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

Presbyterian News Service



September 30, 2014

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies

Synod meeting scheduled to cover budget, staffing

The Synod of Lakes and Prairies will address its budget and staffing in addition to other business when it meets beginning this Sunday, Oct. 5, at Mount Olivet Conference and Retreat Center near Farmington, Synod Logo Minn. Synod commissioners, staff and friends gather Sunday evening and typically adjourn late Tuesday morning. Synod Moderator Bill Stafford is asking commissioners to read "Why Did Jesus, Moses, the Buddha, and Mohammed Cross the Road?" a book by Brian McLaren. The book, the call to meeting notes, "will form the basis of a discussion ... and its language will help us in our discussion of the Future of the Synod." Synod commissioners will be reimbursed for purchasing the book, which is available in both electronic and paperback editions -- Kindle, Amazon, Nook, Barnes & Noble. The call to meeting notes, "The purposes of the meeting are to elect officers, to hear reports, to worship, to grow in fellowship and to take such actions as are necessary for a synod meeting."


Sara Dingman writes of last day

Missouri Monday Morning in Presbytery in Missouri River Valley

Sara Dingman, who has served as the interim presbyter in the Presbytery of Missouri River Valley since February 2013, is leaving that position to begin serving in October as the transitional executive in the Synod of Lincoln Trails. In the Sept. 29 issue of Monday Morning in the Presbytery, the MRV newsletter, she notes, "My heart is full as I sit at my desk in the presbytery office for one last day ..." Writing of the end of her ministry in MRV, she recalls a sermon by Deena Candler - Dingman still keeps the notes from the sermon in her office - and quotes her: "The miracles God has in mind for us are so much different from the miracles of our expectations." Dingman's complete column can be found on Page 2 of the presbytery's newsletter at "Miracles of God."


Carus says Apple's U2 gift

might have pushed bounds of giving

When Rick Carus, designated presbytery executive in the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys Logo Minnesota Valleys, received U2's latest album as a gift from Apple, he was happy to get it. But he notes, "Unfortunately, my appreciation was not shared by many of the 500 million who received this gift." After learning of the discontent with the "well-intentioned, but ill-conceived effort," Carus was led to a blog written by Danielle Schroyer. Her thought, Carus notes, is that while the "church may be well-intentioned and generous in its efforts, sometimes it may be misguided in its approach." Carus' complete column can be found on Page 2 in the Sept. 16 issue of the Valley Bridge, the presbytery's newsletter.

Conferences, camps & other resources

Theocademy offers faith

formation anytime, anywhere

Theocademy According to its website, "Theocademy is a way for Presbyterians to form their faith anytime, anywhere." Theocademy is a series of video lessons, one for use in new-member classes and a second for ruling elders and deacons, designed to help understand called ministry. The website states, "Theocademy wants to provide ... the finest theological education ... short of attending one of our 10 seminaries." Details - and videos - can be found at "Theocademy."


Advent resources? Think

Congregational Ministries Publishing

Congregational Ministries Publishing Congregational Ministries Publishing, an arm of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has resources for Advent and it lists a number of those resources in a recent newsletter. The publication is available at "Advent."


'Oasis' event planned

in October in Kansas City

The "Oasis" Christian education event of Heartland Presbytery enters its sixth year and will take place Oct. 19-21 in Kansas City. Chip Andrus, a well-known speaker and worship leader, is slated as its keynote speaker. Workshop descriptions and registration information can be found at "Oasis." Hotel information is at "Airport Embassy Suites."


IRMS resources look at e-cigarettes, drugs

IRMSLOGO Two new resources from Iowa Religious Media Services look at issues for junior high kids through adults. "What's Up with E-Cigarettes" offers facts and reasons this alternative to tobacco might be more dangerous. "Everything You Need to Know about Prescription and OTC Drugs in 22 Minutes" is a fast-paced video aimed at teens that shows how over-the-counter drugs can be as dangerous and addictive as illegal drugs. Both resources include a teacher resource book, handouts and pre- and post-tests.


Clearwater Logo Clearwater announces fall

programs, summer wrapup

Clearwater Forest, the camp and retreat ministry located near Deerwood, Minn., is geared up and ready for registrants for its fall program. Details of the programs and registration opportunities can be found at "Programs." Clearwater also released its fall Update and the complete issue is at "Clearwater Forest." The camp and retreat ministry is an effort of the presbyteries of the Twin Cities Area, Minnesota Valleys, Northern Waters and Northern Plains, and Synod of Lakes and Prairies.


POAMN logo ARMSS/POAMN conference

planned in October in Missouri

The joint conference of the Association of Retired Ministers, Spouses and Survivors, and the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network will take place Oct. 14-17 in Excelsior, Mo. The Rev. Nancy Copeland-Payton, author of "The Losses of Our Lives: The Sacred Gifts of Renewal in Everyday Loss," will be the keynote speaker. Details are in the brochure at "ARMSS and POAMN."


Homestead Presbytery plans

2016 journey to Scotland, Ireland

Homestead Presbytery is organizing a trip to Scotland - and an add-on trip to Ireland - next spring. The tour to Scotland will be May 20-28, 2016, and the add-on trip to Ireland runs May 28-June 1, 2016. The presbytery is inviting others "to learn about Scotland's role in the Protestant Reformation and Reformer John Knox, and see firsthand how the Christian faith spread ... " Details about the trip can be found at "Scotland." The registration form is at "Registration."


CMP introduces new online resource for youth

Among the items highlighted in monthly newsletter, One in the Spirit, "Presby Youth," an online resource for youth categorized by age, liturgical season and biblical themes. The downloadable lessons and notes are "easy to use and rooted in Reformed tradition." The complete newsletter is at "One in the Spirit."
News from colleges, universities, seminaries

Tim Slemmons Year D UDTS Christian Leadership class

to look at Advent alternatives

The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary will offer a Christian Leadership Plus class beginning Oct. 20 that will explore various approaches to preaching in Advent. Taught by Timothy Slemmons, the class is titled, "An Advent of Alternatives: The Lectionary, Year D and Beyond." The aim of the course is to provide a forum for pastors serving congregations to study and discuss alternative ways to preach and plan worship in Advent. Additional details and registration information are at "Advent Alternatives."


'Exploring a call' conference planned in Dubuque

UDTSLogo The University of Dubuque Theological Seminary has set its next "Exploring a Call" conference Wednesday through Friday, Oct. 22-24. Participants will join faculty and staff of the seminary as they explore the twists and turns of life and academics in seminary. Details can be found at "Exploring a Call."


Seminary Foundation announces

17 scholarship recipients for 2014-15

The Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, now in its 60th year of providing financial support to those preparing for ministry in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), recently selected 17 individuals to receive scholarships. Details of the awards and recipients can be found in the foundation's fall newsletter.


Barbara Holmes recognized

by George Family Foundation

Barbara Holmes The George Family Foundation recognized Barbara A. Holmes, president of United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities, as one of 84 exceptional women leaders making remarkable contributions to building the Twin Cities at its first-ever "Celebrating Twin Cities Women Leaders" event. The event took place Tuesday at the Guthrie Theater. The event celebrates women who have served in senior leadership positions for organizations in the Twin Cities. The complete story is at "Holmes."
News around the PC(USA)

Presbyterians Today Love Stories Presbyterians Today

looks for love stories

In a recent announcement, Presbyterians Today magazine announced that it's looking for a few good love stories. It noted that its January/February 2015 issue will be "all about love, and we'd like to share your personal love story." The magazine adds, "There are, of course, many kinds of love: God's love for us, romantic love, friendship, family, compassion, forgiveness, and more. And all of these are fair game. How did you learn that God loves you? How did you fall in love with your partner? Do you have a funny love story? How have you experienced love in the church?" Details are at "Love Stories."


Presbyterians Today October issue

Presbyterians Today focuses on 'healing church'

The October issue of Presbyterians Today magazine is titled "The Healing Church." An article authored by Cary Estes opens, "She was the type of person who often slips through the cracks of society: no insurance, more than $10,000 in medical bills, and blood pressure that had soared into stroke range. She could not afford to be treated, but without treatment she could not continue working as a housekeeper-which meant that she wouldn't be able to earn the money to pay for treatment. The woman desperately needed a helping hand in order to find a healing hand. And she managed to receive that assistance from Lois Bazhaw, a nurse who belongs to Faith Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina." The complete article is at "Church as Health Clinic." Other stories can be found through a Presbyterians Today magazine edition titled, "The Healing Church."


Presbyterian Giving Catalog

Mission agency features new items

An announcement from the Presbyterian Mission Agency notes, "The 2014 Presbyterian Giving Catalog is here and features new items. That means there are even more ways to share God's love and help even more people in need. Giving is simple, too. Just pick out a gift (or two, or three) that's meaningful to you and pay online or by mail. It's that easy. Together, we can make a lasting impact in the lives of those who need it most." The complete announcement can be found at "Giving Catalog."


1001 issues connectional newsletter

1001 A newsletter from the 1001 New Worshiping Communities initiative of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has begun to issue a newsletter that - quoting from the newsletter - "addresses the rich partnership between new worshiping communities and established PC(USA) congregations." The newsletter also asks, "Are they (established congregations and new worshiping communities) a threat to each other or can we celebrate a mutuality of relationship between new and more traditional expressions of church?" The complete newsletter is at "1001."


Mission Matters logo Newsletter offers look

at work around the world

A quick look at the work of Presbyterians around the world is offered through a newsletter - World Mission e-News - of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. The Sept. 24 issue of the newsletter can be found at "World Mission."


Communicators Network

newsletter offers stories, resources

The Presbyterian Communicators Network newsletter of Sept. 29 contains a variety of stories and resources, from civil rights, to planting new churches to working with youth. The complete newsletter is at "Presbyterian Communicators Network."


Linda Valentine Valentine notes anniversary

of Young Adult Volunteers

Writing in her weekly message to Presbyterians, Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), notes, "What a time we had at the 221st General Assembly this past summer as we gathered to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the Young Adult Volunteer program. Since 1994, we have sent more than 1,500 young adults into the world to give 'a year of service for a lifetime of change.' ... We embraced the opportunity to consider the program's ambitious beginnings and goals in 1994, the vocational paths that our YAVs have traveled, and the bright future ahead - including the program's expansion numerically, geographically, and missionally." Valentine's complete column is at "YAVs."


Salam Hanna Syrian international peacemaker

says violence leads to violence

The Rev. Salam Hanna, pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Latakia in Syria and director of the Relief and Rehabilitation Program for the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, is one of 12 international peacemakers visiting churches and institutions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) this fall as part of the International Peacemaker Program of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Hanna is able to offer a first-hand account of peacemaking efforts in the Mideast. Hanna is one of several Peacemakers making appearances around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Several presbytery newsletters have highlighted these visits. The complete Presbyterian News Service story about Hanna is at "Peacemaker."


Humanitarian need, loss

punctuate crisis in northern Iraq

Even as hundreds of thousands of people displaced by the self-proclaimed Islamic State of Iraq and Syria militant attacks find refuge in the towns of the Kurdistan region of northern Iraq, agencies assisting these internally displaced persons warn of a huge unmet humanitarian need exacerbated by the looming onset of winter. It is this humanitarian need that a World Council of Churches staff delegation visiting northern Iraq last month heard about, and observed first hand. The WCC subsequently issued a statement calling on the Iraqi government to provide protection and support for its people, and for the international community to greatly increase their humanitarian response. The complete story from the World Council of Churches can be found at "Iraq Crisis."


PC(USA) agencies mobilize aid,

education efforts to fight Ebola

When Quianaca Wesseh called his son, mother, and sister in Liberia's Maryland County last week, he urged them not to go to the hospital. "I don't know if it was the wrong thing to say, but a lot of people are going to the hospital and never returning," said Wesseh, a Liberian native who serves as director of praise music at Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church in St. Louis. "In Liberia, our hospitals are not advanced like in America. There are no isolation gowns, no protective equipment." The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Ebola."


Same-gender marriage issues

cause challenges for evangelicals

As more states affirm same-sex marriage, U.S. evangelicals continue to wrestle with homosexuality, setting boundaries for what's acceptable and what's not, and setting the stage for a heated fall election season. Recently, things got hotter. A new group called Evangelicals for Marriage Equality launched Sept. 9 and is collecting signatures from evangelicals who support same-sex marriage. Its advisory board includes author and speaker Brian McLaren, former National Association of Evangelicals vice president Richard Cizik, and former USAID faith adviser Chris LaTondresse. Cizik resigned from his NAE position over his support for same-sex civil unions. The complete Religion News Service story can be found at "Election Issues."

Eric Hoey Ministry Apps newsletter includes

stories of weathering change

Eric Hoey, director of the Office of Evangelism and Church Growth of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, writes in the Sept. 23 issue of Ministry Apps: "This is one of my favorite times of year. Here in Louisville there's plenty of warm sunshine, coupled with cooler early morning and late evening temperatures - reminding us that change is coming." This issue of Ministry Apps, a publication designed to "satisfy the hunger for a better church," includes stories of congregations, leaders, and communities who have weathered change. The newsletter is at "Apps."

Just one more

Willadsen writes some things

that aren't learned in seminary

Tom Willadsen, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Oshkosh, Wis., offers a few items that aren't taught in seminary. He writes: "There I was, sitting in the sanctuary of Old First Presbyterian Church in San Francisco for the plenary session of a national conference on urban ministry. ... Someone always talks about shifting paradigms in the first 15 minutes. ... This particular speaker challenged the gathered paradigm shifters boldly to forget everything you learned in seminary. 'Done,' I shouted, thus befriending the fourth year Princeton student on my right." Willadsen's complete piece can be found at "They Do Not Teach This."


Beloit College It's fall, classes have begun,

Beloit issues 'Mindset List'

Your editor wonders where he would be each fall without the Beloit (Wis.) College Mindset List. It points out his age and it makes him think: "It's late September and I really should be back at school." Apologies and thanks to Rod Stewart. And so it goes. Anyway, according to the list, students heading into their first year of college were generally born in 1996. Here's the mindset.