Bi-Weekly Brief news & updates
October 7, 2020
We Lift Up In Prayer
Elder Don Wixson, Commissioned Ruling Elder of Vassar-First, who is being treated for cancer.

Our churches currently in pastoral transition.

Our Mission Co-Workers:
Lucy Der-Garabedian serving in Lebanon.
Cathy Chang and family serving in the Philippines.
Michael and Rachel Ludwig serving in Niger.
Upcoming Ordination and Commissioning Anniversaries:
The Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein (10/2) - Executive Presbyter
The Rev. Dr. Ewen Holmes (10/10) - Interim Pastor of Bay City-Westminster
The Rev. Dr. Wally Mayton (10/25) - 45 Years - Associate Pastor of Midland-Memorial
The Rev. Christina Jensen (10/28) - Pastor of Ithaca-First
Elder Chris Wolf (11/4) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Marlette-First and Marlette-Second
The Rev. Dr. Leigh Holder (11/25) - 25 Years - Pastor of Croswell-First
The Rev. Tom Cundiff (11/27) - Honorably Retired

We ask that you consider including these requests each week in your bulletin and/or newsletter.
 
We also encourage everyone to send a card or e-mail or make a phone call to those listed. Sometimes a small gesture creates a big smile. 

Contact information for anyone on this list may be obtained by calling the presbytery office at 989-799-7481 or replying to this email.
From the Lions’ Den
Dan Saperstein
We recently passed the six-month mark of the Covid-19 pandemic. As I write this, the spread of the virus is increasing in 38 of the 50 states, and “pandemic fatigue” is setting in. There is increased anxiety and conflict in congregations, patience is wearing thin, and leaders are exhausted. So the following helpful and insightful Twitter thread by Aisha Ahmad, an award-winning international security scholar at the University of Toronto, was perfectly timed. It has gone viral and has been expanded into an article in The Telegraph, a UK newspaper. Here is the thread:

The 6-month mark in any sustained crisis is always difficult. We have all adjusted to this "new normal," but might now feel like we're running out of steam. Yet, at best, we are only 1/3 the way through this marathon. How can we keep going? /1
First, in my experience, this is a very normal time to struggle or slump. I *always* hit a wall 6 months into a tough assignment in a disaster zone. The desire to "get away" or "make it stop" is intense. I've done this many times, and at 6 months, it's like clockwork. /2 

This time, our crisis is global and there is nowhere to run. That's OK. I've had to power through that 6-month hump before and there is life on the other side. Right now, it feels like we [are] looking ahead at [a] long, dark wintery tunnel. But it's not going to be like that. /3 

Rather, this is our next major adaptation phase. We've already re-learned how to do groceries, host meetings, and even teach classes. And we have found new ways to be happy and have fun. But as the days get shorter and colder, we need to be ready to innovate again. /4 

This is my first pandemic, but not my first 6-month wall. So, what can I share to help you? First, the wall is real and normal. And frankly, it's not productive to try to ram your head through it. It will break naturally in about 4-6 weeks if you ride it out. /5 

Of course, there are things we have to do. Work. Teach. Cook. Exercise. But just don't expect to be sparklingly happy or wildly creative in the middle of your wall. Right now, if you can meet you[r] obligations and be kind to your loved ones, you get an A+. /6 

Also, don't be afraid that your happiness & creativity are gone for the rest of this marathon. Not true. I assure you that it will soon break & you will hit a new stride. But today, roll with it. Clear away less challenging projects. Read a novel. Download that meditation app. /7 

Frankly, even though we cannot physically leave this disaster zone, try to give yourself a mental or figurative "shore leave." Short mental escapes can offer respite and distance from the everyday struggle. Take more mental "leave" until you clear the wall. /8 

In my experience, this 6-month wall both arrives and dissipates like clockwork. So I don't fight it anymore. I don't beat myself up over it. I just know that it will happen & trust that the dip will pass. In the meantime, I try to support my mental & emotional health. /9 

Take heart. We have navigated a harrowing global disaster for 6 months, with resourcefulness & courage. We have already found new ways to live, love, and be happy under these rough conditions. A miracle & a marvel. This is hard proof that we have what it takes to keep going. /10 

So, dear friends, do not despair of the 6-month wall. It's not permanent, nor will it define you in this period of adversity. Trust that the magic that helped you through the first phase is still there. Take a breath & a pause. You'll be on the other side in no time. /end

There is more detailed advice in the linked article. One thing I have stressed in the pandemic is “put on your own mask first.” Even Jesus occasionally sought refuge from the pressures of ministry. It’s okay to take a break when you need one. It’s okay NOT to make that phone call today or stay up all night perfecting a sermon. When we take care of ourselves, we are better prepared to take care of others. And when we are more aware of our own stress, we are less likely to take it out on others. So go easy on yourselves, be kind to one another, and BREATHE. 

Faithfully, 

Dan Saperstein, Executive Presbyter
2020 Records Review
Session
Sent to all Clerk of Session earlier this week:

Records Review time is coming up and like everything else this year, it will be different. For all of you who are able, I am asking that you submit your minutes in electronic form by emailing them to me at tmcculloch@presbylh.org. These would be your minutes from the last time they were reviewed through August, 2020. 
 
For this year, you do not need to fill out the minutes checklist, I will review each set of minutes with the checklist, make any appropriate notes or exceptions and mail that sheet back to you with your “sticker.” Please note that I will not be checking the “financial review” question this year. COVID shutdowns made it difficult for many churches to complete this item.
 
We will not review the Church Registers this year. We will wait for a time when we can do that again.
 
If you are not able to send your minutes electronically, you can mail a physical copy of the relevant minutes to me at the Presbytery office and I will review them and return the comment sheet back to you. Please send a copy ONLY and not the original as the copy will not be returned.
 
Finally, you may start submitting minutes for review as soon as you have them ready – no waiting this year!
 
Thank you for your patience and flexibility. As always, please feel free to contact me with any questions.
 
Yours in Christ,
 
Ted McCulloch, Stated Clerk
Phone: 989-799-7481
2021 Per Capita Set
The 2021 Per Capita Apportionment approved at the September stated meeting is as follows.

General Assembly $8.98
Synod of the Covenant $3.25
Presbytery $16.53
Total $28.76

(This is a decrease of $0.24 per member for 2021)

This may also be found on the Documents and Forms page of of website under Financial Information
Parish Paper
The latest editions of the Parish Paper are now available on our website. As a reminder these may be used by all of our congregations free of charge under the presbytery's subscription. Topics this time are:

November Building Relationships In Livestream Worship
December Using Surveys To Guide Decision Making

Click here  to download these or any of the issues from the previous decade.
Job Opportunities
Trinity United Presbyterian Church, Flint is hiring for a Church Secretary/Financial Secretary position. We are looking to interview in the next 2 weeks. Part-time, 20 hr/wk, M-F, $15/hr. Strong written and verbal communication skills and knowledge of Microsoft Office software needed. Proficiency with social media posting desirable. Willing to train on the financial aspects. Interested candidates, please contact Pastor Lindsey Carnes 810-445-6780 pastorLcarnes@gmail.com.

Click here for the job description.
Holy Spirit Lutheran Church in Fenton is searching for a part-time (10-15 hours/week) to lead youth programming for Middle School and High School age youth. Principle responsibilities include providing leadership and teaching for Middle School and High School youth, working with the pastors, Youth and Christian Education Teams, and coordinating fund-raising activities that support special youth activities and trips. For a full position description, qualifications and compensation information, go to: www.holyspiritlc.net and click on the position posting.

The Rev. Cassie Todd is a minister member of our presbytery and serving as the Associate Pastor at Holy Spirit.
Presbyterian Women's Fall Gathering
News from Lake Huron Presbyterian Women Coordinating Team:

As you are aware, the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), is currently and has been spreading across the United States. The LH PW is keenly aware of the importance of keeping safe and healthy. While the risk of transmitting the virus has improved, we are not willing to put our friends and family at risk. Therefore, the LH PW Coordinating Team is planning a Virtual Fall Event on November 7, 2020 from 10:00 am until 12:00 pm. 
 
The 2020 Virtual Fall Event will be a panel discussion with the panelists sharing their story on the topic of “Justice for All.”  We are excited to welcome Dr. Elona Street-Stewart, Co-Moderator of the 224th General Assembly; Dr. Rhashell Hunter, Director of Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries for the Presbyterian Mission Agency; and Dr. Daniel M. Saperstein, Executive Presbyter for the Presbytery of Lake Huron. 

To register, please click the link below and answer the registration questions. You will then receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting. If you are having problems registering, please contact the Presbytery Office (989-799-7481) and they can assist you.

Click here to register.

Participants will be invited to pose questions and offer comments through a moderated discussion and by using the Chat feature.

The following resources are recommended readings prior to the event:

  • You Tube Video, “Race in America” Phil Vischer, the creator of Veggie Tales
  • Oprah’s Apple TV Series on Racism
  • Oprah’s Newest Book Club Book, “Caste: The Origins of Our Discontents” by Isabel Wilkerson
  • Amos 5:24
  • Matthew 25

This is an exciting and critical time in our nation’s history. I look forward to you joining us in this Virtual Event. 

Please feel free to direct any questions to member(s) of the LH PW Coordinating Team.

Georgia McCall, Moderator
Chris Wolf, Co-Moderator
Terry Woods, Treasurer
Beth Asperger, Co-Communicator
Tanya Foster, Co-Communicator
Sharon Auger, South Area Representative
Janet Olson, North West Area Representative
Joanne Clever, Co-Search Committee
Ernestine Jackson, Co-Search Committee
GLAPCE Fall Event
Equipping the Church to Welcome All Gender
Identity/Fluidity/Pronouns, featuring the Rev. Shanea D. Leonard and the Rev. Jess Cook.

Great Lakes Association of Presbyterian Church Educators
Presents an Online Event

Session One - Wednesday, October 14th at 7:00 p.m.
Session Two - Thursday, October 15th at 10:00 a.m.
Times are Eastern Standard Time.

Zoom events will be recorded and available for viewing after the live session has ended.

This is a meaningful opportunity for all church ministries.
Christian Educators, Pastors, Christian Education Ministries and Member Care Ministries

Click here for more details and to register.

Mediation Skills Training
The last session of Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders for this year will be November 16-20, 2020. This outstanding 5-day event helps participants deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. The tentative dates for next year are March 1-5, May 3-7, June 21-25, August 2-6, October 4-8, and November 15-19, 2021. No decision has yet been made with regard to returning to an in-person format, so attendees will need access to a device with both a camera and a microphone. Questions? Contact the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org or 630-627-0507.  To receive a $200 tuition discount for the November 2020 session, register no later than October 16.

To register online for any of our events scheduled for this year, please visit: https://www.brownpapertickets.com/producer/720852.

Resources Regarding COVID-19
We have set up a page with numerous resources to help you navigate through this challenging time.

Among other things, our COVID-19 page includes information regarding:

  • Virtual Worship and Live Streaming
  • Zoom and online meetings
  • Funerals
  • Online giving
  • Grants and loans
  • Denominational resources
  • Mental wellness
  • Re-opening considerations

If there are other items/resources that you would to see added please contact Staci Percy at spercy@presbylh.org.