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." 

January 31, 2018 

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 Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

Bruce Graham, husband of the Rev. Linda Graham, Pastor of Cass City-First and Cass City-Fraser  who was scheduled to have surgery last month but has been postponed due to other health issues.

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 January and February:

The Rev. Doug Abel (1/5)  - Pastor of Vassar-First
The Rev. Cathy Chang (2/17) - 10 Years - Mission Co-Worker
The Rev. Mary Anne Evans-Justin (2/25) - Honorably Retired
Elder Mark Garavaglia (2/23) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Deckerville-First
The Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter (1/8) - Member-At-Large serving the PC(USA) as Director of Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries
The Rev. John "Scott" Kroener (1/19) - Pastor of Birch Run-Taymouth
The Rev. Rich Lawther (1/4) - Honorably Retired
Elder Linda Living-Hawley (2/3) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Fenton-Tyrone
Elder Sam McKim (1/1) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Lapeer-First
The Rev. Larry McMellen (2/12) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Chris Moody (2/25) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. John Musgrave (1/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Alex Peterson (1/22) - One Year - Pastor of Lapeer-First
The Rev. Elizabeth "Betsy" Stilwell (1/22) - 35 Years - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dawn Stoker (2/9) - Pastor of Linden
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lion's Den

I am away from the Presbytery this week in service to the larger church. I am in Louisville meeting with the Rules of Discipline Task Force. This sounds very "wonky" and deals with matters that most Presbyterians rarely encounter - the processes we use to ensure the fair and just resolution of disputes and the censure and restoration of offenders.

I am proud to tell people that I am a Presbyterian because of our Book of Order. When I was considering where my call to ministry would best serve God's people, I was drawn to the Presbyterian Church because the ministers I respected most were Presbyterian. I went to the local pastor, whom I had come to know through the campus ministry which was my principal community of nurture. He turned in his chair at his desk and pulled off a copy of the Book of Order from the shelf behind him, and said if I wanted to be Presbyterian I ought to read that first.

It's not an evangelism practice I would recommend, but it worked for me. What impressed me most as I devoured the volume (I read it cover to cover in a single night) was the process in what was then called the Book of Discipline - now known as the Rules of Discipline. It surprised me that a church would pay such careful attention to the processes that ensured that church power would not be abused even in cases where accusations were levelled at individuals. It impressed me that there were mechanisms to hold church councils accountable for their actions as well.

My role here in Louisville this week is to represent the Advisory Committee on the Constitution (which I serve as an elected member) in assisting a task force of the General Assembly charged with reviewing and rewriting our Rules of Discipline. Their goal is to make it less imposing, more understandable, and more practical for use in the church today. My job is to help them anticipate constitutional conflicts that might emerge from their revision, so as to keep the revision consistent with our principles while streamlining the rules.

The product of their work will be submitted to the General Assembly this June for review and comment, and will undergo further revision before a final report is issued in 2020. Most people, I am aware, would rather undergo root canal than sit in a meeting debating whether an accusation can be referred to a higher council before investigation or only after. For me this is like Christmas and Easter rolled into one. It's why I'm "sinfully proud" to be a Presbyterian.

See you next week back in the presbytery!


Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter
BOP Logo
Updated BOP Dues

It was brought to our attention that the 2018 Board of Pensions dues has increased from 36.5% to 37% for 2018. This rate change occurred after the 2018 Minimum Terms of Call were approved by presbytery. The correct information is now listed on the form which may be found on the Documents and Forms page of our website under the Financial Information heading. If you have any questions please contact Dan Saperstein or Ted McCulloch at 989-799-7481.
PC-USA Seal Round
Annual Statistics

Deadline for entering your Statistical information and Necrology Report is February 15th.

The information for completing your 2017 Annual Statistics was sent to all Clerks of Session earlier this month. All of the links for entering your information are available  on the  Annual Statistics  page of our  website Unless you changed it, your login information remains the same as last year.
We are here to assist you with any questions that you may have. Please call or e-mail Staci or Ted should you need anything. Staci may be reached at 989-799-7481 x2 or Ted may be reached at 989-799-7481 x 4 or Please keep in mind that both are part-time employees and are not in the office everyday.
Please remember that what you submit - or don't submit - affects your future per capita payments.
Click here to read an article from the PC(USA) describing some reasons why completing annual statistics are important to your congregation.
Upcoming Conferences
White Privilege Conference Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 19th annual White Privilege Conference meeting in Grand Rapids April 4-7, 2018. The meeting is a major annual educational event on recognizing, unmasking, addressing, and dismantling racism and race-based privilege in organizations and society. Event information can be found at   

This year's conference theme is "Super People & Super Powers: Prepare to be The Future of Social Justice Work" The Presbyterian Church discount code is PCWPC19 and will give you 10% off full conference registration. 

There are other ways to reduce the costs.  If you volunteer to help at the conference, you can drastically reduce the costs, and they do not ask volunteers to miss conference content (plenary or workshop).  For more information - check out the website

Program books are usually released in the 10-14 days before the conference itself.  There are hundreds of workshops.  Many tested content providers return and they must adjust their workshops to the new theme.  To get your bearings, take a look at past program books ( to see the breadth and depth and get a sense of what you want to concentrate on in your conference this year. 

Participation in an optional Wednesday "institute" will also help you dive more fully into a topic, or can be a way for commuters who may not have the time for the full conference to benefit from it.  For information about Presbytery coordination of attendance, contact Dan Saperstein.
Presbyterian Clergywomen

The National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen 2018 Triennial will take place April 23-26 at Montreat Conference Center.

Click here for more information.
Refillable Communion Candles

Midland-Chapel Lane has  14 refillable communion candles and approximately 3-4 quarts oil available that they would like to give to any church in the Presbytery that can use them. They have different candles now and these are sitting idle. If anyone can use them please contact the church at 989-395-1065 or
Presbyterian Women
PW Logo
Lake Huron Presbyterian Women News

Plans are ongoing for a Spring Gathering in Lake Huron Presbytery. The event will take place on April 14 at Westminister Presbyterian Church in Bay City, Michigan. The church is located at 103 East Midland Street in Bay City. his gathering is to "Celebrate the Gifts of Women". Featured during this gathering will be a representative from Women at Risk, International (WAR).
In keeping with one of our mission, Human TRAFFICKING, this gathering will focus on what WAR is doing to address this topic.  WAR, Int'l created the Civilian First Responder program specifically to equip us.  Come to the gathering to learn more about what WAR, Int'l is doing.  The day begins with sign-in at 1:00 PM until 1:30 PM.  At 1:30 we will begin our program which includes the speaker from WAR, Int'l and recognition of PW Lifetime members in Lake Huron.  The WAR, Int'l Store will be opened throughout the day to sell their jewelry to support their ministry.
Our second mission is addressing children's literacy.  We are asking all churches to donate children's books to their local libraries, schools, women shelters, etc.  Buckets to store your books will be available at the March 6, 2018 Presbytery meeting. 
More Dates to Remember:
  • March 8, 2018 PW Coordinating Meeting at Presbytery Office at 10:00 AM
  • April 14, 2018 Spring Gathering at Westminister in Bay City at 1:00 PM
  • August 1-3 Churchwide Gathering in Louisville, KY
Mission Co-Workers
Niger Mission Trip

December 28, 2018 - January 9, 2019  This trip is sponsored by the Niger Mission Network (NMN) in order to know and grow together with the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger (EERN) and PCUSA co-workers in Niger. Our desire is to partner with the EERN as invited and in response to the identified needs.  Our goals for this journey are to build face-to-face relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ and to learn from and about the EERN and the country it serves.  Our team will visit churches, projects and both primary and Bible schools, and listen to their pastors, evangelists, and leaders as they share the joys and challenges of ministry in a country which is 95% Muslim.  We will pray as we go and discern how we can come alongside and encourage and support their work.  President Mai-aike Kadade and Honorable Issaka Moussa, Secretary for Partner Relationships, will interpret God's work in their midst and join us.  Mission co-workers Jim (water and sanitation) and Jodi (nursing and public health) McGill will introduce us to the work they do to assist the EERN.  Michael and Rachel Ludwig will explain the CHE (Community Health Evangelism) approach they help facilitate for the EERN, show a student housing center, and give us a glimpse of their witness in their neighborhood.  Participants will be inspired and transformed by this view of what God is doing in Niger.

Click here for details.
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. 

The s ad truth:  People aren't paying attention to most church communication. In fact, most people are only half-listening or half-reading. An exasperated church communicator recently asked me, "How do you change this trend?"  Stop wasting people's time. That's the easy answer. Then, after a little thought, I added, "There are probably four things you have to ask in order to make your communication palatable." . .. continue reading .

Pastor's experience as coach's wife and former athlete provides insights into sports' dark side. Sports encroaching on Sunday worship. Controversies over kneeling versus standing for the national anthem at football games. Praying before the big game. Americans are passionate about sports. But where does faith come into play on the playing field and in the pew? When it comes to faith and sports, Marcia Mount Shoop has some thoughts. She, a former athlete who is now a pastor, and her husband, John Shoop, who spent his career coaching college football, have seen firsthand that often in sports the Jesus playbook - which calls for treating others justly - is tossed aside. And when it comes to the local church and the tiring complaint of secular sports cutting into the church's Sunday school program, Marcia Shoop sees a larger problem that is not being addressed: the problem of not addressing the question "Why are sports chosen over church?" An ordained minister in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Marcia Shoop was in the world of big-time sports for more than 20 years. .. 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:

Cass City-First  ***NEW ***

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
Updated BOP Dues
Annual Statistics
Upcoming Conferences
Free Candles
PW News
Niger Mission Trip
Communications Corner
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

Who We Are
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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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.


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Presbytery Council
February 14
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
February 21
10:00 am

Personnel Team
February 26
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry
February 28
11:00 am

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