Southwest Regional Meeting on March 21 focuses on Immigration and Refugee Issues

The SW Region of the Presbytery of Philadelphia will be meeting on Tuesday, March 21, 2017 from 6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. at Bryn Mawr Presbyterian Church.

The program will focus of Immigration and Refugee Issues

Guest speakers are coming from HIAS, the New Sanctuary Movement and Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition.

If you have not done so, please RSVP to [email protected] so they can have a head count for dinner.

Southwest meeting Re-Scheduled for November 5!

CEM logoThe Southwest Region has rescheduled their gathering for Saturday, November 5, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at Chester Eastside, Inc. (The ministry is located at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church in Chester.)

All are invited to join with the Southwest Region as they gather in celebration and fellowship. During the meeting they will be honoring the life and work of a couple of pastors who are retiring.

Please contact [email protected] with any questions of for additional information.

Hope to see you there!!

Wallingford Hosts PCUSA World Mission Regional Liaisons for SE Asia on May 3

Wallingford Presbyterian Church will host the Rev. Dr. Barry Dawson and Shelly Dawson, Regional Liaison for Southeast Asia, Presbyterian Church (USA) World Mission, on Tuesday, May 3, 2016 from 7:30 p.m. to 9:00 p.m.

Dawson_MissionBarry and Shelley will share stories of the faith, challenges, and joys of Christ’s people in Thailand and SE Asia. Barry and Shelly Dawson are both PCUSA mission co-workers (missionaries) who serve together as the Regional Liaisons for Southeast Asia. Their region of responsibility includes the countries of Thailand, Myanmar, Laos, Cambodia, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines. They work intensively on such mission priorities as: migration and human trafficking issues; leadership development for ethnic minorities / indigenous people groups; projects for educating children, particularly those who are mired in poverty and at-risk for trafficking.

Please click here for their prayer card: dawson-barry-and-shellly 

Please contact Wallingford Presbyterian for more details at 610-566-1644

The SW Regional Meeting Addresses Issues Impacting Our Communities

The Southwest Regional Commission met on Saturday, February 27th at Princeton Presbyterian Church. The theme of the meeting was Being Challenged by the Word in the Public Realm. Guest speakers came to address issues that are impacting our communities and challenged us to explore ways that God was calling us to address these very issues.

The speakers were Bryan Miller and Fran Stier from Heeding God’s Call to discuss gun violence, Shirlee Howe from Public Citizens for Children and Youth to talk about public education funding and Jane Jorgenson and Janet Panning from Lutheran Children and Family Service to address refugee issues. Each breakout session included lively discussions as we attempted to discern a way forward for our communities of faith in creating the Kingdom.

The commission was also addressed by Executive Presbyter Ruth Santana Grace who brought greetings from the Presbytery and Susan and Vijay Aggarwal from the Tricentennial Celebration team who shared their vision for the celebration commemorating 300 years of ministry by the Presbytery of Philadelphia.

The meeting was closed with the Lord’s Supper as we remembered our bonds as brothers and sisters in Christ guided by the Spirit to the ministry that God has called us to share in a one body.”

Helpful Links:

Please click here to view our photo album of the Southwest Meeting

The Southwest Region Prepares for Their Saturday Meeting at Princeton Presbyterian Church

The Southwest Region will meet on Saturday, February 27, 2016 from 9:00 a.m. to Noon at Princeton Presbyterian Church

The program centers around three guest speakers:

The Meeting will also include worship and the Lord’s Supper.

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All Teaching and Ruling Elders are encouraged to attend – and bring someone new!

Click here for directions.

Executive Presbyter Report: Audio from Called Meeting

RuthPic15Sept2015So 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.



Summer Snapshots 2015

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].  Overbrook Movie Nite

Pastoral Letter to the Presbytery of Philadelphia

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,

Ruth Santana-Grace

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Volunteers needed for Kirkwood-Brainerd Camp Projects!

This is an amazing time to be part of camping ministry! It is a time of change, of new ideas, and new energy!

workday1We 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,

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!


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!
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.
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.

  • 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.

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Mission Giving and Per Capita – What’s the difference and why do we pay both?

Mission Giving and Per Capita – What’s the difference and why do we pay both?

Mission_Percapita_StewardshipThroughout 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.

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.