In This Issue
News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Conferences, camps, resources
News of colleges, universities, seminaries
News around the PC(USA) and more
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July 5, 2016

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Synod School will open its doors July 24
John Bell Synod School is now just around the corner. The annual midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies runs July 24-29 on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. The annual summer event that offers nearly 70 classes, also offers opportunities for worship, presents great speakers, and gives opportunities for fellowship and fun. Synod School routinely draws more than 550 participants. This summer John Bell, a minister of the Church of Scotland and renowned lecturer and preacher, will lead convocation. Burns Stanfield, a Presbyterian minister and musician (and longtime Synod School participant), will lead evening worship. Stephanie Anthony and Jody Branson will lead morning worship. Classes are filling up -- classes with waiting lists are noted on the synod's website -- but there is still time to register at "Synod School."
Kimball elected moderator
of Presbyterian Women in synod
Sower Logo Sue Kimball of the Presbytery of Des Moines has been elected moderator of Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Kimball addressed the gathering of the group in Sioux Falls last month and she shared those words through The Sower, the group's newsletter. She wrote, "You all have gifts bestowed on you by the Holy Spirit. Your gift is absolutely perfect and necessary for the life and ministry of the body of Christ, the church. All of us are needed and valued Presbyterian Women. Find your gift, if you don't know it already, by asking someone you know, and share that gift with others. Use it to make the earth like heaven above." Kimball's complete speech can be found in "The Sower."
Craig Howard calls for action on gun violence
Craig Howard Writing in the Beloved Community blog of the Presbytery of Milwaukee, Craig Howard, executive director of strategic partnerships for the presbytery, noted it's a time for action on gun violence. Issuing his column during the week of June 20, Howard wrote, "On Monday the U.S. Senate defeated four proposals related to gun control. Our country has entered a sad cycle of violence, anger, push for change, and disappointment. It happened after Charleston, New Town, Aurora, San Bernardino, and now Orlando. Fannie Lou Hammer, the civil rights leader coined the phrase, 'I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired.' After this last round of violence-anger-change-disappointment, I am ashamed and I am tired of being on the sidelines watching as nothing gets done." Howard's complete column can be found at "Time for Action."

Prouty describes how a reference
Scott Prouty call turned into a connection
A few weeks ago Scott Prouty traveled to Washington, D.C., to take part in a national interfaith event and wound up speaking on behalf of all Presbyterians. Earlier this spring Prouty served on the nomination committee that identified the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s recently elected stated clerk. There's a connection. Now Sayyid Syeed, national director for the Islamic Society of North America, is coming to Redwood Falls, Minn., where Prouty is pastor of that community's First Presbyterian Church. Prouty wrote about it in a recent edition of his congregation's newsletter. "All I did was make a reference call on a Stated Clerk candidate and it changed my life. [On behalf of the PC(USA) nomination committee] I called Dr. Sayyid Syeed on March 8. I was charmed by his story telling and how he traveled all over the world. Prouty's complete column is at "What a Surprise."
Conferences, camps, resources
Presbyterian Mission Agency rolls out new website
PMA Website The Presbyterian Mission Agency has rolled out a brand new website. The website presents an entirely new online presence for the PMA. The website can be found at "Presbyterian Mission Agency."

'Practical Presbyterian Leadership
OGA Logo Training' offered in August
A two-day leadership training seminar is planned this summer in Des Moines for presbytery leaders. Called "Practical Presbytery Leadership Training: Teamwork for Changing Times," the training event is designed to benefit teams of people working together in leadership. The session's brochure notes, "There is no limit to the number of people who can attend from one presbytery, but presbyteries are encouraged not to send only one person. This is training for a team, not an individual." The workshop runs Aug. 26-27, from 1 p.m. Friday through 4:30 p.m. Saturday, at Central Presbyterian Church in Des Moines. Sponsored by the Office of the General Assembly, the brochure can be found at "Practical Leadership."
Clearwater Forest notes 'highlights
Clearwater Logo of exciting things'
The July issue of the Clearwater Forest newsletter notes, "Camp is in full swing!  Grands, campers, and families are staying busy with activities, we're seeing the loons grow, and of course the campers and staff are making the experience come alive for all who attend!" The newsletter contains, it notes, "just a few highlights of the exciting things going on." Clearwater Forest is a Presbyterian camp and conference center located near Deerwood, Minn. The newsletter is at "Clearwater Forest."
Young Adults Volunteer program
offers opportunity for service
Young Adult Volunteers The Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program, a ministry of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), is a one-year service opportunity for young adults ages 19 to 30. For more than two decades, YAVs have heard God's call, while serving alongside partners at sites in the United States and around the world. YAVs live in intentional Christian community -- August to July -- developing and deepening their faith. Information about the program is available in the YAV newsletter at "YAV Program."
Justice, Peace newsletter
addresses poverty in U.S.
Justice & Peace News Writing in the current edition of Justice & Peace, a newsletter of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, Sara Lisherness, director of PMA's Office of Compassion, Peace and Justice, notes: "According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 16 million children live in poverty in this country and nearly half must survive on an annual income of less than half the poverty line. Studies have shown that a child who drops out of school has only a 12 percent chance of ever holding a job with benefits and pension." The complete newsletter is at "Justice and Peace."
News of colleges, universities, seminaries
Jamestown's physical education
University of Jamestown announcement doctorate gets accredited
The University of Jamestown's physical therapy doctoral program has earned accreditation by the Commission on Accreditation in Physical Therapy Education, the only physical therapy accreditation organization in the United States. The University of Jamestown is one of seven Presbyterian-related institutions of higher education in covenant with the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. The university's physical therapy doctoral program is one of only three accredited programs in North Dakota. The complete story is at "Jamestown College."
News around the PC(USA) & more
PC(USA) leaders issue post-General Assembly letter
The Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), along with the Revs. Denise Anderson and PCUSA Logo Jan Edmiston, co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly, and Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency issued a "letter to the church" following the Assembly. Calling the Assembly historic, they noted the business decisions were "transformative for the 1,572,660 members and 9,642 churches of the PC(USA). The work wasn't easy, and involved careful deliberations. Collectively, the body acted on nearly 100 overtures by discerning the will of Christ. Among other things, we now have a new addition to our Book of Confessions -- the Confession of Belhar. It is the first of our confessions that comes from the global south. And, the PC(USA) has a new Directory for Worship; and Child/Youth/Vulnerable Adult Protection Policy and Procedures. God is truly guiding us to be more faithful and just to all of God's creations." The complete letter is at "To the Church."
History made as PC(USA) elects
co-moderators for first time
PCUSA moderators On the 60th anniversary of making women eligible to be pastors, and the 85th anniversary of ordaining its first woman elder, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) made history, electing two women as co-moderators for the first time. Denise Anderson, a pastor from National Capital Presbytery, and Jan Edmiston, a presbytery executive from Chicago, were overwhelmingly elected co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly. It also was the first-ever election of co-moderators, which was possible because of an earlier change made in the standing rules. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Moderators."
World church leaders hail
Nelson's election as PC(USA) stated clerk
J Herbert Nelson It didn't take long for the kudos to start pouring in Friday after the 222nd General Assembly elected J. Herbert Nelson as the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s new stated clerk, the highest ecclesial office in the 1.5-million-member denomination. Nelson, 57, is the first African-American elected to the post. "On behalf of the World Council of Churches, I wish a warm welcome to J. Herbert Nelson as he takes up the responsibilities of his new position," said General Secretary Olav Fykse Tveit. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "World Church Leaders."
GA expresses 'regret'
for harm to LGBTQ/Q members
GA 222 Declining a proposal to admit to and apologize for harming the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning community, commissioners to the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) instead opted to express deep regret for ways that those minorities of "God's beloved children" have been led to feel that they stand outside the grace of God and are unwelcome in the denomination. At the same time, the resolution expresses the deep sorrow of all in the PC(USA) who have left the fellowship of the church, and expresses appreciation to those who have maintained relationships despite profound disagreement. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Expressing Regret."
Dependent-care policy makes
Bolt family GA more family-friendly
General Assembly is a family affair for Greg and Heidi Bolt, pastors from Homestead Presbytery in Nebraska who came to Portland with their children, 6-year-old Sophia and 4-year-old Thaddeus (see photo at right). Heidi, a commissioner from Homestead, said the new Dependent Care Reimbursement Policy implemented for the first time this year by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly made it possible for her to be accompanied by her husband and children. "We are a General Assembly kind of family," said Greg, who began attending assemblies with his parents when he was 10 years old. He has continued attending as an adult, he says, because it has "helped my ministry." The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Dependent Care."

Mid-council leaders discuss ways
to help in new-pastor searches
SanDawna Ashley Recognizing that helping congregations find new pastors is one of the most important responsibilities they face, mid-council leaders in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), gathered during the 222nd General Assembly to talk about the best ways to accomplish that task. "The health of pastoral relationships starts with the work we do with congregations during leadership transitions," said Sara Dingman, transitional executive for the Synod of Lincoln Trails. She joined three other mid-council executives on a panel hosted by SanDawna Ashley, above, manager of call process support for the Office of the General Assembly. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Searches."
PDA responds to massive flooding in West Virginia
The floodwaters are receding in West Virginia and families have begun the massive task of cleaning up following last week's record flooding in PDA disaster assistance parts of the state.  As many as 23 people are known to have died in the flooding, while hundreds of homes and businesses have been damaged or completely destroyed. Rick Turner, associate for disaster response with Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, said, "I began assembling a team to respond and then I heard the situation was far worse and was asked to send as many National Response Team members as I could," he said. "I then changed from one team to two teams of three people. I also needed to have some NRT members standing by in case more are needed." The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "West Virginia."
Presbyterians Today looks
at connections across the world
Presbyterians Today Presbyterians Today magazine, a publication of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is looking at connecting, networking and a world of relationships in its July-August edition. The magazine notes, "This issue ... takes a fascinating look at many of the approaches that individuals, congregations, presbyteries and synods, and other organizations and communities take to work together and help transform the world in the name of Christ." Articles in the current edition can be found at "Connecting."
Writers Guild announces new writing contest
Writers Guild Contest Some say the pen is mightier than the sword. How would you like to be part of wielding your pen against some disturbing issues of our time?  Like a progressive feast, writers in the contest will join with other writers in moving from one stage to the next in a seven-step process that will lead to stories that, like the parables of Jesus, can cause people to see the world and writer's chosen issue from a new angle. Entry details are at "Developing a Parable."
Outlook offers section full
of GA content on its website
Outlook Logo The Presbyterian Outlook has complete coverage of the 222nd General Assembly online. For those who want to look back at the coverage of the recently completed General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), it can be found on web page after web page -- a total of 20 of them -- in one location on The Presbyterian Outlook website.
GA 222 General Assembly wrap-up
information available online
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has put all its stories and more about the 222nd General Assembly in one location on the denomination's website. The material is at "General Assembly." If you want details on specific actions regarding overtures and committee work, that material can be found at "PC BIZ."
Just one more

Whitsitt issues a "rap" for General Assembly
YouTube Logo The Synod of Mid-America executive and stated clerk, Landon Whitsitt, put his creative talents to work in a YouTube rap expounding on General Assembly culture. This is a bit outdated at this point, but sometimes your editor is a bit behind the curve in finding things in time. Whitsitt's rap, "No Sleep Till Portland," showcases verses like "I do what I do best because I am decent and in order" and "working for the church because it's worth our while." The video can be found at "No Sleep."