Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Doing More with Less: Synod-wide Communicators Conference

Presbyterian communicators, pastors, congregation leaders, staff and volunteers – mark your calendars! You are invited to the attend the second Synod-wide Communicators Conference, Wednesday through Friday, Sept. 2-4, at the Hilton Garden Inn, Eagan, Minn.

The Rev. Sarah Moore-Nokes, associate executive presbyter in Winnebago Presbytery, opens the conference's first session – Google Tools – Wednesday evening. Participants are asked to bring their own laptop computer since WiFi will be available during the conference.

The Rev. Shane Whisler, communications director in the Synod of the Sun, will provide details about working with Presbyterian Neighbor News on Thursday morning, and Bethany Furkin will also address the conference about the Presbyterian News Service during that time. There is also a possibility that the executive director for the Committee on Local Arrangements for the 2010 General Assembly in Minneapolis will be on hand before Thursday's lunch.

Full registration is $100 and includes all sessions, accommodations, opening dinner, two breakfasts and a lunch. For those who do not need accommodations, registration is $40 for all sessions. Registration is easy, simply send an email to Duane Sweep, associate for communications at the Synod of Lakes and Prairies. The e-mail should include name and position for name tags. The registration fee can be mailed to Duane Sweep, Synod of Lakes and Prairies, 2115 Cliff Drive, Eagan, MN 55122. For conference details, you can read the complete brochure.

If you are interested in car-pooling from the Des Moines area, contact Presbytery of Des Moines Director of Communications Kim Coulter at 515-276-4991 as soon as possible to make arrangements.

Monday, August 10, 2009

August Presbytery Meeting to Highlight Madagascar Mission

Madagascar is an island nation off the east coast of Africa with one of the lowest per capita income in the world. HIV-AIDS, malaria, and clean water are also big problems in this country which is about 60% Christian. Since March and April 2009, there has been a political coup d’etat in which the elected president has been deposed and the military has supported Andry Rajoelina. The Constitution, the parliament and the courts were suspended. As of right now, August 8, 2009, he and the toppled president, Marc Ravalomanana, are meeting together for discussions. Please pray for a resolution of this crisis and for restoration of human rights.

The PC(USA) partner church is the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar. Working with the church in environmental and health projects are Dan and Elizabeth Turk. Dan is working with farmers to establish fruit orchards for nutrition as well as income. They work in HIV-AIDS education, malaria and have helped establish about 30 village wells. Read the Turk's latest blog, in which they say they are safe and ask for prayers that the church find ways to sustain its vital ministries with creativity and optimism in the middle of this current turmoil.

At the August 15 Presbytery meeting we will welcome Edmund Razafimanantsoa, ordained minister of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar, to lead us in further study of the situation in Madagascar. He has been studying at Fuller Theological Seminary and will return to Madagascar upon completion of his studies.