Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing praises to our God;
for he is gracious,
and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the Lord takes pleasure in
those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
~ Psalm 147:1-11
We Lift Up In Prayer...
The family and loved ones of the Rev. Ken Anderson
who passed to the larger life last month. (See notice below.)
The Rev. Ken Hetzel,
Honorably Retired who is recovering from a recent health setback.
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 April and May:
The Rev. Dr. Daniel Ahn (5/18)
- Honorably Retired
Elder Jon Baker (4/26) - 1 year -
Commissioned Ruling Elder of Rosebush
The Rev. Dr. Ed Borycz (5/12) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Alec Brooks (5/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bruce Cunningham (5/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dale Swihart (5/16) - Honorably Retired
"Crown him the Lord of love!
Behold his hands and side!
Rich wounds, yet visible above,
In beauty glorified." - Matthew Bridges
It might appear incongruous to speak of Christ's self-emptying of status and privilege - his
kenosis - in this season of Easter when we sing hymns celebrating his victory over death and his ascension to reign in power. But both are connected in the New Testament. Where the Bible speaks of Christ's ascension and power it is always in association with his humiliation, suffering, and death. For example, only after speaking of Christ's self-emptying in Philippians 2 does Paul say, "
Therefore, God highly exalted him" (Phil 2:9). Even in the Book of Revelation, the "Lion of the tribe of Judah" who sits on the throne of heaven is "a Lamb, standing as if it had been slaughtered" (Rev. 5:5-6).
The church of the Risen Christ, therefore, is a church which exercises power as those who identify with the humble and oppressed. It is power not from ascent but from descent. We have called this "the upside-down" church.
We see this in the mission of the post-Pentecost church: sharing their goods and meals with the poor (Acts 2 & 4); healing those with infirmities who had been reduced to begging (Acts 3); serving widows and orphans in the distribution of bread (Acts 6); and proclaiming the gospel to outcasts in Samaria (Acts 8) and to an Ethiopian eunuch (Acts 8).
The Easter church was a church of radical inclusion and generosity. It saw (and still sees) its greatest growth among those who live on the margins of society, or who occupy the bottom rung on the ladder of success. This has been obscured in American Protestantism, where the church has often identified with those at the center of society and who occupy high rungs on the ladder. Our engagement with the marginalized happens often by charity disguised as mission if it happens at all.
There is nothing wrong with charity - Jesus commended it - but in order for the church to thrive in this new apostolic age, we must go beyond charity to engaging and identifying with those who are on the margins in meaningful ways that work for justice, not merely the alleviation of symptoms.
This last week I attended the 19th annual (Dismantling) White Privilege Conference, which was held in Grand Rapids. While it is a secular conference with a broad cross-section of educators, organizers, non-profit directors, and religious leaders, the conference addresses a key element of our upside-down mission in Christ: how we as privileged Americans of all races and ethnicities can live in such a way as to develop communities of genuine inclusion and shared power.
I will be sharing more in coming issues on this theme. I close with words of a new hymn by Nigel Weaver found in the
Glory to God hymnal (#257):
"The risen Christ, who walks on wounded feet
From garden tomb through darkened city street,
Unlocks the door of grief, despair, and fear,
And speaks a word of peace to all who hear....
May we, Christ's body, walk and serve and stand
With the oppressed in this and every land,
Till all are blessed and can a blessing be,
Restored in Christ to true humanity."
Dan Saperstein, E
Special Called Meeting of Presbytery
A special Presbytery meeting has been called for
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 at 11:00 am
. The meeting will be held at the
, 5560 McCarty Road, Saginaw, MI 48608.
The purpose of the meeting will be to approve the recommendation of the Presbytery Council to concur with Item 08-05, which is an overture from the
Presbytery of Monmouth
on Environmental Racism. If the Presbytery concurs, to also approve the sending of the Rev. Desiree Lawson as an Overture Advocate to the General Assembly and provide the necessary funds, not to exceed $1500.
As always with a special meeting, no other items can be added to the agenda.
Those wishing to review the original overture may do so by going to pc-biz.org. It is part of the work of Committee #8, Environmental Issues. This will also allow you to see the other Presbyteries that have concurred with the overture.
We extend our deepest sympathies to the family of the Rev. Ken Anderson, Honorably Retired member of our presbytery, who passed to the larger life on March 29th.
Ken served several of our churches and we are grateful for his ministry. Click here to view his obituary.
Clerk of Session Training
Saturday, April 21
, the Stated Clerk, Ted McCulloch, will hold a training and orientation time for Clerks of Session. We will meet at
Saginaw First Presbyterian Church
, 121 S. Harrison, Saginaw MI 48602. We will start at 10 AM and will go until sometime after 1 PM. A light lunch and beverages will be provided.
This is time is designed not only for new Clerks of Session but for any Clerk of Session who might find it helpful.
A few of the areas we will look at include the:
- Role of the Clerk and Book of Order Requirements
- Writing Good Minutes, including tips and tricks
- Registers and Rolls (lots of info here!)
- Annual Responsibilities
Please register by clicking here. Registration will be open through Monday, April 16.
Any questions, please call the Stated Clerk, Ted McCulloch at 989-799-7481 x4.
Order Your 2018-2019 Planning Calendar
The Presbytery Office will place a bulk order for the 2018-2019 Presbyterian Planning Calendar for individuals and churches. If the calendars arrive in time, they will be available for pick-up at the June 5th Presbytery meeting at the
. Otherwise, they can be picked up at the Presbytery office.
Cost per calendar is $8.80. All orders must be pre-paid. Please
to use our on-line order form. Rose Onan will email you an invoice when she receives your order and payment is due
no later than May 10, 2018
The latest editions of the
Parish Paper are now available on our website.
These great - and quick - reads are perfect for session training and group discussions. Our subscription includes the use of these by our congregations. Check the
page on our website for the (very generous) copyright details and for current and previous issues.
May: How To Balance Hospitality and Church Security
June: Making The Nursery a Place of Belonging
The Presbyterian Women of Lake Huron Presbytery are hosting their 2018 Spring Gathering on
Saturday, April 14th
from 1:00pm to 3:30pm.
for details and a printable flyer.
Opening For Director of Music
Chapel Lane Presbyterian Church in Midland
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 Director of Music to begin employment in May - August. The role requires an average of 25 hours per week in September - May. Weekdays during the summer are more flexible. Compensation will reflect experience and education with an annual compensation ranging from $25,000 to $35,000.
The ideal candidate:
- has a passion for leading children, youth, and adults in growing their faith through music;
- has successfully led and directed vocal and hand bell choirs for children, youth, and adults;
- has successfully demonstrated the ability to play liturgy, hymns, and music appropriate for service preludes, offertories, choir, and solo accompaniment, etc.;
- has previous experience working with children and youth;
- is a team-oriented leader with the confidence, ability, enthusiasm, and excitement to provide guidance and support to participants and volunteers;
- has strong communication skills, both written and verbal, and organizational skills.
For more information, please go to www.chapellane.org under "About Us," "Employment Opportunities."
|Alma Interfaith Youth Mix
NEW FOR 2018: Alma Interfaith Youth Mix
Join us on May 5th in envisioning and crafting the interfaith community of the future!
Alma Interfaith Youth Mix offers students in grades 9-12 with opportunities and resources to explore their own religious and spiritual traditions and those of others who believe and practice differently. AIYM enables participants to overcome barriers and move toward pluralism, mutual appreciation, and cooperative engagement for the common good of humankind. Through AIYM, Alma College demonstrates its identity as a safe and challenging spiritual home for future college students who find themselves at any point on their journey of faith.
Click here for details and registration information.
Young Adult Volunteer Applications Now Available
Apply to the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program today!! Final round for the 18-19 season open until June 1. National sites only are available.
Program benefits include a regular stipend, housing, transportation and student-loan repayment options throughout the duration of the service year. For more info, visit the FAQ tab at the top of the YAV homepage. Also, follow @yavprogram as current YAVs take over the account.
Help plant seeds of service and spread the word!
Benefits Connections: Detroit
You are invited to attend Benefits Connections: Detroit
Who Should Attend?
If you are responsible for benefits decisions and managing benefits - or work with those who are - this day is for you!
Pastors, chairs of personnel, stated clerks, church business managers, office managers are welcome!
COM and CPM chairs are invited. Registration is open to anyone who would like to attend.
Learn about theological values that shape the Benefits Plan. Preview changes for 2019. Ask questions of Board of Pensions leadership and staff. Meet other benefits decision-makers in your area. Participate in a panel discussion with your peers. You'll gain a better understanding of the plan, new peer relationships, and new strategies for being the best employer you can be. Take away suggestions and solutions for churches of all sizes - small and large.
Thursday, April 19, 2018, 9:30am to 3:00pm
First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn
600 North Brady, Dearborn, MI 48124
RSVP by Friday, March 23, 2018
Flint-First has recently acquired the Glory to God hymnal for our worship space. They have about 500 copies of the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal, Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs that they would love to have available for any congregation(s) wanting either additional copies or looking to replace older hymnals.
This fall the Mission to the USA program is bringing church leaders from Bangladesh, Pakistan, India, and Sri Lanka for three weeks. Hosting churches have the opportunity to build deep relationships with mission partners as they participate in the life of the congregation and share their faith and experiences from their own lives. The dates are October 12 to Nov. 2. Host churches are needed. If your church is interested in hosting or for more information, contact Eileen Best at
Headlines of Interest
Here are links to articles that we hope you will enjoy and perhaps spend some time discussing them with others.
In December of 2007, a close friend of ours collapsed from the sudden onset of a heart condition. The phone rang day and night because family, friends and neighbors wanted to help by bringing meals to her husband and four young children. We felt overwhelmed by the task of coordinating meals, but we wanted to help and knew the meals were needed. As a result, we designed a site that eliminated the need for making and receiving time-consuming phone calls.
Once the site was finished, we realized that meal scheduling is done not just when tragedy strikes, but when babies are born, when friends are receiving medical treatments, and in so many other situations. Before we knew it, many of our friends were making use of
and word was spreading. Just recently, a child in our community was severely injured. The family posted a link to their
account on their blog, and a meal schedule for several months was filled overnight.
to help one family we care about deeply and that in itself made the site worthwhile. Now we'd like to share this tool, so others may be helped as well.
For years now, churches have been trying to solve the Millennial puzzle.
It's one with a lot of pieces. Also known as Generation Y, people born between roughly 1980 to 2000 are known for questioning authority, distrusting institutions and an aversion to organized religion.
Congregations have tried just about everything to lure young people to church or keep them from leaving. Incorporating modern music, less formality in worship and youth-oriented small groups are a few of the approaches.
But one author suggests churches do something relatively few do: listen to Millennials and be sure that congregational culture and doctrine match up. Because if there is anything Generation Y can't stand in religious groups, it's
a disconnect between faith as preached and the faith as lived.
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:
'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.
Presbyterian Women Spring Gathering
Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Clerk of Session Training
Commission on Ministry
Bills, Policies and Overtures Committee
Alma Interfaith Youth Mix
Mission Coordination Committee
Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Commission on Ministry
Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Memorial Day
Details on these meetings can be found on the presbytery's website on the calendar.