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
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Synod of Lakes and Prairies

Presbyterian News Service



December 3, 2014

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies

St. Paul group makes news

with 'Disavowing Doctrine of Discovery'

MN Native News Logo A number of St. Paul, Minn., churches came together this fall to produce a series on "Disavowing the Doctrine of Discovery" that addressed the impact of the displacement of American Indians by European settlers. Elona Street-Stewart, associate for racial ethnic ministries of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, participated in the event, participated in the series, indicating that she wanted the event to shed light on present-day disparities. She said American Indians did not choose "to be poor or marginalized." She added, "Arrangements made hundreds of years ago ... put them on the precipice of disaster." A summary of the series, in a story by Melissa Townsend of Minnesota Native News, can be heard at "Disavowing."


Quad Presbyteries is host to video contest

Love Presbyterian Church The Quad Presbyteries - otherwise known as the presbyteries of Homestead, Missouri River Valley, North Central Iowa and Prospect Hill - is host to a currently running video contest that's intended to raise awareness and enthusiasm for the presbyteries' churches. The contest - "Why I Love My Presbyterian Church" - is an effort of the Quad Presbyteries' Growth Team, the same group that promotes Bring-A-Friend Sundays and conducts an annual Growth Summit, the next of which is planned in April. Contest details are at its website - the deadline has been extended to Dec. 17. Additional information and video links are at "I Love My Presbyterian Church" on Facebook.


Cho blogs about church's prayer stations

Theresa Cho Theresa Cho, co-pastor of St. John's Presbyterian Church in San Francisco and slated to be next summer's convocation speaker at Synod School, carries on an active blog at "Still Waters." This week she blogged about the interactive prayer stations for Advent at St. John's, describing them as "an opportunity to engage, reflect, and meditate  on this period of expectation, waiting, and preparation for the birth of Christ." Cho has also written for Christian Century and Sojourners. And, of course, there's more information about Synod of Lakes and Prairies' midsummer ministry at "Synod School."

Conferences, camps & other resources

NEXT Church runs in March in Chicago

NEXT Church The National Gathering of NEXT Church is set to run March 16-18 at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. The event's website notes "our imaginations will be sparked by testimony to the ways the Spirit is leading us beyond ourselves: in campus ministry, building schools in Uganda, to the edges of business, and connecting with local schools." Details can be found at "NEXT Church."


Registration available for both

Winter, Summer Pastors Schools

There's still time to sign up for Winter Pastors School - "Managing Stress, Discovering Happiness in Ministry" - planned Feb. 2-5 at Hastings (Neb.) College. And registration is now open for Summer Pastors School that will run June 7-13, also at Hastings College. Both education activities are organized by the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation.


Presbyterian Giving Catalog Missed 'Giving Tuesday?'

There's still a giving opportunity

Even those who may have missed "Giving Tuesday" Dec. 2 still have an opportunity to make gifts through the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Giving Catalog. An announcement from the Presbyterian Mission Agency noted, "With the Giving Catalog, you can select from an array of items that will change lives around the world. These items can serve as gifts and stocking stuffers, given on behalf of loved ones." The Giving Catalog can be found at "Joy of Giving."


'Stewardship Kaleidoscope' set

Stewardship Kal in March in Kansas City

The annual "Stewardship Kaleidoscope" event is planned March 9-11 at the Airport Hilton in Kansas City, Mo. Separate tracks are planned for small congregations, planned giving/endowments, theology of stewardship, presbyteries and stewardship, and stewardship practice. Details, including a link to registration information, can be found at "Kaleidoscope."


Regarding ruling elders: ordered ministries

Ruling elders, ordained officers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), are the subject of a monthly resource distributed by the Office of the General Assembly. A recent installment in that series, written by Alyson Janke, stated clerk of the Presbytery of John Knox, notes, "Conversation in a restaurant: 'Kim and Joe, would you come to church with us on Sunday morning? Ted and I are both being ordained at the 10 o'clock service and we'd love to have you there for the service and fellowship afterwards.' Kim replied: 'Ordained! Neither one of you are trained as ministers. What's this all about?' You may have thought you became a ruling elder or deacon because of a phone call from someone on a nominating committee, but in actuality, it was the Holy Spirit making a claim on your life." Janke's complete column can be found at "Ruling Elders."


IRMS offers more resources

IRMSLOGO on the Christmas story

The paintings of John August Swanson, with commentary by faculty at the Candler School of Theology, in "A Thrill of Hope: The Christmas Story in Word and Art," is just one of the Advent resources of the Iowa Religious Media Services. Another is Adam Hamilton's "The Journey: Walking the Road to Bethlehem," which concentrates on the journey from Nazareth Bethlehem and subsequent birth of Jesus.

Shopping site open for CMP, PPC

PCUSA Store According to the announcement, shopping for books, curricula, downloadable resources, and the new Presbyterian hymnal, "Glory to God," just became easier with the new PC(USA) Store, one-stop web-shopping site featuring books and resources from Congregational Ministries Publishing and Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. The online store offers weekly sales and promotions, and an online customer-service chat feature. It also provides the opportunity for customers to manage and track orders, while giving Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches the convenience of billing to their current church PINs. The complete announcement is at "Store."
News of colleges, universities & seminaries

UDTSLogo Spring online courses set at UDTS

Online courses, offered by the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary and designed for Commissioned Ruling Elders, will begin Feb. 2. Registration is now open. Students who are new to online study will need to complete the UDTS Online Learning Course before enrolling in the spring classes. A variety of courses will be available. Details are at "Spring Courses Online."

News around the PC(USA)

Racial ethnic caucuses

back independent investigation

Six racial ethnic caucuses related to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have written a letter to Presbyterian Mission Agency Board Chair Marilyn Gamm expressing support for independent investigation into the unauthorized creation of an independent corporation nearly a year ago. The six caucuses signing on to the letter are the National Black Presbyterian Caucus, the Native American Consulting Committee, the National Asian Presbyterian Council, the National Council of Korean Presbyterian Churches, the National Middle Eastern Caucus and the Hispanic/Latino National Presbyterian Caucus. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Racial Ethnic Caucuses."


Van Marter announces imminent

Jerry Van Marter retirement from News Service

Jerry Van Marter, the longtime coordinator of the Presbyterian News Service, will retire Dec. 5, according to a late November announcement. Van Marter, a teaching elder in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) who has worked for News Service for more than 26 years, writes of his service at "Retirement."


Outlook calls Duffield as new editor

Jill Duffield The Presbyterian Outlook's new editor will be Jill Duffield, a pastor currently serving a church in Columbia, S.C., who has been a columnist for The Outlook since 2010 and will become the first woman to serve as editor in the publication's 157-year history. Christopher Edmonston, president of the board of the Presbyterian Outlook Foundation Inc., announced Nov. 19 that the board had elected Duffield, saying that "it was Jill's love for writing, her varied background in publishing, and her devotion to the church" which made her stand out as a candidate. The complete Outlook story can be found at "Duffield."


Presbyterians Today asks, 'Leaving ... or staying?'

Presbyterians Today The December issue of Presbyterians Today magazine is taking a look at the way presbytery leaders are working with congregations as they address whether to leave or stay with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Erin Cox-Holmes, executive for the Presbytery of Donegal, wrote the cover story, noting: "'There's a certified letter on your desk.' These words set the stomachs of presbytery executives churning and keep us up at night. The letter, from a clerk of session, gives notice that the church session has voted to enter a discernment process on whether to request dismissal ... " The complete story is at "Dismissal Discernment."


ELCA Conference of Bishops

issues statement on immigration

ELCA Logo The Conference of Bishops of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America issued a statement Nov. 20 that calls for public policy to protect the "most vulnerable regardless of their place of birth." The statement goes on to state, "The treatment of immigrants is a core religious value. To welcome the stranger is to welcome a child of God." The complete statement is at "Immigration."


Presbyterian Musicians

establishes new grant program

Presbyterian Musicians In its ongoing efforts to encourage gifted new candidates to enter the field of church music, the Presbyterian Association of Musicians has launched a new church-based grant program to support the training of church musicians in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The national organization that represents those involved in the areas of worship, music, and the arts will award two grants in 2015, each in the amount of $1,500, to two PC(USA) congregations who seek to teach interns in church music. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Grants."
Just one more

Upworthy Logo Upworthy blog offers a look

at overcoming challenge

George Takei curates an Upworthy blog and in this case he notes, "Watch a teenager bring his class to tears just by saying a few words." Takei adds, "There are many reasons so many of us stayed silent. In my own case, it was fear of losing my career and all I had worked for. In the case of this young man, it was his stammer, for which he was bullied into silence for years. He remained without a voice until an amazing teacher and coach came into his life." The Upworthy video is at "Speaking."