Happy New... Ministry!

As we begin a new year in OlyPres, God calls us to new ministry!  Where will YOU start?!

  •        Responding to the challenge from Moderator Julie Johnson?
  •        Providing a car for UMOJA?
  •        Planning a new church in Gig Harbor?
  •        Praying for a new worshipping community in Tacoma?

From our moderator, Rev. Julie Johnson

At the “State of the Presbytery” meeting last February, the Strategic Board announced two missional priorities for the Presbytery of Olympia:

1.     We will create three new church developments in the next three years (2015-2018), and

2.     In the next three years (2015-2018) we will invest resources of time, money and leadership into the mission of our current congregations.

I am delighted that during 2015, the Strategic Board has created two kinds of grants to achieve these priorities:  New Ways Grants for New Worshiping Communities, and Revitalization Grants which are matching grants for the purpose of revitalizing existing churches.  These new grants seek to support and inspire the Presbytery of Olympia toward fulfilling its mission of glorifying God through Christ Jesus by fostering missional congregations and a common mission that embodies the kingdom of God.   In addition, OlyPres still offers Seed Grants, Hunger Grants, and Peacemaking Grants. 

I encourage you to take a look at detailed information about all our grants.  You can find this information along with grant applications at www.olypres.org/grants.  These grants are designed in a creative and flexible manner, and they provide opportunity for imaginative thinking that will help us meet adaptive challenges and engage new people in Olympia Presbytery with the love of Jesus. 

Pray and think big with me, Presbytery of Olympia!  Let’s begin generating great ideas… I know I have several ideas myself.  We have great tasks ahead of us, and a supportive Presbytery to help us along the way.  Please feel free to contact Executive Presbyter Keith Tanis (keith@olypres.org), Stated Clerk Kari McFarland (statedclerk@olypres.org), Vice Moderator Harlan Shoop (harlanshoop@comcast.net), or me (julie.scheer.johnson@msn.com) with any questions.  We would love to be in contact with you.

Warmly in Christ,

Rev. Julie Johnson, Presbytery Moderator.

UMOJA needs a good used car

As many of you are aware, Umoja Presbyterian Worshipping Community is the newest church start in our presbytery.  It is unique in that it is a Kenyan community that worships in Kikuyu and English.  Our new pastor just arrived in early December.  His name is the Rev. John Kinoti Alfred. The congregation worships in the facilities of Lakewood Presbyterian Church.

We have one unique need that someone in our presbytery might be able to meet.  We need to secure a donated automobile in good running condition.  This will enable the pastor to do the necessary tasks of evangelism and new member development.  A car could be donated to the church, which, in turn, could provide a tax deduction for the donor.

We are very excited about this newly developing congregation, and we sincerely hope that someone in our presbytery might be able to help with this pressing need.  If that someone is you, please contact me at the phone or email listed below.

Rev. David T. Alger, Moderator

Umoja Presbyterian



A new church in Gig Harbor

Our Task Force for New Worshipping Communities has begun a conversation with Prison Congregations of America that we hope will lead to planting a new congregation in the Women’s Correctional Center of Washington in Gig Harbor (often known as “Purdy”). PCA has 28 congregations across the country, including ELCA, UMC and CRC. They would love to have a PCUSA congregation here in WA! If you would like to be part of the conversation, or if you know someone else who might, please contact Keith Tanis (keith@olypres.org). We would love to have several congregations collaborate in launching this new church.

Dinner Church in Tacoma

Rachel Haxtema is a member of our Task Force for New Worshipping Communities. She has started a “dinner church” in Tacoma. This model is already underway in many communities around the country. Rachel is seeking ordination in the UCC, but worships at Bethany Pres in Tacoma. Please pray for this new ministry. Also pray for Rachel and her husband, Zane, as they welcomed new (and first) baby Samuel just a couple of weeks ago!