August 2022

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A look at how faith communities and mid councils are making Triennium their own

In Nebraska, they’re calling their event ‘INSTEADIUM’                   

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service  

            David Friedli, a retired teacher, has been a

  Presbyterian Youth Triennium small group leader since 2001. (Contributed photo)

LOUISVILLE — Now that Presbyterian Youth Triennium Beyond events are being scheduled, Presbyterian News Service visited with PYT director Gina Yeager-Buckley to learn how new free online resources help young people go deeper into the theme of PYT2022, which was cancelled because of Covid. …

A “When Did We See You?” PYT Beyond event called “INSTEADIUM” is being held August 20-21 at Cavin Crest Camp, Conference, and Retreat Center in Nebraska. They started planning the event before our Connect resources were available and are doing something very cool with the event. They will have sessions on team building, companionship, and leadership — and of course a campfire led by Sara Renner, [a professional oboist who volunteers annually at Calvin Crest].

PNS talked with David Friedli, the organizer of the “INSTEADIUM” event, a self-described “Triennium junkie” and ruling elder at Murray Presbyterian Church in Nebraska. He first went to the Presbyterian Youth Triennium 30 years ago, and then became then became the PYT registrar for Homestead Presbytery in 1995 and 1998. As a Triennium small group leader since 2001, when this year’s event was cancelled, he planned a PYT Beyond event based on “the awesome” PYT theme.

Read the full article.

Now accepting Racial Ethnic Scholarship applications

Find out about eligability and download the application by clicking here.

Deadline for submission is September 30, 2022.

What’s Right about My Church?

Westminster United Presbyterian Church – Minden, Nebraska

by Rev. Sharon Rees

For several years, the local historical site, Pioneer Village, had been falling into disrepair. But there has been a recent resurgence of energy in the community to refurbish and revitalize this unique glimpse into the history of life on the plain.

Our congregation felt an insistent wind from the Holy Spirit to lend a hand. We began our month-long mission initiative by being called to worship and work in the first established church of Minden, which resides in the Village. We prayed and polished, sang and scraped, reminisced and restored. Then we turned our hands and our stoves to baking Danish Aebleskivers, a traditional Danish pancake ball treat of the area. They sold like ‘hotcakes’ on the square during the town celebration, Dawg Days! The proceeds were designated toward further restoration of the Pioneer Village church. We feel that honoring the history of Christ’s church in Minden is a beautiful steppingstone to a faithful future.


  • Westminster congregation worshipping at the church in Pioneer Village.
  • L. Nelson lending a helping hand.
  • Aebleskiver baking crew of Westminster.
  • K. Petersen promoting our cause on the village square.

Follow Westminster United Presbyterian on Facebook

Is your presbytery, church, youth group, women’s or men’s group involved in a project or initiative? Share the story with the Synod at

Belonging is ...

A video created by the youth at Synod School.

See more pictures from Synod School and the community that forms when 600 people of all ages come together to participate in a unique experience of Christian community. Experiencing Belonging

Michael Lochow

We were saddened by the news that Michael Lochow passed away on July 25, 2022.

Michael served as Stated Clerk of the Presbytery of Northern Plains for the past 25 years. He was a wealth of knowledge and history for the presbytery. 

Michael was born in Jamestown, ND on July 20, 1946 to Milton and Dorothy (Otto) Lochow. He was raised on a farm near Courtenay, ND. After graduating from Courtenay High School in 1964 he continued his education at the University of Jamestown. He earned a degree in mathematics and economics. Following college graduation, he served for 3 years in the US Army working as a counterintelligence agent in the Republic of Korea, specifically for 2 years at the Demilitarized Zone. During that time he was exposed to agent orange. Upon discharge, he attended law school at the University of ND. He practiced law for about 20 years and during that time, he also served as a District Court Referee. For the past 25 years he had worked as the stated clerk of the Presbytery of the Northern Plains.

Mike was active in theater, appearing on stage in over 30 productions. He also worked backstage and did sound design for a number of productions. He did some radio and television commercial work in Fargo. He enjoyed traveling, golf, photography and all kinds of music. He was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Fargo and served in several different roles over the years. He was also active in several nonprofits in the Fargo/Moorhead area. He was currently serving as chairman of the board of Solutions, an agency that serves people with mental and behavioral health issues. He had served in this capacity for 22 years. Mike had a passion for serving others in need.

Register Here
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A year as a Young Adult Volunteer is ‘like being air-dropped in the middle of chaos’

Two alums share advice and support for YAVs preparing for their ‘year of service for a lifetime of change’

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

Rev. Teresa Larson

LOUISVILLE — For Monday’s Between Two Pulpits broadcast, Dr. William McConnell, interim director of Special Offerings, celebrated the start of the Young Adult Volunteer program year by talking to two YAV alums who were equal parts passionate and practical about their own YAV experiences.

Listen to McConnell’s conversation with the Rev. Teresa Larson, associate pastor at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Milwaukee, and Ekama Eni, youth and campus pastor at St. Paul and St. Andrew United Methodist Church in New York City, by going here.

Read the full article.

Matthew 25 Eradicating Systemic Poverty Resource Packet

Click here to download individual resources or the entire packet.

Part Time is plenty - A message from PneuMatrix and the Synod of the Pacific

Got churches with part time (or no) clergy leadership and pastors with part time calls? Part Time Is Plenty is a webinar designed especially for these folks—and for you and/or your COM folks who want to learn more.

Sept. 22, 4PM EST/1PM PT

The webinar is free, but requires registration for each attendee. Here’s more information and the registration form. 


PC(USA) positions - Come work for the church

Presbyterian Foundation - Work for the Foundation

Orchard Lake Community Church, Presbyterian - Senior Pastor

Student Loan Debt Webinar

August 25, 1 PM (EST)

Sign up for the webinar to access free professional advising services. For any employees and staff of PC(USA) related organizations and ministers.

Register here

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Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program

Now through October 31, 2022, changes in the rules for this program allow for borrowers who may not have qualified in the past to be eligible now.

The Board of Pensions and Presbyterian Mission Agency are offering assistance in applying for this program through EdAssist. This free program will help to determine eligibility and if eligible, assist with completing the application process. For more information - 

Minnesota Suicide Prevention Conference for Rural Faith Leaders

This free event in Bemidji and Mankato brings together rural faith leaders to discuss, learn, and share suicide prevention information and resources. Speakers include Deacon Ed Shoener, President of the Association of Catholic Mental Health Ministers, Scott Roeder, Founder of Jackson Roeder Memorial Fund, Dan Reidenberg Psy D., Executive Director of Suicide Awareness Voices of Education (SAVE), and Ann Ellison, Director Interfaith Health at M Health Fairview. The agenda and speakers are identical at both locations, but panelists vary and include Bishop William Tesch, ELCA, David Goehl-Manolis, NAMI MN, and Chaplain (Colonel-Retired) Glen Bloomstrom, LivingWorks Education.

The conference focuses on helping faith communities position themselves to be informed communities of hope, healing, and support. Lunch is included.

Conference Objectives:

  • Increase rural faith leaders’ understanding about suicide and how they can play a role in suicide prevention.  
  • Provide high quality information and resources that will help their communities prevent suicide.  
  • Help faith leaders to provide care and support to those affected by suicide to promote healing and help prevent further suicides. 

Who Should Attend?

Rural clergy, spiritual and faith leaders, including chaplains, elders, deacons, sisters, youth pastors, parish nurses, church board members, church staff, and congregational suicide prevention advocates.

When and Where:

September 27, 2022, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Evangelical Free Church Bemidji, MN

September 29, 2022, 8:30 a.m. - 4 p.m. at Mankato Event Center Mankato, MN

*For those of you celebrating Rosh Hashanah on September 27, please know the conference content is the same for both dates.


Sept. 27, Bemidji location or contact Stephanie Downey at or 218-308-2148.

Sept. 29, Mankato location or contact Melissa Dau at or 507-344-2747.

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Creative writers wanted for the next Unbound Advent series

Are you a creative writer? Want to reimagine the narratives of Advent? Let us know you're interested in writing for the upcoming Unbound Advent series.

Presbyterian Women

Justice and Peace Book Club

  • Read a J&P recommended book every two months
  • Receive study guides to inform your reading
  • Discuss the books with others via Zoom

The "Club" is open to all regardless of gender.

Book lineup for the 2021-2022 Reading Season


Navigating Turbulent Times

with Emotional Intelligence

OCTOBER 20, 2023

1:00 PM TO 4:00 PM (CENTRAL)

What’s more predictive of effectiveness in the workplace than your academic training, administrative acumen, or native intelligence? Whatever the occupation, research consistently points to emotional intelligence – the ability to manage your emotions and to relate effectively to others. Not only that, but also research has shown that emotionally intelligent leaders are more resilient. In ministry, given its highly interpersonal focus, it’s especially true. This workshop will give you a clear understanding of how emotional intelligence relates to leadership in ministry in specific ways. It will also offer you a chance to measure your emotional intelligence through a standardized psychological test, identify areas for development, and provide practical suggestions for improvement. Learn more


Ministry Lab

It’s been a year (or two+...)

Colleagues can help.

Let’s network as we look back to move forward In the Ways of Jesus. ConNext Summit 2022 is an opportunity for congregational leaders to process what has been (through Sara Thomsen’s music and Theater of Public Policy creators, DangerBoat Productions!) as we reimagine how we do what we do. Gracious Idleness awaits those who are tired and who seek inspiration; Scrappy Transformation is sparked by leaders already finding joy in creative ministry (workshop overviews and bios are here); Radical Belonging is yours amidst multi-denominational colleagues from around the state as we laugh, learn, rest, Zumba, and explore God’s desired future together. Find details and registration here. Early bird registration available until August 31 - register now!

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You are invited to attend Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders, a 5-day event that helps participants deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict. The next in-person session is on November 14-18, 2022 at the beautiful Franciscan Renewal Center in Scottsdale, AZ. The next online session will be March 13-17, 2023. Registration is now underway at

We would also like to introduce our new one-day event called Restorative ConversationsDevon Miller, LMPC Associate Director and the author and facilitator of this course, describes it this way: Restorative conversations are useful when working through difficult or polarizing topics, processing shared painful experiences, building community, and dealing with certain levels of conflict in the church setting. The workshop will benefit all levels of leadership including pastors, lay leaders, youth leaders, and Sunday school teachers. Three sessions of this workshop have been scheduled for next year: Feb. 23, May 23, and Nov. 2, 2023.


Please contact the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center (630-627-0507 or with questions about this or any of our outstanding workshops. Thank you for your commitment to peace and wholeness within the body of Christ!

Before we go ...

What are Aebleskivers?

(Your editor is wondering if you read "What's Right About My Church?") 

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PAUL HOLLYWOOD’S AEBLESKIVER Recipe from the Great British Bake Off TV show.

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