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 8, 2017 



The Lord is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid?


Psalm 27:1
  
  
We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...  

New/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

I have been writing recently about "the Great Ends of the Church" - that list of holy purposes to which we as the church have been called. The Great Ends have been part of our Presbyterian tradition in America since 1910, and they are found in section F-1.0304 of the Book of Order:
 
The great ends of the Church 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 shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God" is something at which Presbyterians seem to excel. I have read literally hundreds of congregational self-studies and MIFs (Mission Information Forms describing pastor call opportunities). Almost every congregation describes themselves as a "warm and friendly church" or some variant thereof. And in most cases, I believe it is true. Presbyterians are good at caring for one another.

One of the best discussions of spiritual fellowship is Dietrich Bonhoeffer's Life Together, a thin volume he prepared for pastors-in-training. Early in the book he notes, "Christian community is not an ideal we have to realize, but rather a reality created by God in Christ in which we may participate." This is a simple yet deeply profound observation. We are connected to one another in and through Jesus Christ, who is the one who calls us to himself and therefore into community with one another.

We serve the Great End of "the spiritual fellowship of the children of God" when we welcome one another as we welcome Jesus himself. This is something we typically do well when the other person is someone who is like us in race, culture, or social class. That is not always the case when the other person is different. Issues of race, immigration, and prejudice are prominent in our nation today. Predominantly white, Euro-American denominations like ours are increasingly becoming aware of "white privilege," "implicit bias," "systemic racism," and more. These are topics that persons of all backgrounds should seek to understand. But as the church, we do not merely approach these topics because of a secular understanding of power and equality. We seek to address them because the spiritual fellowship of the children of God is in and through Jesus Christ, in whom "there is no longer Jew nor Greek, there is no longer slave nor free, there is no longer male nor female, for you are all one in Jesus Christ" (Gal. 3:28).

Our Book of Order puts it this way: "The Gospel leads members to extend the fellowship of Christ to all persons. Failure to do so constitutes a rejection of Christ himself and causes a scandal to the Gospel" (G-1.0302). While overt racism, classism, and ageism are fairly easy to spot, we may not be as fully aware of the subtle and implicit ways we are rejecting Christ among us. For example,
  • When we talk about ministry, do we hold a mental image of a white male pastor?
  • Is our sanctuary and fellowship space truly accessible to those with disabilities (such as hearing, mobility, etc.)
  • Do we encourage the faithful use of smart phones and other devices rather than force millennials and post-millennials to store what is for many an extension of themselves?
  • Do we assume that all parishioners have email access, or a car to drive, or money to pay for a meal?
Sometimes, making room for the other requires us to be less protective and defensive of our own space and comfort zones. That is the humility of Christ; grace in practice. An excellent resource for building a more inclusive community is the book Inclusion: Making Room for Grace by Eric H.F. Law. Another resource for understanding implicit racism and privilege is Waking Up White, and Finding Myself in the Story of Race by Debby Irving. The latter has been recommended for church-wide study by our General Assembly Co-Moderators.

May we in the Presbytery of Lake Huron practice the great end of providing for the "shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship" of all God's children.
   
Faithfully,

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
 
Thank You

Thank you to Flint-First and all who made yesterday's meeting of presbytery so enjoyable. We know that a lot of time and preparation goes into hosting a meeting and we appreciate your hard work!
 
Question Mark
Wrong Hat??

Did you come home from yesterday's presbytery meeting with the wrong hat? If so, we may know who it belongs to. One attendee is missing their hat. If you picked it up by accident please contact the presbytery office at 989-799-7481 and we'll make arrangements to get it to the proper person.
 
You're Invited
Midland Memorial
Presentation at Midland-Memorial

Literacy: A Bridge out of Poverty with Dr. Kimberly Prime, President of Bay City and Saginaw Area Catholic Schools. March 11, 2017,  9:00am - 12:00pm, Memorial Presbyterian Church, 1310 Ashman St., Midland. Everyone is welcome!
 
Click here for a printable flier.
Fish Fry at Saginaw-Second

Second Presbyterian Church, located at 2665 Midland Road, in Saginaw Township will host a Fish Fry on Friday, March 17, 2017 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. The dinner includes all you can eat fish (fried pollock), coleslaw, potatoes, bread, beverage, and dessert. Cost is $10.00 adults, $4.00 children 5-11, free for children younger than 5. Take-Outs are available for $9.00.

A Bake Sale also takes place during the event.  Come early to find your favorite cookies, breads, brownies, etc!
 
If you have any questions about this event please feel free to contact the church at: (989) 792-1023.

Visit our Facebook event page at:

Visit our church Facebook page at:
  
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.

The event is FREE and those who register in advance also receive a FREE copy of the book. Please register at: alma.edu.
 
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.
 
Mission Co-Workers
From The Ludwigs

Three schools dominate our lives now, the one at the Ludwig household, and the two Bible schools that Michael teaches at. Most of our news relates to our work of teaching, translating, and planning lessons. But as we share below, we do also make time to spend with our neighbors and our guard who lost his mother this month. While encouraging our partner church in their Community Health Evangelism (CHE) training continues to be our main focus, we also want to stay connected with what you are doing and any interests in Niger that we can help you with. Please keep the comments and questions coming so we can help with the important work of bridging cultures and churches as well. And please keep praying with us!

Here are some ideas:
  • Praise God for the chance to hear good news about how Christians are growing and communities are being strengthened across Niger through different ministries!
  • Pray for the EERN general assembly that will take place March 11-12, where they will receive reports and vote for 6 of the 12 national leadership positions.
  • Pray for comfort for our guard's family as his mom left behind 5 kids under the age of 20. And for our witness of friendship and caring for our other neighbors.
  • Pray for the first round of CHE training from March 26 - April 1. We will receive training as trainers and be training around 30 pastors and evangelists in the Dosso region.
  • Pray for good understanding for everyone. And pray for Rachel and the children to have a calm week with Michael away.
  Michael and Rachel Ludwig

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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.
   
 
Ah, Instagram. It's one of the preeminent social places to be these days. If your church already uses Instagram but isn't seeing desired results, have no fears. We've got some ideas to rejuvenate your account. They'll not only attract users but also make Instagram fun again. And, if you don't use Instagram, we're also here 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 .
 
Challenges are part of any ministry, yet some clergy thrive despite the inevitable setbacks. New research shows that their keys to success can be boiled down to a few simple strategies available to anyone. Some clergy seem to rise above the fray. They face the same sorts of challenges that are present in any church: critical congregants, hectic schedules, pressure to devote more time to others and thus minimal time to caring for themselves. They don't always get it right; in fact, they'll say they are far from having it all figured out. Yet they're flourishing in ministry. What sets them apart?...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
Thank You
Wrong Hat
Literacy: A Bridge Out of Poverty
Fish Fry
Alma College Workshop
Concert Series
Mission Co-Workers
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook


Who We Are
 
 
 
 
 
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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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



Nominating Team
March 28
10:00 am


 

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