FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
PEACE
If you've seen the movie Miss Congeniality, about a bomb threat at a beauty pageant, you might remember the interview scene in which each of the finalists is asked the most important thing society needs.  Each contestant dutifully responds, "World peace," and the audience cheers.  Only Gracie Lou Freebush (the undercover cop played by Sandra Bullock) answers "That would be...harsher punishment for parole violators."  When only crickets can be heard in the audience, she adds "...and world peace" to wild applause.

We love the idea of world peace.  We'll even cheer for it.  As we marked the second Sunday of Advent as a herald of Peace, we might have felt a longing for the deep peace that can only come through Christ.  I light my next e-candle for this same intention.

With this in mind, we could use the Advent season to consider...
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PRESBYTERY PULSE
2019 ANNUAL REPORT
The 2019 Annual Report for the Presbytery of Milwaukee is now available online.  You can view this interactive document here and watch videos and follow links embedded in the document for more information about the work that has happened in your Presbytery this year.  
Creating this document allows us to stop and reflect on all our Presbytery has accomplished.  We are grateful for the opportune pause.
CEMETERY PLOTS
If a church member dies and it is hardship for their family to afford a gravesite, the Presbytery of Milwaukee owns three plots at Wisconsin Memorial Park.  Please contact Chris Halverson at the presbytery office if there is a need.
NEWS FROM THE DENOMINATION
NATIONAL GUN VIOLENCE PREVENTION SABBATH WEEKEND
December 12-15, 2019
The National Gun Violence Prevention Sabbath Weekend is held annually on the Thursday to Sunday closest to December 14th, the anniversary of the Sandy Hook mass shooting.  The weekend is supported by numerous ecumenical and civic partners.  The PC(USA) resources, including the "Trigger" documentary, "Trigger" screening kit, gun violence toolkit, worship and prayer resources, and decals and signs that read "No Guns in God's House" and "They Shall Not Hurt or Destroy" are available at pcusa.org/peacemaking.
INVITATIONS
LONGEST NIGHT SERVICE AT FAITH SPRINGS
December 19th, 7:oo p.m.
For some, it is hard to embrace the joy of the holiday season.  Loss, loneliness, strained relationships, or simple stress can make this a difficult time of the year.  This is a service of prayer and reflection, a time when we can lift these sorrows (whether our own or not) to God.  The Longest Night Service will take place at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, December 19th.
Faith Springs Presbyterian Church, N13W28771 Silvernail Road, Pewaukee
CHRISTMAS WITH THE CHORISTERS
Come and worship, come and joy
On Friday, December 13th, and Saturday, December 14th, celebrate Christmas with the Choristers -- plus brass and strings!  Enjoy sacred and secular holiday favorites and seasonal music by Ludwig von Beethoven, John Rutter, Rene Clausen, and John Wesley Work.  Stay after the concert for our traditional reception with Christmas cookies, punch and, holiday raffle!
Tickets are available for purchase through the Milwaukee Chorister website or the evening of the concert at St. Monica Parish in Whitefish Bay.  Non-perishable food items will be collected and distributed by Tosa Cares.
St Monica Parish, 160 East Spring Drive, Whitefish Bay
POSADAS DECEMBRINAS
At 6:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 18th, International Migrants Day, walk with Mary and Joseph from Nazareth to Bethlehem as they search for a place to spend the night.  The journey will leave from Faith/Santa Fe Lutheran Church and continue to Ascension Lutheran Church.  Singing and dialogue will be included along the way as the couple seeks shelter.  A celebration with tamales and champurrado (a warm chocolate drink) when the doors are opened and the couple welcomed!  

Las Posadas (the inns) are religious festivals traditionally celebrated in Mexico and some parts of the United States between December 16 - 24.  While the tradition varies from place to place, the common thread is a reenactment of Mary and Joseph traveling from Nazareth to Bethlehem in search of shelter where she could safely give birth to the baby Jesus.

Faith/Santa Fe Lutheran Church, 1000 S. Layton Boulevard, Milwaukee
Ascension Lutheran Church, 1236 S. Layton Boulevard, Milwaukee
TELLING THE (OLD) STORY IN NEW WAYS
January 27-28, 2019
Story is at the center of our world, from the relational stories told on social media to the carefully crafted advertisement narratives and immersive stories on television, streaming services, and the big screen.  The church has a rich story to tell, but we don't always do the best job sharing this story in media that are constantly changing.  For two days you will be immersed in story work, with keynotes that will inspire you to develop your own story and learn the stories of others, workshops that will help you build skills for storytelling in a digital age, and time to connect with other storytellers to hone your craft.

Find out more about Telling the (old) Story in New Ways, a conference offered by Church Anew, an emerging ministry of St. Anderw Lutheran Church in Eden Prairie, MN
MISSION OPPORTUNITIES
2018 PRESBYTERIAN HABITAT HOME DEDICATION
Friday, November 29th, the 2018 Presbyterian Habitat Home was dedicated.  The home is on North 29th Street, just south of North Avenue.  Our homeowner, Kemonie, at age 19 is the youngest applicant ever to be accepted into Milwaukee Habitat's affordable home ownership program.

Starting last June, church members and friends worked on Saturdays and Wednesdays framing, drywalling, painting, and doing the finish carpentry on the home.  The men and women of the United Presbyterian Habitat Coalition team of volunteers work on Habitat homes every Wednesday throughout the year.  This is the nineteenth home the United Presbyterian Habitat Coalition has completed since the year 2000.  Churches from our Presbytery, the Presbytery, and friends have contributed over $70,000 and over 27,000 volunteer hours building Milwaukee Habitat homes during the last 20 years.  Our 20th home should be finished in early 2020.

25 new Habitat homes were finished in the Midtown neighborhood of Milwaukee in 2019.
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 - Newsletter for the Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
Good Shepherd Trinity Church in Milwaukee seeks PART TIME DESIGNATED PASTOR
Good Shepherd Trinity is a combined ELCA/PCUSA congregation.  Please direct all inquiries and interest in the position to Ann Gibbs, Associate for Ministry Vitality, Presbytery of Milwaukee.
University Christian Ministries (UCM) seeks   COOK FOR 2019
FUTURE PRESBYTERY GATHERING DATES
  • TUESDAY, February 4, 4:00-8:00 p.m. - Rock Prairie Presbyterian Church, Janesville
  • SATURDAY, May 16, 10:00 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. - Carroll University, Waukesha
  • 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