The Ellwood City Ledger posted an article about Ray Medina’s installation as pastor of Bell Memorial church. Our presbytery ordained and installed Ray on December 13, 2015. Check out the article here.
Rev. Beth and John Creekpaum welcomed the birth of a second son, David Mark, born last week in Farrell Hospital. Mother and son are well. Beth is a member of our presbytery, serving the Sandy Lake church. John is a member of Eastminster Presbytery, just across the state line in Ohio. Rev. Lisa Hickman is serving Sandy Lake church while Beth is on maternity leave. Welcome David!
EP Activity This Month
Our Executive Presbyter, Ralph Hawkins, will worship with Shenango, Third New Castle, and First New Castle churches in the first of many monthly shared worship services (Feb 7). He is preaching at Mt. Jackson (Feb 21) and meeting with the elders and deacons of Slippery Rock church (Feb 15). With TE Chris Weichman (Clen-Moore) and CRE Jim Moose (Unity) he will be co-leading a group of 31 participants in the Dominican Republic partnership visit shared by several Shenango congregations (Feb 27 – Mar 5). 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 email@example.com.
Stated Clerk Updates
– TE Ray Medina was ordained and installed as pastor of the Bell Memorial church December 13.
– TE Matthew Camlin was installed as pastor of the New Wilmington church on January 24.
– TE Beverly Cushman (MAL) and her husband David depart February 15 to begin her service in pastoral ministry within the bounds of the Church of Scotland. TE Bill Stone III (MAL), son of Bill Stone (Neshannock), is also serving in pastoral ministry in the Church of Scotland but remains a member of Shenango.
– RE Marsha Parrish’s (Unity) commission to serve the Oak Grove church has ended after 15 years of pastoral service. She remains commissioned to serve the Mt. Hermon congregation as pastor and Jameson Hospital as Bereavement Care Coordinator.
– TE Amy Na’s status in service to the Shenango church was changed from installed pastor to Stated Supply. Amy also serves Shenango SeniorCare in New Wilmington as chaplain.
– The Pulaski congregation voted 30-2 to request dismissal to another Reformed body.
(TE = Teaching Elder; RE = Ruling Elder; CRE = Commissioned Ruling Elder; MAL = Member at Large)
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 was 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!
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.
Leadership Training Event
For pastors, elders, deacons, and all church leaders – – Sunday, March 13, 2016 from 2:30 – 5:45 PM at the Cranberry Community United Presbyterian Church. This event will feature Dr. Scott Hagley, Assistant Professor of Missiology at PTS, with workshops for clerks, mentoring, treasurers, leadership, and even a deacon workshop led by Ralph Hawkins. Contact the presbytery office for a copy of the registration form.
THRIVE: Ministry in the New Millennium
April 10-11, 2016 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe, PA featuring Keynote Speaker: Joel Comiskey, Worship Leader: Joshua Price, and Main Speaker: Karen Snavely. Come and hear from practitioners on the leading edge of ministry in areas including: cell groups, worship, millennial ministry, campus ministry, media & communications, children – youth – and family ministry, and more. Find out more and register at www.thrive2016.us.
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.
News From the Churches
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!
DIRECTOR OF CHILDREN/YOUTH MINISTRIES
Local Presbyterian Church is seeking someone to educate our children and youth in the worship of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ. This person will oversee the Christian Education program of our church for ages from high chair to high school. The individual we seek must have strong Christian beliefs, solid interpersonal and communication skills, along with being an organized, self-starting person capable of accomplishing goals and objectives with minimum supervision. Must have availability for Sunday worship, Saturday PM and other occasions as necessary. Previous experience in church education programs is a plus. Interested applicants should send resume in confidence to: Personnel Committee, Northminster Presbyterian Church, 2434 Wilmington Road, New Castle, PA 16105 Or send on line to: email@example.com Résumés/applications must be received no later than Feb. 19, 2016, for consideration.