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." 

June 27, 2018 

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

In Gratitude:
To our Commissioners, Overture Advocate and presbytery staff who attended the 223rd General Assembly   in St. Louis last week: the Rev. Dr. Sharlyn Gates, Teaching Elder Commissioner; Elder Jacob Bennett, Ruling Elder Commissioner; the Rev. Desiree Lawson, Overture Advocate; the Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein, Executive Presbyter; and the Rev. Ted McCulloch, Stated Clerk. It was a long and intense week and we are grateful for their faithful service to the larger church.

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 June and July:

The Rev. David Blackburn (7/1)  - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Jim Browne (6/24) - 40 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Roger Browne (6/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Lindsey Carnes (7/29) - Co-Pastor of Fenton-First
The Rev. Robert Carnes (7/29)  - Co-Pastor of  Fenton-First
The Rev. Bert Clark (6/5) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Annie Duncan (7/27) - Temporary Supply of Swartz Creek-Mundy
The Rev. Dr. Bob Emrich (6/7) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Fred Gates (6/3) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Sharlyn Gates (6/16) - Pastor of Holly
The Rev. Ron Grimes (6/13) - 40 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Martin Han (7/3) - Temporary Supply of Flint-Unity
The Rev. Robert Leas (6/30) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Michael Loenshal (6/18) - 40 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Rhonda Myers (7/28) - Pastor of Midland-Chapel Lane
The Rev. Jim Neumann (7/1) - Pastor of Saginaw-Second
The Rev. Donald Neuville (6/19) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak (6/24) - Pastor of Flint-First
The Rev. Jim Offrink (7/25) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Philomena Ofori-Nipaah (6/2) - Temporary Supply of Fairgrove
The Rev. Ken Parker (6/24) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Teresa Peterson (6/3) - Pastor of Flushing
The Rev. Peter Russell (6/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Tom Schacher (7/17) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. Noel Snyder (7/31) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Robert Taylor (6/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Cassie Todd (6/19) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Walser (5/22) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Jim Williams (6/1) - Temporary Supply of Saginaw-Warren Avenue
The Rev. Linda Williams (7/1) - Parish Associate of Bay City-Westminster
The Rev. Paul Ytterock (6/8) - 10 years - Associate Pastor of Flint-First
Presbytery Office
Presbytery Lunch with President Kadade

An informal lunch and mission presentation with President Mai-Aiki Kadade of the Evangelical Church in Niger will take place on Monday, July 2 at 11:30 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church, Flint. All interested church leaders and mission-minded members are invited. President Kadade is itinerating as part of his service as an Ecumenical Advisory Delegate to the General Assembly. He works closely with our mission co-workers in Niger, Michael and Rachel Ludwig, and Josh Heikkila.

There is no charge for the lunch. Please register at (click on the Register tab) by June 27. The event will be limited to 30 registrants, so sign up early.

Dan Saperstein
From the Lion's Den

General Assembly Follow-Up
The 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) met in St. Louis June 16-23, and as is true of all Assemblies, it was a meeting filled with excitement and surprises, conflict and healing, vision and hope. The Assembly theme was "Renewing the Vision: 'Kindom' Building for the 21st Century." From the opening worship to the last gavel, the Assembly focused on "drawing the circle wider" and translating our vision of an inclusive community of faith into transformative action.

The first surprise was the election of our new Co-Moderators. It took four ballots to elect Ruling Elder Vilmarie CintrĂ³n-Olivieri of Tropical Florida Presbytery and Teaching Elder Cindy Kohlmann of Boston Presbytery in a tightly contested race over two other teams. CintrĂ³n-Olivieri is a native of Puerto Rico and the first Latinx to serve as Moderator. Kohlmann was born in Greece to a military family and serves as a mid council executive.

On the key items of business, the Assembly took the following actions:
  • After addressing unexpected constitutional issues, approved the recommendations of the Way Forward Commission with minor amendments giving independent standing to the denomination's corporation and charging it with managing the shared services and administrative functions of the denomination.
  • Disapproved a motion to divest immediately from some 130 corporations engaged in the fossil fuel industry, once again trusting our process of Mission Responsibility through Investment
  • Approved a new General Assembly per capita rate of $8.95, up from $7.73 but significantly less than originally proposed.
  • Formed a task force to research and recommend alternative funding models for the Assembly.
  • Approved the appointment of an administrative commission to inquire into allegations of disorder in our own Synod of the Covenant.
  • Recommended Martin Luther King Jr.'s "Letter from Birmingham City Jail" for study in the church and began the process of considering it for inclusion in the Book of Confessions.
  • Contradicted itself by approving both a resolution taking a strong stand on religious liberty while delivering to the presbyteries an amendment that would write the "Johnson Amendment" restricting political speech into the Book of Order.
  • Proposed an amendment to permit electing and ordaining elders for service beyond the session.
  • Referred for further study action that would require including paid family leave in pastors' terms of call.
  • Offered a response to the practice of separating children from parents in families seeking asylum at our borders.
  • Adopted responses to the erosion of civil discourse and civil liberties in the wider society.
The Assembly took practical steps towards becoming "a Matthew 25 church" following the vision of our Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson.  Nearly $50,000 was raised to provide cash bail for select persons accused of non-violent crimes in St. Louis, and a march in protest of the racial discrimination in the cash bail system.

In all this was a watershed Assembly, making the transition from preoccupation with institutional concerns to one directed outward with a new vision. There is yet much to do, but the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is changing. The next Assembly will be held in Baltimore, MD June 20-28, 2020.


Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter

Check our Facebook page for photos from the Assembly.
Photo by Josh Heikkila
Presbytery to Welcome Church Leader from Niger

The Presbytery is honored to serve as a host for President Mai-Aiki Kadade of the Evangelical Church in Niger (EERN) in West Africa. President Kadade is in the U.S. as an ecumenical delegate to the PCUSA and Reformed Church General Assemblies. He will itinerate in our presbytery from June 28 to July 3:
Thursday June 28:  Fellowship event with Midland Memorial Church at Dow Diamond. ( Ticket required)
Friday June 29:  Breakfast presentation at Midland Memorial Church (9:00 a.m. - RSVP 989-839-6926)
Saturday June 30: Itineration in Detroit Presbytery
Sunday July 1: Presentation and worship at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Bay City (morning)
Presentation and fellowship for Saginaw area churches, First Presbyterian Saginaw (4 p.m.)
Monday July 2: Presbytery-wide luncheon presentation at First Presbyterian Flint - 11:30 a.m. register at
After going through various levels of Bible school and teaching himself French, Kadade became a pastor in the main city in his area and later became an instructor at one of the church's Bible schools.  In 2014 he was elected president of the church, ushering in a large change of vision and structure, and he is now serving a second term.  Rev. Kadade is also currently the pastor of the oldest church in Niger's third largest city, Maradi, which is the headquarters of the EERN. He is the father of four children, the youngest of whom has just turned a year old.
President Kadade partners with our mission co-workers Rachel and Michael Ludwig in Niger. Ours is the only PCUSA presbytery he will visit, so let's show him a warm welcome!
Planning Calendars

Arrival of the 2018-2019 Presbyterian Planning Calendars has been delayed due to a printing error.  Anticipated arrival is currently mid-July. We will notify those that placed an order through the Presbytery Office when they arrive. We are sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused.
Newspaper - Top Border
Parish Paper

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

July Inviting, Informing, and Including Newcomers
August How To Raise Money For Your Community Projects

Boundary Training

On  Wednesday, September 12, 2018 we will be holding  Boundary/Misconduct Training from 10:00am until 3:00pm at  Mt. Pleasant First Presbyterian Church.  This will be a joint offering with the Presbytery of Lake Michigan.  The Stated Clerk for Lake Michigan Presbytery, the Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence, is skilled in leading this type of training.  She will come provide the leadership.  Lunch will be provided as well as any materials needed.  Please sign up through the Presbytery website and fill out the basic on-line form by  clicking here.

Please be sure to read the following:

As a reminder,  all of our current serving clergy and CREs are required to attend this training. If you attended last year, you do not have to attend this session. If you were not able to attend last year or not able to attend this year, you will have one last opportunity in the fall of 2019.

This initial Training, no matter when it is taken, will be in a face-to-face setting.

The Boundary/Misconduct Training will be good for a five year period, starting the end of the 2019 Training date (i.e. thru 2024).  Then a Boundary/Misconduct refresher will be needed.  We are confident that we will be able to have this refresher training done on-line. 

Thank you for your attention to this important matter and, as always, if there are questions, please let me know.

Yours in Christ,

Ted McCulloch, Stated Clerk
Emergency Preparedness
Is Your Church Prepared?

Has your church asked itself the question, what would we do if a tornado struck our church? What would we do if our church building burned? How would we respond if our members and our community were affected by severe weather that caused the loss of homes and businesses? As much as we hate to contemplate such disasters affecting us or our communities we do need to take steps to prepare for the possibility. We buy insurance to help cover losses that may occur but we can also take steps to prevent or minimize the impact of a catastrophe.
In 2017 the Presbytery of Lake Huron approved a disaster plan that defines how the presbytery will respond in the event of disaster affecting anywhere in our area and how the presbytery will partner with churches to prepare for and respond should a disaster affect them. We are still working on the staffing of the presbytery disaster team but for now I am functioning as the Director and Debbie Grant from Grand Blanc is the Associate Director. In the coming weeks we will be finalizing the Regional Coordinators who will work with individual churches and we will be meeting with other organizations such as the American Red Cross and the Michigan Emergency Management Association to begin identifying opportunities to work together and to outline how we can coordinate if needed.
This article is the first in a series that is intended to increase awareness of the need for churches to prepare for the possibility of a serious event and to provide nuts and bolts steps that churches can take to minimize the impact of an event. I believe that you will find that there are a number of steps you and your church can take that will dramatically improve your preparedness for disaster without requiring a large investment of either time or money.
One good place for your church to begin is to study the documents in the Emergency Preparedness section of the Presbytery of Lake Huron website
You will find the booklet Emergency Preparedness Toolkit for Faith-Based Organizations especially helpful.
I also encourage you to print and ask your church's session to review and discuss the checklist for congregations found on the Emergency Preparedness page.
Should you have questions please contact either Debbie Grant or me.
Debbie Grant

CJ Merriman
In Our Congregations
Color Run/Walk

Birch Run-Taymouth is hosting a 5K Color Run/Walk on Saturday, July 14th to Celebrate the Promise of 150 Years for the congregation. For more details, click one of the following links:

Click here to register online
Click here download a mail in form
Click here information on being a sponsor
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
Lunch Registration
From The Lions' Den
President Kadade
Planning Calendars
Parish Paper

Who We Are
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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Commission on Ministry
June 27
11:00 am

Worship Planning
June 27
1:30 pm

Lunch With President Kadade
July 2
11:30 am

Presbytery Office Closed In Observance of Independence Day
July 4

Mission Coordination Team
July 9
1:00 pm

Commission on Preparation For Ministry
July 18
10:00 am

Personnel Team
July 23
10:00 am

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