A Message from the Presbytery

 Presbyterylogo.2015

“The purpose of the Presbytery of Lake Michigan is to challenge, encourage and equip
worshiping communities of faith to make disciples of Jesus Christ with the gifts God gives them.”

 

 

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. May the peace of Christ be with you.

 

The purpose of this communication is to address concerns some have expressed regarding two communications, which you may have received last week.  In one email, the Greenwood Ministry Association announced the formation of its new nonprofit corporation and solicited funding support.  Another email from the Presbytery of Lake Michigan office announced upcoming financial decisions confronting us sharing some hard facts.

 

The Leadership Team reported to Presbytery at the February meeting, that based on consultation with Sessions and various entities by its task force convened by George Hunsberger in fall of 2015, that Presbytery would NOT be operating a camping ministry at Camp Greenwood in 2017.   The Leadership Team appointed a Camp Exploration Transition Team made up of two members of the Leadership Team, and two members of the Greenwood Agency and convened by the General Presbyter to explore two scenarios identified by the earlier Task Force for a new future for Camp Greenwood.  Those scenarios include collaboration with other camp(s).  This team has been in communication with several interested groups.  Thursday, August 18th is the deadline for proposals.  The team is scheduled to meet Monday, August 22nd to consider proposals.  They will report and make recommendation to the Leadership Team.  The Leadership Team will hold a hearing on Thursday, August 25 to hear from the Camp Exploration Transition Team.  Members of the Budget & Finance Committee, the Greenwood Agency, and the Discipleship Ministry Team have been invited to hear, ask questions, and comment on this initial report to the Leadership Team.  They will update Presbytery at the September 17th meeting.  They will work through October to perfect the preferred proposal, and share recommendation to Presbytery in November for consideration at the December 6th meeting.  The Presbytery approved plan will then be put into motion.

 

The Greenwood Ministry Association is one group preparing a proposal in coalition with Camp Westminster at Higgins Lake to conduct camping ministry at Camp Greenwood next year.  For their proposal to be considered they need to show financial viability with a five year business plan.  Other anticipated proposals will likely involve selling camp property and reinvesting in other camp ministry.

 

The Presbytery Office communication was not authorized by the Leadership Team or Budget & Finance Committee.   We regret this communication implied to some advocacy for a particular position.  Its intent was to share the larger financial stress within many of our congregations and presbytery.  The Budget & Finance Committee reports a significant operating deficit this year.  The Budget & Finance Committee held budget hearings with ministry unit leaders yesterday, Tuesday, August 16.  The concern was that people need to know that something has to give.  Either we find new income, or some combination of major reductions will be required for campus ministries, covenant partners and presbytery staff.

 

Important decisions are before us!  In facing them, may we live out our faith in boldness and not fear.  We covenant to guide in an informed transparent process.  We encourage everyone to bring your best Christ like selves to this difficult task and to whatever decision(s) are made.

 

Yours in Christ,

 

Helen Havlik, Moderator

Andrew Thorburn Vice Moderator

George Hunsberger, Past Moderator/Leadership Team Chairperson

John Best, General Presbyter

Fran Lane Lawrence, Stated Clerk

Wayne Komejan, Treasurer

 

 

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