March 25- OFFICE CLOSED, GOOD FRIDAY
March 29- 9:30 AM Steering Team, Presbytery Office
March 30- 12:30 PM Budget & Finance Committee, Presbytery Office
Ruling and Teaching Elders gathered last week at the Tavern in New Wilmington for lunch with Dr. Andrew Purves, now retired from Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and soon to move to Wilmington, North Carolina. Dr. Purves was Shenango’s first pastor retreat presenter, not to mention a seminary professor to many within our bounds over the his 30+ years at PTS.
13 pastor couples from our presbytery will be on retreat at Villa Maria Retreat Center April 1-3 with Rev. Dr. Nathan Brooks, a pastoral counselor and marriage retreat leader.
Marriage Preparation Workshop
All Shenango pastors are invited to a Friday afternoon workshop on marriage preparation with Rev. Dr. Nathan Brooks. This workshop is open to all, regardless of one’s participation in the full weekend retreat for couples that follows. No cost and no registration required. 1 PM at New Wilmington Church, April 1.
Our Shenango Presbytery Nominations committee is once again working to nominate Teaching Elders, Ruling Elders, and other leaders from our congregations to serve on the various committees, councils, and teams of our presbytery. These groups help to coordinate the ministry we do together among our churches and are an expression of the wider witness of the church. If you have a suggestion of someone who has the time, talent, and spiritual maturity to serve the wider church in this way, please share that name and some contact information with Elder Carol Christy at firstname.lastname@example.org (Nominations chair) or EP Ralph Hawkins at email@example.com, or call the presbytery office at 724-528-1610.
Missionary Commitment Forms
In response to the generous financial offerings for missionary support collected throughout 2015 at our stated presbytery meetings, our Mission, Communication and Stewardship committee feels called in 2016 to the goal of 100% of our congregations in supporting a missionary in some way. Furthermore, MCS would like to have more information about the extent of our congregations’ missionary support. As such, we have distributed to the congregations a Missionary Offering Commitment Form. This form will help us determine the level of interest our congregations have in missions. It will also help us inform the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the amount of money they can expect to receive from us to support missionaries. Let’s say your church is planning on giving $1,000 this year to support the mission work of our own Steve and Brenda Stelle in Ethiopia. It is important that the Presbyterian Mission Agency knows that, as that kind of information that could making the difference in keeping the Stelles (or any other missionary) on the mission field for the duration of their term. As of this week, 23 of our 49 congregations have pledged support of some kind. That’s nearly 50% of the presbytery! Please consider completing a Missionary Offering Commitment Form and either sending it to the presbytery office or bring it to the April 26 presbytery meeting at Christ church, Ellwood City.
Synod of the Trinity Regional Gatherings
The Synod will host a series of regional gatherings, which will replace the regular central meetings of the past. The Northwest Region (including the presbyteries of Beaver-Butler, Kiskiminetas, Lake Erie, and Shenango) will gather on Monday, April 25th at Camp Crestfield in Slippery Rock, PA. Three targeted conversation group options will be offered, including Resourcing and Equipping Our Congregation in Meeting Financial Challenges (a workshop for presbytery leadership), Connecting and Resourcing Young Pastors/New Pastors, and Turning the Church Around: One Congregation at a Time. For more information, contact the Presbytery Office.
Shenango Presbytery Scholarships
The Shenango Presbytery Scholarship Fund is supported by gifts from the congregations of the presbytery. The fund is intended to assist students who are members of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Preference will be given to applicants who belong to churches in Shenango Presbytery. Recipients of aid from this fund are eligible for continued assistance in successive years, but they must reapply for aid annually and continue to meet the criteria listed below.
Criteria for Consideration
1. Acceptance as a full-time student at Grove City College or Westminster College by June 1, 2016
2. Demonstrated financial need
3. Academic achievement: if a high school senior, a minimum GPA of 3.3; if a current student at one of the colleges, a minimum GPA of 3.0
4. Evidence in writing of past and present involvement in the life and witness of the Christian community
Click here to download the scholarship application. Note: Application materials must be submitted (or postmarked) by May 2, 2016.
Register for NWMC!
Registration for the 111th annual New Wilmington Mission Conference is now open! The conference will be held July 23-30, 2016 on the campus of Westminster College. Come out and hear about what God is doing all over the world! This year’s Morning Meeting speakers are Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mathers, PC(USA) mission co-workers in South Sudan who are supported by Shenango Presbytery. Don’t miss this great opportunity to connect with folks from all over the world–right here in our own backyard! For more information or to register, visit www.nwmcmission.org or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity is seeking applicants for a leadership position. Interested applicants can submit resumes to email@example.com or by sending to 138 W. Washington St., New Castle, PA 16101. Please submit resumes by March 15, 2016. Questions can be directed to 724-652-3438.
News From the Churches
First Presbyterian Church of Sharon members and friends are participating in a canned food drive this Lenten season. On Palm Sunday members and friends worked together to transform the gym at the church into a prayer room with a “prayer labyrinth” lined by the food cans they have collected, and the Stations of the Cross. The room will be open to the public on Maundy Thursday, March 24th from 5:30-9:30 PM and Good Friday from 12 noon to 8:00 PM. All are welcome! After Easter Sunday all of the food will be prayed over and given to the Community Food Warehouse for distribution. For more information, call First @ 724-981-2211.
Gethsemane Prayer Garden
Leesburg ECO Presbyterian Church will be offering a Gethsemane Prayer Garden experience beginning on March 24th at 8 PM and lasting until March 25th at 6 PM. You are invited to come and pray an hour with Jesus. (Note: Security will be provided, and lights will be dimmed in the garden area. You may nod to one another, if you choose as you come and go, but please refrain from any conversation in the Garden.)
Clen-Moore Presbyterian Church has an opening for a Church Treasurer. If anyone is interested, they can call Rev. Chris Weichman at the church, 724-654-6657.
Piano Platform Available
Third Presbyterian Church in New Castle has a platform for a baby grand piano. It has wheels so that the piano can be moved or repositioned. They will offer it at no charge to any other church that has a use for it. Please contact Janis Pherson at 724-651-8054.
Shenango Presbyterian SeniorCare is organizing a bell choir. If any churches in the area have bells that they no longer want or need, consider donating your set to SPSC. Please contact Sharyn McCaskey, Director of Community Living at SPSC firstname.lastname@example.org or 724-946-3408.