Presbytery of Blackhawk


May 4, 2023

People. Place. Purpose.

How to use what you have to make a

difference in your community

Congregations seeking to be of value to their community are evaluating their assets and strengths and finding novel ways to respond to specific needs. 

Join us for a workshop to explore these topics and to share your plans and success stories

Saturday, June 17 | 9:30 a.m.—2 p.m.

DeKalb Westminster Pres.

830 Annie Glidden Road, DeKalb, IL 60115

The workshop will be a day focused on revitalizing your congregation and your mission by reaching out to be the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. 

  • From true community builder, Dan Kenney, we will learn what it takes to nurture the spark of an idea by building partnerships and coalitions. 
  • Paul Grier can help you envision what your building can and cannot do for your church and community. 
  • Eric Heinekamp will share some tools to help sharpen the focus of your ideas through the lens of community needs and congregational assets. 
  • Finally, we dedicate a session to you: to ask your questions, to share your successes (and perhaps less fruitful attempts) and celebrate your plans!






Highlights from the Recent Synod of Lincoln Trails Assembly Meeting

Something for everyone in the acclaimed series:

Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding

University of Dubuque Theological Seminary to Offer New Master of Arts in Ministry


New Master of Arts in Reformed Theology

Leadership Books Cover Every Aspect of Ministry

The Current
Blackhawk Prayer Calendar
can be found on our website.

Options for Boundary Training for 2023

The Commission on Ministry wants to insure healthy and appropriate boundaries exist between all our pastors and congregations. Training is required every three years for Ministers of Word and Sacrament, Commissioned Pastors, Interim and Temporary Supply Pastors, and all Pastors serving Blackhawk churches, whether as pulpit supply or members of other denominations. 

The Presbytery of Chicago is offering two boundary training options in 2023 and they have invited Blackhawk pastors to attend at no charge. 

  • Friday, and Saturday, June 2 and 3, 2023, from 9:30 AM to 12:00 noon (Register) or
  • Tuesday and Wednesday, October 17 and 18, 2023, from 9:30 AM to 12:00 noon (Register)

Please review the specifics here.

April 11 Presbytery Assembly

What a joyous day to gather at Rockford Third Presbyterian two days after Easter to connect, learn, vote and lunch. Thank you to our hosts and all who attended both in person and Zoom (your presence was felt as well!).

Minutes and reports are available on our website.

AMENDMENT UPDATE: In an orderly fashion, Blackhawk voted to approve 32 out of the 33 amendments to the constitution of the PCUSA. The amendments we chose to discuss and vote on separately were also those causing similar discussions across the denomination. However, as of the most recent vote totals, it appears all 33 are destined for approval. Stay tuned for information on how these changes may impact your church.

Blackhawk/Imenti Presbytery Partnership Fall Visit -

Host Churches Still Available!


Plans are moving forward to host 15 of our Kenyan Partners from September 8 to September 18.  We look forward to learning from their perspectives on such topic as evangelism, church growth, music and worship, climate change, and poverty.  If your church is interested in having a Kenyan partner visit your church for a Sunday service or weekday event, please contact Claire Brennecka

UDTS Summer Classes for Commissioned Pastors and those in Training

Interested in an in-person seminary experience?

Ready to worship, learn, fellowship and grow?

Join us at University of Dubuque Theological Seminary August 7-11th for on-site Commissioned Lay Leadership, Continuing Education Classes!


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Meet the Synod’s new moderator:

Dan Robertson

Rev. Dan Robertson was installed as the moderator of the Synod of Lincoln Trails during the March 24 meeting. He currently serves in Blackhawk as the pastor of First Pres. of Fairbury. Congratulations, Dan!


International Peacemakers are Coming!

Leaders from partner denominations and organizations around the world visit the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) each year to interpret issues of peace and justice. These visits inform Presbyterians, open hearts and minds, touch lives, establish relationships and inspire new ministries.

In 2023, Peacemakers will itinerate throughout the church from September 15 to October 9. Several Blackhawk churches have hosted Peacemakers in the past and found the experience to be enriching and rewarding.

Are you interested in hosting this year? Please contact the office and we'll see if we can create a hosting group in Blackhawk. Loreen can also answer your questions.

Learn more and meet this year's Peacemakers!

In Memoriam

Our sympathy goes to the family and friends of the Rev. James F. Offrink, who died May 2 at his home in Michigan. Rev. Offrink served the Elwood Community Presbyterian church for approximately 15 years from the late 70's to early 90's. Please read the full obituary.

Serve the Church by Applying to be a General Assembly Commissioner

Applications for 226th General Assembly commissioners for 2024 in Salt Lake City, Utah (June 25 - July 4,) are now accepted from Blackhawk minister members or ruling elders endorsed by their congregation. In addition, young adults, between the ages of eighteen (18) and twenty-three (23) on the date the General Assembly convenes may apply as a Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD).

All applications received by the deadline of October 1, 2023 will be reviewed by the Nominating Committee with nominees selected for election at the November 14, 2023 Presbytery Assembly as a GA Commissioner, YAAD and their appropriate alternates. Our presbytery is allowed to send one minister member, one ruling elder and one YAAD to General Assembly. Alternates will be elected to serve should one of the commissioners or YAAD be unable to fulfill their term.

Please Click Here for the guidelines and applications.

Tune in! The PC(USA) will be on PBS!  


The PC(USA) partnered with the Viewpoint project — — producer of high-quality social and educational documentaries for public television with the mission of positively impacting our communities and the world to produce and share a short video documentary. Our educational segment focuses on the denomination’s Matthew 25 commitment to creating healthy, just communities and a radically inclusive world. 


In May, households across the U.S. can view this segment via their local public broadcasting station. Your local PBS station will have the opportunity to show this documentary between broadcasts. A shorter version of the segment will also air across a myriad of cable networks like CNN and HLN.


Click here [] to check out the videos, learn more about the program and get some tips on how to prepare your congregation.

J. Herbert Nelson to step down as

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA)

After seven years as the chief ecclesial officer of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, has announced plans to step down from his role as Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) effective June 30, 2023. The decision, he says, came after long conversations with his family and extended time in prayer. Please read MORE.


Presbytery Meeting

Tuesday, June 13, 2023

9:30 am

Hybrid- on zoom; in person at Ridgefield-Crystal Lake


The per capita assessment for:

2023 is $42.00

Church payments are posted monthly on the website

Visit our website:

Presbytery of Blackhawk

Our Vision and Values

     Grounded in the biblical image for human community, as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we challenge and support congregations to be thriving faith communities by facilitating competent leadership and resourcing to energize ministry and mission.

     As Christians, guided by the principles of love, trust, open communication, and genuine relationships, we value each other as sisters and brothers in faith in all our varied theological understandings. Therefore, we relish respectful discussions of differing opinions as a necessary part of discerning the will of God.

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