“Teach the wise, and they will become wiser;
inform the righteous, and their learning will increase.”
Proverbs 9:9 (CEB)
According to USC Annenberg’s Center for Third Space Thinking, intellectual curiosity is one of five core attributes – along with adaptability, cultural competency, empathy, and 360-degree thinking – that they identify as “critical for success in today’s complex world.” Intellectual curiosity is defined, in part, as a “hunger for new knowledge, information, and understanding that fuels ever-higher levels of learning.” Of course, this concept is neither new nor novel. The Presbyterian church, in line with many reformed traditions, have valued and promoted education and learning for centuries.
The Presbytery of San Gabriel (PSG), accordingly, is committed to providing opportunities for continued learning for its members and is excited for Winterfest this week (February 1-4), an annual educational conference planned by the Education, Equipping, and
Empowerment Committee (aka “the triple E committee”). You can find information about the sessions and speakers on the Winterfest 2023 flyer located in the Monday Update or on the Presbytery website. And you can register for the event here.
This year’s theme is “Conversations for Church Leaders to Begin 2023” and there are sessions planned to cover a variety of topics. New Elder and Deacon Training (Thursday) led by Executive Presbyter Rev. Wendy Tajima is a great resource for newly ordained elders and deacons. With new rules and regulations enacted every year that can impact your ministry, Legal and HR Issues in Congregations (Friday) by Kay Gustafson, Esq, is highly recommend for anyone serving in church administration or property, personnel, or financial leadership. Stated Clerk for Administration, Rev. Ally Lee and Stated Clerk for Judicial Process, Elder Steve Salyard, will lead General Assembly Amendments Q&A (Friday) to address any questions you may have about the proposed amendments from the 225th General Assembly.
For those planning to attend Dr. Daniel Lee’s session Understanding Asian America for Ministry and Justice (Thursday) and who want to learn more about Asian-American theology, you can check out his new book Doing Asian-American Theology. We are delighted that Dr. Lee joined PSG last year and he is a member of the EEE helping plan this year’s Winterfest. We are also thrilled to have Dr. Elaine Enns, author of Healing Haunting Histories, and Elder Mona Morales Recalde, recently elected commissioner to the Native American Indian Commission, to co-lead the session Healing Stories (Wed).
For our Spanish language leaders, Rev. Amy Mendez and Rev. Margarita Reyes will be leading a session on Friday night entitled Influencer y Colaboradores Para El Reino De Dios/ Influences and Collaborators for the Kingdom of God. We a blessed by the depth of wisdom and experience both Rev. Mendez and Rev. Reyes bring to our Presbytery.
This year’s Winterfest will conclude on Saturday, February 4, with an in-person plenary session immediately following the scheduled Presbytery meeting at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Pasadena. The plenary session will be a panel-discussion on the topic of Reimaging Church Building Use, aimed to inspire all of us to reimagine and reconsider how we can best steward the properties entrusted to us for the good of our neighbors. We will welcome Rev. Victor Cyrus-Franklin, Lead Pastor of Grace UMC of Los Angeles and Inglewood First UMC; Rev. Carlton A. Rhoden, Head of Staff/Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church of Los Angeles; Rev. Bert Newton, Making Housing and Community Happen Pasadena; and Philip Burns, Chair of Congregational Land Committee of MHCH and Principle Planner at the Arroyo Group.
A quick shout-out to the EEE Committee for their hard work in planning Winterfest. I hope to see many of you this week on Zoom and in Pasadena!
Associate Executive Presbyter