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EMerge Jan. 11, 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 11, 2019
Presbytery news  
Presbytery meeting ...
How is your church doing, really?
How is your church doing, really?
It's one of the hardest questions we have to answer, in part because of one even harder question: How do I know?
presbytery meeting
Traditionally, we've measured the health of churches and ministries with numbers: the number of people who worship on a Sunday morning, or who attend education classes. Or the size of our budget. Or whether we can afford a full-time pastor.
But are those numbers the best way to assess congregational health and, especially, the impact of your ministries? Are there other means to know how our church is doing, really, and how we might strategically re-align our resources?
These are the questions the Presbytery Leadership Team has invited the Rev. Dr. Daniella Ayana James to Daniellaexplore with us on Saturday, Jan. 26. In our Presbytery meeting that morning (we begin at 9, and Danielle is the first main item of business), Danielle will introduce the subject, "How Is Your Church Doing, Really? -- and How Do You Know?" In the afternoon, she'll help us dig deeper in a 1-to-3:30 p.m. workshop, "New Strategies for Assessing and Accelerating Impact of Your Congregation."
Please, consider being present for both the presentation and workshop. Come with a small team from your congregation if you can.
Impact really matters. That's at the core of Danielle's message. Come and explore with her how you might increase the impact of your congregation's ministries and the good news stories you tell.
Triennium offers the opportunity
to be a part of something big
Be a part of something big -- something meaningful.
Something that will touch the hearts of your high school youth.
New Triennium Logo
Presbyterian Youth Triennium is a gathering for high school age youth from the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church that occurs every three years. The 2019 event is July 16-20, 2019 at Purdue University. The theme for the 2019 event is "Here's My Heart".
"Here's my heart" - our young people are saying to us, to the church, to the world! "Here's my heart!" God says right back to us.
Love your youth, love the idea, love the setting, but don't know how you make the logistics work? The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is again sponsoring a group that your church can join, and Wendy Griffin is the presbytery's coordinator and registrar. If your congregation might wish to participate in this outstanding event for youth, please send an e-mail to Indicate whether you plan to send youth to participate in the presbytery's delegation, and approximately how many youth will come. Griffin's complete "invitation" letter can be found at "Presbyterian Youth Triennium." A Triennium information sheet is at "Going to Triennium."
But time is running out. Don't delay any longer. Please contact Griffin today to learn how your youth can attend this potentially life-changing event.
Jeff's Jottings
Some weeks ...
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga 
Some weeks ... there is simply more to do than there are hours in which to do it. You all have experienced that.
This has been one of those weeks. So instead of my own words in Jottings, may I simply recommend Cynthia Rigby's reflection this week in Presbyterian Outlook: "Grace, mystery, beauty and freedom; Four takeaways of Reformed theology." In this time of Epiphany, and for me, this time of long lists of obligations, I found Dr. Rigby's words both challenging and sustaining. I hope you might too.
And in this new year I continue to give thanks for the faithful witness of our PTCA congregations. I pray for all of you each week, that you may continue to be faithful to the calling God has given you and grow in that faithfulness. Blessings to all of you.
Around the presbytery   
St. Luke, Oak Grove join Moms
Demand Action at Legislature
st luke moms
Members of St. Luke and Oak Grove Presbyterian Churches joined with Moms Demand Action to advocate for common sense gun safety measures at the Minnesota state capital on Tuesday, Jan. 8. To find out about ongoing efforts for peace and gun safety reform, contact Brennan Blue at
Westminster, Liberty plan annual
MLK joint workshop Jan. 19
ML King 2019Westminster Presbyterian Church and Liberty Community Church of Minneapolis will present a joint workshop in recognition of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on Saturday, Jan. 19, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. at Westminster. The workshop, featuring the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of Presbyterian Mission Agency, will examine the important topics surrounding King's work and legacy.
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 the Bridge to a New America," will deliver a jim walliskeynote 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."
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 Detentionlocked in a box," later this month. Barnhart will 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. asdic circlesPaul and 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."
Hudson First Presbyterian plans 'centering prayer' workshop in March
First Presbyterian Church of Hudson will be host to an introductory workshop on centering prayers on Saturday, March 2, from 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The center for actionworkshop presents an opportunity to open minds and hearts to God beyond thoughts and words, and to listen to God in silence through contemplation. The workshop will be presented by Dr. Tom Eberle, director of The Living School at the Center for Action and Contemplation in Albuquerque, New Mexico. A suggested donation of $35 includes lunch. Registration is requested by Feb. 22 by visiting the church website or calling 715.386.2851. The workshop is open to everyone regardless of faith background. Additional questions can be addressed to the Rev. Dr. Kendra Grams at
Boundaries training slated
next week has been cancelled
The Level I boundaries training planned Monday, Jan. 14, has been cancelled due to no registrations. A future training date has not been set.
Resources, conferences ...
APCE Annual Event planned
next month in Galveston, Texas
Presbyterian Church EducatorsThe Annual Event of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators in planned Wednesday through Saturday, Feb. 6-9, in Galveston, Texas. The theme for this year's event is "Come Now to The Waters." Details about the event, along with registration information, can be found at "APCE Annual Event."
YAV program seeks applicants;
most sites at still available
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 events
for 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 samuel sonseries of 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."
Annual White Privilege Conference planned March 20-23 in Iowa
White Privilege ConferenceThe annual White Privilege Conference, with the theme Understanding, Respect and Connecting, is slated Wednesday through Saturday, March 20-23, in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The conference provides a challenging, collaborative and comprehensive experience, according to its website, as it strives to empower and equip individuals to work for equity and justice through self and social transformations. Additional information about the conference is available at "White Privilege Conference."
Hands-On Mission of Detroit seeks mission work groups this summer
The Hands-On Mission Work Group of the Presbytery of Detroit is looking forward to welcoming mission work groups during the summer. With more than 10 years of experience working with mission work groups, the organization is again offering a variety of service opportunities, from urban gardening to homeless outreach to domestic violence to Habitat for Humanity and many more. Information about Hands-On Mission is available in a video at "Feel Our Spirit." Information about taking a mission work group to Detroit is available from Michael Barconey, the Hands-On Mission coordinator, at or at 313.903.6609. The organization's website is at "Hands-On Mission."
News of the wider church  


Human trafficking affects
30 million women, girls annually
According to a United Nations Office of Drugs and Crime 2016 Global Report, nearly 71 percent of human trafficking victims are women and girls, and human traffickingone-third are children. Born to an alcoholic and drug-addicted mother, Cyntoia Brown was already vulnerable and at-risk. No longer under the protection of social services, she ran away and became romantically involved with a man who eventually became her pimp. In Nashville, Tennessee, Brown was found guilty of killing Johnny Allen, a man who paid to have sex with her. She was 16 at the time of the murder. She received a life sentence with the possibility of parole. During these early days of January, which is designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, and as one of his last acts in office, Tennessee Gov. Bill Haslam commuted her life sentence. The complete story by Cathy Chang for the Presbyterian News Service can be found at "Human Trafficking."
Mission co-worker: Migration
is human issue, not political one
On Thursday, President Trump traveled to the southern border of the United States to make his case    for a $5 billion border wall to protect the country from an invasion of migrants. Mission co-worker Mark Adams has lived on the border since 1998. He believes that Christians are called to see the migrant issue very differently. "We as the church are called to respond in faith and not fear. It's not just the current administration, but previous administrations as well, who have led us to respond in fear about issues of migration," said Adams. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Kathy Melvin can be found at "A Human Issue."
Sunday for Cindy Kohlmann:
Connecting with congregations
For the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, a typical Sunday will involve a morning worship service, one to two hours cindy kohlmannin the car, a quick stop at a drive-thru, an afternoon meeting or church gathering and a possible preaching engagement for an evening service. But in this case, she's not operating as the co-moderator of the 223rd General Assembly. This is the regular job that has her running for 12 hours on this particular day. Kohlmann serves as the resource presbyter for the Presbyteries of Boston and northern New England. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "A Kohlmann Sunday."

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