February 1- 10:30 AM Personnel Reviews, Presbytery Office
February 2- 9:30 AM Council, Highland PC (Note: The Presbytery Office will open at 1 PM)
2016 IRS Rate
The mileage rate for 2016 will be 54 cents per mile.
It’s time for Annual Reports again! 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 the password should contain an “!” and is case-sensitive. The deadline for entering your statistical information is February 17, 2016 at midnight. If you have forgotten your user name and password, please call or email the Presbytery office. (Note: If you changed your password from what was assigned by the denomination, we will not have that new password.) There is a “Frequently Asked Questions” page available to help with most common questions.
Presbytery annual reports are available on the “Resources” 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 firstname.lastname@example.org. The deadline for completing these forms is January 31, 2016. 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 12th!
South Sudan Food Crisis
The United Nations reports that across South Sudan, an estimated 3.9 million people – 34 per cent of the population – were severely food insecure in September 2015. This represents an 80 per cent increase compared with the same period last year. They also believe that over 2 million have had to flee their homes, some multiple times. While the late arrival of rains and the relatively light seasonal rains have contributed to the food insecurity, political unrest is also part of the problem. The Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency ( PRDA) is ready to help and its Executive Director, Rev. James Makuei states “The human suffering is South Sudan now is unimaginable.”
How can you and your church help:
- Please pray for South Sudan.The church is working hard to bring political stability, which will ultimately lead to food security and a better living environment. Pray for the church leaders and for those who are suffering during the process.
- Please give financially. We are encouraging individuals & congregations to give generously to support the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance response to this food crisis. They will provide relief items such as temporary shelter, health supplies, maize meal, beans and cooking oil, with special attention given to vulnerable groups such as pregnant women, children under five, people with disabilities and the chronically ill. You can send checks payable to Shenango Presbytery to the presbytery office at: 4197 New Castle Rd., Pulaski, PA 16142.Please mark the checks “South Sudan Response”
Wellers Speak About Ethiopia
Last Thursday evening, the presbytery welcomed Michael and Rachel Weller, PCUSA missionaries in Ethiopia, to Moco (the Mohawk Coffee House). Pictured here is Rachel, sharing with the all who gathered the benefits and blessings of Community Health Evangelism — a program she resources with Presbyterian partners throughout Ethiopia.
Christian Unity Service
The Christian Associates of the Shenango Valley will hold the annual Christian Unity Service on Sunday, January 31, 2016, 3:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church, 600 E. State Street, Sharon. Speaker for this special worship will be DR. RALPH HAWKINS, Executive Presbyter of the Shenango Presbytery. Everyone is invited to attend the service. All who enjoy singing are invited to come a 2:00 p.m. rehearsal to be part of the choir. No robes or vestments will be worn. Music for the anthems will be provided. The choir will be directed by Jane Bartholomew of Unity and accompanied by Rev. Pam Maloney of the host church, who will also play the organ for the service. Dr. Glenn Hink is the host pastor. Refreshment will follow the service.
Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality presents The 29th Annual Wayne H. Christy Memorial Lecture on Sunday, January 31, 2016 at 7:00 PM in Wallace Memorial Chapel, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA. This year’s speaker is Dr. Robert M. Franklin Jr. , the James T. and Berta R. Laney Professor of Moral Leadership at Emory University (Atlanta) and Director of the Religion Department of the Chautauqua Institution.
Dr. Franklin is the author of three books: Crisis in the Village: Restoring Hope in African American Communities (2007); Another Day’s Journey: Black Churches Confronting the American Crisis (1997); and Liberating Visions: Human Fulfillment and Social Justice in African American Thought (1990). He has co-authored (Don S. Browning, et. al.) a volume titled, From Culture Wars to Common Ground: Religion and the American Family Debate (2001). He also penned the foreword to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s, Letter from Birmingham Jail, reprinted by Trinity Forum in 2012.
He is married to Cheryl Goffney Franklin,M.D., an OB-GYN physician and graduate of Stanford University (B.A.), Columbia University School of Public Health (M.P.H.) and Harvard Medical School (M.D.). Franklin is the father of three children: Imani Renee Franklin; Robert M. Franklin, III and Julian Michael DeShazier. In 2005, DeShazier graduated from Morehouse College summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa. Franklin has one grandchild, Dania Elle DeShazier.
The Mission, Communication, and Stewardship Committee of Shenango Presbytery and the New Wilmington church Mission Committee invite folks from our congregations to come to the New Wilmington Presbyterian Church Social Hall for a time of fellowship and learning with Sonia Patterson. The event will be February 6th at 7:00 p.m. Sonia has been a language interpreter in the Dominican Republic partnership in which folks from our presbytery have been involved for the past 25 years. More recently, she is the Executive Director of Five Talents, a Christian non-profit that encourages entrepreneurial actions in the lives of women and men in poverty in third world countries in Asia, Africa, and South America. Several from our presbytery met her a few years ago when they visited the same location in South Sudan that Sonia was visiting. Come to New Wilmington on Feb. 6th to learn more about a very exciting work God is doing through Sonia and her organization. She will also be preaching at New Wilmington on Sunday, Feb. 7th at 10:30. All are invited to both events.
Westminster College Office of Faith and Spirituality presents Rev. Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice-Moderator of the General Assembly PC(USA) and director of Church Relations, Princeton Theological Seminary as our Spiritual Emphasis Westminster speaker on Sunday, February 21, 2016 at 7:00 PM in Wallace Memorial Chapel, Westminster College, New Wilmington, PA.
The Reverend Larissa Kwong Abazia is a native of New Jersey and graduate of Rutgers University and Princeton Theological Seminary. Upon graduating from seminary, she was honored with the Asian American Ministry Award and the David P. Watermulder Award for Church Leadership. Rev. Kwong Abazia worked as a pastoral care resident at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital in Philadelphia before serving congregations in Chicago, Manasquan, New Jersey, and Forest Hills, New York. She now serves as director of church relations at Princeton Theological Seminary
Rev. Kwong Abazia served as a core team member and co-moderator for Racial Ethnic Young Women Together (REYWT) and participated in the Presbyterian Women’s Racial Ethnic Dialogue. She also has worked with That All May Freely Serve, the Chicago Youth Collective, and the Advance Justice Committee of Chicago Presbytery. She currently serves on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Committee on Representation and the Personnel and Worship committees of the Presbytery of New York City. Rev. Kwong Abazia continually seeks ways to equip and empower people of all ages and backgrounds to live into the radical potential of life in community.
As a writer, Rev. Kwong Abazia has coauthored a reflection on readings from the lectionary for the Human Rights Campaign’s “Out In Scripture”; nine supplemental resources for the 2011–2012 Presbyterian Women’s Bible study on the Beatitudes; and an article for Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Social Justice titled, “Ready or Not.” She also has written a chapter in a collection of narratives by young adult clergywomen of color, “Streams Running Uphill: Conversations with Young Clergywomen of Color,” released in March 2014.
Extending God’s Welcome to All
The Presbytery of Lake Erie invites you to a day filled with learning – worship, a keynote address from Dr. Amy Oden on Christian hospitality, three workshops, a mission fair, and lunch – all for $15. The Big Event will be held on March 5, 2016 from 8:45 AM to 3:00 PM at the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Erie, PA. For more information, please visit, http://www.pbylakeerie.org. Download the brochure. Download the registration form.
Emotional and Spiritual Care in Disasters
This outstanding Chaplain’s training class from the International Critical Incident Stress Foundation is geared to help you, first responders, and your community handle the “big stuff” during an emergency event in your community. It will be held on May 23 & 24 in Hermitage, PA, and there is a $25 discount for registering by March 18th. Read more.
Love The Arts!
First Presbyterian Church of Sharon, 600 East State Street, is hosting an “Art Show and Hands – On Art” on Saturday, February 13, 2016 from 1:00 PM – 5:00 PM in their gymnasium and Fellowship Hall. This event is FREE and open to the public. Many local artists will have their marvelous work on display and for sale, and a number of the artists and theatre folks will have hands-on stations so children and adults can try their creative side and experience different forms of art. You might just find that perfect gift for your Valentine!