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EMerge Nov. 1, 2019

Presbytery News
Presbytery Gathering Happening
November 16th
Presbytery Gatherings are more than ‘the stated meeting.’ Gatherings include time for conversations, inspiration, fellowship, worship and… yes… the stated meeting. The next Gathering of the Presbytery will be Saturday, November 16 at Spirit of Life Presbyterian Church in Apple Valley. The Gathering formally begins at 9:00. A detailed Call-to-Meeting will be distributed next week, but here is a sneak preview:
  • Opportunities to dig deeper into items on the stated meeting agenda. Several conversations will be held from 9:00 to 9:25.
  • The stated meeting, with important reports and items for Presbytery decision. (The agenda and the full packet for the stated meeting will be online a week prior to the Presbytery Gathering.)
  • Dr. Kathleen Allen, author of the book Leading from the Roots, reflecting with us on practice that is “flexible yet rooted,” with ways to imagine our own service and ministries.
  • Worship and a fellowship meal.
  • Follow-up, with a workshops facilitated by our speaker, Dr. Allen; or with the leader of the newly designed Ministry Lab, formerly known as the Resource Center for Churches.
Presbytery Gatherings are intentional times of learning, engagement, decision-making, and worship. We hope you’ll add November 16 to your calendar and join us in Apple Valley. It’s so much more than just a meeting!
Committee on Congregational Vitalty
What's Your Matthew 25 Story?
Earlier this year the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area chose designated itself as a Matthew 25 Presbytery. The focus of the program is in three areas--building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty.
In the spirit of storytelling and celebration that we are fostering in this Presbytery, the Committee on Congregational Vitality is asking for stories about initiatives and practices in your congregation, current or planned, that reflect Christ's teaching in Matthew 25. What are you already doing to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, or support those who are sick or in prison—and more broadly, to address the systemic issues of poverty and racism, and to build the vital qualities of your ministry?
In this month of Thanksgiving, we are grateful for the work of our churches in these areas and would like you to share your stories with us, so we can with others. Send your stories to Executive Presbyter Jeff Japinga,, by November 27.
Voices from the Presbytery:
"The world isn’t falling apart, it is coming together"
See something in EMerge that prompts your response? Let us know. It’s one more way we can do ministry together as the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area.
E-mail at
by Rod Lamb, Presbyterian Church of the Master
In response to an article written by J. Herbert Nelson, the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (USA) and published in the October 18 issue of EMerge, I share some thoughts. I’ve never responded to anything from the EMerge newsletter that gets emailed to me every other week, and I’m saddened that our first communication would be one of disagreement and contention. “It is what it is,” an over-used cliche it might be, but often it’s “spot-on.”
Jeff's Jottings:
The Mystery of Millennials
I know it’s hard to see the numbers dwindling in places we love so much. And it’s hard not to think we’ve done something wrong to cause it, or that the people not coming are themselves doing something wrong. Instead of blame—it’s not anyone’s fault—what if, instead, we spent 20 minutes in a few meetings of session or PW or Hospitality Committee asking different questions
Around the Presbytery
Service of Worship and Installation
Peace Presbyterian Church
and the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area
invite you to a service of worship and the installation of the Rev. Dr. Heidi Vardeman as pastor.
Sunday, November 10, at 1pm
Peace Presbyterian Church 7624 Cedar Lake Road, 
Saint Louis Park, Minnesota 55426
A reception will follow.
For those coming from other worship services sandwiches will be provided before the service.  
Teaching elders are invited, but by no means required, to robe and/or wear brightly colored stoles. 
Trunk or Treat Around the Presbytery
You may have heard the phrase Trunk-or-Treat, or even seen an event, where children are invited to engage in the Halloween tradition of trick-or-treat in a safe and protected environment like a parking lot or a gymnasium.
Three PTCA congregations held successful Trunk-or-Treat events for their neighborhoods and communities last weekend. We applaud their creativity and their intentional commitment to the community outside their own walls.
First Presbyterian Church, Red Wing
“For the third year in a row, First Presbyterian Red Wing participated in the Trunk or Treat event sponsored by the Red Wing Family YMCA. Over 1,000 children and their families were reminded through a small card (and some candy) that they are loved and prayed for by First Presbyterian.” Pastor Greg Bolt
Chain of Lakes Presbyterian Church, Blaine
“Chain of Lakes Church held its sixth Trunk or Treat on the church property. Over three hundred people attended, at least ninety percent from the community. A terrific way to connect to the wider community.” Pastor Paul Moore
Presbyterian Church of the Way, Shoreview
“We had a record-breaking year with over 500 kids alone and around 800 total people. Dozens of trunks passed out candy; we also gave out free hotdog and chip dinners and allowed the crowd to warm up in our refurbished Ling Hall (complete with bouncy castle!).” Pastor David Parker
Resources and Conferences
Last Chance to Register for PC(USA) Communications Conference
Here's your final invitation to join us at a Communications Workshop on Thursday, November 14 from 9:30-3:30 at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Long Lake. There is no charge for the workshop and lunch will be provided. We are encouraging churches to send a small group (2-3 people) to the event. All churches/worshiping communities in the presbytery are invited.
The facilitators for the workshop will be Gail Strange and Mari Graham Evans who head the Presbyterian Communicators Network out of the denomination headquarters in Louisville. The morning will focus on developing a communications plan for your church, and the afternoon will include ideas to improve your social and digital media presence. You can see more information at Presbyterian Communicators Network.
Please email by Friday, November 8, with the number who will be attending from your church. That will allow us to make lunch arrangements and have enough handouts. I hope you will be able to join the five churches--Buffalo Presbyterian; Calvin Presbyterian, Long Lake; First Presbyterian, Maple Plain; Peace Presbyterian, St. Louis Park; and St. Luke Presbyterian, Minnetonka--co-sponsoring the event. Please join us as we try to improve communications within our congregations and outward to the communities we serve.
To register please email Mike Quady at or call him at 763-682-4129 or 612-227-5188. You can leave a message and he will confirm your registration.
Employment Opportunities
Temporary Minister for Pastoral Care and Worship - Maclester Plymouth United Church (PCUSA and UCC)
This is a 20-hour position for the duration of our Lead Minister’s sabbatical: April 6-July 5, 2020. The congregation will also be served by our full-time Minister of Congregation Life Corinne Freedman Ellis.
The essential functions are to provide pastoral care to congregation members (including emergency, on-call care as needed), to plan and co-lead worship, and to preside over memorial services. Other responsibilities include attending weekly staff meetings, monthly Deacons meetings, and assigned committee meetings as well as complete projects assigned by the Minister of Congregational Life.
Minimum qualifications are a Masters of Divinity degree, ordination in either the PCUSA or UCC; basic computer skills; excellent oral and communication skills; and five+ years of church experience in leading Sunday worship and memorial services, pastoral care, church leadership, and general familiarity with church life.
Please apply by sending a resume and letter of interest to Rev. Corinne Freedman Ellis at the address above or at
If you have questions about the position, you may contact Deborah Schmedemann, a member of the hiring committee, at (612)729-6344 or at
We will begin reviewing applications November 14 and continue doing so until the position is filled.
Music Director - Chain of Lakes Church
11 hours a week; salary negotiable and consistent with experience.
The Music Director will lead the existing Praise Band at Chain of Lakes Church. He or she will select music, lead a rehearsal, attend a few meetings, and lead music in worship. Chain of Lakes is a growing congregation that plans to break ground within a year on a new building. Join a growing church in a growing area. More details at Email Paul Moore for more information at
Pianist - First/Maple Plain
First Presbyterian Church of Maple Plain is seeking a pianist for our Sunday services, which includes planning the music for Sundays, providing accompaniment for songs and hymns during the service, and accompanying the choir and praise band.   This is a part-time position for 10-12 hours per week including Wednesday practice with the choir.
Must be proficient in playing piano. The ability to play organ and other keyboards is preferred.
To apply, please call 763-479-2758.
EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published biweekly and distributed to congregations, teaching elders, ruling elders, church members, committees and friends of the presbytery. Please send submissions and address corrections to

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