Blackhawk Presbytery
Monday, April 06, 2020
Supporting Thriving Faith Communities in Northern Illinois
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Blackhawk Presbytery
1922 N. IL Rte. 2
P.O. Box 199
Oregon, IL 61061


Stronghold Camp & Retreat Center

Synod of Lincoln Trails

Presbyterian Church (USA)

The per capita assessment for 2020 is $38.47
(GA-$8.95; Synod-$3.81; Blackhawk
Presbytery $25.71)
by Church

Our Vision and Values

     Grounded in the biblical image for human community, as disciples of our Lord Jesus Christ, we challenge and support congregations to be thriving faith communities by facilitating competent leadership and resourcing to energize ministry and mission.
     As Christians, guided by the principles of love, trust, open communication, and genuine relationships, we value each other as sisters and brothers in faith in all our varied theological understandings. Therefore, we relish respectful discussions of differing opinions as a necessary part of discerning the will of God.
                                                                                 Statement adopted November, 2017


COVID-19 Response Task Force Introduction




In an effort to support our congregations and pastors in this time when things are rapidly changing and we are all stretched into new ways of doing ministry, our Council has formed a COVID-19 Response Task Force to provide information, support, and avenues for sharing with each other. The Task Force will stay in place as long as necessary.


This is the first of regular communications you will receive from the Task Force. The updates will include information that will help you with worship and communion, offering and stewardship, government and PCUSA resources and news, as well as general tips we are all learning as we go. All email updates will be provided with “COVID-19 Task Force Update” in the subject line so you can easily find it in your e-mailbox.

Care and Share

We also want to care for you and strengthen our networks within the presbytery for sharing of ideas and resources. We have started regular Zoom meetings for pastors to check in, care for one another, ask questions, and share resources. These will continue. If your church does not have regular pastoral care, another representative is more than welcome. Let us know and we will include them in our invitations.

What Do You Need?

We are eager to know what you need. The “care and share” Zoom meetings are a great vehicle to share those needs, but we also encourage you to let us know your needs by contacting the Presbytery office at any time. We want to be a resource for you.

What’s Pressing Now? Embracing Grace

Many of you are feeling some relief now, having gotten over the first major hurdle of figuring out remote worship. Some are tweaking what is now in place, others pretty well established, and some might still be wondering what to do about this. Whatever state you’re in, know that it’s okay! Try to avoid comparing yourselves to others and instead focus on the needs, culture, and resources of your own community of faith as you strive to serve God and your neighbor.

We are all looking toward Easter, all with anxiety and sadness and some with energy around developing creative ways to celebrate remotely. Wherever you find yourself on the continuum of preparation, receive some grace. Easter can be celebrated at any time! In fact, we believers celebrate every Sunday. Many congregations are maintaining a forward-looking posture and already thinking about the day everyone returns to the sanctuary, with plans to celebrate Easter Sunday on that day. Imagine it – we will truly feel the power of resurrection when that day comes!

So, do make April 12th an Easter celebration, but don’t feel pressure to make it the remote-worship equivalent of what you would do ordinarily. But if you plan for a big Easter Sunday celebration when we get back together, do communicate your plans to your congregation.

Friends, you are God’s beloved. God will give us all we need for this time, and we are here to help with that. Please be in touch.

In Christ,

Your COVID-19 Response Task Force:

       ·     Nancy Dolan (Executive Bridge Presbyter)

·     Eric Heinekamp (Stated Clerk)

·     Chuck Johnson (Presbytery Moderator)

·     Catherine Martin (COM Moderator)

·     Alex Regets (Mission Committee)

·     Barb D’Souza (Rockford Westminster, Commissioned Pastor)

·     Ron Barkby (Elgin First, Elder) 




THE PRESBYTERY OF BLACKHAWK seeks a Transformational Presbyter:

  • To provide spiritual leadership for the Presbytery.
  • To provide churches a personal connection to the Presbytery.
  • To provide pastors needed support.
  • To provide staff support for the Commissions and Committees.


2020 Stated Meeting Sites for the Presbytery of Blackhawk


April 14, 2020

Will be held on Zoom 

Link Available Soon!


June 2, 2020

 Stronghold Camp and Retreat Center

1922 North Illinois Route 2

Oregon, Illinois


September 8, 2020

 First Presbyterian Church

410 2nd Ave.

Sterling, Illinois 61081


November 10, 2020

 Ridgefield-Crystal Lake Presbyterian Church

8505 Church St.

Crystal Lake, Illinois 60012

Presbytery e-Connections