January 17- 12:30 PM, Preparation for Ministry Committee, Presbytery Office
January 20- OFFICE CLOSED, Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
January 21- 7:00 PM Committee on Ministry, Neshannock Presbyterian Church
January 23- 10:00 AM EP Nominating Committee, Presbytery Office
January 25- Deadline to complete the EP Transition Surveys
Annual Reports – a note on logging in…
The GA online statistical program is located at http://oga.pcusa.org/stats. Several people have contacted the office with concerns about log-in difficulties. Please remember that the username is 5-digits. If your church PIN number is only 4-digits, you must add a zero to the beginning of your PIN in order to log-in properly. In addition, the password is case-sensitive (which means that you must use a capital letter when specified, and a lower case letter when specified) and ends with an exclamation point. If you do not remember your user name or password, please email Autumn at email@example.com.
Session Survey to Assist Council and the EP Nominating Committee
Surveys were sent to all Session members that the office received email addresses for, all pastors, ministers, and CREs. If you a member of one of these groups, but did not receive one of those emails, please click here to complete the survey. A separate survey was sent to those currently serving on Presbytery Committees…if you did not receive an email with a link to that survey, please email Autumn at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Pulpit Supply Preacher Honorarium Increases
After decades of no change in honorariums for pulpit supply preachers, the Presbytery approved the following new amounts for 2014: one service is $100 plus mileage at IRS rate; two services is $125 plus mileage at IRS rate.
The IRS rate is presently 56.5 cents per mile. The IRS rate for 2014 is presently 56 cents per mile (as of 1/10/14).
New Prescription Drug Provider
Catamaran is the new service provider for your prescription drug coverage under the Board of Pensions as of January 1. Here’s how to contact Express Scripts (previous provider) after December 31 about a prescription they previously filled for you:
Phone: Through March 31, 2014, call the number you currently use to speak with an Express Scripts representative: 800-344-3896 for active members or 877-866-5870 for Medicare Supplement Plan members. Using this number, you can get information about your past medications and claims through Express Scripts as well as technical assistance with the Express Scripts website, including setting or resetting your password. After March 31, 2014, Express Scripts will no longer provide service via phone representatives.
Website: Through December 31, 2015, log in directly to express-scripts.com to access your medication history. (Benefits Connect will no longer be able to provide single sign-on access to the Express Scripts website beginning January 1, 2014.)
If you have questions, please call the Board of Pensions at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN) and speak with a member service representative.
We’re Still Seeking a Youth Advisory Delegate for GA
We are seeking a Youth Advisory Delegate to represent Shenango Presbytery at the 221st General Assembly…June 14-21, 2014 in Detroit, MI. Applications will be taken online this year, and interviews will be conducted ASAP.
Crisis in South Sudan
There has been a great deal of internal conflict in South Sudan over the past several weeks. Violence among soldiers in the capital city of Juba has spread terror there and into other parts of the country. More than 1,000 have been killed, many people have been displaced and humanitarian needs are pressing.
You can respond to this crisis through the Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency (PRDA). To send such a gift click here or send a check through the Presbytery office, marking “South Sudan Relief” in the memo portion.
This link from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, made before the recent outbreak of hostilities in Juba, will help you understand the situation. http://vimeo.com/82003944 Most important, please pray for the people of South Sudan, for our partners in SSPEC (South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church), and all others who are working to respond to this crisis.
Moving Forward Theological Task Force
On December 4, more than 25 Teaching Elders and CREs met at Shenango SeniorCare in New Wilmington to discuss the document: A DECLARATION OF FAITH FOR SHENANGO PRESBYTERY. This document was produced by a team of pastors and is intended to spark theological conversation about faith and ministry in our fluctuating church context. As we had hoped they would, a few informal groups of Teaching Elders and CREs around the presbytery are engaging the document on a regular basis. If you would like to a part of such a group, please contact Rev. Bill Crooks at email@example.com.
Going forward, we anticipate hosting another presbytery-wide lunch sometime before Easter. In that gathering, we will take a section of the document and open it up for group discussion. As great energy is being poured into EP succession plans and a search process, we believe it is also important for Teaching Elders and CREs to keep up their theological functioning. Stay tuned for more information on that gathering and other activities.