Click HERE for PTCA Eco-Justice, Earth Care and Conservation News from member congregations!  

Have news you'd like to submit to an updated list? Please email

EMerge Feb. 14, 2020

Presbytery News
A Matthew 25 Story
Happy Birthday
In March of 2019, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area declared itself a Matthew 25 presbytery, accepting an invitation from the Presbyterian Mission Agency to “actively engage in the world around us.”
Then the righteous will answer him,
 ‘Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry and gave you food,
or thirsty and gave you something to drink?
And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you,
or naked and gave you clothing?
And when was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?’
And the king will answer them,
‘Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these
who are members of my family, you did it to me.’
EMerge will periodically feature stories of PTCA congregations living out the call of Matthew 25, in their own ways and abilities, and in their own words. Today: Community Presbyterian Church in Rochester, Minnesota.
Physical hunger, at least in the moment, can be addressed with foodstuffs—cans and bottles and packages that supply nutrition and bulk and sustenance. But what about the other hungers we know. Like the simple hunger to be noticed for who we are, and to be able to do the same for others when doing that may be a budget luxury.
This week, the Presbyterian Women’s group at Community Presbyterian in Rochester packed more than food for the Channel One foodbank they support. (Though they did that, too. All those cans of soup? Part of Community’s Souper Bowl Sunday effort.) They packed birthday bags for Channel One yesterday, that included cake mixes, frosting, candles, balloons and small toys. It’s a simple task, but one that carries outsized importance. Thanks to this group of women for living out a commitment to Matthew 25.
Do you have a Matthew 25 story? Send pictures and text to Jeff Japinga, executive presbyter, at
Class completion fulfills boundaries training requirement
Not Your Average Boundaries Training
Monday, February 24 (10:00 am to 3:00 pm), Silverwood Park, St. Anthony.
LeaderWise will bring you beyond the basic “Don’t do this!” and “Never do that!” Drawing upon case studies, self-quizzes, and discussion questions, we'll engage you to consider the ethical and legal dimensions of ministry. And, of course, we'll cover the mandatory basics along the way. One participant exclaimed, “This was the best boundaries training I've been to in 36 years of ministry!” 
If you decide to attend the class, please provide us with your certificate of completion. If you have questions or need additional information, please let me know, or contact LeaderWise directly at 651-636-5120.
Jeff's Jottings:
Love, love, love, love...
"Here’s what I think about love today. It has a power that is in many ways the antithesis of so much of what we see in the world around us, which in reality is no power at all; except, of course, the power of God in our own commitments to follow Jesus.
In his Prayer Breakfast address, Brooks’ challenged his listeners: “Ask God to give you the strength to do this hard thing — to go against human nature, to follow Jesus’ teaching and love your enemies. Ask God to remove political contempt from your heart. In your weakest moments, maybe even ask (God) to help you fake it!”
Around the Presbytery
Books by PTCA Pastors Now on the Shelves
Pastor Bill Chadwick, Teaching Elder in the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area, has recently authored a new book called, “Still Laughing, Still Learning (Still Looking for a Good Title)." It’s a delightful collection of brief and "mostly true stories of family, friends, faith and foibles." Kevin Kling, regular contributor to NPR’s All Things Considered, called the book “thoroughly funny, moving, and beautiful … stories about how we belong to and for each other.” Learn more about the book at Bill's website ( or at the blog at:
Neil Craigan, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in White Bear Lake, has just had his new book published. Human Again: Life in the Image of God looks at what it means to be human in today’s world. In his introduction, Neil writes, “My hope for this book is that as you engage with its content, you too will come to appreciate the critical importance of respecting the image of God in ourselves and others as we seek to live a life of faith that honors God, in whose image every human being who has ever lived is created.”
Look for both at your favorite bookseller.
Practicing Reconciliation in Divisive Times
Christians United to Heal Impeachment Divides
The Minnesota Council of Churches (MCC) and United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities (United) are partnering to host a panel discussion on "The Christian Art and Practice of Reconciliation in Divisive Times" on Tuesday, March 24th at 6:30 p.m. at United in St. Paul. This event features Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung, MCC executive director and author. DeYoung's talk will include panelists, United professors Carolyn Pressler, John Lee, Justin Sabia-Tanis, and alum Rev. Elizabeth Macaulay, lead pastor of Christ United Church of Christ in Rochester.
“The Christian Art and Practice of Reconciliation in Divisive Times” will be held at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, 767 N. Eustis Street (in the Case Building) in St. Paul. Anyone interested in healing the political divides within the church and broader society are welcome to attend. Rev. Dr. Curtiss DeYoung leads a radically diverse network of 25 church denominations. United professors educate leaders from various denominations and religions. Read more via the link below.
Seminars, Retreats, Programs
The New Cosmic Story: Inside our Awakening Universe
Didier Seminar at House of Hope Features Theologian John Haught
On Saturday, February 29 and March 1, The House of Hope Presbyterian Church (797 Summit Avenue, St. Paul / (651) 227-6311) will host the 2020 Didier Seminar on Religion and Contemporary Thought. 
An informed and compelling Christianity is the goal of the Didier Seminar. Every spring for more than 20 years, our Didier Seminar has reached out for fresh voices of the Spirit. This year, it’s internationally-known theologian John Haught, Ph.D. Georgetown University professor and foremost thinker on science and religion, Dr. John Haught argues that to understand faith you must understand that the universe is still “awakening.”
Scientific advances are making it clear that the universe is a story still unfolding. How does science inform faith and vice versa? How has our idea of the universe changed over the past 2,000 years? What is the new cosmic story and how does it invite a new understanding of the religious quest? Do the stories we’ve been telling about the universe and religion still work? Do they compete or interact? Does human experience—what we now know, how we feel, what we do—have an impact on the evolving universe?
Saturday, February 29
6:30 p.m. – Welcome Reception
7:30 p.m. - Lecture: The New Cosmic Story and the Meaning of Faith
Sunday, March 1
10 a.m. - Sermon: Faith and Ecology for an Unfinished Universe
11:15 a.m. - Lecture: Evolution and Faith: What Is at Stake?
The Calvin W. Didier Annual Seminar on Religion and Contemporary Thought was endowed in 1993 as a retirement tribute to Reverend Didier in honor of a ministry mindful of the many voices of the spirit and the profound changes we continue to experience in contemporary thought and culture. This yearly seminar is dedicated to the spiritual growth through the best comprehensive thinking in religion, the arts, letters and science. We seek to present inspiring and acknowledged leaders in their various fields.
Celebrate Earth Day Everyday!
Train Your Rain Garden Program at Trinity/Woodbury
“Train Your Rain Garden”
Celebrate Earth Day every day!
Saturday, April 18th, 2020 at 9:30am
Trinity Presbyterian Church, 2125 Tower Drive
Woodbury, MN 55125
*Concerned about our community water supply?
*Want to help our local pollinators? Heard about “Lawns to Legumes”?
*Interested in learning more about native plants, & how to have a Blue Thumb?
*Need to earn some volunteer service hours or CEUs?
*Looking for a fun Saturday morning family project?
Come join us! For all of the above AND a bonfire!
What are rain gardens and why are they important?
Rain gardens are low areas designed to capture storm runoff from rooftops, driveways, parking lots, and roadways. By doing regular rain garden maintenance, we make it possible for the garden to keep doing its job of filtering contaminated water and reducing flooding and erosion. 
Native plants in the rain gardens help soak up more water and attract a variety of pollinators. The rain gardens at Trinity Presbyterian Church protect the water in the Tamarack Swamp Nature Preserve, Battle Creek, and Battle Creek Lake.
Infiltration of storm water runoff helps our lakes and wetlands, and recharges groundwater. See for more information.
Event Schedule:
9:30 – 9:55am - Gather & Greet: Treats and mingling
10:00am to Noon - Rain garden maintenance training for CEUs, with instructor Simba Blood; hands-on demonstrations and maintenance work outside. Please bring your own gloves, water bottle and favorite weeding tools if you have them.
* Child care is available during the training.
Noon – 12:45 p.m. Bonfire and music; bring your own bag lunch and/or something to roast over the fire. WEATHER-dependent! Please come prepared!
To help, please RSVP by April 16th with the number of participants who will be attending, to:  Questions and input are also welcome. THANKS!
New Speakers Announced
Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day
Imagine! God's Earth and People Restored
April 24-27
Washington, DC
We believe that God created this world, called it good, and told humans to care for it. We are blessed to have this sacred task.
On April 24, 2020, join together with Presbyterians from across the nation in Washington, D.C. to learn how Presbyterians and partners are answering this call and working for the restoration of God’s creation and people. Through plenaries, workshops, and networking opportunities, this Compassion Peace and Justice Training Day offers the chance to explore the various ways we are addressing climate change, ecological destruction and environmental racism. Advancing climate justice and just transition to value and protect people who have historically been made vulnerable by economic and environmental injustice will be a special focus.
Many will continue the learning by attending the Ecumenical Advocacy Days: Imagine! God’s Earth and People Restored from Friday evening on April 24 through Lobby Day on Monday the 27th. Almost 1,000 Christian advocates join us every year for a weekend of workshops, lectures and concrete actions addressing movements for social change.
Leadership Openings
Family-Intergenerational Ministries Coordinator
First Presbyterian Church of Hudson, Wisconsin is seeking a Family-Intergenerational Ministries Coordinator to join the staff of our growing congregation.
Located in Hudson, WI, FPC is an active a Christian community dedicated to sharing God’s love and growing in faith. We are committed to intergenerational worship and learning; creativity, diversity, and balance in worship, music, and art; caring for one another as family (in all the best senses of the word family); the welcome and inclusion of all people; and more! Please visit to explore the story of our family of faith past and present and get a better glimpse of our hopes for the future!
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