The Acorn
Starr Presbyterian Church
August, 2020
From your Clerk of Session:

Pulpit Search Committee Update to the Congregation


Dear church,

Much has been happening and evolving in our efforts to find a new minister for Starr.  To better describe what has happened over the last few months, I will layout the actions taken to date.  

  • Our Session made the decision to formally join the Detroit Parish Council (DPC) (an affiliation of several Presbyterian churches) a few months ago.  This Council has been focusing on working together to share resources in the various outreach programs sponsored by the participating churches.

  • After some initial meetings, it became apparent that there were potential opportunities to work within the DPC in support of our pastor search efforts.  In addition to Starr, both Kirk in the Hills (KIRK) and the First Presbyterian Church of Troy (FPT) had identified a need for part-time pastor services.

  • A small group of three elders (Don Guthrie from Kirk, Wayne Goeman from FPT, and myself) began meeting to determine if there was a way to help each other.  The result of those discussions was a proposal to seek one full-time pastor that could provide the required services to all three churches.

  • After discussions within our own committee and Session, we continued to work within the DPC to establish a revised job description, and proposed terms of call for this full-time position, the highlights of which follow:

    • The new minister will be head of staff for Starr and will allocate 25 hours of their 50-hour work week to Starr (which is what Marianne’s previous terms of call required).  Kirk and FPT will split up the remaining time. 

    • Starr’s Session will continue to direct the new minister’s efforts in all activities related to Starr. 

    • The new minister will preach three Sundays per month at Starr (including all holidays), one Sunday per month at FPT.

    • The new minister will be hired by and participate in Kirk’s residency program for new ministers.  As such, the new minister will be an employee of Kirk, with Starr and FPT purchasing our pastoral services from Kirk.  Kirk is noted for having a highly successful residency program.

    • Starr will be committed to paying Kirk $30,000 annually ($2,500 per month) for the services of the new minister.  (The new minister’s annual salary is estimated to be a minimum of $70,000.)


This new direction has been a blessing for Starr in a number of ways.  

  1. Up to this time, Starr’s PSC has not been able to attract qualified candidates.  It is our opinion that by combining efforts in order to fund a full-time pastor, we will likely see an expansion of available and interested candidates.

  2. Basing this position within the well-respected Kirk in the Hills residency program will also lend itself to attracting higher quality candidates.

  3. After review and approval of Starr’s 2020 budget, it has become apparent that our ability to fund an independent part-time position was no longer possible.  Given reductions in our actual and projected revenue in 2020 (which will carry over to some degree in 2021), we are no longer able to offer a salary comparable to what Rev. Grano had been making. 

    The funding contributions of both Kirk and FPT will be making up the difference in covering the estimated annual salary.  If you do the math, you will see that this is a real gift!  (We will be getting half of the minister’s time, while contributing less that half of the estimated salary.)  The other churches understand this and are willing to make the commitment.


Our affiliation with the Detroit Parish Council, and their subsequent willingness to help us fulfill our pastoral needs, has been a real blessing.  Rev. Phillips from Kirk, as well as the elders from Kirk and FPT, have repeatedly indicated that they want Starr to be successful.  All involved feel that the holy spirit has been working among us to bring us to this point.


Our next steps will be to submit the new job description and Minister Information Form (MIF) to the Committee on Ministry (COM) for the Presbytery of Detroit.  This will happen at their meeting in early August.  Rev. Phillips will be leading the candidate search efforts and has asked that a 7-member search committee formed from all three churches to assist in that effort.  Don Reinke and I will be representing Starr in that search.  Our own PSC and Session are being kept informed and will continue to provide input to all involved in this effort.


If there are any questions, please feel free to reach out to me.  


With faith and trust in our Lord,


Richard Smith

Clerk of Session


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Our guidelines for in-person worship:

  2. Touchless temperature readings will be taken from everyone entering the church.
  3. Face masks are required in most areas of the church.
  4. Face masks are recommended in the sanctuary along with proper social distancing, in accordance with the CDC, unless you are medically unable to wear one. If you feel the need to remove your mask for any reason, and would feel uncomfortable being in the sanctuary without a mask, you can listen to the service through the speakers in the lounge.
  5. If you desire to sing the hymns along with StarrCross, you will need to be wearing your face mask.
  6. In ALL cases, please cover your mouth when sneezing or coughing.
  7. Hand sanitizer will be used when entering the church, and when entering all restrooms.
  8. Sit only in the areas of the sanctuary designated with green tape and a bulletin on the seat.
  9. Please do not shake hands or hug others at any time while in church.

 has made their magazine issues available online!

Click here to visit their website.
Changes in service format:

A drop-box will be provided for weekly offerings, envelopes can be deposited when entering or leaving the sanctuary.

During Passing of the Peace, you are invited to wave or share a greeting with friends, mindful of social distancing and wearing a mask, as we love one another.

Children's Message and Sunday School are postponed until further notice.

On Communion Sundays, your elements will be found on a table at the sanctuary entrance, please grab one on your way in. We have purchased special Fellowship Cups that are sealed, with a sealed wafer on bottom as well.

Coffee Hour is postponed until further notice.
Starr Church still encourages online giving.  Thank you to all of you for always supporting Starr Church! We could not do all that we do without your help.

Click here to give online.

You do not have to create an account to use this service.

If you have any questions, or need help at all, please contact our treasurer Becca Castle at (248) 701-2868
We are now accepting donations for our rummage sale, which will be held September 17, 18 and 19. Please bring in donations during office hours Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday from 10:00 a.m.—2:00 p.m. For more information, or to schedule a different time to drop off items, please email the office, or call during office hours.
We will also be placing 2 bins outside of the doors in the Crooks rd. parking lot, if you would like to drop off rummage sale items outside of office hours. 
If you would like to volunteer to help with the sale, please contact Sandy Woodcox at 248-320-3182.

*We will be taking all of the proper precautions during this sale. Masks are required, along with social distancing.*
Session Minutes
July 15, 2020
Treasurers Report (Presented by Becca):
A proposed budget for 2020 was presented. Significant caution was used in estimating revenues due to the pausing of worship services due to the pandemic. Even with this caution, the proposed budget presented a deficit of -$1,112,25.  A pending new tenant’s rent payments were not included, so the deficit was not seen as significant at this time.  Account balances were presented. It was noted that the proposed budget is already assuming a reduced amount to be paid for pastor salary. It was also noted that should the ramp project proceed via a loan from the Presbytery, loan payments will need to be included in the budget later this year. It was confirmed that we do have the minimum level of capital funds required to qualify for a loan from the Presbytery. Lon moved to approve the 2020 budget as proposed. Motion carried.

Trustee Report (Presented by Rick & Lon):
Rick noted that Brian Finn continued the painted of the new exterior doors. Striping of the Crooks Rd parking lot is finished. Lon noted that Brian is looking into the cost for striping of the 13 Mile Rd parking lot as well.

Consent Agenda (Presented by Rick):
Motion was approved to enter into a lease agreement with Courtesy Driving School for use of Fellowship Hall as a classroom 4 days per week. (Default use of 13 Mile Rd parking lot should State restrictions do not permit indoor meetings of this size.)
Motion was approved to cancel service in the park in August.

Items for discussion:

Protective measures used to restart worship services (Presented by Rick):
Most recent information issued by the State of Michigan regarding use of face masks was presented.  Considerable discussion took place regarding whether or not recently adopted protective measures should be revised to reflect this new direction from the State.
Rick moved that precautions be changed to require face masks to be worn in the sanctuary with the exception of StarrCross singers.  This change to precautions would be provisional, to be reviewed again by Session at the end of August.  Lon seconded. 
Motion failed on a vote of 3 in favor, 2 opposed, 1 abstained.  (After the meeting Rick reviewed voting rules with the Stated Clerk of the Presbytery.  In the absence of 4 favorable votes representing a majority of the members present, the motion fails.)

(Session had an e-vote following this meeting, where a revised motion was made to change the mask wording to "recommended" as opposed to "required". Motion was passed.)

Building Manager Update (Presented by Rick):
Status of preparations for Courtesy Driving School: Corrections required by the Fire Marshal have been completed. Rick will be meeting with the school’s owner to go over details for the needed set up. Class will likely be conducted outdoors initially, off the 13 Mile Rd parking lot. 
Notice to tenants regarding restarting of their activities: Notice has been sent to all tenants by email, of the precaution requirements that are necessary when they decide to restart their use of the church building.

Update on Rummage Sale (Presented by Sandy):
Rummage sale is now scheduled for the third weekend in September. Our biggest concern is getting enough volunteers to help set up and manage the sale. Currently the only volunteers we have are Sandy and one other person. 

Respectfully submitted, 


Richard Smith, 

Clerk of Session

Next Session Meeting
Session will meet again on Wednesday, August
 19 @ 7:00pm in Fellowship Hall.

Music Notes

Hello Starr Church Family,

We are pleased to be able to lead worship with you again in person.
Looking forward to being face to face once more.
We are going to continue our midweek pick me up "Worship Wednesdays with StarrCross" to give you peace and joy during the week.
As we move forward I'm hoping to create a music program you will enjoy.
If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Thank you!
Teri Lynn Barnaby

Recycle Ink Cartridges

Please bring in your ink cartridges to help defray our office expenses. We turn the ink cartridges in to Staples and in return we get store credit that helps pay for many of our office supplies. This is quite helpful for our office budget. There is a basket in the church office to deposit the cartridges. Thank you!

Serving in the Lord’s House
Thank you to all who are assisting this month!

August 2: Stephanie Smith
August 9: Becca Castle
August 16: Don Reinke
August 23: Susie Regula
August 30: Andy LeCureaux

 Please contact a member of Session if you are interested in serving as a Liturgist during our Sunday Morning Worship.

18: Mandy Reinke

4: Karen Thomson & Paul Hayner
14: Jon & Angelina Castle
31: Janie & Greg Castle

Online Giving!
You can give to any of our ministries online including:
· General Fund
· Warming Shelter 
· Capital Improvements    
· Gideons
· Flower Fund      
· Children and Youth
· Wycliffe Bible Translators
· PCUSA Special Offerings
(One Great Hour of Sharing)
Simply visit the church website,, and click on "Gifts and Tithes." You can set up an automatic payment for your convenience or if you are sometimes out of town or miss church. You do not have to create an account to use this service!

Prayer Chain
If you have a concern that you would like us to put
on the prayer chain, 
please contact

Deb Collins at 

or Sandy Woodcox
at 248-320-3182.
Prayer Page
Please keep the following members and friends in your prayers:
* For our nation, world and leaders, we pray for unity and kindness,
as we work together to further our mutual goals of justice and peace. 
* For those who travel.
* For the homeless and hungry.
* For those who mourn. 
* For those suffering/recovering from natural and man-made disasters.
* For our military members; those deployed; veterans; for military families; first responders and their families.
* For pastors, church leaders and those who serve tirelessly with mission work. Steve & Marge Doty; and Amy.
* For those seeking employment. 
* For those fighting addictions.
* For families that struggle or need patience.

* For all concerns not articulated or spoken, but on our hearts and minds.

* For persecuted Christians.

* For our homebound members: Cerise Blyth, Don & Helen Doty, Don Olson, Velma Wills

* For the medical concerns of: Rosemary Beauchamp, George Boyd, Carol Eads, Bill Edmonds, Sherry Gerbi, Don Olson, and Velma Wills.

*For those fighting cancer: Ryan Collins, Garry Smith, Richard Smith, Janice Warner, and Darlene Watson.

Note:  To add or remove someone to the Prayer List, please contact the church office at (248) 288-3230 or via email:

Starr Presbyterian Church Contacts


Clerk of Session
Rick Smith                   248-670-8327
Shari Alston               248-545-6157
Cindy Eastman           248-730-9989
Jim Hetu                     248-320-6141 
Lon Kuehn                  248-506-9982 
Sandy Woodcox        248-320-3182  
Trustee Contact
Matt Reinhardt         248-825-1199  

Don Reinke                 248-399-9053

Norm Rossnagel       248-585-7417

Church Office:            248-288-3230

Kristen Reinhardt,
Office Administrator & Custodian    

Teri Lynn Barnaby, Music Director
Our Mission Statement
Adopted by the Session – November, 2018
Starr Presbyterian Church intentionally seeks to welcome all God’s children, regardless of age, race, sexual orientation, class or other worldly conditions, into full participation in the life of our church. Rooted in the love of Christ, we commit ourselves, our building and our resources to actively promote God’s justice, mercy and reconciliation in our community. Led by the Spirit through worship, we are called forth to love and to serve our neighbors as ourselves.
Our Vision Statement

Adopted by The Session – November, 2018
To be a growing Christian community built on biblical teachings and study, guided by the Holy Spirit to develop and use our talents to spread Jesus Christ’s living message by reaching out to individuals, our community and globally.

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