09-12-17 Presbytery Meeting in Red Wing, MN

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 March 2, 2018

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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.
March 2, 2018
Presbytery news  
Presbytery meets Saturday,
March 10, at Valley Community
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will meet Saturday, March 10, and focus a portion of the meeting on the presbytery's commitment to mission. In addition to commissioning the presbytery's mission team that will travel to Louisiana in April, the presbytery will hear from the Rev. John McCall, a mission co-worker of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, who has been serving in Taiwan for 16 years, teaching courses on ministry and spiritual formation at the three seminaries of the Presbyterian Church of Taiwan. The meeting opens at 9 a.m. at Valley Community Presbyterian Church in Golden Valley. Registration and fellowship begins at 8:30 a.m. The complete call to meeting can be found at "Meeting March 10."
Ethics Committee seeks $10 Cub cards
for Northside Women's Space
What if you had but a few dollars to your name, and had to choose between paying rent or buying food? What if you were a single mom, out of food with two hungry children and no spousal support? What do you do then?
Northside Womens
These are often the choices facing women served by Northside Women's Space (NWS), a ministry dedicated to helping women get out of the sex trade. To help support that work, the presbytery's Committee on Ethics is sponsoring a drive to collect Cub Foods gift cards. Right now, $10 Cub cards are mostly depleted at NWS; it's their greatest need.
The Committee on Ethics is partnering with NWS and the presbytery's Mission and Witness Committee to benefit those caught up in the sex trade. If the presbytery can make sure they have food, they might not have to go out on the streets to feed their kids.
Congregations can participate in this effort through mission committees or by simply taking a gift-card-collection on a Sunday morning. The effort is one way to help NWS intervene with women's immediate needs while also growing its mission to get women out of the sex trade.
NWS is also working with Thistle Farms, a Tennessee operation that trains women in small business ownership.
Gift cards can be brought to the presbytery's May 8 meeting. More information about NWS can be found at "Northside Women's Space."
Presbytery mission trip is full, accepting waitlist sign-ups; searches for a van
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is making plans for its mission trip to Denham Springs, Louisiana, but trip organizers are also searching for Mission Trip a minivan or SUV to borrow for the week of the trip. Mission trip participants will assist in recovery, clean-up and rebuilding from the 2016 Louisiana flooding. While registration for the trip is full, wait-list sign-ups are being accepted. Planned in collaboration with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the trip takes place Saturday to Saturday, April 7-14. Complete details can be found in a note from the Rev. Brenda K. Alexander of the presbytery's Mission and Witness Committee. It's at "Mission Trip to Denham Springs." Anyone who is able to lend a minivan or SUV is invited to contact Alexander at bk.alexander@live.com or Ken Wooley at wooleyken@gmail.com. The group will be commissioned at the presbytery meeting on March 10.
Jeff's Jottings
Perspective, for at least today ...
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga  
I came away from these conversations ... struck by pervasive but subtle hunger for a change in the emotional tenor of life. "We're more connected but we're more apart," one student lamented. Again and again, students expressed a hunger for social and emotional bonding, for a shift from guilt and accusation toward empathy. "How do you create relationship?" one student asked. That may be the longing that undergirds all others.  
That's what David Brooks wrote in his New York Times column Tuesday after a series of conversations across the country with college-aged young people. Maybe you saw it, too.
How do you react to a statement like that? Are you defensive? Dismissive? Curious? Regretful? Supportive? Is it a voice of future hope and engagement, or a refuge of privilege for those who can stand above the fray? Is it a call to the hard work of reconciliation, or just another version of Minnesota nice?
The complete Jottings are at "Perspective."
Around the presbytery   
Minnesota's JRLC plans 'Day
on the Hill' conference March 13
The Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, an interfaith organization that advocates for social justice, will convene its "Day on the Hill" conference March 13  Joint Religious at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul and the State Capitol. The event, titled "If not now, when?" begins at 8:30 a.m. The JRLC Legislative Network involves more than 8,000 citizens and volunteers who respond to action alerts and issue briefings, and organize activities to shape public policy. Last year more than 700 people from 64 of the state's 67 senate districts participated in the "Day on the Hill" event. Details and registration information can be found at "Day on the Hill."
Synod plans Leadership Summit
on mental health, ministry
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies' annual Leadership Summit, formerly known as the COM/CPM training mental health conference, will take place Tuesday through Thursday, April 24-26, at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota. This year's conference theme is "Mental Health and Ministry." Keynote speakers are Mark Sundby, executive director of LeaderWise, and Caroline Burke, staff psychologist at LeaderWise. Heidi Bolt, co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Red Wing, Minnesota, will lead worship. In addition, numerous workshops, led by church leaders throughout the synod and the broader church, will address a variety of topics related to church leadership. Details, and a link to online registration, can be found at "Leadership Summit."
Conflict transformation workshop
is set in Twin Cities on May 16
The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center of Lombard, Illinois, an organization that offers resources for churches of all denominations on biblical peace and Lombard workshop justice issues as well as conflict transformation skills training, is sponsoring a one-day workshop May 16 in Minnetonka, Minnesota, that looks at the challenges presented by rising levels of anxiety in churches today. Titled "Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: A Family Systems Perspective," the workshop also addresses the role that self-differentiated leadership can play in calming anxiety. Participants will learn practical skills in defusing anxious situations. The interdenominational workshop takes place at Minnetonka United Methodist Church. Workshop details are available at "Conflict Transformation." Online registration, including discounts for groups and early registration, is available at "Attending."
Resources, conferences ... 


Board of Pensions' tax guide for ministers
is available at Benefits Connect
The tax guide for ministers preparing their 2017 taxes is available at Benefits Connect, and it includes a  Board of Pensions supplement on housing allowance litigation. This book contains the basic information needed to complete the 2017 federal income tax return. It gives special attention to several forms and schedules, and the sections of each form most relevant to ministers. The companion resource - Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches - helps churches comply with their federal tax reporting requirements. The guide is available at "Tax Guide."
Registration for Synod School 2018
2018 Synod School opened this week
Celebrating 65 years of Synod School, registration for this summer's edition of the ever-popular midsummer ministry opened Thursday morning, March 1. Described as "a learning and personal enrichment experience for people of all ages," Synod School runs July 22-27 on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Coming off a record-setting year in 2017 when 686 people gathered for the week-long event, this year's program features Jason Brian Santos, mission coordinator for Christian formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency, as convocation speaker. Jana Childers, dean of the seminary and vice president of academic affairs at San Francisco Theological Seminary, will lead evening worship. The complete catalog and a link to online registration can be found at "Synod School."
21st century transformation: Going
beyond change; an April conference
Minnesota Valleys Presbytery is partnering with Midwest Initiative for Leading Transition to conduct a  transformation conf transformation training event for congregation teams Thursday through Saturday, April 5-7, at First Presbyterian Church in St. Cloud, Minnesota. The event will focus on the complexity of leading churches through a transformation process. Faculty for the conference are the Rev. Dr. SanDawna Ashley, executive director of presbytery mission for Minnesota Valleys Presbytery; the Rev. Mitch Coggin, a hospital chaplain, installed pastor and transitional pastor for 37 years; the Rev. James L. Gale Jr., associate executive of the Synod of Mid-America; the Rev. Dr. Jeff Japinga, executive presbyter for the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area; the Rev. Beth Wagner, serving in her seventh transitional/interim position and currently pastor at Yorkfield Presbyterian Church in Elmhurst, Illinois; and the Rev. Mary Wright, who has served in transitional/interim ministry for 13 years. The complete conference brochure, along with registration information, can be found at "Going Beyond Change."
Apollos Scholarship applications
deadline comes April 16
Omaha Presbyterian Seminary The mission of the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation is to seek, develop and support excellence in Christian leadership through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The foundation's Apollos Program helps fulfill that mission. The program offers financial support to selected students under the care of their respective presbyteries. The foundation offers annual Apollos Scholarships with a maximum of $3,000 per year for three-years, and Apollos Named Scholarships with an annual maximum of $6,000 per year for up to three years. Eligible students must be members of a PC(USA) congregation and an inquirer or candidate enrolled full-time at one of 10 PC(USA) seminaries. The deadline for applications is April 16. Complete details are at "Apollos."
White Privilege Conference
planned in April in Grand Rapids
White Privilege Conference "For the past 17 years the White Privilege Conference has examined challenging concepts of privilege and oppression," according to its website, and the upcoming event is planned Wednesday through Saturday, April 4-7, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Conference, its website notes, "is open to everyone and invites diverse perspectives to provide a comprehensive look at issues of privilege including: race, gender, sexuality, class [and] disability." Complete details can be found at "White Privilege Conference."
Advocacy Training Weekend
planned in Washington
Presbyterians are being invited April 20 to Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day at New  advocacy training York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C. The theme for the event is "A World Uprooted: Responding to Migrants, Refugees and Displaced People." The training day will look "at how our church and our partners are confronting white supremacy and nativism while supporting refugee and migrant populations in our country and abroad," the event's website notes. After Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day, participants are asked to participate in Ecumenical Advocacy Days. Details about the training day, including links to register, can be found at "Advocacy Training."
Regarding Ruling Elders
addresses community prayer
The Rev. Dr. Diana Nishita Cheifetz, who writes the monthly installments of Regarding Ruling Elders, a  Ruling Elder Resource resource of the Office of the General Assembly, notes the challenges of offering community prayer. She opened this column, quoting from a traditional hymn: "'What a friend we have in Jesus, all our sins and griefs to bear! What a privilege to carry everything to God in prayer!' We sing this in our beloved hymn but we forget to add the qualifier that is the reality in most of our churches. ' ... except for praying out loud, extemporaneously, in front of a group.' Most of us are less than eager. You know what I mean. Someone asks for a volunteer to pray out loud. And we all know what to do: avoid eye contact, look busy, wait it out." Cheifetz's complete column can be found at "Community Prayer."
Great Plains Wee Kirk Conference
set this spring in Nebraska
Calvin Crest The 2018 Great Plains Wee Kirk Conference is planned Monday through Wednesday, April 30-May 2, at Calvin Crest Camp, Conference and Retreat Center near Fremont, Nebraska. The conference includes worship, communion, workshops fellowship, relaxation and renewal. This year's plenary speaker is the Rev. Chris Walker, teacher, coach, pastor and principle writer for Evangelism Coach. Conference details are at "Great Plains Wee Kirk."
Older adult ministry conference takes place June 5-8 at Zephyr Point
The 2018 conference of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network is planned June 5-8 at Zephyr Point  Presbyterian Older Adult Conference Center in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. Keynote speakers are John Holton, visiting associate professor of gerontology and director of the Center for Gerontology at Concordia University of Chicago, and Lawrence P. Greenslit, who retired as a captain in the U.S. Navy chaplain corps, and is the former director of the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel. A complete conference brochure is at "POAMN Details." Online registration is at "POAMN."
Service opportunities ...
Presbyterian Church of the Apostles in Burnsville is seeking a faith-centered, child and youth-loving, fun person to lead child, youth, and family ministry programming for grades K-12.   The director of family ministries will design and grow creative, vibrant, and meaningful education and activities for children, youth and families that align with our active and progressive congregation. This is a part-time salaried position at 20 hours per week.  See the full job description at "Director of Family Ministries." Resumes may be sent to office@presbyterianapostles.org.
Valley Community Presbyterian Church is seeking a qualified candidate to help its associate pastor maintain and expand educational opportunities for adults, and a growing population of youth and young families with children. Valley Community is a growing congregation nestled in a suburban neighborhood just west of the Twin Cities. Qualified candidates will have the energy and enthusiasm to work in a dynamic system with energetic pastors. The complete position announcement is at "Educational Ministries Director." Cover letters and resumes should be sent to the Rev. Sarah Bigwood at sarah.bigwood@valleychurch.net.
News of the wider churh  


Discussions of PC(USA) 'A Corp'
PCUSA logo are at an impasse
The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board (PMAB) held a nearly two-and-a-half-hour conference call this week to discuss a proposal by its Governance Task Force in light of recommendations made to the structure and operation of the agency's corporate function -- commonly referred to as the "A Corp" -- by the All Agency Review Committee and Way Forward Commission. "Leave our hearts and minds open to a miracle," the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II prayed at the opening of the meeting, recognizing the various proposals that exist on how to best govern the corporate function currently shared by the Presbyterian Mission Agency and Office of the General Assembly. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Gregg Brekke can be found at "A Corp."
NEXT Church gathering hears about dangers of public praise
NEXT new logo The final day of the NEXT Church 2018 gathering started with a keynote presentation by Dr. Jonathan L. Walton, Harvard University Plummer Professor of Christian Morals and the Pusey Minister at the Memorial Church of Harvard University. His talk, titled "Be Suspicious of Praise!", gave voice and encouragement to bold and prophetic ministry. "One of the most baffling concepts in Christianity is the incarnation. ... Jesus is God's love made manifest as God came to walk in the garden of suffering with us," he said, referring to the tendency to make Jesus into a sort of superhero. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Gregg Brekke can be found at "Dangers of Praise."
Deadline nears for Writers Guild
First Book Award nominations
The deadline is nearing for submissions to thee Presbyterian Writers Guild 2018 Best First Book  Writers Guild Logo Award, honoring the best first book by a Presbyterian author published during the calendar years of 2016-2017. Deadline for submissions is March 15. The award is given biennially and will be presented June 21 during the 223nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in St. Louis, Missouri. The complete announcement from the Presbyterian Writers Guild is at "First Book Award."


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