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." 
 

April 12, 2017 



For now the winter is past,
the rain is over and gone.

The flowers appear on the earth;
the time of singing has come,
and the voice of the turtledove
is heard in our land.


   Song of Solomon 2:11-12  (NRSV)
  
We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...  

New:
The Rev. Glenn Grant, Pastor of Grand Blanc-Kirkridge, his wife Debra and their family on the passing of Glenn's father, Leonard Grant, on April 7th. Click here for Leonard's 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 April and May:

The Rev. Dr. Daniel Ahn (5/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Kenneth Anderson (4/30) - 60 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Edward (Ed) Borycz (5/12) - 35 years - Pastor of Davison-St. Andrews
The Rev. Alec Brooks (5/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bruce Cunningham (5/18) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. George Gillette (4/27) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Hoon Koo (David) Lee (4/27) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Andrew Miller (4/4) - Pastor of Mt. Pleasant-First
The Rev. Dong Won Park (4/15) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Brian Stratton (4/2) - 40 years - Alma College Professor
The Rev. Dale Swihart (5/16) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Walser (5/22) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Weenink (5/18) - Pastor of Bay City-First
 
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

As I write this, we are in the midst of Holy Week - the eight days from Palm Sunday through Easter in which we remember and reflect upon Christ's saving work on our behalf. It is a story that never grows old. It continues to generate new insights into the meaning of Christ's suffering, death, and resurrection.

Theologians, artists, and poets have sought to capture its meaning in countless works throughout the years. Among these, a few in the Western European tradition have stood out and continue to move us. One of those is Michelangelo's Pietà, completed in 1499 and on permanent display in St. Peter's Basilica at the Vatican in Rome:

Source: Wikimedia (Creative Commons) Click to view larger image

The Pietà was probably the first great work of art I ever saw in person, when it was on exhibit at the New York World's Fair in 1964. I was only seven years old, brought up in a secular home, and I was one of millions who viewed it, passing slowly through the Vatican exhibit on a conveyer belt. I barely knew the story of Jesus, and didn't understand at the time the meaning of his death, yet the statue moved me with its depiction of the solemnity and grief of Mary and the lifeless form of Jesus. Though Jesus was dead, the statue was alive. While I didn't recognize it at the time, the vividness of the statue was a theological statement in itself, namely, that what is dead and lifeless - even a chunk of marble - can be the source of life and faith.

Only 17 years after Michelangelo completed the Pietà, German painter Matthias Grünewald completed his masterpiece - the Isenheim altarpiece. This tryptich was made for the chapel at the Monastery of St. Anthony in Isenheim, near what is now Colmar, France, where it is presently displayed in a museum:

Source: Wikimedia (Creative Commons) Click to view larger image

In the middle ages, the monastery served as a hospital for victims of the Black Death which had killed from 35%-60% of the entire population of Europe in the 14th century, and had multiple recurrences over the next 300 years, including during the period when Grünewald created the altarpiece.

What is notable about the painting is not only the artistry itself, with the symbol-laden central crucifixion scene, but a detail that might be lost on the modern viewer. That is, that the body of Jesus is pock-marked with the sores that accompany the plague. Grünewald included the sores as a theological and pastoral statement, not a historical one. Jesus, in his death on the cross, bore in his body all the sufferings of humankind, even the sufferings of the victims of the plague at St. Anthony. Gregory of Nazianzus, a fourth century Bishop of Constantinople famously said of Christ, "what has not been assumed has not been healed." Several decades later, the great theologian Athanasius put it slightly differently: "what has not been assumed has not been redeemed."  In other words, if Jesus did not become truly and fully human, then we are still in our sins. Grünewald's portrayal of Jesus shows the fullness of Christ's humanity, "who, though he was in the form of God ...emptied himself, taking the form of a slave, being born in human likeness. And being found in human form, he humbled himself and became obedient to the point of death- even death on a cross" (Phil. 2:6-8).

Why do we find images of Christ's suffering and death to have greater lasting effect than images of his resurrection? It is perhaps because we know the sufferings of this world, and can only imagine the glory to come. But reflecting on the depth of Christ's identification with us is prerequisite to more fully appreciating the hope and promise signified by his resurrection, because there is nothing, not even death by plague, that is beyond God's redemptive and life-giving power.
   
Faithfully,

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
 
Newspaper - Top Border
Parish Paper

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

The topics are:

May:  Financing The Local Church: What Does It Cost?
June:  Ministry In The Midst of Tragedy
 
Always great info in these! The presbytery's subscription includes the use of these by our congregations.
 
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.
 
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 
 
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.
   
 
Wind west of the 405 freeway along Mulholland Boulevard and reach a parking lot at the base of Bel-Air Presbyterian Church. Climb a set of stairs, cross a courtyard, and you'll reach Parable Coffee Lab, a café that's promised "thoughtful coffee, epic view" since launching in December 2016. Parable Coffee Lab is part of a growing trend of churches launching high-quality coffeehouses to build community beyond a single day of the week, practicing a wholesome ritual to generate revenue to fund on-site programs or off-site giving. Parable's mission is to "reflect the fact that food and drink as parts of God's creation are beautiful and are worth doing thoughtfully...Coffee feels like such a gift, that fruit grows and you can take the seed and turn it into this crazy drink. There is an amazing wealth of possibilities in that plant. It doesn't exist for human pleasure, but human pleasure is a great side effect." The pastor - a coffee fan who's roasted coffee at home and packs an Aeropress for camping trips - often notes that people spend more time at the movies than at church. The café is part of a concerted effort "to get people to want to spend time here, and not just because we have to." That ethos extends to "neutral and approachable" design. .. continue reading.
 
The promise of sunnier weather is a nice excuse to engage in a little deep cleaning. While it can be richly rewarding to discover the back of our closets, the clean surfaces of our desks and the joy of riding in an immaculate car, taking a little time to clean out the clutter in our minds can be even more beneficial.  Here are a few simple steps to help you get started spring cleaning your brain . .. 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
Parish Paper
Planning Calendars
Fresh Flint Festival
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook


Who We Are
 
 
 
 
 
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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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.