Category Archives: PC(USA)

224th General Assembly to be conducted online only

Committee on the Office of the General Assembly votes for shortened assembly

Rick Jones | Office of the General Assembly – April 21, 2020

LOUISVILLE

??? ] [ Español ]

For the first time in the history of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the denomination’s General Assembly will be held online only. The Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) voted unanimously Tuesday to approve a plan for a reduced assembly gathering that will require everyone involved — commissioners, advisory delegates, corresponding members and staff — to participate in a digital assembly.

Read the full article on the PC(USA) website

April 22, 2020 Coronavirus Briefing from the PC(USA)

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance approves more than $1.1 million in COVID-19 grants
Staff members say they have seen churches ‘rising to the occasion’ in midst of pandemic

PC(USA), A Corporation approved for $8.8 million forgivable loan
‘This gives us a little breathing room,’ says A Corp President Kathy Lueckert

Mission Agency President seeks a church-wide fundraising campaign
Noting ‘the world has changed so much,” Moffett asks PMA Board for a larger, wider fundraiser than the $4 million version recommended for Stony Point Center

Remembering victims, resisting violence and renouncing evil
A prayer for Holocaust Remembrance Day

Old school, new school
Christian educators and other leaders are using every tool to reach children and their families during pandemic

Easter 2020 Special Collecting
Help the Presbyterian Historical Society document worship responses to COVID-19

Office of Theology and Worship develops resources for prayer and comfort during the pandemic
Adapting portions of the 2018 Book of Common Worship for today’s trying circumstances

COVID-19 impacts overseas Filipino workers
Migrants are often treated with little concern for their health, dignity

Presbytery of Seattle remains strong in the midst of COVID-19
Leaders echo others in the church — things will change after virus

Regarding Ruling Elders: A Monthly Series for Serving Faithfully
Ruling Elders in a Pandemic

Churches urged to observe Earth Day
Resources available to help with planning

‘When America gets a cold, the African American community gets pneumonia’
COVID-19’s impact on black Presbyterian churches

Varied, far-flung mission is envisioned over the next two years
Presbyterian Mission Agency Board hears what kind of ministry will occur under proposed budgets for 2021, 2022

COGA to make final decision on the 224th General Assembly (2020) next week
Members hold regular meeting to consider agenda

Share your CARES money (if you can)
Some Presbyterians don’t really need their government stimulus check. Consider donating it

Practicing lifelong discipleship formation during COVID-19
During a Vital Congregations online webinar, some 50 church leaders describe their hopes for life after coronavirus

The coronavirus and its implications for PC(USA) ministry
Nearly 1,100 congregations and mid councils discuss both challenges and surprises

COGA considers critical business for 224th General Assembly (2020)
Unified budget and addressing COVID-19 top discussion on its final day

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board endorses proposed budgets, committee reports
Some proposals receive minor tweaks

The digital church arrives
Is it here to stay?

Presbyterians Today navigates the new way of being church
Inspiring stories, helpful ideas fill May/June issue

Take care of our bodies before we take care of the economy
Stated Clerk speaks out on returning to the workforce

COVID-19: Finding Information and Resources

Updated: 4/22/2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Resources for Congregations and Members

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) have compiled a series of resources for congregational leaders and members. It’s available here: https://www.pcusa.org/covid19/

COVID-19 Legislation Overview: A Guide for Presbyterian Churches and Ministers

OGA releases new web mapping tool to show COVID-19 confirmed cases

Additional Sources of information:

Check these sites regularly, as information is subject to change.

Emergency student loan management enacted during COVID-19 crisis

Original article on presbyterianmission.org

PC(USA)’s Financial Aid for Service: Payments on eligible federal student loans are suspended through Sept. 30

by Paul Seebeck | Presbyterian News Service

Melonee Tubb, the associate for Financial Aid for Service, is photographed during worship in the Chapel at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville. (Photo by Rich Copley)

LOUISVILLE — New resources from the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Financial Aid for Service provide guidance on how to manage one’s student loans, now that the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) has been signed into law by President Donald Trump.

Melonee Tubb, associate for FAF, said what people need to know right away is that they could be “off the hook’” for their federal student loan debt through Sept. 30.  The new law automatically suspends payments on eligible loans for six months, with no interest accrued.

By law, lenders have until Easter weekend to alert borrowers that their payments have been suspended.

Under the CARES legislation, loans made under the Federal Direct Loan Program that are eligible for suspended payments include Direct, Subsidized, Unsubsidized, PLUS, and Consolidation loans. Payments for loans acquired through the Federal Family Education Loan Program (FFELP), transferred to the Department of Education, are also eligible.

Tubb said people with a FFELP loan should check immediately because those loans managed by a private bank or institution aren’t eligible for automatic suspension.  Federal Perkins Loans managed by universities and any private loans are also not eligible under the CARES ACT.

“If you are having trouble making payments and have one of these ineligible loans, call your servicer immediately,” she said. “Some servicers are offering additional emergency deferment or forbearance options.”

The bottom line: Tubb encourages those with student debt to contact their servicer to find out more about how the new law will impact them. For example, Tubb said anyone working towards public service loan forgiveness (PSLF) or loan rehabilitation will get additional relief under the CARES legislation.

“Their suspended payments will be treated as if the borrower made the payments and count toward the 120 payments necessary for forgiveness,” she said.

Additional information on how the CARES Act might impact your federal student loans and tips on how to manage student loan debt during emergencies can be downloaded here.


Creative_Commons-BYNCNDYou may freely reuse and distribute this article in its entirety for non-commercial purposes in any medium. Please include author attribution, photography credits, and a link to the original article. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDeratives 4.0 International License.

April 8, 2020 Coronavirus Briefing from the PC(USA)

Coronavirus News

Matthew 25 grants will support vulnerable congregations facing COVID-19
Presbyterian Mission Agency president sets aside funds to be administered by Presbyterian Disaster Assistance

Small church with great faith helps the Big Apple
Manokin Presbyterian Church in Maryland’s Eastern Shore goes the distance during pandemic

Hunger Action Advocate helps congregations see ‘the big picture’
Laura VanDale moves Ohio churches to use their collective voices

New hymn speaks to missing out on a traditional Easter celebration
Published a week ago, Carolyn Winfrey Gillette’s ‘This Easter Celebration’ has been translated into five languages, shared 13,000 times

Co-Moderators find new ways to connect with Presbyterians
Hymns and stories draw viewers across the denomination and beyond

Emergency student loan management enacted during COVID-19 crisis
PC(USA)’s Financial Aid for Service: Payments on eligible federal student loans are suspended through Sept. 30

‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed’
Vital Congregations webinar on intentional, authentic evangelism focuses on being real even when in-person gatherings aren’t possible

‘People delight in the feeling of making a difference’
1001 New Worshiping Communities webinar explores ways to continue fundraising, even during a pandemic

One Great Hour of Sharing ministries provide support during the pandemic
Three PC(USA) ministries receive OGHS financing, made even more crucial by COVID-19

Young Adult Volunteers rising to lead in a time of crisis
YAVs prove able to shift, adapt and learn on the fly

Presbyterian hunger ministries persevere despite pandemic
‘People are desperate to help’

Board of Pensions offers dues relief and deferments to churches and employers
Church applications, requests by other PC(USA) employers will be decided on a case-by-case basis

Church leaders consider holding a full virtual General Assembly
Committee on the Office of the General Assembly looks at options for 224th gathering

Pastoring in a pandemic: ways to care for your church and yourself
Oregon clergy couple shares with the Presbyterian Foundation some lessons learned

PC(USA) Washington Office calls for domestic, international COVID-19 advocacy
Capitol Hill ministry calling on Congress to protect U.S. workers, lift sanctions in Latin America

New COVID-19 QuickSheets available from youth workers, Christian formation ministries
‘This shouldn’t be a time for young people to become inwardly focused and detached’

Presbyterians reach out, find ways to minister to older adults
The COVID-19 pandemic spurs pastors, church educators into innovative ministry

Hosannas and honks
During drive-in worship, two churches proclaim Palm Sunday is ‘a day to dance’

Congregations self-rate ‘fairly well’ after the first few weeks of the pandemic
Initial results from Research Services survey highlight areas of great support and areas of great need

Stated Clerk sends message to mid council leaders

News

Stated Clerk Nominating Committee recommends J. Herbert Nelson, II, to seek a second term
Committee confident of ‘prophetic vision’ for the PC(USA)

Vital Congregations, 1001 New Worshiping Communities to hold Holy Week Zoom calls
On Wednesday, VC will discuss ‘Spirit-inspired worship’; 1001 to gather for Maundy Thursday prayer and meditation

Learn how your church can thrive with a part-time ministry model
Jeffrey MacDonald’s book offers new opportunities for churches facing financial decline

Nancy J. Taylor named executive director at the Presbyterian Historical Society
The Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) has a new executive director: Nancy J. Taylor.

Elona Street-Stewart and Gregory Bentley to run as Co-Moderators of the 224th General Assembly (2020)
The two become second group to seek the Co-Moderators’ model

Registration for the 224th General Assembly Delayed

From the PC(USA) website:

Rick Jones | Office of the General Assembly – March 12, 2020

The continued spread of the coronavirus has once again prompted officials with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to take action to ensure the health and safety of employees, board and committee members and others traveling on behalf of the church, as well as determine the best course of action for the upcoming 224th General Assembly.

Last week, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the PC(USA), announced that registration for this year’s gathering would be delayed until March 24. However, after meeting with church leaders on Wednesday, the decision was made to delay registration until no later than April 20.

Read the rest of the article on the PC(USA) site

PC(USA) Articles: Social Distancing and Ways to Stay Connected

Here are links to some of the recent articles published by PC(USA) regarding social distancing, and ways to use technology to keep congregations connected.

Social distancing and the love of neighbor
Zooming to the rescue in the face of COVID-19
Three hundred participate in 1001 Zoom conversation on streaming worship services

Free Resources from the PC(USA) store may be found HERE.