Category Archives: Presbytery

Join Bread For The World Ninth Congressional District Network

From The First Presbyterian Church of Scottsburg, Indiana:

Tom Blake, a Bread for the World volunteer in Greenwood, is working to form an ecumenical network of churches located within the ninth Congressional District.  The plan is for these churches to join our efforts to coordinate when and how we conduct our 2018 Bread for the World Offering of Letters.

My Scottsburg First Presbyterian Church has been organizing an annual Offering of Letters for the past 13 or 14 years.  For this year’s campaign we have decided to join the group effort so that our collective work will result in stronger voices on behalf of hungry people.  We realize that, given the stated priorities of our current national leadership, we must do even more than ever to protect programs that are the lifeblood for hungry folks both here and abroad.

If your congregation already participates in the annual Offering of Letters, please consider joining us!  In Scottsburg, we will be writing our letters in mid-late May (culminating on May 20).  Tom Blake is working on scheduling appointments in June with Rep. Trey Hollinsworth and Senators Donnelly and Young.  He will be inviting all who are interested to bring letters from our individual churches to join him in delivering them during these appointments.  This visual will be a powerful reminder to our legislators that there are MANY folks throughout the ninth district who care deeply about our Christian mandate to care for the “least of these.”

If you decide to join our collective efforts, please contact Tom Blake at tnoblake@nullsbcglobal.net. Also—please don’t hesitate to email (cjdunn@nullc3bb.com) or call me (812-820-2245) for more information.

Information about the 2018 Offering of Letters can be found at the Bread for the World website:  www.bread.org.ol.

If your congregation has yet to join with Bread for the World to advocate for hungry people, please consider starting an Offering of Letters Campaign this year.  Bread for the World has been a collective Christian voice since 1974, when it first began to organize to urge our nation’s leaders to end hunger.  Partnering with churches, campuses and other organizations, and moved by God’s grace, BFW envisions and advocates for a world without hunger.

The annual Offering of Letters Campaign was initiated in 1975, when 100,000+ letters were written and sent to Congress on the topic “right to food.” This resulted in the landmark Right to Food Resolution, passed overwhelmingly by Congress that states, “. . .the United States reaffirms the right of every person in this country and throughout the world to food and a nutritionally adequate diet…” Four decades later, this simple idea—offering letters—remains one of BFW’s organizing strategies.

These truly are extraordinary times in our nation’s history. How we address the challenges for poor and hungry people that our time presents will reflect our faithfulness to God’s call to care for just such folks.  This year’s Offering of Letter is titled: FOR A TIME SUCH AS THIS (Biblical reference:  Esther 4:14).  Perhaps we, like Esther, have come to “royal dignity” for just such a time as this.

Yours in Christ,
Carol Dunn, Leader, Christian Outreach Team
Scottsburg First Presbyterian Church

Presbyterians join hundreds of thousands in march against gun violence

Office of Public Witness organizes denominational contingent in Washington

By Rick Jones | Presbyterian News Service

Original Article Here

LOUISVILLE – Across the country and the world Saturday, hundreds of thousands of people took part in rallies and demonstrations against gun violence. The March for Our Lives was organized by students in various communities.

Thousands participate in the March for Our Lives rally in Washington, D.C., on Saturday. Photo by Nora Leccese

The main event was in Washington, D.C., led by students from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 students and staff were gunned down on Feb. 14. The crowd demanded that Congress enact stricter gun-control legislation to crack down on school shootings. As of Saturday, there have been 17 school shootings in the U.S. since the first of the year where someone was either hurt or killed, according to national law enforcement officials.

The Office of Public Witness participated in the D.C. march.

“It was fabulous and I think it was a watershed moment for building a movement on gun and community violence. I was impressed with how many young women of color participated and the powerful messages they brought,” said Nora Leccese, OPW’s associate for domestic poverty and environmental issues. “We were impressed that most of the speakers at the event were under the age of 18 and we believe that students will play a key role in making the changes that we need in this country.”

Presbyterians gather at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church in Washington, D.C., prior to the March for Our Lives rally on Saturday. Photo by Nora Leccese

OPW coordinated a gathering of Presbyterian demonstrators on Saturday morning at New York Avenue Presbyterian Church. The group marched together from the church to the noon rally on Pennsylvania Avenue.

“We had between 300 to 400 people gather at the church prior to the march, coming from other states and communities. New York Avenue provided a great service to the community by opening its doors and hosting the people for rest and meeting space,” said Leccese. “It was very multigenerational, from tiny babies to older folks. We helped provide a wheelchair for an 88-year-old who was determined to march with us.”

Even though it was a solemn subject, Leccese says she felt a lot of energy, high spirits and determination at the march.“We had between 300 to 400 people gather at the church prior to the march, coming from other states and communities. New York Avenue provided a great service to the community by opening its doors and hosting the people for rest and meeting space,” said Leccese. “It was very multigenerational, from tiny babies to older folks. We helped provide a wheelchair for an 88-year-old who was determined to march with us.”

Organizers estimate that as many as 800 protests were planned across the U.S., including marches in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and Dallas.

Rob Trawick, the former moderator of Hudson River Presbytery and a professor of ethics at St. Thomas Aquinas College in New York, participated in the Rockland County, New York, march with other Presbyterians. He said the attendance was significantly higher than expected. Organizers were planning for a few hundred and more than a thousand showed up.

Communities around the country participate in local marches, like this one in Louisville, Kentucky. Photo by Lauren Rogers

 

“The student speakers brought a lot of passion to the event and certainly seemed to have a directed energy,” he said. “They knew what they were standing for and I didn’t get the sense that they were being used by some larger group. This was grassroots and the concern that bubbled up came from students who were concerned for their safety.”

Trawick is the father of a teenage son and he takes school violence personally.

“This issue is important to me individually and theologically,” he said. “The idea that we would put some sort of private interest above the communal good strikes me as decidedly unreformed and I’m angry that I have to worry about whether my child comes home from school.”

Events were also scheduled in other parts of the world, including Liverpool, England, and hundreds of other cities.

Presbyterians take part in a similar march in New York City. Photo provided

Despite the large numbers and success of the weekend marches, Leccese says they will continue to monitor the actions of both state and federal lawmakers with no plans to ease up on the pressure.

“There are some poorly thought-out pieces of gun policy coming out of Congress that the administration is lifting up as the ultimate solution,” she said. “We want to make clear that these bread crumbs offered in the budget are not the kind of gun legislation we’re looking for. We will keep pushing these legislators, or the legislators we replace them with, to actually take meaningful action.”Despite the large numbers and success of the weekend marches, Leccese says they will continue to monitor the actions of both state and federal lawmakers with no plans to ease up on the pressure.

2017 Pyoca Summer Camp

– The following is the text of the Pyoca Summer newsletter.

Friends of Pyoca,
We are in the midst of transitioning from an unforgettable, very successful summer camp season to a very busy and exciting fall retreat season. While there’s much to look forward to this fall as we have a full conference and retreat schedule, I’d like to say a few words looking back at Pyoca’s 2017 summer camp season.

2017 Summer Camp
We’ve had a fantastic 2017 camp season, ministering to 619 campers since the beginning of June!  That’s almost 100 more campers than last year!  With the theme ‘Branching Out,’ campers learned to reach out to others to deepen their relationships with God, friends, and family. Through bible study, small groups, worship, and activities, they deepened their faith and learned the importance of serving others in need.

We also introduced hunger relief as our service opportunity for our campers this summer. Over 200 hundred campers participated in packing almost 20,000 meals for those in need through the non-profit, Rise Against Hunger. Not only did campers pack meals for the hungry, but they learned about hunger awareness and how to continue to help our local communities and those around the world.

I would like to extend deep thanks to our wonderful staff and volunteers for their great leadership, making Pyoca a transformative and safe experience for our campers and families.

Pyoca High School Conference, Oct. 6-8, 2017
Join us for our third annual HS conference themed ‘Building Bridges’ featuring Rev. TC Anderson as the keynote speaker and worship leader!  Last year we had over 70 high schoolers from Indiana, Ohio, and Kentucky attend. Help us make it even bigger this year. More information can be found at: http://pyocaconferences.org.

On behalf of the Pyoca Advisory Council, staff, guests, volunteers, donors, and the whole Pyoca family, I want to thank you for your support of this life-changing ministry.

Grace and peace,
Rev. Dr. R. Jacob Hofmeister

Building Bridges image

Above: Inside the new yurts!
Below: A view of the entire finished project. Campers loved them this summer!

 

News from PC(USA) 7/25/2017

Attending church is good for your health. Now what?
Yonat Shimron | Religion News Service
Latest in a long line of studies shows church attendance is good for your health

Buckle up, hold on tight, and pray like crazy
Eva Stimson | Office of the General Assembly Communications
Community outreach sparks new life at Tacoma church

PMAB Executive Committee begins three-day retreat in St. Paul
Rick Jones | Presbyterian News Service
Updates from Way Forward Commission and All Agency Review top the agenda

Young adults weigh in on PC(USA)’s efforts to dismantle racism
Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service
Opinions given at Presbyterian Intercultural Young Adult Network’s post-Big Tent event

July edition of Facing Racism leverages Big Tent theme and resources
Gregg Brekke | Presbyterian News Service
‘Race, Reconciliation and Reformation’ seen as a call for transformation

Advocates gather around threats to family farmers and other Iowans
Rick Jones and Andrew Kang Bartlett | Presbyterian News Service
Presbyterian Hunger Program partner Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement hosts statewide conference

World Protestant body issues solidarity message with Palestinian Christians
Stephen Brown | World Communion of Reformed Churches Communications
WCRC says ‘integrity of Christian faith is at stake’

Recognizing systems of power and privilege that perpetuate racism
Gail Strange | Presbyterian News Service
Big Tent workshop speaks to Presbyterian effort to dismantle racism

Big Tent workshop offers stories and struggles of reconciliation around the world
Kathy Melvin | Presbyterian News Service
Features work in South Sudan, Cuba and the Israel-Palestine

More news from PC(USA)

POV Assembly: June 15th at Mitchell

The next Assembly will take place at 10:00 am (ET) on Thursday, 6/15/2017 at the Mitchell Presbyterian Church.

Registration will begin at 9:00 am (ET).

The packet, driving directions, and the minutes from the March 25, 2017 meeting will be available for download from the assembly web page after 4:00pm on June 8th.

Online registration for the Assembly is available now. Please let us know if you will be in attendance!

What Happened at Assembly on March 25, 2017

What Happened at Assembly on March 25th?

The Presbytery enjoyed the hospitality of the Mitchell Presbyterian Church, Mitchell, Indiana

Installation of Vice Moderator and Stated Clerk

The Moderator installed David Crittenden as Stated Clerk and Barbara Ferguson as Vice-Moderator of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley.

Examination of Je Myoung Lee

After preaching for the Presbytery Je Myoung Lee, a candidate under care of the Presbytery of Chicago, was examined by the Presbytery and approved for ordination to the ministry of Teaching Elder.  Je has been called to served the congregations of the Mitchell Presbyterian Church and First Presbyterian Church, Bedford, as pastor of the Lawrence County Parish.

Proposed Amendments from the 222nd General Assembly

The Commissioners approved all sixteen amendments to the Book of Order proposed by the 222nd General Assembly. (Ballot tallies are shown below.)

Congregational Mission and Vitality Committee Grants Approved by Presbytery Council

The Council report noted two grants from the Monroe City Funds one in the amount of $3,400 to the Scipio Presbyterian Church for an outdoor worship, spirituality and fellowship area and the other in the amount of $4,000 to the Community Presbyterian Church in Charlestown, Indiana, for funding for a Bundle of Joy Basket Program as part of the congregation’s D.I.A.P.E.R. ministry.

No.Amendment TitleYesNoBlank
16-AChild & Youth Protection Policy
On Amending G-3.0106
603
16-BParity in Committees
On Amending G-3.0109
549
16-C1Ministers of the Word and Sacrament
On Amending F-3.0202
594
16-C2Ministers of the Word and Sacrament
On Amending G-2.0102
5931
16-C3Ministers of the Word and Sacrament
On Amending G-2.0301
5931
16-C4Ministers of the Word and Sacrament
On Amending G-2.05 and G-2.0501
5931
16-C5Ministers of the Word and Sacrament
On Amending G-2.0701
5931
16-C6Ministers of the Word and Sacrament and Commissioned Pastors
On Amending G-3.0307
5571
16-C7Minister of the Word and Sacrament and
Commissioned Pastor
On Amending the Directory for Worship and
the Rules of Discipline
5571
16-C8Minister of the Word and Sacrament
On Amending W-4.4001a.
5931
16-D1Relationship to the PC(USA) of a Person Who Has
Renounced Jurisdiction of the Church
On Amending G-2.0509
50121
16-D2Relationship to the PC(USA) of a Person Who Has
Renounced Jurisdiction of the Church
On Amending D-10.0401
49122
16-ECertified Service Requirements
On Amending G-2.1101
612
16-FThe Ministry of Members
On Amending G-1.0304
594
16-GAccess to the Lord’s Table
On Amending W-2.4011a. and b.
558
16-HDirectory for Worship
On Replacing the Current Directory for Worship
50112

POV Assembly: March 25, 2017

The next Assembly will take place at 10:00 am (ET) on Saturday, 3/25/2017 at the Mitchell Presbyterian Church.

Registration will begin at 9:00 am (ET).

At this Assembly, we will be voting on the proposed amendments to the Book of Order that were approved by the 222nd General Assembly. The amendments are available via download at the following link: Proposed Amendments to the Constitution.

As this is the only method by which the amendments have been made available, we strongly recommend that you print the document beforehand and bring it with you to the meeting. The wireless network at Mitchell will not be able to handle everyone trying to access the document at once, and we will only be printing a limited amount of copies to bring.

The packet, driving directions, and the minutes from the December 2016 meeting will be available for download from the assembly web page after 4:00pm on March 16th.

Online registration for the Assembly is available now. Please let us know if you will be in attendance!