January 2022
Extraordinary show of Presbyterian generosity promises prosperous New Year
The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, is Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
Presbyterians united on #GivingTuesday2021 to raise nearly $140,000
by Emily Enders Odom, Mission Engagement & Support | Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — Whether or not the prophets foretold it, #GivingTuesday2021 was a great success.

And for all those earthly pundits who had speculated early on that 2021 charitable giving would return to pre-2020, pre-COVID levels and trends, Presbyterians did not prove them wrong.

All told, more than 5,000 Presbyterians from coast to coast tuned in to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s original, eight-hour, multi-site, livestreamed celebration of Presbyterian mission on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 30, 2021, and — in a remarkable show of generosity — gave gifts nearing $140,000.

“I have often said that the church is not dying but reforming,” said the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “The faith and commitment shown by Presbyterians over the past two years is evidence of that. In times of great need, Presbyterians have always been there.”

“Our gifts combined is a powerful thing,” said the Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett, president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency. “Together, we can accomplish far more than any one of us can do alone. We are the church, together and together we can make a difference.”
The Rev. Dr. Diane Moffett is president and executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Synod of Lakes and Prairies presents
Pastor as Transitional Leader: Week 2 Virtual Training
Overview: Week 2 training focuses specifically on the leadership of a person in a pastoral role serving in a ministerial context characterized by transition. This can be any ministry that is consciously seeking to work with the change that is being experienced or is anticipated whether in leadership, culture, context, and ministry. This is weeklong course, with significant time spent in small group Leadership Learning Conversations, also includes presentations by the faculty and guest presenters. We request that arrangements be made in advance for coverage of pastoral responsibilities so that participants can focus fully on this program for the sake of their own learning and that of their colleagues in the cohort.

Required to participate: Completion of the Art of Transitional Ministry Week 1 (more than six months ago and within the past five years) and current service in a transitional setting. Transitional settings are any ministry that is consciously seeking to work with the change that is being experienced or is anticipated. E-mail a copy of your certificate of completion of Week 1 training to Deb DeMeester when you register.

Schedule: We will meet each day from 9:00-11:30 a.m. and 1:00-4:30 p.m. Central Time. A detailed schedule will be available for participants by April 1.

Preparation information will be available by February 15.
Dave Comstock has spent the last 18 years as a called Interim Pastor and continues to love pastoring people and congregations through times of change and transition. 
Deb DeMeester
Deb DeMeester is Director of Leadership Development for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. She provides training in presbyteries on a number of topics, facilitates strategic conversations, and supports a variety of groups and committees, including Synod School. 
Anne Fisher After being ordained in 1982, she began her first Interim ministry in 1986, and she soon discovered that she had found her calling in that specialized ministry. 
Bdecan Presbyterian Church vandalized
In early January the Bdecan Presbyterian Church, Dakota Presbytery, in North Dakota was vandalized. Based on an initial report, the glass door and some furniture was broken, with lots of stuff thrown around and rooms trashed. Fortunately, no structural damage was done to the building. Please keep our brothers and sisters in your prayers. Questions may be sent to Dakota Presbytery.
Acting like Jesus in the world
A Wisconsin pastor uses new worshiping community videos and the Matthew 25 invitation to illustrate what being Presbyterian looks like
by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — At First Presbyterian Church of Baraboo, Wisconsin, a small town near Madison, longtime church members wanted to know what it means to be Presbyterian.
Hearing this, their pastor, the Rev. Lisa Newberry, began working on a sermon series for 2022 around the We Believe Presbyterian confirmation curriculum.

“I really wanted to go back to the basics while looking at the needs in our community and how the church should step in,” she said.

With the pandemic shutdown, along with other longer-term changes in regular church attendance, Newberry wanted to both teach and celebrate what it means to be Presbyterian. She called Presbyterian News Service last week with a request: with her series starting on Jan. 16, she needed permission to play New Worshiping Community videos during worship — which is broadcast on a local television station.

“The videos are so well put together, I can’t help but be excited,” she said. “They show us how we can have basic beliefs while acting like Jesus by being active in the world.”

Children from First Presbyterian Church and the community had fun together at the local pool in Baraboo, Wisconsin. (Photo by the Rev. Lisa Newberry)
GA225 worship leaders announced

Services will connect “From Lament to Hope” with thematic Scripture
Fred Tangeman | Office of the General Assembly - January 19, 2022

The worship planning team for the 225th General Assembly has completed its list of worship leaders for this summer’s hybrid gathering, pairing preachers with highlighted Scripture and the GA225 theme of “From Lament to Hope.”

GA225 will open and close with worship, and will include a special Juneteenth observance. Morning services will begin each Assembly day from July 5-9. The Rev. Gregory Bentley, GA 224 Co-Moderator, will preach at opening worship on June 18.

225th General Assembly (2022)

The 225th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is less than a year away, but plans are well under way for the denomination’s hybrid gathering. The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) is knee-deep into working on how to combine in-person committee meetings with online plenaries and how to conduct those at the Church’s Louisville office.

Bookmark the GA website for future reference.

On the Road to GA is the 225GA Newsletter, sign up to have it delivered to your inbox.
Call to Prayer for a peaceful solution between the Ukraine and Russia
As people of Christian faith, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been in partnership with churches in both Ukraine and Russia over the last 30 years and with churches in the former Soviet Union for many years before that. The resulting dialogue and the mutual engagement have enriched congregations and members across our denomination through conversations over sharing tea and walking together in ministry. For many, the discovery of family in a place that enemies were expected has been profound. The witness of faith that withstood the persecutions of the Soviet Union has been powerful.

As tensions developed following the Revolution of Dignity on the Maidan in Kyiv, the annexation of Crimea and the Russian support of the separatist movement in the Donbas region, we have continued to be engaged with our partners through peacemaking seminars and ongoing informal conversations, trying to listen deeply and understand perspectives. It’s complicated and painful, as families and friends across the border have been divided, unable to find the language of reconciliation. We grieve over the loss of life in the Donbas and are in complete sympathy with our siblings in Ukraine, but we reject the escalating rhetoric that brings the world close to war. We reject the focus on militaristic solutions and call on President Biden and our Congress to pursue, with humility, diplomatic solutions through sustained dialogue in order to de-escalate the situation.

A Call to Prayer:
As tensions continue to rise, as soldiers on both sides of the conflict prepare, as mothers and fathers pray, let us pray for peace. Let us pray for the governments of Russia, Ukraine, Belarus, the United States and the European Union to seek all avenues for a peaceful resolution to the current tensions. And may we soften our own hearts and words in our own communities to de-escalate the tensions that consume our world. Lord, be with us, we pray. Teach us to be your peacemakers. Amen.
February is Black History Month
During Black History Month, Bending the Moral Arc leaders will share how their lives have changed
by Paul Seebeck and Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — To enhance learning and the celebration of Black History Month, leaders from Bending the Moral Arc: Courageous Conversations on Race & Justice will take a deep dive into the issues of structural racism.

Barbara Flythe of Witherspoon Street Presbyterian Church and Pam Wakefield of Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton, New Jersey, will share how the two churches — one predominately Black, the other primarily white — have come together to bend the moral arc toward justice.

That phrase was first used by Theodore Parker, an abolitionist minister in the 19th century, and more famously a century later by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

The lives of Barbara Flythe, left, and Pam Wakefield have changed as a result of conversations around Bending the Moral Arc. (Photo by Mike Fitzer)
You can download this Bending the Moral Arc small group manual to help you begin conversations about creating race and justice ministries in your own communities.
PW Synod Gathering
Registration is now open!

PW: Better Together
Tied Together With Love
A cord of three strands is not easily broken
Ecclesiastes 4:12 (NIV) 

Click here for your registration packet or contact your PW Presbytery Moderator. Additional information about the Gathering can be found on our webpage.
No change to the 2022 Synod & GA Per Capita rates

$5.50 - Synod
$8.98 - General Assembly


Solo Pastor/Head of Staff, First Presbyterian Church, Farmington, New Mexico

Director for Lakeshore Center
Lakeshore (Camp and Retreat) Center on Lake Okoboji, Iowa is looking for a talented leader to create a welcoming space for spiritual formation and rental groups. Hospitality, building and grounds management, staff and volunteer oversight, program development, communication (written and verbal), financial administration, and building donor relationships are all required skills. Compensation starts at $55,000, plus housing and benefits. The position description can be found here.

United Theological Seminary of the Twin Cities is excited to announce a new full-time open position: Director of the Leadership Center for Social Justice, an initiative funded by the Lilly Endowment under their Pathways for Tomorrow Initiative. The Director is responsible for the creation, implementation, and operation of The Leadership Center for Social Justice, ensuring that it fulfills its mission to educate and empower religious leaders to make lasting, effective change in their communities. This work will be done in close collaboration with the director of United’s Social Transformation program, Dean of United, and other faculty members and will include both programmatic and administrative oversight. The Center Director will be responsible for the Center’s educational programming, including an annual cohort of pastoral leaders; including recruitment, curriculum development and implementation, and the collection of data; and community-based programming, including continuing education opportunities. This position offers a unique opportunity to contribute to our knowledge of the relationship between social justice work and congregational vitality, through original research and mentoring of pastoral leaders undertaking community work. To view the complete job description and necessary qualifications, please visit:

United will begin reviewing applications immediately with the desired start date for the position of mid-February. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Applicants should submit a cover letter and C.V. or resume to and 3 letters of recommendation should be sent directly by the recommenders to 
Find additional seasonal resources for faith formation and worship in our curated lists!!

The Ministry Lab's New Year Newsletter offers gratitude for all its member congregations and supporting judicatories. See what you have supported through your support of The Ministry Lab and find out what's coming in 2022!
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.

from the editor...
In my neighborhood there is a pedestrian crossing sign that has been hanging upside down for a few weeks. Each time I see this sign I don't think about how or why it is upside down; I think, "Well, that is appropriate." Seems that we all have been feeling like we are upside down for quite some time. But I can't dwell on wondering when things (the world and all of us) will feel right again because if I stay in the "when" I will get stuck, and that is not where I want to be. At the moment that pedestrian crossing sign looks somewhat strange, but it is providing information in a different perspective. Maybe we need to look with different perspectives at what we are seeing to begin to feel that we are not stuck standing on our heads.
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.