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

Presbyterian News Service



July 25, 2014

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies

Yes, Synod School opens Sunday

Synod School 2014 catalog cover Some readers could be forgetful. They could have those moments when they leave and then think, "Wait, did we forget ..." For readers who have never been to Synod School - and even those who have - a few last-minute notes are available at "Synod School." These items include driving directions to Storm Lake, Iowa; a campus map of Buena Vista University; information about activities on Sunday (yes, this Sunday); and a book list, or things you might want to have for class. The items can be found under the heading, "And, by the way ... "


Contributions sought for Northeast

Nebraska Storm Relief Fund

Devastating tornadoes that struck northeastern Nebraska in June left a path of destruction and now congregations in Homestead and Missouri River Valley presbyteries have come together to provide teams to assist with clean-up, according to a recent announcement from Homestead Presbytery. The presbytery is also offering an opportunity to make financial donations. The donation form can be found at "Storm Relief."


Kristine Holmgren God Girl Twin Cities Area minister

writes play about seminary

What kind of person does it take to blaze a trail for those coming behind them? In "God Girl," a play by the Rev. Kristine Holmgren, the author tells her own story of doing just that when she attended Princeton Theological Seminary in the 1970s. "Many of us went to seminary and those of us who were female met real strong resistance to that from the male-dominated church systems," Holmgren said. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Toni Montgomery can be found at "Blazing a Trail."


Ruark plans to leave Twin Cities Area

Earlier this month, the Presbytery Leadership Team of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area announced the resignation of Executive Presbyter Chaz Ruark. The resignation is effective Aug. 1. A "farewell reception" honoring Ruark and his wife, Janet, is planned Wednesday, July 30, from 5 to 7 p.m. at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Minn. Those unable to attend the reception are invited to send notes and cards to the Ruarks at 4188 Forest Court, White Bear Lake, MN 55110. The complete Leadership Team announcement can be found at "Dissolution."


2015 Church-wide Gathering

of Presbyterian Women set in Minneapolis

Sower LogoThe 2015 Church-wide Gathering of Presbyterian Women is less than a year away, scheduled June 18-21 in the Hyatt Regency in Minneapolis. The Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies has an attendance goal - 125. Marilyn Stone, moderator of the synod group, notes in the July issue of The Sower: "That averages out to eight persons per presbytery - I think we can surpass that number! Do you have this event on your calendar? Are you finding creative ways to share information about the Gathering with congregations in your presbytery? ... Start creating a list of all who will be attending so that we can start counting up toward our goal." Stone's complete column and the complete issue can be found at "The Sower."

Conferences, camps & other resources

The 221st General Assembly (briefly)

from the Communications Center

GA 221 LOGO Assembly in Brief, the popular bulletin insert-size summary of the 221st General Assembly  is now available as a free download on the website of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The insert is full of information about the Assembly, complete with color photographs. Assembly in Brief is a partnership between Presbyterian News Service and the Office of the General Assembly. It relies heavily on the writing and photography staff of the General Assembly Communications Center. It can be found at "Brief."


OPSF notes August deadline

for grant applications

Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation makes grants available to present an event or workshop that provides a benefit to area church leaders. The deadline for grant applications is Friday, Aug. 15. Details about the grant program and application forms can be found at "OPSF Grants."


Nebraska disaster response,

recovery summit planned in August

Nebraska Disaster Summit The second Nebraska disaster response and recovery summit, designed for pastors and spiritual leaders, will cover the basic concepts and type of spiritual care, long-term recovery, collaboration and mental and emotional health personnel, self-care for providers, and community resiliency and preparedness training. The summit is planned Friday and Saturday, Aug. 15-16, in Lincoln. Additional details and a registration form are at "Disaster Summit."


3rd annual Tractor Ride

planned at Lakeshore Center

Lakeshore Lodge It could well be a Midwestern thing. The third annual Tractor Ride is planned Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 5-7, at the Lakeshore Center at Okoboji near Milford, Iowa. Registration is due by Aug. 29. The event includes worship, bonfire, picnic and tractor ride. There's even the option of attending the Clay County Fair. Details are available by contacting the Lakeshore Center at Registration materials are at "Tractor Ride."


IRMS resources provide

background on immigration issues

IRMSLOGO Iowa Religious Media Services of Urbandale, Iowa, has the materials to provide a background on immigration issues. "Gospel Without Borders" provides more light and less heat to the complicated issue. "Train to Nowhere" begins when a locked rail car carrying 11 dead immigrants was found on a siding in Denison, Iowa. Interviews with railroad officials, investigators and immigrant families are part of this true crime drama.


Presbyterians Today publishes

Presbyterians Today Welcome 3rd edition of 'Welcome'

Presbyterians Today recently published the third edition of its popular "Welcome to the Presbyterian Church," a special issue and guidebook that provides an introduction and overview of all things Presbyterian. The publication is packed with facts, stories, pictures, charts, links and more, making it appropriate for new member kits, Sunday school, adult education and officer training. The publication is at "Welcome."

News of the Board of Pensions

BOP publishes online edition of The Board Bulletin

BOP Bulletin After each regular meeting of the board of directors of The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the BOP publishes The Board Bulletin, which provides a record of actions taken at the meeting. The current edition includes investment returns, dues actions and more. The complete issue is at "Board Bulletin."

News around the PC(USA)

ACSWP seeks people to serve on study teams

Following actions of this summer's 221st General Assembly, the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy is seeking nominations from across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for people to serve on study task forces. Because of the PC(USA)'s limited funds, the study teams will be smaller in size than they have been in the past. The complete announcement can be found at "ACSWP."


Presbyterian Foundation provides

stewardship, planned giving ideas

Foundation logo The Presbyterian Foundation of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) provides numerous resources for stewardship programs at its website. The Foundation offers material from stewardship quotes to planned giving ideas to examples of a narrative budget. They're all available at the Foundation's "Ministry Toolbox."


Presbyterian Communicators Network

newsletter offers stories, resources

The Presbyterian Communicators Network newsletter contains stories and resources that can be used throughout the church. The complete newsletter can be found at "Communicators."


Newsletter intends to strengthen connections

One in the Spirit, a monthly newsletter from Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is intended to strengthen the community of PMA and mid councils of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The newsletter contains information on church innovation, Madagascar, 1001 New Worshiping Communities and more wrap-up from the 221st General Assembly. The complete newsletter is at "One in Spirit."


Connection newsletter offers

resources for congregations

Connection newsletter There's a newsletter simply called The Connection that routinely includes connections - of course - to numerous resources for congregations through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The current edition includes links to "Being Reformed" mini-courses that cover adult faith formation, leader development and congregational transformation. You can find it at "Connection."


Compassion, Peace, Justice newsletter dedicated

to making God's community livable for all

Compassion, Peace and Justice, in addition to being an office within the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is also the name of a newsletter that notes the office is dedicated to "making God's community livable for all," a reference to Isaiah 58:6-12. The newsletter, including a column by Sara Lisherness, director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Office of Compassion, Peace and Justice, can be found at "Compassion." 
Just one more

Summer & mosquito bites

just like peanut butter & jelly

Mental Floss Magazine Your editor and his wife were sitting outside at a neighborhood event a few nights ago. Later she says she has three mosquito bites. Your editor says there were no mosquitos. Well, it seems there is a reason. Mental Floss answers the question, "Why are some people more prone to mosquito bites?" You can find the story at "Bites."