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GA Follow-up and more …


July 9, 2018

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

Per Capita

The 223rd General Assembly (2018) set the per capita rate for both 2019 and 2020 at $8.95. That rate represents the $8.50 requested for 2019 plus the $.45 in new expenditures authorized by the General Assembly’s own actions.

The assembly also approved three proposals focusing on funding issues: the Newton overture to review the per capita system, a financial sustainability review committee (see Recommendation 3 of the Way Forward Commission report), and an instruction to the six agencies to study per capita (see Recommendation 5 of the All-Agency Review Committee report).

Encouraged by our experiences with the Stated Clerk’s conversations with mid council leaders about per capita before General Assembly (GA), we want to continue to meet with you to discuss matters of concern—not limited to funding issues—and hope we will receive invitations. Please contact me to schedule a visit.

One Church, One Book, One Focus—Cindy Kohlmann

The presbyteries, led by Co-Moderator Cindy Kohlmann, spent a year focusing on issues of race, white privilege/supremacy, and
reconciliation, including one retreat led by Crossroads and a second retreat led by Debby Irving, folding in the invitation from Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston to read Waking Up White. When Jan and Denise proposed Liz Theoharis’ Always with Us? What Jesus Really Said About the Poor for their second year, the Presbyteries of Boston and Northern New England shifted focus to the Poor People’s Campaign, including use of the videos they’ve produced. Cindy has kindly shared more details. Other resources she recommends include a TEDx Talk by Dr. Camara Jones called “Allegories on ‘Race’ and Racism” and a summary sheet to help people follow and discuss the talk.

Gun Violence

The 223rd General Assembly (2018) took action on gun violence, including lifting up these resources:

GA news …

is still available. And, if you’re looking for videos, you will find a growing collection here, including the inspiring opening worship service.

Did the assembly approve an overture from your presbytery? If you would like others to know more about it, I am happy to pass along that information. The next newsletter copy deadline is August 1.

Moderators' Conference

As I begin to firm up plans for the Moderators’ Conference, I’d love your ideas about topics—for plenaries and workshops— that you believe would particularly benefit mid council moderators. Please send me your thoughts.

The dates and location—November 15-17 in Louisville—have been publicized for months, but now that GA is behind us, we can give more attention to the details needed to get registration open, so I hope to have an announcement about that in the next newsletter.

Constitutional Corner

Today’s column features a guest author. Madeline Hart-Andersen, who just finished a year’s internship with the OGA and is headed back for her final year at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, offers details about the Annotated Book of Order.

I’ve been asked about the possibility of having a CD version of the Annotated Book of Order that can be run on a Mac, and I am assured that the current software, Folio Views, will never be Mac-compatible—long technical explanation I am not equipped to understand—and that building a solution from scratch would be very expensive. That’s definitely not in the per capita or any other budget. But the online version is accessible to all, updated regularly, and mobile device sensitive.

For an index of Constitutional Corner topics, see the Polity Resources page.

Rules of Discipline Revision

The Rules of Discipline Task Force covets your comments. Please review the draft and then submit your feedback. Note that the deadline is September 15.
Pastoral Care for Transgender Persons and Their Families

Pastoral Care for Transgender Persons and Their Families

San Francisco Seminary and the Presbyterian Outlook are collaborating on an online seminar scheduled for three Thursday afternoons, July 12, July 19, and July 26 from 1:00pm–2:30pm PST, and designed specifically for presbytery leaders to learn about pastoral care for transgender people and their families so that they can help equip other leaders in their presbyteries. Read the invitation from Floyd Thompkins and Jill Duffield about the genesis of this idea and the invitation referencing the recent GA action, that mentions the availability of scholarship assistance. Note that the sessions will be recorded, so if one (or all) of the dates don’t work schedule-wise, registrants can access the webinar after the fact. They will also get the benefit of a closed Facebook group and a collection of transgender educational materials.
Peace & Global Witness

Peace & Global Witness Offering Webinars

Bryce Wiebe and Jon Reinink will be hosting two webinars to share about the Peace & Global Witness Offering. They will cover this year’s themes, ideas for promoting it in your regions and congregations, and peacemaking activities that are happening because of the gifts made to this Offering.
Register here:
For Mid Council Leaders & Staff: August 1, 2018, at Noon (EDT)
For Congregation Leaders: August 8, 2018, at Noon (EDT)

Can’t make it? Recordings will be posted on the website within forty-eight hours.

Stewardship and Gratitude

In Early August, each congregation and mid council will receive a mailing thanking them for their 2017 participation in Presbyterian Mission. This mailing will include an annual report that shares the work of PMA along with record of their congregation’s giving to shared mission, mission co-worker support, and each of the four churchwide Special Offerings, as well as other forms of giving for that year. It is our hope that each congregation will celebrate their generosity with us as they prayerfully consider where God is calling them into ministry for 2019 and beyond.

Our siblings in Alaska need help this summer—can you be an answer to prayer?

Please read and pass along the plea from Curt Karns, leader of the Presbytery of Yukon, who details the urgent need for work teams to help complete a new church and community center in Gambell, Alaska. Though it’s a challenge to find people who can travel to a remote area on short notice, you might be the means the Lord is providing for rising to that challenge. If Presbyterians across the country learn of this opportunity, chances are greater that we’ll find those God is calling to this mission.

Confirmation Curriculum Sample Kit

The Presbyterian Publishing Corporation is offering each presbytery one sample kit of the new confirmation curriculum, Big God Big Questions, at a discounted rate of $59. One discounted kit per presbytery will ship to the resource center, a POINT person, or the presbytery office. To request your presbytery’s kit, please contact Malinda Spencer.
Facing Race 2018

Facing Race 2018

Presbyterians love Facing Race (the biennial conference offered by Race Forward). The next opportunity is in Detroit, Michigan, at the COBO Center, November 8–10, 2018.

Facing Race, a unique collaborative space for racial justice movement making, is one of the largest multiracial, intergenerational gatherings for organizers, educators, creatives, and other leaders.

The first keynote speaker announced is Tarana Burke, social justice activist, author, #TIME100 most influential person of the year, and founder of the #MeToo movement. Need more encouragement? Here are 5 reasons why you should join in. To connect with other Presbyterians inquiring and attending, be in touch with Molly Casteel, manager for equity and representation.


… to the executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, Elona Street-Stewart, who was honored by Occidental College with the 2018 Alumni Seal Award for Professional Achievement for “tireless advocacy and steadfast leadership.” We’re proud of you too, Elona!

Conference Dates

Mid Council Leaders Gathering
Cosponsored by the Office of the General Assembly and the Board of Pensions (BOP): a combination of the former Fall Polity Conference (OGA) and the Regional Benefits Consultations (BOP). October 5–7, 2018, Chicago, Hyatt Regency O’Hare.
Association of Stated Clerks and Association of Mid Council Leaders
October 7–9, 2018, Chicago, Hyatt Regency O’Hare.

Mid Council Financial Network Conference
This conference is a continuing education and training opportunity for people who work with finances for synods, presbyteries, and congregations.
November 7–9, 2018, Austin, Texas, Holiday Inn Austin Town Lake
Moderators Conference
November 15–17, 2018, Louisville, Brown Hotel
The frequency of the newsletter is slowing down over the summer. By the time you receive this issue, I will be on vacation. I am still very interested in sharing the things you are doing, however, so do keep sending me articles about what’s energizing your mid council and/or topics you would like to explore.

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