Eliana Maxim has joined the staff of Seattle Presbytery as director of multicultural ministries.

She formerly served for 14 years as director of children and family ministries at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church. During that time she completed her M.Div. degree and is currently a candidate under care for ordination as Minister of Word and Sacrament.  

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Echo Hill Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of East Iowa is looking at Advent through a woman’s eyes and child bearing experiences. Each week features a guest who will speak scripturally and personally from four different themes:

  • 1st week of Advent: Barrenness by Noelle Andrew, about the experience the emptiness of women who long for a child but are unable to have one;
  • 2nd week of Advent: Unexpectedness by Nancy Olthoff, about the experience of unexpectedness of women who become pregnant when they least expect it (too old – too young);
  • 3rd week of Advent: Uncomfortableness by Colette Soults, about the experience of a mother becoming uncomfortable as the child grows in the womb — when she is forced to change the way she sleeps, the things she eats and the approach to different tasks.
  • 4th week of Advent: Expectant Joyfulness, a collage of personal stories about the “glow” or “radiancy” as a woman enters the last stage of her pregnancy, connectiing to the Biblical witness that speaks of lives that are defined by joy.

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — For the past three years, the Presbyterian Foundation Group has sponsored a private performance of the “Magic of Christmas” by the Charlotte Symphony Orchestra. 

This year the performance will take place on Dec. 2nd at the Belk Theater, Blumenthal Performing Arts Center in Charlotte.

Over the last three years, nearly $55,000 was gived to the mission and ministry of churches in Charlotte Presbytery whose members purchased tickets.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Jewel Lake Parish — a Presbyterian/Methodist congregation — and Trinity Presbyterian Church, both of Anchorage, held an auction recently to raise money for the Building Fund at Yukon Presbytery’s Gambell Presbyterian Church.

The auction raised $13,000 for the remote church.

PANORAMA CITY, Calif. — The Rev. Ken Baker has been elected interim executive presbyter for San Fernando Presbytery. He succeeds the Rev. Gerald O. North, who retired earlier this year.

In a career spanning more than 30 years, Baker — who assumes office on Jan. 1 — has served pastorates in Texas, New Mexico and California, including three in San Fernando Presbytery. He is currently associate pastor of Glendale Presbyterian Church and was the presbytery’s moderator in 2008.

MINNEAPOLIS — By a vote of 131-6 with two abstentions at its November meeting, the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area adopted its new Strategic Plan.

The plan includes a set of goals for 2011-2013 and a new vision statement: “We fearlessly follow the Holy Spirit into a changing world!”

The Rev. Phil GebbenGreen, co-pastor at Edgcumbe Presbyterian in St. Paul and the covener of the presbytery’s Strategic Planning Task Force, noted that the thrust of the plan is to dramatically change how the Presbytery lives together. “We want a new culture in this presbytery,” he said, speaking for the members of the taskforce.

The most heated discussion centered on the word “fearlessly.” Gebbengreen explained that “fearlessly” was not about acting recklessly, but in not being afraid, adding that fear has held churches and the presbytery back.

SPOKANE, Wash. — The Liberty Park Child Development Center’s annual “Dinner by Candlelight — Dinner that Makes a Difference” will once again precede the Whitworth University Christmas Choir Concert on Dec. 10 at nearby First Presbyterian Church here..

The dinner will benefit the Center, which was founded in 1971 by the Presbytery of Inland Northwest to provide quality early childhood education in one of the poorest neighborhoods in the State of Washington. Sixty-two percent of the students are from single-parent households and 85 percent of the neighborhood’s families live below the federal poverty level.

Liberty Park Child Development Center has been called the presbytery’s “best-kept secret.”

LANCASTER, Penn. — At its November meeting, Donegal Presbytery voted to embark on its Acts 16:5 Initiative, a church growth and development program created by the Vital Churches Institute.

The presbytery’s goal is to enlist at least one-third of its churches in the program, which will commence after the first of the year.

EAGAN, Minn. — The Rev. Anna Carter Florence, associate professor of preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Ga. will be the convocation speaker at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies' Synod School 2011.

The popular school will be July 24-29 at Buena Vista University, Storm Lake, Iowa.

Florence is no stranger to the synod. She received her first call as associate pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis.

EVERETT, Wash. — Renowned Presbyterian preacher and speaker the Rev. Earl F. Palmer will offer a lecture on C.S. Lewis' The Man and the Imagination on Dec. 12 at First Presbyterian Church in Bellingham, WA, in North Puget Sound Presbytery.

Palmer has pastored churches in California, Washington State and Manila in the Philippines. He is currently head of Earl Palmer Ministries and since his “retirement” in 2008 as pastor of University Presbyterian Church in Seattle has served as preaching pastor in residence at National Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C.