We Lift Up In Prayer...
The family and loved ones of Elder Sally Abbotts and the congregation of Beaverton-First. Sally passed to the larger life last month. She was not only very active in her congregation but also in the larger church. Sally made our Lake Huron Presbytery banner that hangs in the office. Click here to read her obituary.
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. Brant Piper (12/15) - Honorably Retired
Elder Chris Wolf (11/14)
- Commissioned Ruling Elder of Marlette-First and Marlette-Second
This Sunday, November 11, marks the 100th anniversary of the end of the "the war to end all wars" - then known simply as "the Great War." Over 16 million people died in the war, and another 20 million were wounded. At the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, church bells around the world rang out that an armistice had been reached and the war was over. The day was commemorated as "Armistice Day" - a day to remember the high cost of war and those who fought in it, but above all, a day to celebrate and promote peace among nations.
Of course, it was not "the war to end all wars." Now we call it "World War I" because a second global conflict erupted a mere twenty-one years later, and war has continued somewhere in the world ever since. Our nation is currently engaged in a seventeen-year conflict in Afghanistan. Peace is ever-elusive.
Since 1954, the day in the U.S. has been observed as "Veterans' Day" to honor those who served our nation in defending our freedoms. They deserve our thanks and our respect. But this Sunday, I would encourage our churches also to reclaim the original meaning of the observance as a celebration of peace.
The biblical word for "peace" is
shalom. Shalom is more than just the absence of war, but the presence of right relationships in society. It is the vision of a world in which the hungry are fed, the naked are clothed, and human dignity is accorded to everyone. It is the vision of what Jesus proclaimed as the Reign of God. It is that time of which Micah spoke, when,
[The nations] will beat their swords into plowshares
and their spears into pruning hooks.
Nation will not take up sword against nation,
nor will they train for war anymore.
4 Everyone will sit under their own vine
and under their own fig tree,
and no one will make them afraid. (Micah 4:2-4a)
The epistle lessons in the common lectionary recently have been from the Letter to the Hebrews. This is one of the most difficult letters of the New Testament, especially for preachers, because it uses the imagery of ancient Temple Judaism to make a case for faith in Christ. It has sometimes wrongly been used to discredit modern Judaism which is as far removed from Temple Judaism as is Christianity. So, preachers are wise to approach the texts with caution, especially in a world filled with hatemongers who have abused Christian faith to attack Jews, as we saw recently in Pittsburgh. Nevertheless, the Letter to the Hebrews has an important message for us in this Sunday's text:
For Christ did not enter a sanctuary made by human hands, a mere copy of the true one, but he entered into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf. Nor was it to offer himself again and again, as the high priest enters the Holy Place year after year with blood that is not his own; for then he would have had to suffer again and again since the foundation of the world. But as it is, he has appeared once for all at the end of the age to remove sin by the sacrifice of himself. (Hebrews 9:24-26)
This is a powerful contrast between the futility of "offering blood that is not [one's]own" and the once-and-for-all sacrifice of Jesus. I can think of no better image to represent the futility of war than as an attempt to rectify human wrongs with blood that is not our own. The writer of Hebrews points to the atoning death of Christ as "the sacrifice to end all sacrifice." Because Christ took upon himself the sins of the world, no other sacrifices are necessary, no additional blood need be shed. His death is the foundation for lasting peace.
This Sunday, I hope that the message of peace will ring out from our pulpits just as the sounds of bells ring out from our steeples - announcing the Great Armistice between God and humanity, and the promise it brings for peace on earth now.
Dan Saperstein, E
Many times, in services of ordination and/or installation, one of the questions revolves around the phrase "Being a colleague in ministry..." It's a great term and an important one but it's often hard to describe how we can be colleagues in ministry for one another.
Recently, I was privileged to see that term "colleague in ministry" lived out in the life of this Presbytery by the people of this Presbytery. Most of us are aware of the tragic loss to Rev. Jim and Trish Neumann in the death of their elder daughter. One of the things I will remember the most from that experience is how the Presbytery of Lake Huron lived out the idea of being "colleagues in ministry."
At the service for their daughter, there were ministers and elders from every corner of this Presbytery. From Alma to Flint to Midland and all points in between, the clergy and elders of this Presbytery came to support and pray and lift up their colleague in ministry. And that prayer and support makes a difference. To know that we do not face the worst things in life alone, that being a colleague in ministry is more than just a nice turn of phrase but something that we truly attempt to live out with each other... well, it is Christ in action.
As someone who has served in this Presbytery for almost 30 years, I just want to express a deep thankfulness for how we try to be "colleagues in ministry" both through this time and in all the other times that new need to support and show the love of Christ for one another.
Thank you and God bless,
Rev. Ted McCulloch, Pastor Saginaw First Presbyterian
Stated Clerk for the Presbytery of Lake Huron
The annual records review will take place on two more Saturdays this month. You are welcome to attend any one which works for you.
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
, Stated Clerk at 989-799-7481 x4.
Additional information may be found on the
page of our website.
Celebrate The Life and Ministry of Saginaw-Warren Avenue
On Sunday, November 25th at 3:00pm, Warren Avenue Presbyterian Church will conduct a closing service celebrating their 151 years of ministry to the City of Saginaw. WAPC invites all clergy and the laity of the Presbytery of Lake Huron to join them in worship. Refreshments and a time of fellowship will follow.
The Rev. Don Neuville's name was submitted to the Kindness Project of
magazine by Elder Dorothy C. Burrell, member of Tyrone Presbyterian Church in Fenton. Don was recognized in the November 2018 issue.
"Over 30 years ago, Don Neuville, former pastor of the Linden Presbyterian Church, dusted off his trumpet, recruited a pianist and a song leader, grabbed some unused hymnals, and began leading hymn singalongs at nursing homes. When he began, they only visited a few locations, but now that number has nearly tripled. To say they're loved and appreciated would be an understatement."
Over the past few months you have seen a number of articles intended to help you and your church be better prepared in case of some type of emergency. I hope you are finding the information helpful in your planning and preparation. The presbytery is committed to working with the churches within it's boundary's to take the appropriate steps to be as prepared as possible. One of the steps the presbytery has taken is to create a Disaster Coordination and Communication Task Force to advise and assist churches in preparation and if necessary respond to a serious event.
The task force is now in place and has begun it's work. The task force consists of:
CJ Merriman, Director
Debbie Grant, Associate Director
Andrew Miller, Regional Coordinator for Region I
Tom Ryden, Regional Coordinator for Region II
Georgia McCall, Regional Coordinator for Region III
Bob Wood, Regional Coordinator for Region IV
Click here for a map of the presbytery which will help you identify the coordinator for your region.
While the name of the task force is a bit unwieldy we emphasize it because it clearly communicates our purpose. It is the team's responsibility to facilitate communications and help coordinate between churches and groups within the presbytery and organizations outside the presbytery in case of an emergency. It is also our responsibility to work with churches to be better prepared for emergencies. Hands-on response to a disaster will be largely handled by other groups and agencies such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, and your county emergency management agency all working hand in hand with your church leaders.
The Regional Coordinators primary responsibilities are:
- Provide guidance and assistance to churches within their region in the development and implementation of a church disaster plan.
- Ensure churches have access to disaster preparedness resources on the presbytery website and referenced in the presbytery plan.
- Annually review your church's Disaster Preparation Information Checklist with church leaders .
- Ensure the Presbytery of Lake Huron Disaster Preparedness Coordination and Communication Plan Church Contact Information is updated and submitted annually.
- Be available during an emergency to assist your congregation as requested and provide information to the Presbytery Director.
It is the goal of the entire task force to work with you to help your church be better prepared in times of emergency and to ensure that the presbytery has the information to assist you in whatever way necessary. The Regional Coordinators are in the process of contacting their assigned churches but if you have questions or comments I encourage you to reach out to them.
Director of Disaster Preparedness
Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering
The 2018 Lake Huron Fall Gathering of Presbyterian Women was held on October 20, 2018 at Trinity United Presbyterian Church in Flint, Michigan. The day began with registration followed by a business meeting and installation of officers.
Joanne Clever presented the slate of new and continuing officers and installed them as follows:
Georgia McCall - Moderator
Chris Wolf - Co-Moderator
Elizabeth Long - Secretary
Terry Wood - Treasurer
Communicator - Vacant
Joanne Clever and Ernestine Jackson - Search Committee
North/West Area Rep - Liz Storm
South Area Rep - Sharon Auger
Jane Ross - East Area Rep
"The Status of Women and Leadership in the Church was presented by Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter. The presentation centered on the report of a survey conducted on "Gender & Leadership in the PC (USA). The findings concluded that: There are two main findings from the research. First, gender discrimination is still pervasive within the PC (USA). Second, almost half of members are not particularly aware of it. Eight out of ten female teaching elders have experienced discrimination, harassment, and/or prejudicial comments due to their gender, and four out of ten feel that they have experienced gender bias in hiring, promotion, or selection for an official position within the PC (USA). These are just two of the main point that I found interesting. The presentation was followed by a lively questions and answers session.
A delicious lunch was provided by the ladies at Trinity United. There were approximately fifty-five ladies in attendance. Ladies were there from Bay City, Beaverton, Lafayette, Marlette, Midland, Houghton Lake, Caro, Lapeer, Fairgrove and Flint.
The day ended with a worship service with Dr. Rhashell Hunter preaching. The call to confession and declaration of forgiveness were led by Rev. Desiree Lawson. Georgia McCall and Sharon Auger also participated in the service by introducing Rev. Hunter, prayer and reading the scripture. The Adult Choir from Trinity provided special music before the sermon and during the offering. The offering was designated to the Flint Water Crisis.
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:
'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!
Communications Manager/Recording Clerk
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.
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.
Mission Coordination Team
Budget and Finance Committee
Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Thanksgiving
Commission on Ministry
December Presbytery Meeting
Presbytery Office Closed for Staff Development Day
Mission Coordination Team
Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Presbytery Office Closed
December 24-January 1
Details on these meetings can be found on the presbytery's website on the calendar.