Presbytery and synod news

May 3, 2011

ANCHORAGE, Alaska

Yukon Presbytery is reporting initial success in the development of its newest ministry model ― The Aywaan Parish, comprised of the three mostly Island-Yupik congregations in the villages of Gambell, Savoonga and Nome.  

Lay Pastor Reggie Wongitilin of the Savoonga Church recently hosted a visit by the Rev. Leisa Carrick, who will lead development of the Aywaan Parish. This visit culminated with a blessing of the whaling fleet worship service, which was attended by more than 100 people ― about 20 percent of the entire village population.

Carrick will provide partnership, training and oversight for the Commission Lay Pastors in the three village churches and will help them find and develop local mission partnerships. Carrick will spend two weeks every other month in the parish.

“Whenever we witness a shared response to God’s call to ministry, it is something to celebrate,” said the Rev. Curt Karns, Yukon Presbytery’s executive presbyter, “and I believe this is one of those times.”

MINNEAPOLIS ― The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is sponsoring a “Seeker Seminar” on May 7 for individuals feeling a sense of call to ordained ministry in the church. The all-day seminar, sponsored by the presbytery’s Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM), will take place at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church here.

The CPM hosts seeker seminars two to three times a year to provide a structured way of meeting with and orienting individuals to the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead should they pursue a formal relationship with the CPM. 

The seeker seminar includes time for personal introductions and reflection, presentations on spiritual disciplines and formation, the CPM process and expectations, academic preparation and fellowship and conversation with members of the committee as well as meeting with current inquirers and candidates over lunch.  

CLEVELAND ― The Presbytery of the Western Reserve’s  “Walk for Hunger Team” will participate in the Hunger Network of Greater Cleveland’s Walk for Hunger on May 14.

The annual 5-K walk in downtown Cleveland raises funds for the network’s 100 hunger centers and hot meals program.

EVERETT, Wash.― On June 1, North Puget Sound Presbytery is sponsoring an abuse prevention workshop entitled “Setting Healthy Boundaries.” The workshop will take place at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Shoreline, Wa.

The goals of the daylong event are to:

Increase awareness of the need for healthy boundaries in the clergy-congregant or teacher-student relationship;

  • Illustrate the impact of appropriate boundaries in promoting effective ministry; and

  • Provide clergy and other church leaders with guidelines for developing and sustaining appropriate boundaries and self-care strategies.

The workshop will be led by the Rev. Amy Delaney, temporary supply pastor at Edmonds Presbyterian Church, and the Rev. Janine Moriarty, a member at-large of Seattle Presbytery and a trainer for Abuse Prevention/Misconduct Workshops.

IOWA CITY, IA ― The Presbytery of East Iowa is inviting folk to join the United Church of Crawfordsville, Iowa, on May 1 as they celebrate their third annual “Blessing of the Tractors.” 

The festivities will begin with a special blessing for farmers and the equipment they use to till the soil and plant the seed during worship, followed by a potluck dinner and tractor ride.

One driver will no doubt be the Rev. Nancy Oehler Love, putt-putting around town on her own antique tractor.

EAGAN, Minn. ― Registration is open for the the 2011 version of Synod School, a learning and personal enrichment experience for people of all ages in the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. The annual school takes place July 24-29 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.

The theme for this year’s event is “All My Relatives.” Convocation speakers include the Rev. Anna Carter Florence, associate professor of preaching at Columbia Theological Seminary; and Hans Peterson ― who will lead the youth convocation ― a singer/songwriter and educator in Jordan, Minn.

Evening worship leaders are the Rev. Susan Phillips, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Shawano, Wisc., and the Rev. Mara Liz Rivera, pastor of  First Presbyterian Church in Winniconne, Wisc.

A team of pastoral colleagues from the Omaha area will lead morning worship: “Psarah” Dickinson, pastor of Mosher Pilgrim Presbyterian Church in Papillion, Neb.; “Psara” Dingman-Lavigne, pastor of the Presbyterian Church in Palmyra, Neb.; and “Psara” Tonje, associate pastor of Church of the Master in Omaha, Neb. They have titled it “Morning Psalms with Three Psara(h)s.”

The school will also include a wide array of classes for Presbyterians of all ages.

LANCASTER, Pa. ― Donegal Presbytery is promoting a May 19 event here to address the increasing number of minority youth who are involved in early contact with law enforcement and the criminal justice system.

Entitled “Partnering with the Faith Community,” the conversation will be led by the Rev. Romal Tunes, a national leader of efforts to bring clergy, law enforcement and juvenile justice representatives to discuss how to create a new blueprint for alternative solutions to incarceration and to redirect youth activities toward constructive, lawful pursuits.

The event is sponsored by Lancaster’s Intra-City Progressive Pastor's Association, Office of Juvenile Probation, Crispus Attucks and the Lancaster County Council of Churches.

SEATTLE ― The growing Nez Perce congregations of the Synod of Alaska-Northwest are looking for 50 or more copies of the 1955 (red) Hymnbook.

To give, contact the synod off ice at (800) 932-4156.

CAMP HILL, Pa. ― The Rev. Bill Reinhold, associate for mission partnerships and urban ministry for Philadelphia Presbytery, will address ways mission networking can become a vital part of both Presbyterian Men and the life of the church at the first semi-annual meeting of the Presbyterian Men Mission Network of the Synod of the Trinity.

The event will be held April 30 at Jean Bonnet Restaurant in Bedford, Pa.

Representatives from Beaver-Butler, Carlisle, Northumberland, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia Presbyteries will also report on how the Mission Network plan is making a difference in their presbyteries.

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