eLink News

This Week:

February 8- 6:30 PM CRE Gathering, Evelyn Beebe’s Home

Annual Reports

The GA online statistical program is located at http://oga.pcusa.org/stats.  Clerks will use the same “user name” and “password” as they have used the past few years.  Please note the password should contain an “!” and is case-sensitive.  The deadline for entering your statistical information is February 18, 2014 at midnight.    If you have forgotten your user name and password, please call or email the Presbytery office.

Presbytery annual reports are available on the “Publications & Information” page of the Presbytery website.  They are downloadable as WORD and EXCEL files and the completed forms can either be mailed to the office or emailed to Autumn at office@shenango.org.  The deadline for completing these forms was January 31, 2015.  Several churches have not been able to complete their reports by the January deadline in the past, please note that in order for your deceased elders to be included in the special service at the February presbytery meeting, your Necrology form MUST be received at the office by February 13th!

EP Activity This Month

Our Executive Presbyter, Ralph Hawkins, preached at Clen-Moore on February 1 and will preach at Westfield, ECO (February 15) and at Wurtemburg (February 22). He will be meeting with current Commissioned Ruling Elders and those who have completed CRE training (February 8).  With Rev. Rich Kinney (Highland), he will being sharing photos and stories from their November 2014 visit with Presbyterian partners in Egypt and Sudan (February 15).  Ralph welcomes opportunities to preach or bring greetings during a worship service, as well as opportunities to visit Session and Deacon meetings.   Schedule a Sunday or a meeting time by contacting him at 724-528-1610 or ralph@shenango.org.


Honoring Dr. and Mrs. Bailey

Thank you to all who attended the Open Hearts in Bethlehem play at Trinity Church in Mercer. The $4,000 donated to the Diyar Consortium in Bethlehem by those in attendance was matched by a couple in Indiana so $8,000 was given through Bright Stars in Bethlehem in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Bailey’s service to and love for the people of the Middle East.  We are so pleased.

The cast of "Open Hearts in Bethlehem"
The cast of “Open Hearts in Bethlehem”

Did You Know?  An Update on Church Partners in Egypt and Sudan

Revs. Rich Kinney (Highland, New Castle) and Ralph Hawkins (Executive Presbyter) will present pictures and updates on historical Presbyterian church partnership in two African countries with ancient histories: Egypt and Sudan.  Rich and Ralph traveled on behalf of Shenango to the horn of Africa in November 2014 and will share stories, facts, and updates from their visit with mission partners.  Sunday, Feb 15, 7pm at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church.


Fellowship Community

The Lebanon and Jamestown congregations have found the commitments and the resources of the Fellowship Community (formerly “Fellowship of Presbyterians”) to be an asset in our present denominational environment.  Both churches have joined this movement; likely other Shenango churches would benefit as well.  Check out their website and reach out Augie Hurst (Lebanon), Don Stanely (Jamestown), or myself for more information. — Ralph Hawkins

Prayer Chain List

Our EP Ralph Hawkins sends occasional (public) prayer concerns to some of the prayer groups that meet in our presbytery churches.  Currently Calvin, Lebanon, First New Castle, Bell Memorial, Sandy Lake, First Sharon, Third New Castle, Stoneboro, and New Wilmington churches are included.  If your congregation has a prayer ministry and would like to be included in this ministry, please let Ralph know at ralph@shenango.org or 724-528-1610.


2015 Egypt Trip

Join the PC(USA) Liaison, Rev. Dr. Steve Gorman on a weeklong in-country Synod of the Nile/Egyptian Tourism trip for adults on either April 25-May 5, 2015 or October 10-20, 2015.  Cost is $800 (not including airfare, visa fees, or personal expenses).  A PDF brochure is available from the Presbytery Office, or you can contact Steve at stevesynodgorman@gmail.com for more details.

2015 IRS Mileage Rates Announced

The rate for reimbursement of business mileage for 2015 was recently announced by the Internal Revenue Service as 57.5 cents per mile.  The rate in 2014 was 56 cents a mile.  Charitable mileage for which a deduction can be taken remains at 14 cents a mile.  Thank you for making this information available to your church treasurer.

Looking For Donations For The Dominican Republic

25 persons, most from Shenango churches, will make the annual ministry visit to Sabaneta de Yasica, on the northern coast of the Dominican Republic.  At least three Shenango churches have shared in a partnership with a Iglesia Evangélica Dominicana congregation in that community.  The IED was founded by American Presbyterians, Methodists, and Moravians.  To support the ongoing ministry of the Sabaneta congregation, we are looking for donations for the following items:

– working video projectors, new or used

– new or gentle used baseballs and gloves

– pencils, paper, crayons and general school supplies

– new or gentle used liturgical stoles for a female pastor

– a gently used communion set (trays for small cups and plate(s) for bread)

Items can be dropped off at the presbytery office by April 13, 2015, or contact the office if you need someone to pick up some items.


The World Christian Discipleship program is receiving applications for 2015-16

– www.wcdpittsburgh.com.  WCD, a program of World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, is a nine-month immersion in missional formation for young adult Christians.  Participants are formed spiritually as they engage in the church’s rich heritage through reading, prayer and regular fellowship with one another (a rule of life for the 21st century), while participating in ministry in the local church and mission to the world.  Contact Rev. Tom Ribar – tbribar@gmail.com.


Continuing Education Opportunities in the Pittsburgh Area

This spring the Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will be in Pittsburgh, leading two training events for church leaders.  Healthy Congregations will take place on March 20-21, 2015 at Pittsburgh Mennonite Church.  Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders will take place from May 11-15, 2015 also at Pittsburgh Mennonite Church.  More information on both events can be found at www.LMPeaceCenter.org.

Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality and the Department of Music presents “Love and Loss” featuring the Fauré Requiem performed by the Combined Choirs of Westminster College, chamber orchestra and soloist on Sunday, February 15th at 7:00 PM as part of the Sunday Night Vespers Service in Wallace Memorial Chapel.    A Free Concert will also be held on Saturday, February 14th at 4:00 PM at First Presbyterian Church, Sharon, PA.

Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality Ash Wednesday Worship on February 18th at 11:40 AM and 4:30 PM in Wallace Memorial Chapel.  Father Michael Peck, Rector at St. Camillus Church in New Castle, PA will be the preacher at the 4:30 PM service, with music by the Women’s Chorus.  The 11:40 AM service will be a brief service with Distribution of Ashes at both services.

Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality presents the 29th Annual Christy Lecture on Sunday, March 1, 2015 at 7:00 PM in Wallace Memorial Chapel with guest speaker, Dr. R. Bruce Bickel.  Dr. Bickel is the president and founder of Transformational Leadership Group, a company he formed in 2003 to train audiences in character-based leadership. As a dynamic, motivational speaker, Dr. Bickel is committed to transforming the way leaders can achieve both individual and organizational excellence.

Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality Chapel Drama will present the musical “Leap of Faith” on Friday, March 20th at 7:30 PM, Saturday, March 21st at 7:30 PM and Sunday, March 22nd at 6:00 PM in Wallace Memorial Chapel.  The musical is free and open to the public.  A free will offering will be received at the intermission in support of the show and Campus Ministry programming.

Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality extends an invitation to the community to attend our Palm Sunday Vespers on Sunday, March 29th at 7:00 PM in Wallace Memorial Chapel.   The service will include the Sacrament of Holy Communion, Rev. Jim Mohr, College Chaplain will be preaching “In the Crowd, Waving”, and music will be provided by the Second Chance Praise Team and the Westminster Women’s Chorus.


News from the Churches

 Treat Your Valentine To A Free Concert on Valentine’s Day!

On February 14th, at 4:00 PM the combined choirs (80-90 singers) of Westminster College, along with an orchestra, will present a free concert at First Presbyterian Church, 600 East State Street, Sharon.  Conducted by Dr. Samuel Barbara, Director of Choirs at Westminster, the program will feature the beautiful “Requiem” by Gabriel Faure, along with smaller works.  Why not treat your Valentine to a beautiful concert before your Valentine’s Day dinner, and support Westminster’s choirs at the same time?  It will be a very special time!


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!

Published by shenangopresby

The Presbytery of Shenango serves 49 churches in Mercer and Lawrence Counties of western Pennsylvania.

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