Topics in this eDIGEST:


  1. CONSIDER: What future hybrid worship looks like for ‘The Scattered Church’
  2. LEARN: Plight of farm workers focus of latest ‘COVID at the Margins’ webinar, part of PC(USA) Week of Action
  3. CONNECT: Campus ministries in PLM prepare to support students
  4. LISTEN: Why ‘Presbyterians Affirm Black Lives Matter’?
  5. NEWS AND NOTES: Details about life in the presbytery
  6. NOTE: Scholarships & grants, updates available from Synod of the Covenant



CONSIDER: What future hybrid worship looks like for ‘The Scattered Church’


Posted August 18, 2020
By Paul Seebeck |  Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — As churches shifted to digital worship due to the pandemic this past spring, it was clear to the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow that he wasn’t going to try to replicate what happened each Sunday during in-person worship.

Instead he would create a worship experience that felt comfortable enough while taking advantage of the technological possibilities that are readily available. 

Rev. Reyes-Chow will lead a two-hour Zoom conversation at 3 p.m. (ET) Tuesday, August 25, being presented by the Presbyterian Mission Agency as part of its new The Scattered Church project, including the endowed Resource Support Program to provide worship books for in-home use. Read more about Rev. Reyes-Chow’s presentation here, and find Zoom link details here.

During the event, Reyes-Chow will share insights about maintaining pastoral health, embracing the courage to lead, curating meaningful worship spaces and nurturing congregational life. He will share practical ideas for maintaining congregational relationships, using technology appropriately and creating hybrid worship expressions. There will be breakout groups and sharing times. 


Read Full Article



LEARN: Plight of farm workers focus of latest ‘COVID at the Margins’ webinar, part of PC(USA) Week of Action


Posted August 14, 2020
By Darla Carter | Presbyterian News Service


LOUISVILLE — The plight of Black and brown farm workers during the global pandemic will be the focus of an August 27 webinar – “Farm Workers in the Pandemic: Essentially Disposable” – as the latest installment of the Presbyterian Church (USA) discussion series “COVID at the Margins.”

The virtual discussion will be broadcast at noon (ET) during the PC(USA) Week of Action, a racial justice effort affirming that Black lives matter and that no one should be marginalized because of their race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity or sexuality.

Presented by the Presbyterian Hunger Program and the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People, participants may register here to attend the webinar or watch it live streamed at

“(Farm workers) are called and treated as essential workers except when it comes to the conditions that they work under,” said Andrew Kang Bartlett, Presbyterian Hunger Program’s associate for national hunger concerns.. “The conditions send the message to them that they are in fact expendable when we know, of course, that they are critical to the whole food system and to our society.” 




CONNECT: Campus ministries in PLM prepare to support students


College students are heading back to classes this month . . . and campus ministry leaders are preparing to support the students and help them make connections in a very different way. Nancy Janisch, director of True North Campus Ministry in Grand Rapids, offers some thoughts about the topic in a recent newsletter.

Right now all three schools we serve are planning for a mixture of online and in person classes. All campuses are either prohibiting or strongly discouraging in person meetings for student organizations.

This means, of course, that the ways we connect with students and how students find us will have to change. Hanging posters around campus is not going to be sufficient. Many students will not physically be on campus this semester. But the need to connect, to make friends and to find a supportive faith community will not change. Add to that the challenge of attending college in a pandemic, in an election year, and in the midst of the “Black Lives Matter” social justice movement and our work on campus is even more necessary. 

So students heading to classes at five Michigan universities and nearby community colleges are invited to connect with campus ministries during a Zoom event at 3 p.m. Thursday, August 20. Those leading campus ministries serving Eastern Michigan University, Grand Valley State University, Michigan State University, University of Michigan and Western Michigan University will speak about opportunities for the incoming students to grow and connect in faith . . . and meet some friendly faces before the school year. RSVP to for the Zoom link.





NEWS & NOTES: Details about life in the presbytery


Communications were distributed recently to congregational leaders about several different topics, including:

  • A pastoral letter from the presbytery’s transitional co-leaders announcing that applications now are being accepted for grants and scholarships funded with proceeds from the sale of some properties owned by the presbytery and formerly used by Camp Greenwood. Due to the pandemic a second round of 2020 applications is being accepted this year only. Click here for details and applications due by October 15.
  • 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. Docket requests must be submitted by Monday, August 24, to Find registration information and more meeting details here.




NOTE: Scholarships & grants, updates available from Synod of the Covenant


Updates about changes happening within the Synod of the Covenant now are being distributed in various ways, including an updated website and an electronic newsletter that recently included these thoughts from the Synod’s interim executive, the Rev. Dr. Charles B. Hardwick.


For my devotions right now, I’m reading through the book of Ezra, where the people of Israel return from exile in order to re-establish their life in the Promised Land. Members of every tribe come home to find the temple in great disrepair, and together they work hard to make it a fruitful place of ministry again. Their emotions were in turmoil, with some weeping and some shouting with joy as the foundation is laid once again.

At the Synod of the Covenant, we are working to re-establish ourselves as a fruitful place of ministry.  Like the Israelite tribes, faithful people from all eleven presbyteries are joining in the process of reconstruction—including many of you who are reading this newsletter. My emotions swing wildly as I discover and work to resolve new challenges every week. Thank you for your work, and for your prayers.


Other items mentioned by Rev. Hardwick include:

  •  Grants and scholarships totaling $85,000 that the Synod plans to award in 2020. Click here for application details about the Higher Education Scholarships (due 8/31/20);  COVID Emergency Need Grants for Higher Education Students (due 12/4/20); New Covenant Grants (due 10/1/20); and Racial Ethnic Program Grants (due 10/1/20).
  • How to access information about the General Assembly Administrative Commission, now acting as the Synod of the Covenant, and its meetings. Click here to find that information.