Presbytery of Blackhawk
CONNECTIONS news & updates
March 29, 2022
Learning to Discern
A Workshop for Pastors
and Church Leaders

Two workshops (identical content) are offered this spring, and all are encouraged to participate. These are full day events, 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:

Tuesday, April 26 from 9-4
Stronghold (register by April 18)
Saturday, May 21 from 9-4
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.

On April 18, we will kick off our 90-day campaign to raise $15,000 
in Blackhawk Presbytery to go toward medical debt relief. 
This amount will wipe out $1,500,000 in debt!
As much as possible, we will target debt in our region.  
Won’t you join with us?

Find out how you and your congregation can be involved in this exciting project. Download and share the flyer today.
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)
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.
Presbytery Offers Bylaws Discussion

Time to dust off your church Bylaws! Each of our congregations has some form of bylaws but many are out of date, no longer reflect what is actually happening in the church, or are incomplete. Our Presbytery Stated Clerk will be hosting an online Zoom gathering regarding bylaws on Thursday March 31 starting at 7:00pm. This discussion will cover the purpose of bylaws, what should be included, and best practices. This meeting will include a short presentation and time for questions and answers. The session is open to any ruling elders, pastors, or others in the congregation who may work with bylaws. Please try to locate and review your bylaws prior to the gathering. You may register here:
When: Mar 31, 2022 07:00 PM

Thank you to all who attended the training offered for Ruling Elders on March 17. You are welcome to view the recording on YouTube or share with your elders.
The Results are In!
Fourteen Blackhawk Congregations
Awarded the Six for Six
Recognition in 2021!

Awards will be presented on April 5 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!
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
Matthew 25
Munchies in the Corner...

Find some committed folks in a special spot (with treats) at the meeting of Blackhawk Presbytery on Tuesday, April 5th at DeKalb Westminster.

They are interested in hearing how you and your congregation are faring as the pandemic wanes:
  • Any Bible Studies or Lenten services resuming - in the name of Jesus?
  • Any community initiatives against hunger or poverty restarting - empowered by the Holy Spirit?
  • Any opportunities to engage the topic of diversity and equity emerging - based in the embracing love of God the Father? 

You'll be able to find resources to address any of these topics, as well. All of this is being sponsored by the Task Force listening to the voice of the Master: "In as much as you have done this for the least of these my brothers and sisters, you have done it unto me." (Matthew 25:40)