PC(USA) Stated Clerk endorses new resource on immigration and sanctuary

“Welcome and the law” outlines legal issues for churches considering sanctuary, other activities

APRIL 12, 2017

Office of the General Assembly Communications

As Presbyterians increasingly face legal and other issues around providing welcome and hospitality to immigrants, the Immigration Office of the Office of the General Assembly, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has released a new resource for congregations titled, “Welcome and the Law.”

General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II, has issued a letter to the church, commending the new resource. “I extend to you the invitation to discern how you might be called to accompany your neighbors,” he writes. “[This resource] will help begin to answer questions you have about the law and help guide your discernment. Please know that I am praying alongside you as you discern with your congregation or larger community about how God is guiding you to respond.”

“Welcome and the Law” addresses legal statutes governing encouraging, inducing, or bringing undocumented immigrants into the United States; transporting and harboring undocumented immigrants within the U.S.; and providing employment or employment services to undocumented immigrants.

It also outlines undocumented immigrant and churches behavior protected by the U.S. Constitution.

Read more.

Click here to download the "Welcome and the law" resource.

PC(USA) launches Abuse Prevention Helpline

Presbyterian News Service April 3, 2017

Toll-free number to help families and churches prevent child sexual abuse

by Rick Jones | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation, has teamed with the Insurance Board and Praesidium to help PC(USA) church councils and members of churches prevent child sexual abuse. The partnership has launched a toll-free Abuse Prevention Helpline (866-607-SAFE) to provide assistance to church councils and church families in their efforts to keep predators away from children.

“Statistics show that one out of four girls and one out of six boys will be abused before the age of 18,” said former Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons, who worked to make the helpline a reality. “We know that sexual predators seek out trusting environments where children are present and churches are vulnerable because of close relationships and immediate access to children.”

Parsons said the Helpline was established to help victims and church leaders get immediate assistance while giving churches guidelines plus resources for training and support to prevent predators from targeting their congregations.

Praesidium, the national leader in abuse prevention, is staffing the Helpline, providing expert advice on how to best respond to suspicious behavior and suspected abuse, as well as assist church councils in prevention. Callers will also receive guidance on responding to suspicious interactions between employee and/or volunteer and child, and determining when and how to report suspected abuse to authorities.

“Abuse is not a natural disaster. It is not something that happens with no warning signs or knowledge. It is an event that is preventable with the right resources such as policies, screening procedures and training,” said Aaron Lundberg, president and CEO of Praesidium. “Through our partnership with the PC(USA) and Insurance Board, we are able to offer these resources so churches can protect their congregations from the devastating effects of abuse.”

PC(USA) churches and individual members can call the Helpline to discuss concerns and incidents of abuse, seek criminal background checks and utilize an online Self-Assessment Tool to identify potential gaps in abuse risk management practices within their organization. Those resources can be found at www.InsuranceBoard.org/abuse_prevention.

Read more.

Prison Congregations of America

In May 2016, the Presbytery of Olympia said YES to partnering with Prison Congregations of America to start a new worshipping community in the Women's Correctional Center of Washington. 

Here's a video that introduces PCA.

The ministry is gathering together those individuals who feel called to serve on the "Outside Council" for the ministry. If you have felt the nudge of the Holy Spirit, a general interest or just want to know more, please contact the Stated Clerk, Rev. Kari McFarland. Mary Mortensen, the Executive Director of Prison Congregations of America will be visiting the Presbytery for our May 20 gathering. She will be helping to invite attendees to prayerfully consider involvement in this new ministry! 

 

Candidate for Executive Presbyter

Rev. Christine T. Long

Rev. Christine T. Long

THE REV. CHRISTINE T. LONG
Final Candidate for Executive Presbyter
Olympia Presbytery

Christine is a compassionate faith leader in the PCUSA.  She aims for a balanced approach in ministry through creativity and organization.  She strives for her life and ministry to be a witness of God’s hope and transformative love.  Her motto is the African proverb, “If you want to go fast, go alone.  If you want to go far, go together.

Christine is just completing her twelfth year as Associate Pastor at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Olympia.  She has served in youth ministry at The United Churches of Olympia and Cornerstone Presbyterian.  While studying music in college she served as Children’s Choir Director at University Place Presbyterian and as Youth Choir Director at Little Church on the Prairie.  She has also served congregations in Caldwell, NJ, Kendall Park, NJ, and Roseville, CA.

Over the last 20 years Christine has held various positions in the Olympia Presbytery including Moderator of the Commission on Ministry, Moderator of the Presbytery, liaison to the Board of Pensions, Healthy Boundaries Facilitator, Strategic Board member, mentor, and member of various task forces and sub-committees.  She has enjoyed serving congregations with deep commitment and serving the presbytery with the same energy and loyalty.

She holds a Master of Divinity from Princeton Theological Seminary and a Bachelor of Music in Flute Performance from the University of Puget Sound, Tacoma WA.  Christine resides in Olympia with her husband James, her son, Donovan, currently a student at Capital High School, and her daughter Bridget, who is studying oboe at the Boston Conservatory.  In addition to spending time with her family, Christine finds rejuvenation through healthy eating, exercise, reading, caring for two dogs and two cats, and music.

Christine looks forward to partnering with Olympia Presbytery sisters and brothers in ministries that nurture, empower, and strengthen diverse pastors, churches, and communities.  She seeks to offer her skills as a natural connector of people, curator of resources, and collaborator to support congregations as they live into their call to bring the light and hope of Christ to their communities and the world.

Per Capita 2017

Dear Treasurers and Sessions of the Presbytery, 

2017 is a transition year (again) for OlyPres, and we are getting a new bookkeeper up and running. Per Capita invoices will be coming by mid-January, along with other information. In the mean time, you are welcome to pass along the Revised 2017 Remittance Form (PDF or Excel) to the appropriate person in your congregation to include with any funds sent to the Presbytery. 

Sincerely, 

Rev. Kari McFarland
Stated Clerk/Presbytery Administrator


2017 Per Capita: $39.00
Presbytery    $ 30.00
Synod                 1.50
GA                      7.50

2018 Per Capita*: $39.25
Presbytery       $ 30.02
Synod                    1.50
GA                         7.73
*2018 GA Per capita has been set, but the Presbytery and Synod are still 2017 approvals.

Reminders & Resources regarding PER CAPITA

Launching a Satellite called “Grace”

Please pray for a new worshipping community called “Lakewood Grace,” launching this Sunday at 4:44 pm at Harrison Preparatory School in Lakewood as a satellite ministry of Little Church on the Prairie. It will continue every 4th Sunday at 4:44 pm. This ministry intends to reach 20-30 year olds in Lakewood.

Support survivors of Hurricane Matthew

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance provides help for those impacted by the storm.

Hurricane Matthew has caused death and destruction across the Caribbean and southeastern United States, including more than 800 dead, thousands injured, and the destruction of communities and crops, especially in Haiti. Many impacted areas were still recovering from previous flooding and other disasters. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) is supporting the delivery of emergency aid to those impacted, working with our partners in the ACT Alliance (Action by Churches Together) and local staff who had been monitoring the completion of prior earthquake and hurricane projects. 

In Haiti, PDA is leveraging long-standing church partnerships to assess damage and to develop long-term disaster recovery and rebuilding strategies. Ecumenical partner ACT Alliance has already issued an appeal for over $1 million to assist relief efforts in Cuba, and is working with partners throughout the Caribbean to evaluate needs in Jamaica, the Bahamas, and beyond. After immediate needs are addressed, PDA will remain, drawing upon its strong relationships and effective prior development efforts in the region. 

Throughout the southeastern United States, PDA has reached out to pastors and presbytery leaders in areas impacted by the storm. Extensive flooding and storm surges throughout the region have damaged many homes and churches. National Response Team members are mobilizing to visit affected presbyteries and to support local development of disaster response and recovery plans. In the coming weeks, PDA will begin deploying teams into as many as seven presbyteries and providing assistance to congregations mucking out as the waters recede. 

The needs for the response are great. God’s people are once again called on to stand in the “GAP”—Give. Act. Pray.

Give: Financial support for relief efforts can be designated for Hurricane Matthew by giving to DR000193. Gifts can be made online, by phone at (800) 872-3283, or by check, which can be mailed to:

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 
P.O. Box 643700
Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700

Act: Learn how you and your congregation can help families who have lost everything in the devastation. Stay informed and like us on Facebook,download resources, and share updates with your congregation.

Pray: Pray for those who suffered loss of family or home or for those who are working tirelessly to provide rescue, humanitarian aid, and spiritual and psychological support.

Read more.

Staff & Structure Recommendations

Staff & Structure Recommendations

The attached proposal will be a major item of business at our Presbytery meeting next week. We wanted to send it out ahead of the docket to give you time to read it and reflect on it. The Strategic Board has been working on this for several months as we announced already at our State of the Presbytery meeting in February.

Keith Tanis, for the Strategic Board

Former President of Umoja Presbyterian Congregation Dies

Former President of Umoja Presbyterian Congregation Dies

Ruling Elder Joram Kinyanjui Mbugua returned to his native Kenya at the beginning of June. Joram wanted to return to a warmer climate and to be back in his homeland with his family. Shortly after returning he had to check into a care facility.  On the afternoon of June 30th he had a massive cardiac incident and died at 4:30.

Joram Kinyanjui Mbugua was born on 23rd March 1940, in Kinoo Village as the first born to the late Evanson Mbugua and the late Mary Wanyora. He was brother to Gladwell Wambui Mbugua, Rahab Wanjiku Chege and the late Ruth Wanjiku Mbugua.

Education
As a young boy he performed various duties, which included tending to his father’s cattle, goats and sheep by taking them to pasture and to the river. He started his education in 1947 at Ruthimitu Primary School, which he completed in 1954.

He was immediately employed at East African Forestry Research Organization (Muguga), now known as KARI. Later he joined Gailey & Roberts before moving, in 1959, to Standard Newspapers. His marketing experience allowed him to move to a position at Taylor Adforce in 1963, where his hard work and diligence to duty earned him several promotions. He was eventually appointed Marketing Director, the position he held until his retirement in 1998.
In his interactions with people at work, in the church or his neighbors and friends he was always cheerful and ever eager to bring them nearer to God, to love His word, and to become prayer warriors.

Joram was baptized at an early age, and was later confirmed at the age of twelve years. He was chosen as a deacon in 1978.  He was ordained as an Elder of the Church in 1982 and elected to the post of Secretary in 1985 which he held until 1988. 

He served as chairman of the Evangelism Committee in the larger Kinoo Parish as well as chief coordinator in all Parish gatherings. In his service he was so full of zeal to preach the Word of God that he would often go from door to door, distributing leaflets and Bibles to people wherever he could find them, sharing the love of God with them.

Joram was an active member of Umoja Presbyterian Church.  During the process of becoming part of the 1001 New Worshipping Communities of the PCUSA, he became President of the congregation, a post he held until his return to Kenya.  During that time the congregation secured funding and was able to bring Rev. John Alfred, a pastor in the Presbyterian Church of East Africa (PCEA).  His ardent faith and joy in following Jesus Christ radiated in all that he did. Former Clerk of Session, Henry Kiema, said, "Joram was a true warrior."  Rev. David Alger, who moderated the session and worked closely with the congregation for over 3 years said, "Joram was a kind and thoughtful Christian leader."  This was so clear when he raised funds to help pay the medical expenses for the pastor's daughter, who was injured in an automobile accident...even before Pastor Alfred came to this country. He knew what it meant to serve and he did so joyfully.  I will miss this dear friend and brother in Christ and I pray that his leadership and faithfulness will continue to bear fruit as Umoja grows."

Joram met Pauline Njeri Kamunyu, and on 7 July 1965 they married at PCEA Ng’enda Church. She became his beloved wife for 51 years of love, sharing and companionship. They were blessed with four children namely, Robert Mbugua, Evanson Kamunyu, Mary Wanyora and Florence Wambui.

Any gifts in Joram's memory may be made to the Umoja Presbyterian Church through the Presbytery of Olympia

2016 General Assembly Nominee

Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD) Nominee: Stephen Hornyak

2016 GA Logo.jpg

I would be honored to serve as a Young Adult Advisory Delegate from the Olympia Presbytery to General Assembly in June 2016.  The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is important to me.  I am interested in engaging in the work of the denomination, learning about the questions before the General Assembly, voicing my opinions and listening to others.

I am a member of Lakewood Presbyterian Church (LPC).  I attend worship regularly at LPC, run the sound system during worship, and serve occasionally as a worship leader.  I am active in the church youth group, and I often assist my mother in her work as the church custodian.  I have also been a camper at Camp Sound View, and have been a part of the Leader in Training (LIT) program the past two summers.

I am a junior at Bethel High School.  I am a strong student and a leader.  I am maintaining a 4.0 GPA, and am the Vice President of the National Honor Society this year.  I am a member of both the jazz band and the concert band.  I enjoy leading, including being the class Treasurer in 10th and 11th grade, mentoring 5th grade students at a local elementary school, managing the school track and field team, and being the cinematographer of the football team.  Among other activities, I participate in National History Day, in which I placed 5th in state last year. 

I am a hard worker, and if elected I will do my best to represent the Olympia Presbytery well at General Assembly.  Thank you for your consideration.


2016 General Assembly Nominee

Teaching Elder (Pastor) Nominee: Rev. Taeler Morgan

I am honored to be nominated as a GA commissioner for Olympia Presbytery and happy to tell you a little bit about myself. I am a native of Southern California who came to faith in Jesus as a teenager from a non-religious background. I graduated from Cal State San Marcos with a degree in Literature and Writing and did my MDiv at Bethel Seminary, San Diego. I’ve been married to my wonderful husband, Tim, for 14 years and am mother to my delightful almost-2-year-old daughter, Eliana (you may have seen her picture once or twice if we are Facebook friends or if I’ve had my cell phone in your general proximity).

I have been a part of Olympia Presbytery for five years, serving as Associate Pastor of Spiritual Formation at University Place Presbyterian Church during that time. I’ve served the Presbytery as a member of COM for 3 years, a member of the Executive Presbyter Search Committee, a representative to the BOP Western Regional Benefits Consultation of 2015 and recently as part a team helping to plan worship for our Presbytery meetings.

I’ve just returned from a trip to China and Taiwan where I was able to spend the better part of a week with our PCUSA Moderator, Heath Rada, while visiting one of our mission co-workers. It was a great opportunity to talk directly with him about his recent Call the to Church, what that means for the upcoming GA, what our mission work is looking like in light of recent challenges (an area of particular interest to me), and what possibilities the future may hold. I came away encouraged but also with many more questions. I hope that, if elected, I can be helpful to our presbytery and churches by serving well with our larger denomination and would appreciate your prayers for me as I strive to do so.

2016 General Assembly Nominee

Ruling Elder Nominee: David Ammons

I am honored to be nominated as a commissioner to GA from the Presbytery of Olympia and would be pleased to serve on your behalf if elected.  I am a 31-year member of Westminster of Olympia and the Presbytery. I am a member of the Strategic Board and have enjoyed serving as a congregational care team member in the past. I have been an elder since my early days as a 30-something newcomer to the denomination and currently am in my fifth term as ruling elder, serving as finance chairman, choir member, lay leader, centennial chairman, and a variety of other roles over the years.  What a joy to serve alongside other motivated and creative people at both congregational and Presbytery level! They inspire me.
 
PCUSA, the Presbytery and Westminster have been essential in my faith journey, which literally began at my mother's knee as a youngster. She was a Methodist circuit-rider's PK and lives a glowing life of faith in our Lord Jesus Christ and helped me catch the spark early in life. My journey as an adult led to me to PCUSA and it is here that I find the discipline and inspiration, the robust sense of community and inclusiveness, the education I love and the worship and music my soul needs, and the "social gospel" that compels me to take my faith into the world in which I live out my weeks and years.
 
My career has been in journalism and public policy. I worked as a political journalist for The Associated Press for 38 years, did public television as host of "Inside Olympia" on TVW for five years, and have been communications director and senior policy adviser to the Secretary of State for more than seven years. The workplace is our proving ground for living a faithful and exemplary life that bespeaks our wellspring of loving Christ.

I believe firmly that God is calling our denomination to a "new thing" and that our best days are in front of us as we launch into "missional transformation" and are inclusive and faithful in taking the gospel into the community and into the world.