FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
OUT, BUT NOT ALONE, ON THE STREETS
"Hey, I've got some Cracker Jacks. You want some?" I heard her ask. I heard her after the fact, but those who were there that day heard the joy-filled question firsthand. Cracker Jacks, after all, represent joy. Though not the most nutritious, they're fun, especially if you find the little prize inside. Even their variants, like Poppycock usually come out for festivities. Who doesn't love munching on kettle corn while wandering around the fair? Yes, we want some Cracker Jacks!

Cathy Manthei asked this question on a frigid February afternoon last week, as she...(READ MORE)
PRESBYTERY PULSE
REGISTER FOR THE MARCH 9 PRESBYTERY GATHERING
AGAIN AND AGAIN A LENTEN REFRAIN
Devotional Resources for
the First Week of Lent
 













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.
SAVE THE PLANET, SAVE MONEY
Through our Presbytery-level membership in Common Ground, you are invited to an informational Zoom webinar on energy efficiency tips for churches with a footprint under 50 thousand square feet.  Common Ground has partnered with BlocPower, an African-American owned energy technology enterprise.  BlocPower customers save 20-40% on their energy costs annually. 
 
Choose one of TWO Info Sessions:
 
Wednesday, February 24
12pm - 1:15pm
 
Thursday, February 25
10:30am - 11:45am
 
you will receive your Zoom link in a separate email AFTER you register.  
For more information, please contact Jeannie Stranzl, Administrative Organizer at
414-751-0755 or info@commongroundwi.org.
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.
MATTHEW 25: I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU INVITED ME IN...
RESTORE CHALLENGE UNDERWAY!
The Presbytery housing challenge to benefit your local Habitat organization is now underway.  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. 
HABITAT RECORDING NOW AVAILABLE
If you missed the 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.
NEWS FROM THE DENOMINATION
PRESBYTERIAN FOUNDATION'S DAY OF LEARNING
March 2nd, 10:30 a.m. - 5:30 p.m. CST
A Day of Learning will include three workshops with stewardship and church leaders in a casual, virtual setting. There will be time for questions and answer and an opportunity to see colleagues from across the country.

10:30 am CST - Church Mission and Sustainability with Stephen Keizer and Rev. Gail Monsma
(Rev. Monsma is the interim pastor at Rock Prairie Presbyterian Church)
This workshop will provide ideas for creating a culture of generosity through a comprehensive stewardship program. We will talk about how people give, donor motivation, how to craft your mission story, leadership's role in stewardship, provide giving tools as well as discuss how planned giving fits into a stewardship.

1:00 pm CST - Virtual Campaigns and Online Giving with Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley and Karl Mattison
In this seminar, we will share the top 5 features that we can leverage from a virtual stewardship campaign and how we can effectively use these tools going forward. The pandemic has been a miserable experience, but let's grasp and grow from lessons learned.

4:30 pm CST - Practical Tips for Church Budgeting with Olanda Carr and Rev. Dr. Jonah So
In this workshop we will cover the basic items to consider when creating a church budget. An overview of the various types of church budgets - zero-based, program, line-item, and narrative - will be provided.

If you have questions, please email serving@presbyterianfoundation.org.
HAVE SOME FUN IN '21!
MAN REPLACES BICYCLES TIRES WITH SAW BLADES TO RIDE ACROSS ICE
An engineer with The Q, who previously replaced his bicycle wheels with running shoes, took his creativity a step further with giant circular saw blades to aid in crossing frozen lakes and ponds. He carefully removed the tires and the spokes from the original wheels and engineered the entire bicycle to handle such heavy and sharp blades.  See how he fared here.
ANIMAL CONFESSIONS
Animal Confession - Saturday Night Live
Animal Confession - Saturday Night Live
As we enter into a time of Lent, reflecting and preparing for the Easter celebration, please enjoy these animal confessions from Saturday Night Live.
INVITATIONS
COMMON GROUND COVID-19 SPECIAL ENTROLLMENT PERIOD
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative (CGHC) is reaching out to faith-based organizations to encourage communication to your members about the new COVID-19 Special Enrollment Period (SEP) for those who need to purchase their own health insurance, either for themselves or their families.  This SEP was created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and its purpose is to reach those who are still without health coverage in this challenging time. This Special Enrollment Period is for insurance that is offered on the ACA Marketplace (Healthcare.gov) and is available for purchase with no health restrictions between February 15 and May 15, 2021. 


Click here to contact us for more information
UPCOMING WORKSHOPS AT LOMBARD MENNONITE PEACE CENTER
The next available sessions for our most popular workshops are 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. 
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:
IFCGM TUESDAYS-IN-MARCH LECTURE SERIES
Beginning Tuesday, March 2nd, 12:00-1:30 p.m.
"Political Minds: Addressing the Challenges of a Divided Nation"
To kick off the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Milwaukee's annual Tuesday-in-March Lecture Series, psychotherapist, and award-winning journalist, Philip Chard will discuss conspiracy theories, insurrection, hate speech, misinformation, and white supremacists, and what can we do to bridge this interpersonal chasm, find common ground, heal divisions and not drive ourselves crazy in the process.


Cost for the virtual program:$25.00 the Series of 5, or $10.00 per individual lecture 

You may pay online for the series OR download a printable form to mail in payment

Once you register, a receipt will emailed, and an event link will also be emailed before the program dates.

All registrants will receive a link to watch programs again on our Interfaith Conference Youtube channel. These programs will be captioned for the hearing impaired.

40TH ANNUAL ECUMENICAL RURAL MINISTRY CONFERENCE
"ENGAGING AND MINISTRY WITH CULTURAL TRADITIONALISTS"
We live in a deeply divided society with divisions along political, social, cultural, urban/rural lines.  This conference will be helpful for pastors who see these divisions in their communities and congregations and are looking for ways to minister to all people.
 
Keynote Speaker Tex Sample will explore this division by looking at a key demographic, cultural traditionalists.  Cultural traditionalists are the largest demographic in rural America and one of the largest in the country. This demographic is not limited by age, gender, or denomination.
 
The presentations of Tex Sample will provide a description of this important group and offer suggestions for working with cultural traditionalists.  These presentations are valuable not only for small town and rural congregations but will provide a greater understanding of this demographic found in many, if not most, congregations.
 
The Rev. Dr. Tex Sample brings years of ministry experience, teaching and research to this topic.  His most recent books include A Christian Justice for the Common Good, and Working Class Rage: A Field Guide to White Anger and Pain.  Tex Sample has participated throughout his career in both the church and the community, with a focus on social, racial, gender, and economic justice issues, community organizing, and interfaith movements. 
 
The 40th Rural Ministry Conference will be held via Zoom on Monday, March 8, 2021.  For further information:  http://www.wartburgseminary.edu/rural-conference/#1512404387364-1ded38c8-233a

This event is co-sponsored by Wartburg and the University of Dubuque Theological Seminaries.
PANEL DISCUSSION, "PASTORING IN THE AGE OF CONSPIRACIES AND DISINFORMATION"
Save the date: March 16th, 5:00 - 6:30 p.m. CST
Co-moderated by the Rev. Dr. Leah Schade, Lexington Theological Seminary & Clergy Emergency League; and the Rev. Kerri Parker, Executive Director of the WI Council of Churches.  Confirmed panelists include:  
  • Rachel Bernstein, a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with expertise in cults, who hosts the podcast Indoctrination. 
  • The Rev. Heather Hunnicutt, who serves as pastor of Salem United Church of Christ. She is also a licensed professional counselor and owner of Evergreen Counseling and Consulting in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Her areas of clinical expertise include cult recovery, religious and spiritual trauma, intellectual giftedness, and faith integration for persons in LGBTQ+ communities. Currently a doctoral student, Heather's dissertation focuses on constructing a healthy post-traumatic spirituality with both clinical and pastoral applications.
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 -- Register Now
  • SATURDAY, May 22, 2021
  • WEDNESDAY, September 22, 2021
  • THURSDAY, November 18, 2021