Your Weekly News & Updates
From Rachel Yates, Presbytery Executive
SUNDAY MORNINGS
Little by little we are emerging.  With vaccination rates increasing, we are slowly gaining confidence in our ability to safely gather together for worship.  Sometimes we’re choosing to worship outside as weather cooperates, or on a reservation basis, or making masks optional.  As I always say to my dog when she clambers into the backseat and I’m ready to shut the car door, “Watch your tail.”  It’s mostly a reminder for me, but to the extent she understands English, it’s a call for us to exercise care together.  It’s worked so far.

We have a chance to stop this virus in its tracks, but it will still take...(read more)
Presbytery Pulse
IT'S TIME TO START THINKING ABOUT TRIENNIUM!
Every three years, thousands of High School age youth from across the PC(USA) and Cumberland Presbyterian Church join for several days of fellowship, learning about who they are, learning how they can make a difference in the world, worshipping God, and having FUN at an event called Presbyterian Youth Triennium.

The next event is coming up next summer, July 24-27, 2022 and we hope that you will encourage your High School age youth to join with other youth from Milwaukee Presbytery for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Read the letter that was recently sent to our churches in anticipation of Triennium.
ANNOUNCING A VIRTUAL INTRODUCTORY MEETING ON THE WORK OF COMMON GROUND
The Milwaukee Presbytery is a member of Common Ground for the next four years. This gives our congregations access to participation in the many productive campaigns Common Ground undertakes to improve Southeastern Wisconsin – www.commongroundwi.org

Common Ground also offers training which helps leaders strengthen their own congregation as well as relate to people they may be serving in their community.

Presbytery Clergy, Staff, Session and Mission Committee Members are invited to join us Wednesday, June 23 from 6:30 to 7:45 on Zoom.

At this meeting Members of the Presbytery, who are also Common Ground Leaders, will introduce the organization, and also listen to what you believe are the pressing social issues in your community.

Please go to www.tinyurl.com/444ee8hh and register for this important event. 

Any questions can be directed to
Bob Connolly at bconnolly@jamescompany.com or
Rob Ater at robertater@immanuelwi.org
JOIN COMMON GROUND FOR UPCOMING HOUSE MEETINGS
Common Ground will be hosting House Meetings where you can share the issues that are most important in your life. House Meetings are confidential, relational, small-group sessions for sharing and listening with community leaders.

Find the list of upcoming House Meetings and Zoom information here.
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.” 
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
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...
THINKING OF BECOMING A MATTHEW 25 CONGREGATION?
New resources from the Office of Theology and Worship will help those curious about or engaged in the work of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Matthew 25 invitation make a stronger connection between the three foci of the vision and the biblical passage — particularly in Matthew 25:31–46, which is known as the “Judgment of the Nations” passage.  You can also download “A Guide to Engaging in Matthew 25 Resources and Studies” for some ideas on how to best use these new — and other — Matthew 25 resources.
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.
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
RESOURCES TO STRENGTHEN CHURCH VITALITY
The Foundation’s Program, Church Financial Literacy and Leadership, provides pastors and church leaders with resources, tools and other support to help address the financial and leadership challenges of congregational ministry and mission in the 21st century. These resources help pastors to navigate the changing cultural context they face and to seek to strengthen the financial vitality of their congregations. 

We invite you to explore each of these Church Financial Literacy and Leadership Program resources and engage with the tool(s) that suit your congregational goals:

Church Financial Leadership Grant Program - Grants are available to assist pastors in attending continuing education opportunities which will help them in leading their congregations toward financial and missional vitality. Church stewardship team members are encouraged to apply with their pastors. www.presbyterianfoundation.org/grant

Stewardship Navigator - A free tool that offers resources and customized materials for your congregation, including usable templates, year-round guidance, a narrative budget builder, and assistance from your Ministry Relations Officer. We encourage pastors and their stewardship teams to sign up. www.stewardshipnavigator.com

Church Financial Leadership Academy - E-learning platform ready to provide pastoral leaders with financial literacy education in a convenient online format that’s available whenever you are ready. As a member of the Church Financial Leadership Academy, pastors will be able to create their own schedule of courses. You can also share the customized playlists with your stewardship team or your session! Get started today! Go to churchfla.org and use code PCUSA to sign up.

The Church Financial Literacy and Leadership Program is made possible from the Foundation’s work as part of a generous grant from Lilly Endowment Inc.’s National Initiative to Address Economic Challenges Facing Pastoral Leaders.
SUMMER OF SONG: A CONCERT SERIES FROM THE PRESBYTERIAN GIVING CATALOG
Music teaches the theology of the Church — not simply through the words we sing, but by connecting us to ourselves and one another.

The Presbyterian Giving Catalog celebrates all the ways we come together, especially in mission and, this summer, with music.

Music has been sorely missed by so many during the pandemic, with many church choirs quieted and Sunday hymns sung in homes rather than in sanctuaries.

Inspired by musicians throughout the Church, Presbyterian Giving Catalog wants to thank you with a Summer of Song! The folks at Presbyterian Giving Catalog hopes you’ll join them on June 21 at 6:00 p.m. CST for the first performance by Elizabeth Stockton Perkins. In this concert, Elizabeth — a rising sophomore at Vassar College and a lifelong member of First Presbyterian Church in Wooster, Ohio — will lift her voice in song with accompaniment by Cameron Edmiston.

This link grants you access to the premiere on June 21. Can’t make it at that time or want to include your Church or family? This online concert will be available all summer long! Stay tuned for updates on other series concerts in July and August.
Have Some Fun In '21!
AFTER YEARS OF DETECTING LAND MINES, A HEROIC RAT IS HANGING UP HIS SNIFFER
A heroic rat named Magawa has been working for five years in Cambodia, sniffing out dozens of land mines. He is believed to have saved lives. Now, the animal is about to embark on a well-deserved retirement

"Although still in good health, he has reached a retirement age and is clearly starting to slow down," the nonprofit APOPO said Thursday. "It is time."
THE MYSTERIOUS ORIGIN OF THE NORTHERN LIGHTS HAS BEEN PROVEN
The aurora borealis, or northern lights, could easily be described as Earth's greatest light show. A phenomenon that's exclusive to the higher latitudes has had scientists in awe and wonder for centuries.

The mystery surrounding what causes the northern lights has been speculated but never proven, until now. 

A group of physicists from the University of Iowa have finally proven that the "most brilliant auroras are produced by...(read more)
Invitations
FOOD FOR THE JOURNEY SEEKING PLANT DONATIONS
Food for the Journey, a collaborative gardening effort of several of our congregations, is beginning work on a Matthew 25 project: a multi-church cooperative growing produce for local food pantries / outlets! Watch for the garden to be set up soon and planting to begin!

Kathy Lembke is working on behalf of our church and asking for donations of any vegetable and herb plants that you have extra. Contact the Presbytery Office to get Kathy's contact information and let her know what you have to share. She is willing to pick plants up and hold them in her greenhouse until planting.
HELP JERUSALEM PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH START A HANDBELL CHOIR
Does your congregation have a set of handbells gathering dust from lack of use? Jerusalem P.C. in Wales is exploring starting a bell choir and is looking to borrow a set on loan from a congregation that is not currently using theirs (nor using them in the near future). We are looking for a three octave set in decent/playable condition. If you have one, or know of one, please email Andy Holmes at revandrewholmes@gmail.com 
REGISTRATION OPEN FOR NATIONAL BLACK PRESBYTERIAN CAUCUS 46TH BIENNIAL CONVENTION
The National Black Presbyterian Caucus (NBPC) welcomes you to participate in the 2021 Virtual Biennial Conference June 24 - 26, 2021! You will see uplifting Devotion and Worship services. The Business Meetings will highlight work the NBPC has completed and will enable active voting after spirited discussion of the Business at Hand. There will be a two session Plenary held over two days of the conference with the ability for you to engage the Plenary Leader with questions and comments. The focus of the Youth Programming will share how youth of varied backgrounds lean on their spiritual relationship to support their need to cope, yet thrive in our world. They will speak to the clash of ministry, social justice and racism.  Register now to ensure your place in this vibrant community of Presbyterians.
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
COVID-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.
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