The Thursday November 16th, Homestead Prime was a wonderful day. The Nebraska City First Church provided a wonderful welcome that included Nebraska City's famous apple doughnuts along with their warm hospitality. The lunch was a variety of homemade soups that was sensitive to gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian! Kudos to everyone from the congregation who put this day together...and all without a pastor!
After communion worship, we were treated to three significant workshop opportunities:
- Maria Muallim, a high school exchange student and an Israeli Christian, shared about her countries history and her routine as a teenager. She lives north of Haifa, and her town in quite different than our stereotypes of Jerusalem.
- The crisis of suicide and the role of the church in prevention was presented by The Rev. Jerry Albright of Interchurch Ministries of Nebraska and by Elder Chris Hansen of Co-op 513.
- A discussion of a Christian response to the issue of climate change was led by the Hon. Kenneth Winston of Interfaith Power and Light.
DONATIONS: The worship offering dedicated to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance totaled $357. The lunch hunger offering dedicated to the local food bank totaled $20.05. God blesses the giver.
This year's Outstanding Homesteader Giles Award was presented to the Rev. Dr. Andrew McDonald, senior pastor of Westminster Presbyterian for the past 18 years. In addition to his long-standing service to Homestead in several capacities, he has been the driving force for the Church Growth Annual Summit which has brought into the Presbytery, nationally renowned speakers.
Some Assembly Required
- The Stated Clerk shared some interesting statistics. 72% of Presbyterian Churches are under 150 members. The national median membership is 105. The membership nationally has been trending down, but not because of member loss which has remained surprising steady. Rather, the cause has been a lack of gaining new members. Stress was placed on the need of Clerks to complete the annual statistical report for General Assembly since the per capita for each church is computed on this reported membership, and the Presbytery budget is based on this income.
- The Executive's Report included information about: PIVOT, a new worshipping community, presented by the Rev. John O'Keefe; TEF, the Theological Education Fund. Each church was urged to contribute something, no matter how little, to show that Homestead churches appreciate pastors' seminary education. TEF is the only denominational support for our Presbyterian seminaries; THE HOMESTEADER is being published weekly. Congregations were encouraged to submit brief articles about cool or exciting things happening in their church. Such articles may inspire other congregations with ideas; WEBSITE is being updated, and a "work in progress" homepage was displayed; COMMISSIONERS are encouraged to report to their sessions about the Presbytery Prime. A Commissioner's Report Form was shared which is available in the meeting packet. The report form will me easily available on our new website.
- The Rev. Tino Naranjo and the Rev. Duncan Nichol were each honorably retired. Several people shared their appreciation for Duncan's long tenure with the Tekamah church and Homestead Presbytery. Tino was unable to be present.
- ELECTIONS. The Rev. Raymond Meester and Elder Cheryl Rennick were re-elected Stated Clerk and Treasurer respectively. The Rev. Jeff Warrick was elected as Vice-Moderator/Moderator-elect. And classes were elected for our committees.
- GENERAL ASSEMBLY. Commissioners Elder Maggie Horak and the Rev. Jim Splitt. YAAD Don Hansen.
- SYNOD. Lynn Hansen in our Synod Youth Delegate.
- VACANCIES. There's A Place For You. Of our 49 congregations, 19 have at least one elder serving Presbytery. COM needs 4 elders. CPM needs 1 elder. Personnel needs 1 elder.
- PRESBYTERIAN WOMEN. The Presbyterian Women are collecting Hygiene Kits, School Kits, and Clean-up Buckets for PDA. Lincoln Good Shepherd will be the collecting point. Three times a year, the Women will transport the kits to the PDA warehouse in Ferncliff, Arkansas. Every church can participate. Go to http://pda.pcusa.org/page/kits// in order to find out what goes in each kit.
will be Saturday, February 17 at Lincoln Westminster. There will be one workshop on boundary ethics. This is the second in a yearly series to aid ministers and elders meet the training requirement. Everyone is always encouraged to attend the free workshops of Presbytery Prime.