THE STATE OF THE PRESBYTERY
Reflections on the Presbytery of the Miami Valley 2014
Elder Dennis H. Piermont, Executive Presbyter, reflects on 2014 and looks toward the future in Presbytery of the Miami Valley with “Lifting the Veil." Here are some excerpts:
...About fifty or sixty years ago, the typical Presbyterian had a much better understanding of a congregation’s connection to the larger church because our whole process of education and stewardship was designed to make this possible. I dare say that Presbyterian elders (both Teaching and Ruling) of that time were far more versed in not only the “legalese” of the Book of Order, but in its theological underpinning and historical content as well. This ethos permeated down to children’s Christian education as well.
Without such understanding and connection Presbyterian is merely a label, not a denomination – because without such understanding and connection we cannot really be Presbyterian... But we press on – hoping no one will notice.
In the Presbytery of the Miami Valley we suffer from some of the same afflictions – our congregations seem more connected to each other out of historical branding and geography than by how they understand themselves as part of an interdependent relationship to one another. A presbytery can be a good place for congregations to demonstrate and witness relationships in Christian community beyond their walls. That we really don’t is our collective fault, but that we can is our collective responsibility. It is developing this relational community of Christian churches that I believe lies at the heart of our work.
It is through this lens of how we have been this community that this report is framed.
2014 brought a mixture of what was a challenging year for this presbytery. This is not to say in any way that there are not some wonderful things in ministry going on in our midst, but rather that as a presbytery of congregations connected to each other, the past year revealed places in which we have not lived out those connections as well as we might have wished...
However, I believe that we have a wonderful opportunity now to look at who and how we might be together as a presbytery, not simply because we may become unsustainable, but because currently we are sustainable, and any process we undertake to envision a new future will not be driven by fear or haste...
Read the full report
A DISCUSSION WITH BRYCE WIEBE FROM PHP
Daily Practices to Address Hunger March 1
Bryce Wiebe, from the Presbyterian Hunger Program, will lead an energizing, participatory discussion of hunger issues on Sunday, March 1, 4:00-5:30 P.M., at Memorial Presbyterian Church, Dayton. He will challenge us to ask, “What does it mean to be Christians in the marketplace, and how is each dollar we spend an invitation to deeper relationships: to ourselves, our Creator, and workers all over the world?”
Bryce is Associate for Enough for Everyone within the Presbyterian Hunger Program. Enough for Everyone provides resources and opportunities for Christians to consider the ways they spend money as an opportunity for Christian discipleship. Bryce will also preach and lead Sunday school at First Presbyterian Church in Urbana the morning of March 1.
Join us for this provocative afternoon discussion in Dayton, and bring your own ideas and examples! This event is co-sponsored by Bread for the World, a collective Christian voice urging our nation’s leaders to end hunger at home and abroad, and a strong ecumenical partner of the Presbyterian Hunger Program.
More details about this event
GROWING IN GRACE & GRATITUDE
Workshop about the new PC(USA) children's curriculum February 22
The new PC(USA) children's curriculum, Growing in Grace & Gratitude, will be presented in a workshop sponsored by the Equipping for Ministry Network and the Educator's Support Network of the Presbytery of Miami Valley, Sunday, February 22, 2:30-5:00 P.M., at Southminster Presbyterian Church, Centerville.
God’s grace and our response of gratitude are the foundation of the new PC(USA) denominational children’s curriculum coming fall 2015. This workshop will explore grace and gratitude as the theological hallmark of Presbyterian tradition and showcase the importance of nurturing children through an invitation to discipleship that inspires children to learn and practice hospitality, generosity, and love. God’s grace and our gratitude are the heartbeat of our faith, life, and worship- a promising theme for Presbyterian identity and the future of the PC(USA).
To register an individual or church group, email Jeanne McIver or call 937-428-9722.
PMV Spring Youth Retreat April 10-12
The annual Spring Youth Retreat will be held, April 10-12, at Kirkmont Center, Zanesfield. The retreat is for all youth in grades 7-12 and their advisors. This event is sponsored by the Presbyterian Youth Connection Network of Presbytery of the Miami Valley.
This year's theme is Unmasked- Recognizing Jesus. The cost is $75 per person, with online registration and payment options available.
More information and registration>>
2015 Summer Camp at Kirkmont Center
Online registration is now open for 2015 Summer Camp at Kirkmont Center, Zanesfield.
Camps for all ages are available from June 6 through August 16 and include Grandparents Camp, Quilting Camps, Beginners Camp, PYC Junior Camp, PYC Camp, Camp Rejoice, Kids Camp, Adventure Camp, Sports Camp, Teen Camp, and Family Camping Weekend.
An Early Bird Discount of $40.00 will be applied if registered by March 1.
Camp schedule & registration>>
Four Chaplains Sunday February 1
Presbyterians Caring for Chaplains and Military Personnel (PCCMP) is inviting churches to consider taking up the Four Chaplains special offering for the pastoral care of our military chaplains on Sunday, February 1. All funds raised during this appeal will go only for the care of chaplains and their families, those who are on the frontlines of caring for our military members and veterans.
About the Four Chaplains: In 1943 four U.S. chaplains aboard the torpedoed and sinking United States Army Transport Dorchester organized an orderly evacuation of the ship. When life jackets ran out, the chaplains removed their own and gave them to others, sacrificing their own lives to help.
More info & bulletin insert>>
Apply for a Congregational Leadership Award
Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA, is offering eight Congregational Leadership Awards. Each of the eight awards carries a $1,000 prize to support a congregation in its ministry. Since 1991, 110 churches in 29 states have received these awards.
Click here to download a brochure and application. The application deadline for the 2015 Awards is February 15.
Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women June 18-21
The 2015 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women will be held June 18-21, in Minneapolis, MN. The theme of the Gathering is "One Body, One Spirit," based on 1 Corinthians 12:12-27. As always, workshops, plenary sessions, worship, mission opportunities and all Gathering programming will explore the theme in the context of a diverse, faithful sisterhood.
"The Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women is a time to make and renew friendships, enrich our minds and souls and engage in new ways to live out our PW Purpose through mission opportunities, advocacy work and Bible study." Register by March 20 for special incentives.
Learn more & get registration info>>
NAPC Triennium April 16-19
The National Association of Presbyterian Clergywomen (NAPC) will hold its Triennium April 16-19 at the Ferncliff Camp and Conference Center, Little Rock, AR. NAPC "seeks to affirm, nurture, and sustain all Presbyterian clergywomen." Active membership is open to ordained female Teaching Elders in the Presbyterian Church (USA).
Download conference info & registration>>
Synod Assembly Highlights
The Synod of the Covenant Assembly met at Christ Presbyterian Church, Toledo, OH, on November 7-8.
Download Synod Assembly Highlights
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 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
In June 2012, the 220th General Assembly declared a commitment to a churchwide movement that results in the creation of 1001 new worshiping communities in the next 10 years. 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>>