Order Your 2017-2018 Presbyterian Planning Calendars!

The Presbytery Planning Calendars are now available to order through the Presbytery office! Order Your Planning Calendars by Friday, May 5, 2017 for the 2016-2017 Presbyterian Planning Calendar.  This calendar is an invaluable resource for the whole church that includes photographs of Presbyterians living out their faith across the country and around the world. This 19-month calendar contains many planning aids for pastors and other church leaders.

In the calendar, you will find the lectionary for Sundays and special days, liturgical days, liturgical colors, resource information for PC(USA) programmatic emphases, updated synod, presbytery and Presbyterian Mission Agency staff directories, color foldout synod/presbytery and world maps. Calendar pages begin with June 2017 and end with December 2018.

The total cost for each calendar is $9.50, which includes the cost of shipping to the Presbytery. 

Calendars will be made available at the Presbytery office for pick-up. Please include your check (Payable to the Presbytery) for the appropriate amount. Call 215.242.1400, ext 329 for more information.

Please place your order now!

Planning Calendar Order

order form for Presbytery Planning Calendars

 

 

 

Prayers for Memorial Presbyterian Church in Boothwyn

Prayers for Memorial Presbyterian in Boothwyn

Please pray for saints at Memorial Presbyterian Church in Boothwyn – at around 8:30 a.m. today, emergency responders were called to the Memorial Presbyterian Church in light of a multi-alarm fire. The fire is contained and thankfully no injuries have been reported.  No cause has been identified at this time – more details will come as we become aware.

On this Monday after Easter, may the same Spirit that rose Christ from the grave embrace the congregation of Memorial Presbyterian Church and the surrounding community.

In the news

ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING: SHARING RESOURCES AND CHANGING LIVES

WHEN IS ONE GREAT HOUR OF SHARING (OGHS)?

Most congregations receive “OGHS” on Easter Sunday, Passion/Palm Sunday or both, while many receive it throughout Lent—however, you can help sustain the important PC(USA) ministries and programs that are supported by One Great Hour of Sharing Offering by making an online gift at any time throughout the year. Checks may be sent care of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to P.O. Box 643700; Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.

HOW IS MY GIFT USED?

A gift to One Great Hour of Sharing enables the church to share God’s love with our neighbors-in-need around the world by providing relief to those affected by natural disasters, provide food to the hungry, and helping to empower the poor and oppressed. Find an interactive world map with One Great Hour of Sharing recipients here.

Self Development of People: From 1973 to 2009, the US prison population grew from 200,000 to two million, and people of color are disproportionately incarcerated, so standing against mass incarceration is a matter of neighbors helping neighbors. One Great Hour of Sharing enables Presbyterians to extend neighborliness across the United States and around the world to impoverished and oppressed people. Click here for the SDOP Flyer. Click here to visit our presbytery’s Self-Development of People Committee (Philadelphia).

Presbyterian Hunger Program: In the United States, Peru, and around the world, One Great Hour of Sharing gifts help preserve and restore creation and thus help impoverished people sustain and improve their livelihoods. Our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing make a difference for God’s earth and God’s people now and in the future. Click here for the PHP flyer.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance: Thanks to our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) was able to respond to this refugee crisis soon after it began. Working with churches in the region, primarily the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon, PDA helps Syrian refugee children in Lebanon continue their education and provides refugee families food, shelter, and heating oil. Click here for the PDA Flyer.

Click below for a video of how your donation can make an impact on lives:

 

 

Presbytery of Philadelphia Stands Against Hate and Violence

It was a powerful way to embark on our Lenten journey as the Presbytery of Philadelphia joined hundreds of men, women, youth and children on Independence Mall in an affirmation to stand against hate in our city and elsewhere. Yesterday’s rally was organized by Jewish leadership in direct response to the desecration of the Mt. Carmel cemetery and the bomb threats made to Jewish day schools across the nation. Representatives of the Jewish community along with more than thirty different faiths and denominations were joined by the Governor, the Attorney General and our Philadelphia Mayor in an act of solidarity. As the current cultural messages continue to focus on a diversity that tears us apart, the religious leaders of the Interfaith Coalition of Greater Philadelphia were sending another message. That message is one that reaffirms our commitment to stand with one another across all that would divide us. We understand that when one of us is experiencing pain because of bigotry, injustice or violence – it impacts all of us. Jewish, Islamic and Roman Catholic leaders spoke on behalf of the religious coalition as many other faith leaders stood in witness alongside them. Presbyterians were well-represented on that Mall yesterday. One could not help but notice the words of President George Washington – legible from almost every corner of the Mall, reminding us of a founding value of our nation – “Happily the government of the United States gives to bigotry no sanction, to persecution no assistance.”

Ash Wednesday, 2017

Beloved Friends,

As we begin our Lenten journey, we encourage you to attend one of the many Ash Wednesday services our congregations and communities of faith are hosting across the four counties that make up the Presbytery of Philadelphia. May this annual pilgrimage to the foot of the cross strengthen the faith that sustains us. May the spiritual disciplines of this holy season draw us back to our call as a people of Christ. May this “drawing us back” renew our commitment to be a people of reconciliation, grace and love in a broken world.

The Leadership of the Presbytery of Philadelphia

Minutes In Brief For January 31, 2017 Stated Meeting

MINUTES IN BRIEF
STATED MEETING OF THE PRESBYTERY OF PHILADELPHIA
HOSTED BY THE CEDAR PARK AND GRACE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCHES
AT GRACE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH IN JENKINTOWN
JANUARY 31, 2017
PRE-PRESBYTERY EVENTS – 11:00 AM
BUSINESS MEETING – 1:00 PM

With the call to order and opening prayer by Moderator Bill Teague (Teaching Elder, Langhorne), the Presbytery of Philadelphia officially launched the celebration of its 300th Anniversary year. The perspective such a milestone evokes could be seen throughout the day as things traditional and those novel found expression alongside each other, giving voice to who and whose we are in such a time and place as this.
The two pre-Presbytery offerings continued conversations surrounding the November meeting. Rev. Jesse Garner (Philadelphia, First) led an overview of the new Directory for Worship, in response to commissioners’ requests last meeting for interpretation of this revision to a section of our denomination’s constitution, the Book of Order. The other event was a panel discussion facilitated by Moderator Teague entitled, “A Conversation: Church, Culture, and our Counter-Cultural Call.” Panelists Rev. Ryan Balsan (Ambler, First), Candidate Christopher Holland II (New Spirit), Rev. Cynthia Jarvis (Chestnut Hill), and Rev. Ethelyn Taylor (Oxford) shared their perspectives on whether the shifting cultural context exemplified in the presidential election has impacted how they communicate the gospel.

After our hosts served us lunch, Moderator Teague invited us to come to the sanctuary a few minutes early for the premier screening of a video commissioned for the 300th Anniversary. Associate Presbyter Rev. Greg Klimovitz, who served as a producer for the video, introduced the piece which highlighted the ministries of the First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia and the First African Presbyterian Church as examples of congregations embodying our theme, “Born in Faith, Rooted in Grace, Living into Hope.”

As the meeting got underway, Vice-Moderator Dr. Janel Dixon (Cedar Park) and Rev. Sandy Hull (Grace, Jenkintown) offered a joint welcome on behalf of the two host congregations, noting both congregations were “birthed from the same branch of the family tree,” as Grace begat the Calvary, Wyncote congregation, which later begat Cedar Park. In recent years, the two pastors have led their congregations into a rich urban-suburban relationship encompassing many aspects of their ministries including pulpit exchanges, mission initiatives, leadership training, and a planned joint excursion to the National Museum of African American History & Culture in Washington, D.C.

With the approval of the docket and consent agenda, commissioners approved the sale of the real estate which housed the former First Presbyterian Church in Willow Grove by the First Presbyterian Church of Warminster (i.e., the congregation formed as the merger of the Warminster Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian of Willow Grove congregations). Next, Stated Clerk, Rev. Kevin Porter reported having received a letter from the Session of the Narberth Presbyterian Church asking to be graciously dismissed with their property to the Coalition of Evangelical Presbyterians (ECO).
On behalf of the Bills and Overtures Committee, Rev. Cindy Jarvis (Chestnut Hill) presented the Committee’s recommendations concerning the amendments to the Book of Order approved by the 222nd General Assembly (Portland, 2016), including a revised Directory for Worship. Commissioners concurred with the Committee’s recommendations, approving all the amendments.

Ruling Elder Wanda McNeill (Oxford), moderator of the Committee on Representation (CoR) interpreted CoR’s mission and the Presbytery’s accomplishments and ongoing challenges in maximizing the opportunities for our commissions and committees to reflect the diversity of our membership. Elder McNeill noted the increased participation of racial ethnic and young adults within our structures as both a reason to celebrate and encouragement to redouble our efforts to be intentional in inviting other under-represented constituencies to take their place at the table.

Moderator Teague took the occasion of his final report on behalf of the Leadership Collegium to direct commissioners’ attention to a handout chronicling the events marking the Presbytery’s year engaging the Conversation on Race, Bias, and Privilege. Noting how those discussions provided opportunities for relational ties to be strengthened across demographic differences, Moderator Teague introduced this year as one of Courageous Conversations, both deepening the themes from last year and widening them to include issues of immigration and cultural identity.

Although Executive Presbyter Rev. Ruth Santana-Grace would build on Moderator Teague’s comments in her report, she first called on Business Administrator Larry Davis (Ruling Elder, Ambler) to join her in leading us in celebration of Accounting Manager’s Andrea Cameron’s 20 years of service with the Presbytery of Philadelphia. As Ms. Cameron exited the sanctuary with a humble “thank you” to a standing ovation, Rev. Santana-Grace pivoted to her report.

Beginning with the acknowledgement of our 300th anniversary as a reference-point for understanding our corporate identity, Rev. Santana-Grace gave voice both to the complexity our members face in proclaiming the gospel in these times, as well as the faithfulness with which we stand as an incarnation of a diverse body of Christ. As a demonstration of gratitude, and to help us see each other as she sees us, Rev. Santana-Grace invited us to stand – those serving congregations, those in chaplaincies, counselors, non-profit administrators, validated ministers – all who have answered the call to serve in Christ’s name. We were then encouraged to look around at our colleagues in ministry as Ruth gave thanks for the honor of serving alongside us.

The Presbytery then transitioned into a worship service highlighted by:
Seven reflections on “Seven Words of Light,” a “reverse-Tenebrae” service in which teaching elders Bill Teague, Joyce Shin (Swarthmore), Randy Barge (Olney, First), Leah Miller (Anchor), Adan Mairena (West Kensington Ministry and Yeadon), John Willingham (Doylestown), and Aisha Brooks-Lytle (Wayne) expounded on passages from the Old and New Testament calling us to be people of the Light;

  • The installation of Rev. Dr. Janel Dixon and Ruling Elder Linda Rutkosky (Doylestown) as Moderator and Vice-Moderator respectively of the Presbytery of Philadelphia;
  • A time of thanksgiving and presentation of a wooden Presbyterian cross to outgoing Moderator Bill Teague.
  • The remembrance of the ruling and teaching elders of the Presbytery who joined the Church Triumphant in 2016
  • The celebration of the Lord’s Supper;
  • Special music featuring a joint choir of the Grace and Cedar Park congregations led by Ruling Elder Warren Cooper (Cedar Park).

Undergirded with a renewed sense of the Spirt among us, Moderator Dixon offered the charge to the Presbytery at worship and called us to order for the last report of our business meeting from the Commission on Preparation for Ministry and Membership, presented by its moderator, Rev. Ken Ross (East Falls). Rev. Ross introduced Candidate Christopher Holland (Cedar Park) to share his statement of faith and be examined for ordination. A child of the Presbytery of Philadelphia whose journey has brought him in relationship with congregations across the geographic, theological, and demographic range of the Presbytery, Chris has found a call with the New Spirit congregation (in partnership with the Wayne Presbyterian Church and the Common Place ministry), exemplary of the blending of tradition and innovation celebrated throughout the meeting.

After his examination for ordination was sustained, Candidate Holland’s plans for ordination were resoundingly approved. As representatives from Chris’s life came forward to bless his ministry, the commissioners voted to adjourn the meeting with the conclusion of Moderator Dixon’s prayer of thanksgiving and benediction.

There was great attendance with 6 Elder Officers, 1 General Assembly Commissioner, 80 Ruling Elder Commissioners, 103 Minister Members, 5 Corresponding Members and 83 Visitors present. The offering received to support the Great Ends Grants for Peacemaking ministries was $1,335. Please mark your calendars for the next Stated Meeting of the Presbytery which will be on Tuesday, May 16, 2017 (time and location to be determined).

Respectfully submitted,

Kevin L. Porter, Stated Clerk

Way Forward Commission Establishes Process to Encourage Engagement


The General Assembly Way Forward Commission of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has released its process for receiving initial communications and suggestions from any interested PC(USA) groups or individuals. The online form is designed to assist the commission in identifying areas for continued discernment about the ministries and structure of the national denomination.

The form is available in English, Korean, and Spanish, although the commission will accept submissions in any language. Recognizing the time frame and scope of their work, the commission has set February 28 as a deadline for submissions, which are limited to 2,000 words.

Click here to read the article from the Way Forward Commission.

Forms:

  • English
  • Korean (웨이 포워드 위원회, 참여를 장려하는 과정수립)
  • Spanish (Formulario de comentario La Comision Way Forward)

A Prayer for Inauguration Day, 2017 from Presbytery Leadership

A Prayer for Inauguration Day, 2017 from Presbytery Leadership

God of All Eternity,

On this Inauguration Day, as we witness the transfer of one administration to the next, we pray for our nation.  We pray we might continue to be a nation led by the claims “In God We Trust” and “E Pluribus Unum (From Many, One).” May we stand alongside the nations of the world with a commitment to justice for all peoples and creation.

As a people of faith we call upon your Holy Spirit – your breath of heaven – to shape the heart and mind of our new President, Donald Trump.  May it be your spirit that inspires and informs his deliberations and decisions. Grant him wisdom and courage.  Grant him grace and love.  We pray for his family as they also begin this new chapter in their lives.

We pray for a new administration.  At a time when our nation seeks and needs a voice for unity and grace may your spirit of justice, righteousness, wisdom, and fairness shape the actions of this new administration.

We are grateful for all those preparing to serve our nation and for those who have served these last eight years.  And so with gratitude, we pray for our outgoing President Barack Obama. We pray for his family – may they find a season of respite after a season of faithful service.

We also and especially pray for your Church. Empower us in these days to both speak and hear the truth in love: the truth of the loftiest hopes and deepest fears within our hearts; the truth of pain and puzzlement within us when we encounter our neighbors’ hopes and fears that seem so unlike our own.  Touch us deeper than the hurt, so we might know the healing of true Justice and Peace found in Jesus Christ, which has shaped our witness from the beginning.  May we, as people of faith, be ambassadors and partners for the hope of this gospel able to bring reconciliation in our nation and in the world, especially as we elevate the cause of the poor, oppressed, and others frequently relegated to the margins of society.

In gratitude for the gifts and commitment of others, remind us always of our common identity as sinners saved by Your grace. By that grace, embolden us to know the power of forgiveness given and received, even as we dedicate each of our lives
– all that we are, have, and are called to be – for the purpose of making this land one that incarnates the values of your Kingdom.

In the name of Jesus, who is Lord of All, we pray. Amen.

Download a PDF Version of the Prayer Letter

Download a PDF of a Bulletin Insert

 

To Clerks of Session: Urgent Notice Regarding the Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire!

The Office of the Stated Clerk has just received information regarding the Clerk’s Annual Questionnaire for 2016.  Please note that the deadline for entry is January 31, 2017.  Please contact Betsi Moise for any questions.


Greeting Clerks!

It has come to our attention that many of our Clerks of Session did not receive information and/or links for the 2016 CAQ from the PC(USA).

This link requires that you complete the CAQ in one session. You will not be able to return to the CAQ to make changes; you will have to start over on page one.

Changes can be submitted to [email protected]

While completing the online survey, you can use the “BACK” button to return to previous pages. The data will not be lost.

At the end of the CAQ, you can review all your responses, make changes, then download a PDF of your submission.

When you have completed the CAQ, an email will be sent to you with a PDF file. This is the copy of your responses for you to save in your files and print. The sender will be listed as Survey Gizmo; this is the software service that Research Services uses for all online surveys. The email will not be sent if the first three questions of the CAQ are left blank. These questions ask for your first name, your last name and your email address.


Statistics: Remember the deadline for Statistics is Thursday, February 16, 2017.  Please click here for details. 

Kirkwood Camp: Winter Retreat Cabins Available

Make Kirkwood Camp Your Winter Retreat Destination!

Come join us! Kirkwood Retreat Center offers youth and adult groups a chance to come and experience our ministry. We want everyone to be able to join our community, and we’ll work with you to make sure that your retreat is a success!

Call 570.421.8625 to reserve your retreat cabins today!

Click here to download a flyer to share with your congregations.

Click here for a reservation form.