FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
A CALL TO LAMENT
Any idea where I can buy sackcloth? I feel like it's time to don it, cover my head with ashes, and heed the words of Jeremiah (here, in Ch. 6), like so many of the Old Testament prophets, who called the people and nation to a time of repentance and mourning.

To whom shall I speak and give warning,
    that they may hear?
See, their ears are closed,
    they cannot listen.
The word of the Lord is to them an object of scorn;
    they take no pleasure in it.
But I am full of...(READ MORE)
PRESBYTERY PULSE
VIRUSES AND VACCINES: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
January 7th recording now available
Trained immunocytochemist, Ruling Elder, and Executive Presbyter of Cincinnati Presbytery Lisa Allgood was welcomed back to the Wisconsin presbyteries last week to discuss the virus, the vaccine, and what our congregations and ministries need to know in this new phase.  If you were unable to attend the webinar, but would like to know what this frank, grounded, and trusted source of information about COVID-19 has to say about viruses and vaccines, the risks of different types of church ministry, and how we can plan for the coming year you can view the recording here.  This is the handout referenced during the recording.
MATTHEW 25: I WAS A STRANGER AND YOU INVITED ME IN...
AFFORDABLE HOUSING SOLUTIONS IN REACH
Save the date of February 1, noon, for an insightful and challenging webinar featuring Kimber Watson, a new homeowner in the Habitat for Humanity program, as well as program leaders with Habitat in several counties in the Presbytery's footprint.  They will reveal the poverty and race barriers to homeownership, the solutions offered by the Habitat model, and ways for congregations and members to become involved.  We'll also announce our Presbytery challenge for creative and crafty folks, with a cash prize!  More details to follow.
HOMELESSNESS IN WISCONSIN AND OUR RESPONSE 
Manager of House of Mercy shelter in Janesville, Tammie King-Johnson, shares a startling new reality, "Because of the pandemic, we see millions more people formerly employed, under-employed, and even middle-class now struggling to sustain or secure housing. ...now [they] are first time users of the homeless response system."  Presbytery Moderator Judy Jaggard interviewed Ms. King-Johnson, both to educate and challenge the Presbytery in our response to homelessness and housing insecurity.  Watch the interview.
MORE ON MATTHEW 25
ADDITIONAL RESOURCES CONTINUE TO BE ADDED 
While the focus of our Presbytery-wide Matthew 25 initiative has shifted to housing, resources continue to be added to the Medical Care section of our Healing Through Action webpage.  Churches and individuals are encouraged to visit and revisit these pages, continuing to learn how we might be better neighbors in this broken world.
NEWS FROM THE DENOMINATION
PC(USA) STATED CLERK AND ADVOCACY DIRECTOR TO DISCUSS ATTACK ON U.S. CAPITOL
Tomorrow, Thursday, January 14, 2:30 p.m.
The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, and Associate Director of Advocacy, the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, will hold a discussion about the Jan. 6 attack on the United States Capitol on Facebook Live Thursday, January 14th.
 
Subjects will include:
  • The fact that this could occur in the United States. How did we get to this point?
  • The National Council of Churches statement calling for the impeachment of the president.
  • The unwavering support given to Trump the past four years while he advanced policies such as immigration bans and reductions, the building of the border wall, and disruption of international alliances.
  • The danger of white privilege and supremacy, and racism in policing.
  • Where we go from here as a community of faith dedicated to justice and equality for all?
The discussion will be at 2:30 p.m. CST on Jan. 14 on the Office of Public Witness Facebook Page or register to watch it on Zoom.
APCE ANNUAL EVENT SCHOLARSHIP DEADLINE
 The 2021 APCE (Association of Presbyterian Church Educators) annual event, themed "Anything but Ordinary Time," is set for February 4-6, but the registration deadline for submitting names for scholarship opportunities is Friday, January 15. The deadline for accessing interpretation services is Friday, January 22. Hopeful participants can register for the three-day online event here and find out about the different levels of participation available.

RESOURCES AVAILABLE TO COMMEMORATE AND CELEBRATE MLK'S LIFE AND LEGACY
The pandemic of 2020 has further exposed disparities in healthcare and social justice and the wealth gap that exists in America. These glaring issues make the works and the words of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., just as relevant today as they were in the 1950s and 1960s.

On Jan. 18, 2021, the nation will celebrate and commemorate King's life and legacy. To assist congregations in this celebration, the Presbyterian Mission Agency is making worship resources available for download.

HAVE SOME FUN IN '21!
WATCH THE CELTICMKE SYMPOSIUM THIS SATURDAY
On Saturday, January 16, CelticMKE will host a virtual symposium, presented by Associated Bank's Cultural Awareness Colleague Resource Group, on CelticMKE's YouTube channel. The symposium will feature four presentations, beginning at 12 noon, showcasing the Connections Between African and Irish American Experiences.

The Irish Consulate General of Chicago, Kevin Byrne, will kick off the symposium, along with a special message from Nettie Washington Douglass, a direct descendent of Frederick Douglass and the African American Irish Network Diaspora. 

Schedule of presentations:
* Ten Abolitionists Who Visited Ireland, presented by Dr. Christine Kinealy
* Leaving Home in Search for a Better Life, presented by Gerard Moran and Robert Smith
* Equal Rights Heroes, presented by David Greenberg and Tim McMahon
* Two Roads Diverged: Irish and African American Common Grounds through Music, Dance and Humor, presented by Leni Sloan and Mick Moloney 

Listeners will have the opportunity to engage with the presenting experts; each presentation will feature a live Q&A at the end of the lecture. Visit celticmke.com/symposium to read presenter bios and descriptions of each presentation. Find out more on the Facebook event page. 

CELEBRATE NATIONAL PIE DAY ON JANUARY 23!
National Pie Day on January 23rd celebrates one of the Nations' favorite desserts. No matter how you slice it, pie in just about any form makes a crowd happy. Fruit pies, berry pies, cream pies - they're mouth water servings of homemade goodness. 

National Pie Day was created simply to celebrate the pie.  It is a day for all to bake or cook their favorite pies.  Even more importantly, it is a day set aside for all to enjoy eating pies!

Rumor has it that the first pies appeared around 9500 BC in the Egyptian Neolithic period or New Stone Age.  Head over to your local pie-ery to grab a slice or bake something at home, but be sure to enjoy is delicious eons old dessert.
INVITATIONS
WCC'S RETURNING TO CHURCH 2.0
Tomorrow, Thursday, January 14th, 1:00 p.m.
As we continue into 2021, we continue to learn about how to co-exist with the novel coronavirus and make ministry choices along a spectrum of safety. We've learned a great deal since the first edition of 'Returning to Church' was released. Between Zoom fatigue, the roll-out of vaccines, viral variants and increased knowledge about how the virus is transmitted, there's a lot of eagerness to get back to "normal." There are many questions about when it might be safe to gather again in physical space.
 
Join the Wisconsin Council of Churches tomorrow, January 14th at 1:00pm for Returning to Church 2.0 webinar as they offer an updated version of the WCC's Returning to Church Recommendations.
INTERFAITH DEVOTIONAL: THE FAITH AND VISION OF REV. DR. MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR.
Sunday, January 17th, 7:00-8:00 p.m.
Honor and appreciate the life of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr on January 17th by celebrating with word, song, and video the Faith and Vision of MLK by sharing these universal truths: Oneness of Mankind, Unity, Justice, and Service.
 
From the event organizers:
Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. devoted his life to advancing equality, social justice, and opportunity for all, and challenged all people to participate in the never-ending work of building a more perfect union. He believed immensely in the power of individual action and collective hope. We acknowledge that racism is a public health crisis and have seen this crisis further laid bare by COVID-19. We also recognize the urgent need to model Dr. Martin Luther King's pursuit of unity, equity and justice. We stand in solidarity with demonstrators in our neighborhoods and across the world who are fighting the systemic racism which continues to oppresses our marginalized communities. We recognize this United States Federal Holiday with unifying civic and community activities to celebrate, educate, advocate, and serve in memory of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  (Bay Bridge Wisconsin - Community Organization)
 
You will be emailed a zoom link to attend.
 
This event is sponsored by the Local Spiritual Assembly of the Baha'is of Milwaukee, From The Same Dust, Interfaith Conference of Greater Milwaukee, United Methodist church of Whitefish Bay, Christ Church (Episcopal), Old Saint Mary's, Congregation Shalom, Our Lady of Divine Providence (Riverwest), Unitarian Church North, Saints Peter and Paul, Three Holy Women Catholic Parish, Saint Eugene Congregation (Fox Point). 
PRAYING THROUGH THE PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION: AN INTERFAITH RESPONSE TO VIOLENCE
January 17th-20th, 9:30-10:30 a.m.
The Wisconsin Council of Churches is hosting a series of vigils on the days leading up to the presidential inauguration.  Interfaith leaders from Wisconsin will share reflections, readings from sacred and inspirational texts, and times of prayer.

Daily themes:
Day 1 (Sunday): Finding strength when we are fatigues
Day 2 (Monday): What needs protection
Day 3 (Tuesday): Healing, accountability, and responsibility
Day 4 (Wednesday): Holding space for community

Vigils will be live on the WCC Facebook page at 9:30 a.m. each day.
NATIONAL MEMORIAL FOR COVID VICTIMS
January 19th
President-elect Joe Biden is planning a lighting ceremony at the Lincoln Memorial Reflecting Pool to honor those killed by the coronavirus the day before he is sworn into office on January 20.
 
The Presidential Inaugural Committee said that it would hold the event the evening of January 19, calling it the "first-ever lighting around the Reflecting Pool to memorialize American lives lost." It is also inviting communities around the country to join Washington in lighting up buildings and ringing church bells at 4:30 p.m. (CST) in "a national moment of unity and remembrance."
COMMON GROUND UNIVERSITY
As part of our presbytery level membership of Common Ground, all congregations are invited to attend the upcoming Common Ground University sessions centered around organizing and creating change.

Common Ground works to make a major impact on the critical social and economic issues facing Southeastern Wisconsin. Changing these realities requires new leaders with the energy and vision to make this happen.  Please plan to attend all three sessions.

DATES AND TIMES:
Monday, January 25, 6:00 - 8:30pm (arrive by 5:45pm)
Monday, February 1, 6:00 - 8:30pm (arrive by 5:45pm)
Monday, February 8, 6:00 - 8:30pm (arrive by 5:45pm)

Space is limited -- please RSVP by Wednesday, January 20th.
2021 CAMPING BROCHURE NOW AVAILABLE
Get ready to register for some fun this year at UCCI's Moon Beach, Cedar Valley, and Pilgrim Center!  The 2021 brochure can be viewed online and registration is open! Check out all of the fun that can be had this year by perusing the 2021 Upcoming Events and get ready to register by looking through the Registration FAQs.
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 -  August 2020 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