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." 

December 19, 2018 

Wishing you Joy and Peace this Christmas and through the New Year!
The Presbytery Staff

We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...  

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 December and January:

The Rev. Doug Abel (1/5) - 5 years Pastor of Vassar-First
The Rev. Lucy Der-Garabedian (12/19) - 25 years - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. Rhashell Hunter (1/8)Member-At-Large serving the  PC(USA) as Director of Racial Equity & Women's Intercultural Ministries
The Rev. Scott Kroener (1/19) - Pastor of Birch Run-Taymouth
The Rev. Rich Lawther (1/4) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Alex Peterson (1/22) - Pastor of Lapeer-First
The Rev. Brant Piper (12/15) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Rodney Shoemaker (12/2) - 45 years - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Betsy Stilwell (1/22) - Member-At-Large

Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

One unfortunate consequence of the decline in sending and receiving Christmas cards in recent years is the disappearance of Christmas art. The variety of cards brought a variety of images - some secular, some sacred - depicting aspects of the season.

While most of the cards we received in the Saperstein home featured snowy winter scenes or smiling Santa Clauses, many had more religious themes. Most of the sacred images depicted the Holy Family, or the Madonna and Child. Stars and angels and mangers also abounded. Some were classical images, others modern.

1. Jose y Maria, by Everett Patterson. Used by permission.
One Christmas image I encountered a few years back has stuck with me. It is a modern depiction of the journey to Bethlehem, by Portland comic book artist and illustrator Everett Patterson. Titled Jose y Maria, it was his Christmas card for 2014 but has gone viral in the years since.

Jose and Maria (Joseph and Mary) are presented as a young Latino/a couple looking for shelter outside an urban gas station convenience store. He is wearing a work shirt with his name embroidered, she is sporting a hoodie from "Nazareth High School." The picture is filled with many creative references to the Biblical narrative: for example, a "no vacancy" sign at the "Dave's City Motel" with a signboard announcing the new "manger" (manager with an "a" missing).

Patterson says on his blog (, "The main goal of this illustration was to pack as many clever biblical references into the scene as possible. I won't list every one (there are at least a dozen), but a few that I'm proudest of are: the verse from the prophet Ezekiel in the graffiti on the phone kiosk, the way the "Save More!" behind Mary's head looks kinda like "Ave Maria!," and the two ads for "Glad" and "Tide" on the newspaper (get it?)."

But more important is the subtext of the illustration: that Jesus is born among us on the margins of our society - among humble, even homeless, people. Patterson writes, "for this image, I chose very, very wide vanishing points. The result is what I occasionally call 'middle-class white people perspective.' Rather than feeling immersed in the scene, the viewer is looking at it as if from across the street or from the warmth and safety of his or her passing car. I have a small hope that this Christmas image will come to mind when we see other 'down and out' people huddling outside of gas stations, reminding us that our Savior's parents (and indeed, Jesus himself) were at one time similarly troubled."

Patterson has granted permission for churches to reproduce the image for one-time, non-commercial use with attribution to the artist.

As we enjoy the blessings of this season, may we be inspired to leave our distanced perspectives and welcome Christ wherever he is born among us.


Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter
Parish Paper

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

January Defining Church Vitality
February What Is Contemporary Worship?

Click here to read and/or download your copies.

December Presbytery Meeting
Thank You

We would like to thank the congregation and leadership of  Flint-Trinity United  for being wonderful hosts of our  December  stated meeting of presbytery .

Our focus for the meeting was congregational mission. During the equipping time, we heard from representatives from a number of different missions of our congregations. Below are follow up items from a couple of the presenters.
Resources Available for Congregational Mission

At the December Presbytery meeting, our regional Mission Engagement Advisor,  Chris Roseland, brought attention to several resources available through the Presbyterian Mission Agency for congregational mission and renewal. Here is a summary of those resources with links attached:

The Mission Guidebook
Resources on Congregational Vitality
Facing Racism

Mission Partnership Information that can be adapted to the local level
Spend Less On Energy, More On Mission

Darlene Kusterer of Consumers Energy gave a presentation at the December stated meeting of presbytery on programs designed for houses of worship. Here is additional information on those programs.

Would you rather spend money on energy, or on the things that matter most? 
Light the Way  Since 2015, over 600 faith communities across Michigan have participated in Light the Way, a free program from Michigan Interfaith Power & Light (Michigan IPL) and Consumers Energy that helps congregations save money on utility bills. Each participating congregation received an average of $1,300 worth of free energy efficiency products (such as LED lighting, low-flow faucet aerators and smart thermostats) and expects to save about $650 each year on their energy bills-savings that can go right back into their vital missions. Houses of Worship with Consumers Energy service for electric or gas are eligible to participate.
House of Worship Rewards i s a fundraising opportunity for congregations to encourage their members and friends to cut energy waste at home by signing up for Consumers Energy's free Home Energy Analysis. Participating congregations host an energy education workshop (led by Consumers or Michigan IPL), encourage sign-ups, and, based on the number of referrals, earn up to $2,000 in cash. Congregations with members who have Consumers Energy gas service are eligible to participate.
Saving energy is a great way for congregations to put their faith into action-to become better stewards of God's Creation, while also being good stewards of their own financial resources.
Light the Way and the House of Worship Rewards program are available for a limited time and on a first come, first served basis. For more information and to sign-up, please visit or contact Jennifer Young with Michigan Interfaith Power & Light at (248) 463-8811 or .
2019 IRS Rate
2019 IRS Mileage Rates

The mileage rates for 2019 are as follows:
Business/Ministry 58 cents
Medical and Moving 20 cents
Charitable 14 cents

These may also be found on the  Documents and Forms page of our  website under the Financial Information heading.  
Youth Triennium 2019
Youth Triennium Coordinator Sought

The Presbytery is looking for a registrar/coordinator for the Presbytery's participation in the Presbyterian Youth Triennium to be held July 16-20 at Purdue University. This is a volunteer position, but your registration at the Triennium will be paid ($575 value).  Information about the event can be found at . The registrar must be a minister or member in good standing of the Presbytery of Lake Huron, receive the endorsement of their session (if an elder), and successfully complete a criminal background check. Please contact Executive Presbyter Dan Saperstein ( ) if interested.
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
Parish Paper
Thank You
2019 IRS Rates
Youth Triennium
Connect With LHP Churches

Who We Are
About the
Bi-Weekly Brief

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Commission on Preparation for Ministry
December 19
10:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed
December 24-January 1

Mission Coordination Committee
January 14
1:00 pm

Commission on Preparation for Ministry
January 16
10:00 am

Presbytery Office Closed in Observance of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
January 21

Commission on Ministry
January 23
11:00 am

Personnel Team
January 28
10:00 am

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