Category Archives: Presbytery

Presbyterian Women Spring Gathering Postponed

Updated: 8/25/2020

The Fall Gathering Date has been cancelled.

The Presbyterian Women Spring Gathering in the Presbytery of Ohio Valley was originally planned for May 9, 2020; however, it has been postponed and now has a new date.

The Presbyterian Women Fall Gathering: Celebrating Female Clergy will now take place:

  • Saturday, September 26, 2020 at the Brown Memorial Chapel, College Ave, Hanover, IN.
  • Registrations begins at 9:00 am EDT
  • Lunch cost will be $10

Please make reservations by Monday, September 14, 2020

Downloads: Fall 2020 Meeting Flyer | Spring 2019 Minutes

Contact: Donna McCreary, 812-256-2370 or mtlincoln@nullhotmail.com

The Presbytery of Ohio Valley is Posting a List of Online Worship Opportunities

In an effort to help us stay connected with one another, the presbytery has complied a list of our churches offering online worship services. The presbytery cannot provide technical support for any of the links, and if you experience any difficulties, please contact the specific church directly.

Churches, should email Stephanie Worden by noon each Thursday with new or updated worship service information. If you are posting on Facebook, please include a direct link to your Facebook page.

Click here to go to the Online Worship Services page.

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.

Presbytery Council Recommendations for Worship & Meetings

Dear Family in Christ,

I bring you greetings from the Presbytery Council, eighteen wise leaders who have been elected to attend to the overall health and wellbeing of the Presbytery of Ohio Valley, and to act as a Commission of the Presbytery between Assemblies.

The Council met via Zoom video-conference today to address the evolving COVID-19 situation. It was the unanimous opinion of the Council to recommend that sessions and congregations follow the guidelines of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) that all in-person worship and meetings of ten or more people be cancelled through May 10, 2020 (eight weeks from the beginning of the CDC guidelines).  Out of an abundance of caution, we also recommend that congregations of fewer that ten worshippers adopt the same practice, as many of our folks are in a higher-risk category and should be staying home as much as possible. One member of the Council, the Rev. Deborah Fortel, noted that “as an older member of society, I recognize that my job is to be careful and stay home and healthy to avoid putting additional burdens on the medical system at this time.”

This is difficult news, both to give and to receive, but we believe it is vital to the health and safety of our members, friends, and communities.  Another member of the Council, Rev. Kevin Fleming, reminded us that this is now one of the ways that we can embody the second great commandment, to “love our neighbor as we love ourself.”

Some congregations will be able to offer worship online, mostly through facebook live. This is a good option for those who have the means to do so. The Presbyterian Mission Agency will be hosting a webinar tomorrow, March 19, at 12:00pm EDT / 11:00am CDT on adapting worship for streaming. You can find more information here: https://www.presbyterianmission.org/story/1001-to-host-zoom-conversation-thursday-on-how-to-stream-worship-services/.

Producing and providing online technology may be difficult for some of our churches and pastors.  Later this week, I will send out a list of churches who are providing online worship, along with the links, so that anyone who wishes might join in.  We are also thinking about ways to connect our presbytery and its people through Holy Week and Easter. Please stay tuned…

The Council will meet next week as well, and we will continue to address the situation as it evolves, including the financial implications that our congregations are likely to face.

As Rev. Felipe Martinez said to the members and friends of First Presbyterian Church, Columbus: Our plans to weather this storm won’t be perfect or polished, but they will be our faithful effort to remain connected with one another. We need to feel that we’re there for one another. 

Please know that the Presbytery Council is praying for you and your congregations. And know, as well, that in life and in death, and in all the circumstances of life, we belong to God. And we belong to one another. Thanks be to God for these blessed connections.

Peace and all good,

The Rev’d. Susan C. McGhee
Executive Presbyter
The Presbytery of Ohio Valley

Presbyterian Disaster Relief Project: 10,000 Hygiene Kits in 5 Years!

Calling for Hygiene kits at our March 5th Assembly:

When a flood, wildfire, or hurricane devastates a community, people scramble to deal with the chaos and to recover.   They need practical help – fast.

Our congregations can make a difference by contributing items for hygiene kits.  The Presbytery of Ohio Valley and Mid Kentucky Presbytery started packing disaster relief kits in 2016.  Together with Western KY Presbytery we can reach our 2020 goal of 2,000 hygiene kits.   Then, we’ll celebrate an impressive milestone: 10,000 hygiene kits in five years!

Each hygiene kit in a one-gallon zip lock bag includes:

  • 1 hand towel – not microfiber
  • 1 washcloth – not microfiber
  • wide tooth comb
  • 1 nail clipper
  • 1 bar of soap – unscented, bath size in wrapper
  • 1 toothbrush – in original package (Toothpaste is not requested.)
  • 10 Band-Aids

Please bring hygiene supplies to our next presbytery assembly on Thursday, March 5 at the Mitchell Presbyterian Church. Volunteers will deliver our hygiene kits and supplies to Fairlawn Presbyterian Church in Columbus.  Fairlawn will take them to Louisville for packing and shipping.

Contact the Rev. Elizabeth Kirkpatrick at Fairlawn (812) 372-3882, erkirkpatrick@nullatt.net for information.

Thank you for caring for God’s people in need!

‘We are here, we are ready, and we are eager to see what God is about to do’

Original article found here.

Triennium’s opening worship infused with youthful joy and enthusiasm

by Mike Ferguson | Presbyterian News Service

The Rev. Sera Chung, the preacher during Tuesday’s opening worship at Presbyterian Youth Triennium, joins with the Nettletons to sing “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” (Photo by Rich Copley)

WEST LAFAYETTE, Indiana — More than 4,000 youth and their chaperones clearly energized by having arrived at Purdue University for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium worshiped together Tuesday night through movement, singing, prayer, confession — and by hearing thoughtful, heartfelt preaching.

“God’s bigger than anything we can imagine,” the Rev. Cindy Kohlmann, co-moderator of the 223rd General Assembly, told worshipers.

“We believe God calls each of us to ministry,” said her fellow co-moderator, Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri. “We encourage you to have fun, make memories — and tell us all about it.”

After a drama team told snippets of their personal stories, their leader, the Rev. Mark Montgomery of Norwalk, Conn., assured worshipers that this week, God will write a new story on their heart. The theme for Tuesday was “Tune my Heart.”

Energizers and upbeat music served to pump up the more than 4,000 people at Purdue University attending the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium. (Photo by Rich Copley)

Music performed by the Nettletons, Triennium’s house worship band, elicited a sea of cell phone flashlights that swayed gently with the rhythm.

The service’s call to worship concluded with these words, recited by just about everyone in the Elliott Hall of Music: “We are here, we are ready, and we are eager to see what God is about to do.”

Then the Rev. Sera Chung took to the stage.

Chung, director of the Asian American program at Princeton Theological Seminary, preached from Psalm 100: “Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth. Worship the Lord with gladness; come into God’s presence with singing … For the Lord is good; God’s steadfast love endures forever, and God’s faithfulness to all generations.”

Chung posed this question to the gathered youth: What is life? For Chung, an accomplished musician, it’s a song, “and you better sing that song with the unique instrument God gave you. We take our stories and perch them on a melody so they can take flight.”

The problem, she said, is that “we all want to write a hit song.” The lyric must be catchy, the rhythm funky and the song “must be relatable so it touches the audience.”

The Rev. Sera Chung, director of the Asian American program at Princeton Theological Seminary, was the preacher during Tuesday’s opening worship at Triennium. (Photo by Rich Copley)

Most of the Bible’s 150 psalms are laments, she said. The psalmists, many of them anonymous, rail against sickness, feelings of betrayal and abandonment, false accusation — all part of the human condition. “We can’t help but notice,” Chung said, “that happiness cannot exist apart from suffering. Life gives us psalms to sing that are bitter but also sweet, loud but also silent.”

They’re not songs that come from places of order, equilibrium, peace or comfort, she said. The people who sang them “were subject to being relocated, isolated, shut down and overwhelmed,” she said. “Yet we see them tuning their hearts, singing their way into God’s presence … It is through this trust in God’s steadfast love that we can sing these psalms.”

When her mother died unexpectedly not long ago, “the only sound that came out of my mouth were sounds of deep pain and suffering.” Rather than tuning her heart, Chung said she was ready to tune out. But friends reminded her she still had a song to sing.

“Singing and tuning our hearts to God are not limited to certain individuals, leaders or kings,” she said. “It’s a call to all of us to sing a testimony to God’s grace and faithfulness.”

As Chung and the Nettletons joined to sing “Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” Triennium’s theme song, Chung asked worshipers to name the things their hearts are currently seeking.

“Does it seek for justice? A repaired relationship?” she asked. “Shout out what your heart is seeking.”

Those in attendance did exactly that as the musicians concluded the hymn.


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Center for Congregations presents Workshop on Racial Justice

Presented by the Center for Congregations.

Racial Justice and Your Congregation

We have greater awareness of our neighbors than ever before. This awareness includes the present reality of great division across racial and ethnic lines. Your congregation can play a key role in creating safe space to have difficult conversations about racial inequities. You can help lead the way in moving our culture toward collective action to achieve a fairer and more just society.

Dr. Michael R. Twyman, subject matter expert on race and racism, leads this full-day workshop. He will help increase your understanding about race, as well as actions and responses your congregation can take to combat racism. This is a highly interactive workshop, so come prepared to participate in dialogue about all of the topics listed below. Dr. Twyman will use this time as an opportunity to model how to have open, honest conversations about race and racism.

In the morning session, he will define terms, introduce a conceptual framework for race, discuss the historical precedents and the science of race, and present the implications for the role race plays in the life of congregations and in the broader community. In the afternoon session, he will facilitate an interactive, hands-on deep dive into how your congregation can be mobilized and empowered to promote racial justice within your respective institutions, and the communities you represent and are called to serve.

The workshop is designed to achieve two fundamental goals:

  • To provide you with various tools and resources to have healthy dialogue about race within your congregation.
  • To equip you with knowledge and techniques to confront racism and racial oppression within your congregation and the broader society.

REGISTER HERE FOR THIS WORKSHOP.

Dr. Michael R. Twyman is the principal/owner of InExcelsis, a private consulting firm that works with institutions seeking to maximize their performance and effectiveness. He has assisted numerous organizations with governance, cultural competency, strategic planning, fund development, program management, and evaluation. An associate faculty member of the IU Lilly Family School of Philanthropy, Twyman teaches courses on race and social justice.

This workshop is 9 a.m.-4 p.m. (Central time) Wednesday, May 1, 2019 at Aldersgate United Methodist Church in Evansville. The cost is $30 per person. When congregational teams of three or more register together, the cost is discounted to $25 per person. This fee includes continental breakfast, lunch and workshop materials.

Workshops limited to Indiana congregations.