eLink News – December 2, 2008

Featured Headlines from Previous Weeks
Full text available on our blog at http://www.shenango.org/spnews.html
– Tax Tips for Ministers and Churches Teleconference December 11, 2008
– Spread the Warmth – collection for the area homeless youth at the Silk Road Market
– A Pittsburgh Seminary Student Pastor at Your Church
– Letter from Sudan Missionaries Del and Debbie Braaksma
– Calvin Symposium on Worship – January 29-31, 2009 Grand Rapids, MI

Prayers
– david bailey has received word that the brain cancer has returned. It is treatable, and they “have better weapons now”. Please continue to keep david, his family and doctors in your prayers.

Special Reminder
Don’t miss Rev. Daniel Hamad’s inspirational stories from Darfur. Daniel is here for a brief visit. Please bring a couple of friends to hear Dr. Ken Bailey interview him and entertain your questions:
· 7:00 pm on Wednesday at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church
· 10:00 am on Thursday at Tower Presbyterian Church (Grove City)
The compelling story of what God is doing in the Sudan is important for all to hear.

The church in Sudan wants to take a special Christmas gift of food to the displaced persons in Darfur. You can bring financial gifts to the two meetings. If your church is not able to gather a gift before the events on December 3rd or 4th, you can still participate in this offering by contacting the presbytery office by Monday, December 15th and letting us know the amount of your church’s gift. We will contact SPEC that week and inform them of the total amount collected, so that they know how much money can be spent for the food. Please send your church’s gift to the presbytery office soon after that and it will be wired to Sudan in January.

Alternative Gift Market at Westminster College
Solve your gift giving problems and learn something along the way – you will be able to buy food for the hungry, care for the sick, shelter for the homeless, renewal for our endangered planet, and much more – truly meaningful alternatives to the usual holiday gifts. Wednesday, December 3rd from 9 AM until 9 PM in the McKelvey Campus Center at Westminster College. 90% of the money raised for AGI’s projects goes directly to support relief and development around the world. All donations are tax-deductible.

Intersted in the Missional Church Conversation?
13 congregations have participated in the Missional Church conversation. A new Partnership for the Missional Church (PMC) Cluster will begin next September. You are encouraged to take a look at what is happening. Go to http://www.shenanog.org/PMC/index.htm where you will find the following:
– an Invitation to pastors for the next lunch conversation on Decmeber 10
-links to brief articles, websites, and books on the missional church
– a list of friends and colleagues in neighboring churches who can tell you about their experiences in missional church.
Your session can request an introductory presentation about PMC in early 2009. Contact david.dawson@presbynet.org.

Save this date – January 17, 2009 – Presbytery’s annual LeaderFest at Westminster College!
At LeaderFest 2009, the Keynote address, “Leadership in an Age of Choices” will be presented by Russ Crabtree. He says that we are living in an environment in which people have choices. This creates pressure on churches to take seriously the quality of the experience that they are creating for those who live within them. Providing high quality experiences for people requires leadership skills that foster the development of a spiritual “field” within the Body of Christ in which people are strengthened, healed, and energized. For most churches, this requires a change from solving problems to shifting a culture. Churches have thousands of problems, but solutions are few. This keynote address will focus on these solutions.

Our Freedom of Religion at Risk: A Presbyterian Crisis
This convocation will be held in Pittsburgh on Thursday, February 19 from 2;00 – 5:30 PM. It is also available in a live interactive online format. For information and registration you can go to this website: http://www.presbyterianconvocation.org/.

Hurricane Relief Mission Trip – February 21 – March 1, 2009
Area churches are organizing a mission trip back to Pearlington, MS. Some of us were there in 2006, 2007 & 2008. This is a very poor and marginalized community with many recovery needs. They are in the rebuilding phase. We will be staying at PDA camp #6. The cost of the camp is $20 a day. If you need transportation, please let us know. We are renting 15 passenger vans. The cost is $150 per person for the vans. If you are interested, please contact Bill Gwin 724-667-8321 wlgwin@att.net, Gary Barr 724-667-8324 or Tom Kaufman 724-651-4323 tek114@zoominternet.net.

Christmas Concert at PTS
“Joy to the World” The Music and Poetry of Christmas will be presented at 7:30 PM on Tuesday, December 16th at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

29th Year for Boar’s Head Festival at Christ Presbyterian Church
The presentation is 1 hour of music and pageantry celebrating the birth of Christ. This year’s performances are November 29 at 7 PM and December 6 and 7 at 5 and 7 PM. Tickets are “free” for this wonderful event and details for requesting tickets, along with a short history of this event, are available on the Presbytery’s “News & Events” page.

Your World. Your Chance to Make It Better.
Slippery Rock University is accepting applications for the Connector Corps AmeriCorps program. AmeriCorp offers opportunities for adults of all ages and backgrounds to serve through a network of partnerships with local and national nonprofit groups. Currently, positions exist in New Castle, Grove City and Ellwood City – and involve designing after-school programs, reading and math support in elementary schools, tutoring homeless children and much more. Read the full ad on the “News & Events” page of the Presbytery website, or contact Lisa Russo, Americorps Program Coordinator, at 724-738-6280 or lisa.russo@sru.edu.

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