FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
INDIFFERENCE
As a impudent teenager, I could end any conversation with my parents with one word:  "whatever."  Each syllable was distinctly emphasized and often accompanied by an eye roll.  It signaled my indifference, my standoffish retort that I couldn't be bothered by any advice or mandate they spoke.  Used too often, my mother started responding, "Don't you 'whatever' me!" 

As an adult, I've been trying to recreate a sense of indifference...with a twist.  More specifically I'm trying to cultivate a sense of holy indifference.  When I spoke the word "whatever" as a young person, I wanted to pretend that I didn't care.  Now, I use "whatever" to reflect...(READ MORE)
PRESBYTERY PULSE
WE RACE AHEAD: A DAY OF REPENTANCE AND SOLIDARITY
Wisconsin State Fair Park, Sunday, August 23rd, 3:00 p.m.
The Day of Repentance and Solidarity is an initiative fueled by an alliance of city and suburban churches/organizations to grow a more unified church that is a tangible witness of God's love through justice and equality. This is done by the acknowledgement of the church's past and present roles in systematic injustice, repentance, forgiveness and intentional steps of growing diverse relationships across the city and suburbs.  This event will take place at the Milwaukee Mile Grandstand on Sunday, August 23rd, at 3:00 p.m.; however, online viewing will also be available.
Visit WeRaceAhead.com for complete details and to take the pledge to commit to study, prayer, and action to become an anti-racist individual in an anti-racist church.

Take the Pledge                      Become a Partner                 Participate in a Shared Sermon Series
WHEN GOD CREATES
The final chapter of Jonah is the featured Scripture for Week Three of the worship series When God Creates, a four-week series featuring texts from Genesis to Revelation that celebrate God's active presence and creative power in the world. The sermon for week three is from Rev. Ann Gibbs, Associate for Ministry Vitality for the Milwaukee Presbytery.

"Jonah is small book that offers deep insight into the character of God and calls us to question the vagaries in our own. It is a story of mercy and compassion and more. It is a tale with power to work at us and in us." 

The complete service along with sermon text, liturgy, and sermon video link will be available on the Presbytery's webpage Thursday, August 20th.
COME JOIN US
Milwaukee Presbytery begins collaborative effort to develop 

Christian Education Resources
Monday, August 31st, 1:00 p.m.
Has your congregation been struggling over what to do with Christian Education (whether online or in person)?
Do you want to reach out to children and youth and support parents but aren't sure how?
Do you hunger for adult faith formative resources?
Do you have the desire for more but lack the budget or people resources for Discipleship opportunities that positively impact members beyond worship?

We hear you and believe there is a great opportunity to create meaningful, impactful, and faithful resources for our congregations that don't bust already taxed budgets or overwork the few, if we work together. Come join us, August 31 at 1:00 p.m. via Zoom.  

Please contact Ann Gibbs to participate or for more information
NEW PASTORS SERVING OUR PRESBYTERY
WELCOME TO KIM TRIMBOLI
This photo is of Kim, her spouse Tony, and their three sons, who make her feel short even though she is not.
Milwaukee Presbytery welcomes Kim Trimboli, pastor of Forest Park Presbyterian Church in New Berlin.  Kim and her family recently moved to the area due to a job change for her spouse Tony and, through the grace of God, Kim found a good fit with Forest Park.  Kim was ordained in 2012 but served the Church as a Director of Christian Education for 20 years prior to attending seminary.  She has also done some curriculum writing and church consulting over the years.  Kim is looking forward to getting connected in the presbytery as circumstances allow.  She misses congregational singing in worship and her youngest who just left for his first year of college.  Kim's favorite childhood book was A Wind in the Door by Madeline L'Engle (anything by her, really) and her favorite fair food is funnel cakes.
ANYTHING BUT COVID-19 NEWS
20 SERIOUSLY WEIRD PLACES AROUND THE WORLD
The world is a weird (and wonderful) place.  And from the rose-colored lake to a Japanese island ruled by cats, here are twenty pictures to prove it.  Take a tour around the world and enjoy images from Canada, Northern Ireland, Turkey, Iran, Chile, and many other locations.
ZIMBABWE'S ALL-FEMALE RANGER UNIT REDUCED ELEPHANT POACHING BY 80%
Poaching is slowly becoming a thing of the past in parts of Zimbabwe! A highly-effective all-female anti-poaching ranger unit called the Akashinga is protecting wildlife and revolutionizing the fight against illegal trophy hunting. Since being founded in 2017 as part of the International Anti-Poaching Foundation (IAPF), the Akashinga (meaning The Brave Ones in the Shona language) helped reduce elephant poaching in Zimbabwe's Lower Zambezi Valley by a whopping 80 percent.
 
To celebrate their achievements, National Geographic recently streamed a short documentary about the Akashinga on World Elephant Day, August 12. Read more about the Akashinga and find the documentary here.
COMMUNITY ART PROJECT & EXHIBIT: THE QUARANTINE QUILT
In early March 2020 the Wisconsin Museum of Quilts & Fiber Arts launched a collaborative art project meant to encourage artists staying at home to keep creating. This open call invited participants from throughout the world to submit a 12 x 12-inch quilt block documenting their individual and collective experiences.

By mid June the museum had already received over 300 blocks that demonstrate an enormous amount of diversity in technique from artists throughout Wisconsin, as well as many other states, and as far away as the Netherlands and Israel. Each block tells the story of family, friends, love, community, support, inward and outward reflections, new hobbies and seasoned expertise, joy, sadness, and shared experiences all through the medium of fiber.

NEWS FROM THE DENOMINATION
PC(USA) WEEK OF ACTION
August 24-30 
The 224th General Assembly (2020) called the PC(USA) to action in confronting our complicity with white supremacy, and many Presbyterians are seeking to learn, repent, and be transformed. The whole church is invited to join staff of national agencies August 24-30 to proclaim in word and deed that BLACK LIVES MATTER. Details are being added as they become available; one day or seven, make these PC(USA) community activities part of your justice journey.
  • Monday 8/24: Global Day of Solidarity
  • Tuesday 8/25: Town Hall - 12:30 p.m. CST
  • Wednesday 8/26: Liberation Bible Study and Twitterstorm: #WeekofActionPCUSA
  • Thursday 8/27: BLACKOUT Day and COVID-19 Memorial
  • Friday 8/28: National #Give828 Day supporting giving focused specifically on Black-benefitting organizations; Trouble the Water: Conversations to Disrupt Racism and Dominance documentary premiere (2:00 p.m. CST), and a Young Adult Roundtable on engaging and processing faith in the midst of racial and health pandemics (12:00 p.m. CST)
  • Saturday 8/29: Rally/Public Action
  • Sunday 8/30: Day of Service
SYNOD OF LAKES AND PRAIRIES PANDEMIC SUPPORT GRANTS
Recognizing that the COVID-19 pandemic could materially diminish income streams and threaten staffing and ministries across presbyteries, churches and camps, the Synod has identified approximately $251,000 to date which can be used to support the staffing needs of affiliated organizations.
 
Grants will be offered on the basis of need and for a maximum of $10,000 or one month of a church's average operating costs for:
  • Churches whose vitality would be threatened by disruption to staffing and ministry programs;
  • Churches and ministries in need which serve historically marginalized communities; and
  • Camps, particularly as they seek to maintain programs staffed by college students.
 In all cases, the Presbytery would apply for grants on behalf of churches whose vitality or critical ministries are threatened by financial impacts of the pandemic. If you believe your congregation or ministry qualifies for and has a need for these grant funds, please notify Associate for Ministry Vitality Ann Gibbs at agibbs@pbymilwaukee.org.
 
Grants within each program will be awarded within two award periods:
 
Award Period                 Application Deadline              Award Decision           Award Distribution
Fall                                   August 31, 2020                      September 15, 2020   September 30, 2020
UPCOMING PEACE & GLOBAL WITNESS WEBINARS
September 1st, 11:00 a.m. CST
Leaders and volunteers advocating for the Peace & Global Witness Offering are invited to join the Special Offerings team to review the theme and purpose of the Offering, as well as the host of resources and opportunities that will enhance engagement.  All of this will be done with an eye on the realities of the world during the COVID-19 pandemic: namely, how to celebrate this season and receive the Offering while maintaining the social distancing policies each community has established.

Congregation Leaders are invited to register for the September 1st webinar
MATTHEW 25 CURRICULUM FOR THE PC(USA):
Accessible theological education and training for the people of God
Johnson C. Smith Theological Seminary and Stony Point Center have been invited by the Presbyterian Mission Agency to work together to develop an online and in-person curriculum to support the Matthew 25 Vision. Courses will center on the three focuses of the vision:
  • nurturing vital congregations and communities of faith,
  • dismantling structural racism, and
  • working to end systemic poverty.
The first course is "Awakening to Structural Racism" and will be offered on Monday evenings from August 10 through 31, 2020. Learn more about these classes and the Matthew 25 Vision
SUBSCRIBE TO SEASON OF PEACE
This year's Season of Peace resources are designed to help participants explore practices for building peace on every scale.  From the personal level to global issues, these reflections and prayers will help grow the faith and witness of the whole church.  Throughout the 29 days of the 2020 Season of Peace, you are invited to reflect upon:
Week 1 September 6-12: Peace Within
Week 2 September 13-19: Peace in Relationships
Week 3 September 20-26: Peace in Community
Week 4 September 27-October 3: Peace in the World
Final Day October 4: Holistic Peacemaking

REGARDING RULING ELDERS:
A MONTHLY SERIES FOR SPIRITUAL LEADERS

Miguel A. Rosa Morales has written the most recent installment of Regarding Ruling Elders, a monthly resource of the Office of the General Assembly.
INVITATIONS
BETHESDA PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH'S 175TH ANNIVERSARY

This August marks the 175th anniversary of Bethesda Presbyterian Church (which started life in 1845 as a Sunday School of the Welsh Calvinistic Methodist denomination -- see https://bit.ly/2EewMeJ).  Bethesda Presbyterian Church invites its brothers and sisters in the Presbytery of Milwaukee to join with them in celebrating the fact that, though Bethesda (like many of our churches) may have changed names and buildings and many other aspects of its ministry over the years, they are still alive and worshiping and bearing witness to the love of Christ today, in the midst of pandemic and other painful challenges. 

PEACEFUL PRESENCE VIRTUAL PROGRAM
Contemplatives in action.  Praying together to work towards peace.
You are invited to join Peaceful Presence, a nonpartisan, inter-faith* experience focusing on the promotion of harmony and peace, during the national conventions of the Democratic and the Republican parties to pray for peace and for our leaders. Each day new programming to promote unity and understanding will be available at 9:00 a.m. from Monday, August 17 through Thursday, August 27, 2020

To access the Peaceful Presence programming go to http://ignatianassociates.org/peaceful-presence/

Join for a few minutes each of those days, minutes of prayer, meditative music and a brief talk by representatives from faith traditions that include the Sikh, Zen Buddhist, Muslim, Catholic, Baptist, Lutheran, Methodist, Jewish and Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints communities, to promote a mission of peace.  Pray for our leaders that they may have open hearts and minds to listen, understand and make decisions that will benefit all people.

*This virtual event was planned in Milwaukee by members of the Ignatian Associates Ramos Community, and is co-sponsored by the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, MICAH (Milwaukee Inner-city Congregations Allied for Hope), the Center for Peacemaking at Marquette University, and the Casa Romero Renewal Center.
CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS TO RELIGIOUS LIBERTY: THE SUPREME COURT'S RECENT CASES ON THE ESTABLISHMENT AND FREE EXERCISE CLAUSES OF THE FIRST AMENDMENT
Thursday, August 27th, 7:00 p.m.
This academic and interactive program will focus on two, recent decisions of our High Court, addressing the meaning and impact of the Constitution's protections against governmental establishment of religion and preservations of the right to its free exercise.  In addition to describing the factual and legal bases for those landmark rulings, James L. Santelle, the former United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Wisconsin (and long-time supporter of the missions and activities of the Interfaith Conference), will comment on the practical significance of the Supreme Court's decisions for religious and non-faith-affiliated entities.  This 90-minute gathering will also include abundant opportunities for participants to ask questions, offer perspectives, and otherwise comment on these important and topical issues.

Join the Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee for the first virtual conversation on August 27th at 7pm on the Interfaith Conference Facebook page.

Understanding the details of these decisions and constitutional mandates can be daunting.  ICGM is grateful to sponsor and support this Facebook zoomcast presentation from our Interfaith friend, James Santelle, to learn more about how it affects our faith members and organizations. 

MISSION OPPORTUNITIES
A LETTER FROM REV. DR. LAURIE KRAUS, DIRECTOR OF PDA
Dear Friends in Christ,

In the wake of the horrific explosion that devastated Beirut, Lebanon earlier this month, we are writing to let you know how our Lebanese partners are responding to this catastrophe, and what your Church is doing to support that response and show our solidarity with the Lebanese people in concrete and helpful ways.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has a long-standing familial relationship with the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL). We have worked together in building...(READ MORE)
HOT LINKS
A Year in Zambia - YAV Emily Teerink's Blog - Relief and Development
Grapevine - Presbyterian Women's Newsletter
Keeping In Touch - Newsletter from the Synod of Lakes and Prairies 
Life in the Labyrinth - Inspirational Website by Michelle Henrichs
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance - Current Information
The Sower -  May 2020 Newsletter for the Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
FUTURE PRESBYTERY GATHERING DATES
  • TUESDAY, September 29, 4:00-8:00 p.m. - Apostle Presbyterian Church, West Allis
  • THURSDAY, November 12, 4:00-8:00 p.m. - Covenant Presbyterian Church, Racine
  • TUESDAY, March 9, 2021
  • SATURDAY, May 22, 2021
  • WEDNESDAY, September 22, 2021
  • THURSDAY, November 18, 2021