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." 

February 14, 2018 

 Love is patient; love is kind;
love is not envious or boastful
or arrogant  or rude.
It does not insist on its own way;
it is not irritable or resentful;
it does not rejoice in wrongdoing,
but rejoices in the truth.
It bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

Bruce Graham, husband of the Rev. Linda Graham, Pastor of Cass City-First and Cass City-Fraser  who was scheduled to have surgery last month but has been postponed due to other health issues.

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 February and March:

The Rev. Karen Blatt (3/12) - Honorably Retired and Temporary Supply of Houghton Lake-Kirk of the Lakes
The Rev. Janice Chambers (3/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Cathy Chang (2/17) - 10 Years - Mission Co-Worker
The Rev. Mary Anne Evans-Justin (2/25) - Honorably Retired
Elder Mark Garavaglia (2/23) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Deckerville-First
The Rev. Linda Graham (3/25) - Pastor of Cass City-First and Cass City-Fraser
The Rev. Desiree Lawson (3/20) - Pastor of Flint-Trinity United and Presbytery Moderator
Elder Linda Living-Hawley (2/3) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Fenton-Tyrone
Elder Elizabeth "Liz" Long (3/5)  - 5 years - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Ithaca-Lafayette
The Rev. Larry McMellen (2/12) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Chris Moody (2/25) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. John Musgrave (1/1) - Honorably Retired
Elder Peggy Ronk (3/4) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Breckenridge-Emerson
The Rev. Dawn Stoker (2/9) - Pastor of Linden
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lion's Den

I recently received an email inquiring as to why our Presbytery meetings don't seem to focus on the work of governance - that is, presenting, deliberating, and voting on the business of the church. The writer wondered whether there was any reason for elder commissioners to attend, if not to exercise their commission to speak and vote on matters of importance to the church's ministry and mission.

It is a good question. I responded that governance continues to be an important function of the Presbytery, and there are matters of governance that are addressed at every presbytery meeting. Many of those matters of governance do not require significant debate, and some are presented as actions of presbytery commissions authorized to act on the Presbytery's behalf. This happens for the sake of timeliness, efficiency, and effectiveness, but the Presbytery always has the right to review and override actions made on its behalf. However, when committees and commissions have gifted and dedicated members who do their work under the guidance of wise policies, such reconsiderations are rare.

There are many governance decisions that cannot be delegated to commissions, and these are regularly decided by the Presbytery itself. Some of these are examinations for ordination; changes to by-laws and standing rules; elections of officers; voting on proposed constitutional amendments; and approving the annual budget - including compensation of the Executive Presbyter and Stated Clerk, and the amount of the annual per capita assessment.

But a presbytery is much more than just a deliberative body. We are also responsible "for assisting and supporting the witness of congregations to the sovereign activity of God in the world, so that all congregations become communities of faith, hope, love, and witness" (G-3.0301). To this end, presbytery meetings have four component parts:  exemplary worship; useful equipping (training and information) for the building up of congregations and leaders; fellowship over a meal; and governance. The hope is that every meeting of presbytery will be a "value-added" experience for all who attend - that is, they will come away with more tools, insight, and inspiration than they came with. Coming to presbytery meetings just for governance is like going to church just for session meetings. It doesn't make for healthy leadership or healthy decisions.

It is our hope that people will come to these meetings for worship, equipping, and fellowship beyond the ministers and ruling elder commissioners. It is also our hope that those who do attend become "commissionaries" who bring back to their sessions and congregations what they have learned at Presbytery meetings as well as what was decided.

Our upcoming Presbytery meeting Tuesday, March 6 at Linden is especially one that we hope will attract more than just the usual attenders. This meeting will focus on "the mission of the local church" and will feature three workshops that will be of benefit to all of our churches:
  • "Building Diverse and Inclusive Faith Communities," led by the Rev. Molly Casteel, Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager for Equity and Representation of the General Assembly
  • "Disaster Preparedness Planning for your Church," led by Georgia McCall, Ernestine Jackson, and Debbie Grant, Regional Disaster Response Training Specialists for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
  • "Creative Ways of Raising Funds for Mission," led by Steve Keizer, Vice President for Ministry Relations for the Presbyterian Foundation.
All three workshops will be offered in rotation so everyone has the opportunity to attend each of them.

These are great opportunities to equip our churches, offered by gifted leaders of our denomination. I hope many from our congregations will come to learn, grow, and lead in service to our Lord Jesus Christ.


Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter
2018 Directory Now Available 

The 2018 Directory is now available on our  website. Click on the Directory link on the left side of the page.

Download and print as many copies as you need.
For everyone's privacy the page to access the directory is password protected. You will need the following information to access the directory:

***** The login information was included in the version sent to our mailing list. For privacy, we have not included that information on the version we post online. For the Username and Password, please contact
the Presbytery Office. **** 

Please review your information and if anything needs to be updated contact Rose Onan at or 989-799-7481 x6.

PC-USA Seal Round
Annual Statistics

Deadline for entering your Statistical information and Necrology Report is TOMORROW, February 15th.

The information for completing your 2017 Annual Statistics was sent to all Clerks of Session earlier this month. All of the links for entering your information are available  on the  Annual Statistics  page of our  website Unless you changed it, your login information remains the same as last year.
We are here to assist you with any questions that you may have. Please call or e-mail Staci or Ted should you need anything. Staci may be reached at 989-799-7481 x2 or Ted may be reached at 989-799-7481 x 4 or Please keep in mind that both are part-time employees and are not in the office everyday.
Please remember that what you submit - or don't submit - affects your future per capita payments.
Click here to read an article from the PC(USA) describing some reasons why completing annual statistics are important to your congregation.
Thumb Ministry Consultation to Be Held March 3

The Presbytery Council and Commission on Ministry are hosting a consultation on collaborative ministry in the Thumb region Saturday, March 3 from 9 a.m. to Noon at First Presbyterian Church of Sandusky. Each Thumb area church is invited to bring no more than 2 elders from their church session plus their pastoral leader, if any.

The consultation has the following purposes:
  • To review the pastoral leadership needs of the Thumb churches as they relate to their current and projected membership and resources, and context of ministry
  • Based on realistic projections of membership and resources, to anticipate future needs 5 years and 10 years out
  • To brainstorm creative and collaborative strategies to address the pastoral leadership needs of all of our churches
  • To focus on workable strategies that can be brought to sessions and/or congregations, the COM, and Council to address these needs
  • To plan first steps towards possible implementation of those strategies

In preparation for the consultation, each session should:
  • Identify who will attend the consultation on your behalf
  • Prepare and bring financial, membership, and worship attendance statistics for the past 10 years (as specified in the letter of invitation)
  • Pray for wisdom, openness to the Spirit, and creativity in our conversation
Sessions should indicate who will participate from their church by registering on our website by Thursday, March 1.

Click here to register.
Employment Opportunities
Minister of Music

Saginaw First Presbyterian Church is searching for a Minister of Music. Our longtime Minister of Music is retiring in June and we are seeking someone to continue the vital and active ministries in our music program. In addition to playing our Casavant Pipe Organ, the Minister of Music will lead and direct our choir of about 25-30 voices. There are also opportunities to continue and develop our Concert Series both during Advent and special performances throughout the year. This active downtown congregation of about 350 has long supported and developed opportunities for music in a multitude of ways.

This is a ¾ time position with a very competitive salary. There are also opportunities for work with music in local colleges and other area organizations. If you are interested, please contact First Presbyterian Church at and a fuller job description is available.


Second Presbyterian Church in Saginaw is seeking to fill a Secretary position. The position is a 24 hour per week position. Compensation will be based on qualifications and experience. Applications and Job Descriptions are available in the church office. You can contact the church at or 989-792-1023.
Camp Westminster
Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake

Just as this is a time to plan for summer gardens, this is also a time to plan for outdoor Christian camping experiences. At the March 6th Presbytery Meeting, Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake brochures will be available for each and every congregation. "Beyond Belief" is the Christian theme for all camps and campers. June 17th is the opening day. See you at Presbytery!

Suzanne and Jim Bates along with the Presbyterian Kirk of the Lakes (USA).
Upcoming Conferences
White Privilege Conference Registration Now Open

Registration is now open for the 19th annual White Privilege Conference meeting in Grand Rapids April 4-7, 2018. The meeting is a major annual educational event on recognizing, unmasking, addressing, and dismantling racism and race-based privilege in organizations and society. Event information can be found at   

This year's conference theme is "Super People & Super Powers: Prepare to be The Future of Social Justice Work" The Presbyterian Church discount code is PCWPC19 and will give you 10% off full conference registration. 

There are other ways to reduce the costs.  If you volunteer to help at the conference, you can drastically reduce the costs, and they do not ask volunteers to miss conference content (plenary or workshop).  For more information - check out the website

Program books are usually released in the 10-14 days before the conference itself. There are hundreds of workshops. To get your bearings, take a look at past program books ( to see the breadth and depth of offerings and to plan to attend those which you might find most helpful

Participation in an optional Wednesday "institute" will also help you dive more fully into a topic, or can be a way for commuters who may not have the time for the full conference to benefit from it.  For information about Presbytery coordination of attendance, contact Dan Saperstein.
Presbyterian Clergywomen

The National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen 2018 Triennial will take place April 23-26 at Montreat Conference Center.

Click here for more information.
Mission Co-Workers
Niger Mission Trip

December 28, 2018 - January 9, 2019  This trip is sponsored by the Niger Mission Network (NMN) in order to know and grow together with the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger (EERN) and PCUSA co-workers in Niger. Our desire is to partner with the EERN as invited and in response to the identified needs.  Our goals for this journey are to build face-to-face relationships with our brothers and sisters in Christ and to learn from and about the EERN and the country it serves.  Our team will visit churches, projects and both primary and Bible schools, and listen to their pastors, evangelists, and leaders as they share the joys and challenges of ministry in a country which is 95% Muslim.  We will pray as we go and discern how we can come alongside and encourage and support their work.  President Mai-aike Kadade and Honorable Issaka Moussa, Secretary for Partner Relationships, will interpret God's work in their midst and join us.  Mission co-workers Jim (water and sanitation) and Jodi (nursing and public health) McGill will introduce us to the work they do to assist the EERN.  Michael and Rachel Ludwig will explain the CHE (Community Health Evangelism) approach they help facilitate for the EERN, show a student housing center, and give us a glimpse of their witness in their neighborhood.  Participants will be inspired and transformed by this view of what God is doing in Niger.

Click here for details.
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. 

That Church Conference co-founder,  Justin Dean and I have a few things in common:
  • We both formerly worked at a local church
  • We both have a background in PR
  • We both live in Atlanta
  • And we both love tacos
I absolutely love Mexican food. But Justin takes this to a whole different level. That got me thinking of a few things we as church communicators can learn from this most delicious dish. .. continue reading .

When it comes to leading a church, we don't immediately think of employee handbooks, meeting agendas or policy and procedure documentation. That makes sense - after all, we gather as congregations to grow in our faith and to share it with others.  However, since we do have staff members and resources to steward, we need to pay careful attention to how we do things. That's where documentation and standard processes come into play.  If you're wondering why you should spend time developing and documenting policies and procedures, here are a few benefits of going through that effort. .. 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
2018 Directory
Annual Statistics
Thumb Ministry Consultation
Employment Opportunities
Camp Westminster
Upcoming Conferences
Niger Mission Trip
Communications Corner
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

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.


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.


Like us on Facebook  



Presbytery Council
February 14
10:00 am

Mission Coordinating Team
February 19
1:00 pm

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
February 21
10:00 am

Personnel Team
February 26
10:00 am

February 27
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry
February 28
11:00 am

Thumb Ministry Consultation
March 3
9:00 am

Presbytery Meeting
March 6
9:30 am

Presbyterian Women
March 8
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
March 21
10:00 am

Worship Planning Committee
March 21
12:30 pm

Personnel Team
March 26
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry
March 28
11:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Good Friday
March 30

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