Topics in this eDIGEST:
- NOTE: Presbytery plans virtual Stated Meeting September 19
- WITNESS: Presbyterians to host ‘Week of Action’ supporting Black Lives Matter
- NEWS & NOTES: Details about life in the presbytery
- CONSIDER: Pew Survey – Most support COVID-19 precautions churches are taking
- REFLECT: Racism among white Christians higher than among non-religious
- TO DO: Step away from daily routines with “Well-Being Respite” programs
NOTE: Presbytery plans virtual Stated Meeting on September 19
The next Stated Meeting of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan will be held at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, September 19, via electronic meeting technology.
Teaching elders and designated elder commissioners with voting rights will be asked to register for the Zoom session. Details about the registration process – which will open August 24 and close September 12 — will be distributed soon. Anyone else who wants to attend the meeting will be asked to watch via a live-stream broadcast.
The agenda will focus on worship and essential business. Docket requests must be submitted by Monday, August 24, to firstname.lastname@example.org. To the extent possible, all reports to the presbytery will be given in written format and included in the written packet so that everyone has easy access to accurate information. Reports must be sent by 2 p.m. Wednesday, September 2, to email@example.com .
The preliminary meeting packet will be posted on the presbytery website by Saturday, September 5, and the final packet by Saturday, September 12, so that participants may review the information and print copies for themselves. NO printed packets will be provided.
Orientation for new designated commissioners
Orientation for any new designated commissioners will be held via a Zoom meeting. Registration information for this session will be sent directly to those who indicate during registration that they are a new commissioner.
WITNESS: Presbyterians to host ‘Week of Action’ supporting Black Lives Matter
Posted August 4, 2020
By Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — As the country continues to reckon with its history of racism and oppression of Black and brown people and take steps toward healing, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is planning to host a Week of Action August 24-30.
The week will provide a variety of ways for Presbyterians and other individuals to show their support for the Black Lives Matter movement and those who tend to be marginalized by society because of their race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. It is a collaborative effort by the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the Office of General Assembly and the Administrative Services Group. .
Click here for still-emerging details – including registration information as needed – about the daily events planned during the Week of Action.
“The Presbyterian Church cares, knows what’s going on, and we’re beyond just making statements,” said the Rev. Shanea D. Leonard, the lead organizer of the Week of Action. “We’re hoping that anyone that is willing to and able to will get involved in some way.”
NEWS & NOTES: Details about life in the prebytery
Communications were distributed recently to congregational leaders about several different topics, including:
A pastoral letter from the presbytery’s transitional co-leaders recommending that congregations have no in-person worship through December 31, 2020. Read the full letter here.
Information from the presbytery’s Stated Clerk about options that may be used to hold congregational meetings during the pandemic. Read the memo here, and find information about joining a Zoom conversation about the topic at 11 a.m. Wednesday, August 19.
Copies of the 2020-21 PC(USA) planning calendars available at bulk rate
The presbytery has a few extra copies of the 2020-21 PC(USA) planning calendars available for purchase at a bulk rate.
A single copy of the calendar – which starts with September 2020 – purchased from the PC(USA) Store costs $16.95 plus shipping. A single copy of the calendar purchased from the presbytery’s bulk order costs $12, and includes the cost of having the calendar(s) shipped to you.
Click here to complete an online order form. (Those who want to order a copy for themselves should use the “other” option under the congregation or group question.) Remember to print a copy of the form as your invoice then send payment to the presbytery. The extra copies will be available on a first-come, first-served basis. Send a message to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
CONSIDER: Pew Survey – Most support COVID-19 precautions churches are taking
Posted August 10, 2020
By Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE — Nearly eight in 10 Americans say houses of worship should be required to follow the same rules about social distancing and large gatherings as other organizations and businesses in their local area, a Pew Research Center survey released August 7 states.
Researchers conducted the survey July 13-19 among more than 10,000 U.S. adults on Pew Research Center’s online, nationally representative Trends Panel. Read more details about the survey and its findings here.
More than 8 in 10 people who attend religious services said their congregation should either be closed altogether or open only on a modified basis.
But while the survey suggests that many people would feel comfortable going to in-person worship, far fewer Americans — 12% of U.S. adults overall — say they actually have gone to services in the last month (meaning the month preceding the survey).
REFLECT: Racism among white Christians higher than among non-religious
Posted July 27, 2020
By Robert P. Jones | CEO and founder of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI)
Over the last several weeks, the United States has engaged in a long-overdue reckoning with the racist symbols of the past, tearing down monuments to figures complicit in slavery and removing Confederate flags from public displays. But little scrutiny has been given to the cultural institutions that legitimized the worldview behind these symbols: white Christian churches.
In public opinion polls, a clear pattern has emerged: White Christians are consistently more likely than whites who are religiously unaffiliated to deny the existence of structural racism.
So begins an article written by Robert P. Jones, CEO and founder of PRRI, and posted by NBC on its website as Jones released a new book, “White Too Long: The Legacy of White Supremacy in American Christianity.”
A close read of history reveals that we white Christians have not just been complacent or complicit; rather, as the nation’s dominant cultural power, we have constructed and sustained a project of perpetuating white supremacy that has framed the entire American story. The legacy of this unholy union still lives in the DNA of white Christianity today — and not just among white evangelical Protestants in the South, but also among white mainline Protestants in the Midwest and white Catholics in the Northeast.
TO DO: Step away from daily routines with “Well-Being Respite” programs
Well-Being Respite is a unique online opportunity offered by the Board of Pensions for individuals to step away from daily routines and come to the well for spiritual renewal, mental stimulation, thoughtful conversation and meaningful engagement while contemplating God’s movement in our individual and collective experiences.
The virtual programs are available free to all active and retired benefits Plan members and their spouses.
There will be four monthly offerings from 1 to 4 p.m. (EDT) on August 19, September 16, October 21 and November 28. Click here for details about the program topics and how to register. Each program, on a Wednesday, will include worship, a workshop, a panel discussion and break-out conversations with other participants.