Presbytery of Blackhawk


June 18, 2024

Countdown to

General Assembly

Prayers are requested for GA Commissioners, the office of the General Assembly and all leadership as they begin their work on June 25 with a brief online plenary. Two more days of online committee work will follow before commissioners travel to Salt Lake City. On June 29 worship and plenary sessions begin, continuing through July 4. Committee and plenary meetings will be livestreamed on the GA226 website.

A new feature, GA226 for Observers, provides education and information to those who are not attending GA in person.

Resources include the "Along the Road" podcasts, webinars, and documents on being Presbyterian, how the Assembly works, and equity and inclusion.

2024 Guide for Mental Health Ministry

New Resource from

Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy

Many congregations have recognized the importance of faith communities taking an active role in community mental health efforts. This guide is intended to encourage congregations to educate themselves regarding the contemporary needs of individuals and families experiencing serious mental illness and to point toward a wide variety of resources available to congregations as they nurture mental health ministries within their contexts.

The guide is categorized into three sections. The first encourages the cultivation of mental health ministries; the second offers a theological framework; and the third provides suggestions on how to build and use networks and community connections. MORE INFORMATION

May 14 Presbytery Assembly minutes are posted on the website

(password required - contact us if you do not have it)


GA Bulletin Inserts

Now Available

Books & Resources to Foster Spiritual Development 

Preaching Resource Guide

Open Searches for Pastoral Leadership in Blackhawk

Head of Staff (Head of Staff/Senior Pastor,)

First Presbyterian,Joliet

Solo Pastor: Installed

Second Cong./First Pres.


Solo Pastor: Installed

First Presbyterian, Fairbury

Commissioned Ruling Elder

First Presbyterian, Fairbury

Solo Pastor: Installed

First Presbyterian, Mendota

Commissioned Ruling Elder

First Presbyterian, Mendota

See the CLC for more info - anyone can do an opportunity search

The Current

Blackhawk Prayer Calendar

can be found on our website.

Kewanee First Presbyterian celebrates the Juneteenth holiday with a rededication of their special window.


We are Pleased to Present this Recognition to 15 Blackhawk Congregations

Congratulations to the 15 congregations who met the requirements to receive Blackhawk Presbytery’s “Six for Six” award for 2023 – the sixth year since initiating the honor. We are grateful for the support given for the work of Blackhawk Presbytery and the broader church and wish to honor that commitment.

Award winners for 2023:

Ridgefield-Crystal Lake

DeKalb Westminster


Galena First

Geneva Fox Valley

Henry First United

Joliet Westminster

Mendota First (First Time)

Morris First

Morrison First

Pontiac First

Rockford Second/First

Rockford Westminster

Sterling First

Woodstock First


Presbyterian Women in the

Presbytery of Blackhawk (PWP) News

Congratulations to four women who received scholarship funds to help with expenses for the Presbyterian Women Churchwide Gathering in August in St. Louis, MO. Jill Sunday will be representing Blackhawk Presbytery at the business meeting portion of the event. It will be five exciting fully packed days with lots of activities. 

All congregations are encouraged to assemble Church World Service Kits again this year. The need for them is great in many areas of the world. Even a financial contribution would be helpful. Please have whoever is coordinating this program contact Jill Sunday with their goal. 

Earlier, PWP had announced that they would be disbanding or shutting down this summer, due to the need for leadership. If and when there is interest in starting up again, the current officers will be glad to help get the Presbyterian Women in Blackhawk active again.

In the meantime, Mission funds are being distributed to the Birthday Offering and Thank Offering. PWP records are being gathered and organized and will be sent to the national archives when complete. The checking account will be closed after the expenses for storing the records is finished. The PWP Coordinating Team is planning to meet one more time after the Churchwide Gathering to finalize details, so stay tuned.


of the

Discovery Guide

for your

Summer Travels!


Save the Dates and Share

Stronghold Fall Breakaway

November 1-2-3, 2024

Middle School/High School Retreat

Upbeat worship, small group conversations, plenty of free time, outdoor recreation

Registration materials will be available in September. 

Contact: Stephen Bowie 815-962-7889


February 2025    

Confirmation Event at Stronghold


Presbyterian Youth Triennium

July 28-31, 2025

Louisville, KY

3,000 young people and leaders deepening their faith in Jesus Christ.

Registration will happen in the

first months of 2025

Flexibility Sought for Small Congregations

As churches are shrinking, and the ability to pay full-time pastors or convince them to consider smaller or rural pastoral contexts, the denomination will need to be more flexible and nimble to meet the needs of these congregations.

Three GA overtures could be especially pertinent to the small church or rural context:

  1. POL-03 could offer small congregations flexibility in the ways they constitute themselves
  2. CF-01 seeks affordability and the needs of smaller churches to be factors in development of new denominational Christian formation materials
  3. ORD-07 expands the authority of Commissioned Pastors

Continue Reading The Presbyterian Outlook ( article by Blake Brinegar

Stewardship Kaleidoscope

Live in Portland, Oregon or online

September 23-25

A great conference for a great price!


General Assembly is for you.

General Assembly IS you!

Follow along with these updates.

Or find ALL the business before the assembly at

Field Trip with LANA Recap

The perfect weather of June 5 was ideal for a delightful visit to historical sites in NW Illinois. About 25 people from 11 different Blackhawk Presbytery congregations walked in the steps of: the indigenous Woodland-culture mound builders (400 - 1000 CE), the settler and native combatants in the Black Hawk War (summer 1832), and the members of the oldest church in the Northwest Territories - First Pres. of Galena (established 1831).

And along the way, our friends at Schapville Zion Presbyterian (established 1844) hosted the group and the tour guides at all our stops gave us food for thought about how we use, honor and respect this history.

Jim McCrea shares the history of Galena First

Kathy P. and Laurie W.-

Thank you to the LANA Task Force for all the arrangements

Apple River Fort State Historic Site

Sculpture of Black Hawk, Sauk Leader

Apple River Interpretive Center

Discussion and lunch at Schapville Zion Presbyterian Church

On Casper Bluff

- a sight for the ages

Casper Creek Natural Conservation Cemetary


Presbytery Meeting

Tuesday, September 10, 2024

9:30 am - in person only

Stronghold Camp & Retreat Center


The per capita assessment for:

2024 is $43.00

Church payments are posted monthly on the website

Visit our website:

Presbytery of Blackhawk

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.

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