Wednesday, September 22, 2010

All Iowa Presbyteries Affected By Recent Flooding

According to the Aug. 16 map released by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, all six presbyteries with all or portions of their geography in Iowa have a county with a federal disaster assistance designation for either public or individual assistance. In total, 19 of the 25 counties in the Presbytery of Des Moines received disaster assistance designation, 11 of 19 in Prospect Hill, 11 of 24 in North Central Iowa, six of 16 in East Iowa, four of six in John Knox, and three of seven in Missouri River Valley.

A total of 32 counties in Iowa are now eligible for individual federal assistance to help communities recover from recent severe storms, tornadoes and flooding, according to an Aug. 17 FEMA announcement. Assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses, and other programs to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster. Residents and business owners who sustained losses in the designated counties may register for assistance anytime at the FEMA Web site. (Reprinted from the August 23rd, Synod of Lakes and Prairies Keeping In Touch e-newsletter. To subscribe, contact Editor Duane Sweep,

Prayers are needed for church members in the Des Moines Presbytery who experienced water damage:
If you know of others who are suffering and are having a hard time cleaning up water damage from either floods or excess water after the rains in July and August, please contact the Presbytery of Des Moines Office at 515-276-9991, There are teams standing by to help clean and muck out.

We are also willing to store clean-up buckets at our Presbytery Office. If you have any, you can bring them to 2400 86th St., Ste. #20, Urbandale, IA 50322. The ‘recipe’ is online at: or

Monday, September 20, 2010

God in America Series is Coming to PBS October 11, 12 & 13

The God in America series offers an investigative look into how religion shaped our national identity, our schools and our politics. The three episodes will air at 8 p.m. CT: Oct. 11 - A New Adam/ A New Eden, Oct. 12 - Rebirth/A New Light from Above, and Oct. 13 - Soul of a Nation/of God and Caesar. Check your local PBS station to see viewing times for your area.

The six-hour series is coming to PBS from American Experience, FRONTLINE, and their partners at the National Center for Media Engagement (NCME). Together they invite you to join in a National Outreach Campaign of community engagement. Through partnerships with the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life, The Freedom Forum First Amendment Center, the Fetzer Institute, Sacred Space International and others, they hope to extend the reach of the series.

Here’s how you can help:
  1. Register your community group, house of worship or association and appear on our list of cooperating organizations. Receive program updates, behind-the-scenes stories from the filmmakers, sneak previews and resources to promote the national broadcast.

  2. Create a page in the God in America Faithbook (coming soon) and share it with friends online.

  3. Organize a Sacred Spaces event in your community or attend one of our great eight city tours this fall in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, New Orleans, New York, Santa Fe, San Francisco and Portland, Ore.

  4. Host a viewing party.

  5. Discuss and share your experience online and offline with family, friends and your community.

  6. Join the growing list of organizations participating in the God in America national outreach campaign.
If you have questions about the God in America series or the outreach campaign, contact WGBH Outreach Director Erin Martin Kane at: 617-300-5969,

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Church Mission Giving Resource Packet Coming in September to You

Each church in the Des Moines Presbytery will receive a packet for pastors, Mission committee chairpersons, and clerks of Session in late September from the General Assembly Mission Council of the PC(USA). This packet will have materials to help sessions make decisions about their mission giving in 2011.

Included in this year’s stewardship promotional materials are:

  • a printed World Mission Giving Opportunities catalog
  • a flier promoting Shared Mission Support at all levels of the church, which also explains how the General Assembly Mission Council uses its portion of Shared Mission Support
  • a flier promoting resources for congregational giving campaigns from our partners at the Ecumenical Stewardship Center
  • a flier with information from the Presbyterian Foundation on long-term giving opportunities
  • a cover letter explaining the packet and providing instructions on accessing the online searchable listing of giving opportunities.
Watch the Seconds for Stewardship box weekly in The Wider Circle E-news, and pray for ways you can help the church ministry and mission, both regionally and nationally.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Church Items for Sale and Free

Knox United’s Garage Sale Items are Still Available
Knox United Presbyterian Church, 2315 59th Street, Des Moines, still has bargains available from their Garage Sale held in June 2010. The following items are still available:

2-drawer file cabinets diaper-changing station B&W copier
3-drawer file cabinets window air conditioner choir music
4-drawer file cabinets portable dishwasher dishes/glasses
blackboard room dividers 50+ like-new Bibles glass hostess sets
metal chairs in rack baptismal font

If you are interested in any of these items, contact the church's Clerk of Session Pat Aksamit, at:

Cleaning Out Treasures—Free Bibles!
Free for picking up: 58 Good News Bibles. Inquire at Covenant Presbyterian Church in West Des Moines, at: 515-225-2254 or

Saturday, September 11, 2010

CROSS Ministries Video is Online

The video played at the Des Moines Presbytery's August 21, 2010 meeting held in Leon, Iowa, on the CROSS Back-to-School Backpack Giveaway may now be viewed online and/or downloaded. Scroll down through the photo icons and click on “School Giveaway 2010.”

There are also a few DVD copies, if you’d like one, contact the Des Moines Presbytery Office or the Rev. Dr. David Madsen, Cottage Grove Avenue Presbyterian Church in Des Moines at 515-279-8877 or

Friday, September 10, 2010

Schedule Joining Hands Speakers in Your Church

Two members of the Presbytery’s Joining Hands partner network in Egypt will be visiting our Des Moines Presbytery, Sept. 1-10, 2010. Dr. Nabil Sisostres is the network coordinator, and Raafat Nazmy is the representative to the network from the Association for the Protection of the Environment, an organization working with the Zabaleen garbage workers community in Moqattam, Cairo.

The network is taking up a new campaign to address the needs of women-headed households. Nabil and Raafat would enjoy visiting placesoffering services to women here in Iowa, and are eager to speak about the work of Joining Hands with Egypt.

If your church or organization is interested in hosting or hearing their story, contact Social Ministries Task Force Moderator Nancy Lister-Settle at: 515-992-3639 or