Holy Week Activities

NOTE: Please continue to monitor our site for changes to the schedule.

Palm Sunday
April 5 10:00 AM

Maundy Thursday
April 9 7:00 PM

Good Friday
April 10 Sanctuary open 12:00 – 3:00 PM

Community Sunrise Service
April 12 6:45 AM Landings Harbor

Easter Worship
April 12 10:00 AM SIPC Sanctuary

Flowering of the Cross
April 12 Following Worship

COVID-19 Updates

March 21, 2020

CANCELLATIONS:

National Day of Prayer Meeting
Handbell/Choir Practice
Thirteenth Colony Sound
Shredding Event
Boy/Cub/Girl Scout Meetings

 

 

GENERAL INFO: The office will be closed during the next two weeks except for essential business and pastoral needs. If you are coming to the office, please call first. We are trying our best to keep our members and friends and the general public safe as we also strive to slow the speed of the infection rates of COVID-19.

We are currently evaluating conference calling options so that upcoming church meetings such as finance and communications can be done remotely. We will update you on this as soon as we have an answer. We have cancelled all non-essential meetings at the church for the next two weeks.

Since Pastor Jeff has just flown back from Austin, Texas, he will be limiting contact with people as much as possible for 14 days (from last Thursday). He will be making phone calls and using email to check up on people. Please let him know if there are those who have needs that we, as the church, can help them meet. Jeff’s direct number at church is 598-9605.

Jeff will resume his Monday noon Bible study next week—his plan will be to use either Microsoft Teams or Google Hangouts and he will need to know who would want to “attend” so he can send them an invitation.

NEXT SUNDAY’S SERVICE: We will hold an abbreviated service that will be live-streamed. We also hope to put the service online in its entirety soon afterwards so that those who missed it at 10 AM will be able to watch the service. At the present, we plan to leave the sanctuary open, but we encourage everyone to watch the service online from home. If you do come, plan to follow safe distancing practices (at least six feet from others). Please keep in touch as our plans may change as new guidelines from the CDC or state and local governments are released. At the present time the CDC is calling on organizations to cancel anything with over 50 people in attendance and no more than 10 people in attendance for those in the high risk group.

CLOSING REQUESTS
Please let us know how we might continue to be a church during this time. This is new ground for everyone and there may be things we have overlooked.

In your prayers, please remember to pray for:

Our church and its leaders
Those who have been infected with COVID-19
Those who serve the public as medical professionals (Physicians, Nurses, first responders, etc)
Our national, state, and local leaders
Wisdom, patience, and understanding in an uncertain time.

God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.
-Psalm 46:1

 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
(provided by CEMA)

Confirmed Cases

Q: Do we have any cases here?
A: If/when we get a lab-confirmed case of COVID-19, we will let the public know. The Georgia Department of Public Health updates its website, dph.ga.gov, every day at noon with a map of lab-confirmed cases around the state of Georgia.

Q: What happens when we start getting cases?
A: Even if you are in a county with no confirmed case, don’t assume the virus is not present. Because testing has been limited, we may not have an accurate picture of the current level of infection across our area. That’s why we must all take measures to protect ourselves and others from spreading germs.
That means:
• Washing hands regularly and thoroughly with soap and water. If you don’t have soap, use alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.
• Stay home if you are sick.
• Regularly clean common surfaces such as doorknobs, countertops, computer keyboards, and light switches.
• Cover your cough with a tissue and throw the tissue away or cough into the crook of your elbow.
• Instead of shaking hands, consider a fist or elbow bump.
• Don’t share cups or eating utensils.

Testing

Q: Can I get tested for COVID-19 at the health department?
A: No. Local health departments cannot evaluate, test, or treat COVID-19.

Q: Who can get tested and where?
A: Right now, all tests for COVID-19 must be ordered by a physician. Federal and state agencies are working to expand access to testing, but currently testing supplies and laboratories are limited. That’s why testing must be prioritized. Not everyone should get tested. Clinicians use certain criteria to determine if testing is warranted. Priorities for testing include:
• Hospitalized patients who have signs and symptoms compatible with COVID-19
• Other symptomatic individuals such as older adults and individuals with chronic medical conditions or are immunocompromised
• Any persons who, within 14 days of showing symptoms, had close contact with a suspect or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 patient, or who have a history of travel from affected geographic areas within 14 days of their symptom onset.
• Healthcare professionals who care for patients with COVID-19

Q: What if I have symptoms or think I have COVID-19 but don’t fall into a priority testing category?
A: We are still in flu and allergy season and several symptoms of COVID-19 are similar. If you have symptoms including fever, cough, or difficulty breathing, then you should stay home and away from others. You shouldn’t go outside your home except to get medical care but – and this is important – don’t seek medical care without calling the healthcare provider first. That will help the healthcare provider’s office take steps to keep other people from getting infected or exposed. If you have symptoms:
• Stay in a specific room of the house and use a separate bathroom from others if you can.
• Don’t share personal items such as dishes, eating utensils, or bedding with others in your home and thoroughly wash those items with soap and water after they’ve been used.
• Use household cleaners to clean high-touch surfaces and areas – some examples include counters, tabletops, doorknobs, phones, and keyboards.
• While we don’t recommend facemasks for everyone, people who are sick should wear one when around other people. If the person who is sick can’t wear a facemask because, say, they have trouble breathing, then anyone who is in the room with the sick person should wear a facemask.
• And of course, the same basic hygiene recommendations still apply: Wash your hands, sneeze or cough into a tissue and throw the tissue away, regularly clean common surfaces in the home, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
• Keep in mind that there is no treatment for COVID-19 and people who are mildly ill may be able to isolate and care for themselves at home. Even with severe cases, the absence of a test does not delay treatment. Doctors can provide supportive care to ease symptoms, and this is done with or without a test.

Q: How many people are being tested?
A: We don’t know how many people are being tested. Commercial laboratories are not required to report the number of tests they’ve ordered; however, they MUST report any positive tests to public health.

Q: How will we know if people in our area are positive for COVID-19?
A: Laboratories must report positive tests to public health. If/when we are notified that we have lab-confirmed positive cases, we will let the public know through our website (GaCHD.org), media partners, social media outlets, communications through other community partners such as Emergency Management Agencies.

Q: Are there home testing kits available?
A: No. We understand people are concerned and that many individuals would like to be tested. Right now, the only way to get tested is for a physician to order the test. But again, if you have mild symptoms you should isolate yourself from others in your household and care for yourself at home. If your symptoms become worse, call a healthcare provider.

Social Distancing

Q: What is social distancing?
A: Social distancing means minimizing contact with people. It also means that if you are near someone in public, try to stay at least 6 feet away. The less contact people have with one another means the less opportunity for the virus to spread. Slowing the spread of the virus means we can keep our healthcare system from becoming overwhelmed.

Precautions

Q: Should I wear a facemask?
A: If you are sick, you should wear a facemask when you are around other people and before you enter a healthcare provider’s office. If you are not able to wear a facemask (for example, because it causes trouble breathing), then you should do your best to cover your coughs and sneezes, and people who are caring for you should wear a facemask if they enter your room.

Event Cancellations

Q: Should I go to church/party/community gathering/bar?
A: Right now, federal and state guidelines recommend staying home if possible and limiting time in public places as precautions associated with social distancing. The more we use social distancing techniques, the more we reduce the risk of the virus spreading. This is especially important for older people and those with underlying health conditions who are most vulnerable to the virus.

Price Gouging

Q: Where can I report Price Gouging?
A: On March 14, 2020, at 10:15 AM, Governor Kemp issued an Executive Order and declared a Public Health State of Emergency in the State of Georgia. In the Executive Order, the Governor recognized that it is necessary and appropriate to take action to protect the health, safety, and welfare of Georgia’s residents and visitors to ensure that COVID-19 remains controlled. He further ordered that during preparation, response and recovery activities for this Public Health Emergency, price gouging of goods and services necessary to support Public Health would be detrimental to the social and economic welfare of the citizens of this State. Accordingly, he enacted price gouging controls for the State of Georgia. If you see price gouging, please report it on this link: http://consumer.ga.gov/form/price-gouging/step1/price-gouging-form

State of Georgia Hotline

There is a state of Georgia hotline people can call with questions or if they think they may have been exposed: 1-844-442-2681
Again, if you believe you’re experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 or have been exposed to the novel coronavirus, please contact your primary care doctor, an urgent care clinic, or your local federally qualified healthcare center. Please do not show up to an emergency room or healthcare facility unannounced.

 

Civility Series 2 – Power of Social Media

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 4 | 7:00 PM | SANCTUARY

The Skidaway Island Presbyterian Church (SIPC) will sponsor its second forum on Civility on Wednesday, March 4 at 7pm in the sanctuary. The purpose of this gathering is to discuss how we live ethically in this new age of social media. The objective is to identify the power and the problems of social media and to provide tools that can help us deal with it conscientiously and morally.

There will be three 10-12 minute “Ted Talk-Like” presentations by Sandy Mentzel, Amber Williams and Rabbi Robert Haas with The Rev. Dr. Jeff Garrison, pastor of SIPC as moderator.

Sandy Mentzel is a digital marketing and project coordinator at Hospice Savannah and founder of Savannah’s Social Media Breakfast. She earned a BA in Economics from Rutgers University.

Amber Williams is Public Affairs Manager of the Georgia Air National Guard and a podcaster. She studied video communication at Bowling Green State University.

Rabbi Robert Haas is the rabbi at Congregational Mickve Israel, as well as a stand-up comedian and user of Facebook. He is a graduate of the University of Texas and went to rabbinical school in Los Angeles.

The panelist’s presentations on the power of Social Media will be followed by an op en discussion, moderated by Rev. Jeff Garrison.  Questions from the audience will be encouraged.  Join us in what promises to be a lively discussion!

For any questions about the forum, call the church office at 598-0151.

* Nursery available.

SIPC Hosts Award-Winning Lecture Series

SIPC will broadcast via live stream one of the nation’s leading lecture and cultural art series in Liston Hall  from 12:30 PM to 1:30 PM.  Bring your lunch and a friend to this stimulating lecture series. We will  have tables set up for seating along with coffee, tea and water to drink.

Ann Compton, a 41-year veteran of the White house press corps who covered seven presidents during her tenure; Mitch Albom, an author, columnist, radio host, and philanthropist whose books have sold over 39 million copies and been translated into more than 45 languages; and Jonathan Haidt, a social psychologist at NYU whose last two books were New York Times best-sellers, are among the impressive lineup of speakers.

The 15 speakers will offer informed perspectives on a wide range of today’s most relevant topics, including poverty and hunger, the global water crisis, immigration, mass incarceration, religious freedom, and big data’s inequality and threat to democracy.

SPEAKERS AND TOPICS

SIPC Organizes Support for Local Coast Guard

Skidaway Island Presbyterian church has a tradition of welcoming Joys and Concerns from its members during Sunday morning services. Recently Commander (CDR) Drew Behnke, a member of the United States Coast Guard, stood to announce that many of his fellow Coast Guard members were experiencing financial difficulties due to the extended government shutdown.

Members of the church’s Mission Committee put their heads together to come up with a plan to support those in need. Working closely with CDR Behnke, the idea emerged to purchase individual gift cards, not to exceed $50, for distribution among the 420 Coast Guard members within the coastal stations of Georgia. In less than a week, cards valued at over $3,400 were donated.

As the word spread among the island churches and throughout the larger community by way of The Landings Association website, the amount of support swelled to over $5,000 and 1700 hotdogs.

SIPC Welcomes Brendan Mungwena

Brendan Mungwena is a Zimbabwe exchange student studying macro economics at Armstrong State University, thanks to the Georgia Rotary Student Program, and was a guest speaker at SIPC on January 28. Brendan received a warm welcome from his American host family, the Eskews – Austin, Kay and Sam.

Click HERE to read Brendan’s testimony.
Click HERE to read about Brendan in the January 19 issue of the Skinnie magazine.

 

A Message from Union Mission

Patricia Youngquist, Executive Director of Union Mission, spoke to the SIPC congregation during the Worship service on Sunday, January 13. The following is her message:

Homelessness is a growing problem, not just in Savannah but across America. The need for help, for supportive services, for a hand up out of homelessness, is great. Last year, over 4,500 men, women, and children were homeless in Chatham County. That could be for a day, a week or longer. Right here in Chatham County, on any given day, there are approximately 1,000 people living without a stable home. These people could be in emergency shelters, on the street or under bridges, in motels, in their cars, or couch surfing with friends and relatives.

Union Mission began 80 years ago as the dream of a man of faith. Our founder, the Reverend George Akins, came to Savannah from Toccoa Falls Bible College in the north Georgia mountains. The suffering he saw on the streets around him during the Great Depression inspired him to create a place of hope and help that would touch the lives of those most in need.

His dream has been changing lives in Savannah ever since. Each year, hundreds of men, women, and children come to Union Mission looking for a beacon to light their way to a new life. Here they find safe beds, hot food, and the help they need to rebuild their lives. Many of them tell us that we are the first place that truly gave them a hand up out of homelessness into a better tomorrow.

Union Mission works to change lives by creating an environment where individuals can thrive and lives can be rebuilt. The program at the heart of what we do is our Emergency Services Program. Our two facilities, Grace House for men and Magdalene House for women with children, offer 90 days of housing and supportive services, including mental health care, employment and training support, and dedicated staff trained to address the specialized needs of individuals and families recovering from homelessness. Our goal is to help them leave homelessness and transition to safe, stable housing.

In 2016, (we are still gathering our 2017 stats) we served 474 people. In doing so we provided over 28,000 nights of shelter, served over 84,000 meals and helped over 300 people find employment. We helped over 200 people find stable housing. .

Union Mission is a place of second chances. It is a place for those who are weary to find rest, for those who are ready to find a fresh start, and above all a place where hope lives on. You can see it in the faces of the people we serve and hear it in their stories.

One such story is the story of Niaisha. After ending a 15 year relationship with her children’s father, Niaisha moved to Savannah from Cleveland to be closer to her family. She soon discovered that her family was not going to be able to support her in a way that she had thought they could.

Niaisha reached out to Union Mission and within a few days there was a room for her and her two children at Magdalene House. Beyond just providing them a safe place to sleep, Union Mission provided intensive case management, connecting Niaisha to counseling, child care assistance and affordable housing in the community.

Despite the struggles she encountered, Niaisha was determined to create a better life for herself and her two children. Within 90 days, Niaisha moved from Magdalene House to her own apartment, a safe space where she and her family could continue their journey to a brighter future.

Today, Niaisha works at the Georgia Ports Authority and both of her children are honor roll students. She is also enrolled in a program that will enable her to purchase her own home in two years.

Niaisha said, “Supporting Union Mission is not just helping one, two or three people; it’s helping generation after generation. By Union Mission helping me, they’re creating a legacy through my children.”

I’m humbled when I hear women like Niaisha and others express their gratitude for the help they received at Union Mission. But the work we do would not be possible without the generous support of people just like you – men and women of faith who are committed to doing what Jesus did – accepting people where they are, loving them, and extending the gift of grace to those in need.

You can extend that grace in a variety of ways. You can join us as volunteers, as financial partners, or as prayer supporters. Your support as a volunteer can help bring the light of hope to mothers at our Magdalene House working to build a better life for their children, or lift the life of a man at Grace House who feels forgotten by the world. With your help as financial partners, we can continue to provide a safe place for those who have nowhere else to turn. As prayer partners you will under-gird with love and grace the work we do each day.

Celebrating 40 Years

Video created by Eleanor Graham.

SIPC Welcomes Rev. Dr. Carl B. Smith

Rev. Dr. Carl B. Smith is the Chair of the College of Theology and Program Director for the Doctor of Ministry Program at the Savannah, GA, campus of South University.

He has served nine years in pastoral ministry and over twenty years in theological education, both as a faculty member and administrator. Carl has earned a Master of Divinity degree from Temple Baptist Theological College in Chattanooga, TN with a focus upon the New Testament.  He has also earned a Masters of Art and a PhD in ancient history from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio.

Rev. Smith loves to study the historical background and documents of late Judaism and early Christianity. His research field is early church history with a particular focus on Gnosticism and Ignatius of Antioch. He has published a book on the origins of Gnosticism, entitled No Longer Jews: The Search for Gnostic Origins (Hendrickson, 2004), and several chapters in edited volumes.

Rev. Smith is an ordained priest in the Anglican Church (ACNA) and has been an active churchman throughout his academic career. He is the husband of Debby (36 years!), father of five grown children, and grandfather to six awesome grand kids.

Listen to the sermons below:

FEB 18 2018



JAN 29 2017