Presbytery of Blackhawk
CONNECTIONS news & updates
December 9, 2021

Join us on January 6 at 2 pm for a Congregational Vitality Roundtable presentation and discussion on growing the Intergenerational ministry opportunities in your congregation. Rev. Christina Berry will be leading the Roundtable and promises to have plenty of resources and ideas to share!
(Zoom Meeting ID: 865 5292 7155 & Passcode: 690998 - or join our Matthew 25 interest list to receive regular meeting reminders.

If you are able to self-assess your church ahead of time, you may use these metrics:
  1. Children as 11 and younger – elementary school age
  2. Youth as 12 and up – middle school through high school
  3. Young adults – College age up to 35
  4. Middle aged – 36 to 60
  5. Older adults – over 60
  6. Elderly – over 80
Using these age groups, how would you describe your church?

When you gather for events, who is actually THERE –
(or was there in the Before Times) For Worship? At education/Sunday School? In mission events? For fellowship?
You are invited to join us for
Matthew 25
Roundtable Discussions

No Roundtables in December
Jan 6 at 2 pm Topic: Congregational Vitality- Intergenerational Ministry

The Committee is currently re-evaluating the Roundtable schedule and format.

1 hour each, on Zoom - Drop in when you can!

Please join our group list to insure you receive the invitation and reminders.
Learn more about the Matthew 25 Initiative on our website (coming soon)
or on the PCUSA pages
You too can help bend the moral arc

Two PC(USA) congregations in Princeton, NJ, offer an example of how holding difficult conversations can result in real progress healing the nation’s racial divide. Helpful process guide, video and webinar available for anyone's use!

As a Matthew 25 congregation, the folks at Galena First have been busy looking for opportunities to look out for the needs in their community - both near and far. They recently installed a prayer box in front of the church, heralded by a press release offering to pray for anyone who would like that support.

And they have joined forces with 2 other local congregations to raise funds to forgive the medical debt of impoverished individuals weighed down by their debt burdens. The RIP Medical Debt organization makes this unique solution to one aspect of poverty alleviation possible.

Stay tuned for your opportunity to take part in a similar Presbytery-wide RIP Medical Debt campaign early next year!
Send us your local stories -
We love to share!
COVID and Omicron...Oh My!

Please keep a watch on COVID numbers as several counties in our region have seen big increases in case numbers as well as hospitalizations (See the IDPH website). Every county is now considered to be in the High Transmission designation. Some of our counties (e.g. Boone, Ogle, Winnebago, Grundy) are now over 10% positivity rates and Region One's available hospital beds are well under the desired 20% threshold. And all this is without the expected spread of the omicron variant. Testing information can also be found on the site.

Be vigilant, tighten your protocols if necessary and follow the guidelines of public health officials urging vaccination, boosters, masking, testing and distancing.
Session Records Reviews

Thank you to all who attended one of the session records reviews this past month. We had an excellent turnout of clerks (or their designees). One session remains this Saturday, Dec. 11 at Waltham Pres., Utica (809 N. 3450 Rd., Utica, IL 61373) at 10 a.m.

If your records have not been reviewed, please contact the office to see about special arrangements.
Special thanks to all our hosts at DeKalb, Fulton, Gardner (and Waltham) for your warm welcome!
Hosting Kenya Partners
Tentative August 31- September 12, 2022

Blackhawk Presbytery is preparing an invitation for members of the Imenti Presbyteries to visit us after the Covid-19 crisis is under control. The Blackhawk/Imenti Partnership was created in 1996 and since then Blackhawk representatives have visited Imenti over 10 times, but Imenti representatives have only visited us 3 times. We feel the reciprocity of visits is critical…
“so that we may be mutually encouraged by each other’s faith, both yours and mine.” (Rom. 1:12)  

With this visit the churches in Blackhawk will have an opportunity to be blessed by our partners’ message of spiritual vitality and church growth. Is your church interested in hosting? Please see more.
Leader Formation - Not Just One Year

Formation is a process, not an event. While 2021 has served as the Year of Leader Formation: Investing in Ruling Elders and Deacons, opportunities to grow as a leader in the church through service as a ruling elder or deacon will continue into the coming years. You can expect to receive updates about new resources as they are developed. To view recordings of past Year of Leader Formation webinars and find resources created especially for this focus, the website will continue to be kept up-to-date.