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." 

April 26, 2017 

"The gracious, eternal God permits
the spirit to green and bloom
and to bring forth the most marvelous fruit, surpassing anything a tongue can
express and a heart conceive."

~ Johannes Tauler

We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...  

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 April and May:

The Rev. Dr. Daniel Ahn (5/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Kenneth Anderson (4/30) - 60 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Edward (Ed) Borycz (5/12) - 35 years - Pastor of Davison-St. Andrews
The Rev. Alec Brooks (5/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bruce Cunningham (5/18) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. George Gillette (4/27) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Hoon Koo (David) Lee (4/27) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Andrew Miller (4/4) - Pastor of Mt. Pleasant-First
The Rev. Dong Won Park (4/15) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Brian Stratton (4/2) - 40 years - Alma College Professor
The Rev. Dale Swihart (5/16) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Walser (5/22) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Weenink (5/18) - Pastor of Bay City-First
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

The great ends of the Church are... the promotion of social righteousness.

The story is told of a country pastor who preached zealously one morning on the topic of sin. Seated in the front pew, right beneath him, was one of church's leading elders.  "This church is going to the Devil with all its gossiping!" the preacher proclaimed. The elder nodded in agreement and said quietly, "Great preaching, Reverend." 

"This church is going to the Devil with all its pettiness and greed!" the preacher continued.  At this the elder looked over his shoulder, and then spoke in agreement, "That's right, preacher.  That's good teaching." Then the preacher added, "And this church is going to the Devil with all its drinking!" With this, the elder rose to his feet and said in a loud voice.  "Well!  Now you've gone and taken to meddlin'!"

In this column, I am returning to the six "great ends" or purposes of the Church. The great ends of the church are among "the foundations of Presbyterian polity" in our Book of Order - cornerstone affirmations of what it means to be Presbyterian. So far, we have considered "the proclamation of the gospel for the salvation of humankind," "the shelter, nurture, and spiritual fellowship of the children of God," "the maintenance of divine worship," and "the preservation of the truth." These are all important - but largely non-controversial - purposes. With the fifth great end - "the promotion of social righteousness" - many believe the church "has taken to meddlin'."

We live in a politically polarized society. Recent studies show that people are more likely to marry a person of a different faith than a person of a different political party. We resent people who challenge our political convictions. What is more, there is a strong tradition of pietism in American religion - the belief that sin consists only of personal vices and behaviors, and that religion is a private matter not appropriate for the public arena.

That is directly at odds with both biblical faith and the Reformed tradition. The core event of the Old Testament - the exodus from Egypt - is the story of Moses' protest and God's intervention against the most powerful government on earth. The prophets, from Elijah to Malachi, proclaimed God's judgment on unjust rulers and systems. And the New Testament - from Mary's Magnificat to God's final victory in Revelation - affirms that God is Lord of all, including the political powers of the earth.

Reformed Christianity - the family of faith that includes Presbyterians, Congregationalists, and others - believes that the church is called not to withdraw from the world, but to transform the world to a more faithful reflection of God's will. In our own society, this put Presbyterians among the leaders of the American Revolution. James Madison and Alexander Hamilton - the principal framers of our Constitution - both were strongly influenced by Reformed and Presbyterian theories of government.

But that also has led to disagreements and even divisions over what constitutes "social righteousness." The deepest and longest lasting division in American Presbyterianism was over the issue of whether chattel slavery was consistent with God's will. More recently, the civil rights movements, the war in Vietnam, women's rights, gay rights, climate change, and Middle East policy have all generated intense debate, and sometimes division, within the church as we seek to determine and pursue God's call to promote social righteousness.

But the same principle that informs our desire for social righteousness - that God alone is God - also shapes our conviction that "God alone is Lord of the conscience." So, when, often after intense debate, the church bears prophetic social witness, it only speaks to the church, not for the church. That is, we continue to respect that people of good faith may differ on these matters, and our fellowship as Presbyterians and Christians does not depend on uniformity of opinion. In fact, we recognize that we may even at times be mistaken in our witness, and we need the ongoing voices of faithful dissenters to bring us to repentance and correction.

Can we conduct our debates with greater respect, prayerfulness, wisdom, and love? Certainly. But the alternative - not "meddlin'" at all - is not acceptable for those of us who believe in a God of justice who reigns over the kings of the earth. To say "Jesus is Lord" is to say he is Lord of politics, too. And imperfect as we might be in honoring his Lordship, our faith compels us to do so in all areas of life.

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
Presbytery Minutes

The minutes of the March 7, 2017 presbytery meeting at Flint-First will be available on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website by the end of the day.
Time To Order 2017-2018 Planning Calendars

The Presbytery Office will place a bulk order for the 2017-2018 Presbyterian Planning Calendar for individuals and churches. If the calendars arrive in time, they will be available for pick-up at the June 6th Presbytery meeting at Alma College, in Alma.  Otherwise, they can be picked up at the Presbytery office. 
Cost per calendar is $8.75. All orders must be pre-paid. Deadline to order is May 11th. Please use the order form found on the Documents and Forms page of our website. Make checks payable to the Presbytery of Lake Huron.    
Contact Rose Onan at or 989-799-7481 ext. 6 with any questions.
You're Invited
The Rev. Alex Peterson and wife Carrie.
Installation of the Rev. Alex Peterson

All are invited to celebrate the Installation of the Rev. Alex Peterson as Pastor of Lapeer-First on Sunday, May 7th at 3:00pm at the church. 

This is a very joyous time in the life of the church and we hope all can attend. Clergy are asked to please wear their robes.
Stephen Keizer,
The Presbyterian Foundation
New Visions of Stewardship: A Workshop for Ruling Elders and Other Leaders

How do we encourage greater financial support for our church's ministry and mission?

How has the shift to a check-less and cash-less society changed the Sunday offering?

How can we integrate financial stewardship with a larger vision of faithfulness and mission?

New Visions of Stewardship - a presbytery-wide workshop on stewardship and mission for the 21st century - seeks to address these questions and more. The workshop will be held Saturday, June 24 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Flint. We will welcome the Rev. Stephen Keizer of the Presbyterian Foundation as our keynoter. In addition, workshops will be offered on timely topics such as "Introducing E-giving," "Stewardship Strategies for the Small Church," "Growing Missional Stewardship," and more.

The cost of registration is only $10 per person, which includes lunch, and a free copy of the book Not Your Parents' Offering Plate to the first 100 registrants. Registration will open in early May - follow the link on the Presbytery web page, or call the presbytery office 989-799-7481. You will want to register several from your church to cover all the workshops!
Click here for a printable flyer.
In Search Of...
Large Print Hymnals

Marlette-Second is in search of l arge p rint blue hymnals. If any church has extra copies that they would like to share with them, please contact their office at (989) 635-3319.
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.
Most churches in this day and age already have internet but many are now jumping on board to offer free Wi-Fi access. Face it. Unless someone has taken the draconian step of banning electronic devices in your church, many of the attendees already have internet access, so why not provide a little support as long as everyone can respect when to use their devices?  Church often ask, "why do we need to offer people free wi-fi?"  Well, having open wi-fi at church is valuable for a number of reasons . .. continue reading.
A communications plan is a road map for getting your message across to your audience. It is an essential tool for any organization-even churches. Creating a communications plan can be overwhelming, challenging and frustrating. But a sound plan is key to conveying your church's message to your congregation and to your local and even national communities.  Communications planning is an intentional process that looks at what each of your church's audiences need to hear from you. Developing a plan will increase the likelihood of accomplishing your desired communications outcome. Whether you need to communicate ongoing activities in your congregation or really "big news" about your church, the most effective communications start with a solid plan.  However, there are a few things you need to consider when developing your plan . .. 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 Minutes
Planning Calendars
Installation of Alex Peterson
Stewardship Workshop
In Search Of...
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

Who We Are
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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Nominating Team
May 3
10:00 am

Installation of Alex Peterson
May 7
3:00 pm

Coordinating Team
May 10
10:00 am

Trustees Meeting
May 11
1:00 pm

Commission on Preparation For Ministry
May 17
10:00 am

Personnel Team
May 22
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Administration Team
May 24
11:00 am

Office Closed For Memorial Day
May 29


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