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Former S3 Group Still Making a Difference

by Lifelong Learning Staff


       Original S3 group members


The state of South Carolina is blessed with five presbyteries that share a rich tradition of working together on leadership education, mission, outreach, and the general business of being part of the Church of Jesus Christ and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

In 2004, the five then-executive presbyters were accepted into the S3 (Sabbath, Study, and Service) Program and began an exploration of the emerging model of missional communities. This experience was chronicled in a previous issue of Journeying Together

T. Mark Verdery, General Presbytery/Stated Clerk of Providence Presbytery and member of the seminary’s Alumni/ae Council, shared a recent update on their shared work. “We continue to reap from the seeds sown during S3 in ways we never imagined,” Verdery said in a recent conversation with director of Lifelong Learning, Sarah Erickson. “The Mission Apostle Program shared by four of our presbyteries is moving us toward new ways of engaging mission at home, and across the state, the country, and the world. We are learning what it means to move beyond being disciples to being apostles sent out to take risks for the sake of the gospel.”

Verdery credits the S3 program with providing the space to begin this exploration. “I’m an S3 evangelist,” he says, “and encourage small groups of church leaders – pastors and educators – to take advantage of the program.”

September 21 is the deadline for applications for the 2013 cohort. Application information and the program brochure are online here.

The most recent Mission Apostle video may be viewed here. For additional information, visit the Mission Apostle website. The original members of the SC Five group are:

Mark Verdery –GP/Stated Clerk in Providence Presbytery; George Wilkes –GP/Stated Clerk in Foothills Presbytery; Alan Arnold – retired GP/Stated Clerk of Trinity Presbytery, now serving as a Missional Coach/Consultant with Pinnacle Leadership Associates; Judd Shaw – former GP/Stated Clerk of New Harmony Presbytery, now serving as GP in East Tennessee Presbytery; and Donnie Woods –GP of Charleston Atlantic Presbytery.