Our Common Ministry Presbytery of Chicago

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1 Our Common Ministry Presbytery of Chicago The Presbytery of Chicago is sending seven overtures to the 219 th General Assembly for consideration. The General Assembly is meeting in Minneapolis in July Overtures are the means by which Presbyteries and Sessions of churches can put an issue before the national governing body. They are a way to have a voice at the denomination s highest body. Overtures are assigned to appropriate committees at the Assembly, who study the issue and make a recommendation to the whole Assembly for action. Our own Presbytery moderator, the Rev. Cliff Lyda, has been appointed moderator of the Middle Governing Body Issues committee, and our Stated Clerk, the Rev. Barbara Bundick has been named assistant to another committee. Each of our commissioners has also been given committee assignments. Chicago Presbytery s voice will be heard by means of the following overtures: Seek compliance to United States government policy in the use of military aid by all parties in the Middle East. Call for the fidelity and chastity language in G b in the Book of Order to be replaced with new language affirming ordination vows. Request an authoritative interpretation so churches and clergy can provide pastoral care in states that recognize gay marriage. Re-establish an Office of Collegiate Ministries in the PC(USA) and develop a plan for funding that office. Volume 26 Number 3 The Presbytery s Voice at General Assembly Logo for the 219th General Assembly: Out of the believer s heart shall flow rivers of living water. Receive the recommendations of the Form of Government Task Force and dismiss the task force with gratitude. Call upon the U.S. government to suspend the use of certain military bases in Colombia, and work towards peace in that country. Encourage the celebration of the 100 th anniversary of the first pronouncement of the PC(USA) on social justice issues. The issues likely to generate the most interest and discussion are the ones concerning the Middle East and those dealing with ordination standards. A Study Committee that has been working for two years on the situation in the Middle East is bringing to the Assembly a comprehensive report with recommendations for actions by the Presbyterian Church and the United States government. See a brief summary of the report on page three. The complete report can be downloaded from the PC(USA) website: Select PC-BIZ, Browse the Site, and Search for Middle East. For information on ordination standards, search for Ordination. The Rev. Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, has released his greatest hopes for the 219 th General Assembly. They are: prayerful decision making, a deeper awareness of the whole PC(USA); discernment of the issues and challenges facing congregations; a common calling to a church in change; attention beyond ourselves to a world in great need; an enthusiastic sharing of the faith; and a furthering of the mission of Christ in the world. (continued on pg. 3) Table of Contents Presbyter s Pen 2 PRTF Report 3 Advance Justice 4-5 Develop Congregations 6-7 Empower Ministry 8 Bus and books for Havana pg. 4 Presbytery News 9-10 Transitions 9 Youth, Pres. Homes 11 Resources 12 Páginas en Español Presbyterian Camps 16 Mission in Cambodia pg. 5

2 Presbyter s Pen Challenges of a Living Faith BY REV. ROBERT C. REYNOLDS, EXECUTIVE PRESBYTER So therefore, none of you can become my disciple if you do not give up all your possessions. Luke 14: 33 As a college senior I studied the writings of Soren Kierkegaard, a nineteenth century Danish Christian philosopher. Personally, Kierkegaard was an odd, reclusive sort, but his radical critique of Christianity in his context was provocative. Paul Holmer, a Kierkegaard scholar from Yale, was a visiting professor at Macalester College that year and I soaked up his powerful tutelage. A recent publication on Kierkegaard reflects his continuing relevance to us as prosperous twentyfirst century Christians. In An Introduction to Kierkegaard, author Peter Vardy describes Robert C. Reynolds Kierkegaard s position on the challenges of a living faith. He writes, Faith is shown in how one s life is lived those alone have faith who trust their whole life to God, for whom God is at the center of everything they do and think... Faith may therefore be found in the very simple persons whose whole lives rest on God. They will know themselves to be sinners and failures but they accept that God loves them not because they are good or virtuous. God loves them as they are warts and all. This is the hardest thing for the strong, independent individual to understand but it is what faith involves. Anything else is an exercise in self-deceit. (p. 64) Christians believe God loves them unconditionally. Overwhelming indications to the contrary disaster, war, and widespread suffering they believe they are loved, and they trust their whole lives to God! At least, according to Kierkegaard, that s how it is supposed to be. It seems Christian people in trouble find it easier to trust their whole life to God than those who prosper. People facing serious illness, disability, discrimination, abuse, unemployment, and death find it easier than those who are healthy and prosperous. If one is in good health and has many possessions, it is harder to entrust it all to God who asks for one s whole life. Globally, impoverished Christian Palestinians, Native Americans, Haitians, Kenyans, Cubans, and poor Mexicans trust their whole lives to God more easily than the relatively wealthy citizens of more powerful nations. Frankly, it seems we have more to lose than they, so we hesitate to trust God and hold nothing back. We believe God s love is freely given, not merited, such that God loves us warts and all. I suppose the warts and all part includes resistance to entrust one s whole life to God for fear of losing a tenuous grip on power and prosperity. God loves people in all circumstances of life, including the rich and powerful. But the ones who can entrust their whole lives in faith are happiest and most spiritually whole regardless of personal circumstances. This is as true of whole communities, like Presbyterian churches and governing bodies, as it is of individuals. God loves us warts and all. I hope Chicago Presbytery, with its tradition of being a strong and independent governing body, can rediscover the riches of entrusting our whole life to God in the coming weeks while resolving our extraordinary financial challenge. We show our faith by how we live! Schedule changes Presbytery Council has set the dates for Presbytery Assembly meetings in The schedule includes changes that will hopefully prevent the postponement of winter meetings due to snowy weather. The schedule also moves meetings to the third Tuesday. Dates are February 15 (4 pm); April 12 (1 pm); June 21 (4 pm); September 20 (1 pm); and November 19 (Sat. 11am). OUR COMMON MINISTRY is published five times a year by the Presbytery Council s Communications Work Group of the Presbytery of Chicago, the regional governing body of the Presbyterian Church in Lake, Cook, and DuPage Counties. Robert C. Reynolds Geraldine Parker Simeon D. Carson Noris Caban Contributors Executive Editor Managing Editor Graphic Design Spanish Translator Gale Morgan-Williams and Joe Pixler OUR COMMON MINISTRY 100 S. Morgan Chicago, IL Ph. (312) Fax. (312) Web: Next Issue: Oct Deadline for copy: Aug. 23, 2010 OCM invites comments, questions and stories from our readers. Please direct your letters to the Editor, Ms. Gerry Parker at Thank you. We look forward to hearing from you. 2

3 Possible New Management The Presbytery s beloved Presbyterian Camps may soon be under new management. The Presbytery Council voted unanimously to approve the purchase agreement with Lakeshore Christian Camping, Inc. (LCC). The Presbytery had authorized the Council to conclude this agreement by vote at the April Assembly meeting, following a recommendation by the Presbytery Reformation Task Force (PRTF). This is a major milestone for the Presbytery that promises to preserve the property in perpetuity as a natural resource and as a retreat and camping A sentiment held by all resource for Chicago Presbytery churches. In addition, the transaction, to be completed in ninety days, will bring $8.6 million for a timely payment on the Presbytery s outstanding indebtedness. Additional funds may be forthcoming in the years ahead through conservation easements to be shared by the Presbytery and LCC. LCC leaders are faithful Chicago area Presbyterians deeply committed to the camping ministry. They have a vision for the camp that includes expanded multi-generational programming and capital development. The camping ministry in Saugatuck has renewed potential to bear fruit under LCC s ownership. They will be seeking the support of Presbyterian churches. The sale will not affect this year s summer camping program, which is under the direction of Brad Fries, Acting Executive Director and Emily Karstens, Assistant Camping Director for Summer Programming. Summer staff is in place and the camp is accepting registrations. Regarding another proposal from PRTF, while the Presbytery offices at 100 S. Morgan Street are still on the market, there is no immediate prospective buyer. Hot Topic One of the hot button topics before the 219 th General Assembly will be the Report of the Middle East Study Committee. This major report, entitled Breaking Down the Walls, includes eight recommendations submitted for the Assembly s approval. This report was two years in the making, as the Study Committee was mandated by the 218 th General Assembly in In presenting these recommendations, the Committee affirms its concerns for peace and justice in Palestine and Israel, and its concern for the enduring integrity and witness of the Christian Church both there and in the United States. In stating the value placed on the denomination s relationships with Jews and Muslims, the report maintains that these bonds of friendship must not prevent us from speaking nor limit our empathy for the suffering of others. The eight recommendations are: Affirmation of Human Rights and Moral Principles Affirmation of Previous General Assembly Policies and Statements Directives for the Witness of the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Lists eight Urgent Actions toward Justice and Peace in Israel, the Occupied Territories of Palestine and Jerusalem Lists nine Urgent Actions for a Comprehensive Peace with Justice in the Middle East Addresses the United States Government regarding its policy in the region, making five calls Lists six Statements Concerning the Christian Presence in the Middle East Asks the 219 th General Assembly to Approve Part One of the report (Introduction, Letters and Reflections), Receive Part Three (Study materials), and Authorize the Creation of a Study Guide The complete 172-page report can be read and downloaded from the PCUSA website. See cover article for specifics. The Presbytery s Voice at General Assembly Continued from Page 1 The Presbytery of Chicago is sending ten commissioners to the General Assembly: five clergy and five lay leaders, plus a Youth Advisory Delegate. In addition, we have elected two alternates in case any of the commissioners are unable to serve. Clergy commissioners are the Revs. Christine Chakoian, Cliff Lyda, Nanette Sawyer, John Vest and Michael Winters. Alternates are Coleman Gilchrist and Laura Taylor de Palomino. Lay commissioners are Sonia Bodi, Phyllis Green, Mat Hacker, Nick Shargo and Michael Welf. Grace Strome is the Youth Advisory Delegate. Let us pray for them as they too represent the voice of the Presbytery of Chicago at the 219 th General Assembly. Commissioners to 219th General Assembly 3

4 Advance HeadlineJustice Mission Stories Bus and Books for Havana When people conjure images of Cuba, they often envision the colorful 1950s vintage American cars that are still running on their owners amazing resourcefulness. In reality, most Cubans do not have cars. They walk for miles, hope for available seats on public buses, and hitch for rides along dusty roads. Pastors for Peace bus in Cuba Churches in the Presbytery of Havana, a partner of the Presbytery of Chicago, must rent buses to take people to meetings in scattered towns and kids to the summer camp in central Cuba. Visiting groups from Chicago also use them to get around Havana. These buses are not always reliable but are always expensive. Chicago Presbytery supports the bus and books drive for Havana, Cuba. The Presbytery of Havana will soon take possession of its own bus, thanks to the generosity of U.S. Presbyterian organizations including the Presbytery of Chicago. What s more, the bus will be filled with nearly a ton of books for the library at the Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary, the source of most Presbyterian pastors and Sunday school teachers in the Presbytery of Havana. The books were donated by the Association of Retired Ministers, Spouses and Survivors. The Presbytery of Chicago s Cuba Partnership Mission Team contributed $1,000 to the more-than $13,000 necessary for the bus and books drive. The bus is being transported to Cuba via Pastors for Peace, an ecumenical organization dedicated to helping churches in third-world countries. One of the group s high-profile initiatives is its occasional Friendshipment Caravan of reconditioned U.S. school buses. After it is suitably decorated with unique eye-catching paint jobs by local vacation bible school kids including slogans such as Dios Es Amor ( God Is Love ) and Puro Amistad ( Pure Friendship ) the Havana bus will leave its home in Santa Fe, NM, on July 15. It will be driven to the port in Tampico, Mexico, and travel by boat to Cuba where its new owners will be waiting. Abel Mirabal, pastor in Guanabacoa and Moderator of the Presbytery of Havana, has expressed his profound gratitude to all who contributed to this project. Going Green Several churches in the Presbytery are taking active steps towards becoming more environmentally friendly in their operations. Among them are Carol Stream Heritage, Western Springs, Wheaton First, and Naperville River Glen. In February, Carol Stream Heritage undertook a green audit with School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education (S.C.A.R.C.E.). The church had already undertaken some changes, including replacing some fluorescent lights with more efficient T8 green end tubes, using water-saving toilets, turning lights and computers off when not needed, and recycling. Nonetheless, the audit identified additional ways to save energy, including replacing lights with more energy-efficient bulbs, giving up styrofoam cups, and choosing chlorine-free paper napkins and towels. The church was also advised to assemble a Green Team to continue giving attention to environmental issues. Western Springs chose to study environmental stewardship through its Adult Leaning program in April. Sara Ross of Faith in Place (www.faithinplace.org) provided an overview of ways in which Chicago congregations are going green. Participants also learned about Angelic Organics, a community supported agriculture initiative, and about Creating Community Change. As of May 2010, Wheaton First s newsletter will be sent to the congregation via as a pdf file. This is expected to reduce expenses and further the church s green initiatives. Members and friends who still wish to receive a paper copy of the newsletter are being invited to opt in, using a postcard they can mail back to the church office. Paper copies will also be available for pick up at the church so that visitors, especially, will be able to learn more about the church. Members are excited about this green initiative and many are taking advantage of this opportunity to go green. This saves time and trees and is great stewardship, says Jan Buscher, member of the church. Starting in 2008, Naperville River Glen s Building and Grounds committee began targeting energy use reductions to reduce both operating costs and the church s carbon footprint. Their survey identified exactly where they use energy and for what (including the number of sinks and air conditioning units at the church). They also looked closely at their utility bills to track unit costs and utilization. After close assessment, the group determined that reasonable savings could be achieved in both electricity and gas use. However, the church needed to spend money to save money. They installed a customized, computer-controlled air conditioning management system, and replaced thermostats scattered throughout the building with sensors to provide greater control and allow more sensitive, finely-tuned temperature control. Ceiling lights and ballasts were also changed for higher 4

5 Advance Justice Mission Stories efficiency units. After an initial outlay of $8844, first year savings attributable to these changes were $2430. These were real savings based on units of energy used compared to 2008, and do not include energy pricing variations. Life Under the Overpass The Social Justice Ministry of Elmhurst Presbyterian Church presented Mike Yankoski in a program focusing on his experience of living Life Under the Overpass. Mike took a semester off from college to voluntarily live as a homeless person. He and a friend chose to do this to better understand the plight of the American homeless population and to observe how the Christian community interacted with this segment of society. They ate from trash cans and in rescue missions, slept under bridges, and panhandled in order to survive. Mike is advocating for a Christ-centered response to our world s great needs. Mike has published two books about his experience: Under the Overpass: A Journey of Faith on the Streets of America and Zealous Love. Mission in Cambodia Itasca First supports Sang ki Lee, a missionary in Cambodia. In a recent report, he told of a program to train university students and leaders of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO s) how to plan and develop business to generate GET 10 Culture Night with Dr. George Kim, Director of GET 10 Program income and help the poor get out of poverty. The program was called GET 10, which means Global Entrepreneurship Training in A team of eight professors along with students from Handong Global University taught 80 Cambodians. Their challenge was to show the students how to change their poverty mind-set and believe they can overcome it. The program was viewed as a success and the leadership of Cambodia want this type of program to continue. Hope for Congo? Weinberg, the church s Mission Director, has worked in the Congo to support women and families, and Tom Sullivan helped create the Congo s Education Excellence Project and has advocated for Congo in Washington. They were part of the panel who presented a DVD at the church about the twelve-year war that has taken 5.4 million lives and caused the rape of over 600,000 women and children. The panel presented hopeful efforts to stop the Congo s war and empower women. Despite the crisis, the Congolese, with U.S. partners, continue to run churches, schools, women s healing, hospitals and clinics, and micro-enterprise programs. The attendees were inspired by learning about a people of great faith and incredible courage who are bringing hope to the Congo. Ecumenical Update At a pre-presbytery event in April, the Ecumenical Millennium Committee provided an update on what is happening locally within the larger body of Christ. The Ecumenical Millennium Committee (EMC), represents eighteen independent Christian denominations and organizations with the Chicago community. This was the first of a series of presentations to inform church members of activities the committee is doing that impact Presbyterian churches and their neighborhoods and to learn what churches are doing with regards to ecumenical relationships. The event was sponsored by the Presbytery s Ecumenical and Inter-religious Work Group. All You Can Eat The Revs. Grayson Van Camp, Dudley Elvery and Edgar Hiestand. Hiestand is the ecumenical officer for the United Methodist No. Illinois Conference. The Senior Highs of Chicago Fourth are grateful to those who supported the annual Pancake Breakfast Fund-raiser recently. Through the generosity of many, the event raised more than $6,500 for the youth s summer work camp trip to Cary, Mississippi. All-you-can eat hotcakes were served by the plateful, and the Rev. John Vest, Associate Pastor for Youth Ministry, prepared seventy-seven omelets Evanston First has been involved in mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo for some time. Caryl 5

6 Develop Congregations News of our churches Transformational Stories The Mission Team of Chicago Second; Pauline Ferguson (seated), Theola Jones, Eugene Leonard, Pastor Coleman Gilchrist, Mike Belletire and Howard Tiffen. Each church that is involved in the Acts 16:5 Initiative has a Mission Team, sometimes called a Vision Team. The team and the pastor(s) attend two seminars provided by the Vital Churches Institute each year. Chicago Presbytery has just completed the second seminar of Year One. Friendship Presbyterian Church was formed one year ago through the consolidation of Norwood Park and St. Andrew congregations on the far northwest side of Chicago. Its mission is to Build Relationships That Transform Lives and Glorify God. The process of consolidation took several years and may not have ever happened had it not been for the significant and long-term assistance of the Chicago Presbytery, including Acts 16:5. Our congregation s main concern with joining Acts 16:5 was that, since it is geared to churches just considering discerning their purpose, we would spend a lot of time going over ground we ve already covered. To our dismay and delight, we ve discovered we re not as far along as we think. And we ve discovered that Acts 16:5 really does give us a lot of ideas and flexibility to go at our own pace and address the issues we need and want to address. We are happy we ve formed a six-member Vision Team that meets once every two weeks. This team gives valuable feedback to our pastor and leads major church projects including implementation of Word/Share/Prayer and designing/implementing a Small Groups initiative consistent with our size (69 total members) and Mission (see above). We also see a great opportunity to improve our communications and relationships with other congregations of our Presbytery in a way that honors our Mission Statement. Embracing and Reaping is the Acts 16:5 Initiative at Tinley Park Faith United. They are committed to their Mission Statement: Know God - Grow In Faith - Serve Others. Vital Churches Institute through the Act 16:5 Initiative seeks to find answers to why churches seem to be declining. They point out that today there is a powerful God-given hunger for fresh vitality among church leaders, congregations needing and wanting to grow - to create new energy and new ministries, and individual Christians seeking to grow. To attain this level of vitality Traditional churches that continually repeat services, programs, and committees year after year are destined to an existence of complacency. For churches to survive or prosper, they need to embrace a path from being traditional to transformational. Faith United as a congregation has embraced this path and is becoming a Transformational Church. The Acts 16:5 Initiative Vision Team traverses this path through a transitional stage looking at what does or does not work. Their goal is to have the whole congregation involved in the integral life of Faith United. Presently, Faith United is actively in the Transitional stage, seeking new ways to fulfill the Great Commission, by serving their congregation and community, while continuing traditions that have always worked. Rare occurrences are becoming commonplace at Faith United. For the first time in many years: Hosting New Members classes for seekers looking for a church home Youth are appearing on Sundays, in worship, as lay readers, and there is now time with children Attendance pads are reporting an increase in weekly attendance of existing members, and guests Wednesday evening Bible Studies (both men and women) have extended sessions An active Men s ministry that is complemented by a dedicated Presbyterian Women s Organization (PWO) Committees replaced by Ministries New Deacons and Elders Their Session and pastor see the enthusiasm of the Vision Team, the commitment to attendance and shared leadership, a wide range of ideas shared, a willingness to be steadfast and dedicated, even when the way forward is not clear, and a love for their church. Their Vision Team seeks awareness and attentiveness to ideas and thoughts of others in the worship of God and in mission, continuation of seeking ways to serve our community and inviting new ways of worship and service, including input from all. Naperville Knox recently launched the Indian Prairie Great Banquet community in the western suburbs. In combined efforts with First Presbyterian Church of DuPage and Wheaton First Presbyterian, they hosted weekend retreats in February (for men) and in March (for women). Each weekend was a tremendous success. The Great Banquet is a short course in Christianity patterned after The Cursillo and The Walk to Emmaus weekends. Banquets are sponsored by a community of churches and are biblically based on Luke 14:16-24 and Luke 10:27. The weekend allows guests a 72 hour opportunity to be still, to listen to talks and each other, to worship, and to hear Christ s plan for this world and our lives. Banquet attendees become part of a growing community of believers who desire to spend dedicated time studying and learning about Christ and supporting one another. Indian Prairie is a new banquet community that grew out of the Greater Chicago Great Banquet that is held at Park Ridge Presbyterian Church. 6

7 Develop Congregations News of our churches Fall weekends for Indian Prairie are scheduled in October for men and women. For more information please visit or Holy Week Labyrinth Walks During Holy Week, the Wheaton First sanctuary was open each day from 9:00am 4:00pm, offering members, friends and the public the opportunity to walk the canvas labyrinth which was placed there. Physically, the labyrinth is a large circle with a single path that winds back and forth, moving alternately toward and away from the center, and ending up in a central circle. On the labyrinth, we are asked to simply follow and yield to the path. As a spiritual metaphor and meditation practice, walking the labyrinth provides an opportunity for inward journey, both figuratively and literally. It can be used for prayer, centering, problem solving, reflection, and/or inspiration. During the week, the church also offered an informational session on the history and use of the labyrinth. Ghanaians Anniversary The Ghanaian Presbyterian Fellowship, worshiping at Chicago Second, held its annual celebration on May 23. It was an opportunity to be part of the Ghanaian culture. Leading the congregation is James Acquaah A Family Affair The worship committee of Orland Park offers a unique experience for families to serve together as ushers during summer worship services. Families of four are being encouraged to participate. The only stipulation is that any children be eight years or older. Your Church is You Celebration at Ghanaian Presbyterian Worshipping Fellowship The preaching in the pulpit is fruitless unless it is reflected in the lives of the congregation. Classroom teaching is ineffective unless it comes to life in the attitude and behavior of people. Your church is measured not so much by what its leaders say as by what you do. You are the means by which the good life advocated by the church is communicated to people. Your church professes a concern for people; you express that concern in the way you act toward others. Your church tries to build up a Christian world; you validate these attempts by your community. Your church claims to have a gospel that will make people new, opening to them a fuller life; you are the demonstration of that claim. Passion for Stewardship The PC(USA) Stewardship Kaleidoscope Conference was held in Indianapolis in March. The Rev. Nancy Jo Dederer and Elder Laurel Hamilton of Homewood First attended. This 48-hour conference was packed with keynote speakers and a selection of twenty-eight workshops. Between the two of them, Nancy and Laurel took in eight of them.. Among their choices were Creating a Spiritual Culture of Generosity in your Church, Stewardship of the Environment, and Asset Based Planning. The hands-on suggestions and resources provided lots of ideas, and the encouragement from speakers like Charles Spencer, (who led a workshop for our Presbytery last year), truly stirred up a passion for the ministry of stewardship as our thankful response to God s abundant grace in our world. This was my third year to attend the Kaleidoscope, said Dederer. In the past three years the conference has doubled in size, a sign of its relevance today. I encourage you to consider attending next year in Phoenix, February 28-March 2. Many of the workshop presentations are available for download. It s free and a great resource provided by committed Presbyterians. Log on to Click on Workshop & Plenary Materials on the sidebar. For more information, contact Dederer at Article submitted by the Rev. Nancy Jo Dederer, Moderator, Stewardship & Financial Development Work Group Mount Prospect Community s February newsletter included the following reminder: You are a walking advertisement of your church and the Christ whom it proclaims. You take the church out of its four walls and make it live in the everyday affairs of life. Some have the idea that the pastor is the church. The pastor is your representative, but certainly not your substitute. 7

8 Empower Ministry Guiding Leaders A Consultant with Ears to Hear The Presbytery has hired an experienced pastor and educator to support the Empower Ministry Mission Priority Leadership Team as a consultant. The Rev. Garnett Foster has come on board to share her extensive teaching and leadership skills and her passion for congregations and their leaders. She is especially committed to working with congregations that have some diversity. She spent fifteen years in parish ministry in multi-cultural congregations. The Rev. Garnett Foster, Consultant for Empower Ministry Garnett s focus is on the educational aspect of ministry. She seeks to help clergy and lay leaders reflect theologically to get more out of their education. She has recently retired from her position at Director of Field Education and Placement at Louisville Seminary, where, in addition to working with 60 students each year, she also trained their supervisors and taught a course, Practical Theology in Congregations, which is now a required course. She serves the national church on the General Assembly s Training Network for Committees on Preparation for Ministry. In addressing her call to the consultant position for Chicago Presbytery, she said she seeks first to listen. She brings ears that are open to exploring fresh discernment of what God is calling the church to be and do in this time of transition in the church and the culture. She will be looking for the holes in the Presbytery s mission commitments the unmet needs and will encourage the Empower Ministry MPLT to actively seek out areas where a covenant with the Presbytery could address those needs. Garnett lists as an example a gathering of small churches to seek ways to collaborate in areas such as leadership development, vacation Bible school and mission outreach programs. Garnett seeks to work with Christians who understand that God loves the world and calls the church to love and serve that world, and who are willing to get their hands dirty in involvement with persons and issues that are sometimes painful and conflicted. Her commitment to congregations and the training of their leadership has brought her to Chicago Presbytery. The Presbytery is blessed to have her passion and her experience supporting the work of Empower(ing) Ministry. Empower Ministry Covenants The Empower Ministry Mission Priority Leadership Team (MPLT) has validated twelve covenants for Five of them are Multi-team covenants, which means support is shared by all three MPLTs. The covenants represent the mission directions of the Empower Ministry MPLT, which are to: deepen faith through biblical literacy and education programs; encourage collaboration between clergy and lay leadership; provide training about our identity and polity as Presbyterians; encourage the spiritual growth and ministry skills of clergy and lay leadership so that children, youth and adults may in turn be led to spiritual growth. The covenants are: Caregiver Support and Education; Clergy Retreat; Hispanic Bible Connection; Hope First/Hope Chicago; L.E.A.D.; Youth Ministry; Mission Council #8. The five Multi-team covenants are: African American Congregational Transformation; Congregations in Solidarity in Latin America; Dakota Partnership; Hispanic Ministries in Chicago Presbytery; and Multicultural Church. True North Report The True North Response Team offered a new training format in May at Winnetka Presbyterian Church. A second event will be held in October. Both events are recommended for those who have already taken the basic training. The basic training helps a person to understand the basic dynamics of ministerial misconduct and the devastating results for individual victims and congregations. The training offered in May looked at the complexities of misconduct prevention, pastoral awareness of self in relationship to others, and self care. The training scheduled for October will look at congregational dynamics following misconduct. The Response Team is recommending a new Bible Study. The Baylor University School of Social work has developed a study to be used in congregations titled Power and the Christian. It is a five lesson study with the following titles for each study unit: Putting Little Ones First; Esther: Orphan Girl to Queen; Eli and Samuel; David and Bathsheba; and When Our Use of Power Pleases God. The study includes YouTube video examples and interesting reflection questions, and helps participants to understand both positive and negative uses of power, as well as the power dynamic in sexual misconduct. The study is available through the Baylor website: clergymisconduct. 8

9 Presbytery News Challenge and Commitment The Presbytery of Chicago met at Chicago Pullman for the April Assembly meeting. During the pre-presbytery period, commissioners heard from members of the Ecumenical Millennium Committee who shared the ways individual congregations can relate to their work. In a second pre- Presbytery event, the Presbytery Reformation Task Force updated information about the proposed sale of the Presbyterian Camps to Lakeshore Christian Camping. Worship rocked the house, reminding us that God s promise in baptism gives us the courage and compassion to meet the needs of the world. The Rev. Victoria Curtiss was the preacher. In the Assembly meeting, the Presbytery Council and the Presbytery Reformation Task Force (PRTF) presented a letter of intent, outlining the major points of a proposed sale of Presbyterian Camps to Lakeshore Christian Camping. Those points include a cash payment, prior to August 31, of $8.6 million. Also, in the future, once the property is debt free, LCC might apply to protect the camps property with a conservation easement. If so, the Presbytery will receive the greater of a) $1.4 million, or b) one half of all conservancy fees for the camps. A conservation easement will both generate additional funds to support the camps and the Presbytery, and will also protect the camps from development, in perpetuity. The assembly voted to allow the Presbytery Council, acting as the corporate title holder of the camps, to approve and execute a final sales contract with LCC. The Board members of LCC are Chicago Presbyterians, most of whom have served on the Presbytery s camping oversight committee, and who are dedicated to the continued ministry of the camps. Commissioners held hands and reminded themselves of their connections in the resurrected Christ, in the Presbyterian Church, and in mission to serve the world. Churches were thanked for their generous pledges and donations so far towards shared mission giving. With regard to the work of the PRTF, Executive Presbyter, Bob Reynolds, reminded the Assembly of the Presbytery s commitment to moving Christ s word forward even as we face the realities of raising the money to pay off the debt. He also celebrated the 21 churches participating in the Acts 16:5 initiative, Presbytery s continuing support for the rebuilding work in New Orleans and the ongoing partnership with Matanzas Seminary in Cuba. He introduced the Rev. Garnett Foster, who has been hired as Consultant to the Empower Ministry Mission Priority Leadership Team. The Assembly celebrated the accomplishments of Ms. Bonita Gilchrist, Operations Manager and an Executive Assistant on the Presbytery staff. Bonita has been certified by the PCUSA Administrative Personnel Association. In honor of her achievements, the assembly voted to give Bonita voice at all future Assembly meetings while she is on staff. The assembly debated and approved four overtures that will now be sent to the 219 th General Assembly, meeting this summer in Minneapolis. The overtures are: 1. On seeking compliance to US government policy in the use of military aid by all parties in the Middle East; 2. To re-establish an Office of Collegiate Ministries in the PCUSA and develop a plan for funding that office; 3. To receive the recommendations of the Form of Government Task Force (which has proposed a complete revision of the Form of Government, the first part of our Book of Order) and to dismiss the task force with gratitude; and 4. To call upon the US government to suspend the use of certain military bases in Colombia and to work towards peace in that country. The End Hunger and Homelessness Mission Team reported that there are over 21,000 homeless people in Chicago and that over 700,000 persons need food assistance in Cook County. Our connections as a worshipping, mission-loving community in Chicago give us hope that someday the whole world will know the peace that passes understanding. The churches participating in the Acts 16:5 program reported on exciting new outreach programs they are sponsoring. The business before the Assembly was challenging. The Assembly rose to the challenge with commitment, passion and a zeal for mission. Transitions COMMITTEE ON PREPARATION FOR MINISTRY Enrolled as a Candidate Mr. Nathan Jeremie-Brink, member at Chicago Pullman Certified Ready to Receive a Call Ms. Sarah Iliff Ms. Polly Toner Ms. Courtney Ellis COMMITTEE ON MINISTRY New to Presbytery: Le Anne Clausen de Montes, from North Central Iowa, serving as copastor at St. John s UCC in Waukegan Change in Presbytery Benjamin Bishop, from member at large to interim pastor at St. Pauls UCC in Chicago Laura Taylor de Palomino, from designated pastor at Hanover Park Christ to member at large Anne Fisher, from member at large to interim associate pastor at Deerfield Garnett Foster, to Consultant for Empower Ministry Wendy Mathewson, associate chaplain at Northwestern University Charles Matz, restored to active status, member at large Richard Smith, stated supply/ moderator at North Riverside Christ Inactive Status Bob Anderle, while he serves in the military Laboring in Bounds Autumn Butler-Saeger, at Great Lakes Naval Station (from Middle Tennessee) 9

10 Presbytery Headline News User s Guide to MOO In February, the Presbytery assembly approved a significant revision of the Presbytery of Chicago s Manual of Operations, known affectionately as the MOO. The Book of Order requires every Presbytery to have such a manual, laying out the basic organization and functioning of the Presbytery. (G ) Following is a brief summary of Chicago Presbytery s MOO, for those not familiar with the Presbytery s structure and function. First: there are committees established by the Book of Order. These include the Committee on Ministry, the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, the Committee on Representation, the Committee on Nominations, and the Presbytery Council. Second: Our Presbytery additionally has three Mission Priority Leadership Teams (MPLT); Advance Justice, Develop Congregations, and Empower Ministry. Each MPLT creates and empowers mission teams to assist congregations and outside groups to work together on significant areas of interest. Some mission teams, such as the Mid-East Task Force, have lasted for generations. Others assemble to promote one project, fulfill their goals, and disappear. The breadth of peoples interest and enthusiasm in mission is demonstrated by the breadth of our mission teams. Many of these are represented in the Mission Fair which is held at the October Presbytery Assembly meeting. Third: The Presbytery operates through work groups and task forces of the Presbytery Council. Work groups tend to ongoing tasks, such as supporting the staff and operations of the Presbytery offices, representing the Presbytery in its ecumenical activities or assisting churches with real estate issues. Task forces address time-limited projects, such as the Presbytery Reformation Task Force s work to help retire our debt. Fourth: The Presbytery conducts its secular business through its three corporations, two of which, the Church Extension Board and the Presbyterian Camps, Inc., are currently active. In addition to setting the basic operating structure of the presbytery, the MOO includes certain basic operating principles. For example, has become an increasingly popular way for committees to make simple decisions, such as setting dates. Our MOO includes the basic parameters on how we use and record votes. We also authorize ourselves to use discernment procedures in addition to those provided by Robert s Rules. The February amendments to the MOO included two significant matters. First, the role of corporate trustee was passed on to the Presbytery Council. In the previous version of the MOO, the corporate boards were made up of nine people, five of whom served on council. The other four did not serve on council. The second significant change involves the adoption of a conflict of interest policy for the Presbytery. Conflict of interest analysis, recognizing that people live complex, multifaceted lives, addresses the POTENTIAL for a person s overlapping interests and roles to affect his or her judgment. Our new policy requires Presbytery staff and volunteers to disclose potential conflicts of interests and to refrain from participating in discussion or voting on matters where a conflict may exist. A copy of the Presbytery s MOO is available on the website: Like all constitutions and bylaws, our MOO is a living document, changing as the Presbytery changes, in order to best serve God s mission. United Against Video Gambling The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago has issued a statement opposing the expansion of video gambling in the city of Chicago. The statement, originally written in 1993, states the opinion that gambling is regressive in its economic effect, morally repugnant to many, and is demonstrably harmful to a growing number of individuals and families. The Council reaffirmed the statement in February 2010, saying that the continued spread of gambling is poor public policy and an inadequate response to the needs of the community. They pointed out that there is already a vast assortment of gaming opportunities and the proposal to add video gambling is ill advised and detrimental to the well being of Chicago s citizens. The Council requests that any consideration of this expansion of gambling (an amendment to Chapter of the Municipal Code) be open to public hearings and that provision be made for public testimony to allow for those in opposition to be heard. The Council of Religious Leaders of Metropolitan Chicago is composed of chief leaders of the Greater Chicago faith communities, embracing a broad diversity of theological and religious traditions. The Council seeks to act with a unified voice on social issues affecting the people of Chicago land. The Co-Executive Directors are the Revs. Paul Rutgers and Stan Davis. The Council s website is 10

11 Questioning the Answer In March, seventy-one youth and adults from six churches met at the Presbyterian Camps in Saugatuck for the annual Confirmation Retreat offered by the Presbytery s Youth Ministry Team. The theme for the retreat was Questioning the Answer: What does it mean to say Jesus is your Lord and Savior? and was led by Rev. John Vest from Chicago Fourth. Music was led by Rev. Erik Dailey from A lot of laughter and a lot of hot chocolate Lake Forest First. Over the weekend, some very thoughtful questions were asked (and answered) in preparation for the time when sessions ask the confirmands to reaffirm the vows taken at baptism. Besides the time in learning, the group had good weather (for March in Michigan!) which allowed outdoor time to enjoy Mt. Baldy and around camp. And, of course, the weather is always right for endless hot chocolate! The weekend closed with worship and affirmations of faith, amid the questions. We give thanks again for another successful retreat, for the keynote and musical leadership that made it possible, for the youth leaders, and, of course, for the youth who came and for whom we do this, says Nicole Farley, member of Youth Ministry Team. Article submitted by Nicole Farley, Director of Youth Ministries, Winnetka Resource for Caregivers of Older Adults Evanston-based Presbyterian Homes has launched a new online resource for caregivers of older adults. This may be an adult child who is caring for a parent, or another adult who is caring for a spouse or relative. The online site is intended to give caregivers a better understanding of the care services that are available so they can choose the right kind of support for their family member. Information at helps caregivers learn how to determine if a family member needs help, and the different types of senior living and community services available. Financial concerns are also addressed, including assisted living costs, financial resources such as Medicare/Medicaid, long-term care insurance and veteran s benefits. An easy-to-use online form is provided so that users can ask questions directly of the Senior Care Answer Team. Inquiries are responded to by the end of the next business day, Monday through Friday. Throughout our years of experience, we ve learned that every family s situation is very individual, and most feel they are in uncharted territory. The array of terms, choices and financial considerations is overwhelming, says Lisa Vandermark, director of memory care at Westminster Place of Presbyterian Homes. We wanted to provide a comprehensive site with answers to questions most often asked and a way for them to ask questions specific to their individual circumstances. This site can meet those needs. We welcome questions from anyone - not just those considering a move to a Presbyterian Homes community, advises Lydia Torrese, geriatric nurse practitioner at Presbyterian Homes and Senior Care Answer Team member. The information and answers we provide are not specific to our organization. This site is an effort to continue our mission of serving older adults wherever they may live. There is additional information at the site in printable resources that include tips, checklists and other related website links. Senior Care Answer Team members include Presbyterian Homes health care professionals Dr. Peter Jaggard, vice president of medical affairs, Bob Landsman, vice president of finance; Melinda Pierce, director of rehabilitation services; Lydia Torrese, geriatric nurse practitioner; Lisa Vandermark, social services and director of memory care; and Kathi Young, health care administrator. Article submitted by Carolyn Staven, Public and Community relations Manager, Presbyterian Homes. Educational Innovation at McCormick After a nine-month visioning process, McCormick Theological Seminary is implementing a multi-year plan to strengthen and expand on its model of theological education as Reformed, urban, ecumenical and cross-cultural. The educational innovation is designed to lay the groundwork for long-term financial stability and to anticipate the leadership needs of the global church. At its recent meeting, the Board of Trustees approved several proposals, including: Increased enrollment in the Doctor of Ministry Program, Further development of specialized leadership certificate programs, Expansion of continuing education through congregational partnerships, Building of the faculty s aptitude for teaching in multicultural classrooms, Introduction of online and hybrid courses into the curriculum, and Fundraising for special projects. Also at the recent Board meeting, the Rev. Cynthia Campbell announced her intention to retire as President of the Seminary at the end of

12 Resources How Do I Get the Presbytery to Help Publicize My Church s Event? The Presbytery of Chicago has four main ways of communicating with our churches besides the Presbytery Assembly meetings. Churches, Mission Teams, and Presbytery entities are all welcome to ask for help spreading the word about coming events. The most well-known communications piece we have is Our Common Ministry, the Presbytery Newsletter. It is published five times a year. If a group wants to report about something they have done, this is an ideal medium. Because of the long lead time for printing this publication, it is not generally used for announcing events. For submission deadlines for Our Common Ministry, please look at the bottom of page two of this publication. The Presbytery uses the internet to let people know about things quickly (things that will happen in the next two to four months) by posting announcements on the Presbytery homepage (http://www.chicagopresbytery.org), by posting them on our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/ Presbtyery.of.Chicago), and by sending out announcements to our subscribers using an tool called Constant Contact. Web Site To post an announcement on the web site, churches can send an to Adele Hensley Please include a description of the event, or a copy of the flyer or announcement, a contact and telephone number, the date of the event, the location, and the name of the sponsoring congregation. Flyers for the web site can be in these file formats:.pdf,.jpg,.doc, and.pub. For announcements or to make changes to their particular web pages, Presbytery mission teams, leadership teams and entities should contact their moderator or the staff person with whom they work. The moderator or staff person can submit the request to Adele Hensley. Facebook Anyone can post an event directly onto the wall of the Presbytery s Facebook page. To be allowed to post, a person needs to have a Facebook account. He or she can then click on the like button at the top of the Presbytery of Chicago page. Posts will appear on the page and Facebook will show each entry in the live feed of everyone who has said they like our page. Constant Contact s If a church or a group has an announcement that they want to to the churches of the presbytery, ministers of the presbytery, a particular special interest group, or general interest subscribers, this is the tool to use. Churches should contact Adele Hensley ( ext, 1314, or Other groups should begin by contacting the staff person with whom they work. s need to include a description of the event, a contact name, address, telephone number, date, location, and the name of the sponsoring church or presbytery entity. Art work can be included in these s but.pdf files cannot. Please send flyers, announcements, or pictures in these file formats:.jpg,.doc, or.pub. To emphasize the current and relevant nature of these announcements, Adele tries to send only one or two a day, and usually sends them one to three weeks preceding the event. This means there may be lag time between when a group submits an announcement and when it is actually sent. To subscribe to the Presbytery s Constant Contact ings: Visit the homepage (www.chicagopresbytery.org), scroll down to the lower part of the right side menu, select the link that says subscribe to the POC list, and follow the directions. If you have questions about any of these internet communication tools, or about how to subscribe to Constant Contact, use Facebook, or the Presbytery web site, please call or Adele. Notices FOR THE ASKING: Seven white choir robes. Elmhurst Yorkfield. Contact Beth Freese Dammers, (630) x13 or Coming Events 2010 June 8, pre-presbytery, Mission Insite, demographic resources June 8, Presbytery Assembly meeting, 4 pm, Deerfield First July 3-10, 219 th General Assembly, Minneapolis, MN July 23-Aug. 2, CSLA delegation to Colombia Oct. 12, Presbytery Assembly meeting, 4 pm, River Forest First Dec. 14, Presbytery Assembly meeting, 1 pm, Christ Church, Oak Brook For more information on these events, call (312) unless otherwise noted. 12

13 Compartiendo Nuestro Ministerio Presbytery of Chicago Volume 26 Number 3 Voz Del Presbiterio en la Asamblea General El Presbiterio de Chicago está enviando siete oberturas a la 219 na Asamblea General para su examen. La Asamblea General se reúne en Minneapolis, en julio del Oberturas son el medio por el cual Presbiterios y Consistorios de las iglesias pueden presentar un problema ante el organismo gobernante nacional. Son una manera de tener una voz en cuerpo mayor de la denominación. Oberturas son asignadas a comités apropiados en la Asamblea, que estudian el problema y formulan una recomendación a toda la Asamblea para acción. Nuestro propio moderador de Presbiterio, Rdo. Cliff Lyda, ha sido nombrado moderador del Comité de Asuntos de Administración de Cuerpo Intermedios, y nuestra Secretaria Permanente, Rda. Barbara Bundick ha sido nombrada Parlamentaria/Inscriptora al Comité Coordinador de Misión. Cada uno de nuestros Comisionados también ha resibido asignaciones a comités. La voz del Presbiterio de Chicago se escuchará por medio de las siguientes proposiciones: Solicitar el cumplimiento de política del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos en el uso de ayuda militar por todas las partes en Oriente Medio. Llamado a que fidelidad y castidad en G b en el Libro de Orden sea reemplazado con nuevo lenguaje afirmando votos de ordenación. Solicitar una interpretación autorizada para que iglesias y clero puedan proporcionar cuidado pastoral en los Estados que reconocen el matrimonio homosexual. Restablecer una Oficina de Ministerios Colegiales en la IP(EUA) y desarrollar un plan para la financiación de dicha Oficina. Recibir las recomendaciones del Grupo de Trabajo de Forma degobiernoydespedirelgrupodetrabajocon gratitud. Logo for the 219th General Assembly: De su interior brotarán ríos de agua viva. Juan 7:38 Llamar al Gobierno a suspender el uso de ciertas bases militares en Colombia y trabajar hacia la paz en ese país. Alentar a la celebración del 100 mo aniversario del primer pronunciamiento de la PC(USA) en asuntos de justicia social. Los asuntos más probables en generar más interés y discusión son los relativos al Oriente Medio y los relacionados con las normas de ordenación. Un Comité de Estudio que ha estado trabajando durante dos años sobre la situación en el Oriente Medio está trayendo a la Asamblea un informe completo con recomendaciones para acciones por la Iglesia Presbiteriana y el Gobierno de Estados Unidos. El informe completo puede descargarse desde el sitio Web IP(EUA): Seleccionar PC- BIZ, examinar el sitio y busque Middle East. Para obtener información de las normas de ordenación, busque Ordination. El Rdo. Gradye Parsons, Secretario Permanente de la Asamblea General, ha publicado sus mayores esperanzas para la 219 na Asamblea General. Son: toma de decisiones en oración; conciencia más profunda de toda la IP(EUA); discernimiento de los problemas y retos de congregaciones; un llamamiento común a una iglesia en cambio; atención más allá de nosotros mismos a un mundo en gran necesidad; un compartimiento entusiasta de la fe; y una promoción de la misión de Cristo en el mundo. El Presbiterio de Chicago está enviando diez comisionados a la Asamblea General: cinco clero y cinco líderes laicos, además de un delegado asesor de juventud. Además, hemos elegido a dos suplentes en caso de que cualquiera de los comisionados sea incapaz de servir. Clero comisionados son:rdo/as. Christine Chakoian, Cliff Lyda, Nanette Sawyer, John Vest y Michael Winters. Lo/as alterno/as son Coleman Gilchrist y Laura Taylor de Palomino. Comisionados laicos son Sonia Bodi, Phyllis Green, Mat Hacker, Nick Shargo y Michael Welf. Grace Strome es Delegada Asesora de Juventud. Oremos por ello/as ya que también representan la voz del Presbiterio de Chicago en la 219 na Asamblea General. 13

14 Compartiendo Nuestro Ministerio Autobus y libros para la Habana Cuando la gente evoca imágenes de Cuba, a menudo ven imágenes de los coloridos automóbiles americandos de los años 50s que todavía se mueven debido a la sorprendente inventiva sus dueños. En realidad, la mayoría de los cubano/as no tienen coches. Caminan por millas, esperan por asientos disponibles en autobuses públicos y buscan enganche para paseos a lo largo de caminos polvorientos. Iglesias en el Presbiterio de la Habana, un socio del Presbiterio de Chicago, deben alquilar autobuses para llevar gente a reuniones en ciudades lejanas y a lo/as niño/as para Autobus en Cuba de Pastores por la Paz campamentos de verano en el centro de Cuba. Grupos de visitantes de Chicago también los utilizan para moverse alrededor de la Habana. Estos buses no siempre son confiables, pero siempre son caros. El Presbiterio de Chicago apoya la iniciativa autobús y libros para la Habana, Cuba. El Presbiterio de la Habana pronto tomará posesión de su propio autobus, gracias a la generosidad de organizaciones presbiterianas de E.U.A., incluyendo el Presbiterio de Chicago. Es más, el autobus se llenará con casi una tonelada de libros para la biblioteca del Seminario Evangélico Teológico de Matanzas, fuente de la mayor cantidad de pastores/as presbiterianos y maestro/as de escuela dominical en el Presbiterio de la Habana. Los libros fueron donados por la Asociación de Ministros Jubilados, esposo/as y sobrevivientes. El Equipo de Prioridad de Misión Asociación con Cuba del Presbiterio de Chicago contribuyó $1,000 a los más de $13,000 necesarios para la iniciativa autobús y libros. El autobus es transportado a Cuba a través de Pastores por la Paz, una organización ecuménica dedicada a ayudar a las iglesias en países del tercer mundo. Una de las iniciativas de alto perfil del grupo es sus Caravanas de Amistad con autobuses escolares de reacondicionados. Después de ser decorada adecuadamente con trabajos de únicos de pintura llamativa por niños de escuela de Biblia de vacaciones locales incluyendo frases como Dios Es Amor y Pura amistad el autobus de la Habana dejará su casa en Santa Fe, NM, el 15 de julio. Será manejado hasta el puerto de Tampico, México y viajará por barco a Cuba donde le esperan sus nuevos propietarios. Abel Mirabal, pastor en Guanabacoa y moderador del Presbiterio de la Habana, ha expresado su profunda gratitud a todos los que han contribuido a este proyecto. Desafío y compromiso El Presbiterio de Chicago se reunió en Pullman Chicago para la reunión de la Asamblea de abril. Durante el período prepresbiterio, comisionados escucharon de los miembros del Comité Ecuménico de Milenio que compartío las formas en que congregaciones individuales pueden relacionarse a su trabajo. En un segundo evento pre-presbiterio, el Grupo de Trabajo de Reforma de Presbiterio actualizó información sobre la propuesta de venta de Campamentos Presbiterianos a Lakeshore Christian Camping. El culto sacudió la casa, recordándonos que la promesa de Dios en bautismo nos da el valor y la compasión para satisfacer las necesidades del mundo. La Rda. Victoria Curtiss predicó. En la reunión de la Asamblea, el Concilio de Presbiterio y el Grupo de Trabajo de Reforma de Presbiterio (PRTF) presentó una carta de intención, bosquejando los puntos más importantes de una propuesta venta de Campamentos Presbiterianos a Lakeshore Christian Camping. Esos puntos incluyen un pago en efectivo, hasta el 31 de agosto, de $8.6 millones. También, en el futuro, una vez la propiedad esté libre de deuda, LCC podría solicitar proteger la propiedad de campamentos con una servidumbre de conservación. De ser así, el presbiterio recibirá lo mayor de: a) $1.4 millones, o b) una mitad de todos los cuota de conservación de los campamentos. Una servidumbre de conservación generará fondos adicionales para apoyar los campamentos y el presbiterio y también protegerá a los campamentos de desarrollo, en perpetuidad. La Asamblea votó para permitir que el Concilio del Presbiterio, como titular corporativo de los campamentos, apruebe y ejecute un contrato de venta final con LCC. Los miembros del Consejo de LCC son presbiterianos de Chicago, la mayoría de los cuales han servido en el comité de cuidado de campamentos Presbiterianos y están dedicados al ministerio continuo de los campamentos. Lo/as comisionado/as unierons sus manos y recordaron sus conexiones en el Cristo resucitado, en la Iglesia Presbiteriana y en la misión de servir al mundo. Iglesias fueron agradecidas por sus promesas de contribuciones generosas y donaciones hasta el momento hacia la misión compartida. Con respecto a la labor de PRTF, el Presbítero Ejecutivo, Bob Reynolds, recordó a la Asamblea el compromiso del presbiterio de mover la palabra de Cristo adelante, aun cuando nos enfrentamos a la realidad de recaudar el dinero para pagar la deuda. También celebró las 21 iglesias participando en la iniciativa Hechos 16:5, continuo apoyo del presbiterio para el trabajo de reconstrucción en Nueva Orleans y la continua asociación con el Seminario de Matanzas en Cuba. Introdujo al Rdo. Garnett Foster, que ha sido contratado como consultor en el Grupo de Trabajo de Misión Ministerio de Poder. La Asamblea celebró los logros de la Sra. Bonita Gilchrist, 14

15 Compartiendo Nuestro Ministerio Gerente de Operaciones y Asistente Ejecutiva en el personal del presbiterio. Bonita ha sido certificada por la Asociación de Personal Administrativo de IPEUA. En honor de sus logros, la Asamblea votó a favor darle a Bonita voz en futuras reuniones de la Asamblea, mientras ella está en el personal. La Asamblea debatió y aprobó cuatro oberturas, que ahora será enviadas a la 219 na Asamblea General, que se reunirá este verano en Minneapolis. Los oberturas son: En la búsqueda de cumplimiento de normas a la política del Gobierno de los Estados Unidos en el uso de la ayuda militar por todas las partes en el Oriente Medio; Para restablecer una Oficina de Ministerios Colegiales en la IPEUA y desarrollar un plan para la financiación de dicha Oficina; Para recibir las recomendaciones del Grupo de Trabajo Forma de Gobierno (que ha propuesto una revisión completa de la Forma de Gobierno, la primera parte de nuestro Libro de Orden) y despedir al grupo de trabajo con gratitud; y Hacer un llamamiento al gobierno de Estados Unidos a suspender el uso de ciertas bases militares en Colombia y trabajar por la paz en ese país. El Grupo de Misión Fin al Hambre y Deambulantes, informó que hay más de 21,000 personas sin hogar en Chicago y más de 700,000 personas necesitan asistencia alimenticic en el condado de Cook. Nuestras conexiones como una comunidad de culto, amante de la misión en Chicago nos dan la esperanza de que algún día todo el mundo sabrá la paz que pasa todo entendimiento. Las iglesias participantes en el programa Hechos 16:5 informaron sobre emocionantes nuevos programas de divulgación que están patrocinando. Los negocios ante la Asamblea fueron desafiantes. La Asamblea se elevó al desafío con compromiso, pasión y un celo por la misión. Bolígrafo del Presbítero Desafíos de una fe viviente POR ROBERT C. REYNOLDS, PRESBÍTERO EJECUTIVO Así, pues, cualquiera de vosotros que no renuncie a todo lo que posee, no puede ser mi discípulo. Lucas 14:33 Como estudiante de último año en la universidad estudié los escritos de Soren Kierkegaard, filósofo cristiano danés del siglo XIX. Personalmente, Kierkegaard era extraño, solitario, pero su crítica radical del cristianismo en su Robert C. Reynolds contexto era provocativo. Paul Holmer, un erudito de Kierkegaard de Yale, fue profesor visitante en el Colegio Macalester ese año y yo me empapé de su potente tutela. Una reciente publicación sobre Kierkegaard refleja su continua pertinencia para nosotros como cristianos prósperos del siglo XXI. En Introducción a Kierkegaard, autor Peter Vardy describe la posición de Kierkegaard sobre los desafíos de una fe viviente. Él escribe, fe se muestra en cómo uno vive su vida quienes tienen fe que confían su vida a Dios, para quien Dios es el centro de todo lo que hacen y piensan... Por lo tanto, se puede encontrar fe en las personas simples, cuyas vidas completas descansan en Dios. Sabrán que son pecadores y fallan, pero aceptan que Dios les ama no porque no sean buenos o virtuosos. Dios les ama como son verrugas y todo. Esto es lo más difícil de entender para el individuo fuerte e independiente, pero es lo que fe envuelve. Cualquier otra cosa es un ejercicio de autoengaño. (p. 64) (Traducción libre) Los cristianos creen que Dios les ama incondicionalmente. Indicaciones abrumadoras de lo contrario desastres, guerra y sufrimiento generalizado creen ser amados, y confían toda su vida a Dios! Por lo menos, según Kierkegaard, es cómo se supone que sea. Parece que a cristianos en problemas les resulta más fácil confiar su vida a Dios que aquellos que prosperan. A personas enfrentando grave enfermedad, discapacidad, discriminación, abuso, desempleo y muerte de personas les resulta más fácil que aquellos que son saludables y prósperos. Si uno está en buen estado de salud y tiene muchas posesiones, es más difícil confiar todo a Dios que pide toda nuestra vida. A nivel mundial, empobrecidos palestinos cristianos, amerindios, haitianos, kenianos, cubanos y mexicanos pobres confían su vida entera a Dios más fácilmente que los ciudadanos relativamente ricos de las naciones más poderosas. Francamente, parece que tenemos más que perder que ellos, por lo que dudamos en confiar en Dios. Creemos que el amor de Dios es dado libremente, no merecido, de manera tal que Dios nos ama verrugas y todo. Supongo que la parte de las verrugas y todo incluye resistencia a confiar toda nuestra vida a Dios por miedo de perder un agarre tenue en poder y prosperidad. Dios ama a personas en todas las circunstancias de la vida, incluyendo a los ricos y poderosos. Pero los que pueden confiar toda la vida en fe son más felices y más espiritualmente llenos independientemente de sus circunstancias personales. Esto es verdadero de comunidades enteras, como las iglesias presbiterianas y cuerpos gobernantes, como lo es de individuos. Dios nos ama verrugas y todo. Espero que el Presbiterio de Chicago, con su tradición de ser un cuerpo gobernante fuerte e independiente, pueda redescubrir las riquezas de confiar nuestra vida entera a Dios en las próximas semanas mientras resolvemos nuestro reto financiero extraordinario. Mostremos nuestra fe en cómo vivimos! 15

16 Vision Statement Chicago Presbytery A Beacon of Hope, guiding Leaders, Congregations and Communities. Presbytery of Chicago 100 South Morgan Street Chicago, IL Ready for You Jesus replied: A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, Come, for everything is now ready. Luke 14:16-17 Thanks to a group of hard-working volunteers, Presbyterian Camps is now ready! These volunteers showed their true servant-hearts on Memorial Day weekend as they picked up tools and cleaning supplies to get camp ready for the busy and exciting summer ahead. With the camp site ready for summer, the focus is on the final preparations for the summer program through our two week staff training. The talented and enthusiastic group of summer staff has arrived at camp and staff training is in full swing. Counselors, Teams Leaders, Lifeguards, Kitchen staff and other program staff all play vital roles in making the summer program run smoothly. Despite the many different roles each plays in the summer, the staff is coming together as a cohesive team and is excited for campers and guests to fill the cabins and enjoy fun and fellowship on the beach, in canoes, at campfires and through the many fun activities camp has to offer. A major focus for the staff these two weeks will be to continue developing the summer Bible Study curriculum, Be A Hero, Living Like Jesus. This curriculum will be used in all of the youth programs in Camp Kema, Camp Gray, Westminster Woods and Day Camp. Campers will hear about Heroes in the Bible as well as contemporary heroes, including many stories about kids their age who have made a difference. The staff is excited about the study and hope that the youth campers will learn how God works in their lives and how they can make a difference and Be a Hero! If you haven t signed yourself, your family or your children up Outdoor worship space at Presbyterian Camps for camp yet, there are still some spots open, but act quickly! Call Susan at the camp office (269) to check availability for our summer camp programs. Another way to participate is by volunteering your time. People interested in helping directly with the camp program or by helping with many of the behind the scenes work that goes into making the summer program possible are always welcome. If you would like to be a part of the ministry at camp Brad at to learn more about the opportunities available. We are so thankful to God for the ministry available at Presbyterian Camps and hope that you will take advantage of it this summer, say Brad Fries and Emily Karstens. We ask for your prayers as we embark on what we hope will be a spiritually rejuvenating, Christ-filled and fun summer at camp. Article submitted by Brad Fries, Acting Executive Director and Emily Karstens, Assistant Camp Director for Summer Programming.

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