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." 

October 17, 2018 

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

The Rev. Glenn Grant (Grand Blanc-Kirkridge), wife Debbie and family. Their daughter Caitlin Ritenouer is battling cancer.

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 October and November:

The Rev. Tom Cundiff (11/27)  - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Christina Jensen (10/28) - 1 year - Pastor of Ithaca-First
The Rev.  Joung Nam Lee (10/12) - Member-at-Large
The Rev. Dr. Wally Mayton (10/25) - Associate Pastor of Midland-Memorial
The Rev. Dave Myers (1010) - Interim Pastor of Saginaw-Countryside Trinity
The Rev. Dr. Shimon Pak (11/8) - Pastor of Saginaw-Korean
The Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein (10/2) - 35 years - Executive Presbyter
Elder Chris Wolf (11/14) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Marlette-First and Marlette-Second
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

Most congregations are in the midst of what is commonly called "stewardship season" - which in its best form is an opportunity for every member to reflect with gratitude on all that God provides, and to share with the same selfless generosity of spirit and substance for God's mission in the world. Sometimes, however, it becomes a power struggle between those who have financial resources in the church and the pastor or elected leaders over the church's mission and direction.

The latter reflects the worldly version of the "golden rule" that has governed the Christendom model of the church: that "those who have the gold make the rules." The affiliation of the gospel with structures and sources of power - both political and financial - compromises the integrity of the church's mission and witness to Jesus Christ. It reduces the church to a patronage system in which the voice of the Spirit is subject to the voice of the major donor.

Last week, the gospel lesson of the common lectionary told
 the story of the rich man who would not follow Jesus because of his attachment to wealth (Mark 10:17-31). The disciples are confused. They are caught up in the model that associates wealth with divine blessing. Even though Jesus reiterates the upside-down nature of his glory - that the Son of Man must suffer and die to be resurrected - they still anticipate a patronage model of God's reign in which positions of honor confer personal power and privilege (Mark 10:35-45). By contrast, it is the blind beggar who casts aside all he possesses [i] to follow Jesus in "the way" (Mark 10:45-52).

The displacement of the church from the center of socialpower to the margins presents us with both a crisis and an opportunity. I have written before about the "financial meltdown" of mainline denominations ( here) and noted that the crisis exists only if we seek to maintain the Christendom model of the church which identifies success as being the biggest, most prosperous, and most powerful. If we adopt an inside-out, upside-down posture, however, and are willing to surrender the privilege and power that comes with the Christendom model of success, then we can be truly liberated for mission.

Yet, while the tectonic plates of change shift beneath us, we still live in houses from the old paradigm. We have buildings that must be maintained, ministers who rely on our offerings for support, and missions that depend on faithful supporters to bring God's love and justice to the world. What then, does this mean for our practice of stewardship in the church?

I recently read a blog post on philanthropic leadership in which the author, writing from a secular perspective, identifies the same issue, that "philanthropy holds a disproportionate amount of power; it serves as a gatekeeper for the resources that belong to our communities," while those who serve "continue to struggle with identifying and funding existing capacity on the ground."

The author adds, "A funder's role, then, is to build our own individual and institutional skills to receive and incorporate the insight these leaders and communities provide. We must listen to them, follow them, and respond in ways that help us model the systems change... they are creating." Translated into churchspeak, that reads: "good stewards listen to the people they support and serve, and empower them to take ownership of their own mission." This is a key component of inside-out, upside-down, sticky mission. She identifies five practices for responsive stewardship (philanthropy):
  • Be responsive to the way people and movements organize themselves. Stewards shouldn't prescribe how they think the mission should best be conducted.
  • Support organizational capacity, as well as the capacity of individuals, networks, and coalitions. Collaboration is necessary for effective mission.
  • Make space for divergence and debate in movements, rather than force consensus and uniformity. There is more than one way to be faithful; don't require everything to conform to your theology or politics.
  • Ask your partners what they need to be healthy and present in their work. Well-supported pastors and staff make for healthy and effective leaders.
  • Provide long-term, flexible (general operating) resources at a level that allows leaders to dream, build, implement, and realize the change they seek. Our stewardship practice should liberate, not limit, the church's mission.
As we consider our own stewardship this season, may we use our gifts not as a means to advance our own agendas or to reclaim the past, but as responsive partners in God's ever-changing mission to the world.


Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter


[i] I.e., his cloak, spread before him to receive alms and gifts.

Ministry Appreciation Dinner

The biennial Ministry Appreciation Dinner will be held  Friday, October 19 at  the  Saginaw Club, 219 North Washington, Saginaw, MI 48607. A pre-dinner reception will be held at 5:30 pm. All ministers (active and retired) and CREs serving congregations are invited. Each may bring one guest. 

Please join us for this fun evening of food, fellowship, and frivolity. RSVP to Staci Percy at or 989-799-7481 x2.

Records Review

The annual records review will take place on three Saturdays this fall. You are welcome to attend any one which works for you. 

October 27  Saginaw-First 10:00am
November 3  Midland-Memorial 10:00am
November 17  Lapeer-First 10:00am

Be sure to bring your Session Minutes and Records books along with a filled out review form. 

Although we strongly encourage you to find a date and location that works for your schedule, those of you who cannot come to one of these events, please call to make other arrangements.  Appointments to re-schedule a review can be made at any time now. Questions and re-schedule requests may be directed to  Ted McCulloch, Stated Clerk at 989-799-7481 x4.

Additional information may be found on the Records Review page of our website.
Parish Paper

The latest editions of the  Parish Paper are now available for your use - free of charge. The topics are:

November: How To Develop Habits For Well-Being
December: Getting To Know Our Neighbors

Click here to read and/or download your copies.
Emergency Prepardness
Are You Prepared?

This series of articles is largely aimed at helping you and your church to be prepared for disasters that may occur in your community. We need to be prepared for the possibility of a tornado or flood or fire. We also need to have a method in place to quickly notify our congregants and to ensure that they are OK. However, most times we are more likely to be faced with emergencies that suddenly pop up rather than a major natural or man made disaster.
For a moment imagine that it is Sunday morning and worship is about to begin. Suddenly one of your members collapses and falls to the floor unconscious.  What do you do? (hint, call 911)  Are you prepared to start CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) on the person? Do you know someone who is capable of performing CPR until the ambulance arrives? Does your church have an AED ( automated external defibrillator) available? Do you know how to use it or do you know who in the congregation knows how to use it?  Are any of your congregants doctors or nurses that can help? Now is the time to determine the answers to these questions before you encounter the situation.

(The Pulse3 Foundation provides AEDs to area schools, churches and nonprofit agencies with facilities where people gather in the Great Lakes Bay (Bay, Isabella, Midland and Saginaw counties) and the Thumb (Huron, Sanilac and Tuscola counties). Does your organization have an AED on site? If not, we invite you to submit an  application  for consideration. Units are awarded annually in the spring.  The  application  deadline is March 1 of each year. )
CPR training is available from a wide variety of sources.  One of the most widely used training courses if available through the American Red Cross.  Other options for training include your local EMS (Emergency Medical Service), the local chapter of the American Heart Association or perhaps your local hospital can help. AED training is generally available at the same time as CPR. According the Red Cross website the average response time for first responders once 911 is called is 8-12 minutes. For each minute defibrillation is delayed, the chance of survival reduces by approximately 10%.  An AED is often the most effective way of dealing with a heart attack until help arrives. An AED can be purchased for around $1300 which can be a very good investment especially if you are the one having a heart attack.
For a moment lets again imagine that it is Sunday morning and worship is about to begin.  Suddenly you can see smoke coming from the basement. What do you do? (hint, call 911)   Do you know where the fire extinguishers are located?  Is the closest fire extinguisher the right type to handle the fire you encounter?  Do you know how to effectively use a fire extinguisher?  It is often the best approach to have extinguishers that are rated for A, B and C firesA type fires are those of involving ordinary materials like cloth, wood and paper. B type fires involve combustible and flammable liquids like grease, gasoline, oil and oil-based paints . C type fires involve electrical equipment like appliances, tools, or other equipment that is plugged in. Your local fire department can advise you on the best type of fire extinguishers for your situation. In most cases they will also be willing to teach you the best ways to effectively use a fire extinguisher.

In case of an event like either of those listed above or any other potentially serious situation your best approach is to call 911 as quickly as possible after you have identified the emergency.  It is not necessary for you to evaluate the situation, let the professionals do that when they arrive. Its not worth serious injury or possible death to delay contacting 911. The 911 operator will advise you if they need additional information.

Sudden serious illness or a fire are two emergencies that your church is liable to encounter.  Training in advance and making sure that you have the proper equipment available may well save a life or minimize serious property damage.

I hope that your church will consider providing the session and other key leaders training in CPR, using an AED and effective use of a fire extinguisher.  The training is readily available at little or no cost and it may very well save a life or serious injury.

CJ Merriman
Director of Disaster Preparedness
You're Invited
Fish Fry

Second Presbyterian Church of Saginaw Township, located at 2665 Midland Road, will be holding its semi-annual Fish Fry on Friday, October 19, 2018 from 5:00 pm to 6:30 pm. The dinner includes all you can eat fish (fried pollock), coleslaw, potatoes, bread, beverage, and dessert.
The fish fries, held one Friday during Lent and October are the Men's Club's largest fundraisers and help fund various church projects such as; the landscaping and many maintenance projects around the building and grounds.This alleviates pressure from the budget on these items and allows for more mission giving. The Men's Club has been holding the fish fry since the 1950s. The event has grown to include a bake sale and a sale of SERRV fair trade merchandise, which help to fund the Church's many local, national, and international mission projects. 
The cost of the all you can eat dine-in experience is $11.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 5-11, and free for children younger than 5 years old. Take outs are available for $10.00. Come on out and enjoy a delicious fish dinner, grab a baked snack for later, and even do a little shopping at the SERRV tables! 

For more information: 
Click here to visit the Facebook event page.
Click here to visit the church's Facebook page.

PW Logo
Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering

The 2018 PW Fall Gathering will be held on October 20th beginning at 9:30 am at Trinity United Presbyterian Church located 5151 Lennon Road in Flint, Michigan. 

The theme for the day is " To Serve with Love"

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many"  ~  Matthew 20:28

The schedule includes worship, lunch and a p
resentation  by  the Rev.  Dr. Rhashell Hunter  entitiled " Status of Women and Leadership in the Church".  A free will offering will be designated for the Flint Water Crisis. 

Click here for more information and a printable flyer.
Click here for the registration form.
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:

Davison-St Andrews  *** 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
Ministry Appreciation Dinner
Records Review
Parish Paper
Emergency Preparedness
Fish Fry
PW Fall Gathering
Connect With LHP Churches

Who We Are
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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Worship Planning Team
October 18
1:30 pm

Ministry Appreciation Dinner
October 19
5:30 pm

Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering
October 20
9:30 am

Personnel Team
October 22
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry
October 24
11:00 am

Presbyterian Women
October 25
10:00 am

Records Review
October 27
10:00 am

Records Review
November 3
10:00 am

Alma Interfaith Youth Mix
November 4

Mission Coordination Team
November 12
1:00 pm

Presbytery Council
November 14
10:00 am

Records Review
November 17
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
November 21
10:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving
November 22-23

Personnel Team
November 26
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry
November 28
11:00 am

December Presbytery Meeting
December 4
9:30 am

Mission Coordination Team
December 10
1:00 pm

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
December 19
10:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed
December 24-January 1

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