October 20- 7:00 PM Committee on Ministry, Neshannock PC
October 21- 9:30 AM Steering Committee, Presbytery Office
October 22- 9:00 AM Nominating Committee, Presbytery Office
1:30 PM Evangelism Committee, Presbytery Office
EP Activity This Month
Our Executive Presbyter, Ralph Hawkins, preached at the Rich Hill and Harlansburg churches on October 4. He will be attending the national PCUSA Polity Conference (October 9-12) in Portland, OR, an advance meeting for the 2016 General Assembly, also in Portland. He will be preaching at Ebenezer church (October 18) and visiting Stoneboro church (November 1). With members of presbytery’s Sudan Team, he will be attending the national PCUSA Sudan Mission Network meeting in Louisville (October 19-20). 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stated Clerk Updates
– TE Mark Frailey will be installed as pastor of Coolspring church on Sunday, October 18, 3pm, by a commission elected by the presbytery in September.
– TE Mark Thompson (MAL) and TE Michael Spicuzza (MAL) have been added by our Committee on Ministry to the approved pulpit supply list, available here.
– Rev. Dan Stinson (United Methodist) will this month complete his service as Stated Supply to the Wurtemburg church, and RE Bill King will likewise finish his term as Interim Pastor to the Bell Memorial church.
– Our presbytery mourns the loss of four retired Teaching Elders who died in recent months: Revs. Malcolm Vandevort, William Bovard, William “Bill” Hudson, and Richard “Dick” Baker.
– Pastor Nominating Committees remain in place at the New Wilmington, Bell Memorial, and Faith churches.
(TE = Teaching Elder; CRE = Commissioned Ruling Elder; MAL = Member at Large)
Shenango Presbytery is seeking several volunteers to assist the staff at the Presbytery office in answering the phone and re-shelving resource materials. This way there will always be at least 2 people in the building. The shifts needed are 9 to noon or noon to 3 p.m. on Tuesdays or Thursdays (four shifts per week are available for choosing) and the number of times per month will be flexible. Volunteers will begin serving in September. Orientation will be provided. If interested contact Dave Hoye at email@example.com or 724-475-2021 or Alice Sacherich at firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-652-1376.
Another Celebrate Sudan
Dozens of PCUSA and ECO Presbyterians gathered Sunday night at East Main Presbyterian Church to celebrate our longstanding partnership with Sudan and South Sudan, in the horn of Africa. PCUSA Regional Mission Coordinator Rev. Michael Weller updated us on the church in both countries. Mr. Tokmac Abol (pictured here), a Sudanese-American who lives and works in Erie, PA, also addressed the gathering with updates on the “Lost Boys” of Sudan, to whom Abol served as a case manager when they first arrived in the States. The gathering raised over $2400 for support of Nile Theological College and Gereif Bible School.
Twenty-five of our pastors recently enjoyed a wonderful two-day retreat at the Villa Maria Conference Center with Rev. Don Dawson (pictured here), who led sessions on “cultivating a missionary posture in our congregations.” Don is a son of Shenango Presbytery, a member of Pittsburgh Presbytery, director of the New Wilmington Mission Conference, and director of World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Seminary. These twice-a-year two-day retreats are sponsored by our presbytery’s Leadership Development Team.
Order Advent Calendars
Presbyterians Today has created a special Advent calendar, meant to reawaken in you the beauty and spirituality of Advent. Each day features a Scripture reading, meditation, and prayer, and the calendar itself is filled with the poetic reflections of author Rachel Srubas and the vivid, contemplative watercolors of illustrator Roy DeLeon. You can order copies of this calendar through the Presbytery Office for just $2.20 per copy (cover price through Presbyterians Today will be $4 plus shipping). Your order must be in the office before October 30th to ensure delivery prior to the start of Advent. (If we receive orders for more than 100 calendars, the price will drop and the difference will be refunded.) Click here for the order form.
Alan Adams In Alaska
The Rev. Alan Adams is the Executive Presbyter serving the Beaver-Butler Presbytery, our neighbor to the south. Made up of 70 churches and around 9,500 members, Beaver-Butler is a mostly rural presbytery serving many small country churches and medium-sized town churches. This has been a blessing for Alan because his call to ministry began with the sense that he was being called to smaller rural churches that struggle to get and keep consistent pastoral leadership. That’s what made his six weeks serving the Yakutat Presbyterian Church such a meaningful experience. While the Alaskan peninsula is nearly six times the size of Rhode Island, its total population officially numbers about 600. Only ten years ago that population was over 800 but several factors have made it difficult for local residents to remain in the community. First, the community is remote and accessible only by ferry part of the year and by air when weather permits. Second, the population has been decreasing.
To read more about Alan’s ministry in Yakutat, click here.
Discerning Your Call to Missions
Join us for this FREE one-day seminar to explore your call to missions! October 31, 2015 from 9 AM – 4 PM at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, John Knox Room. This workshop is designed to help you explore a call to mission – spend the day listening, studying God’s Word, and praying in groups. This year’s event features the Rev. Don Dawson, Director of the World Mission Initiative; Stephanie Bell, spiritual director; and Michael and Rachel Weller, missionaries in Ethiopia. RSVP by October 26 to email@example.com. This workshop is FREE, but it may cost you your life!
Investigating and Exploring Spiritual Connection in Daily Life with Dr. Lynn Underwood.
(Oct. 29, 7-9 pm and Oct. 30, 8:30 – 12:30 pm). Attached is a full brochure. The price is very reasonable. CE’s available for multiple professions. Co-sponsored by Pneuma Institute, Chatham University, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and Pittsburgh Pastoral Institute. Register Online at: www.ppi-online.org/event/Lynn-Underwood This will be very helpful for learning possible ways to engage folks about different ways of describing or talking about spiritual experiences. Also Underwood has a great research instrument that can be used in multiple professions for research as well as for practical applications. See Brochure for more details.
Getting In Shape Fiscally
The Board of Pensions will present a one-day financial planning seminar in PTS’s McNaugher Lounge on November 6 (8:30 AM – 5:00 PM). Seating is on a first come – first served basis. $10.00 per person event fee. Register by October 9th athttp://www.cvent.com/events/getting-in-shape-fiscally-pittsburgh-pa/event-summary-ee0414db084643c9b1f55cac0fc76bfd.aspx?i=099692a1-c5c2-438d-a381-2694f8ca8ab2
Annual Enrollment: Time to Check Your Benefits Coverage
Now through November 13th is your chance to review, choose, and change your benefits coverage. To review your current benefits, log on to Benefits Connect.
News from the Churches
Ham Loaf Dinner
Bessemer Presbyterian Church (29 N. Main Street, Bessemer) will be holding a Ham Loaf Dinner on Saturday, November 14, 2015 from 5 – 7 PM. Proceeds to benefit the Church’s General Fun. Adults $10.00, Children 6-12 $5.00, Children 5 and under FREE. Eat in or Take Out Available! Call the Church Office for tickets: 724-667-7255.
Special Concert to Celebrate All Saints’ Day
Sunday, November 1st, is All Saints’ Day when we remember and give thanks for those brothers and sisters in Christ who have gone to the Church triumphant. One musical way to celebrate All Saints’ Day is with a Requiem. The Choirs of First Presbyterian Church in Sharon and New Wilmington Presbyterian Church, joined by friends from the Shenango Valley Chorale and a Chamber Orchestra, all under the direction of Edgar Groves, will perform “A German Requiem” by Johannes Brahms on Nov. 1st at 7:30 PM at First Presbyterian Church, 600 East State Street in Sharon.
The Brahms “Requiem” does not follow the traditional Requiem Mass, but instead Brahms took passages of Scripture from Martin Luther’s German Bible and set them to music. Brahms wanted to emphasize the resurrection, not the judgment day, so his choices of Scripture and his music are more hopeful. It is a lovely composition, well worth hearing. This performance will be in English, and there will be program notes in the Bulletin. As a special treat, at 7:00 PM there will be “Cookies and Coffee” prior to the performance, and Ed Groves will have a brief talk about the Brahms“Requiem” to help you enjoy the performance even more.
This concert is FREE and open to the public. We hope you will celebrate All Saints’ Day with us in Sharon as you listen to a truly beautiful Requiem.
Tower Presbyterian Church is seeking someone willing to lead our congregation in the worship of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. They will oversee the music programs of our church, including both contemporary and traditional worship, as well as occasional special worship services.
They must have availability for Sunday worship, Wednesday night rehearsals and other occasions as necessary. Send resume to Tower Presbyterian Church, an ECO Congregation, 248 S. Broad St., Grove City, PA 16127 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Position available January 1, 2016.