Major Changes in Board of Pensions Medical Plan:
Come Learn More on September 13!

BOP 2017Tuesday, September 13 is a significant day in our presbytery. Besides the presbytery meeting that day at First Presbyterian Church in Sidney, you’re also invited to a special briefing session before that meeting to hear Doug Portz, our Board of Pensions (BoP) regional representative, describe major changes in the BoP health plan options that take effect January 1. The changes affect temporary and part-time pastoral positions and church employees.

Who should come to this pre-meeting? Pastors, clerks of session, personnel chairs, church treasurers and business managers: all should make plans now to join us, get the latest information, and find out where to locate more details to be prepared for next year’s new health care environment. 

The special pre-meeting briefing is from 2:30-3:30 P.M. on Tuesday, September 13 in the sanctuary at First Presbyterian Church in Sidney. During the stated presbytery meeting that follows beginning at 4:00 P.M. that day, Doug will provide an overall outline of BoP programs and a brief summary of the upcoming changes. You’re encouraged to attend the pre-meeting to get the most detailed information and guidance on next steps.

Take advantage of Doug’s presence to anticipate how your church, staff and budget will be affected by these significant changes in BoP health care options.

Key September 30 deadline approaching for Board of Pensions data

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. Brad Dardaganian

Brad DardaganianThe Rev. Brad Dardaganian will begin his ministry at Sugar Creek Presbyterian Church, Kettering, on September 4. He is a native of Dallas, TX. Brad attended the University of Texas at Austin and then Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary outside of Boston. At Gordon-Conwell, Brad earned a Master of Divinity Degree and a Master of Arts in Counseling (Magna cum Laude) in 1996. Upon completion of his ordination, Brad accepted a call to First Presbyterian Church in Bonham, TX.

Brad was born and raised in Dallas. His parents, Judy and Stephen Dardaganian, are lifelong Presbyterians who were very involved in the church in which he was raised, Highland Park Presbyterian Church.

Before Brad completed his ordination, he worked as a family and individual therapist, as well as a clinician at a juvenile detention facility for young men. A professed life-long computer nerd, Brad had the opportunity to jump into the burgeoning Information Technology field as a web developer. During this time he met his future wife, Christa, through the young adult ministry of Newton Presbyterian Church in Boston, MA.

Brad and Christa were married in April 2002 in Dallas at Highland Presbyterian Church. Their son, Joshua, a warm-hearted 8th grader, who is involved in Tae Kwon Do, and loves video games,  was born in 2003, and their daughter, Sarah, a self-confessed “girly-girl” who participates in competitive dance, was born in 2005.
Christa is Senior Director of Strategic Innovation for the National Hemophilia Foundation based in New York City. She telecommutes and is fortunate to be able to work from home.

Brad plays the guitar, bass, and has recently taken up the drums. He enjoys all types of music from classical to classic rock.

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>>

Around the Presbytery

Dr. Christine Roy Yoder, Theologian-in-Residence, on September 17

Christine Roy YoderDr. Christine Roy Yoder, who will be a Theologian-in-Residence at Westminster Presbyterian Church, Dayton, will speak Saturday, September 17, 2:00-4:00 P.M. at the church. All Ruling Elders, Teaching Elders, Educators, learners, and friends from around the presbytery are warmly invited to attend this rare opportunity. Free and easy parking is available in the Westminster parking lot, entrance on First Street. This event is co-sponsored by Presbytery of the Miami Valley and Westminster Presbyterian Church.

Dr. Yoder is a Teaching Elder in the PC(USA) and serves as Interim Dean of the Faculty and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, GA.

Her topic will be “The Tree of Life: An Introduction to Old Testament Wisdom Literature.” The wisdom literature of ancient Israel (Proverbs, Job, and Ecclesiastes) invites us into an age-old and ongoing conversation about what is good and wise in life. How do we discern right from wrong in a world of fiercely competing claims? What values do we treasure and why? What makes for strong families and just communities? How do we understand money, the power of speech, the realities of suffering, and the inevitability of death? And how do we teach it all to our children? This course explores how the Israelite sages address these and other complexities of everyday life, the formation of moral character, and what it means to “fear the Lord.”

At the Learning Resource Center:
New books for new member and officer training

The Learning Resource Center at Southminster Presbyterian Church, Centerville, has new books available for new member and officer training. These books are available to all churches within the Presbytery of the Miami Valley. Books may be checked out Monday-Thursday, 9:00 A.M.-4:00 P.M. at Southminster.

Making Disciples, Making Leaders: A Manual for Pressbyterian Church Leader Development: The manual and study guide give newly elected deacons and ruling elders the tools to become effective spiritual leaders for a lifetime. 

Being Reformed: Faith Seeking Understanding (three workbooks):1. Helps orient prospective members to different dimensions of discipleship in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) 2. A resource to guide a prospective Ruling Elder to work through the process of discernment to determine whether he/she has the gifts and the grace in their life to say "yes".  3. A resource for Ruling Elders designed to introduce six aspects of becoming a transformation leader in their church.

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 and Scholarships

College StudentsScholarships for Racial Ethnic College Students: For college, university and seminary students who are minority persons, members of a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation within the bounds of the Synod of the Covenant, and in good academic standing. Scholarships are for one year, may apply for a second year, demonstrated financial need. Apply by September 1.

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.

Peacemaking Scholarships: Available to assist those attending specific peacemaking events or trainings that would help further the cause of peacemaking or justice within the Synod of the Covenant. The scholarship is for up to $500. Apply by September 1.

Learn more about the grants/scholarships & 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>>



Presbytery of the Miami Valley

News & More

PC(USA) News
Daily Lectionary
Mission Yearbook
Presbyterians Today

Sidney First Church
Presbytery Meeting
September 13, 4:00 PM
Sidney First Church

Clerk's Corner

Resources for Churches

Covenant Connections
Covenant Connections
Sharing stories & ideas
across the presbytery

Covenant Conversations

2 by 2
"2 by 2"
Gathering as
Presbyterians, as
people of faith

Northminster Mission Fund
Grants up to $5000
Learn more & apply