9-12-17 Presbytery Meeting in Red Wing, MN

9-12-17 Presbytery Meeting in Red Wing, MN

Our Farewell to Stated Clerk, The Rev. Bill Davnie

 

EMerge Newsletter, March 8 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 tooffice@ptcaweb.org.
March 8, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
Presbytery meets March 16;
Anderson speaks about storytelling
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will meet Saturday, March 16, at the Korean Presbyterian Church of Minnesota in Brooklyn Center, and hear from the Rev. Rebecca Anderson, a storyteller and co-pastor of a new church plant in Chicago. Anderson, ordained in The Christians Church (Disciples of Christ), helps lead Gilead Church where congregants "tell true stories, share good food and worship beautifully."
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Before the stated meeting, an 8:15 a.m. docket talk is on the schedule, facilitated by Barbara Lutter, stated clerk. Registration and fellowship begins at 8:30.
 
In addition to speaking at the meeting, Anderson will lead one of two workshops in the afternoon, addressing "How to Build a Story." Here's a sample of her own storytelling in this video. The Rev. Cynthia Ray will also lead a workshop at the same time titled "Making News - Breaking News: Methods, strategies and tactics to tell your church's story." The two workshops run 1 to 3:30.
 
Complete meeting details are at "Call to Meeting."
 
PTCA communication practices
begin change in April
Beginning in April, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will communicate with you in some different, and we hope, expanding ways.
newsletter hed PTCA 
Publication of EMerge will move to a twice-monthly pattern, normally on the first and third Fridays of the month, rather than weekly. It will remain the information-packed newsletter you have come to expect (and for that, we offer our continued thanks to our partner, the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and its communication director, Duane Sweep). It just won't come every week.
 
We'll use freed-up resources to enhance other ways we communicate the ministries of our churches and the work of the Presbytery (and wider church). And we'll improve the features of our website to help make it a more effective, and essential, tool of communication.
 
Our goal is to enhance the relationships we have with each other, in ways that will help the Presbytery to support our congregations and equip our leaders. Look for more details in the weeks and months to come.
 
Jeff's Jottings
The crucial voices of Lent
 
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
 
Jeff JapingaThis holy season of Lent is intended in part as a time of penitence and reflection; in the words of the text from Isaiah many of us heard on Ash Wednesday, a time to take seriously those means by which we might "be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in."
 
During Lent, then, I want to use Jottings as a voice, that would call us to reflection, to faith, to action, as repairers and restorers. A voice that challenges us, and comforts us. A voice that may be hard to hear, but even harder to ignore. Not my voice, however, but that of others. Voices that have touched me deeply, and I suspect might you as well.
 
With his permission, today's voice is that of Gary Titusdahl. Gary, as you know, just finished as interim pastor at Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church; while his credentials officially lie with the United Church of Christ, he's one of us.
 
This past Sunday, a congregation of God's people gathered to mourn the death of Gary and Diane Titusdahl's son Kevin, who lost an eight-year battle to the demon of addiction.
 
The complete Jottings are at "Crucial Voices of Lent."
Around the presbytery
 
'Welcome the Stranger' series
continues at Peace Presbyterian
Peace Presbyterian Church in St. Louis Park continues its "Welcome the Stranger" series this week speakers Peace Presbyterianfrom the American Refugee Committee (ARC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Kazoua Kong-Thao will address her own immigrant experience on Wednesday, March 13, following a light dinner at 6 p.m. Kong-Thao has served on the St. Paul school board. On Sunday, March 17, Virgil Wiebe, a professor at St. Thomas School of Law, will use a hotel metaphor to explain the complicated system of immigration law in this country. The presentations are free and open to the public. Additional details are at "Welcome the Stranger."
 
Early bird registration underway
for series on decolonizing Bible reading
The Church of All Nations and Underground Seminary has scheduled a continuing education event Underground Semin June that offers week-long classes that seek to "decolonize our reading" of the Bible. The Underground Seminary website notes, "The white, Western, capitalist framework that has dominated the globe the last few hundred years is collapsing, but not without a fight. This has led to a global neoliberal system where everything is a commodity to be devoured for profit. Ours is an age that calls for prophets and healers. But how do we do that as Christian leaders when Christianity has been the primary ideological center of this destructive worldview?" Details about the event can be found at "A Postcolonial Survey of the Bible." Early bird registration ends March 31. 
 
'Protecting the Lifegivers' conference planned in April in Minneapolis
protecting lifegiversTitled "Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers," the April 5-7 conference at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis will address the missing and murdered American Indian women, and indigenous peoples sovereignty of housing and water. The conference, open to everyone, is designed by and will be led by indigenous women. Keynote speakers are Ann McKeig, the first American Indian to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Patina Park, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center. The conference will offer place-based learning experiences, keynote speeches, breakout sessions and opportunities for conversations with fellow conference attendees. Meals will be provided by indigenous-owned catering companies offering traditional foods. The image above is by Jillian Elaine Stately, Red Lake Ojibwe, Santee Dakota.  A flyer is at "Winyan Awanyankapi." The conference is also on Facebook. The registration page is at "Lifegivers."
 
Oak Grove, Nine-Mile Creek sponsor
free landscaping class in April
For those who have considered designing their home landscape for water quality, pollinators and ecologicallandscape classimprovement, the Nine-Mile Creek Watershed Districtand the Green Committee of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington are offering an opportunity. They're offering a free sustainable residential landscaping class Saturday, April 13, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Nine-Mile Creek Discovery Point in Eden Prairie. Matthew Kumka, a landscape architect who specializes in sustainable site development and green infrastructure, will lead the class. Details can be found at "Sustainable Landscaping."
 
Retired PTCA clergy will hear
Barbara Brown Taylor at Westminster
All 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 Humbel, a former member of the vocal group Cantus, followed by Taylor's forum talk. The complete story is at "Retired Clergy Event."
 
Festival of Homiletics encourages
'preaching as moral imagination'
The 27th Festival of Homiletics returns to Minneapolis in May with the theme, "Preaching as Moral Imagination." The Festival plans to "inspire  and encourage preachers to embrace once  homileticsagain their identity as those called to give voice to God's vision of goodness and mercy, to recover and reimagine leadership in the church that seeks justice for all," according to the Festival's website. The Festival runs Monday through Friday, May 13-17, and encourages ministers to "come renew, refresh and recharge. ... Come and tap into God's moral imagination for the sake of the world God loves," the site notes. Central Lutheran Church is host to this year's conference. Westminster Presbyterian Church will also house events during the week, located less than three blocks from the main venue. Complete details are at "Festival of Homiletics."
 
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
Noting on its website the "growing concern over the devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this 
addiction faith
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."
Resources, conferences ...
 
Annual White Privilege Conference
planned March 20-23 in Iowa
The annual White Privilege Conference, with the theme Understanding, Respect and Connecting, is White Privilege Conferenceslated Wednesday through Saturday, March 20-23, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The conference provides a challenging, collaborative and comprehensive experience, according to its website, as it strives to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformations. Additional information about the conference is available at "White Privilege Conference." In registering for the conference, the Presbyterian discount code is PRES2019 (entered at the end of registration).
 
Synod School registration is open;
early registration total tops 350
catalogMore than 350 people have already registered for Synod School 2019, the annual midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Registration just opened last Friday for the week-long event that runs Sunday through Friday, July 21-26, at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Synod School typically draws around 600 participants, and this year the number of adult classes is more than 80. The theme of this year's Synod School is "Cultivating Civil Community," and Deirdre "Dede" Johnston, professor of communication at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, will be the convocation speaker. Shawna Bowman, associate director of field education and experiential education at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, will be the evening worship leader. Lance and Paige Loveall of Kenosha, Wisconsin, will lead the morning song and prayer time. The Synod School catalog and a link to online registration can be found on the synod's website at https://www.lakesandprairies.org/SynodSchool.
 
Ecumenical Center for Clergy
Spiritual Renewal seeks applicants
The new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal, located at Holy Wisdom Monastery, a Benedictine monastery near Madison, Wisconsin, is seeking applicants to its first cohort of ministers who will participate in a renewal program through immersion into the Benedictine spiritual practices of the monastery. Supported by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., all costs for participation are covered. The program, directed by Presbyterian minister Nancy Enderle and Lutheran minister Jerry Buss, is designed for early and mid-career clergy. The first cohort begins in June. The application deadline is March 31. Details can be found at "Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal."
 
SDOP Sunday is slated
April 7; resource noted
Justice Peace NewsAlonzo Johnson, coordinator of the Presbyterian Committee for the Self-Development of People (SDOP), says the committee "is about helping people, which means that we share in the work of making justice and hope real for all in our communities." Quoted in the current Justice & Peace newsletter, Johnson adds, "This is why communities matter, because we are all in it together." Presbyterians will celebrate SDOP on Sunday, April 7, and the current newsletter also includes a link to a liturgical resource for the celebration. The complete newsletter is at "SDOP Sunday."
 
Synod's Leadership Summit addresses presbyteries, personnel committees
synodThe Synod of Lakes and Prairies Leadership Summit, formerly known as the COM/CPM training event, is slated April 23-25 under the theme, "Nurturing Wholeness and Mission: The Work of Presbyteries and Personnel Committees." The conference, which takes place at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, will explore issues of pastor nominating committees, best practices for personnel committees, communication tools, and ongoing support through cohort groups, coaching and other means. Mary Kay DuChene, a staff associate at LeaderWise, a counseling and consulting organization headquartered in New Brighton, Minnesota, will be the keynote speaker. The conference brochure and registration information are at "Leadership Summit."
 
Wee Kirk Conference planned
in May at Calvin Crest
wee kirk
Kris and Brian Peterson of 
Leadership Harbor will be the plenary leaders at this spring's Great Plains Wee Kirk Conference planned May 6-8 at Calvin Crest Camp, Conference and Retreat Center near Fremont, Nebraska. The conference provides opportunities for pastors and lay leaders of smaller membership churches to find ideas for ministry in their contexts, to experience encouragement, and to have their souls fed. Additional details are available at "Wee Kirk."
 
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  The Academyto 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."
 
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  

 

Churches try to be source of hope
during rural opioid crisis
Annalie Korengel wasn't just having a bad week. She was having a horrific one. Five funerals in seven days can push any pastor to the brink of physical and Presbyterians Today magazinespiritual exhaustion. But for the pastor of Unionville Presbyterian Church in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, standing almost daily at the gravesides of young people who had overdosed on opioids pushed her into an indescribable hell. When the last funeral had concluded, Korengel and the local funeral director, a good friend of hers, sat down to process what they had witnessed. They couldn't. Nothing made sense. All they could agree on was that "we didn't get into this business to bury kids," Korengel said. The complete Presbyterians Today story by Donna Frischknecht Jackson can be found at "Rural Opioid Crisis."
 
Stated clerk remembers migrants
who died coming to the US
In Isaiah 58 we learn what kind of fast, what kind of worship is pleasing to God. We add to the gloom and darkness when we fast to quarrel and fight or fast to J Herbert Nelsonstrike with a wicked fist. God desires that our light outshines the gloom. ... There are so many among us who feel blaming fingers pointing sharply in their direction. Immigrants arriving at our southern border are among those who have the ills of the nation placed at their feet. In this, the final of three videos from the U.S.-Mexico border, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), speaks from a cemetery in Brooks County, Texas. The complete story and video from the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Remembering Migrants."
 
Presbyterians celebrate 70 years
of One Great Hour of Sharing
As the world struggled to recover from the ravages of a global war, churches across America bore witness to  one great hourtheir faith in a united act of generosity that helped relieve human suffering. On Easter Sunday in 1949, the offering now known as One Great Hour of Sharing was received for the first time. It brought much-needed aid to people reeling from the destruction World War II, which had ended just four years earlier. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined other mainline Protestant denominations as well as Anglican and Orthodox communions in this effort. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Pat Cole can be found at "One Great Hour of Sharing."
 
 
 
Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, 2115 Cliff Drive, Eagan, MN 55122
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EMerge March 1, 2019

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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.
March 1, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
March Presbytery meeting
Think about your stories ...
how, when, where they're shared
The March 16 meeting of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is just slightly more than two weeks away. If you haven't already, it's time to start thinking about it.

What story best describes your congregation's ministry? Not a bulletin, or a sermon, or an annual report, but a story. Maybe you know it, maybe you don't. If you do know a story, have you told it? To whom, and how, and when?
 
The invites us to consider "telling the stories essential to the church's life." The Rev. Rebecca Anderson will join us as guest presenter during the meeting and at an afternoon workshop following the meeting. Rebecca is co-pastor of a 2-year-old church plant in Chicago called Gilead. At Gilead, each service includes a couple of people telling crafted, true stories as part of the church's mission to "tell true stories that save lives." Here's a story Rebecca herself has told.
 
The complete announcement is at "Telling Our Stories."
 
Triennium registration deadline nears 
New Triennium LogoRegistration for Triennium 2019 is open right now ... but only for the remainder of this month. Churches that have expressed an interest in being part of the PTCA delegation to PYT2019 have already received the information they need for registration. If you did not receive this information and are interested -- or you simply need it re-sent -- please contact Wendy Griffin soon at ptca.pyt2019@gmail.com. The registration deadline is April 1.
 
Jeff's Jottings
Random thoughts on a fractured church
 
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga 
This week, the United Methodist Church became the latest Protestant denomination to privilege unprincipled maneuvering over prayerful conversation, when its special General Conference, meeting in Saint Louis, voted to double down on its restrictive prohibitions against same-sex marriage and LGBTQ clergy.
 
I'm sure not all participants in the UMC's gathering in Saint Louis would characterize their actions in the way I did in the first paragraph. "If you go with what's right, you'll never be wrong," said a supporter of the so-called Traditional Plan, remarkably confident in the rightness of the side that carried the day in a 53-47 percent vote.
 
To be clear: what's over in the UMC is not over, not today, maybe not ever.
 
The complete Jottings are at "Random Thoughts on a Fractured Church."
Around the presbytery   
 
'Welcome the Stranger' series
continues at Peace Presbyterian
Peace Presbyterian Church in St. Louis Park continues its "Welcome the Stranger" series this week speakers Peace Presbyterianfrom the American Refugee Committee (ARC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Mary Hogan, a community relations officer for the DHS, speaks Sunday, March 3, following lunch at 11:45 a.m. Kazoua Kong-Thao will address her own immigrant experience on Wednesday, March 13, following a light dinner at 6 p.m. Kong-Thao has served on the St. Paul school board. The presentations are free and open to the public. Additional details are at "Welcome the Stranger."
 
Early bird registration underway
for series on decolonizing Bible reading
The Church of All Nations and Underground Seminary has scheduled a continuing education event Underground Semin June that offers week-long classes that seek to "decolonize our reading" of the Bible. The Underground Seminary website notes, "The white, Western, capitalist framework that has dominated the globe the last few hundred years is collapsing, but not without a fight. This has led to a global neoliberal system where everything is a commodity to be devoured for profit. Ours is an age that calls for prophets and healers. But how do we do that as Christian leaders when Christianity has been the primary ideological center of this destructive worldview?" Details about the event can be found at "A Postcolonial Survey of the Bible." Early bird registration ends March 31. 
 
'Protecting the Lifegivers' conference planned in April in Minneapolis
protecting lifegiversTitled "Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers," the April 5-7 conference at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis will address the missing and murdered American Indian women, and indigenous peoples sovereignty of housing and water. The conference, open to everyone, is designed by and will be led by indigenous women. Keynote speakers are Ann McKeig, the first American Indian to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Patina Park, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center. The conference will offer place-based learning experiences, keynote speeches, breakout sessions and opportunities for conversations with fellow conference attendees. Meals will be provided by indigenous-owned catering companies offering traditional foods. The image above is by Jillian Elaine Stately, Red Lake Ojibwe, Santee Dakota.  A flyer is at "Winyan Awanyankapi." The conference is also on Facebook. The registration page is at "Lifegivers."
 
Festival of Homiletics encourages
'preaching as moral imagination'
homileticsThe 27th Festival of Homiletics returns to Minneapolis in May with the theme, "Preaching as Moral Imagination." The Festival plans to "inspire  and encourage preachers to embrace once again their identity as those called to give voice to God's vision of goodness and mercy, to recover and reimagine leadership in the church that seeks justice for all," according to the Festival's website. The Festival runs Monday through Friday, May 13-17, and encourages ministers to "come renew, refresh and recharge. ... Come and tap into God's moral imagination for the sake of the world God loves," the site notes. Central Lutheran Church is host to this year's conference. Westminster Presbyterian Church will also house events during the week, located less than three blocks from the main venue. Complete details are at "Festival of Homiletics."
 
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
Noting on its website the "growing concern over the devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  addiction faithever-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."
 
In response to picketers, Macalester students say 'Love Wins'
Two traveling evangelical activists held a protest on the sidewalk parallel to Grand Avenue during the late morning and early afternoon of Feb. 18. The picketers carried signs with homophobic and anti-abortion messages and verbally harassed passersby. Though technically off campus grounds, the picketers were positioned adjacent to the Campus Center and soon attracted the attention of many Macalester students. A small crowd of counter-protesters, comprised chiefly of students, began congregating around the picketers. Members of the Macalester football team formed a circle around the pair, joining hands and singing "Kumbaya My Lord." Macalester is a Presbyterian-related institution of higher education in covenant with the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. The complete story by Hanna Goldfarb, published last week in The Mac Weekly, can be found at at "Love Wins."
Resources, conferences ...
 
Annual White Privilege Conference
planned March 20-23 in Iowa
The annual White Privilege Conference, with the theme Understanding, Respect and Connecting, is White Privilege Conferenceslated Wednesday through Saturday, March 20-23, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The conference provides a challenging, collaborative and comprehensive experience, according to its website, as it strives to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformations. Additional information about the conference is available at "White Privilege Conference." In registering for the conference, the Presbyterian discount code is PRES2019 (entered at the end of registration).
 
Ecumenical Center for Clergy
Spiritual Renewal seeks applicants
The new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal, located at Holy Wisdom Monastery, a Benedictine monastery near Madison, Wisconsin, is seeking applicants to its first cohort of ministers who will participate in a renewal program through immersion into the Benedictine spiritual practices of the monastery. Supported by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., all costs for participation are covered. The program, directed by Presbyterian minister Nancy Enderle and Lutheran minister Jerry Buss, is designed for early and mid-career clergy. The first cohort begins in June. The application deadline is March 31. Details can be found at "Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal."
 
Synod's Leadership Summit addresses presbyteries, personnel committees
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies Leadership Summit, formerly known as the COM/CPM training event, is synodslated April 23-25 under the theme, "Nurturing Wholeness and Mission: The Work of Presbyteries and Personnel Committees." The conference, which takes place at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, will explore issues of pastor nominating committees, best practices for personnel committees, communication tools, and ongoing support through cohort groups, coaching and other means. Mary Kay DuChene, a staff associate at LeaderWise, a counseling and consulting organization headquartered in New Brighton, Minnesota, will be the keynote speaker. The conference brochure and registration information are at "Leadership Summit."
 
SDOP Sunday is slated
April 7; resource noted
Justice Peace NewsAlonzo Johnson, coordinator of the Presbyterian Committee for the Self-Development of People (SDOP), says the committee "is about helping people, which means that we share in the work of making justice and hope real for all in our communities." Quoted in the current Justice & Peace newsletter, Johnson adds, "This is why communities matter, because we are all in it together." Presbyterians will celebrate SDOP on Sunday, April 7, and the current newsletter also includes a link to a liturgical resource for the celebration. The complete newsletter is at "SDOP Sunday."
 
Ecumenical Advocacy Days planned
in early April in Washington, DC
Advocacy weekendThe website of Ecumenical Advocacy Days notes, "The history of engaging in "good trouble" is embedded in our faith tradition and our history as a nation and in the world. In the Bible, we read stories of the midwives who resisted Pharaoh and preserved the lives of Hebrew baby boys. We see Moses challenging the authority of Pharaoh, and Jesus overturn tables run by money changers." In the spring, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will draw on the "good trouble" pioneers from the civil rights era and inspiration from young leaders. The event is planned April 5-8 in Washington, D.C. Details can be found at "Good Trouble."
 
Wee Kirk Conference planned
in May at Calvin Crest
wee kirkKris and Brian Peterson of Leadership Harbor will be the plenary leaders at this spring's Great Plains Wee Kirk Conference planned May 6-8 at Calvin Crest Camp, Conference and Retreat Center near Fremont, Nebraska. The conference provides opportunities for pastors and lay leaders of smaller membership churches to find ideas for ministry in their contexts, to experience encouragement, and to have their souls fed. Additional details are available at "Wee Kirk."
 
Registration underway for Pastors
School in May at Lakeshore Center
Omaha Presbyterian SeminaryIt used to be winter pastors school; now it's simply pastors school. Pastors School will run May 13-16 at Lakeshore Center at Okoboji. The Rev. Dr. Ken McFayden will be the main speaker. McFayden serves as academic dean of the Richmond campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary and professor of ministry and leadership development. He teaches courses in the areas of congregational leadership and administration. The schedule for Pastors School is at "Schedule." Registration can be completed at "Registration."
 
Registration opened today
catalogfor 2019 Synod School
Registration for Synod School 2019 opened today. Synod School, the midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, takes place in Storm Lake, Iowa, on the Buena Vista University campus nestled along the shore of the lake. The number of adult classes eclipses 80 this year, and other activities are too numerous to mention here. Synod School takes place annually during the last full week in July; this year's runs Sunday through Friday, July 21-26. Deirdre "Dede" Johnston, professor of communication at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, will be the convocation speaker, and Shawna Bowman, associate director of field education and experiential education at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, will be the evening worship leader. Lance and Paige Loveall of Kenosha, Wisconsin, will lead the morning song and prayer time. The Synod School catalog and a link to online registration can be found on the synod's website at https://www.lakesandprairies.org/SynodSchool.
 
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 capacities, will The Academyopen 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."
 
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."
 
Registration is underway for Women's Connection 2019 at Montreat
Registration is underway for Women's Connection 2019, described as a time to connect with old and new friends, and a time for space and sabbath. Women's Connection is planned Aug. 9-11 at Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, North Carolina. The keynote speaker is Valarie Kaur, a civil rights activist, award-winning filmmaker, lawyer, faith leader and author. Conference details are at "Women's Connection."
News of the wider church  

 

What about per capita?
Stated clerk offers his thoughts
In these days of diminishing resources and tight budgets, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) continues to  Nelson at synodseek new and innovative ways to provide ministry and support to mid councils across the country. Presbyterians have used per capita -- an annual per member apportionment assessed by the General Assembly, and by many synods and presbyteries, to enable Presbyterians mutually and equitably to share the ecclesiastical and administrative costs of sustaining the church. In his monthly video conversation, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk for the PC(USA), discusses the importance of per capita and what it means to the larger church and Presbyterians in general. The complete story and video can be found at "Talking About Per Capita."
 
Apology was first step in healing church, Native American relationship
Two years ago, the current and former Stated Clerks of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) journeyed to Utqiagvik (Barrow, Alaska) -the nation's northernmost city -- to apologize to Native Americans, Alaska natives and native Hawaiians for damage inflicted by the church in previous decades. That act came as the result of action by the 222nd General Assembly, which directed the apology within and beyond the denomination "especially to those who were and are part of 'stolen generations' during the Indian-assimilation movement, namely former students of Indian boarding schools, their families and their communities," according to assembly minutes. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Apology Only First Step."
 
Poor People's Campaign highlights
poverty, racism in bus tour
poor people campaignLeaders from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Racial and Intercultural Justice Ministry and Office of Public Witness participated in a Monday morning announcement by The Poor People's Campaign that it will be embarking on a National Emergency Poverty and Truth Bus Tour in the coming months. "We will be hitting more than 28 states coast-to-coast, region-to-region highlighting the poverty, the racism, the ecological devastation, and the militarism that our elected leaders would rather ignore, or in some cases make worse," said the Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, a PC(USA) minister who is co-chair of The Poor People's Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Poor People's Campaign."
 
Co-moderators announce
Neighborhoodnew book study
The co-moderators of last summer's General Assembly have selected a new book study for Presbyterian churches. The Rev. Cindy Kohlmann and ruling elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri have selected "Neighborhood Church: Transforming Your Congregation into a Powerhouse for Mission" by Presbyterian leaders Krin Van Tatenhove and Rob Mueller. Kohlmann said the book focuses on the initiatives that both the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly have lifted up as essential to Presbyterians. "If our churches follow Jesus as he's called us to do, we will be in our neighborhoods, pursuing justice for our neighbors. That ties directly to our goal to be a Matthew 25 church," she said. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Neighborhood Church."
 
SFTS, University of Redlands
begin 'permanent partnership'
San Francisco Theological Seminary and the University of Redlands in Southern California have signed an agreement in principle that the university says will lead to the acquisition by this summer of the Presbyterian-related seminary in Northern California. In a statement released Monday, University of Redlands president Ralph W. Kunci said the university's board of trustees voted last week to adopt the agreement to "move toward the acquisition, expected by July 2019, of SFTS in order to form a new graduate school at the University of Redlands -- the Graduate School of Theology -- and a new regional campus in the Bay Area." The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "SFTS and Redlands."
 
 
 

EMerge Feb. 8, 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 tooffice@ptcaweb.org.
February 8, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
Presbytery Nominating Committee
seeks input from everyone
The presbytery's Nominating Committee wants to match the spiritual gifts of individuals in the presbytery with leadership opportunities. In a letter Presbytery Logoto the presbytery, Thomas J. Ruter, chair of the committee, wrote, "It is our desire ... to have broad, active and engaged involvement from our local congregations on presbytery committees helping to influence, develop and guide the church of tomorrow. Our success depends upon your involvement." To do this, the committee, according to Ruter's letter, is asking those "who would be interested in serving the larger church" to complete the new Spiritual Gifts form on the presbytery's website. Ruter's complete letter can be found at "Seeking Input from All." The Spiritual Gifts form can be found at "Spiritual Gifts."
 
Reminder: Congregational Development Grant applications due March 1
Applications for the 2019 round of Congregational Development Grants are due March 1. The full application packet is on the presbytery website. The Congregational Development Fund has been established by the Presbytery to encourage or expand congregational ministry supporting innovative, and perhaps risky, ministry initiatives at the congregational level. Up to $100,000 in grants annually will be available from this fund. The presbytery's Committee on Congregational Vitality will receive and evaluate proposals and recommend recipients. Successful applications will build on the current gifts, abilities, passions, and callings of congregations.
 
Completed applications may be submitted to the presbytery by mail or electronically to the Committee on Congregational Vitality through Jennifer Schultz, PTCA office manager, at office@ptcaweb.org by March 1. Please put Congregational Development Fund application in the subject line. Questions can be addressed to Michael Quady, chair of the committee, at quady12@gmail.com, or to Jeff Japinga, executive presbyter, at ep@ptcaweb.org.
 
The complete announcement is at "Congregational Development."
 
Information available for presbytery mission trip to North Carolina
Mission TripThe 2019 Presbytery Mission Trip is now on the calendar, slated March 30 through April 7, and planned in collaboration with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Participants will travel to New Bern, North Carolina, and assist in disaster recovery, clean-up and rebuilding from the major flooding from Hurricane Florence. The total cost per participant is $250. Details are at "Presbytery Mission Trip."
 
Triennium set at Purdue, carries
theme, 'Here's My Heart'
New Triennium LogoPresbyterian Youth Triennium, the gathering of thousands every third year for high school age Presbyterians, runs July 16-20 at Purdue University in Indiana. Its theme this year is "Here's My Heart." The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is again sponsoring a group, and Wendy Griffin is the presbytery's coordinator and registrar. She can be reached at ptca.pyt2019@gmail.com. Griffin's complete "invitation" letter can be found at "Presbyterian Youth Triennium." A Triennium information sheet is at 
be found at "Beyond the Commercials."
 
Estes Honored by APCE
EstesThe Association of Presbyterian Christian Educators (APCE), gathered this week at its annual event in Galveston, Texas, honored the Rev. Katie Estes for her four years as the secretary of the national Christian education organization. Estes (right), co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church of South Saint Paul, is pictured with APCE past-president Holly Inglis and incoming president Carl Horton. In her role as secretary, Estes served on APCE's executive committee, coordinating council, and administration task force. 
 
Jeff's Jottings
So what difference do we make?
 
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga
I am still reflecting on the Presbytery meeting from two weeks ago, especially about what I learned from our guest speaker, Danielle Ayana James. I thought it might be good to do one piece of that reflection out loud with you, the people and leaders of this Presbytery.
 
One of Danielle's challenges -- one that has captured my thinking -- was around how we in the church evaluate ourselves.  Too often, she said, we settle for passively measuring our congregation with the five "B's" -- bums (people) in the seats, budgets, buildings, baptisms, and baskets. In this day and age, when membership and often the budgets of most of our congregations are lower, that's not exactly encouraging.
 
The complete Jottings are at "Making a Difference."
Around the presbytery   
 
VocalPoint concerts slated
at Central Presbyterian in St. Paul
VocalPointa St. Paul auditioned choir of about 80 members, will present "Holding Space: Music Exploring Mental health, Compassion and Healing," aVocalPointconcert benefiting the Walk-In Counseling Center of the Twin Cities. The counseling center provides free and accessible mental health counseling to people with urgent needs and few service options. VocalPoint, joined by singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen, uses the power of people, art and collaboration to tell the stories of organizations doing life-changing work. Concerts are planned Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-10, at 4 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Additional details and ticket information are at "Holding Space."
 
Valentine Cabaret planned tomorrow
at Apple Valley's Spirit of Life
Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley will hold its annual Valentine Cabaret Saturday, Feb. 9. Spirit of Life Apple ValleyOnce again there will be a silent auction, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The congregation's youth group will serve a full dinner at 6 p.m., raising funds for the youth mission trip later this year. A variety show following the dinner will be provided by adult and youth members of the church. A live local band will also play throughout the evening. Child care will be provided after the meal for children age 5 and under. Details can be found in the announcement at "Valentine Cabaret."
 
Pulitzer Prize winner featured at Westminster Town Hall Forum
Art Cullen, the 2017 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, will be the featured speaker at the Tuesday, Feb. 12, Westminster Town Hall Forum of Art CullenWestminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Cullen, editor and co-owner of The Storm Lake (Iowa) Times, won the Pulitzer for a series of editorials indicting corporate agri-business for polluting the rivers and lakes in some of the most intensively farmed land in the world. Cullen's recently published book, "Storm Lake," describes his life as a journalist, and addresses the changes in politics, agriculture, climate and immigration confronting rural America. The event, free and open to the public, begins at noon. Details are at "Town Hall Forum."
 
'Welcome the Stranger' series 
continues at Peace Presbyterian
Peace Presbyterian"Welcome the Stranger," a series of speakers on immigration issues, continues at Peace Presbyterian Church in St. Louis Park on Wednesday, Feb. 13, when Sean Walther, demographer of St. Louis Park speaks at 7 p.m. Walther will address the city's immigration trends and plans. His presentation will follow a light supper at 6 p.m. The event will be in the church's fellowship hall, accessible from a parking lot entrance behind the building. Additional details are available at "Welcome the Stranger" and on Facebook. A poster is also available at "Speaker Series."
 
Noted meteorologist Paul Douglas
to speak at Chaska church
Noted meteorologist Paul Douglas will address global warming when he speaks at Shepard of the Hill Presbyterian Church Paul Douglasin Chaska Tuesday, Feb. 19. Douglas, a national spokesman on the issue of climate change and its ramifications, is the author of "Caring for Creation: The Evangelicals Guide to Climate Change and Healthy Environment." Douglas' presentation, beginning at 7 p.m., is part of Shepard of the Hill's bi-monthly Tuesday Dialogues, and is also sponsored by Southwest Metro/Chaska Citizen's Climate Lobby, Interfaith Power and Light and AM950 radio. The event is free.
 
Acclaimed pianists present benefit concert at Woodbury's Trinity
Two internationally acclaimed pianists will perform a concert Saturday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Woodbury to benefit the church's music ministry programs. Pianists Anton Melnichenko and Denis Evstuhin will perform music by Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn and Rachmaninoff. A free-will offering will be accepted. A poster is available at "Benefit Concert."
 
Hudson First Presbyterian plans 'centering prayer' workshop in March
center for actionFirst Presbyterian Church of Hudson will be host to an introductory workshop on centering prayers on Saturday, March 2, from 9:30 a.m. to  3 p.m. The workshop presents an opportunity to open minds and hearts to God beyond thoughts and words, and to listen to God in silence through contemplation. The workshop will be presented by Dr. Tom Eberle, director of The Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A suggested donation of $35 includes lunch. Registration is requested by Feb. 22 by visiting the church website or calling 715.386.2851. The workshop is open to everyone regardless of faith background. Additional questions can be addressed to the Rev. Dr. Kendra Grams at kendra.grams@fpchudson.net.
 
Retired Ministers change plans, now
plan to meet at Westminster
The Presbytery Retired Ministers have changed plans for their gathering on Tuesday, April 30. Instead of meeting at Presbyterian Church of the Way in Shoreview that day, they will piggy-back their gathering with the Westminster Town Hall Forum to listen to guest speaker Barbara Brown Taylor. The group will meet at 10:45 a.m. in the Meisel Room at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis for registration and gathering time. They will move into the sanctuary for music at 11:30 to hear Aaron Humble, a former member of the vocal group Cantus. Taylor will speak from noon until 1 p.m. when the retirees will return to the Meisel Room for a catered lunch. The complete announcement is at "Retired Ministers."
 
Westminster connects with community through prayer 'Wailing Wall'
"Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis continues to break down walls between Presbyterians Today magazinechurch and community. As an engaged urban partner, it is listening to, and praying for, the concerns of its people," writes Sherry Blackman in Presbyterians Today magazine. "Last summer, the church created its own kind of 'Wailing Wall.' Passers-by were invited to write their prayer requests and hang them on the church's railing that borders Nicollet Avenue, a 12-block shopping and dining hub in the city. Thousands of people pass by the church every day. The prayer wall was the idea of the Revs. Sarah Brouwer, Westminster's associate pastor for congregational life, and Meghan Gage-Finn, the church's executive associate pastor." Blackman's complete article is at "Modern Wailing Wall."
Resources, conferences ...
 
Austin Channing Brown headlines
2019 Winter Forum in Wisconsin
Austin Channing Brown, a leading voice on racial justice, will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Austin Channing BrownWinter Forum of the Wisconsin Council of Churches planned Saturday, March 9, in Madison. Channing Brown is the author of the autobiographical "Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness." She is committed to exploring the intersections of racial justice, faith and black womanhood. Her presentations infused with justice, pop culture, humor and truth-telling. Details can be found at "2019 Winter Forum."
 
Annual White Privilege Conference planned March 20-23 in Iowa
White Privilege ConferenceThe annual White Privilege Conference, with the theme Understanding, Respect and Connecting, is slated Wednesday through Saturday, March 20-23, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The conference provides a challenging, collaborative and comprehensive experience, according to its website, as it strives to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformations. Additional information about the conference is available at "White Privilege Conference."
 
YAV program seeks applicants;
most sites at still available
YAV recruitThe Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 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. There's more information about the YAV program at "Possibilities," and application information is at "Application Dates."
 
Ecumenical Advocacy Days planned
in early April in Washington, DC
Advocacy weekendThe website of Ecumenical Advocacy Days notes, "The history of engaging in "good trouble" is embedded in our faith tradition and our history as a nation and in the world. In the Bible, we read stories of the midwives who resisted Pharaoh and preserved the lives of Hebrew baby boys. We see Moses challenging the authority of Pharaoh, and Jesus overturn tables run by money changers." In the spring, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will draw on the "good trouble" pioneers from the civil rights era and inspiration from young leaders. The event is planned April 5-8 in Washington, D.C. Details can be found at "Good Trouble."
 
Pastors School planned
in May at Lakeshore Center
save the dateIt used to be winter pastors school; now it's simply pastors school. Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, the host for Pastors School, is asking you to save the date -- May 13-16 -- for the event. The Rev. Dr. Ken McFayden, will be the main speaker. McFayden serves as academic dean of the Richmond campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary and professor of ministry and leadership development. He teaches courses in the areas of congregational leadership and administration. Registration for Pastors School will begin Monday, Feb. 11. Details are at "Pastors School."
To give away ...
 
The Minnesota Council of Churches is seeking a Ramadan Open Houses Intern. Taking Heart Open Houses are held during Ramadan and bring Muslims and people of other faiths together for conversation and an Iftar, the fast-breaking meal. In 2019, Ramadan begins the evening of May 5 and lasts until the evening of June 4. During that time a series of Open Houses will be held at mosques and Islamic centers, mainly in the Metro area, but a few in greater Minnesota. The intern assists with laying the groundwork for these events and their coordination, mainly in the areas of communication and administration. The complete posting is at "Ramadan Intern."
 
First Presbyterian Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has about 50 blue Presbyterian hymnals to give away for free. The church is also willing to help with delivery arrangements. Interested parties should contact Dan Mundt Jr. by e-mail at dmundtjr@charter.net.
News of the wider church  

 

PC(USA) stated clerk denounces
bill limiting protest of Israel
The Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has spoken out against a bill which would allow state
J Herbert Nelson
and municipal governments to punish entities that boycott, divest or sanction Israel in support of Palestinian rights. The bill passed the United States Senate 77-23 this week. "It's unfortunate that one of the first things the Senate has done following the government shutdown is pass a law that threatens the constitutionally protected right of Americans to engage in boycotts in support of human-rights causes," the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelso II said in a statement. "However, we are encouraged by the number of Senators who opposed this unjust law." The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Opposing a Bill."
 
Budget, immigration, cultural diversity take up final day of COGA meeting
The final meeting day for the Committee on the General Assembly (COGA) opened with the Rev. Warren Lesane reminding the group of a grim
PCUSA logo
anniversary. On Feb. 8, 1968, South Carolina patrol officers in Orangeburg, South Carolina, opened fire on protesters from the South Carolina State University campus. As many as 200 had protested earlier in the evening against racial segregation at a local bowling alley. In the end, three African American students were dead and twenty-seven other protesters were injured. The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), described the personal impact it had on him growing up near Orangeburg. Nelson says he told his father he planned to come back home upon graduation from college, however, his father felt differently. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "COGA Wraps Up Meeting."
 
 
 
Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, 2115 Cliff Drive, Eagan, MN 55122
Sent by office@ptcaweb.org in collaboration with
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EMerge Feb. 15, 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.
February 15, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
'Telling Our Stories' is focus
of March presbytery meeting
As a connectional church, the work we do together at Presbytery meetings is an important expression of this common commitment.  Our five meetings this year are framing both time and content around the mission of the Presbytery ("support congregations, equip leaders, towards God's mission in the world") and our overall theme for the year, "Nurturing thoughtful expressions of God's mission in the world." 
 
Building on that theme, the March Presbytery meeting will invite us to consider "telling the stories essential to the church's life."
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will meet Saturday, March 16, beginning at 9 a.m., at the Korean Presbyterian Church of Minnesota in Brooklyn Park.
 
The complete story is at "March Presbytery Meeting."
 
Reminder: Congregational Development Grant applications due March 1
Applications for the 2019 round of Congregational Development Grants are due March 1. The full Presbytery Logoapplication packet is on the presbytery website. The Congregational Development Fund has been established by the Presbytery to encourage or expand congregational ministry supporting innovative, and perhaps risky, ministry initiatives at the congregational level. Up to $100,000 in grants annually will be available from this fund. The presbytery's Committee on Congregational Vitality will receive and evaluate proposals and recommend recipients. Successful applications will build on the current gifts, abilities, passions, and callings of congregations.
 
Completed applications may be submitted to the presbytery by mail or electronically to the Committee on Congregational Vitality through Jennifer Schultz, PTCA office manager, at office@ptcaweb.org by March 1. Please put Congregational Development Fund application in the subject line. Questions can be addressed to Michael Quady, chair of the committee, at quady12@gmail.com, or to Jeff Japinga, executive presbyter, at ep@ptcaweb.org.
 
The complete announcement is at "Congregational Development."
 
Presbytery Nominating Committee
seeks input from everyone
The presbytery's Nominating Committee wants to match the spiritual gifts of individuals in the presbytery with leadership opportunities. In a letter to the presbytery, Thomas J. Ruter, chair of the committee, wrote, "It is our desire ... to have broad, active and engaged involvement from our local congregations on presbytery committees helping to influence, develop and guide the church of tomorrow. Our success depends upon your involvement." To do this, the committee, according to Ruter's letter, is asking those "who would be interested in serving the larger church" to complete the new Spiritual Gifts form on the presbytery's website. Ruter's complete letter can be found at "Seeking Input from All." The Spiritual Gifts form can be found at "Spiritual Gifts."
 
Triennium set at Purdue,
carries theme 'Here's My Heart'
New Triennium LogoPresbyterian Youth Triennium, the gathering of thousands every third year for high school age Presbyterians, runs July 16-20 at Purdue University in Indiana. Its theme this year is "Here's My Heart." The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is again sponsoring a group, and Wendy Griffin is the presbytery's coordinator and registrar. She can be reached at ptca.pyt2019@gmail.com. Griffin's complete "invitation" letter can be found at "Presbyterian Youth Triennium." A Triennium information sheet is at 
be found at "
Beyond the Commercials."
 
Jeff's Jottings
Stories
 
Jeff JapingaBy Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
 
The print was big and bold, the message dramatic. Almost Half of Practicing Christian Millennials Say Evangelism Is Wrong.
 
At least, that's how the Barna Organization, a well-known Christian research firm (think Gallup with an evangelical lens) interpreted the results of a study it conducted last year and released this week. It certainly caught my attention.
 
But read more, and the picture becomes a little less clear.
 
The complete Jottings are at "How We Tell the Story."
Around the presbytery   
 
Noted meteorologist Paul Douglas
to speak at Chaska church
Paul DouglasNoted meteorologist Paul Douglas will address global warming when he speaks at Shepard of the Hill Presbyterian Church in Chaska Tuesday, Feb. 19. Douglas, a national spokesman on the issue of climate change and its ramifications, is the author of "Caring for Creation: The Evangelicals Guide to Climate Change and Healthy Environment." Douglas' presentation, beginning at 7 p.m., is part of Shepard of the Hill's bi-monthly Tuesday Dialogues, and is also sponsored by Southwest Metro/Chaska Citizen's Climate Lobby, Interfaith Power and Light and AM950 radio. The event is free.
 
Acclaimed pianists present benefit concert at Woodbury's Trinity
trinity concertTwo internationally acclaimed pianists will perform a concert Saturday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Woodbury to benefit the church's music ministry programs. Pianists Anton Melnichenko and Denis Evstuhin will perform music by Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn and Rachmaninoff. A free-will offering will be accepted. A poster is available at "Benefit Concert."
 
Tom Willadsen shares laughter as faith language; speaks at House of Hope
tom willadsenTom Willadsen, a Presbyterian minister who shares the "sacred truth that laughter is a common language of people of all faiths," will speak Sunday, Feb. 24, at 11:15 a.m., at House of Hope Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Theologian Martin Marty calls Willadsen's style "unmistakable, vivid, compelling, and valuable." His writing has appeared in Presbyterians Today, Leadership, and Visual Parables. He is also the author of "OMG! LOL! Faith and Laughter." Additional details are at "Willadsen."
 
Hudson First Presbyterian plans 'centering prayer' workshop in March
center for actionFirst Presbyterian Church of Hudson will be host to an introductory workshop on centering prayers on Saturday, March 2, from 9:30 a.m. to  3 p.m. The workshop presents an opportunity to open minds and hearts to God beyond thoughts and words, and to listen to God in silence through contemplation. The workshop will be presented by Dr. Tom Eberle, director of The Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A suggested donation of $35 includes lunch. Registration is requested by Feb. 22 by visiting the church website or calling 715.386.2851. The workshop is open to everyone regardless of faith background. Additional questions can be addressed to the Rev. Dr. Kendra Grams at kendra.grams@fpchudson.net.
 
'Protecting the Lifegivers' conference planned in April in Minneapolis
protecting lifegiversTitled "Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers," the April 5-7 conference at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis will address the missing and murdered American Indian women, and indigenous peoples sovereignty of housing and water. The conference, open to everyone, is designed by and will be led by indigenous women. Keynote speakers are Ann McKeig, the first American Indian to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Patina Park, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center. The conference will offer place-based learning experiences, keynote speeches, breakout sessions and opportunities for conversations with fellow conference attendees. Meals will be provided by indigenous-owned catering companies offering traditional foods. The image above is by Jillian Elaine Stately, Red Lake Ojibwe, Santee Dakota.  A flyer is at "Winyan Awanyankapi." The conference is also on Facebook. The registration page is at "Lifegivers."
 
Retired Ministers change plans,
now plan to meet at Westminster
The Presbytery Retired Ministers will piggy-back their April 30 gathering with the Westminster Town Hall Forum to listen to guest speaker Barbara Brown Taylor. The group will meet at 10:45 a.m. in the Meisel Room at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis for registration and gathering time. They will move into the sanctuary for music at 11:30 to hear Aaron Humble, a former member of the vocal group Cantus. Taylor will speak from noon until 1 p.m. when the retirees will return to the Meisel Room for a catered lunch. The complete announcement is at "Retired Ministers."
Resources, conferences ...
 
YAV program seeks applicants;
most sites are still available
Yav March 1The Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is an ecumenical, faith-based year of service in sites around the world and across the United States. The deadline for international applications is March 1. Available international sites include South Korea, Zambia, Colombia, Scotland, Peru and the Philippines. 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. There's more information about the YAV program at "Possibilities," and application information is at "Application Dates."
 
Wartburg's 38th annual Rural Ministry Conference planned in Dubuque
wartburgThe 38th annual Rural Ministry Conference of the Center for Theology and Land at Wartburg Theological Seminary is planned March 3-5. Speakers for this year's conference are the Rev. Dr. Craig Nessan, academic dean and professor contextual theology at Wartburg, and the Rev. Dr. Annette Bourland Huizenga, dean of the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and associate professor of New Testament. The theme of this year's ecumenical conference is "Building Resilience among Leaders and Communities." Conference details are available at "Rural Ministry Conference."
 
Regarding ruling elders: Dealing
with problems in healthy ways
Joan Gray, a former General Assembly moderator, writes this month's Regarding Ruling Elders column, a  Ruling Elder Resourcemonthly resource provided by the Office of the General Assembly. She notes, "Even in the most placid churches, people will occasionally get offended or object to the way things are being done or not being done. Sometimes the problem is brought out into the open and dealt with. At other times, however, the people who feel troubled are not willing to speak about their feelings with the person, or persons, involved." Gray's complete column is at "Dealing with Problems."
 
Austin Channing Brown headlines
2019 Winter Forum in Wisconsin
Austin Channing BrownAustin Channing Brown, a leading voice on racial justice, will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Winter Forum of the Wisconsin Council of Churches planned Saturday, March 9, in Madison. Channing Brown is the author of the autobiographical "Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness." She is committed to exploring the intersections of racial justice, faith and black womanhood. Her presentations infused with justice, pop culture, humor and truth-telling. Details can be found at "2019 Winter Forum."
 
Annual White Privilege Conference planned March 20-23 in Iowa
White Privilege ConferenceThe annual White Privilege Conference, with the theme Understanding, Respect and Connecting, is slated Wednesday through Saturday, March 20-23, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The conference provides a challenging, collaborative and comprehensive experience, according to its website, as it strives to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformations. Additional information about the conference is available at "White Privilege Conference."
 
Ecumenical Advocacy Days planned
in early April in Washington, DC
Advocacy weekendThe website of Ecumenical Advocacy Days notes, "The history of engaging in "good trouble" is embedded in our faith tradition and our history as a nation and in the world. In the Bible, we read stories of the midwives who resisted Pharaoh and preserved the lives of Hebrew baby boys. We see Moses challenging the authority of Pharaoh, and Jesus overturn tables run by money changers." In the spring, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will draw on the "good trouble" pioneers from the civil rights era and inspiration from young leaders. The event is planned April 5-8 in Washington, D.C. Details can be found at "Good Trouble."
 
Wee Kirk Conference planned
in May at Calvin Crest
wee kirkKris and Brian Peterson of Leadership Harbor will be the plenary leaders at this spring's Great Plains Wee Kirk Conference planned May 6-8 at Calvin Crest Camp, Conference and Retreat Center near Fremont, Nebraska. The conference provides opportunities for pastors and lay leaders of smaller membership churches to find ideas for ministry in their contexts, to experience encouragement, and to have their souls fed. Additional details are available at "Wee Kirk."
 
Registration opens for Pastors School
in May at Lakeshore Center
Omaha Presbyterian SeminaryIt used to be winter pastors school; now it's simply pastors school. And now registration for Pastors School, hosted by the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, is open. Pastors School will run May 13-16 at Lakeshore Center at Okoboji. The Rev. Dr. Ken McFayden will be the main speaker. McFayden serves as academic dean of the Richmond campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary and professor of ministry and leadership development. He teaches courses in the areas of congregational leadership and administration. The schedule for Pastors School is at "Schedule." Registration can be completed at "Registration."
To give away ...
 
Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington is seeking a part-time (average of 25 hours per week) financial secretary. For more information or to apply, send an e-mail to karenamato1@gmail.com.
 
The Minnesota Council of Churches is seeking a Ramadan Open Houses Intern. Taking Heart Open Houses are held during Ramadan and bring Muslims and people of other faiths together for conversation and an Iftar, the fast-breaking meal. In 2019, Ramadan begins the evening of May 5 and lasts until the evening of June 4. During that time a series of Open Houses will be held at mosques and Islamic centers, mainly in the Metro area, but a few in greater Minnesota. The intern assists with laying the groundwork for these events and their coordination, mainly in the areas of communication and administration. The complete posting is at "Ramadan Intern."
News of the wider church  

 

African-Americans have rich
history in the Presbyterian church
black historyAfrican-Americans have played a pivotal role in American church history. Many may be familiar with Richard Allen and Absalom Jones, the founders of what is now known as the African Methodist Episcopal Church, which was established in Philadelphia in 1792. Less known but equally as important to the Presbyterian denomination was the Rev. John Gloucester, who founded the First African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia in 1807. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Gail Strange can be found at "PC(USA) Celebrates Black History Month."
 
Christian formation specialists deliver straight talk during APCE workshop
Presbyterian Church EducatorsThe titles of two workshops held last week during the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators event -- "Killing Church Softly" and "Reviving Church Loudly" -- together served up a vision about what intergenerational worship and Christian education could look like in the coming years. The Rev. Dr. Jason Brian Santos, the Presbyterian Mission Agency's coordinator for Christian formation, and Brian Frick, an associate for Christian formation, described the current situation and then offered possible outcomes during a pair of Thursday workshops. There was clearly pent-up demand for their description and prescription: several workshop attendees sat on the floor for 75-minute stretches to hear from both Santos and Frick. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Straight Talk."
 
Tom Long proposes a different narrative from that of mainline decline
tom longThe Rev. Dr. Tom Long proposes a different narrative to one of mainline church decline. "The one I want us to hear is that I believe God is tearing down what we have in order to build up something new and more faithful," the Bandy Professor of Preaching Emeritus at Candler School of Theology at Emory University told about 700 people attending the annual event last week of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators. "We are experiencing right now as a church the judgment of God," a reality to which not every Presbyterian can cozy up. "The reason we don't want to talk about it is we misunderstand it theologically," he said. "It's not punishment and shame. It's a righteous judge who comes to set things right." The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "A Different Narrative."
 
 
 

EMerge Feb. 1, 2019

 
newsletter hed PTCA
Quick Links
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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.
February 1, 2019
  
Presbytery news  
 
Presbytery meets
January meeting addresses new ways
to evaluate churches, ministries
Can you name the five "B's" that most often shape the way we evaluate our church and our ministries ... and why those might not be helpful? Or the six "S's" of leadership engagement that could accelerate congregational thriving?
 
Those were two of the takeaways from last Saturday's meeting of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, at the First Presbyterian Church in South Saint Paul, where pastors Tom Watson and Katie Estes and a legion of members served as our gracious hosts. One hundred teaching elders, ruling elders, and guests braved the cold and snow to attend -- thank you!
 
The meeting featured a keynote address from the Rev. Danielle Ayana James, a pastor, coach and consultant from the United Church of Canada, part of this year's emphasis of the Presbytery Leadership team on "nurturing thoughtful expressions of God's mission in the world."
 
The complete meeting summary can be found at "Presbytery Meeting."
 
Presbytery Nominating Committee
seeks input from everyone
The presbytery's Nominating Committee wants to match the spiritual gifts of individuals in the presbytery with leadership opportunities. In a letter Presbytery Logoto the presbytery, Thomas J. Ruter, chair of the committee, wrote, "It is our desire ... to have broad, active and engaged involvement from our local congregations on presbytery committees helping to influence, develop and guide the church of tomorrow. Our success depends upon your involvement." To do this, the committee, according to Ruter's letter, is asking those "who would be interested in serving the larger church" to complete the new Spiritual Gifts form on the presbytery's website. Ruter's complete letter can be found at "Seeking Input from All." The Spiritual Gifts form can be found at "Spiritual Gifts."
 
Information available for presbytery mission trip to North Carolina
Mission TripThe 2019 Presbytery Mission Trip is now on the calendar, slated March 30 through April 7, and planned in collaboration with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Participants will travel to New Bern, North Carolina, and assist in disaster recovery, clean-up and rebuilding from the major flooding from Hurricane Florence. The total cost per participant is $250. Details are at "Presbytery Mission Trip."
 
Triennium set at Purdue, carries
theme, 'Here's My Heart'
New Triennium LogoPresbyterian Youth Triennium, the gathering of thousands every third year for high school age Presbyterians, runs July 16-20 at Purdue University in Indiana. Its theme this year is "Here's My Heart." The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is again sponsoring a group, and Wendy Griffin is the presbytery's coordinator and registrar. She can be reached at ptca.pyt2019@gmail.com. Griffin's complete "invitation" letter can be found at "Presbyterian Youth Triennium." A Triennium information sheet is at "Going to Triennium."
 
Jeff's Jottings
... following these commercial messages
 
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga
It's Super Bowl weekend, where organizations are spending up to $5 million for 30 seconds of your time and attention. In that spirit (but without the dollars attached) we'll return to Jottings next week following these brief commercial messages.
 
(Okay, "commercial" sounds wrong, as if I'm trying to sell you something you may or may not need. What I want you to know about are two great mission opportunities, whose deadlines are growing close.)
 
The complete Jottings can be found at "Beyond the Commercials."
Around the presbytery   
 
St. Louis Park church plans
speaker series on immigration
Peace Presbyterian Church in St. Louis Park will present "Welcome the Stranger," a series of speakers discussing immigration, alternating Wednesdays and Peace PresbyterianSundays, Feb. 3 through April 10. The events will be in the church's fellowship hall, accessible from a parking lot entrance behind the building, noon Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Light meals will precede the programs 11:30 a.m. Sundays and 6 p.m. Wednesdays. Additional details are available at "Welcome the Stranger" and on Facebook. A poster is also available at "Speaker Series." An article on the series appeared in the Sun Sailor, a newspaper of the western Twin Cities suburban area.
 
Minnesota organization plans activity
for Interfaith Harmony Week
The new Minnesota Multi-faith Network is planning a morning of activities as a part of Interfaith Harmony Week. The Minnesota organization has St Paul Interfaithplanned a plenary breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, followed by breakout sessions that run until noon. The event takes place at the Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka. The Minnesota Multi-faith Network, according to its page on the website of the St. Paul Interfaith Network, is a "multi-faith, relationship driven, justice and anti-racism focused, invitational, collaborative, and generative." Details about the event, along with a link to online registration, is at "Interfaith Harmony."
 
Annual JRLC 'Day on the Hill'
Joint Religious event planned Feb. 7
The 2019 Joint Religious Legislative Council Day on the Hill is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7. The JRLC brings the three Abrahamic faiths together to influence public policy for social justice in Minnesota. This year's event begins at the St. Paul InterContinental Riverfront Hotel and ends at the State Capitol complex. The event includes a presentation by the Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, on the history of the faith community and economic justice, and a keynote address by Imam Yahyi Hendi. There will also be issue briefings, lunch and transportation to and from the Capitol.  The JRLC's legislative agenda for 2019 includes targeted support for low income children among other social justice issues. More information and online registration are available at "Day on the Hill."
 
Interfaith environmental group plans gathering in Minnesota Capitol
Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, a Minneapolis-based organization building an interfaith climate movement across the state that acts on climate Power and Lightconcerns, is planning a gathering at the State Capitol on Friday, Feb. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The group plans to gather in the rotunda at 11:15 a.m. The group's publicity states, "We will be holding sacred space and showing our care for our earth, our water, and our communities. We invite you to come practice your spiritual tradition through prayerful protest, meditation, and sacred rituals at [the governor's office] to send our moral message: Water is Life/Stop Line 3." Additional background on the gathering can be found at "Interfaith Power and Light."
 
VocalPoint concerts slated
at Central Presbyterian in St. Paul
VocalPointa St. Paul auditioned choir of about 80 members, will present "Holding Space: Music Exploring Mental health, Compassion and Healing," aVocalPointconcert benefiting the Walk-In Counseling Centerof the Twin Cities. The counseling center provides free and accessible mental health counseling to people with urgent needs and few service options. VocalPoint, joined by singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen, uses the power of people, art and collaboration to tell the stories of organizations doing life-changing work. Concerts are planned Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-10, at 4 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Additional details and ticket information are at "Holding Space."
 
Valentine Cabaret planned
at Spirit of Life on Feb. 9
Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley will hold its annual Valentine Cabaret Saturday, Feb. 9. Spirit of Life Apple ValleyOnce again there will be a silent auction, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The congregation's youth group will serve a full dinner at 6 p.m., raising funds for the youth mission trip later this year. A variety show following the dinner will be provided by adult and youth members of the church. A live local band will also play throughout the evening. Child care will be provided after the meal for children age 5 and under. Details can be found in the announcement at "Valentine Cabaret."
 
Pulitzer Prize winner featured at Westminster Town Hall Forum
Art Cullen, the 2017 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, will be the featured speaker at the Tuesday, Feb. 12, Westminster Town Hall Forum of Art CullenWestminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Cullen, editor and co-owner of The Storm Lake (Iowa) Times, won the Pulitzer for a series of editorials indicting corporate agri-business for polluting the rivers and lakes in some of the most intensively farmed land in the world. Cullen's recently published book, "Storm Lake," describes his life as a journalist, and addresses the changes in politics, agriculture, climate and immigration confronting rural America. The event, free and open to the public, begins at noon. Details are at "Town Hall Forum."
 
Acclaimed pianists present benefit concert at Woodbury's Trinity
Two internationally acclaimed pianists will perform a concert Saturday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Woodbury to benefit the church's music ministry programs. Pianists Anton Melnichenko and Denis Evstuhin will perform music by Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn and Rachmaninoff. A free-will offering will be accepted. A poster is available at "Benefit Concert."
 
Hudson First Presbyterian plans 'centering prayer' workshop in March
center for actionFirst Presbyterian Church of Hudson will be host to an introductory workshop on centering prayers on Saturday, March 2, from 9:30 a.m. to  3 p.m. The workshop presents an opportunity to open minds and hearts to God beyond thoughts and words, and to listen to God in silence through contemplation. The workshop will be presented by Dr. Tom Eberle, director of The Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A suggested donation of $35 includes lunch. Registration is requested by Feb. 22 by visiting the church website or calling 715.386.2851. The workshop is open to everyone regardless of faith background. Additional questions can be addressed to the Rev. Dr. Kendra Grams at kendra.grams@fpchudson.net.
Resources, conferences ...
 
Presbyterians Today offers
spiritual, visual Lenten devotional
PT 2019 lentenThe 2019 Presbyterians Today Lenten Devotional offers a spiritual and visual pilgrimage through the holy season of Lent. The devotional relies on the words of the Psalms. The text, meditations and original photography are the work of the Rev. Krin Van Tatenhove, a long-time Presbyterian pastor, hospice chaplain, counselor, traveler, photographer and storyteller. Additional details about the devotional and ordering information can be found at "Awaking to God's Beauty."
 
WJK Lenten devotional uses
African American spirituals
wjk 2019 lentenValuable not only for their sublime musical expression, African American spirituals provide profound insights into the human condition nd Christian life. Many spirituals focus on the climax of the Christian drama, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the ways in which those events bring about the liberation of God's people. In these devotions for the season of Lent, Powery leads the reader through the spirituals as they confront the mystery of Christ's atoning death and victory over the grave. Each selection includes the lyrics of the spiritual, a reflection by the author on the spiritual's meaning, a Scripture verse related to that meaning, and a brief prayer. The complete announcement from Westminster John Knox Press can be found at "Were You There?"
 
Austin Channing Brown headlines
2019 Winter Forum in Wisconsin
Austin Channing Brown, a leading voice on racial justice, will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Austin Channing BrownWinter Forum of the Wisconsin Council of Churches planned Saturday, March 9, in Madison. Channing Brown is the author of the autobiographical "Still Here: Black Dignity in a World Made for Whiteness." She is committed to exploring the intersections of racial justice, faith and black womanhood. Her presentations infused with justice, pop culture, humor and truth-telling. Details can be found at "2019 Winter Forum."
 
Ecumenical Advocacy Days planned
in early April in Washington, DC
Advocacy weekendThe website of Ecumenical Advocacy Days notes, "The history of engaging in "good trouble" is embedded in our faith tradition and our history as a nation and in the world. In the Bible, we read stories of the midwives who resisted Pharaoh and preserved the lives of Hebrew baby boys. We see Moses challenging the authority of Pharaoh, and Jesus overturn tables run by money changers." In the spring, Ecumenical Advocacy Days will draw on the "good trouble" pioneers from the civil rights era and inspiration from young leaders. The event is planned April 5-8 in Washington, D.C. Details can be found at "Good Trouble."
To give away ...
 
First Presbyterian Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has about 50 blue Presbyterian hymnals to give away for free. The church is also willing to help with delivery arrangements. Interested parties should contact Dan Mundt Jr. by e-mail at dmundtjr@charter.net.
News of the wider church  

 

Presbyterians called to help
avert 2nd government shutdown
Presbyterians are being asked to play an advocacy role to avert a second government shutdown -- and at Jimmie Hawkinsthe same time protect immigrants and border communities. An Action Alert issued Thursday by the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Office of Public Witness indicates that Congress has until Feb. 15 to figure out how to, among other tasks, fund the Department of Homeland Security. "It is critically important," the alert states, "that Congress work together to avert another government shutdown while protecting the rights and dignity of migrants, border residents and vulnerable communities across the nation." According to Voice of America, the nation's immigration court system has a  backlog of more than 809,000 cases this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Presbyterians Can Help."
 
Stated clerk encourages voters
to seek candidates who can unify
J Herbert NelsonSince the first of the year, a number of presidential hopefuls have come forward as potential candidates in the 2020 election. In the first of a monthly series of videos about issues facing the world today, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), discusses what voters should look for in the next president. The video can be found at "Seeking Unifier."
 
Synod executives focus on racism
at recent forum in Alabama
Three times a year synod executives from across the country gather together to share, pray, and seek solutions to problems or challenges in their communities of worship. Planners for this month's slave museummeeting in Montgomery, Alabama, took a different approach, a field trip. The 50 attendees made a daylong visit to the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial to Peace and Justice. Both are managed by the Equal Justice Initiative; an organization working to end mass incarceration and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. "The Legacy Museum was pretty striking, especially as we learned about the racial terror lynchings, where African Americans were killed by mobs of people," said the Reverend Tricia Dykers-Koenig, associate director of mid council relations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)'s Office of the General Assembly. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Focus on Racism."
 
 
 

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