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Emerge July 28, 2017

newsletter hed PTCA
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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
July 28, 2017
Presbytery news  
Stated clerk applications needed; deadline extended to Aug. 1
Presbytery Logo The Committee on Nominations has extended to Aug. 1 the application deadline for the position of stated clerk for the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Bill Davnie has presented his resignation as stated clerk of the presbytery effective Sept. 15. A revised position description can be found at "Stated Clerk Position Description." The application form can be found at "Application Form." The complete announcement from the Committee on Nominations can be found in a special edition of EMerge published earlier this week at "Seeking Applications."
It's time to apply
to be a GA commissioner
Office of General Assembly Applications are now being accepted for the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) slated next summer, June 16-23, in St. Louis.  The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will send two ruling elders and two teaching elders as commissioners, and a young adult advisory delegate - age 17-23. The application deadline is Sept. 15. Additional information can be obtained by contacting Stated Clerk Bill Davnie at The complete announcement is at "General Assembly."
Presbytery plans mission
celebration in October
mission ptca Mission Celebration 2017 is coming in October, following the theme "Concerns of God's Heart." Organized by the Mission and Witness Committee of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, the event is planned Saturday, Oct. 14, from 9 a.m. to 1:15 p.m. at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington. The celebration  will include worship and workshops designed to provide education and networking opportunities, connecting PTCA congregations and agencies in mission in the community. The complete announcement is at "Mission Celebration."
PTCA's Self-Development of People Committee posts application form
sdop The Self-Development of People Committee of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area has prepared a new grant application form. The committee also notes that funds are available in 2017. The attached application must be completed and returned to the presbytery office by Aug. 18 to be considered for funding. The application form can be found at "SDOP 2017." Additional information about SDOP Committee can be found on the presbytery website at "SDOP."
Jeff's Jottings
Did You Really Mean That?
Jeff Japinga By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
One of the great obstacles for writers not named Danielle Steele or Stephen King is wondering whether anyone really reads what you write.
You do. You read what I write. Many of you have told me that when I've visited your churches, or at a presbytery meeting. A few of you tell me that with your specific comments or questions. Like this one, in response to last week's Jottings (it's a summary of a longer email):
"Do you really not care how many members we have?"
The question was a response to my multiple-choice question about what reality best "measured" the presbytery's worth. (You can read last week's Jottings here.)
This week's complete Jottings are at "Did You Really Mean That?"
Around the presbytery   
Spirit of Life to be host to guest speaker
from 'Teens Against Human Trafficking'
Apple Valley's Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church will be host to Shannon Schott, who will speak on the Spirit of Life Apple Valley problem of human trafficking. The event is scheduled for Monday, July 31, at 7 p.m. Schott, formerly of Eagan and the former Shannon Skelly, is lead program specialist with Teens Against Human Trafficking, a program of the Iowa nonprofit YSS Inc. She will introduce attendees to human trafficking in the Midwest, with a focus on the youth perspective. The complete story can be found at "Human Trafficking."
Resources, conferences ... 


UDTS offers eight online courses
for commissioned ruling elders
UDTS Logo The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary will offer eight online courses for commissioned ruling elders in its CLP/CRE lay ministry program. The courses are scheduled from Sept. 5 to Dec. 16. Additional information and registration requirements can be found at "CRE Courses."
United Seminary offers early-bird rate
for certificate in the arts, spirituality
Arts Certificate United United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is once again offering a certificate in the arts and spirituality for spiritual and religious leaders. The program begins this fall. Applications received by Aug. 11 receive a $200 reduction in the enrollment fee. The deadline for all applications is Sept. 5. Details about the program and application procedures can be found at "Certificate in the Arts."
Service opportunities
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is seeking nominations and applications for its stated clerk position. The part-time position will begin in September. The stated clerk serves as the corporate secretary of the presbytery and writes all official correspondence. The stated clerk also records and maintains all official records of the presbytery, and is the principal staff resource to the presbytery's Permanent Judicial Commission, the Bills and Overtures Committee and administrative commissions. Inquiries regarding the position or the requirements may be directed to Manley Olson, chair of the Nominations Committee (, or to executive presbyter Jeffrey Japinga ( The desired starting date for the new stated clerk is Sept. 15.The complete position description is at "Stated Clerk." The application form is available here.
Winnebago Presbytery, with offices in Neenah, Wis., is seeking a part-time -- 10 hours per week -- Stated Clerk to succeed its retiring incumbent. The successful candidate will be a teaching elder or ruling elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), demonstrate expertise in Presbyterian polity, and have excellent attention to details. Additional information is available at "Winnebago Stated Clerk."
News of the wider churh  


A shorter EMerge ...
A note from your editors: EMerge is a little bit shorter this week. Presbytery staff are in Storm Lake, Iowa, this week attending Synod School, the annual midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. The first two stories below offer a look at this year's Synod School.
Nelson calls Presbyterians
to 'do something for the Lord'
J Herbert Nelson The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II is calling the church to do what is just - to do what is right. Nelson, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), speaks each morning at the annual Synod School of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and this week told Presbyterians to "get off your blessed assurances and do something for the Lord." Speaking with prophetic authority, Nelson asked Synod School attendees to consider their place in their communities. "The society we are in has changed around us," he reminded the church Monday, and added, "We need to examine if we are the community we're supposed to be." The complete story can be found at "Do Something."
686 participate in Lakes and Prairies'
Synod School cover week-long Synod School
The well-known midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies -- Synod School -- has drawn a record 686 participants to the Buena Vista University campus in Storm Lake, Iowa,  this week. Synod School takes place every year during the last full week in July. It is the only remaining Synod School of its type within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). This year it's running July 23-28. The theme for this year's event is "Let Justice Flow." The complete story can be found at "Record Enrollment."
5 interfaith leaders barred
from boarding plane for Israel
The moderator of the 216th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was among five interfaith leaders denied access to a passenger jet headed for Israel this week. Rick Ufford-Chase was part of an interfaith delegation of 23 Muslims, Jews and Christians boarding a Lufthansa Airlines jet at Washington Dulles International Airport for Israel on Sunday. "All five of us are well-known for our commitment to nonviolent direct action on behalf of Palestinians living under the grinding daily reality of military occupation in Gaza and the West Bank," said Ufford-Chase. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rick Jones can be found at "Denied."
PMA's Financial Aid for Service
offers debt assistance to pastors
In a video just released by Presbyterian Mission, Financial Aid for Service is drawing attention to its Transformational Leadership Debt Assistance (TLDA) program. TLDA offers $5,000 loans -- with forgiveness for service -- to qualifying pastors of churches with 150 or fewer members and to qualifying pastors of new worshiping communities. A TLDA loan is renewable up to two times; therefore, it could be worth as much as $15,000. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Paul Seebeck can be found at "Aid for Service."
African American clergy speak out against budget, health care plan
An estimated 40 to 50 African American clergy gathered on Capitol Hill on this week to speak out against what they call "the immoral" budget proposed by President Donald Trump as well as the "unjust" health bill that currently hangs in limbo. The group of ministers, including the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, spoke at a news conference before heading to various Senate and congressional offices. The faith leaders say the budget will have a negative impact on African-American families with proposed cuts in Medicaid and education, as well as community block grants and housing vouchers. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rick Jones can be found at "Speaking Out."
Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, 2115 Cliff Drive, Eagan, MN 55122
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