eLink News

EP Activity This Month

Our Executive Presbyter, Ralph Hawkins, will be preaching at Bell Memorial in Ellwood City (Sep 3), at First New Castle (Sep 10), and at Bessemer (Sep 17).  He will be conducting Nominating Committee training (Sep 10) and moderating a gathering of Executive Presbyters and Stated Clerks from across the Synod of Trinity (Sep 27-29).  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

– The Ellport congregation celebrated an anniversary last month with a Friday evening homecoming meal and concert.  CRE Charlene Kennedy is their part-time pastor.

–  Third Presbyterian Church of New Castle held its final worship service on August 27, completed nearly 100 years of worship and witness in east New Castle.  Most members will be transferring to Northminster church, New Castle.  The presbytery will elect an Administrative Commission to disburse the physical assets of the congregation.

– TE David Clark recently completed his tenure as part-time pastor of the Moravia congregation.

– Rev. John Lyons is serving as temporary supply pastor for the Harlansburg congregation.

– Rev. Julia Williamson (UCC) will soon complete her tenure as pastor of the Slippery Rock congregation in Ellwood City.  Julia’s husband has received a new call and they will be moving to Dayton, Ohio, this fall.

– TE Bill Crooks will be retiring at the end of this month after 37 years of service to the Trinity congregation in Mercer.  His final Sunday preaching will be October 1.

– TE David Watson and TE Bill King this summer each began interim service at Clen-Moore and Northminster churches, respectively.

(TE = Teaching Elder; RE = Ruling Elder; CRE = Commissioned Ruling Elder; MAL = Member at Large; HR = Honorably Retired; PNC = Pastor Nominating Committee)


What Are You Interested In?

Help the Evangelism Committee better serve our congregations by taking a few moments to complete this brief questionnaire.  Feel free to share the link with others in your congregation – the more answers the committee receives, the better they are able to serve you!


Happy Birthday Synod of the Trinity!

September 17th is THE day of the first General Synod meeting in 1717.  At that meeting the presbyteries of Philadelphia (formerly “The Presbytery”), New Castle, and Long Island gathered to do business, and among other things, the precursor to the Board of Pensions was formed.  This year will be the 300th anniversary of the formation of the Synod of the Trinity!  Since that date falls on a Sunday this year, Synod is asking that churches to participate during worship using the attached bulletin insert.  There is also an opportunity for a congregation to receive a grant by participating in the celebration (details are on the bulletin insert).



September 25-26: W. Don McClure Lectures at PTS

Dr. Amos Yong, Professor of Mission and Theology at Fuller Theological Seminary, will present his reflections on the work of the Holy Spirit in mission in a pluralistic world at this FREE lecture.  Dr. Yong brings a global perspective of how the Spirit has grown the number of Pentecostal  believers in places like Latin America, Africa, and Asia – not to mention our own contexts.  See https://www.pts.edu/McClure_2017 for more details.


International Peacemaker Visit

Born to Dinka parents, Achol Majok Kur Kier is not inclined to conform to expectations that define her culture. Strong-willed, at a young age she refused the matrimonial candidate her parents had hand-picked from within their clan. Instead, she pursued university-level studies in Khartoum, Sudan, becoming a secondary school professor in English, Arabic and history and marrying, at age 29, the love of her life from another ethnic group.  Achol is an ordained deaconess in the South Sudan Evangelical Presbyterian Church (SSPEC). She serves as the elected chairperson for SSPEC’s women’s desk, and is an executive committee member in the South Sudan Council of Churches. She is one of 16 International Peacemakers touring the U.S. during the 2017 Season of Peace on behalf of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.  You can meet Achol during her visit to Shenango Presbytery, September 25-29th.  More information coming soon!


Celebrate Sudan Event

Celebrate Sudan flyer

Download the poster.  Download the bulletin insert.


Youth Ministry Essentials Training Event

Pittsburgh Presbytery will be hosting Mark Oestreicher, internationally known for his wisdom and insight into youth ministry, for a special one-day event on Thursday, September 28th.  This event promises to be an unique opportunity to engage with one of the foremost leaders in youth ministry. Click here for more information.


Camp Lambec Work Day

The CAPNWP Board of Directors is looking for volunteers to help winterize Camp Lambec and perform some maintenance on September 23, 2017 from 9:30 AM – 4:30 PM.  There are jobs for all skill levels.  Please bring work gloves, a water bottle, your lunch, and any tools that you think would be helpful.  Please email Bob Meanor at meanor300@comcast.net by September 20th to let him know how many are coming.


Wee Kirk Northeast Conference

October 9-11, 2017 at the Laurelville Mennonite Church Conference Center near Mt. Pleasant, PA.  EVERYONE IS INVITED to attend this special time.  The purpose of Wee Kirk is: to inspire, equip, motivate, and encourage the people of small Presbyterian Churches and to also provide rest and refreshment for those who come.  There are workshops, sharing times with good food, worship, and music.  Registration fees: Churches up to 125 – $125 for husband and wife or $100 for single registrant; Churches 126-200 – $150 for husband and wife or $125 for single registration.  More information and online registration available at http://www.wee.kirk.ne.org.  Hearts and Minds Bookstore will be on the premises with Byron Borger spotlighting books each day.  Questions can be directed to Helen Kester at 724-980-9565.  (Wee Kirk is in partnership with the Presbytery of Shenango – flyers for the conference are available at the Presbytery Office.)


Discussions on Theology and Science at PTS-One Wednesday each month October-December 2017, and February-April 2018 Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is hosting conversations about various current scientific topics by knowledgeable people in the particular field: 10/18 “’Wonder of Science,” 11/15 “Our Model of the Universe,” 12/6, “The Science of Language,” 2/21 “Teaching a Machine,” 3/21 “Creation, Intelligent Design, and Evolution,” 4/18 “Genetic Engineering.”  The lectures are from 9:00AM -1:30PM, and include lunch.  Due to a generous grant the lectures are FREE.  Glenn Hink, 1st Church Sharon is planning on participating.  If you would be interested in the lectures, and carpooling down to PTS, contact Glenn.  For more information visit ConEd@pts.edu.


Connecting Mission Leaders

Join mission leaders at First Presbyterian Church in San Antonio, TX on October 26-28 for the fourth Connecting Mission Leaders Conference, sponsored by The Antioch Partners, Frontier Fellowship, and The Outreach Foundation.  Topics include ministering to immigrants & refugees, engaging millennials in mission, church planting, and more.  Learn more and register online at http://www.connectingmissionleaders.com.


Pianist Wanted

Avalon Springs in Mercer is seeking a volunteer pianist to play basic church hymns for Sunday services at 2:30-3:30 each Sunday at the facility community room.  If interested, please contact Sandy Hill at 724-662-5400.


Hurricane Response

Even as Presbyterian Disaster Assistance began working toward recovery after Hurricane Harvey, Irma followed close behind, weaving a path of devastation, wiping out islands in the Caribbean and bringing damaging winds and storm surge to Florida.  Years of recovery lie ahead, and your commitment will help PDA extend the hands of Christ.  PDA is the emergency response and refugee program of the denomination, committed to the long-term journey of recovery of communities adversely affected by a crisis or catastrophic event. It is funded by the One Great Hour of Sharing and raises designated funds for responding to specific disasters.

You can send your special offerings and gifts through the Shenango Presbytery office (4197 New Castle Road, Pulaski, PA  16143).  Please designate gifts to DR000169-Harvey or DR000194-Irma.  We will forward all gifts on to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

For more information, updates, and resources (such as a bulletin insert), please visit http://pda.pcusa.org.



At the heart of the Westminster College community is a love of service, so in the light of Hurricane Harvey’s devastation along the Gulf Coast, the students feel called to send relief to some victims in the Houston area.  Through September 30th, a service drive will be held to collect items in our community.  Collection boxes have been placed in the Chapel, outside Townhouse 23, and outside the Student Affairs office in McKelvey, as well as at a few local churches (names coming soon).  The following items are being collected, and will be sent to trusted relief organizations and local shelters:


  • toothbrushes
  • toothpaste
  • bar soap
  • shampoo/conditioner
  • body wash
  • deodorant
  • feminine products
  • hand sanitizer
  • blankets
  • paper towels
  • Clorox wipes


  • baby and adult diapers
  • pull-ups
  • baby wipes


  • non-perishables with pull tops
  • granola bars
  • peanut butter
  • baby food
  • baby formula

Clothing (new and gently used)

  • undergarments (pref. new)
  • socks
  • shirts
  • pants
  • jackets
  • shoes


News From the Churches

24th Annual Fall Fest

Wurtemburg Presbyterian Church will hold their annual Fall Fest on Saturday, September 16th from 9 AM to 2 PM.  There will be a food court (homemade chicken noodle, vegetable, and wedding soups) and crafts.  Tables are available by calling 724-758-6785.


Coolspring Corn Maze Praise Night

The first Coolspring Corn Maze Praise Night will be on the evening of October 7th beginning at 7:30 PM.  A live outdoor concert featuring contemporary worship artist Jordan Biel and band, Christian Rap Artist G.I.L. (God Is Love), and Damon Covert will be performing and lifting up our God in praise.  Everyone is welcome, rain or shine, come early for under roof seating.  The concert is free with admission to the maze.  For more info go to http://www.coolspringmaze.com.


Jackson Center Presbyterian Church 175th Anniversary

Join Jackson Center Presbyterian Church (Route 62 – Franklin Road – Jackson Center, PA) to celebrate their 175th Anniverary.  There will be an Open House on Saturday, October 7th from 1-4 PM, and a Church Service on Sunday, October 8th at 11 AM.  Homecoming, greetings, historical displays, refreshments, with special performances by the Bell Choir and a Bagpiper.


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 Presbyterian Church.  The program will be facilitated by Ginny Brest.  The first session is scheduled for Sunday, September 10 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the church parlor.  The group will meet each Sunday afternoon for 13 weeks, concluding on December 3.  While participants are encouraged to complete the 13-week program if possible, attendance is not mandatory each week.  The program is free and open to anyone in the community (and beyond) 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 the church office at 724-758-4258 or by email at calvinellwood@gmail.com.  You can also view the GriefShare website at www.griefshare.org for additional information.


Evensong at Unity

“Evensong at Unity” begins on Sunday evening, September 17th with dinner at 5:30 PM and singing in the Unity sanctuary at 6:15 PM.  All invited who love singing from the hymnbook.  Unity is located at 1857 Mercer West Middlesex Road (at Greenfield – halfway between West Middlesex and Mercer).  (Note: There is still a detour on Rt. 318 at Bethel.)


Fall into Christmas Dinner

Make the winter warmer for some of our less fortunate friends around town by bringing a contribution of hats, scarves, gloves, mittens, socks, underwear, or coats on Saturday, September 16th from 6-8 PM at Shenango Presbyterian Church (3144 Wilmington Road).  Come enjoy a Christmas dinner menu and treats for the kids… Adults $7, Kids 12 and under $5.  Proceeds will benefit the City Rescue Mission.  Stay long enough to sing some Christmas Carols!  Reservations appreciated, but not necessary (724-652-2322).


Church Treasurer Wanted

Clen-Moore Church, 220 Clen-Moore Boulevard, New Castle has an immediate opening for a Church Treasurer.  This is a part-time position and treasurer may work from home.  Accounting experience is required as well as strong computer accounting skills.  Duties include, but are not limited to:  processing payroll, preparing accounts payable checks, bank reconciliations, monthly financials, preparing federal and state quarterly reports.  Please send a letter of interest and resume to Dr. David Watson at dwatson@clenmoore.org.


Robes Available

Shenango Presbyterian Church joyfully and willingly offers two styles of choir/ bell robes for adults for any interested church or group. Please pick up the robes from the church at your earliest convenience. We have 18 blue robes and 20 red/ burgundy robes. The blue are like new! See the photos below.  Shenango Presbyterian Church 724.654.2322


Free to a Good Home

24 teal and cream colored choir robes of various sizes and embroidered with the Presbyterian logo, including one tailored for the accompanist.  Although several years old, they are in good condition.  Please contact the office of Third Presbyterian Church at 724-658-6683 or email the church at office@thirdpresby.com.


Published by shenangopresby

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

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: