Praise the Lord!
How good it is to sing
praises to our God;
for he is gracious,
and a song of praise is fitting.
The Lord builds up Jerusalem;
he gathers the outcasts of Israel.
He heals the brokenhearted,
and binds up their wounds.
He determines the number of the stars;
he gives to all of them their names.
Great is our Lord, and abundant in power;
his understanding is beyond measure.
The Lord lifts up the downtrodden;
he casts the wicked to the ground.
Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
make melody to our God on the lyre.
He covers the heavens with clouds,
prepares rain for the earth,
makes grass grow on the hills.
He gives to the animals their food,
and to the young ravens when they cry.
His delight is not in the strength of the horse,
nor his pleasure in the speed of a runner;
but the Lord takes pleasure
in those who fear him,
in those who hope in his steadfast love.
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.
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 March and April:
The Rev. Ken Anderson (4/30) - Honorably Retired
Elder Jon Baker (4/26) - 1 year -
Commissioned Ruling Elder of Rosebush
For almost two years I have been writing about the challenges facing our presbytery as we adapt to a new context for mission - what I have called "the new apostolic age." I have talked about those changes in our society that have led to the marginalization of the church from its previous at the center of American society. I have talked about how marginalization presents not only challenges but exciting opportunities to embrace the mission posture of the early church. I have dubbed that model the "inside-out" church, which sees the church's primary function not to serve its own members, but to mobilize its members to serve Christ in the world. Last summer, I wrote a series of essays on "sticky" or "Velcro" mission - mission that builds relationships with those being served and invites them to participate in the mission. Last fall, I began a series of columns on combatting the "downward spiral of negativity" in congregations and to help reframe our perspective on what God is doing in the church.
There is yet another dimension of transformation awaiting the church that is truly missional, that seeks to serve Christ in the world. That is the call to become an "upside-down" church.
It is fitting to begin outlining this transformation in the season of Lent, when we join with Christ in his journey of self-giving love to Jerusalem and the cross. Just as the "inside-out" church leaves its location to join Christ in his mission in the world, so the "upside-down" church follows Christ in leaving its position of power and privilege for the sake of God's mission.
This is a profound rethinking of the church and one that is perhaps even more difficult than becoming an "inside-out" church. An "upside-down" church follows the model of Jesus of which Paul writes to the Philippians:
3 Do nothing from selfish ambition or conceit, but in humility regard others as better than yourselves. 4 Let each of you look not to your own interests, but to the interests of others. 5 Let the same mind be in you that was in Christ Jesus,
6 who, though he was in the form of God,
did not regard equality with God
as something to be exploited,
7 but emptied himself,
taking the form of a slave,
being born in human likeness.
And being found in human form,
8 he humbled himself
and became obedient to the point of death-
even death on a cross. (Phil 2:3-8)
The Greek word Paul uses in verse 7 is
kenos, a word which refers both to the pouring out or emptying of a vessel as well as to a condition lacking power, privilege, or wealth. It is the word used by Mary when she sang of the day the Lord was bringing in which the hungry are filled with good things but the rich are sent away empty (
kenous). An upside-down church is a
kenotic church that voluntarily abdicates power, privilege, and prestige to follow Christ's path of humility and self-giving.
In coming columns, I will explore more fully all that is involved in becoming an "upside-down" church. As with turning the church inside-out, the call to turn "upside-down" poses challenges, but comes with tremendous opportunities. But most importantly, it is part of our commitment to be faithful to our calling to follow Christ. "For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it" (Mark 8:35).
Dan Saperstein, E
Please see the Cover Letter for complete details, but some items to note are:
The building is not completely handicap accessible but all meeting spaces and restrooms are accessible on the same level. However access to that level requires navigating a short set of stairs.
This meeting structure will be somewhat different than normal. Following worship, our focus will be on our equipping time. We will have a set of three workshops as follows:
- "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.
We will break into three groups and rotate through each of the workshops. That way no one misses anything!
This will lead to a shortened business portion of the meeting. As for the work of the Presbytery, the most important part is the ministry done with Fairgrove Presbyterian Church. Part of the worship liturgy will include a "Service of Reconciliation" between the Presbytery and the Fairgrove Presbyterian Church and during the business portion, the Administrative Commission will be dissolved as their work is completed.
Our Executive Presbyter, Dan Saperstein, addressed some of the meeting changes in his previous Lions Den article. Click here to read it.
We would like to thank our Clerks of Sessions and all who worked so hard on getting the Annual Statistics completed this year. We greatly appreciate your assistance!
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:
Sessions should indicate who will participate from their church by registering on our website by Thursday, March 1.
- 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
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 email@example.com 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
Second Presbyterian Church in Saginaw
is hosting "
the best Fish Fry in Saginaw County!"
Friday, March 16th from
You'll enjoy all you can eat fish (Alaskan Pollock).
The menu includes: beverage, fried fish, coleslaw, potatoes, bread and dessert. Take outs are also available!
Prices are as follows:
Adults - $11.00
Children 5-11 - $5.00
Children Under 5 - Free
Take Outs - $10.00
A bake sale and SERRV merchandise sale are also held during the fish fry. Come early to find your favorite goodies!
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.
Headlines of Interest
Here are links to articles that we hope you will enjoy and perhaps spend some time discussing them with others.
Daylight Savings Tips
Daylight Saving Time is a bizarre moment when we change the clocks and confuse everybody. Somehow this gives us more daylight to work with, but few people can explain how or why (or if) it works. But it's coming. We'll spring ahead on March 11 and everyone will lose an hour of sleep-and potentially show up to church an hour late.
We've got Daylight Saving Tips & Tweets to help your church deal with the time change. We'll explore why it's even necessary to talk about Daylight Saving Time, share some tips for communicating with your congregation, and even offer some ready-made social media posts you can share. Click here to download a short PDF with some useful and fun tips on dealing with the return of DST
It's not something church business managers think about a lot, but: How you count the money might be affecting the church more than you'd think. Here are three tips on how to better handle cash and checks in your collections..
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:
'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.
Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Commission on Ministry
Thumb Ministry Consultation
Staff Development Day - Presbytery Office Closed in the Afternoon
Commission on Preparation for Ministry
Worship Planning Committee
Commission on Ministry
Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Good Friday
Details on these meetings can be found on the presbytery's website on the calendar.