eLink News

This Week:

January 13- 9:00 AM Preparation for Ministry, Presbytery Office
11:30 AM Christian Education Committee, Presbytery Office
January 14- 8:30 AM LeaderFest, Westminster College and New Wilmington PC
January 16- OFFICE CLOSED, Birthday of Martin Luther King Jr.
9:00 AM PW CT, Shenango Presbyterian SeniorCare
January 17- 7:00 PM Committee on Ministry, Neshannock PC


EP Activity This Month

Our Executive Presbyter, Ralph Hawkins, will be presenting a workshop for Ruling Elders at our annual LeaderFest event (Jan 14).  He is chairing an Advisory Board meeting for World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Seminary (Jan 7), welcoming Rev. Hunter Farrell as the new WMI director.  He is leading officer training for elders and deacons at First Presbyterian Church, Oil City (Jan 28). 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 Max Muska (Harlansburg, Rich Hill) has accepted a call to First Presbyterian Church of Manchester, Iowa.

– TE Steve Stelle, having finished his term of missionary service in Ethiopia, is now serving as Interim Pastor of Champion Presbyterian Church, Ohio, in neighboring Eastminster presbytery.

– TE Don Stanley (Jamestown) was granted Honorable Retirement by the presbytery at our November stated meeting.

– An Administrative Commission has been appointed by the presbytery, at the request of the congregation, to steward the process of closing the Kennard congregation in Mercer County.


2017 Standard Mileage Rates

Beginning on January 1, 2017, the standard mileage rates for the use of a car will be 53.5 cents per business mile driven.  The rate for medical or moving purposes will be 17 cents per mile driven, and the rate for the service of charitable organizations will be 14 cents per mile.  Read more on http://www.irs.gov.


Shenango Presbytery’s Annual LeaderFest
Saturday, January 14, 2017, 8:30 am-1:30 pm at Westminster College and New Wilmington Presbyterian Church.  All leaders in the church are welcome to join us as we hear keynoter Byron Borger speak to us about “Seeking the Peace of the City (or Small Town): Living in Hope with God’s Heart for Western Pennsylvania”.  Click here for more information, a link to online registration, and to download this year’s brochure and bulletin insert.


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 22, 2017 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 office@shenango.org.  The deadline for completing these forms is January 31, 2017.  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 10th!


Arc Encounter Bus Trip

Dotty Mariner is putting together a coach bus trip to see the Ark Replica  in Williamsville, Ky. The dates are March 23-24, as an overnight trip. Cost depends on number staying in a room. A person staying as a double is $275.00 each, other prices available. Cost includes room, one lunch, one breakfast, a ticket to see the Arc and also a visit to The Creation Museum the next day. All reservations and money must be in to Dotty by February first. 724-475-4100 to contact her.


Perspectives on the World Christian Movement is not just a course. It’s an experience. It’s a movement. 250,000 people have taken the class. Many from our Presbytery. It is now being taught in 46 countries in 7 languages and we can take it right here on the Grove City College campus.

Take a look at the Grove City Class page at www.perspectives.org. Look at the lesson descriptions and the instructor bios. (Each week a different expert.) You can even read the first lesson materials online. If you’re still not sure you want to commit to the 15 weeks, come to the orientation night Tuesday, January 17th at 6:30 pm. Rev. Jen Haddox will share stories that show the hope of the Gospel in difficult places along with a brief orientation to the class.  Attend the first 2 classes Jan 24 and 31 and check it out before you decide. We encourage the public to come hear the first speakers, not because we want large classes, but because we are committed to sharing the experience we have found so useful.

It has changed the way we read the Bible. The emphasis is different. The stories aren’t just isolated moral teachings, they connect to one another and help us to see God’s big plan and that we each have an important part in it. The class will emphasize the importance of prayer. We will be exposed to great resources to enhance our prayer times and to help them be more God-centered and kingdom-oriented. In the history section we’ll see how God uses the good times and the bad times for His glory. The cultural section helps us to see how God loves all peoples and we can learn from one another and our differences. In the last section we’ll hear stories of how God is working in the world today and how we can use our talents and resources to be involved.

It’s guaranteed to take your mind off cold and snow and encourage you to spend more time growing your faith. Bring a group from your church or Invite a friend to come with you.


News From the Churches

GriefShare Program

No matter what the circumstances, grief recovery is a painful process.  A GriefShare seminar/support group is being hosted and sponsored by Calvin Church.  The program will be facilitated by Ginny Brest.  The first session is scheduled for Sunday, January 15 from 2:00-4:00 p.m. in the church parlor.  The group will meet each Sunday afternoon for 13 weeks.  Participants are encouraged to complete the 13-week program if possible.  Calvin will cover the cost of the program because we understand how deeply grief and loss hurts people and families.  This is a place where many people have found they can begin to put their lives back together again.  The program is open to anyone who has experienced the loss of a loved one to help them through the grief process.  If you, or someone you know, would benefit from this program, please contact Ginny Brest at 724-758-3838 or Calvin’s church office at 724-758-4258.


Published by shenangopresby

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

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