“The light shines in the darkness,
and the darkness did not overcome it.”
John 1:5

As we embraced the season of light, the Presbytery of Philadelphia gathered at Ardmore Presbyterian Church for our January 23, 2024, stated meeting. Before fellowshipping over lunch, we had a pre-presbytery conversation with the Rev. Carrie Mitchell from the Board of Pensions on the upcoming benefits changes as they seek to meet the needs of a changing church. Following lunch, we turned our hearts to worship, embracing the shared reflections upon the “Seven Words of Light” from the Reverends Alex Evangelista, Sarah Cooper-Searight, Sameh Shaker, Mindy Campbell, Jonathan Britt, Peter Ahn, and Eustacia Moffett-Marshall. We celebrated the installations of Elder Jim Ballengee & the Rev. Sarah Cooper-Searight as Moderator & Vice-Moderator of Presbytery and the Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace as our Executive Presbyter for her third term. In response to the “Seven Words of Light” we celebrated the Lord’s Supper. Our worship ended with the invitation to all present to take a candle with them as a symbol of how God’s light has impacted our lives and as a reminder of how we are called to share this light with the world around us.

From there, the business of our gathering centered around lifting and acknowledging the interconnectedness of our faith as the presbytery. We recognized and affirmed the service of outgoing Moderator of the Presbytery, Elder Zandra Maffett as well as thanked two staff members of the Presbytery: Andrea Cameron in her retirement after 27 years of service and the Rev. Cassie Heintz in celebration of 10 years of service. We also took a moment to lift up and pray over the congregation of Overbrook Presbyterian Church as they continue to recover from a brutal fire the week before. Elder Megan Acedo, Moderator of the Commission on Representation then delved deeper into our efforts as we faithfully work towards having our presbytery reflect the diversity found in the Kingdom of God. Then the Executive Presbyter, Rev. Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, brought it all together in the expression of how we are a beating heart: pumping out possibilities, pumping out hope in our communities. She invited us to lean into 2024 connecting and collaborating as well as celebrating the little and the great things, together!

A Video re-cap of the gathering:

The Church Triumphant:

The full video of the Meeting: