Presbytery and synod news

October 16, 2012

MORGANTON, N.C. ― Five years ago, the Christian Education Committee of the Presbytery of Western North Carolina welcomed Jo Gallagher as a new member. Gallagher ― a pioneer and promoter of resource center ministry who was instrumental in establishing the Ecumenical Resource Center Gathering and the National Training Center for Resource Center Directors ― had recently retired to Black Mountain, N.C.

Now, after three years of assisting volunteers and presbytery staff, Gallagher has led the relocation of the presbytery’s resource center to the campus of the Montreat Conference Center. This fall, the Jo Bales Gallagher Resource Center is opening in picturesque Moore Center beside Lake Susan. 

At its July meeting, the presbytery’s Christian Education Committee recognized and thanked Gallagher; the Rev. Eade Anderson, who headed up the $45,000 fundraising effort that will support the center for the next three years; several individuals for their contribution to this new initiative; and Tonya Williams of the presbytery staff.

EVERETT, Wash. ― The Rev. Tod Bolsinger, pastor of San Clemente (Calif.) Presbyterian Church and moderator of the PC(USA)’s Mid-Council Commission from 2010-2012, will be keynote speaker for North Puget Sound Presbytery’s VERGE event on Dec. 1 at United Presbyterian Church of Seattle in Edmonds, Wash.

Bolsinger will focus on transformational leadership, also called "adaptive" leadership. His presentation is entitled “Canoeing the Mountains: Becoming Leaders for Uncharted Territory.”

“This kind of leadership is most effective when the solutions of the past don't fit the challenges of the present,” says NPS Executive Presbyter Corey Schlosser-Hall. “When small groups, contemporary worship, a snappier mission statement, better teaching and fellowship, restructured committees, or changing staff doesn't cut it for today's mission in our communities. transformational leadership says we're going to learn together how to follow Jesus deeper into God's mission and it's absolutely dependent on the leaders' own ongoing transformation through Christ.”

Bolsinger has pastored the San Clemente Church since 1997. He earned an M.Div. and a Ph.D. in theology from Fuller Theological Seminary. He teaches seminary classes, speaks on leadership issues and is the author of two books, It Takes a Church to Raise a Christian, and Show Time.

CLEVELAND ― The Presbytery of the Western Reserve is sponsoring a presbytery-wide youth trip to the Heifer Global Village Nov. 16-18. The event will take place at Howell (Mich.) Conference and Nature Center.

In many parts of the world, nothing ― shelter, food, water or cooking fuel can be taken for granted. During this “global gateway experience” participants prepare meals with limited resources and sleep in simple housing in the Heifer Global Village.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska ― Yukon Presbytery is encouraging Presbyterians in the presbytery to join the “50/50 Club.”

The State of Alaska just announced that this year's Permanent Fund Dividend Check ― given to each citizen of Alaska as their share of Alaska’s oil revenue ― will be $878. 

A tithe of this year's check is $87.80. Participants in the 50/50 Club give that amount to their local congregation. Half is retained by the congregation. The other half is sent to the presbytery for its endowment fund, the interest from which is used to fund mission work in the presbytery.

MINNEAPOLIS ― The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will host a “level one” Boundaries  Training Event on Oct. 27 at North Presbyterian Church in North St. Paul, Minn.  

This training is presented two times a year, April and October, by Advocates for Integrity in Ministry Committee (AIM). All clergy are required to take the training. New pastors have a year from their reception to fulfill the requirement. 

Congregations are also encouraged to send elders, deacons, all staff, lay and clergy, and any other persons engaged in any form of ministry in or on behalf of the church.

TUCSON, Ariz. ― The Synod of the Southwest will present its annual “Kaleidoscope 11 Preaching” event Oct. 1-3 at the Crown Plaza in Albuquerque, N.M.

The theme of this year’s event is “Gratitude in a World of Scarcity and Anxiety.” Keynote speaker is the Rev. Cynthia Campbell, former president of McCormick Theological Seminary and currently interim pastor of Highland Presbyterian Church in Louisville.  

SPOKANE, Wash. ― On Sept. 13, the Rev. Sheryl Kinder-Pyle was installed as executive presbyter for the Presbytery of the Inland Northwest during worship at the presbytery meeting.  A reception welcoming her followed.

IOWA CITY, Iowa ― Mike Ferguson, editor of “Out and About,” the newsletter of the Presbytery of East Iowa, reports that the 2012 Robert and Barbara Tollefson Reformed Lecture Series at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, will feature the Rev. Ofelia Miriam Ortega Suarez, the first female minister to be ordained in Cuba.

Ortega is a professor and former president of the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba. She has a longstanding focus on women, theology and ministry involving social services and community development.

In her first lecture, entitled “Discerning the Signs of the Time,” Ortega will explore the global financial, socio-economic, climate and ecological crisis accompanied in many places of the world by the suffering of people and their struggle for life. “We see evidence of (Christ’s) resurrection hope in the churches and movements committed to making a better world,” Suarez said. “An increasing number of churches from all continents are stepping up their efforts and expressing their belief that transformation is possible.”

Ortega’s evening lecture, “Towards a Culture of Peace,” will explore transforming “the prevailing development paradigm” so that “justice and sustainability become the driving forces for the economy, society and the Earth.” The challenges “are not first and foremost technological and financial, but ethical and spiritual. Churches in partnership with civil society are engaged in discussing a new international financial and economic architecture, promoting live-giving agriculture and building economies of solidarity with a focus on faith commitments that could provide justice and peace for all.”

The Robert and Barbara Tollefson Reformed Theology Lectureship began in 1992 in recognition of their contributions to Buena Vista University. Robert Tollefson was a long-time professor of philosophy and religion at BVU. He and his wife, Barbara, played an important role in many students’ lives during their years at BVU.

INDIANAPOLIS/LEAWOOD, Kan. ― The synods of Lincoln Trails and Mid-America are joining forces to provide interim pastor and interim executive training sessions.

Interim pastor training, planned Nov. 5-9, is intended for those presently engaged in interim ministry and those inquiring about this ministry. Committee on Ministry members and presbytery staff persons with responsibility for congregations in transition will also find the training helpful.

Interim executive training is planned Nov. 9-12.

Both training sessions are scheduled at the Mercy Center in St. Louis.

MIDLAND, Texas ― Tres Rios Presbytery will sponsor an educational event during its Oct. 26-27 meeting entitled “Evangelism One to One.”

The event and meeting will take place at First Presbyterian Church of El Paso, Texas. Keynote speaker is the Rev. David Loleng, pastor of Church of the Valley in Apple Valley, Calif.  He will also preach at the presbytery meeting.

PANORAMA CITY, Calif. ― Preaching, teaching, meeting and eating were the main items on the agenda for a two-person Colombian delegation that recently visited San Fernando Presbytery.

Two pastors from Presbiterio Central (Central Presbytery) ― Executive Secretary the Rev Dayro Aranzalez and Moderator the Rev. Javier Rodríguez Sanin ― arrived in Los Angeles on Sept. 20 to embark on a whirlwind tour of San Fernando Presbytery.

They visited a number of churches, dropped in at Fuller Theological Seminary and participated in worship at the Presbytery meeting on Sept. 25.

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