Presbytery of Blackhawk


January 23, 2024

Presbytery Assembles

Our first assembly meeting in 2024 is February 6 - beginning at 6 pm. The evening, zoom-only format is intentional. Please encourage those with daytime commitments to attend - all are welcome. And remember that every congregation gets at least one commissioner in addition to their pastor. If your church has not sent anyone to assembly for some time this would be a great meeting. Together we can do more. 

First time attendees are welcome to log on 15 minutes early for a brief orientation. An orientation video is also available on the meeting page (at the bottom) of our website.

Meeting documents are located here (when available). This web page is password-protected - please contact us if you need the login information.


Annual Report Season

Thank you to the clerks of session, pastors, and secretaries who have been busy gathering the information needed for the PCUSA Annual Statistical Report and other information requested by the presbytery. Last day for entry of your stats is February 15, so please don't wait until the last minute. Contact Loreen today if you need assistance. Find copies of all the reports and instructions here (they were mailed in early December to each church)


Lent Resource Guide + Sale


2024 Lenten devotions: "Local Pilgrim" from Presbyterian Outlook

Recommended reading from Eric Heinekamp:

7 Church Trends That Will Disrupt 2024

by Carey Nieuwhof

The Current

Blackhawk Prayer Calendar

can be found on our website.


Learn Asset Mapping: Make the Most of Your Congregation’s Gifts

God has given us all gifts that we can call strengths or assets. That applies to us individually but also as congregations. Congregations can jump-start ministry and mission for the future by identifying and assessing their assets with a fun and insightful exercise called "Asset Mapping". First introduced last year at the People. Place. Purpose. Workshop, attendees were intrigued by the exercise and many wanted to learn more. 

Using "The Power of Asset Mapping: How Your Congregation Can Act on Its Gifts" by Luther K. Snow, Eric Heinekamp will offer two opportunities to help church leaders learn the process and in turn, use the exercise with their congregation. Any and all are welcome - it would be especially beneficial if each church attending could send a team of at least two people. The half-day workshop is sponsored by the Blackhawk Matthew 25 Task Force as they seek to assist our churches to become more Vital Congregations. 


OPTION 1: Saturday, February 24, 9:00 - 12:30 am (probably Stronghold)

OPTION 2: Saturday, March 9, 9:00 - 12:30 am (probably Morris First Pres.)

Confirmation Retreat - Now Condensed for Ease of Participation


Call Kitty at 815-732-6111 ext. 613

to register

A New Round of Oasis Grants for Pastors

The Synod of Lincoln Trails' Oasis grants for pastors are to be used for something that will restore your soul and regenerate your spirit. SOLT wants to be a place of nourishment for pastors. What would spark joy in your life this season? The deadline for this round is February 15. Learn more and apply here: 

A Vital Gift from Our Board of Pensions


Last summer, the Board of Pensions of the PC(USA) began the Clergy Wellness Support Program. This initiative provides ministers with grants up to $5,000 to foster renewal and wholeness. The grants can be taken every six years. Read more here and see the seven programs the Board of Pensions has pre-approved.

Presbyterian Women in the Presbytery News

Welcome to 2024. Hopefully, your holidays went well with lots of activities with family and friends.

I’m going to try to guide you again this year with another successful Church World Service Kits Program. This year let’s see if we can outdo the collections that we accomplished last year. Several churches made kits or contributed funds to help ship the kits to wherever they were needed.  

When you set your goal for this year, please let me know what it will be. Even a small financial contribution will be very helpful. Think of all the disasters that have been happening all over the world, be it a tornado, earthquake, or war, many people need our help to start a new life in a safer place.

At the CWS website, you can order a pamphlet that explains what goes into the different style kits. Elgin dropoff information can be found on the Blackhawk website.

Blessings to all, Jill Sunday

PWP Communications Editor

In Loving Memory

Please remember in prayer the Rev. Peder Carlson (Honorably Retired) and family following the recent death of his wife, Carol “Jan” Janet Carlson on December 25, 2023. Please see the obituary.

Books & Baked Goods...Oh My! (See more)

International Peacemakers Announced for 2024

Is your church interested in hosting one of the Peacemakers in 2024? These individuals come from the far corners of the world to share their lives and work in furthering God's peaceable kingdom. Several Blackhawk congregations have been blessed by these visits in past years. Please let Loreen know if you have an interest. Read more about this year's peacemakers and program.

Calls to Service are Not Just for Pastors!

How might your unique skills and experiences, along with the pastor or other elders, benefit the ministry of your congregation in these challenging times? In Practical faith and faithful practice, (one of the re: Ruling Elders series) valerie izumi spotlights the experince of Elder Kathy Lueckert in finding and using her gifts.

Subscribe to receive notifications of monthly "Regarding Ruling Elders" articles, like this one. All include discussion questions suitable for officer training and session meetings.

General Assembly is for you.

General Assembly IS you!

Follow along with these updates.

IRS Mileage rate for 2024 is

67 cents per mile driven for business use, up 1.5 cents from 2023.

Congregational Vitality Spotlight

The "Heart" of Fulton Presbyterian

The Fulton outreach committee wanted to offer choices from the Presbyterian Giving Catalog to the congregation, asking “What speaks to YOUR heart?” as its theme. The wide variety of needs from around the world offered through the catalog inspired people to donate over $2000 to various causes.

A big, moveable bulletin board was given a prime location, with catalogs, forms and pictures offered. In addition, each week during worship, they would select two or three options from the catalog and read their description. As the final date for the campaign approached, pictures with information and totals showed up around the church, spurring additional interest and donations.

Perfect for a February (or any month) focus - Great job getting creative!


Presbytery Meeting

Tuesday, February 6, 2024

6:00 pm

On zoom only


The per capita assessment for:

2024 is $43.00

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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