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New GAMS staff, cohort groups, and more …

June 10, 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

Introducing your new contact about GA Business in the OGA—Kate Trigger Duffert

Kate Trigger Duffert has joined the GA Meetings Services staff of OGA as the Program Assistant for GA Business. Kate will be assuming the roles previously held by Kay Moore and Rebecca Cummings, receiving GA business (including overtures) and processing the PC-biz program, among other things.

Kate grew up vacationing at General Assemblies (yes, she is one of those people), and is a May 2019 graduate of Louisville Presbyterian Seminary. She can be a great help to Mid Council leaders in shaping GA business and building on the work of creating a vibrant and effective PC-biz.

Kate Trigger Duffert
Kate Trigger Duffert
Her work number is 502.569.5418 and email is

Introducing your new contact for volunteering or recommending leadership at the GA—Courtney Hemmelgarn

Courtney Hemmelgarn has joined the GA Meetings Services staff of OGA as Administrative Assistant, and among her other duties will be helping manage the process of selecting Assembly Assistants and Committee Moderators and Vice Moderators for upcoming assemblies.

Courtney is a recent graduate of Westminster College and previously attended the GA as a YAAD. She served as a part of a Presbyterian Peace Fellowship delegation to Colombia in January.

Her work number is 502.569.5059 and email is

Welcome, Courtney and Kate!

Courtney Hemmelgarn
Courtney Hemmelgarn

Clergy/Church Leader Cohort Groups

Many thanks to Barbara Smith for writing about how clergy/church leader cohort groups, the Presbytery of Newark’s adaptation of a component of the Revitalization Initiative, has benefited the presbytery.
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:
  • Consultation on mid council leader onboarding options
  • End Cash Bail action in Louisville
  • Updating the comprehensive list of GA mandates to the OGA


Shout-out to my colleague, Jake Souder, who formats and sends this newsletter—and doesn’t get enough credit!

Coffee with the Clerk

How can the church have an impact on the challenges of the world? Check out J. Herbert Nelson’s conversation with the President of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Alton Pollard.

World Refugee Day

World Refugee Day is June 20th—a day for remembrance, prayer, celebration, and commitment.

As we remember that approximately 67 million people worldwide are forced from their homes, we are reminded of the importance of our commitment to working alongside others in striving to find places of safety and security for these populations. We celebrate the many gifts former refugees have given so freely to our communities and congregations. We give thanks for the countless congregations who have been part of the work of welcoming them. However, much still needs to be done.

Below are some resources to help you plan a World Refugee Day event with your congregation and community:

Please share pictures/videos of your World Refugee Day event on social media with the hashtags #WRD2019 and #WeChooseWelcome.

End Child Detention Campaign

The American Friends Service Committee is organizing a week of action to End Child Detention, June 9–16. You can join in a variety of ways—signing a petition, writing to Congress, participating in a rally, hosting a rally, etc. As the U.S. continues to detain more and more children in inadequate facilities, with inadequate care, and with staff who are not trained or vetted, this week of action is extremely important. Find out how you can be a part of the action here.

Providing Humanitarian Aid to Migrants

In response to an increase in the number of prosecutions of individuals providing humanitarian aid to migrants on the border between the United States and Mexico, the Presbytery of New York City passed a resolution affirming the responsibility of followers of Jesus to care for people in need, regardless of their immigration status. They share this resolution as a model should other mid councils wish to take a similar action.

Life-Saving Training

The Presbytery of Lake Huron is offering emergency training for individuals from churches (for a small fee): CPR, use of an Automated External Defibrillator (AED), how to respond to someone who is choking, and proper use of a fire extinguisher.

Your OGHS Gifts at Work After Recent Flooding and Tornadoes—A Word from PMA

Some of you have asked if a there will be a national solicitation in response to flooding in the midwest or have asked how your mid council can help. While we will not be sending out a national solicitation, here’s information from PDA about how your One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) gifts are being deployed and additional ways you can help.
Dayton tornado damage, 5/3/19, photo by Larry Arnold
Dayton tornado damage, May 3, 2019
Photo by Larry Arnold
Nebraska, Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Ohio, Michigan, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Louisiana, and Mississippi—all of these states have seen natural disasters recently. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is strongly engaged in responding to flooding and tornadoes in twenty presbyteries and six synods—sometimes in contact with presbytery leaders even before they are aware of the destruction in their bounds. Because of your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, PDA has been able to respond immediately, offering initial grants and National Response Team members to assist with assessments, and will be able to respond throughout the long-term recovery. Church damage grants have been disbursed to support affected churches’ continuing ministries, such as food pantries and emergency shelters, to be able to assist their communities in this time of great need.
Gifts to OG100000 help PDA support immediate and long-term recovery. For a hands-on experience, congregations and others can help through Gift of the Heart kits.
Please share this bulletin insert with your congregations, and alert folks that they can email to be placed on the interest list to be notified of volunteer opportunities as they become available.

Not Your Average Stated Meeting

The June meeting of the Presbytery of the Western Reserve will be held in one of the Cleveland area’s large parks, and everyone in the presbytery is invited—not just commissioners and members, but also families and other church folk. Items to grill, provided by the presbytery, will be supplemented by potluck offerings from attendees. In addition to the meeting itself, which will feature “reflecting on our ‘why,’” the options include such activities as volleyball, softball, hiking, biking, cornhole, tie-dye, a ropes course (by reservation) that could be a great youth group outing, and after vespers … s’mores.

Where Are the Co-Moderators?

At the time of this writing, our Co-Moderators have no official PC(USA) travel on their schedules for the next couple of weeks; let’s hope they are enjoying a well-deserved opportunity to attend to other matters.

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.
  • New Stated Clerk Training. September 9–11, 2019, Louisville.
  • 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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