Synod of Lincoln Trails, PC(USA)
Monday, February 18, 2019
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2018 Stated
Meeting Schedule:
Friday & Saturday
April 20-21
Indiana Interchurch Center
(Synod Office)
1100 W. 42nd Street
Indianapolis, IN 46208
Friday & Saturday
October 19-20
St. Luke Union Church
2101 E. Washington Street
Bloomington, IL 61701
Reports and papers for all meetings will be posted under For Commissioners and Committee Members/Meeting Papers.
Judy Johnson will alert all those invited to the synod meetings when papers are available for downloading.
1100 W. 42nd Street
Suite 210
Indianapolis, IN 46208
The Mission of the Synod of Lincoln Trails of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is to develop, nurture and support leaders in partnership with our presbyteries and congregations and coordinate Presbyterian mission strategy within the synod. 

Holding on and letting go … coming, going, and living life as an interim pastor. Rev. Dr. Laura Reason shares from her 25 years of service to 20 churches.  


Rev. Dr. Laura Reason is an interim pastor. Over the past 25 years, she has worked with 20 congregations, most often during the interim phase of their transitional journeys. Currently transitional teaching elder for the United Presbyterian Church of Peoria, Ill., Rev. Reason also has held six pastorates in Illinois and Indiana and has served the larger Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as an educational consultant, workshop leader for regional educational events, and a field site supervisor for student pastors from McCormick. For 15 years, she was preaching faculty for the Synod of Lincoln Trails Commissioned Lay Pastor Training and Continuing Education programs and moderator of the Synod School Task Force. A former trustee on McCormick’s board and a former member of the Alumni Council, she works on behalf of various presbyteries’ Committee on Ministry (COM), often moderating the sessions of vacant churches and serving as the COM liaison for the interim time.

“If an interim pastor can help a congregation live out Matthew 18:15-20, and Ephesians 4:1-16, she will have done a lot. As we hold our lives and circumstances up to the light of Scripture, we find ways to communicate, serve, and worship together.”  


Click Here for More of Her Story


Synod of Lincoln Trails YMCP Cohort


The Synod of Lincoln Trails and The Youth Cartel are excited to sponsor a Youth Ministry Coaching Program cohort for youth workers within the synod. The cohort will begin in August or September of 2018 and will meet for two days at a time every other month, a total of six times. The Fourth Presbyterian Church of Chicago (126 E Chestnut) will host all gatherings.


Questions about the cohort and registration should be directed to Rocky Supinger at


Find out more about the Youth Ministry Coaching Program at



Why I Attended #MeToo Synod Gathering

by Rev. Barbara Kenley 


They had me at the hashtag! I felt like I’d been watching this movement from the sidelines, like a player dying to get off the bench. The Synod Gathering was my chance to listen and learn in a safe environment, then determine how to respond.


For two days in March, about two dozen clergywomen and church professionals gathered at St. Luke United Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, IL, at the invitation of the Synod of Lincoln Trails Executive Sara Dingman and Presbytery of Chicago Executive Rev. Sue Krummel. We learned from two members of the LeaderWise* staff, Caroline Burke, PhD, LP and Krista Redlinger-Grosse, PhD, ScM. We examined our culture’s marginalization of women and the growth of the #MeToo movement in response to it.**


After recognizing current systemic prejudices against women, the reflection took a more personal turn. Each woman had a “me too” story of her own, both inside and outside the church. These ranged from workplace exclusion to pay discrimination to verbal harassment and physical assault. Some issues had been handled effectively by presbyteries, but many had not. Some had been completely ignored. Very few had had positive outcomes. Clearly, the women gathered had a pent-up need to share in a safe place with others who could understand and empathize. The sense of relief in the room – of burdens lightened – was palpable.


While the gathering would have been worthwhile if only to lighten the load carried by those of us who serve the Lord, it shifted from being about us to being about ALL of us. We participants rose above our own circumstances to consider how we might respond to future discrimination in light of our new awareness.  How we might stand up as allies of other clergywomen and church professionals in the face of discrimination. How we could help the denomination live into its ideals. How we could help the larger society welcome the equality of all people. Many creative ideas for actions were shared and committed to. Hope was blossoming.


Hope continues to bloom in me as I share with others about these dynamic two days in March. People are eager to hear what happened; it is a topic that engages women and men alike. They want to end sexism and promote equality, but they don’t know how. This is where the church can help. When the church dares to stand up with the #MeToo movement, we just might find ourselves relevant to the world around us. What a refreshing discovery that will be!


Thanks to the Synod of Lincoln Trails for underwriting this landmark event. Sign me #grateful.


* LeaderWise “provides counseling and consulting for lives of service” for almost 50 years. The Synod of Lincoln Trails contracts with LeaderWise for such things as candidate assessment and clergy leadership development.


** In 2006 social activist Tarana Burke used the phrase “Me Too” on MySpace social network as part of a grassroots campaign to connect and promote empowerment through empathy by women of color who had experienced sexual abuse. This movement grew quietly until 15 October 2017 when actress Alyssa Milano encouraged the spreading of the phrase through Twitter. Milano hoped to expose the pervasiveness of sexual abuse, assault and harassment in our society.


Synod Continues to Provide Transitional Ministry Education
with the MALT Program for 2019 
The next Art of Transitional Ministry is May 13-17, 2019 in St. Louis, MO.  Visit for more information.  For additional information, contact Beth Wagner, MALT Team Leader ( or for questions regarding logistics, contact Danelle O'Connell ( in the Synod of Mid-America office (913-608-7662).
Scheduled Training Event for 2019:
     Transitional Ministry Education - Week I & II: May 13-17 in Saint Louis, MO
     Executive Leadership Training 3.0: May 13-17 in Saint Louis, MO

Synod Underwrites Healthy Boundaries & Ethics Training Programs

The Synod of Lincoln Trails is fully underwriting a synodwide HEALTHY BOUNDARIES & ETHICS TRAINING program for all 8 presbyteries. The idea is that you can go to ANY of the identical 5-hr workshops being offered at strategic locations throughout Illinois and Indiana, and receive boundaries certification from your presbytery of membership (not to mention a free lunch). Two workshops were offered in 2017, facilitated by synod partner Dr. Mark Sundby of LeaderWise.

Stay tuned for workshops coming to Peoria and Geneva, IL.

Synod Approves Sankofa Trip for 2018


JUNE 6 - 10, 2018
The Synod Sankofa is an intentional, cross-cultural prayer journey that seeks
to move followers of Christ toward God's vision for social justice.
Who:     Ages 18+
What:    A community of justice-seekers
When:   June 6-10, 2018
Why:     Micah 6:8
Scholarships are available.
Register/Inquire at:
Click Here for Web Site

Synod Continues Funding Opportunity For 2018
Mission Initiative Grants are one-time grants of 'seed' money designed to help begin new congregation based missional activities. These one-time grants are for dollar amounts up to $1,500 and grant recipients will be able to share their stories and progress six months and one year after receipt of the grant. 
Trees need three essential things to grow strong:
               digging the dirt around the roots, loosening of soil so nutrients can get to the roots;
               water, transport of nutrients; and,
Using this metaphor, the Synod is supplying the seeds or seedlings in the form of grant funds. In the application you will have the opportunity to relay the ways that you will be supplying the three essentials while growing a strong new mission through your congregation.
The Synod meets two times in 2018 and applications received prior to each meeting will be reviewed at that meeting. If you have any questions concerning the new Mission Initiative Grants, please contact Judy Johnson at the Synod office. Please note application deadlines: April 9th for consideration at the April 20th Synod Assembly: and, October 8th for consideration at the October 19-20 Synod Assembly.
Click Here to view the Application Process and Application.
                                                                                          ♦  ♦  ♦
Synod's Mission Initiative Grant at Work...
First Presbyterian Church and Their Buddy Bags Program
Meli Cangahuala, Jamie Schwingle, and Christina Berry (pictured) are hard at work filling bags to provide weekend food for elementary age school children. Click Here to see how the grant process works and to learn more about First Presbyterian Church and their Buddy Bags Program. 

2019 Per Capita Figures

General Assembly: $8.95
Synod of Lincoln Trails:$3.81
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