Presbytery of Lake Huron
Bi-Weekly Brief 
 
"The mission of the Presbytery of Lake Huron is to partner with congregations, helping people to know, grow, share and serve as disciples of Jesus Christ." 
 

December 20, 2016 



All things came into being through him,
and without him not one
thing came into being.
What has come into being
in him was life, and the life
was the light of all people.
The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.

~ John 1:3-5
  
  
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer... 

Ongoing:
Elder Kathy Grimes, Commissioned Ruling Elder of Elkton-Chandler and Kinde-First, as she continues treatment for breast cancer.

Mission Co-Workers:
The Rev. Cathy Chang and family who are serving in the Philippines.

Michael and Rachel Ludwig , our Mission Co-Workers who are serving in Niger.

    
   
 

 

For those Teaching Elders (Ministers of Word and Sacrament) and Commissioned Ruling Elders (CREs) who are celebrating Ordination or Commissioning Anniversaries in December and January:

The Rev. Doug Abel (1/5) -  Pastor of Vassar-First
The Rev.   Lucy Der-Garabedian (12/19) - Member-At-Large
Elder Kathy Grimes (12/5) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Elkton-Chandler and Kinde-First
The Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter (1/8)General Assembly Staff;  Director of Racial Ethnic and Women's Ministries
The Rev. Rich Lawther (1/4) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. John Musgrave (1/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Rodney Shoemaker (12/2) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Elizabeth (Betsy) Stilwell (1/22) - Member-At-Large
Elder Sam McKim (1/1) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Lapeer-First
 
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

When I was a child, New Year's Eve was a special occasion. When the ball dropped in Times Square and Guy Lombardo played Auld Lang Syne, something magical occurred. In an instant, one year was over, and a new year began. The new year loomed before me with limitless possibility, a blank slate waiting to be written on. New Year's Day was genuinely new.

I am now of an age when the coming of a new year is not so welcome an occasion, much less a magical one. If anything, it is depressing - a reminder that I have one more year behind me, one less year ahead. As an adult, New Year's Day is just another in a long succession of days: the bills still have to be paid, the chores still have to be done. Nothing is changed, nothing is new, but the date on the calendar.

Jurgen Moltmann - widely regarded as the world's greatest living theologian - observes that European languages have two ways of talking about what is to come, rooted in the Latin words futurum and adventus. " Futurum means what will be; adventus means what is coming" ( The Coming of God, p. 25).

Futurum is the future that develops out of the past and present, that is continuous with our present condition - the "tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow" of which Macbeth lamented. Adventus - which means "coming" - refers to a future that is genuinely new, that invades, interrupts, and transforms our linear sequence of days. When the Bible speaks of God's promised future, it is an adventus future of prophetic hope - a new creation. It stands in judgment of the past, and supplants it with radical possibility.

Adventus is the New Year's Eve of wide-eyed youth; futurum is the New Year's Eve of jaded adults.

In Luke's gospel, the Christmas story of the shepherds in their fields is written to parallel the account of the women at the tomb on Easter morning, as if to underscore the connection between Christ's incarnation and resurrection - between the fulfillment of the promise of the ages, and the promise of the age to come. Christmas is the declaration that the days of futurum are coming to an end; that the adventus of a new creation would soon come. Easter was the first day of adventus time.

Among Korean Christians, New Year's Eve is a spiritual occasion, one of the "high holy days" of their calendar. It is an opportunity not only to take stock of the year past and pray for the year ahead, but also to celebrate - often in sacrament - that time itself has been forever altered by Christ's triumph over sin and death.

This New Year's Eve, let us give thanks that the child who was born in a manger and died on a cross was also raised from the dead as the first-born of the New Creation. We need not fear the passing of the year because the passing of the era has already begun. In the Year of our Lord 2017 may we live more and more fully in the adventus time of the New Creation.
  
Faithfully,

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
 
Merry Christmas!

"To you is born this day in the city of David a Savior, who is the Messiah, the Lord."
~ Luke 2:11

May the season fill you with the  love and joy that our Savior brings.


 
Presbytery Staff Opening

The Presbytery is looking for a permanent, part-time financial secretary to serve as the principal financial staff person for the presbytery.  Fifteen to twenty hours per week; competitive salary; and the joy of serving Christ as part of the Presbytery's ministry team. See the job posting here.
 
We are an Equal Opportunity Employer.

We encourage you to share this in your bulletins, newsletters and social media.
 
Special Called Meeting of 
Presbytery 

There will be a special called meeting of presbytery on Tuesday, January 17th at 11:00am at Saginaw-Korean (same building as the presbytery office) for the purpose of examining a candidate as ready for ordination. The call and all related materials will be posted the first week of January on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website. 
 
December Presbytery Meeting

The minutes and feedback for the December 6th presbytery meeting at Saginaw-Second will available by the end of the day tomorrow (12/21) on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website. 

Click here for the link to the racism test that was discussed during the Equipping Time at the meeting.
 
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2017 IRS Rates

The mileage rates for 2017 are as follows:

Business/Ministry  53.5 cents
Medical and Moving 17 cents
Charitable 14 cents

These may also be found on the  Documents and Forms page of our  website under the Financial Information heading.
 
Parish Paper

The latest editions of the  Parish Paper  are now available to download. The topic for January is:  Conquering the Cutback Syndrome  and the topic for February is:  How Do Congregations Respond to Interfaith Couples?  

Always great info in these! The presbytery's subscription includes the use of these by our congregations.
 
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Annual Statistics

The information for completing your 2016 Annual Statistics will be sent to all Clerks of Session the first week of January. However, the page for entering your information is now available  on the  Annual Statistics  page of our  website . Unless you changed it, your login information remains the same as last year.
 
We are here to assist you with any questions that you may have. Please call or e-mail Staci or Ted should you need anything. Staci may be reached at 989-799-7481 x2 or  spercy@presbylh.org. Ted may be reached at 989-799-7481 x 4 or  tmcculloch@presbylh.org. Please keep in mind that both are part-time employees and are not in the office everyday.
 
Deadline for entering your Statistical information and Necrology Report is February 16th. ( The deadline for the Clerk's Questionnaire is January 30th.)
 
Please remember that what you submit - or don't submit - affects your future per capita payments.
 
Click here to read an article from the PC(USA) describing some reasons why completing annual statistics are important to your congregation.
 
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Presbytery Office Closed

As a reminder, the presbytery office will be closed Friday, December 23rd through Monday, January 2nd in observance of Christmas and New Year.
 
Presbyterian Women
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Lake Huron PW Moderator Message

From: Georgia Terrell McCall, Presbytery of Lake Huron Presbyterian Women Moderator
 
I know it has been a couple of months since The Fall Gathering.  I want to take this opportunity to say thanks to all who worked so diligently to make the gathering a success.  The entire Coordinating Team can take credit for the role played in this event.  Special thanks are extended to our speaker, Judy Hudson , a retired school teacher and a volunteer extraordinaire.  Her presentation was i n keeping with the Presbyterian Women in the PC (USA), the Lake Huron Presbyterian Women will come "Together in Action for Children's Literacy".  We all appreciate Judy's presentation.  We thank the Rev. Shimon Pak for accepting our invitation to host the 2017 Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering.  The lunch was delicious and very much appreciated.  Our Executive Presbyter, the Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein, took time out of his busy schedule to join us.  That was so special. Thanks to all.  

It was my pleasure to meet and greet Dr. Susan Jackson-Dowd, Director of the Presbyterian Women in PC (USA) and the Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter, Director of Racial, Ethnic and Women's Ministries at the December 7 Presbytery meeting.  The ladies presented a workshop on building inclusive communities by addressing overt and hidden racism in ourselves and others will be offered immediately following the Presbytery meeting Tuesday, December 7 (approximately 2:30 p.m.) at Second Presbyterian Church, Saginaw.  Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter led the workshop, and introduced a new anti-racism study guide approved by the General Assembly.  Dr. Susan Jackson-Dowd presented a study guide from the Presbyterian Mission Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries entitled Facing Racism: A Vision of the Intercultural Community Antiracism Study Guides.   Both Dr. Hunter and Dr. Dowd can be reached at (800) 728-7228 or write to 100 Witherspoon Street Louisville, KY 40202. 

As your Lake Huron Presbyterian Women Moderator, I serve on the Coordinating Team of the Synod of the Covenant.  I attended the planning meeting for the Spring Gathering.  The gathering will take place on June 23-24, 2017 in Battle Creek Michigan.  Please save the date.  I will be sure to follow up with more details as I receive them.  During the Coordinating Team planning meeting I learned about an eight hour training on June 23 prior to the Synod Gathering. PW and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) are collaborating to train a minimum of four PWs in each presbytery to become PW Disaster Preparedness Trainers.  Each PW Disaster Preparedness Trainer will be expected to organize and conduct a minimum of three disaster preparedness trainings a year to give the basics of disaster preparedness to congregations and to presbyteries.   If this is of interest to you, please complete the application and provide to your three references the reference form.  Click here for the application form and click here for the reference form.  I expect Lake Huron Women to take advantage of this opportunity to serve. 

I appreciate Jane Ross, Incoming PW Co-Moderator of Lake Huron PW, presiding during a portion of the Fall Gathering and took charge while I was in Jackson, MS for the funeral of my brother.  Thanks to all who prayed for my family and me.  Jane reported to me that the next Lake Huron Presbytery Fall Gathering will be on October 14, 2017 the location is to be determined.  The theme for the gathering is "Out of the Darkness into the Light". 

SAVE THE DATES
June 23-24, 2017 Synod of the Covenant Spring Gathering in Battle Creek, MI
October 14, 2017 Lake Huron Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering
August 2-5, 2018 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women in Louisville, Kentucky
 
In Our Congregations
My City Magazine Features Flint-First

My City Magazine recently published a wonderful article about our very own Flint-First. Please click here to read the article.
 
Continuing Education Opportunities
Pastors In Transition Seminar

The spring session of the Pastors in Transition Seminar will be held  January 29-31, 2017 at the  St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, MI. This is for clergy and CREs in new calls and interims 
and other clergy interested in leading transition.

Click here   for more information.
 
N.T. Wright Coming To Grand Rapids

January 26-28, 2017
Grand Rapids, Michigan

The annual Calvin Symposium on Worship is a three-day conference sponsored by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and the Center for Excellence in Preaching.
The conference brings together a wide audience of artists, musicians, pastors, scholars, students, worship leaders and planners, and other interested worshipers. People come from around the world for a time of fellowship, worship, and learning together, seeking to develop their gifts, encourage each other and renew their commitment to the full ministry of the church.

On Thursday, January 26, 2017, N. T. Wright will be one of the presenters. 

N.T. (Tom) Wright  is a leading British New Testament scholar and retired Anglican bishop. Following his tenure as the Bishop of Durham (2003-2010), he serves as research professor of New Testament at the University of St. Andrews. He is the author of numerous books, including the The Case for the Psalms, which was developed out of work he presented at the 2012 Calvin Worship Symposium, and his forthcoming book, The Day the Revolution Began: Reconsidering the Meaning of Jesus's Crucifixion.

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If going as a group (three or more) there is a discount rate of $70.00 which includes lunch.  When registering include your church name and Presbytery of Lake Huron to receive the discount.

Click here for more details and a link to register.
 
Communications Corner
Headlines of Interest
   
Here are links to articles that we hope you will enjoy and perhaps spend some time discussing them with others. Click on the title to read the entire article.
   
 
John H. Glenn, Jr., best known as the first American to orbit the earth, died on December 8th at the Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center in Columbus at the age of 95. What is less known about Glenn is his lifelong membership in the Presbyterian Church and the faith that influenced his life's work... continue reading.
 
Convincing people to give their time and energy away for free isn't always an easy task. Once you do have them on the team, though, you definitely want to avoid actions that push them away.
Here are five things I've seen repel volunteers, along with  a few simple ways to retain volunteers and help them grow as members of their local church. .. continue reading .
 
Looking for a memorable way to welcome new visitors to your congregation?  If your goal is to attract new members and boost member retention-don't just tell them about church statistics and logistics. Offer a welcome packet that includes some fun information about who and what make up your church community.  Show them why they'll fit right in and what makes your church special. You'll find that new visitors will be more likely to stick around, get involved, and tell their friends and family about your organization.  So, what are some great items to include in a church welcome packet? Try a few of these ideas ... continue reading .
 
 
NOTE: The articles listed do not necessarily reflect the opinion of or intended to be an endorsement by the Presbytery of Lake Huron but are shared to encourage discussion of various topics.
Connections
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Connect With Other Churches In The Lake Huron Presbytery

There are so many wonderful things going on in all of our congregations.  Several of our churches have set up Facebook pages to help spread the good news not only to their members but to all who may be interested.  Liking other church Facebook pages is a great way to connect with others in the presbytery and to share ideas with each other.  Here are some of the churches that have Facebook pages:

Tawas
Vassar-First
Yale-First

If your congregation has a page and it is not listed here, please contact Staci Percy at spercy@presbylh.org

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'Like' Us On Facebook

The presbytery has a Facebook page and would like you to join us.  Get updates and information faster. Connect with others to share ideas and to post information about events happening in your congregation.  Join us today! 

Contact Information

Staci Percy

Communications Manager/Recording Clerk

spercy@presbylh.org 

989-799-7481 x2

In This Edition
In Our Prayers
From The Lions' Den
Merry Christmas
Job Opening
Special Presbytery Meeting
December Presbytery Minutes
IRS Rates for 2017
Parish Paper
Annual Statistics
Presbytery Office Closed
PW Updates
In Our Congregations
Pastors In Transition
N.T. Wright
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook


Who We Are
 
 
 
 
 
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

Hundreds of elders, educators, and church leaders read the Presbytery of Lake Huron's email sent out every other week. 

You can reissue or modify this content for your own church bulletin or newsletter, without crediting the Bi-Weekly Brief, but please credit any organizations, photographers, etc, that we credited.

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NOTE: The Presbytery of Lake Huron retains permission to modify submissions for clarity and length. Inclusion of an item in the Bi-Weekly Brief means that we think it's interesting and/or important, and does not constitute an endorsement of its point of view or its journalistic accuracy.

   

 
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Presbytery Office Closed
December 23 to
January 2



Coordinating Team
January 11
10:00 am



Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 16



Commission on Preparation for Ministry
January 18
10:00 am



Presbyterian Women
January 19
10:00 am



Personnel Team
January 23
10:00 am



Commission on Ministry - Full Team
January 25
11:00 am



Pastors in Transition
January 29-31
DeWitt, MI


 

Details on these meetings can be found on the presbytery's website on the calendar.