eLink News

This Week:

December 11- 1:30 PM Sudan Team, New Wilmington PC
December 24-January 4 OFFICE CLOSED 
(Once again, office staff will be using the remainder of their vacation time during the Christmas/New Year holiday.  Everyone is reachable via email…Rev. Hawkins at ralph@shenango.org; Autumn at office@shenango.org; Shari at finance@shenango.org; and Debbie at resource@shenango.org.  In case of emergency, EP Ralph Hawkins can also be reached by cell phone at 724-456-2569.  The office will re-open on Monday, January 5th.  Have a blessed Christmas!)

EP Activity this Month
Our Executive Presbyter, Ralph Hawkins, will be preaching this month at Third New Castle (Dec 14).  He will participate in the commission to ordain candidate James Benson, member of the Highland church (Dec 14).  Ralph welcomes opportunities to preach and/or bring greetings during a worship service, as well as opportunities to visit Session and Deacon meetings.   Schedule a Sunday or a meeting time in 2015 by contacting him at 724-528-1610 or ralph@shenango.org.
Per Capita

Last week Presbytery passed the 2015 Per Capita Budget.  Letters detailing the amounts were mailed on Monday to pastors, clerks, and treasurers.  Here is the breakdown: GA- $7.07, Synod- $2.20, Presbytery- $28.06….Total: $37.33.

Mission Giving Deadline

The deadline for the Presbytery Office to receive mission moneys for the 2014 calendar year is coming soon.  Monies must be postmarked by Wednesday, January 7, 2015.

Medical Dues Assistance

If your congregation’s 2015 budget is adversely affected by the forthcoming 1.5% increase in the Board of Pensions medical dues for plan members with a spouse and/or dependents, please contact EP Ralph Hawkins or COM moderator Bill Crooks.  There is assistance available through the Committee on Ministry to help offset some of that burden.  To read more about the plan changes, see this page on the Board of Pensions website.

Register for LeaderFest!

It’s time yet again to register for LeaderFest! LeaderFest is Shenango Presbytery’s annual leadership training event for officers, leaders, and all people who desire to be equipped to do God’s work in the world. This year, it will be held on Saturday, January 17, 2015 at Westminster College and New Wilmington Presbyterian Church from 8:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Dr. Roger Owens from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary will lead the keynote discussion on, “Innovating Life with God: Keys to Missional Leadership in the Congregation.”  Registration for LeaderFest is $20/person, which includes materials and lunch. Early birds pay only $15 if registered by January 6!  Register Online

Egyptian Bible Society

During their week with Presbyterians in Egypt, Rich Kinney and Ralph Hawkins participated in the 150th anniversary celebration of the Van Dyck Bible translation – the most widely-used Arabic translation of the Bible in the Middle East, the product of 19th century translation efforts by American missionaries and Arab nationals.  The Bible Society put together a seven minute video clip with some footage from their celebration held on November 12th.

Christmas Radio Spots

Shenango’s Evangelism committee worked with the Presbyterian Media Mission to sponsor Christmas radio spots that will be running on Froggie 95 on weekdays beginning this Wednesday and running through Tuesday, December 23.  They are scheduled to air at 8:35 AM and 4:15 PM.  You can also listen online.

Ruling Elder Nominations

The Nominations committee of Shenango Presbytery is about to commence its work of filling positions for the coming leadership cycle, 2015-16.  Our goal is to expand representation of our 50 churches as widely as possible.  To that end, we are requesting your assistance: If you have Ruling Elders that you feel could be of service to the presbytery, please forward their names and contact information to Mark Arnold (Moderator of the Nominations committee), EP Ralph Hawkins or office staff Autumn Covert at the presbytery office.  We feel that each church should have at least one representative serving at the presbytery level and the ultimate goal is to get to a point where our Council is comprised of a membership of rotating representatives of all the churches.  Ruling elders need not be currently serving on Session in your local church.  Our next meeting is January 6, 2015.  If you have names, contact information, and recommended area of interest or expertise, it would be greatly appreciated.  – The Nominations Committee

News from the Churches

Blue Christmas Service

Recognizing that Christmas is not so merry for those who have suffered loss, the Jamestown Presbyterian Church is offering a “Blue Christmas” service of healing and hope, Sunday, December 14, at 7:00 PM in their sanctuary.  All are invited.

Longest Night Service

The Bessemer Presbyterian Church will hold a Longest Night Service on Sunday, December 21st at 6:30 PM.  This service is open to everyone, but especially geared toward those who find the Christmas celebration difficult because of grief, pain, loss, or loneliness.  It will provide a time for prayer, music, meditation on Scripture, lighting candles, and quiet reflection on Jesus, the light of the world, who has come to shine his light into the darkness of our lives.  The service will be followed by a time for light refreshments and fellowship.  For more information, please contact Pastor Nathan Leslie at 724-667-7255.

You’re Invited

It’s not too late to make reservations for the musical drama “Open Hearts in Bethlehem,” to be staged at TRINITY PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH in Mercer at 7 PM on Friday and Saturday, December 12 and 13 and at 2:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday, December 13 and 14.   Information is available, and reservations may be made at the church web site:  http://trinitypc.wix.com/mercer and click on “Play Reservations”.  Admission is a free-will donation for Missions. Author Dr. Kenneth E. Bailey will sign books and answer questions at a reception following each 50-minute production.  Directed and valet parking is available.  The church is accessible for all people.

Music Director Wanted

Coolspring Presbyterian Church is looking for a Music Director responsible for 1 Sunday service and Choir.  Piano and/or organ experience.  This is a paid position.  Please call 724-475-3712 and leave a message with your contact information if interested.

Educational Videotapes

Calvin Presbyterian Church is cleaning out its library and they have many Christian Children’s and Educational videotapes (VCR required!) that they are no longer in need of.  If anybody can use them, they are more than welcome to come get them.  Contact the church office at 724-758-4258 by the end of December.

Organist/Choir Director

Shenango Presbyterian Church is looking for an organist/choir director.  This is a paid position.  Please contact Amy Na at the church office at 724-654-2322.  Come and worship with us!

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