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EMerge, Jan. 4 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 to
January 4, 2019
Presbytery news  
St. Luke in Minnetonka has history
of outreach to American Indians
Tim Engstrom, writing for the Lakeshore Weekly News, a newspaper of Southwest News Media, wrote recently about the connection between St. Luke Presbyterian Church of Minnetonka and American Indians of the upper Midwest. He noted, "One church sweat lodgein the Twin Cities metro area has a notably long history of outreach to the American Indians of the upper Midwest. It's not merely writing checks; it's involved on a personal level. And here is why that personal touch makes a difference: Last fall, Lori Cocking, a member of St. Luke Presbyterian Church in Minnetonka, was speaking with an American Indian woman with a nonprofit that supports the homeless encampment at Franklin and Hiawatha avenues in the Little Earth area of Minneapolis. They spoke about the need for clothing as winter cold set in. Within a week, the church provided blankets, coats and boots -- not just hand-me-downs, either. These were goods worthy of cold weather." Engstrom's complete story can be found at "History of Outreach." (Photo by Tim Engstrom)
Cutoff date is Jan. 11
for crediting 2018 remittances
Presbytery LogoTo be recorded as 2018 receipts, a congregation's payment for per capita apportionment, unified mission or special offering receipts must be received at the Presbytery office by Friday, Jan. 11.  Any remittances received after that date will be recorded as 2019 receipts.  Questions may be directed to presbytery treasurer Steve Robertson at or by calling 612.655.7594.

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
Happy New Year
By Jeff Japinga
Jeff JapingaExecutive Presbyter
Welcome to 2019. It's a new year and a new beginning, at least on the calendar.
My report to Presbytery in a few weeks will look back over the past year. Jottings looks forward. As in, what's new with you? Did you make any New Year's resolutions? What did they look like, and sound like? Do you want to lose weight? Be nicer? Get a new job? Get me a new job? (No? Whew!)Get out of debt? Did you resolve to make this year better than last year, or the year before that?
Reflections, resolutions, commitments. What we traditionally think about at this time of year is how to fix what's broken, in myself and others. But I wonder: what if the issue were not brokenness in need of fixing, but lack of wholeness in need of healing?
The complete Jottings are at "Happy New Year."
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."
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
Valley Community, Oak Grove partner
as hosts to award-winning director
TriggerValley Community Presbyterian Churchand Oak Grove Presbyterian Churchare partnering as hosts to David Barnhart, award-winning director of "Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence" and "Locked in a Box: Immigration Detention," later this month. Barnhart locked in a boxwill be on hand when "Trigger" is presented at Oak Grove on Saturday, Jan. 19, at 2 p.m., and when "Locked in a Box" is presented at Valley Community on Sunday, Jan. 20, at 6 p.m. Barnhart is committed to "story" as a means to connect and engage community. Each showing will be followed by a discussion. The complete flyer can be found at "Documentary Film Series."
ASDIC Circles planned February
through April in St. Paul, Minneapolis
ASDIC Circles, or Antiracism Study Dialogue Circles, are planned February through April at both St. Paul asdic circlesand Minneapolis locations. ASDIC Circles are designed to provide an in-depth experience to better understand the ways race and racism operate. The Circles provide greater clarity of thinking, strength of relationship, and effectiveness of action in addressing systemic racism. The Circle requires a significant time commitment, meeting for ten weekly four-hour sessions. St. Paul Circles are planned Saturdays, Feb. 9 through April 13, and Minneapolis Circles are planned Mondays, Feb. 11 through April 15. The ASDIC website is at "Antiracism Dialogue." 
Resources, conferences ...
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."
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."
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  


Presbyterians help provide

a place of welcome for migrants

Central American migrants start as early as 4 a.m. on their trek northward. Many begin with prayer, asking Presbyterians Today magazineGod to keep them safe and provide them peace and comfort in this frightening journey. Mothers and fathers carry sleeping children on their backs or in strollers, hoping to cover as much distance as they can in a day. If they are lucky, they may catch a ride in a passing truck or receive something to eat from good Samaritans in a local village. They come because, they say, they had no choice. The complete Presbyterians Today story by Sarah Dierdorff Miller can be found at "The Migrant Journey."

Stated clerk looks to challenges, opportunities facing the church

For two and a half years, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, has listened to the heartbeat of the church. The Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been on the road for most of his tenure, meeting with J Herbert Nelsonpresbytery and synod leaders and listening and worshiping with churches facing difficult times. Nelson says one of the challenges is the continued need to lift the spirits of those who have been through trauma over the past 30 years in the life of the denomination. "Congregations that are representative of splits from larger congregations that existed and the struggles that we've had in becoming an all-inclusive church are among those challenges," he said. "There have also been struggles in addressing or not addressing some of the contextual realities that we are dealing with in the world." The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Nelson Looks Ahead."

Co-Moderators see Presbyterian

Church evolving, moving forward

Ask the co-moderators of the 223rd General Assembly what they think of their first six months in office and they will tell you a lot has changed since they were elected in St. Louis last summer. Their election came co-moderatorsseven months after they decided, in a telephone call, to stand together as co-moderators. "When I decided to run, I wanted to stand with someone who is Hispanic and there was a deep conviction inside of me to stand with someone from Puerto Rico," said the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann. "I felt that if God called me to this service, God would provide the person to serve with me." "As we began talking, and I heard Cindy's vision, love for the church and the passion in her voice, I decided to stand with her," said Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Evolving and Moving Forward." 

Author, speaker Eboo Patel tells

College Conference now's the time

Eboo Patel, an interfaith leader in his own right, told the 1,000 or so Presbyterian students attending the college conf 192019 College Conference at Montreat this week stories of how his friends, colleagues and mentors are using innovation and chutzpah to bridge religious divides and even save lives when government can't. December 2016 was bitterly cold in Vancouver, B.C., and city officials summoned faith leaders to see how they could prevent people living on the streets from freezing to death. "Our morgue is full," the coroner said to open the conversation. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Innovation and Chutzpah."

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