January 2023

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During PC(USA) Chapel service, a Native American pastor retraces a recent blessed journey undertaken by a father and his son

The Rev. Ron McKinney emphatically answers the question, ‘How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?’

Rev. Ron McKinney (File photo by Tammy Warren)

To the psalmist’s question “How can we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” the Rev. Ron McKinney had a ready answer during a recent online Chapel service for the national staff of the PC(USA): “How can we as Native Americans not sing our song? We are not in a foreign land. We are in our own land.” Read more

The PC(USA)’s role in repairing historic harms

The Rev. Jermaine Ross-Allam shares his vision during the ‘A Matter of Faith’ podcast

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

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The Rev. Jermaine Ross-Allam (Photo by Javier Lopez)

Rev. Ross-Allam is a member of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area and part of the Restorative Actions core team.

LOUISVILLE — “A Matter of Faith: A Presby Podcast” turned its attention last week to the repair of historic harms, including reparations. The guest of the Rev. Lee Catoe and Simon Doong was the Rev. Jermaine Ross-Allam, named last year to direct the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Center for the Repair of Historic Harms. Listen to their conversation, which is about 50 minutes, by going here. Ross-Allam comes in during the 20th minute.

Read more

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Congregation keeps doors open to volunteer groups

We have served as an official PDA Host Site for hundreds of volunteers since the historic flooding in 2019. PDA has recently closed our site because the reconstruction and relief work at Kings Lake is completed! We rejoice in that and are thankful for the many volunteer groups who came to Omaha to help with the rebuilding of homes.

Our church is not ready to close our doors to other volunteers who would like to do mission work in the Omaha area. We still want to share our facility and gift of hospitality. There are numerous organizations who welcome volunteers, both youth and adults, and have meaningful work for them to do in our community. Church of the Cross would love to host more volunteer groups and we want to get the word out to surrounding churches, Presbyteries, and Synods. 

If you know of any churches looking for a place to sleep and cook their own meals, while working on various mission projects during the day, please pass along our contact information. We welcome all youth groups, adult groups, and intergenerational groups who have a passion for mission work. 

Presbyterian Church of the Cross

1517 S. 114th Street

Omaha, Nebraska

Sheri Sessions, Hosting Coordinator


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PC(USA) 2023-24 scholarship applications

now open

The PC(USA) offers scholarships for undergraduates and study grants for seminarians. Applications are open until May 15, 2023.

Click on this link for Presbyterian Scholarships for Undergraduates

Click on this link for Presbyterian Study Grant for Seminarians

Presbyterian senior living community’s talented residents featured on national news

Four sisters play before a large audience, including NBC

by Cindy Ray, Senior Communication Specialist for Presbyterian Homes & Services | Special to Presbyterian News Service

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(Photo curtesy of Presbyterian Homes & Services)

APPLE VALLEY, Minnesota — It was standing room only in mid-November at Orchard Path, a Presbyterian Homes & Services senior living community located in Apple Valley, Minnesota. On that fall afternoon, the community gathered to hear a piano concert entitled “Four Ladies in their Eighties.” The concert was performed by Orchard Path resident Vicki Hall and her sisters Jan Goris, Val Duininck and Carol Hall.

“It was a record crowd,” said Jennifer Ackland, the music therapist at Orchard Path who organized the event. She reached out to Boyd Huppert, a local news reporter whose popular feature series, “Land of 10,000 Stories,” has won national news awards. Boyd accepted the invitation to interview Vicki and her sisters and video the concert. Read more

From passwords to payments, protect your church, says Presbyterians Today columnist

An online security refresher for the new year

by Richard Hong | Presbyterians Today

The start of the 2020 pandemic saw many churches scrambling to do ministry digitally, leading them to hastily create a plethora of online accounts. Now that the pressure has subsided, it’s time to review these accounts to not only assess what’s working, but also to ensure that your organization’s online security is not vulnerable to attacks. In this column, we will address passwords and payments. Read more

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Rev. Richard Hong

Engaging in Matthew 25

First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant has envisioned a way to care for the pets loved by God and by us

by Sherry Blackman | Presbyterians Today

The First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant, Iowa — believing where there’s God’s will, there is always a way — envisioned a way to care for God’s beloved creatures.

Prior to the pandemic, the church began a new ministry called All God’s Creatures. Its mission was to connect the hands and paws of the community, says Kate Ridinger, an AGC board member, noting that the “need has only grown.”

“Animals are a gift, our pets are a gift, and we have to do better for them and us,” she said.

Read more

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Through All God’s Creatures, First Presbyterian Church of Mt. Pleasant , Iowa, hopes to reach the most vulnerable people in the community. (Contributed photo)

First PC, Mt. Pleasant is in the Presbytery of East Iowa.

Empowering Not Fussy

Members of First Presbyterian Church of Richfield, in the Presbytery of Milwaukee, share how they've adapted in ministry, taken on new responsibilities, and welcome youth and children as music leaders all while deepening their relationships and faith. These staunch Presbyterians show that engaging in reformation isn't just a thing of the past; it leads to an engaged and vita future.

Check out the information and resources on Congregational Vitality and Matthew 25 available on the presbytery's website.

Pastor as Transitional Leader: Week 2 Training

Online Training offered by the Synod of Lakes & Prairies

April 17-21, 2023

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 a weeklong course, with significant time spent in small group Leadership Learning Conversations. It 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.

Click here for additional information and registration.

Leadership Summit, April 25-27, 2023

The Leadership Summit, held each spring, is an opportunity for presbytery commission/committee leaders who work with congregations and pastoral leaders as well as presbytery staff to gather with national and Synod staff for learning and networking. This year's summit will be held at Christ the King Retreat Center, Buffalo, Minn. Check here for registration information.


Presbytery of Milwaukee Transitional Executive Presbyter, MIF #72588

Presbytery of Northern Plaines Designated Connectional Care Pastor

PC(USA) positions - Come work for the church

Presbyterian Foundation - Work for the Foundation

2023 Per Capita

$5.50 - Synod

$9.89 - General Assembly

Per Capita resources available here.

      “Per Capita is crucial to the overall health of the PC(USA), because it binds presbyteries, synods, and congregations together in one church.”

– J. Herbert Nelson, II,

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA)

2023 IRS Mileage Rates

  • 65.5 cents per mile driven for business use, up 3 cents from the midyear increase setting the rate for the second half of 2022.
  • 22 cents per mile driven for medical or moving purposes for qualified active-duty members of the Armed Forces, consistent with the increased midyear rate set for the second half of 2022.
  • 14 cents per mile driven in service of charitable organizations; the rate is set by statute and remains unchanged from 2022.

More information available here.

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Before we go ...

The green glow of comet C/2022 E3 (ZTF) may be bright enough to see without a telescope or binoculars. On February 2nd it will make its closest pass by earth. NASA's "What's Up" blog.

Photo by Ganapathy Kumar on Unsplash

(By the way, not a photo of comet C/2022 E3 (ZFT).)

Presbyteries and churches share your news with the Synod!

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