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 11, 2019 
We Pray For 
We Lift Up In Prayer...
 
Ongoing:
All of our churches currently in transition .

Mission Co-Workers:
The Rev. Dr. Lucy Der-Garabedian who is serving in Lebanon.

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. Ron Vredeveld (9/1) - Temporary Supply of Beaverton-First
Elder Don Wixson (9/3) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Croswell-First
The Rev. Katia Gruening (9/7) - 5 years - Pastor of Sandusky and Yale-First
The Rev. John Becker (9/17) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. Matthew Schramm (9/19) - 15 years - Pastor of
Midland-Memorial
The Rev. Timm High (9/20) - Interim Pastor of Midland-Chapel Lane
The Rev. David Weber (9/25)  - Interim Pastor of  Davison-St. Andrews
The Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein (10/3) - Executive Presbyter
The Rev. Ewen Holmes (10/10) - Interim Pastor of Bay City-Westminster
The Rev. Dr. Wally Mayton (10/25) - Associate Pastor of Midland-Memorial
The Rev. Christina Jensen (10/28) - Pastor of Ithaca-First

Presbytery Office
Dan Saperstein
From The Lions' Den

In the last congregation I served, I was once interviewing a candidate for a youth leader position. I had asked the young woman about her spiritual journey, about the gifts that she felt she brought to ministry, and about what she saw as the special challenges young people face. And then I asked, "How do you feel about working in a church setting?"

It was a question I had other applicants. I was expecting to hear a response indicating some humility about the spiritual responsibility involved and perhaps not feeling spiritually developed enough for the calling, but instead, the young woman remarked, "It's funny you should ask. I mentioned to some of my friends that I was applying for a job in a church, and they asked me why I would ever want to do that! But I don't think the church is really all that bad. No, I don't have any problems with working in the church." It was not the answer I was expecting!

I have written previously about how over the last 40 years, ministry has changed from a high-status, low-stress vocation to a low-status, high-stress one. Our society today regards church workers with suspicion if not disdain. Persons who serve in all forms of ministry today do so out of a call from God and a conviction that their work is meaningful and important. Indeed, persons entering ministry today can expect much lower income relative to other professionals with graduate degrees, or even to those who entered ministry a generation ago. (Please remember that when you are calling a new pastor, or reviewing your current pastor's terms of call.)

This Tuesday's presbytery meeting in Mt. Pleasant will mark the fourth anniversary of my election to serve as your executive presbyter. I have been blessed over these past four years by the support of our congregations and leaders, and the warmth of your welcome. This has indeed been a very gratifying place to serve. My call to serve here has been reaffirmed time and again.

What makes it especially gratifying is the team of presbytery staff with whom I am blessed to serve. Presbytery work, like service in congregations, is often misunderstood and underappreciated, so I am deeply grateful for our presbytery staff. You can find them listed on our presbytery website, but I would like to offer a few words of introduction myself.

Ted McCulloch has served as  the Stated Clerk of our Presbytery since 2010, but has been a member of our presbytery for 30 years, as pastor in Taymouth, and now at First Presbyterian Church, Saginaw. Ted is a gifted clerk and pastor and has the respect of colleagues across the denomination. He is wise and dedicated in helping our presbytery function decently and in order.

Staci Percy has served as our Communications Manager and Recording Clerk since 2004, making her the senior member of the presbytery staff. She brings energy, creativity, and passion for the mission of our church to her work. The Bi-weekly Brief is just one of her many responsibilities. She is also the institutional memory of the office, a devoted runner, and is especially gifted at "mom-hugs" (or so I am told).

Rose Onan Rose Onan is our Administrative Assistant and Office Manager, and has served the presbytery since 2011. She is an organizational wizard whose attention to the many details of administration is extraordinary. She is also primarily responsible for keeping me on task and on time! As our receptionist, she provides a warm, supportive, and professional welcome to visitors and vendors. Rose is an avid Carolina Panther and CMU football fan.

Tracy Carr is our newest staff member, having joined us as Financial Secretary in 2017. Tracy oversees the financial details of our mission, including bill and payroll processing, producing financial reports, tracking mission and per capita payments, budget, and church loans. Her quick wit and self-effacing personality make her the perfect fit for our team. Tracy loves animals and raises horses.

Each of these staff members brings a commitment to the work of the presbytery in building vital congregations and healthy leaders for Christ's work. They make coming to the office each day a joy, and make my job both easier and more successful. Should people ask me "why would you ever want to work in a presbytery?" having a staff like ours is one of the first reasons I would give.
  
Faithfully, 

Dan Saperstein, E xecutive Presbyter
September Presbytery Meeting 
 
NOTE: There was an addition to the docket the day after these were posted. The revised copy is available on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website. The other documents remain the same.

The documents for the stated Presbytery meeting to be held on Tuesday, September 17th at Mt. Pleasant-First  are now available on the Presbytery Meetings page of our website.
  
There is a lot of important information in the cover letter that you will need prior to the meeting. Please take a moment to review that now.

Click here to view and download the documents.
Session
Records Review 
 
We will hold the annual Records Review on three Saturdays this fall ( October 12th and 26th and November 9th) each beginning at 10:00am. Locations are still being determined. Letters to Clerks of Session will be mailed out later this week.
Planning Calendars Have Arrived 
 
The 2019-2020 Planning Calendars that were bulk ordered this summer have arrived. They will be brought to the September presbytery meeting in Mt. Pleasant or may be picked up at the office anytime during normal business hours.
Join Us
Flint Documentary

The " Flint: The Poisoning of an American City documentary by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance will be premiering tomorrow,  September 12 at the beautiful and newly restored Capitol Theater

"Flint: The Poisoning of an American City" traces the timeline of the city's interaction with the Flint River - from the continued abuse and neglect of both city infrastructure and environmental regulations, to subsequent population decline, through to Michigan's 2013 appointing of outside emergency managers. This poisonous mix of factors created a crisis which has gone on for five years, resulting in record high levels of lead in the drinking water of the city.

The film intersperses with area residents (including parents, social workers, educators, pastors, and experts on water and health) with testimony at congressional and other oversight committee hearings to demonstrate how 100,000 people have been poisoned by lead, an irreversible affliction. No timeline exists for the remediation of the situation.

"Flint" explores the critical question of how this could happen in America and how this event should serve as a warning for the rest of the country. A recent report found that 5,300 American cities were found to be in violation of federal lead rules, and research published in USA Today detected excessive lead in nearly 2,000 public water systems across all 50 states. This documentary educates and inspires action, seeking to radically change how we view and value water.

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We invite you to join us beginning at 7:30pm. Tickets are free for city of Flint residents. If you are not able attend this event the Emagine Theaters in Birch Run, Canton and Novi will have showings September 13-18. For more information visit the film's Facebook page or website.
House of Worship Rewards
The Rev. Linda Williams receives a check from Consumers Energy.
Spend Less on Energy, More on Mission 
 
Would you rather spend money on energy, or on the things that matter most?
 
Earlier this year, members of the Presbytery of Lake Huron were introduced to an opportunity from Consumers Energy to engage our congregations in ways to be more energy efficient. We wanted to follow up with one of the congregations who participated in the House of Worship Rewards program with Consumers Energy. In her own words, Rev. Linda Williams (Parish Associate, Westminster Presbyterian Church in Bay City) shares:
 
"Our participation in the program coincided with the church doing a capital fund campaign of the building...we were concerned about get the building up to the latest standards, but also to making it energy efficient to be more mindful of the environment. We had over 100 people signed up for the House of Worship Rewards program. Our members appreciated learning how to make their homes more energy efficient and the free upgrades offered by Consumers Energy. The money we received ($2,000) was turned back into the capital fund to improve the efficiency of our lighting, heating and cooling."
 
House of Worship Rewards offers members of a congregation a way to give back to their faith community without any money coming out of their own pockets. Any member of the church as well as friends and family members who sign up to receive a complimentary Home Energy Analysis from Consumers Energy within a 90-day period will count toward the church's goal. Participating congregations host an energy education workshop, encourage members to sign-up for a Home Energy Analysis and based on the number of sign-ups can earn up to $5,000 in cash.
 
In addition to the House of Worship Rewards program, Consumers Energy offers a sister program referred to as Light the Way , in which participating faith communities receive an energy assessment walk through from a Consumers Energy Advisor along with energy efficient upgrades such as LED lighting and smart thermostats. To date, over 30 Presbyterian churches across the state have participated in the Light the Way program, and on average they are saving over $650 a year on utility bills from the $1,300 worth of free energy upgrades offered by the utility. This equates to saving the amount of carbon emissions that would be sequestered by over 2,000 tree saplings over 10 years.

Light the Way (free energy upgrades and an assessment at the church) and the House of Worship Rewards program (in which congregations encourage members to avail themselves of a free Home Energy Analysis from Consumers Energy) are offered at no cost to faith communities, and simply require participating houses of worship (or their congregant members, in the case of the House of Worship Rewards program) to have Consumers Energy gas service.
 
Leah Wiste, Executive Director of Michigan Interfaith Power and Light (IPL) puts it this way: "No church wants an offering plate with a hole in the bottom that leaks out dollars. Yet church buildings are doing the same thing leaking warm air into the winter cold." She says that the aim of Michigan IPL is to help those churches spend less on utilities and more on their mission and ministry.
 
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 a congregation's own financial resources.
 
In the words of Rev. Williams, "There are things we can do in terms of energy efficiency and climate change. We should do the things we can."
 
The House of Worship Rewards and Light the Way programs are available for a limited time and on a first come, first served basis. For more information and to sign-up, please contact Jennifer Young at (248) 463-8811 or projectmanager@miipl.org.
Connections
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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 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

P.O. Box 6129

Saginaw, MI 48608-6129

spercy@presbylh.org 

989-799-7481 x2

In This Edition
In Our Prayers
From The Lions' Den
September Presbytery Meeting Changes
Records Review
Planning Calendars
Flint Documentary
House of Worship Rewards
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.
 
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Presbyterian Women
September 12
10:00 am


Mission Coordinating Committee
September 16
1:30 pm


Stated Meeting of Presbytery
September 17
9:30 am


Boundary Training
September 18


Commission on Ministry
September 25
11:00 am


Planning, Equipping and Visioning
October 3
12:30 pm


Presbytery Council
October 9
10:00 am


Records Review
October 12
10:00 am
Location TBD


Mission Coordination Committee
October 14
1:30 pm


Commission on Preparation for Ministry
October 16
10:00 am


Commission on Ministry
October 23
11:00 am


Records Review
October 26
10:00 am
Location TBD


Personnel Team
October 28
10:00 am



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