Major Changes in Board of Pensions Medical Plan

Major changes are coming to the Board of Pensions health plan options, which take effect January 1, 2017. The changes affect temporary and part-time pastoral positions and church employees.

Click here to learn more about key information relating to pastors and church employees that needs to be reported to the Board of Pensions by September 30, 2016.

Presbytery of the Miami Valley Welcomes the Rev.
Lawrence H. Bartel

Lawrence BartelThe Rev. Lawrence H. Bartel will begin his ministry at Oxford Presbyterian Church, Oxford, on October 4. Born and raised in Dalton among the rolling hills of northeast Ohio, Lawrence is excited to come home to the Buckeye State. After graduating from the College of Wooster, travels to Australia, India, and the U.K. on a post-graduate fellowship clarified for Lawrence a change of vocational direction from biology to the ministry. Studies at McCormick Theological Seminary and working at an historic African-American Presbyterian Church in Chicago confirmed this call.

In 2004 Lawrence became the pastor of Niccolls Memorial Presbyterian Church in Old Forge, NY.  Together with the congregation, a vision of contextual discipleship emerged that embraced the unique Adirondack context that surrounds Old Forge while cultivating the church’s already deep roots through generations of faithful worship and mission.

This discipleship took a variety of forms including Sabbath Time.  In the midst of life’s fullness, the congregation and guests take Sabbath Time for walks/hikes, bicycle rides, and paddles in the summer as well as snowshoeing and skiing in the winter.  

Pilgrimage is a vital and recurring theme in Lawrence’s walk with Christ. In 2012, he traveled to Europe on a family sabbatical exploring the theme of “Walking with God” on Holy Ground. In that season Lawrence walked the final 200 miles of the Camino de Santiago and then experienced the interior journey of walking the labyrinth of Chartres Cathedral in France. 

In 2014, Lawrence joined the Mosaic of Peace journey to Israel and Palestine that is sponsored by the PC(USA) Peacemaking Program. Following that conference, he walked the Jesus Trail from Nazareth to Capernaum. This year Lawrence served as a co-leader for the 2016 Mosaic of Peace journey back to Israel and Palestine.  
Lawrence feels deeply blessed to be married to his college sweetheart, Amy, who is a native of New Concord, OH. Together Lawrence and Amy are parents of a twelve-year-old son, Jens, and a ten-year-old daughter, Lydia.
The Third Thirty Network: A Ministry for Older Adults

Older AdultsThe Network Support Committee recently agreed to the formation of a new Network that addresses a topic that affects us all whether we like it or not. Known as “The Third Thirty” network, the aim is to educate, inspire and prepare us all for the inevitable challenges as we get older and specifically approach or surpass “The big 60”.  Additionally, many of us in our ‘50’s and ‘60s are either caregivers or actively involved in the parenting of our parents who are typically in their ‘80s and ‘90s. Started at Bath Church two years ago, the “Third Thirty” is run along the lines of a discussion group within an individual church.  There is no rigid syllabus but there are topic areas for discussion and enlightenment. Most of the education comes from the participants themselves who share their experiences, their concerns, and gather courage, strength and encouragement from each other. Expert, guest speakers are also utilized where appropriate or so desired.

The instigator of the network, Chris Pomfret at Bath Presbyterian Church, Dayton, is supported by Stan Aultz from Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church, Kettering. Chris’s desire is to emulate what was started at Bath and help other churches in our Presbytery to start their own “Third Thirty” group. Chris has an introductory presentation and outlines for topics to discuss, so if you want an initial meeting with a group within your church, then Chris and Stan will be pleased to come and meet with you. Chris also envisions having Third Thirty groups come together occasionally during the year so that specific successes experienced by groups can be shared with our Brothers and Sisters in Christ as well as bringing in a special speaker. If you want to know more about the Third Thirty Network please contact Chris at 937-545-6667 or by email.  

Learn more about the network>>

Peace & Global Witness Offering to be received on October 2

Peace & Global Witness OfferingThe Peace & Global Witness Offering is received during the Season of Peace, which ends on World Communion Sunday, this year on October 2. A gift to the Peace & Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of injustice across the world. Individual congregations are encouraged to utilize up to 25% of this Offering to connect with the global witness of Christ's peace. Mid councils retain an additional 25% for ministries of peace and reconciliation. The remaining 50% is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness.

Get promotional resources>>

Around the Presbytery

Singing the Spirit workshop and concert October 8-9

Uzee Brown Fairmont Presbyterian Church, Kettering, will host Singing the Spirit , October 8-9, a educational workshop and concert which will bring musicians from around the Miami Valley together to learn about the history and performance of spirituals. All choir directors and their singers are invited to attend.

The workshop will be begin Saturday, October 8, 9;00 A.M.-3:30 P.M. and will be led by Dr. Uzee Brown (left) from Morehouse College. The workshop will conclude with a concert on Sunday, October 9, 2:00 P.M. at the church. The concert will include spirituals performed by the workshop attendees and our featured artists, Cameo Humes and Charles Wesley Evans. The concert will be free to the public and a good will offering will be collected.

More information>>


Organ Recitals in October

Westminster Church Presbyterian Church, Dayton, will offer Noonday Organ Recitals Thursdays in October, 12:10-12:35. A quick lunch follows each recital.

Isabelle Demers, a nationally known recitalist and head of the organ department at Baylor University in Texas, will also present an organ recital Sunday, October 9, 4:00 P.M. Childcare provided: Infant-grade 2.

All organ recitals are open to the public at no charge.

Attic Treasures Sale and Auction on October 29
will benefit Mt. Pleasant Resident Relief Fund

First Presbyterian Church, Middletown, will hold its annual Attic Treasures Sale and Auction on Saturday, October 29. This year's Attic Treasures will benefit the Mount Pleasant Resident Relief Fund. The north wing of the Mount Pleasant Place apartments, at the Presbyterian Mount Pleasant Retirement Village in Monroe, was struck by lightning on August 13, and the ensuing fire destroyed the apartments and belongings of the residents. Miraculously, all 69 residents were safely evacuated and have been temporarily relocated until the structure can be rebuilt. The Fund will provide for immediate life essentials and refurnishing needs when the north wing is rebuilt.   

Church members are "donating one or two cherished possessions they no longer need or use, as an opportunity to give something in gratitude to God for all He has given us."  The October 29 sale will be held 9:00 A.M.-12:00 noon, to be followed by an auction of finer furniture, antiques, art work, and more, beginning at 2:00 P.M. Everyone is invited!

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds to Gulf flooding

Gulf FloodingStarting August 11, 2016, regions in Louisiana and Mississippi experienced 10-20 inches of rain. FEMA reports that there were 13 fatalities, over 8,000 people in shelters, and over 40,000 residential and commercial structures affected.

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) has reached out to the Presbytery of South Louisiana and the Presbytery of Mississippi to offer assistance. Three National Response Team members have deployed to the Presbytery of South Louisiana. An initial grant and a church damage grant has been sent to the Presbytery of South Louisiana.

Partnered with PDA, the group Washington Emergency Recovery Ongoing Cadre (W.E.R.O.C.) focuses on the needs of residents within Washington Parish. The weekend floods have nearly exhausted the organization’s resources. (The group has spent the past three months helping get people back into their homes from March flooding.)

Presbyterians are asked to Give, Act, and Pray to support relief efforts.

Find out how you and your church can help>>

Joint POAMN/ARMSS Conference October 11-14

POAMNUnified under a theme inspired by John 13:34-35, Christian Discipleship: People of the Spirit, People of Hope, the Presbyterian Older Adult Ministries Network (POAMN) and the Association of Retired Ministers, Their Spouses, or Survivors (ARMSS) will co-sponsor a national conference for persons engaged in ministry with older adults from October 11-14 in Richmond, Virginia.
Conference participants will have a unique opportunity to engage in fellowship, networking, sharing resources, interactive and participatory workshops, creative worship, recreation, mission tours, entertainment, and an inspiring keynote address by the Rev. Dr. John Carroll of Union Presbyterian Seminary. Other key leaders include the Rev. Tom Tickner, minister of Spiritual Life at Grace Presbyterian Village, Dallas, worship leader; and David McCollum, minister of music at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church, Blowing Rock, N.C., music leader.

Learn more and register>>

Synod of the Covenant Grants

New Covenant Grants: One-time grants in amounts up to $10,000 are available to congregations, institutions and organizations within the bounds of the synod that have formal established ties to the synod. Projects must fit within the three mission priorities of the synod: Church Transformation and Development, Multicultural and Justice Ministries, Ministries in Higher Education. Apply by October 1.

Program Grants for Racial Ethnic Congregations: For racial ethnic and multicultural Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations within the bounds of the Synod of the Covenant. Grants are for one year, may apply for a second year, demonstrated financial need. Ordinarily, grants do not exceed $3000. Apply by October 1.

Learn more about the grants & apply>>

Two Fall events at Kirkmont Center

Fall Artists Retreat October 7-9

Spend a relaxing and creative Fall Artists Retreat weekend at Kirkmont Center, Zanesfield, October 7-9.  Enjoy the camaraderie and inspiration of fellow artists, set aside time to concentrate on your art, explore the 270 acres of woodlands, grasslands, wetlands and ponds, and hike, meditate and gain inspiration for the artist within.

The retreat is open to all who create art in any medium.

Learn more and register>>

Fall Day of Renewal October 26

Fall LeavesA Fall Day of Renewal will be held at Kirkmont Center, Zanesfield, on October 26, 9:45 A.M.-4:00 P.M. The cost is $20 and includes lunch.

The Rev. Patrick Harley, the pastor at Ottawa Presbyterian Church (Maumee Valley) will share stories of his experience as a year-long volunteer in Belfast, Northern Ireland and what he learned about the difficult and rewarding work of conflict transformation, peacemaking, and reconciliation in a land divided by violence. 
Using the Abridger Institute's work, The Anatomy of Peace, the Fall Day of Renewal also hopes to cultivate conversations around how we engage with others in our own communities and society, and why that's pivotal to our own spiritual health and Christian Witness. 

Participants can also enjoy Kirkmont Center and each other by  hiking, doing art and/or walking the labyrinth. Specific new afternoon activities are still being confirmed. 



New Resource: On Calling An Educator

The revised On Calling An Educator manual is now available online in downloadable format. The manual is designed to be a resource for Presbyterian churches that are considering calling an educator to be a part of the church staff. In addition, this is also a resource for Christian educators who are responding to a call from God to educational ministry in the church and are seeking a position. Congregations and educators will find guidance in these pages for their separate and mutual journeys toward providing the best leadership for the important task of education.

Download On Calling An Educator>>

Preservation Grants for Churches to help digitalize records

HPGTo assist congregations with the preservation of church records, the Presbyterian Historical Society awards annual Heritage Preservation Grants to PC(USA) congregations, covering up to $500 of the cost to digitize official records. To qualify,  a church must be a PC(USA) congregation of 250 members or less, be at least 50 years old, be interested in the preservation of its history, and be looking for financial assistance to digitize church records.

Applications are due on October 31. Grants must be used within a two year time period.

Learn more and apply>>

Regarding Ruling Elders

Regarding Ruling Elders
Ruling elders are called to ministry in partnership with teaching elders. Within this calling, ruling elders have responsibilities in several areas of the life of the church including exercise in leadership, governance, spiritual discernment, and discipline. This monthly PC(USA) series seeks to lift up the specific responsibilities while also providing an opportunity for Ruling Elders to reflect upon how they are lived out.

Connect with Regarding Ruling Elders>>

A guide to all things Presbyterian

Presbyterians Today’s new special issue and guidebook, Welcome to the Presbyterian Church!, is the perfect resource to give you a quick overview of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and what it means to be Presbyterian. It's an excellent resource for leadership training, new member classes, adult Sunday School, etc.

Find out more and order>>

NEXT Church offers new resources for ministry

NEXT ChurchNEXT Church is a network of leaders across the Presbyterian Church (USA) who believe the church of the future will be more relational, more diverse, more collaborative, more hopeful, and more agile. NEXT Church provides space for hopeful conversations about the theology, culture, and practice of ministry in a time of adaptive change. Get ministry resources>>

New initiative seeks to create 1001 new worshiping communities

1001 Worshiping CommunitiesThe 220th General Assembly declared a commitment to a churchwide movement that results in the creation of 1001 new worshiping communities by 2022. Across the PC(USA), God is raising up leaders in churches and presbyteries who are creating new worshiping communities. They are taking on new and varied forms of church for our changing culture. Primarily they are seeking to make and form new disciples of Jesus Christ, to change and transform the world. Learn more & get involved>>

Northminster Mission Fund

Grants up to $5,000.00 are available to individual Congregations, Congregations in Partnership, Designated Presbytery Networks, and Validated Ministries of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, for the continued purpose of building up the body of Christ. Pending available funds, grants may be renewed for one year. Learn more>>



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