Presbytery of Blackhawk
CONNECTIONS news & updates
April 25, 2022
Learning to Discern
A Workshop for Pastors
and Church Leaders

Please register for the final Discernment workshop - pastors and all other leaders are encouraged to participate. This is a full day event, in person, and will teach a practical method for discerning the will of God as you seek direction for difficult situations and contexts. The Presbytery's Visioning Task Force will use this process in their "What's Next" deliberations and invite our congregations to do the same.

Please read the “Guidelines for Communal Discernment”, written by Rev. Curtiss prior to the workshop. Early registrants will receive a copy of the 24 page booklet by mail - others will receive theirs the day of the event, so register early by visiting our website:

Saturday, May 21 from 9-3
Location to be announced
(register by May 13)

Cost is $10 and includes lunch, materials and snacks. This event is partially subsidized by a grant from the Synod of Lincoln Trails.
Click here for copy of flyer.
Click here for same flyer with less color.
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 ( 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! 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)
Equipping Your Leaders

  • Webinars
  • "Coming Alive in Christ: Training for PC(USA) Ruling Elders and Deacons based on the Constitutional Questions" — A multi-session resource
  • Books at a 40% discount from PCUSA Store
  • "Each Christian Has a Calling" - Hymn
  • re: RE - Monthly articles for Ruling Elders

And from Blackhawk: Ruling Elder training offered by Rev. Eric Heinekamp. (YouTube link)
The Results are In!
Fourteen Blackhawk Congregations
Awarded the Six for Six
Recognition in 2021

Awards were presented to fourteen congregations, large and small, rural and urban, who have shown strong commitment and support for the PCUSA as listed above. It's not too late to make your commitment for 2022.

Congratulations to:
  • Ridgefield-Crystal Lake
  • DeKalb Westminster
  • Fulton
  • Galena First
  • Geneva Fox Valley
  • Henry First United
  • La Rose Crow Meadow
  • Morris First
  • Morrison First - new this year!
  • Rockford Second/First
  • Rockford Westminster
  • St. Anne First - new this year!
  • Sterling First
  • Woodstock First
Matthew 25
Roundtable Discussions are on hiatus - please stay tuned and see our exciting initiatives:
RIP Medical Debt Campaign
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
Congratulations to Kewanee First on 150th Anniversary Celebration!

What a cause for celebration - please read more.
Kewanee Names Rev. Dr. James Breed and Rev. Dr. Dale Dykstra as
Pastor Emeriti

Blessings to All - please read more!