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News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Conferences, camps & other resources
News from the Board of Pensions
News around the PC(USA) and more
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January 13, 2015

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies

Synod Logo round with people Work underway

for Synod School 2015

The Synod of Lakes and Prairies is never too shy to ask for help when it comes to promoting Synod School. In other words, that means ads are available on the synod's website to promote Synod School 2015. By clicking on any of the ads, a downloadable image is available that can be resized to fit nearly any publication. And, just as a reminder, Synod School will run July 26-31 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Theresa Cho, co-pastor of St. John's Presbyterian Church in San Francisco, will be the convocation speaker. The catalog will be out in the next couple of months. For now, information is available at "Synod School."


Claiborne to be presenter

at Wisconsin Council's Winter Forum

Shane Claiborne Shane Claiborne, the well-known activist and author, and a leading figure in the New Monasticism movement, will speak at the 2015 Winter Forum of the Wisconsin Council of Churches Feb. 27-28 in the Wisconsin Dells. Described in promotional materials as a "weekend of exploration around what it means to be both disciples and church in a culture that seems increasingly at odds with the heart of the gospel," the annual Winter Forum opens Friday evening and runs until 3 p.m. Saturday. The event takes place at a church that houses two congregations - Dells Delton United Methodist Church and Holy Cross Episcopal Church - located at 322 Unity Drive, Wisconsin Dells. The Winter Forum is limited to 120 participants. Additional information and registration materials can be found at "Winter Forum."


Mason City newspaper publishes

story about Presbyterian minister

The Mason City, Iowa, Globe Gazette newspaper recently published a story about Presbyterian teaching elder Cathy Belles, who was appointed temporary supply pastor of Eden Presbyterian Church in Rudd, Iowa, and First Presbyterian Church in Greene, Iowa. Written by Jim Cross, the story opens, "Moving from the Sunday School room to the pulpit, Cathy Belles is enjoying her time at Eden Presbyterian Church. ... Her journey started while living and working on the East Coast. It was there that Belles decided to earn her master's degree in Christian education." The complete story is at "Serving in Iowa."

Conferences, camps & other resources

Camp Wyoming hires Schneider as program director

Cassie Schneider Cassie Schneider has begun serving as the program director of Camp Wyoming, a Presbyterian camp located in the Presbytery of East Iowa. The camp website notes that its search committee "feels Cassie will bring creativity, energy and experience to our current team that will strengthen the ministry" at the camp. Schneider, who grew up in Bismarck, N.D., and attended camp at Clearwater Forest near Deerwood, Minn., will recruit and hire summer and retreat staff, oversee the development of the summer camp program, and plan and implement year-round retreat programs. Details are at "Schneider."


Harrison Gabe Lakeshore Center announces

Gabe as program director

The Lakeshore Center at Okoboji, a Presbyterian camp in Prospect Hill Presbytery, introduced Harrison "Harry" Gabe as its new program director with an article in the latest issue of Cross Talk, the Center's newsletter. Gabe grew up attending summer camp at Clearwater Forest near Deerwood, Minn., and he served on that camp's summer staff for three years before serving as its creative director in 2013. The complete announcement is in "Cross Talk."


Union Seminary offers 8

Congregational Leadership Awards

Union Seminary logo Union Presbyterian Seminary of Richmond, Va., each year offers eight Congregational Leadership Awards to support innovative ministry of the recipient congregations. Since 1991, 110 churches in 29 states have received the $1,000 awards. The application deadline for the awards is Feb. 15. Additional information about the awards can be found at "Congregational Leadership."


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 educational activities are organized by the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation.


'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."


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."


Growth Summit planned in April in Lincoln

church growth conference, The Growth Project of the Quad Presbyteries - Central Nebraska, Homestead, Missouri River Valley and Prospect Hill - will conducts its annual Growth Summit on Monday and Tuesday, April 13-14, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Lincoln, Neb. Featuring Anna Carter Florence, Bill Tenny-Brittian and William Willimon, the Summit is open to others beyond the Quad Presbyteries boundaries. Others sponsors of the Summit are the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Details and access to registration materials can be found at "Growth Summit."


NAPC Triennium planned in April in Arkansas

The National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen will gather for its Triennium April 16-19 at Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center of Little Rock, Ark. The theme for the event is "God Moves - Be Still." Stephany Graham, a pastor at Peekskill Presbyterian Church in Peekskill, N.Y., will be the keynote speaker and Adele Crawford, pastor at Valley Presbyterian Church in Brookfield, Conn., will lead worship. Crawford came to the ministry after a 15-year career as a professional singer. Details about the event can be found at "NAPC Triennium."


Homestead plans pilgrimage to Scotland next year

Scotland Pilgrimage Homestead Presbytery is planning a pilgrimage to Scotland in May 2016 - even an optional extension to Ireland - to discover the Presbyterian heritage and the history of the land. The pilgrimage, slated May 20-28 with an extension available May 28-June 1, will offer the opportunity to enjoy and understand the culture and history of the region. A $50 refundable deposit will reserve a space. Additional information can be found at "Pilgrimage" and a registration form is at "Sign Up."


IRMS lists two new intergenerational studies

IRMSLOGO Lent is coming and Iowa Religious Media Services has two new intergenerational studies to offer. "The God We Can Know: Exploring the I AM Sayings of Jesus" explores answers to Jesus' question, "Who do you say I am?" The seven-session study was filmed in the Holy Land. The Mike Slaughter six-week study, "The Renegade Gospel: The Rebel Jesus," shows shows how Jesus preached a renegade gospel to start a revolution.


'Big Tent' opens at end of July in Knoxville

Big Tent PCUSA new The "Big Tent," a biennial event of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), runs July 30 through Aug. 1 at the Tennessee Conference Center in Knoxville. The "Big Tent" includes conferences and activities of multiple organizations within the denomination. Details are expected soon at "Big Tent."


Outlook seminar looks

at 'Achieving Clarity of Purpose'

Outlook Logo John Wimberly, a congregational consultant who formerly worked with Alban, will lead a Presbyterian Outlook webinar that will look at a congregation's ability to identify its purpose. Webinar materials note, "There are many things that drive the life of a congregation. Some of them pull a congregation's leadership in different, even competing, directions: different theological positions; unique program demands from various generations; varying preferences regarding worship style. The best way to process the differing demands is to be clear about the purpose of the congregation." Titled "Achieving Clarity of Purpose," the webinar is scheduled Tuesday, Jan. 20, at 1 p.m. CST. Wimberly talks about the webinar on "You Tube." Details, including registration information, are at "Clarity."

News from the Board of Pensions

Latest edition of Board Connections posted online

BOP Connections Logo The newest edition of Board Connections, the Board of Pensions newsletter, is now available. The newsletter highlights recent Board news, important updates and information, and replaces many of the emails the Board previously distributed. This month's edition includes a message from the Board's president about the future of the benefits plan, and a variety of other news. The issues can be found at "Board Connections."
News around the PC(USA) and more

Special Offerings issues statement,

plans to revise marketing campaign

Mission agency After much criticism, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Special Offerings is revising its 2015 campaign for the One Great Hour of Sharing offerings. The campaign, which uses images and wordplays, has been called offensive, racist and demeaning of those who face addictions, according to a torrent of online comments. One campaign poster shows a young Asian girl with the text, "Needs help with her drinking problem. She can't find water." Another shows a young man with the text, "Needs help getting high - above the flood waters." "We appreciate the passionate outpouring of concern about the new attention-getting campaign for One Great Hour of Sharing. You spoke. We are listening. We plan to revise the campaign," said Sam Locke, director of Special Offerings, in a statement available online. "We will solicit suggestions and input from a variety of Presbyterians as we make this revision." The complete Presbyterian News Service story can be found at "Marketing Campaign."


Presbyterians called to prayer

Syngman Rhee for former GA moderator

"It is with deep sadness that we call on members and friends of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to pray for the Rev. Syngman Rhee, moderator of the 212th General Assembly," PC(USA) leaders announced over the weekend. "The denominational and ecumenical leader is battling an aggressive form of cancer, and his family reports that he is being moved to hospice care," the announcement noted. The complete announcement is at "Syngman Rhee."


Presbyterian movie devotee posts

top-10 spiritual films of 2014

"The following films are not only entertaining and artistic - they explore the spiritual and ethical dimensions of life," writes Edward McNulty, a Presbyterian minister and movie devotee. "They're made by those who are determined to explore the dreams and struggles of men and women seeking integrity and often working for justice against forces that would destroy them." McNulty's complete list is at "Spiritual Films."


Slate article addresses podcasts vs. church

Slate magazine A Dec. 14 article in Slate, a daily online magazine, addresses religious podcasts. Written by Ruth Graham, the article notes, "Whatever your theology, your denomination, your interests, and your appetite for cursing, there's a Christian podcast for you." The complete Slate article can be found at "Podcasting Pastors."


January-February edition of Presbyterians

Presbyterians Today Today features 'Love Stories'

With Valentine's Day not far around the corner, Presbyterians Today is celebrating love in its January-February edition. In this issue, Presbyterians share personal love stories, reflect on changes to marriage and family, experiment with online dating, and explore what it means to truly love one's enemy. A few stories from the current edition of Presbyterians Today can be found at "Love."


PC(USA) Special Offerings trains 50 ambassadors

special offerings ambassadors Fifty ambassadors are being enlisted and trained to meet with churches throughout the denomination on behalf of the PC(USA) Special Offerings. Each ambassador will commit for one year to work with 20 to 50 churches in their area. There are also options for people who are interested in one specific offering. The complete story about the ambassadors can be found in the January edition of "Connection," a newsletter of Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Details are also at the Special Offerings Ambassador page.

Just one more

Adults act as kids tell Bible stories

The Worthiest A Presbyterian Writers Guild friend shared this short video of adults acting as children tell Bible stories. It made your editor smile and he hopes you will too. This video comes from "The Worthiest."