December 21,  2017
What is a Presbytery?
(part 2 of 4)
by: Anne Meredith Wilson
Witherspoon Press PC(USA)

What is the presbytery?

The presbytery is a group of churches and ministers in a specific geographic area. Presbyterian ministers are members of a presbytery, not of individual churches. Presbytery meetings include all the minister members and an equal number of elders, at least one from each church. Homestead meets 4 times a year and always includes workshops on interesting topics. 

Presbytery sizes vary. Some urban presbyteries have fewer churches but cover a large area. Homestead has 49 churches in eastern Nebraska.

The function of the presbytery is to nurture and support the churches within its boundaries, and for mission on the district level. The presbytery has the power and authority to organize new churches, or to unite, divide, or dissolve churches, and to coordinate various activities of its churches. Ministers are ordained, dismissed, installed, or disciplined by the presbytery. The presbytery also oversees people preparing for ministry of Word and Sacrament. 

The presbytery, like a session, maintains a partnership with other governing bodies and elects ministers and elders as commissioners to both the synod and to the General Assembly. 
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In  40 Days, 40 Prayers, 40 Words , Reyes-Chow encourages readers to pause in the bustle of their daily lives to reflect, engage, and share during the Lenten season. Forty devotions are each framed around a word inspired by the daily lectionary readings and include a short scriptural passage, inspirational prayer, and reflection. Readers who feel too busy for daily engagement with God will appreciate Reyes-Chow's ability to speak to the blessings and burdens of everyday life in a concise, lively manner.

Love Your Church...Forever
Most often we think of a legacy on bequest as a gift we leave to those whom we have cherished and whose well-being we want to ensure. In this spirit the Homestead Presbytery seeks to encourage the thoughtful inclusion of your church in your estate planning.

For a moment, consider the important role your church plays in your life--including the love you feel as a part of your church family. Think of the special people in your life who are one with the church. Then consider including your church in your will or trust.

For ideas of how this can be done Elder, Andrew Loudon has agreed to help, either individually or at a congregational presentation. Contact him by email at or by phone at 402-489-7515
Dakota 38 + 2 Ride
by: Sandra E. Yeager
Yes We Native

Every year, the Dakota 38+2 riders brave the most brutal of weather to journey around 330 miles from Lower Brule, South Dakota, to Mankato, Minnesota.Horse's very name in Dakota - Sunka Wakan - contains "wakan," a word for sacred, according to Konnie LeMay of Indian Country Media Network.These women pause to pray near Morton, Minnesota during the Dakota 38+2 Wokiksuye Ride. From elders to children as young as 8 years old, they have been making their way more than 300 miles through frigid temperatures from Lower Brule, South Dakota, to Mankato, Minnesota, planning to arrive on a day of infamy for the Dakota people.

LeMay says, "on December 26, 1862-the day after a religious holiday celebrating the birth of a forgiving, loving Christ-the United States hanged 38 Dakota men in a mass execution in retaliation for the six-week-long conflict called the U.S.-Dakota War that was spurred by starvation and repeated violations of treaty promises. Months later two additional men were kidnapped from Canada, where they had fled, and were executed in 1865."

These are some of the things the riders keep in mind and pray about while on their journey. Horse and rider, a cultural icon for the Dakota people, embodies the purpose and prayers within the Dakota 38+2 Wokiksuye Ride, as shown in this image from the 2013 ride.

"They remember the cold and hunger and pain of their ancestors. They remember the mass imprisonment at Fort Snelling and the diaspora that would follow, the marching and shipping of hundreds of innocent women, children and men from Minnesota on a deadly circuitous route that eventually came into the Dakotas.As they remember, they pray to heal, prayers not just for the Dakota people, but for all people. We start each day with prayer, and we end each day, before we put up the horses, we put up another prayer," said Wilfred Keeble, a Crow Creek elder and Staff Carrier on the ride. "The message we carry: Reconciliation and healing."

Clear skies can mask sharp temperatures. Forecasts of wind chills dropping to minus-45 degrees halted the ride for one day, but most days the cold does not stop the ride. "We all know what to expect," said Staff Carrier Wilfred Keeble. All along the route, people offer help, Keeble said. This year at a stop near one small town, a non-Native man offered use of his pastureland for the horses. The offer will be open for next year, too, he told them.

"That's part of the reconciliation ... and each year that grows," Keeble said. "The majority of the communities that we come through, it's all positive. ... Turtle Island here, we have lots of nations that are coming in and lots of cultural divesting. ... They're all preaching reconciliation and this is our way of doing it. At the same time, we have awareness of what took place here in the United States. It's reconciliation trying to understand this, to help each other."

To Read the entire article CLICK HERE.
Keep Thinking...
"Kindness is a language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see."
- Mark Twain
Blessing Opportunity
~ Acts 20:35 ~ 2 Corinthians 9:7- 8 ~
Double the impact of your gift to World Mission!
A group of our committed donors has pledged to match all gifts to Presbyterian mission personnel support up to $116,800 between now and  Dec. 31 .
When you give online, simply write "matching gift" in the comments field.
Pictures Around the Presbytery
Homestead Presbytery would like to encourage everyone to send photos from your church's events to We would LOVE to feature all the awesome things you are all doing!