August, 2021
That's a wrap!
More than 440 people from 22 states attended the 67th annual Synod School. This was the first year people were able to virtually attend daily convocation and worship as well as participate in some classes.

Applications are being received for teachers for adult, youth and children’s classes as well as for volunteers to work with our younger youth. Due date is September 15, 2022. Click here to apply.

Mark your calendars for July 24 - 29, 2022!
  • Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty, Convocation Speaker
  • Tim Hughes Williams, Worship Leader
  • Alphonso Johnson, Youth Convocation Speaker
And after the earthquake … a sound of sheer silence.
Then there came a voice … that said, "What are you doing here?" (1 Kings 19:12–13)

The scale of the disaster facing Haiti after the Aug. 14 earthquake is becoming clearer. The quake and its aftershocks have left almost 1,300 people dead, thousands more injured and an unknown number of people are still missing. At least 13,000 homes were destroyed and roads, bridges and communication systems have been severely damaged. This catastrophe comes on top of Haiti’s ongoing struggles with endemic hunger and poverty, COVID-19 and continuing civil unrest, and as Tropical Storm Grace bears down on the region.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is providing emergency relief and short-term recovery in the impacted areas through our established local partners and in collaboration with ACT Alliance and its members. The PC(USA), through PDA and together with regional World Mission colleagues, will remain active throughout the entire recovery process, accompanying our partners in the area as they determine long-term program needs and providing financial support for rebuilding and resilience.

The needs for the response will be great. God’s people are once again called on to stand in the "GAP" — Give. Act. Pray.

GIVE: Gifts can be made online, by phone at (800) 872-3283, or by check, which can be mailed to Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), P.O. Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.

ACT: Learn how you and your congregation can help families who have lost everything in the devastation. Stay informed and like us on Facebook, download resources and share updates with your congregation.

PRAY: As this earthquake continues to cause destruction and loss of life, please pray with us that the communities affected by this event and those offering assistance will be strengthened, have their needs met and be reminded of the hope found in God.
The path to reparations
The Synod’s Restorative Actions efforts were featured inside an article published in Faith & Leadership, an online publication from Duke Divinity School.

"We look at the [idea of reparations] as a personal spiritual issue, as a community issue, and a complicity issue. First, we're working on a curriculum that educates churches that this wealth gap will never do anything but grow unless there's a response to it. ..." - Jim Koon

Restorative Actions website.
Celebrating and supporting educators
A message from the PC(USA) Education Roundtable

As we approach the beginning of a new school year, we invite congregations and pastors to take time in worship the Sunday after Labor Day to recognize the educators in your congregation and the children returning to school. This could be as simple as inviting them to stand, offering applause and then prayer. Click here for a litany to use during worship.

Presbyterians have a long history of supporting education in general and public schools in particular. You may be interested in our most recent policy statement on public schools, “Loving Our Neighbors: Equity & Quality in Public Education.” Contact Gretchen Milloy for a copy of the statement.

Thank you in advance for honoring those who teach our children and supporting our children as they return to school.
Deadline approaching!

Racial Ethnic Student Scholarship applications are due on September 30, 2021.

This educational assistance program is designed to encourage racial ethnic students in their preparation for academic success in higher education. Students must have a permanent residence within the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and be active members in a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation. The synod is committed to partner with students and schools for greater access to lifelong leadership skills and affordable education. Application awards are based on personal achievement, financial need and recommendation from a teacher and pastor.

Learning to Pastor in a Pandemic
Stated Clerk says even pastors need to be ministered to during COVID-19 pandemic
Rick Jones & Randy Hobson | Office of the General Assembly - August 5, 2021

Nearly 17 months after the COVID-19 pandemic swept across the U.S. and other countries, professionals in all walks of life are still trying to figure out the best way to navigate through the spikes in infection rates and the period of calm created by the vaccines. Churches that have adjusted through online worship had just begun to get back to a sense of normalcy when the infections started rising again due to the delta variant of the virus.

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), says there have been no academic books or seminary training to prepare pastors in how to minister to their congregations in a pandemic. And while many pastors have found ways to connect, the pandemic has created a new level of stress and depression.
Ministry in the era of COVID Variants
The surge of the Delta variant has increased the stress of congregational leaders who are working out how to respond. You are not alone. The WI Council of Churches has generated some excellent guidelines to help churches make safer choices during the ongoing pandemic. 

Additional information:
(EMERGE, August 20, 2021, Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area)
Benefits Decisions Webcast
Board of Pensions
The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will host a one-hour webcast, What's Possible? Strategies to Serve Better. This webcast is to assist congregational decision-makers as they consider benefits decisions for 2022. Those interested may register either for Wednesday, August 25, 12:00 – 1:00 pm CDT or again on August 26.

For information and registration visit the website.
Work Engagement Survey
In light of the unique circumstances of this past year, LeaderWise is working to gain a clearer understanding of the experiences of people in ministry, including how they currently view their work. In an effort to continue our mission of providing counseling and consulting for lives of service, we are asking you to give 10 minutes to complete an anonymous survey that will allow us to understand your experiences, and, in turn, provide more relevant services.

You will not give your name or other information that would allow you to be individually identified, so please provide honest answers about your vocation-related attitudes. Participation is voluntary, and answers provided will assist our work at LeaderWise. To participate, please click here to visit the survey.

Ankeny Presbyterian Church, a 190 member congregation of the PC(USA), is seeking a full-time Director of Outreach and Discipleship (including Christian Education). This person will guide us in reaching new people and developing innovative discipleship strategies. Ankeny is one of the fastest growing cities in the Midwest and offers plentiful opportunities for ministry. APC is located in a stable neighborhood with an excellent facility, strong financial resources, and committed leadership with a vision for sharing God’s love in our neighborhood and beyond. The starting salary is between $36,000 and $40,000, commensurate with experience. We offer paid vacation, medical expense assistance, flexible hours, and multiple paid holidays. We are open to negotiation. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Eric Pasanchin. To learn more about the church, visit

has several openings for which we are seeking qualified candidates looking for a call working at the national level.
Summer Hours

The Synod and the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area shared office will be closed on Fridays during the summer from June 4 through September 3.

Our offices will be closed on September 6.
Dakota Wesleyan University (DWU) offers an innovative educational experience for church leaders that reaches well beyond the traditional seminary preparation. This is a one-year, 21-credit program. Students in the program have been able to take advantage of the support of the Lilly Endowment foundation, which has supported program tuition. For more information visit the DWU website or contact the DWU Admissions Office.
The Ministry Lab is delighted to offer a 2021 Summer Worship Series featuring three excellent preachers and a beautiful team of current United Theological Seminary students giving voice to the diversity of identities and contexts of our supporting congregations. Worship formats vary across the state, so all three services are available in video and print form. You can access the service in its entirety, or each segment individually. Use as best fits your setting!

View information on all 3 services and request access here.
Clearwater Logo
Catch A Vision

Marrying your mission with anti-racism efforts with keynote speaker
Rev. Anna Kendig Flores
Oct. 10-12

Registration can be completed through Clearwater's website -
Older Adult Ministry
Registration is open for the 2021 Presbyterians Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) National Conference October 26-28!

Registration is now open for Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders, to be held on October 11-15 and November 15-19, 2021.  The two identical sessions will be held remotely via Zoom. This workshop is designed to help church leaders deal more effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.
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.

Presbyteries and churches share your story with the synod.

Are you doing something in your presbytery or synod from which others might learn? You have a standing invitation to send Tricia Dykers-Koenig articles to share.