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 5, 2016 

"And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding . "

Jeremiah 3:15
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer... 

All of our Teaching Elders and Commissioned Ruling Elders in gratitude for their service. (October is Pastor Appreciation Month, see article below for inspiration on how you can show just how much you appreciate your pastor.)

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)  - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. Wally Mayton (10/1) - Associate Pastor of Midland-Memorial and Presbytery Moderator
The Rev. Carol Miller (10/8) - Honorably Retired
Elder Charles Moerdyk (10/1) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Rosebush
The Rev. Dave Myers (10/10) - Temporary Supply of Linden
The Rev. Shimon Pak (11/8) - Pastor of Saginaw-Korean
The Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein (10/2) - Executive Presbyter
Elder Chris Wolf (11/14) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Marlette-First and Marlette-Second

Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

In my last column, I wrote about how the shifts in American religion have affected the well-being of ministers. Ministry has changed from being a high-status, low-stress occupation to a low-status, high-stress one. This has had the effect of increasing the physical, financial, emotional, and ultimately, spiritual well-being of pastors. In this column I will begin to address some ways congregations and presbyteries can help address this problem.

A plan for pastoral health and well-being should, I think, incorporate the following dimensions:

1. Connection.  Ministry can be a lonely calling. Ministers are often treated at arm's length by parishioners and members of the wider community. They find themselves caricatured as otherworldly or judgmental, though few take the time to know them as real people. Ministers rarely have time to develop strong relationships outside of church, but find friendships in church problematic. The resulting strain on the pastor's spouse and family to provide emotional support can lead to a siege mentality and other problems. It is vital, therefore, for pastors to connect with other pastors in non-threatening ways.

2. Care. The old question, Who cares for the caregiver? is apropos of pastors. Every pastor needs a pastor, just as every member does. And although that is part of my calling as executive presbyter, I often find that many pastors are reluctant to turn to me because I am also in one sense, at least, their supervisor. Pastors benefit not only from attention to their physical and emotional health, but also from the kind of spiritual care that might come from a spiritual director or ministry coach.

3. Collaboration. The increasing demand on "professional ministry" to provide leadership and services to a whole congregation is both unhealthy and unbiblical. Presbyterians affirm a shared ministry between teaching elders (pastors) and ruling elders (session members). This is an expression of both the "priesthood of all believers" and our distrust of individual authority. Ministry in Presbyterian churches should always be a shared activity. Healthy ministry places a priority on identifying and discipling church leaders to share in the hard work of spiritual leadership and pastoral care.

4. Keeping the Sabbath. God created the Sabbath as a command to rest oneself (Exodus 20) and to release others from unjust burdens of labor and debt (Deuteronomy 5). Yet many pastors struggle to keep a day off, much less to devote it towards rest and release. The same could be said of vacation. Many a pastor has learned that one cannot escape the demands of ministry unless one is both out of town and out of reach. This is sometimes a challenge for pastors and congregations who feel the need for pastors to be on call 24/7.

Just as the Hebrews extended Sabbath to include Sabbath years (Leviticus 15, Deuteronomy 25) as well as Sabbath days, so we Presbyterians have incorporated a ministry sabbatical for church officers, who must rest one year after six consecutive years in service as deacon or ruling elder. The parallel for pastors is the pastoral sabbatical, typically a three month period of rest, renewal, reflection, and recharging that is often extended after six or seven years of continuous ministry in a congregation.

Many presbyteries require ministry sabbaticals regularly be incorporated into terms of call (ours does not). Studies have demonstrated that sabbaticals, if properly planned, can be of benefit to both the pastor and the congregation.

To have a healthy congregation, those who lead them must also be healthy physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Any plan for congregational health must also address pastoral health as a high priority. It is my hope that pastors, sessions, and congregations can work together to support pastoral health and well-being.

[On a personal note, I will be out of town on vacation from October 15-23. During this time, Stated Clerk Ted McCulloch will be available for presbytery emergencies]

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
Records Review
The review of session Minutes and Records will take place on Saturday, October 22nd at Mt. Pleasant-First and Saturday, November 12th at Vassar-First. Letters to all Clerks of Session with details have been sent out.

If you have any questions or need to schedule another time, please contact Ted McCulloch at or 989-799-7481 x4
Background Checks Available
The presbytery has contracted with our insurance company to get a very low rate on running background checks.
A basic background check - which is sufficient for most paid and volunteer positions - is just $6.25.
For more information contact Staci Percy at or 989-799-7481 x2.

Pastor Appreciation Month
October is Pastor Appreciation Month
Need some inspiration on ways to show your pastor how much you appreciate them? Click here for some ideas on how you can say "Thank you!"

Mission To The U.S.A.
Mission Hosting Opportunity
October is Mission to the U.S.A. (M.U.S.A.) Month. Midland-Chapel Lane is proud to be hosting
Cathrine Abuamsha of Beit Jala, Palestine from October 13th to November 6th. 

Cathrine is a 24 year-old Palestinian woman who is of the Greek Orthodox faith tradition.  Born in Bethlehem, she has faced a lifetime of Occupation as a Palestinian.  Her father is a YMCA director in the Bethlehem area. Her mother is an English teacher. Her siblings have a wide variety of vocations-from Civil Engineering to Business. And Cathrine, herself, is in training to be a lawyer.  She is also part of the youth ecumenical movement in Palestine.
Cathrine has trained with the Youth Ecumenical Institute of the Middle East, involving youth from 7 Arab countries in choosing to be open to the experiences, cultures and witnesses of other Christians. She comes as a M.U.S.A. Mission Partner prepared to talk about both the issues all Arab Christians face in their respective contexts, as well as the particular issues facing Palestinian Christians today in light of the Israeli Occupation.
Cathrine will not be here to preach, but she will be here to witness and to speak to that which she is most familiar-her faith and her homeland. 

Click here for a brochure with more details.

Click here to request a time for Cathrine to visit your congregation.
In Our Congregations
Houghton Lake-Kirk of the Lakes

On September 29th some 15 of the Houghton Lake-Kirk of the Lakes members joined with another 10 to 12 from the Roscommon County Food Pantry, aka Project Hope, as together they distributed some 6,745 lbs. of produce and breads to those in  need in Roscommon County.

This was the seventh of the eight Mobile Produce Giveways hosted by the Roscommon County Food Pantry this summer. The Food Bank of Eastern Michigan delivered seven pallets of food-four of vegetables and fruit, and three of the breads. The green beans had to be bagged up in plastic bags, so everyone pitched in to make this happen. And by 1:30 all had been distributed to those who came, with the rest going to the Roscommon Co. Food Pantry's Thursday afternoon's distribution.

We know this is but one of the many ways the congregations of the Presbytery of Lake Huron are engaged in the mission of connecting the hungry of our own Presbytery as well as the hungry of the world to the food they need. After all this is CROP Walk time too

So thanks for affirming what the Kirk has done and is doing, and let us of the Kirk affirm all that you are doing too. And as we network together to distribute needed food to the hungry, let's also join together in asking the question, "Why are people hungry to begin with?"
Collecting Coats For Kids

Croswell-First will once again be collecting coats for kids this year. All sizes, all ages preschool through high school. New or good, clean used coats as well as hats, mittens, boots, gloves and scarves will be collected and distributed. Monetary donations accepted also. Cash or
check with checks made out to First Presbyterian Church.

The First Presbyterian Church of Croswell will be open to receive donations Tuesdays through Fridays 9am till noon. 

Distribution for 2016 will take place on Friday, October 14th from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

See Lisa Haddix, Secretary or call Amy with questions at 810-679-3754.
Mission Co-Workers
Michael and Rachel Ludwig

This month flew by as we spent most of the month teaching homeschool, teaching English, preaching sermons, practicing CHE lessons and learning about the harvest.  It's been a good month with rains once or twice a week to keep the temps down in the 90s and lower 100s, but it's been mixed in with a lot of patient waiting and extra stressors with children.  We also have some more updates to share from the start-up for the rickshaw drivers.

We didn't have much space to share about rickshaws last month, so we'll fill you in with more details now.  The great news is that the EERN was able to buy the rickshaws for a cheaper price by going down to Nigeria, and there were less incidental start-up costs than anticipated, so they came in about $400 under budget per taxi. I think that's a nice indicator of good stewardship of the funds, and the excess will be helpful to cover any large repair costs and prepare for buying additional taxis.  We're still waiting for the first quarterly report on the operating expenses to see if the rickshaws have really been as profitable as projected.  But if so, the EERN would like to start expanding into other mid-size cities where there aren't already these convenient machines.  Again we want to pass on a big thank you to anyone who has been a part of contributing to this project, as it has been a big encouragement to the church here so far!


If you would like to follow their adventures and their mission work in Niger, please contact Staci Percy at  or 989-799-7481 x2 for their blog address.  (They have asked that the link to it not be published online.)
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Pastors In Transition Seminar

The fall session of the Pastors in Transition Seminar will be held October 24-25, 2016 at the St. Francis Retreat Center in DeWitt, MI. All clergy and CRE who have been in their current position less than three years are invited.

Click here for more information.
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.
There are lots of people and things that represent your church and mission and play a vital role in your ministry and church website. But you know who many of your church members would say is the "face" of your church? Your pastor!  If there is a familiar face in your church, many of your visitors will say it's your pastor! But your pastor's main presence shouldn't just be at the Sunday service or at connection groups, this person should have a thriving presence on your church website, too. It's important not only for your congregation to be able to connect in person, but to also have the opportunity to connect online, too.
Ensure your pastor has a bigger role in your church website with these 3 ideas ... continue reading.
It's great to see the discussions on bulletins here on Church Marketing Sucks. But most of these articles are written by the creators of bulletins, not necessarily the users. As a born-and-bred Lutheran with six years of attending an evangelical-free church and three-and-a-half years at a Bible college, I've seen my fair share of bulletins. As a parishioner, you can't expect everything to be perfect. But since a bulletin is the front door to a church, you expect that the bulletin will be helpful, especially on your first visit. While there are pros and cons to getting rid of the bulletin altogether, plenty of people prefer to keep the weekly print bulletin. Here are some most common do's and don'ts for church bulletins.... continue reading .
Imagine a world where everyone on your church's marketing team clearly communicates: requests come early, events go smoothly and no one ever argues. It seems like a far cry from reality, especially if your team spans multiple generations, but it might not be as unattainable as you think.
My team and I experienced an incredible time of growth, learning and stretching this past year. With the generational gap and team dynamics, we could have fallen to misunderstanding and miscommunication. Somehow, we didn't. We came out on the "good" end. Here's how...
continue reading .
Imagine the culture shock of a child who has been in church all of his life but has never been in the main service. I am an advocator of children's church. I always have been. It is important to have children's services that appeal to their age group for a variety of reasons. That being said, there is a movement in many churches today to always have children separated from adults. Although children should have a children's church where they can learn and worship God, they also need to regularly be in the main service with the rest of the church body. What regularly means will vary from church to church. In the churches where I was on staff, it meant once a month and always in special services. Other churches, because of the complications involved, may elect to do it once a quarter. I don't think it should ever be less than once a quarter. Here are five reasons I believe children should regularly be in the main service... 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
Records Review
Background Checks
Pastor Appreciation
Mission Hosting
In Our Congregations
Mission Co-Workers
Pastors In Transition
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

Who We Are
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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. 

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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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Worship Planning Committee
October 5
10:00 am

Ministry Appreciation Dinner
October 7
5:30 pm

Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering
October 8
10:00 am

Coordinating Team
October 12
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
October 19
10:00 am

Presbyterian Women
October 20
10:00 am

Records Review
October 22
10:00 am

Personnel Team
October 24
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry -  Outreach and Administration Group
October 26
11:00 am


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