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 3, 2018 

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

Ongoing:
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

If I say, "Surely the darkness shall cover me, and the light around me become night," even the darkness is not dark to you; the night is as bright as the day, for darkness is as light to you. - Psalm 139:11-12

One of the reasons I am Presbyterian is our emphasis on the transformational role of church in society. We are not sectarians who have nothing to do with "worldly matters." Neither are we pietists who believe that the gospel has only to do with the individual. We believe that sin is both individual and corporate in nature. It can be embedded in social systems and power structures that magnify its capacity for evil and injustice. In this regard we stand firmly in the tradition of Jesus and the Hebrew prophets. Like them, too, we also believe in the power of the gospel to redeem and to heal.

There are occasions when the church cannot remain silent and must speak its word of divine judgment and hope. We call them " kairos" moments - occasions of both spiritual and social significance. One such occasion is before us now, as we wrestle with allegations of sexual assault that bear on the exercise of power at the highest levels of our government.

It is not my purpose here to advocate for or against the Supreme Court nominee or his accuser. Indeed, by the time you read this, the disposition of his nomination may be resolved. But this kairos moment presents the larger question of how we as a church and a nation respond to victims of sexual assault in our own families, churches, and communities.

Studies indicate that at least one in three women and one in six men experience sexual violence at some point in their lives ( https://www.nsvrc.org/statistics). At any given service of worship it is almost certain that in the congregation will be multiple persons - both women and men - who carry with them the life-changing trauma of sexual violence. But it is a topic that one almost never hears from the pulpit.

Shannon Kershner is the Pastor and Head of Staff at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago. In addition to serving one of our largest and most iconic congregations, she is one of the most gifted preachers and leaders in our denomination. Last Sunday she preached a sermon that earned a standing ovation. It addressed our ongoing national conversation about sexual assault. It is a powerful message of healing and hope. Her sermon is too long to post here but I want to share a portion of her message:

So this morning we say to children, to youth, to young men and women, and, yes, especially to those who have borne the shame for decades, "No more." For all those who grew up never hearing a word about it spoken inside the building with pews, a table, and a font, we say "No more." On this day we acknowledge the violence done to you, and we drag it out into the light to reveal it as the sin it was and is; the horror it was and is; the evil act it was and is.

As a part of the body of Christ, we refuse to hide any longer behind any scriptures that have been misused and abused to justify it. We refuse to hide any longer behind the fear of upsetting each other. We refuse to hide any longer behind the fear of being labeled as too political in the pulpit. We refuse to hide any longer behind any excuse that it was the alcohol that caused it to happen or it was just the indiscretion of youth that caused it to happen; or it was just a different time in our world when it happened; or it was only one time that it happened, so can't you just move on with your life and forgive? We refuse to acknowledge any of those excuses as valid. They are not. It should have never happened to you or to the one you love. It is not your fault. You did not do anything wrong. You do not and have never deserved it. We preachers should have said those things decades ago for that has been God's posture from the very beginning.

On this day, we say out loud in this space of worship for all those who have been hurt in this way, who have kept silence, whose children or parents have been hurt in this way, for all who walk into this room every Sunday carrying around a broken heart, we proclaim together that what happened to you or to your loved one has never been OK with God. The God we know in Jesus Christ, the God we hear proclaimed in Psalm 139, that God has wept alongside you all these years; that God has lifted God's own voice with yours in anger all these years; that God has longed to sweep you up into God's healing hand all these years; that God also has been heartbroken with you all these years.

The church can now arise to this moment and say like we do to so many wrongs, "Never again. We will do our best to never again ignore and be silent about the silent shame you absorbed into your being and carried alone for so long, perhaps even into this moment. Little boy inside the old man, little girl inside the old woman, teenager, young adult, middle-aged companion: all of you-welcome home, child of God. Welcome home. You no longer have to live at the edge of hope. You can be soaked in the light of the gospel. You are never again alone with your shame. You belong to Easter, and Easter is rising within you, even here and even now." http://www.fourthchurch.org/sermons/2018/093018.html.

May we as the Presbytery of Lake Huron make a similar commitment.

Faithfully, 

Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter

Session
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.
 
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. Invitations were sent earlier this week.

Please join us for this fun evening of food, fellowship, and frivolity. RSVP to Staci Percy at spercy@presbylh.org or 989-799-7481 x2 by October 12th.

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.
 
You're Invited
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.
  
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.

Free and Wanted Items
Free Piano - Alma

The Rev. Tom Brackbill has piano that he is willing to donate to any church/ congregation which might need one.
It's a "horizontal grand", about 5' 2" long. Plays very well, but hasn't been used/tuned in several years. It has been kept  in a stable space, so it should still be in good shape. Finish is not pretty - a crackled varnish. Bench included. He  needs it gone from his house over the next month or two. It's a pretty easy (two steps down) access to the garage, so  there isn't a horrible moving story to be told. There is no cost to whomever would like it , just a letter of donation. Contact Tom at 989-289-6046 for details.
  
Free Piano - Bay City

Westminster Presbyterian in Bay City has a piano available to any church who might be interested.  It is a Kimball baby grand piano, and has been regularly tuned over its life.  One of our members is moving, and donating their piano to our congregation. Our gift can be yours as well.  Please contact the church office with your interest at 989-686-1360.  The only cost would be in arranging to have it moved. (Herter Music is one recommended piano mover).
  
Handbell Music Stands Or Risers Wanted

First Presbyterian Church, Mount Pleasant (FPCMP) is looking for handbell music stands or handbell music risers. If your church is no longer in need of your stands or risers FPCMP would be happy to pick them up and provide a new home for them. Contact the church at 989-773-9609 if you can help out.
  
Food Advocacy
Food Week of Action and World Food Day

I would like to announce the 2018 Food Week of Action and World Food Day, Oct. 14-21, 2018.
 
The purpose motivating this week is to raise our awareness about hunger as we also work at ascertaining the reasons why we have hungry people throughout the 18 counties of the Presbytery of Lake Huron.
 
There is another purpose as well. This purpose is to take some form of deliberate action that addresses the issue of hunger.
 
Each congregation should know and publish:

a) Know the full story of how many Food Pantries/Soup Kitchens there are in our communities.

b) The face and name of the Executive Directors of the Food Pantries/ Soup Kitchens, in their community

c) Their days and hours of operation,

d) Where each Food Pantry/ Soup Kitchen is,

e) How many food boxes are being given out, and how many are coming to the Soup Kitchen,

 
In addition, they should:
f)  Ask the question "WHY?" so we become able to move from "relief" to "recovery and reform."
 
Yes, this challenges us. But as I have learned through my ministry in Roscommon County, often there will be individual congregations each with their own Food Pantry, while no one really knows how many people are getting food boxes or attending Soup Kitchens. I know why this is happening- the people in the congregation and the family upon whom they rely for are in need, right now.
 
But I argue that this means we are essentially providing food to people in such a way that they are truly invisible to us. We don't really know the WHY for the hunger or the need-for change. What we know is that there is a lot left out there in the fields and stores that we can gather together and re-distribute to people who appear in need. We will see familiar faces; we will not necessarily know the WHY they are there.
 
Let us think about both the individual who is hungry and the social systems that could be contributing to why there will be, as they are, men and women who use the Food Pantry or Soup Kitchen to stretch their support dollars just a bit farther.
 
Why aren't these dollars enough?
 
Who I am-
 
Pastor Karen Blatt
Presbytery Hunger Advocate

Connections
FB2
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:

Tawas
Vassar-First
Yale-First

If your congregation has a page and it is not listed here, please contact Staci Percy at spercy@presbylh.org

'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

spercy@presbylh.org 

989-799-7481 x2

In This Edition
In Our Prayers
From The Lions' Den
Records Review
Ministry Appreciation Dinner
Parish Paper
PW Fall Gathering
Fish Fry
Free and Wanted Items
Food Action Week
Connect With LHP Churches


Who We Are
 
 
 
 
 
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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.

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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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Mission Coordination Committee
October 8
1:00 pm


Disaster Coordination and Communication Task Force
October 9
10:00 am


Presbytery Council
October 10
10:00 am


Commission on Preparation for Ministry
October 17
10:00 am


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




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