Your Weekly News & Updates
From Rachel Yates, Presbytery Executive
THE BENEFITS OF EXERCISE
The CDC’s hopeful news that fully vaccinated people need not wear a mask in most circumstances has prompted most of our congregations to consider how they might return to pre-pandemic worship and activities.  Because the CDC’s guidance is offered for individuals, however, it doesn’t translate perfectly to how we will interact as a community of faith.  Knowing that some people have not been vaccinated yet, our sessions and congregational leaders are...(read more)
Presbytery Pulse
PRESBYTERY OFFICE CLOSURE
The Presbytery Office will be closed Monday, May 31, 2021, in observance of Memorial Day. Staff will resume working remotely on Tuesday, June 1st.
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.
LAST CHANCE TO APPLY
Carroll University and the Presbytery of Milwaukee are excited to announce our Chaplain Residency Partnership for the 2021-22 academic year. The Chaplain Residency will bring an emerging faith leader to our Presbytery, who will serve halftime in a local congregation and halftime on the Carroll University campus. This recent seminary graduate will receive mentorship, continuing education, and vital ministry experience. Drawing on our shared Presbyterian heritage and Reformed commitment to education, Carroll University invites your congregation or ministry setting to consider joining us in this innovative program. Applications for ministry sites are due June 1, 2021. 

This program is made possible through the generosity of Carroll University’s donors and the support of the Presbytery of Milwaukee. 

For more information, please contact: 
Carroll UniversityThe Rev. Elizabeth McCord, Chaplain and Director of Spiritual Life, 262-524-7336
The PresbyteryThe Rev. Ann Gibbs, Associate for Ministry Vitality, 414-292-2740 
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
JAN SNOWDEN, ORGANIST EXTRAORDINAIRE
For more than 50 years, Jan Snowden has graced West Granville Presbyterian Church with the sound of organ music. Throughout the years, she has faithfully shared her gift on Sunday mornings, laying a musical foundation for their worship services. Her soft, contemplative tones have announced the start of services, quieting animated conversations and preparing the people for worship. The church shares,
“Jan’s lively rhythms have led our congregation in song, playing hymns at what we affectionately call “West Granville tempo.” Her often triumphant music has proclaimed the end of services.

In addition to that, Jan has used her gift to accompany the choir, soloists, and instrumentalists. Her organ music has...(read more)
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.
Matthew 25: I was hungry and you gave me something to eat...
TELLING OUR STORIES: TOXIC THEOLOGY
The PC(USA)’s Task Force for the Disparities of Black Women & Girls presents its next Facebook Live discussion led by the Rev. Kerri Allen (Presbytery Minister Member), Thursday, May 27 at 4:30 pm (Central), on Toxic Theology. No registration is required; just log on to the Gender Justice Facebook page of the PC(USA).
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!
VIRTUAL COOKING CLASS
The Milwaukee Public Library system, along with the Cargill Community Kitchen, is offering four upcoming live community kitchen virtual programs featuring chefs from Funky Fresh Spring Rolls, Tandem, Meat on the Street, and Vegan Soul. The virtual cooking classes will occur the second Monday of the month in June - September with registration opening two weeks before each class.
2021'S BEST MILKY WAY PHOTOGRAPHY
A sight to behold, the Milky Way has long been a source of fascination for photographers. And each year, Capture the Atlas, run by photographer Dan Zafra, pays homage to our galaxy by curating the best photos from its community of over 20,000 photographers. The list is an inspiring look at the night sky and the Milky Way around the globe.

This year's best Milky Way photographs take us to the deserts of the American Southwest, the Persian Gulf Coast, the national parks of Indonesia, and the Australian Outback. The gallery is a unique look at how the Milky Way is experienced in both hemispheres and offers an incredible view into the creativity of the photographers.
Invitations
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!
VIRTUAL VBS
Our Presbyterian colleagues in Northwest Coast Presbytery have shared this opportunity for virtual Vacation Bible School.


An invitation from Community Church of Seattle: 
Join us this summer online for a new and exciting adventure at Hero Academy! Watching our week-long kids program is completely free! Our all-inclusive program consists of worship, the Word of God, animated games, cinematic movie, physical exercises, arts & crafts, and many crazy surprises! We have no doubt that your entire family or church will be fully engaged in the Word of God like never before!  

Enhance your viewing experience by pre-ordering your Hero Academy boxes today! Each box includes your very own Hero Academy shirt, fun activities, craft supplies, and many surprises! If your church is interested in partnering with us, please do not hesitate to reach out to info@treestump.org. We are excited to collaborate with you to bring the Gospel to your communities in a fun and exciting way.  

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