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." 
 

August 1, 2018 

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

Ongoing:
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 July and August:

The Rev. David Blackburn (7/1)  - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Tom Brackbill (8/31) - Pastor of Alma-First
The Rev. Lindsey Carnes (7/29) - Co-Pastor of Fenton-First
The Rev. Robert Carnes (7/29)  - Co-Pastor of  Fenton-First
The Rev. Annie Duncan (7/27) - Temporary Supply of Swartz Creek-Mundy
The Rev. David Eshleman (8/3) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Glenn Grant (8/15) - 25 Years - Pastor of Grand Blanc-Kirkridge
The Rev. Martin Han (7/3) - Temporary Supply of Flint-Unity
Elder Shaun Hardimon (8/11) - 5 Years - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Swartz Creek-Mundy
The Rev. Ken Hetzel (8/16) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Chip Marquardt (8/29) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Ted McCulloch (8/20) - Pastor of Saginaw-First and Presbytery Stated Clerk
The Rev. Dr. Rhonda Myers (7/28) - Pastor of Midland-Chapel Lane
The Rev. Jim Neumann (7/1) - Pastor of Saginaw-Second
The Rev. Jim Offrink (7/25) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Leslie Piper (8/1) - Interim Pastor of Bay City-First
Elder Kathleen Rowe (8/1) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Tawas
The Rev. Dr. Tom Schacher (7/17) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. Stephen Shugert (8/1) - 50 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Noel Snyder (7/31) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Linda Williams (7/1) - Parish Associate of Bay City-Westminster
   
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lion's Den

At a recent meeting of our Presbytery Planning, Visioning, and Equipping Committee, Presbytery Moderator Desiree Lawson shared a devotional based on the sculpture "Reconciliation" by Margaret Adams Parker. The sculpture, commissioned by Duke Divinity School, is a depiction of the Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11-32). It shows the three central characters - the prodigal, the father, and the elder brother - in a tableau. The prodigal younger brother is on his knees, clinging to the aged father. With one arm, the old, frail, father is comforting the repentant prodigal; with the other he is grasping the forearm of the elder brother. The prodigal's head is cast down to the ground; the elder brother's stony face is turned away. Only the father, linking the two sons, is looking at another, imploring the elder brother to be reconciled to his brother.

Credit: Nicole Gibson. Used by permission.
The three subjects in the sculpture are set at three different heights, suggesting degrees of power: the elder brother is young and strong; he towers over the pleading father. The prodigal is the lowest and weakest of the three.


Desiree's devotional led me to consider which of these three characters in the sculpture best represents the church. To many of our neighbors, the church is the elder brother, powerful yet merciless and judgmental. Many of us like to think we are the father - dispensing grace to the penitent, while trying to bring reconciliation to the world. These are functions to which we are called in scripture (Col. 3:13; 2Cor 5:18), but we must admit that there is no little arrogance in identifying ourselves with the father in the parable. Do we rush to welcome and restore the sinner who brought shame upon us? Do we enjoy such privilege and power that we can dispense mercy from a posture of superiority? We might be God's ambassadors, but we are not God.

Viewing this sculpture, it became clear to me that there is only one subject in the tableau in whom the church must be found - the penitent prodigal clinging to his father's frame as one who is drowning clings to a life saver. He is the powerless one, the one who adopts a posture of humility - literally, of the humus, that is, the dirt. He has no pride, only contrition for his many sins and gratitude for his father's mercy. Before the church can share God's grace, we must acknowledge that we can only live by God's grace. Before we can stand on our feet, we must fall to our knees. Before we can reconcile others, we must first seek to be reconciled to those whom we have wronged.

That is hard for us to do because we have adopted the posture of the elder brother for so long, while imagining ourselves to be the merciful father. And we have perpetuated our privilege by silencing the voices of our victims - be they survivors of sexual harassment and abuse, indigenous peoples we have robbed and enslaved by our alliance with colonial power, or the faithful persons whose gifts we have denied and whose fellowship we have rejected due to their gender, race, or sexual orientation.

We have much for which we must fall to our knees in confession and penitence. If we seek to be an inside-out, upside-down church there is only one posture we can adopt - the only proper posture of those who are saved by God's grace - namely, the prodigal. If we seek reconciliation, we must do so from humility, not privilege. Then, if we are lifted to our feet by the mercy of a loving father, we dare not adopt a posture of superiority, but of gratitude, mercy, and service.


Faithfully, 

Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter

Presbytery Meeting Date Change

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, the Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, will be in our Presbytery on Thursday, September 20.  We are very excited and pleased to have him come.  He is a dynamic and challenging preacher and leader.

Because of his coming, we will look to have the Presbytery meeting move from that Tuesday, September 18 to Thursday, September 20. The meeting will still be at the Tawas Area Presbyterian Church.  The official approval of the move of the meeting will be through the Council.  So please note the expected change in the scheduled meeting date of Presbytery and be looking for more details.
Boundary Training

As the summer moves along, a reminder to keep Wednesday, September 12, on your calendars. Once again Boundary Training will be provided. The training will take place at Mt. Pleasant-First from 9:00am until 3:00pm.  The Rev. Fran Lane-Lawrence, the Stated Clerk of Lake Michigan Presbytery, will lead the training.

This training is required for all pastors and CREs.  If you did not attend last year's training or are new to service in our Presbytery, you still have this year and next to attend.  Again, this is a requirement for service, so it's important to attend.  Please sign up through the Presbytery website and fill out the basic on-line form by  clicking here .
 
Parish Paper

The latest editions of the Parish Paper are now available for your use - free of charge. The topics are:

September: Checking Up on Clergy Health
October: Don't Disagree, Deliberate: How To Lead Community Conversations In Your Church

Click here to read and/or download your copies.
  
Presbyterian Women
PW Logo
Lake Huron Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering

The 2018 PW Fall Gathering will be held on October 20, 2018 at Trinity United Presbyterian Church located 5151 Lennon Road in Flint, Michigan.  The theme for the day is " To Serve With Love"

"For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve others and to give His life as a ransom for many"
~ Matthew 20:28
 
We are fortunate to have the Rev. Dr. Rhashell D. Hunter as our workshop presenter and to bring the message during the worship service beginning at 1:20 pm. Registration begins at 9:30 am followed by a brief coordinating team business meeting and installation of officers. Dr. Hunter will present on the topic 'Status of Women and Leadership in the Church' at 11:00 am. Lunch will be served prior to worship. An offering will be collected during the worship service. The offering will be designated to the Flint water crisis. Click here for the registration form.
  
GLAPCE
Church
GLAPCE Fall Retreat

The Great Lakes Association of Presbyterian Church Educators invites all those who are involved in Educational Ministries to our annual fall Retreat "See all the People" from October 9-11 at the Geneva Conference Center in Rochester, IN. Long-time educator, Tori Smit will lead our keynote presentations talking about Intergenerational ministry. There will be opportunities for worship and reflection, along with workshops and fellowship with other educators. Click here for more information and to register visit our website.
 
Camp Westminster
Camp Westminster Worship

First, thank you everyone who in prayer and presence celebrated with us as we worshiped our Most Supreme God of mercy and love at Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake, the last Sunday of July, 2018.

This day of the Lord shone forth with a blue and white sky above the great greens of the trees. Jim Bates opened us with bagpipes that resounded across the Lake. From there we reached into John 6:1-18 to unpack John's understanding of Jesus' feeding of the five thousand, and then gathered at the Lord's Table to live this sharing within our own presence.

As is the custom, we shared dinner with the staff. This gave me the opportunity to ask them the question I am asking wherever I am 'what do you see as the root cause of poverty in Michigan?'

The question caught them and enabled them to tell me: " Here all campers are the same- there really is nothing that separates them.'

For me this truth enhances the reasons why we support Camp Westminster on Higgins Lake-because whether poor or rich, all children, all staff, and all guests are affirmed as "children of God', all made in one image, whatever our skin and gender differences. (This is what reminds me of the words found in the Declaration of Independence - "we hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men are created equal; that they have been endowed with certain inalienable rights-that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.').

Shalom,

Pastor Karen Blatt
   
Connections
FB2
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:

Tawas
Vassar-First
Yale-First

If your congregation has a page and it is not listed here, please contact Staci Percy at spercy@presbylh.org

'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

spercy@presbylh.org 

989-799-7481 x2

In This Edition
From The Lions' Den
September Presbytery Meeting
Boundary Training
Parish Paper
PW Fall Gathering
GLAPCE Fall Retreat
Camp Westminster
Connect With LHP Churches


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.

grey-flourish-icon.gif

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.

   

 
Like us on Facebook  



 


  
  


Investment Committee
August 2
10:00 am


Budget and Finance Team
August 8
10:00 am


Mission Coordination Committee
August 13
1:00 pm


Trustees
August 14
1:00 pm


Presbytery Council
August 15
10:00 am


Nominating Team
August 21
10:00 am


Commission on Ministry
August 22
11:00 am


Personnel Team
August 27
10:00 am




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