In This Issue
News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Conferences, camps & other resources
News of colleges, universities, seminaries
News around the PC(USA)
Just a few more
Quick Links
Synod of Lakes and Prairies

Presbyterian News Service



May 31, 2014

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies

2 plans, 1 vision for mission of synods

Leaders from 14 synods of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) expressed their agreement with the direction of recommendations from the Synod Logo denomination's Mid Council Commission II, but they also disagreed with an automatic reconfiguration to eight synods. The Presbyterian Outlook recently published a story on the synod leaders' response to the commission. The story noted the "opposition could pose a significant challenge to the commission's recommendations, as happened in 2012, when the assembly voted down a series of recommendations from a previous commission - including eliminating synods as ecclesiastical bodies and the idea of non-geographic presbyteries" The complete Outlook story is at "Synods." The Mid Council Commission, through the Office of the General Assembly, also released a series of videos outlining its report that will go to the 221st General Assembly this summer.


Synod's Racial Ethnic Scholarship

application available online

The application form is online for the next round of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies' Racial Ethnic Student Scholarship. The scholarship fund is an educational assistance program designed to encourage racial ethnic students in their preparation for academic success in higher education. Application awards are based on personal achievement and financial need. Completed applications are due Sept. 30. Details are at "Racial Ethnic Scholarship."


PC(USA) offers limited number of scholarships

to Wild Goose; Twin Cities minister speaks

The Wild Goose Festival, a gathering described as an "intersection of Wild Goose Festival justice, spirituality, art and music," will run Thursday through Sunday, June 26-29, at Hot Springs, N.C. A limited number of scholarships are still available through the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Scholarship details are at "Wild Goose." Jin Kim, pastor of Church of All Nations in New Brighton, is one of the keynote speakers at the festival. A list of speakers is available at "Speakers."


History Theatre plans next-year

performance of Holmgren work

History Theatre Minnesota "God Girl," a new play by Kristine Holmgren, a Presbyterian teaching elder and former columnist for the Star Tribune of Minneapolis, is slated for a Feb. 7 to March 1, 2015, run at the History Theatre in St. Paul, Minn. The play, according to the Web site of the History Theatre, "reflects on the hard work, humor, and heartbreak experienced by the brave women who dared to break through the stained glass ceiling within the protestant church." Details can be found at "History Theatre."
Conferences, camps & other resources

Administrative Personnel Association

APA logo sets regional conference in July

The Administrative Personnel Association Greater Midwest Region will conduct its 2014 conference July 27-29 at First Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Ill. APA classes will be available to all members. Event details can be found in the brochure at "Midwest Region."


Multicultural Church Conference

Multicultural Conference set at end of July in Texas

The National Multicultural Church Conference will take place Thursday through Sunday, July 31-Aug. 3, at the Historic Hilton Fort Worth, Texas. The theme for this year's conference is "Journeying and Awakening into God's Diverse World." Details about the conference can be found at "Multicultural Church."


Great Ends Being Reformed 'Great Ends of the church'

renews focus for heading to GA

A new "Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding" study for adults surveys the great ends of the church in significant and accessible ways. It will help renew the focus of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders before the 221st General Assembly, according to the announcement from Congregational Ministries Publishing. The complete announcement can be found at "Great Ends."


Mediation skills training institute

lombard mennonite planned in North Dakota

A mediation skills training institute, led by Richard Blackburn, executive director of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center, is scheduled Aug. 18-22 at St. Francis Convent & Retreat Center in Hankinson, N.D. The event is sponsored by the presbyteries of Minnesota Valleys, Northern Plains and South Dakota. Conference details and registration form can be found at "Mediation."


IRMS resources look 'ethnic

IRMSLOGO diversification,' prison in Iowa

One of the new resources at Iowa Religious Media Services of Urbandale - "Little Salsa on the Prairie" - offers implications for the larger world, chronicling the rapid ethnic diversification of Perry, Iowa, as Latinos come from Central America to work in that town's packing plant. Another resource, "The Grey Area: Feminism Behind Bars," is a study of the issues behind criminal justice  as it relates to inmates at Iowa's Mitchellville Women's Prison. 


Resource Center in Minneapolis

Resource Center Logo posts limited summer hours

The Resource Center for Churches, a project of Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian and United Church of Christ churches in Minnesota, is open Tuesdays only in June and July, but continues to be available by email, phone and appointment. The Center reports that it has removed many older resources from its catalog and offers some on its "free table." The Center's current newsletter is at "Resources."


'Great Plains Presbyterian

Pilgrimage' planned at Calvin Crest

Presbyterian Pilgrimage Another Great Plains Presbyterian Pilgrimage, described as a sanctuary that allows attendees to "emerge refreshed, rested and ready to continue," is planned Oct. 2-5 at Calvin Crest Camp, Conference & Retreat Center near Fremont, Neb. The pilgrimage is described as a "journey in Christian community, designed to nurture Christians in their spiritual growth and to provide them with a renewed foundation for individual and community living." Details can be found at "Great Plains."


OWLS celebration planned

in September at Calvin Crest

OWLS logo The Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry/OWLS - for Older Wiser Livelier Saints - is planned this fall, Sept. 16-17, at Calvin Crest Camp, Conference & Retreat Center just outside Fremont, Neb. This year's theme is from the question Jesus asked, "Who do you say I am?" The keynote speaker is Donald McKim, author of the well-known "These Days." The event offers speakers, worship, music, food, fellowship, entertainment and more. Details can be found at "OWLS."

News of colleges, universities, seminaries

United Seminary logo United plans annual Summer

Institute in Spirituality, Arts

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities will conduct its annual Summer Institute in Spirituality and Arts Saturday through Tuesday, June 10-13. The Institute is a four-day retreat that explores the intersection of art and religion. Details and registration information are at "Summer Institute."


UDTS to conduct its 4th annual CRE conference

UDTSLogo The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary will conduct its fourth annual Commissioned Ruling Elder Conference June 12-14 with both basic and advanced CRE classes, and worship, fellowship and conversation. The registration fee for the conference includes tuition for one class, admission to the plenary addresses and two group meals. Details can be found at "Commissioned Ruling Elder."


Austin Seminary faculty back

Columbia faculty statement on schism

With the seemingly contentious 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) approaching, the faculty of Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary has issued a statement noting: "We believe, especially in these troubled times, that it is crucial to maintain faithful relationships with one another as members of the body of Christ." The Austin seminary statement echoes a similar statement issued by the faculty of Columbia Theological Seminary earlier this month which declared that schism is "a profound theological and pastoral problem." Noting that "agreat many controversial questions will be raised at this Assembly," the Austin teachers warned, "It will be tempting to retreat into camps of the like-minded and to disparage our opponents." The complete Presbyterian News Service story can be found at "Seminary Faculty."


Hansen: Remembering the past

Gary Neal Hansen offers help for the present

Gary Neal Hansen, associate professor of church history at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, notes in his blog, "If you forget the past you are not really doomed to repeat it. However, remembering the right things from past can help you find wisdom, live in gratitude, and avoid certain things that would make you look like a doofus." Hansen writes at "Christianity as a second language." Hansen's first book, "Kneeling with Giants: Learning to Pray with History's Best Teachers," was named the Devotional Book of the Year by Christian Resources Together of the United Kingdom. 

News around the PC(USA)

221st General Assembly less than 2 weeks away

The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) runs June 13-21 in Detroit and that means it's only three weeks away. The GA 221 LOGO complete list of commissioners and young adult advisory delegates, in alphabetical order by presbytery, can be found at "Commissioners and YAADs." And there are a number of ways to stay connected online to the biennial Assembly - from the Office of the General Assembly, to Twitter - where the Assembly can be followed @presbyga or see the conversation at #GA221, to information on mobile devices. And then, of course, if readers are looking for something in particular, there's always the Assembly business site, known as PC-Biz.


Heading into GA PC(USA) offers

info on marriage, Middle East issues

Information related to the Middle East, and civil union and marriage - issues to be addressed by the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - is now available on the PC(USA)'s Web site. Resource pages answering frequently asked questions related to both topics have been developed, and the information on both subjects can be downloaded.  The resource pages also provide links to additional relevant information. Those materials can be found at "General Assembly Issues."


68 overtures to General Assembly

qualify for consideration

Sixty-eight overtures from presbyteries and synods have qualified for consideration by the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Assembly runs June 14-21 in Detroit. This year, for the first time, overtures must have concurrence from one additional presbytery or synod in order to qualify for Assembly consideration. The complete compilation of overtures from Presbyterian News Service can be found at "Overtures."


Divestment from firms following 'non-peaceful pursuits' again on GA agenda

The 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), June 14-21 in Detroit, will again debate whether to divest from some companies engaged in "non-peaceful pursuits" in Israel/Palestine. Four of the nine overtures before the Assembly Committee on Middle East Issues recommend divesting from some combination of Caterpillar Inc., Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions. The Presbyterian Mission Agency recommends that the Assembly approve a resolution from the Committee on Mission Responsibility Through Investment calling for divestment from the three companies. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Divestment."


Valentine writes of diverse table set before us

In her May 22 "Welcome to Detroit" column, Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), writes, "With less than a month to go from the opening of the Linda Valentine 221st General Assembly, Detroit's diverse table is already spread for us in the city and surrounding counties. Oakland County is home to nearly half of Metro Detroit's Asian American population. Six years ago, Korean Presbyterian Church of Metro Detroit, in Oakland County, the largest Korean congregation in the Presbytery of Detroit, recognized that the English-speaking part of the congregation needed to have its own leadership and budget and a certain level of autonomy. The church's discernment process, led by its pastor, Rev. Seung Won Yu, resulted in the calling of Rev. David Shinn and the subsequent birth of an 'English ministry' congregation, New Hope Church of Michigan, which chartered in 2009." Valentine's column can be found at "Welcome to Detroit." 


Finalists announced in '1001' video contest

1001 The five finalists in the 1001 New Worshiping Communities video contest, "What's Your Story?" have been selected and the winners will be selected at the 221st General Assembly June 14-21 in Detroit. The top 3 videos will receive $10,000, $5,000 and $2,500 respectively. Additional details and the videos can be found at "1001 Video Contest." 


'Glory to God' editor, publicist

Hymnal Logo reflect on hymnal's success

Playing "Can You Top This?" can be a fun parlor game. But in real life, it's not a game, and for David Eicher and Meg Flannagan, it's really tough. For more than six years, Eicher has devoted himself to "Glory to God," the new Presbyterian hymnal, for which he has served as editor. For the past three years, Flannagan, formerly pastor in the Nashville area, has been equally dedicated to promoting the book, traveling throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) acquainting pastors, music directors and church members with the hymnal's 853 songs. The complete Presbyterian News Service story can be found at "Hymnal."


PMA offers help for international

Mission Trips PCUSA mission trips, partnerships

The Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offers help for those interested in planning an international mission trip, but don't know where to start. It also provides help in establishing long-term mission partnerships. PMA notes on its Web site, "Many of our mission coworkers serve as partnership facilitators, helping to connect U.S. Presbyterians with sites around the world." Details can be found at "Making Connections." 

Just one more

Atlantic editor offers way

to address America's race problem

Upworthy Logo Your editor subscribes to Upworthy posts. It describes itself as "social media with a mission: to make important stuff as viral as a video of some idiot surfing off his roof." Your editor really didn't know about the roof-surfing video. But here's a video of Bill Moyers' interview of Ta-Nehisi Coates, a senior editor of The Atlantic magazine. It's thoughtful and powerful - just like any Moyers interview. It's viewable through "Upworthy" and the full version is on "YouTube."