Click HERE for PTCA Eco-Justice, Earth Care and Conservation News from member congregations!  

 

NEW CLIMATE ACTION VIDEO, “Jesus Calls Us.”

You can view the video and read more about it on the Presbyterian News Service today:

https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/jesus-calls-us-video-addresses-climate-crisis/

 

EMerge Feb. 14, 2020

Presbytery News
 
A Matthew 25 Story
Happy Birthday
 
In March of 2019, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area declared itself a Matthew 25 presbytery, accepting an invitation from the Presbyterian Mission Agency to “actively engage in the world around us.”
 
Then the righteous will answer him,
 ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,
or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you,
or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
And the king will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
EMerge will periodically feature stories of PTCA congregations living out the call of Matthew 25, in their own ways and abilities, and in their own words. Today: Community Presbyterian Church in Rochester, Minnesota.
 
Physical hunger, at least in the moment, can be addressed with foodstuffs—cans and bottles and packages that supply nutrition and bulk and sustenance. But what about the other hungers we know. Like the simple hunger to be noticed for who we are, and to be able to do the same for others when doing that may be a budget luxury.
 
This week, the Presbyterian Women’s group at Community Presbyterian in Rochester packed more than food for the Channel One foodbank they support. (Though they did that, too. All those cans of soup? Part of Community’s Souper Bowl Sunday effort.) They packed birthday bags for Channel One yesterday, that included cake mixes, frosting, candles, balloons and small toys. It’s a simple task, but one that carries outsized importance. Thanks to this group of women for living out a commitment to Matthew 25.
 
Do you have a Matthew 25 story? Send pictures and text to Jeff Japinga, executive presbyter, at ep@ptcaweb.org.
 
 
 
Class completion fulfills boundaries training requirement
Not Your Average Boundaries Training
Monday, February 24 (10:00 am to 3:00 pm), Silverwood Park, St. Anthony.
 
LeaderWise will bring you beyond the basic “Don’t do this!” and “Never do that!” Drawing upon case studies, self-quizzes, and discussion questions, we'll engage you to consider the ethical and legal dimensions of ministry. And, of course, we'll cover the mandatory basics along the way. One participant exclaimed, “This was the best boundaries training I've been to in 36 years of ministry!” 
 
If you decide to attend the class, please provide us with your certificate of completion. If you have questions or need additional information, please let me know, or contact LeaderWise directly at 651-636-5120.
 
Jeff's Jottings:
Love, love, love, love...
"Here’s what I think about love today. It has a power that is in many ways the antithesis of so much of what we see in the world around us, which in reality is no power at all; except, of course, the power of God in our own commitments to follow Jesus.
 
In his Prayer Breakfast address, Brooks’ challenged his listeners: “Ask God to give you the strength to do this hard thing — to go against human nature, to follow Jesus’ teaching and love your enemies. Ask God to remove political contempt from your heart. In your weakest moments, maybe even ask (God) to help you fake it!”
 
Around the Presbytery
 
Books by PTCA Pastors Now on the Shelves
Pastor Bill Chadwick, Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area, has recently authored a new book called, “Still Laughing, Still Learning (Still Looking for a Good Title)." It’s a delightful collection of brief and "mostly true stories of family, friends, faith and foibles." Kevin Kling, regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered, called the book “thoroughly funny, moving, and beautiful … stories about how we belong to and for each other.” Learn more about the book at Bill's website (billchadwick.com) or at the blog at: chainlink-chainoflakesncd.blogspot.com.
Neil Craigan, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in White Bear Lake, has just had his new book published. Human Again: Life in the Image of God looks at what it means to be human in today’s world. In his introduction, Neil writes, “My hope for this book is that as you engage with its content, you too will come to appreciate the critical importance of respecting the image of God in ourselves and others as we seek to live a life of faith that honors God, in whose image every human being who has ever lived is created.”
 
Look for both at your favorite bookseller.
 
Practicing Reconciliation in Divisive Times
Christians United to Heal Impeachment Divides
The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (United) are partnering to host a panel discussion on "The Christian Art and Practice of Reconciliation in Divisive Times" on Tuesday, March 24th at 6:30 p.m. at United in St. Paul. This event features Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung, MCC executive director and author. DeYoung's talk will include panelists, United professors Carolyn Pressler, John Lee, Justin Sabia-Tanis, and alum Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay, lead pastor of Christ United Church of Christ in Rochester.
 
“The Christian Art and Practice of Reconciliation in Divisive Times” will be held at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, 767 N. Eustis Street (in the Case Building) in St. Paul. Anyone interested in healing the political divides within the church and broader society are welcome to attend. Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung leads a radically diverse network of 25 church denominations. United professors educate leaders from various denominations and religions. Read more via the link below.
 
 
Seminars, Retreats, Programs
 
The New Cosmic Story: Inside our Awakening Universe
Didier Seminar at House of Hope Features Theologian John Haught
On Saturday, February 29 and March 1, The House of Hope Presbyterian Church (797 Summit Avenue, St. Paul / (651) 227-6311) will host the 2020 Didier Seminar on Religion and Contemporary Thought. 
 
An informed and compelling Christianity is the goal of the Didier Seminar. Every spring for more than 20 years, our Didier Seminar has reached out for fresh voices of the Spirit. This year, it’s internationally-known theologian John Haught, Ph.D. Georgetown University professor and foremost thinker on science and religion, Dr. John Haught argues that to understand faith you must understand that the universe is still “awakening.”
 
Scientific advances are making it clear that the universe is a story still unfolding. How does science inform faith and vice versa? How has our idea of the universe changed over the past 2,000 years? What is the new cosmic story and how does it invite a new understanding of the religious quest? Do the stories we’ve been telling about the universe and religion still work? Do they compete or interact? Does human experience—what we now know, how we feel, what we do—have an impact on the evolving universe?
 
Saturday, February 29
6:30 p.m. – Welcome Reception
7:30 p.m. - Lecture: The New Cosmic Story and the Meaning of Faith
Sunday, March 1
10 a.m. - Sermon: Faith and Ecology for an Unfinished Universe
11:15 a.m. - Lecture: Evolution and Faith: What Is at Stake?
 
The Calvin W. Didier Annual Seminar on Religion and Contemporary Thought was endowed in 1993 as a retirement tribute to Reverend Didier in honor of a ministry mindful of the many voices of the spirit and the profound changes we continue to experience in contemporary thought and culture. This yearly seminar is dedicated to the spiritual growth through the best comprehensive thinking in religion, the arts, letters and science. We seek to present inspiring and acknowledged leaders in their various fields.
 
Celebrate Earth Day Everyday!
Train Your Rain Garden Program at Trinity/Woodbury
 
“Train Your Rain Garden”
Celebrate Earth Day every day!
Saturday, April 18th, 2020 at 9:30am
Location:
Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2125 Tower Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125
 
*Concerned about our community water supply?
*Want to help our local pollinators? Heard about “Lawns to Legumes”?
*Interested in learning more about native plants, & how to have a Blue Thumb?
*Need to earn some volunteer service hours or CEUs?
*Looking for a fun Saturday morning family project?
Come join us! For all of the above AND a bonfire!
What are rain gardens and why are they important?
Rain gardens are low areas designed to capture storm runoff from rooftops, driveways, parking lots, and roadways. By doing regular rain garden maintenance, we make it possible for the garden to keep doing its job of filtering contaminated water and reducing flooding and erosion. 
Native plants in the rain gardens help soak up more water and attract a variety of pollinators. The rain gardens at Trinity Presbyterian Church protect the water in the Tamarack Swamp Nature Preserve, Battle Creek, and Battle Creek Lake.
Infiltration of storm water runoff helps our lakes and wetlands, and recharges groundwater. See www.groundwater.org for more information.
 
Event Schedule:
9:30 – 9:55am - Gather & Greet: Treats and mingling
 
10:00am to Noon - Rain garden maintenance training for CEUs, with instructor Simba Blood; hands-on demonstrations and maintenance work outside. Please bring your own gloves, water bottle and favorite weeding tools if you have them.
* Child care is available during the training.
 
Noon – 12:45 p.m. Bonfire and music; bring your own bag lunch and/or something to roast over the fire. WEATHER-dependent! Please come prepared!
 
To help, please RSVP by April 16th with the number of participants who will be attending, to:  WaterCarrier42@gmail.com  Questions and input are also welcome. THANKS!
 
New Speakers Announced
Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day
 
Imagine! God's Earth and People Restored
April 24-27
Washington, DC
We believe that God created this world, called it good, and told humans to care for it. We are blessed to have this sacred task.
 
On April 24, 2020, join together with Presbyterians from across the nation in Washington, D.C. to learn how Presbyterians and partners are answering this call and working for the restoration of God’s creation and people. Through plenaries, workshops, and networking opportunities, this Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day offers the chance to explore the various ways we are addressing climate change, ecological destruction and environmental racism. Advancing climate justice and just transition to value and protect people who have historically been made vulnerable by economic and environmental injustice will be a special focus.
 
Many will continue the learning by attending the Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored from Friday evening on April 24 through Lobby Day on Monday the 27th. Almost 1,000 Christian advocates join us every year for a weekend of workshops, lectures and concrete actions addressing movements for social change.
 
Leadership Openings
 
Family-Intergenerational Ministries Coordinator
First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, Wisconsin is seeking a Family-Intergenerational Ministries Coordinator to join the staff of our growing congregation.
 
Located in Hudson, WI, FPC is an active a Christian community dedicated to sharing God’s love and growing in faith. We are committed to intergenerational worship and learning; creativity, diversity, and balance in worship, music, and art; caring for one another as family (in all the best senses of the word family); the welcome and inclusion of all people; and more! Please visit www.fpchudson.net to explore the story of our family of faith past and present and get a better glimpse of our hopes for the future!
 
EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published biweekly and distributed to congregations, teaching elders, ruling elders, church members, committees and friends of the presbytery. Please send submissions and address corrections to office@ptcaweb.org
 
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EMerge Jan. 31, 2020

Presbytery News
 
Presbytery's Play Date with Rev. Shawna Bowman
Highlights from Presbytery Gathering
Practicing Playfulness, celebrating milestones and blessing leadership, remembering the blessing of Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church, adopting a framework to organize Presbytery, discussing the use of Strategic Ministries Funds, and conversations in "Open Spaces" were the featured events of the January Presbytery Gathering at Presbyterian Church of the Way. Read more about the conversations, blessings, mission and ministry of this gathering via the link below.
 
Congregational Development Grants Enter Fourth Year of Awards
Has your congregation been noticing a need in your community, kicking around a new ministry idea, or dreaming about partnering with a neighborhood organization—but a tight budget makes you set that vision aside? Consider applying for a Congregational Development Grant from the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.
 
Entering its fourth year of grants, the PTCA’s Congregational Grant Fund (sometimes known as Bucket #1) has already given out nearly $300,000 in grants funds to 21 PTCA congregations. This year, proceeds from this endowment fund will allow for up to $105,000 in grants for ministry initiatives at the congregational level. Applications are due May 1, 2020, with awards to be announced in September.
 
Successful applications will build on the current gifts, abilities, passions and callings of congregations by enabling innovative new or expanded ministries. Individual grants will be awarded for up to $20,000 each. Last year’s grant award winners included plans to implement a permaculture design on the grounds of Church of All Nations, converting it into an ecological sanctuary… adding a youth music ministry program for Anuak refugees through the Foundation of Life New Worshipping Community… sanctuary technology improvements at New Life Presbyterian Church to enable new worship and education offering. In previous years, Congregational Development grants have funded new community service projects, partnerships with neighborhood non-profits, congregational revitalization initiatives, and building alterations needed to allow a bold new ministry partnership to begin.
 
The Committee on Congregational Vitality will again oversee the grant process. Questions can be addressed to one of the grant review team co-chairs, Rev. Karen Larson (larsonkarenrose@gmail.com) or Rev. Scott Larson (scott@salmail.net), or to Executive Presbyter Jeff Japinga (ep@ptcaweb.org).
 
E-mail Spoofers Are At It Again!
by Jeff Japinga, Executive Presbyter
 
As we reported last September, churches are being increasingly and specifically targeted for email scams. Only a few days ago, they tried again with the pictured e-mail.
 
Please be on the alert. If you are not sure if the email is from me or from the Presbytery, just ask (and not by replying to the email, but by forwarding what you received to me at ep@ptcaweb.org or to office@ptcaweb.org).
 
Since it’s still happening, however, here are some reminders from that September column:
 
The Name is Legit but the Email Address is Odd
Don’t just look at the sender’s name; look at the address. The email some of you received from me this week looked like this: From: Rev. Jeff Japinga <00church.info@gmail.com >. That’s called spoofing. Every email from me will come from Jeffrey Japinga <ep@ptcaweb.org>. If you see a long string of numbers in front of the @ sign or the name of a free email service before the .com (or any other domain), you need to question the legitimacy of the email.
 
Look at the Content
Here’s what “my” email said on Wednesday: Hi, Reply this message when you get this, thanks. Last fall, I was stranded in the northwoods and urgently needed Google Play cards. Red flags!! Look, I’m not perfect, but multiple grammatical or spelling errors within the body of an email are good signs that it’s fake. So is a message that says you need to do something right away or within a certain number of hours. Also, don’t click on links, especially when you have even the very smallest amount of doubt.
 
Look at the Greeting
If there is no personal greeting or if the email is very general, think hard before you respond. Then don’t.
 
It Asks for Personal Information
If you get an email that asks you for any personal information, no matter how legitimate it might seem, delete it right away. Personal information is only meant to be entered in secure, encrypted forms.
 
If It Ends Up In Your Spam Folder
I know; occasionally a legit email ends up in the spam folder. But not often. Deal with the rare misdirected email if you need to; but if it’s in the spam folder, odds are good it’s there for a reason.
 
How We Protect Places of Worship
Do you have an emergency plan in place for your congregation? Are you currently working on one?
 
Last week, executive presbyter Jeff Japinga attended a workshop sponsored by the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension, engaging law enforcement and faith-based communities. Also this month, a number of you have contacted Jeff or Presbytery office about whether the Presbytery has policies or practices for emergencies, not surprising given the uptick in violence targeted at churches and other faith-based communities.
 
Let’s do this important work together, learning from each other and supporting each other. If you have written emergency policies at your church, for events from first aid to a fire or tornado to an active shooter, would you send those to Jeff Japinga at ep@ptcaweb.org? If you would like to work on a template of policies and practices the PTCA could offer to its churches, please let Jeff know about that as well.
 
Jeff's Jottings:
What I Didn't Say Last Week
The report from the Executive Presbyter was on the agenda of last week’s Presbytery business meeting. When the meeting fell behind schedule, Jottings became the place to find the report.
 
"Messing with established structures" writes Jeff, "can be a tricky proposition." But in the end, what this new structure yields will be one that will feature common ownership.
 
Around the Presbytery
 
Ministry Lab's First Offering...
Preparing Contemplative Worship
 
The Ministry Lab is excited to offer its first workshop:
 
Preparing Contemplative Worship.
Union Theological Seminary chapel on Tuesday, February 11, from 2:00-3:30.
 
Clergy and lay leaders: Bring your expertise and experience; your questions and conundrums; your joy in contemplative practices; your wondering how to weave it together.
 
We may wind up with a "liturgy" or two - and at the very least, a network of contemplative worship planners to support, inspire and empower one another!
 
Seminars, Retreats, Programs
 
New Speakers Announced
Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day
 
Imagine! God's Earth and People Restored
April 24-27
Washington, DC
We believe that God created this world, called it good, and told humans to care for it. We are blessed to have this sacred task.
 
On April 24, 2020, join together with Presbyterians from across the nation in Washington, D.C. to learn how Presbyterians and partners are answering this call and working for the restoration of God’s creation and people. Through plenaries, workshops, and networking opportunities, this Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day offers the chance to explore the various ways we are addressing climate change, ecological destruction and environmental racism. Advancing climate justice and just transition to value and protect people who have historically been made vulnerable by economic and environmental injustice will be a special focus.
 
Many will continue the learning by attending the Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored from Friday evening on April 24 through Lobby Day on Monday the 27th. Almost 1,000 Christian advocates join us every year for a weekend of workshops, lectures and concrete actions addressing movements for social change.
 
Leadership Openings
 
Family-Intergenerational Ministries Coodinator
First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, Wisconsin is seeking a Family-Intergenerational Ministries Coordinator to join the staff of our growing congregation.
 
Located in Hudson, WI, FPC is an active a Christian community dedicated to sharing God’s love and growing in faith. We are committed to intergenerational worship and learning; creativity, diversity, and balance in worship, music, and art; caring for one another as family (in all the best senses of the word family); the welcome and inclusion of all people; and more! Please visit www.fpchudson.net to explore the story of our family of faith past and present and get a better glimpse of our hopes for the future!
 
EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published biweekly and distributed to congregations, teaching elders, ruling elders, church members, committees and friends of the presbytery. Please send submissions and address corrections to office@ptcaweb.org
 
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EMerge, Jan. 3, 2020

Presbytery News
 
A Matthew 25 Story
Going to Jail
 
In March of 2019, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area declared itself a Matthew 25 presbytery, accepting an invitation from the Presbyterian Mission Agency to “actively engage in the world around us.”
 
Then the righteous will answer him,
 ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,
or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you,
or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
And the king will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
EMerge will periodically feature stories of PTCA congregations living out the call of Matthew 25, in their own ways and abilities. Today: First Presbyterian Church in Ellsworth, Wisconsin, and Laurel Presbyterian Church in Hager City, Wisconsin, written by their pastor, the Rev. Amy Kosari.
 
“Is it scary?” That’s the most frequent question I get when I mention that my two churches have a jail ministry. The answer is yes…and no.
 
Remember when you were really young and you weren’t able to open doors on your own—the helplessness and dependence of relying on others? Inmates and even guards to some extent are living in this kind of helplessness day and night. But on the other hand, and I think this is more true, jail is not frightening, because it is a place filled with freedom and light.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, “She’s a hopeless Pollyanna!” But please don’t give up reading quite yet. First, let me say that the jail that we serve, Pierce County Jail, is exemplary. When there has been a stated decision communicated down the chain of command to make an institution a place of contentment, that decision bears exceedingly good fruits for both staff and inmates. But it’s more than that. Simply put, the jail is filled with light because the God is there. 
 
Let me illustrate. Take the phrase, “you have to hit rock bottom before you can recover.” That saying implies that there’s something good about rock bottom. I strenuously disagree. There’s nothing good about losing everything. There’s nothing good about being down and out. But God is good. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who mourn,” not because there’s anything good about mourning but because God blesses and comforts those who are so distraught they can’t even breathe, can’t even speak. Rock bottom isn’t good, but God is. God is with those who have been abandoned. God is with those who see only darkness. God seeks and saves the lost.
 
How come? Because that’s who He is, “the Father of mercies,” “without shadow of turning.” Please don’t mistake me here. We need to completely reform our criminal justice system, and it needs to be done yesterday. We need places people can go, rehabs instead of jails. We need to stop sweeping our fellow human beings under the rug. But at the same time, when I think of how God works in our jails and prisons, I am surprised that people aren’t breaking into them!
 
If you feel the call to volunteer, know that you will meet Jesus there, whether you are helping people learn to knit, working with AA, your local library, working with NAMI, or going to jail, as we do. Jesus said, “The Spirit of the Lord God is upon me….to proclaim liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to those who are bound,” and he keeps his promises. He is “the son of God who loved me and gave himself for me.” He is our “room with a view.” He is our star shining in the darkness.
 
January Presbytery Gathering
Reports & Materials Due Monday, Jan. 13th at 5:00pm
Mark your calendar for Saturday, January 25, and the next Presbytery Gathering. The Gathering will begin at 9:00 am at Church of the Way in Shoreview, MN.
 
Pastor and artist Shawna Bowman will join us as our featured speaker, reflecting with us on the gift of playfulness, especially during difficult times. (Find out more about Shawna at her website, shawnabowman.com.) Pair Shawna’s offering with worship, fellowship, and key Presbytery business items, and you have a great day. More information in the coming weeks.
 
Please observe the January 13 deadline for ALL reports, materials and inclusions for the stated meeting. If you have any questions please contact Barbara Lutter, stated clerk, at statedclerk@ptcaweb.org.
 
Jeff's Jottings:
Happy New Year
In these days of Christmas that, on our calendar, includes both Christmas and New Year’s, we're reminded anew of the hope proclaimed in the season.
 
"Our faith dares us" writes Jeff Japinga, "to invest anew in the belief that this better world, this better way is possible."
 
Read more about how to have common hope in our individual callings in this week's edition of Jeff's Jottings...
 
Around the Presbytery
 
Anti-Racism Educational Retreat
 
On February 6-8th, 2020, the Presbytery Leadership Team in collaboration with the Anti-Racism Task Force will host an anti-racism educational retreat, facilitated by Crossroads Anti-Racism Organizing and Training. 
 
This retreat marks the formal beginning of an institutional assessment of the presbytery around the issue of race (which occurs over the next 18 months). The assessment is not a study of individual churches, but rather of the work of the officers and committees of the presbytery as a whole. The wider goal is to:
 
  1. understand how race and ethnicity have played a role (both of good and harm) in how our presbytery has lived out its life of ministry in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and
  2. to practice a process of faithful self-honesty and transformation that can continue forward even beyond the formal conclusion of the assessment.
 
Members of the working group who will facilitate this institutional assessment as well as committee chairs and ministry leaders in the presbytery will gather for this training.
 
There are a limited number of additional slots available to others in the presbytery who would like to attend. While there is no cost to attend the retreat, you must commit to ongoing engagement and support of the institutional assessment over the next 18 months.
Such engagement and support may take various forms depending on what support is most helpful to the work group, but is likely to include connecting to the process through 3-4 Zoom calls with the Anti-Racism Task Force, promoting and championing the need for all in the presbytery to participate in surveys and focus groups as requested, and generally being an ambassador for this process by helping all to understand the importance of this work as followers of Christ seeking God’s dreams of justice and peace for all people.
 
The educational retreat will be held:
Thursday, February 6, 2020, 5:00-9:00 pm; Friday, February 7, 8:00am-5:00pm; and Saturday, February 8, 8:00am-5:00pm at the Minnesota Humanities Center, 987 Ivy Avenue East; St. Paul, MN 55106
 
If you are interested in attending, please complete this online form by Wednesday, January 8We will work to create a diverse group of attendees from across our presbytery, and will let you know by the second week of January if a spot is available.
 
If you have questions, contact Anti-Racism Task Force Chair Kendra Grams (kendra.grams@fpchudson.net) or Executive Presbyter Jeff Japinga (ep@ptcaweb.org).
 
In Christ,
Anna Kendig, Presbytery Moderator
Walter Rockenstein, Chair of Presbytery Leadership Team
Jeffrey Japinga, Executive Presbyter
Kendra Grams, Chair Anti-Racism Task Force
 
Witness
 
 
On December 26, a group from the Presbytery stood as witnesses to the annual 330-mile Horse and Rider pilgrimage from Crow Creek, South Dakota, to Mankato, Minnesota. The pilgrimage marks the day when, in 1862, the United States Army hung 38 Dakota leaders, prisoners of war and captives from the Minnesota Dakota War. It’s the largest single execution in our history.
 
Jim Miller, a Dakota leader and Vietnam War veteran, imagined a series of horseback rides that would bring the Dakota people together, raise awareness to the significant impact still with us from the mass hanging and the surrounding events, and to bring reconciliation among all people of the region. Riders arrived at 10:00 a.m., the same hour as the hanging.
 
Remembering and celebrating the Dakota 38+2, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, the Water Carriers, the riders, the runners, and all those who support them.
 
Wrote Greg Bolt, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Red Wing, “Had an amazing morning at Reconciliation Park honoring and remembering the Dakota 38+2, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Water Carriers, the riders, and the runners. Thankful to the runners continuing the journey to the Land of Memories Park.”
 
Interfaith Art Show at Shepherd of the Hills
Windows to the Soul
 
 
The Sower Gallery at Shepherd of the Hill is having it’s third annual interfaith art show. This year it is called “Windows to the Soul.” 
 
This exhibit includes about 50 pieces, prepared by artists who are Christian, Jewish, Muslim and Native American.
 
One featured artist of note is James He Qi (pronounced Ha Chi), a prominent Chinese Christian artist.
 
Above: "Eternal" by Shoaib Siddiqui
Below: "Forlock" and "O Lord" by Raghda Skeik
 
 
We have three of his intricate paper cuttings on loan from the Westminster Gallery.
 
Pictured is some of the Islamic Art; 
1. "Eternal" by Shoaib Siddiqui 
2. Artist Raghda Skeik posing with her two pieces, "Forelock" and "O Lord"
 
The show runs until, Jan. 25th, 2020. Visitors welcome Mon.-Thurs. 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. and Sunday 9:30 a.m. to 12:00 noon. Services are at 10:30 a.m.
 
Shepherd of the Hill Presbyterian Church of Chaska 145 Engler Blvd., Chaska MN 55318 
952-448-3882
 
EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published biweekly and distributed to congregations, teaching elders, ruling elders, church members, committees and friends of the presbytery. Please send submissions and address corrections to office@ptcaweb.org
 
FOLLOW US

EMerge Jan 17, 2020

Presbytery News
 
Conversations, Inspiration, Fellowship, Worship and...
Presbytery Gathering on January 25th
Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area
The Gathering and Stated Meeting
 
Saturday, January 25th at 9:00am
Presbyterian Church of the Way
3382 N. Lexington Ave., Shoreview, MN
 
Childcare for infants through upper elementary age will be available from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
 
Lunch will be served; free-will offering of $10 is suggested. Free parking is available.
 
Presbytery Gatherings are more than ‘the stated meeting.’ Gatherings include time for conversations, inspiration, fellowship, worship and… yes… the business stated meeting. What to expect:
What to Watch For: January PTCA Gathering
 
Moderator Anna Kendig and Vice-Moderator Jean Emmons preview the meeting
 
  • Celebration of the 145 years of ministry and mission of the Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church, St. Paul, MN, and action on the Joint Recommendations to dissolve the congregation.
  • Plenary presentation (“Such Powerful, Holy Fools: building justice and wholeness through practices of play, creativity and imagination”) and Workshop (“How to embody powerful, holy foolishness when we’re not sure how to begin”) facilitated by Rev. Shawna Bowman, the first called and installed pastor of Friendship Presbyterian Church, Chicago, IL. Shawna is a 2009 graduate of McCormick Theological Seminary where she currently serves as Associate Director of Field Ed and Experiential Education, and as Affiliate Faculty. Shawna is also a Co-founder of Creation Lab, an art collective and a working studio space at the intersection of creativity, spirituality and prophetic imagination located in Chicago.
  • Action by the Presbytery on the PLT’s recommendations to change the presbytery structure and organization and recommendations concerning the Strategic Ministries Fund.
  • Open Spaces: Join a conversation about a topic of interest and import.
  • “And Always Reforming….” facilitated by Rocky Rockenstein
  • “The Values Behind a Vision: Our PTCA Institutional Race Assessment” facilitated by Anna Kendig and Kendra Grams
  • “Serving in Nepal: Our Family’s Faith Journey” facilitated by Luke Roske-Metcalfe and his family
  • “Yes, it’s Overture Time” facilitated by Diana Barber and the Bills & Overtures Committee
  • “Our Witness to the Dakota 38 Tribute, 2019” facilitated by Dean Seal
  • Worshipled by Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church, will include celebration of The Lord’s Supper and commissioning of William Parker, our YAAD to 224th General Assembly, and Rev. Luke Roske-Metcalfe and his family (spouse Rev. Andrea Roske-Metcalfe, daughters Olivia, age 9 and Clementine, age 6).
 
A Matthew 25 Story
A Home for the Night
 
In March of 2019, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area declared itself a Matthew 25 presbytery, accepting an invitation from the Presbyterian Mission Agency to “actively engage in the world around us.”
 
Then the righteous will answer him,
 ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,
or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you,
or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
And the king will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
EMerge will periodically feature stories of PTCA congregations living out the call of Matthew 25, in their own ways and abilities. Today: four St. Paul-area congregations who support Project Home.
 
For the month of November, the round tables and chairs that usually fill the ground-level fellowship hall at Central Presbyterian Church in Saint Paul are by-and-large put away, replaced by large cardboard walls that create living spaces for participants in Project Home, an effort of Interfaith Action of Saint Paul. And why?
“It’s important to us, because it fits our mission,” says Sharon Zopfi-Jordan, Central’s coordinated mission chair. “We say ‘We’re in the city for good.’ That means helping when there’s a need.”
 
At First Presbyterian Church in South Saint Paul, Project Home has found a monthly home in July for a quarter of a century. “It’s a hands-on mission that people can really get into,” says coordinator Ruth Krueger of FPC’s participation. The same is true for The House of Hope Presbyterian Church in Saint Paul, another month-long host to Project Home.
 
Christmas in Liberia
 
The following is a report and pictures from a trip, Elizabeth Greene, a member of Peace Presbyterian Church in St. Louis Park, took at Christmas to her hometown in Liberia, and the project she implemented to help poor children in the area.
 
With the growing challenges that engulfed our country, especially to access cash from the bank by many parents during this Christmas Season, Elizabeth S. Greene saw it necessary to identify with the needy Children in her former community. Many of the parents who work for government never got their salary payments before the Christmas, so the assorted goods distributed by Elizabeth Mini Project Team were very helpful to the children and their parents.
 
Christmas season is meant for sharing with everyone that comes across you. This day is set aside to celebrity Christ Birthday according to many Christians around the world and this couldn’t have passed without Elizabeth expressing her love for the needy children in her former community, especially from a impoverish homes.
 
 
One example of a residence where the children live
 
 
(above) Assorted goods to be distributed.
 
(below)
Distribution day in Pectorals
 
Team members sorting out goods.
 
Jeff's Jottings:
Gathering
Many of us likely have a story of "standing up for our beliefs." A time or place where we had to "stand in the gap, between good and evil, heaven and earth, right and wrong."
 
In this week's Jeff's Jottings, we hear of his invitation to participate in a solidarity gathering against antisemitism. In prayer, Jeff writes, we hear the call and feel strength to stand up.
 
Around the Presbytery
 
MLK Events throughout the Presbytery
The House of Hope in St. Paul hosts Pulizer Prize winning author Leonard Pitts, Jr.
Sunday, January 19th at 10:00am worship and a lecture at 2:00pm, with book signing to follow.
 
Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis and Liberty Community Church hosts Rev. Dr. Joy J. Moore.
Joint workshop on Saturday, January 18th at 10am at Westminster
8:30am and 10:30am worship services.
 
Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul will reflect on how MLK's leadership might speak into issues of today. "An individual has not started living until he can RISE above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.” - Martin Luther King Jr. On the weekend of the Martin Luther King, Jr. national holiday we will reflect on how his leadership might speak into the issues of today. Ernest Lloyd will lead in worship.
 
The Ministry Lab Welcomes New Leader
The Ministry Lab—an ecumenical organization that serves United Methodist, United Church of Christ, and Presbyterian churches in Minnesota—has hired a new executive director to resource and engage congregations and leaders around innovative practices and fresh approaches to faith formation.
 
Rev. Emily Meyer, an ordained pastor in the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA), began the position in mid-December. She succeeds Lizabeth Bougie, who retired after nearly eight years in the position.
 
“I look forward to doing consulting and finding out what congregations are doing and ways that I can encourage them to try new things,” said Meyer, who was ordained in 1998. “I hope that this can be a place where we tackle the big questions and come up with hopeful, gracious responses to the challenges the church is facing right now.”
 
Seminars, Retreats, Programs
 
A Webinar from the Office of Public Witness
Cameroon: An Update from the Ground
Cameroon: An Update from the Ground
A webinar
January 22, 12pm (EST)
Sponsored by the Office of Public Witness, the Hunger
Program, and World Mission
 
Last month, the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) issued a call to prayer for Cameroon. The security situation in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon continues to deteriorate. Over 2,000 people have been killed and more than 200 villages have been partially or completely burned due to the armed conflict. More than 530,000 people have been internally displaced and about 50,000 people are now refugees. The economic impact of the conflict has not only been devastating to the Anglophone regions but to the entire country. The Educational sector has also been greatly affected, with over 700,000 children not attending school in the Anglophone regions of Cameroon. The State Department and Congress have issued statements urging that inclusive dialogue be engaged as a way out of the current crisis and that humanitarian aid workers be allowed unhindered access. 
 
Please join us to learn more about the critical situation in Cameroon and why it matters. We will hear from partners from the Presbyterian Church of Cameroon as well as our partners in World Mission and the Presbyterian Hunger Program.  
 
Join us to learn what actions you can take to help contribute to a peaceful diplomatic solution!
 
New Speakers Announced
Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day
 
Imagine! God's Earth and People Restored
April 24-27
Washington, DC
We believe that God created this world, called it good, and told humans to care for it. We are blessed to have this sacred task.
 
On April 24, 2020, join together with Presbyterians from across the nation in Washington, D.C. to learn how Presbyterians and partners are answering this call and working for the restoration of God’s creation and people. Through plenaries, workshops, and networking opportunities, this Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day offers the chance to explore the various ways we are addressing climate change, ecological destruction and environmental racism. Advancing climate justice and just transition to value and protect people who have historically been made vulnerable by economic and environmental injustice will be a special focus.
 
Many will continue the learning by attending the Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored from Friday evening on April 24 through Lobby Day on Monday the 27th. Almost 1,000 Christian advocates join us every year for a weekend of workshops, lectures and concrete actions addressing movements for social change.
 
EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published biweekly and distributed to congregations, teaching elders, ruling elders, church members, committees and friends of the presbytery. Please send submissions and address corrections to office@ptcaweb.org
 
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