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Mid Council Relations Newsletter

Great Ends of the Church and more …

July 22, 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 to Mid Council Ministry!

If you haven’t yet taken the opportunity, I invite you to explore the new Equip site designed specifically for mid council leaders, “Welcome to Mid Council Ministry.” I am looking forward to hearing from more of you about how this resource can be improved to be more helpful to you.

You can find more information in the last newsletter.

Exhibiting the Great Ends of the Church

Several months ago Brad Munroe initiated a project “to come up with observable, behavioral descriptions of what each of the six, Great Ends of the Church look like.” What does each Great End look like in the life of the individual Jesus follower? What does each look like in the life of a congregation?

With the participation of ministers and ruling elders from the Presbyteries of Grand Canyon and de Cristo, he’s compiled this list. Writes Brad:

“We will adapt this list to create a focus group instrument and a congregational survey for leadership discussion. The focus group instrument will use all ten behaviors from each section while the survey will use three behaviors from each section.

“My consultant is a retired professor of research methodology at the University of Arizona—it’s nice to be Presbyterian in a university town. He tells me the survey and focus group will not be perfectly valid instruments but will serve ‘pretty well and certainly well enough to create good dialogue among church officers.’”

Take a look; I’m sure Brad would be interested in hearing your impressions.

ASC/AMCL Conference: A message from the planning team

Zechariah 8:3–5: “Thus says the Lord, I will return to Zion … and the streets of the city shall be full of boys and girls playing in its streets.”

This year, the AMCL/ASC conference will have the theme of “Transition at Play—Choosing Joy in the Midst of Change.” Join us October 20–21 in Baltimore, following the MCLG Gathering. (Same hotel!) Join your Stated Clerk, Presbytery Executive, Synod Executive, and national staff colleagues as we welcome new members to this ministry, resource one another for ministry in our rapidly changing contexts, and choose joy! We look forward to seeing you there.

Read more details …

2019-2021 Book of Order

2019–2021 Book of Order

The professional association google groups had some recent discussion about the difficulty of downloading the new Book of Order due to the large size of the file. That problem has been corrected, and you can find the new file directly from the OGA site or go to the PC(USA) Store. Of course, you’ll probably also want to get a hard copy (available in several languages) from the Store.

This Month in Per Capita …

Just a few of the ministries enabled by your per capita giving that are taking place this month:

  • Safe and Sacred Space Task Force meeting
  • Sexual Misconduct Task Force meeting
  • Reviewing and releasing PIFs after they have been attested

Neighborhood Church Book Study

The Presbytery of Eastminster is combining its involvement in the Vital Congregations program with encouragement to read the book recommended for churchwide study by Co-Moderators Vilmarie and Cindy individually, as a book group or session, or as a project for the whole congregation.

Sharing Enthusiasm

One of the ways the Presbytery of Philadelphia tells its story is through a polished, Annual Ministry Narrative.

PHP Impact Report

PHP Impact Report

Thank you to congregations and Presbyterian Women groups in 122 presbyteries who supported the work of the Presbyterian Hunger Program last year. The PHP 2018 Impact Report has good news about how your gifts helped make a difference in the United States and around the world. The inside 11x17 of the report can be hung up to share with your congregation.

Lifting Up Welcome in Worship

Carolyn Winfrey Gillette has offered a new hymn, “O God You Give Us Neighbors,” for those concerned with a Christian response to the immigration enforcement crisis.

Resources on Hate & Hate Groups

The Synod of the Trinity recently sponsored four regional workshops about hate groups. They have kindly shared the articles, videos, and presentations that were used.

The theme of the workshops: “Silence Is the Welcome Mat for Hate.” Their learnings and deepened commitment led the synod’s Governing Commission to charge their moderator and transitional executive to draft a response naming, challenging, and condemning the attack by the President of the United States on several Congresswomen of color.

Become ESSENTIAL to your community

Become ESSENTIAL to Your Community

“When communities think about your church, would they mourn if you did not exist? How much value do you add to lives? Does your congregation wake up passionate about your mission? Do your employees dread the day they will stop working with you?”

The Presbytery of Muskingum Valley has a resource addressing these questions: Become ESSENTIAL to Your Community.

Communities of Color at Big Tent: A message from Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries

The 2019 PC(USA)’s Pre-Big Tent Convocation for Communities of Color will center around the theme, Seeing Red: Movements to Wholeness. Drawing inspiration from Luke 8:43–48 (a woman suffering from hemorrhages), this event will center the voices of people of color in the PC(USA) and our collective journey to wholeness.

We will uplift the varied experiences, struggles, joys, and triumphs of those in our denomination, who are often on the margins experiencing the “issues of blood” in our lives, and through the leading of the Spirit, share stories, deepen relationships, and draw on the strength of our collective tenacity as we move towards wholeness and healing.

Presbyterian Art Gallery

The Presbytery of Baltimore is using wall space in the halls of their offices to feature local artists. Rotating exhibits—about three months each—have included paintings, photography, needlework, weaving, and pottery.

Parent Loans

Parent Loans!

The Parent Loan was designed for PC(USA) members seeking a more affordable loan to assist with the expenses of dependents attending college in the United States. Please spread the word to your congregations so that parents can learn more and apply.

A Ministry of Blessing for Church Campers

The Presbytery of Maumee Valley is encouraging members of congregations to write letters to campers to be sure they receive mail during their week away from home. Here are their guidelines for “Happy Mail”:

  1. Address the note/card/letter to “Happy Camper.”
  2. Keep the note generic since you don’t know who will receive your letter.

You might want to check in with the leaders of your camp before initiating this project to make sure they approve, and to find out about dates. This is another way to share the love and joy of Christ that almost anyone could do, including those who are homebound.

Grant Opportunity: Mentoring for Young Adults

From the Forum for Theological Education:

The Mentoring Grant builds and strengthens the capacity of church leaders to accompany young adults exploring vocation and a call to ministry. These mentors will guide and support future leaders and cultivate space for young people to consider what their vocational journey holds.

Read more about it. Application deadline is September 15.

Where Are the Co-Moderators?

Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri

  • July 30–31, pre-Big Tent activities

Cindy Kohlmann

  • July 25–27, Massanetta Springs Bible and Church Music Conference
  • July 30–31, pre-Big Tent activities

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. Contact Diane Minter for more information.
  • 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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