Bi-Weekly Brief news & updates
March 11, 2020
We Lift Up In Prayer
New:
The Rev. Ken Hetzel, Honorably Retired, who has had some encouraging news in his cancer treatment.

Bruce Graham, husband of the Rev. Linda Graham, Davison-St. Andrews, who is recovering from a recent stroke.

Elder Don Wixson, Commissioned Ruling Elder of Vassar-First, who is being treated for cancer.

Ongoing:
Our 20 churches currently in pastoral transition. (That is 44% of our total congregations.)

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:
Elder Peggy Ronk (3/4) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Breckenridge-Emerson
Elder Liz Long (3/5) - Commissioned Ruling Elder of Ithaca-Lafayette
The Rev. Karen Blatt (3/12) - 20 Years - Honorably Retired and Temporary Supply of Houghton Lake-Kirk of the Lakes
The Rev. Hakbae Moon (3/19) - Pastor of Flint-Unity
The Rev. Linda Graham (3/25) - Temporary Supply of Davison-St. Andrews
The Rev. Jan Chambers (3/29) - Honorably Retired and Pastor Emerita of Tawas
The Rev. Andrew Miller (4/4) - Pastor of Mt. Pleasant-First
The Rev. Dong Won Park (4/15) - Honorably Retired
The Rev. George Gillette (4/27) - Honorably Retired

 

From The Lions' Den
Dan Saperstein
Coronavirus and Your Church

I saw on the news today that my childhood home – in New Rochelle, New York – is in the middle of the three-square-mile containment area where the state governor has restricted public meetings and asked the entire population to remain quarantined for two weeks. The news made the headlines about the coronavirus, the number of confirmed cases, and the various containment measures around the world become very personal.

The coronavirus is a real public health threat. It is not “just a bad cold”; neither is it “no worse than the flu.” It is a serious contagion that can be carried and transmitted without symptoms. Estimates of the mortality rate for persons diagnosed with COVID-19, the coronavirus infection, range from 1.4% to 3.4%. By contrast, the seasonal flu has a mortality rate of about .1% (one-tenth of one percent). The risk of hospitalization and death escalate markedly by age in persons over 60 years old, especially those with underlying health issues, like heart disease, lung disease, or diabetes. This puts most of our church members in the high-risk category and calls for special preparedness among our churches.

How should we and our congregations respond to this rapidly-evolving threat? Here are a few important suggestions:

  1. Don’t panic. Get reliable information from reliable sources, like the Center for Disease Control website (www.cdc.gov) and trustworthy national and local news sources like major network websites.
  2. Use common sense. Take preventive measures for your sake and for the sake of others. Wash your hands frequently; use hand sanitizer. At least for the time-being, avoid unnecessary hand contact and stay away from crowded public spaces.
  3. If you have flu-like symptoms, stay home! Odds are, you have the flu – especially if public health officials have not reported a coronavirus outbreak in your area. Rest and drink plenty of fluids. Mild or moderate symptoms of coronavirus include a high fever (90% incidence) and a dry cough (70% incidence). If you are experiencing severe symptoms like shortness of breath, or if you in a high-risk category, you should call your doctor for advice. Click here is a good list of practices for persons with flu-like symptoms.
  4. Develop a congregational response and communication strategy. Use your emergency response plan to keep members informed and cared for. Your session may want to consider an action and contingency plan like this. In addition, the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has prepared a guide for congregational planning and care during severe infectious disease outbreak. Now is the time to begin level-headed planning for a congregational response. Do not wait until the virus begins to affect your members.

Should our area become heavily infected, any presbytery-wide directives will be posted on our website and through our usual email communications. A response plan for presbytery gatherings such as committee meetings will be posted as soon as it becomes necessary.

By taking reasonable precautions we can reduce the impact of the virus in our churches and communities. By planning ahead for our congregational responses, we can show care for one another and our neighbors. Let us pray for the health of our communities and for all those affected by the virus. And let us take the common sense steps to mitigate its impact on ourselves and others.

Faithfully, 

Dan Saperstein, Executive Presbyter
Thank You
We would like to thank the Korean Presbyterian Church of Saginaw for being such outstanding hosts for our March stated meeting. We particularly appreciate their willingness to host even though they are currently without a pastor.
Ludwig Update





Dear Lake Huron Presbytery,
We want to say thank you for your year-end gift on behalf of ourselves and the Nigeriens we work with! We recently received some thanks and appreciation that we want to pass on to you, since it’s your gifts that keep us able to serve here. At the beginning of this year we did a CHE training in a new region called Tahoua. Afterwards, my colleague got several calls from pastors who we trained, telling him that they really appreciated this type of training. They really didn’t expect it, as they have various aid organizations that come through this area more often and occasionally offer seminars. But the listening, sharing, and discovering together that we did in the CHE training was refreshing for them. Since it was focused on ideas for outreach to their communities from water problems to lack of resources for farming, they said it was more helpful than they expected. 
We will be in the US an extended time due to our son's surgery. If you have time, maybe we can visit with a brief update during your fall or winter presbytery meeting?
Thank you for making this ministry possible! 

Michael, Rachel, Hassan, Adeline, Simeon, Zach and Isaac Ludwig

Family updates:
Hamburgers, french fries, a knock off coke at a restaurant was a treat, as we were traveling for a conference in South Africa and were able to vacation some with Rachel's parents!
Picture of us with Rachel's parents on the coast of Cape Town
Paperwork for US citizenship and CHE trainings have been the other things keeping us extremely busy.

Click here to read their newsletter on the PC(USA) website. They will be publishing another one soon.
Our Congregations Are Giving In Creative Ways





From: Lauren W. Rogers
Mission Specialist, Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog
Presbyterian Mission Agency

I wanted to share with you two exciting happenings I have recently come across in your presbytery. First, we just received a contribution for famine relief food vouchers through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog from Flushing Presbyterian Church. For years now they have been donating hunger-related items through the Giving Catalog, and I am so glad they have found a cause to connect with. I have reached out to them to offer my support as they continue to engage with the Catalog, and I hope you will also extend our gratitude.

Also, I have been in touch with Sue at First Presbyterian Church in Alma. The congregation came to our attention because they recently donated an oxen and plow through the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, and their gift came with the note “Noah’s Ark.” Of course I needed to find out what Noah’s Ark was. Sue shared with me that for 10 years they have been “filling the ark” at First Presbyterian Church, literally filling an ark a member constructed (picture attached) so they could donate animals through Heifer International and the Giving Catalog. Each time they would purchase an animal, they would place a stuffed animal in the ark. They are now retiring this campaign for the time being and setting out on a new “Prime the Pump” campaign where they will raise money for water items through the Catalog. Sue is going to present the campaign to the congregation on March 8, though there is already a water pump in the front of the sanctuary ready for collecting (also attached). I have shared stories of impact with her surrounding water projects to include in her presentation, and she said the children of the congregation are going to create their own little rock wells that day to take home to begin collecting. We are so excited about this effort and are looking forward to finding additional ways to support this congregation. Hopefully we can even make it up there sometime soon to provide encouragement in person!
 
Really wonderful things are taking place in Lake Huron Presbytery, and we feel fortunate to be a part of that. Thank you, as always, for your ministry.
 
Blessings,
Lauren
Presbytery-wide Hunger Action Summit





The Poor People’s March on will take place in Washington, D.C. on June 20th. How can we as members of Presbytery of Lake Huron be involved? First, go to www.michiganppc.org and learn about the Poor People’s Campaign that began in September 2019 and includes Michigan and 24 other states. Secondly, come to the Hunger Action Summit next month at Flint-Trinity United.

About three-fourths of our congregations are active in some form of hunger ministry, from food pantries to community meals. If your congregation is one of those, or would like to know more about how to engage in a local hunger ministry, a presbytery-wide summit will be held at Trinity United Presbyterian Church 5500 Lennon Rd. in Flint Township Monday, April 6 from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m.
We hope to have present leaders from the Food Bank of Eastern Michigan and the ALICE project of the United Way to guide us in how we might best work collaboratively to address working poverty in our communities through hunger ministry.

The event will precede the “Moral Monday” rally in Flint scheduled for 5 p.m. featuring the Rev. William Barber and Dr. Liz Theoharis. Those coming to the summit are invited, but not required, to participate in the rally, which is part of the New Poor People’s Campaign . At 4:30 attendees of the summit will travel to St. Paul’s Episcopal, Flint, about 15 minutes away to join in the March and Rally being held there from about 5:00 to 8:00 pm.

This is a Matthew 25 event.

Please notify Rose Onan at ronan@presbylh.org or 989-799-7481 x6 at the Presbytery Office of your interest in attending.
Presbyterian Women Gathering
Presbyterian Women In the Synod of the Covenant
2020 Gathering

July 17-18, 2020

600 N. Brady Road
Dearborn, MI 48124

Join us for singing, daily prayers and worship and the business of our PW in the Synod. Register now for the best rate and plan to renew friendships and make new friends during our time together.

Click here for complete details and registration information.
You're Invited
Midland-Memorial is hosting a "Faith and Values Film Festival" each Sunday from March 1st through April 5th at 5:00pm. The leader for this series is our Executive Presbyter, the Rev. Dr. Dan Saperstein.

Click here for details.
Every Tuesday in Lent ( March 3—April 7) Lapeer-First is hosting an evening class on A People’s History of Christianity: The Other Side of the Story, by Diana Butler Bass. There will be a soup potluck dinner from 6:00 to 6:30 PM, followed by a class from 6:30 to 7:30 PM. Together we’ll learn about historical figures and events overlooked by most church histories and how their examples of prayer and faith can enrich our own spiritual journeys today. To learn more or sign up, email our office ( office@fpclapeer.org).  
Second Presbyterian Church of Saginaw Township , located at 2665 Midland Road, will be holding its semi-annual Fish Fry Dinner on Friday, March 20th , from 4:30 pm to 6:30 pm. The dinner includes all you can eat fish (fried pollock), potatoes, coleslaw, bread, beverage, and dessert.
 
The fish fries, held one Friday during Lent and October are the Presbyterian Men's largest fundraisers and help fund various church projects such as; landscaping, many maintenance projects of the church building and grounds, sponsorship of Boy Scout Troop 321, and various other projects. This alleviates pressure from the budget on these items and allows for more mission giving. The Presbyterian Men have been holding the fish fry since the 1950s.  The event has grown to include a bake sale, which helps to fund the Presbyterian Women's many local, national, and international mission projects. 
 
The cost of the all you can eat dine-in experience is $11.00 for adults, $5.00 for children 5-11, and free for children younger than 5 years old. Take outs are available for $10.00. Come on out and enjoy a delicious fish dinner, grab a baked good snack for later from the bake sale! 

Click here for a printable flyer.

Additional information may be found at one of the following links:
 
Education and Scholarship Opportunites
McCabe Charitable Foundation Scholarship

Applications are now being accepted for the McCabe Charitable Foundation.

Applicants must:
  • Be Jewish or Presbyterian students from Bay, Saginaw or Midland County
  • Show financial need
  • Plan to enroll or planning to enroll in full-time undergraduate studies at Delta Community College or Saginaw Valley State University for the upcoming academic year

Deadline to register is March 16, 2020. Click here for more details and to apply.