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EMerge Newsletter, March 8 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
March 8, 2019
Presbytery news  
Presbytery meets March 16;
Anderson speaks about storytelling
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will meet Saturday, March 16, at the Korean Presbyterian Church of Minnesota in Brooklyn Center, and hear from the Rev. Rebecca Anderson, a storyteller and co-pastor of a new church plant in Chicago. Anderson, ordained in The Christians Church (Disciples of Christ), helps lead Gilead Church where congregants "tell true stories, share good food and worship beautifully."
The meeting starts at 9 a.m. Before the stated meeting, an 8:15 a.m. docket talk is on the schedule, facilitated by Barbara Lutter, stated clerk. Registration and fellowship begins at 8:30.
In addition to speaking at the meeting, Anderson will lead one of two workshops in the afternoon, addressing "How to Build a Story." Here's a sample of her own storytelling in this video. The Rev. Cynthia Ray will also lead a workshop at the same time titled "Making News - Breaking News: Methods, strategies and tactics to tell your church's story." The two workshops run 1 to 3:30.
Complete meeting details are at "Call to Meeting."
PTCA communication practices
begin change in April
Beginning in April, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will communicate with you in some different, and we hope, expanding ways.
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Publication of EMerge will move to a twice-monthly pattern, normally on the first and third Fridays of the month, rather than weekly. It will remain the information-packed newsletter you have come to expect (and for that, we offer our continued thanks to our partner, the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and its communication director, Duane Sweep). It just won't come every week.
We'll use freed-up resources to enhance other ways we communicate the ministries of our churches and the work of the Presbytery (and wider church). And we'll improve the features of our website to help make it a more effective, and essential, tool of communication.
Our goal is to enhance the relationships we have with each other, in ways that will help the Presbytery to support our congregations and equip our leaders. Look for more details in the weeks and months to come.
Jeff's Jottings
The crucial voices of Lent
By Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Jeff JapingaThis holy season of Lent is intended in part as a time of penitence and reflection; in the words of the text from Isaiah many of us heard on Ash Wednesday, a time to take seriously those means by which we might "be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of streets to live in."
During Lent, then, I want to use Jottings as a voice, that would call us to reflection, to faith, to action, as repairers and restorers. A voice that challenges us, and comforts us. A voice that may be hard to hear, but even harder to ignore. Not my voice, however, but that of others. Voices that have touched me deeply, and I suspect might you as well.
With his permission, today's voice is that of Gary Titusdahl. Gary, as you know, just finished as interim pastor at Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church; while his credentials officially lie with the United Church of Christ, he's one of us.
This past Sunday, a congregation of God's people gathered to mourn the death of Gary and Diane Titusdahl's son Kevin, who lost an eight-year battle to the demon of addiction.
The complete Jottings are at "Crucial Voices of Lent."
Around the presbytery
'Welcome the Stranger' series
continues at Peace Presbyterian
Peace Presbyterian Church in St. Louis Park continues its "Welcome the Stranger" series this week speakers Peace Presbyterianfrom the American Refugee Committee (ARC) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Kazoua Kong-Thao will address her own immigrant experience on Wednesday, March 13, following a light dinner at 6 p.m. Kong-Thao has served on the St. Paul school board. On Sunday, March 17, Virgil Wiebe, a professor at St. Thomas School of Law, will use a hotel metaphor to explain the complicated system of immigration law in this country. The presentations are free and open to the public. Additional details are at "Welcome the Stranger."
Early bird registration underway
for series on decolonizing Bible reading
The Church of All Nations and Underground Seminary has scheduled a continuing education event Underground Semin June that offers week-long classes that seek to "decolonize our reading" of the Bible. The Underground Seminary website notes, "The white, Western, capitalist framework that has dominated the globe the last few hundred years is collapsing, but not without a fight. This has led to a global neoliberal system where everything is a commodity to be devoured for profit. Ours is an age that calls for prophets and healers. But how do we do that as Christian leaders when Christianity has been the primary ideological center of this destructive worldview?" Details about the event can be found at "A Postcolonial Survey of the Bible." Early bird registration ends March 31. 
'Protecting the Lifegivers' conference planned in April in Minneapolis
protecting lifegiversTitled "Winyan Awanyankapi: Protecting the Lifegivers," the April 5-7 conference at First Universalist Church in Minneapolis will address the missing and murdered American Indian women, and indigenous peoples sovereignty of housing and water. The conference, open to everyone, is designed by and will be led by indigenous women. Keynote speakers are Ann McKeig, the first American Indian to serve on the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Patina Park, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center. The conference will offer place-based learning experiences, keynote speeches, breakout sessions and opportunities for conversations with fellow conference attendees. Meals will be provided by indigenous-owned catering companies offering traditional foods. The image above is by Jillian Elaine Stately, Red Lake Ojibwe, Santee Dakota.  A flyer is at "Winyan Awanyankapi." The conference is also on Facebook. The registration page is at "Lifegivers."
Oak Grove, Nine-Mile Creek sponsor
free landscaping class in April
For those who have considered designing their home landscape for water quality, pollinators and ecologicallandscape classimprovement, the Nine-Mile Creek Watershed Districtand the Green Committee of Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington are offering an opportunity. They're offering a free sustainable residential landscaping class Saturday, April 13, from 1 to 2:30 p.m. at Nine-Mile Creek Discovery Point in Eden Prairie. Matthew Kumka, a landscape architect who specializes in sustainable site development and green infrastructure, will lead the class. Details can be found at "Sustainable Landscaping."
Retired PTCA clergy will hear
Barbara Brown Taylor at Westminster
All retired PTCA clergy and their guests are invited to gather at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis on April 30 to hear Barbara Brown Taylor speak about "Finding God in the Faith of Others." The Rev. Taylor is the guest speaker at the Westminster Town Hall Forum. The retired ministers will gather at 10:45 a.m. in the Meisel Room at Westminster for registration and fellowship. The group will move to the sanctuary by 11:30 where they will sit together to hear music from Aaron Humbel, a former member of the vocal group Cantus, followed by Taylor's forum talk. The complete story is at "Retired Clergy Event."
Festival of Homiletics encourages
'preaching as moral imagination'
The 27th Festival of Homiletics returns to Minneapolis in May with the theme, "Preaching as Moral Imagination." The Festival plans to "inspire  and encourage preachers to embrace once  homileticsagain their identity as those called to give voice to God's vision of goodness and mercy, to recover and reimagine leadership in the church that seeks justice for all," according to the Festival's website. The Festival runs Monday through Friday, May 13-17, and encourages ministers to "come renew, refresh and recharge. ... Come and tap into God's moral imagination for the sake of the world God loves," the site notes. Central Lutheran Church is host to this year's conference. Westminster Presbyterian Church will also house events during the week, located less than three blocks from the main venue. Complete details are at "Festival of Homiletics."
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
Noting on its website the "growing concern over the devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this 
addiction faith
fall's Addiction & Faith Conference say the conference will "raise awareness of the terrible addiction problem we face and how the church and people of faith can help to address it." The conference is planned Friday through Sunday, Sept. 20-22, at the Doubletree by Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference is presented by the Fellowship of Recovering Lutheran Clergy in partnership with the Recovery Ministries of the Episcopal Church. Conference details are at "Addiction and Faith."
Resources, conferences ...
Annual White Privilege Conference
planned March 20-23 in Iowa
The annual White Privilege Conference, with the theme Understanding, Respect and Connecting, is White Privilege Conferenceslated 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." In registering for the conference, the Presbyterian discount code is PRES2019 (entered at the end of registration).
Synod School registration is open;
early registration total tops 350
catalogMore than 350 people have already registered for Synod School 2019, the annual midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Registration just opened last Friday for the week-long event that runs Sunday through Friday, July 21-26, at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Synod School typically draws around 600 participants, and this year the number of adult classes is more than 80. The theme of this year's Synod School is "Cultivating Civil Community," and Deirdre "Dede" Johnston, professor of communication at Hope College in Holland, Michigan, will be the convocation speaker. Shawna Bowman, associate director of field education and experiential education at McCormick Theological Seminary in Chicago, will be the evening worship leader. Lance and Paige Loveall of Kenosha, Wisconsin, will lead the morning song and prayer time. The Synod School catalog and a link to online registration can be found on the synod's website at
Ecumenical Center for Clergy
Spiritual Renewal seeks applicants
The new Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal, located at Holy Wisdom Monastery, a Benedictine monastery near Madison, Wisconsin, is seeking applicants to its first cohort of ministers who will participate in a renewal program through immersion into the Benedictine spiritual practices of the monastery. Supported by a grant from Lilly Endowment Inc., all costs for participation are covered. The program, directed by Presbyterian minister Nancy Enderle and Lutheran minister Jerry Buss, is designed for early and mid-career clergy. The first cohort begins in June. The application deadline is March 31. Details can be found at "Ecumenical Center for Clergy Spiritual Renewal."
SDOP Sunday is slated
April 7; resource noted
Justice Peace NewsAlonzo Johnson, coordinator of the Presbyterian Committee for the Self-Development of People (SDOP), says the committee "is about helping people, which means that we share in the work of making justice and hope real for all in our communities." Quoted in the current Justice & Peace newsletter, Johnson adds, "This is why communities matter, because we are all in it together." Presbyterians will celebrate SDOP on Sunday, April 7, and the current newsletter also includes a link to a liturgical resource for the celebration. The complete newsletter is at "SDOP Sunday."
Synod's Leadership Summit addresses presbyteries, personnel committees
synodThe Synod of Lakes and Prairies Leadership Summit, formerly known as the COM/CPM training event, is slated April 23-25 under the theme, "Nurturing Wholeness and Mission: The Work of Presbyteries and Personnel Committees." The conference, which takes place at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, will explore issues of pastor nominating committees, best practices for personnel committees, communication tools, and ongoing support through cohort groups, coaching and other means. Mary Kay DuChene, a staff associate at LeaderWise, a counseling and consulting organization headquartered in New Brighton, Minnesota, will be the keynote speaker. The conference brochure and registration information are at "Leadership Summit."
Wee Kirk Conference planned
in May at Calvin Crest
wee kirk
Kris and Brian Peterson of 
Leadership Harbor will be the plenary leaders at this spring's Great Plains Wee Kirk Conference planned May 6-8 at Calvin Crest Camp, Conference and Retreat Center near Fremont, Nebraska. The conference provides opportunities for pastors and lay leaders of smaller membership churches to find ideas for ministry in their contexts, to experience encouragement, and to have their souls fed. Additional details are available at "Wee Kirk."
The Academy will begin another
cohort at Synod School this summer
Called simply The Academy, a series of 11 courses designed to develop well-equipped, thoughtful people  The Academyto better serve councils in a variety of capacities, will open for another cohort this summer. Described as a unique, cohort-based learning community, The Academy offers participants an opportunity to grow in faith and knowledge, as a leader, and to have more opportunities to serve God as needed. For some participants, the courses may lead to becoming commissioned pastors. The Academy is a joint effort of the presbyteries of Minnesota Valleys, North Central Iowa and Prospect Hill, and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. A current brochure, with a link to registration, is at "The Academy."
Presbyterians for Earth Care plan conference at Stony Point in August
Earth Care PresbysPresbyterians for Earth Care, a national eco-justice network that cares for God's creation by connecting, equipping, and inspiring Presbyterians to make creation care a central concern of the church, will conduct its 2019 conference Aug. 6-9 at Stony Point Center in Stony Point, New York. William Brown, professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, will be the keynote speaker. Confirmed workshop speakers are Emily Brewer of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship and Ryan Smith of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations. Additional details are at "Presbyterians for Earth Care."
News of the wider church  


Churches try to be source of hope
during rural opioid crisis
Annalie Korengel wasn't just having a bad week. She was having a horrific one. Five funerals in seven days can push any pastor to the brink of physical and Presbyterians Today magazinespiritual exhaustion. But for the pastor of Unionville Presbyterian Church in Kennett Square, Pennsylvania, standing almost daily at the gravesides of young people who had overdosed on opioids pushed her into an indescribable hell. When the last funeral had concluded, Korengel and the local funeral director, a good friend of hers, sat down to process what they had witnessed. They couldn't. Nothing made sense. All they could agree on was that "we didn't get into this business to bury kids," Korengel said. The complete Presbyterians Today story by Donna Frischknecht Jackson can be found at "Rural Opioid Crisis."
Stated clerk remembers migrants
who died coming to the US
In Isaiah 58 we learn what kind of fast, what kind of worship is pleasing to God. We add to the gloom and darkness when we fast to quarrel and fight or fast to J Herbert Nelsonstrike with a wicked fist. God desires that our light outshines the gloom. ... There are so many among us who feel blaming fingers pointing sharply in their direction. Immigrants arriving at our southern border are among those who have the ills of the nation placed at their feet. In this, the final of three videos from the U.S.-Mexico border, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), speaks from a cemetery in Brooks County, Texas. The complete story and video from the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Remembering Migrants."
Presbyterians celebrate 70 years
of One Great Hour of Sharing
As the world struggled to recover from the ravages of a global war, churches across America bore witness to  one great hourtheir faith in a united act of generosity that helped relieve human suffering. On Easter Sunday in 1949, the offering now known as One Great Hour of Sharing was received for the first time. It brought much-needed aid to people reeling from the destruction World War II, which had ended just four years earlier. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joined other mainline Protestant denominations as well as Anglican and Orthodox communions in this effort. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Pat Cole can be found at "One Great Hour of Sharing."
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