In This Issue
News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Conferences, camps, resources
News from colleges, universities, seminaries
News around the PC(USA) and more
Just one more
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April 24, 2018

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Synod begins spring meeting
this Sunday, April 29, at Mt. Olivet
Commissioners and Youth Advisory Delegates have been called to the spring meeting of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies that begins Sunday,  Synod Logo April 29, at Mt. Olivet Conference and Retreat Center near Farmington, Minnesota. The meeting opens with dinner Sunday evening followed by worship with communion in a service led by the Rev. Dr. Chip Hardwick. Hardwick, who had served in the national offices of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) for six years, is now interim associate pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Lake Forest, Illinois. During the meeting, Hardwick will provide educational sessions on congregational vitality. The synod meets through Tuesday noon, gathering in committees, and hearing and acting on reports and requests.
Theme is 'Dance Joyfully Where're
You May Be' for Synod School
Catalog cover With the theme, "Dance Joyfully Where're You May Be," Synod School is rapidly approaching and registration continues to climb. The midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies offers a week of "learning and personal enrichment" for all the members of a family -- from the youngest to the oldest. And while enrollment is increasing, there's always room for more. Synod School runs July 22-27 on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. This year's program features Jason Brian Santos, mission coordinator for Christian formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency, as convocation speaker. Jana Childers, dean of the seminary and vice president of academic affairs at San Francisco Theological Seminary, will lead evening worship. The complete catalog and a link to online registration can be found at "Synod School."
Conferences, camps, resources
Presbyterians Today releases
'Resource Guide for Ministry'
resource guide Describing it as "an easy-to-read, in-depth guidebook that puts loads of vital ministry information at your fingertips," Presbyterians Today magazine announced this week the availability of "Presbyterian Resource Guide for Ministry." It noted, "The Resource Guide covers dozens of subjects, including disaster response, fundraising and stewardship, the ins and outs of building a website and using social media, ... and much more." Details can be found at "Resource Guide for Ministry."
Registration for 'Face-to-Face'
sessions open through June 6
Registration for Face-to-Face, a program that connects search committees, mid-council staff, and church professionals, is open now through June 6. The groups engage in conversation beyond the Personal Information Forms (PIFs) and the Ministry Information Forms (MIFs), discerning calls to vocation and ministry. Face-to-Face takes place Friday, June 15, through Tuesday, June 19, at General Assembly in St. Louis. Details and registration are at "Face-to-Face."
Conflict transformation workshop
is set in Twin Cities on May 16
Lombard Mennonite The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center of Lombard, Illinois, an organization that offers resources for churches of all denominations on biblical peace and justice issues as well as conflict transformation skills training, is sponsoring a one-day workshop May 16 in Minnetonka, Minnesota, that looks at the challenges presented by rising levels of anxiety in churches today. Titled "Leadership and Anxiety in the Church: A Family Systems Perspective," the workshop also addresses the role that self-differentiated leadership can play in calming anxiety. Participants will learn practical skills in defusing anxious situations. The interdenominational workshop takes place at Minnetonka United Methodist Church. Workshop details are available at "Conflict Transformation."
National APA conference set
APA logo at the end of May
The national conference of the Administrative Personnel Association of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) takes place Tuesday through Friday, May 29-June 1, at Westminster Presbyterian Church in downtown Minneapolis. Conference details can be found at "Administrative Personnel Association."
Older adult ministry conference
takes place June 5-8 at Zephyr Point
The 2018 conference of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network is planned June 5-8 at Zephyr Point Conference Center in Zephyr Cove, Older Adult MinistryNevada. Keynote speakers are John Holton, visiting associate professor of gerontology and director of the Center for Gerontology at Concordia University of Chicago, and Lawrence P. Greenslit, who retired as a captain in the U.S. Navy chaplain corps, and is the former director of the Presbyterian Council for Chaplains and Military Personnel. A complete conference brochure is at "POAMN Details." Online registration is at "POAMN."
Washington Island Forum
planned in June in Wisconsin
Anna Carter Florence The 2018 Washington Island Forum, a 40-year tradition sponsored by the Wisconsin Council of Churches and The Christian Century magazine, features Anna Carter Florence, a former convocation speaker at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies' Synod School, as its primary speaker. Florence, who will speak on the theme, "Reading the Verbs: Finding the Script in the Scripture," is professor of preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia.  The Forum takes place Monday through Friday, June 25-29, on Washington Island, just north of Door County, Wisconsin. Details are at "Washington Island Forum."
2018 PW gathering Presbyterian Women
make  plans
for national gathering 
The church-wide gathering of Presbyterian Women is planned Aug. 2-5 in Louisville, Kentucky, with the theme "Arise, shine, your light has come!" Participants will engage in workshops, tours, forums and resource gathering, plenary sessions, worship and more. Initial plans for the gathering can be found at "National Gathering."
Mid-Council leaders gather
in October in Chicago
The 2018 Mid-Council Leaders Gathering takes place Friday to Sunday, Oct. 5-7, at the Hyatt Regency O-Hare in suburban Chicago. The gathering is co-sponsored by the Office of the General Assembly and the Board of Pensions. It is a combination of the former Fall Polity Conference and the Regional Benefits Consultations. Details can be found at "Leaders Gathering."
News from colleges, universities, seminaries
Huizenga responds to cold
spring, daily political tension
Annette Huizenga Annette Bourland Huizenga, dean of the seminary at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary, blogs at "Saying Grace," and notes, "Let me tell you about the weather: April 16 is another snowy Monday here in Dubuque." Linked from the seminary's "In View of Grace" newsletter, she adds, "I'm feeling weighed down by a long, dreary winter-into-spring. ... And I dread hearing about the daily political tensions -- national and global -- that embroil us in interpersonal and international conflicts. There's this envelope of gray, heavy feelings all around. Where is the joy? Birds help. Watching birds." Her complete post can be found at "Saying Grace."
News around the PC(USA) and more
Time nears for 223rd
General Assembly in St. Louis
GA 223 The 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is less than two months away. The General Assembly meets biennially in even-numbered years. It consists of commissioners elected by each of its 173 presbyteries, and includes business sessions, committee meetings, an exhibit hall, daily worship, and other activities planned by the Committee on Local Arrangements. This summer's General Assembly takes place June 16-23 in St. Louis. For those curious about General Assembly, details can be found at "PCUSA General Assembly."

Group of mid-council leaders release statement on increase in per capita
A group of 40 mid council leaders has written a statement urging the 2018 General Assembly to vote down a proposed General Assembly      dollar sign per capita increase, saying the proposed increase of 39 percent from 2018 to 2019 and another 7 percent from 2019 to 2020 feels like "taxation without representation." These mid council leaders contend the number of congregations not remitting per capita will "dramatically increase" if per capita goes up, and that presbyteries would bear the financial burden. J. Herbert Nelson, stated clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has said the increase is needed to produce a break-even funding level for the Office of the General Assembly and to do the work the denomination is being called to do. The complete story by Leslie Scanlon of The Presbyterian Outlook can be found at "Addressing Per Capita."
Debate continues on PC(USA)
corporate identity recommendations
Groups with competing proposals for reforming the corporate structure of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), known as the "A Corp.", continued  PCUSA Logo the discussion last week on the content and intention of the proposals leading up to General Assembly 223 in St. Louis this summer. A joint recommendation of the Way Forward Commission and All Agency Review Committee proposes a separation of the A Corp. from the exclusive control of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, allowing input and decision making from other agencies in regard to corporate functions and oversight of shared services utilized by several agencies. The Governance Task Force of the PMAB, formed in February 2016, has proposed its own recommendation and has expressed concern over several of the joint recommendation's finer points. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Gregg Brekke can be found at "A Corp."
Proposal calls for change
from 'racial ethnic' to 'people of color'
In response to a referral from the 222nd General Assembly directing the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns (ACREC) to work with the Office of Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries (RE&WM) of the Presbyterian Mission Agency to determine more appropriate terminology than "racial-ethnic," ACREC has recommended that the 223rd General Assembly this summer (1) direct all six agencies of the PC(USA) to replace references to "racial-ethnic people" with "people of color" in all documents, parlance and programs from this point forward, (2) direct ACREC to change its name to "Racial Equity Advocacy Committee" (REAC), and (3) direct the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of General Assembly to change ACREC to REAC in all documents, parlance and programs. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Gail Strange can be found at "People of Color."
'Here's my Heart' named 2019 theme
for Presbyterian Youth Triennium
Presbyterian Youth Triennium director Gina Yeager-Buckley loves the juxtaposition of the recently unveiled "Here's my Heart" Triennium  2019 youth triennium theme. From lyrics in the hymn, "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing," it is a bit of a departure from past themes that have traditionally been based on Scripture. But the seemingly more internal focused theme is rich theologically for this moment in time when some young people are marching, demonstrating and speaking out. "Students' hearts -- full of passion, will, mystery and love -- are crying out to each other, to the world around them and to the church," says Yeager-Buckley. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Paul Seebeck can be found at "Youth Triennium."
US churches wrestle
with issues of race, religion
Defying gathering clouds, "Act Now to End Racism" rally attendees joined rousing choruses of Gospel standards and pledged to recommit to the cause of racial equality during the recent three-day event in Washington, D.C. They grappled with a stubborn and pernicious reality amid a tense and uncertain political environment. A remarkable feature of the rally and "Act Now" initiative, initiated by the National Council of Churches of Christ in the USA and 50 U.S. churches and partner agencies, is the frank admission of the churches' complicity in systemic racial injustice in the United States and its wide-ranging effects. The complete story can be found at "Act Now."
Just one more
So, a Presbyterian minister
is apostate:  It's humor again
Going through a backlog of humor posts, your editor found an old comment about a Presbyterian minister being called apostate. Your editor, of course, is interested in most anything humorous with the words Presbyterian and apostate. This is an old one, and short, but your editor still thinks it's pretty good. From 2006 in the Kruse Kronicle, a blog published by Presbyterian Ruling Elder Michael Kruse, your editor found "Presbyterian Jokes."