We Lift Up In Prayer...
Our Commissioners, Overture Advocate and presbytery staff attending the 223rd General Assembly
in St. Louis:
the Rev. Dr.
, Teaching Elder Commissioner; Elder
, Ruling Elder Commissioner; the Rev.
, Overture Advocate; the Rev. Dr.
, Executive Presbyter; and the Rev.
, Stated Clerk.
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.
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 June and July:
The Rev. David Blackburn (7/1)
- Honorably Retired
The Rev. Jim Browne (6/24) - 40 years -
The Rev. Bert Clark (6/5) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Annie Duncan (7/27) - Temporary Supply of Swartz Creek-Mundy
The Rev. Ron Grimes (6/13) - 40 years -
The Rev. Martin Han (7/3)
- Temporary Supply of Flint-Unity
The Rev. Michael Loenshal (6/18) - 40 years - Honorably Retired
The 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) starts on Saturday in Saint Louis. The issues of sexuality, marriage, and ordination have run their course and been resolved in true Presbyterian fashion (by granting sessions and presbyteries the authority to determine their own practices). Now the energy in the denomination has moved to other matters. This year, much of that energy is focused on the future of the denomination in an age of shrinking membership and fewer dollars.
In a previous column, I spoke of a significant proposed increase in General Assembly per capita rate, totaling nearly $4 per member over the next two years. I am pleased to report a change in the proposal that represents some marginal improvement. The original request of a two-year increase of 48% has been pared back to about 21% - a total of $1.62. The good news is that it will postpone major impact on congregations and presbyteries. The bad news is that it virtually guarantees at least another round of 10% annual increases in the next biennium.
The compromise may take enough edge off the issue to drop it from the number two spot in my pre-assembly listing of top issues being considered. As you will notice, the list is dominated by issues of internal structure and denominational identity.
Changes in the General Assembly rules proposed by the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly. These include limiting access to committees and giving greater discretion to the Stated Clerk.
changes to the Rules of Discipline. The Rules of Discipline are being comprehensively revised. Several overtures seek to amend them prior to the rewrite, including lowering the standard of proof for conviction in disciplinary cases.
8. Whether to establish
sexual and gender identity as a representational (protected) category in the church. This could potentially affect promises made when ordination standards were changed ensuring local determination of fitness for service.
7. A call for an administrative commission to address
allegations of disorder in the Synod of the Covenant (which includes our presbytery). The synod is contesting the request which has been submitted by five of the eleven presbyteries.
Middle East issues. If it's General Assembly, we will be debating Israel and Palestine.
Trust clause erosion: An overture seeks to limit the applicability of the "property trust clause" of the denomination.
4. Restructure of the
Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. Their request would shrink the size of the Board and increase the power of the Board over the agency.
G.A. per capita assessment increase (dropped from #1). The looming financial crisis at the national level comes home to roost.
Fossil fuels divestment. This is the third time this request to withdraw denominational investments in some 130 corporations doing business in fossil fuels has come to the Assembly. Forty concurring presbyteries square off against the denomination's policy on Mission Responsibility through Investment.
The "Way Forward" for the PCUSA. Three major reports trying to chart a new course for our future come before a single standing committee (which I will advise on behalf of the Advisory Committee on the Constitution). Will we embark on a new course or stay as we are, only smaller.
There are many other, more exciting proposals coming to the Assembly, including the overture on environmental racism with which we concurred. We will also elect new moderator(s) and enjoy uplifting worship and bible study, but these are the issues generating the greatest "buzz."
Dan Saperstein, E
Presbytery to Welcome Church Leader from Niger
The Presbytery is honored to serve as a host for President Mai-Aiki Kadade of the Evangelical Church in Niger (EERN) in West Africa. President Kadade is in the U.S. as an ecumenical delegate to the PCUSA and Reformed Church General Assemblies. He will itinerate in our presbytery from June 28 to July 3:
After going through various levels of Bible school and teaching himself French, Kadade became a pastor in the main city in his area and later became an instructor at one of the church's Bible schools. In 2014 he was elected president of the church, ushering in a large change of vision and structure, and he is now serving a second term. Rev. Kadade is also currently the pastor of the oldest church in Niger's third largest city, Maradi, which is the headquarters of the EERN.
He is the father of four children, the youngest of whom has just turned a year old.
President Kadade partners with our mission co-workers Rachel and Michael Ludwig in Niger. Ours is the only PCUSA presbytery he will visit, so let's show him a warm welcome!
Presbytery Lunch with President Kadade
An informal lunch and mission presentation with President Mai-Aiki Kadade of the Evangelical Church in Niger will take place on
Monday, July 2 at 11:30 a.m.
First Presbyterian Church, Flint
. All interested church leaders and mission-minded members are invited. President Kadade is itinerating as part of his service as an Ecumenical Advisory Delegate to the General Assembly. He works closely with our mission co-workers in Niger, Michael and Rachel Ludwig, and Josh Heikkila.
There is no charge for the lunch. Please register at
(click on the Register tab) by June 27.
The event will be limited to 30 registrants, so sign up early.
Arrival of the 2018-2019 Presbyterian Planning Calendars has been delayed due to a printing error. Anticipated arrival is scheduled for late June. You will be kept informed as updates are received.
The latest editions of the Parish Paper are now available on our website. Topics are:
July Inviting, Informing, and Including Newcomers
August How To Raise Money For Your Community Projects
Wednesday, September 12, 2018
we will be holding Boundary/Misconduct Training from 10:00am until 3:00pm at
Mt. Pleasant First Presbyterian Church
. This will be a joint offering with the
Presbytery of Lake Michigan
. The Stated Clerk for Lake Michigan Presbytery, the Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence, is skilled in leading this type of training. She will come provide the leadership. Lunch will be provided as well as any materials needed. Please sign up through the Presbytery website and fill out the basic on-line form by
Please be sure to read the following:
As a reminder,
all of our current serving clergy and CREs are required to attend this training. If you attended last year, you do not have to attend this session. If you were not able to attend last year or not able to attend this year, you will have one last opportunity in the fall of 2019.
This initial Training, no matter when it is taken, will be in a face-to-face setting.
The Boundary/Misconduct Training will be good for a five year period, starting the end of the 2019 Training date (i.e. thru 2024). Then a Boundary/Misconduct refresher will be needed. We are confident that we will be able to have this refresher training done on-line.
Thank you for your attention to this important matter and, as always, if there are questions, please let me know.
Yours in Christ,
GA 223 News Subscription
What's happening at General Assembly this year? When GA 223 meets in St. Louis June 16-23, the General Assembly Newsroom will publish the GA Newspaper every day. A team of crackerjack reporters will fan out through the committees and events, to bring all the news right to your inbox. Subscription is easy and FREE!
As congregational leaders, you are the "front line" responders to help your people understand what the Assembly ACTUALLY did, and the whole scope of news. What we hear repeatedly is that pastors who can't be at the Assembly are frequently asked questions about GA that they are not prepared to answer - by subscribing to the daily paper, they will be well-equipped to respond when parishioners (and others) ask.
Here's the deal: click on the link below. It will take you to the sign-up page to receive the GA NEWS delivered free to your inbox each morning of the Assembly. What you will receive is a pdf of the actual newspaper printed each day at the Assembly.
Director of Christian Education
Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church is a nurturing and caring congregation of approximately 230 members. We are an active church, with programs and activities guided by our vision: "Growing a Faith That Must Be Shared."
Chapel Lane is currently seeking a part-time DCE to begin employment in July. The role requires an average of 18 hours per week in September - May. Summer hours are more flexible. Compensation will reflect experience and education with an annual compensation ranging from $10,000 to $15,000.
The ideal candidate:
- demonstrates strong Christian values
- has previous experience working with children, youth, and adults
- is self-motivated and an enthusiastic, high energy person with a passion for leading children and youth in growing their faith
- is a team-oriented leader with the confidence and ability to provide guidance and support to participants and volunteers
- exhibits strong planning and organizing, administrative, time management, and follow-through skills
- has effective written and verbal communication skills
For more information, please go to www.chapellane.org under "About Us," "Employment Opportunities."
Birch Run-Taymouth is hosting a 5K Color Run/Walk on Saturday, July 14th to Celebrate the Promise of 150 Years for the congregation. For more details, click one of the following links:
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:
'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!
Communications Manager/Recording Clerk
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.
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.
Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Budget and Finance Committee
Commission on Ministry
Details on these meetings can be found on the presbytery's website on the calendar.