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EMerge Feb. 1, 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
February 1, 2019
Presbytery news  
Presbytery meets
January meeting addresses new ways
to evaluate churches, ministries
Can you name the five "B's" that most often shape the way we evaluate our church and our ministries ... and why those might not be helpful? Or the six "S's" of leadership engagement that could accelerate congregational thriving?
Those were two of the takeaways from last Saturday's meeting of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, at the First Presbyterian Church in South Saint Paul, where pastors Tom Watson and Katie Estes and a legion of members served as our gracious hosts. One hundred teaching elders, ruling elders, and guests braved the cold and snow to attend -- thank you!
The meeting featured a keynote address from the Rev. Danielle Ayana James, a pastor, coach and consultant from the United Church of Canada, part of this year's emphasis of the Presbytery Leadership team on "nurturing thoughtful expressions of God's mission in the world."
The complete meeting summary can be found at "Presbytery Meeting."
Presbytery Nominating Committee
seeks input from everyone
The presbytery's Nominating Committee wants to match the spiritual gifts of individuals in the presbytery with leadership opportunities. In a letter Presbytery Logoto the presbytery, Thomas J. Ruter, chair of the committee, wrote, "It is our desire ... to have broad, active and engaged involvement from our local congregations on presbytery committees helping to influence, develop and guide the church of tomorrow. Our success depends upon your involvement." To do this, the committee, according to Ruter's letter, is asking those "who would be interested in serving the larger church" to complete the new Spiritual Gifts form on the presbytery's website. Ruter's complete letter can be found at "Seeking Input from All." The Spiritual Gifts form can be found at "Spiritual Gifts."
Information available for presbytery mission trip to North Carolina
Mission TripThe 2019 Presbytery Mission Trip is now on the calendar, slated March 30 through April 7, and planned in collaboration with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Participants will travel to New Bern, North Carolina, and assist in disaster recovery, clean-up and rebuilding from the major flooding from Hurricane Florence. The total cost per participant is $250. Details are at "Presbytery Mission Trip."
Triennium set at Purdue, carries
theme, 'Here's My Heart'
New Triennium LogoPresbyterian Youth Triennium, the gathering of thousands every third year for high school age Presbyterians, runs July 16-20 at Purdue University in Indiana. Its theme this year is "Here's My Heart." The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is again sponsoring a group, and Wendy Griffin is the presbytery's coordinator and registrar. She can be reached at Griffin's complete "invitation" letter can be found at "Presbyterian Youth Triennium." A Triennium information sheet is at "Going to Triennium."
Jeff's Jottings
... following these commercial messages
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff Japinga
It's Super Bowl weekend, where organizations are spending up to $5 million for 30 seconds of your time and attention. In that spirit (but without the dollars attached) we'll return to Jottings next week following these brief commercial messages.
(Okay, "commercial" sounds wrong, as if I'm trying to sell you something you may or may not need. What I want you to know about are two great mission opportunities, whose deadlines are growing close.)
The complete Jottings can be found at "Beyond the Commercials."
Around the presbytery   
St. Louis Park church plans
speaker series on immigration
Peace Presbyterian Church in St. Louis Park will present "Welcome the Stranger," a series of speakers discussing immigration, alternating Wednesdays and Peace PresbyterianSundays, Feb. 3 through April 10. The events will be in the church's fellowship hall, accessible from a parking lot entrance behind the building, noon Sundays and 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Light meals will precede the programs 11:30 a.m. Sundays and 6 p.m. Wednesdays. Additional details are available at "Welcome the Stranger" and on Facebook. A poster is also available at "Speaker Series." An article on the series appeared in the Sun Sailor, a newspaper of the western Twin Cities suburban area.
Minnesota organization plans activity
for Interfaith Harmony Week
The new Minnesota Multi-faith Network is planning a morning of activities as a part of Interfaith Harmony Week. The Minnesota organization has St Paul Interfaithplanned a plenary breakfast from 8 to 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 6, followed by breakout sessions that run until noon. The event takes place at the Adath Jeshurun Congregation in Minnetonka. The Minnesota Multi-faith Network, according to its page on the website of the St. Paul Interfaith Network, is a "multi-faith, relationship driven, justice and anti-racism focused, invitational, collaborative, and generative." Details about the event, along with a link to online registration, is at "Interfaith Harmony."
Annual JRLC 'Day on the Hill'
Joint Religious event planned Feb. 7
The 2019 Joint Religious Legislative Council Day on the Hill is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 7. The JRLC brings the three Abrahamic faiths together to influence public policy for social justice in Minnesota. This year's event begins at the St. Paul InterContinental Riverfront Hotel and ends at the State Capitol complex. The event includes a presentation by the Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung, CEO of the Minnesota Council of Churches, on the history of the faith community and economic justice, and a keynote address by Imam Yahyi Hendi. There will also be issue briefings, lunch and transportation to and from the Capitol.  The JRLC's legislative agenda for 2019 includes targeted support for low income children among other social justice issues. More information and online registration are available at "Day on the Hill."
Interfaith environmental group plans gathering in Minnesota Capitol
Minnesota Interfaith Power and Light, a Minneapolis-based organization building an interfaith climate movement across the state that acts on climate Power and Lightconcerns, is planning a gathering at the State Capitol on Friday, Feb. 8, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. The group plans to gather in the rotunda at 11:15 a.m. The group's publicity states, "We will be holding sacred space and showing our care for our earth, our water, and our communities. We invite you to come practice your spiritual tradition through prayerful protest, meditation, and sacred rituals at [the governor's office] to send our moral message: Water is Life/Stop Line 3." Additional background on the gathering can be found at "Interfaith Power and Light."
VocalPoint concerts slated
at Central Presbyterian in St. Paul
VocalPointa St. Paul auditioned choir of about 80 members, will present "Holding Space: Music Exploring Mental health, Compassion and Healing," aVocalPointconcert benefiting the Walk-In Counseling Centerof the Twin Cities. The counseling center provides free and accessible mental health counseling to people with urgent needs and few service options. VocalPoint, joined by singer/songwriter Sara Thomsen, uses the power of people, art and collaboration to tell the stories of organizations doing life-changing work. Concerts are planned Saturday and Sunday, Feb. 9-10, at 4 p.m. at Central Presbyterian Church in St. Paul. Additional details and ticket information are at "Holding Space."
Valentine Cabaret planned
at Spirit of Life on Feb. 9
Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley will hold its annual Valentine Cabaret Saturday, Feb. 9. Spirit of Life Apple ValleyOnce again there will be a silent auction, with doors opening at 5:30 p.m. The congregation's youth group will serve a full dinner at 6 p.m., raising funds for the youth mission trip later this year. A variety show following the dinner will be provided by adult and youth members of the church. A live local band will also play throughout the evening. Child care will be provided after the meal for children age 5 and under. Details can be found in the announcement at "Valentine Cabaret."
Pulitzer Prize winner featured at Westminster Town Hall Forum
Art Cullen, the 2017 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for editorial writing, will be the featured speaker at the Tuesday, Feb. 12, Westminster Town Hall Forum of Art CullenWestminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Cullen, editor and co-owner of The Storm Lake (Iowa) Times, won the Pulitzer for a series of editorials indicting corporate agri-business for polluting the rivers and lakes in some of the most intensively farmed land in the world. Cullen's recently published book, "Storm Lake," describes his life as a journalist, and addresses the changes in politics, agriculture, climate and immigration confronting rural America. The event, free and open to the public, begins at noon. Details are at "Town Hall Forum."
Acclaimed pianists present benefit concert at Woodbury's Trinity
Two internationally acclaimed pianists will perform a concert Saturday, Feb. 23, 5 p.m. at Trinity Presbyterian Church in Woodbury to benefit the church's music ministry programs. Pianists Anton Melnichenko and Denis Evstuhin will perform music by Beethoven, Chopin, Haydn and Rachmaninoff. A free-will offering will be accepted. A poster is available at "Benefit Concert."
Hudson First Presbyterian plans 'centering prayer' workshop in March
center for actionFirst 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 workshop 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
Resources, conferences ...
Presbyterians Today offers
spiritual, visual Lenten devotional
PT 2019 lentenThe 2019 Presbyterians Today Lenten Devotional offers a spiritual and visual pilgrimage through the holy season of Lent. The devotional relies on the words of the Psalms. The text, meditations and original photography are the work of the Rev. Krin Van Tatenhove, a long-time Presbyterian pastor, hospice chaplain, counselor, traveler, photographer and storyteller. Additional details about the devotional and ordering information can be found at "Awaking to God's Beauty."
WJK Lenten devotional uses
African American spirituals
wjk 2019 lentenValuable not only for their sublime musical expression, African American spirituals provide profound insights into the human condition nd Christian life. Many spirituals focus on the climax of the Christian drama, the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, and the ways in which those events bring about the liberation of God's people. In these devotions for the season of Lent, Powery leads the reader through the spirituals as they confront the mystery of Christ's atoning death and victory over the grave. Each selection includes the lyrics of the spiritual, a reflection by the author on the spiritual's meaning, a Scripture verse related to that meaning, and a brief prayer. The complete announcement from Westminster John Knox Press can be found at "Were You There?"
Austin Channing Brown headlines
2019 Winter Forum in Wisconsin
Austin Channing Brown, a leading voice on racial justice, will be the keynote speaker at the 2019 Austin Channing BrownWinter Forum of the Wisconsin Council of Churches planned Saturday, March 9, 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
Advocacy weekendThe 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 in 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."
To give away ...
First Presbyterian Church in Eau Claire, Wisconsin, has about 50 blue Presbyterian hymnals to give away for free. The church is also willing to help with delivery arrangements. Interested parties should contact Dan Mundt Jr. by e-mail at
News of the wider church  


Presbyterians called to help
avert 2nd government shutdown
Presbyterians are being asked to play an advocacy role to avert a second government shutdown -- and at Jimmie Hawkinsthe same time protect immigrants and border communities. An Action Alert issued Thursday by the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Office of Public Witness indicates that Congress has until Feb. 15 to figure out how to, among other tasks, fund the Department of Homeland Security. "It is critically important," the alert states, "that Congress work together to avert another government shutdown while protecting the rights and dignity of migrants, border residents and vulnerable communities across the nation." According to Voice of America, the nation's immigration court system has a  backlog of more than 809,000 cases this fiscal year, which ends Sept. 30. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Presbyterians Can Help."
Stated clerk encourages voters
to seek candidates who can unify
J Herbert NelsonSince the first of the year, a number of presidential hopefuls have come forward as potential candidates in the 2020 election. In the first of a monthly series of videos about issues facing the world today, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), discusses what voters should look for in the next president. The video can be found at "Seeking Unifier."
Synod executives focus on racism
at recent forum in Alabama
Three times a year synod executives from across the country gather together to share, pray, and seek solutions to problems or challenges in their communities of worship. Planners for this month's slave museummeeting in Montgomery, Alabama, took a different approach, a field trip. The 50 attendees made a daylong visit to the Legacy Museum and the National Memorial to Peace and Justice. Both are managed by the Equal Justice Initiative; an organization working to end mass incarceration and protect basic human rights for the most vulnerable people in American society. "The Legacy Museum was pretty striking, especially as we learned about the racial terror lynchings, where African Americans were killed by mobs of people," said the Reverend Tricia Dykers-Koenig, associate director of mid council relations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)'s Office of the General Assembly. The complete story by Rick Jones of the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Focus on Racism."

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