Presbytery of Lake Huron
Bi-Weekly Brief 
"The mission of the Presbytery of Lake Huron is to partner with congregations, helping people to know, grow, share and serve as disciples of Jesus Christ." 

January 20, 2016 

Open Hymnal

"Praise the Lord! 
How good it is to sing praises
to our God;
for he is gracious,
and a song of praise is fitting. "

~ Psalm 147:1 ~
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer... 

Bruce Graham, husband of the Rev. Linda Graham (Pastor of Cass City-First and Cass City-Fraser) who fell on Christmas evening and spent several days in the hospital. He is home now and doing much better. It is anticipated that it will still take a few months to get back to his full strength. Linda and Bruce are grateful for all of the prayers.

Elder Sally Pomeroy (Croswell-First) who is undergoing treatment for cancer. The prognosis is very positive but prayers are always appreciated. Sally is the Clerk of Session for Croswell-First, very involved in the Thumb Ministry Group and has served on presbytery committees including time as the COM Moderator.
Ben Offrink, son of the Rev. Jim Offrink and Elder Sally Offrink who is doing well in his battle with cancer. It is still a challenging time for the entire family however, so continued prayers are appreciated. The Offrinks are very grateful for the support and love shown to them.
The Rev. Tom Brackbill (Alma-First) and wife Pam as they deal with all that encompasses Pam's diagnosis of Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Pam is under the care of Masonic Pathways.

The Rev. Cathy Chang and family as they continue training as Mission Co-Workers in the Philippines.

Michael and Rachel Ludwig, our Mission Co-Workers who are serving in Niger.



For those Teaching Elders (Ministers of Word and Sacrament) and Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) who are celebrating Ordination or Commissioning Anniversaries in January and February:

The Rev. Doug Abel (1/5) - Pastor of Vassar-First 
The Rev. Cathy Chang (2/17) - Mission Co-Worker
The Rev. Mary Anne Evans-Justin (2/25) - 20 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Fox (1/26) - Honorably Retired
Elder Mark Garavaglia (2/23) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Deckerville-First
The Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter (1/8)General Assembly Staff;  Director of Racial Ethnic and Women's Ministries
The Rev. Richard Lawther (1/4) - 40 years - Pastor of Fairgrove
Elder Linda Living-Hawley (2/3) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Fenton-Tyrone
The Rev. Larry McMellen (2/12) - 55 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Chris Moody (2/25) - 15 years - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. John Musgrave (1/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Elizabeth (Betsy) Stillwell (1/22) - Member-At-Large
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den
The ongoing water crisis in Flint has brought a major community in our presbytery into the national spotlight. The Presbytery of Lake Huron is currently facilitating a response through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program (PDA) with local churches and ongoing public and private relief efforts. We have taken steps to insure that by the end of the week the following actions will be underway:
  • An initial emergency response grant from PDA of $7500 to be distributed by the presbytery to assist local efforts to develop long term responses and spiritual care;
  • A numbered account with PDA to receive designated gifts from Presbyterians across the country to aid in the response;
  • An assessment team from PDA on the field to evaluate and advise local churches and the presbytery regarding ongoing strategies.
Information regarding all of these will be sent out to our email list as soon as details become known. Meanwhile, please pray for the health and safety of the people of Flint, and for the ongoing community response of our Presbyterian churches and their local partners.

The Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program is one of the most highly respected of private religious relief organizations. They work with both public and private agencies to coordinate disaster response through the VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters) cooperative, relying on local Presbyterians representatives on community response teams. Unlike other agencies which leave as quickly as they come, PDA is especially oriented towards long-term attention to spiritual and physical needs and not merely the "first wave" of a crisis. More information about PDA and VOAD can be found at and

The work of PDA is funded through individual donations and through the annual One Great Hour of Sharing offering received each year at Easter. 
Dan Saperstein
Executive Presbyter
Intergenerational Ministry
Is your congregation engaging in intergenerational ministry? Do you have recommendations for great resources for conducting intergenerational ministry?

If so, we would like to hear from you. Please contact Staci Percy at [email protected] or 989-799-7481 x2
PC-USA Seal Round
Annual Statistics
The information for completing your 2015 Annual Statistics were sent to all Clerks of Session this week.
A copy of this letter and all of the relevant information and links may be found on the Annual Statistics page of our website.
We are here to assist you with any questions that you may have. Please call or e-mail Staci or Ted should you need anything. Staci may be reached at 989-799-7481 x2 or [email protected]. Ted may be reached at 989-799-7481 x 4 or [email protected]. Please keep in mind that both are part-time employees and are not in the office everyday.
Deadline for entering your information is February 18th.
Please remember that what you submit - or don't submit - affects your future per capita payments.
Click here to read an article from the PC(USA) describing some reasons why completing annual statistics are important to your congregation.

Regarding Ruling Elders
Regarding Ruling Elders: Ruling Elders and Clerks of Session
The latest article in the popular Regarding Ruling Elders series from the PC(USA) is once again written by our very own Stated Clerk, the Rev. Ted McCulloch.

Click here to read about the roles of Ruling Elders and Clerks of Session in our congregations.
Happening In Our Congregations
Healthy Congregations Workshop
Flint-First is hosting a Healthy Congregations Workshop on Saturday, February 6, for pastors, church staff, lay leaders, and congregational members wanting to learn how we might not only respond in healthier ways to anxieties and challenges that face our congregations and individual members, but also live more proactively in being the community God has called us to be.

Click here for more details.
Caro's Cookies
We love hearing stories like this! And we know there are more like it out there because ALL of our churches are doing wonderful things! Please share your story by sending them to Staci Percy at [email protected] for inclusion in an upcoming Bi-Weekly Brief.
It seems that most of the stories we hear about churches reaching out come from larger churches but small churches can and do find unique ways to reach the communities they serve. That's just what happened in Caro-First in December. The Rev. Dave Myers told a great story how the Caro church came up with an idea to fellowship with their neighbors during the holidays. The congregation, including Dave, baked and delivered cookies to residents near the church who were not members. In all, the Caro congregation baked and delivered 52 dozen cookies. The members of the congregation each found ways to participate. You baked, if you could, you packaged if you didn't and you delivered if you were comfortable doing that. There was a way for all to participate.
Dave told me that about 65% of the cookies were delivered in a face to face meeting. Since we Presbyterians are not known for evangelizing well, the message was simple; "We're your neighbors and we care about you. We are here for you, and if you would like to join in fellowship and worship with us, we would be glad the see you. Merry Christmas." No matter what the exact words were, it made the recipients smile I'll bet, and now there are two new attendees and several others have come by to see what Caro has to offer.

I had the opportunity to see the smiles on the faces of the elders when they talked about this story at their session meeting. Only two you might ask? But remember this, when your membership is under 100, that is better than 2% return and that is how it starts.

Jesus tells us; "I am the bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever." (John 6: 51) Maybe cookies can be included too.

Congratulations Caro!
Mission Co-Workers
Cathy Chang
Cathy Chang and Juan Lopez

I pray that all is well with you. This weekend was supposed to be our last one in the United States before heading out to the Philippines, but a few weeks ago, our plans changed. We are still leaving for the Philippines for the first time this Wednesday, January 20 in order to attend a regional gathering for all PCUSA mission personnel serving in Asia and the Pacific.   When we return, we will have approximately one month left in order to clean up and pack up, before hopefully departing in early March.  We are still working out our departure date with our church partners in the Philippines.
Please pray for our safe travels and especially for our jet lag, plus all the loose ends that we will need to tie up in February. 
We hope to send along more updates and photos of our first trip to the Philippines, plus a finalized departure date. 
Thank you again for all your loving support and affirmation of this new appointment to Presbyterian World Mission.  We appreciate your partnership through prayers and financial support.
Grace and peace,   
Rev. Catherine Chang
Presbyterian Church (USA) World Mission
Regional Facilitator for Addressing Migration and Human Trafficking
Follow our blog
Skype:  cchang.jlopez
Mission Outreach Center
Mission Outreach Center Opens
If you are a youth group leader in Michigan good chance you have made a trip or two to Cedar Point. A nearby church has embraced the popularity of the amusement park and opened a Mission Outreach Center. Here is an invite from them to all of our churches:

Our church (First Presbyterian Church of Sandusky, OH) has opened a Mission Outreach Center, hosting faith-based mission and recreation trips for youth and adults at a reasonable cost. We would like to let churches in your area know about our Center, in case any of them are looking for a place to take a mission trip this year or just visiting Cedar Point. We are located in Sandusky, Ohio, right on Lake Erie, and home of Cedar Point Amusement Park, voted several years in a row as the best amusement park in the country.

We offer a wide variety of local missions, addressing homelessness, hunger, the elderly, children, veterans, and environment or if you are visiting one of our local attractions and need a place to stay a night.
Thank you for your consideration,
Carolyn Springer
Click here to watch a YouTube video about the Sandusky Mission Outreach Center
Continuing Education
Rural Ministry Conference
The 2016 Rural Ministry Conference will be held in Dubuque, IA, March 6-8th. The Rural Ministry Conference outreach is continuing to grow and has become an ecumenical conference for those working in small town and rural parishes throughout the Midwest. The theme this year is "Life Changing Ministry in the Small Membership Congregation." The information will also be useful for larger congregations. Scholarships are available for those who have served in a rural/small town ministry for less than five years.  New this year for congregations within driving distance is the availability for lay people to attend the Monday afternoon workshops at a reduced price.

Click here for more information.
Communications Corner
Headlines of Interest
Here are links to articles that we hope you will enjoy and perhaps spend some time discussing them with others:
One of the key metrics of financial giving in a church is per member giving: What is the average giving per member or per attendee? Per member giving is often masked by fluctuations in attendance and membership. The most effective measure is to calculate the average giving per member. Churches with increased giving per member have seven dominant characteristics. These seven traits are becoming even more important as Millennials enter in our churches in greater numbers.
Are you familiar with resurrection eggs? They're plastic Easter eggs that contain items that tell the story of Jesus' death, burial, and resurrection. You can buy them or make your own.  My mom made her own when my brother and I were little - long before they had them for sale. Every year I think about making a set of eggs, and every year we have a toddler around who will want to open the eggs constantly and lose the items (I'd like to display them on the table).  Well, this year I finally came up with a solution - wooden eggs with a picture on them.
So you entered into church leadership full of enthusiasm and fresh ideas.
And for a season, a lot of those ideas worked. You saw your ministry grow, people come to faith and the mission advance. But times change. And-these days especially-culture is changing faster than ever before. As a result, the shelf life of ideas, assumptions and approaches is shorter than it has ever been. What used to work, doesn't. Not anymore. The challenge is to know what's stopped working and what hasn't. Not everything that worked a decade ago in the church was great. But the truth is many churches saw growth anyway. And that's changing and will continue to change. What got you here won't get you there. Here are 9 things that used to work in ministry a decade ago that aren't nearly as effective as they used to be.
Back in pre-Internet day, newsletters-in the traditional sense-were one page or multiple pages filled with stuff you needed to know. In the digital or social age, newsletters can now be shorter. A newsletter can be a post or a series of tweets, pictures, or videos. Let me be perfectly honest: when I would create my epic, colorful, and artistic paper newsletters, parents didn't read at least 20% of them. Parents reading a newsletter are like people who used to read a thing called a newspaper: some turn to the comics, some to sports, and some to obituaries. Something is bound to be overlooked or missed. That's why I have created shorter but more frequent portions of content to send to parents.
NOTE: The articles listed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or intended to be an endorsement by the Presbytery of Lake Huron but are shared to encourage discussion of various topics.
Connect With Other Churches In The Lake Huron Presbytery

There are so many wonderful things going on in all of our congregations.  Several of our churches have set up Facebook pages to help spread the good news not only to their members but to all who may be interested.  Liking other church Facebook pages is a great way to connect with others in the presbytery and to share ideas with each other.  Here are some of the churches that have Facebook pages:

Saginaw-Warren Avenue

If your congregation has a page and it is not listed here, please contact Staci Percy at [email protected]

'Like' Us On Facebook

The presbytery has a Facebook page and would like you to join us.  Get updates and information faster. Connect with others to share ideas and to post information about events happening in your congregation.  Join us today! 

Contact Information

Staci Percy

Communications Manager/Recording Clerk

[email protected] 

989-799-7481 x2

In This Edition
In Our Prayers
From The Lions' Den
Intergenerational Ministry
Annual Statistics
Regarding Ruling Elders
Healthy Congregations
Caro's Cookies
Mission Co-Workers
Mission Outreach Center
Continuing Ed
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

Who We Are
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About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

Hundreds of elders, educators, and church leaders read the Presbytery of Lake Huron's email sent out every other week. 

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Commission on Preparation for Ministry
January 20
10:00 am

Personnel Team
January 25
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry - Full Team
January 27
11:00 am

Coordinating Team
February 3
10:00 am

Staff Development Day
February 9

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
February 17
10:00 am

Presbyterian Women
February 18
10:00 am

Personnel Team
February 22
10:00 am

February 23
1:00 pm

Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Admin Group
February 24
11:00 am


Details on these meetings can be found on the presbytery's website on the calendar.