Representation of our leadership spent time with artists from the Restorative Justice Guild of Mural Arts Philadelphia. They are currently in the conceptual stages of the modular mural project, “Proclamation Is Presence,” leveraged by our Covenant Fund and 300th Anniversary Mission Campaign.More details and stories to come. This multi-dimension and interactive install will speak to the call to restorative justice alongside individuals coming out of prison and communities at risk for the prison pipeline. Beginning this fall, we hope to be able to provide opportunities for our churches to engage the creative process, the artists involved, and the broader work to reforming the brokenness of the related institutions and systems. Presently, there is a temporary studio outside the The Barnes Foundation where you can see the work in progress and read more.
The Northeast Region of the Presbytery will next meet on Tuesday, February 27, 2018 beginning at 10:00 am (with registration at 9:30 am), at Grace Presbyterian Church in Jenkintown.
They will be hosting “A Morning with Stephen King” and invite all to join the Northeast Region as they worship together, network during fellowship, and learn more about what the Presbytery’s new business administrator’s ministry can do to support and partner with our congregations.
Parking is available in the library lot across from the church at the intersection of Old York and Vista Roads as well as on side streets in the neighborhood. Handicapped accessible entry and parking is available by entering the church driveway just south of the church.
On January 28, the Adult Education class of Grace Presbyterian Church in Jenkintown welcomed presenters Marcia Singleton and Lois Hayman-El from First African American Presbyterian Church in West Philadelphia.
First African Presbyterian Church is the fourth black congregation in Philadelphia and the first black Presbyterian Church in America. It was established in 1807 by The Reverend John Gloucester, a former slave. First African Presbyterian Church is the mother of black Presbyterianism in the United States. Since its founding the church has been instrumental in starting other black churches in the Philadelphia area, including Lombard Central Presbyterian, Berean, Faith Presbyterian of Germantown (now closed), Reeve Memorial and McDowell Presbyterian Church (now closed). Today First African Presbyterian’s members look back with pride at their 210-year history.
This presentation was the fourth in a series entitled, “Who is Our Neighbor?” designed with the second of the great commandments in mind: to “love your neighbor as yourself.” In recognition of January 15 as Martin Luther King Day of Service and of February as Black History Month, we began with the role of the Black church in Philadelphia as an advocate for our African-American neighbors. Presbytery member Rev. Dr. Leonard Bethel began the series, which has also welcomed Rev. Adan Mairena addressing the question of sanctuary and will include a visit from Isaac Baah of the Ghanaian Community Church. We conclude with a presentation by immigration attorney Bill Stock on current issues in the immigration debate.
Pictured: Members of Grace Church enjoyed a lively presentation about the nation’s first African-American Presbyterian Church. Joining the Grace members from First African Presbyterian Church are Lois Hayman-El (front left), historian of the First African Presbyterian Church in Philadelphia, and Marcia Singleton(front 3rd from left), First African’s Clerk of Session/lay leader.
Greetings and Happy New Year, Companions on the Journey!
I can hardly believe we are half-way through this first month of the New Year. 2017 was a year filled with GOD’S AMAZING GRACE! We began the year, full-steam ahead, moving forward in celebrating our 300 years of faithful witness. Under the leadership of Vijay and Susan Aggarwal and the many saints who labored with them, we participated in various programs, projects, and mission opportunities to commemorate our long, rich history.
On behalf of the Presbytery leadership, we are extremely grateful for all of you; for your participation, support, and prayers that enabled us to have a successful anniversary year. Your faithfulness and commitment to God’s call to the Presbytery enabled us to far-exceed our mission goal of $300,000 in our anniversary mission campaign. Your efforts allowed us to send a loud and clear message that our Presbytery is committed to the mission initiatives and partnerships of our congregations.
We culminated our celebration with a spirit-filled Anniversary Worship Service at Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, which in itself is a testament of our commitment to foster ecumenical relationships. As we go into 2018, WE CAN’T TURN BACK NOW! In the midst of all of our celebrating, we boldly continued the sometimes challenging but yet “Courageous Conversations” of not only RACE, BIAS, AND PRIVILEGE, but also IMMIGRATION. This New Year extends the invitation for us to continue conversing with one another in love; for as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. said: “We are tied together in the single garment of destiny, caught in an inescapable network of mutuality.” THEREFORE, WE CAN’T TURN BACK NOW!
The New Year affords us a new beginning! In the words of Henri J. M. Nouwen, “We must learn to live each day, each hour, yes, each minute as a new beginning, as a unique opportunity to make everything new.” In that spirit, members of the Leadership Collegium are dreaming and discerning “new” possibilities for the Presbytery and within our regions. Come and hear.
Our next Presbytery meeting will be held on Tuesday, January 30, at Doylestown Presbyterian Church, the home of our Moderator-Elect, Elder Linda Rutkosky. Registration begins at 11:00 am. You are invited to attend one of two pre-presbytery conversations addressing Refugees and the Complexity and Call of the Church; or For the Protection of the Children of Israel and Palestine, a proposed overture. Lunch and fellowship begins at noon, and the call to meeting at 1:00 pm.
Friends, you will not want to miss this meeting! In addition to our “Abiding and Building” in ministry, we will dwell together in a spirit-filled and memorable worship experience as we hear the Word proclaimed through seven powerful voices within our Presbytery from the theme, “I Have a Dream,” Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s most memorable and prolific speech. We will be moved in our spirits by melodious song of the Doylestown Church’s Chancel Choir, under their Director of Music and the Arts, David J. Fitzpatrick.
It will be my honor to install our new moderator and vice-moderator, and commission our stated clerk and new business manager. After which, we will come to the table to share in the sacrament. Finally, please note that we will pay memorial tribute to those elders and ministers of our Presbytery who have joined the cloud of witnesses during the past year. Following worship, we will hear from several inquirers and candidates of our Presbytery as they pose questions and share their hopes for the Church for the 21st century.
Friends, I truly look forward to not only abide with you, but also to serve you in leadership one final time as Moderator of the Presbytery of Philadelphia. It has indeed been my greatest pride and joy to serve among you. TO GOD BE THE GLORY!
In humble service,
Rev. Dr. Janel Dixon, Moderator of the Presbytery of Philadelphia
What a success this year was for the First Presbyterian Church of Glenolden! God was good in providing everything we needed to be successful. We were able to reach out and deliver over 1200 meals to the needy, home-bound, sick, and homeless in over 38 towns. Sixty meals were given to The Praise and Worship Church in Chester; they put the meals in a Van and delivered them to the homeless.
Approximately 120 people came in to eat and they all took many meals home with them for later. While we were cleaning up, several people came in asking for meals and two elderly ladies sat down and enjoyed their meals with us. Several left over boxed meals were delivered to the Salvation Army by Norma and Bob Teta. Some left over food and pies were given to the NA group for their Speaker Jam which was a huge success. So in all, I think we gave out over 1600 meals. Yesterday, a woman came to our Church to personally thank us all for all the meals we provided to the community, she was amazed by what we were able to accomplish. We have received many phone calls and cards thanking us for your good works.
Every year, I wait to see who the Holy Spirit is going to empower to join us in this venture. It blows my mind every year to see the power of God in so many individuals. We had many new caring individuals who were touched this year and of course our faithful who come year after year. These Angels of God provided boxes, cranberry sauce, pies, rolls, gravy, turkeys cooked and uncooked, special breads, stuffing, and can goods. So many friends, family members, and concerned Churches, people and organizations from all over Delaware County helped us financially so we were able to buy all the food. Our numbers increase dramatically this year and the Cleaver Team of Angels spent a great deal of time running around buying us more food. I can’t begin to Thank You all for your hard work and generosity! In James 2:14-26, James is talking to the faithful, people who believe, that their good works will be rewarded with blessing in heaven. Well folks, you will have many rewards and blessing waiting for you in heaven. Please keep our Church in your prayers so we can continue to serve our communities.
Well Done, Good and Faithful Servants, Well Done,
Elders Bob Teta, Bob & Debbie Hadden Gwen Skalish, Lorraine Nicewinter, and Norma Teta
Steve comes to our presbytery with a breadth of financial background along with a commitment to mission. He brings more than thirty years of experience in the banking industry in both New York and Toronto.
Most recently, he spent the last 10 years with Morgan Stanley, where he managed relationships with more than 100 borrowers representing various sizes and types of businesses, while also dealing with third party investors and other constituents such as lawyers, owners and regulators.
Steve currently serves as a board member and Treasurer of his homeowners’ association. In that role he has responsibility for the preparation of financial statements, budgets and long-range plans, managing revenue, expense and risk, as well as the analysis and financing of capital projects.
As a Trustee in his former church – Rye Presbyterian Church in Rye, NY – Steve was active in stewardship and chaired their investment committee.
A native from Boston and a graduate from Harvard College, Steve has three adult sons and a college-aged stepdaughter. He currently resides in Delaware County with his wife Mindy Aldridge along with their pug and parrot. In his free time Steve enjoys travel, having been to Asia, Africa and Europe in recent years, and is also an avid runner who has completed more than 30 marathons, ultramarathons and relay races.
We are confident Steve will bring compassion and expertise to our Business Administrator position. We look forward to his joining our Executive Team the week of November 27th. In an effort to ensure a smooth transition Steve will overlap with our current Business Administrator Larry Davis for three weeks. We know you will join us in warmly receiving Steve into our presbytery community.
Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace contributes a narrative in Faith of Our Mothers, Living Still
Faith of Our Mothers, Living Still celebrates the diverse ministry in which women are called to serve God and others. The book presents an overview of the ministry of women associated with Princeton Theological Seminary over the last two hundred years.
Beginning with a historical summary of early pioneering women and a chapter highlighting selected trailblazers in ministry, it goes on to showcase twenty-eight first person narratives by women from diverse racial-ethnic, geographical, and denominational backgrounds in a variety of settings. (Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace’s narrative is located on page 125)
The book concludes by developing new understandings and direction for Christian ministry and theological education to challenge the twenty-first century church.
Co-authored by Abigail Rian Evans and Katheringe Doob Sakenfeld with a forward by M. Craig Barnes.
From the Leadership of the Presbytery of Philadelphia
And so again we are thrust upon our knees crying the words of the prophet Habakkuk – How long Lord? How long shall I cry for help and you will not listen? The rhythm of our morning was framed by the news of what now has become the largest mass shooting in our nation’s history. At last count – 58 killed and 515 hurt in Las Vegas as a lone shooter turned the sounds of music into the cries of desperation.
We are again tragically reminded there is no place to hide from the brokenness of humanity. We are again called to rise up from our knees to stand and speak out against the senseless violence that is brought to our attention in this dramatic way – but that exists daily on the streets of our cities and towns.
And so we pray for all whose lives have been altered by this senseless act of terror – for those whose lives have been lost and those who will live with the images and memories – children and adults alike. We pray for their families and friends as they wrestle to make sense of the unimaginable. We pray for all those who courageously served as human sanctuaries of shelter as they helped those in the mayhem. We pray that we too might be used as vessels for the peace of Christ in this world. And so we pray, not knowing the words to say – because our words just can’t reach. And so we cry – How long Lord?