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Presbytery and synod news

January 10, 2012

SEATTLE ― Seattle Presbytery is holding its annual “PresbyFest,” Jan. 28 at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church.

The event features keynote speaker the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 2008 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Workshop leaders include the Rev. Jeff Keuss, a theologian, author and speaker who teaches at the School of Theology of Seattle Pacific University; the Rev. Dean Strong, stated clerk of North Puget Sound Presbytery, who will talk about the new Form of Government; and Julia Thorne, manager for immigration issues in the Office of the General Assembly.

The day will include discussions about Southeast Asia mission, healthy church growth initiatives, reformed worship and multicultural ministries. Also offered will be Clerk of Session training, annual report assistance and best financial practices for churches. A mission fair will be on display throughout the event, which will conclude with worship and the Lord’s Supper.

IOWA CITY, Iowa ― A first-ever trivia night and silent auction will be held Jan. 21 to support Camp Wyoming of the Presbyery of East Iowa.

The inaugural event ― designed for teams of eight persons ― will be held at the Knights of Columbus hall in Davenport.  

Camp Wyoming, a mission of the Presbytery of East Iowa, is just outside Wyoming, Iowa. The Christ-based camp and retreat center offers transformative experiences to help people of all ages for a journey of faith through sacred space, intentional hospitality and programs to build relationships with God, each other and the environment.

SAN JOSE, Calif. ― San Jose Presbytery is offering a “Safe Church Training” event Jan. 21 to help congregations ensure that their buildings and programs are adequate to meet the needs of older adults.

The event will be led by Jane Odell, the presbytery’s coordinator of safe church practices.

The workshop will address such topics as transportation issues for those unable to drive any longer; accessibility and conditions (such as torn carpets or uneven pavement) that might constitute hazards; support groups for those who have lost loved ones or who are dealing with serious illness; possible speakers on such topics as how to tell the difference between dementia and depression and how to safeguard against financial scams; how to access Adult Protective Services; and simple steps, such as hearing assisted devices and large print Bibles, bulletins and hymnals that can make worship easier for older adults.

RICHMOND, Va. ― Scottsville (Va.) Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of the James has a thriving youth ministry, despite have 35 members that include no teenagers.

For more than eight years, Scottsville church has been welcoming young men from the nearby  Discovery School of Virginia ― which serves young adults with emotional, behavioral and learning problems ― to Sunday worship. The school places its students in small groups and Scottsville church hosts two of those groups.

The teens are included in other church activities and at Christmas the church “adopted” one of the young men who has no other family. Church members help the Discovery School young people pay for field trips and other outings by hiring them for construction projects and other odd jobs.

A clear sign of the church’s impact on the boys is that Pastor Gordon Lindsey has repeatedly been invited, at the students’ request, to participate in graduation and other ceremony’s at the school.

YATESBORO, Pa. ― Kiskiminetas Presbytery will be conducting leader training on Jan. 29. The theme of the event is “Reflection on Ordination.”

The gathering will include “basic training” for ruling elders and training for clerks of session. The event will also include a panel discussion on the meaning of ordination in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), using the ordination vows of the denomination as the framework for the discussion.

EVERETT, Wash. ― The Rev. Young Han Hyun and the congregation (130 in all) at Baker Community Presbyterian Church in North Puget Sound Presbytery celebrated the first worship service in their new building on Sunday, December 4.

Alex Kim, ruling elder and clerk of session wrote, “We are so excited for this temple that Almighty God allowed and blessed to us."

The construction is not yet complete but the congregation is very excited about their progress. The presbytery and the Synod of Alaska-Northwest are assisting with the financing for the building.

MINNEAPOLIS ― Presbyterians from several churches in the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area helped Kwanzaa Community Presbyterian Church here celebrate another successful year for its Freedom School. 

Freedom School is a six-week, all day program for children and youth in Kwanzaa’s neighborhood. It is modeled after the freedom schools founded in the civil rights era, with an  emphasis is on improving reading skills and developing a love for reading.  Children and youth engage in community service and broaden their personal horizons through field trips.  Parents meet every Thursday evening to share a meal and develop parenting skills.”

Attendees at the Dec. 21 dinner included members from Macalester-Plymouth United Church in St. Paul, Westminster Presbyterian in Minneapolis and Presbyterian Church of the Apostles in Burnsville, Minn.  

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