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." 
 

March 29, 2017 

Flowering Tree at LHP Office


Spring shows what God can do
with a drab and dirty world.


~Virgil A. Kraft
  
  
We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...  

New:
Virginia Churchill on the passing of her husband, Elder Bill Churchill, Sr. (Flushing) who passed to the larger life on March 25th. Bill was an active member of the church and the Flint community. Click here for his obituary. 

Elder John Baxter (Grand Blanc-Kirkridge) on the passing of his wife, Elder Nadine Baxter on March 10th. Both John and Nadine have been active in the presbytery as well as their congregation. Nadine most recently served as the Moderator of the Lake Huron Presbyterian Women. Click here for her obituary.

The family and loved ones of the Rev. Carol Miller (Honorably Retired) who passed to the larger life on March 21st. While Carol did not serve a church in our presbytery, when she retired to Saginaw she became an Honorably Retired Minister member of Lake Huron Presbytery. She served as Pastoral Visitor and Adult Sunday School teacher at Saginaw-First. She also kept busy by filling in at area churches. Click here for her obituary. 

The family, loved ones and the congregation of Lapeer-First on the passing of Elder Joseph (Joe) Adamson on March 20th.  Joe served on several committees at the presbytery level including most recently on the Commission on Preparation for Ministry until 2011, as a General Assembly Ruling Elder Commissioner in 2010 and as a Synod Commissioner in 2006. Click here for his obituary.

Ongoing:
Pam Brackbill and the Rev. Tom Brackbill, Pastor of Alma-First as they deal with all that encompasses Pam's diagnosis of Younger Onset Alzheimer's Disease. Pam is under the care of Masonic Pathways. 

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 March and April:

The Rev. Kenneth Anderson (4/30) - 60 years - Honorably Retired
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. George Gillette (4/27) - Honorably Retired
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
The Rev. Hoon Koo (David) Lee (4/27) - Member-At-Large
Elder Elizabeth (Liz) Long (3/5) Commissioned Ruling Elder of Ithaca-Lafayette
The Rev. Andrew Miller (4/4) - Pastor of Mt. Pleasant-First
The Rev. Dong Won Park (4/15) - Honorably Retired
Elder Peggy Ronk (3/4) - 5 years - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Breckenridge-Emerson
The Rev. Dr. Brian Stratton (4/2) - 40 years - Alma College Professor
 
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

"The great ends of the church are... the preservation of the truth...."

"Jesus answered, '...For this I was born, and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice.' Pilate asked him, 'What is truth?'" (John 18:37-38)

Someone recently remarked to me that "people aren't interested in hearing about the Great Ends of the Church." The comment was offered to support the premise that the church's proclamation needs to be less "churchy" and use less jargon to captivate young worshipers. I readily admit that most people have never heard of our foundational statement about the ends or purposes of Christ's church. But I respectfully disagree that the ends themselves are somehow irrelevant or not of interest to them.

There is no more timely or relevant statement of the church's purpose than "the preservation of the truth." In an age of "truthiness" and "fake news," in a world that has been termed, "post-truth," the church's commitment to the preservation of the truth is more important than ever.

The first and most important aspect of this charge is the church's commitment to the preservation of the Truth with a capital "T". Above all else, the church is charged with the faithful custody of our testimony about Jesus: the witness of the scriptures borne by apostles and martyrs about his person, his teaching, and his saving work. We are reluctant to speak of "heresy" in a church and culture which values individual conscience and tolerating difference, but our commitment to preserve the Truth requires that we graciously, pastorally, and collectively divide truth from error, even if our judgments may at time be too narrow or too wide. To say that it doesn't matter what we believe, or that all beliefs are equally valid, undermines our own profession of Christ as Lord. At the same time, the preservation of the Truth requires that we be open to correction in our testimony as we come to understand the scriptures more fully.

The church's calling to preserve the truth also requires us to be honest and truthful ourselves, both in our dealings with one another and with the world. Our testimony about Jesus is only as credible as our own reputation for truth and honesty. When the church hides wrongdoing, engages in secret deals, or protects the guilty, we deny the One who said to Nicodemus, "Those who do what is true come to the light that it may be seen that their deeds are of God" (John 3:21). The history of our church - indeed, of all churches - is rife with scandal. That is the unfortunate by-product of any human society. But the beauty of our Presbyterian denomination is its built-in commitment to self-correction and the pursuit of truth. I knew I would become a Presbyterian when I found in the Book of Order the little known and rarely used "Request for Vindication" - the protection afforded every member to seek the vindication of their reputation against false rumors and accusations through investigation and judicial process.

The third and final aspect of "the preservation of the truth" is our obligation to pursue and uphold truth in society. Pontius Pilate was not the first politician to dismiss or distort the truth, and he certainly wasn't the last. The challenge in our current political climate isn't just holding our leaders accountable to truthfulness, but also the difficult discipline of discerning and dispensing truth amid the flood of false, inflammatory, and biased reports in cable television and social media. Before reacting to, reposting, or repeating sensational claims, we should THINK and ask ourselves:

T - Is it True?
H - Is it Helpful?
I - Is it Inspiring?
N - Is it Necessary?
K - Is it Kind?

If you can't answer "yes" to all these questions, it is best to hold your impulses in check. Jesus says he came into this world to testify to the truth. Of all the great ends of the church, preserving the truth is as close to the heart of Jesus' own mission as we get.
   
Faithfully,

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
 
Time To Order 2017-2018 Planning Calendars

The Presbytery Office will place a bulk order for the 2017-2018 Presbyterian Planning Calendar for individuals and churches. If the calendars arrive in time, they will be available for pick-up at the June 6th Presbytery meeting at Alma College, in Alma.  Otherwise, they can be picked up at the Presbytery office. 
 
Cost per calendar is $8.75. All orders must be pre-paid. Please use the order form found on the Documents and Forms page of our website. Make checks payable to the Presbytery of Lake Huron.    
 
Contact Rose Onan at ronan@presbylh.org or 989-799-7481 ext. 6 with any questions.
 
NEXTChurch 2017

If you like our Facebook page hopefully you enjoyed following the "Adventures of Flat Dan and Real Staci Attend NEXTChurch" a couple of weeks ago. Flat Dan was a big hit at NEXTChurch. He was even mentioned in the Presbyterian Outlook article about the event!

Flat Dan met up with some old friends and made some new friends. Both he and Real Staci had a wonderful time that was uplifting and rejuvenating. (If you have no idea what this is all about, head on over to our Facebook page for details.)

Real Staci will have a write up soon about the event. In the meantime, click here to read the article in the Presbyterian Outlook.
 
Installation
Installation of Scott Kroener

First Presbyterian Church of Taymouth Installed Pastor Scott Kroener on February 26th. We welcome Pastor Scott and his wife Jane and we look forward to God's plans for the next chapter in our ministry.
 
Volunteers Needed
Fresh Flint Festival

Volunteers are needed for the second annual Fresh Flint Festival on Saturday, April 22 at the Dort Federal Event Center from 1:00pm to 5:00pm. We will be providing fun, fitness and healthy living opportunities for the City of Flint residence. There are an abundance of resources to assist residents impacted by the lead tainted water; however connecting residents with needed resources has proven challenging. The Fresh Flint Festival was designed as a way to make these needed connections while providing family fun opportunities. We have a variety of volunteer opportunities and need your help to fill them. Contact Kim Skaff of Flint-First at (810) 234-8673 or kskaff@fpcf.org 
 
You're Invited
Fish Fry

Birch Run-Taymouth is hosting an All You Care To Eat Fish Fry on  Friday, April 7th from 11:00am to 1:00pm and 4:00pm to 7:00pm. Credit Cards are being accepted. Click here for details on the menu and pricing.
 
Mission Co-Workers
From The Ludwigs

So many things are going well! We thank God for the movement on Community Health Evangelism classes & training, for all the progress our children are making in school, and for friends and colleagues in the EERN who encourage us. Of course there are still lots of things we struggle through everyday, from parenting in another culture, to how to get basic services like phones to work property, and continuing to work on our Hausa proficiency. In these things we are encouraged by even having you reading along with us and praying for our work of bridge-building among God's people. Thank you!

We have been encouraged by meeting another homeschooling missionary family that lives about 2 hours to the East of us.  Rachel was able to get together with them and the family we know in town with us to do a day of group experiments and learning.  The kids had a great time and shared a lot of camaraderie of being a missh-kid here.  To make sure we don't skip by Lent as a family this year we've been doing drawings of our Bible readings every-day and the children have picked up on it so much that they don't let us forget to do it!  We're enjoying the last of the special food items our family has sent from the US since we only have about a month before we come back for some family time, but we've also recently blogged about a few of our special local snacks.

Pray with us!
  • Praise God for the chance to live and work in Niger.  We are grateful for the CHE training becoming a reality and God's provision of what we need for each day.
  • Praise God for His guiding of the EERN General Assembly.  
  • Please join us in praying for a good completion to the training with clear understanding of why it is important. And help for discernment in selecting the four evangelists who will receive mentoring to implement this method first.  May God be glorified through these evangelists and the CHE program.  
  • Please pray as we prepare to travel this coming month. We will be closing up our home for a couple of months and tying up loose ends on work and home life.
Sending our love and prayers,
 
Michael and Rachel Ludwig

grey-flourish-icon.gif

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.
   
 
I love my church. I want it to be strong, healthy and growing.  That's why I read church ministry blogs and books, go to conferences and seminars, listen to podcasts...whatever I can get my hands on. I'm always looking for the best advice I can find.  But I'm not going to read any more '10 Reasons Your Church Isn't Growing' lists. At least for a while.  Why? Take a look at some reasons for lack of church growth that I've read recently ... continue reading.
 
A recent cover story in the Harvard Business Review was titled, "What Really Keeps CEOs Awake at Night." The article explored such things as brand building, executive pay and managing millennials.  It made me wonder about a similar question for my field: "What really keeps pastors awake at night?"  I travel a fair amount speaking at various pastors' gatherings and, as a result, hear from a large cross section of pastors from across the country. I also am a pastor and have been for nearly 30 years.  So what does keep the majority of us up at night? At least five things, and I will offer them in ascending order. .. 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:

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

FB2
'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
Planning Calendars
Flat Dan
Fresh Flint Festival
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.

grey-flourish-icon.gif

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.

   

 
Like us on Facebook  



 


  
  

Vision Task Force
April 5
11:30 am


Presbyterian Women
April 13
10:00 am


Office Closed For Good Friday
April 14


Coordinating Team
April 19
10:00 am


Personnel Team
April 24
10:00 am


Commission on Ministry - Full Team
April 26
11:00 am


Nominating Team
May 3
10:00 am


Coordinating Team
May 10
10:00 am


Commission on Preparation For Ministry
May 17
10:00 am


Personnel Team
May 22
10:00 am


Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Administration Team
May 24
11:00 am


Office Closed For Memorial Day
May 29



 

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