Click HERE for PTCA Eco-Justice, Earth Care and Conservation News from member congregations!  



You can view the video and read more about it on the Presbyterian News Service today:


EMerge December 21, 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
December 21, 2018
Wisemen 2018
With thanks in this Christmas season, for the good news we hear and can share with the world. Merry Christmas from the staff of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.
Presbytery news  
Presbytery offices closed
next week; no EMerge
Presbytery LogoThe office of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will be closed Dec. 24-Jan. 1 as we celebrate Christmas and New Year's. Please contact Jeff Japinga directly by e-mail, text or phone with needs or items of importance. There will be no EMerge next week, Dec. 28. The office will open again Wednesday, Jan. 2, and EMerge will resume its regular schedule Friday, Jan. 4.

Information needed now to register
for Presbyterian Youth Triennium
Wendy Griffin is once again the registrar for the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area delegation to the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium that takes place  this coming summer, July 16-20, at Purdue University 
New Triennium Logoin West Lafayette, Indiana. In an invitation to presbytery, Griffin writes that the presbytery "is forming a delegation to travel to PYT, and we need your help as we make plans for next summer." She is asking congregations to send an e-mail to, indicating whether or not they plan to send youth to participate in the presbytery's delegation. If congregations do plan to participate, Griffin would like to have an estimate of the number of youth. She added that adults are needed to accompany the delegation and she's seeking names of those who are or might be interested. Griffin's complete "invitation" letter can be found at "Presbyterian Youth Triennium." A Triennium information sheet is at "Going to Triennium."
January presbytery meeting
will explore ministry impact
So how is your congregation doing, you're asked?
You pause for a moment, and then you say, Well, we lost a few more members last year, and we're having a hard time balancing the budget again. We're older, to be sure. But we're good people, and we're trying hard.
That is who you are, after all. But is it all you are? And all you want to be? What if there were a better way to describe your church and ministry in ways different than just membership and budgets? What if you could identify different indicators of vitality?
The complete meeting preview is at "Ministry Impact."

Jeff's Jottings
Encounters with the Holy
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is given;
So God imparts to human hearts
      the blessings of his heaven.
No ear may hear his coming, but in this world of sin
Where meek souls will receive him still,
      the dear Christ enters in.
O Little Town of Bethlehem
Jeff JapingaTonight, December 21, the winter solstice, marks the single longest night in the calendar year and the commencement of the winter season in the northern hemisphere. For many, this day can be both a physical reminder of the effects of the absence of light, but also a spiritual reminder of what else we find absent in our lives: a loved one who has died, whether recently or long past; hope; peace; joy.
The complete Jottings are at "Encountering the Holy."
Around the presbytery   
Moms Demand Action plans
'welcome back' for legislators
Moms Demand ActionMoms Demand Action and Everytown for Gun Safety are planning a "Welcome Back Minnesota Legislators" advocacy event on Tuesday, Jan. 8, the first day of the 2019 Minnesota legislative session. The event begins at 10 a.m. The Rev. Brennan Blue of St. Luke Presbyterian Church is organizing a group from St. Luke to join in the event. Others are invited to join that group or bring a group of their own. Additional information about the event is available at "Moms Demand Action." Additional information about the St. Luke group can be obtained by contacting Blue at 952.473.7378 or 612.518.7737.
Network's dialogue session addresses faith formation in multi-faith world
The Midday Interfaith Dialogue session Tuesday, Jan. 8, will address faith formation in a multi-faith world. St Paul InterfaithThe upcoming session, another in the series organized by the St. Paul Interfaith Network, takes place from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Olson Campus Center of Luther Seminary in St. Paul. Four panelists, all local educators who work closely with their faith communities, will participate in the session. They are  Dr. Jeffrey Schein (Jewish), the Rev. Jane Buckley Farlee (Christian), Dr. Ned Mohan (Hindu), and Nadifa Osman (Muslim). The moderator for the conversation is Dr. Mary Hess, professor of educational leadership at the seminary. Details are at "Interfaith Dialogue."
Wallis will speak, lead panel
on interfaith perspective on racism
Jim Wallis, founder of Sojourners and author of "America's Original Sin: Racism, White Privilege, and jim wallisthe Bridge to a New America," will deliver a keynote address and moderate a panel of local anti-racism experts on Saturday, Jan. 12, at Hennepin Avenue United Methodist Church, 511 Groveland Avenue, Minneapolis. The event addresses the devastating impact of racism on local communities and the nation. Panelists are Anika Bowie, vice president of the NAACP of Minneapolis; the Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches; Jaylani Hussein, executive director of CAIR-Minnesota; and Sondra Samuels, president and CEO of Northside Achievement Zone. Additional information, along with ticket information, can be found at "Race, Religion and Response."
Director of 'Trigger' will present
the film in January at Oak Grove
TriggerDavid Barnhart, award winning film director, will present his movie, "Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence," at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m. The movie, funded by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, was a seven-year project and has been selected for the Martin Luther King Jr. D.R.E.A.M. film series. "Trigger" examines the effect a shooting has on a family, the community and society. The presentation, an effort of Oak Grove's Social Justice Committee, is open to the public.
Boundaries training scheduled Jan. 14; online registration available
Level I boundaries training is planned Monday, Jan. 14, from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington. Boundaries 1This
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. Questions can be addressed to the instructor, the Rev. Anna Kendig, at
Resources, conferences ...
Minnesota Valleys slates training eventsfor church, community leaders
The Rev. Samuel Son, manager for diversity and reconciliation for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will be the speaker for the first in a series samuel sonof training events planned by the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys that run January through May. The first event is titled "Hopeful Conversations About Human to Human Relationships: Moving beyond hatemongering, fear, scarcity and miseducation" and takes place Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the presbytery office, 4055 Abbott Drive, Willmar. The event, which runs from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. will equip participants to return to their communities with enhanced listening attitudes, equipped to enhance relationships in diverse communities. Additional details about this event and upcoming training sessions can be found at "Training Events."
Seattle First will be host site
to NEXT Church in March

"Ruth and Naomi's lives were woven together in a season of despair and displacement. Environmental trauma, poverty, forced migration, food insecurity, NEXT new logopersonal vulnerability, and power differentials continue to shape our shared human experience now as it did then. God interlaced the threads of Ruth and Naomi's individual stories. Through God's weaving, these women learned mutual sacrifice, found healing community, and shared liberation." That's the way NEXT Church introduces its coming national gathering on its website. The event takes place March 11-13 at First Presbyterian Church in Seattle. The theme: "Woven Together: Stories of Dissonance, Sacrifice and Liberation." Details, including registration information, are at "NEXT Church."


YAV program seeks applicants;

international applications still accepted

YAV recruitFrom greetings from the Young Adult Volunteers in Albuquerque, New Mexico, to a video about the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s YAV program, and then to application information, the latest newsletter from the YAV program offers up information for those who might be interested in becoming YAV volunteers. There's more information about the YAV program at "Possibilities," and application information at "Application Dates" -- now is a good time to apply. The complete newsletter is at "Greetings."


Regarding Ruling Elders:

Ruling Elder ResourceLord, teach us to pray

Joan Gray, who served as moderator of the 217th General Assembly, writes the most recent installment of Regarding Ruling Elders, a resource of the Office of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The most recent installment, titled "Lord, teach us to pray," opens, "Prayer is crucial for effective spiritual leadership. Most of us would agree with this, but many of us do not feel good about our practice of prayer. One reason is that prayer is learned behavior, and quite a few Christians have never been taught how to develop and maintain a spiritually nourishing prayer practice." Gray's complete column can be found at "RegardingRuling Elders."

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 in March 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
The 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 Advocacy weekendin 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."
Service opportunities ...
in Woodbury is seeking a part-time (20-25 hours per week) leader of its children and youth Christian education program. The individual will provide leadership and support primarily in area of Sunday church school (pre-school through fifth grade), Sunday evening Unleashed program (sixth through 12th grade) and Wednesday Ignite program (second through fifth grade). The complete position description and application procedure are available at "Children and Youth Christian Education Coordinator."
News of the wider church  


Talking justice with Diane Moffett:
What does living justly mean?
Diane Moffett is a busy woman. Six months into her role as the Presbyterian Mission Agency's president and executive director, she has been to countless meetings and other events, sharing her vision for Diane Moffettwhat she calls a "Matthew 25" church -- one that gives food to the hungry, water to the thirsty, care to the sick, companionship to the lonely, and welcome to the stranger. Moffett, though, doesn't just share a vision for a Spirit-filled denomination that serves society's least. Moffett embodies that Spirit with passion and warmth. The mother, wife, pastor, activist, community builder -- the list goes on, including author and former mayoral candidate -- talks more freely about the Holy Spirit than is typical for most Presbyterians. The complete story, by Donna Frischknecht Jackson, editor of Presbyterians Today magazine, can be found at "Diane Moffett."
Christians try to worship as one
at US-Mexico border
For 25 years, Christians have gathered at both sides of the U.S. and Mexico border at San Diego and Tijuana to re-enact Joseph and Mary's journey to Bethlehem before the birth of Jesus Christ in a service called La Posada Sin Fronteras. But some things were different at this year's edition, the 25th, which included participation by ministers and members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Southern California, as well as representatives of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries in Louisville. "For many of these 25 years, this celebration was held across the border fence, where neighbors separated by national location could at least touch, exchange small gifts, and worship as one community," Presbyterian Disaster Assistance director Laurie Kraus said in an e-mail recounting the Saturday service. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Worshiping as One."
Most Presbyterians oppose proposals to limit refugees, immigration
Presbyterians view immigrants more favorably than they did in 2011 and are more involved in immigrant ministries than they were in the past. These are the key findings of the May 2017 Presbyterian Panel survey on Immigration, Refugees, and Immigrant Ministries. The results were released earlier this month. "These attitudes seem to reflect that Presbyterians take pretty seriously the biblical mandate to welcome the stranger," said Susan Krehbiel, who works on refugee and asylum issues for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. The passage in Hebrews urging Christians to welcome strangers is "very important" or "important" to how most members and ministers understand contemporary immigration and refugee issues, panelists' responses show. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Melody K. Smith can be found at "Opposing Limits."

Access to the member DIRECTORY requires log in credentials.

Email to request your new login.

Member Login