Special Committee to Monitor Denominational Issues

Special Committee to Monitor Denominational Issues

Presbytery Council approved the formation in 2011 of a Special Committee to Monitor Denominational Issues. This committee coordinates through the Steering Committee of Presbytery Council.

Rationale: The approval by presbyteries of Overture 10-A from the 2010 General Assembly removed the “fidelity and chastity” section (G-6.0106b) from the Book of Order. This does not immediately alter everything, but it is one of many significant developments within the PC(USA) that indicate important changes. Therefore Shenango Presbytery needs to proactively monitor the situation on behalf of our churches and ministers. It is our hope that we can do together whatever we do as a Presbytery so that our congregations can concentrate on the important ministry and mission that God has given to us.

Tasks: The committee will collect information and provide forums for teaching and ruling elders to review and discuss developments within the PC(USA). In 2013 two spin-off initiatives have emerged.

Moving Forward

This initiative by several pastors is intended to explore the future in the PC(USA). The coordinating group includes: Beth Creekpaum, Bill Crooks, Ralph Hawkins, Glenn Hink, Augie Hurst, and Adam Rodgers. Those involved in the conversation had decided by early 2013 to focus on two projects:

  • Writing a theological statement based on their concensus on what most of the pastors would agree reflects a commonly held understanding of our present situation in the PC(USA).
  • Discussing “What kind of Presbytery will Shenango be as we move into the future?”.

Presbytery Future Committee

At its February, 2013 meeting the Presbytery Council authorized the formation of the “Presbytery Future Committee”. See David Dawson’s comments at the February 26 meeting.

The Presbytery Future Committee gathered in an orientation meeting on March 17 with the following members:

  • Ron Cole (Lebanon)
  • Ralph Hawkins (New Wilmington)
  • Andrew Jillson, Moderator (Northminster)
  • David Lingle (Amity/Ebenezer)
  • Barb McNees (Calvin)
  • Adam Rodgers (Stoneboro)
  • Alice Otto Sacherich (Highland)

The Committee has outlined its tasks as determining the present situation regarding denominational issues in each of our 57 churches. The presenting question is, “What might we do as a Presbytery in response to what we learn?”.

The basic timeline for the Committee’s work is as follows:

  • Preparation of an extensive survey by April 12
  • Completion of the survey by all elders (active and inactive) in the 57 churches by May 1
  • Several listening sessions around the Presbytery to reflect on what was learned – by June 2
  • Committee report to Presbytery Council on September 3

Important Dates for the Elder Survey and Listening Groups:

  • Survey begins April 10 and ends at midnight on April 30
  • May 15- public report on the survey, New Wilmington Presbyterian Church, 7:00 PM
  • Listening Groups (open to all)
    • Sunday, May 19 @ 7 pm at Trinity, Mercer
    • Monday, May 20 @ 7 pm at Calvin, Ellwood City
    • Wednesday, May 22 @ 10 am at New Wilmington
    • Tuesday, May 28 @ 7 pm at First, New Castle
    • Thursday, May 30 @ 7 pm at Stoneboro
  • June 4 (9:30 AM) – Russ Crabtree www.holycowconsulting.com meets with Presbytery Council at Villa Maria Conference Center

Links to the Presbytery Future Committee are available below:

2011-2012 Documents

Reflections from David Dawson

Notes from the FOP/ECO Meeting in Orlando (January 18-20, 2012)

Presentation at the Presbytery Meeting (February 28, 2012)

Other Documents, Websites, Blogs, etc.