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." 
 

September 19, 2018 

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

New:
The Rev. Glenn Grant (Grand Blanc-Kirkridge), wife Debbie and family. Their daughter Caitlin Ritenouer is battling cancer.

The family of the Rev. Robert Leas, Honorably Retired member of our presbytery who passed to the larger life last week. Click here for his obituary.


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 September and October:

The Rev. John Becker (9/17) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Katja Gruening (9/7) - Pastor of Sandusky and Yale-First
The Rev. Christina Jensen (10/28) - 1 year - Pastor of Ithaca-First
The Rev.  Joung Nam Lee (10/12) - Member-at-Large
The Rev. Dr. Wally Mayton (10/25) - Associate Pastor of Midland-Memorial
The Rev. Dave Myers (1010) - Interim Pastor of Saginaw-Countryside Trinity
The Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein (10/2) - 35 years - Executive Presbyter
The Rev. Matt Schramm (9/19) - Pastor of Bay City-Westminster
The Rev. Ron Vredeveld (9/1) - Temporary Supply of Beaverton-First
The Rev. Dr. David Weber (9/25) - 30 years - Temporary Supply of Davison-St. Andrew's
Elder Don Wixson (9/3) - 1 year - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Croswell-First
    
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

Twenty years ago, the renowned church consultant Loren B. Mead forecast the "financial meltdown of the mainline church."  He carefully charted trends in giving and membership among the traditional "establishment" churches in the U.S. and predicted that sometime in the next twenty years or so, these denominations would experience a collapse of their financial infrastructure.
 
It hasn't quite materialized to the degree that Mead predicted. Certainly, denominations are facing increasing financial pressures especially among the growing number of small congregations and at the higher levels of governance. That only makes sense: as congregations shrink, and overall giving decreases, a greater proportion of their finances must go to fund what they see as their principal functions:  providing worship and pastoral care to their members. Accordingly, less money is available for the administration and mission of the larger church.
 
But Mead did not consider the resilience of many of these denominations, including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). First, while membership has declined, per capita giving has actually increased, blunting the financial impact of the losses. In the PCUSA, per capita giving in 2017 was $1111, up 5% from 2013.
 
Second, higher levels of governance have been surprisingly adept at adapting to lower funding levels. This has mostly happened through reduction in workforce and the scope of services offered. And while per capita assessments continue to increase, they are still a negligible expense - averaging about 2% of total church income (1.8% for our presbytery in 2017).
 
Third, the church has deployed leadership models that have adapted to the changing circumstances of congregations. The number of churches that maintain a faithful witness to Jesus Christ with part-time pastors, yoked fields, and in some cases, just pulpit supply has mushroomed. Many of these churches are finding creative ways to meet member needs and even develop new forms of mission with fewer people and fewer dollars.
 
Our own Presbytery of Lake Huron is in many ways the envy of other presbyteries. Our financial support of Presbytery ministry and mission is very strong. We routinely average between 98 and 102% of per capita payment. We have among the lowest presbytery per capita rates in the denomination. While mission giving has dropped some, in recent years it has held steady. And we have a well-managed portfolio of endowed and designated reserve funds due to the generosity and wise stewardship of previous generations.
 
Nevertheless, the national financial trends aren't changing, and they will catch up with us eventually. However, this isn't necessarily a bad thing, despite Mead's apocalyptic vocabulary. It is only a bad thing if we think the way things have always been is the way they always should (or must) be. The changes are largely a function of the disestablishment or marginalization of the church in our society. As Mead noted in The Once and Future Church, this is an opportunity for the church to reclaim the gospel in a new apostolic era, what I have called becoming "inside-out" congregations.
 
As many churches head into "stewardship season," it may become easy to despair about declining members and resources. Certainly, as individual disciples we are called to be generous in our giving for every good work (2 Corinthians 9:8) and we should not neglect that discipline. But we have greater resources of talent, ingenuity, and faith - not to mention the unlimited abundance of God - than we could ask for or imagine. There may be a financial crisis, but there is not a faithfulness crisis. And by God's grace and provision, crises can be turned into challenges that give birth to new, more faithful ways of being Christ's church in the world.

Faithfully, 

Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter

Presbytery Meeting

Looking forward to seeing everyone tomorrow in Tawas!  

All of the documents regarding the information may be found on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website.

PARKING NOTE:  There has been extensive road construction on US-23 blocking the church entrance.  At this time the entrance to the church's driveway from US-23 is open. You may want to add 5-10 minutes to your estimated drive time due to potential slowdowns. There is a side road just past the Citgo station that leads to the back entrance for the church parking lot that you may use if needed.
 
Ministry Appreciation Dinner and Voting

The biennial Ministry Appreciation Dinner will be held Friday, October 19 at 6:30 pm the Saginaw Club, 219 North Washington, Saginaw, MI 48607. A pre-dinner reception will be held at 5:30 pm. All ministers (active and retired) and CREs serving congregations are invited. Each may bring one guest. Invitations will be sent next week.

Once again, the dinner will feature Peer Ministry Awards as a way of showing our appreciation for our ministry colleagues. The awards are based on nominations received from ministers, CREs, and elder commissioners from congregations and voted on by ministers and CREs. A link to submit nominations can be found here by clicking here. Nominations will close September 30.

Please join us for this fun evening of food, fellowship, and frivolity.
 
Andrew Pomerville to Be Installed as Alma College Chaplain

Alma College is pleased to invite the Presbytery to a public service of worship to install the Rev. Andrew Pomerville as Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life at Alma College. The service will be held at Dunning Memorial Chapel Sunday, September 30, 2018 at 4:00 p.m.

Rev. Pomerville comes to Alma following seven years as the senior pastor of the Peoples Church of East Lansing, where he provided strategic leadership for a 1,200-member congregation. Previously, he was pastor of Church in the Hills in Bellaire and served as the national park chaplain in Denali, Alaska.

After his graduation from Alma College in 2001, he earned his master of divinity degree from Princeton Theological Seminary and has pursued the Doctor of Ministry degree from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary/University of Aberdeen, Scotland.

"Returning to Alma is truly a dream come true," says Rev. Pomerville. "My faith formation was profoundly impacted by my experiences at Alma College, and I welcome the opportunity to be a similar influence and support to the students, faculty, staff and alumni."

The Rev. Charles "Chip" Hardwick, former Director of Theology, Education, and Worship for the PC(U.S.A.) General Assembly and a fellow Alma alumnus, will be the guest preacher.

Alma College is affiliated with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) through covenant relationships with the Presbytery of Lake Huron and the Synod of the Covenant.

 
Emergency Preparedness
Are You Prepared?

In earlier articles in this series we have covered some of the things that your church can do to be better prepared for disasters or emergencies. One of the first steps is getting a small group together that is genuinely interested in being prepared and committed to leading your church's effort to be ready. They are also the group who will get others involved in developing the plan for your church and making sure that you are as ready as possible. In addition they can lead the process of getting phone trees and texts groups set for quick communication and updating your church directory with cell phone numbers and email addresses.
 
Along side of ensuring that your church can quickly communicate with the congregation I highly recommend that your church get "outside eyes" involved. Ask your local police department or county sheriff and your local fire department to do a walk through with you through your building. They will be glad to assist and they view your situation through a different lens. Doing the walk through with them will help you to see and understand what they are seeing. Where we may see a cluttered closet they may see a serious fire hazard. Where we see some bushes around the building that need trimming they may see a hiding place for someone up to no good. Where we may see some items stored near the door they may see an obstruction that could hinder people getting out of the building in an emergency. Not only will they be able to assist you in evaluating potential problems they will have the opportunity to visit your building and become more familiar with it. This familiarity can be crucial should they need to respond to an emergency. Having a basic idea of the floor plan can be very helpful if the building is filled with smoke or understanding the best way to reach someone in a medical emergency. The police and fire people can provide valuable information on how to deal with a potential situation or where you can obtain preparedness products that may not be locally available.
 
Click here to continue reading this article and to access other important information regarding being prepared for emergencies. 
Free and Wanted Items
Free Piano - Alma

The Rev. Tom Brackbill has piano that he is willing to donate to any church/ congregation which might need one.
It's a "horizontal grand", about 5' 2" long. Plays very well, but hasn't been used/tuned in several years. It has been kept  in a stable space, so it should still be in good shape. Finish is not pretty - a crackled varnish. Bench included. He  needs it gone from his house over the next month or two. It's a pretty easy (two steps down) access to the garage, so  there isn't a horrible moving story to be told. There is no cost to whomever would like it , just a letter of donation. Contact Tom at 989-289-6046 for details.
  
Free Piano - Bay City

Westminster Presbyterian in Bay City has a piano available to any church who might be interested.  It is a Kimball baby grand piano, and has been regularly tuned over its life.  One of our members is moving, and donating their piano to our congregation. Our gift can be yours as well.  Please contact the church office with your interest at 989-686-1360.  The only cost would be in arranging to have it moved. (Herter Music is one recommended piano mover).
  
Handbell Music Stands Or Risers Wanted

First Presbyterian Church, Mount Pleasant (FPCMP) is looking for handbell music stands or handbell music risers. If your church is no longer in need of your stands or risers FPCMP would be happy to pick them up and provide a new home for them. Contact the church at 989-773-9609 if you can help out.
  
In Our Congregations
White Elephant Sale 

Huge White Elephant Sale!  The Presbyterian Women of Second Presbyterian Church, located at 2665 Midland Road, in Saginaw Township will hold their annual White Elephant Sale on Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 9:00 am until 2:00 pm, at the church.  The sale contains many items at bargain prices, such as household goods, tools, furnishings, books, craft supplies, jewelry, anything you can imagine (except clothing).  The Presbyterian Women donate thousands of dollars to local, national, and international missions each year.  This sale is a major fundraiser for those efforts.  Questions can also be directed to Second Presbyterian Church at (989) 792-1023.
 
More information may be found online:
Click here for a printable flier
  
Hospice Truth Vs. Myth Presentation 

Houghton Lake-Kirk of the Lakes has partnered with Heartland Home Care & Hospice of West Branch to host a two part presentation on Hospice and Home Health Care.  The sessions are open to the public. Click here for details.
  
Help Wanted
Lapeer-First Seeking CE Director and Church Organist

Lapeer-First is actively seeking  a new Organist and a new Christian Education Director. For more information and how to apply please click on the following links:

  
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
In Our Prayers
From The Lions' Den
September Presbytery Meeting
Ministry Appreciation Dinner
Installation of Andrew Pomerville
Are You Prepared?
Free and Wanted Items
White Elephant Sale
Hospice Presentation
Help Wanted
Connect With LHP Churches


Who We Are
 
 
 
 
 
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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Presbytery Meeting
September 20
9:30 am
Tawas


Commission on Ministry
September 26
11:00 am


Planning/Equipping/Vision Committee
September 27
1:30 pm


Installation of Andrew Pomerville
September 30
4:00 pm


Worship Planning Team
October 3
12:30 pm


Mission Coordination Committee
October 8
1:00 pm


Presbytery Council
October 10
10:00 am


Commission on Preparation for Ministry
October 17
10:00 am


Personnel Team
October 22
10:00 am


Commission on Ministry
October 24
11:00 am


Presbyterian Women
October 25
10:00 am



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