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." 

November 2, 2016 

"Which of these three, do you think,
was a neighbor to the man who
fell into the hands of the robbers?"
He said, "The one who showed him mercy." 
Jesus said to him, "Go and do likewise. "

Luke 10:36-37
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer... 

Elder Kathy Grimes, Commissioned Ruling Elder of Elkton-Chandler and Kinde-First, as she continues treatment for breast cancer.

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 November and December:

The Rev. Tom Cundiff (11/27)  - Member-At-Large
The Rev.   Lucy Der-Garabedian (12/19) - Member-At-Large
Elder Kathy Grimes (12/5) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Elkton-Chandler and Kinde-First
The Rev. Shimon Pak (11/8) - Pastor of Saginaw-Korean
The Rev. Dr. Rodney Shoemaker (12/2) - Member-At-Large
Elder Chris Wolf (11/14) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Marlette-First and Marlette-Second

Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

More than one person has said to me, "Can we please just vote and get this election over with?" This has been an excruciating political season that has brought out the worst in American politics. The political polarization in our nation has been reflected in our churches too. When people of faith can't talk to each other because of politics, the Body of Christ suffers.

The late Richard John Neuhaus was one of the most influential (and polarizing) theologians of the late 20th century. A former radical Leftist, he ultimately became the theological voice of the Religious Right in the 1980s and 1990s. His conversion to political conservatism was matched with a religious conversion from Lutheran ministry to the Roman Catholic priesthood. One of his enduring legacies is the Institute on Religion and Democracy, which has fueled and coordinated schism in mainline Protestantism, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

But between his far Left beginning and his far Right ending, there was a brief period during which Neuhaus lived in the political center, filled with the ambiguities and contradictions of the real world. In his 1977 book Christian Faith and Public Policy: Thinking and Acting in the Courage of Uncertainty, Neuhaus struggles in the tension of multiple perspectives. A passage from it serves as a corrective for me whenever I am tempted towards one extreme or the other:

If the church is true to its mission its public witness will not be conformed to any existing party or school of thought. The church's witness should be perceived as politically radical because it provides an independent place to stand, shaped by a distinctive understanding of human nature and destiny; because it is devoted to an Absolute Future by which all existing political designs are relativized; and because it is concerned with the misery of the poor, the marginal and those often deemed unimportant to the political process. The church's witness should be perceived as politically liberal because it distrusts the hubris by which people seek to control other people; because it believes in maximizing people's freedom over their own lives; and because it is committed to keeping the political process open to future development and correction. The church's witness should be perceived as politically conservative because it recognizes human sinfulness and therefore the fragility of humane social order; because it values tradition, custom and communal ethos, and is suspicious of designs that disregard the same; and because it insists upon the limited character of all political programs short of the kingdom of God.  (p. 63)

Religious people are often drawn to the philosophical purity and moral clarity of extremism, which offers a form of self-righteousness by eliminating the ambiguities and contradictions of the real world. The same was true in Jesus' day. When his theological and political purity was tested, he confounded his critics by refocusing their attention not on ideological purity but on purity of heart and serving the concrete needs of one's neighbor. Thus, the question "What must I do to inherit eternal life?" (Luke 10:25) transposes to "Who is my neighbor?" (v. 29), with the answer, "The one who showed him mercy" and "Go and do likewise" (v. 37).

During this heated election season and in its inevitable angry aftermath, let us also refocus our energy not on our own political self-righteousness, but on showing mercy to our neighbor - including, and perhaps especially, that Christian brother or sister who supports the other candidate.

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
Presbytery Staff
Introducing Jessica Straebel:  We are pleased to introduce our new Presbytery Acting Financial Secretary, Jessica Straebel. Jessica is a Saginaw native and resident, and is a graduate of Delta College and Northwood University. Jessica is a member of First Presbyterian Church, Saginaw, where she also serves as Financial Secretary. She brings a solid work ethic and knowledge of church finances. In her spare time, Jessica is an avid bowler (and was even recognized once as Saginaw Bowler of the Week) and is busy planning for a wedding. Jessica began her service for the presbytery November 1, and will serve on a temporary, part-time basis through January 2017, while a search for a permanent Financial Secretary is conducted. Jessica may be reached at or 989-799-7481 x3.

Please Note: Except for the Executive Presbyter, the entire staff are part-time employees and are not typically in the office everyday. We have listed the normal work days and times on the Staff page of our website. Click here for details.
Records Review
The final review of session Minutes and Records will take place on  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.

ACT Uganda
ACT Gift
ACT Uganda Handcraft Sales

ACT Uganda Handcraft Sales - Baskets, Jewelry & More!  It's that time of year when we are all looking for special gifts for our loved ones.  Look no further!  Beautifully handcrafted items made by the women and men of ACT in Muko Sub County, Uganda, will be available for sale at the following locations in Michigan this fall: 
First Congregational Church of Traverse City (Nov. 5);
Blessed Sacrament in Midland (Nov. 6);
St. John's Episcopal Church in Midland (Nov. 6);
Traverse City Presbyterian Church (Nov. 13);
Midland Center for the Arts Holiday Art Fair (Nov. 12/13);
Memorial Presbyterian Church in Midland (Nov. 20);
Shop & Sip at the Hagerty Center in Traverse City (Dec .3); and
First Presbyterian Church of Holt (Dec. 4).
Additionally, on November 15 from 5:00 - 8:00 we are hosting a Holiday Open House at our store, Uniquely Uganda (503 S. Saginaw Road in Midland) - join us for refreshments and a prize drawing while you enjoy your Christmas shopping.  Your purchases will make your loved one smile, as well as help improve the lives of our brothers and sisters in Uganda.   You can also visit Uniquely Uganda Monday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.  Visit our website for art fair details ( - "purchase a handcraft" on the "Make a Difference" page) or contact Sue Waechter at 989-859-1700. Thanks for your support!

ACT Uganda is an endorsed ministry of the Presbytery of Lake Huron.
Board of Pensions
IMPORTANT Information For ALL Board of Pensions Members

I know that there are many communications being sent out by the Board of Pensions regarding Annual Enrollment.  I can however, use your help in clarifying a few things with those in your presbytery.  Many of the communications instruct churches and employing organizations to instruct their employees to fill out and submit the Annual Enrollment notification from Benefits Connect. I have run into some pastors who feel the Annual Enrollment does not apply to them, but only to their employees or staff.  The announcement below makes it clear that any employee, including pastors, who receive benefits from the Board of Pensions need to participate in the Annual Enrollment process.  This is something new for pastors, and they need to know that the Annual Enrollment is something they will need to participate in each year.  Please communicate this to the pastors in your presbytery.  Thanks! 
"Annual Enrollment ... This Means You!"
What? If you currently receive benefits from the Board of Pensions, and want to continue to receive these benefits in 2017, you must select the benefits during Annual Enrollment. Even if you are not making any changes, even if you have never done so before, and especially if you think the benefits offered by your church/ employing organization will be "automatic"!
Who? Annual Enrollment requires the action of all plan members - including pastors!  (not retirees)
When? The Annual Enrollment period is October 17 - November 11, 2016.
How? Annual Enrollment is only available online! Use Benefits Connect  on to access and make your benefits elections for 2017.
Help? The Annual Enrollment Guide was sent to the current home address on file of every plan member.  It is highly recommended that members also prepare for enrollment by using the Annual Enrollment E-learning Module. Additional, pertinent information is available on the Board of Pensions home page. Finally, you always may consult Member Services at 1-800-773-7752.
Rev. Dr. Douglas Portz
Church Consultant
Synods of the Covenant and the Trinity (excluding Philadelphia Presbytery)
800-773-7752 ext 7455   or  work cell: 267-788-4962

Holiday Craft Fair
Holiday Bazaar

Saginaw-Second is hosting their  8th Annual Holiday Bazaar on  Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 9:00 am to 3:00 pm. The church is located at: 2665 Midland Road in Saginaw. Admission is just $1.  They will have artists, crafters, vendors, a  bake sale, & much more!


If you would like to have your event listed in future editions, please email complete details and your contact information to Staci Percy at
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.
It's hard to disciple people when you can't even find volunteers. This simple process can help small churches do both better. 
he primary calling of the pastor is to equip God's people to do the work of ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).  But it's hard to do that when you can't find any volunteers.  It's one of the questions I get asked a lot - especially when I'm teaching on discipleship. "I want to be a training pastor. But how do I find volunteers? What's the best way to recruit them? Make a general announcement, or ask people one-on-one?" ... continue reading.
"Try a different classroom configuration, or use a different space. Act things out. It's OK to take risks."  Crafting Lessons to Engage Teens. Engagement: we know it when we see it. The lesson that sparks interest and passion, drawing students into participation and discussion. On the other hand, we definitely know when teenagers are not engaged. No matter what lesson or curriculum you use, certain methods and practices can increase engagement, especially with teens. Here are some suggestions, based on our methodology at Confirm not Conform, on ways to create a lesson that engages as well as informs..... continue reading .
Use this new video feature to connect more with people in your church. Facebook Live is so simple to use, and Facebook's algorithm pushes it right into everyone's newsfeeds. Here are four ways leaders can leverage Facebook Live... 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
Presbytery Staff
Records Review
Background Checks
ACT Uganda
BOP Info
Holiday Craft Fair
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

Who We Are
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About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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Commission on Ministry (Full Team)
November 9
11:00 am

Coordinating Team
November 10
10:00 am

Records Review
November 12
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
November 15
10:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving
November 24-25

Personnel Team
November 28
10:00 am

Presbytery Meeting
December 6
9:30 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
December 21
10:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed
December 23 to
January 2


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