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 25, 2016 

"For now the winter is past,
    the rain is over and gone.
The flowers appear on the earth;
    the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
    is heard in our land.

Song of Solomon 2:11-12 (NRSV)

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer... 

Praying Hands
The sister of Elder Cheryl Hosler (Croswell-First) has recently been diagnosed with cancer. We lift up Kathy, Cheryl, their family and loved ones.

The family of Marydeana Duckworth and the congregation of Mt. Pleasant-First on her passing to the larger life last week. Marydeana was very active in Presbyterian Women both at her church and at the presbytery level. Click here to view her obituary.

The family of Elder Kate Smith and the congregation of Croswell-First on her passing to the larger life last week. Kate was the secretary at Croswell-First and was also in the presbytery's CRE (Commissioned Ruling Elder) program. Click here to view her obituary.

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 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
I am concluding my series of remarks on mission in a changing context with a look forward. In my last column I stated that "more important than having a mission statement is having a mission." Our presbytery has a wonderful mission statement. It was adopted in 2000 and is a perfect statement about what a presbytery in the 21st century can and should be. You can link to it, along with "directional signals" for its implementation on our webpage (

But what lasting impact has the statement accomplished? Rather than embarking on a new way of being the church, over the past ten years or so, our presbytery has responded to our changing mission context like many others in our denomination: reducing staff and program, streamlining committees, and closing small churches which the Presbytery could no longer afford to support with mission dollars. We are now operating on a smaller scale, but the style, purpose, and function of the presbytery hasn't changed. If anything, we have become less effective.

Rather than become an "inside-out" presbytery, directing our energies and resources outward through congregations and networks, we have become increasingly passive, moribund, and resigned, both as congregations and as a presbytery together.

We have despaired of being the church we once were, but haven't imagined what kind of church we are called to become. We have focused on what we lack, rather than on what God has given us. We have been waiting for God in our comfortable, familiar pews instead of going to find God out in the world where God is already at work and inviting us to join in that work.

Antoine de Saint-Exupry, author of The Little Prince, is credited with saying, "If you want to build a ship, don't drum up the men to gather wood, divide the work, and give orders. Instead, teach them to yearn for the vast and endless sea." We have confused the shipyard for the sea, and become more concerned with the design of the ship than venturing to where God is at work.

Beginning with our upcoming Presbytery meeting June 7, we are going to launch "holy conversations" about the future of our presbytery. We are NOT going to write a new mission statement. We are going to dream. We will look for places God is at work in our communities, in our state, in our world and imagine how we might join God in those places. We are going to release the joy of being the church in service to God in the world. We are going to give voice to the yearning of the Spirit.

The model of our future is Jesus, "the pioneer and perfecter of our faith, who for the sake of the joy that was set before him endured the cross, disregarding its shame, and has taken his seat at the right hand of the throne of God" (Heb. 12:2). What is the joy God has set before us? What are we willing to put aside, lay down, pick up, or carry in order to obtain that joy?  What gifts has God already given us to use to get to where we are meant to be?

These conversations will form a part of our upcoming presbytery meetings, but we won't get far if they stop there. It is my hope, and, I pray, our hope as a presbytery, that these conversations will ignite similar conversations in each of our churches. Then we will be amazed by what God will do when we set our sights on that vast sea and the distant shore.


Dan Saperstein, Executive Presbyter
Presbytery Documents
The documents for the June 7th stated meeting of presbytery at Cass City-First are now available on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website. The meeting will begin at 9:30am. Registration begins at 9:00am.
General Assembly 222 Updates
The 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will take place June 18-25, in Portland, Oregon.

Our Executive Presbyter, the Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein, has begun blogging about the event and will continue to do so through until at least the end of next month.

You are invited to view his blog at:

Please feel free to share this with those who may be interested.
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.

Celebrating Women
PC-USA Seal Round
PC(USA) celebrates 60 years of women clergy
For some, there has never been a time where there were not women ministers. But others remember when there were no women preachers, no women role models in seminaries and divinity schools, and no women engaged in pastoral care, at least not professionally. 

A few years ago, the Rev. Cynthia Campbell, pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville and former president of McCormick Theological Seminary, was keynote speaker at the Clergywomen's Leadership Institute held at Big Tent. Campbell remembered the day she was ordained in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), June 30, 1974. "One thing that stuck in my memory was the ordination certificate," she remembered. "San Gabriel Presbytery's stated clerk had to add an 'S' to the printed 'He' on the certificate. Likewise, 'his' was typed over on an IBM Selectric typewriter with 'her.'"

This year marks the 60th anniversary of women teaching elders in the PC(USA). On October 24, 1956, the Rev. Margaret Towner was ordained as the first woman minister in the Presbyterian Church. Despite the attention and recognition she received-her photo was featured in Life magazine and other publications-Towner said she "chose to avoid the limelight and continue my work in the local congregation."

Click here to continue reading.
Mission Co-Workers
Michael and Rachel Ludwig
The Ludwigs will be special guests at the June presbytery meeting. We look forward to hearing how they have spent the past year since we last saw them.
Alma Youth Mix
Save The Date
March 3 - 5, 2017

High school students are invited to spend the weekend on the Alma College campus with youth from multiple churches around the state. Share your time and your faith. Enjoy discussion, fellowship, worship, recreation, entertainment and food!

Click here for more information and for a downloadable flyer or visit their Facebook page.
In Our Congregations
Golf Scramble
Memorial Presbyterian Church of Midland is welcoming an avid golfers to their third annual golf scramble.  Mark your calendars for Saturday, June 25, at 9:00 a.m. at Sandy Ridge Golf Course.  The cost is $65.00 which includes lunch after the round, cart, and of course, cart service on the course!  All proceeds will go to the HELP Pantry in Midland.

For reservations please call Memorial Presbyterian Church at 989.835.6759.
Memorial Presbyterian Church is pleased to support Cameron Lippoldt, 19, who has a passion not only for golf, but for helping those in need in the Midland County.  Cameron started this event three years ago after being inspired by Pastor Rom Schacher's sermon on using your gifts to help your community.  Each year Cameron has raised over $2000.00 to help support those in need.  Please come on out and support this worthy endeavor to help the community!
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:
Summer for Churches: Staying Connected
Summer brings vacations, outdoor events, and travel. As a result, many churches see a decline in their Sunday worship attendance. But this doesn't have to translate into a decline in connections between the church and its members, or between members themselves. Here are 9 suggestions to help your church stay connected with parishioners over the summer.
One way to help children worship is to provide picture worship guides for them to follow.  The print bulletins we give adults do not grab the children's attention but if children are not handed one as they come in the door they assume that worship is not really for them.  It's a lose - lose proposition.  Because it is such a visual world, it is not as hard as it first seems to provide picture as well as word orders of worship for young worshipers.  All you need is a collection of icons to represent different worship activities.  With them you can:
Older Adults in Church
There is no shortage of books and articles on ministry with children, youth, or young adults. The reality for many churches, however, is that much of the life of the church - those sitting in the pews, or serving on altar guilds, or ushering, or pledging, or manning the food programs - involves people nearing 75, or older. Dorothy Linthicum has studied, taught and written about this generation. The following is a condensed version of her article from the Winter 2016 Episcopal Teacher.

Having worked in both the church and nonprofit world, I've noticed a few differences between how the two communicate. Sure, churches are technically considered nonprofits, too. But there are still some recognizable differences between secular charities and spiritual organizations. Now that I've worked for Make-A-Wish about as long as I served on staff at a church, I've gained some valuable insight on some things that churches can learn from traditional nonprofit marketing.
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:

Flint-Trinity United ***NEW ADDITION TO THIS LIST ***
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
Presbytery Documents
GA 222
Summer Hours
Background Checks
Celebrating Clergy Women
Mission Co-Workers
Alma Youth Mix
Golf Scramble
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.


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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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

Presbytery Meeting
June 7
9:30 am
Cass City-First

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
June 15
10:00 am

222nd General Assembly
June 18-25
Portland, OR


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