Topics in this eDIGEST:


  1. NOTE: Highlights from the 12/1 PLM Stated Meeting
  2. LEARN: Moderating in a Digital Age
  3. NOTE: Synod awards grants, accepts applications until Friday for different grant
  4. AVAILABLE: Advent worship series from Synod of the Covenant
  5. SAVE THE DATES: Programs at the Lombard Mennonite Institute in 2021



NOTE: Highlights from the 12/1 PLM Stated Meeting


Numerous decisions and special activities happened during the Presbytery of Lake Michigan’s Stated Meeting on Tuesday, December 1, including: 

Presentation of “What Does the Lord Require of Us? . . . and Who Is Us?” by the Rev. Molly Casteel, PC(USA) Assistant Stated Clerk and Manager for Equity and Representation, as the part of the presbytery’s Nominating & Representation Committee’s work to educate us about equity and representation.

Adoption of the 2021 presbytery budget, and approval to create a seven-member committee to search for a permanent executive presbyter/stated clerk and associate presbyter as the presbytery prepares to move out of its organizational transition. Seven nominated individuals also were elected to the search committee.

Recognition of the presbytery’s 2020 moderator, Elder Dru Wrasse (Buchanan First), for her leadership work during the unprecedented pandemic conditions.

Installation of the presbytery’s 2021 leaders – Rev. Dr. Seth Weeldryer (Kalamazoo  First) as moderator and Rev. Christine Barnes (Member at Large) as vice moderator.

*  Celebration of the Rev. Rob Carlson as honorably retired and the Rev. Dr. George R. Hunsberger as he marked on October 4 the 50th anniversary of his ordination.

Commissioners who attended the Stated Meeting – and individuals who used the livestream feed to view the proceedings – are asked to complete an online survey about the meeting to help leaders plan for future events. Click below to complete the survey.

Take Survey


LEARN: Moderating in a Digital Age

Posted November 21, 2020  
By Rick Jones  | Office of the General Assembly 

Moderators can conduct virtual meetings and make them impactful within a virtual meeting space that is generous, meaningful and impactful if the leaders reimagine what can be done in the digital space, according to panelists who spoke recently during the annual Moderators’ Conference.

 “We need to encourage people to not replicate what they do in person but imagine what can be done in digital space. Reimagining what we do takes more work,” the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly (2008), said during the discussion.  “We rush into using technology thinking we have the same ease and capacity as we do in a physical space.”

Reyes-Chow says many churches and presbyteries may have the capacity to utilize digital communication, but he advises them to be reflective to see if they have the skills to do it well. In other words, practice, practice, practice.

Click here to find more ideas from Reyes-Chow and others – including the Rev. Molly Casteel, PC(USA) Assistant Stated Clerk and manager of equity and representation, who spoke during the Presbytery of Lake Michigan’s Stated Meeting December 1 – about how to  effectively moderate online meetings.

 Full Article


NOTE: Synod awards grants, accepts applications until Friday for different grant


A group within the Presbytery of Lake Michigan is among thirteen congregations and ministries in six presbyteries to receive Racial Ethnic and New Covenant Grants from the Synod of the Covenant.

More than 32 applications were submitted between the two programs and a total of almost $45,000 was awarded. Those receiving grants included the Greenwood Ministries Association, which was awarded a $2,000 New Covenant Grant for a video project addressing discrimination. Click below for a complete of the grant recipients. 

Both grant programs – along with the Higher Education Scholarships announced earlier this fall – are funded in part by per capita payments from almost 700 PC(USA) congregations and more than 100,000 members, mostly in Ohio and Michigan, throughout the Synod.

Until Friday, December 4, the Synod also is accepting applications from higher education students for the COVID Emergency Need Grants. These funds are to help students with up to $500 in emergency expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic. Click below for the application and details.

Grant Recipients

 Application and Details


AVAILABLE: Advent worship series from Synod of the Covenant


Pastors, worship leaders, musicians and tech gurus of the various presbyteries within the Synod of the Covenant have been working to create and offer worship services as a gift to our congregations for each Sunday in Advent plus Christmas Eve and the first Sunday of Christmas.

The service for the second Sunday in Advent is led by leaders and members of the Western Reserve Presbytery and Eastminster Presbytery.

Links to the sermons, scriptures and complete service files for each week will be posted on the Synod’s website each week. Click below to access those files.

Access Files



SAVE THE DATES: Programs at the Lombard Mennonite Institute in 2021


Numerous programs meant to help church leaders build skills are scheduled at the Lombard Mennonite Institute during 2021. Scheduled courses will be presented online and include:

Conflict Transformation Skills for Churches from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT) January 16, February 13, March 22 and April 10.

Healthy Congregations from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (CT) January 23, February 18, March 27 and April 17.

Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders from March 1-5, May 3-7, June 21-25, October 11-15, and November 15-19.

More information about the programs – including costs and registration details – may be found at

More Information