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

August 25, 2016

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Synod meeting coming up Oct. 2-4
Synod Logo Sue Krummel, director of mid council relations for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will lead the educational session for commissioners during the fall meeting of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies Oct. 2-4 at Mt. Olivet Conference and Retreat Center in Farmington, Minn. Krummel's presentation is slated Monday evening at 7. The purposes of the meeting, according the official call to meeting, "are to elect officers, to hear reports, to worship, to grow in fellowship, and to take such actions as are necessary for a synod meeting."
Thinking about proposing a class
Synod Logo round with people for Synod School? Here's how
The Synod School Committee of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies is looking for class proposals for the 2017 edition of the popular midsummer ministry. Proposals are due by Sept. 16. The forms to submit a class proposal can be found at "Make it a Class."

Presbyterians in action: working
for justice in Minneapolis
The Presbyterian Outlook will run occasional stories talking to Presbyterians involved with grassroots work to address racism and injustice in their communities. In a story published Aug. 4, Leslie Scanlon wrote: Just days after a police officer shot and killed Philando Castile, a 32-year-old African-American man, on July 6 during a traffic stop in a Alika Galloway suburb of St. Paul, Minn., two toddlers were shot in a drive-by shooting in north Minneapolis and one of them, a 2-year-old boy, died. Alika Galloway, at right, co-pastor of Kwanzaa Community Church, was speaking in the days following those deaths to middle school students at the 21st Century Academy summer school program. She asked them: "How do you feel about it, and what do you think you can do about it?" They answered: "We don't know what we can do, and we feel really bad." The complete Presbyterian Outlook story can be found at "Seeking Justice in Minneapolis."
Winnebago Presbytery, Colombian
counterpart must overcome travel barriers
Colombia Mission The Winnebago Presbytery got a chance to learn from its counterpart in Colombia this spring when five visitors from Urabá Presbytery spent a week in northern Wisconsin. During the course of the 13-year relationship, "they have offered more to us than we have to them," said Michael Lukens, stated clerk for the presbytery. Many Wisconsin groups have visited South America, but until this year no more than one or two Colombians at a time had been able to make the trip north due to the difficulty of obtaining visas. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "Getting Together."
Conferences, camps, resources
Nadia Bolz-Weber Nadia Bolz-Weber to speak
in Milwaukee in September
Nadia Bolz-Weber, acclaimed author, speaker and pastor, will be the featured speaker for a Presbytery of Milwaukee gathering at the Milwaukee Art Museum on Tuesday, Sept. 27. Bolz-Weber is the founding pastor of House for All Sinners and Saints, an ELCA mission church in Denver, Colo. She writes regularly for Christian Century and Sojourners magazines and blogs at She has been featured in BBC World Service, The Washington Post, NPR's Morning Edition, Fresh Air, The Atlantic, CNN and other media outlets. The cost is $40 for non-presbytery members, $20 for presbytery members, and $10 for young adult Presbyterians under the age of 30. The complete press release from the Presbytery of Milwaukee is at "Bolz-Weber." Additional information about Bolz-Weber is at her website,
Presbyteries, congregations sought
that need support for emerging mission
Synod Logo The synod supports emerging mission with a grant program that gives priority to proposals that support leadership development, congregational vitality and-or mission, or communication. Top priority is given to efforts that enhance partnerships with the synod or with other presbyteries within the bounds of the synod. A proposal can cover up to three years. Details of this synod program can be found at "Emerging Mission."
Racial-Ethnic Scholarship offered
Racial Ethnic scholar by synod, application online
The synod offers a Student Scholarship Fund designed to encourage racial-ethnic students in their preparation for academic success in higher education. Students must have a permanent residence within the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and be active members in a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation. The synod's website states, "The synod is committed to partner with students and schools for leadership development and quality instruction of clergy and lay persons for lifelong service. Application awards are based on personal achievement, financial need and recommendation from a teacher and pastor." Completed applications are due Sept. 30 and must include an official transcript and financial aid statement. Details are at "Scholarship."
Collegiate ministry grants available through synod
Collegiate Ministry Are you a minister, congregational or presbytery leader, or a college or university chaplain with thoughts about beginning something new in collegiate ministry - or enhancing something that already exists? The Synod of Lakes and Prairies has continued its long-standing commitment to collegiate ministry, and its funding guidelines reflect an inclusive understanding of collegiate ministry that embraces not only campus ministry, but also congregational-based and chaplaincy-based ministry. Grants are available for collegiate ministries within the boundaries of the synod. Details -- and the application forms -- can be found at "Collegiate Ministries."
Prayer is subject of current
'Regarding Ruling Elders' resource
"A common religious conceit is that people only turn to prayer in times of difficulty and despair. In my time as a hospice chaplain, I have found that idea to be untrue. Often pain and grief seem to stifle one's ability to connect with God in prayer." That's the way Zeenz Regis, a ruling elder and member of Oakhurst Presbyterian Church in Decatur, Ga., opened the current installment of "Regarding Ruling Elders." Regis, currently a hospice chaplain, wrote, "As we pray with another, remember that our prayer is not performance, but it is connection." The complete column is at "Praying."
POAMN, ARMSS co-sponsor
national event in October
Older Adult Ministry Unified under a theme inspired by John 13:34-35, "Christian Discipleship: People of the Spirit, People of Hope," the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network and the Association of Retired Ministers, their Spouses or Survivors will co-sponsor a national conference for persons engaged in ministry with older adults from Oct. 11-14 in Richmond, Va. Conference participants will have a unique opportunity to engage in fellowship, networking, sharing resources, interactive and participatory workshops, creative worship, recreation, mission tours, entertainment, and an inspiring keynote address by the Rev. Dr. John Carroll of Union Presbyterian Seminary of New York City. Conference details, including registration information, are at "Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries."
Annual Oasis event slated in October in Kansas City
Oasis, a regional educational event in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), describes itself this way: "Oasis is for everyone in the church who needs a space to refresh themselves. Oasis is for everyone who needs to draw on a well of new ideas.  Oasis is for everyone who wants to serve God Kara Root more deeply and more fully." Oasis runs Sunday through Tuesday, Oct. 23-25, in Kansas City, Mo. This year's theme is "Sabbath," and Kara Root, at right, pastor of Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis, will be the keynote speaker. Root's congregation, the Oasis site states, "shapes its life around worship, hospitality and Sabbath rest." Root is a trained spiritual director and certified Christian educator. Details about registration are available at "Oasis." The event also has a Facebook page.
2 Lombard Mennonite Peace Center
workshops on schedule in Madison
Lombard Mennonite Two Lombard Mennonite Peace Center workshops are on the fall schedule in Madison, Wis. The first workshop, titled "Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: A Family Systems Perspective," takes place Sept. 28, and the second, "Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders," runs Nov. 14-18. Both take place at Orchard Ridge UCC. The first workshop is designed to help church leaders understand the roots of anxiety, the scapegoating process in church systems, how to manage self in the midst of relationship triangles, the importance of maintaining a non-anxious presence, and other benefits of providing self-differentiated leadership in the midst of conflict. The mediation training helps church leaders hone mediation and conflict transformation skills. The brochure for the first workshop is at "Leadership and Anxiety," and the brochure for mediation training is at "Honing Skills."
Synod site contains worship, sermon links
Homiletics site Ministers never have to worry about ideas for sermons. Every text in the lectionary provides inspiration. And, whenever the inspiration arrives, there's always an illustration immediately at hand to bring home the point. Right? Well, maybe not. Where is one to go? For everything from liturgies, to sermons and sermon illustrations, to drama, and movies, music, artwork - even dance - there are a variety of links at "Worship Links." And for those who know a particularly good resource for worship, available through a link, let us know at
New WJK book explores social, political
issues at forefront of 2016 election
Anxious Christians American Christians are anxious, says ethicist David P. Gushee, about the rapid economic, cultural, and political changes occurring these days, "and we are more scared than we have ever been that if we go to a mall or a movie theater, someone is going to try to kill us." His book, "A Letter to My Anxious Christian Friends: From Fear to Faith in Unsettled Times," guides readers through the flurry of divisive political issues at work in the United States and at the forefront of the 2016 presidential election. The complete announcement from Westminster John Knox Press can be found at "Social and Political Issues."
News around the PC(USA) and more

PDA disaster assistance PDA deploys response team

in wake of Louisiana flooding

In the aftermath of catastrophic flooding in the Gulf region, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is providing assistance to the Presbytery of South Louisiana and reached out to the Presbytery of Mississippi. PDA has approved two grants to be used to address community needs. The flooding last weekend dumped nearly 22 inches of rain in parts of Louisiana and other Gulf states according to the National Weather Service. Some communities reported as much as 31 inches of rainfall. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "PDA Responds."
'Presbytery in my pocket:' Steve Plank's
phone is the office for Cayuga-Syracuse
Steve Plank In the northeast corner of the country, the Presbytery of Cayuga-Syracuse made a dramatic decision. It reduced presbytery staff to just one person and got rid of its office space. Today, Cayuga-Syracuse Presbytery has no building. The office is a laptop, and its number rings to a cell phone in Steve Plank's pocket. As the lone presbytery employee, Plank has the dual job title of stated clerk/communicator. The complete Presbyterian News Service story is at "In the Pocket."
Board to consider suspending
search for new PMA executive director
Mission agency The executive committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board is recommending that the board suspend its search for a new Presbyterian Mission Agency executive director. Acting on a suggestion by the search committee, the executive committee --meeting in Chicago for its annual retreat -- recommended naming a new search committee next spring. The complete announcement from the Presbyterian Mission Agency can be found at "Suspending Search."
Anderson Edmiston Co-moderators begin
video blog, 'In This Season'
Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston, co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), have begun sharing weekly reflections in a video blog, "In This Season." In the current edition of the blog, Edmiston talks about the goals for their two-year term. The video blog can be found at "In This Season."

De La Rosa's "Keeping Faith"
video newsletter published
"Keeping Faith," the video newsletter from Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency is live. The July/August edition showcases De La Rosa's time spent with some 5,000 youth and adult volunteers at the recent Presbyterian Youth Triennium. The complete Presbyterian News Service story, along with De La Rosa's video, are at "Keeping Faith."
Networking: from Facebook to face-to-face
Amaury Tañón-Santos, synod networker for the Synod of the Northeast, wrote recently about his position with the synod -- building new networks in new ways. In his story, he noted, "Then I opened my computer, checked my to-do list, scrolled through the barrage of unread emails, and logged onto social media. ... We have taken to thinking of the synod as a regional community instead of a higher council. This 'flattening' allows the whole synod to realize the gifts we hold in common and enables shared interests to inspire new programs." Tañón-Santos' complete story, published by the Presbyterian News Service, can be found at "New Networks."
General Assembly, Triennium provide
or hope for denomination
Presbyterian Disciple Ray Jones, associate director of faith formation and evangelism for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, noted, "After spending nine days at General Assembly and six days at Triennium, I am tired but hopeful about the future of our denomination. In both gatherings, I experienced the context in which to talk about my faith in Christ, the significance of making disciples, and the essential nature of the church for God's mission in the world." Jones was writing in The Presbyterian Disciple newsletter. The current edition, which includes links to other stories of evangelism, can be found at "Disciple."
New Church, New Way newsletter
notes new efforts to grow church
1001 Vera White, national associate for 1001 New Worshiping Communities for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, noted "Growing the church is not just for new worshiping communities anymore." Writing in the New Church, New Way newsletter, White added, "We on the 1001 team are thrilled to see how the energy, innovation and creativity of new worshiping communities are inspiring and growing the broader church. Meanwhile, the solid foundations of established congregations help new worshiping communities mature in a healthy way." White's complete column, along with the work taking place in the broader church, can be found at "New Way."
Presbyterians Today invites visitors
to blog, 'One Church, Many Voices'
Presbyterians Today When Presbyterians Today magazine announced its blog, it noted, "We are storytellers. We are everyday Presbyterians who want to talk honestly about the future of the church. We are part of a creative team commissioned by Presbyterians Today to ask questions about who's getting a platform to speak and who's not. And this is our canvas." It described the blog as "a holy place for reflection -- a safe place to talk and grow as disciples of Christ. Here you'll find writing, art, videos, and podcasts. Some of it will be bilingual. Some will be collaborative projects, bringing together artist and wordsmith. All of it will push the boundaries of what passes for conversation in the church and will, we hope, inspire us to dream bigger when it comes to the gospel." The announcement and blog can be found through "Many Voices."
Mission Matters column talks
Mission Matters logo about being on call 24-7
Writing in Mission Matters, a monthly column of Presbyterian World Mission, Rachel Yates, associate director of program, noted, "The panicked call might come at 3 a.m., or on a holiday weekend. The security breach may be conveyed in a coded email message. With nearly 140 mission co-workers serving in more than 50 countries, Presbyterian World Mission must be on alert 24-7 for medical emergencies, security risks, natural disasters, and other crises that require immediate response, intervention, and, possibly, evacuation." Yates' complete column, and other stories about Presbyterian World Mission, can be found at "Being on Call."
Just one more
Hide-and-seek -- a world championship
This could be under the heading, "Really, you've got to be kidding," but there's a world championship for hide-and-seek. And it has an additional twist this around -- coming up in September -- it will take place in Consonno, an abandoned resort in Italy. There's a story about that, too. Anyway, your editor likes abandoned places -- if only these walls could talk, or something like that. And, tell me, who didn't play hide-and-seek as a child, a teen, and, well, sometimes even older. There's a story about it at "Consonno."