August 23 ,  2018
Introducing Heritage's New Pastor Jeff Hopson

Jeff Hopson was born on November 23, 1951 and raised in Northeastern New Mexico on a ranch. His parents (Harry and Lindit') taught him and his siblings (the four J's altogether) to believe they were just as close to God on a horse, riding through a pasture, as sitting in a Cathedral. He still believes that. 

Jeff was the only student in Second Grade; there was no telephone or television at Triangle Ranch then. It didn't really matter though because there were great friends in the headquarter' library books. As he moved through school each town and class was larger. Graduating from Oklahoma State University (Poli. Sci.) in 1977, Jeff returned to Albuquerque where he entered Politics. Although he'd not been raised in the church (it was 2 1/2 hours to the closest congregation from the ranch) he eventually became more and more active in the three First Presbyterian Churches to which he belonged to over the years.

Finally, in April of 1983 God got Jeff's attention and said, "No, not sometime. Now!" The sense of call was so overwhelming and he graduated from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary in 1987. Jeff served five Presbyterian churches in Pennsylvania before being pastor at First Congregational Church, Stockton, CA (UCC), and he is now deliighted to be home at Heritage in the PC(USA)!
Lakes and Prairies Synod School Draws More Than 600
Storm Lake, Iowa (PNS)
by Duane Sweep

Marking its 65th year, this year's iteration of Synod School, the midsummer ministry of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, drew more than 600 for a week of worship, classes, fun and fellowship on the campus of Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa. 

Synod School 2018, which ran July 21-27, featured more than 70 classes, convocation addresses by Jason Brian Santos and worship services led by Jana Childers.

Through five convocation addresses, Santos, who is the mission coordinator for Christian formation at the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville, explored what it means to be an intergenerational "Sabbath people."

Addressing the way the church connects with youth, Santos asked, "Are we entertaining our youth or engaging them in Christian practice?" 

Santos said, "We have to action into our words." A connection with youth is gained through community, shared time and experiences together.

The 70-plus classes included topics such as spiritual formation, introduction to the New Testament, relationships and cooking. 
Good Reads

Click Image to Order

Our enemy may prowl like a lion, but his weapon of choice is deception. And too often, men believe him---causing pain, destroying relationships, and missing out on the life God intends. Wolgemuth exposes some of the most common lies---and explains how they hold you back from freedom, joy, and intimacy with the Lord and others. 240 pages, hardcover from Moody.

What happened at the 223rd GA?
 Being Black in the PC(USA)

David Benraty, a young adult advisory delegate (YAAD) from Eastern Virgina, spoke to the commissioners' resolution "On the challenge of being black in the PC(USA).: Benraty passionately talked bout the challenges faced in African-American Presbyterian churches due in large part to historic racism and oppression. Sharing a story of being reprimanded for drawing on the walls of his childhood church, Benraty asked his grandfather why he couldn't draw on the walls. His grandfather replied, "Son, this is our church and we have to take care of it." Our black churches need our care."

Leslie Ferrell, a ruling elder commissioner from Seattle Presbytery who served on the mid council committee, spoke in favor of the resolution and noted that 70 percent of African-American churches in the denominations have vacant pulpits.

Thomas Priest, member of the Racial Equity Advocacy Committee, also spoke in support so that, "we may stop the bleeding" and Presbyterian African American congregations "can thrive and grow."

The assembly approved by voice vote to direct mid councils to pay "careful attention to issues of inclusiveness and fair practices by the pastor nominating committees and committees on preparation for ministry" and to "raise awareness of the declining nature of black congregations throughout the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the lack of pastoral leadership, in both current and future, for those congregations.
Keep Thinking...

"Let us not become weary in doing good, for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up."

- Galatians 6:9

Go on, Laugh a little

Pictures of the Presbytery
Thanks to ALL of you the "Drop-Off Site" at Good Shepherd in Lincoln is filled and ready for another trip to Ferncliff!