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." 
May 29, 2019 
We Pray For 

We Lift Up In Prayer...
Our Financial Secretary Tracy Carr and her family on the passing of her father, Gary Purcell, on May 18th. (See article below.)

All of our churches currently in transition.

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 May and June:

The Rev. Alec Brooks (5/1)  - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Ed Borycz (5/12)  - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dale Swihart (5/16) - 45 Years Honorably Retired
The Rev. Dr. Daniel Ahn (5/18) - 40 Years Honorably Retired
The Rev. Bruce Cunningham (5/18) - 65 Years Honorably Retired
The Rev. Joseph Walser (5/22)  - Honorably Retired
The Rev.  Roger Browne  (6/1) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Philomena Ofori-Nipaah (6/2) - Temporary Supply of Fairgrove
The Rev. Fred Gates (6/3) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Teresa Peterson (6/3) - Pastor of  Flushing
The Rev. Dr. Bob Emrich (6/7) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Paul Ytterock (6/8) - Associate Pastor of  Flint-First
The Rev. Ron Grimes (6/13) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Donald Neuville (6/19) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Cassie Todd (6/19) - Member-At-Large
The Rev. Dr. Joseph Novak (6/24) - Pastor of  Flint-First
The Rev. Ken Parker (6/24) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Andrew Pomerville (6/24) - Chaplain of Alma College
The Rev. Peter Russell (6/29) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Robert Taylor (6/29) - Honorably Retired
Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From the Lions' Den

A recent article in Michigan's Bridge e-magazine reports that the standard of living in Michigan has eroded precipitously. For the first time ever with a healthy auto industry, Michigan wages are below the national average. A major study of poverty - the ALICE report commissioned for the United Way, which measures the working poor (asset-limited, income constrained, employed) population - indicates that poverty in Michigan is pervasive and is independent of geography or race.

In our own presbytery, county percentages of households unable to afford basic expenses (housing, child care, food, transportation, health care, a cell phone, and taxes) range from 34% (Midland) to 51% (Gratiot). The cost of those basic household expenses in Michigan rises from about $21,000 for a single adult to over $61,000 for a family of four with an infant and preschooler. These are well above the official Federal poverty rate but still out of reach for many working in the 61% of Michigan jobs that pay under $20 per hour.

The upshot is that in our own neighborhoods, people are working longer hours for lower real wages. If a wage-earner is out of work for any amount of time, or the family has significant consumer, medical, or educational debt, they can enter a downward economic spiral towards chronic poverty.

This has major implications for both the mission and ministry of our congregations. While Presbyterians are among the wealthier congregations in per capita income nationally, there are almost certainly families in every congregation fighting to make ends meet - not to mention those in the surrounding neighborhood. What is your congregation doing to address systemic poverty in your communities? What obstacles do you put up that make it difficult for those experiencing poverty to feel welcome in your congregation?

As a presbytery we will be looking at the book Neighborhood Church: Transforming Your Congregation into a Powerhouse for Mission , which can help lead us on a journey toward more faithful answers to those questions. Copies will be distributed free (donations accepted) at the June Presbytery meeting, along with copies of the Michigan ALICE report and county data for each church.

Looking ahead:  An even more troubling phenomenon is the incidence of poverty among pastors serving congregations. In my next column I will address this growing concern in our presbytery.

Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter
Finding Time To Heal: The Gary Purcell story

The father of our Financial Secretary, Tracy Carr passed to the larger life on May 18th. He was a Vietnam War Veteran who after being diagnosed with PTSD went on to be certified as a peer specialist helping other veterans. The Midland Daily News had a wonderful article about Gary this weekend. Click here to read it.

A celebration of Gary's life will take place on Sunday, June 9th at the VFW Hall in Midland. Click here for more details and to view his obituary.
Summer Office Hours

The Presbytery Office's summer hours are now in effect through Labor Day. We are open Monday-Thursday 8:00am to 3:30pm and Friday 8:00am to noon.
Presbytery Meeting
You Don't Want To Miss The June Presbytery Meeting

We are pleased to welcome the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II to our June 4th stated meeting of Presbytery at Saginaw-First . The Reverend Dr. Nelson is the highest continuing officer in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). He was elected to his post at the 222 nd  General Assembly in 2016.
The son, grandson, and nephew of Presbyterian pastors, Nelson is the first African American to lead the denomination. Prior to becoming Stated Clerk, he served as director of the PC(USA)'s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C. He has also served as pastor of St. James Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina, and organizing pastor of Liberation Community Church in Memphis, Tennessee.
The role of the Stated Clerk is to oversee the ecclesiastical functions of the General Assembly between meetings, to manage the Office of the General Assembly, represent the General Assembly in public witness on matters of social justice, serve on a variety of denominational, ecumenical and interfaith boards, and speak on behalf of the Assembly in various contexts.
Nelson will preach at our morning worship and then lead the equipping time in a conversation about the evolving future of the PC(USA). He has been an outspoken advocate for a church which lives out Jesus' commendation in Matthew 25 to serve "the least of these my brothers and sisters."
Nelson holds a Doctor of Ministry degree from Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary; a Master of Divinity degree from Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary; and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science/Urban Studies from Johnson C. Smith University.
Nelson is married to the Reverend Gail Porter Nelson, and they have one adult daughter, Alycia Yvette Nelson.
We also are trying a new idea around our Presbytery meeting. As part of our desire to be a Matthew 25 church, we want to engage in a couple of mission activities around the Presbytery meeting. One will be the day before on Monday (and we understand that distance may be an issue for some) and one will happen after the Presbytery meeting, on Tuesday afternoon. 
The Mission Activities are:
Monday, June 3 from 3 to 5 PM at Saginaw First Presbyterian Church:  First Presbyterian has been the location of the Ecumenical Food Pantry for the last 30 years. In serving up to 700 per month, it takes a lot of work from many churches to carry out its mission. Volunteers would help with preparing different types of goods for distribution.
Tuesday, June 4 from 3 to 5 PM at Otto Roeser Park at 1100 Van Buren (about two blocks from First Presbyterian). This is a city park located near First Pres. Following the Presbytery meeting, we will have a "Yard Party in the ark" where volunteers can help with the park and the community garden next to it while we invite neighborhood people to share in pizza and with us.
The documents for the meeting are now available on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website.
New Way To Pay

We are excited to announce that we are now set up to receive payment for lunches, book/calendar purchases and training fees electronically. We can accept Visa, MasterCard, American Express, Discover, Apple Pay or Google Pay. We have a chip reader for extra security and can also swipe cards that don't have a chip.
Help Wanted
Help Wanted

Flint-Trinity United has two o penings available: One position is for a Part-Time Secretary with a minimum of three years of experience as secretary or administrative assistant. Strong computer skills required (Windows, Excel, PowerPoint; Social Media). Proficient in use of standard office equipment. Strong organizational skills. The other is for a Part-Time Music Director, to train and lead choirs during worship services and other special events; to coordinate all musical ministries. Evidence of some formal training in music. Ability to demonstrate skill in piano and organ. Both positions require a willingness to work with an intergenerational, diverse group of committed Christians.
Send resumes to:
Hunger Advocacy
From Your Hunger Advocate

To the congregations of the Presbytery: My interviews with you tell me that in one way or another, each congregation has some local mission outreach that helps provide food for hungry children and adults on fixed incomes, for those who are homeless, and for working women and men whose income does not provide them with a living wage/salary. Therefore you have an understanding and appreciation of the need for food assistance.
However, you may not be aware of how proposed cuts to the federal government's budget are anticipated to affect this.
A recent article from Bread for the World outlined the magnitude of these cuts.
The country's religious congregations will need to raise an additional $400,000 each year for the next ten years to make up for the proposed cuts to anti-hunger and poverty programs found in the administration's fiscal year 2020 budget proposal, according to Bread for the World.
"There is no way our country's 350,000 religious congregations can make up for the proposed cuts to programs that help people facing hunger and poverty, including children and the elderly," said Rev. David Beckmann, president of Bread for the World. "While religious congregations and charities play an important role, federal programs provide ten times more in food assistance."
The proposed budget would cut $1.4 trillion from domestic and international assistance programs over ten years. Domestically, these cuts include $220 billion from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), $1.1 trillion from Medicaid, and $1.7 billion from child nutrition programs such as school meals.
The proposed budget cuts to international humanitarian and development assistance include a reduction of $66.5 million to global nutrition programs and a $508 million cut to Feed the Future - nearly a halving of both programs. The budget eliminates the McGovern-Dole international school feeding program and the Food for Progress program.
"A budget is more than a financial statement-it is a statement of our nation's priorities and values. It should be measured on how it treats the most vulnerable people among us," Beckmann said. 

The Rev. Karen Blatt, Hunger Advocate for the Presbytery of Lake Huron

Bread for the World is a collective Christian voice urging our nation's decisions makers to end hunger at home and abroad. Moved by God's grace in Jesus Christ, we advocate for a world without hunger.  ( Click here   to read the article online)

Presbytery Training
Learn How To Save a Life

The presbytery is offering training to church officers and members to prepare for the four emergencies you are most likely to encounter at home or at church.   The training dates are:

Saturday September 14 at Korean Presbyterian, 5560 McCarty Rd., Saginaw  989.792.8280


Saturday September 21 at St. Andrews 8192 Davison Rd.,  Davison  810.653.6824
You will learn how to perform CPR on someone who is not breathing, how to use an Automated External Defibrillator (AED) on someone who is having a heart attack, how to respond to someone who is choking and how to properly use a fire extinguisher. You may register for one of the four class times offered. There will be morning and afternoon CPR/AED/Choking sessions with lunch and fire extinguisher training for the entire group in between. Please note that the CPR/AED/Choking sessions are limited to 18 people per class to ensure adequate equipment and trainer interaction.   The classes are offered on a first-come first-serve basis at a cost of $22.50 per person.
Due to the need to have confirmed participants, payment of $22.50 per person including lunch is due within 5 business days of registration. Once you register, you will receive an invoice via email from Rose Onan with the amount due.
We cannot issue refunds for cancellations after August 31st.
Morning Session
8:45-9:00 AM     Registration
9:00-11:30 AM   Friends and Family Adult CPR and AED Infant, Child and Adult choking   (max 18 people)                    
11:45-12:30 PM  Lunch
12:45-2:00 PM    Fire Extinguisher Training - a video followed by participants actually using a fire extinguisher to put a small controlled fire
2:00 PM              Departure
Afternoon Session
11:15-11:45 AM  Registration
11:45-12:30 PM  Lunch
12:45-2:00 PM    Fire Extinguisher Training - a video followed by participants actually using a fire extinguisher to put a small controlled fire
2:00-4:30 PM      Friends and Family Adult CPR and AED Infant, Child and Adult choking   (max 18 people)
4:30 PM              Departure
If paying by check, make them payable to Presbytery of Lake Huron and mail to:   Presbytery of Lake Huron,   PO Box 6129, Saginaw, Michigan 48608-6129. If paying with a credit card please call the Presbytery Office after you have registered online.

Multiple people may be paid with one payment method but a separate registration is required for each participant.
Note: CPR and AED training will provide participants with the skills to assist someone who is not breathing and to effectively use and AED or help someone who is choking. This training will not qualify participants to receive an American Red Cross CPR certification.

Click here to register.


For additional information on how to prepare your church, please visit the Emergency Preparedness page on our website.

Young Adult Volunteers
Young Adult Volunteers

Spread the word to young adults (ages 19-30) that JUNE 1 is the FINAL date to apply to the 2019-20 Young Adult Volunteer year! National sites are available. Learn more online and  APPLY!!
Presbyterian Women
Presbyterian Women In The Synod of the Covenant 2019 Gathering

July 12-13, 2019
Covenant Presbyterian Church
2070 Ridgecliff Road
Columbus, OH 43221

Speakers include:

Eugenia Gamble, author of the 2019-2020 Horizons Bible Study, Love Carved in Stone: A Fresh Look at the Ten Commandments will provide an overview of the study. In two workshops she will offer ideas and resources for study leaders.

Carol Winkler, former Moderator of Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Inc. will share the latest from Churchwide PW where she serves ex officio.

Diane Moffett, Presbyterian Mission Agency president and executive director will speak about the mission of the PC(USA) today.

Click here for a brochure with more details and registration information.
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:

Camp Westminster

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
Finding Time To Heal
Summer Hours
Presbytery Meeting
New Way To Pay
Help Wanted
Hunger Advocacy
Save a Life
PW Synod Gathering
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. 

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Commission on Preparation For Ministry
May 29
10:00 am

Presbytery Meeting
June 4
9:30 am

Presbytery Office Closed For Staff Development
June 5

Mission Coordination Committee
June 10
1:30 pm

Commission on Preparation For Ministry
June 19
10:00 am

Commission on Ministry
June 26
11:00 am

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