FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
STUFFED
February is one of those small, but mighty months.  We expect much out of it.  The shortest of our months - even in a leap year - we expect it to hold a lot.

For example, by February, Jesus has grown from a tiny baby on the run to starting his ministry.  Were we thinking of Jesus' life in pure chronological order, he's got to wrap up years of ministry in February and then set his face toward...(READ MORE)
PRESBYTERY PULSE
AGAIN AND AGAIN A LENTEN REFRAIN
In just one week, on February 17, we enter the season of Lent. The Presbytery of Milwaukee will be offering weekly devotional resources for the season with the theme Again & Again with special thanks to A Sanctified Art for providing the theme, art, and helpful resources. Features of the series include: a short video focusing on the gospel reading for week, praying the Psalms, poetry, an introduction to spiritual disciplines (new ones each week!), and children's resources. The video below provides an invitation to the series as Again & Again, We're Invited In.
 
For an additional resource, including a devotion for Ash Wednesday, this link will take you to The Way to Shalom, A Lenten Journey to Peace and Wholeness produced by the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
2020 ANNUAL REPORT
The 2020 Annual Report for the Presbytery of Milwaukee is now available.  You can view this interactive document here and watch video bloopers 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.
WE HOLD IN PRAYER

Kevin Tarvid, one of our recently retired ministers, has been diagnosed with an aggressive form of skin cancer.  Kevin welcomes prayers during this time of uncertainty and treatment.
SESSION ANNUAL STATISTICAL REPORT
This is a reminder to all clerks of session that the Annual Statistical Report for the year 2020 needs to be submitted online before February 11th. Your membership numbers from this report will be used to determine next year's Per Capita Apportionment, so please make sure your membership numbers are accurate. Thank you to the 14 churches that have already submitted their report! Please don't wait until the last minute!  If you have any questions, please contact Chris Halverson, 414-292-2740.
MATTHEW 25: I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU INVITED ME IN...
HABITAT RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE
If you missed Monday's webinar with Habitat for Humanity and featuring future homeowner Kimber Watson, the recording is now available.  Learn how you and your congregations can become involved in this important effort to provide affordable housing solutions.
NEW RESTORE HOUSING CHALLENGE ANNOUNCED
During Monday's webinar on affordable housing solutions with Habitat for Humanity, the Presbytery announced a new housing challenge to benefit your local Habitat organization.  Your donations to and purchases from ReStores are a significant source of funding for Habitat, making it possible for them to build and rehab more homes in our communities.  The Presbytery invites you to visit your local ReStore and purchase an item that could use a makeover.  A lamp, a table, a window, it's your choice.  Refurbish or restore or transform the item using your creativity and -- by March 6 -- send your before-and-after photos to Kate Hopta (khopta@pbymilwaukee.org).  Then, donate the item back to the ReStore, so it can be sold again - a double gain for affordable housing!  The Planning Commission will select the best transformation and announce the challenge winner at the March 9 Presbytery Gathering.  The winner will be allowed to select a non-profit working on housing or homelessness to receive a $250 donation from the Presbytery. 
SERVING THE HOMELESS & HOUSING INSECURE
No doubt you've seen the statistics. The U.S. Census Bureau reported in December 2020 that an estimated 14 million adults living in rental housing were behind on their rent. An additional 11.8 million adults lived in households that could not keep up with their mortgage payments. While one of President Biden's first acts as president was to extend a nationwide moratorium on evictions and foreclosures through March 2021, America faces a housing crisis.  

How can congregations be of service to our homeless and housing insecure neighbors at this time? This edition of Alban at Duke Divinity School's Weekly, will begin in Pasadena at All Saints Episcopal Church, a congregation that is offering its property safely and sustainably to its neighbors. Then, it will revisit the stories of two congregations -- one in Austin, TX and one in Chapel Hill, NC -- that, even before the pandemic, had created tiny home communities; theirs are different models for how churches might use land to serve those in need. Then, a word of encouragement from Rosanne Haggerty -- these problems are solvable if we come together. 
JOURNEY TO FREEDOM: EMBRACING GOD'S CULTURAL DIVERSITY OF PEOPLE
The Ministry Lab is excited to share access to Rev. Jia Starr Brown's transformative series, Journey to Freedom: Embracing God's Cultural Diversity of People. All 23 videos are now available - free to Synod of Lakes & Prairies congregations - on its Vimeo page.
 
The Synod highly recommends this series - produced and facilitated by MN clergy and leaders - as powerful tools to utilize throughout Black History Month (February) and/or Lent to either introduce folks to anti-racism work or re-energize and expand diversity conversations.
 
For further information and links to the videos, please see the full post.
NEWS FROM THE DENOMINATION
SUPPORT ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING OFFERING
In a world of disaster, hunger, and oppression, millions of people lack access to sustainable food sources, clean water, sanitation, education, and opportunity. The three programs supported by One Great Hour of Sharing - Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, the Presbyterian Hunger Program, and Self-Development of People - all work in different ways to serve individuals and communities in need. From initial disaster response to ongoing community development, their work fits together to provide people with safety, sustenance, and hope. Please join us in receiving this offering. If you haven't received a standing order of materials, you can order them now.

ECO-JUSTICE RESOURCES FOR CONGREGATIONS
  • Lenten Calendar: English version available now, with Spanish and Korean translations on the way
From our ecumenical partner Creation Justice Ministries:
IT'S TIME TO ORDER ECO-PALMS
Through the Eco-Palms project, 20% of the cost of each frond goes directly back to the Central American communities that harvest them.  Get ready for Palm Sunday (March 28th) and order yours today!

The deadline to order Eco-Palms is March 5.
HAVE SOME FUN IN '21!
ST. PATRICK'S DAY AT-HOME CELEBRATION
Saturday, March 6th
Celebrate the greenest season of the year with CelticMKE free, at-home St. Patrick's Celebration Saturday, March 6, on Facebook and YouTube.  A full day's worth of programming will be provided, ranging from family entertainment to cultural shows and performances from emerging artists in Ireland.

A sneak peek at some of the shows: a historical journey of The Irish War of Independence, and Irish music sing-a-long for kids, cooking Irish stew with Irish musician and chef Mike Hanrahan, and MUCH, much more!  The scheduling will be available soon; in the meantime, save the date on your calendar and check out program details here.
ITALY WILL REBUILD THE COLOSSEUM'S FLOOR, RESTORING ARENA TO ITS FLADIATOR-ERA GLORY
In ancient Rome, tens of thousands gathered at the Colosseum to watch enslaved men, condemned criminals and wild animals fight to the death. These grisly gladiator clashes required great feats of engineering: To make caged creatures and prize fighters emerge from underground as if by magic, the Romans devised a labyrinth of secret tunnels beneath the arena's wooden, sand-covered floor.

These underground structures have remained exposed to the elements for more than a century, enabling the millions of tourists who visit the Colosseum each year to see them up close, according to Reuters. Now, the Italian government has pledged 10 million (around $12 million USD) toward the installation of a new, retractable floor that will restore the amphitheater to its gladiator-era glory.
INVITATIONS
DANCES OF UNIVERSAL PEACE
Friday, February 12th, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Venture into the powerful yet simple elements that make the dances sustaining and transforming body prayer with the Living Waters Contemplative Life Center.  February 12th will focus on silence, where each dance begins and ends.  Practices and dances from many spiritual traditions as well as chants and body prayer/movement will be shared. 

Universal Dances of Peace will be guided by Judith and Hal.  Please email by Thursday, February 11th, to receive Zoom link.
 
Living Waters Contemplative Life Center is an outreach ministry of  Tippecanoe Faithing Community.
UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AT LOMBARD MENNONITE PEACE CENTER
The next available sessions for our most popular workshops are Conflict Transformation Skills (Feb. 13), Healthy Congregations (Feb. 18), Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (March 1-5), and Leadership and Anxiety in the Church (March 10).  Beneficial for clergy and laypersons alike, these training events help participants deal more effectively with unresolved conflict that threatens the fellowship and mission of their church.  A significant discount is available for groups of four or more (excluding the 5-day Mediation Skills Training Institute).  Online registration is now available directly on our website at https://lmpeacecenter.org/ticketspice/. Take advantage of this opportunity for spiritual and professional growth and register today! For more information, please consult the attached brochures or contact the office of the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center at Admin@LMPeaceCenter.org or 630-627-0507. 
ISSUES OF RACE SPEAKER SERIES
Beginning on January 28, The United Methodist Church of Whitefish Bay is sponsoring an eight-week speaker series on the history and impact of racial discrimination on minority communities. The series will be held via Zoom on Thursdays at 7pm thru March 18. All of the speakers are experts in their field. The series will begin with a presentation by Reggie Jackson on the history of racial inequities in the United States. Reggie Jackson is a nationally heralded scholar, author, speaker, and consultant on race relations. He is a co-founder of Nurturing Diversity Partners and a leader at America's Black Holocaust Museum. He has received numerous awards, including 42 Most Influential Black Leaders in Wisconsin, Friebert Social Justice Award, Frank P. Zeidler Public Service Award, and several awards from the Milwaukee Press Club for his writing. You must register for Reggie Jackson's presentation - the registration link can be found here. and click here for the zoom link for the remaining sessions You can register by emailing the church c/o aeversfield@umcwfb.org or calling 414-964-2424. There is no cost for the series.
SPEAKER SERIES ON ISSUES OF RACE 40-DAY LENTEN PRACTICE: STRENGTHENING EMOTIONAL STAMINA TO COUNTER WHITE FRAGILITY
White supremacy is both internalized and institutional; it's both systemic and enacted through everyday interactions. And it's certainly, undeniably, the work of white people to resist, reckon with, and repair. As part of this work, this 40-day practice shares frameworks for recognizing and responding to white supremacy within ourselves, in our interactions, and in our communities, including in our families, workplaces, and holidays.

As the title indicates, this practice engages participants in strengthening emotional stamina, which is needed to counter white fragility, or the discomfort and defensiveness-and related power abuses and harms-that arise within white folks when confronted with racial injustice. Such work means sitting with discomfort, identifying and naming emotions as they arise, and developing staying power to be in the work for racial justice for the long haul. This practice, therefore, is for anyone who experiences white fragility, who identifies as white, or who's working to unlearn whiteness (which includes ways of feeling, thinking, being, doing, and relating).

Instructor: Beth Godbee. When you purchase this course, you will receive: A digital workbook for the core 40-day practice; Access to four online workshops (participate live or view recordings on your own time); Tuesdays, 6:00-7:30 p.m. CST, February 16, March 2, March 16, March 30; An online community for ongoing reflection on your experience

Throughout the practice, you'll have the opportunity to: engage in contemplative practices (meditation and journaling, among others), receive support for processing difficult emotions and countering white fragility (the myth, the harm, and the learned behaviors) articulate commitments that drive everyday decision-making, set intentions and increase readiness for showing up for racial justice in 2021 and beyond.  Register here.
WE RISE: BUILDING A HEALTHY COMMUNITY - A BLACK HISTORY CELEBRATION
Thursday, February 11th, 7:00-8:30 p.m.
Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee announced the upcoming MICAH event:  "Together, we will connect the past work for justice to the present work by lifting up the many examples of individuals and organizations who/that are working to make Milwaukee a healthier place for all, right now. Program will include health information, music, dance, inspirational prayers, spoken word, artist sharing, an opportunity for you to share the name of and information about a person or group you think is making a difference by Building A Healthy Community."

Guest Speakers: Dr. Aronica Williams, Chief Medical Officer - Milwaukee Health Services and spoken word by Dasha Kelly, Wisconsin and Milwaukee Poet Laureate

SECOND ANNUAL RICH HERITAGE OF AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH
Saturday, February 20th, 12:00-2:00 p.m. CST
The Pittsburgh Chapter of the National Black Presbyterian Caucus will gather Saturday, February 20th, by video conferencing system Zoom. The gathering will run from 12:00-2:00 p.m. CST.

The guest speaker will be the Rev. Warren Lesane, the synod executive and stated clerk of the Synod of the Mid-Atlantic. Discussion will center around the contributions of African Americans in the Presbyterian Church (USA) in the Past, Present, and Post-Pandemic.

Registration for this event is required and is available here.
SIMON WIESENTHAL'S GRANDDAUGHTER SHARES THE STORY OF THE NAZI HUNTER
Presented by Racheli Kreisberg from Israel via ZOOM
Sunday, February 21st, 12:00 p.m. CST
Dr. Kreisberg will share the incredible work of her grandfather Holocaust survivor Simon Wiesenthal and the legacy he left the world: humanism, tolerance and pursuing justice.  Dr. Kreisberg will be introduced with a special introduction by Alison Pure-Slovin, Director of the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Midwest Region.  
 
Simon Wiesenthal known as the "Nazi Hunter," did not forget the horrors of the Holocaust.  He went way beyond the memory of his 89 murdered family members.  He advocated for justice in the name of the six million Jews who were murdered.  To this end, he set out on an international pursuit of the Nazis wherever they were hiding.  
 
There will be a virtual Q & A immediately following the presentation moderated by HERC's Executive Director Samantha Abramson.  HERC is presenting this program in partnership with the Simon Wiesenthal Center, Midwest Region. 
 
REGISTER BY CLICKING HERE:
HOT LINKS
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 -  February 2021 Newsletter for the Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
UCCI Newsletter - December 2020 Newsletter from United Church Camps, Inc.
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
FUTURE PRESBYTERY GATHERING DATES

Download the 2020-2021 Presbytery Gathering flyer 

  • TUESDAY, March 9, 2021
  • SATURDAY, May 22, 2021
  • WEDNESDAY, September 22, 2021
  • THURSDAY, November 18, 2021