Friday, September 30, 2011

Deadline Extended for Submissions to Outstanding Older Adult Award

Last year's award presentation at the Downtown Marriot in Des Moines, Iowa. Nominees are recognized in the presentation and also given a certificate and meal with their family and friends during the Presbytery's stated meeting.
The OAM Task Force of the Presbytery of Des Moines invites your church’s Session to nominate one person for the 2011 Outstanding Older Adult Award, to be honored at the Des Moines Presbytery’s November 8th Stated Meeting in Oskaloosa.

Your nominee should be a person who is 65 years or older and should exemplify the art of growing older while deepening their faith. This person need not be actively involved in the church at this time in their life. Their record stands for the great work they have done while they were aging.

The submission deadline is Sept. 26, 2011. Submission deadline is now Oct. 18th.  The nomination forms and fliers are available online at: . 

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

It’s Time to Schedule PC(USA) Mission Co-workers Itinerating in Iowa

The Stewardship and Mission Interpretation (SMI) Committee of the Des Moines Presbytery will be hosting two missionaries in the next couple of months:
The Rev. Douglas and Dr. Elizabeth Searles have served since 1997 in international ministries in India, China and now Central Europe. They are jointly appointed by Global Ministries and Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and supported by three denominations: United Church of Christ, Christian Church/Disciples of Christ, and PC(USA). The Searles live in Lodz, Poland and their call is to walk with Kosciol Ewangelicko-Reformowany (KER), the Evangelical-Reformed Church of Poland, a minority and marginalized church. They work to support initiatives of evangelism, church growth, and ecumenical relations. A new area of outreach work supports Roma people – formerly known as Gypsies – residents of Europe for over 500 years. Stigmatized, loathed and persecuted, Sinti/Lovari/Roma face severe human rights challenges. The Searles have begun to build relations encouraging capacity-building, advocacy and other ecumenical efforts towards acceptance, access and inclusion for Roma. Their final itinerary dates with the Des Moines Presbytery are Sept. 26-Oct. 5. If you are interested in inviting the Searles to your church, contact SMI Committee Moderator Sandy Wagener or 515-964-3762.
The Rev. Cobbie Palm has served since 1989 with Presbyterian World Mission in the Philippines. He is currently director of spiritual formation at the Divinity School at Silliman University. Silliman University was founded by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in 1901, and has evolved into a premier academic institution under the auspices of the United Church of Christ in the Philippines (UCCP). In this ministry, Cobbie designs and facilitates spiritual retreats and workshops, which are incorporated into the semester for each class, the faculty, and the whole seminary community. “I truly enjoy this ministry,” Cobbie writes, “we sing and perform, pray, reflect, and worship with such enthusiasm and joy knowing that for a refreshing change performance is not a grade point average.” As part of the annual 2011 Mission Connections Live!, Cobbie will be here in south central Iowa from October 1-5. If you are interested in having him meet with your church members, contact SMI Committee Moderator Sandy Wagener or 515-964-3762.

HOSTING IS EASY: Keep arrangements and meals simple. There is no need for fancy meals or lodging. Once you’ve established a specific date with the coordinator, it’s good to develop a 4-person team:
  1. Advance liaison to let them know the entire “plan”
  2. Presentation liaison for audio-visual and other set-up arrangements in the meeting space 
  3. Host and transportation liaison for housing, meals, etc. 
  4. Onsite event assistant to greet the guest at the site, help set-up and staff a display table, count heads, gather email addresses and contact info, clean-up and get stuff to the car, and generally help out.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Recap of Synod School 2011 from the Keeping In Touch News

The following stories are from the Synod of Lakes and Prairies newsletter, Keeping In Touch, August 11, 2011 issue. The story links are found on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)'s News Service website at

Two of the articles below are of special importance to the Des Moines Presbytery and are about our own Director of Communications Kim Coulter (Clive, Heartland) and another story of a former member of the Knox United Presbyterian Church in Des Moines, the Rev. Burns Stanfield family.

Consider attending Synod School next year at Buena Vista University in Storm Lake, Iowa, July 22-27, 2012. (Thanks to Synod Communications Editor Duane Sweep for permission to repost.)
Synod school teacher demonstrates new media role in evangelism: A short video, a little bit of show and tell, and a lot of discussion – it’s the way Kim Coulter led her class on social media here at Buena Vista University during the 58th Synod of Lakes and Prairies' Synod School. With an opening video that proclaimed, “If Facebook were a country, it’d be the world’s third largest,” Coulter made the argument that social media can play a role in the church. The complete PNS story is at:
Presbyterian family share stories of Kenya during Synod School: When Lorraine Stanfield turned 50 last spring, she didn’t want a party. She wanted her family to go with her to Kenya to serve people – and maybe take in a safari near the end of the two-week visit, which the family did. The Stanfields, of Milton, Mass., offered a workshop describing highlights of their trip during Synod of Lakes and Prairies’ Synod School, held during the last week of July at Buena Vista University. The complete PNS story is at: