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." 
 

February 8, 2017 



And now faith, hope, and love  abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love .
  
  
We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...  

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 February and March:

The Rev. Karen Blatt (3/12) Honorably Retired; Temporary Supply of Houghton Lakes-Kirk of the Lakes
The Rev. Jan Chambers (3/29) - 30 years - Honorably Retired; Pastor Emerita of Tawas-Tawas Area
The Rev. Cathy Chang (2/17) Mission Co-Worker
The Rev. Mary Anne Evans-Justin (2/25) Honorably Retired
Elder Mark Garavaglia (2/23) Commissioned Ruling Elder of Deckerville-First
The Rev. Linda Graham (3/25) - 5 years - Pastor of Cass City- First and Cass City-Fraser
Elder Henry Kubin (3/5) Commissioned Ruling Elder of Alma-Eastminster       
Elder Mary Kubin (3/5) Commissioned Ruling Elder of Alma-Eastminster
The Rev. Desiree Lawson (3/20) Pastor of Flint-Trinity United
Elder Linda Living-Hawley (2/3) Commissioned Ruling Elder of Fenton-Tyrone
Elder Elizabeth (Liz) Long (3/5) Commissioned Ruling Elder of Ithaca-Lafayette
The Rev. Larry McMellen (2/12) Honorably Retired
The Rev. Chris Moody (2/25) Member-At-Large
Elder Peggy Ronk (3/4) - 5 years - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Breckenridge-Emerson
 
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

I recently preached a sermon in which I recalled a conversation I had with my daughter when she was in high school. She was lamenting the lack of religious interest among her peers. "It's not that my friends are against religion," she said, "but for most of them, religion is just unnecessary. They look at it and see only bad things done in the name of God. They don't know why anyone would want to be a Christian." The perceived irrelevance of the church is a major obstacle to reaching younger Americans.

In this column, and periodically over the next few months, I want to advance a conversation about who we are as believers in Jesus Christ. What is our purpose? Why do we even need to have a church? Why would anyone ever want to join one? These are not only important questions in their own right, they are also questions we need to answer as we consider the mission and purpose of our presbytery in 2017.

Presbyterians have a short but important section of our Book of Order that deals with these questions. It is F-1.0304, which lists "The Great Ends" - or purposes - of the church. They are:

the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind;
the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God;
the maintenance of divine worship;
the preservation of the truth;
the promotion of social righteousness; and
the exhibition of the Kingdom of Heaven to the world.

The list was first published by the United Presbyterian Church in North America in 1910 and became part of the broader Presbyterian tradition when the UPNA merged with the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. in 1958. The language may be a bit dated and reflect a more static view of the church in the world, but they are a good place to start a discussion of the church's purpose today.

The first of the great ends is "the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind." When this was drafted as the first great end in 1910, "missions" (note the plural form) meant "overseas missions." It was the year of the Edinburgh Missionary Conference, at its time the largest mission gathering in history, which lay the groundwork for ecumenical Protestant global mission in the 20th century. National missions at the time were often focused on converting and assimilating groups we judged as inferior or in need of rescue (e.g., Native Americans, the urban poor).

Nowadays, the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind is still our most important purpose, but the focus has changed. "Missions" are no longer only for those in faraway lands, and certainly not from a perspective of social or moral superiority. The mission of the church - including its evangelistic mission - begins right at our doorstep, and with the people we encounter every day.

We are in a "new apostolic age." That is, just as Jesus commissioned the apostles to bear witness to him "in Jerusalem, in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth" (Acts 1:8), so we too bear witness to Christ starting in our own "Jerusalem" - right where we live. Not only that, but the tone of our proclamation must also change. In a world where words have lost their credibility, and we can no longer simply assume that people know or even care about the Bible, evangelism follows a different path.

The old model was to convert a person's mind through persuasive sharing of the gospel, then convert their heart through the loving fellowship of believers, and finally convert their will through training in holiness and spiritual nurture. The "believe-belong-behave" model no longer applies. Today, the typical American is suspicious of institutions like the Church, and reject truth claims based on some external authority like the Bible. Before a person will respond to the love of God in Christ, they must first witness and experience it themselves, and test its authenticity over time. "Believe-belong-behave" has become "behave-belong-believe," in which a profession of faith is the culmination of a long period of relationship with a community of believers, not its beginning.

What does this mean for evangelism? In the words of St. Francis of Assisi, "Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary, use words." Before we can earn a hearing for the truth we proclaim, people must see how it makes a difference in our lives and in the world not as a showcase of our goodness, but in humble, sincere, compassionate service. The invitation to Christ begins as an invitation to share in meaningful life-transforming service to others. It also means that congregations must move away from seeing the goal of their hospitality as church membership, and allow for a more fluid set of relationships in the life of the church. We as a denomination must also develop metrics of congregational vitality that don't rely on membership numbers and dollars.
   
Faithfully,

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
 
Parish Paper

The latest editions of the   Parish Paper are now available to download. 

The topics are:

March: Guide to Good Governance
April: Small Is Big Again: Reclaiming Small Church Ministry
  
Always great info in these! The presbytery's subscription includes the use of these by our congregations. 
 
Books and CDs
Resource Center

Just a reminder that the Resource Center in the Presbytery Office is a room filled with useful resources free of charge for our congregations to use! 

Click here to search our catalog and to request items. We will send you the materials or you may pick them up at the office or presbytery meetings.
 
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Annual Statistics Due Next Week

*** Deadline for entering your Statistical information and Necrology Report is February 16th. ***

All of the links for entering your information are 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.
 
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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.
 
You're Invited
Workshop at Alma College

Alma College has invited pastors and others from the presbytery to participate in a workshop with Robert P. Jones, author of The End of White Christian America, to be held at the college Monday, March 27 from 3:00pm to 5:00 pm.  Jones is the CEO of the Public Religion Research Institute , and has tracked the religious foundations of racialized politics, "white fragility," and other byproducts of the changing demographics of America. Jones will also be delivering a public lecture at the college at 7 p.m. that day.
 
Lenten Noon-Time Concert Series and Handbell Festival

Memorial Presbyterian Church of Midland is pleased to announce their third annual Lenten Noon-Time Concert Series.  This year's event kicks off on Friday, March 3, with former MPC organist Nick Schmelter, now Director of Worship and Congregational Life at First Presbyterian Church, Caro, followed by organist Robert Sabourin, long-time choir director of MPC and current Director of Music and organist at Trinity Episcopal Church in Bay City, on March 10.  Other featured performers include the Zenith Saxophone Quartet, an undergraduate student group from Central Michigan University, on March 17; Dr. Mark Cox, Professor of Tuba and Euphonium at Central Michigan University on March 24; Fangye Sun, Professor of Violin at Central Michigan University on March 31, and Dianne Granstra, soprano, current Director of Music at Trinity Lutheran Church, on April 7.  
 
The concerts are held in the Sanctuary of Memorial Presbyterian Church of Midland located at 1310 Ashman Street.  Performances begin at 12:15 and end promptly by 12:45 p.m.  The concert series is free and open to the public.

Click here for information about the concert series.

Click here for information about the Handbell Festival.
 
Healthy Lifestyle Program

Healthy Lifestyle Program being offered by Memorial Presbyterian Church in Midland

Have you ever been told by a health care professional that you:

* Are at risk for developing diabetes?
* Have prediabetes?
* Have borderline diabetes?
* Have high blood sugar or glucose?
* Had gestational diabetes?

You may be at risk for developing type 2 diabetes but there is something you can do about it.

The National Diabetes Prevention Program ( DPP) is an evidence-based program that was developed by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ( CDC).  The program has been proven to significantly reduce participant's risk of developing Type 2 diabetes by making healthy lifestyle changes. By taking part in the program, you will learn the skills you need to lose weight, become more physically active and manage stress with the help of a trained lifestyle coach and the support from your fellow classmates.

This program is being offered here at Memorial Presbyterian Church through MiHIA (Michigan Health Improvement Alliance), MidMichigan Medical Center, and Memorial Presbyterian Church.

We will be starting a new program here at Memorial Presbyterian Church.

Start Date: February 23, 2017
Time: 5:30 - 6:30 p.m.
 
For more information and registration information Contact:
Kellie Froelicher, RN, BSN Faith Community Nurse

For more general information please visit www.MiHia.org
Presbyterian Women
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Presbyterian Women

Georgia Terrell McCall, Lake Huron PW Moderator's Message:

The 2018 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women will be held August 2-5, 2018, in Louisville, Kentucky.  2018 is also the year that PW celebrates its 30th anniversary! That is why, each month for 30 months leading up to the Gathering, an email will be sent to you to prepare, promote and plan for the Gathering (and PW's anniversary). We were challenged back in March 2016 to save $1 a day. If you began saving back then you should have $300 saved toward your Gathering expenses.
 
The Synod of the Covenant Gathering will be held on June 23-24, 2017 in Battle Creek, Michigan at First Presbyterian Church, 111 Capital Ave NE, Battle Creek, Michigan 49017. Click here for registration information.  The theme for the Gathering is "Walking in the Light".  On June 23, 2017 from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm the PW Synod of the Covenant will sponsor a Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Training prior to the Synod Gathering.  This training will equip congregations, Presbyterians, families and communities to be prepared for disaster; natural, human-caused or industrial-technical.  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance provides instruction and resources for women who have the time and interest for the ministry of disaster preparedness.  I urge you to register for the training.  Send inquiries to: beth.snyder@pcusa.org 1-888-728-7228 Ext 5806 : (502) 569-5806 (direct) (502)377-0667 (cell): (502)569-5704 (fax)100 Witherspoon St., Rm 3620, Louisville, KY 40202 .

We have again been asked by the Synod to help provide Heath Fair Kits. You can bring kits to the PWS Gathering on June 23 or send them to the Synod office. The list of items requested are:  shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, soap, wash cloths, comb and/or brush, toothbrush and toothpaste.  Additional items are:  dental floss, socks, hand towel, razor, hair ties.  Regular not travel sizes are preferred.   
 
Lake Huron PW Fall Gathering will be held on October 14, 2017 the location is to be determined.  The theme for the Gathering is "Out of Darkness into the Light".  The speaker to the day will be Patricia A. McBride.  She participated in the 2016 USA Mission Experience in San Francisco Bay Area.  Her travel to San Francisco and San Jose helped her to learn how their services help their citizens that are dealing with human trafficking, domestic violence and immigration issues.  We look forward to having Patricia share what she learned.  
 
Lake Huron PW Coordinating Team met January 19, 2017.  I am delighted to say that our team is complete as of January 19, 2017.  We are so pleased to welcome Elizabeth (Liz) Long as our secretary and Terry Wood as the East Area Representative/Historian.  Our next meeting will be April 13, 2017.  As usual, you are welcome to attend.
 
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
March 5 Is Blue Shirt Sunday

The Blue Shirt Ministry grew out of the response to Hurricane Katrina in 2005. On the lead up to Blue Shirt Sunday, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance extends its gratitude to the thousands of volunteers who've answered the call since. PDA has been instrumental in helping our congregations and presbytery deal with the Flint Water Crisis. Click here for more information.
 
Alma Youth Mix 2017
Alma Youth Mix 2017 Registration Now Open

High school students are invited to the Alma Youth Mix and spend the weekend of March 3-5 on the campus of  Alma College with youth from multiple churches around the state. Share your time and your faith. Enjoy discussion, fellowship, worship, recreation, entertainment and food!

This year's  keynote speaker is Amanda Drury, Assistant Professor of Youth Ministries & Practical Theology at Indiana Wesleyan University.

Click here for more information and to register.
 
Mission Co-Workers
From The Ludwigs

Our January was marked by a few milestones for the  Community Health Evangelism (CHE) training Michael is working on and for our children in their homeschooling.  It has also brought some good deepening of relationships which we need to keep up on as our work on projects heats up.  Many of our Christmas presents have been gifts that keep on giving joy.  Especially as we remember the givers and all of you back in the States who help us experience the daily joys of participating in God's redemption of all things, even in dry, windswept deserts!

We were nervous when the first appointee for CHE National Trainer got mixed in a church drama and was sent to a different church instead of taking the position.  But now there is a new CHE National Trainer, Pastor Issa Harouna.  Pastor Issa is very energetic with lots of personality, and he's well positioned to understand the strategy of CHE and relate it to village evangelists.  He has been teaching at one of the nearby Bible schools, was formerly an assistant pastor in a large village, and is doing summer courses to earn his B.A. at a Bible college in Nigeria.  We're excited that we will start working together in February and then do the first CHE trainings for evangelists at the end of March.

Rachel continues homeschooling with better routines, busy with taxes headaches from out of country, and planning for travels to mission conference in Rwanda.  She's excited about chances to influence neighbor ladies, one of whom she gave a copy of an audio Bible in Hausa recently.

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If you would like to follow their adventures and their mission work in Niger, please contact Staci Percy at  spercy@presbylh.org or 989-799-7481 x2 for their blog address. (They have asked that the link to it not be published online.)   
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.
   
 
Almost every few months, a new social networking website emerges. Long-established social networks such as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube are popular and well-known, but newcomers like Instagram and Snapchat have quickly gained ground.
For most of us - especially busy church administrators - learning the ins and outs of social media can be time-consuming and even overwhelming. With the rise (and fall) of many social media networks over the past decade, choosing which ones work best for your church is tough.  If you manage your church's social media, here are some tips to help ... continue reading.
 
I sometimes see pastors concerned about how it will look if they promote a certain article or blog post on social media. This is especially true if the article instructs a church on how to treat the pastor or what to do for Pastor Appreciation Month, to give two examples.  "How am I supposed to share this with the people who need to see it without looking like I'm self-serving?" or "This is more an article for members than pastors, but how am I supposed to get them to read it?"  These are fair questions. Although most of us like to share good content on social media, most pastors do not want to come across as preachy, pushy or self-promotional. That is absolutely understandable.  So, how can we share content that will catch the attention of our church members without the negative side effects? Here are three ideas . .. continue reading .
 
Butts-in-the-seats growth is great. But it's not going to happen for every church. That's never a reason to give up, coast along, or offer excuses. Do all healthy things grow? Yes. If a church is healthy, will it grow? Also, yes. Will that growth always result in larger congregational attendance? Not so fast. When Church Growth Theory Meets Church Life Reality. I know it seems logical. If a church is healthy they'll be reaching people for Jesus. And if they're reaching people for Jesus, there will be more people in the church building. Right? Well... 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
Desk
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:

Flint-Trinity United *** Updated Page Link *** 
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
Parish Paper
Resource Center
Annual Statistics
Alma College Workshop
Concert Series
Healthy Lifestyle Program
Presbyterian Women
Blue Shirt Sunday
Alma Youth Mix 2017
Mission Co-Workers
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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Coordinating Team
February 8
10:00 am



CRE Policy Review Team
February 13
9:30 am



Commission on Preparation for Ministry
February 15
10:00 am



Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Admin Team
February 22
11:00 am



Installation of the Rev. John "Scott" Kroener
February 26
3:00 pm



Personnel Team
February 27
10:00 am



Alma Youth Mix
March 3-5



Presbytery Meeting
March 7
9:30 am



Board of Pensions Retirees Luncheon
March 8
12:00 pm



Commission on Preparation For Ministry
March 15
10:00 am



Worship Planning Team
March 15
1:00 pm



Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Administration Team
March 22
11:00 am



Personnel Team
March 27
10:00 am



 

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