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The CLC team, restoring voting rights, and more …

May 28, 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

Welcome, Mason!

You will soon be hearing a new voice for Church Leadership Connection (CLC) on the phone and through email!

We are happy to welcome the Reverend Mason Todd to the CLC Team while we undertake the CLC and Call Process Support Innovation project.

Mason is taking on this part-time, deployed role for CLC while he also serves as the transitional pastor for Stony Creek Presbyterian Church in Burlington, N.C. He will be the point person for the technical and technological support needs of call seekers and calling organizations. This will free up some time for CLC Consultant Omar Chan to focus on the management of the Innovation project as we refine the survey and analysis process and head into development in late summer and early fall.
Mason Todd
Mason Todd
Based out of Greensboro, N.C., Mason is married to the Reverend Katie Barrett Todd, who is the executive director of U-Kirk Greensboro. Both Mason and Katie are alumni of Union Presbyterian Seminary’s Charlotte campus; Mason holds an M.Div. and M.A.C.E. from Union. While living out their calls to ministry in parish, agency, and campus settings, Mason and Katie are also living into their calls to parenting Luke (7) and Lilly (6).

As we continue to adjust and imagine different ways of supporting call processes throughout the denomination, the best way to reach us is through email at

Restoring Voting Rights

A few months ago, the Presbytery of Monmouth newsletter included this notice:
Here’s a topic that would be of interest to anyone in your congregation working on promoting criminal justice, prison reform, racial/ethnic justice, and/or voting rights: enfranchising New Jersey’s prisoners, parolees, and probationers, all of whom are prohibited from voting if they were convicted of a 1st–4th degree crime. Bills have been introduced in the New Jersey Legislature that would correct one aspect of the state’s history of racial discrimination, but a groundswell of support is needed to win passage of this legislation.

Ruling Elder Robert Joe Lee, a member of the presbytery’s Mission Working Group, has completed considerable research on the subject and wants to share the surprising findings that emerged. At first glance this may not seem to be a very compelling issue to study, much less advocate for. Mr. Lee wishes to share a toolkit that he developed and distributed at December’s Mission Fair. This is an excellent resource for an adult education class or series, your church's mission committee, or anyone working on related justice issues.

Robert Joe graciously agreed to revise the toolkit for audiences beyond New Jersey, and I commend it to you. One of the Matthew 25 focus areas is structural racism, and as readers of The New Jim Crow are aware, mass incarceration and other aspects of criminal justice are part and parcel of structural racism.

Please call this resource to the attention of your folks concerned with justice. And if you have suggestions for improvement, do send those along. Those who are working on these issues might wish to network across presbytery and state lines.

Spanish Language Web Portal

Have your Spanish-speaking members discovered the Spanish web portal? Please spread the word.
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:
  • Immigration consultation with a presbytery
  • Fall event planning
  • Religious worker visas for two different cases

“Ev’ry Time I Feel the Spirit”

The Presbytery of Boston is celebrating Pentecost together on the Saturday before by inviting churches and individuals to share a musical selection and a personal testimony about where the Spirit is at work in the life of the church and community. An offering will be received for the presbytery’s young adult volunteer program, and the celebration will conclude with a potluck meal.

Curriculum Sharing

The Resource Center of the Presbytery of Arkansas allows congregations to request that the center pay half the cost of curriculum that might be beyond their budgets. When the congregation is finished using it, they pass it along to the center for others to use.

Reflective Leadership Grants

“Lay and ordained Christian leaders can receive up to $15,000 to step away from their current work to reflect on accomplishments, broaden perspectives, and discern next steps. …
Reflective Leadership Grants
“The Reflective Leadership Grant program at Leadership Education [Duke Divinity School] is a competitive grant program open to any employee of a faith-based charitable organization, which includes denominations, seminaries, church-related colleges, consultancies, congregations, Christian non-profits, Christian social enterprises, as well as others. We are particularly interested in supporting leaders whose work contributes to healing and hope in their communities by strengthening congregations, social services, schools, and other organizations.”

Interested? Apply! (Or encourage others.)

Short-Term Mission Trips Toolkit

Seeking resources on whether to go, where to go, and how to prepare for and guide a group? Here are some tips.

Day of Service

For a third year the Presbytery of San Gabriel is dedicating the June presbytery meeting to service. This year’s project focuses on preparing a congregation’s property to be shared by another ministry—painting rooms at the church, yard work, writing notes to friends facing the immigration process, and packing PDA School Kits. All are encouraged to contribute particular items to assist immigrants and others in need.

Congregational Resource Guide

A program of the Center for Congregations funded by Lilly Endowment Inc., the Congregational Resource Guide offers the opportunity to search for help with a variety of topics. If you explore it, I’d love to hear whether it’s helpful or not.

Treasurer Training

The Presbytery of Great Rivers is holding Treasurer Training and Roundtable Events at several locations around the presbytery. Topics include per capita, compensation and housing allowances, required government reporting, and maintaining HR files. Congregational treasurers and financial secretaries can ask questions and network with their counterparts.

Specialized Ministry Dinner

The Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy is hosting a dinner for persons serving in ministries outside the congregation. The event includes a time of fellowship, staff introductions, and reflection on ways to support one another and the work of the church.

Hybrid Presbytery Meeting and Mission Project

After registration at the meeting of the Presbytery of Minnesota Valleys, meetings of commissions and committees of the presbytery were held. All not yet serving on one of those groups spent that time putting together hygiene kits for the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance program. Some items were provided, but congregations were invited to collect and send items from the kit list.

Disaster Readiness

The Presbytery of Mission is using its newsletter to publicize a series of FEMA information sheets in order to help congregations prepare for disaster and be in a position to help others. They recommend exploring the information at

Cereal for Summer

The Hunger Ministries Program of the Presbytery of Detroit is encouraging congregations to collect boxes of cereal; half will be given to the presbytery for distribution through its partner programs and half to a food pantry or meal program in the church’s neighborhood.

Where Are the Co-Moderators?

Cindy Kohlmann

  • May 30–June 2, Oklahoma presbyteries
  • June 2–5, Presbytery of South Louisiana

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri

  • June 7–9, Presbytery of the Pines

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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