March 16, 2019 Presbytery Meeting at Korean Presbyterian in Brooklyn Center, MN 

The Rev. Gilo Agwa

 

March 16, 2019 Presbytery Meeting

The Rev. Jeff Japinga, Executive Presbyter

At the Installation of the Rev. Young Hwan Jung, March 2019

Korean Presbyterian Church of Minnesota, Brooklyn Center MN 

 

EMerge June 14, 2019

 
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EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published weekly 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.
June 14, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
Congregational Development Grants
recommended for 7 projects
This year, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area received applications for Congregational Development Grants to fund 11 creative and exciting Presbytery Logoministries. The total requests amounted to around $178,000 and the committee was asked to recommend up to $100,000 in grant awards for this year. The Congregational Grant Review Committee of six members (four Teaching Elders and two Ruling Elders) individually reviewed and scored the applications, using a decision matrix based on criteria described on the grant application form. Then the team met for two lengthy sessions of discernment and discussion to bring the scores to a consensus. 
 
After reviewing all the applications together, the Congregational Grant Review Committee voted to recommend funding for seven programs. The complete article from the committee can be found at "Congregational Development Grants."
 
Presbytery meeting stories
God's grace in closing a church
As a significant part of May meeting of Presbytery, congregations were invited to share "God-sightings," stories of how God has been or is working in the ministries of PTCA congregations.

The following is the story of the Presbyterian Church of Le Sueur told by Sara Berry Hein:
 
When I first started at the Presbyterian Church of Le Sueur, we had about 30 people in worship. Even so, we were a mighty congregation, filled with ideas and hope. Unfortunately, as time went on, more and more people in our aging congregation passed away. The 30 became 25, which then became 15, until it finally hovered at around 10 people. About two and a half years after I started, our session had a retreat to talk about the future.
 
The complete story is at "Grace in Closing a Church."
 
No EMerge until July 12; Link continues as usual in interim June 21, July 5
Emerge Logo LittleDue to vacations, there will be no issue of Emerge June 28. The next issue of EMerge will be published July 12. In the interim, the PTCA Link newsletter will continue its regular schedule with issues planned June 21 and July 5.
 
Jottings
The Living Church
 
Executive Presbyter Jeff Japinga is vacationing this week. The guest "Jottings" this week comes from Jan jan edmistonEdmiston, a co-moderator of the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Edmiston writes frequently at her blog, "A Church for Starving Artists." Her post from June 6 is titled "The Living Church." She begins:
 
A couple of weeks ago, HH and I were eating fish tacos in our Charlotte neighborhood. We were talking about the upcoming Opioid Training Breakfast we would be attending the next day. (Note: Nothing says Romantic Date like the words "opioid training breakfast.")
 
Our server - Leigh [not her real name] - asked what we were talking about and we told her and she said that she knew something about opioid abuse and would we report back on what we learned. And I said, "Of course."
 
Edmiston's complete post can be found at "The Living Church."
Around the presbytery   
 
21st Century Academy
A place without strangers
"Where am I going to eat?" A young boy asked this question recently at Liberty Church in Minneapolis. His concern was real. He was thinking of the school lunches he misses when school dismisses for the summer.
liberty church 
Hungry children have difficulty learning. Will this young boy be one of the approximately one-third of black students who do not graduate from high school? The most recent data from the U.S. Department of Education reveals that Minnesota ranks at the bottom of the 50 states in the percentage of African-American students who do not graduate from high school.
 
The 21st Century Academy at Liberty Church provides nutritious lunches and much more for the 120 girls and boys who will attend the summer session from June 24 through Aug. 1.
 
The complete story by Bebe Baldwin can be found at "A Place Without Strangers."
 
Synod slates 'Art of Transitional Leadership' -- registration open
synodThe Synod of Lakes and Prairies is planning a new event this fall -- "The Art of Transitional Leadership" -- that will provide ministry skills training for today and tomorrow's church pastors, staff, committees on ministry and congregational leaders. Set Monday through Friday, Sept. 16-20, at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, the event offers two tracks, one covering an introduction to transitional ministry that runs the full week, and another offering transformation training for church leaders that takes place Wednesday through Friday of the week. The full-week session provides 30 hours of training that meets the requirements for Week I Transitional Ministry Education. The second session provides training for ruling elders and other congregational leaders, focusing on their roles in congregations in times of ministry transitions. Details are available at "Art of Transitional Leadership." Registration information is available through the link in the flyer or by following a link to "Transitional Leadership Registration."
 
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
addiction faithNoting on its website the "growing concern over the devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this fall's Addiction & Faith Conference say the conference will "raise awareness of the terrible addiction problem we face and how the church and people of faith can help to address it." The conference is planned Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference is presented by the Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy in partnership with the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Conference details are at  "Addiction and Faith."
 
ConNext Summit slated in October
at Christ the King Retreat Center
ConNextThe 2019 ConNext Summit is "Recovering the Spirit" and it takes place Oct. 13-15 at Christ the King Retreat  Center in Buffalo, Minnesota. Through worship, shared spiritual practices, workshops and conversation, ConNext participants explore how recovering and reclaiming the Holy Spirit can enliven and transform a church's ministry with children, youth and families. The Summit is sponsored by the Resource Center for Churches. Registration is open, and questions can be addressed to Lizabeth Bougie, director of the Resource Center for Churches, at director@rcc-mn.org. A Summit flyer can be found at "ConNext."
Resources, conferences

 

 
News of the wider church  

 

Next week it's Juneteenth -- 
juneteenththe end of slavery
Juneteenth -- the word combination of June 19 -- is, according to the Juneteenth website, "the oldest known celebration commemorating the end of slavery in the United States." The celebration commemorates the date when Union soldiers, led by Maj. Gen. Gordon Granger, landed at Galveston, Texas, with news that the war had ended and that enslaved were free. The Juneteenth website, along with some thoughts on celebrating the day, can be found at "Commemorating the End of Slavery."
 
Lueckert named president
kathy lueckertof PC(USA) A Corp.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) A Corp. board of directors voted Tuesday to name Kathy Lueckert as president of the corporation, subject to confirmation by the General Assembly. Lueckert, 61, will lead the corporation, which is the corporate expression of the PC(USA). Lueckert, a ruling elder in the PC(USA), is currently the director of finance and administration at Village Presbyterian Church in the Kansas City area, a 4,800-member congregation. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Lueckert Named President."
 
 
 

EMerge May 31, 2019

 
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EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published weekly 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.
May 31, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
Presbytery meeting, May 2019
Telling the story of Bloom and PPC
As a significant part of May meeting of Presbytery, congregations were invited to share "God-sightings": stories of how God has been or is working in the ministries of PTCA congregations.
 
This story is from Plymouth Presbyterian Church, and was told by their pastor, Jeff Foels:

We had a recycling dumpster full of cardboard at Plymouth Presbyterian Church at the end of last week. It was full of cardboard because Thursday was new furniture day, and it was new furniture for the preschool rooms of Bloom Early Learning, our community partner who will be sharing our space.
 
The complete story is at "Bloom and PPC."
 
The Presbytery office
...
Summertime, and the livin' is ... well, on a different schedule. These reminders and updates from the Presbytery office:
Presbytery Logo 
Office hours: For the summer, the Presbytery office is open Monday through Thursday from 8:30 - 4:30, and CLOSED on Fridays. The office is also closed July 4.
 
Staff will use vacation periodically over the summer (as will most of you). Of particular note, Jeff will be out of the country June 9-21 and not reading e-mail.
 
Here are some of the big summer projects
that your staff and officers are working on:
  • The continuing efforts to modify and right-size our structure, led by the PLT.
  • Getting the Presbytery Strategic Initiative Fund ready for use.
  • Revising the Manual of Operations.
  • Completing the re-build of a better, more useful and accurate database.
  • Working on the 2020 budget.
Finally, if you are so inclined, the Presbytery could use some summer volunteers at the office for data entry and a few other housekeeping projects. If you're interested and available, contact office administrator Jennifer Schultz at 651.357.1150 or by e-mail at office@ptcaweb.org.
 
For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven ...
 
Jeff's Jottings
Presbytery potpourri for $200, Alex
 
Jeff JapingaBy Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
 
Jeopardy occasionally features a category called Potpourri, a catch-all of subject matters. As we end May and move into summer, I found myself thinking about a number of issues we've talked about in the Presbytery this year. Some updates.
 
For the complete Jottings (and the updates) can be found at "Presbytery Potpourri."
Around the presbytery   
 
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
addiction faithNoting on its website the "growing concern over the devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this fall's Addiction & Faith Conference say the conference will "raise awareness of the terrible addiction problem we face and how the church and people of faith can help to address it." The conference is planned Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference is presented by the Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy in partnership with the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Conference details are at  "Addiction and Faith."
 
Synod slates 'Art of Transitional Leadership' -- registration open
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies is planning a new event this fall -- "The Art of Transitional Leadership" -- that will provide ministry skills training for today synodand tomorrow's church pastors, staff, committees on ministry and congregational leaders. Set Monday through Friday, Sept. 16-20, at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, the event offers two tracks, one covering an introduction to transitional ministry that runs the full week, and another offering transformation training for church leaders that takes place Wednesday through Friday of the week. The full-week session provides 30 hours of training that meets the requirements for Week I Transitional Ministry Education. The second session provides training for ruling elders and other congregational leaders, focusing on their roles in congregations in times of ministry transitions. Details are available at "Art of Transitional Leadership." Registration information is available through the link in the flyer or by following a link to "Transitional Leadership Registration."
 
ConNext Summit slated in October
at Christ the King Retreat Center
The 2019 ConNext Summit is "Recovering the Spirit" and it takes place Oct. 13-15 at Christ the King Retreat  ConNextCenter in Buffalo, Minnesota. Through worship, shared spiritual practices, workshops and conversation, ConNext participants explore how recovering and reclaiming the Holy Spirit can enliven and transform a church's ministry with children, youth and families. The Summit is sponsored by the Resource Center for Churches. Registration is open, and questions can be addressed to Lizabeth Bougie, director of the Resource Center for Churches, at director@rcc-mn.org. A Summit flyer can be found at "ConNext."
Resources, conferences

 

 
News of the wider church  

 

PDA is in contact with presbyteries affected by Midwest floods
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance was in contact last weekend with presbyteries in states in the lower presbyterian disaster assistanceMidwest, where flooding and tornadoes have impacted communities and forced evacuations. Jim Kirk, PDA's associate for disaster response in the United States, said Saturday that affected presbyteries were assessing flood damage brought on by heavy rainfall in the Missouri and Illinois River basins as well as the upper and middle portions of the Mississippi River basin. Kirk says PDA anticipates receiving "multiple" assistance grant requests. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "PDA Responds."
 
Committee for Women's Concerns
issues abortion rights statement
Advocacy WomenThe following statement was issued by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Advocacy Committee for Women's Concerns. It notes, "With an increased number of state legislatures passing laws to severely curtail access to abortion, [the committee] is compelled to advocate for continuation of safe, legal abortion rights nationwide. We do so as part of a Reformed theological history that endeavors to discern the activity of God in all the events of life. Our particular part of the Christian tradition seeks to be informed by changing cultural contexts. In the last 50 years, the PC(USA) has affirmed our ability to re-form our teachings about women through deliberate theological reflection." The complete statement, issued through the Presbyterian News Service, can be found at "Statement Issued."
 
Cindy Kohlmann balances ministry
at home, across the church
cindy kohlmannFor the Co-Moderators of the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), it has been an eventful year. The Rev. Cindy Kohlmann and Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri have traveled across the United States and overseas on behalf of the church, meeting with pastors, congregations, and mid council leaders. In the first of two videos, the Office of the General Assembly provides a glimpse into the daily lives of the Co-Moderators and those closest to them. The complete story and the video by Rick Jones and Randy Hobson can be found at "Co-Moderators of the General Assembly."

 

EMerge May 3, 2019

 
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EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published weekly 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.
May 3, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
Presbytery's annual meeting
planned May 14 in Minneapolis
The docket at the annual meeting of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will feature a variety of God-sightings -- stories from congregations and the common work as the presbytery, and the ministry and impact in their particular contexts of ministry.
 
The annual meeting is coming up Tuesday, May 14, at 4 p.m. in Wilf Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Medical Center, Masonic Children's Hospital, 2450 Riverside Ave., Minneapolis. A docket talk with stated clerk Barbara Lutter takes place at 3:15 p.m., and registration and fellowship begins at 3:30 p.m.
 
New officers will be elected and installed, the presbytery's delegation to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium will be commissioned, and business will also include annual reports, feedback received by the Presbytery Leadership Team.
 
The complete meeting call can be found at "Annual Stated Meeting."
 
2 TCA congregations featured
in story about Matthew 25 initiative
A wondrous change is taking place -- a movement of the Spirit. Presbyterian congregations are matthew 25reprioritizing the work of the Church, taking it from an institution of survival to a way of getting actively engaged in the community and making the world a better place. These are congregations that take to heart the words of Matthew 25. They not only feed the hungry, clothe the naked and visit the sick and imprisoned. They are also getting to the root causes that create an unjust world. These congregations see that "the love of God has skin on it," as the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville, says. The complete story by Donna Frischknecht Jackson of Presbyterians Today magazine can be found at "Actively Engaging."
 
Protesters greeted with welcome
at Oak Grove Presbyterian
Oak Grove flagThe Rev. Bill Chadwick, pastor of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Minnesota, wrote last week: "At about 7:30 Sunday morning, April 28, 2019, two young men stood on the sidewalk near our church sign (and Rainbow and Trans flags) and unfurled large signs declaring homosexuality to be a sin. I walked out and greeted them calmly. I asked what church they were from ... " The complete column can be found at "Protesters: A note from Pastor Bill."
 
Former TCA stated clerk's Sri Lankacongregation worships through attacks
Sri LankaThe congregation of a Scots kirk in Sri Lanka continued to worship as terror attacks unfolded nearby. The Rev. Bill Davnie, former stated clerk of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, heard one of the bombs explode in a hotel next to St. Andrew's Scots Kirk in Colombo as he prepared for the Easter service. But it was only when worshipers started receiving phone messages that the enormity of the attacks sank in. They were given the chance to leave but instead decided to stay and pray for those affected by the terror. The complete story from the BBC can be found at "Worshiping through Terror."
 
50-plus retired clergy
Rev'd Up group gathers
Rev'd Up, the retired Presbyterian ministers and spouses group in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, brought together 51 retired clergy and spouses on Thursday, April 30, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Sitting in a reserved section in a front section of the sanctuary for the Westminster Town Hall Forum the group heard featured speaker Barbara Brown Taylor, Episcopal priest, college professor, and author.  After the forum, the group gathered over a catered lunch and conversation. The complete story can be found at "Retired Ministers and Spouses."
 
Nominations sought for Milloy
Disability Advocacy Award
Established in 2017, the Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award is presented biennially to a person or a group in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area in recognition of their outstanding service as advocates for and with people who live with disabilities. Nominees must be a member or members of a congregation or a teaching elder in the presbytery. Nominations are now being accepted and the deadline is May 31. Details can be found at "Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award."
 
Moderators appoint TCA pastor
to PC(USA) task force
Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri and Cindy Kohlmann, co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), announced in April appointments to task forces and a reconciliation team approved by the General Assembly. The Rev. Heidi Bolt of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area was appointed to the Family Leave Task Force. The complete announcement from the Office of the General Assembly, including the complete list of appointees, can be found at "Appointments Made."
 
Jeff's Jottings
Holy Envy
 
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga
Hello, I'm Barbara Brown Taylor. I say things you're not supposed to say.
 
That's Barbara Brown Taylor's introduction of herself on her website. Her introduction by the Rev. Tim Hart-Andersen at Tuesday's Westminster Town Hall Forum was a bit more formal; it sounded more like this:
 
Barbara Brown Taylor is a best-selling author, teacher, and Episcopal priest.  Her first memoir, "Leaving Church," won an Author of the Year award from the Georgia Writers Association in 2006.  Her next two books, "An Altar in the World" (2010) and "Learning to Walk in the Dark" (2015), earned places on the New York Times bestseller list.  ...  Her 14th book, "Holy Envy," was released by HarperOne in March 2019.
 
"Finding God in the Faith of Others" was what she titled her address, based in large part on her new book, "Holy Envy." (You can find the archive of her presentation and the subsequent Q&A here.) Of the book she says, "Part of my ongoing priesthood is to find the bridge between my faith and the faiths of other people, so that those of us who draw water from wells on different sides of the river can still get together from time to time, making the whole area safer for our children."
 
The complete Jottings are at "Holy Envy."
Around the presbytery   
 
Final concert of Hasting First's
series features handbell ensemble
The final concert in a series offered by First Presbyterian Church of Hastings, this one featuring "Bells of the Bluffs Handbell Ensemble," is scheduled Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. Titled "Let The Sunshine In," the concert includes favorites and unexpected selections ranging from classical compositions to Broadway tunes. A free-will offering will be accepted to benefit Hastings Family Service, the community partner of the event. Details are in a flyer at "Final Concert Planned."
 
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
addiction faithNoting on its website the "growing concern over the
devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this fall's Addiction & Faith Conference say the conference will "raise awareness of the terrible addiction problem we face and how the church and people of faith can help to address it." The conference is planned Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference is presented by the Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy in partnership with the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Conference details are at  "Addiction and Faith."
Announcements ...
 
The Rev. Judith Strausz-Clement, former teaching elder in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and 1986 graduate of United Theological Seminary, died one year ago in Seattle. There will be a memorial service for her in the chapel at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis on May 20 at 7 p.m.
Resources, conferences

 

Synod slates plans
 
Presbyterian Women in the synod
will gather in June in Ames
Presbyterian Women logoPresbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies will conduct their triennial gathering this summer in Ames, Iowa. The event runs June 20-23. The keynote speaker is the Rev. Kathy Reeves, who recently retired after serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 26 and a half years with Presbyterian World Mission and Presbyterian Women. Plenary speakers are Elona Street-Stewart, executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and the Rev. Mary Newbern-Williams, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Missouri River Valley. Details and registration information can be found in the booklet at "Gathering of Presbyterian Women."
News of the wider church  

 

PC(USA) membership decline has slowed
After years of seeing hundreds of churches leave the denomination, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is PCUSA logostarting to see the number of departing churches decrease. The Office of the General Assembly has wrapped up its latest review of membership statistics which indicates the decline in membership may be slowing down. In 2015, the total number of PC(USA) members was listed at more than 1.5 million. Within a year, membership declined by nearly 90,000. Last year, the decline was just over 62,000. The number of churches leaving the denomination between 2015 and 2016 totaled 203. In 2018, it was 34. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Membership Decline Slows."
 
Presbyterians add their voices
to Poor People's Campaign
The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Office of Public Witness in Jimmie HawkinsWashington D.C., says "we have third-world conditions in parts of the United States of America," reflecting on his travels to cities some might find surprising. "I went to Austin, Texas, and this was stark, to me," Hawkins says. "Austin, which describes itself as one of the most progressive cities in the nation, is dealing with issues of gentrification and affordable housing. In west Austin, which is the black part of town ... you could see where newer houses and newer businesses were being put up right next to shacks -- literally. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Poor People's Campaign."
 
Stated clerk urges Presbyterians
to take a stand on climate change
What role does the human race play when it comes to the earth's natural resources? Are they gifts from God to use at will, or should people do more to protect Nelson at synodwhat God has given? Those were some of the questions recently asked of the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Nelson recently appeared on "Warming Signs," an audio podcast from the Weather Channel. Host Kait Parker, a Presbyterian, saw a letter the clerk wrote last fall on the global climate report, in support of climate action. She asked Nelson if organized religion should have a place in those discussions. "Not only are we creating problems in our own communities, there are predictions we could actually move toward our own destruction if we are not careful," said Nelson. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Climate Change."
 
General Assembly directive gives MRTI environmental policy guidance
The best way to advocate for change with publicly-traded corporations is to have direct access to high-level leaders, says Rob Fohr, director of faith-based investing and corporate engagement for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). When it comes to engaging with corporations on environmental and climate change-related issues this proxy season, Fohr says he and the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment (MRTI) have had the tools they need to set expectations with corporate representatives and clearly articulate the church's positions, thanks to the 223rd General Assembly, which took place last June. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Environmental Policy."
 
 
 

EMerge May 19, 2019

 
newsletter hed PTCA
Quick Links
Emerge Logo Little
EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published weekly 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.
May 19, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
Presbytery conducts annual meeting, installs officers, hears stories
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area met for its annual meeting earlier this week and it was marked especially by the election and installation of new Presbytery officers, and by the theme we have followed this year, "Nurturing thoughtful expressions of God's mission in the world ... " With storytelling at the heart of the Christian faith, we invited congregations, as part of this meeting, to share a "God sighting," an example of God's expressions of mission in the world through our congregations.
 
Meeting in the Wilf Family Center Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital (where newly installed moderator Anna Kendig, at right, serves as chaplain), the Presbytery was warmly welcomed by the Rev. Michael Doane, chaplain, clinical postoral education director, and system director for spiritual health services for the Fairview-University of Minnesota Health Services.
 
The complete summary, including stories and pictures, can be found at "Summary of Major Actions."
 
Triennium attendees commissioned; Contributions made a difference
Twenty-five high-school students and six adult leaders were commissioned on Tuesday as the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area delegation to the Triennium logo newPresbyterian Church's Youth Triennium, to be held July 16-20 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
 
Triennium is held every three years, gathering high-school age students from across the denomination in life changing, live giving, faith growing activities that will shape their leadership gifts and deepen their discipleship awareness. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area on Tuesday expressed its support, love, and prayers for these students with a formal commissioning as part of the worship service at the Presbytery meeting.
 
The complete story can be found at "Triennium Group Commissioned."
 
Nominations sought for Milloy
Disability Advocacy Award
Established in 2017, the Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award is presented biennially to a person or a group in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area in recognition of their outstanding service as advocates for and with people who live with disabilities. Nominees must be a member or members of a congregation or a teaching elder in the presbytery. Nominations are now being accepted and the deadline is May 31. Details can be found at "Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award."
 
Jeff's Jottings
Kudos to Willmar. What about us?
 
Jeff JapingaBy Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
 
Thomas Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He writes a weekly column for The New York Times, and books and articles on foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, globalization, and environmental issues. He's also a native son to the Twin Cities, born and raised in Saint Louis Park.
 
His Tuesday Times column was headlined, "President Trump, Come to Willmar." (Thanks, Jim Brasel, for calling it to my attention.) In it, he hails the west-central Minnesota town as a modern, successful, American melting pot. "I've been trying to understand why some communities rise and others fall," he writes of a two-year long tour of cities and small towns across this country, "and so many of the answers can be found in Willmar."
 
The complete Jottings are at "Kudos to Willmar?"
Around the presbytery   
 
Central Presbyterian, presbytery
offer invitation to Bair installation
ashley bairThe Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and Central Presbyterian Church in Saint Paul are inviting the presbytery to a service of worship in which the Rev. Ashley Bair will be installed as Central's designated associate pastor. The service takes place Sunday, May 19, at 10:30 a.m. Central Presbyterian acknowledged the presbytery as a whole and the many individual staff and committee members who assisted with the thorough, exciting and speedy search.
 
The Ministry Lab opens doors, explores new ways to resource churches
The Ministry Lab - an ecumenical organization that serves United Methodist, United Church of Christ, and Presbyterian churches in Minnesota - will open in The Ministry LabJune at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. It is a place that fosters experimentation, innovation, and creativity for churches as they seek to remain vibrant and relevant. At The Ministry Lab, which takes the place and expands the reach of the Resource Center for Churches (RCC), church leaders will be able to consult with staff that brings an understanding of changing ministry contexts and knowledge of current, outstanding resources, digital and traditional. Leaders will have access to United's Spencer Library and the collection of the RCC, which will close in the Minnesota Church Center at the end of May. The complete story can be found at "The Ministry Lab."
 
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
addiction faithNoting on its website the "growing concern over the devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this fall's Addiction & Faith Conference say the conference will "raise awareness of the terrible addiction problem we face and how the church and people of faith can help to address it." The conference is planned Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference is presented by the Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy in partnership with the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Conference details are at  "Addiction and Faith."
Announcements ...
 
The Rev. Judith Strausz-Clement, former teaching elder in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and 1986 graduate of United Theological Seminary, died one year ago in Seattle. There will be a memorial service for her in the chapel at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis on May 20 at 7 p.m.
Resources, conferences

 

Summer nears -- time again
to plan summer camps
It's that time of year again. Summer activities and summer camping are just around the corner. And if you're thinking about trying something different this summer, there are six Presbyterian camp and conference centers located across the Synod of Lakes and Prairies.
 Camps logo
Located in the heart of Minnesota lake country, there's Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Centernear Deerwood. In Nebraska, there's Calvin Crest Camp, Conference and Retreat Center, located near Fremont, on 250 acres of rolling hills and bluffs overlooking the Platte River.
 
Iowa and South Dakota are both home to two camp locations. The Lakeshore Center at Okoboji is located just north Milford, Iowa, on 55 acres along the shores of West Lake Okoboji, and has 600 feet of sandy lakeshore. On the east side of the state, Camp Wyoming is located in Jones County in a natural setting centrally situated among Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Dubuque.
 
Pioneer and Rimrock Camps and Retreat Centers are both located west of Rapid City, South Dakota, and are found in Black Hills National Forest. Pioneer Camp is ideal for wilderness camping, hiking and retreats.
 
Synod slates plans
for 'Art of Transitional Leadership'
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies is planning a new event this fall -- "The Art of Transitional Leadership" -- that will provide ministry skills training for today and tomorrow's church pastors, staff, committees on ministry and congregational leaders. Set Monday through Friday, Sept. 16-20, at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, the event offers two tracks, one covering an introduction to transitional ministry that runs the full week, and another offering transformation training for church leaders that takes place Wednesday through Friday of the week. The full-week session provides 30 hours of training that meets the requirements for Week I Transitional Ministry Education. The second session provides training for ruling elders and other congregational leaders, focusing on their roles in congregations in times of ministry transitions. Details are available at "Art of Transitional Leadership." Registration information will be available soon.
 
Presbyterian Women in the synod
will gather in June in Ames
PW gather 2019Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies will conduct their triennial gathering this summer in Ames, Iowa. The event runs June 20-23. The keynote speaker is the Rev. Kathy Reeves, who recently retired after serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 26 and a half years with Presbyterian World Mission and Presbyterian Women. Plenary speakers are Elona Street-Stewart, executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and the Rev. Mary Newbern-Williams, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Missouri River Valley. Details and registration information can be found in the booklet at "Gathering of Presbyterian Women."
 
More than 70 classes remain open
at this summer's Synod School
catalogWhen it comes to classes, there's a lot to choose from at this summer's Synod School. More than 70 classes remain open -- from "Stories about Faith in a Globalized World" to "Communication Skills for Engaging Difficult Conversations" and from "Preserving Family Stories" to "Black-ish, Christ-ish: Exploring Race Through Pop-Culture Television." Those who would like to find a way around reading through the many course descriptions can check out Page 23 of the catalog for a succinct list of more specific subject areas. The midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies takes place July 21-26 in Storm Lake, Iowa, on the Buena Vista University campus. Everything you need, from the catalog to a link to registration information, can be found on the Synod School page of the synod's website; it's at "Synod School 2019."
 
The Academy will begin another cohort at Synod School this summer
The AcademyCalled simply The Academy, a series of 11 courses designed to develop well-equipped, thoughtful people to better serve councils in a variety of capacities, will open for another cohort this summer. Described as a unique, cohort-based learning community, The Academy offers participants an opportunity to grow in faith and knowledge, as a leader, and to have more opportunities to serve God as needed. For some participants, the courses may lead to becoming commissioned pastors. The Academy is a joint effort of the presbyteries of Minnesota Valleys, North Central Iowa and Prospect Hill, and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. A current brochure, with a link to registration, is at "The Academy."
News of the wider church  

 

Synod of Lakes and Prairies
embraces Matthew 25 invitation
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies is home to 16 presbyteries and nearly 800 churches, all of them in the upper Midwest. One of its presbyteries, Dakota Presbytery, is considered non-geographical but is the matthew 25oldest presbytery west of the Mississippi River. Last week, synod commissioners voted to allow Lakes and Prairies to become a Matthew 25 synod. Synod Executive Elona Street-Stewart said that while the synod will embrace all three Matthew 25 focus areas -- building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty -- it's that first item that is drawing the most initial attention. "Based on our history, we know that strong, healthy leaders make for strong (worshiping) communities," said Street-Stewart, the first Native American to be a synod executive in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). "We have to counter the impression this is fly-over land. We want to attract strong leaders and empower them to serve in rural community settings." The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Synod Embraces Matthew 25."
 
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance films inspire conversation, action
From the door next to their studio just outside of Atlanta, filmmakers David Barnhart and Scott Lansing have been able to watch the comic book kingdom of presbyterian disaster assistanceWakanda come to life and iconic cars of "The Fast and the Furious" in full chase. While Presbyterian Disaster Assistance's (PDA) Story Productions is a relatively modest operation next to the studios that crank out blockbusters such as "Black Panther," the documentary outfit is making some noise of its own with true stories designed to spark dialogue and action. In January, Barnhart and Lansing were somewhat surprised to find themselves at the Sundance Film Festival, where their latest film, "Flint: The Poisoning of an American City," was shown as an "in-progress preview" to a select group of potential supporters and distributors. Barnhart is also coming to Synod School this summer as artist in residence. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Story Productions."
 
Office of Public Witness issues
action alert on Iran situation
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Office of Public Witness has issued an Action Alert, calling on Presbyterians to urge their representatives and senators to help reduce tension and avoid conflict in Iran. "After withdrawing from the Iran deal last spring," the Action Alert states, "the Trump Administration has taken several steps that have increased tension in the region." The administration has imposed numerous sanctions since withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a year ago, sanctions that have had serious economic impact on Iran. The situation has continued to escalate, with Iran threatening to resume high level uranium enrichment in response to the sanctions, and the Trump Administration dispatching an aircraft carrier strike group to send a "clear and unmistakable" message. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Iran Escalation."
 
 
 

EMerge April 19, 2019

 
newsletter hed PTCA
Quick Links
Emerge Logo Little
EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published weekly 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.
April 19, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
To our Teaching Elders, Ruling Elders:What one story can you tell?
Since September, under its broad mission of supporting its congregations and equipping its leaders, your Presbytery has shaped its Presbytery meetings around the theme of "Nurturing thoughtful expressions of God's mission in the world."

The Presbytery Leadership Team has invited persons from outside the Presbytery to bring us new insights and knowledge to recent presbytery meetings.
Now, we need you as the focal point of our annual meeting of the Presbytery on May 14. We are asking for your thoughtful expressions of God's mission in the world. What one story of ministry and mission -- a "God-sighting" unique to your congregation or particular context of ministry -- can you briefly tell?
 
The complete announcement can be found at "Telling Your Story."
 
Board of Pensions sponsors regional 'Connections' event at House of Hope 
The Board of Pensions is sponsoring a regional "Benefit Connections" gathering for churches in the Board of PensionsSynod of Lakes and Prairies in the Twin Cities on April 30. Church business administrators, office managers, clerks of session, personnel committee chairs, pastors and mid-council leaders are invited to consider attending. The gathering takes place at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Registration begins at 9:30 a.m. and the gathering runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Details and registration information are at "Benefit Connections."
 
Nominations sought for Milloy
Disability Advocacy Award
Established in 2017, the Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award is presented biennially to a person or a group in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area in recognition of their outstanding service as advocates for and with people who live with disabilities. Nominees must be a member or members of a congregation or a teaching elder in the presbytery. Nominations are now being accepted and the deadline is May 31. Details can be found at "Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award."
 
Jeff's Jottings
Hard things and hope
 
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga
When we come to the table with Jesus tonight at the Last Supper, we know, perhaps more than his disciples ever imagined in that moment, that hard things lie ahead.
 
We know that from our own lives, and those of our parents and children and friends: how disappointments, sorrows, griefs, and tears become woven amidst our joys, accomplishments, dreams, and hopes. We know it from our churches, too, places of good news and struggles all at once.
 
The complete Jottings are at "Hard Things and Hope."
Around the presbytery   
 
Retired PTCA clergy to hear Barbara Brown Taylor speak on 'Holy Envy'
Barbara Brown TaylorAll retired PTCA clergy and their guests are invited to gather at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis on April 30 to hear Barbara Brown Taylor speak about "Finding God in the Faith of Others." The Rev. Taylor is the guest speaker at the Westminster Town Hall Forum. The retired ministers will gather at 10:45 a.m. in the Meisel Room at Westminster for registration and fellowship. The group will move to the sanctuary by 11:30 where they will sit together to hear music from Aaron Humble, a former member of the vocal group Cantus, followed by Taylor's forum talk. RSVPs are important for this event, as a space will be reserved for us in what is expected to be a full sanctuary. More details and an invitation will follow. Those who plan to attend can RSVP now by sending an e-mail to calcooper@gmail.com. The complete updated announcement can be found at "Retired Clergy Event."
 
Final concert of Hasting First's
series features handbell ensemble
The final concert in a series offered by First Presbyterian Church of Hastings, this one featuring "Bells of the Bluffs Handbell Ensemble," is scheduled Sunday, May 5, at 3 p.m. Titled "Let The Sunshine In," the concert includes favorites and unexpected selections ranging from classical compositions to Broadway tunes. A free-will offering will be accepted to benefit Hastings Family Service, the community partner of the event. Details are in a flyer at "Final Concert Planned."
 
OPSF awards doctoral
scholarship to Brennan Blue
The Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, in its Presbyterian Leadership Forum newsletter, noted the Rev. Brennan Blue, senior pastor of St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka, has received a Doctor of Ministry Scholarship from the foundation. The Rev. Blue is a graduate of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and is pursuing doctoral studies at McCormick Theological Seminary of Chicago. The complete story can be found on Page 6 in the newsletter at "Doctoral Scholarship."
 
Science Museum offers dialogue
circles on race exhibit
The Science Museum of Minnesota is offering dialogue circles in conjunction with its exhibit, "Race: race dialogue MSMAre We So Different." The circles, facilitated by trained community members and offered to groups and organizations, present an opportunity to process their experience in a group setting. The circles last approximately 90 minutes. Additional information about the dialogue circles is available from Jean Greenwood at green104@umn.eduGroup arrangements can be made by contacting Tony Williams, community engagement specialist for the Science Museum, at twilliams@smm.org. Additional information about the exhibit can be found at "Are We So Different." A flyer can be found at "Dialogue Circles."
 
Augsburg Youth Theology Institute planned in June
AugsburgStudents in this year's Augsburg Youth Theology Institute that runs June 23-28 at Augsburg will, according to the university's website, develop leadership skills and put creation care theology and science knowledge into action. Augsburg Youth Theology Institute is a summer program for young people in high school, grades 9-12. It has been called "a year of spiritual growth concentrated into one faith-filled week." Details about the program are available at "Augsburg Youth Theology Institute."
 
Luther Seminary plans
'Faithful Innovation Summit'
luther summitLuther Seminary is planning a "Faithful Innovation Summit" July 24-26, offering an opportunity to "gather with fellow Christian leaders who want to lead the church more deeply into God's life and love for the world," the planners noted in an announcement. Complete details can be found at "Faithful Innovation Summit."
 
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
addiction faithNoting on its website the "growing concern over the
devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this fall's Addiction & Faith Conference say the conference will "raise awareness of the terrible addiction problem we face and how the church and people of faith can help to address it." The conference is planned Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference is presented by the Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy in partnership with the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Conference details are at  "Addiction and Faith."
 
ConNext Summit slated in October
at Christ the King Retreat Center
ConNextThe 2019 ConNext Summit is "Recovering the Spirit" and it takes place Oct. 13-15 at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota. Through worship, shared spiritual practices, workshops and conversation, ConNext participants explore how recovering and reclaiming the Holy Spirit can enliven and transform a church's ministry with children, youth and families. The Summit is sponsored by the Resource Center for Churches. Registration is open, and questions can be addressed to Lizabeth Bougie, director of the Resource Center for Churches, at director@rcc-mn.org. A Summit flyer can be found at "ConNext."
Announcements ...
 
The Rev. Judith Strausz-Clement, former teaching elder in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and 1986 graduate of United Theological Seminary, died one year ago in Seattle. There will be a memorial service for her in the chapel at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis on May 20 at 7 p.m.
 
The Rev. Roger Ezell, honorably retired, is currently awaiting surgery and would welcome prayers, calls and cards. He can be reached by telephone at 952.449.0783, or by writing Roger and Roxanne at 185 Cygnet Place, Orono, MN 55356.
Resources, conferences

 

Final date to apply approaches
for Young Adult Volunteer program
YAV recruitThe final application deadline is June 1 for the Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The program is an ecumenical, faith-based year of service in sites around the world and across the United States. YAVs accompany local agencies working to address root causes of poverty and reconciliation while exploring the meaning and motivation of their faith in community with peers and mentors. Complete details and application procedures can be found at "YAV Program."
 
Regarding Ruling Elders:
Risk-taking in spiritual leadership
Joan Gray, who has served as a teaching elder in 12 congregations and also served as moderator of the Ruling Elder ResourceGeneral Assembly, often writes Regarding Ruling Elders, a resource from the Office of the General Assembly. This month she begins, "The gospel of Matthew tells the story of a man who entrusts a large amount of money to each of three servants and then goes on a journey. When he returns, he calls the servants for an accounting. Two of the servants have invested and made a profit. They are praised and rewarded. The third servant, motivated by fear, has buried the master's money in the ground for safekeeping. This servant gets a scathing rebuke and is thrown "into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth." What did this third servant do wrong? The complete column can be found at "Regarding Ruling Elders."
 
Presbyterian Women in the synod
will gather in June in Ames
Presbyterian Women logoPresbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies will conduct their triennial gathering this summer in Ames, Iowa. The event runs June 20-23. The keynote speaker is the Rev. Kathy Reeves, who recently retired after serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 26 and a half years with Presbyterian World Mission and Presbyterian Women. Plenary speakers are Elona Street-Stewart, executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and the Rev. Mary Newbern-Williams, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Missouri River Valley. Details and registration information can be found in the booklet at "Gathering of Presbyterian Women."
 
Wilson-Hartgrove headlines
Washington Island Forum in June
wilson hartgroveJonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, a celebrated spiritual author and sought-after speaker, will headline this summer's Washington Island Forum planned June 24-28 in Wisconsin. The Forum features worship, workshops, discussion and contemplation in an ecumenical retreat setting on Washington Island, just six miles off the tip of Door County. Wilson-Hartgrove, a graduate of Eastern University and Duke Divinity School, and his wife Leah founded Rutba House, a house of hospitality where the formerly homeless are welcomed into a community that eats, prays and shares life together. Details are available at "Washington Island Forum."
 
National Black Presbyterian Caucus
plans convention in June in Atlanta
black presby caucusThe National Black Presbyterian Caucus will hold its 45th biennial convention June 27-29 in Atlanta. The convention's theme is "Seeking Racial Justice and Equity! Where Do We Go from Here?" In a letter announcing the opening of registration, Caucus President the Rev. Dr. Thomas H. Priest Jr. noted, the "Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. left a wonderful and challenging legacy for us to continue his work to do God's justice and seek righteousness in all we do. ... Are you willing to keep his legacy alive?" Registration for the convention can be made at "National Black Presbyterian Caucus."
 
The Academy will begin another
cohort at Synod School this summer
Called simply The Academy, a series of 11 courses designed to develop well-equipped, thoughtful people  to better serve councils in a variety of The Academycapacities, will open for another cohort this summer. Described as a unique, cohort-based learning community, The Academy offers participants an opportunity to grow in faith and knowledge, as a leader, and to have more opportunities to serve God as needed. For some participants, the courses may lead to becoming commissioned pastors. The Academy is a joint effort of the presbyteries of Minnesota Valleys, North Central Iowa and Prospect Hill, and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. A current brochure, with a link to registration, is at "The Academy."
 
catalogClasses galore at this
summer's Synod School
When it comes to classes, there's a lot to choose from at this summer's Synod School. There are about 80 -- from "Bible Study for People with Short Attention Spans" to "Globalization -- and its Discontents" and from "Good vs. Evil -- Movie Heroes and Villains and Biblical Ethics" to "Making the Most of Your iPhone Camera." Those who would like to find a way around reading through the many course descriptions can check out Page 23 of the catalog for a succinct list of more specific subject areas. The midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies takes place July 21-26 in Storm Lake, Iowa, on the Buena Vista University campus nestled along the lakeshore. Everything you need, from the catalog to a link to registration information, can be found on the Synod School page of the synod's website; it's at "We're Going to Synod School."
 
Registration opens
for Big Tent in Baltimore
2019 big tentOrganizers for this year's Big Tent celebration are expecting a large turnout for the gathering Aug. 1-3 in Baltimore this summer. Registration is officially open for the event that is held in off years for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Registration costs have been reduced to accommodate attendees and encourage families to come. The theme for this year is "Called to a Movement Beyond Institution," which is also the theme for the 224th General Assembly, also being held in Baltimore. Details and registration information are at "Big Tent."
 
Presbyterians for Earth Care plan conference at Stony Point in August
Earth Care PresbysPresbyterians for Earth Care, a national eco-justice network that cares for God's creation by connecting, equipping, and inspiring Presbyterians to make creation care a central concern of the church, will conduct its 2019 conference Aug. 6-9 at Stony Point Center in Stony Point, New York. William Brown, professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, will be the keynote speaker. Confirmed workshop speakers are Emily Brewer of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and Ryan Smith of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. Additional details are at "Presbyterians for Earth Care."
News of the wider church  

 

Amantha Barbee speaks
on transformation at Big Tent plenary
Transformation will be the driving force during the Friday plenary at the Big Tent celebration in Amantha BarbeeBaltimore in early August. Grounded in Romans 12:2, the guiding Scripture for this year's event, the Rev. Amantha Barbee will lead attendees in a challenging discussion of the word "transformation" from the multiple lenses of one's self, one's family, the world and even religious institution. "I foresee an engagement of what transformation means. At its basic core, it means change. But change why? Change to what? What is our goal in that change?" says Barbee. The complete story by Mari Graham Evans for the Presbyterian News Service can be found at "Big Tent Plenary."
 
Practicing resurrection:
New life awaits dying churches
There are two constants in life: change and Jesus Christ, who is the same yesterday, today anddying churchestomorrow. In Christ, we live and move and have our being. To be a follower of his is to be forever mindful of the cross, of death's defeat - and of resurrection power. And, as Wendell Berry wrote in one of his well-known poems, "Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front," we, the church, are to "practice resurrection." Having resurrection hope, though, is challenging, especially with the large number of mainstream churches closing every year. The statistics can be demoralizing. The complete story by Sherry Blackman, which first appeared in Presbyterians Today magazine, can be found at "New Life Awaits Dying Churches."
 
 
 

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