OLD SAYBROOK, Conn. — The Presbytery of Southern New England — which includes Newtown, Conn. — has shared some ideas of how Presbyterians can respond to those affected by the Dec. 14 shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Here is how you can funnel your support:

  1. The people of Newtown itself have more than enough support. But the grief about this incident is everywhere. Direct your caring and compassion to those in your own community who are bearing a burden related to this shooting.
  2. If you want to send sentiments to the Newtown families directly affected please send them to the United Way. Those sentiments will be available to the families when they are ready to see them. Send to United Way, 3 Simm Lane, Newtown, CT. 06470.
  3. If you or a church group wishes to volunteer in some way contact the Newtown Volunteer Task Force at 855-364-6600 or if you are a counselor contact either the United Way or the Red Cross.
  4. If you wish to give a financial gift please direct those gifts to the Presbytery of Southern New England, 123 Elm Street #200, Old Saybrook, CT 06475 marked for Sandy Hook, or to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance by mail, online, or phone to account #DR000188. Details are at this link: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/pda/response-newtown/ 
  5. If praying is your gift then please do so continually. You can imagine that recovery from this kind of grief takes a very long time. God's healing is needed.

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Two leaders with ties to Presbytery of East Iowa have been named to new positions at Camp Wyoming.

AJ Plummer, who has served as Christian education director at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Cedar Rapids since 2010, will be Camp Wyoming’s associate director. Stacie Hoppman, Camp Wyoming’s former marketing intern, has been named marketing and communications coordinator.

“The Camp Wyoming Search Committee felt these two dynamic individuals will bring creativity and experience to our current team that will strengthen the ministry at Camp Wyoming,” said Kevin Cullum, Camp Wyoming’s executive director.

Plummer will oversee the summer camp and year-round programs. Hoppman will create marketing resources, design and update the website and develop and administer communication through social media.

MINNEAPOLIS — The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area’s Ministry in a Changing World Initiative allows churches to analyze their ministry and discern how to be the church in the future.

The initiative has two parts — Cohort Groups and one-day conferences. The Cohort Groups are made up of four congregations that undergo individual assessment, visioning and implementation processes. The first conference was held in April 2012, and two more are scheduled for 2013 and 2014.

The initiative is supported by a grant from the Synod of Lakes and Prairies and the General Assembly.

EAGAN, Minn. — “Belonging to God” is the theme for the Synod of Lakes and Prairies Synod School, July 21-26 at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa.

Synod School is the synod’s annual midsummer ministry. It’s designed for laity, clergy, families and singles. It’s a week full of mind-stretching courses, worship and singing as well as fellowship and private reflection.

Registration begins March 1. Costs have not yet been confirmed, but they’ll be at most slightly higher than the 2012 prices, which included $80 per person tuition, $220 room and board per person in a double room, and $120 per child for a dorm bed.

Course catalogs will be mailed to congregations in late February.

MAUMEE, Ohio — The Presbyterian Women of the Synod of the Covenant are meeting June 21-22 at First Presbyterian Church in Findlay, Ohio.

Using John 7:37-38 as its focus, the meeting will include an introduction to the HORIZONS 2013-14 Bible Study, music and a PW choir, workshops, resources and a spirituality center.

EAGAN, Minn. — The Synod of Lakes and Prairies has named the Rev. David Crittenden to serve as its transitional synod executive beginning March 1.

Crittenden, who most recently served as director of stewardship for the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the PC(USA), will provide executive leadership to the synod as it moves forward, responding to its existing and emerging ministries and mission.

The Rev. Phil Brown, who had been the Lakes and Prairies synod executive since 2004, retired at the end of October.

Crittenden, who has served the Presbyterian Mission Agency since January 2011, had been on the staff of the Synod of Lincoln Trails for 16 years.

“The church is going through a time of immense change,” Crittenden said. “We need to figure out how we are going to be with God and with God's people as we move forward. Presbyteries and synods will be a part of discerning the church's role regionally.”