Presbyterian Association of Lake Michigan Secretaries

If you are interested in continuing education and fellowship, there are two organizations that can help!

PALMS is a local organization that holds meetings 4 times a year in various locations around the Presbytery.

Administrative Personnel Association (APA) is a PC(USA) organization that holds regional and national conferences. Through APA you can even become certified as a Church Administrative Professional. The web site for APA is

From Dawn Edwards, Office Manager at Plainwell First.

I am so glad that I was able to make yesterday’s meeting. It had been one of those weeks, where I had been running around like a chicken without a head (not a very pleasant image), and I was thinking that perhaps I should just cancel, and get some lose ends caught up. Well, thank goodness I put all of that on the back burner and headed to PALMS. The meeting was a gift and I am grateful to have been in attendance.

What in the World Is PALMS?

PALMS (Presbyterian Association of Lake Michigan Secretaries) started meeting March 1998 and developed this mission statement:

The Presbyterian Association of Lake Michigan Secretaries (PALMS) gathers to provide support through prayer, education and resources as we develop and use our gifts to the glory of God in ministry to the church, congregations, and communities within the Presbytery of Lake Michigan.

PALMS is a group of people, men and women, who serve the churches of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan with energy, intelligence, imagination, and love.

They are the people who answer the phone when you call the church office; prepare bulletins, newsletters, and a myriad of other jobs that use up reams of paper; fix the copier, computer, fax machine, (oh, for an IT department); balance the books; clean the coffeemaker; refill the paper towel dispenser; and deal with a variety of personalities.

Programs over the years have covered many topics: postal service regulations, innovations in office supplies, newsletters, Meyers-Briggs testing, web and computer training, communicating with people who are grieving, PC(USA) 101, and many others. As one member of the group said, “Leave it to a group of church secretaries to handle the hosting/lunch/program details without having to form a committee!”

These dedicated, energetic church employees learn much from each other and support each other as they share the joys and frustrations of serving the Church.