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 June 8, 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.
June 8, 2018
  
Presbytery news  
 
Can a simple gift card change a life?
-- a Presbytery story
In January, PTCA teaching elder Dean Seal (on behalf of the Committee on Ethics) addressed the Presbytery with a simple challenge: collect a $10 Cub gift card. Or 20. For women in need.
Cub gift card
Seal said, "Too often, single-moms, especially, are faced with terrible choices. To purchase food for hungry children often means there is nothing left for hygiene or other essential personal needs. It's these kind of unmet human necessities like food, basic toiletries and electricity for themselves and their families that will drive women into the street trade. Something as simple as a Cub card is one way we can help to begin to change that narrative."
 
For Lois Glewwe, chair of finance and the financial secretary for First Presbyterian Church in South Saint Paul, that challenge resonated: it was simple, straight-forward, and do-able, the kind of challenge to which, she said, "people will respond." And it would make a direct impact on the lives of people.
 
The complete story can be found at "More than a Gift Card."
 
Ordination exam readers
sought in presbytery
It is that time of year when the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area needs to elect ordination exam readers for the 2018-2019 cycle. The presbytery will evaluate exams the weeks of Feb. 4-8 and May 6-10.
Ordination exams  
The presbytery has been asked to provide three ruling elders, three teaching elders and one alternate reader.
 
In the week before reading exams, readers will review general materials about the reading process and resources specific to the exam area they will evaluate. During the weeklong review period, readers will commit 10 to 12 hours for evaluating exams.
 
Reader training and exam evaluation are done online. Reliable internet access and basic familiarity with website utilization is required.
 
Those interested in being a reader or those who have questions about being a reader are invited to contact the Rev. Lisa Johnson at pastorlisaj@gmail.com or the Rev. Luke Roske-Metcalfe at ljroske.metcalfe43@gmail.com.
 
Women in presbytery
invited to potluck June 26
Women in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area "had a wonderful gathering in April and want to keep the conversation going," according to a note from the Rev. Heidi Bolt. Bolt and the Rev. Dr. Karin Craven are inviting women in the presbytery to a potluck at the Craven home on Tuesday, June 26, from 6 to 8:30 p.m. The address is 1539 Blackhawk Lake Drive, Eagan, Minnesota. RSVPs are requested to Bolt at bolt.heidi@gmail.com. Those attending are asked to bring a dish to pass.
 
Boundary training offered
in October at Oak Grove
Boundaries 1 The presbytery's Committee on Ethics will be host to a Level 1 boundaries training Oct. 8 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington. This training is required for all teaching elders in the presbytery, and is also appropriate for youth directors, Christian education staff, music staff, ministry volunteers, and people serving on church personnel committees.  The training provides basic foundations and frameworks for healthy and safe Christian communities in terms of ministry relationships, finance, social media and confidentiality. Registration can be completed at "Boundaries Training."
 
Jeff's Jottings
Making connections
 
Jeff Japinga By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
 
As Presbyterians, we say we are a connectional church.
 
Being connectional has what seems, today at least, like a checkered place in our life together: occasionally useful, to be sure, but mostly ancillary to your most important ministry work, and at times even seeming to get in the way. At its best, connectionalism is God's reign lived out in its very best ways, a gathering of people from the ends of the earth in common praise and ministry. At its worst, words that fly when the church's connectionalism is questioned - words like schism, heresy, orthodoxy, secession, dissenters, apostates - tend to fan the flames of separation, not connectionalism at all.
 
Someday, I may parse that previous paragraph in a different Jottings, maybe four or five Jottings. For today, I want to emphasize and point you toward a key element of our connectional system, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Now held every other year, the 223rd General Assembly convenes next Saturday, June 16, in St. Louis, with representatives (commissioners) from all 173 Presbyteries. This year, the PTCA is sending as its commissioners teaching elders Barbara Anne Keely and David Parker; and ruling elders Walter Rockenstein (also our current Presbytery moderator) and Phil Romine. Janimah Igwacho is our young adult advisory delegate. Stated clerk Barbara Lutter and I will be there as well, and I expect to see any number of PTCA friends and observers.
 
I encourage you to give some attention to what happens in St. Louis.
 
The complete Jottings are at "The Connectional Church."
Around the presbytery   
 
Kids Camp at Spirit of Life
Spirit of Life Apple Valley scheduled June 25-29
Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley is planning Kids Camp early in the summer season -- the week of June 25-29. Open to all area children, the week-long day camp will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. for children in grades K-5 and from 9 a.m. to noon for preschoolers. Lunch will be provided for full-day participants. Trained summer camp staff from Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Center will lead the camp, while local adults and teens will assist. The complete announcement is at "Kids Camp."
 
St. Paul Interfaith Network
notes next sacred-site tour

St Paul Interfaith The St. Paul Interfaith Network has scheduled another tour of Dakota sacred sites Saturday, June 30, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The tours center around the confluence of the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers, what the Dakota refer to as Bdote, or "meeting place of rivers." The tour stops include Fort Snelling, the site of the Dakota internment camp following the Dakota-U.S. War, and Pilot Knob Hill, a traditional burial ground. The tours provide history from the American Indian perspective. Details can be found at "Sacred Sites."

 
Addiction, faith conference planned
in September in Bloomington
addiction faith An addiction and faith conference, designed to help congregations, clergy and care givers address the opioid addiction crisis, is planned Sept. 28-30 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Bloomington. The conference features keynoters Nadia Bolz-Weber, Omar Manegwala and Anne Wilson Shaef. Details about the conference can be found at "Addiction and Faith."
Resources, conferences ... 

 

Applications accepted for Presbyterian
Women's 2019 USA Mission Experience
Presbyterian Women logo A group of Presbyterian women will travel to the Finger Lakes Region of New York in July 2019 for the fifth USA Mission Experience. They will explore the history that Presbyterian women have in the women's and civil rights movements, and will also have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and about some of the issues that confront the people of the Finger Lakes Region, including migrant workers and Native Americans. Applications to participate are being accepted until Aug. 15. Details are available at "2019 USA Mission Experience."
 
Applications being accepted for OPSF
Lifelong Learning Program Grants
Omaha Presbyterian Seminary The Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation is accepting applications through Aug. 15 for its Lifelong Learning Program Grant program. Through the years, the Foundation has provided more than $1 million to support many educational events, workshops and seminars that cover a wide range of topics and serve anywhere from 10 to more than 200 people. Teaching elders, commissioned pastors and lay leaders all benefit from lifelong learning events. Details are available at "Lifelong Learning Events."
 
Holy Land tour planned
for potential tour leaders
bright stars of bethlehem Bright Stars of Bethlehem, an ecumenical non-profit organization that encourages understanding of and support for Palestinian people living in the Holy Land, is sponsoring a Holy Land discovery tour for group tour leaders in January.  This trip is organized by group travel directors, and is designed for pastors or other church group leaders who anticipate leading a first-time tour to the Holy Land. The trip is intended to give a glimpse into the kind of itinerary visits possible for congregational and Christian education groups to witness the historical roots of the Christian faith, and to learn about the work of Christians in Palestine. Details can be found in a brochure at "Holy Land Tour for Tour Leaders."
 
'Friends, Neighbors Day,' 'Lake2Lake
Bike Tour' set at Clearwater
July 14 will be a busy day at Clearwater Forest. The Presbyterian camp and conference center near Deerwood is celebrating its annual Friends and Neighbors Day and lake2lake it will also be host to its "Lake2Lake Scenic Bike Tour" to raise money to benefit Clearwater Forest camper scholarships. The bike tour features 50-, 30- or 8-mile rides. Those who aren't riding can sponsor a rider. Throughout the day Clearwater Forest will be offering tours of the grounds and buildings, games and activities, and even the opportunity to take part in sailing, paddle boarding, kayaking, high-ropes, and the "bouldering wall." The complete announcement about Friends and Neighbors Day can be found at "A Day at Clearwater." Details about the bike tour are at "Lake2Lake."
 
Wild Goose Festival planned
in July in North Carolina
wild goose The Wild Goose Festival, a music, art and story-driven transformational experience grounded in faith-inspired social justice, is planned July 12-15 in Hot Springs, North Carolina. The festival invites participants to grow together by co-creating art, music, story, theater and spectacle, and by engaging in robust and respectful conversation with each other and with thought leaders and artists. Details can be found at "Wild Goose Festival."
 
Synod School: Classes, worship, play,
family, friends, a whole lot more
2018 Synod School Those who are thinking about attending Synod School this summer should spend a little time looking through the midsummer ministry's catalog. This year more than 70 classes are offered in a wide variety of subjects. Celebrating its 65th year, Synod School typically draws more than 600 people to the week-long event of learning and personal enrichment on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. This year's event runs Sunday through Friday, July 22-27. The catalog, and a link to online registration, can be found at "Synod School."
 
Presbyterian Women plan
national gathering in August
Women gathering The church-wide gathering of Presbyterian Women is planned Aug. 2-5 in Louisville, Kentucky, with the theme "Arise, shine, your light has come!" Participants will engage in workshops, tours, forums and resource gathering, plenary sessions, worship and more. Information about the gathering can be found at "National Gathering."
 
Stewardship Kaleidoscope planned
in St. Louis in September
Stewardship Kaleidoscope This year's Stewardship Kaleidoscope, an annual conference offering speakers, workshops and networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and generosity, is planned Sept. 24-26 in St. Louis. Diana Butler Bass, an award-winning author and internationally known public speaker, and Chick Lane, pastor for stewardship and generosity at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota, will be the keynote speakers. Details about the conference can be found at "Stewardship Kaleidoscope."
Memorial services 
 
There is a memorial service Friday, June 8, for the Rev. Roger Anderson at 10:30 a.m. at Christ Presbyterian Church in Edina.
 
There is a memorial service Saturday, June 9, for the Rev. Harry Maghakian at New Life Presbyterian Church in Roseville, with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. and the service at 11 a.m. MinnPost recently published this article on the Rev. Maghakian.
In search of ...
 
Trinity Presbyterian Church in Woodbury is seeking a wheelchair in good condition and asking anyone who might have a wheelchair no longer in use to consider donating the wheelchair to the church. For information, contact the church at 651.738.0045.
News of the wider church  

 

Opening GA worship offering
to provide bail relief in St. Louis
Reclaiming the prophetic voice of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for social, racial, and economic justice, the 223rd General Assembly will take an unprecedented active role in addressing conditions in  Arch City St. Louis and other cities that devastate the poor and oppressed. The assembly meets June 16-23. The call for the PC(USA) to be a "Matthew 25 Church" was issued by the 222nd General Assembly two summers ago. General Assembly Stated Clerk, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, who was elected to the denomination's top post in 2016, has challenged the denomination to do more than just meet as committees and worship, but to also put our polity and statements and faith in action. "We don't want the Presbyterians to be simply another convention that comes to town, meets, spends some money, and then leaves without engaging the people and communities" says Stated Clerk Nelson. The complete story by the Office of the General Assembly's Jerry Van Marter can be found at "Making an Impact."
 
At GA223: Committee to consider denominational structure, future
The long and sometimes contentious work of three groups -- the Way Forward Commission, the All-Agency Review Committee and the 2020 Vision Team  General Assembly 223 -- will shape much of the debate and discernment The Way Forward Committee will undertake during the 223rd General Assembly, which meets June 16-23 in St. Louis. The first two groups recommend restructuring the denomination's A Corporation, the corporate structure of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). They also seek to strengthen the role of the stated clerk, who they say "speaks to and for the church in matters of faith and practice except as the General Assembly directs otherwise." They want the 2018 General Assembly to form a "Moving Forward Implementation Commission" to, among other tasks, ensure that GA actions on their reports are implemented. The complete story by Mike Ferguson for the General Assembly News can be found at "The Way Forward."
 
PC(USA) membership decline
PCUSA logo slows, does not stop
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) continued to lose members in 2017, extending a pattern that has persisted since the mid-1960s. At the end of the year, church membership totaled 1,415,053, a decline of 67,714 members from 2016. At the same time, a five-year period of unprecedented losses neared an end as net membership losses returned to previous levels over the last 50-plus years. The larger losses between 2012 and 2016 were brought on by the dismissal of about 100 churches (and their members) each year to splinter denominations after the 2010 General Assembly voted to allow the ordination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people as church officers and the 2014 Assembly voted to allow same-gender marriage. The complete story by the Office of the General Assembly's Jerry Van Marter can be found at "Membership Decline."

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