Presbytery of Blackhawk
CONNECTIONS news & updates
October 28, 2022
November 8 Assembly
Meeting to be Hybrid

While we would love to see everyone in person at Rockford Westminster, you have the option to join on zoom as well. Either way, be sure to vote too.

The assembly meeting begins at 10:00 am, instead of the standard 9:30, but arrive early to register, enjoy conversation and refreshments. The meeting will include worship, with music and communion, installation of new moderators and members of commissions and committees, a 2023 budget presentation, reports and more. An offering during worship will be designated for the Blackhawk Pastors Emergency Fund.

And there will be lunch (again...please register)! Meeting documents, when available, can be found here. Please contact the office if you need password information.

The Learning Opportunity for the day will feature a presentation by Chris Pickett on the topic of “Non-Violent Communication: a Tool for Navigating Difficult Conversations”. Chris is active in Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Pres. and is also an ordained minister, chaplain, addiction counselor and career counselor with Midwest Ministry Development Service (see full bio). The communication tools to be introduced can be helpful to engage in civil conversations with those who may have differing views on the controversial issues of our day. It will be a timely exercise for both the upcoming holiday season and the aftermath of election day.
Note About the CWS Kits

So far, no one has notified me that they could gather the Church World Kits at our November Presbytery Meeting. Some churches have advised that they have or will soon be taking their kits to the Elgin warehouse. If you have not done so, please get them to the warehouse as soon as possible.

If you have not already done so, please let me know how many kits you have made and what style are they. To help another church with their kits, maybe you could contact a neighboring church to see if they need help sending their kits to the warehouse.
Thank you,
Jill Sunday, PWP Communications Editor
Will You Help Us Identify the Next Blackhawk Treasurer?

The Personnel Committee continues it's search. The position is an hourly, flexible, paid position, generally between 6-10 hours per week. Perfect for a church treasurer or someone in financial services.

Please see the job description, share and contact the office if you have questions or may be interested.
Opening Doors to Discipleship

The recently reworked website, Opening Doors to Discipleship, includes a library of online training resources for church leaders, particularly focused on faith formation.

Sections include Exploring Your Call, Reformed Theology, and Becoming Tomorrow's Church Today. Explore the website here with more resources being added regularly.
Along the Road
Announcing a new podcast just for you! 

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. Mid Council leaders will integrate foundational values with the practice of faith and ministry. Congregational leaders, particularly ruling elders and deacons, will experience practices to connect faith to everyday life.
Nourish: Short episodes for ruling elders and deacons
Encounter: Longer episodes for church and mid council leaders

Along the Road has recently launched on your favorite streaming service. The trailer and the first Nourish episode are now available.
Read more and find links to weekly episodes here as they are published.
The Synod of the Pacific and PneuMatrix Invite You to:
Designing for the New Norm
a Free Webinar Series

"If we DO NOTHING DIFFERENT, by 2040 all our current churches sized 100 and less will be gone." Dr. Bill Drummond, Professor of Urban Analytics, GA Tech and PCUSA MWS

Over half of our PCUSA congregations have under 100 members. The first time a church can’t afford full-time clergy leadership affects that church’s psyche. Some adopt. Some don’t. The Synod of the Pacific decided to focus on these congregations as well as clergy who serve less than full-time pastorates to see how together we might DO SOMETHING DIFFERENT!

This series is for you if you are:
  • Lay leaders of churches under 100
  • Pastors serving Part-Time pastoral calls
  • Presbytery Execs and COM folk seeking ways to serve these congregations and pastors better

You can join the remaining zoom sessions, or watch the recordings posted here. Topics include Yoked/Partnership Churches, Legacy Churches, and more.
“Looking Beyond Crisis:
Redefining Ministry for a Recovering World”
UDTS Doctor of Ministry 2023: Led by Rev. Dr. Sara Dingman and Rev. Dr. Skip Shaffer

Join us for a DMin degree designed for pastors who understand that ministering in a changing world requires us to think and serve in new ways as well. Dr. Sara Dingman, Synod Executive of the Synod of Lincoln Trails, and Dr. Skip Shaffer, former Associate Dean at UDTS, invite you to be part of a journey that may redefine the way you view life and ministry.

Responding to crisis is an essential part of our pastoral vocation. Never has this been more vividly illustrated than in the changes we have faced, both personally and professionally, during these past few years.

This DMin cohort will focus on enabling pastors to explore and examine the crises that have challenged us and shaped our lives and discover new ways for us to live out our faith in the years to come. Our goal is not to get back to normal, but to discover what form normal will take as we share and live out our faith in the future.

Share Your Gifts in the PC(USA)
Seeking Church Members, Elders, Deacons and Youth

So that we may have a more diverse pool of applicants, our Co-Moderators Ruth Santana-Grace and Shavon Starling-Louis have extended the application deadline date to Friday, November 11 (reference deadline is extended to Friday, November 18) to be considered for service on the following special entities:
  • 2020 Vision Guiding Statement Implementation Team
  • Special Committee on PCUSA and Race
  • Special Committee on the Standing Rules
  • Special Committee to Write a New Confession
  • Task Force to Explore the Theology and Practice of Ordination
In particular we need to increase the number of applicants from communities of color; church members, deacons, and ruling elders; and applicants 35 years old and younger.
Applicants can find information about the mandates for the special entities as well as gifts and skills needed at the application portal.
The Co-Moderators would appreciate your help in sharing this information widely in your congregations, encouraging folks to consider the possibility that God may be calling them to respond to service in this way.