Presbytery of Blackhawk
CONNECTIONS news & updates
July 1, 2021

To fulfill each child's dream of a week at Stronghold camp this summer, Stronghold is in urgent need of one additional female camp counselor. Please let Ryan Anderson know of any possible candidates - he is grateful for any leads you may have.

Please visit the Stronghold website for more information.
Parliamentary Procedure for Leaders
A Year of Leader Formation Webinar

July 14, 2021; 6-7:30 pm (central)
Registration Deadline July 6

During this Year of Leader Formation webinar, you can expect to learn more about the theological connections between parliamentary procedure and our Book of Order and gain skills to help you participate more confidently and effectively. FREE - Learn more.
Implicit Bias Tool Kit

The Matthew 25 committee has assembled an easy-to-use "Toolkit" to introduce the reality of implicit bias in our everyday lives. This four step process is designed to approach the topic from the perspective of education and introspection in a non-judgmental fashion. No one is immune from carrying biases and until we can recognize them in ourselves, we can do little to change them.

You are invited to join us for
Matthew 25
Roundtable Discussions
1st and 3rd Thursdays:

July 1 at 2 pm Topic: Congregational Vitality
July 15 at 2 pm Topic: Discussing Poverty
August 5 at 2 pm Topic: Discussing Racism

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 or on the PCUSA pages
Stewardship Kaleidoscope 2021 will be in Cincinnati, OH, September 13-15, as well as offering a virtual experience. This highly acclaimed annual conference offers education, worship, and amazing opportunities for growth in stewardship and generosity.

Speakers and worship leaders have been announced and include Todd Bolsinger, author of Canoeing the Mountains and Tempered Resilience, and J. Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA). Please read more here.
Although the recently designated new holiday, Juneteenth, has passed for 2021, it's never too late to research the background information about this Freedom Day.


From Learning for Justice: Teaching Juneteenth (shared by PCUSA)

from the COVID Response Task Force
What's the Latest?

Commissioned Ruling Elder Lisa Allgood, Executive Presbyter of the Presbytery of Cincinnati, is a trained immunocytochemist. Since the beginning of the pandemic, she has been wading through the technical aspects of COVID-19 and sharing periodic condensed information with her Presbytery and the entire PC(USA). This (slightly edited) update was dated June 23 and covers the most recent CDC recommendations, virus variants, vaccines and church practice recommendations.
FEMA Offers Funeral Assistance

If you know of someone who lost a family member to COVID-19, and could use help with funeral expenses, FEMA is now providing assistance to anyone that incurred the expense after January 20, 2020. Please see this link, which will also give you the eligibility guidelines. And share with your congregation!
Employee Assistance Plan

REMINDER: The Employee Assistance Plan (EAP) of the Board of Pensions is a confidential resource provided at no cost to employees enrolled in medical coverage through the Board of Pensions or the Pastor's Participation or Minister's Choice benefits package. Through the EAP, employees have access to counseling sessions (up to 6 sessions), financial and legal assistance, resources for child and elder care, and more.
Synod Retreats are Coming!

Pastors, we know you're fried. Coming in August... five 24-hr retreats throughout IL and IN. Pick one. Eat, drink, relax, rest, commune outdoors or stay inside. Be with others or by yourself. Take a break. Take a deep breath. Down time. Sleep time. Gentle worship. SOLT's free gift to you.

Details and registration will be available July 1st, so please express your interest by contacting Sara Dingman (or on Facebook) - she will be sure you have the information. Each retreat will have space for about 40 people. With a variety of locations, they hope to keep everyone's driving distance to a minimum.

from Presbyterians Today, Tracy Mehr-Muska