Thursday, December 23, 2010

Pray for Sudanese Referendum, January 2011

The Sudan Mission Network meeting was Dec. 6-8, 2010, in Louisville, Ky. This annual
meeting is particularly important this year because the South Sudan Referendum
will be voted on in January 2011. The referendum will determine whether South
Sudan will become independent or remain one with the rest of Sudan. There are eight voting locations in the U.S. for southern Sudanese, which includes most major cities and Omaha, Neb.
The Presbytery of Des Moines’ Sudanese Resource Person the Rev. Goanar J. Chol is requesting prayers for all Sudanese Presbyterians not only in our Des Moines Presbytery, but the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a whole. The Referendum is important because it may mean a lasting peace or continuing war in Sudan. Troops on both sides are already gathering in mass numbers. Sudan’s President Omar el Basheer, already indicted for war crimes in the Darfur genocide, has already declared war if the South chooses independence, but the people of South Sudan seem to be determined to vote anyway.
For up-to-date information, go to the Sudan Avocacy Action Forum Web site.
Please pray for peace in Sudan (written by Rev. Mark Koenig).

Monday, December 13, 2010

Older Adult Ministries (OAM) December e-Newsletter

And the winner is…

Art Heimann of First Presbyterian Church in Grinnell!

Art was honored at the Des Moines Presbytery’s November 9th Stated Meeting at the Downtown Marriot. The Presbytery’s Older Adult Ministry Task Force picked Art from a group of 13 other nominees. All were invited to attend the special presentation and were treated to dinner. Art Heimann is pictured here with his award plaque as the General Presbyter Rev. Phil Barrett looks on in the background.

Selected from a group of other Outstanding Older Adults in the Des Moines Presbytery, Art was nominated from the session of his church because of his faithfulness and hard work which includes his community. Art has been a role model in his continuing effort on behalf of those around him, and an urch Grinnell example of when to say “No” as he recognizes his lower energy level and commits accordingly at age 89 and just finishing another term on session.

From the early 30’s to his recent term in office, he has led a capital campaign, environmentally responsible refurbishing of the church home, and regularly hosts Grinnell College guests as part of the mission outreach. He is one of the first to sign-up for small educational opportunities and other projects.

His Christian walk has been exemplified in daily Christian values while drawing upon the gifts of the Spirit. He has a long love of wood-working, much of which was sold at benefits. He was an original member of the Community Education Council to coordinate educational efforts between the Grinnell College, Grinnell Regional Medical Center, Mayflower Homes and Iowa Valley Community College. He took leadership in honoring local World War 2 veterans and publishing a book of their memoirs.

In addition he commits himself to a Mayflower Resident committee each year, choosing one that promotes good communication between the various constituencies.

Top 10 Take Aways of Darlene Shepherd’s notes from the recent Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network Conference in Orlando, Florida, Oct. 12-15, 2010.

  • 10. Christianity is one generation from extinction.
  • 9. Our faith is not our own – it is a gift from and to all generations.
  • 8. Every part of church life is intergenerational – births, celebrations, illnesses, aging and death involves each generation of a family. (In our bookshelves there are books for children when grandparents pass away.)
  • 7. Many people are connected – but lonely. They build a social capitol in the church.
  • 6. People attending the Conference: Pastors, Church leaders, People ‘from the pews’, Hospice Chaplain, some at their first POAMN conference, and some who have attended for many years. Backgrounds were varied, from very educated, former CEO’s, and those just “jumping into” older adult issues. We had structured workshops, casual times and deep times of worship.
  • 5. Where is the church going in following Christ? It is always changing. The modern world is fixated on scientific methods to get at the truth. We need intellectual relativity with personal narrative. Is it helpful – or not – to follow the path of Christ. Where is the Church going? Only Christ knows.
  • 4. The Keynote Speaker was the Rev. Dr. Eileen W. Linder. She used Hebrews Chapters 11 and 12, which looks forward and backward and was written precisely to connect the generations. She noted the acts done irrationally such as by Moses, Noah, etc., were irrational actions of faith.
  • 3. There are many new sensors for people at risk. Motion detectors for hallways, bathrooms, refrigerators, and medicine containers that alert others for variances. IPhones have GPS, and “IFall” which monitors and sends messages – some alert prior to a fall by measuring balance; watches will turn on alarms, or lock a door on approach.
  • 2. Question: Where is the future of the church? Answer: In the pews. Question: And who is the future of the church? Children maybe? Middlers? Older Adults? Answer: Anyone in the pews. AND...
  • 1. The most powerful group of the church – members who are no longer able to physically attend but pray faithfully for their church. The true IN GROUP!


Questions? Contact Older Adult Ministries Task Force Moderator Darlene Shepherd, or 641-673-5793.