Volume 19 | April 1, 2021
The Presbyark Update
Keeping the Presbytery of Arkansas informed.
April 1, 2021
The Message of Easter
by General Presbyter Stewart Smith
I served as an Associate Pastor for the first seven years of my ordained ministry after serving one year as a seminary intern. For eight years, I never preached on Easter Sunday but of course noticed what a large crowd appeared that day. People who rarely came appeared for the grand celebration of Easter. When I became a solo pastor, I felt the pressure of preaching on Easter Sunday. I would prayerfully ponder, “How can I put a different spin on this familiar story?” Or – “what could I say that would be impactful enough so that the Christmas and Easter crowd would be moved to attend throughout the year?” Or “How can I make this service so meaningful that people will be moved?”  Read more...
Church Comeback Conference
Congratulations to the four winners of the Church Comeback Conference registrations: Barbara Verdery/First United in Fayetteville, Claire Rhodes/West End, John Arnold/Walnut Ridge, and Tamara Murry Boggs/Park Hill Presbyterian.

There's still time to register for this April 19-21 online conference to help your church make post-pandemic decisions. Any size group from your congregation can attend for the single low registration fee of $47. Click here for more information and to register.
Presbytery Profiles
We call him General Presbyter, pastor, boss, but mostly we call him friend. Today join us as we learn more about Stewart Smith and the work he does making the Presbytery of Arkansas a great place to work and serve.

Click Here to read the article.
Church Grants for Zoom Subscriptions
The Coordinating Team approved funding that will pay for a second year of zoom subscriptions for congregations.  It is still unclear when we will reach a point where everyone feels comfortable returning to “in person” activities. To assist congregations with reaching people who cannot physically attend, congregations can submit a request to be reimbursed for a Zoom Pro Subscription for one year (149.90 plus tax).  

When you receive your Zoom renewal or if you are subscribing for the first time, please send a copy of the receipt of payment to Kim Palmer (kim@presbyark.org) and she will issue a check to reimburse the cost of the subscription. If you would prefer to mail it to us, send it to Presbytery of Arkansas, 9221 N. Rodney Parham Road, Little Rock, AR 72227.  
Discussions on Racial Justice
As our congregations struggle with the issues of social justice, here are some suggested curriculums:

The Matthew 25 Theological Discussion from the 146th Meeting of the Presbytery of Arkansas with discussion questions is a wonderful tool for use in Sunday School classes or small groups.    You might consider following this 3-part study up by inviting one or more of the presenters to join your group and continue the discussion. Click here to access the links to the video and the discussion questions. They can also be found on the website homepage and under Helpful Resources/Matthew 25.

Engaging Matthew 25 through Video is a film discussion series from the PCUSA designed to help people address social ills in faith and society. Click here to read more and get the 6-session free digital download.

Love An Other is a five part series from Theocademy that explores the sociological practice of “othering," and the Christian’s responsibility to eradicate it. Click here to watch all five sessions.

How to Fight Racism Video Study is a how-to guide for pursuing racial justice. It is long past time to move beyond mere discussions about racism, and equip people with practical tools and suggestions to actually do something about it. Click here to learn more about this 11-part series from Zondervan. If your church wants to use this study, contact Julie Price at julietannerprice@gmail.com to discuss the Resource Center purchasing it.
April Meetings for Church Professionals
If you are a Retired Pastor, please join us on Friday, April 9 at 10:00am. Stewart Smith and other members of the Presbytery staff will join you on zoom as you share with and update one another on what's been going on. Warning, there will probably be some bad jokes told and new friendships forged.

On Thursday, April 22 at 10:00am, pastors and other church professionals are invited to join members of the Presbytery staff for an hour of debriefing and discussing what was learned in the Church Comeback Conference. Conference attendees are encouraged to come and share, and non-attendees are encouraged to come hear about and continue the discussion from what was gleaned about becoming a post-pandemic church.

If you don't receive an email reminder with the zoom link the day before the meeting, contact Julie Price at julietannerprice@gmail.com.
Committee & GA Nominations Now Open!
This is YOUR presbytery, and there are opportunities to be more involved! Look at the form and nominate either yourself or someone you believe could serve the Presbytery of Arkansas. Info on each committee is included – and don’t forget to check out the information on Commissioners and Young Adult Advisory Delegates to General Assembly for 2022 and 2024!

Click here for the committee information and form. Click here for GA information
Future of The Church Grants Available Now!
Each year Future of the Church committee offers grants to aid churches in revitalization efforts. The grants may be used to develop a program, opportunity, institutional structure, or facility improvement(s) to extend the congregation’s capacity for ministries to new populations or communities. The grants may also be used for a church’s own congregational growth in spirit, vitality, and mission. Completed application forms will be received from March 1-April 30, 2021.

Click here for guidelines and application. Click here for a list of suggested uses for this grant.
Last Call For Summer Trips: April 4!
Youth A-Team Summer Trips! The Youth A-Team is sponsoring two trips this summer for the youth of our Presbytery! Trailblazers Camp at Ferncliff is June 27-July 2 for 6th-8th graders, and Montreat Youth Conference at Montreat is July 18-24 for 9th-12th graders. Initial registration is due by Easter Sunday (April 4) - NO EXCEPTIONS!

Click here for more information. Reach out to Brianne at brianne@presbyark.org with any questions.
Three Events You DO NOT Want To Miss
Compassion, Peace & Justice Training Days: this virtual advocacy and organizing event from the PCUSA will take place April 7-9. Click here to read more and register.

How To Be A Hybrid Church: Open to congregations in the Synod of the Sun, this course is currently being offered on two different dates and times for pastors and congregation communications or online worship teams in April. Click here to read more and register.

Workshop on Gender and Inclusion: This online workshop addresses changing terminology and practices to make the church more welcoming. It has already taken place, but you can register and watch any time. Click here to learn more and watch.

Presbytery of Arkansas
9221 N. Rodney Parham Road
Little Rock, AR 72227