Your Weekly News & Updates
From Rachel Yates, Presbytery Executive
FAITH AND WORKS
This past Sunday was Mission Worker Sunday:  a time to celebrate mission workers serving in this country and abroad.  Thank you to the congregations of this Presbytery that support our PC(USA) mission co-workers.  If you are curious to learn about the ministries of our global partners and the ways in which our mission co-workers accompany them, you can read and subscribe to their letters.  From that page, there are ample ways to financially support our mission co-workers, and I pray you will consider doing so.

One recent letter struck me because of the ways it tied into our recent Presbytery Gathering worship.  During our worship, we tied our Matthew 25 vision to James 2, which addresses faith and good works.  We used a litany of confession that repeated...(read more)
Presbytery Pulse
CONGRATULATIONS TO REV. DR. MARK MCDONOUGH!
On Sunday, May 30, Dr. McDonough preached his final sermon at First Presbyterian (Racine) before beginning his retirement, effective June 30.  The congregation celebrated with him his forty years of ministry, both in Milwaukee and Detroit Presbyteries.  The congregation commissioned a hymn to recognize his ministry, based on Micah 6:8, called, “Come Join Me, Friends.”  To everyone’s delight, bagpipers paraded into the sanctuary immediately following the postlude, to lead the congregation to a reception.  Catch that live action here.  It was a fitting end to Mark’s sermon in which he remarked, “Kilts are very slimming.” 
PRESBYTERY GATHERING HIGHLIGHTS
Weren't able to make it to the last Presbytery Gathering, but interested in the good work happening in the Presbytery? Check out the Presbytery Gathering Highlights, a one-page synopsis of the May 22, 2021 Presbytery Gathering.

Find information about upcoming Presbytery Gatherings here.
WHAT'S GROWING ON AT YOUR CHRUCH?
As we begin looking ahead to the food security theme of our September Presbytery Gathering, the Presbytery would like to know about churches with community gardens. Whether your garden is well established or being planted for the first time this year, we want to know! Please contact Ann Gibbs, Presbytery Associate for Ministry Vitality, and let her know what's growing on at your church!
PRESBYTERY TREASURER SEARCH
The Presbytery of Milwaukee is currently in search of a treasurer. Bookkeeping skills and comfort with numbers are required and computer skills to quickly be able to adapt to the financial software (ACS) will be a plus. This is a volunteer position of about 8-10 hours per month. If you know of someone who has the necessary skills and interest in serving the presbytery in this way, please have them contact the presbytery office. The sooner we have someone in this position the more time they have to train with Gail, our current treasurer. Thank you for helping us in this important matter.

Lance Loveall
Nominating Committee
MILWAUKEE PRESBYTERY GRANT OPPORTUNITIES
The Commission on Congregational Vitality is pleased to remind members of the Milwaukee Presbytery of grant opportunities.

Congregational Vitality Grants are available year round (as funding allows) to individual congregations or congregational clusters engaged in the work of vital ministry. Grants may be awarded for one-time projects or as part of a focused effort over time. Please see the grant description and application form for more information.

Camperships are available to children and youth of the Milwaukee Presbytery participating in a church camp. While many camps are re-opening this summer, many are also providing virtual camp opportunities. Camperships are available for either. Please see grant description and application form.
SUMMER OFFICE HOURS
The Synod of Lakes and Prairies and the Presbytery of Milwaukee will be open during the summer Monday through Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. If a matter arises that cannot wait until the following Monday, you are welcome to email or call the Presbytery Executive, Rachel Yates, at the office. All emails and voicemail messages will be forwarded and monitored during Friday office closures.
Matthew 25: I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...
PC(USA) OFFERS MATTHEW 25 RESOURCES
Using an interactive template, the PC(USA) Store now offers these resources for Christian education at all age levels on the three Matthew 25 pillars: building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty.
DEMANDING WORKERS' DIGNITY IN NASHVILLE, WITH PRESBYTERIAN SUPPORT
As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the country in the spring of 2020, work went on for Nashville construction workers as if nothing was happening. They showed up to sites with no running water, no personal protective equipment, no social distancing, and an understanding that they should ask no questions.

Workers’ Dignity, a worker center organizing for workers’ rights in Nashville, knew it had to act...(read more)
WHAT DOES MATTHEW 25 SAY ABOUT FEEDING THE HUNGRY?
The online Matthew 25 program series continues on June 23 at 1 p.m. (CST). With 25% of children under 6 now living in poverty, many families lack sufficient income to meet the most basic needs, like nourishment. Poverty is the greatest threat to the healthy development of children and it comes with long-lasting, negative consequences.

The program will include conversations with pastors on how their congregations are engaging with their communities on economic exploitation of people through systems that perpetuate their impoverished status. To find out more and register for the June 23 Matthew 25 event, click here.
REPENTANCE, REPARATIONS, AND REDEMPTION -- A MESSAGE FROM RESTORATIVE ACTIONS
Registration is now open for the upcoming foundations level class series “Repentance, Reparations and Redemption.” Please spread the word about this Zoom series on Sunday afternoons, June 6, 13, and 20 from 12–1:15 pm Central.

The class will look at compelling theological, ethical, and political questions: 
  • Does our Christian faith compel us to support reparations for the descendants of enslaved people? While politicians and pundits argue over the policy and economic impact, they miss the theological implication: does God present America with reparations as opportunity to repent for centuries of race slavery?

  • Do reparations offer at least a step toward the national redemption that will begin to heal the racism that divides the nation and tempts millions to turn to authoritarian leaders?

This is part one of a two-part series, a foundations level class; part two, an advanced class, will be offered in the fall. Each session will provide ample time for audience questions. A class bibliography is being put together for the class and will be provided to all participants.
News from the Denomination
REGARDING RULING ELDERS

Rodger Nishioka has written the most recent installment of Regarding Ruling Elders, a monthly resource of the Office of the General Assembly.
Have Some Fun In '21!
25 STUNNING PORTRAITS OF RARE AND ENDANGERED BIRDS
Photographer Tim Flach has three goldfish and two Burmese cats. The latter, Hunt and Blue, eagerly keep their owner company while he works, even though they would probably gladly devour some of his subjects.

Flach is known for his striking portraits, where animals are treated with the same care as any human model. The photographer has captured both wild and domesticated animals, but whether he places them against a plain background or meets them in their natural habitat, Flach always manages to highlight their unique appearance.
SUNKEN MEDIEVAL TOWN ITALIAN TOWN EMERGES FOR FIRST TIME IN 70 YEARS
A picturesque body of water framed by snowcapped mountains, Lake Resia might strike the casual viewer as a beautiful scene typical to northern Italy. But one structure belies the lake’s strange history: a 14th-century bell tower that bizarrely juts out of the water’s blue-green depths.

The steeple hints at what lies beneath the surface: namely, Curon, an Italian village that was flooded by the government in 1950 to create an artificial lake. Last week, reports BBC News, remnants of the submerged town were once again exposed to the elements after construction crews temporarily drained part of the 72-foot-deep lake, marking the first time the lost village has reemerged in some seven decades.
Invitations
MILWAUKEE HABITAT'S PRESBYTERIAN COALITION HOME PLANS UNDERWAY!
Plans for Milwaukee Habitat's Presbyterian Coalition Home for 2021 are underway!  Special pandemic precautions (see link below) are in place to protect volunteers. All volunteers (must be over 16 this year), masks are now optional.  Would you like to help? 

VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES:
Saturday, June 5 + 8:00 – 2:00 + Framing
Saturday, June 12 + 8:00 – 2:00 + Framing
Saturday, June 19 + 8:00 – 2:00 + Framing & Siding

Persons with all levels of experience are welcome!  Register at: http://vhub.at/presbycoalition.  If you have questions about volunteering, feel free to contact Rob Ater at Immanuel (robertater@immanuelwi.org). Click here for latest COVID-19 protocols: Milwaukee Habitat COVID-19 On-Site Safety Protocol
HELP SUPPORT TIPPE'S ART & SCIENCE LITERACY CAMP
Laugh out loud together at dinner on June 16th while supporting Tippe's Art and Science Literacy Camp! Make a reservation to enjoy a delicious dinner and delightful conversation on June 16th at 6:00 p.m. Individual tickets cost $75, with all proceeds benefitting ASLC and Courage House.

Thanks for all your support to launch ASLC camps again this summer!
COIVD-19 News
COVID-19 MITIGATION STRATEGIES FOR CHOIRS
Cincinnati EP Lisa Allgood, our own mid council expert on the science, recommends this video on Covid-19 mitigation strategies for choirs.
COVID & CONGREGATIONAL SINGING -- MAY 20, 2021
With the new CDC recommendations, many are wondering where things stand when it comes to congregational singing. A reminder that the updated CDC recommendations are designed for individuals, not organizations. Here is a resource from 'Sing! Center for Congregational Song' that offers some questions for your community to consider as your church discusses singing.
RETURN TO INDOOR WORSHIP
With the CDC’s recent advice that fully-vaccinated people need not wear masks except in certain circumstances, congregations are considering the safe return to indoor worship. In addition to local government mandates, this advice from the Legal Office of the PC(USA) walks through your anticipated questions and possible options.
WCC RESPONDS TO CDC GUIDANCE ON MASKING
Dear Ecumenical Colleagues – 
 
Following news coverage of [last week's] CDC release of updated masking guidance for vaccinated persons, Council staff immediately began fielding questions from Wisconsin clergy. We have developed the attached brief recommendations in an effort to make things simpler for those serving in the parish or other settings where they are responsible for gathering the faith community. These are based on recent input (including some post-CDC-release) from our chief medical adviser and other epidemiologists we follow. 
 
 IN BRIEF
  • Don't rush to make changes; faith-based settings are more nuanced in their values and context than the marketplace and CDC guidance account for.
  • Consider applying a 2 out of 3 standard for safety: meet outdoors, wear a mask, physically distance. Our sources advise that choosing two out of these three for any activity will offer significant mitigations of risk.
  • Yes, we did say mask. Churches include many unvaccinated people, including young children who are ineligible for vaccination at this time. If we are serious in our welcome of all God's people, we should provide an environment which helps them feel safe, without needing to guess at the vaccination status of those they gather with. Our prayerful recommendation is that masks remain a standard tool for church gatherings, rather than separate vaccine "haves" from vaccine "have nots."
  • The most critical data point to track at this point is new cases per 100,000 population. When this declines to less than 1, we will be at very low community transmission, and most epidemiologists we follow feel that is the time when we can be at ease.
  • We are still very cautious about congregational singing indoors based on everything we're hearing, due to mixed-vaccine-status groups, poor ventilation, and variants. 
 
WHERE CAN YOU FIND THESE RECOMMENDATIONS?
 
HOW CAN CHURCHES HELP MAKE PROGRESS TOWARD SAFER GATHERING CONDITIONS?
  • Be responsive, not reactive, to changes in the science & public health recommendations.
  • Be faithful and driven as much by theology, ecclesiology and care as we are by science.
  • Participate in the vaccine outreach program as mission, to assist the communities in which the church dwells.
 
If you or your community leaders have questions on any of this, you can reach out to me, or to our vaccine outreach program director Rev. Dan Schultz, danschultz@wichurches.org.  
 
Peace and blessings,
Kerri
 
Rev. Kerri Parker, Executive Director
30 W. Mifflin Street, Suite 602, Madison WI 53703 | Office (608) 837-3108 x 25 | Cell (608) 290-6113
Hot Links
Grapevine - Presbyterian Women's Newsletter
Keeping In Touch - Newsletter from the Synod of Lakes and Prairies 
Life in the Labyrinth - Inspirational Website by Michelle Henrichs
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance - Current Information
The Sower - May 2021 Newsletter for the Presbyterian Women in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies
UCCI Newsletter - May 2021 Newsletter from United Church Camps, Inc.
Employment Opportunities
Future Presbytery Gathering Dates



  • WEDNESDAY, September 22, 2021
  • THURSDAY, November 18, 2021 

Presbytery of Milwaukee
414-292-2740