In This Issue
News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Conferences, camps, resources
News from The Board of Pensions
News around the PC(USA) and more
Just one more
Quick Links
Social Media

January 11, 2016

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Synod School ads posted to website
Synod School 16 catSynod School ads designed to promote this summer's longstanding annual event at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, have been posted to the synod's website. Synod School draws more than 550 participants each year to the weeklong ministry that offers mind-stretching courses, worship and fellowship amid time for fun and reflection. Synod School 2016 runs July 24-29. Synod School is a leadership development ministry of the synod with support from the Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation. In addition to the ads, information about this year's convocation speaker -- John Bell -- and worship leaders can be found at "Synod School."
Start date of Kate Killebrew, director
of leadership development, changed
Kate Killebrew The first day in the office for Katherine "Kate" Killebrew, who is the Synod of Lakes and Prairies' new director of leadership development, has been pushed back a few weeks while she recovers from hospitalization and treatment for Acute Myeloid Leukemia. The cancer, which is described as very responsive to treatment, was detected in late December. While her official first day in the office, originally slated Jan. 11, has been delayed, Killebrew intends to begin telecommunicating soon. The synod will provide periodic updates as her recovery proceeds.
Conferences, camps, resources
NEXT Church is looking for those
with an idea to present at conference
NEXT Church The NEXT Church website asks the questions, "Got an idea you feel called to offer to the conference? Want to raise some provocative questions for reflection? What's your angle on this movement we call the NEXT Church?" The NEXT Church National Gathering runs Feb. 22-24 in Atlanta, and the questions above regard "Ignite" presentations, a feature at the gathering "in which 10 participants give quick, tight, thought-provoking presentations designed to spark imaginations and get people dreaming and scheming about the church." Pitches to be one of the 10 presenters are due Jan. 15 and one of the submissions will be entered in a drawing for free registration to the gathering. Details are at "NEXT Church Ignites."
Ray writes in Outlook about becoming
dementia-friendly congregation
Outlook Logo The Rev. Cynthia Ray, teaching elder and member at large in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, writes about becoming a dementia-friendly congregation in the Jan. 5 edition of The Presbyterian Outlook magazine. The article, titled "Remember Those Who Forget: Becoming a dementia-friendly congregation," explores how congregations can evaluate their ministries and partner with other community organizations to create a safe, respectful environment for individuals with dementia, their families and their caregivers. Ray is executive director of the Presbyterian Association of Homes and Services for the Aging, a national association with over 300 member organizations in 36 states. The complete article can be found at "Dementia Friendly Congregations."
Still time to register for spring classes at UDTS
UDTSLogo There's still time to register for two online continuing education classes this winter and spring for ministers and commissioned ruling elders at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary. "The Christian Imagination: Exploring Faith in Literature," taught by Timothy Slemmons, runs Feb. 8 through March 13, and "The Brain, The Body and Spiritual Disciplines," taught by Susan Forshey, runs March 28 through May 1. Registration information is available from Bridgett Boone by telephone at 563.589.3691 or by email at
35th annual Rural Ministry Conference
wartburg seminary planned in March in Dubuque
Wartburg Theological Seminary and the Center for Theology and Land will conduct the 35th annual Rural Ministry Conference March 6-8 in Dubuque, Iowa. This year's theme is "Life Changing Ministry in the Small Membership Congregation." The information will also be useful for larger congregations.  Scholarships are available for those who have served in a rural/small town ministry for less than five years. Details are available at "Rural Ministry."
Lakeshore Center offers a number of winter retreats
Lakeshore Lodge The Lakeshore Center at Okoboji, one of five Presbyterian-related camp and conference centers in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, is planning a number of events in the winter months - a Scrapbook Retreat Jan. 15-17; a Business 360 Retreat, featuring teacher, mentor, coach Jim Rieffenberger, Jan. 20; and a Crafters Delight Feb. 4-7. Details are at "Lakeshore Center."
Current Presbyterians Today
issues addresses modern slavery
Presbyterians Today Presbyterians Today magazine unravels the chains of modern slavery, investigating what the U.S. State Department has described as the fastest growing crime on the planet: human trafficking. The January/February edition takes a look at the 21 million people worldwide currently living and working in conditions of forced labor, many of them victims of trafficking. The magazine describes what human trafficking is, why it happens, and how Presbyterians and their global partners are working hard to end it. The lead story in the issue is at "Human Trafficking."
Presbyterian Outlook sponsors
Ed Zinkiewicz webinar on retirement
Ed Zinkiewicz left a successful 40-year career as a software engineer to become an author, speaker, workshop facilitator, interviewer, blogger, and coach -- popularly known as "the retired guy." He will lead a Presbyterian Outlook sponsored webinar on retirement Tuesday, Jan. 19. Zinkiewicz is the author of the "Retire To" series and a contributor to Mature Years, Ministry Matters and S.A.G.E. He also facilitates AARP Life Reimagined Checkups and speaks to groups on issues related to retirement. Details are at "Retirement Webinar."
Presbyterian Mission Yearbook
Mission Yearbook goes exclusively online
As of Jan. 1 the 120-year old "Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study" is available exclusively online. A Presbyterian Mission Agency press release issued in August said, "This move broadens the reach of the book's audience by sharing its inspiring content in a timelier manner and also demonstrates good stewardship of church resources." Over the past 15 years, as readership of the publication declined, the cost per book increased dramatically. In 2000, 79,108 units of the printed "Mission Yearbook" were sold at a single-copy unit cost of $7.50. That same year, bulk orders of over 100 copies sold to churches and other institutions at a cost of $3.50 per copy. The complete Presbyterian News Service story can be found at "Mission Yearbook."
News from The Board of Pensions
Board Connections newsletter
notes new Call-to-Health website
BOP Connections Logo The January edition of Board Connections, the newsletter of the Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), highlights the new Call to Health website and the new Behavioral Health Network. The newsletter typically highlights recent Board news and important updates and information. The newsletter is at "Board Connections."
News around the PC(USA) & more
Presbyterian Mission Agency
plans to offer voluntary separations
Mission agency The Presbyterian Mission Agency is offering voluntary separation packages to eligible staff members. PMA staff members who are at least 60 years of age and have at least five years of continuous service with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by Dec. 31, 2015, will have 45 days, starting on Jan. 16, to accept or decline the offer. In total, the packages will be offered to 46 PMA employees who meet the eligibility criteria. Term contract employees, conference center staff, mission personnel, and employees of Hubbard Press are not eligible for the offer. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Voluntary Separation."
GA 222 GA committee reviewing
Mission Agency submits report
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly committee tasked with reviewing the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) has submitted its final report to the 222nd General Assembly, recommending significant changes to the agency. The report recommends the General Assembly, in consultation with the General Assembly Nominating Committee, name a committee of 15 people to explore the possibility of merger between the Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Office of the General Assembly. "God has blessed the church with many talented and faithful servants at the PMA who feel called to minister with the church in their various capacities. Their hard work is all the more admirable in light of recent transitions and controversies," the committee said in its executive summary. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Committee Review."
PC(USA) Public Witness says gun violence,
climate change should be top campaign issues
J Herbert Nelson The 2016 presidential election campaign has been underway for nearly a year, but the coming months will see campaigns kick into high gear as voters begin to react to what they've seen and heard from the candidates. The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, says he believes four key issues should be the major focus leading up to next November. "Gun violence in the U.S. should be the top concern of our candidates. When we think about what has happened on our college campuses, movie theaters and other public venues, all of us are at risk when guns are in the hands of individuals who should not have them," he says. "For the issue of safety, that needs to be addressed by all campaigns as to how they will deal with it." The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Campaign Issues."
Presbyterian pastor turns bad situation into opportunity to reach young people
Wanted Project In March 2011, Jeyson Jones, 16, had reason to celebrate. He had just won a track meet at his local high school and was texting his dad about celebrating over some Cold Stone ice cream. Within five minutes, he was racing into his home, bloody and confused. "His mouth was bleeding and he was very agitated," said the Rev. Kymberly Clemons-Jones, Jeyson's mom and pastor of the local Valley Stream Presbyterian Church. "I found out that he had been attacked on his way home by five youth. They hit him from behind with a brick and broke one side of his jaw and fractured the other side." The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Reaching Young People."
Just one more
IKEA. The name says it all. If you haven't
been there, you must ... well, maybe
Mental Floss Magazine A few months ago your editor constructed not just one, but four IKEA bookshelves. Assembly of the first unit took about five hours; the last one took about one. But there's so much more to learn - about IKEA, that is. The folks at Mental Floss like to go behind the scenes. Now they've done it with IKEA. The store just north of Eagan is about five minutes from the synod office. Your editor didn't know it was ok to sleep on the furniture. It is. To learn more, there's a list at "BILLY Bookcase."