Blog Post by
Rev. Dr. Craig M. Howard
Presbytery Leader

Happy New Year! Allow me to start the year with a blessing. May we live in the light of God’s grace and the love of Jesus Christ, who forgives all of our sins. May the tender mercies of God remind us that in our weakness we are made strong through Christ. May we live in fellowship with one another characterized by the peace that surpasses all understanding. May this peace of Christ be extended to all humanity, nature, and the world.
The February 7th Presbytery Gathering will meet at New Horizons Presbyterian Church from 12:45 to 5:00 and will be a time of education, worship, and business, and you are invited to attend! Today, I want to share with you the content of the education portion of the gathering.
The theme of this gathering is Ministry in the 21st Century. The focus is on church officer training. The educational portion is scheduled to begin at 3:00 and will be a two-hour session. There will be six concurrent sessions to choose from.
Session One- Treasurers
This session will be led by the accounting firm of Clifton, Larson, Allen (CLA). This is the accounting firm that handles the presbytery’s finances. They will discuss fiduciary duty, developing an investment policy for churches (including socially responsible investing), budgeting, and financial reporting. I’m encouraging all treasurers and finance committee members to attend and participate. If you cannot attend, we will make sure the handout is available for you to receive.
Session Two- Ruling Elder Training and Session Three- Deacon Training
Ruling elder and deacon training will cover broad categories of call, responsibility, and how to serve on a session (ruling elders). Deacons will focus on providing pastoral care. This training is for new ruling elders and deacons, as well as those who want to brush up. All deacons and ruling elders are invited to attend these sessions.
Session Four- Congregational Visioning
There will be three sessions for pastors and congregational leaders who are seeking ideas and plans for 2019. Session Four is for congregations with 150 or more in worship. This session will focus on leveraging resources for ministry, visioning, and strategic planning.
Session Five- Congregational Enrichment
Session Five is for congregations with 150 or less in membership but are stuck and need a gentle push. These churches will get a needed boost in their ministry.
Session Six- Congregational Rejuvenation
Session Six is for congregations of 150 or less and are trending downward and are seeking rejuvenation. These congregations have seen a downward slide in worship attendance and energy and are trying to regain a foothold.
The consulting firm of Ministry Architects will lead the three sessions. I am excited about what we will learn, and how we will apply our learning this year.
I know this is a lot, so I will make sure we repeat the information and send it to you in various forms. For now, be sure to put the date and time on your calendar. It will be a worthwhile educational opportunity.
Rev. Craig M. Howard


  • Posted January 2, 2019 7:11 pm
    Michelle Smith

    Thanks for giving us forward thinking info so far in advance! If people are to make plans to attend, this is helpful.

  • Posted January 2, 2019 8:23 pm
    Ellie Stock

    Will there be a time for announcements at the meeting?

  • Posted January 3, 2019 11:28 am
    April Risenhoover

    I am thrilled to be getting the Presbytery newsletter!

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