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Mid Council Relations

Mid Councils Newsletter | March 21, 2016

 

fourth edition, sixth issue

Musings from the Road
Leadership Changes
Job Opening
Respite Retreat: Deadline for Registering Approaching


musings from the road

If you have read any of these little musings from the road, you know that I am a gardener. Specifically, I am a Zone 4 gardener in the Midwest (who sometimes can plant something for Zone 5 in a sheltered place and have it flourish). If you don’t know what that means, imagine being a person at your first General Assembly or your first presbytery or synod meeting. Most of what we do probably sounds like code! There are zones used by those who sell plants and seeds to help gardeners know whether something can grow where they live and whether it can be left outside over the winter. I was recently at the offices of the Synod of the Sun and the Presbytery of Grace in Texas and saw huge rosemary plants growing outside. I plant rosemary where I live, but it is an annual, not a perennial. That means I need to replant it every year.

tulips, gardenBeing in Zone 4 means a few things. First, it means that there are few gardening tasks to do in December and January and often not many in February. Everything is dormant and often there is too much snow to get to the flower beds anyway. It means that I first start to uncover the beds sometime in February and often find layers of ice between the maple and oak leaves that I am raking up. It means that I do not plant anything that cannot stand the frost until Mother’s Day weekend—unless I plant them in pots that I can bring inside or easily cover. It can be gloriously warm in April and I may be tempted to plant Impatiens in the ground, but I know that I might just end up having to replant them when that last cold blast comes early in May. Zone 4 means that the garden is at its peak in mid-June—that is when garden societies have their garden walks here. After that, it is often a battle with the heat and the bugs, and also the lack of rain to keep things looking nice.

So this time of year, I get excited about being able to be back at work in the yard. I also dread it a little. The early work is some of the heaviest gardening all year. Raking up the leaves, trimming back bushes, carrying out the flowerpots, trying to enlist a little help in cleaning out the potting shed—I look forward to it and also know what hard work it will be.

Perhaps Lent is a little like that for all of us as well. We know of what we will be reminded during Holy Week. There is no suspense about what will happen when we recall the Last Supper and Good Friday and then walk into a sea of Easter lilies in the sanctuary on Easter morning. We celebrate the great good news that God chose to engage with us through Jesus Christ in such a way that we can never doubt God’s love and care for us again. It is good news to be celebrated and good news that has changed our lives. It brings us joy and peace.

But there may be just a little dread as we work our way through Lent to Easter morning as well. When we give ourselves over to the fullness of the gospel message once again, we are reminded that there is hard work ahead. We are not saved so that we can just celebrate our own salvation. We are not blessed in order to keep it to ourselves. “All this is from God, who reconciled us to [Godself] through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. ... So we are ambassadors for Christ ...” (2 Cor. 5:18–20). 

—Sue Krummel

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Leadership Changes

Here is a list of new clerks and EPs/GPs (or the near equivalent; identified as EP here since there are so many different titles) since September 2015.

Abingdon Clerk Bill Parrish
Arkansas EP  Stewart Smith
Boise Clerk Richard Green
Boise EP Daryl Wilson
Charleston-Atlantic Clerk Donnie Woods (he continues as EP)
Cherokee Clerk and EP  Nichole MacMillian
Des Moines Clerk David Hamilton
Donegal Clerk Michael Wilson
Geneva EP Bronwen Boswell
Great Rivers Clerk Elissa Bailey
Great Rivers EP Stephen McKinney-Whitaker
Hudson River EP Gavin Meek
Kendall Clerk Pam Mayes
Lackawanna Clerk Margaret Zeigler
Lake Huron EP Dan Saperstein
Mackinac EP Ewen Holmes
Miami Valley Clerk Larry Hollar
Mid Kentucky Clerk Jerry Van Marter
Mid Kentucky EP John Odom
Midwest Hanmi EP Samyoung Kim
Missouri Union EP Deborah Boucher-Payne
Muskingum Valley Clerk Wayne Yost
Nevada EP Hilda Pecoraro
New Brunswick EP John Williams
Newton Clerk Jeanne Radak
Northern Kansas Clerk Robert Frasier
Prospect Hill Clerk Dennis Sohl
Redstone Clerk Skip Noftzger; he continues as EP
Sacramento EP Robert Hawkins
San Diego EP Michael Mudgett
San Joaquin Clerk and EP Les Hyder
South Alabama Clerk Robert Thompson
Trinity Clerk David Torrey
West Virginia EP Edward Thompson
Trinity Clerk David Torrey
West Virginia EP Edward Thompson

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Job Opening

The Presbytery of Des Moines is searching for an Interim GP

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respite retreat: deadline approaching for registration

Has your presbytery dismissed a congregation or had a PDA deployment in the last year or so? Do you have leaders—whether staff or volunteer/elected leaders—who could use a little time with others in the same circumstance to rest and reflect? The Office of the General Assembly and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance are sponsoring a respite retreat April 11-13 in St. Louis. We will pay for room and board for up to two people from each presbytery. There are still a few spaces left. If you will be sending someone, please let Diane Minter at diane.minter@pcusa.org know asap. We will take registrations until the spaces are filled or until April 1. 

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