THE STATE OF THE PRESBYTERY
A Season of Continuing Advent
Ruling Elder Dennis H. Piermont, Executive Presbyter, reflects on 2015 in Presbytery of the Miami Valley with "A Season of Continuing Advent." Here are some excerpts:
...All aspects of life have their cycles, and the church is no exception. But the cycles we perceive often distract us from God’s continuous moving forward. The changes in the world, even when those changes appears to us to be steps backward, are nevertheless part of God’s unfolding of the future – a future of reconciliation for all things through Jesus Christ.
Last December at one of our congregations, I heard a really terrific sermon called What Do You Want . . . for Christmas? For me, it explored beautifully the tension between wants and needs but not simply in a context about our perceptions, but really about God’s knowing...
That what we want, that what we really want, that what is indeed our heart’s desire, is Emmanuel – God with Us.
As we look back over some of the significant aspects of our life together in 2015, it is important to know that we are, in many ways, in a season of continuing advent, and to let this idea shape our reflections and our perceptions, because no matter where we find ourselves in our own cycles, the message is still the same – God is coming...
Read the full report>>
PC(USA) GENERAL ASSEMBLY JUNE 18-25
Apply to be an Alternate Commissioner to GA 222
Currently, there are openings for one Teaching Elder Alternate and one Ruling Elder Alternate for the 222nd General Assembly, June 18-25, 2016 in Portland OR.
Ordinarily, alternate commissioners for the 222nd General Assembly will be asked to serve as commissioners for the 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis MO, June 16-23, 2018.
If you are interested in serving as a an Alternate, please download and complete the application below.
Download the Alternate Application
FIRST PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, MIDDLETOWN
Installation Service for Michael Isaacs February 21
The Presbytery of the Miami Valley, and its Moderator Shelley Wiley, invite you to the service to install the Rev. Michael Isaacs as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church, Middletown, 2910 Central Ave., Middletown, OH 45044, on Sunday, February 21, at 4:00 P.M. A reception will follow the service.
Installation services are significant moments in our presbytery's life, as together we celebrate God's work through the faithful mission and ministry of our churches. We hope you can be part of this important covenant event on February 21.
Directions to the church>>
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
Presbytery Spring Youth Retreat April 1-3
The annual Presbytery of the Miami Valley Spring Youth Retreat will be held April 1-3 at Kirkmont Center, Zanesfield. This year's theme is Proverbs and Parables and will "explore the teachings that transform the foolish into the wise."
This event is sponsored by the Presbyterian Youth Connection (PYC) Network of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley and is for all youth grades 7-12 and their adult advisors.
Participants are invited to celebrate God's grace, peace, love and creation by relaxing, singing, playing outside, worshipping, reflecting, seeing old friends and making new ones.
For questions, please email Carmen Garrigan or email Nancy Hodgkins, PYC Network advisors.
Register online and download a flyer>>
Consider Electronic Funds Transfer for your church in 2016
Presbytery of the Miami Valley's electronic funds transfer option is a safe, easy, and convenient way for churches to make their regular contributions to presbytery and other denominational bodies, as well as special offerings. Contributions can now be transferred through our secure site from your church checking or savings account to presbytery's account.
Our free electronic giving program offers convenience for churches in making recurring or one-time donations. Church treasurers or other designated financial officials can also create an online profile to easily save their church's donation information for future use.
Get started with our EFT Program>>
REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN
Presbyterian Youth Triennium July 19-23
Registration is now open for youth completing grades 8-12, who are active members of a local church, to attend the Presbyterian Youth Triennium July 19-23 at Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN. The Presbytery of the Miami Valley delegation will consist of 20 youth and 4 adult advisors.
The registration cost is $505.00 per person. Presbytery will cover one-third of the cost and provide transportation. Sending congregations and participants are each expected to pay $170.00.
To apply to be a part of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley delegation to Triennium youth must receive the spiritual and financial support of their home church and be recommended by their pastor, youth director, or Clerk of Session.
Around the Presbytery
THE PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH, HAMILTON
Learn more and register>>
Praying Always in All Ways on March 12
The Presbyterian Church, Hamilton, will hold a Spring Retreat Saturday, March 12, 9:30 A.M. - 12:00 noon at the church. This year's theme is Praying Always in All Ways and will be presented by by S. Olga Wittekind, OSF, Ph.D., Director of Oldenburg Franciscan Center, Oldenburg, IN.
Participants are invited to "look at ways we can pray and how we can pray at all times. We may need new ways of finding time with God so we can experience our own transformation! Come for a morning of peace and calm…"
Everyone is invited to attend. The cost is $10 per person and includes continental breakfast.
SYNOD MOBILE HEALTH FAIRS
Register now to host a Mobile Health Fair at your church
The Synod of the Covenant is seeking churches to host Mobile Health Fairs this summer. Remaining dates are limited.
The purpose of the Mobile Health Fairs are to partner with PC(USA) presbyteries and congregations, ecumenical, and community agencies in order to reach out to underserved and disadvantaged communities to provide free basic health screenings, referrals, and basic health education. It is administered by six trained young adults supported by volunteer licensed nurses and doctors.
To learn more or to register your church or organization, email the Rev. Dr. Cynthia Burse, Community Outreach Coordinator, or call 419‐754‐4050 or 614‐286‐2077.
NEXT Church National Gathering February 22-24
The NEXT Church National Gathering will be held February 22-24 in Atlanta, GA. The National Gathering will feature worship, workshops, testimonies, IGNITE presentations, and relationship building. This year's keynote speaker is Dr. Allan Boesak, Desmond Tutu Chair of Peace, Global Justice and Reconciliation Studies at Christian Theological Seminary, Indianapolis, IN
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.
Learn more and register>>
Bi-vocational Ministry in the 21st Century Conference in April
Bi-vocational Ministry in the 21st Conference, an ecumenical sponsored event by the Professional Church Leadership in which the PC(USA) participates, will be held April 15-16 at Epworth By The Sea, St. Simon’s Island, GA. (Bi-vocational pastors are those who serve congregations, while also maintaining some other form of employment.)
The conference is geared both toward those serving or seeking to serve in a bi-vocational ministry context as well as governing body or judicatory leaders who work with ministers who serve in such contexts.
More information and registration>>
Civilian behavioral health providers needed for Ohio military members, vets, families
Military service can bring stress not just for service members, but also for their families, friends and neighbors. Deployment, reintegration and combat injuries common today can add to the mental and emotional strain. And when those stresses do occur, it is not always easy for those affected to know where they can turn for help.
To address that need, Star Behavioral Health Providers (SBHP) - a registry that helps service members and those who care about them locate civilian behavioral health professionals with special training to understand and deal with military issues has been implemented in Ohio.
The mission and intention of SBHP is to take care of Ohio service members, veterans, and their families. To do this, SBHP intends to recruit and train interested civilian behavioral health providers in military specific culture and treatments that focus on the needs of the military population.
Immigration Advocacy Training in May
Learn more and register>>
The Office of Immigration Issues of the PC(USA) will hold a network training event for Presbyterians involved in immigration advocacy May 12-14 on the campus of Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Louisville, KY. The purpose of the training is to strengthen the network of Presbyterian advocates for immigration. Register by April 13.
Preservation Grants for Churches to help digitalize records
To 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>>
Mediation Skills Training Institute in Toledo in May
The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will offer a Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI) May 9-13 at Grace Lutheran Church, Toledo. This is a five-day institute of hands-on training, providing mediation training for clergy and church leaders. MSTI is ideal for training members of a judicatory mediation team and other leaders who work with committees, candidates for ministry, and churches.
Learn more about this event and register>>
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
The 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>>