Volume 70/May 25, 2023
The Presbyark Update
Connecting & Informing the Presbytery of Arkansas
May 25, 2023
The Presbytery of Arkansas will gather on Zoom for the 153rd stated meeting on June 3, 2023, at 9:00 am. The theme of our meeting will be “What is the Church Becoming?” We have a light schedule of business items, and our time will be highlighted with a theological discussion on our theme. 

During our discussion, we will learn about... Click here to read more.
Tackling Loneliness & Isolation In the Ministry
Just last week, our US Surgeon General Vivek Murthy issued an advisory warning about the threat of loneliness. He said that in his travels around the country, he has come to see how pervasive it is and "that people are often quite ashamed to talk about it, and won't use the word lonely to describe how they are feeling. They use words like 'invisible." He said that "Loneliness is far more than just a bad feeling—it harms both individual and societal health."

If you looked at the Inquiring Minds polling results, you caught a glimpse of the pervasiveness of loneliness in our clergy and in our pews. When Rebecca Spooner was asked what she thought we could do to help, she said that we needed to combat loneliness and isolation by building connections - building community.

On Monday, June 12 at 10:00am, Rebecca has agreed to lead an online workshop for our Presbytery's clergy who are actively serving (MWS & CRE). It will be a safe place to share, connect, and deal with feelings of loneliness and isolation. Those who are interested will be offered an opportunity to continue with the work they begin there.
Presbyterian Night at
A Natural's Game
Tuesday, June 13th, join the Presbytery of Arkansas at the ballpark when the Northwest Arkansas Naturals play the Frisco Roughriders at 7:05pm at Arvest Ballpark in Springdale. You can also join the combined Presbyterian choir in singing the National Anthem.

Gather your church group together and join other Presbyterians for a night of fun!

Click here for details and registration information.
Registration deadline: Tuesday, June 6.
Presbyterian Night at
A Traveler's Game
Friday, June 16th, join the Presbytery of Arkansas at the ballpark when the Arkansas Travelers play the Corpus Christi Hooks at Dickey-Stephens Park in Little Rock.

Gather your church group together and join other Presbyterians for a night of fun!

Click here for details and registration information.
Registration deadline: Friday, June 9 at 12:00 noon.
Mission of The Church Grants
The Mission of the Church Committee is now accepting applications for the second round of Mission Initiative grants. The purpose of these grants is to assist congregations and ministries of the Presbytery of Arkansas in proclaiming the love of Christ beyond their walls. Our goal is to help empower congregations in their efforts to extend the love of Christ by serving and walking alongside the most vulnerable in our communities.

So, you see the needs and you have a dream, a plan for helping, for serving, but you don't have enough funds to carry it out. Then click here for our guidelines and application requirements. Applications for the second round of grants are due by June 15. (There will be one more round with an October 15 deadline if funds allow).
Inquiring Minds...Confirmation
At a recent Resource Team meeting, one of our pastors brought up their struggles with confirmation. So, in this Inquiring Minds, we would like to hear the community wisdom about confirmation. What are your thoughts and experiences? What would you never do again? What was the best curriculum you ever used? What is the best age?

Please take a few minutes to click here and share because Inquiring Minds want to know!
Update on The Proposed Amendments
to The Book of Order
The Proposed Amendments have been approved. While I will not go through all of what that means for the local congregations, I will address some of the significant changes. There will be two additional policies which all councils of the church will be required to have. All councils now need a harassment and antiracism policy in addition to the already required sexual misconduct and child/youth protection policy. Remember, the session of a congregation...Click here to read more.
Join the 23-24 Youth A-Team!
Do you want to help plan events in the Presbytery of Arkansas?
Do you want to get to know your fellow youth from around our Presbytery better?
Do you want to be more involved with Youthquake and summer trips?

Then sign up to be a part of the Presbytery's Youth A-Team (aka, Youth Advisory Team or YAT)!

Who can apply?
- 10th-12th Grade Students
- College Students
- Adults

What is the commitment?
- Attending two weekend planning meetings (Aug/Sept and Jan/Feb)
- Being part of the Leadership Team for at least one YAT Event
- Participating in YAT programming throughout the year

Elder Retreat Complete!
The Thriving in Ministry Program at the University of the Ozarks hosted an Elders Retreat on the University of the Ozarks campus on May 19-21. Fourteen elders representing nine congregations participated along with program presenters Stated Clerk Blake Brinegar, General Presbyter Stewart Smith and Thriving in Ministry Director Phil Blackburn. The program consisted of three sections: Presbyterian Polity led by Blake Brinegar, Sacramental Theology focusing on the Sacrament of the Lord’s Supper led by Phil Blackburn, and Preaching led by Stewart Smith. 

The program was designed to provide elders skills in leadership areas where they might be able to help in their congregation or in other congregations in the presbytery. Morning devotions were led by University of the Ozarks chaplain Jeremy Wilhelmi in the outdoor worship space adjacent to Munger-Wilson chapel. Meals were catered by the University of the Ozarks dining staff along with a wonderful meal at Kasper’s fine dining adjacent to the campus. University of the Ozarks President Rich Dunsworth joined the group for our Sunday lunch before our departure. 

The Presbytery is grateful to the University of the Ozarks and the Thriving in Ministry program for providing a wonderful experience. We are hopeful that we can provide similar programs in the future that can assist us in providing much needed leadership to our smaller congregations in the presbytery.  
Elders were encouraged to connect and build community.
Fourteen elders representing nine congregations participated in the weekend event.
Synod Mission Trip
Any member of the Synod of the Sun - congregation members, staff, volunteers, and anyone interested in learning more about poverty and the issues surrounding it are invite to participate in a Synod mission trip to New Orleans, June 22-24, 2023.

On this trip you will explore, listen, and learn from ministry partners and communities operating at the intersection of systemic poverty, structural racism, and congregational vitality.

Click here for details and registration. The cost is $100. This includes meals and lodging. Friday lunch not included.
Full Tuition Scholarships For Presbyterians
Austin College in Sherman, TX announces the largest single gift in the College’s history, a $20 million bequest from the estate of Clifford J. Grum. The gift will fully fund the Westminster Scholarship Program for Presbyterian students to attend Austin College with full tuition paid, beginning in the 2024-2025 academic year.

With this gift, the Westminster Scholarship Program will now cover full tuition for any student on the membership roll of a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation.
The fund will additionally cover room and board for children of PC(USA) clergy and staff!
Tuesday, 5/30, 10am Staff Meeting
Thursday, 5/31, 4pm Coordinating Team
Saturday, 6/03, 9am 153rd Meeting of the Presbytery of Arkansas
Tuesday, 6/06, 10am COM
Tuesday, 6/06, 2pm Staff Meeting
Tuesday, 6/06, Deadline to Reserve Naturals Tickets

Click here to see the entire Presbytery calendar.

Presbytery of Arkansas
9221 N. Rodney Parham Road
Little Rock, AR 72227