Thank you to all who attended the Southeast Region meeting last night! It was a success and many people had some really meaningful conversations.
I am providing a link to the video we showed at the meeting as a part of the Theocademy series: http://www.theocademy.com/
Check out our photo gallery of the meeting by clicking here!
Rev. Shawn Hyska, SE Regional Convener
Greetings to the Southeast Region!
Our next gathering will be Tuesday, October 27, 2015 at the Swarthmore Presbyterian Church (727 Harvard Ave, Swarthmore, PA 19081) from 6:00 pm to 8:45 pm.
We hope you will join us for an evening of fellowship and theological conversation as we consider our theme:
Spiritual Aspects of Leadership
Timeline of Meeting:
- 6:00 pm-645 pm: Gathering/Registration/Light Food.
- 6:45 pm-6:50 pm: Welcome, Prayer, Orientation
- 6:50 pm-7:15 pm: Worship
- 5 minute break
- 7:20 pm – 8:45 pm: Leadership Training/Small Group Discussions.
Breakout Small Group Discussions
a – Spiritual Direction Discipleship
b – How do you choose your leaders?
c – Budgeting/Stewardship Discernment
d – Roberts Rules in the midst of freedom of the Holy Spirit
e – Need and Vulnerability in Leadership
Our meeting will end at 8:45 pm promptly to allow all people that need to catch the 9:13 pm SEPTA train back to the city.
I look forward to seeing you there!
Rev. Shawn Hyska, Southeast Regional Covener
So We Begin Again with Hope Before Us and Storms around Us
Executive Presbyter Report
The Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace
September 15, 2015
Please click on the downloadable PDF to read Ruth’s report: ExecutivePresbyterReport_15Sept2105 or click below to listen to Ruth’s report.
Your stories are our stories. The Presbytery of Philadelphia invites all of our churches to share a photo or two of your summer ministry so we can share it with others. We’ll be posting pictures on our website, Facebook, and Twitter. Send your pics with a brief description to [email protected].
Dear Brothers and Sisters on the Journey,
Grace and peace I bring you in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Late yesterday afternoon, we received significant news from Ruling Elder Linda Valentine, Executive Director of our Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA). In that email and subsequent video, Linda shared that she is stepping down from her position, effective July 10, 2015. This resignation comes after almost a year of concerns and allegations regarding actions of leadership at the PMA. We receive this news with a sense of sadness related to the circumstances that have deflected energy from the ministry and mission of which we are a part. You can hear Linda’s announcement here:
For those who may not know, the PMA is the ministry and mission arm of our denomination. Over the past nine years, in large part to Linda’s leadership and vision, our denomination has worked to reclaim ministries of church growth, evangelism, service ministries through the mission field, Presbyterian Disaster assistance, Young Adult Volunteers – as well as creating a more relevant presence in Washington, DC. I personally have been excited about this direction – I was heart-warmed to talk about ministry more than governance. The other arms (or agencies) of our denomination are the Office of General Assembly, Presbyterian Foundation, Presbyterian Investment and Loan Program, Board of Pensions – each with their own mandate and priority on our behalf.
Although Linda was not directly linked to any of the allegations at PMA, it is clear that those allegations have become a dark cloud over our denominational leadership – representing a breach of trust that is already fragile when it comes to all-things-institutional. This breach of trust has weighed heavily on many, causing unrest in many corners of our church. To make matters even more complex, social media was used to share that unrest -– humbly reminding us of the gift and challenge of electronic communication.
Whatever your thoughts might be about our denominational relationships, this is a time for us to rally as a people of faith. I invite us into a time of prayer for our national church. I ask for your prayers on behalf of Linda and her family as she begins a new season. I am grateful for her nine years of service and wish her God’s speed. I ask for your prayers for the leadership of our denomination – the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and all the staff – as they discern what the next steps might be for future leadership of the PMA.
Finally, I ask for your prayers for the Church of Jesus Christ as expressed in our denomination as we embark on a season that can be described as one of wilderness wanderings. I am, however, reminded that the wilderness is not a place we go to die. Instead it is a place from which we depart – reformed and reshaped for a new season of service. This was true for the children of Israel. This was true for the ministry of Jesus. So I leave you with the words of the Old Testament – “may we be a bold and courageous people, assured the Lord our God is with us wherever we go” (Joshua 1:9).
Blessings and Peace,
This is an amazing time to be part of camping ministry! It is a time of change, of new ideas, and new energy!
We are looking for volunteers to share their time and talents to tackle some projects around the camp before the summer season begins. Bring yourself, your friends, your family, your youth group, your committee, or your confirmation class to Camp Kirkwood-Brainerd and help us do some spring cleaning, sprucing up, and major projects. There is a job for every skill level.
Camp Kirkwood-Brainerd is located at 127 Kirkwood Road, Stroudsburg, PA 18360. (570-421-88625, www.kirkwoodcamp.org)
We have scheduled a work day for Saturday, May 2, 2015. This is a perfect opportunity to tackle one of these projects. However, since the volume of work is significant, groups can come to camp to work on any Saturday they are available. Please contact Ruth Ann Christopher (610-216-0472) or Gershon Gordon (570-421-8625) to let us know what project you want to work on and when you would like to complete the work.
We look forward to working with you!
SKILLED WORKER TASKS
• THE BELL & FLAG POLE
The bell needs to be moved to Kirkwood-Brainerd, a footer poured, and base erected (from stone if possible.) The flag pole needs to be disassembled, moved, and set in place at Kirkwood-Brainerd. A flagstone finish around the base would really complete the job!
• CRAFT SHACK (GENEVA)
The entire building needs to be disassembled, moved to Kirkwood-Brainerd, and stored for assembly in the Fall. Given the scope of this project, every Saturday is an opportunity to come and work on this meaningful task.
• THE CABOOSE
A walkway needs to be constructed either out of concrete or decking. Funding is not yet lined up for this project. So in addition to volunteers, we need donations as well.
GENERAL SKILL TASKS
- Move remaining items from Brainerd to Kirkwood-Brainerd. We will need people to drive between camps as well as carry containers/items and pack them into vehicles.
- Paint bathrooms at Carr Cabin.
- Steel brush & paint metal beds from Brainerd.
- General cleaning of cabins.
- Mulching garden beds.
Mission Giving and Per Capita – What’s the difference and why do we pay both?
Throughout the breadth of our Church organization – our Presbytery with 125 churches and 30,000 members; our Synod with 16 presbyteries, 1,200 churches and over 200,000 members; and our P.C.(USA) denomination with 16 synods, 10,250 churches and about 1.8 million members – we are blessed by the gifts of individual members and their congregations. Unlike most non-profit charitable organizations we are a “closed model” for donor contributions, and our ministry, mission and administrative purposes are often defined and sustained by the level of generosity of people sitting in the pews. We typically roll this up into one word: stewardship; but often the spiritual discipline of giving tithes, offerings and apportionments to the greater Church is not easily understood in just one word.
To start, we give to the extended Church in two ways: mission and per capita.
Basic, or Shared, Mission Giving is an expression of our understanding that the work of the church extends far beyond our sanctuary walls. It is how we support the ministry and mission of the Presbytery and Synod, as well as the Presbyterian Mission Agency in Louisville. Within the Presbytery this includes funding for Chester Eastside Ministries, John Gloucester House, West Kensington Ministry and our camping ministry at Kirkwood-Brainerd. It also supports the administrative staff that coordinates and distributes the “Great Ends” and Covenant Fund grants to congregations. Beyond these very tangible programs, our defining mission priority is to share in the dreams of our congregations through the development of pastoral leadership, the training of lay leaders, and assistance as needed in their spiritual, organizational and financial growth.
Per Capita Apportionment is the way that each member of every congregation is able to acknowledge their connection to the broader Church and to sustain the unity of all members within the body of our denomination. By contributing a small amount – currently $25.27 per member, per year – we are each able to support the meetings and gatherings of the Presbytery, Synod and General Assembly; to pay for the essential ecclesiastical offices of Stated Clerks, Treasurers and Accountants at all levels; and to preserve the heritage and record of our Church through the Presbyterian Historical Society.
- Please click here for the 2015 Per Capita amount and info.
- Please click here for a Per Capita bulletin insert for your congregation: PerCapita_2015_Insert
With grateful hearts we ask all our congregations to contribute generously to Basic Mission, and to ensure that all members are represented through Per Capita contributions.
The Belhar Confession officially received enough votes from PCUSA Presbyteries to be added to the Book of Confessions. Pending the 222nd General Assembly in 2016, Belhar will become the first confession from the Southern Hemisphere to be added to the Book of Confessions. The Confession still needs final approval at the 222nd General Assembly in 2016.
- Click on the image above to read the full confession.
- Click below to view the announcement fromGA:
Read the full text of the Belhar Confession here:
One Sunday morning last fall churches of different denominations in several states left their buildings to bless their communities through an unbelievable number of mission projects. When they met that night to worship Jesus it was like a taste of heaven.
This year Rev. Doug Hoglund of Woodside Presbyterian Church invites you and the people of your congregation or ministry to link arms with them for Living Outside the Box: The Church Has Left the Building 2015. There will be an introductory meeting at 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 at Woodside Presbyterian Church – 1667 Edgewood Road, Lower Makefield, PA. Come, bring some leaders and learn about it. There’s no obligation to sign up, we’re not selling anything, and we don’t charge anything to be part of this. You can choose any Sunday to leave your building.
Please feel free to forward this email to other pastors. To learn more watch a two minute video by clicking on the image above. You can also get more details by Clicking Here.