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EMerge Nov. 15, 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. Here’s what is happening: 
  • Opportunities to dig deeper into items on the stated meeting agenda, including the 2020 budget, the nominees for GA Commissioner and alternate commissioner, and the report from the Presbytery Leadership Team on proposed changes to our structure.
  • The stated meeting, with important reports and items for Presbytery decision. (You will find the full packet for the stated meeting on the front page of the Presbytery website.)
  • 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.
  • A follow-up workshop facilitated by our speaker, Dr. Allen.
Please note: the presbytery will not be acting on the request to dissolve the Dayton Avenue Presbyterian Church congregation this month. We fully anticipate bringing this item to the presbytery for action at the January stated meeting, when we can celebrate the 145 years of ministry and mission of the congregation with joy and gratitude.
Presbytery Gatherings are intentional times of learning, engagement, decision-making, and worship. We hope you’ll join us in Apple Valley tomorrow. It’s so much more than just a meeting!
People in Our Pews... Making a Difference
A Kid from St. Paul
Editor's note: We're celebrating the service of members of PTCA congregations who are making a difference inside the church and in the community. Today, we feature Butch Inks, a member of New Life Presbyterian Church, Roseville. Who are your 'people in the pews' that make a difference? Send along their story.
Growing up in a blue-collar family in St. Paul’s North End, Butch Inks says the recreation center across the street from his house “basically raised me.”
He played any sport they offered and took part in programs, as his mom and dad worked long hours to support the family.
Life after Como Park Senior High School initially took Inks down a path similar to his parents — he worked three jobs, from before the sun rose to long after it fell — and was a young father.
Inks said he never dreamed he would become a St. Paul firefighter, let alone the city’s fire chief.
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.
Jeff's Jottings:
Reformed... and Always Reforming
It’s one of the ways we describe ourselves as Presbyterians: Reformed, and always reforming. Something that holds us together, a common identity of sorts. Except when it’s not, of course: when we don’t agree what “Reformed and always reforming” looks like, or how we be that, or how we even talk about it. How do we balance our gospel identity with our desire for gospel relevance?
Around the Presbytery
Love, No Matter What
Rev. Heidi Vardeman was installed as the "you-can't-get-rid-of-me" pastor after serving as designated pastor at Peace Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. Here's what she wrote about her becoming an installed pastor. In the photograph, she is holding her 2 1/2 year old grandson during the benediction, who was born shortly after she came to Peace as a designated pastor. He is the embodiment of a designated pastor's "waiting time".
Yep.  Not designated pastor.  Not interim pastor.  Not “she-might-stick-around-or-not” pastor.  Installed pastor.  On Sunday the presbytery installed me as your official, you-can’t-get-rid-of-me pastor.
C. Lynn Cox Recipient of the 2019 Donald S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award
The Disability Concerns Ministry is happy to report that our churches are bubbling over with people dedicated to lifting up all abilities! In asking for nominees for the Donald S. Milloy Disability Advocacy Award, we were happily surprised to find our inbox filling, for so many people are doing great things among us! Choosing one recipient was difficult, as the dedication, service and faithful caring is a quality each nominee had -- in spades! 
C. Lynn Cox, elder at St. Luke's Presbyterian Church, Wayzata, was the final recipient. Her life has been one of persistently lifting up persons with disabilities, whether it be skiing with the blind (yes!) or helping her church make adaptations, or teaching parents with special needs kids, or serving national PC(USA) ministries for disabilities. She inspires many and models God's persistent love and care. 
Please click on the link below for more of the impressive nominees for the award!
Resources and Conferences
2019 Congregational Mission Grants and Lay Scholarship Money Still available- Apply by Dec. 5, 2019!!
Every year, Mission & Witness Committee of PTCA invites churches and individuals to apply for mission and scholarship grants that either extend a particular ministry of a local congregation or support the work of laity or non-clergy staff within the church. These grants range from $500 - $1500. The approval process requires Session endorsement and demonstrated support along with the completed grant application (available via the link below).
Fill out and submit the completed form by sending it to the Presbytery office: 2115 Cliff Drive. Eagan, MN 55122 or to Mission & Witness Chair, Brenda Alexander – Please feel free to e-mail or call Brenda Alexander if you have questions. 651-748-1208. Hope to hear from you soon! 
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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