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EMerge May 19, 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
May 19, 2019
Presbytery news  
Presbytery conducts annual meeting, installs officers, hears stories
The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area met for its annual meeting earlier this week and it was marked especially by the election and installation of new Presbytery officers, and by the theme we have followed this year, "Nurturing thoughtful expressions of God's mission in the world ... " With storytelling at the heart of the Christian faith, we invited congregations, as part of this meeting, to share a "God sighting," an example of God's expressions of mission in the world through our congregations.
Meeting in the Wilf Family Center Auditorium at the University of Minnesota Masonic Children's Hospital (where newly installed moderator Anna Kendig, at right, serves as chaplain), the Presbytery was warmly welcomed by the Rev. Michael Doane, chaplain, clinical postoral education director, and system director for spiritual health services for the Fairview-University of Minnesota Health Services.
The complete summary, including stories and pictures, can be found at "Summary of Major Actions."
Triennium attendees commissioned; Contributions made a difference
Twenty-five high-school students and six adult leaders were commissioned on Tuesday as the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area delegation to the Triennium logo newPresbyterian Church's Youth Triennium, to be held July 16-20 on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Indiana.
Triennium is held every three years, gathering high-school age students from across the denomination in life changing, live giving, faith growing activities that will shape their leadership gifts and deepen their discipleship awareness. The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area on Tuesday expressed its support, love, and prayers for these students with a formal commissioning as part of the worship service at the Presbytery meeting.
The complete story can be found at "Triennium Group Commissioned."
Nominations sought for Milloy
Disability Advocacy Award
Established in 2017, the Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award is presented biennially to a person or a group in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area in recognition of their outstanding service as advocates for and with people who live with disabilities. Nominees must be a member or members of a congregation or a teaching elder in the presbytery. Nominations are now being accepted and the deadline is May 31. Details can be found at "Don S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award."
Jeff's Jottings
Kudos to Willmar. What about us?
Jeff JapingaBy Jeff Japinga
Executive Presbyter
Thomas Friedman is a three-time Pulitzer Prize winner. He writes a weekly column for The New York Times, and books and articles on foreign affairs, global trade, the Middle East, globalization, and environmental issues. He's also a native son to the Twin Cities, born and raised in Saint Louis Park.
His Tuesday Times column was headlined, "President Trump, Come to Willmar." (Thanks, Jim Brasel, for calling it to my attention.) In it, he hails the west-central Minnesota town as a modern, successful, American melting pot. "I've been trying to understand why some communities rise and others fall," he writes of a two-year long tour of cities and small towns across this country, "and so many of the answers can be found in Willmar."
The complete Jottings are at "Kudos to Willmar?"
Around the presbytery   
Central Presbyterian, presbytery
offer invitation to Bair installation
ashley bairThe Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and Central Presbyterian Church in Saint Paul are inviting the presbytery to a service of worship in which the Rev. Ashley Bair will be installed as Central's designated associate pastor. The service takes place Sunday, May 19, at 10:30 a.m. Central Presbyterian acknowledged the presbytery as a whole and the many individual staff and committee members who assisted with the thorough, exciting and speedy search.
The Ministry Lab opens doors, explores new ways to resource churches
The Ministry Lab - an ecumenical organization that serves United Methodist, United Church of Christ, and Presbyterian churches in Minnesota - will open in The Ministry LabJune at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities. It is a place that fosters experimentation, innovation, and creativity for churches as they seek to remain vibrant and relevant. At The Ministry Lab, which takes the place and expands the reach of the Resource Center for Churches (RCC), church leaders will be able to consult with staff that brings an understanding of changing ministry contexts and knowledge of current, outstanding resources, digital and traditional. Leaders will have access to United's Spencer Library and the collection of the RCC, which will close in the Minnesota Church Center at the end of May. The complete story can be found at "The Ministry Lab."
Addiction, Faith Conference planned
in September in Twin Cities
addiction faithNoting on its website the "growing concern over the devastation of all forms of addiction, including the  ever-increasing opioid crisis," organizers of this 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."
Announcements ...
The Rev. Judith Strausz-Clement, former teaching elder in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and 1986 graduate of United Theological Seminary, died one year ago in Seattle. There will be a memorial service for her in the chapel at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis on May 20 at 7 p.m.
Resources, conferences


Summer nears -- time again
to plan summer camps
It's that time of year again. Summer activities and summer camping are just around the corner. And if you're thinking about trying something different this summer, there are six Presbyterian camp and conference centers located across the Synod of Lakes and Prairies.
 Camps logo
Located in the heart of Minnesota lake country, there's Clearwater Forest Camp and Retreat Centernear Deerwood. In Nebraska, there's Calvin Crest Camp, Conference and Retreat Center, located near Fremont, on 250 acres of rolling hills and bluffs overlooking the Platte River.
Iowa and South Dakota are both home to two camp locations. The Lakeshore Center at Okoboji is located just north Milford, Iowa, on 55 acres along the shores of West Lake Okoboji, and has 600 feet of sandy lakeshore. On the east side of the state, Camp Wyoming is located in Jones County in a natural setting centrally situated among Cedar Rapids, Davenport and Dubuque.
Pioneer and Rimrock Camps and Retreat Centers are both located west of Rapid City, South Dakota, and are found in Black Hills National Forest. Pioneer Camp is ideal for wilderness camping, hiking and retreats.
Synod slates plans
for 'Art of Transitional Leadership'
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies is planning a new event this fall -- "The Art of Transitional Leadership" -- that will provide ministry skills training for today and tomorrow's church pastors, staff, committees on ministry and congregational leaders. Set Monday through Friday, Sept. 16-20, at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota, the event offers two tracks, one covering an introduction to transitional ministry that runs the full week, and another offering transformation training for church leaders that takes place Wednesday through Friday of the week. The full-week session provides 30 hours of training that meets the requirements for Week I Transitional Ministry Education. The second session provides training for ruling elders and other congregational leaders, focusing on their roles in congregations in times of ministry transitions. Details are available at "Art of Transitional Leadership." Registration information will be available soon.
Presbyterian Women in the synod
will gather in June in Ames
PW gather 2019Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies will conduct their triennial gathering this summer in Ames, Iowa. The event runs June 20-23. The keynote speaker is the Rev. Kathy Reeves, who recently retired after serving the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for 26 and a half years with Presbyterian World Mission and Presbyterian Women. Plenary speakers are Elona Street-Stewart, executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, and the Rev. Mary Newbern-Williams, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Missouri River Valley. Details and registration information can be found in the booklet at "Gathering of Presbyterian Women."
More than 70 classes remain open
at this summer's Synod School
catalogWhen it comes to classes, there's a lot to choose from at this summer's Synod School. More than 70 classes remain open -- from "Stories about Faith in a Globalized World" to "Communication Skills for Engaging Difficult Conversations" and from "Preserving Family Stories" to "Black-ish, Christ-ish: Exploring Race Through Pop-Culture Television." Those who would like to find a way around reading through the many course descriptions can check out Page 23 of the catalog for a succinct list of more specific subject areas. The midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies takes place July 21-26 in Storm Lake, Iowa, on the Buena Vista University campus. Everything you need, from the catalog to a link to registration information, can be found on the Synod School page of the synod's website; it's at "Synod School 2019."
The Academy will begin another cohort at Synod School this summer
The AcademyCalled simply The Academy, a series of 11 courses designed to develop well-equipped, thoughtful people to 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."
News of the wider church  


Synod of Lakes and Prairies
embraces Matthew 25 invitation
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies is home to 16 presbyteries and nearly 800 churches, all of them in the upper Midwest. One of its presbyteries, Dakota Presbytery, is considered non-geographical but is the matthew 25oldest presbytery west of the Mississippi River. Last week, synod commissioners voted to allow Lakes and Prairies to become a Matthew 25 synod. Synod Executive Elona Street-Stewart said that while the synod will embrace all three Matthew 25 focus areas -- building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty -- it's that first item that is drawing the most initial attention. "Based on our history, we know that strong, healthy leaders make for strong (worshiping) communities," said Street-Stewart, the first Native American to be a synod executive in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). "We have to counter the impression this is fly-over land. We want to attract strong leaders and empower them to serve in rural community settings." The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Synod Embraces Matthew 25."
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance films inspire conversation, action
From the door next to their studio just outside of Atlanta, filmmakers David Barnhart and Scott Lansing have been able to watch the comic book kingdom of presbyterian disaster assistanceWakanda come to life and iconic cars of "The Fast and the Furious" in full chase. While Presbyterian Disaster Assistance's (PDA) Story Productions is a relatively modest operation next to the studios that crank out blockbusters such as "Black Panther," the documentary outfit is making some noise of its own with true stories designed to spark dialogue and action. In January, Barnhart and Lansing were somewhat surprised to find themselves at the Sundance Film Festival, where their latest film, "Flint: The Poisoning of an American City," was shown as an "in-progress preview" to a select group of potential supporters and distributors. Barnhart is also coming to Synod School this summer as artist in residence. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Rich Copley can be found at "Story Productions."
Office of Public Witness issues
action alert on Iran situation
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Office of Public Witness has issued an Action Alert, calling on Presbyterians to urge their representatives and senators to help reduce tension and avoid conflict in Iran. "After withdrawing from the Iran deal last spring," the Action Alert states, "the Trump Administration has taken several steps that have increased tension in the region." The administration has imposed numerous sanctions since withdrawing from the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action a year ago, sanctions that have had serious economic impact on Iran. The situation has continued to escalate, with Iran threatening to resume high level uranium enrichment in response to the sanctions, and the Trump Administration dispatching an aircraft carrier strike group to send a "clear and unmistakable" message. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Iran Escalation."

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