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." 
 

March 2, 2016 

 

Take a moment.

Right now.

And breathe. 

You are beloved.


 
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer... 

Ongoing:
The Rev. Ken Hetzel (Pastor of Croswell-First) continues to recover at home following his heart attack. He and his family greatly appreciate all the prayers that have already come their way.

Ben Offrink, son of the Rev. Jim Offrink and Elder Sally Offrink whose is doing well in his battle with cancer. But it is still a challenging time for the entire family so continued prayers are appreciated. The Offrinks are very grateful for the support and love shown to them.

Elder Sally Pomeroy (Croswell-First) who is doing very well in her battle with cancer and has finished her last radiation treatment. 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. She and her family greatly appreciate all the prayers that have been said for them.
 
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 March and April:

The Rev. Kenneth Anderson (4/30) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Karen Blatt (3/12) - Honorably Retired; Temporary Supply serving Houghton Lake-Kirk of the Lakes
The Rev. Jan Chambers (3/29) - Honorably Retired; Pastor Emerita of Tawas
The Rev. George Gillette (4/27) - 65 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Linda Graham (3/25) - Pastor of Cass City-First and Cass City-Fraser
Elder Henry Kubin (3/5) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Alma-Eastminster
Elder Mary Kubin (3/5) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Alma-Eastminster
The Rev. Desiree Lawson (3/20) - 5 years - Pastor of Flint-Trinity United
The Rev. Hoon Koo Lee (4/27) - Member-At-Large
Elder Liz Long (3/5) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Ithaca-Lafayette
The Rev. Andrew Miller (4/4) - Pastor of Mt. Pleasant-First
The Rev. Dong Won Park (4/15) - Honorably Retired
Elder Peggy Ronk (3/4) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Breckenridge-Emerson
The Rev. Dr. Brian Stratton (4/2) - Alma College Professor
    
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den
How many Presbyterians does it take to change a lightbulb?
        • None. It was predestined to perish.
        • Ten. One to notice it's out; five to form a committee to investigate the reason it went out; three to secure competitive bids on its replacement and make a recommendation to session; and one to wonder why it's still out a month later and just buy a bulb and fix it.
        • CHANGE??!!
We joke about change, but when it comes to significant changes in our lives, our church, or our society, we are less likely to laugh. Change is disorienting.  Whether the change is welcome (such as the birth of a child) or unwanted (such as the death of a loved one), it requires us to say goodbye to what is familiar, to adapt our patterns of living, to learn new skills or form new relationships. Change produces fear of the unknown, which creates anxiety and resistance.

Many people value the church as an anchor in the midst of change. For many, the church stands for timeless, unchanging truths which serve as a constant, a comfort, and a corrective for a changing world. We encounter so much change in the rest of our lives, we want the church to remain the same. After all, doesn't the Bible remind us, "The grass withers, the flower fades, but the Word of our God will stand forever"?

But the church must change, and inevitably does. We no longer read from papyrus scrolls written in Ancient Greek. We meet in church buildings, not catacombs. We have organs and guitars and electronic keyboards not lyres and timbrels.

But the genius of the gospel is that while it is unchanging in its essentials, it is adaptable to changing times and cultures. We see it even in the early church. The Book of Acts could also be called the Book of Change. It begins with the leadership change following Jesus' ascension. As the Word spreads, we see the church adapt to different cultural contexts: baptizing an African eunuch; receiving Samaritans and gentiles as equals; declaring the kosher requirements of the Law and even the covenant sign of circumcision as no longer necessary or binding.

Changes in American society over the past 50 years have caused the church to become increasingly marginalized in our society. Sunday worship has become just one of many options in an increasingly secular and consumerist nation. Ministry has changed from a high-status, relatively low-stress vocation to a low-status, high stress one. Families have shrunk in sizeł and fewer of our children are staying in the church as adults. People talk, first in whispers, and now aloud, about "the death of the church."

Nevertheless, I am excited about our future. Why? Because the changes confronting the church are forcing us not to take our faith for granted. We are in a "new apostolic age" in which the church, like the first Christians, must move out into the world, take risks, be creative, and live the gospel (not just hear it). As Presbyterians, we are challenged to adapt our long-standing structures that worked for 250 years, but are no longer nimble enough to meet the pace of change. We are becoming more flexible, entrepreneurial, and responsive in our governance and mission, and all while we adapt to having fewer resources at our disposal.

Change can be the occasion for spiritual renewal. When changes make the familiar unrecognizable, it is time to ask for new eyes to see what God's Spirit is doing in our midst. And while we grieve the passing of the old, the church is not dying at all. It is being reborn in a new and different form. It's the very gospel we proclaim: we call it resurrection.

Dan Saperstein
Executive Presbyter
 
Presbytery Meeting
Thank you to everyone at Bay City-Westminster for being wonderful hosts for yesterday's stated meeting of presbytery! 

We appreciate not only your hospitality but also your flexibility in light of the snow storm.

During the equipping time there were handouts at the tables regarding intergenerational ministry provided by Elder Kathleen Rowe, CRE of Tawas. If you would like additional copies of those items please click here.
2016 Presbytery Directory
The 2016 Directory is available on our website
 
Download and print as many copies as you need.
 
For everyone's privacy the page to access the directory is password protected.
 
***** The login information was included in the version sent to our mailing list. For privacy, we have not included that information on the version we post online. For the Username and Password, please contact
the Presbytery Office. **** 
 
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The login information will not be listed on the web version of this newsletter. Should you need it, please contact the presbytery office during normal business hours at 989-799-7481.

Annual Statistics
We want to give a big THANK YOU to all of the clerks of sessions and others who took time out of their busy schedules to complete the 2015 Annual Statistics. Your contributions to your churches and to the presbytery are greatly appreciated!
In Our Congregations
Saginaw-First
In 2012 a crazy idea developed into a fun evening of fellowship, food and dancing for a good cause.  We called it the Hunger Hop.

Each year the Hunger Hop committee calls on members of First Presbyterian Church in Saginaw, food pantry volunteers, business owners in the community, and many family and friends in a joint effort to raise monies in support of the ecumenical food pantry housed at First Presbyterian Church.

Volunteers' setup, make food, bartend, help with the silent auction, sell tickets, play in the band and do anything else needed.  The American Legion Post 439 has generously donated the building each year and the ladies auxiliary also gives a monetary donation.

This event which has become an extension of First Presbyterian Church, has allowed us to raise over $31,000 in the past four years. 

The Mission of the food pantry is to serve food and personal items to needy people in the Saginaw, Michigan area.  There are no administrative costs, therefore 100% of all money, food and personal items donated to the Pantry are given to those in need.  In keeping with that statement, 100% of the proceeds from the Hunger Hop  are given to support the needs served at the food pantry.
Presbyterian Women
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Presbyterian Women of Lake Huron Presbytery
Presbyterian Women have been giving for more than two hundred years of their time, talent and treasure to needs for which we are called.  Presbyterian Women in congregations, presbyteries, synod and churchwide are bound by our purpose:
 
Forgiven and freed by God in Jesus Christ, and empowered by the Holy Spirit, we commit ourselves
  • to nurture our faith through prayer and Bible study,
  • to support the mission of the church worldwide,
  • to work for justice and peace, and
  • to build an inclusive, caring community of women that strengthens the Presbyterian Church (U. S. A.) and witness to the promise of God's kingdom.
The Lake Huron Presbyterian Women continue the tradition of mission in their various congregations and at the presbytery and synod levels.  The PW Coordinating Team continues to work to be supportive to all women and men of the Lake Huron Presbytery.  At our last meeting on February 18, 2016 we made plans for our yearly Fall Gathering.  The Fall Gathering will be held on October 8, 2016.  Pastor Shimon Pak graciously agreed to host the gathering at Korean Presbyterian Church of Saginaw.  The theme for the occasion is "All God's Children".  Everyone (male and female) is welcome. 
 
Upcoming meetings for the PW Coordinating Team in 2016 are April 21, June 16, and August 18.  Our meetings will be held at the Presbytery Office at 5560 McCarty Road in Saginaw, Michigan 10:00 AM.  Feel free to come to join us. 
      
Dates to Remember
  • A Worship to Inherit
CELEBRATING THE GIFTS OF WOMEN Weekend
March 5 at 10:00-11:30 AM/March 6 Worship Service at 10:00 am
Guest Speaker: Rev. Darcia R.Parham
Trinity United in Flint
  • Baby Shower at Beaverton June 2, 2016 at noon
  • Synod of the Covenant Presbyterian Women 2016 Gathering

June 10-11, 2016

First Presbyterian Church, 2330 S. Main St. Findlay, Ohio 45840

Fish Frys
Saginaw-Second
Second Presbyterian Church, located at 2665 Midland Road, in Saginaw Township will host a Fish Fry on Friday, March 18, 2016 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. The dinner includes all you can eat fish (fried pollock), coleslaw, potatoes, bread, beverage, and dessert. Cost is $10.00 adults, $4.00 children 5-11, free for children younger than 5. Take-Outs are available for $9.00.

A Bake Sale also takes place during the event.  Come early to find your favorite cookies, breads, brownies, etc!

Questions can be directed to Second Presbyterian Church at (989) 792-1023.

You can visit our event at https://www.facebook.com/events/1701508576792419/ and our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/spcsaginaw

Birch Run-Taymouth
Birch Run-Taymouth, located at 12517 Morseville Road, in Birch Run will host a Fish Fry on Friday, March 18, 2016 from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and 4:00 pm to 7:00 pm. The meal includes: fish, coleslaw, potatoes, bread, beverage, and dessert. Cost is $10.00 adults for dine-in or $9.00 for take out; $5.00 children 6-12, free for children younger than 5. 

Questions can be directed to Taymouth Presbyterian Church at (989) 624-9473.

Help Wanted
Financial Secretary Needed
Saginaw-First is looking for a Financial Secretary. The position would be for 25-28 hours per week and church experience is preferred but not required. The position will required maintaining and disbursing the accounts and receipts of the general funds of the church; working with the Investment & Endowment Committee; and handling of other church accounts for various ministries. A competitive salary is offered.

Resumes can be sent electronically to general@firstchurchsaginaw.com or by hard copy to: First Presbyterian Church, 121 S. Harrison, Saginaw 48602.
 
Mission Co-Workers
The Ludwigs
Highlights from their latest newsletter:

We are safe and sound again this month despite the tension across Niger about the election process they're going through.  Our area is a stronghold for the current president, so there haven't been disturbances here since he is leading, although we were warned to stay at home the day the results were announced because of opposition protests.   No one got 50% of the vote in the first round, so the top two candidates are in a run-off election on March 20.

Community Health Evangelism (CHE) planning is moving better as we've been able to have more discussions with the key leaders here.  One of the central problems we're dealing with is the education level of so many of the pastors and leaders here, because the national leaders think it's not good enough to understand the CHE training in French (even though it's the national language).  Those who do have proficiency in French already have good-paying jobs with foreign NGO's like World Vision.  So we need to find some good solutions to how to bring the training to Niger and do it in Hausa, while maintaining the integrity of the sustainable, community based approach, and while gaining people's trust and excitement.  That's not a small order, but it's clear that finding the right person(s) is going to be key to the CHE method being effective here. 

The news is good about the EERN rickshaw project.  The funds have just arrived in Niger and we hear they will buy rickshaws next week!   We look forward to meeting the drivers and keeping you updated on how the business develops as well as what the EERN is able to do to support evangelists with the proceeds.

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If you would like to follow their adventures and their mission work in Niger, please contact Staci Percy at spercy@presbylh.org or 989-799-7481 x2 for their blog address. (They have asked that the link to it not be published online.)
Continuing Ed Opportunities
Transitional Ministry Training

When
Monday April 25, 2016 from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM EDT

Where
The Thome Rivertown Neighborhood
260 McDougall Ave.
Detroit, MI 48207


What the Trash Collector Knows about Transitional Ministry
 
We all know that vibrant ministry happens outside the church, as well as inside. We all know we should be involved in our neighborhoods. But how do we make time to get out the door when there's so much to do inside the church? How do we take the pulse of the neighborhood, get to know key leaders and figure out how to serve our neighborhoods?
 
Scott Lumsden picks up our questions on the church steps, and takes us through our neighborhoods, offering practical tools for connecting with our neighbors. He will help us with the interim task of reaffirming our church's identity, which includes our neighbors as well as our members. Scott will offer hands-on, practical wisdom for anyone in transitional ministry (which is everyone, really...)
 
The Rev. Scott Lumsden is the Executive Presbyter of Seattle Presbytery. He has served in a number of interim positions and currently leads Transitional Ministry Workshops at Menucha Retreat & Conference Center in Portland, OR. He has also led similar workshops in Seattle and Princeton Theological Seminary. Scott's ministry emphases are in the areas congregational leadership & renewal, transitions, and conflict resolution. Rev. Lumsden has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Biblical Literature from Azusa Pacific University and a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary.
 
The Committee on Ministry requests that all interim and transitional pastors attend this event. This workshop replaces our spring gathering.
 
Cost: $25. This includes refreshments, lunch, and materials.


Please contact me if you have questions.
  
Sincerely,
  
Mary Austin
Presbytery Of Detroit Committee on Ministry
313-341-2697 ext. 302
White Privilege Conference
Scholarships are available from Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries to Attend the White Privilege Conference, April 14-17, 2016, Marriott Philadelphia Downtown Hotel.

Are you a European American Presbyterian committed to intercultural ministries and racial justice? Do you want to learn more about how you can end institutional racism in your lifetime? Are you in a congregation or organization where you can share information and engage in conversations?
Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries in the Presbyterian Mission Agency has limited scholarships on a first-come first-serve basis for the White Privilege Conference, April 14-17, 2016, at the Marriott Hotel in Downtown Philadelphia. to cover the registration fee of $375 and hotel accommodations for 3 nights at the rate of $169. Deadline to apply for scholarships is March 15, 2016.

Click here for more details.
Alma Youth Mix
Church Leaders Opportunity
As a part of Youth Mix, church leaders are invited to join us for fellowship and discussion with one of the keynote speakers, Rev. Charles (Chip) Hardwick '88, PC(USA).

Please join us March 5, from 2:00pm to 4:00pm at the Alma College Center for Student Opportunity.

To RSVP call 800-291-1312, ext 2 or email: alumnioffice@alma.edu.
 
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:
  
 
While some safety concerns vary based on the church's location or size, medical emergencies can occur in urban churches or rural churches, along with megachurches and small congregations. Medical emergencies can affect members and attendees of all ages, from toddlers to teenagers to the elderly.
The word, "money," can stir a lot of emotions--some good and happy and some not so much. Even though we find ourselves talking and thinking about tithes and offering on a regular basis, money is a topic many of us try to avoid. The bottom line is: there will come a time (or many times!) that your church will need to ask for more of it. But how do we ask for money without making our members feel uncomfortable or pressured? How do we help them feel empowered to help the church spread its mission? Below are five ways not to ask for money in your church. You'll want to steer away from these mistakes when you discuss tithes and offering in your church.
 
What if we stopped marketing our church services and focused exclusively on getting the word out about the gospel-God's message of hope for humanity? Would the way we do church change? For years many churches have operated with a model that invited people to come to them. But tides are changing. Culture has shifted. As a church worker myself, I've realized we can no longer assume people will come to us-wandering into our church buildings or even attending well-intentioned activities hosted on our properties.
 
Smile - even if you're nervous and don't know how to deal with children, even if you're annoyed that kids kick the pews, even if you worry the baby may scream and interrupt the sermon, even if you wonder why they didn't take those kids to the nursery, especially if you are happy they came to church. Because you've been blessed with the chance to be like Jesus - to teach and listen and care for the littlest among us. Here's how:
There's little doubt culture is changing rapidly. The question is, are you ready as a church leader? If the change inside the church isn't equal to or greater than the change outside our walls, irrelevance is inevitable. While that thought can be somewhat depressing, think of the flip side. History belongs to the innovators. It belongs to the leaders who dared to dream, to try things no one else was trying, to experiment, to push the boundaries of what everyone else believed was possible.

 
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.
Connections
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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
Sandusky
Vassar-First
Yale-First

If your congregation has a page and it is not listed here, please contact Staci Percy at spercy@presbylh.org

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'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

spercy@presbylh.org 

989-799-7481 x2

In This Edition
In Our Prayers
From The Lions' Den
Presbytery Meeting
2016 Directory
Thank You
In Our Congregations
Presbyterian Women
Fish Frys
Help Wanted
Mission Co-Workers
Continuing Education
Church Leaders Opportunity
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. 

You can reissue or modify this content for your own church bulletin or newsletter, without crediting the Bi-Weekly Brief, but please credit any organizations, photographers, etc, that we credited.

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NOTE: The Presbytery of Lake Huron retains permission to modify submissions for clarity and length. Inclusion of an item in the Bi-Weekly Brief means that we think it's interesting and/or important, and does not constitute an endorsement of its point of view or its journalistic accuracy.

   

 
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Alma Youth Mix
March 4-6



Church Leaders Gathering with Chip Hardwick
March 5
2:00 pm



Nominating Team
March 14
10:00 am



Commission on Preparation for Ministry
March 16
10:00 am



Office Closed in Observance of Good Friday
March 25



Personnel Team
March 28
10:00 am



Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Admin Team
March 30
10:00 am



 

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