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

January 13, 2015

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies

Synod School Catalog An advisory on Synod School:

Catalog to be out in a few weeks

Keeping in Touch readers are getting a look - if they look to the right - at the cover of the 2015 Synod School catalog. It's a new look, in a design that incorporates a vertical banner created by Sue Rutford of White Bear Lake, Minn. Rutford will be the artist in residence at this summer's Synod School. While the catalog won't be available for a few more weeks, there is some information already at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies website.


Clearwater Forest offers thanks, lists uses of grant

Clearwater Logo Offering thanks and greetings, Rich Swartwood, executive director of Clearwater Forest, the Presbyterian camp near Deerwood, Minn., noted a list of accomplishments made possible through a $15,000 grant issued last fall by the synod. "We have been busy with the grant and are pleased to report ... it has been completed," Swartwood wrote. Noting mattress replacement to new beds, Swartwood added, "These upgrades, while seemingly unnoticeable at first glance, have been quickly recognized by our fall retreat guests who have thanked us for them." Swartwood's complete letter can be found at "Giving Thanks."


Barbara Boehler Barbara Boehler, former synod

moderator, dies in January

Barbara Bates Boehler, Green Bay, Wis., moderator of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies in 2004, died Jan. 18 following a recent diagnosis of brain cancer. She was a former member of Preble Presbyterian Church of Green Bay and a current member of First United Presbyterian Church. In addition to being moderator of the synod, she served on numerous committees for the Winnebago Presbytery. A complete obituary can be found at "Boehler."


Hillcrest Services Logo Hillcrest Family Services

receives EAGLE accreditation

The United Methodist Foundation has given its 4-year EAGLE accreditation - Educational Assessment Guidelines Leading toward Excellence - to Hillcrest Family Services of Dubuque. Hillcrest's Gary Gansemer, president and chief executive, announced the award during the final week of January. Hillcrest assists adults and children through socially challenging situations. Gansemer wrote, "This accreditation signifies to the nation that Hillcrest is an outstanding faith-based organization that has quality treatment programs, a rigorous oversight from its board of trustees, and a strong faith connection. This faith connection is evident in our partner relationships with the Iowa and Wisconsin Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church and the Synod of Lakes and Prairies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)." Gansemer's complete blog post can be found at "Accreditation."


January edition of The Sower posted on website

Sower Logo Projects, opportunities and mission stories highlight the January edition of The Sower, the newsletter of Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. The newsletter can be found through the synod's website. This summer, the national gathering of Presbyterian Women will take place June 18-21 in Minneapolis. Registration is underway and details can be found at Presbyterian Women.

Conferences, camps & other resources

Lakeshore Lodge Lakeshore Center newsletter

notes benefits of retreats

Beth Ehlers, executive director at Lakeshore Center on Okoboji, writing in the most recent edition of the center's Cross Talk newsletter, stated, "Most people, even pastors, do not set aside time for personal spiritual growth. Amazing. We are all so busy that we think we cannot take the time to get away ... Last fall we had a retreat here and a woman came up to me and said, 'I didn't know how much I needed to be here until I arrived.'" Ehlers complete column, along with the rest of the newsletter, is at "Setting Aside Time."


'Doctrine of Discovery,' 'Indian System' documentaries slated for 2015 release

Doctrine of Discovery Two documentaries produced by 38-plus-2 Productions, an American Indian movie company that recalls the Dakota hanged in 1862, will release "The Doctrine of Discovery" and "The Indian System" during 2015. "The Doctrine of Discovery" addresses the doctrine that has governed the acquisition of land in the Americas since the "discovery" by Columbus. That documentary will be previewed, with the first taking place in Los Angeles Feb. 6, in the Twin Cities beginning in April. "The Indian System" addresses the causes of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. The preview of that documentary will take place in August at the Minnesota History Center. Trailers for each movie can be found at the 38-plus-2 site and can also be found on YouTube - "The Doctrine of Discovery" - "The Indian System."


'Stewardship Kaleidoscope' set

Stewardship Kaleidoscope Logo 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. Other 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."


Foundation to offer Christopher

workshop in Central Nebraska

Foundation logo The Presbytery of Central Nebraska has invited the Presbyterian Foundation to offer a day-long workshop with Clif Christopher. The workshop is planned May 2 at First Presbyterian Church in Wood River, Neb., according to Mary "Minner" Serovy, the Foundation's ministry relations officer for the upper Midwest region. Christopher is president of Horizons Stewardship, which offers consulting on capital campaigns and other stewardship services. He is author of "Not Your Parents' Offering Plate." The workshop's audience is intended to be pastors and their stewardship teams. Additional details, along with registration information, will be available soon from the Foundation.


Registration is underway

for Summer Pastors School

Summer Pastors School at Hastings College in Nebraska is more than just a few days away. This summer it's planned June 7-13 around the theme, "Good to Great - The Miracles of Jesus that Transformed Lives," and will feature a number of leading Presbyterian speakers. They include Jerry Cannon, senior pastor at C.N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, N.C.; Gene Fowler Jr., pastor at Irondequoit Presbyterian Church in Rochester, N.Y.; Amy Fowler, executive presbyter of Genesee Valley Presbytery; Donald McKim, author of "Presbyterian Faith That Lives Today;" LindaJo McKim, author of "The Presbyterian Hymnal Companion;" and Carol Howard Merritt, author of "Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation." Organized and administered by the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation, details and registration information are at "Summer Pastors School."


Sharing faith: a requirement for ruling elders

Richard Johnson, a longtime Presbyterian teaching elder and author of leadership training curriculum, knows about the role of ruling elders. In the past week, the Presbyterian News Service shared Johnson's column about ruling elders sharing their faith. He wrote, "Becoming a ruling elder ...  begins much earlier than the phone call from the nominating committee. Through a myriad of ways, God has been and is working to bring us to that place where we have no choice but to say 'yes, here am I, send me.' The first three constitutional questions asked of every person being ordained and installed reflects this." Johnson's complete column is at "Regarding Ruling Elders."


d365 devotional Youth devotional d365 app

provides daily scripture, prayer

A free app for the daily devotional website d365, written by those who know and love youth, has been downloaded more than 28,000 times in just over seven months. "Youth and young adults are learning how to read scripture and pray daily by using this app," said Gina-Yeager Buckley, associate for the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Ministries with Youth. The complete announcement can be found at "d365."


Westminster John Knox Press

issues two new books for Lenten season

Feasting on the Word Two new books are now available for the Lenten season from Westminster John Knox Press. "Meeting God in Mark" from Rowan Williams explores the essential meaning and purpose of Mark's gospel for beginners who may be curious about the gospels and want to learn more, as well as for those who've read the Gospel many times before and want to see it in a fresh light. Also available is the "Feasting on the Word Lenten Companion," edited by David L. Bartlett, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Kimberly Bracken Long. The book provides both lectionary and non-lectionary pastors with an additional resource for Lenten sermon and worship preparation. The complete WJK announcement can be found at "Lenten Books."


Company of New Pastors

announces upcoming webinars

"The Small Church Residency Program: Where the Needs of Christ's Church and the Gifts of First-Call Pastors Meet," a free webinar hosted by the Company of New Pastors, will be conducted Tuesday, Feb. 24, at 1 p.m. CST. The webinar is the second in an ongoing series of new, interactive, educational events scheduled as part the program's expansion plans. Company of New Pastors - a transition-into-ministry program for seminary students and first-call pastors - started to broaden its reach and availability last fall by launching programs on pastoral formation open to the whole church. The complete announcement can be found at "New Pastors Webinar."
News from colleges, universities, seminaries

Steve Hayner, Columbia

Seminary president, dies of cancer

Hayner Steve Columbia The Rev. Stephen (Steve) Hayner, president emeritus of Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga., died last week at age 66 surrounded by family and friends in the Columbia community. Known by many throughout the world with love, affection and gratitude, Hayner was a person of many honors and degrees who refused to categorize others or himself by achievements. His goal was to always live to and for an audience of one, and his hope was to live life with wide open arms and relational integrity. The complete obituary can be found at "Hayner."


PC(USA) seminary presidents

affirm call for racial justice

Recently The Huffington Post published "An Open Letter to Presidents and Deans of Theological Schools in the United States." More than 30 African American deans and presidents of theological schools signed the letter regarding racial justice issues. The presidents of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries have responded, affirming the call to racial justice. Their response can be found at "Call for Racial Justice."


Coe College Coe College, shelter partner

with new volunteer initiative

Coe College of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, and the Willis Dady Emergency Shelter are partnering on a new volunteer initiative. Under the agreement, the Coe community will cover 100 overnight shifts at the shelter during the next year. This volunteer presence will save Willis Dady over $11,000 in operation costs and help keep their doors open to those in need in the Cedar Rapids community. The Coe commitment is straightforward. Every Monday and Tuesday, at least one Coe volunteer will spend a night at Willis Dady. Once Coe students, faculty and staff have successfully completed their initial one-year volunteerism commitment, the Willis Dady Center has pledged $2,500 to Coe to support Alternative Spring Break service trips for students. The complete story can be found at "Volunteering."
News around the PC(USA) and more

Measures planned to provide

tighter fiscal control of Youth Triennium

Youth Triennium While the 2013 Presbyterian Youth Triennium attained record-breaking attendance of more than 5,000 young people, those numbers don't tell the full story. The event resulted in a financial loss even though revenue was higher than anticipated. An internal staff review of the causes was initiated in early 2014. Later, in April, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board's Audit Committee directed the agency's Internal Audit Department to perform an Internal Audit Review and report back with the results. The complete Presbyterian News Service story can be found at "Triennium Finances." The issue has also been reported in The Presbyterian Outlook.


Syngman Rhee PC(USA) mourns loss of former

moderator, ecumenical leader

The Rev. Syngman Rhee, a Presbyterian minister, seminary professor and respected leader in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and wider faith community, died Jan. 14 in Atlanta shortly after being diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer. He was 83. The complete story is at "Rhee."



Marcus Borg, leading liberal Marcus Borg theologian, dies at 72

Marcus J. Borg, a prominent liberal theologian and Bible scholar who for a generation helped popularize the intense debates about the historical Jesus and the veracity and meaning of the New Testament, died Jan. 21. He was 72 and had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis. The complete Religion News Service story can be found at "Borg.


OGA hires advocacy coordinator

in Office of Immigration Issues

Laura Polk Laura Polk, a professional experienced in immigration issues and committed to justice, has accepted the position of coordinator for advocacy in the Office of Immigration Issues within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The position, lodged in the Office of the General Assembly, helps to interpret and implement PC(USA) policy on immigration issues, and coordinates the development and distribution of resources related to immigration issues. The complete OGA announcement is at "Immigration."
Just one more

It's one of those neat things; not funny but cool

Upworthy Logo Your editor doesn't really have to worry about getting around town - except for feeling old some days. But for others, the routine of getting in and out of a car for short trips can be difficult. Your editor knows - even though he knows someone who would say it's not bad. Anyway, this is one solution. Now all we want to see is a motorcycle. Take a look at "Cool Car."