From our Presbytery – support for Sherman Park

From the Presbytery of Milwaukee:

August 15, 2016


Yesterday I worshiped with Good Shepherd Trinity church which is located in Sherman Park. During worship, members were invited to come forward and talk about their feelings and concerns regarding the previous night’s rioting and damage to the community. Many shared stories of racism both past and present, and the desire to do something about it. We met after worship to discuss possible strategies and how GST can play a part in the community.

The recent violence, looting, and destruction in the Sherman Park has brought the underlying tensions of Milwaukee to the surface. The challenges of income inequality, mass incarceration, inferior public schools, and housing evictions have been documented in the media, books, reports, and numerous articles. In a youtube video on yesterday, Venice Williams, the speaker at our November presbytery meeting and founder of Alice’s Garden, spoke of when the match was lit that has caused the damage in Sherman Park. I encourage you to watch her video here.

Good Shepherd Trinity sits in Sherman Park about 3 short blocks away from the gas station fire. As a congregation they are grappling with next steps and how to respond to the activities outside of their door. As Presbyterians we are a connected church. This means one congregation’s challenge is a challenge for all of us. I am asking the Presbytery of Milwaukee congregations to come together and be available to help Good Shepherd Trinity during this time. This may mean help with the food pantry or just to staff the building as they open their doors for the community to meet and dialogue in their space. Pray for Good Shepherd Trinity and ask for ways to help.

The issues in Milwaukee are common in Racine, Beloit, Janesville, and Kenosha. They are present in Menomonee Falls, Waukesha, and Washington county. Our congregations cannot solve these problems alone. We must reach out and connect with other communities of faith and not-for-profits. We have an opportunity to work and serve together for the good of the city and the area in which your church is located.

Some efforts are already underway in Milwaukee. The presbytery already partners with Milwaukee Rising as they purchase and rehab properties in Sherman Park. Immanuel and Wauwatosa are focusing on gun violence. Christ is involved in a program for incarceration. Wauwatosa and Christ have scheduled a dialogue with Cross Lutheran. Tippecanoe, North Shore, and Grace Milwaukee have partnered with Hephatha Lutheran, and conducted an arts and science summer literacy camp for inner city children. Many other congregations are having conversations around race and white privilege as well.

These conversations must continue, and demonstrable action must be seen. When urban and suburban congregations work together for justice, we are truly living out the Gospel.

Craig M. Howard

Block Party – Aug 28

Join us for worship at 10am followed immediately by our annual neighborhood Block Party. We will be grilling and hosting a picnic lunch – all are welcome. Backpacks will be given to children in attendance – come and gather with your neighbors and get to know some new friends.


See you at the church!

Gather on the Green – VBS

Join us Aug 22-26 on the north lawn for

Vacation Bible School from 1-3pm.

Come for one day or every day.

Volunteers are needed each day – we share stories, do crafts, have a snack, and get to know each other. Young people from K4-8th grade are welcome – and come on Sunday, August 28 for worship at 10am followed immediately with our Block Party and our Backpack distribution.



May Presbytery Meeting at GST

At our meeting on the May 24, there will be an opportunity to participate in a process led by Laurie Ferguson to determine “What’s Next”. She will lead us in a well thought out procedure that will result in positive directions for the Milwaukee Presbytery.


3:30 Registration and Refreshments

3:50 Announcements

4:00 Presbytery Business Meeting

5:00 Workshop: Facilitator Laurie Ferguson

6:00 Dinner

7:00 Worship Rev. Craig M. Howard preaching

Please join us as we look back at what we accomplished with What’s Next, and ahead to what we can do to equip and inspire congregations and their leaders.

We gather together with Christ as our Leader,

Jeannette Bell, Moderator

Did You Know? … by Carol

April 2016

I’ve been writing this column for three years and I’ve just about told you everything I know. I may start making things up soon. Be alert. Here a few bits and pieces… be taken as truth.

  • An administrator plus some of the older boys from our neighboring Townsend Street School come on Tuesdays to help the food pantry workers clean up at the end of their morning.
  • Clean dishes in our kitchen’s dishwashers do not put themselves away.
  • The Combined Council is now known as the Congregational Council. It’s called the C/C for short. Christian Characters. Cute Cousins. Conspicuous Consumers. Crazy Creeps. It all depends upon Tuesday’s meeting!
  • Half empty bottles of juice left in the small ‘frig off the Narthex turn to nasty juice after a few weeks.
  • Open bags of pretzels or crackers left for “next week’s use” in the Narthex cabinets are forgotten and turn stale after a few weeks.
  • The person who finds these generous left overs turns cranky after a few weeks.
  • Nineteen adults enjoyed coloring in “adult coloring books” at the March TPW luncheon and no one turned red in embarrassment…..must have been pretty pictures.
  • The GST iceberg is almost melted off the front lawn. Spring is coming. God is Good!
  • Someone tidied the narthex coffee fellowship cabinets thus changing cranky person to happy person.
  • C/C Ministry Committees are seeking to add Christian Characters to their committees to help with short term projects. Will you make yourself available?
  • Fourteen kids and five adults went bowling March 13 with Monica and all survived with tales of fun. Merry Christmas.

It takes us a while to get some things done at GST but be assured things are done properly and orderly… least that’s how we’re calling it.

The Transition Team will come calling. Will you make yourself available?

Transition Team News: We’ve Begun!

The Transition Team is formed and beginning its work! On Sunday, March 13, seven people were installed as GST’s Transition Team: Joy Harshberger, Vi Hawkins, Mary Hix, Henry Kranendonk, Kathy Myles, Beverly Stribling, and Lisa Quinn. In partnership with Pastor Wendy, they will lead the congregation in undertaking a visioning process in 2016, in order to discern how God is calling GST to be God’ s people in teh future.

Their first step will be to receive training that will aid them in doing their work. They’ve already attended a worship for congregational leaders led by Sandy Chrostowski of the Greater Milwaukee Synod (ELCA). On March 15th, they met again with Pastor Wendy to continue their orientation. After their training is finished, they’ll begin planning the next steps in the process.


What can you do to support the Transition Team?

First, pray for them daily. Prayer support is vital to the success of this process.

Second, participate when the team begins organizing events. The Transition Team’s purpose is to equip and lead the congregation in its discernment of fresh directions. so you are needed to participate!

Finally, keep up with what the Team is doing. Read future newsletter articles and weekly worship announcements. Listen to mission minutes during worship. And ask questions when you see one of the team members. They’ll be happy to share both their enthusiasm and the team’s progress with you.


Three Sundays in January


During January, the congregation will gather to take
some important steps in our future.
Please save these dates and plan to attend these meetings.
EVERYONE’S participation is important!

January 17 & 24 (attend at least one):  Forums on GST’s Future
Time:   Immediately after worship
Place: Sanctuary
Topic: Pastor Wendy and Council members will present important information about the congregation’s current condition and share the Council’s recommendation that we form a Transition Team to lead the congregation in undertaking a mission and visioning process in 2016.

January 31:  Annual Meeting

Time: Immediately after worship

Place: Sanctuary

Topic: The congregation will meet to celebrate its ministry during the last year; elect new Council members, deacons, and congregational representatives; adopt the 2016 budget; and vote on whether to form a Transition Team to lead a congregational mission and visioning process.

Your participation is vital!  Please plan to attend.