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Mental Health Ministries, Survey, GA Opportunities, and more …


May 14, 2018

From Tricia Dykers Koenig,
Associate for Mid Council Relations, 502-569-8360

Per Capita

Stephanie Anthony, Pastor of Fox Valley Presbyterian Church, Geneva, Illinois, and a member of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly, prepared an explanation for her congregation of their per capita giving and the ministries it supports.

Brief Survey!

Rosemary Mitchell, senior director for mission engagement and support in the Presbyterian Mission Agency, is seeking your input as part of the planning process for the PMA’s dinner for mid council leaders at General Assembly:

Thank you for your ministry as a mid council leader. To date, we look forward to welcoming 120 of you to the PMA Dinner at General Assembly on Monday evening, June 18. To plan a program focused on your priorities, may I ask you to complete this short survey. It will help us to focus and structure the table conversations. Please respond by June 1. Thank you!

Mental Health Ministries

May is Mental Health Awareness Month. Here are some ministry resources:
  • Johanna McCune Wagner, pastor of Trinity Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Giddings-Lovejoy, is producing a podcast, Two Mentally Ill People Talk About:, which is up and running on iTunes, Stitcher, etc. The podcast features conversations between Johanna and her husband about issues relevant to people diagnosed with mental health conditions, as well as family and friends interested in gaining insight into what a loved one may be experiencing. You can also follow Michael and Johanna on Instagram and Twitter.
  • Johanna also recommends the National Alliance on Mental Illness.
  • Some materials are posted at the site of the Presbyterian Serious Mental Illness Network.
  • In the Presbytery of East Iowa, Marcia A. Murphy started an AIM—Access and Inclusive Mission—Committee—“to increase disability awareness and inclusion for those with physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual challenges; encouraging our religious and civic communities to be welcoming places for all!” Marcia shares information about her journey with mental illness. “My experiences and attitudes have implications not only for the psychiatrically disabled, but also for those who support the ill: their families, therapists, and physicians.”

Constitutional Corner

In this issue, Laurie touches on polities from our predecessor denominations.

Constitutional Corner Index—See Archive
  • 4/16/18—Housing Allowance Rules
  • 4/30/18—Minister Transfers and Reference Checks
  • 5/14/18—Predecessor Polities

Rolls and Statistics

Last week I received a couple of inquiries that prompted me to consult Kris Valerius, manager of denominational rolls and statistics. You might have the same questions, so here are the answers:
  • The OGA, through Kris, can provide data in Excel files such as lists of ministers, churches, clerks of session, and mid council stated clerks and executives, upon request and approval. Details are available here.
  • Interested in Kris’s list of stated clerks and executive presbyters for use in reference checks or for other ecclesiastical purposes? Stated clerks have access to a PDF in Moodle through the stated clerks’ Portal. Note: Having reviewed that list recently, I am aware that some of the information is behind the times; there are a few folks listed who are enjoying being retired, for example. Kris can only make official updates when she is notified by stated clerks—even if she knows through other sources that someone has ended or begun a ministry. Stated clerks, a favor: Would you take a moment right now to review your council’s information and make sure it’s accurate?
  • If you want Kris’s most up-to-date information for one mid council at a time, consult the online directory. There are also online directories for ministers and congregations.
I love your questions! They are helping me to learn, so please keep them coming.

BDS Referral

The 222nd General Assembly (2016) directed the Stated Clerk to distribute, for prayerful study, the text of the Palestinian call for Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS), along with documentation from interfaith partners who oppose the BDS movement, to all PC(USA) congregations. Please read the response to that referral and make it available to your congregations.

Swap and Share

The Presbytery of St. Augustine is hosting “swap and share” at an upcoming meeting. Suggested items include music, children’s books, educational resources, and small items of furniture.

GA Commissioner and Advisory Delegate Training

Along with a video about appropriate conduct at General Assembly and information on various policies and procedures, several training modules are available online, designed for both computer and smartphone. Please make these known to your General Assembly delegation and others who might benefit from understanding more about how General Assembly works.

Really want to get into detail? Much of the information provided to General Assembly committee leaders at the Leader Briefing is posted on PC-Biz under Committee 01, Business Referrals, including the slides of PowerPoint presentations.

My colleague Tom Hay, director for assembly operations, has a real love for talking about the plans for General Assembly and what we can expect there. If you or your commissioners and advisory delegates haven’t had an opportunity to hear Tom in person, check out his presentation for the Presbytery of the Miami Valley. Thanks, Tom, for all your wonderful work leading those who attend both to the overall vision and to the countless details that enable General Assembly to happen.

Immigration Rally at GA

Looking for unique opportunities for commissioners and others attending General Assembly from your presbytery or synod? The Office of Immigration Issues and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance are co-hosting an immigration rally on Tuesday, June 19th from noon-1:30 pm (over the committee lunch break). Tickets for a box lunch are available. Attendees can still elect to participate even if they have already completed registration by following the instructions below:

You may return to your account at a later time to add a guest or purchase additional tickets (until the deadline of June 1). Go to this page to make one of these changes. If you are asked to login, use the same user name and password you used to register. At your Profile page, click on the Status (Confirmed, Submitted, Expired) for this event. This should take you to the acknowledgement page of your registration. Click on the red Registration in the upper left-hand corner of that page, which will take you to the first page of your registration. From there, use the Next button in the bottom left hand corner to advance through other pages.

Look for Immigration Rally—Public Witness of Solidary for Migrant Neighbors on Tuesday June 19th from noon–1:30 pm. Tickets for the box lunch are $18.00.

We hope you and/or others from your presbytery attending General Assembly will join us!

Ruling Elder Luncheon: Ruling Elders as Spiritual Leaders

Please let all your folks who will be at General Assembly know that there will be a luncheon for ruling elders on Wednesday. Former Moderator Joan S. Gray—author and coauthor of several books including Spiritual Leadership for Church Officers, Sailboat Church, and Presbyterian Polity for Church Leaders—will be the speaker. Tickets can be purchased through the GA registration process.

Prayer Partners for GA 223

Folks in your congregations who want to have a positive influence on the 223rd General Assembly (2018) can do so whether they can be in St. Louis or not, by signing up to pray for commissioners and advisory delegates. Please spread the word!

Music for Evangelism and Mission

You’ll want to watch the music video featuring Cimorelli witnessing to Living Waters for the World, and then share it.

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 
Copyright © 2018 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), All rights reserved.

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