Presbytery and synod news

August 13, 2012

COLUMBIA, S.C. ― Trinity Presbytery is holding five “town hall” meetings to discuss the recent events at the 220th General Assembly. 

The Rev. Danny Murphy, transitional presbyter, and Jim Rowell, interim stated clerk, will lead the events.  Several of the GA Commissioners will be on hand at each meeting to give brief reports on their experiences.   A time of questions and answer will conclude the events. 

The meetings are July 31 at First Presbyterian Church of Greenwood; Aug. 2 at First Presbyterian Church of Aiken; Aug. 7 at Seven Oaks Presbyterian Church in Columbia; Aug. 14 at First Presbyterian Church of Clinton; and Aug. 23 at Forest Lake Presbyterian Church in Columbia.

MINNEAPOLIS ― “Ministry In A Changing World” is an initiative of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area, sponsored by its Church Development Team. Its purpose is to assist churches in doing ministry in a changing world, and it is directly related to the presbytery’s vision, “We fearlessly follow the Holy Spirit into a Changing World.”

The main components of this initiative are one-day plenary sessions for all churches and cohort groups of four churches which will go through an assessment, visioning, and implementation process with the assistance of trained coaches.

The first plenary session was held on April 28, 2012.

CAMP HILL, Pa. ― Presbyteries and churches in the Synod of the Trinity are making use of a new video series, “Christian Leadership in the New Testament” with renowned biblical scholar Ken Bailey.  

The series ― sponsored by the synod and produced by the Presbyterian Media Mission ―  focuses on leadership in the New Testament and is a tool that can be used by local churches in many different settings.

In the videos, Bailey shares insights gained from living in the Middle East for over 40 years as a biblical scholar. Though the lens of faith, he is able to bring viewers close to a scriptural interpretation of what it means to be a Christian leader. Each half hour length lecture includes pictures and related video scenes for an engaging, informative and entertaining resource. Lectures are broken up into short study segments, 5-10 minutes long, ensuring plenty of time for conversation in most classroom or small group contexts.

ANCHORAGE, Alaska ― Project Y.E.S. (Youth Exploring Service through leadership) is one of the mission projects of the Presbytery of Yukon.  During Project Y.E.S. mission trips five types of activities are planned: 

1)      intentional youth leadership training for the Project Y.E.S. team;
2)      VBS for children, age 4-12;
3)      youth Bible studies and fellowship activities;
4)      worship leadership; and
5)      youth-elder events. 

 A goal of each trip is to encourage youth in the host village to get involved with leadership opportunities in their own church.  It is hoped that they will form their own Project Y.E.S. team and plan for a mission trip the following summer.

In May/early June, Sally Johnston, project coordinator, led two Project Y.E.S. teams in visits to Wainwright and to Anaktuvuk Pass. A group of nine went to Wainwright: three youth from Anaktuvuk Pass, four youth from Trinity Church in Anchorage, and two adult advisors. In Wainwright, they had a daily average attendance of 35 for VBS and 25 for youth group.

A group of six (five youth and one adult) traveled from Nuiqsut to Anaktuvuk Pass, where they teamed up with the Anaktuvuk Pass youth to lead daily VBS and to discuss what it means to be a Christian leader. These youth were among those ministered to last summer when the Project Y.E.S. team visited Wainwright.  In Anaktuvuk Pass, they had a daily average attendance of 28 for VBS and 20 for youth group.

Two highlights of the five weeks of Project Y.E.S. programming this summer were the two youth-village elder dinners held in Anaktuvuk Pass. Before leaving for Wainwright, youth from Trinity and Anaktuvik Pass churches did home visits with village elders and invited them to attend the dinner. 

At that dinner elders shared stories of Christian leaders who had influenced them and had encouraged them to become leaders, themselves, in God's church.  At the end of the dinner, the elders encircled the group of youth, and did an informal commissioning service to send them off on their mission trip.  Youth were deeply touched by this embodied sense of the circle of faith surrounding them and sending them on their trip.

ALBUQUERQUE and ROSWELL, N.M. ― Talks aimed at combining the Presbyteries of Santa Fe and Sierra Blanca in some way have collapsed.

Earlier this summer the two presbyteries voted to move ahead independently of each other but a proposal to see what other mutual arrangements might be possible ― particularly shared staffing ― was advanced by the two bodies working in each presbytery.

The proposal passed by a majority in Sierra Blanca, but did not reach the 2/3 majority required to move forward. Thus the shared staffing arrangement ― with the Rev. Sally Watson serving as executive for both presbyteries ― will terminate at the end of this year.  

LANCASTER, Pa. ― “Reality,” a retreat for senior high-aged youth in Donegal Presbytery, will be held Nov. 9-11 at Refreshing Mountain Camp near Stevens, Pa. Put together each year by youth workers in the presbytery, the retreat offers worship, reflection and challenges to grow in the faith.

Keynote speaker this year is Thea Lamberson, high school ministry coordinator at Vienna (Va.) Presbyterian Church. She is a graduate of Eastern University with a B.A. in biblical studies and youth ministry.

PANORAMA CITY, Calif. ― On July 17 Pat Johanson retired from her position as business administrator for the Presbytery of San Fernando after 25 years. She will continue to serve the presbytery as a consultant.

The presbytery honored Johanson formally at its June meeting, and also held a more informal farewell party on July 12.  

Executive Presbyter Ken Baker had this to say about Pat’s years of service:“For 25 years Pat Johanson has been the heart and soul of our presbytery. It was not just for her competence in so many areas of administration, but because of her deep caring for our people and our ministry together that we have come to love her. Fortunately we will see here a few days a month as such comes back to ‘coach’ us. We're grateful for that and for not having to completely say goodbye.’”

LOUISVILLE ― “The Village” ― a ministry of Mid-Kentucky Presbytery ― will host a community blessing of students, teachers and schools on Sunday, Aug. 19 at Waterfront Park here.

After a brief student-centered celebration and blessing, families and students will be invited to go from the gathering and bless their schools with water and a written prayer.

The Village describes itself as “a gathering of diverse communities for prophetic liturgy, celebration, fellowship and fun. Join us as we envision and embody an emerging church.”

BERKELEY, Calif. ― The Rev. InHo Kim has been named Committee on Ministry resource manager for the Presbytery of San Francisco. His role will be to support the Committee on Ministry and to be a resource to the pastors and congregations of our presbytery.

Since graduating from San Francisco Theological Seminary in 1998, Kim has served several congregations and ministries of San Francisco Presbytery. He has also served the presbytery as a member of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, the Presbytery Envisioning Team and recently as the chair of West Bay Committee on Ministry for the past two years.

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