In This Issue
News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
Conferences, camps, resources
News of colleges, universities, seminaries
News around the PC(USA) and more
Just one more
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June 29, 2018

News around the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
GA 223 closing worship takeaway:
'Always pray, never give up'
Ordained to the ministry only three weeks earlier, the Rev. Ekram Kachu told those attending General Assembly's closing worship  Kachu Saturday that prayer is "about trusting in God while we are living in difficult times." Originally from South Sudan, Kachu is pastor at First Arabic Presbyterian Church in Waukee, Iowa, outside Des Moines. She is the second Sudanese woman ordained to the ministry in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. Africans in general and especially Sudanese Christians "know how to pray," she said. "Jesus told his disciples, 'You should always pray and never give up.' Prayer is at the heart of worship and it is a gift from God, the desired relationship between God and us." The complete General Assembly News story by Mike Ferguson can be found at "Closing Worship." (Photo by Danny Bolin for General Assembly News.)
Occidental College honors Street-Stewart Elona Street-Stewart with Alumni Seal Award
Elona Street-Stewart, synod executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, received the 2018 Alumni Seal Award for professional achievement from Occidental College in Los Angeles. Street-Stewart received her degree from Occidental in 1973. The awards, granted annually since 1965, pay "tribute to inspiring alumni who represent the values and spirit at the core of the 'Oxy' experience." Street-Stewart, t he first American Indian to serve as a synod executive in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has served multiple terms as chair of the St. Paul (Minnesota) Public Schools Board of Education. Details about the award, including a short video featuring Street-Stewart, can be found at "Alumni Seal Award."
Synod School: Classes, worship,  play,
family, friends, a whole lot more
Catalog cover Those who are thinking about attending Synod School this summer should spend a little time looking through the midsummer ministry's catalog. This year more than 70 classes are offered in a wide variety of subjects. Celebrating its 65th year, Synod School typically draws more than 600 people to the week-long event of learning and personal enrichment on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. Earlier this week registrations had reached 625 for this year's event that runs Sunday through Friday, July 22-27. The catalog, and a link to online registration, can be found at "Synod School."
Synod racial ethnic scholarship
application available online
Synod Logo The Synod of Lakes and Prairies offers a student scholarship program 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 leadership development and quality instruction of clergy and lay persons for lifelong service. Scholarship awards are based on personal achievement, financial need and recommendation from a teacher and pastor. Details and an application form can be found at "Student Scholarship Fund."
Conferences, camps, resources
Addiction, faith conference
planned  in September in Minnesota
An addiction and faith conference, designed to help congregations, clergy and care givers address the opioid addiction crisis, is planned  addiction faith Sept. 28-30 at the DoubleTree Hilton in Bloomington, Minnesota. The conference features keynoters Nadia Bolz-Weber, Omar Manegwala and Anne Wilson Shaef. The Synod of Lakes and Prairies has found a way to help churches participate in the conference by covering the cost of 20 registrations, and the synod is inviting its presbyteries to identify up to two people to apply for a scholarship. Attendees will be responsible for their own transportation and lodging costs. An application form will be available in early July. Questions pertaining to the synod scholarship should be addressed to Elona Street-Stewart at 651.357.1149 or Conference details are available at "Opioid Crisis." The conference website is "Faith and Addiction."
voices rain Iowa City author addresses
psychosis in her memoir
"Voices in the Rain: Meaning in Psychosis" is a memoir of Marcia A. Murphy of Iowa City, Iowa, and it "is the story of a woman's struggle with mental illness through which she finds spiritual meaning and, ultimately, God," according to the description of the book at Wipf and Stock Publishers. "As a person who has experienced severe psychiatric illness and landed on her feet, Murphy offers a unique first-person perspective." Details can be found at "Voices in the Rain." Murphy's website is at "Hope for Recovery."
Applications accepted for Presbyterian Women's USA Mission Experience
Presbyterian Women A group of Presbyterian women will travel to the Finger Lakes Region of New York in July 2019 for the fifth USA Mission Experience. They will explore the history that Presbyterian women have in the women's and civil rights movements, and will also have the opportunity to learn more about themselves and about some of the issues that confront the people of the Finger Lakes Region, including migrant workers and Native Americans. Applications to participate are being accepted until Aug. 15. Details are available at "2019 USA Mission Experience."
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. Plans for the gathering can be found at "National Gathering."
Evangelism conference planned
in October at Zephyr Point
Presbyterian Mission colleagues the Revs. Ray Jones and Jason Brian Santos in  Theology, Formation and Evangelism ministries at the evangelism Presbyterian Mission Agency have been asking each other questions about the practice of Sabbath: "What is it?" "Why do we do Sabbath?" and "How do we depart, once we've participated in Sabbath?" Jones and Santos took these questions to the 2018 Evangelism Conference planning team. Collaboratively, the group decided to create a different kind of conference experience for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), calling it the "2018 Evangelism Conference: Sabbath Rest, Holy Surrender, Full Life." The complete Presbyterian News Service story by Paul Seebeck can be found at "Evangelism Conference."

Applications being accepted for OPSF Lifelong Learning Program Grants
Omaha Seminary The Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation is accepting applications through Aug. 15 for its Lifelong Learning Program Grant. Through the years, the Foundation has provided more than $1 million to support many educational events, workshops and seminars that cover a wide range of topics and serve anywhere from 10 to more than 200 people. Teaching elders, commissioned pastors and lay leaders all benefit from lifelong learning events. Details are available at "Lifelong Learning Events."
Stewardship Kaleidoscope
planned in St. Louis in September
Stewardship Kaleidoscope Logo This year's Stewardship Kaleidoscope, an annual conference offering speakers, workshops and networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and generosity, is planned Sept. 24-26 in St. Louis. Diana Butler Bass, an award-winning author and internationally known public speaker, and Chick Lane, pastor for stewardship and generosity at Lord of Life Lutheran Church in Maple Grove, Minnesota, will be the keynote speakers. Details about the conference can be found at "Stewardship Kaleidoscope."
OPSF offers Apollos Education Debt Grants
The Omaha Presbyterian Seminary Foundation asks, "Are you feeling trapped in your student loans." If so, the foundation may be able to help. The grants are available to ordained clergy currently serving in a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation or ministry in the 13-state region served by the foundation. Details about the grants and application materials can be found at "Apollos Educational Debt Grants."
Holy Land tour planned
for potential tour leaders
Bright Stars of Bethlehem, an ecumenical non-profit organization that encourages understanding of and support for Palestinian people living  bright stars in the Holy Land,  is sponsoring a Holy Land discovery tour for group tour leaders in January.  This trip is organized by group travel directors, and is designed for pastors or other church group leaders who anticipate leading a first-time tour to the Holy Land. The trip is intended to give a glimpse into the kind of itinerary visits possible for congregational and Christian education groups to witness the historical roots of the Christian faith, and to learn about the work of Christians in Palestine. Details can be found in a brochure at " Holy Land Tour for Tour Leaders ."
News of colleges, universities, seminaries
Pres House launches new GatherX
ministry, seeks leaders
Pres House, the Presbyterian ministry on the campus of the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is "incubating and launching" -- the words of  gatherx Erica Liu, co-pastor of Pres House -- GatherX, a new, experimental, inclusive and dynamic community for young adults, ages 23-30, in the Madison area. With funding from the Lilly Endowment, denominational bodies -- including the Synod of Lakes and Prairies -- GatherX has "solid funding for the first few years to get this off the ground," Liu said. But now GatherX needs leaders. "We are looking for innovative, entrepreneurial and dynamic people to join a new staff team that will develop and lead this community essentially from the ground up," Liu wrote. Details about GatherX can be found at "Young Professionals Community." Information about the leadership positions can be found at "New Staff Team."
News around the PC(USA) and more
General Assembly News, Outlook
are great sources for GA news
There is no "quick" way to learn what went on at the 223rd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), but there are couple  GA 223 ways if you have a few minutes. All the stories published by the General Assembly News team can be found at "General Assembly Stories" - everything from the debate on divestment from fossil fuels to the musical entertainment at the Presbyterian Foundation breakfast. The Presbyterian Outlook magazine also covered General Assembly and has posted the material at the "Outlook Perspective."
GA 223 bulletin inserts
The Presbyterian Outlook describes its bulletin inserts as "a fast, accurate and fair account of what happened at General Assembly." The inserts "explain how the assembly voted on the most significant issues -- from new denominational leadership to the world's concerns." The inserts can be found at "Post-GA Bulletin Inserts."
Just one more
World has the Onion; we have Babylon Bee
babylon bee Most everyone is familiar with the satire of the Onion. Your editor won't even provide the website URL for that one. Note, you can probably figure it out. And, while you might not believe it, your editor has proof that some still believe in the veracity of the Onion. But, wait, your editor has lost track of where he was going with this. Anyway, for the rest of us, there's the Babylon Bee. It's a leading source of Christian satire. It's good for a smile, maybe two. It's at "Babylon Bee."