March 11, 2011

Developing, Nurturing
& Supporting Leaders
Mark Your Calendar!

Coaching Clinic
Equipping COMs and CPMs
March 28-29
Adrian, Mich.

Coaching Clinic
Equipping COMs and CPMs
March 31-April 1
Rochester, Ind.

Regional APA Conference
April 7-9
Peoria, Ill.

Synod of Lincoln Trails Quarterly Meeting
April 30, 2011
Philo, Ill.

Presbyterian Writer's Guild Conference
May 16-17
Louisville, Ky.

MALT Training for Interim Pastors
May 16-20, 2011
St. Louis, Mo.

CLP Continuing Education
Pentecost I
Synod of Lincoln Trails
June 4, 2011
Philo, Ill.

PC(USA) Big Tent
June 30 - July 2, 2011

Covenant Gathering
July 3-8, 2011
Hillsdale, Mich.

Synod of Lincoln Trails Quarterly Meeting
July 29, 2011
Urbana, Ill.

CLP Continuing Education
Pentecost II
Synod of Lincoln Trails
Aug. 20, 2011
Philo, Ill.

Synod of Lincoln Trails Quarterly Meeting
October 29, 2011
Philo, Ill.

CLP Continuing Education

Synod of Lincoln Trails
Nov. 5, 2011
Philo, Ill.

Check our website or contact the synod office for details!
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What's Up With Your Ministry?

We'd love to share the news! Contact Marta at the synod with updates from your presbytery, congregation, camp, or other organization. We'll spread the word!
SDOP Distributes $53,700 to Three Synod Projects

The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People has approved grants totaling $261,255 to 14 self-help projects in the United States, including three from the Synod of Lincoln Trails. The money is from the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.

Projects range from assisting low-income Hispanic women address poverty through a sewing program to a group of ex-offenders who have been trained in building construction and repair.

SDOP enables members and non-members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to form partnerships with economically poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people in order to help them achieve self-sufficiency.

The projects and grants in Lincoln Trails:

The Winning Circle, Chicago - $15,000 - This low-income group in attaining self-sufficiency in food sustainability, health, wellbeing, self-esteem and weight control through learning to compost. Excess produce will be sold helping group members to increase their income.

Team Builders on Point Crew, Chicago - $18,700 - A group of ex-offenders have been trained in building construction, repair and maintenance. The project will enable group members to be self-employed and also receive training in business practices.
Central Illinois Organizing Project, Bloomington, Ill. - $20,000 - The grant will enable this leadership development program to provide ongoing training and recruitment of leaders to advocate for social justice and equal rights of Latinos in the community.

More about SDOP grant recipients
Pyoca Receives the 2011 Green Leaf Seal 

Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center, Brownstown, Ind.,  has received the 2011 Green Leaf Seal from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Environmental Ministries and the Presbyterian Church Camp and Conference Association.  This honor speaks to the great commitment that Pyoca has to environmental stewardship.

To receive the 2011 Green Leaf Seal, camp and conference centers must have completed a total of five projects or activities related to environmental stewardship in the areas of facilities, education/program, operations, and outreach. 

"Presbyterian camp and conference centers are the perfect places to make connections between our faith and caring for God's earth.  Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center has taken great strides in environmental stewardship, and it is exciting to recognize these accomplishments," says Katie Holmes, associate for Environmental Ministries.

For more information on Pyoca Camp, Conference and Retreat Center's commitment to environmental stewardship, or programming for youth entering grades 1-12 or for non-profit retreat opportunities, contact Rich Swartwood, 866-251-2267.

More about the Green Leaf Seal
More about Pyoca


Carol McDonald, Synod Executive From the Synod Executive - Carol McDonald

How Will You Observe Lent? 

I write this on Ash Wednesday.  Today the Christian community has begun its annual journey to the the empty tomb. From the revelry of Shrove Tuesday and Mardi Gras, we now walk into the wilderness - into a season of fasting, of giving up, of soul searching.
How will you and your congregation mark this special season in the life of the church? Will you worship more often? Will you share meals together? Will you read a book and discuss its meaning? Will you embrace a special mission? Will you take time truly to walk in the steps of Jesus' journey and ponder that journey's significance for the church of the 21st century?
And what about you as an individual? How will you mark these 40 days? I have at least two friends who each year purge their households and offices of one grocery sack of "stuff" each day during Lent - 40 grocery sacks in all! We are committed to that discipline at our house this year - by putting it in writing for the 1,000 people who receive this update, I am inviting you to hold me accountable.

Perhaps your Lenten discipline will be very different:  praying each day for a different person in your family or among your friends; reading the lectionary passage for each day (consult the Book of  Common Worship for a listing of these scriptures); reading a book for personal spiritual renewal; visiting someone you have not seen for a long time; taking food to someone who is recovering from serious illness; volunteering at a food pantry or a soup kitchen.
Lent has always invited thoughtful introspection, contemplative reflection, serious pondering of God's claim upon our lives. My prayer for each of us is a journey of learning and growing...a journey of steady faithfulness...a journey that leads to the amazing gory of Easter morning...a journey that prepares us to embrace the empty tomb with such energy that we will then simply burst into the world to share the good news of God's love in Jesus Christ. And to God be the glory!
Administrative Personnel AssociationRegional APA Conference Meets in Peoria April 7-9

The meeting of the Greater Midwest Region of the Administrative Personnel Association will offer PC(USA) administrative and support staff opportunities for training and certification. The Midwest Region includes Kansas, Missouri, Illinois, Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin. Visitors or inquirers are welcome to participate in any conference.

More information...


Order Eco-Palms for Palm Sunday Worship

Eco-Palms are sustainably harvested palm branches available to congregations for use in worship on Palm Sunday. Eco-Palms come from Guatemala and Mexico and are harvested in ways that protect the natural environment of the rainforests in which they grow. Harvesters are paid fair wages as a way of helping their families and communities thrive. In addition, because payment for Eco-Palms is based on the quality of the palms harvested rather than quantity (as the industry traditionally pays), waste is reduced, rainforest biodiversity is preserved and palm plants are protected for future production. Learn more about the social and environmental benefits of Eco-Palms.

Encourage your congregation to use Eco-Palms this year. Place your order online or by phone. Orders paid by check are due March 22, credit card orders are due March 29.


Middle Governing Body Commission Weighs In On the Future of Synods and Presbyteries

The PC(USA) Middle Governing Body Commission, established by the 2010 General Assembly, has its own blog. Join in the conversation  here.