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." 

May 24, 2017 

For those who open to us
the words of Scripture,
we give you thanks, great God.
As Scripture is opened,
as hearts are transformed,
may the church of Jesus Christ
thrive and bloom for this
and all generations.


From today's Mission Yearbook entry

We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...  

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 May and June:

The Rev. Dr. Daniel Ahn (5/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. George Baird (6/21) - 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. James Browne (6/24) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Roger Browne (6/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bert Clark (6/5) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bruce Cunningham (5/18) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. Robert Emrich (6/7) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Fred Gates (6/3) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Sharlyn Gates (6/16) - Pastor of Holly
The Rev. Ronald Grimes (6/13) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Lakey (6/8) - 65 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Leas (6/30) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Michael Loenshal (6/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Donald Neuville (6/19) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak (6/24) - 5 years - Pastor of Flint-First
The Rev. Philomena Ofori-Nipaah (6/2) - 5 years - Temporary Supply of Fairgrove
The Rev. Kenneth Parker (6/24) - Pastor of Saginaw-Countryside Trinity
The Rev. Teresa Peterson (6/3) - 20 years - Pastor of Flushing
The Rev. Peter Russell (6/29) - 55 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dale Swihart (5/16) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Taylor (6/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Walser (5/22) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Weenink (5/18) - Pastor of Bay City-First
The Rev. James Williams (6/1) - Temporary Supply of Saginaw-Warren Avenue
The Rev. Paul Ytterock (6/8) - Associate Pastor of Flint-First
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

Forty-two years ago last month, I committed my life to Jesus Christ. I was a freshman in college who had never set foot in a church service until that time. I was blessed by having a caring group of friends who were trained in discipling new believers. They helped me learn about the Bible, the church, and most importantly about my new life in Christ.

Probably the thing I struggled with most was the idea that if God's love was free, why then should I be expected to contribute weekly to the church via the Sunday offering? I had come to believe in the gospel - but I still had my reservations about the church.

That skepticism may be wise, but, ultimately, I had to answer some soul-searching questions about my reluctance to give. Was I using my skepticism as a convenient excuse to cover for what really was just selfishness and greed? I wasn't any more generous to other causes even if I wasn't giving as much to the church as I ought. Even more to the point, if I had truly given my whole self over to Christ, should that not also include my possessions?

I grudgingly gave - five dollars a week when I was in attendance. But it wasn't until a couple of years had passed that I gained new insight into the purpose of my giving. I was given a copy of Ron Sider's now classic book, Rich Christians in an Age of Hunger, in which the author, a theologian and sociologist, laid out the Biblical perspective on our affluence and the world's need. I was introduced to the prophets of the Old Testament, and how they condemned their pious, wealthy neighbors who saw wealth as an end in itself at the expense of the poor around them. I learned that faith wasn't just about me, or what happens to me when I die, but it was about God's design for humankind - what Jesus called "the Kingdom of God."

I then came to understand a core principle of our faith: that the stewardship of our possessions is not just about what we owe God, it was about bearing witness to the love of Jesus Christ for the sake of others. In other words, stewardship is both worship and mission. And, as the prophets testify, the acceptability of the former is based largely on the compassionate generosity expressed in the latter.

Biblical stewardship is not about paying the bills or purchasing spiritual goods and services. It is even less about personal financial enrichment. It is about using our possessions to glorify God by becoming agents of God's compassionate justice in the world.

Much has been written about the supposed financial meltdown of the major denominations. That is true only when we look at our resources through the lens of institutional maintenance. Although we are still one of the wealthiest denominations in the history of the world, we have fewer people giving, and they are increasingly giving not to the institution but to a specific concrete purpose or cause that makes a difference in the world. We should see this less as a crisis than as an opportunity. Presbyterians haven't gotten poorer, they have gotten wiser. Younger generations have rejected institutional self-preservation and require that we not only put our money where our mouth is, but that we also put our hands and feet there too.

In the month of June, the Presbytery will be focusing on new visions of stewardship. The equipping time at our June 6 Presbytery meeting will feature Rev. Stephen Keizer of the Presbyterian Foundation who will lead us in a "Congregational Stewardship Assessment" process by which we can see how our stewardship is integrated into the life and mission of our churches. Then on June 24 we will host a Presbytery-wide workshop on "New Visions of Stewardship" that is designed to help churches adapt to a changing society's patterns of giving and mission. This is an extraordinary opportunity that I hope our churches will take full advantage of.

Someone once said, "Stewardship is everything we do once we say, 'I believe.'" May we learn how to be faithful stewards of God's gifts for the sake of God's mission in the world.

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
June Presbytery Meeting

All of the information for the June 6th stated meeting of presbytery at  Alma College  can be found on the  Presbytery Meetings  page of our  website . See you in a couple of weeks!

Please be sure to read the cover letter before the meeting. There is important information about parking and accessibility that you may need prior to arriving on campus.

Click here for maps of the campus.
Summer Hours

From Memorial Day through Labor Day the Presbytery Office will be switching to our summer hours of:

Monday - Thursday 8:00 am to 3:30 pm
Friday 8:00 am to noon

Please contact the office at 989-799-7481 should you need to make special arrangements for a meeting. 
Planning Calendars Are Here

If you ordered planning calendars through the presbytery office they are now available for pick up during normal business hours.  They will also be available for pick up at the June 6th presbytery meeting at Alma College.  If you have any questions about your order please contact Rose Onan at or 989-799-7481 x6.
Update From The Vision Task Force

The Presbytery of Lake Huron Vision Task Force was created by the Coordinating Team in January of this year. It is charged with facilitating conversations regarding our identity, mission, and partnerships towards becoming a more responsive and missional community of faith. To assist us in our charge, questionnaires were sent to each pastor and clerk of session about what their church is doing in regard to community involvement and how the presbytery might help strengthen, share and expand their mission commitments. We received responses from approximately 50% of the questionnaires and have compiled and summarized the data.    We thank each church that took the time to respond to the questions. This information will be most helpful to the task force as we learn about what is currently happening and make recommendations to the presbytery for future opportunities.  We will have this information available for distribution at the June presbytery meeting or you can click here  to view it now .
The task force has also be actively working on a disaster response plan for the presbytery so that both the presbytery and each church can be prepared.  Our intent is to have a draft of the plan ready to present to the Coordinating Team in July and to the presbytery at the September meeting.
Should you have questions or suggestions please contact any member of the task force.
Important Training Event
Stephen Keizer,
The Presbyterian Foundation
New Visions of Stewardship: A Workshop for Ruling Elders and Other Leaders

How do we encourage greater financial support for our church's ministry and mission?

How has the shift to a check-less and cash-less society changed the Sunday offering?

How can we integrate financial stewardship with a larger vision of faithfulness and mission?

New Visions of Stewardship - a presbytery-wide workshop on stewardship and mission for the 21st century - seeks to address these questions and more. The workshop will be held Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Flint. We will welcome the Rev. Stephen Keizer of the Presbyterian Foundation as our keynoter. In addition, workshops will be offered on timely topics such as "Introducing E-giving," "Stewardship Strategies for the Small Church," "Growing Missional Stewardship," and more.

The cost of registration is only $10 per person, which includes lunch, and a free copy of the book Not Your Parents' Offering Plate to the first 100 registrants.

Registration is now open! Click on the Workshop link on our website at, or call the presbytery office 989-799-7481. You will want to register several from your church to cover all 8 of the workshops!
Click here for a printable flyer.
Mission Co-Workers
Cathy Chang
Mission Co-worker Available to Speak

Cathy Chang, Mission Co-worker to the Philippines and a member of our presbytery will be itinerating briefly in Lake Huron Presbytery June 6-9. In addition to being a featured speaker at our Presbytery meeting June 6, Cathy is available to speak to in local churches about her work addressing issues of migration and human trafficking. She currently has openings on Wednesday, June 7, for lunch, afternoon, and evening, as well as Thursday, June 8 lunch and afternoon.  For more info, contact her at

Click here to read their latest Mission Connections letter.
Help Wanted
Part-Time Church Bookkeeper

First Presbyterian Church Fenton is hiring a part-time bookkeeper to work in conjunction with our Treasurer. The position is 8 hours/week, $15/hr, part-time, non-exempt.  Must be willing to be at the church office at least 1 day/week. Please submit resumes and contact information for professional and personal references by May 29, 2017.  Questions: or 810-629-7801.  Job description is available online .
Midland-Chapel Lane
Part-Time Director of Christian Education

Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church in Midland seeks part-time Director of Christian Education for Children and Youth
Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church is a nurturing and caring congregation of approximately 300 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. It is an ideal position for someone seeking the flexibility of a part-time role and who loves to have fun with children and youth. The role requires an average of 18 hours per week during the school year with 8 weeks off during the summer.  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 and youth
  • 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 under "About Us," "Employment Opportunities."
Internship In Detroit

The Presbytery of Detroit through its Motor City Mission Corps Work Group is excited to offer an Internship opportunity to do meaningful work in Detroit.  Click here for a flyer with more information.
Blood Drive
Blood Drive

Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church, 5501 Jefferson Avenue, Midland will be holding a Blood Drive on Sunday, June 4th from 9:00am to 2:00pm in honor of it's Pastor Emeritus, the Rev. Dr. George Baird and would invite your participation. For further information, or to register to give, be in touch with Pastor Rhonda Myers at 989-631-2081 or at
In Search Of...
Large Print Hymnals

Marlette-Second is in search of l arge p rint blue hymnals. If any church has extra copies that they would like to share with them, please contact their office at (989) 635-3319.
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.
How can it be already? It's right around the corner.  Summer. Depending on who you talk to, summer may have already started for families with college-aged kids. However, for most school systems, we're starting summer vacation within only a few short weeks.  Are you prepared? For the church, there are three preparations you should be anticipating . .. continue reading.
It's May-and that means summer is just around the corner. For many churches, summer means Vacation Bible School.  Is your church ready for this big event? Has your children's ministry team started preparing? If you haven't thought about it yet this year, consider this your warning: it's time to start planning.  Here are a few things to consider throughout this month . .. continue reading .
The same drivers ed instructor taught all four of my kids to drive. In one valuable exercise, he required each to steer the car slightly off the highway at 65 mph, continuing with the left wheels on the road and the right on the shoulder until safely steering back into the travel lane. The goal: to maintain control of the car without panicking.  It's a scary scenario, but I'm grateful that they practiced it.  Every Christian leader, sooner or later, faces this same scenario. What do we do when we suddenly find one set of wheels off the road while we are preaching, teaching or leading an event or meeting . .. 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.
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:


If your congregation has a page and it is not listed here, please contact Staci Percy at

'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 

989-799-7481 x2

In This Edition
In Our Prayers
From The Lions' Den
Presbytery Meeting Info
Summer Hours
Planning Calendars
Vision Task Force Update
Stewardship Workshop
Mission Co-Workers
Help Wanted
Blood Drive
In Search Of...
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

Who We Are
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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

Office Closed For Memorial Day
May 29

Nominating Team
May 31

Presbytery Meeting
June 6
9:30 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
June 21
10:00 am

Worship Planning Team
June 21
1:00 pm

Stewardship Workshop
June 24
9:00 am

Personnel Team
June 26
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Administration Team
June 28
11:00 am


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