A message from Rev. Ed Spence and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Dear Presbytery Friends:

        Those of you who know me, know that I am connected to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, and through that, I am related to Arizona VOAD, and agency that helps with different kinds of emergency needs in AZ.  Because of that connection, I am sending to all of you the attached letter from Emily Uline, from Hands On Greater Phoenix, which is about an opportunity to serve others on the anniversary of 9/11.  I hope you, members of your congregation, or members of your community might join in this significant event.  No, this is not a disaster, but it is a chance to serve, and thus, send a different message to the world besides hatred and suspicion of others.  How about community and love!

         The letter is pretty self-explanatory.  I would ask that besides reporting to Emily about any commitments or needs your church is participating in,  that you also copy me on how many people might go from your church, if you are going to ask for some of the meals, etc.  Just shoot me a brief report about how your folks participated.

         I hope I will see you there!  Thanks for remembering those in need at this time.

Sincerely,

Ed Spence, PDA Liaison, Grand Canyon Presbytery

Letter for 9-11 Special Event .

Poverty and Education

With the continuing incidence of school shootings and this spring’s teachers’ strikes, school children are never far from our minds.  As a new school year approaches, we pause to consider the justice issues related to education in our nation and in Arizona. According to a study published in late 2014, a majority of U.S. public school students come from low-income families. The shift to a majority-poor student population means that in public schools, a growing number of children start kindergarten already trailing their more privileged peers and rarely, if ever, catch up. They are less likely to have support at home, are less frequently exposed to enriching activities outside of school, and are more likely to drop out and never attend college. It also means that education policy, funding decisions and classroom instruction must adapt to the needy children who arrive at school each day.

Opportunities for Action

There are purposeful things we can do and learn:

  • Read about the Children’s Defense Fund’s Freedom Schools program, which provides summer and after-school reading enrichment for children who might otherwise not have access to books during the summer. In partnership with local congregations, schools, colleges and universities, community organizations, and secure juvenile justice facilities the CDF Freedom Schools program boosts student motivation to read, generates more positive attitudes toward learning, increases self-esteem and connects the needs of children and families to the resources of their communities. Since 1995, more than 137,000 preK-12 children have had a CDF Freedom Schools experience and more than 16,000 college students and young adult staff have been trained by CDF to deliver this empowering model. childrensdefense.org
  • Explore opportunities to assist with tutoring in your community.
  • Learn about education issues in Arizona

FOR MORE INFORMATION OR TO OFFER THOUGHTS AND OPINIONS, CONTACT:

phebepacker@cox.net

Rev. Leslie Vogel to Visit in August

Rev. Leslie Vogel, mission co-worker in Guatemala since 2013 and appointed regional liaison for Mexico and Guatemala this year, will be visiting our Presbytery August 22nd through September 2.  Her schedule includes giving a workshop at the Big Event at the August Presbytery Meeting in Tucson, preaching at Orangewood Presbyterian on August 26th, a dinner and talk at Faith Presbyterian Sun City on Tuesday, August 28th, and preaching at Guadalupe on Sunday, September 2nd.  Leslie is adding meetings and gatherings to her schedule during the upcoming weeks.  If you would like to schedule a visit with her or want more information about the events already scheduled, contact her at leslie.rev.vogel@gmail.com. For specific information about the dinner and talk at Faith PC, contact Betty Forsberg at b4sberg@gmail.com.

As regional liaison for Mexico and Guatemala, Leslie Vogel helps Presbyterian World Mission in discerning how to minister in Mexico, and in establishing new partnerships there. She also supports Presbyterian World Mission involvement in Guatemala. She serves as a facilitator of PC(USA) support for partner programs, relationships and activities, and as an implementer of regional strategies. Leslie supports PC(USA) mission personnel through communications, information sharing, mentoring/guiding, and encouraging missiological reflection. In addition, she serves as a resource for sharing connections and information between partner and PC(USA) entities in conjunction with World Mission. Leslie facilitates and seeks to strengthen healthy, effective and missiologically appropriate relationships between PC(USA) congregations, presbyteries and partners in Mexico and Guatemala.

Leslie’s work has focused on challenges related to poverty and violence and to transformative education for church leadership, work that aligns with the three critical global issues identifed by Presbyterian World Mission as priorities: addressing the root causes of poverty, especially as they impact women and children; sharing the good news of God’s love in Jesus Christ; and engaging in reconciliation amidst cultures of violence in the U.S. as well as in Latin America.

 

 

Time’s Up Advent Devotional by Brad Munroe

Grand Canyon and de Cristo Presbytery Pastor Brad Munroe has written an advent devotional that helps disciples explore Biblical text around the birth of Jesus and offers ways to take the message into the world.

Permission is given for anyone to copy, duplicate, and transmit this devotional book, either electronically or as hard copy. The author asks that any funds collected from such distribution, if applicable, go to support local mission efforts in one’s community.

BOOKLET VERSION of Time’s Up Devotional
Time’s Up – Reading Version

The Big Event- August 25

Saturday, August 25
St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
7650 N Paseo Del Norte, Tucson, AZ 85704

List of Workshops
List of Nearby Hotels

REGISTRATION (Required to guarantee lunch)

Call to the Presbytery meeting
Tentative agenda-August Presbytery Meeting
List of items being collected for Matthew 25
George Brooks Nomination Form_2018
Consent Agenda
Commission Reports

The remaining materials will be posted by noon on Friday, August 17 for downloading and printing. Each commissioner is responsible for printing their own materials.
Be sure to register by August 15 to guarantee your workshops and a meal!

Children at the Border

https://pda.pcusa.org/situation/unaccompanied-children/

 

Prayer for children coming across our border

New Church in East Valley Seeking Partnership

May 29, 2018

Grace and Peace,

I am writing to let you know about an exciting opportunity within our Presbytery. After prayer and careful discernment we are working towards starting a New Worshipping Community in Queen Creek, AZ. The 1001 New Worshipping Communities initiative through the PCUSA hopes to begin 1001 New Worshiping Communities “using new and varied forms of church for our diverse and changing culture for the purpose of forming new disciples of Jesus, transforming our denomination, and impacting our world.”

We are pleased to announce that the Queen Creek NWC has recently received a Seed Grant of $7500 from the PCUSA. These funds will help us move forward in establishing our New Worshipping Community by covering the cost of supplies and other necessary expenses.

While we covet your prayers and any other support you can give we are also looking for faithful people to join us on this exciting journey. At this stage in the process we are looking for people to serve on the Queen Creek NWC discernment team. A discernment team is typically comprised of 8-10 people who have a passion or interest in evangelism, discipleship, and creative new expressions of church and worship. The team will meet monthly for prayer, discernment, and will work together to envision the future of this community. We look forward to including people with diverse knowledge, backgrounds, gifts, and experiences on this team.

If you are interested in partnering with us by joining the discernment team or would like to contribute to the Queen Creek NWC in any way please reach out to Emily Hook or the Presbytery office. We hope to begin discerning together as soon as possible.

Blessings,

Rev. Emily B. Hook

emilyb.hook@gmail.com

All this from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:18

The Thrive Project

We believe God is calling the Church to thrive in the 21st Century with:

The Effects of Violence on Children

We are called to care about children, remembering Jesus’ words in Matthew 19: 14: Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them….” The PC (USA) Decade of the Child was completed in 2011. But God’s love for children is never-ending, and therefore neither is ours.

Opportunities to action:

Our goal as congregations is to address the causes and impact of abuse in families, to recognize that often children feel both responsible for causing the abuse, and also responsible for stopping it. We know that abused children often grow up to become abusers or abused adults. We advocate and seek safety for each child and each family member. We stand with the vulnerable in God’s kingdom.

Congregations may decide:

*to hold workshops on promoting healthy families.
*to help teens avoid the significant issue of dating violence.
*to make their worshipping community a safe space by addressing    abuse in the congregation.
*to support youth ministries by promoting the Pentecost Offering.

Recommended reading and websites:

PC (USA) Child Advocacy Program:  presbyterianmission.org

Article from the Missouri Coalition on Domestic and Sexual Violence: “Nature and Dynamics of Domestic and Sexual Violence”. mocadsv.org

unicef.org  Rights of the Child 2009

Children’s Defense Fund Fact sheet: Domestic violence and its impact on children, 2002  childrensdefense.org

For more information or to offer thoughts and opinions, contact Joan Fenton rjfenton5@gmail.com.

ADVOCATE FOR CHILDREN bulletin insert

Ghost Ranch News

  1. Spiritual Life Services is a new department at Ghost Ranch formed to provide regular worship and spiritual practices for all staff and guests, to revitalize and establish direct connection between Ghost Ranch and churches. Chaplains Don Grauer (pastoral care) and Chaplain Brenda Grauer (spiritual life coordinator) welcome your calls and messages  and look forward to working with you to create partnership in ministry.
  2. This summer Spiritual Life Services (SLS) has designed two retreats to resource clergy and churches. Information about each is attached. Please share them with your church leadership and with other faith communities.
    1. Nurturing Faithful Youth in Your Congregation, July 16th – 19th.
    2. Creating Artful Worship for Advent 2018August 27th – 30th. (See details in attached file.)
  3. HELP PLEASE! A new summer position within Spiritual Life Services has, at the last minute, become “open”! Click here for position description and forward it to seminary students, pastors, CLPs you know.  THIS POSITION BEGINS IMMEDIATELY! – ON MAY 29TH! Questions…contact Don or Brenda Grauer, Chaplains.
  4. FYI…there are still workshop spaces available for a major Ghost Ranch event called, “Signs of the Times: Imagining Peace and Justice¸” June 24th – 30th! The national Director of PC(USA) Disaster Assistance Ministries, and the Director of PC(USA) Compassion, Peace, and Justice Ministries, along with artists, scientists and academics will lead clergy and church leaders into a week of fellowship, worship, discernment and growth, plus all the other wonders you come to know as Ghost Ranch! You might want to take another look at this opportunity.    https://www.ghostranch.org/retreat/signs-times-eco-spirituality/   Call Spiritual Life Services if we can help you in any way.