Presbytery of Blackhawk


July 13, 2023



The new Book of Order is now available AND all changes are in effect.

Click for a digital version, or to order copies or

grab a copy at the next assembly meeting. We will have some copies for sale (save on shipping) but are not taking orders.

Fresh Outlook Bible Studies for young adults

NEW from Outlook

Church World Service is hiring an IL-based (remote) Community Engagement Specialist. Pass the word!

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

June 13 Presbytery Assembly

The Presbytery of Blackhawk met on June 13, 2023 for their assembly meeting. We were grateful for the worship service, featuring the energetic 11-person music team from Ridgefield-Crystal Lake PC, and an inspiring message from Rev. Thea Kornelius (Elgin First). The Commission on Ministry’s proposed new policy establishing a minimum sick leave for pastors was passed and their proposal for 2024 Minimum Terms of Call was presented for first reading. 

Joining the assembly with a guest presentation on zoom was Rev. Shawn Kang, the Central Region associate for 1001 New Worshiping Communities.

If you would like to share or watch any of the videos search here:

or contact Shawn: | (502) 216-6974

Upcoming Mission & Learning Opportunities

  • The Kenya Partnership is in the final planning stages to welcome Kenyan visitors from September 8-18. Please pray for the 15 individuals who face visa interviews beginning next week. Host and/or visit opportunities for your church may still be available. Contact Claire Brennecka or Laurie Walker to express your interest.

  • Plans are also underway for a Blackhawk-Imenti Retreat for church members, elders, and pastors from 1:30-8:00 p.m. on Monday, September 11 at Stronghold - the day before our assembly meeting. MARK YOUR CALENDARS - more info soon.

  • Blackhawk is also hosting Rev. Angie Wuysang, an International Peacemaker from Indonesia in September. DeKalb Westminster and Bolingbrook First of DuPage have already committed to house and offer speaking opportunities, but if your churches is also interested, please contact Loreen soon. MORE TO COME

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.

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Getting to know…. Eric Heinekamp

Thanks to a Synod Spotlight, you can learn a bit more about our "many-hat-wearing" Transformational General Presbyter and Stated Clerk (and temporary treasurer), Eric Heinekamp.

After enjoying this snippet, read the entire SOLT newsletter and/or follow the Synod on Facebook for the latest news!

The CWS Kits Challenge for 2023

The challenge for this year is to have all 68 churches in Blackhawk Presbytery participate in the Kits program. Some churches will assemble kits and others will make a financial contribution. Either way is beneficial to Church World Service. With all the disasters going on around the world, anything we could do to help is appreciated. Please ask whoever coordinates this event at your church to contact me to let me know what your plans are. 

Thank you, Jill Sunday

PWP Communications Editor

A new version of the synod-wide New Pastors program is in the works! The design team will meet with Sara Dingman in August to start planning.

We want to hear from you! Did you participate in the New Pastors program?

Do you have ideas on how to faithfully equip new leaders? Let us know!

People - Yours can reach out

Place - Building and location can do more

Purpose - What is God calling you to do?

Over 40 representatives from 17 different Blackhawk Congregations (25%) chose to gather for the People. Place. Purpose. Workshop last month in DeKalb to learn and network with others similarly searching for a way forward for their church.

The day's three speakers brought insights into: identifying and responding to unmet needs in your community, considerations for sharing your building, and recognizing your congregation's assets as a basis for outreach projects.

Thank you to everyone for your participation. We are always ready to hear your suggestions for future events to help your church to be a vital congregation!

Season of Rebuilding

The Board of Pensions is seeking to make the necessary changes to its plans to provide greater flexibility and cost control for congregations as they care for the well-being of their pastoral leadership.


The First Presbyterian Church of Galena has an HP OfficeJet Pro 8710 printer that is free to any church that may want it. We’ll also give you an unopened cartridge of 952XL yellow ink. The printer makes good quality copies, but we did have problems making a wireless connection to it with one of our three computers (a newer Mac laptop). We didn’t have those problems with an older Mac desktop or a newer Windows desktop. 

For more information, call the church office at 815-777-0229 or Rev. Jim McCrea’s cell phone at 309-235-6215. 

Holy Land Tour in Your Future?

Rev. Jeri Baker, Pastor at Hessel Presbyterian and Rudyard Presbyterian, Presbytery of Mackinac, (formerly Blackhawk) is leading a spiritual trip to the Holy Land. "Not just sightseeing, not just bucket-list, not just cool places Jesus went, but a time of spiritual connection at special locations where Jesus ministered. This is my fourth time going to the Holy Land. Space is still available, limited to 36 participants. Email me for more information:"

Registration and itinerary HERE.

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Dakota Community Preserves Heritage

In early January of 2022, the Dakota congregation received word from the Presbyterian Historical Society that they were one of three receipients in 2021 of a $500 Heritage Preservation Grant. These grants help PC(USA) churches under 250 members and over 50 years old to digitize their old church records. There is an application process and churches must document financial need.

Four of their oldest books in the church archives were sent off for digization, including one dating to April, 1857. All of the records are one-of-a-kind and irreplaceable. The original books were returned to the church along with a USB drive with the scans. Original books may also be deposited permanently at the PHS for climate-controlled safekeeping.

Dakota also recently celebrated the completion of a new, full-color 40 page book: "Dakota Community Presbyterian Church - Biography of a Village Church" by Diane K. (Zipsie) Weber. Thank you for all your efforts to secure your legacy!

In Memorium

We have learned of the recent death of Rev. Donna Wrzeszcz at her home in Niles, IL. She was a longtime member of Blackhawk, serving the Schapville Zion Presbyterian Church from 1985 until 2002. She was transferred to Chicago Presbytery in 2022. An online obituary is not yet available.


Presbytery Meeting

Tuesday, September 12, 2023

9:30 am

In person (only) at Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center


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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