The Presbytery of Shenango

An Update on the Discernment Process with Beaver-Butler Presbytery

Dear Members of Shenango Presbytery,

A new year brings new things for Shenango! As many of you know, we have had a discernment team in place that was charged by the Council to do some groundwork in exploring options for a future relationship with Beaver-Butler presbytery. That team was led by Glenn Hink and included Augie Hurst, Elizabeth Wallace, Dave Esposito, Judy Veon, Tod Custer, and Mark Frailey. After months of working with some folks from Beaver-Butler presbytery and consultant Michelle Snyder, the team recommended that the Council consider moving forward with a next step of discernment.

As outlined in the official recommendation, which was approved by the Council on December 11, the next step involves the creation of a new team, called the Dream Team (not so named because they are the best of the best but because they are charged with the task of dreaming and imagining what a new, merged presbytery might look like). The Dream Team will consist of four members from Shenango and four from Beaver-Butler and will meet with Michelle Snyder over the coming months to imagine something new and further consider the possibility of merger.

Please note that the council’s decision to approve the recommendation of the discernment team and move forward with electing a Dream Team was not a vote to officially merge with Beaver-Butler presbytery. A vote for a merger will only take place after the Dream Team does its work and makes a recommendation to the councils of each presbytery. If a recommendation for merger is approved by both Shenango’s Council and Beaver-Butler’s Council, then a full vote of both presbyteries will be required in order to approve a merger. So, as you can see, there are several important steps for us to discern together before a merger can take place.

As requested, the Council also elected Shenango’s members of the Dream Team at a special meeting on January 7. All of these individuals were elected because they embodied the characteristics that were laid out in the initial recommendation. We have every confidence that these are leaders who can creatively reimagine what presbytery might look like in the 21st century in western Pennsylvania and further help us discern the possibility of merger. The following have been elected:

• Catherine Craley (TE, Trinity)
• Glenn Hink (TE, First, Sharon)
• Augie Hurst (TE, Lebanon)
• A fourth individual (a ruling elder) is currently discerning

The Council also elected Andrea Hall (RE, Hillside) to serve as Project Manager, a position that is not on the Dream Team but will help move the process along by overseeing deadlines, communications, etc.

Now that we are entering this next phase of discernment, we want to hear from you. We want to keep the lines of communication open and make sure that no one feels like they are in the dark. We need your help in making that happen. Please be honest about what you need from us and make every effort to make yourself available when there are times for informal or formal discussion.

To that end, there are two times in the immediate future that we have slated for discussion.

• The first is Saturday, January 19 at the Elder-Deacon Training Event at Northmintster at 10:00 am. Augie Hurst (as well as others) will be present to lead a simple session answering questions and giving basic information.
• The second is Wednesday, January 23 at 10:00 am at the Confluence in New Castle. At this time, pastors are welcome to join members of the Dream Team and Council for a Fireside Chat to hear more about what’s next and offer thoughts or concerns.

There will also be times when Shenango and Beaver-Butler folks can mingle. Those times include: March 17 (Beaver-Butler’s version of LeaderFest), March 18-19 (Shenango’s Pastors’ Retreat), and May 19 (Shenango’s LeaderFest).

There are many questions to be answered, and we certainly do not have all of the answers yet. Overall, I sense from the Council an excitement about the future, whatever it may hold. I have also been impressed by the lack of anxiety – meetings feel calm, as though there is a strong trust that God will provide clear answers in due time. I also believe that our Council is 100% committed to making choices that are best for our congregations. I don’t sense that anyone on Council is “sold” one way or the other. All seem to be open to discerning where the Spirit is leading.

So, please be in prayer for our presbytery. Pray for the Dream Team and Michelle Snyder. Pray for our Council, staff, and other leaders. We covet these prayers and are confident that they will be answered according to God’s will.

As we enter these next several months of transition, our leadership structure will remain as it has since Ralph’s departure. Bill Crooks and the COM are available for any pastoral/congregational needs. Matt Camlin is available as Stated Clerk. Tod Custer is our Moderator, Jeff Black is Vice Moderator, and Andrea Hall moderates the Council. Augie Hurst also serves on the Steering Team. Our staff (Autumn Imhoff and Shari Getway) is an incredible resource. We are grateful to God that we are well-equipped with capable leaders at this time.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, do not hesitate to contact us. Thank you for the ministry that you are doing here in Shenango!

Blessings,

Andrea Hall
Moderator, Council
andreabhall@gmail.com

Rev. Tod Custer
Moderator, Presbytery
christpc@verizon.net

Read the Press Release from the Discernment Teams

Annual Reports

It’s time for Annual Reports again!  

The GA online statistical program located at http://oga.pcusa.org/stats has officially opened for the season.  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 13, 2019 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, 2019.  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 8th!

Elder-Deacon Training Event

Register now for the Elder-Deacon Training Event  sponsored by the Presbytery’s Christian Education Committee.

Saturday, January 19, 2019 beginning at 8:30 AM with a light continental breakfast

Northminster Presbyterian Church (2434 Wilmington Road, New Castle)

This event will provide you with practical tools to better serve your congregation as an elder or deacon, in a teaching/discussion format.  Open to all past and present elders and deacons!

Facilitators: Rev. Anthony Kladitis and Beth & Jeff Black

 

Click here to register online!

 

Download:

Official Call to the November 27, 2018 Stated Meeting of Shenango Presbytery

Click here to read the meeting announcement.

California Wildfire Response

Through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has been present since the beginning of the wildfire disaster in California.  Working closely with leadership in the affected presbyteries, the have released emergency grants to support the presbyteries in meeting the urgent needs of their neighbors. At the request of the Red Cross, PDA has deployed four disaster spiritual care providers from their national response team to work directly with survivors in shelters and the affected communities. They are deploying additional PDA teams to support the presbyteries in their assessment and response as they help their neighbors begin recovery. Additional grants for ongoing emergency support for survivors and long-term recovery will be forthcoming.

As people of faith we seek comfort, support, and direction from God.  We ask that you join your spirits with ours as we walk with our California neighbors through the valley of the shadow.

Your gifts to DR000165 (U.S. Wildfires) will ensure that PDA has adequate resources to support the recovery.  Gifts may be sent to the Presbytery Office made payable to
“Shenango Presbytery”, where they will be sent directly to PDA.

Hurricane Florence Response

As news comes in of the devastating effects of the hurricanes, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is organizing a response that will help sustain life and restore hope in the coming days.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has been in communication with mid councils and pastors in the area to provide resources and guidance. The Presbyterian Mission Agency and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are working with our partners to meet immediate needs and support long-term recovery.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance 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 has 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 Hurricane Relief.  We will forward all gifts on to Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

Official Call to the September 25, 2018 Stated Presbytery Meeting

Click here to read the meeting announcement.

Temporary Leadership

With Rev. Hawkins’ departure, we want to make sure that everyone knows who to contact in various situations.

For the remainder of 2018, please contact the individuals listed on the attached document with any questions.

Updated Temporary Leadership Handout (PDF)

eLink News

Coming Events:

  • August 31 – The office will close at NOON so that the carpets can be cleaned.
  • September 3 – OFFICE CLOSED, Labor Day
  • September 4 – 9:30 AM Council, Hillside PC
  • September 5- 1:30 PM Christian Education Committee, Presbytery Office

 

Register for the Fall Pastor Retreat

Register now for the October 15-16 Pastor Retreat with Dr. Steven Tuell, focusing on the creation accounts in Genesis.

 

Save the Date!

SoulShop graphic

Slippery Rock Presbyterian Church (258 Slippery Rock Drive, Ellwood City) will host a SoulShop for Leaders seminar on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.  The cost is $25 per person.  You can register online at http://www.slipperyrockchurch.org(use the SoulShop button).  For additional information, email srchurch258@gmail.com or call 724-752-8892.  If you missed the workshop presented at North Liberty Pres in March, now’s your chance to catch it again!

 

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to go to the Mercer County Jail with the Celebrate Recovery program on Wednesday evenings from 6-8.  Interested men and women may contact Linda Porter at linda@reachingup.org.

 

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 9 from 1:30-3:30 p.m. in the church parlor.  The group will meet each Sunday afternoon for 13 weeks, concluding on December 2 .  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.

 

LAMBEC Capital Campaign

The Camping Association of the Presbyteries of Northwestern Pennsylvania is conducting a $100,000 capital campaign to restore the water system for Camp Lambec.  The system needs a DEP-approved overhaul, and we are starting those repairs with an approved contractor.  This is an expensive overhaul, but it is necessary to continue the ministry to youth and families.  As such, the Board has authorized a $100K campaign to address this and other items of deferred maintenance.  The Board is committed to the continued operation of Camp Lambec, as we believe firmly that this ministry provides unique and powerful discipleship opportunities for participants.  Individual donations can be made online using this link.   Church contributions can be coordinated through the Shenango Presbytery office.

 

2020 Trip Invitation

Dear Shenango Presbytery Friends and Family, In July of 2020 I will be leading a trip to Italy, Austria, and Germany to see the Passion Play at Oberammergau.  I would like to invite you and your church members to join us for the adventure of a life-time.  Check out the attached electronic version of our brochure.  If you have questions, please be in contact, Rev. Jim Mohr, 724-813-5894 or by email, mohrjr@westminster.edu.

 

Full Time Intern Wanted

The Presbyterian Church of Radford, Radford, VA, is seeking a full time intern to direct the UKirk Ministry in the Radford University Community.  He/she will work closely with the Minister as an integral part of a team ministry.  For more information, or to submit resume, please contact Carol White, chair of UKirk committee, cbellinaw@gmail.com, 36 Fieldale Drive, Radford, VA  24141, 540-838-2273.  Please see http://ukirk.pcusa.org/job/31 for a full job description.

 

FREE Items

Trinity Presbyterian Church in Mercer is happy to donate to a new home –

  • USED CHOIR ROBES – 23 used teal polyester adult robes with reversible collars with sets of a variety of liturgical colors and one gathered sleeve organist/director robe and collar set.
  • OLDER SATB CHOIR ANTHEMS – find an old favorite, get extra copies to complete your set, or discover a new-to-you title.  Mostly SATB from 1960-1990s.  General, seasonal, Christmas, Easter, Advent, and others.

Contact Jim Sankey, music coordinator, by email (jamesasankey@hotmail.com) or at the church (724-662-2680) to examine or pick up any of the above items.

 

Basket Raffle to Benefit Shenango on the Green

Tickets will be on sale from October 8-13, to be pulled at 12 PM on October 13th, for over 60 spectacular gift baskets.  There will also be a gourmet cake raffle each day.  Proceeds from the raffle benefit the SeniorCare Fund for residents who no longer have the resources to pay for care.  Purchase tickets at Shenango on the Green (238 S. Market Street, New Wilmington).

eLink News

Coming Events:

  • August 28 – 9:30 AM Steering Committee, Presbytery Office
  • September 3 – OFFICE CLOSED, Labor Day
  • September 4 – 9:30 AM Council, Hillside PC
  • September 5- 1:30 PM Christian Education Committee, Presbytery Office

 

 

Ralph Party Invitation

 

 

Save the Date!

SoulShop graphic

Slippery Rock Presbyterian Church (258 Slippery Rock Drive, Ellwood City) will host a SoulShop for Leaders seminar on Saturday, October 6, 2018 from 8:30 AM – 4:00 PM.  The cost is $25 per person.  You can register online at http://www.slipperyrockchurch.org(use the SoulShop button).  For additional information, email srchurch258@gmail.com or call 724-752-8892.  If you missed the workshop presented at North Liberty Pres in March, now’s your chance to catch it again!

 

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are needed to go to the Mercer County Jail with the Celebrate Recovery program on Wednesday evenings from 6-8.  Interested men and women may contact Linda Porter at linda@reachingup.org.

 

A Day with Tod Bolsinger

Dear Pastors and Elders of Shenango Presbytery: On behalf of Beaver-Butler Presbytery, I invite you to be part of our Thriving Church Event with Canoeing the Mountains author Tod Bolsinger. The event is on Friday, September 21, 2018 at Cranberry United Presbyterian Church in Cranberry Township, PA. We would love to have you join us.  Please see the attached flyer.   Blessings, The Rev. Dr. Graham Standish, M.S.W., Chair, Encouraging Churches to Flourish Unit, Beaver-Butler Presbytery

 

Disaster Training

Natural disasters and public violence are both a part of our current landscape.  How can we respond to support and heal communities while also caring for ourselves?  The Synod of the Trinity is partnering with five presbyteries to provide regional disaster training through Presbyterian Disaster Assistance in September and October.  Save the date for Wednesday, October 17th as our closest event.  Gather at Crestfield Camp & Conference Center in Slippery Rock for a day of training on “Disaster Preparedness and Engagement”.  A second workshop will be offered after lunch, and participants can choose to attend “Human Caused Disasters” or “Immigration Issues”.  There is a $10 per person registration fee.  Further details and online registration can be found at http://www.syntrinity.org/PDA.

 

LAMBEC Capital Campaign

The Camping Association of the Presbyteries of Northwestern Pennsylvania is conducting a $100,000 capital campaign to restore the water system for Camp Lambec.  The system needs a DEP-approved overhaul, and we are starting those repairs with an approved contractor.  This is an expensive overhaul, but it is necessary to continue the ministry to youth and families.  As such, the Board has authorized a $100K campaign to address this and other items of deferred maintenance.  The Board is committed to the continued operation of Camp Lambec, as we believe firmly that this ministry provides unique and powerful discipleship opportunities for participants.  Individual donations can be made online using this link.   Church contributions can be coordinated through the Shenango Presbytery office.

 

2020 Trip Invitation

Dear Shenango Presbytery Friends and Family, In July of 2020 I will be leading a trip to Italy, Austria, and Germany to see the Passion Play at Oberammergau.  I would like to invite you and your church members to join us for the adventure of a life-time.  Check out the attached electronic version of our brochure.  If you have questions, please be in contact, Rev. Jim Mohr, 724-813-5894 or by email, mohrjr@westminster.edu.

 

Full Time Intern Wanted

The Presbyterian Church of Radford, Radford, VA, is seeking a full time intern to direct the UKirk Ministry in the Radford University Community.  He/she will work closely with the Minister as an integral part of a team ministry.  For more information, or to submit resume, please contact Carol White, chair of UKirk committee, cbellinaw@gmail.com, 36 Fieldale Drive, Radford, VA  24141, 540-838-2273.  Please see http://ukirk.pcusa.org/job/31 for a full job description.

 

FREE Items

Trinity Presbyterian Church in Mercer is happy to donate to a new home –

  • CHURCH ORGAN – a 2 manual, one-octave pedal electronic organ.  Good for a smaller church or smaller worship area
  • USED CHOIR ROBES – 23 used teal polyester adult robes with reversible collars with sets of a variety of liturgical colors and one gathered sleeve organist/director robe and collar set.
  • OLDER SATB CHOIR ANTHEMS – find an old favorite, get extra copies to complete your set, or discover a new-to-you title.  Mostly SATB from 1960-1990s.  General, seasonal, Christmas, Easter, Advent, and others.

Contact Jim Sankey, music coordinator, by email (jamesasankey@hotmail.com) or at the church (724-662-2680) to examine or pick up any of the above items.

trinity-organ.jpg