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." 

May 11, 2016 

"The world's favorite season is the spring. 
All things seem possible in May."

-  Edwin Way Teale

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer... 

Praying Hands
All who have been affected by natural disasters recently. Click here to see how PDA is helping.

Mission Co-Workers:
The Rev. Cathy Chang and family who are now in the Philippines settling in and beginning their onsite work as Mission Co-Workers.

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 May and June:

The Rev. Dr. Daniel Ahn (5/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. George Baird (6/21) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Edward Borycz (5/12) - Pastor of Davison-St. Andrews
The Rev. Alec Brooks (5/1) - 65 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Roger Browne (6/1) - 50 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bert Clark (6/5)Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bruce Cunningham (5/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Bob Emrich (6/7) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Fred Gates (6/3) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Sharlyn Gates (6/15) - 20 years - Pastor of Holly
The Rev. Ron Grimes (6/13) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bob Lakey (6/8) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Leas (6/30) - 55 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Mike Loenshal (6/18) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Donald Neuville (6/19) - 50 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak (6/24) - Pastor of Ithaca-First (until 5/15 when he begins his call as Pastor of Flint-First)
The Rev. Ken Parker (6/24) - Pastor of Saginaw-Countryside Trinity
The Rev. Teresa Peterson (6/3) - Pastor of Flushing
The Rev. Peter Russell (6/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dale Swihart (5/16) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Taylor (6/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Walser (5/22) - 50 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Weenink (5/18) - Pastor of Bay City-First
The Rev. Jim Williams (6/1) - Temporary Supply Pastor of Saginaw-Warren Avenue
The Rev. Paul Ytterock (6/8) - Associate Pastor of Flint-First
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den
This Sunday, May 15, is Pentecost Sunday. Pentecost celebrates the gift of the Spirit who descended upon the gathered community of disciples ten days after Jesus' ascension. It is sometimes called "the birthday of the Church," because it launched the Church's apostolic mission into the world. According to Acts 2, when the Spirit fell upon the disciples they "began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability" (v. 4). Jews from around the world were gathered in Jerusalem. They heard the disciples praising God in their native languages and marveled. Then Peter began to preach about Jesus, and 3000 persons were added to the Church that day.

Over the past two months I have been writing about the changing context of ministry Presbyterians face today. We no longer enjoy the status and privilege of Christendom - the era when the Church held a central place in society. We are in a new apostolic age. It is no longer sufficient to sit in our pews and expect people to come to us; like the first apostles, we must take the gospel into the world. It is not enough to be a "welcoming" congregation, waiting for an influx of people to break down our doors simply because we exist. Neither is it even enough to be an "inviting" congregation - sending out invitations through ads, social media, or even door-to-door evangelism. Both of these approaches, good as they might be, are nonetheless attractional strategies which rely on drawing people in, making them part of our fellowship, and building the church in place.

The church of the 21st century must increasingly become an "inside-out" congregation, focused not on drawing people to the church where they might find Jesus, but taking Jesus with them into the world and drawing people to him where they are. This can involve proclaiming the gospel, as Peter did at Pentecost, but in our media-saturated world, words are cheap. People are less interested in what we say than in what we do, how we live, and whether those make any difference in the world. The church that was born on Pentecost is not a building, not a place, but a movement of the Spirit that exists in the pulse of gathering and sending, worshiping and serving, hearing and doing.

Someone recently asked me if I could help their session write a new mission statement. I replied, somewhat flippantly I will admit, that while mission statements are fine exercises, they rarely make any difference in the life of a church. They might appear on church bulletins or be posted in their fellowship hall. But they rarely make it out of the building. Far more important than a mission statement, I said, is having a mission. By that I do not mean simply supporting missions performed by someone else, somewhere else. But recognizing that we are missionaries ourselves in the community we inhabit, and have a holy calling to discover and exercise our mission in service to God and our neighbors.

Jesus told his disciples they would be his witnesses "in Jerusalem, all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8). They were to start locally, where they were, and the Spirit would drive them farther out, like ripples in a pond. But it starts where you are. How well does your church know the people who live nearby? What are their needs and concerns? How can your church serve them - not to attract them, but to model Christ's selfless love to them - not as a "program" but as a congregational lifestyle? When we practice the movement of gathering and sending, worshiping and serving, we discover the pulse of the Spirit, quickening our languishing spirits into a vital, living Church. And others may join God's mission, and with us find joy and meaning in the same pulse of life.


Dan Saperstein, Executive Presbyter
Summer Hours
From Memorial Day through Labor Day the Presbytery Office will be switching to our summer hours of:

Monday - Thursday 8:00 am to 3:30 pm
Friday 8:00 am to noon

Please contact the office at 989-799-7481 should you need to make special arrangements for a meeting. 
Background Checks Available
The presbytery has contracted with our insurance company to get a very low rate on running background checks.
A basic background check - which is sufficient for most paid and volunteer positions - is under just $6.25.
For more information contact Stephanie Cervini at [email protected] or 989-799-7481 x3.

Mission Co-Workers
Michael and Rachel Ludwig
Highlights from their latest blog post:

It's been a month of good movement on many fronts.  The plans for Community Health Evangelism (CHE), our progression in language, and the rickshaw taxi business have all moved along nicely.  Our partners in the EERN have met and made some big decisions about what direction to go for the CHE training plan, so now we are working to finalize the details and apply for partnership help.  We thank you all for your prayers and encouragement!  The work we've put in on language finally feels like it's paying off more, as I estimate we pick up about 50% of conversations now, although Rachel feels I sell us short on how much we understand.

On our blog you can read more about Rachel's reflection on the women's conference, the story of the un-supervision of our neighbor boys, the intensity of the heat and the difficult gambles of farmers. We've also posted the story of inter-faith dialog that's surprisingly lead to local religious leader coming to follow Jesus and a reflection on the hazards of missing Lent.  As mentioned elsewhere, we have more  reflections on the important part of our ministry of presence with kids, and the rickshaw taxis kicking off. 

To wrap up, it seems like everything is harder in when the heat gets most intense.  We seem to constantly be having some problem, whether with car, water, electricity, our hired help, or even dealing with the delays of paperwork for the adoption that still hasn't gone through.  But we're making it through as we lean on prayer and the hope we have in God's purposes.  We're so thankful that the last week has brought on a time of having strong water through most of the day, so we get to use our sinks and faucets again!  Although it has also brought more problems with electricity like last year at this time, frequent outages and some long ones.


If you would like to follow their adventures and their mission work in Niger, please contact Staci Percy at [email protected] or 989-799-7481 x2 for their blog address. (They have asked that the link to it not be published online.)

In Our Congregations
Training In Children and Worship

Mt. Pleasant -First is hosting "Training in Children & Worship", an exciting process of faith formation with children, will be held at First Presbyterian Church, Mt. Pleasant on May, 13 & 14, 2016.


This event, sponsored by the Children & Worship Institute and will be led by Director, Rev. Olivia Stewart


Training in Children & Worship is based on methods put forth in the book, Young Children and Worship, by Sonja M. Stewart and Jerome W. Berryman. In Children & Worship

Centers, children hear Bible stories and learn about God as they experience the presence of God.


The Bible stories are told in a way that allows the listeners to enter into the stories and respond out of their own life experiences. In Children & Worship the children also learn the meaning of church traditions and have opportunities to participate in worship practices.


This training in Children & Worship is comprehensive and will give participants the information and training needed to begin a Children & Worship program in their churches.


The cost of the training is $120.00 per person. For registration information, please contact Olivia Stewart, Director of Children & Worship at [email protected] or visit the website

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:
I am an advocator of children's church. I always have been. It is important to have children's services that appeal to their age group for a variety of reasons. That being said, there is a movement in many churches today to always have children separated from adults. Although children should have a children's church where they can learn and worship God, they also need to regularly be in the main service with the rest of the church body. What regularly means will vary from church to church. In the churches where I was on staff, it meant once a month and always in special services. Other churches, because of the complications involved, may elect to do it once a quarter. I don't think it should ever be less than once a quarter. Here are five reasons I believe children should regularly be in the main service:
We all talk about the staggering number of teenagers that step away from the church after they graduate high school (or even before). One of the best ways to keep teenagers involved in church is to get them involved. It's true that many adults have an issue with letting go and handing responsibility over to a teenager, but there are so many great things that can happen when this happens.

If we don't get them involved, one of two things can happen:
  1. They might leave the church, because it doesn't really seem like they matter.
  2. They won't know how to serve within the church since they were never allowed as a teen.
As you start to brainstorm a few areas of your church where teenagers can be involved, I'll help start that process by sharing a few areas where our students are regularly serving in our church:
So you want to connect with your church online. It seems so easy, just about everyone is already there, and you'd really love to feel engaged with your congregation. There's just one problem... creating and maintaining an online community can be very tricky, not to mention overwhelming. Here are a few rules for you to follow to create a thriving community that wants to engage with you:
Usually the phrase "texting in church" brings up bad connotations. You picture disinterested teens, sitting in the way back of the congregation, rapidly messaging back and forth on a mobile device. Although this scenario may be all too real, there's something about it that we, as church marketers, can't ignore. Over 99% of all text messages are opened and read within five minutes or less. That factor alone makes text communication for churches a no brainer. Want to learn more? Let's start out by discussing the foundational basics of church texting. 
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:

Tawas *** NEW ***

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
Summer Hours
Background Checks
Mission Co-Workers
Training 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. 

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Coordinating Team
May 11
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
May 18
10:00 am

Personnel Team
May 23
10:00 am

COM - Outreach and Admin Team
May 25
11:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Memorial Day
May 30

Presbytery Offce
Summer Hours
May 31


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