In This Issue
News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Conferences, camps, resources
News from the Board of Pensions
News around the PC(USA) and more
Just one more
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April 10, 2018

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Synod School registration continues
Catalog cover to climb; surpasses 500
Although registration for this summer's Synod School opened only five weeks ago, the number of registrants for the midsummer ministry has climbed past 500, according to Deb DeMeester, director of leadership development for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Described as "a learning and personal enrichment experience for people of all ages," 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."
Synod plans Leadership Summit
on mental health, ministry
health and ministry The Synod of Lakes and Prairies' annual Leadership Summit, formerly known as the COM/CPM training conference, will take place Tuesday through Thursday, April 24-26, at Christ the King Retreat Center in Buffalo, Minnesota. This year's conference theme is "Mental Health and Ministry." Keynote speakers are Mark Sundby, executive director of Leaderwise, and Caroline Burke, staff psychologist at Leaderwise. Heidi Bolt, co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Red Wing, Minnesota, will lead worship. In addition, numerous workshops, led by church leaders throughout the synod and the broader church, will address a variety of topics related to church leadership. Details, and a link to online registration, can be found at "Leadership Summit."
Crittenden to leave acting
director post  of PMA at end of April
Dave Crittenden, who has served as acting director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency since mid-September 2017, will leave that position at  Dave Crittenden the end of April. Kathy Francis, the agency's director of communications, said Crittenden -- who was named acting director when interim executive director Tony De La Rosa resigned -- had planned to stay in the job through General Assembly in June, but is leaving sooner "so that he can attend to some serious though not critical health issues." A search committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board that is looking for a new executive director for the Presbyterian Mission Agency is continuing its work, Francis said. The complete story by Leslie Scanlon of The Presbyterian Outlook can be found at "Crittenden."
Conferences, camps, resources
Webinar offers insights into 'holy work
gun violence webinar of gun violence prevention'
Co-sponsored by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance and the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, a 90-minute webinar will address "engaging in the holy work of gun violence prevention," offering practical resources for congregations and their leaders for education and action. The workshop is scheduled Monday, April 16, at 1 p.m. Details can be found at "Gun Violence Prevention."
MRV's 'The BIG Event'
slated April 21 at Bellevue First
rodger nishioka Calling it simply "The BIG Event," the Presbytery of Missouri River Valley will be host to a series of workshops and the Rev. Dr. Rodger Nishioka on Saturday, April 21, at First Presbyterian Church in Bellevue, Nebraska. Nishioka, a popular speaker and preacher throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), is senior associate and director of adult educational ministries at Village Presbyterian Church, Prairie Village, Kansas. He will be the keynote speaker, and preach at afternoon worship. The theme of the event is "Generations: Living, Learning and Loving God through All the Ages." The complete schedule is at "The BIG Event." Registration can be completed at "Generations."
Duane Sweep Sweep to present newsletter
workshop at Lakeshore Center
Duane Sweep, director of communications for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, will present a workshop on newsletter writing and production on Thursday, April 26, at the Lakeshore Center at Okoboji. Sweep, who has worked more than 40 years in some form of journalism and communications, will address newsletter content, production, distribution and evaluation. Details can be found at "A Must-Read Newsletter."
Applications still sought
for Young Adult Volunteer Program
YAV final Applications are still be sought for the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Young Adult Volunteer Program, an ecumenical, faith-based year of service for young people, ages 19-30. The final round of applications is open until June 1 and only national sites are available. Program benefits include a regular stipend, housing, transportation and student-loan repayment options throughout the duration of the service year. Details can be found at "Young Adult Volunteers."
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." Online registration, including discounts for groups and early registration, is available at "Attending." A group discount coupon is available at "Discount."
Financial Aid for Service seeks applicants from those seeking first bachelor's
Financial Aid Financial Aid for Service of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has capacity to award $350,000 in awards for the 2018-19 school year and its looking for applications from Presbyterians who are pursuing a first bachelor's degree. The deadline for applications is May 15. It takes a one-page "Getting Started" form to apply. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Paul Seebeck, and an accompanying video, can be found at "Financial Aid for Service ."
Older adult ministry conference takes
place June 5-8 at Zephyr Point
Older Adult Ministry The 2018 conference of the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministry Network is planned June 5-8 at Zephyr Point Conference Center in Zephyr Cove, Nevada. 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."
Anna Carter Florence Washington Island Forum
planned in June in Wisconsin
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."
Presbyterian Women make plans
2018 PW gathering 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."
News from the Board of Pensions
BOP issues latest issue of Board Connections
Board Connections, a newsletter from The Board of Pensions of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), highlights recent Board news and  Board Connections information. The current edition offers an opportunity to preview 2019 benefits, explore theological values that shape the benefits plan, and ask questions of Board leadership. The newsletter can be found at "Connections."
News around the PC(USA) and more
2 overtures offer 2 approaches
to global climate change
What is the most faithful and effective Christian response to global climate change? The Immigration and Environmental Issues Committee of the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will consider this question when they start meeting on June 19. At issue are competing ideas about the most faithful and effective response to climate change. What is not at issue are the beliefs that global climate change is happening and that fossil fuels and carbon emissions are at least partially to blame. Every overture related to the environment and brought before this committee starts with those core beliefs. Where the overtures diverge is in how Christians are called to respond. The complete story by Greg Allen-Pickett for The Presbyterian Outlook can be found at "Climate Change."
GA will celebrate 'Hands & Feet' initiative
in place of business session
Veteran General Assembly-goers aren't going to know quite what to do. In a dramatic departure from longstanding practice, the Thursday  GA 223 evening business session of the upcoming 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis will be replaced by a jazz concert featuring Grammy-winning tenor saxophonist Kirk Whalum and a celebration of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s "Hands & Feet" initiative. "The stated clerk has been concerned about the unrelenting pace of the assembly and believes that setting aside Thursday night for celebration and music will set the right tone for Friday's discernments," says Tom Hay, director for assembly operations in the Office of the General Assembly. The complete story by Jerry Van Marter for the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Celebration."
Salt & Light newsletter offers
life changing 'seven secret plans'
The subject line on the e-mail called it "Seven secret plans that will change your life," but the e-mail also indicated that it was from the  Salt and Light Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy, the body that serves the prophetic calling of Presbyterians by preparing studies, resources and policy recommendations for action by the General Assembly. The newsletter noted the subject "may look like 'clickbait' -- a mash-up of attention-grabbing headlines designed to make you click on an article." And it goes on to state, "Our 'seven secret plans' are in fact careful reports" to the General Assembly. The complete newsletter is at "Salt and Light."
Buddy Monahan, tireless chaplain,
champion of good news, dies at 52
buddy monahan The Rev. Buddy Monahan, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Odessa, Texas, and corresponding member of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board as chair of the Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns (ACREC), died Tuesday afternoon, March 27, in Odessa from injuries sustained in an automobile accident. He was 52. "The morning here in Louisville seems appropriately dark, gray and rainy," said Courtney Hoekstra, associate for advocacy committee support in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). "We have been standing around with colleagues here, in shock, telling stories about Buddy, laughing and crying." The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Gail L. Strange can be found at "Buddy Monahan."
Chantal Atnip taps Ken Hockenberry
as vice moderator running mate
atnip hockenberry Chantal Atnip, a ruling elder from the Presbytery of Carlisle, who announced last fall she is standing for Moderator of the 223rd General Assembly (2018), has named the Reverend Ken Hockenberry, a pastor in the Presbytery of Chicago to be her Vice Moderator running mate. Atnip said she recently circulated the GA223 commissioners list to friends and supporters "and the one common denominator among all the responses was Ken Hockenberry." She said when she approached him about being her running mate, "I half expected him to laugh at me but he didn't. As we talked over the ensuing week, we found we have similar views and similar senses of humor, which is very important." The complete story by Jerry Van Marter for the Office of the General Assembly can be found at "Hockenberry."
4 themes come out of new
worshiping communities research
After the 2017 "Living, Dying, Rising" conference took place in August in St. Petersburg Beach, Florida, a sociologist from the Presbyterian  1001 Mission Agency's Research Services department conducted informal interviews of participants, most of whom were leaders of new worshiping communities. The communities were in various stages of development, and interestingly, interviews with their leaders elicited four overarching themes: diversity, children, food and social justice. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Melody K. Smith can be found at "New Worshiping Communities."
Grant from Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries empowers young women
"Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving me the grant to go to this conference. It was absolutely powerful and life-transforming!" said pastor Elizabeth Chu. "My life has changed because I was able to participate in it. I truly appreciate your help!" Chu was one of six young women of color to receive a grant from the Women's Leadership Development and Young Women's Ministries of the Presbyterian Mission Agency's Racial Ethnic & Women's Ministries to attend the RISE Together: A National Mentorship Network conference for pastoral and prophetic leaders, scholars, community activists and seminary students. The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Gail L. Strange can be found at "Empowered."
Just one more
Yes, there are odd things about America
The article is titled "19 odd things about America that Americans haven't realized." Your editor read it -- mostly because he's had the fashion beans privilege of being host to four exchange students. We realize, of course, that we're not always about car chases and sirens, and that we don't use the metric system. But do we ever think about the amount of sugar we put in bread? Do you ever count the American flags in your neighborhood? Those are two particular items that have been pointed out by exchange students. And then, too, there are the slang terms. These and more are in "Odd Things About America."