Presbytery of Blackhawk
CONNECTIONS news & updates
May 31, 2022
May to June Blackhawk Presbytery
Prayer Calendar

Please use this Prayer Calendar to remember the churches and pastoral leadership of Blackhawk in your daily prayers. The list will be updated and shared with each Connections and on the webpage: Our Congregations.

"Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed.
The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective." James 5:16 (NIV)
RIP Medical Debt Campaign in
Blackhawk Presbytery

  • Did you know that Medical debt is the leading cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.?
  • More than 1 in 3 Americans struggle to afford the cost of their medical care.
  • In 2020, collection agencies held $140 billion in unpaid medical debts. Such debts can be financially devastating to households that are already struggling, leaving them unable to secure housing, reliable transportation, or other daily necessities. 

The Mission Committee of Blackhawk Presbytery and the Matthew 25 Task Force invite you to join with us in a spring campaign to eliminate medical debt. Through the non-profit organization, RIP Medical Debt, we raise money throughout the presbytery >> RIP buys medical debt at a steep discount (pennies on the dollar) >> together we wipe out medical debt for those most vulnerable.

Our 90-day Blackhawk campaign to raise $15,000 has now begun!
Won't you help us wipe out $1,500,000 in debt?
As much as possible, we will target debt in our region.  

Find out how you and your congregation can be involved in this exciting project. Learn More.
Bread for the World

Bread for the World (bread.org) is a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s decision-makers to end hunger at home and abroad. By changing policies, programs, and conditions that allow hunger and poverty to persist, Bread’s advocacy provides help and opportunity at home and far beyond where we live. For almost fifty years, Bread has been at the forefront of a Christian response to ending hunger.

The Blackhawk Matthew 25 Task Force encourages all congregations (with or without an active commitment to the M-25 Initiative) to investigate the Bread for the World hunger programs. Their Offering of Letters campaign affords a meaningful, educational, and effective non-partisan path for advocating for programs that offer hope of ending hunger. Please read more.

Here is a Flyer for you to use for your own letter writing campaign. Contact the office for the Publisher document, or we would be happy to modify it for you.
NEW Confirmation Curriculum for the Matthew 25 Congregation:
Commissioned to Change the World

“Commissioned to Change the World is a superb new curriculum that should be a top consideration for any congregation, whether or not it has officially enrolled as a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Matthew 25 Congregation.... It is revolutionary in its approach, recasting confirmation from the classic modality of preparing youth for church membership… Instead, it presupposes that confirmands are already church members by virtue of their baptism, and it seeks to prepare them not for institutional membership but for missional engagement with the world. It seeks to launch confirmands into joining the church’s mission rather than the church’s membership. (read full review)” — General Minister to Pittsburgh Presbytery Sheldon Sorge

Through a Mirror Dimly

Considering Public Violence, Disbelief and
Faith with Youth – A session to help youth talk, pray and think about life and faith following a violent situation.

A useful and current resourceJust updated by Gina Yeager-Buckley of the Presbyterian Youth and Triennium Office, with thanks to the Office of Christian Formation PCUSA.

Suggestions for Use:
  • As a youth group gathering
  • In two parts (e.g. two consecutive Sunday mornings)
  • Shorten and use for Church School
  • For a mid- week Bible Study or lunch time gathering
Pentecost Offering:
For the Future of the Church

Pentecost Sunday is June 5. Join us in receiving and celebrating the Pentecost Offering, which supports children at risk; ministries with children and youth, including the Youth Triennium; and the Young Adult Volunteer (YAV) program.

Since the Pentecost Offering was started in 1998, Presbyterians have raised more than $16 million for ministries that benefit younger members of God's family. We believe we are called to do even more - to support and care for young people as they build a strong foundation of faith.
You are Invited to Celebrate
Rev. John Huff

Please join the First Presbyterian Church of Romeoville as we celebrate the 50 plus years of pastoral care given to us by Reverend John Huff and his wife Cathie. We will be bestowing on him the title of Pastor Emeritus for our church. A reception will be held for them following the 11:00 service.

When: June 12, 2022 at the 9:30 and 11:00 services
Where: United Presbyterian Church of Romeoville, 2 Belmont Ave, Romeoville, Il 60446

If John or Cathie touched your life in some way and you are unable to attend our celebration, you may email your good wishes/ memories to scummins456@gmail.com to have them included in the memory book which will be given to them.
Matthew 25
Roundtable Discussions are on hiatus - please stay tuned and see our exciting initiatives:
RIP Medical Debt Campaign
and
Bread for the World Offering of Letters
elsewhere in this newsletter.

Learn more about the Matthew 25 Initiative on our website or on the PCUSA pages
Sabbath Grant Program for Presbyterian Faith Formation Leaders
Application Deadline: June 16, 2022

The Office of Christian Formation in the Presbyterian Mission Agency supports faith formation leaders that serve in presbyteries, organizations, congregations, camp and conference centers and campus ministries. Grants are available for $1000 to engage into up to a week of sabbath time.
Retreat with Fly Fishing

Altar Fly Fishing offers unique retreat experiences for men and women from all walks of life, but they have a special focus on pastors. The retreats offer an opportunity for pastors to get away for a few days in a beautiful place with the expectation that upon returning to their daily lives they will be refreshed for what is ahead. (You don’t have to have ever picked up a fly rod before to participate.)