eLink News

This Week:

February 25- 5:30 PM Budget & Finance Committee Meeting, Presbytery Office
March 4- 1:00 PM Christian Education Committee, Presbytery Office
 

Lost and Found

A small green purse (like a long change purse) was left in the Witherspoon Rooms last night after the Presbytery meeting.  If yours, please contact Diane at the Chapel Office at 724-946-7117.  If not claimed in the next few days, it will go the lost and found office.

 

Come and meet Elmarie and Scott Parker

Elmaire and Scott Parker have been serving Christ this past year in the Middle East.  Hear how the Church is sharing the hope and love found only in Christ with all those around them during this very challenging time.

  • Saturday, February 28:  3 pm Presbytery Event, Trinity Presbyterian Church (110 East Market Street, Mercer, PA 16137).
  • Sunday, March 1 for Worship:  Elmarie  at 11:00 pm, Trinity Presbyterian Church (110 East Market Street, Mercer, PA 16137)  Scott at 10:30, Clen-Moore Presbyterian Church (220 Clen-Moore Blvd., New Castle, PA 16102)
  • Evening Presbytery reception at 6:00 pm, MoCo  (new coffee house in Bessemer)  206 E. Poland Ave, Bessemer, PA 16112

 

Highmark Member Records Potentially Compromised by Data Breach at Anthem

A late-January cyberattack on Anthem Inc. compromised the data of as many as 80 million Anthem plan members. The Board of Pensions has learned that some Highmark member data on Anthem’s systems may also be at risk.

Highmark Blue Cross (the Board of Pensions’ service provider for the Medical Plan) participates in the national Blue Cross BlueCard network, sharing certain member information with local Blue Cross plans, including Anthem Blue Cross, to pay providers and process claims locally. The information compromised during the attack on Anthem’s systems includes names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of Medical Plan members who have, or may have had, claims for services with providers participating in Anthem Blue Cross.

Within the next few weeks, as Anthem and the FBI continue their investigations, Anthem will send a letter by U.S. mail to current and former Highmark and Anthem plan members whose data may have been compromised. The letter will offer free credit monitoring and identity protection services. The Board of Pensions encourages you to accept these services if you receive a letter.

Important Note: Anthem will not contact members by phone or email and will not request credit card or Social Security numbers. They will contact members by mail only.

The letter from Anthem will provide further details, including additional contact information. Benefits Plan members with questions may call Anthem toll-free at 877-263-7995, visit the website anthemfacts.com, or read their Frequently Asked Questions.

Ride-Share Wanted

Robbie Arnold is looking to ride-share to the PTS program, “Journey Within, Journey Without” on March 17.  Is there anyone that she might ride with, sharing the cost of gas?  Contact Robbie at 724-983-0194 (Hermitage).

 

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.

2014 “Tax Guide for Ministers” Available

The Tax Guide for Ministers, updated for the 2014 tax year, was recently mailed to active and retired teaching elders. It is also available on Benefits Connect, accessible from pensions.org. The Web module Tax Tips for Members & Churches has been updated as well. Tax Tips is in the Tax Resource Center of Board University, which can be reached from the Members & Employers menu on the pensions.org home page.

“Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches” Updated

The Federal Reporting Requirements for Churches has been updated to provide guidance for the 2015 tax year. It is available on Benefits Connect, accessible from pensions.org. The Web module Tax Tips for Members & Churches has been updated as well. Tax Tips is in the Tax Resource Center of Board University, which can be reached from the Members & Employers menu on the pensions.org home page.

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.

 

Christian Music Fest

The Christian Associates of the Shenango Valley are sponsoring a “Christian Music Fest” on Sunday, March 1, 2015, 3;30 PM at the St. Paul’s UCC, Todd Ave., Hermitage.  All churches are invited to participate by sharing one musical selection – anything from a solo to a choir anthem, instrumental, etc.  To share in the program please call Jane Bartholomew at 724-981-2377 (jraysing@verizon.net).

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.

Making a Wake: Integrating Faith, Life, and Work as We Follow Christ

Join Christopher Brown, Co-Pastor of The Upper Room Presbyterian Church and Vera White, Associate of 1001 Worshipping Communities on March 17th from 9:30 AM – 3:00 PM in the Knox Room, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary for a time of learning and reflecting on the example of Celtic saints and its meaning for us today.  For more information, visit http://www.pts.edu/JIJO_2015.

History of Gospel Workshop & Concert

Join the Center for Urban Biblical Ministry April 10th and 11th at Eastminster Presbyterian Church for a workshop and concert exploring the history of Gospel music.  George W. Russell, Jr., Professor of Harmony and Piano at Boston’s Berklee College of Music, will lead the workshops and perform a concert at the end of the event.  Tickets for the workshops are $10, tickets for the concert at $10 in advance, $15 at the door.  For more information, call the CUBM office at 412-247-9010.

 

News from the Churches

Presbyterian Plunge

Congratulations to Highland Church for having the top fundraising team in the fifth annual Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity “Douse for a House Polar Plunge”.  Read the full story here.

 

Don’t Forget Your Backpack!

Lindsay Rodgers and Sarah Gibson from the Stoneboro church gave tours of the supply room for the Lakeview Area Backpack Program during a recent open house for the community.  Like many similar ministries in the region, the Backpack program provides a weekend’s worth of shelf-stable, non-perishable food items for public school children who face food insecurity in their home life.  Like Stoneboro, many Shenango congregations are involved in packing up food each week in various backpack ministries in school districts around our presbytery.  To learn more about the Lakeview program, contact Lindsay Rodgers.

Stoneboro backpack

What Are Your Dreams?

Scoffers might say that the only dreaming done in some churches is during the sermon.  But members of the Wurtemburg church dream out loud.  Under the direction of their pastor, Rev. Dan Stinson, Wurtemburg members shared in a “dreaming” session during which past and current ministries were named, classified, and celebrated, and then future ministries considered.  What dreams do you have for God’s work in and around your congregation? — RWH

Wurtemburg dreaming

Indoor Yard Sale

The Presbyterian Women of Unity Church, 1857 Mercer W. Middlesex Rd., Mercer, PA  are holding an “Indoor Yard Sale” on Friday, March 13 from 8:00 AM to 3:00 PM and Saturday, March 14, from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.  Lunch will be available.  Proceeds go to missions.  If you wish to donate unwanted items for the sale, PW is at the church on Wednesdays from 10:00 AM to 1:30 PM.  Any questions?  Contact Mary Alice Marsh at 724-662-2491.

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.

 

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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