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

May 16, 2016

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Synod Summary notes per capita increase, presbytery support, grants, loans, more
The Synod Summary, an unofficial report of the activities during the Synod of Lakes and Prairies' spring meeting at the Mt. Olivet Conference Synod Logoand Retreat Center near Farmington, Minn., is available online. The short newsletter notes a 5-cent increase in per capita for 2017, more than $270,000 in presbytery support, church and presbytery support in the form of grants and loans, support for immigrant network training, and a $15,000 Self-Development of People grant to a community garden project. The Summary also includes synod executive Elona Street-Stewart's report on revisions to the synod's policies and procedures, and the response from 15 synods in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to the General Assembly's call to reduce the number of synods. The complete summary is available at "Synod Summary."
Synod installs 3 leaders during spring meeting
Fern Cloud The Synod of Lakes and Prairies installed two ruling elders and one teaching elder in elected positions when it met last week at Mt. Olivet Conference and Retreat Center near Farmington, Minn. The synod installed Fern Cloud, a ruling elder from the Presbytery of Dakota, as moderator, and Greg Braatz, a ruling elder from Winnebago Presbytery, as vice moderator. The synod also installed Pam Prouty, a teaching elder from the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys, as its stated clerk. The complete story can be found at "Synod Summary."
Siblings from Hudson church plan
'Cycle the Synod' to help youth
Emma Moody and Rob Moody, sister and brother, who attend First Presbyterian Church in Hudson, Wis., have a good idea of what to do this summer. Summer, the time of year that's knocking on the door, Tri to Change when parents begin to wonder how their children will fill up the hours -- when parents worry about screen-time and boredom. And parents hope there will be something that's challenging, fun and worthwhile all rolled into one. Emma, 14, and Rob, 12, are setting out on their "Cycle the Synod" campaign, inviting the entire synod to join them. Their goal is to ride their bicycles to any church in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies that would like to hear the story of their mission and join them in their cause. In 2011 the brother-sister team founded a youth wellness organization called Tri to Change the World Inc. (TCW). With the help of their congregation, the kids and TCW have served more than 500 youth through free bicycles and swim lessons as well as donations to youth wellness organizations. The complete story is at "Cycle the Synod" and details of TCW are at "Tri to Change."
Synod School -- just over 2 months away
Synod School 16 cat Synod School, it's just over two months away. That's just over two months away for daily convocation sessions with John Bell, the well-known speaker, preacher and musician who is primarily concerned with the renewal of congregational worship at the grassroots level. It's just over two months away from 70 classes that run the gamut from serious to more lighthearted -- from Living a Life of Worship, to God at the Box Office, to The Jedi Academy in the Gospel According to Star Wars. And it's just over two months away from evening worship led by Burns Stanfield, professional musician turned preacher, and his wife Lorraine and others; and morning prayers led by Stephanie Anthony and Jody Branson, who are typically found leading worship at First Presbyterian Church in Hudson, Wis. Synod School runs July 24-29 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Details and registration information are at "Synod School."
Revised application posted online
for synod's racial-ethnic scholarship
Synod Logo A revised application for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies' Racial Ethnic Student Preparation for Leadership Scholarship takes a broader approach to Christian service, emphasizing community service as well as service within the church. For example, the older form stated, "Students must be able to demonstrate their preparation for service as a church professional or other leadership role." The new form states, " ... preparation for service as a church professional or community leadership role." The scholarship program was revised when the synod's Committee on Racial Ethnic Ministry met late last month. The revised scholarship form is at "Preparation for Leadership."
Synod seeks requests
for collegiate ministry projects
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies continues its long-standing commitment to collegiate ministry, but it also supports congregational-based and Synod Logo chaplaincy-based ministry. The synod considers proposals that either provide short-term funding to help established ministries become self-sustaining, or provide seed money for new ministries or new initiatives of established ministries, or provide leadership development opportunities for professional or volunteer ministry leaders. The synod also offers mini-grants, such as grants for fall- or spring-break activities. Complete application procedures and guidelines can be found at "Lakes and Prairies Collegiate Ministries."
Training event planned for presbytery
Elona Street-Stewart leadership in changing times
As executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, Elona Street-Stewart is increasingly aware of the changes swirling through the sixteen presbyteries within her synod's bounds. One presbytery is looking for an interim to succeed an executive who retired after decades of leadership. Two presbyteries are sharing a single stated clerk. Other presbyteries are banding together to share administrative staff and explore cooperative models of mission. Everyone is asking, "How do we deal with the transitions that are coming at us?" Street-Stewart says. That is why she was excited when staff from the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s Office of the General Assembly approached her about helping make arrangements for a new kind of training event. The training would be designed to equip teams of people to meet the diverse leadership needs of their presbyteries, especially presbyteries in the midst of change. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Training in the Synod."
Moravian Church, PC(USA) enter full communion agreement, service slated in Madison
Moravian PCUSA The Northern and Southern Provinces of the Moravian Church in North America and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have agreed to enter full communion with one another. The two provinces of the Moravian Church, which have congregations in 13 U.S. states and two Canadian provinces, are also in full communion with the Episcopal Church and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. The PC(USA) is also in full communion with the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the United Church of Christ and the Reformed Church in America. The two churches will be celebrating their full communion agreement with a national service of worship Sunday, June 5, at Covenant Presbyterian Church in Madison, Wis. Additional details are available at "Full Communion."
The Sower, gathering information
available on synod website
Sower Logo Writing about renewal in the latest edition of The Sower, the newsletter of Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, Marilyn Stone, moderator of the organization, wrote, "With the arrival of spring, we witness the renewal of God's creation around us. As the grass greens, the crocus and daffodils burst forth with color and the trees begin to bud, I hope this brings forth a spiritual renewal for you as well." Stone also addressed this summer's Synod-wide gathering of Presbyterian Women, writing, "This will be a wonderful opportunity for spiritual renewal and growth, as well as renewing old friendships and creating new ones." The gathering takes place June 15-18 in Sioux Falls, S.D. Details and gathering registration materials can be found at "Summer Gathering." Stone's complete column, and current edition of the newsletter, are at "The Sower."
Conferences, camps, resources
Lutheran pastor edits study
guide on Muslim, Christian relations
"A worrisome topic had gnawed its way into the conversation at the monthly conferences attended by Lutheran pastors in central Minnesota. The religious leaders were uneasy with the tensions between some Mary Brown longtime residents of the St. Cloud area and its newest citizens -- Somali refugees, mostly Muslim, who've moved to the area in large numbers to work, raise families and worship." Those were the introductory sentences to a story by Kevyn Burger that ran Tuesday in the Star Tribune of Minneapolis. The story goes on to note a study guide on Muslim-Christian relations edited by Lutheran pastor, the Rev. Mary Brown, (see photo) that is being widely used across the country. Brown, director of congregational relations for Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota, responds to needs identified by ministers in the state's Lutheran churches. Quoted in the story, Brown said, "I heard these pastors say repeatedly that the people in their pews had a deep longing to better understand the faith of everyone in their community." The complete Star Tribune story can be found at "Being Good Neighbors." (Photo by David Joles of the Star Tribune.) The study guide can be found at "My Neighbor is Muslim." 
Race, reconciliation study is timely
Race Reconciliation Ref resource for General Assembly
A timely, new "Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding" study honors the 50th anniversary of the Confession of 1967 and the anticipated adoption of the Confession of Belhar as a confessional standard of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at the 222nd General Assembly in Portland this summer. "It has been a long journey, but the General Assembly Special Committee on the Belhar Confession is delighted that the Belhar Confession is now moving toward the final action needed to become part of our "Book of Confessions," says the study's author, the Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick, professor of world Christianity and ecumenical studies at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary and co-chair of the Belhar special committee. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Race and Reconciliation."
Youth Triennium registration
continues, speaker lineup announced
2016 Youth Triennium Presbyterian Youth Triennium registration is still underway, with a May 31 early-bird registration deadline approaching for the July 19-23 event held on the campus of Purdue University in West Lafayette, Ind. Registration closes June 10 for the event sponsored by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Speakers include Rodger Nishioka, who will preach opening night on the theme "Go and See," and Anna Sweet Brockman, who will preach Wednesday afternoon on the theme "Go and Do Likewise." More details are available in the Presbyterian News Service story at "Triennium."
Carol Howard Merritt Carol Howard Merritt headlines
Washington Island Forum
Carol Howard Merritt, well known author and speaker, will address "The Church on the Edge" at this year's Washington Island Forum that runs June 20-24. The Forum is a 40-year tradition sponsored by the Wisconsin Council of Churches and The Christian Century magazine. The four and a half-day event includes worship, workshops, discussion and contemplation in an ecumenical retreat setting on Washington Island, located about seven miles northeast of the tip of Door Peninsula. Merritt, a Presbyterian minister and senior consultant for the Center for Progressive Religion, is author of "Tribal Church: Ministering to the Missing Generation" and "Reframing Hope: Vital Ministry in a New Generation." She is a frequent contributor to books, blogs, magazines and journals. Details are at "Washington Island Forum."
Camping registrations at Lakeshore
Center running ahead of last year
Lakeshore Lodge When it comes to registering for summer camp at Lakeshore Center at Okoboji, the Presbyterian camp and conference center near Milford, Iowa, the "numbers are ahead of last year." That noted, Lakeshore Center is encouraging summer campers to get their registrations in soon. Details are at "Summer Camp." The current edition of Lakeshore Center's newsletter is at "CrossTalk."
Clearwater Forest seeks camp goers
Rich Swartwood, executive director of Clearwater Forest, a Presbyterian camp and conference center near Deerwood, Minn., notes it simply in the camp's newsletter: "Be sure to sign up soon so you can be a part of Clearwater Logo Summer 2016 -- Fearless Faith."  In the recent newsletter, Swartwood writes, "We are making the final plans for our 62nd year of summer programming. In addition to some incredible facility upgrades, which include new mattresses in most of the cabins; a new bench swing circle; completing the worship circle; and moving the bike shack; we are preparing for a summer filled with relationship building, faith formation, and time to be in God's woods and waters." The newsletter stories are all at "Clearwater Forest."
'Six New Things' available weekly
from Resource Center for Churches
Resource Center Logo Lizabeth Bougie, director of the Resource Center for Churches, an ecumenical resource center located at 122 West Franklin Ave., Room 2, in Minneapolis, is publishing a weekly blog, "Six New Things." The latest blog highlights six new resources that are available from the center. The blog post can routinely be found on the center's Facebook page, but it can also be found at "Six New Things."

Congregational Ministries Publishing
CMP Online Catalog debuts new online catalog
Congregational Ministries Publishing has gone digital. For the first time, the Presbyterian Mission Agency's publisher of curriculum and other educational resources for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is offering an easy-to-use online catalog. The new digital catalog features all of CMP's products in one place -- including the acclaimed "Growing in Grace & Gratitude" denominational children's curriculum -- with a simple one-touch click for more information and a quick one-click connection for easy ordering. The complete announcement can be found at "Online Catalog."
Newsletter for young adult
ministry notes pre-GA 'Summit'
The current edition of Ministry News, a newsletter for UKirk and young adult ministry, addresses registering with the UKirk network and the Summit UKirk upcoming "Summit 2016," a pre-General Assembly event. Jason Santos, associate for collegiate ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, noted, "The UKirk Network, at its core, was designed to be a community of folks who share in a passion for and engage in ministries to college-aged young adults." The complete newsletter is at "UKirk."

Summer called great time
for new worshiping communities
Vera White Writing in current edition of New Church, New Way, the newsletter of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s new worshiping communities initiative, Vera White, the associate for the initiative, wrote, "Did you know that summer is a great time for new worshiping communities? People who have been hibernating all winter venture out onto their porches and patios. They head to the city parks and ball fields. Neighbors gather for back yard barbecues. ... It is a great time to reconnect with neighbors." White uses those lines to introduce the booklet, "Starting New Worshiping Communities," a how-to guide for developing a new worshiping community. The newsletter is available at "New Church New Way." The booklet is at "Starting New Worshiping Communities."
News of the Board of Pensions
BOP's Board Connections offers
presentation links, other info
Board of Pensions logo Board Connections, the newsletter of The Board of Pensions of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), recently released its May edition. This issue offers links to presentations made at the Regional Benefits Consultations last month in San Diego and Philadelphia. Available online, Connections routinely highlights recent Board news and information. The complete newsletter can be found at "Board Connections."
News around the PC(USA) & more
Report submitted to General Assembly
PCUSA Logo on identity, purpose of PC(USA)
A vibrant family portrait of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has emerged from the recent church-wide conversation on the identity and purpose of the denomination, and God, Christ, love, and the world are among the most prominent subjects. Dominant, too, is a commitment to Reformed Theology, and to the scriptural call to ministry outside the church. That's the message coming from a report of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly to the 222nd General Assembly. The complete announcement from the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Status Check."
Presbyterian Outlook slates webinar
with GA Moderator Heath Rada
Heath Rada in Ames The Presbyterian Outlook is planning a live 90-minute webinar with Heath Rada, moderator of 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),  Thursday, May 26, at 6 p.m. CDT.  The webinar, offered for free, will offer an opportunity to hear what Rada has learned as he has traveled across the church. The webinar will also include information that will be presented to the Assembly by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. Details are available at "Rada Webinar."
Challenger comes forward to seek stated clerk post
David Baker The Rev. David M. Baker, right, is challenging the nomination of the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson for the office of Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).Baker, stated clerk of the Presbytery of Tampa Bay, notified the Stated Clerk Nomination Committee of his intention to stand against the committee's nominee on May 4, 45 days before the opening of the 222nd General Assembly and the deadline for challenges. Baker was one of the 13 persons who completed the committee's application process, making him eligible to challenge the committee's nomination. The complete announcement from the Office of the General Assembly is at "Challenger."
Justice, Peace newsletter
addresses solutions to racism
Justice & Peace News Writing in a recent edition of the Presbyterian Justice & Peace newsletter, Sara Lisherness, director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Office of Compassion, Peace and Justice, noted, "There is no doubt, we live in difficult times. While our society and church have come a long way, the killings of people of color by police, racially-motivated fatal shootings at a South Carolina church and racially-charged rhetoric in the midst of presidential campaign rallies, remind us of how far we have to go to address racism. ... For this issue of Justice and Peace Close Up, we look at a few of the ways the church is dealing with racism and finding solutions." The complete issue is at "Justice and Peace."
Change of Heart Jeanne Bishop wins Writers
Guild's 'Best First Book Award'
"Change of Heart: Justice, Mercy and Making Peace with My Sister's Killer" by Jeanne Bishop has been named winner of the Presbyterian Writers Guild's 2014-2015 Best First Book Award. The award, with a $500 cash prize funded by the Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, is given at each General Assembly to the best first book by a Presbyterian writer during the previous two years. Bishop will receive her award at the Writers Guild's General Assembly Luncheon June 23 in Portland, Ore. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "First Book."
PDA disaster assistance Lisherness expresses thanks
for the work of PDA responders
The recent earthquakes and flooding in the United States and abroad are drawing on the resources of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance. Sara Lisherness, director of Compassion, Peace and Justice for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, wrote recently, "It's timely that one of the highlighted stories this month is about the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance National Response Team. Volunteers go through a rigorous process of training, discussion and discernment to become members. Many are called into dire circumstances to serve at a moment's notice; I admire their passion and commitment to serving God's children when they need help the most." Her complete column, and other stories of Presbyterians working in areas of compassion, peace and justice, can be found at "Peace and Justice."
Derby makes PC(USA) leader think of Paul's race
This year's Kentucky Derby in Louisville made Chip Hardwick, director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, think about another race. He wrote, "This year the Run for the Grace Gratitude Roses has me thinking about Paul's statement that he had finished the race and kept the faith. Running the race as Christians means focusing on the grace that comes to us in Christ, and in joyous gratitude sharing that grace with others." Hardwick's column, found in the newsletter Grace and Gratitude, leads into an issue with several resources and other inspirational information. It can be found at "Grace and Gratitude."
COGA encourages Presbyterians
to participate online in GA worship
GA 222 The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly is encouraging congregations and mid-councils to invite those who are interested to gather together in groups to watch, sing, pray and otherwise participate in the live streaming of General Assembly opening worship Saturday, June 18, at 9 a.m. COGA hopes that as the assembly begins its work, throughout the church people will be worshiping as one. Details of worship will be announced later.

New worshiping community
builds church without building
What could your congregation do if it didn't have to worry about keeping up a building? That's the question Rev. Eneyas Freitas asked when he started a new worshiping community called Urban Connect in Phoenix. His congregation meets at a new event venue called The Vintage 45 in Phoenix's warehouse district every Sunday morning. The other days of the week the space operates as an event venue, owned and operated by a separate board of directors and staff. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Building but Not Building."
Just one more

From one tweet came many more --
Upworthy logo 'It's not a woman's duty ... '
Last week the hashtag #ItsNotAWomansDutyTo took off on Twitter. One of the bloggers on Upworthy has followed it a bit. It started when, according to Parker Molloy, "Twitter user @FeminismVibes, ... began this conversation after one of their university classes sparked a discussion about gender." The original tweet said, "It's not a woman's duty to make sure she isn't assaulted when she leaves the house. It's your duty not to assault her." There are more. It's at "Not a Duty."