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Fall Fest 2018: Resource Page

Clerks of Session: Record Reading Sites for October

The Presbytery will have two records reading opportunities in October:

Carmel Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 13, 2018 from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Betsi Moise will  be in the church office at Carmel Presbyterian Church from 10:00 a.m. to about 1:00 p.m to read church records during the Presbyter’s Fall Fest Ministry Workshops. Clerks of Session: If you are planning on attending the workshops, why not have your records read at the same time? If you are not coming to the workshops, but someone else from your church will be there – can they bring the records to be read? Absolutely!   Betsi will be there to read records during the workshops, and will have them all ready for a church to take back when they are finished with the workshops!

Tree of Life Presbyterian Church on Saturday, October 20, 2018 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon.  Please take note that all church records that have been read should be reported to Betsi Moise.

Please RSVP Betsi Moise at [email protected]  if you are planning on bringing your church records to the Fall Fest, or if you will attend the Tree of Life reading site.

2018 – 2019 Incubator Student Placements Announced

The Presbytery is pleased to announce the 2018-2019 Student Placements in the Ministry and Leadership Program  

Click here to download the Student Placement Brochure

CEDAR PARK PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Located in the West Oak Lane neighborhood of Philadelphia, Cedar Park is poised to nurture partnerships with local schools and working professionals to develop new leaders, especially among African American youth. Cedar Park also hosts outreach ministries to meet the physical, spiritual, and social needs of their neighbors. At Cedar Park, among other possibilities, seminarians will bear witness to the good news of Jesus through leadership development initiatives, pastoral care, administration, and engagement with the local community.

Tyler Brinks grew up in Commerce Township, Michigan, and attended Hope College in Holland, Michigan. He graduated with a BA in Business with minors in Communications and American Ethnic Studies. A second-year student at Princeton, Tyler loves running, coffee, and listening to podcasts.

Mariana Thomas was born and raised on the Southside of Chicago and received her BA in Cross-Cultural Communication with a minor in History at Hope College. Currently a third-year student at Princeton, Mariana has been an active member of Princeton’s Association of Black Seminarians, including acting as Moderator in 2017-2018 and is an avid traveler.


FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH OF NORRISTOWN: Celebrating nearly 200 years at the corner of Dekalb and Airy streets in the heart of Norristown, First Presbyterian is located in a small, increasingly diverse, and multicultural city outside Philadelphia. Aware of the varied needs in their community, First is exploring new ways of utilizing their resources to reach and serve alongside their neighbors. At FPC, among other possibilities, seminarians will bear witness to the good news of Jesus through hospitality, creative expressions of worship, and outreach to children and youth.

Nii Addo Abrahams is a Missouri native with bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Religious Studies. A former childcare director and summer camp staff manager, Nii is passionate about spiritual and leadership development for children, teens, and young adults. He is a second-year M.Div. student at Princeton.

Emmanuel Castillo was born in a small town south of Houston. After undergraduate studies at both Texas A & M and Southwestern Assemblies of God University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Biblical and Theological Studies, Emmanuel is now a second-year student at Princeton.


FOREST GROVE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH: Located in Central Bucks County, Forest Grove is a multi-generational congregation situated amid picturesque farmland and new-home developments. While valuing tradition, Forest Grove also recognizes the need for adaptive ministries that respond to their evolving community and cultural context. At Forest Grove, among other ministry possibilities, seminarians will bear witness through community formation, outreach to young families, and nurturing neighborhood ministries.

Nate Brantingham has a background in entrepreneurship and finance with a passion for teaching and startups. He is a published poet and has degrees in software project management and psychology. He currently works remotely as a Chief Financial Data Analyst and has no idea what he wants to do when he “grows up.” Nate is a second-year M.Div. student at Princeton.

Will Myers, originally from the Midwest, graduated from Wartburg College in 2017 with a Bachelors in Peace and Justice Studies. He is in his first summer at Princeton Theological Seminary where he is in the Master of Divinity program.


Presbytery To Welcome International Peacemaker, Manolis Ntamparakis

The Presbytery of Philadelphia will welcome International Peacemaker, Manolis Ntamparakis, on Monday, October 8, 2018 from 12:00 Noon to 2:00 p.m. at the Presbytery office.  He will speak on his Ministry with Refugees in Greece.

Manolis Ntamparakis is the director of social action of the NGO, NAOMI Ecumenical Workshop for Refugee, in Thessaloniki, Greece. His vision is to contribute toward societies of peace. NAOMI’s vision is to provide emergency aid and integration measures in order to alleviate the miserable situation of refugees in Northern Greece. Manolis was born in Athens and studied Physics at the University of Thessaloniki. He holds a Masters of Divinity in Theology and Pastoral Studies from Trinity Theological Seminary in Amsterdam, and a Masters of Theology in Bible Translation and Eastern Orthodox Theology from the University of Amsterdam. He served for 10 years as a staff member of CRU International and was the national coordinator for Church Planting and Evangelism based in Thessaloniki. He also spent 6 years as a pastor of the Greek Evangelical Church. In his pastoral work he devoted his time to the spiritual transformation of young people, their families and their communities, helping them find their part in the redemptive story of Christ ‘s life.

Links to more information:

Four Afternoon Workshops: Facilitators and Details

Four Morning Workshops: Facilitators and Details

The Presbytery of Philadelphia to Host PC(USA) Regional Liaisons from the Middle East

The Presbytery of Philadelphia to Host PC(USA) Regional Liaisons from the Middle East

The Presbytery of Philadelphia is Hosting the PC(USA) Regional Liaison from the Middle East on Tuesday, September 18, 2018 beginning at 10:30 a.m. at the Presbytery office.

Topic for Presentation: “The Shape of Hope in Syria, Lebanon & Iraq”

Revs. Scott and Elmarie Parker

Rev. Elmarie Parker serves as a PCUSA Associate for Ecumenical Partnerships in the role of Regional Liaison to Church Partners in Iraq, Syria, Lebanon. She will lead a discussion regarding current conditions in the region where they work and live, along with how these conditions (including the rise and fall of ISIS) are impacting PC(USA) Partners and their continuing work of worship and ministry.

Though there is much over which to be deeply concerned, there are also stories of hope to be heard and shared. Bring your questions and come ready to hear the witness received first hand from local church leaders on the ground in these areas of conflict and chaos.

Join the Presbytery for a morning presentation, followed by a luncheon and time to meet and speak with the PC(USA)’s regional liaison about the work with Church Partners in the Middle East.  Please RSVP your attendance so we can prepare enough refreshments!

Presbytery Hosts Peacemaker
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The 2018 Covenant Fund Recipients

From the Board of Pensions: Update your Employer Agreement for 2019

Update your Employer Agreement for 2019

Employer Agreements, including costs for 2019 coverage, are now available on Benefits Connect.

Between now and October 12, log on to Benefits Connect to review, update, and submit your Employer Agreement for 2019. The Agreement will determine the coverage available for employees to elect during annual enrollment, October 29-November 16, 2018. It’s important to log on to Benefits Connect to review benefits and costs and to submit an Agreement for 2019 — even if you do not intend to make any changes.

See Selecting 2019 Benefits for information about plan changes and new offerings, eligibility, benefit groups, and considerations as you review, update, and submit your Employer Agreement for 2019. Case studies are also available for reference.

Here are additional resources:

All 2019 Employer Agreements must be submitted through Benefits Connect by October 12.

If you have questions about your Employer Agreement, contact the Board at 800-773-7752 (800-PRESPLAN).

A Letter from Our Moderator, Elder Linda Rutkosky

My brothers and sisters in Christ,

Silence is not always golden. To refrain from commenting and speaking up for victims and against atrocity is to be complicit. Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel said, “We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.”

As Christians we are instructed in the book of John to “love one another as God so loved us.” This great commandment is all we need for our compass of morality to function with the needle pointing us in the correct direction. It is with a heavy heart that I read and listen to the stories of children being ripped from their parents at our southern border. Most of these children have already come from frightening circumstances and now we are adding to their misery by detaining them in a separate far-away space, alienating them from their parents. Forcibly taking children from their parents goes directly against the fundamental Christian value of loving one another and the sanctity of the family. I write these reflections aware of the executive order signed this week – but I caution us to consider the traumatic impact to children that are still being detained in isolation from their parents in conditions not unlike those of history’s concentration camps.

Those of us called by God to be servant leaders are perplexed and discouraged by the lack of mercy and grace shown to mothers, fathers and their children by our own country. Silence is not golden. We cannot be neutral. We are on the side of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior. I am putting a pen to paper, decrying loudly with a forceful energy and spirit, that this practice of separating families is horrific on virtually every Christian moral level and directly opposes the teachings of Christ. We may be divided on our perspective of how we got to this place, but we need to be united in how we respond as a people of faith. May we be vigilant until every one of these children is returned to their family. May we be alert and attentive that this absolutely unequivocally never happens again to innocent children.

I pray that hearts will soften, eyes will see, and minds will be enlightened with different ways to resolve problems and that the love of Christ will triumph. I pray that we stop this madness and keep these children where they belong … with their mothers and fathers. Silence is not golden! May we lift up our voices – God, hear our prayers!

In peace, love and with hope …

Read about an approved resolution by the 223rd General Assembly that condemns the separation of children from their families at the border: