Presbytery of Blackhawk


December 15, 2023

Blessings to you all during this wonder-filled season of Advent. The days seem to grow shorter, in light and in time available for the busyness before us. My prayer is that each of you find hope, peace, joy, and love in new and refreshing ways this Christmas.

Hard as it is, please take time for yourselves. Slow down to be still. Watch your favorite Christmas movie. Cliched as it sounds, Jesus is the reason for the season and for all we do. A wise seminary professor once told me the best thing we can do for Christmas is to tell God’s story and get out the way. Christmas will come even if the decorations are not perfect, the choir is off key, or our sermons are just OK. 

Merry Christmas to you all. 

Rev. Eric Heinekamp, Transformational General Presbyter and Stated Clerk

Presbytery Meeting Recap

The Blackhawk assembly gave thanks for many gifts at the November 14 meeting: Outgoing Moderator Pastor Laurie Walker who also preached an inspiring message, incoming Moderator Pastor Ray Lantz, numerous leaders who have finished their terms of service as others were elected to begin theirs, Commissioning Pastor Alan Willadsen to Fairbury First, a spotlight on the variety of food ministries active and supported in our Presbytery, delicious lunch (thanks, Sterling!), worship & music, fellowship and the technology to make hybrid meetings possible (warts and all). 

Minutes are available here.

See you all on zoom for the

February 6, 2024 Assembly Meeting

at 6:00 pm

The evening meeting zoom format

is intentional - Please encourage those with daytime commitments to attend!


Four in 2024 (Assembly Meetings)

Tuesday February 6, 2024

On Zoom only – starting at 6:00 pm

Tuesday May 14, 2024, 9:30am

Hybrid – location TBD and on zoom

Tuesday September 17, 2024, 9:30am

In person only at Stronghold

Tuesday November 19, 2024, 9:30am

Hybrid – location TBD and on zoom

The Blackhawk office will be closed and staff will be on vacation beginning Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2023, through Monday,

January 1, 2024.

Merry Christmas &

Happy New Year!


Helping Churches Make the Most of Year-End Giving from New Covenant Trust


Presbyterian Resources

50% off sale thru 12/19


Preaching Resource Guide: Books for Preaching, Worship & Special Occasions

General Assembly is for you. General Assembly IS you! Follow along with these updates.

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

Check out these fabulous new Matthew 25 Resources written by Jenna Campbell, Director of Children and Youth Ministry, First Presbyterian Church Stillwater, OK!


Resource Roadmap:


Weaving Matthew 25 through Children's, Youth, Intergenerational, and Faith at Home Ministry:


Pay it Forward: 

Public Domain

Hymn Project

from the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks

The first Christmastide videos of the Presbytery's Public Domain Hymn project are available!


While many congregations have been without regular musicians for years, it was during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic that this became more widely problematic. To ease this burden, the Presbytery of Plains and Peaks has embarked on a project to bring all of the Public Domain hymns in our denominational hymnal, Glory to God, to our congregations for a small donation. Please read more.

Israel-Palestine Resources

The Blackhawk Mission Committee would like to draw your attention to the collection of resources now available on the PMA website to help Presbyterians "prayerfully contextualize, reflect and further their understanding of the Israel-Palestine conflict". Visit:

By giving to the Christmas Joy Offering, you honor God's gift of Jesus Christ by providing assistance to current and retired church workers in their time of need and developing our future leaders at Presbyterian-related schools and colleges equipping communities of color.


An $80,000 Scholarship Over 4 Years For All Students Who Are Presbyterian

The Presbyterian Promise Scholarship is a commitment by Presbyterian College, (Clinton, SC) to recognize students for their merit and affiliation with the Presbyterian Church. PC seeks to develop students academically and spiritually in this signature scholarship. Students who are of members of Presbyterian churches will receive a scholarship for a minimum of $20,000 per year for up to four years—that’s an $80,000 commitment to you. For more information and to apply visit our site: 

Be inspired, hear the stories of others, and practice the tools of faith and leadership through conversations that nourish, enrich, and aid in the formation of leaders in the church.

Nourish: Short episodes for ruling elders and deacons.

Encounter: Longer episodes for church and mid council leaders.

Check it out and add to your podcast list!

In Memorium

We remember the family of Rev. Dr. James (Jamie) Swanson who passed away recently at his home in Wisconsin. He was formerly the pastor of Streator Park Pres. from 1994-2007. Please see more information.

Funding for Church Energy Efficiency or Renewable Energy—

A message from the Presbyterian Hunger Program

For congregations, there are many great webinars and websites out there about how to fund and pursue energy efficiency and renewable energy with financial resources, tax incentives, and pathways provided by this year’s legislation passed through the U.S. Congress. In addition to the curated list below, you can find other great webinars from Interfaith Power and Light as well as Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC).

In addition to these webinars and web sites about public funding and tips for saving energy and money, a reminder about the Restoring Creation Loan from the Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program. Many congregations have made use of this great resource as a way to get started. 


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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