord’s Supper. As we look toward sharing the Supper this Sunday (and again on Christmas Eve and January 9), remember that the Supper is a sacrament and a family celebration. Here are a few other notes: 
    • Prepare yourself for the Supper this week by earnestly reflecting on the work and promises of Jesus Christ. This spirit of reflection and remembrance should continue into our time of worship.
    • We experience a mixture of real sobriety and great joy during the Lord’s Supper. As a result, we will not all approach the table from the same place spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. Please be patient with and considerate of your brothers and sisters as we partake together in a spirit of unity.
    • During the Supper, we would like to encourage you to receive the bread and juice as covenant family groups of 4-8 gathered around the elders. Once you have received the elements, you should return to your seats.
    • Our weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper will most likely begin in February.
    1. We approved a new slate of Sunday School classes for the spring semester. All of the offerings will be posted and announced in the near future.
    1. We received an update from Freeway Church concerning their relocation. They hope to move into their new building in the spring of 2022.
    1. After many years of faithful service, Jim Mahony is retiring from the office of ruling elder. He will be honored as elder emeritus at an upcoming worship service (per BCO 24.10). Dr. Mahony’s shepherding group will be redistributed at our January 10th meeting.

    1. We had our final dinner and training for elders and elder candidates and their wives.
    2. We approved an addition to our existing counseling policy: “Initial contact to begin the counseling process should normally be made with an elder. If a female congregant is more comfortable speaking with another woman, she may contact a member of the Counseling Support Team.“   Note: This team will consist of five (5) women identified by the Women’s Ministry and approved by the session.
    3. We approved a Christmas Eve Soup Potluck right after worship service on 12/24 for anyone not having family here for Christmas.

  • After dinner and a time of encouragement for the elders, elder candidates, and their wives, the session met to discuss the following items:

    1. We submitted a proposed policy concerning the employment of relatives at CPC to our Personnel Committee for input and revision. We hope to finalize this important policy at our next business meeting (Dec. 6).
    2. We finalized the review process for our current elder candidates (Doug Bull, Jacob Repokis, and Doug Wilson). We hope to take additional steps forward with these men in December and January.
    3. We requested a written proposal from Anchored Hope Biblical Counseling (a new work in Anderson, SC) in order to explore a potential partnership.
    4. We approved a new sermon series for the winter and spring of 2022. This series will lead us through a beautiful, hope-filled portion of Isaiah (chapters 40-55). We also approved some small adjustments to worship leadership (to include our pastors) and the re-start of additional adult Sunday School classes (beginning Jan. 9).
    5. We reviewed and approved updates to our celebration of the Lord’s Supper.


    • Members in good standing of a bible believing church will come to the front to receive the elements (dismissed section by section). Members will partake of the elements at the tables before returning to their seats.
    • We will serve larger portions of home-baked bread. The juice will be poured into cups as before the pandemic protocols. *Note: Pre-packaged elements will still be available for those with continuing health and safety concerns.
    • We hope to begin the weekly celebration of the Lord’s Supper in 2022. We are also looking for a way to involve the entire church family on campus each Sunday.


    • We believe the sacraments (Baptism and the Lord’s Supper) should be central in our ongoing worship of the living God.
    • We believe the Lord’s Supper is a joyous family meal. We hope this method of partaking will unite us to the Lord and to one another in a more meaningful and personal way.
    • We believe higher-quality elements appropriately promote the honor and blessing of the Lord’s Supper.
    • Peter Shaner (RUF staffer at Clemson University) spoke to us about his calling to pastoral ministry and the session's recommendation for him coming  under care of Presbytery as an Applicant for Candidacy for The Gospel Ministry.  Pete spoke about his call and answered questions.  After he left there was discussion and we approved formally recommending him. 
    • A new process and approach was approved for doing continuous staff reviews throughout the year using support teams.
    • There was much discussion about improving the administration of the Lord’s Supper.
    • Shepherding re-assignments were affirmed for those previously under David Woodard:
    1. Dodd:  McIver Thomas
    2. Fisk:  Egger family
    3. Porter:  Sarah Greene and Asher at another church now – remove from roll;  Shivar family
    4. Snipes:  Moersen family; Elaine Cameron
    5. Steven Johnson: moved - remove from roll
    6. Meg Walworth:  Barry Swiger
    • A number of elders who attended the Sept 25 Meeting of Concerned Presbyterians (Gospel Reformation Network) gave reports. 
    • Presbytery representatives were confirmed.  Steve Dickey, Matthew Icard, Chris Peters, Mike Haas, & Will Huss will be CPC representatives at the October Presbytery meeting.
    • We received an update from members of the pastor search committee.
    • In response to questions raised by congregants in the congregational meeting, we received a report about all the BCO states concerning officer terms and sabbaticals. We will continue discussion of the questions raised at the next meeting.
    • There was a dinner meeting and training session (6:30-7:45pm) on the introduction and chapters 1 & 2 of Caring for One Another, attended by elders and elder nominees (Doug Bull, Jakob Repokis, and Doug Wilson) along with wives.
    • Brian Walker made a short presentation on a biblical counseling ministry called Anchored Hope.  He is starting a branch of this ministry in Upstate SC in 2022.  Session will review his proposal and our possible involvement during a November meeting.
    • Dr. David Woodard met with Session, as required by the PCA’s Book of Church Order, to explain his resignation as an elder at CPC.  His resignation was accepted.
    • We received an update from Evelyn Gaddis on the new adult Sunday School class being started for adults with special needs.  Lead teachers Ben Gaddis, Rion Groomes, Tommy Campbell, Brian Bowen, and Peter Shaner were approved.  An announcement will be made during worship by the end of the month.
    • It was noted that the Inquirers’ class had 20 participants.
    • Elders each filled out a questionnaire requested from the Pulpit search committee and arranged a meeting time with the committee to answer any questions the committee members have.

SEPTEMBER 20, 2021
  • Elders were encouraged by the opening devotion and prayer given by Clary Miles.
  • Matthew Icard was approved to speak at an upcoming youth conference at Ridgehaven for a group of churches from Alabama. January 14-17, 2022.
  • Steve Dickey is back from sabbatical and spoke briefly about his sabbatical and will give the session an extended discussion at a later meeting.
  • Doug Wilson addressed the elders and encouraged us based on his previous experiences as an elder at 3 different churches.
  • It was agreed to have a future meeting with Peter Shaner's (RUF staffer at Clemson University) who will apply to come under care of Presbytery as an Applicant for Candidacy for The Gospel Ministry.
  • After several business items, the following ministry items were approved:
  1. To announce to the congregation the opportunity to help with welcome kits for Afghan refugees through World Relief and/or Mercy Ministry.

  2. To approve the requested book for Circle 4 and various leaders for women’s ministry offerings.
  3. To approve an adult special needs Sunday School proposal from Evelyn Gaddis. 
  • Approved pulpit supply for these dates:
  1. 9/26 Brian Howard;

  2. 10/10 David Fisk;   10/17 Reid Jones;   10/24 Tom Hart;
  3. 11/21 Matt Miller;
  4. 12/19 & 26 Ligon Duncan.
  5. [In addition, Steve Dickey will preach 11/7 & 14 and 12/12 & 24 (Christmas eve homily).] 
  • Approved these 5 voting representatives for 10/28 Presbytery meeting:  TEs Steve Dickey & Matthew Icard, and REs Chris Peters, Mike Haas, & Will Huss.   Noted that many elders are planning to attend the special 9/25 meeting at Second Presbyterian Church about “A Meeting for concerned PCA Teaching & Ruling Elders”.
  • A new plan was approved for some leadership development over the next two months for current elders and elders in training based on the Ed Welch book Caring for One Another.
  • Began initial discussion of a plan for a staff review process; to be continued next meeting.
  • There was extensive discussion about the upcoming congregational meeting (26th):
  1. The moderator will be Rod Mays.
  2. A group (Mark Dodd, Bill Caldwell, Bill Fisk) will work with Rod Mays this week in helping with procedural needs for this meeting.
  3. A booklet of various documents (sent from Rod Mays) about a pulpit search committee and its process will be put together to give to the to-be-elected search committee members.
  4. An open time of congregational prayer prior to the meeting (4:15-5:15) was approved, to be led by Rob Vaughn and Kent Alter.

august 30, 2021

  • We were blessed with a devotion by Lance Durbin from Mark 2:1-12.
  • After approving minutes, we heard an update on plans for Christmas season worship:
  1. Music will be spread out across the weeks of Advent (vs all one Sunday).
  2. Lessons & Carols will be the week before Christmas. 
  3. There will be an abbreviated worship service on Christmas eve.
  • The line-up of pastors who will be preaching was reported and approved:
  1. Jeff Tell 9/5;
  2. JR Foster 9/12;
  3. Matt Miller 9/19;
  4. Brian Howard 9/26;
  5. Steve Dickey 10/3 & 10/10;
  6. Reid Jones 10/17. 
  • We discussed how to address various comments/issues shared with us at the congregational meeting on 8/15:
  1. A small subcommittee was set up to draft an address to 3 congregational points: officer terms and sabbaticals; staff & pastoral compensation; and the question: What can we do as congregants?
  2. Another small subcommittee was set up to draft and address shepherding models.
  3. Shepherding meetings are set to address and discuss the question about dealing with sin.
  4. Presbytery involvement: We will prepare and have maximum voting representatives at all future Presbytery meetings.  We will also have attendees at a PCA meeting about “concerned Presbyterians” on Sept. 25th 9am-3pm at Second Presbyterian Church.
  • There were discussions on the topics of Fall adult SS plans, staff office rotations [Steve Dickey to Molly Snipes’ office, Molly to Sara Dixon’s, Sara and Bailie Rabon to Steve’s], and staff updates.
  • Session approved having a congregational meeting on Sept. 26th at 5:30pm to establish a senior pastor pulpit committee. [Please see note* below.]
  • The Session also recommends to the congregation that the pulpit committee make-up be
  1. 2 active (not emeritus nor on sabbatical) elders,
  2. 1 active deacon,
  3. 5 members with at least 3 women [may include any member in good standing].
  • The Session also recommends to the congregation that
  1. If you intend to nominate someone, you should ask them ahead of time.
  2. Nominees must be members in good standing.
  3. Nominees need to realize the committee likely will meet very regularly for months.
  4. A moderator for the meeting will be recruited.

Please note:

  1. In the PCA, the Book of Church order stipulates that the congregation elects the pulpit committee.  
  2. The elders can recommend a committee make-up, but the congregation does not have to accept that recommendation. The congregation ultimately approves the committee make-up and its members. 
  3. After the committee make-up is decided, the congregation will determine the voting process for electing the committee members.   
  4. Church members will then nominate individuals for the committee and vote to select the final committee membership (voting will be anonymous if that is what the congregation decides).
  5. An outside moderator will be present to help guide the congregation through the process.

AUGUST 16, 2021

  • Norman McGee and Joel Ward attended as guests to encourage and support the elders. Norman led our devotion based on 2Chron 7:1-3 (what would it have been like to be there that day) and Eph 2:19-22 (even more impressive, we are part of the temple and not watching it;  living stones joined together into the temple of God).  He gave each of us a rock to always remember we are being built up into the church.
  • There were communications from:
  1. Tim Kirk who said he and Sally were greatly encouraged by the continued contact from our members.  
  2. Chuck Frost (interim search firm) who offered to train our senior pastor search committee, gratis, in the future if we wanted him to, whether we hire his group or not.
  • Formed a group to develop a leadership development plan related to shepherding for new officer candidates and current officers.
  • Handled various business items like approval of previous meeting minutes, Christmas worship plans, and upcoming pulpit supply (preaching).
  • Spent much time discussing some Congregational meeting comments and feedback including:
  1. Officer terms and sabbaticals

  2. Shepherding models

  3. Presbytery involvement

  4. Staff & pastoral compensation

  5. Dealing with sin issues directly

  6. Encouraging statements and responses by congregants

  7. Responding to “What can we do as congregants?” questions

  • Began planning the process of calling a permanent Senior Pastor, which begins with establishing a search committee. We will confer with our advisory group of elders from other area churches to plan the process, then call a congregational meeting to establish a search committee and begin the search. We expect to call a congregational meeting for this purpose within a few weeks. 
  • Spent much time addressing and finalizing Fall activities including adult Sunday school, corporate prayer meetings (once a month Sunday mornings and every Wednesday), men’s Friday morning bible study, and newcomers’ class.  Please watch for further specifics in this week’s announcements.
  • Approved the Regathering Committee recommendations to add new committee members Jana Holland, Conrad Shuler, and Joel Ward.  The current committee members not on sabbatical were asked to stay on until the end of Sept. when the Committee can be reconstituted if it continues.  At this point we are recommending vaccines and masking.  Jana Holland is offering her expertise for helping people make vaccine decisions.  

JULY 26, 2021

  • Tommy Barron spoke about the housekeeping help being okay but limited – we need more sign-ups on the website.  Laura Eller’s husband Keith is doing better but has a long time ahead for rehab.  Deacons are working on logistics for helping them and ways to pick up the needed work.  Monday Cleaning Sign Up    Friday Cleaning Sign Up
  • Margaret Austin was approved as a teacher for Wed. morning bible study.
  • It was agreed that after Matt Miller’s 3-part sermon series, that preaching will return to the Philippians series.  Additional pastors to preach will be lined up for that series.
  • A group of 5 men was approved and will be contacted as possible members of an Advisory Group for the Session.  This would be a group of teaching and ruling elders throughout our Presbytery.  They are men who we believe can give us advice on various decisions as we move forward until we have a new senior pastor.
  • Rob Vaughn and Kent Alter will be doing the Forum on Prayerfully Dependent.  Kent’s outlined plan to start a churchwide ministry of congregational prayer was approved and given the go-ahead.
  • It was approved to have adult Sunday school as well as children’s and youth’s SS starting August 29th, although the adult format and details are still under construction.
  • Bill Fisk was appointed to recruit an outside moderator for our “town hall” meeting on Sunday evening August 15th.
  • There was much discussion about how we can best support our staff. Matthew Icard encouraged us to give our staff clear, passionate direction around which we can all rally.  For now, excellence in core areas is the goal in this understaffed and difficult season (several support positions are open, plus senior pastor).

JULY 26, 2021

  • Tim and Sally met with us for a time of sharing and prayer.
  • After Sally left Tim shared some of his observations and conclusions about the health and status of Clemson Presbyterian. The session again prayed for Tim and he left.
  • We discussed how to best love and care for the Kirks and voted to support them for a period of time as they transition to what God has next for them.
  • We charged a few elders with reaching out to elders in our presbytery about filling our pulpit.
  • We discussed how to support our staff during this difficult time. Bill Fisk and Barry Swiger have volunteered to come alongside the staff on a regular basis as a presence in the office. In addition, we acknowledged that we must specifically come alongside Matthew Icard as he will be the only active pastor at Clemson Pres for the next few weeks. We need to take on as many responsibilities and decisions as we can to keep him from being overwhelmed.
  • We decided to seek wisdom from a group of Calvary Presbytery elders by asking them to come alongside us as a committee to counsel us while we seek God’s direction for our congregation.
  • In order to share with the congregation as we all process the loss of Tim and seek God’s face as we move forward, we will send a letter from us to the congregation as part of the weekly email from the church this week. 

JULY 24, 2021

  • [David Woodard was present as a member of the examining committee]

    Calvary Presbytery had a meeting and received the examination committee’s recommendation to not approve Tim Kirk.  Furthermore, the Presbytery voted that TE Tim Kirk not be allowed to minister at Clemson Presbyterian Church or fill the pulpit twice per month, until permission from Calvary Presbytery is granted to labor within its bounds.

JULY 21, 2021

  • The elders met with Tim Kirk at 8pm on July 21st to extensively discuss his situation.

JULY 20, 2021

  • Tim Kirk and 13 elders met with the Presbytery’s Examination Committee in Greenville at Mitchell Road, supporting Tim Kirk as interim, explaining all that is being done to address his sin issue, and asking the committee to approve him.  (On the 21st the committee responded with a no.)

JULY 12, 2021

  • Giving a General Assembly update to the congregation was discussed.  Tim Kirk will handle the two items below:

                                             i.      Present a slide this Sunday along with an announcement summarizing General Assembly actions.

                                           ii.      Have handouts of By Faith article regarding General Assembly available Sunday morning.

  • The budget committee’s recommended budget was discussed, amended, and approved.  The budget overview will be presented to the congregation in a meeting August 15th at 5pm when they will also vote on the session-recommended pastor salaries.  This congregational meeting will be followed by an informational meeting time of sharing from the session to address congregation’s questions with a time of additional questions/comments.
  • Discussed Tim’s Licensure procedure and current situation and the support he has received along with current actions.  A meeting with the examination committee is set for 6:30 on Tuesday 20th @ Mitchell Road with the focus being to request the committee to recommend Tim for approval.
  • There was discussion and clarification of some shepherding assignments.
  • Approved purchasing and using the DWELL curriculum for Children’s Ministry and Middle School.

JULY 5, 2021

  • Elders heard and accepted the encouraging testimony of Maggie Huss who became a member after taking the membership vows.

  • There was a devotion on Galatians 5:13-6:5.  God is providing what we need, even for a time such as this.  
  • After reviewing tabled items, a proposed list of shepherds shepherding shepherds, i.e., elders assigned to shepherd other elders and their wives was approved.
  • After approving some previous minutes, there was a report with discussion from the four men who attended the PCA General Assembly. A very good summary of General Assembly actions was published on the By Faith website .
  • There was further discussion about the involved Presbytery process for licensure with which Tim Kirk is involved.
  • Tim Kirk will be preaching the next 2 weeks and he will recruit men for the future preaching schedule.
  • The Sunday School Forum was discussed as elders signed up to help lead various sessions.

JUNE 21, 2021

  • Elders and deacons met for a meal together followed a presentation from Tim Kirk and discussion of the [Re]Cast Forum 7/11-8/22.
  • Appointed an ad hoc committee of Tim Kirk, Chris Peters, Kevin Miles, and Mike Haas to propose to Session an overarching approach, culture, and philosophy of discipleship for guiding future decisions and initiatives.
  • Approved a proposal for Rob Lyles to lead a restart of the CPC library after COVID and the retirement of the Simonsons who served us so well.
  • Approved a restart of livestreaming worship services (after having had a short recording-only period). You Tube posting will continue.
  • Discussed a possible return to regular communion elements by August.
  • Chris Peters announced his small group is having a Saturday, July 3rd fellowship time available at the church (no church commitment except open bathrooms). Bring-Your-Own-Picnic starting about 5pm. Everyone is invited.
  • There was approval of Tim Kirk’s recommendations for Steve Dickey (60-day sabbatical 7/9-9/10), Matthew Icard (an extra week off after each RYM camp this summer), and Molly Snipes (2 weeks off).

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 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.