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 7, 2017 

And I will give you shepherds
after my own heart,
who will feed you with
knowledge and understanding.

~ Jeremiah 3:15
We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...  

The Rev. Dr. Tom Schacher, Pastor of Midland-Memorial and his family and congregation  as they deal with his recent diagnosis of Parkinson's Disease.

Warren Ronk, son of Elder Peggy Ronk, Commissioned Ruling Elder of Breckenridge-Emerson who is currently hospitalized in critical condition. 

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. Dr. George Baird (6/21) - 60 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. David Blackburn (7/1) - 45 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. James Browne (6/24) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Roger Browne (6/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Lindsey Carnes (7/29) - 10 years - Co-Pastor of Fenton-First
The Rev. Robert Carnes (7/29) - 10 years - 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. Robert 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. Ronald Grimes (6/13) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Lakey (6/8) - 65 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Leas (6/30) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Michael Loenshal (6/18) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Rhonda Myers (7/28) - Pastor of Midland-Chapel Lane
The Rev. James Neumann (7/1) - 35 years - Pastor of Saginaw-Second
The Rev. Donald Neuville (6/19) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak (6/24) - 5 years - Pastor of Flint-First
The Rev. James Offrink (7/25) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Philomena Ofori-Nipaah (6/2) - 5 years - Temporary Supply of Fairgrove
The Rev. Kenneth Parker (6/24) - Pastor of Saginaw-Countryside Trinity
The Rev. Teresa Peterson (6/3) - 20 years - Pastor of Flushing
The Rev. Peter Russell (6/29) - 55 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Tom Schacher (7/17) - Pastor of Midland-Memorial
The Rev. Dr. Noel Snyder (7/31) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Robert Taylor (6/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. James Williams (6/1) - Temporary Supply of Saginaw-Warren Avenue
The Rev. Paul Ytterock (6/8) - Associate Pastor of Flint-First
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

In Praise of Pastors
One of my roles as executive presbyter is to serve as "pastor to pastors." It's the part of my job that is easiest for church members to understand, although in practice, it is probably the least time-consuming of my responsibilities. Nevertheless, after twenty years of parish ministry and now over thirteen years of executive ministry I want to put in a good word for those who preach the word and serve congregations on a regular basis.
Here are some things I have learned about pastors:
  • They work hard. A full-time pastor position is rated at 50 hours a week, but it is not uncommon for pastors to put in 60 or 70 hours some weeks. They are "on call" at all hours, and often have days that begin with a breakfast meeting and end with an evening meeting. Some pastors are tent-makers, meaning they serve the church on top of a "real-world" job.
  • It takes a lot of time and training to be an effective pastor. I'm not just talking about the four years of college and three years of specialized training (both for teaching elders and commissioned ruling elders). That's just the beginning. Many ministry skills can only be learned on the job: how to lead a congregation; how to manage emotional systems; how to deal with conflict; how to keep spiritual reserves full when constantly expending them; how to balance professional demands and a personal life. I know of no job that requires as diverse a set of skills as ministry.
  • Financial stress is an increasing issue in ministry. Ministry is a calling that pastors often pursue at great financial cost. Seven years of higher education can leave pastors with heavy student debt, which ministerial salaries do little to offset. Declining church budgets mean that fewer full-time ministry positions exist. And after years of serving a particular congregation, it is common that a pastor's salary will not have kept pace with the cost of living.
  • They love their work. While ministry can be one of the most draining of vocations, it can also be among the most fulfilling. It is work that makes a difference, often connecting with people in the most challenging and intimate moments of their lives. Even though most pastors are introverts by nature, they often find the responsibility of designing and leading worship, as well as crafting and delivering a sermon to be exhilarating.
  • They are easy targets, and are often abused. The marginalization of the church, and clergy sex-abuse scandals, have made ministers suspect in the wider society. In just a few decades, ministry has gone from a high-status, low-stress vocation to a low-status, high stress vocation. Within the church, they are increasingly seen as "hirelings" subject to the whims of members rather than "shepherds" whose voice is followed. This subjects them to unreasonable demands, frivolous complaints, and even extortion (yes, it's true). They must always be aware of professional boundaries and avoid even the appearance of wrongdoing. When churches are unwilling to set boundaries on members' behavior, and even elect people with power issues and axes to grind to positions of leadership, pastors are the ones who suffer.
  • They need to be told to take a break. And churches need to honor their Sabbath. Pastors need to take time away, both for personal rest and spiritual regeneration. Ministry is so emotionally enmeshing that it takes time to disengage before they can feel rested. In addition to a weekly Sabbath day and regular vacations, most presbyteries strongly encourage that calls include a three month sabbatical after six or seven years of service.
We are blessed in the Presbytery of Lake Huron with a gifted set of pastoral leaders, both teaching elders and commissioned ruling elders. Take a moment this week to tell your pastors that they are appreciated. They rarely ask for thanks, and it means so much when it is shown.

Dan Saperstein,  Executive Presbyter
Thank You Alma College

Thank you very much to our awesome hosts of yesterday's stated meeting of presbytery,  Alma College! We had a great time visiting campus.
Summer Hours

Our summer office hours began Memorial Day and will be in effect through Labor Day. They are as follows:

Monday - Thursday 8:00 am to 3:30 pm
Friday 8:00 am to noon

Please contact the office at 989-799-7481 should you need to make special arrangements for a meeting. 
Important Training Event
Stephen Keizer,
The Presbyterian Foundation
New Visions of Stewardship: A Workshop for Ruling Elders and Other Leaders

*** Still time to register! ****

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.

To Register Click on the Workshop link on our website at, or call the presbytery office 989-799-7481. You will want to register several from your church to cover all 8 of the workshops! The PowerPoint presentation shown during the June presbytery meeting is available on the registration page. It has been converted to a PDF file for easier viewing.
Click here for 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. Click on the title to read the entire article.
Though they might seem like harmless fun, social media sites can cause serious liabilities and hardships for the church. This download aims to help your church enjoy these sites for the valuable social connections they provide by helping you understand how they should be used, and what policies to create to keep your church staff and members safe. .. continue reading.
With summer just around the corner, your church may be wondering how you can keep the momentum going during the unpredictable summer season.  Vacations, pool parties and family visits to the home are a few reasons why attendance at your church may be down this year. Not to mention, your congregation may be daydreaming during the sermon about their upcoming trip.  What can you do to maintain a healthy weekly attendance and an energetic congregation this summer? Here are five ideas to create momentum during those dreaded summer months . .. continue reading .
If you aren't already familiar with TED Talks, you'll want to pause and take some time to delve into this incredible resource. TED Talks are to non-believers as sermons are to Christians. The popularity of online education via video and podcasts haven't seen their full potential of growth yet as people continue to seek entertainment, education, and thought-provoking stimuli in the form of short video lectures, usually given at various TED Talks around the world.
TED talks can be found on just about any subject you can think of. Below, we're going to recommend ten interesting TED talks that might interest or spark ideas for any pastor or ministry leader . .. 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
Thank You
Summer Hours
Stewardship Workshop
Get Talkin'
Connect With LHP Churches
Join Us On Facebook

Who We Are
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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Presbyterian Women
June 8
10:00 am

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
June 21
10:00 am

Worship Planning Team
June 21
1:00 pm

Stewardship Workshop
June 24
9:00 am

Personnel Team
June 26
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Administration Team
June 28
11:00 am

Office Closed in Observance of Independence Day
July 4

Coordinating Team
July 12
10:00 am

Vision Task Force
July 12
2:00 pm

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
July 19
10:00 am

Personnel Team
July 24
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry - Outreach and Administration Team
July 26
11:00 am


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