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." 

March 28, 2018 

Have mercy on me, O God,
according to your steadfast love;
according to your abundant mercy
blot out my transgressions.
Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
and cleanse me from my sin.
~ Psalm 51:1-2
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

The Rev. Ken Hetzel, Honorably Retired who is recovering from a recent health setback.

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 March and April:

The Rev. Ken Anderson (4/30) - Honorably Retired
Elder Jon Baker (4/26) - 1 year - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Rosebush
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. Linda Graham (3/25) - Pastor of Cass City-First and Cass City-Fraser
The Rev. George Gillette (4/27) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Desiree Lawson (3/20) - Pastor of Flint-Trinity United and Presbytery Moderator
The Rev. Hoon Koo (David) Lee (4/27) - Member-At-Large
Elder Elizabeth "Liz" Long (3/5)  - 5 years - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Ithaca-Lafayette
The Rev. Andrew Miller (4/4) - Pastor of Mt. Pleasant-First
The. Dong Won Park (4/15) - 45 years - Honorably Retired
Elder Peggy Ronk (3/4) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Breckenridge-Emerson
The Rev. Dr. Brian Stratton (4/2) - Alma College Professor
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lion's Den

"If for this life only we have hoped in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied. But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the first fruits of those who have died."  1 Corinthians 15:19-20

At the end of an Easter Service, the pastor noticed one member coming through the exit line who only attended church on Easter. "Good to see you, Brother," the pastor greeted him, "I'd love to see you come here more often."

"I would, Pastor," the man replied, "but every time I'm here, you always preach the same sermon!"

It's easy to mock those whom we pastors call "C & E" Christians. But I am grateful for their presence, even if it is only on high holy days. At least they are putting themselves in a place to hear the gospel. At least they seem to think the stories of Christ's incarnation and resurrection are worth hearing again and again. At least they are open, however reluctantly, to the possibility that God might speak to them a word of new life.

Someone once observed - I can't remember who - that Easter is only ever a quaint observance until it becomes a matter of life and death for a person. That happened to me in 1984. I was a newly ordained Associate Pastor serving in Boise, Idaho entering my first Holy Week as a pastor. I was awakened early Monday morning with the news that my mother had died in her sleep while receiving treatment for advanced breast cancer. The services, I was told, were going to be held on Good Friday in New York City, and Easter Monday in San Diego. As I was the only minister known to my family, they wanted me to lead the services.

Thankfully, the senior pastor and congregation were understanding and let me off on the most important Sunday of the year. I struggled through the service in New York battling stress-induced laryngitis, and flew to San Diego Saturday. Sunday morning, I sat in the pew of a small Presbyterian church and heard the Easter story proclaimed in an oh-so-very-ordinary service of worship.

But it wasn't ordinary for me. I was very much in the tomb with Jesus, in that empty space between my mother's two memorials, between death and resurrection. The familiar words took on new power for me. Easter had literally become a matter of life and death, and I was filled with resurrection life.

I remember that Easter, which was in many ways my first real Easter, as I write this, having just learned of the sudden and premature death of a dear friend in ministry. I remember it as I reflect on the courage and hope demonstrated by the students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who suffered such loss and yet are determined to turn death into life. Whenever death becomes all too real, I hear the words anew: "He is risen!"

It may be the only sermon some people ever hear; and maybe the only one they need to hear.

This Sunday, may the familiar words of Easter become for you the very Word of Life.


Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter
Continuing Ministry

When a church closes it doesn't mean its ministry stops.  At the request of the Session and the Administrative Commission for Eastminster Presbyterian Church, the Trustees of Lake Huron Presbytery approved that a portion of the money received from the sale of the building and from the remaining assets of the congregation were presented to the newly formed Gratiot County chapter of Love, In the Name of Christ.  Seen here, Dan Saperstein and Ted McCullough present a check for over $13,000 to Love, INC Executive Director, Mona Hirson, with Board Member Mary Anne Evans-Justin looking on.

The mission of Love, INC is to mobilize local churches to transform lives, moving people out of need. The Gratiot County chapter of the international organization formally began serving the churches in November 2017, providing a Clearinghouse Ministry through which churches and social service agencies can refer people of need.  The focus of Love, INC Clearinghouse is to develop a relationship with the client and in the process to assist the client in finding resources to meet the client's material/financial need, while working on the spiritual, emotional, and relational needs with the guidance of church volunteers.
Clerk of Session Training

On Saturday, April 21, the Stated Clerk, Ted McCulloch, will hold a training and orientation time for Clerks of Session.  We will meet at Saginaw First Presbyterian Church, 121 S. Harrison, Saginaw MI 48602.  We will start at 10 AM and will go until sometime after 1 PM.  A light lunch and beverages will be provided.
This is time is designed not only for new Clerks of Session but for any Clerk of Session who might find it helpful.
A few of the areas we will look at include the:
  • Role of the Clerk and Book of Order Requirements
  • Writing Good Minutes, including tips and tricks
  • Registers and Rolls (lots of info here!)
  • Annual Responsibilities
  • FAQ
Please register by clicking here.  Registration will be open through Monday, April 16.
Any questions, please call the Stated Clerk, Ted McCulloch at 989-799-7481 x4.
Order Your 2018-2019 Planning Calendar

The Presbytery Office will place a bulk order for the 2018-2019 Presbyterian Planning Calendar for individuals and churches. If the calendars arrive in time, they will be available for pick-up at the June 5th Presbytery meeting at the  Lapeer-First.  Otherwise, they can be picked up at the Presbytery office. 
Cost per calendar is $8.80. All orders must be pre-paid. Please click here to use our on-line order form. Rose Onan will email you an invoice when she receives your order and payment is due  no later than May 10, 2018.  
Contact Rose Onan at or 989-799-7481 ext. 6 with any questions.

Parish Paper

The latest editions of the Parish Paper are now available on our website.

These great - and quick - reads are perfect for session training and group discussions. Our subscription includes the use of these by our congregations. Check the Parish Paper page on our website for the (very generous) copyright details and for current and previous issues.

May: How To Balance Hospitality and Church Security
June: Making The Nursery a Place of Belonging
Help Wanted
Opening For Church Secretary

Davison-St. Andrew's is seeking to fill an Office Secretary position.

The position is a 16 hour per week position. Compensation will be based on qualifications and experience.

Office hours are established as 9 am to 1 pm, Tuesday through Friday.

Information on job requirements and responsibilities can be found here.
Please send resume to  
Alma Interfaith Youth Mix
NEW FOR 2018: Alma Interfaith Youth Mix

Join us on May 5th in envisioning and crafting the interfaith community of the future!

Alma Interfaith Youth Mix offers students in grades 9-12 with opportunities and resources to explore their own religious and spiritual traditions and those of others who believe and practice differently. AIYM enables participants to overcome barriers and move toward pluralism, mutual appreciation, and cooperative engagement for the common good of humankind. Through AIYM, Alma College demonstrates its identity as a safe and challenging spiritual home for future college students who find themselves at any point on their journey of faith.

Click here for details and registration information.
Board of Pensions
BOP Logo
Benefits Connections: Detroit

You are invited to attend Benefits Connections: Detroit

Who Should Attend?
If you are responsible for benefits decisions and managing benefits - or work with those who are - this day is for you!  Pastors, chairs of personnel, stated clerks, church business managers, office managers are welcome!  COM and CPM chairs are invited. Registration is open to anyone who would like to attend.

Why Attend?
Learn about theological values that shape the Benefits Plan. Preview changes for 2019. Ask questions of Board of Pensions leadership and staff. Meet other benefits decision-makers in your area. Participate in a panel discussion with your peers. You'll gain a better understanding of the plan, new peer relationships, and new strategies for being the best employer you can be. Take away suggestions and solutions for churches of all sizes - small and large.

Thursday, April 19, 2018, 9:30am to 3:00pm

First Presbyterian Church of Dearborn 
600 North Brady, Dearborn, MI 48124

RSVP by Friday, March 23, 2018

Click here to register. 
Free Hymnals
Free 1990 Hymnals

Flint-First has recently acquired the Glory to God hymnal for our worship space. They have about 500 copies of the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal, Hymns, Psalms, and Spiritual Songs that they would love to have available for any congregation(s) wanting either additional copies or looking to replace older hymnals.

Please contact Carl Angelo at or 810-234-8673.
Presbyterian Women
PW Logo
PW Spring Gathering

The Presbyterian Women of Lake Huron Presbytery are hosting their 2018 Spring Gathering on Saturday, April 14th at Bay City-Westminster from 1:00pm to 3:30pm.
Please click here for details and a printable flyer.
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. 

There's no question that YouTube can be a powerful tool when it comes to getting your message out. As video continues to be on the rise, it should be an integral part of any digital marketing campaign.  If YouTube was considered a search engine, it would actually be second in the world, right behind Google. As one of the most visited websites on the planet, it only makes sense that anyone wanting to get their message out would want to turn to YouTube and see what they can do to get the world's attention.  Whether you're a church or ministry, or any organization trying to reach people, YouTube should not be overlooked. ..continue reading.

Concerned about violence in their city, members of a declining church in Oakland shifted focus, redefined its ministry and invited nonprofit service agencies to work together as the Oakland Peace Center. The Oakland Peace Center makes its home in the First Christian Church of Oakland, an imposing Mission Revival structure in a residential neighborhood of this California city. Completed in 1928, it has arched doors and windows and red stone embellishments. The 40,000-square-foot building spreads out over five levels. T he exterior still resembles the grand church it once was. But inside, there are signs that the First Christian Church  congregation isn't alone in this space. T he entry hall holds a shelf filled with free books, a bin piled high with free clothing, and a bulletin board with information on volunteer opportunities and scheduled events. The sanctuary, chapel and two large halls are used for conferences, music programs, plays and movie screenings. Smaller spaces house offices and host small group meetings, common meals and a variety of other peacemaking activities. Twice a month, a drumming group gathers at the center to explore rhythm as a spiritual practice. .. continue reading (The article ends with some great questions for group discussion.)
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
Love, INC
Clerk of Session Training
Calendar Orders
Parish Paper
Help Wanted
Alma Interfaith Youth Mix
Benefits Seminar
Free Hymnals
PW Spring Gathering
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.


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Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of Good Friday
March 30

Mission Coordination Team
April 9
1:00 pm

Presbytery Council
April 11
10:00 am

Presbyterian Women Spring Gathering
April 14
1:00 pm

Nominating Team
April 16
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
April 18
10:00 am

Clerk of Session Training
April 21
10:00 am

Personnel Team
April 23
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry
April 25
11:00 am

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