July 22, 2021
The Shift
Synod staffers, Deb DeMeester and Jim Koon, have been working for about a year with members of the local Black community and police department leaders to create a system of engagement and collective learning to ease racial tension and facilitate relationship-building. The program, called The Shift, was introduced with the Bloomington, Minn. Police Department in June and will be expanding its reach to other communities over the coming months.  

Report by Kiya Edwards, KARE 11 News
Through Devastating Storms (a free hymn)

July 22, 2021 by Carolyn Winfrey Gillette

LEONI D (“The God of Abraham Praise”)

(first verse)
Through devastating storms, through times of heat and drought,
through fire and flood, creation mourns and so cries out.
As hot and cold extremes cause overwhelming need,
the earth bears witness to the cost of human greed.

Hymn note: “Through Devastating Storms” was written for the opening worship service on August 1st for the national Presbyterians for Earth Care online conference, “Creation Care Buffet: Come to the Table.” The hymn recognizes the record-breaking heat waves and forest fires in the West and Northwest USA, hurricanes, and massive flooding in Europe and China. It is a prayer that we will love the earth and love each other, and so work for healing and hope.

Read the full article at The Presbyterian Outlook.

Scroll down for more information on the Presbyterians for Earth Care conference.
21st century ministry in a repurposed denominational HQ
The Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA) talks up ideas on reinventing the Presbyterian Center in downtown Louisville
by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — Like the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Office of the General Assembly has been rethinking what it means to do ministry in the 21st century, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), told PMA board members Wednesday. ...

He praised the work of the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, the PMA’s president and executive director. “We will continue to build on relationships, which are important in lifting up the banner of Jesus Christ, in whom there is no east or west, in him no south or north, but one great fellowship of love throughout the whole wide Earth.”
The Presbyterian Center, at 100 Witherspoon Street in Louisville, Kentucky, is set for a $2.4 million renovation to prepare the denominational headquarters to host the 225th General Assembly in 2022. (Contributed photo)

In a brief question-and-answer session that followed Nelson’s half-hour talk, Moffett told the board that although some people have expressed concern with the price tag of the renovation of the Presbyterian Center, “many don’t know the tremendous cost” of holding an in-person General Assembly in a different city every two years.

Presbyterian inclusive language guide updated
‘Well Chosen Words’ brochure can help people navigate expanding beliefs about inclusion
by Rich Copley | Presbyterian News Service

LEXINGTON, Kentucky — When the last edition of the “Well Chosen Words” guide to inclusive language came out in 2010, “brothers and sisters” were listed as “Words that include,” and preferable to the commonly used “brothers” and “brotherhood,” which were listed as “Words that exclude.”
In the latest edition of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s guide, “brothers and sisters” is now listed as “Words that exclude,” with “siblings” and “humankind” being the inclusive terms.

“It was done well, for the time that it was done,” the Rev. Shanea D. Leonard, Associate for Gender & Racial Justice in the PC(USA) Office of Gender, Racial & Intercultural Justice, says of the 2010 guide. “There were some things that were outdated in there that needed to be done over. It’s been expanded to not only include the ways in which we encounter God within the text … it includes a chart of words that help us to build a more inclusive kin-dom. Read more.
Click on the button to download a free copy of the new guide.
67th annual Synod School begins on July 25th

On Sunday more than 400 people from all over the country will be at the first hybrid Synod School. Those in-person will be on the campus of Buena Vista University and others will participate via Zoom. Visit our Facebook group, "Is this Heaven? No, it's Iowa!" to see what is happening.
PC(USA) Week of Action 2021
August 23–29 to engage Shades of Oppression, Resistance, & Liberation. The Week of Action has at its core the idea of being a visible arm of justice in our communities around the denomination as we stand on the foundations of both Matthew 25 and the Hands & Feet Initiative. 

Have You Subscribed to the GA225 Newsletter?
The Racial Ethnic Student Scholarship Fund
is an educational assistance program 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.

Applications are due on September 30, 2021.

Get your social media noticed with hashtags
How to get more people to see your posts
By Anne Russ | Presbyterians Today

Posting your ministry happenings on social media is great, but it can be even better (translation: more folks seeing what you have posted) with the use of a hashtag.

Hashtags are those words and phrases with a # in front of them that you may have seen attached to Facebook or Twitter posts. Hashtags are the filing system of social media. They make your posts searchable beyond your church’s username. The right hashtags can put your posts in front of people you want to reach.

If you don’t have a unique hashtag for your church, create one and encourage others to use it whenever they post about the church. Create hashtags for special events as well and use both the church and the event hashtag on posts about the event. Social media marketers advise using only two or three hashtags on Twitter and Facebook, but between six and 11 hashtags on Instagram garner the best engagement rates.

Also, consider adding day-of-the-week hashtags to your posts to reach outside your current audience. Here are some of the most popular day-of-the-week-related hashtags. Many of them work well with things you’re already posting: #mondaymotivation, #tuesdaytips, #wednesdaywisdom, #throwbackthursday, #feelgoodfriday, #saturday (yes, just the word “Saturday” itself is a popular hashtag) and #sundayworshipcelebration.

And, as in-person worship resumes, start using the hashtag #newnormal when posting about upcoming services.

Anne Russ is a Presbyterian pastor residing in New York City.
Creation Care Buffet: Come to the Table
2021 Conference
Bible Studies

Earth Care

Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) is a national eco-justice network that cares for God’s creation by connecting, equipping, and inspiring Presbyterians to make creation care a central concern of the church.

Supporting Faith Formation at Home—A message from the Office of Christian Formation

Church leaders, are you looking for a way to support families and households in faith formation at home? The PMA has an offer of free resources to support at-home faith formation with younger children! We are using an endowment made possible from generous donors to help you receive a few resources through our partner, Presbyterian Publishing Corporation. These resources are specifically selected to help households with younger children to engage in Scripture and story books that highlight the vision of being a Matthew 25 faith community in the PC(USA). We consider households to include parents and children, grandparents and children, foster families, and even community outreach households. Think creatively about how you can reach young children and their guardians. Share these links to the application forms with congregational leaders and encourage them to apply. There are book bundles and google forms in English, Spanish and Korean
2021 Clergy Women and Christian Educators Retreat
Has the shutdown, pandemic and trying to "return to normal" left you drained?
Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation invites you to a time of renewal, prayer, skill sharing and fellowship with other women in ministry.
This event is open to all Women Clergy and Christian Educators!

The Revs. Kathy Noble and Suzanne Gorhau will lead workshops on giving voice to the stress of the pandemic, sabbath and sabbath styles of rest, God care (not self-care) and prayer forms. The Rev. Sara Tonje will lead experiential worship services. Time will also be available for story sharing, enjoying nature, naps and a night of creativity.
Registration is now open.
Rooms are available at Camp Calvin Crest and Holiday Inn Express on first come basis.
Registration deadline August 31, 2021
You can learn more about Suzanne and Kathy at
Photo courtesy of Diana Butler Bass

Grounded & Grateful
with Diana Butler Bass
This is a one-day event designed to provide church leaders with a rich opportunity to connect, reflect and rejuvenate.

Join LeaderWise for Grounded & Grateful as we reflect back to where we’ve been and examine where we are at present, individually and collectively. Spend the day in the community of others who are asking the same questions. Learn from the wisdom of all present, whether in person or online. Don’t miss out on this opportunity for connection, reflection, and rejuvenation!

This hybrid event will be held at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral in downtown Minneapolis, and will be available online.t t
FEMA Amends COVID-19 Funeral Assistance Policy

FEMA is amending the agency’s COVID-19 Funeral Assistance policy to assist with COVID-
19 related fatalities that occurred in the early months of the pandemic.

This policy change will allow applicants to submit a statement or letter from the death certificate’s certifying official, medical examiner, or coroner, that attributes the death to COVID-19 fatalities that occurred between Jan. 20 and May 16, 2020.

This policy change was made after consulting with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials and other health experts. The new policy provides applicants, as well as medical authorities, coroners and jurisdictions, flexibility to attribute a death to COVID-19 without amending the death certificate. The change also provides flexibility with documentation for the period before the CDC-published and implemented COVID-19 death certificate
guidance in the spring of 2020. Read more.

For more information about COVID-19 Funeral Assistance and to apply, go to COVID-19 Funeral Assistance.

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. If you are interested, please contact Pastor Eric Pasanchin. To learn more about the church, visit our website.

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has several openings for which we are seeking qualified candidates looking for a call working at the national level.

Our Summer Worship Series: Liberation #2 is ready! Let it be an excuse to share a prophetic sermon – from the perspective of a rural pastor; authentically experience a new art form; experiment with a new style of engaging liturgy; or, just take some time away from worship planning! Find more information about this service, Everyone’s Chains Came Off – Reflecting on Paul & Silas’ Liberation from Prison, here.
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.

Other summer holiday observed:
Labor Day, September 3
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 news 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.