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Presbytery and synod news

April 4, 2012

LEXINGTON, S.C. ― Trinity Presbytery General Presbyter and Stated Clerk the Rev. Alan Arnold has announced his retirement, effective May 31, 2012. He made his announcement at a meeting of the presbytery’s Coordinating Council on March 6.

“Several months ago Penny [Arnold’s wife] made her decision to retire at the end of May," said Arnold. “Initially, I thought that I would continue in my work for the foreseeable future but as the months passed, I realized that I wanted to retire with her. We totally enjoy spending time together and I see this as entering a new stage of our lives and our relationship. It is time."

Arnold has served as Trinity Presbytery’s general presbyter/stated clerk since July, 2005.

ALBUQUERQUE and ROSWELL, N.M. ― The presbyteries of Santa Fe and Sierra Blanca are scheduled to vote April 27-28 on an overture to the upcoming 220th General Assembly that would create a single presbytery in the state of New Mexico on Jan. 1, 2013.

Between now and then, a joint task force of the two presbyteries that has been meeting since last August is charged to address issues such as a new vision, name, structure, funding model, staffing configuration “and any other related issues.” 

SEATTLE ― A “Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders,” sponsored by Seattle Presbytery, will take place April 30-May 4 at First Christian Church of Kent (Wash.).

The event is designed to equip pastors and other church leaders with the skills necessary to deal effectively with interpersonal, congregational, and other forms of group conflict.  This institute also includes a component on congregational mediation and consultation, placed within the context of family systems theory.

DES MOINES, Iowa ― The Presbytery of Des Moines launched it’s new Web site on Feb. 29.

The launch was orchestrated by the presbytery’s IT coordinator, Tom Hardin, a member at Heartland Presbyterian Church in Clive, Iowa, and Web designer Lance Thompson.

Check it out at www.dmpresbytery.org. Then tell Des Moines Presbytery’s communications director Kim Coulter (kcoulter@dmpresbytery.org) what you think.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. ― Sexual misconduct prevention training will be offered twice in coming months ― May 19 and Sept. 12 ― by Lehigh Presbytery.

Facilitator is the Rev. Jane Williams, an Episcopal priest and licensed psychologist on the faculty of Moravian Theological Seminary, where she also directs the M.A. program in pastoral counseling.

Topics in the interactive training include “What is Sexual Misconduct and Abuse?” “Maintaining Boundaries,” Self-Care as a Spiritual Discipline” and “Technology Issues.” The training is designed for pastors and commissioned lay pastors, inquirers and candidates, presbytery staff and committee members and presbytery and congregational volunteers.

HOUSTON ― New Covenant Presbytery will host three seminars on “Creating a Culture of Generosity in southeast Texas” this spring.

The workshops will be led by Ruling Elder Kevin Garvey, a member of Zionsville (Ind.) Presbyterian Church and a development officer for the Board of Pensions and the Presbyterian Foundation.

The seminars basic foundation is that generosity springs from the conviction that God owns everything and that we are temporary managers of God’s treasures. Small group discussions will focus on how to bring a church budget alive, how to celebrate generosity in worship and how to strengthen members’ generosity relationships with God.

Seminars will be held at Houston’s Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church on April 28; at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Beaumont on May 5; and at First Presbyterian Church of Bryan on June 16.

MINNEAPOLIS ― The Presbyterian Partnership Task Force of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area sponsored a “Workshop on Ministry” March 31.

The workshop, for congregations wanting to work more collaboratively with other congregations, took place at First Presbyterian Church in White Bear Lake, Minn.

Under the theme "Networking and Collaborating Together in Ministry," the event included breakout sessions on such topics as church communications, facilities/building management, Christian Education and mission.

The Presbyterian Partnership is made up of six Presbyterian Church (USA) congregations in the Northern Twin Cities metropolitan area: Arlington Hills Presbyterian Church in St. Paul; Chain of Lakes New Church Development in Lino Lakes; North Como Presbyterian Church in Roseville; North Presbyterian Church in North St. Paul; Presbyterian Church of the Way in Shoreview; and First Presbyterian Church, White Bear Lake.

EVERETT, Wash. ― North Puget Sound Presbytery celebrated the first anniversary of Wellspring, an innovative outreach ministry with Christian young adults and non-believers, with a gala March 23 at the Great Hall on Green Lake in Seattle.

 Wellspring is a non-profit organization that has created a young adult fellowship with the direct intention to support local churches and non-profits through various program events, provide a place of fellowship for Christian young adults, and to reach out to non-believers.

 Wellspring’s ministry currently reaches young adults who are college students or young professionals in the greater Seattle area. Its mission is to engage, equip, and encourage these young adults so that they can go back and serve their respective communities.

 The ministry’s director is Eric Eun

 IOWA CITY, Iowa ― The Rev. Kitch Shatzer, pastor of the Ainsworth (Iowa) Community Church, is recruiting members of the Presbytery of East Iowa for a mission trip to Brazil as part of the presbytery’s partnership with the Presbytery of Ceara in northeastern Brazil.

 Shatzer hopes to take a group of up to 10 people from the Presbytery of East Iowa on the trip, which runs from June 27-July 6. It will be Shatzer’s sixth partnership trip to Brazil.

 “Our partnership is primarily about relationships ― meeting new people and rejuvenating relationships already made with people down there,” Shatzer says. “The people never forget the connections we’ve made. Anytime I go, they ask about others who have been there.”

 This summer's trip will include church visits within the Presbytery of Ceara an overnight stay with a  host family, a school visit, at least one cultural event, a shopping trip to Ceara's largest city, Fortaleza, and the chance to experience some of the most beautiful beaches in all of Brazil.

 EAGAN, Minn. ― Clearwater 2012, a biennial conference supported by the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and the presbyteries of Minnesota Valleys, Northern Waters and Twin Cities Area, runs May 4-6 at Presbyterian Clearwater Forest, a camp in Minnesota lakes country near Deerwood, Minn.

 This year's conference, with the theme, "A Door Set Open: Grounding Change in Mission and Hope," features keynoter Peter Steinke, the author whose book bears the name of the conference theme.

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