FROM RACHEL YATES, PRESBYTERY EXECUTIVE
THE PEACE OF CHRIST BE WITH YOU...
How do you pass the peace these days?  Often a treasured time in our Presbyterian worship (or an introvert's nightmare), we historically showed the grace and peace of Christ through handshakes, kisses, and hugs.  Maybe we'd give a hearty slap on the back or wave to someone across the sanctuary.  I've worshipped with enough of you to know that you tarry during the passing of the peace, and it sometimes requires prodding to restore order.

How are you passing the peace these days?  Perhaps it's with two fingers raised in a V and flashed at the computer screen or spoken words of peace while unmuted in a Zoom worship service.  A hand over your heart?  Our need to receive and reflect the peace of Christ hasn't changed...hopefully only our "touchiness" has for a time.

In this election season, however, the peace of Christ is needed at a much deeper level.  As a nation, we are most certainly at...(READ MORE)
MATTHEW 25: I WAS SICK AND YOU LOOKED AFTER ME...
MATTHEW 25 ONLINE EVENT: 
ERADICATING SYSTEMIC POVERTY: GLOBAL ISSUES
October 28th, 1:00 p.m. cst
Where in your church can you take action to address systemic poverty on a global level? The next online Matthew 25 event, scheduled for October 28 at 1:00 p.m. Central, will lift up how to engage existing partners for this work and where potential partnerships might exist. This event will follow the model of the previous Matthew 25 events with facilitated dialogue, guest speakers, and the sharing of resources. Mark your calendars today and register here.
HEALTHCARE INSURANCE OPPORTUNITY
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is reaching out to faith-based organizations to encourage communication to your members about Open Enrollment for those who need to purchase their own health insurance, either for themselves or their families.  Insurance that is offered on the ACA Marketplace (also known as the Exchange or Obamacare) is available for purchase with no health restrictions between November 1 and December 15, 2020. The ACA Marketplace is for individuals who are under age 65 and who do not qualify for Medicaid or Medicare.

 
Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is holding two informative Webinars, the first on November 4 and the second on December 2, for people who may need to purchase health insuranceClick here for registration information and flyers that may be included in your weekly bulletin, on your website or Facebook page, or otherwise shared with members who have health insurance needs at this challenging time. 

Common Ground Healthcare Cooperative is a Wisconsin not-for-profit and member-governed organization formed in 2012. 
PC(USA) LEADERSHIP AND STAFF RECORD SERVICE BASED ON THE MATTHEW 25 VISION
In time for Reign of Christ Sunday (Sunday, November 22, 2020), a prerecorded complete worship service will be made available for congregations to use on that day or any day. The worship service will be based on the Matthew 25 vision and draws from the Worship in a Matthew 25 Church resource available on the Matthew 25 website. The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, will bring the sermon, and the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), will bring the blessing and charge. Other participants will include the Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020), the Rev. Gregory Bentley and Ruling Elder Elona Street-Stewart; and special music from Carter Anderson, William McConnell and Mondre Moffett.

The video will be shared at pcusa.org/matthew25-worship for viewing and downloading by Nov. 18, 2020. Congregations are welcome to use the video however and whenever they like. The planning team hopes that congregations find it helpful during a busy season of virtual and in-person worship services.
GENEROSITY ABOUNDS: MEDICAL DEBT CHALLENGE UPDATE
West Granville Presbyterian Church and Covenant Presbyterian Church are stepping up to the challenge!  They have already generously given to our first Matthew 25 challenge of extinguishing medical debt.  We know others are taking proposals to their Sessions and Mission Committees to join in this effort.  Your generosity and enthusiasm is contagious!  We are trying to raise at least $10,000 (in cash or pledges) by November 9, to wipe out $1,000,000 in crushing medical debt.  By forgiving this debt, we can give those who are struggling a fresh start and help them back towards financial stability.  The Presbytery will accept donations from churches and individuals through November 9, through normal remittance channels, noting "medical debt payoff" on the form or check.  To learn more about medical debt in the time of COVID-19 and how to help extinguish it, check out this 2020 Medical Debt Summit, recorded by RIP Medical Debt on October 6.  Stories of other churches that have risen to this challenge can be found on our new Medical Care webpage
JOIN COMMON GROUND'S COMMUNITY HEALTH VOLUNTEERS
Another way to act our your Matthew 25 commitment is by joining Common Ground's Community Health Volunteers project.  You can add to the 46 members calling COVID-positive people referred by the Milwaukee Health Department.  The phone calls are made each day for 10 days to people who are recovering at home and monitoring their health condition.  Common Ground has helped over 250 people to date.  Contact Patricia Obluck, Associate Organizer at patricia.obluck@commongroundwi.org for more information.
PRESBYTERY PULSE
ZOOM PRESBYTERY GATHERING
Thursday, November 12, 2020, 4:00 p.m.
Join us for the last Presbytery Gathering of 2020 on Thursday, November 12!  We will continue to meet virtually through Zoom, as we have the past two meetings.  

PRAYING FOR OUR COUNTRY
Election Week, November 2-6, at 9:30 a.m. & 2:00 p.m.
The time leading up to and after elections is fraught with emotions.  Please join us as we pray for our country everyday during election week.  The Presbytery will offer two communal Zoom prayer times Monday - Friday, November 2nd - 6th, at 9:30 a.m. and 2:00 p.m.   Please join us for a brief moment of guided prayer followed by an open forum for shared prayer and/or discussion.

Join us on Zoom to pray for our country:
 
Meeting ID: 851 4200 3650
Passcode: 808000
CHURCHES URGED TO RETURN TO PHYSICALLY DISTANCED MINISTRY
October 6, 2020 Press Release from the Wisconsin Council of Churches
As a follow up to the Governor's Executive Order and a Faith Leaders call with the Lt. Governor, the Wisconsin Council of Churches has cooperated with Wisconsin Faith Voices for Justice to develop a WI Faith Leader COVID Safety Pledge, committing to safe, remote worship at this time.  Congregational faith leaders are invited to sign onto the pledge by advising the Wisconsin Council of Churches.

The Wisconsin Council of Churches recommends that churches statewide return to remote operations as the COVID-19 crisis deepens in Wisconsin. While the state Executive Order to limit indoor gatherings to 25% of building capacity exempts religious services and places of worship, and churches are free to continue operations as they have been, the ecumenical organization recommends that that they not gather in person...(READ MORE)
NEWS FROM THE DENOMINATION
A WORD OF THANKS FROM THE STATED CLERK
A word of thanks from the Stated Clerk
A word of thanks from the Stated Clerk

The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) says churches are standing strong despite the COVID-19 pandemic. In a new video, the Reverend Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, speaks directly to churches, thanking leaders and congregations for continuing to be church over the last seven months, despite the obstacles.

ADDITIONAL STANZAS WRITTEN FOR "FOR ALL THE SAINTS"
Traditionally, All Saints' Day is celebrated in public worship on the first Sunday after Nov. 1. All Saints' Day is an occasion to remember those we have lost in the past year and recognize how God is at work in the lives of all the faithful. Fittingly, in 2020, Nov. 1 is on a Sunday.
 
As many congregations prepare to sing the classic 1864 hymn "For All the Saints" as part of their remembrance, the many losses 2020 has brought are remembered. Nearly 1.2 million people have died worldwide from COVID-19 and close to 250,000 of those deaths have been in the U.S. alone. This is happening alongside the ongoing pandemic of racial injustice and violence against Black, Indigenous and other people of color -and increasing poverty. 
 
Rev. Dr. David Gambrell, associate for worship in the Office of Theology & Worship, has written extra stanzas for "For All the Saints" in 2020 - words that make more space for our lament this year. Permission is granted for congregations to use or adapt these words in worship.

REGARDING RULING ELDERS:
A MONTHLY SERIES FOR SPIRITUAL LEADERS

A Vulnerable Pray-er
Jerrod B. Lowry has written the most recent installment of Regarding Ruling Elders, a monthly resource of the Office of the General Assembly.

ANYTHING BUT COVID-19 NEWS
WORKER FINDS A MESSAGE FROM 1941 HIDDEN IN THE ROOF OF A CHURCH AND IT'S GIVING A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE
If a time capsule exists, it must be this hidden note which has just been discovered in the ornament at St. James's Church in Antwerp, Belgium. The worker who made the discovery found a tiny sheet of paper carefully wrapped in a box of matches and placed inside a keystone that connects the vaults of the ceiling.
 
Upon closer inspection, it was determined that the note dates back to July 21, 1941. But the text scribbled inside it turned out to be more peculiar than the finding itself.
LIKE SAND THROUGH THE HOURGLASS, THESE ARE THE DAYS OF PENGUIN LIVES
Is this the plot of a soap opera involving penguins? No, it's just another day at DierenPark Amersfoort, a zoo in the Netherlands.
 
In their ongoing quest to raise a chick, a couple of African male penguins that rose to viral fame last year for stealing an egg from a heterosexual penguin couple have now stolen the nest of two female penguins.
INVITATIONS
FAREWELL CELEBRATION FOR WINNEBAGO'S SARAH MOORE-NOKES
November 10 at 5:15 p.m.
As many of you know, General Presbyter Sarah Moore-Nokes is stepping down from the position of General Presbyter of Winnebago Presbytery at the end of the year.
 
Sarah has worked for the Presbytery for 15 years, first as the Associate Executive and then as General Presbyter. She has brought her quick wit, collaborative approach, empathy, and organizational smarts to this work. Anyone who has worked with her knows that she listens with an ear to equal parts people, polity, and problem-solving. She's a creative thinker and, with fairly lightening speed, assesses situations. We will miss her! 
 
At the November 10 presbytery meeting, Winnebago Presbytery will be honoring Sarah.  To join Sarah's farewell, register for the Winnebago presbytery meeting on the website at winnebagopresbytery.org. After you register, you will receive instructions for joining the meeting by Zoom.  On the registration form, choose the option attending "Only Sarah's portion of the meeting". You are also welcome to attend the entire meeting. The farewell will begin at approximately 5:15 p.m.  Questions? Contact Jill at jill@winnebagopresbytery.org
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
EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
FUTURE PRESBYTERY GATHERING DATES

Download the 2020-2021 Presbytery Gathering flyer 

  • THURSDAY, November 12, 4:00 p.m.
  • TUESDAY, March 9, 2021
  • SATURDAY, May 22, 2021
  • WEDNESDAY, September 22, 2021
  • THURSDAY, November 18, 2021