eLink News

This Week:

March 30- 12:30 PM Budget & Finance Committee, Presbytery Office
April 1- 9:00 AM Audit Review, Presbytery Office
1:00 PM Marriage Preparation Workshop, New Wilmington PC
April 1-3
Pastor/Spouse Marriage Retreat, Villa Maria Conference Center
April 4-
2:00 PM Nominating Committee, Presbytery Office
April 5- 9:30 AM Council, Coolspring PC, Mercer
April 6-
1:00 PM Christian Education Committee, Presbytery Office


EP Activity This Month

Our Executive Presbyter, Ralph Hawkins, will be participating with his spouse, Elizabeth, in the presbytery pastors marriage retreat (April 1-3).  He will be preaching at Bessemer church (April 10) and at Fredonia church (April 24).  He will be meeting with the elders and deacons of Slippery Rock church (April 18).  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 ralph@shenango.org.


Stated Clerk Updates

– TE Grace Basham will be installed as the pastor of two United Church of Christ congregations in Mercer County, at 2:30pm on April 10 at St. Marks UCC in New Hamburg, Pa.

–  We welcome back TE Stacie Pitts, Hospice Chaplain at Sharon Regional Health, transferring to Shenango from Kiskiminetas Presbytery.  Stacie was a candidate for ministry here in Shenango during her seminary years.

– Rev. Judy Wilson, Evangelical Methodist Church, is serving Oak Grove church on an annual contract.  TE Andrew Jillson (Northminster) is serving as Oak Grove’s moderator.

– TE Maxwell Muska was ordained by the presbytery on March 13.  Max is serving the Harlansburg and Rich Hill churches on an annual contract.

– Mike Carlin, formerly Student Pastor at First Sharpsville, has been called by that congregation and will ordained and installed as a Teaching Elder by the presbytery on April 10, 4pm, at First Sharpsville church.

– CRE Linda Kellogg will be retiring on April 10 after many years in ministry as a Commissioned Ruling Elder at Coolspring church.

– TE Anthony Kladitis has completed his term as Associate Pastor at Northminster church in New Castle and has been called by the Faith church in Hermitage to serve as their pastor.  His first Sunday is May 1; date of installation to be determined.

– TE Beverly Cushman, formerly professor of Christian Education at Westminster College, has begun a 6-month trial period of pastoral ministry in the Church of Scotland.

(TE = Teaching Elder; CRE = Commissioned Ruling Elder)


Conversation About Inter-Faith Relations in America

Wednesday, March 30, 2016 at 8:00 PM in Berlin Lounge, McKelvey Campus Center, Westminster College.  Panel speakers are:

  • Dr. David Dawson, Retired EP of Shenango Presbytery
  • Sharon Eakes, Published Author, Baha’i Faith (Ohio area)
  • Mustansir Mir, YSU, Professor of Islamic Studies
  • To Be Named, Representative of the Jewish Federation in Youngstown, OH
  • Bryan Rennie, Westminster College, Professor of Religion
  • James Mohr, Westminster College Chaplain & Director of Church Relations

The event is open to the campus and community free of charge.


 Marriage Preparation Workshop

All Shenango pastors are invited this Friday to an 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.  1pm at New Wilmington Presbyterian Church, April 1.


 Marriage Retreat

12 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.


Camp Registrations are Now Online

Interested in summer camp programs at Westminster Highlands or Camp Lambec?  Brochures and registration information are now available online athttp://www.capnwp.org.


 Bible in 90 Days materials:

If your church BORROWED some Bible in 90 Days materials in order to view a sample, please return these materials to the presbytery office or to Andrea Hall as soon as possible. These materials have a white sticker on them that say “Spring Hill Presbyterian Church.” They were borrowed from another church and need to be returned. Thank you!


Presbytery Nominations

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 dchristy2015@outlook.com (Nominations chair) or EP Ralph Hawkins at ralph@shenango.org, 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 last 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 e-mailoffice@nwmcmission.org.


 Leader Wanted

Lawrence County Habitat for Humanity is seeking applicants for a leadership position.  Interested applicants can submit resumes to apply.lchfh@gmail.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

Treasurer Needed

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.


Handbells Wanted

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 atsmccaskey@srcare.org or 724-946-3408.


FREE Copy Machine

Calvin PC in Ellwood City recently replaced their Savin 4045 monochrome copy machine/printer and would like to offer it free of charge to a church that can use it.  It’s about 10 years old, and recently serviced.  The speed is 45 pages per minute and has four paper drawers.  Typical features include one- or two-sided originals to two-sided output, reduced/enlarged copies, and collated sets.  Questions can be directed to the church office at 724-758-4258 or calvinch@verizon.net.


Published by shenangopresby

The Presbytery of Shenango serves 49 churches in Mercer and Lawrence Counties of western Pennsylvania.

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