Presbytery of Blackhawk


September 1, 2023

A Call to Gather

Please plan to join us for the September 12 Presbytery Meeting at Stronghold - in person only. The meeting begins at 9:30 am, preceeded by registration, pastries and an orientation for first time attendees (at 9:15).

The meeting will feature a guest preacher, Rev. Samuel Riungu Muratha, one of our Kenya Partnership guests who will also be bringing us the learning opportunity for the day. Commissioners will be asked to approve the budget for 2024, minimum terms of call for 2024, changes to the Ecclesiastical Administrative Manual and other items of business.

If you would like a printed copy of the meeting papers, please contact the office in advance. Documents can be found on our website for you to download and print if desired. Also contact us if you have not received the members password for the website.

To plan for lunch, please register HERE.

Thank you!

All are invited... Please register by Sept. 5

Blackhawk - Imenti Retreat at Stronghold

September 12 - 1:30 to 8 pm

This half-day retreat will explore three different topics with our Kenyan guests. Through panel-style discussions there will be an opportunity to hear the unique perspectives of our Imenti partners while we share our initiatives such as Matthew 25, Blackhawk New Communities Task Force, and Earth Care.

Attendees may attend all or a portion of the retreat, which also includes dinner and an evening of spirit-filled praise songs. Because the Presbytery Assembly meets at Stronghold the following day, lodging is also available.


See the webpage for more information and registration.


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 assembly meeting. We will have some copies for sale ($10 each).


Support PDA efforts in Hawai'i wildfire recovery


Free books available to equip faith formation in PC(USA) readers at home


N.T. Wright - "New Testament for Everyone"

20th Anniversary Edition (Individual books and complete 18-volume set on sale)

Matthew 25 Summit: An Invitation to Innovation

Mark your Calendars to attend! January 16-18, 2024 in Atlanta.


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

Will YOU 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.

On The Road to GA

Boundary Training Opportunity

An option for online boundary training is available this fall from our neighboring presbytery. Please see the letter outlining Blackhawk's requirement, contact the office with your questions or notification of completion. And be sure to register in advance!

The Presbytery of Chicago is offering boundary training on:

·   Wednesday, October 17-Thursday, October 18 from 9:30-noon each day / Register

Registration Open for Fall Learning Cohorts

Join one of 14 online learning small groups available this fall through the Office of Christian Formation to focus on and develop a particular area of your ministry. 

A cohort is a group of 5-8 leaders that have a similar focus or interest in ministry development. Colleagues learn and support one another while identifying goals, challenges, and options for the future.

These cohorts are offered at no cost to church or worshiping community leaders to include educators, pastors, commissioned ruling elders (CRE), youth workers, and volunteers.

Here are the group focus areas - MORE INFORMATION / REGISTRATION (some will fill fast!)

1. Becoming Intergenerational - Wednesdays 11am Eastern

2. Volunteers and Faith Formation Ministries - Tuesdays 8pm Eastern

3. Parents as Partners Faith Formation Ministries - Mondays 4pm Eastern

4. Older Adult Ministries in Small Churches - Thursdays 2pm Eastern

5. Veteran Youth Leaders (10+ yrs) - Mondays 11am Eastern

6. New to Youth Ministry - Wednesdays 10am Eastern

7. New to Faith Formation Ministry - Tuesdays 1pm Eastern

8. CRE Ministry Leaders - Mondays 2pm Eastern

9. Matthew 25 and Faith Formation Ministries - Tuesdays 2pm Eastern

10. Enhance and Innovate: Campus and Collegiate Ministries (church leaders) - Wednesdays 3pm Eastern

11. Leading Well - Tuesdays 1pm Eastern

12. Vitality in a Post Pandemic Church - Tuesdays 12 noon Eastern

Two Spanish Speaking Cohorts can be found HERE

Thanks to all who attended and to our guest presenter, Shawn Kang. Our exploration has just begun - stay tuned for more events and opportunities to innovate for the future of the church.

These Synod of Lincoln Trails PW Retreats are open to all women in the Synod! (Lodging is on your own, but Saturday only attendance is an option.) Those who want to come as part of a group of 2 or more people can use the special discount code of RW23 when you register to get $5.00 off the registration amount. Scholarships are available.

Contact Maryanne Kyle-Di Pietropaolo with questions. Register HERE.

Highly Acclaimed Stewardship Kaleidescope

September 25th - 27th, 2023 in Minneapolis or online. Grants and reduced pricing are available. Check it out.

Office of Christian Formation PCUSA


How does your congregation invite newcomers to consider membership and make intentional use of practices that cultivate a sense of belonging?

Take a look at this Quicksheet written by Mary Marcotte offering ten best practices to guide intentional planning.

In Memorium

Along with the Elgin First congregation, we remember Ron Barkby, who passed away August 21. Ron was a faithful member of his church and Blackhawk Presbytery, serving on several committees, most recently the Covid-19 Task Force. Please see the obituary.

And we have recently received obituary information for Rev. Donna Lee Wrzeszcz (, former minister member of Blackhawk Presbytery. "Donna loved God and enjoyed sharing her faith with others." May she rest in love.

From Presbyterian Foundation: All about the Employee Retention Credit

Are you getting bombarded by emails from consultants who say they can help your church, ministry, or mid-council apply for the ERC? You’re not alone! The ERC was part of the CARES Act. It is a refundable credit available to businesses and tax-exempt organizations. The intent of the ERC was to provide relief to employers who kept staff employed during 2020 and 2021.

Consultants are available to aid with the ERC application process but be careful before engaging with an organization or person you do not know. If you select a consultant to aid in the ERC application process, we recommend that you conduct the appropriate level of due diligence.

We’ve prepared a document to answer ERC frequently asked questions. This document is for informational purposes only and should not be relied upon as professional tax advice. Please take the time to read this document and share with those working for your congregation or serving in a volunteer capacity who handle your church or ministry’s finances.

We hope you find this helpful – and as always, thank you for being part of the PC(USA)!


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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