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Korean language webpage, social media, and more …

May 13, 2019

From Tricia Dykers Koenig, Associate Stated Clerk
Associate Director for Mid Council Relations, Office of the General Assembly, 502-322-0903, 502-569-8360

In Memoriam …

The Office of the General Assembly is grieving yet again, at the death on April 29 of our beloved colleague, Wilma Scott, who served the church for many years as Church Leadership Connection consultant. Wilma retired in November and we learned of her cancer diagnosis shortly thereafter. Our colleague Diane Minter speaks for many:
My former colleague and work friend, Wilma Scott, died today; only five short months after she retired.

She was fiercely private and would have a cow that I am using her name right now. She loved God, sang gospel and hymns while she watered everyone’s plants. (I gave her the title of botanical specialist.) She hated technology, and rode the bus to and from work, rain, shine, and snow, her entire career. She walked into the building singing hymns in the morning and did the same when she left in the afternoon.

She loved her children and grandchildren and many of our best conversations were talking about them.

This is what you need to know about Wilma. There are not many Presbyterian ministers or congregations whose lives she did not touch by helping them through the call process. If there ever was a good and faithful servant for whom Jesus holds open the gates of Heaven, it is Wilma. My heart aches at her passing and rejoices for her forever.

In Honor of Robina Winbush

Memorial Service
Thursday, May 30 at 10:00 am—Caldwell Chapel, Louisville Seminary

Healing the Nations: A Theological Conversation about the Witness of the Church in these Troubled Times
Thursday, May 30, 3:00–5:00 p.m., continues Friday, 9:00 a.m.–5:30 p.m. and Saturday, 9:00 a.m.–noon, concluding with closing worship—Presbyterian Center

More information, including details relating to travel and accommodations, can be found at the event website. A limited number of rooms are available at discounted rates at several hotels in downtown Louisville, all within walking distance of the Presbyterian Center and a short drive to Louisville Seminary.

Please register by May 20. You may plan to attend the memorial service and/or the conversation. Please note that there’s a limited capacity at the Presbyterian Center for those wanting to participate in the conversation.

PLF participants

Presbytery Leader Formation (PLF)

At a beautiful retreat center in Malibu, California, 40 presbytery leaders participated in the PLF residency last week—23 in year 1, 10 in year 2, and 7 in the third and final year. I continue to be impressed by the thoughtfulness, caring, intentionality, and devotion I observe in the mid council leaders with whom I am privileged to engage, and these qualities and more are on vivid display at PLF.

Many thanks are due the talented and generous PLF leaders who give their energy, intelligence, imagination, and love to their colleagues out of commitment to them, the church, and Jesus—program coordinator Wilson Gunn, Dean Corey Schlosser-Hall, and the other faculty members: Sara Dingman, Craig Howard, Sheryl Kinder-Pyle, Gavin Meek, and Sheldon Sorge.

Conversations with the Clerk in 2019

The Stated Clerk and I hope to see you at one of these regional events coming up soon:
  • May 21, 11:30 a.m.–2:00 p.m., Hanover Presbyterian Church, Wilmington, DE, hosted by the Presbytery of New Castle. Register no later than May 10 so that lunch can be ordered for you.
  • May 29, noon–3:00 p.m., Park Ridge Presbyterian Church, 1300 W. Crescent Avenue, Park Ridge, IL 60068 (near O’Hare), hosted by the Presbytery of Chicago. Register by May 22.
This Month in Per Capita

This Month in Per Capita …

Just a few of the ministries enabled by your per capita giving that are taking place this month:
  • Meeting of the Administrative Commission for the Synod of the Covenant
  • Meeting of the Special Committee on Per-Capita Based Funding and National Church Financial Sustainability
  • Training retreat for a presbytery committee on nominations and representation

Korean Language Web Portal

A message from Luke Choi, manager for Korean-Speaking Councils Support: I am excited to announce that the Korean-language webpage for the PC(USA) has been launched as of May 1. This site will serve as a comprehensive, user-friendly, one-stop hub for news, events, resources, and links useful for Korean-speaking constituents in your presbyteries and synods, helping them to be better informed, equipped, engaged, and connected with their respective mid councils and General Assembly, as well as the national agencies and other related organizations.

Please encourage your Korean-speaking members to make good use of this webpage, so that they may participate more fully in life and mission of the church through it.

Hands and Feet

Hands and Feet—in Baltimore and in Your Community

Here is a collection of resources, engagement opportunities, and stories that highlight only a few of the Hands and Feet activities happening as the PCUSA continues to engage the city that will host the 224th General Assembly (2020) next summer.

The Center Baltimore has some openings for the week of July 6–13 and July 13–20. If your churches are looking for summer mission trip opportunities, suggest that they consider joining the Hands and Feet efforts.

We encourage you to read the stories coming out of the work being done on the ground in Baltimore, and to look for similar opportunities in your own communities. Send us stories, along with photos or videos of how congregations in your presbytery are living out being the Hands and Feet of Christ, so that we can share these with the whole church. Please forward these to Hands and Feet Coordinator Andrew Yeager-Buckley.

Christians on Social Media

Andy James from the Presbytery of New Hope shared these thoughts in a recent presbytery newsletter:
“What does it mean to be a digital Christian?” The authors of Every Parent’s Guide to Navigating Our Digital World [Fuller Youth Institute] asked this as a starting point for discussion as we help one another and especially our youth find our way through the challenges of this day and age. While we may want to start thinking about the answers to this question from a negative perspective (i.e. don’t go to certain websites or use bad words), the authors laid out a series of questions (slightly adapted below) that I think can help us all be more responsible in our encounters in the digital world.
  1. How can we be peacemakers on social media?
  2. How can we use our relative anonymity online as a blessing to strangers and care for them as neighbors?
  3. What ethics inform our online practices? For example, why is it important to purchase and download music or subscribe to a streaming service rather than getting it for free?
  4. How can we affirm and build up friends and peers publicly or privately on social media?
  5. What does it look like to share and celebrate good news with friends without bragging or showing off?
  6. How do we weigh in on issues of social justice using social media? What does it look like to reflect our faith in the ways we respond or call others to action?
  7. What might it look like to share image takeaways from church services or youth groups on social media—not just showing the people but talking about how we are growing in our faith?
  8. What apps can support us in our faith?

Opioid Crisis

Concerned about “the worst addiction epidemic in American history“? Check out what the Presbytery of Redstone and the Synod of the Trinity have teamed up to do in response.

Legacy Investment

In the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, “when a congregation in the presbytery comes to the end of its life, up to 50 percent of the net sale of the property can be reinvested in the community in which the congregation resides. Legacy investment is an opportunity for a congregation to experience resurrection by helping other missions do the work of ministry in the community.”

Support Camping Ministry

The Presbytery of East Tennessee is encouraging folks to “adopt a counselor”—a great way to support both camp staff and those they serve.

Pentecost Offering—A message from Special Offerings

During Pentecost, we celebrate that the Holy Spirit has opened the doors to faith in Jesus Christ. Just as many of us were nurtured in faith during our youth, we give to support these ministries and offer ourselves in service to the faith formation of other youth and young adults. We join with the Spirit and the whole church, so that the generations to come will still proclaim God’s wondrous deeds. The Pentecost Offering helps the church encourage, develop, and support its young people, and also address the needs of at-risk children. Find resources like a 60-Second Sermon, Powerpoint slides, worship resources, a sermon, regional minutes for mission (ways churches have used their portion of the offering), and sample newsletter/blog content here.

Won’t you join in your support? If we all do a little, it adds up to a lot.

When were you hungry? A message from PHP

Right now, four countries are experiencing famine: Yemen, South Sudan, Nigeria, and Somalia. Presbyterian Hunger Program has partners that are working to address underlying causes of hunger in these countries and in other places where people are suffering from extreme hunger. But at this time, their communities are also in need of emergency assistance. We are asking the church for your help, so that we can respond to their requests.

Based on Matthew 25, “I was hungry and you gave me food,” a bulletin insert, poster, and short video are available for your congregations. Find these resources and more information about the need and this response.

Will you please share this information with the congregations in your presbytery? Also, if your presbytery will be meeting and you would like us to send a sample poster and enough copies of the bulletin insert for each congregation in your presbytery to take one, please email us at Thank you for helping us make a difference!

Keeping Congregation Members Informed About the Presbytery

The Presbytery of the Miami Valley emails a quarterly news and information bulletin/newsletter insert to its congregations for distribution to church members. Here’s the latest issue.

Safe Facilities

The Presbytery of New Brunswick has passed along a checklist from the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security and Preparedness, in recognition of the increasing violent attacks on houses of worship. As you review the Facility Self-Assessment Tool, think through which of the precautions are appropriate and possible for churches.
Brave New Film

Brave New Films

The Presbytery of San Gabriel is recommending a tool for beginning discussions on social justice issues. Brave New Films provides feature-length documentaries and short films that cover a variety of topics including mass incarceration, immigration, gun violence, and many others. Their website for faith communities is a place to start. The films are free and accompanied by discussion guides.

Where Are the Co-Moderators?

Cindy Kohlmann
May 15–20 The Presbytery of the Redwoods
May 21–23 Orlando, National Caucus of Korean Presbyterian Churches

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri
… has returned to a regular schedule, with CREDO on the agenda now.

Please continue to pray for our Co-Moderators!

224th General Assembly (2020) Deadlines

The 224th General Assembly (2020) will be in Baltimore, Maryland, from June 20–27, 2020.
Deadlines for the assembly are:
180-day: December 23, 2019 report Commissioners and YAADs to OGA
120-day: February 21, 2020 amendment to/interpretation of Book of Order; reports to the assembly
60-day: April 21, 2020 overtures with financial implications
45-day: May 6, 2020 all other overtures, comments
30-day: May 21, 2020 consultation with affected entities

Conference Dates

  • Big Tent. August 1–3, 2019, Baltimore, Lord Baltimore and Radisson Hotels. Register here.
  • Mid Council Leaders Gathering. October 17–20, 2019, Baltimore, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.
  • Association of Stated Clerks and Association of Mid Council Leaders. October 20–21, 2019. Baltimore, Renaissance Baltimore Harborplace Hotel.
  • Mid Council Financial Network Conference. November 20–22, 2019. Virginia Beach, Wyndham Virginia Beach Oceanfront.
  • Moderators’ Conference. November 21–23, 2019. Louisville, Brown Hotel.
Are you doing something in your presbytery or synod from which others might learn? You have a standing invitation to send me articles to share.

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