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EMerge is a newsletter of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area. Through most of the year it is published weekly and distributed to congregations, teaching elders, ruling elders, church members, committees and friends of the presbytery. Please send submissions and address corrections to office@ptcaweb.org.
May 20, 2016
  
Presbytery news  
 

Siblings from Hudson church

plan 'Cycle the Synod' to help youth

Emma Moody and Rob Moody, sister and brother, who attend First Presbyterian Church in Hudson, Wis., have a good idea of what to do this summer. Summer, the time of year that's knocking on the door, when parents begin to wonder how their children will fill up tri to change cycle the hours -- when parents worry about screen-time and boredom. And parents hope there will be something that's challenging, fun and worthwhile all rolled into one. Emma, 14, and Rob, 12, are setting out on their "Cycle the Synod" campaign, inviting the entire synod to join them. Their goal is to ride their bicycles to any church in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies that would like to hear the story of their mission and join them in their cause. In 2011 the brother-sister team founded a youth wellness organization called Tri to Change the World Inc. (TCW). With the help of their congregation, the kids and TCW have served more than 500 youth through free bicycles and swim lessons as well as donations to youth wellness organizations. The complete story is at "Cycle the Synod" and details about TCW are at "Tri to Change."

 

Presbytery committees

still need members

Presbytery Logo Although many vacancies were filled at the presbytery's recent annual meeting, openings still exist on many committees. There are openings on the Board of Trustees, Committee on Ethics, Nominating Committee, Mission and Witness Committee, and Committee on Ministry (ruling elders). Those interested in filling a vacancy, or those who would like to nominate someone, are asked to contact Manley Olson, chair of the Nominating Committee, at 651.644.2828 or manleyolson@gmail.com.

 

Jeff's Jottings

Four wins -- four lessons -- from Jeopardy

 

By Jeff Japinga

Transitional Executive Presbyter

  Jeffs son with Alec

About three years ago, a young man named Mark ran off four consecutive wins on the television game show Jeopardy. That's him in the picture, with host Alex Trebek. In doing so, he deposited a healthy chunk of change in his bank account. Those winnings came in handy; they got this young man through a master's program at the University of Wisconsin without debt.

 

I was at Mark's graduation last Sunday. Mark is my son. And so it was that I found myself reflecting back on Mark and life and that Jeopardy run during the drive back from Madison. (I don't have satellite radio and forgot the book-on-tape. Trust me, the radio stations in Tomah aren't all that great.) Since I occasionally use this column to write about my thoughts on some random subject, here's what I think I think about Jeopardy and the trajectory of the PTCA.

 

The complete column can be found at "Jeopardy."

 

Spring event slated by Committee

on Preparation for Ministry

Seekers, inquirers, candidates, pastors and session liaisons are being invited to the Spring Event of the presbytery's Committee on Preparation for Presbytery Logo Ministry on Monday, May 23, from 4 to 8 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, 535 20th Ave. N., South St. Paul. For seekers, this is a required event. For inquirers, the event is an opportunity to gather with others in the process and to learn from committee members about navigating the journey to ministry. For pastors and session members, the event is an opportunity to gather and learn with others. Details are at "CPM Event."

Activities in presbytery   
 
Andrew Riverside notes yoga,
biweekly summer series, more
Andrew Riverside Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis has a full slate of activities for the summer, including yoga and its biweekly summer program. Yoga classes take place Tuesdays at 7 p.m. and run through June 28. Yoga, according to the Andrew Riverside newsletter, "unites mind, body and spirit, taking us deeper into and further out of ourselves simultaneously." The biweekly summer series is bringing together "a diverse group of people with the desire to discuss living a meaningful life." Naomi Schwenke, director of StoryCourage, will lead the Saturday, June 11, session, "Courageous Storytelling," starting at 6 p.m. Details are in the Andrew Riverside newsletter at "AR News."
  
Volunteer teachers needed
for Kwanzaa Summer School
Kwanzaa Church Kwanzaa Community Church is offering an opportunity to put faith into action this summer by being a volunteer teacher for Kwanzaa's 21st Century Academy. The Academy, part of the Northside Achievement Zone, works with families and schools to help children raise their grade levels as they form meaningful relationships with adults. The summer school meets June 13 to July 22 at the Minneapolis Community Technical College. Details are available at "Kwanzaa Summer School."
Service opportunities ...  

 

Shepherd of the Hill Church in Chaska is looking for musicians for its June, July and August services. Soloists, classical instrumentalists and singers; U2-style modernists; more are sought to perform pro bono for 9:30 a.m. services. Singers with guitars are welcome. Musicians will audition with Pastor Dean Seal and music director Ted Godbout, jazz musician and Dakota Jazz Club habitué. Short description of performance should be sent to Seal at seal13dean@gmail.com.

 

First Presbyterian Church of White Bear Lake is seeking a director of children's ministries to provide leadership and direction to the congregation's children's ministry program. The complete position announcement can be found at "Children Ministry."

Each year, on a Sunday during Lent, Presbyterians across the country take time to celebrate Self-Development of People, a ministry of One Great Hour of Sharing. Now in its 46th year, SDOP focuses on poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people by establishing partnerships with low-income community groups domestically and around the world. Since the ministry began in 1970, SDOP has provided support to more than 5,600 community projects in 67 countries. Working with its national committee, 25 presbytery and three synod committees, SDOP provides grants to communities struggling with social justice and economic issues.  March 13 has been designated as SDOP Sunday this year and church leaders are hoping congregations will take note. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "SDOP."

https://www.pcusa.org/news/2016/2/16/presbyterian-churches-commemorate-sdop-sunday-marc/

 

Synod School catalog published, distributed, placed on website

The Synod School 2016 catalog has been published, been placed in the mail, and been posted on the Synod of Lakes and Prairies website. The website also includes all the details and forms necessary to register. Registration opened this week. John Bell, the world renowned lecturer, preacher and teacher will be this summer's convocations peaker. Bell is a member of the Wild Goose Resource Group, an autonomous project of the Iona Community. The synod's annual week-long summer ministry runs July 24-29 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Each year about 600 people participate in the courses, worship, fellowship, fun and relaxation. Details are at "Synod School."

http://www.lakesandprairies.org/SynodSchool

 

United Seminary's art exhibitions continue to April

How are faith communities establishing their convictions and response to the Black Lives Matter movement? And what about the women who are caught up in violent policing tactics? The Center for Arts, Faith & Culture at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is partnering with Intermedia Arts and Obsidian Arts to present two complementary, juried exhibitions - "Faith [In]Action" and "Hands Up Don't Shoot -- HER." Art forms include paintings, photography, digital and paper collage, video, poetry, music, digital printing on fabric, embellished art-wear, sculpture and more. The exhibits run Jan. 28 through April 16. Details are at "Art Exhibits."

http://www.unitedseminary.edu/initiatives/center-arts-faith-culture/in-the-gallery/

 

Summer Pastors School runs in early June at Hastings College

Summer Pastors School, a program of the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, runs June 5-11 at Hastings (Neb.) College. Speakers include Thomas G. Long, Bandy professor of preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta; James Ayers, renewal pastor at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kan., and professor at Fuller Seminary in Houston; Nancy Ramsay, professor of pastoral theology and pastoral care at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas; and Mark Sundby, executive director of North Central Ministry Development Center in New Brighton, Minn. Early bird registration runs through April 20. Details are at "Summer Pastors School."

http://omahapresbyterianseminaryfoundation.org/2016-Summer-Pastors'-School.html

 

PC(USA) offers resources for designing church website

In this day and age it is extremely important to have a presence online. However, just having a website isn't always enough. The website's layout and content play a huge role in its effectiveness. Among the vital statistics: 85 percent of users leave websites due to poor design, 40 percent never return because the content was hard to find, 83 percent of users leave because there were too many clicks to find what they wanted, and 75 percent of visitors admit to making judgments about a company's credibility based on their website's design. More details are available at "Website Design."

http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/communicate/news/

 

Youth ministry is topic of current Presbyterians Today issue

"It was a hot August night, and Atlanta's Buckhead Theatre had been reserved for a special gala to honor 15 remarkable teenagers. With the help of GivingPoint, a leading youth philanthropy organization, these youth had launched nonprofit organizations that were addressing significant social problems such as homelessness, teen pregnancy, poverty, and inadequate education." That's the way the lead story by Chanon Ross opens in the current edition of Presbyterians Today. The magazine's March/April theme is youth ministry. The complete story, along with other stories from the current issue, can be found at "Youth Ministry Guide."

http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/today/

 

Workshops announced for 2016 Advocacy Training Weekend

The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness has released workshop titles and descriptions for Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day, held annually in Washington, D.C. The 2016 training date is Friday, April 15. Attending Presbyterians can then join the larger ecumenical community for the next two days in plenaries, worship and discussion as part of Ecumenical Advocacy Days, which brings together more than a 1,000 people within the Christian community for its annual national gathering. The event culminates Monday, April 18, when attendees can lobby their local congressmen on important social justice issues. The complete story can be found at "Advocacy Training."

https://www.pcusa.org/news/2016/2/19/workshops-announced-2016-compassion-peace-and-just/

 

Conference plannedon bi-vocational ministry

Titled "Bi-Vocational Ministry in the 21st Century," a conference slated April 15-16 at Saint Simons Island in Georgia will offer information important to those serving or seeking to serve in a bi-vocational ministry context as well as others who work with ministers who serve in such contexts. The Rev. Dr. Robert Grove-Markwood, right, director of the BTS Center, mission successor to Bangor Theological Seminary, will be the keynote speaker. A complete brochure can be found at "Serving in the 21st Century."
Conferences, resources 

 

The Sower, gathering information

available on synod website

Writing about renewal in the latest edition of The Sower, the newsletter of Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, Marilyn Stone, moderator of the organization, wrote, "With the Presbyterian Women logo arrival of spring, we witness the renewal of God's creation around us. As the grass greens, the crocus and daffodils burst forth with color and the trees begin to bud, I hope this brings forth a spiritual renewal for you as well." Stone also addressed this summer's Synod-wide gathering of Presbyterian Women, writing, "This will be a wonderful opportunity for spiritual renewal and growth, as well as renewing old friendships and creating new ones." The gathering takes place June 15-18 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Details and gathering registration materials can be found at "Summer Gathering." Stone's complete column, and current edition of the newsletter, are at "The Sower."

 

Insurance Board offers resources

for safe worship spaces

Insurance Board Church leaders have a duty to provide a safe place for worship and ministry, and to protect church property. The Insurance Board provides you a variety of resources to help you fulfill your covenant. The Board has organized, by subject, the items churches must manage. The materials include basic lessons, checklists, forms and links to other useful information. These items can be found at "Safety."

 

Revised application posted online

for synod's racial-ethnic scholarship

A revised application for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies' Racial Ethnic Student Preparation for Leadership Scholarship takes a broader approach to synod Christian service, emphasizing community service as well as service within the church. For example, the older form stated, "Students must be able to demonstrate their preparation for service as a church professional or other leadership role." The new form states, " ... preparation for service as a church professional or community leadership role." The scholarship program was revised when the synod's Committee on Racial Ethnic Ministry met late last month. The revised scholarship form is at "Preparation for Leadership."

 

Synod seeks requests

for collegiate ministry projects

The Synod of Lakes and Prairies continues its long-standing commitment to collegiate ministry, but it also supports congregational-based and chaplaincy-based ministry. The synod considers proposals that either provide short-term funding to help established ministries become self-sustaining, or provide seed money for new ministries or new initiatives of established ministries, or provide leadership development opportunities for professional or volunteer ministry leaders. The synod also offers mini-grants, such as grants for fall- or spring-break activities. Complete application procedures and guidelines can be found at "Lakes and Prairies Collegiate Ministries."

 

Synod School registration

continues, some waiting lists

2016 Synod School Synod School is just over two months away, and some classes already have waiting lists. Not to worry though, registration continues. Synod School, the popular midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies runs July 24-29 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Synod School offers 70 classes that run the gamut from serious to more lighthearted -- from Living a Life of Worship, to God at the Box Office, to The Jedi Academy in the Gospel According to Star Wars. Details and registration information are at "Synod School." (There's also a list of classes with waiting lists at the link.)

 

Carol Howard Merritt headlines Washington Island Forum

Carol Howard Merritt, well known author and speaker, will address "The Church on the Edge" at this year's Washington Island Forum that runs June 20-24. The Forum is a 40-year tradition sponsored by the Carol Howard Merritt Wisconsin Council of Churches and The Christian Century magazine. The four and a half-day event includes worship, workshops, discussion and contemplation in an ecumenical retreat setting on Washington Island, located about seven miles northeast of the tip of Door Peninsula. Merritt, a Presbyterian minister and senior consultant for the Center for Progressive Religion, is author of "Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation" and "Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation." She is a frequent contributor to books, blogs, magazines and journals. Details are at "Washington Island Forum."

Each year, on a Sunday during Lent, Presbyterians across the country take time to celebrate Self-Development of People, a ministry of One Great Hour of Sharing. Now in its 46th year, SDOP focuses on poor, oppressed and disadvantaged people by establishing partnerships with low-income community groups domestically and around the world. Since the ministry began in 1970, SDOP has provided support to more than 5,600 community projects in 67 countries. Working with its national committee, 25 presbytery and three synod committees, SDOP provides grants to communities struggling with social justice and economic issues.  March 13 has been designated as SDOP Sunday this year and church leaders are hoping congregations will take note. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "SDOP."

https://www.pcusa.org/news/2016/2/16/presbyterian-churches-commemorate-sdop-sunday-marc/

 

Synod School catalog published, distributed, placed on website

The Synod School 2016 catalog has been published, been placed in the mail, and been posted on the Synod of Lakes and Prairies website. The website also includes all the details and forms necessary to register. Registration opened this week. John Bell, the world renowned lecturer, preacher and teacher will be this summer's convocations peaker. Bell is a member of the Wild Goose Resource Group, an autonomous project of the Iona Community. The synod's annual week-long summer ministry runs July 24-29 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Each year about 600 people participate in the courses, worship, fellowship, fun and relaxation. Details are at "Synod School."

http://www.lakesandprairies.org/SynodSchool

 

United Seminary's art exhibitions continue to April

How are faith communities establishing their convictions and response to the Black Lives Matter movement? And what about the women who are caught up in violent policing tactics? The Center for Arts, Faith & Culture at United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is partnering with Intermedia Arts and Obsidian Arts to present two complementary, juried exhibitions - "Faith [In]Action" and "Hands Up Don't Shoot -- HER." Art forms include paintings, photography, digital and paper collage, video, poetry, music, digital printing on fabric, embellished art-wear, sculpture and more. The exhibits run Jan. 28 through April 16. Details are at "Art Exhibits."

http://www.unitedseminary.edu/initiatives/center-arts-faith-culture/in-the-gallery/

 

Summer Pastors School runs in early June at Hastings College

Summer Pastors School, a program of the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, runs June 5-11 at Hastings (Neb.) College. Speakers include Thomas G. Long, Bandy professor of preaching at the Candler School of Theology at Emory University in Atlanta; James Ayers, renewal pastor at Bethel Presbyterian Church in Wichita, Kan., and professor at Fuller Seminary in Houston; Nancy Ramsay, professor of pastoral theology and pastoral care at Brite Divinity School in Fort Worth, Texas; and Mark Sundby, executive director of North Central Ministry Development Center in New Brighton, Minn. Early bird registration runs through April 20. Details are at "Summer Pastors School."

http://omahapresbyterianseminaryfoundation.org/2016-Summer-Pastors'-School.html

 

PC(USA) offers resources for designing church website

In this day and age it is extremely important to have a presence online. However, just having a website isn't always enough. The website's layout and content play a huge role in its effectiveness. Among the vital statistics: 85 percent of users leave websites due to poor design, 40 percent never return because the content was hard to find, 83 percent of users leave because there were too many clicks to find what they wanted, and 75 percent of visitors admit to making judgments about a company's credibility based on their website's design. More details are available at "Website Design."

http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/communicate/news/

 

Youth ministry is topic of current Presbyterians Today issue

"It was a hot August night, and Atlanta's Buckhead Theatre had been reserved for a special gala to honor 15 remarkable teenagers. With the help of GivingPoint, a leading youth philanthropy organization, these youth had launched nonprofit organizations that were addressing significant social problems such as homelessness, teen pregnancy, poverty, and inadequate education." That's the way the lead story by Chanon Ross opens in the current edition of Presbyterians Today. The magazine's March/April theme is youth ministry. The complete story, along with other stories from the current issue, can be found at "Youth Ministry Guide."

http://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/today/

 

Workshops announced for 2016 Advocacy Training Weekend

The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness has released workshop titles and descriptions for Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day, held annually in Washington, D.C. The 2016 training date is Friday, April 15. Attending Presbyterians can then join the larger ecumenical community for the next two days in plenaries, worship and discussion as part of Ecumenical Advocacy Days, which brings together more than a 1,000 people within the Christian community for its annual national gathering. The event culminates Monday, April 18, when attendees can lobby their local congressmen on important social justice issues. The complete story can be found at "Advocacy Training."

https://www.pcusa.org/news/2016/2/19/workshops-announced-2016-compassion-peace-and-just/

 

Conference plannedon bi-vocational ministry

Titled "Bi-Vocational Ministry in the 21st Century," a conference slated April 15-16 at Saint Simons Island in Georgia will offer information important to those serving or seeking to serve in a bi-vocational ministry context as well as others who work with ministers who serve in such contexts. The Rev. Dr. Robert Grove-Markwood, right, director of the BTS Center, mission successor to Bangor Theological Seminary, will be the keynote speaker. A complete brochure can be found at "Serving in the 21st Century."
News of the wider church

 

Youth Triennium registration
continues, speaker lineup announced

Youth Triennium Presbyterian Youth Triennium registration is still underway, with a May 31 early-bird registration deadline approaching for the July 19-23 event held on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Registration closes June 10 for the event sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Speakers include Rodger Nishioka, who will preach opening night on the theme "Go and See," and Anna Sweet Brockman, who will preach Wednesday afternoon on the theme "Go and Do Likewise." More details are available in the Presbyterian News Service story at "Triennium." Details about the Presbytery of Twin Cities Area's planning and participation in Triennium can be found at "Going."

 

Local mission giving in PC(USA)

churches increases in 2015

Local mission giving in Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations went up by almost $7.7 million in 2015, according to annual statistics of the denomination released today. And that increase in giving was Office of General Assembly despite the fact that the number of congregations decreased and the number of active members also went down. "Presbyterians, regardless of how large or small they are in number, are recommitting themselves to be the hands and feet of Christ in communities across the country," said the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly. The complete story from the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Local Mission Giving."

 

Jeanne Bishop wins Writers

Guild's 'Best First Book Award'

Change of Heart "Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy and Making Peace with My Sister's Killer" by Jeanne Bishop has been named winner of the Presbyterian Writers Guild's 2014-2015 Best First Book Award. The award, with a  $500 cash prize funded by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, is given at each General Assembly to the best first book by a Presbyterian writer during the previous two years. Bishop will receive her award at the Writers Guild's General Assembly Luncheon June 23 in Portland, Ore. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "First Book."