Rev. Anita Bernhardt elected as our next General Presbyter: At a special meeting January 5 with 50 in attendance, Lake Erie Presbytery elected our next General Presbyter. The Rev. Anita Bernhardt will take this leadership/transformational role for our 57 congregations starting February 1. Prior to her current work as temporary pastor at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Erie, she carried out extensive work and multi-denominational ministry in local congregations and regional networks, including Western North Carolina Presbytery. The nominating committee recommended her to us, bringing “compassion and caring. She nurtures relationships, has a collaborative work style, and will foster hope and respect. Anita has a particular gift of nudging congregations toward the future.”
Anita will start her service in this role February 1.
Thanks also goes to the eight persons on the nominating committee: Emily Zeig Lindsey, Art Amann, Don Hall, Matt McCullough, Katherine Randall, Ronee Christy and Dan McEldowney. We also appreciate the extra work since David Oyler’s retirement carried out by our office staff, transition team, committee moderators and others who stepped up in the interim.
Presbytery Office Closed: The Bible instructs us to respect civil authorities. That feels unnecessary for us American Christians who are proud of the separation of church and state. But the scriptures weren’t arguing for political reasons. The Bible always advocates for loving neighbors as oneself. We are to listen to one another out of respect. So, out of love for one another and respect for Governor Wolf, we are closing the presbytery office for the weeks allotted. We will still be working from home and you can contact us by cell phone. Keith at 814-440-5376 and Melinda at 814-860-4267. Barb will be in the office alone to do the year end reports so you can leave a message for her on her office phone. 868-4891 ext. #4
Neighbor to Neighbor Project a big success!
We are happy to report that over a 100 people across Lake Erie Presbytery participated in our neighbor to neighbor service project!!! Those hands of God were able to make 50 blankets for Project Linus and over a 130 Christmas bags for those in need. Great Job and thanks to all who participated!!! Thank you from the Spiritual Formation Committee
Tuesday Morning Check In: The Tuesday Morning Check-in for pastors will meet the first and third weeks of the month rather than every week. So, our next gatherings will be on January 5th and 19th at 10 am. Our thanks to Charlie McClung and Tim Olsen for their faithful leadership Ask Melinda to add you to the zoom invitation [email protected]
APCE National Event: “Anything But Ordinary Time” is the theme for the Annual APCE Event on February 4-6. This year the event will be virtual but offer a 90-day access to the speakers and events for those who register. The cost is only $100 and scholarships are available through our presbytery. There are workshops on a variety of subjects, worship services and plenaries. The first day plenary features Bruce Reyes Chow speaking on “Church of Tomorrow.” Warren Chalklen will speak on Friday about “How to Lead through the Strength of Diversity.” On Saturday, Amy Kim Kyremes-Parks will address “Hope.” You can register through the APCE Website. https://apcenet.org/ Contact Jenn Wedzik for scholarships. [email protected]
Pastors’ Retreat 2021: Plans are in the works for something a little different next year! Rather than gathering in February in Dunkirk, the planning team from Lake Erie and Western New York Presbyteries is looking toward an event in May on the grounds of Chautauqua Institution! Mark your calendars now and stay turned for more details to come!
Dates: Monday, May 3, 2021 beginning with lunch through breakfast on Tuesday, May 4, 2021
Topic: Living in a Post-Christian Culture
Leader: Rev. Judith Brown Bryan
Location: The Athenaeum Hotel, Chautauqua, NY
Anticipated cost: $200
Direct any questions or comments to Dave Edmunds ([email protected]) or Rebecca Taylor ([email protected])
Tax Exempt Certificates Extended to December 31: Prior to the government mandated shutdowns due to COVID, the Synod’s Sales Tax Exemption renewal, which includes the churches and presbyteries under its umbrella, was being processed by the Department of Revenue. They were due to be renewed and mailed out prior to expiration of the certificates, March 31. An original extension was given until Sept. 30. However, that extension has now been moved to Dec. 31. You can find the updated extension letter here. More information is available from the Synod here. (As the Synod receives the renewed certificates, they will be emailing them to the corresponding congregations.)
Race, Ethnicity, and the Book of Acts Virtual Lecture
Wayside Presbyterian Church’s Issues of Faith class will host a virtual lecture by Dr. Eric Barreto of Princeton Theological Seminary on Sunday, October 25 at 9:45 a.m. Dr. Barreto, an associate professor of the New Testament, will be speaking on Race, Ethnicity, and the Book of Acts. For this special occasion, Wayside extends an invitation to the community for this talk on how the early Church, as portrayed in the Acts of the Apostles, wrestled with racial and ethnic diversity, and what lessons we can draw today as the Body of Christ. Please contact Melinda in the office for the Zoom Link.
Wholeness in Times of Crisis
The national denomination will hold a day of virtually-gathered conversation—Thursday, November 5—focusing on wholeness at a critical time in our national life. How are church leaders and church councils (sessions, presbyteries and synods) staying healthy as the pandemic rages? How is our health in all dimensions? Will the united body of the church be healthy? The day will feature conversation with leaders from three of our national agencies (Presbyterian Mission Agency, Board of Pensions, and the Office of the General Assembly). Also, there will be a presentation from the Reverend Dr. Chris Adams of WorkWell, whose ministry focuses on flourishing in ministry. For pre-registration and instructions to connect go to pcusa.org.
Second Annual “HANDS ACROSS HARBORCREEK”
Sunday, October 4 at 12:15 p.m.
Harborcreek Presbyterian Church is promoting Praying for Peace this year on Sunday, October 4 and members are encouraging the community to come out and show support for peace. Last year on World Wide Communion/Peace Sunday they formed lines on both sides of the road in front of the church, members carried signs saying “Pray For Peace,” held hands and sang “Let There Be Peace On Earth.” The event received local TV news coverage.
This year, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they will form socially distanced lines along Buffalo Road, wear masks and place hands together in prayer. They are asking church members and neighbors to join in and show community support in front of the church for a 5-minute prayer vigil. The congregation is encouraged to make their own signs for this event. Please plan to join them and the Harborcreek Community to Pray for Peace on this special PEACE Sunday, October 4. This event will take place rain or shine.
Rethinking Evangelism: PCUSA’s Theology, Formation and Evangelism is excited to be hosting Rethinking Evangelism October 12–14, with Montreat Conference Center. A virtual event that will delve into new ways of doing evangelism today. It will feature Ray Jones, director of Theology, Formation and Evangelism, and Jerry Cannon, pastor of C.N. Jenkins Memorial Presbyterian Church. Special guests will include Ralph Watkins, Columbia Theological Seminary, and Mark Ramsey, Macedonia Project. There will be a diverse panel of participants who will help us rethink the ways we are engaging in evangelism in light of the multiple pandemics in this country. You will not want to miss this opportunity to engage in this great event. Rethinking Evangelism . pcusa.
PRESBYTERY YOUTH Neighbor to Neighbor Project: Philippians 2:4 tells us: “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others.” Yes, even during a time of craziness around us, we must reach out to others.
Calling all youth! (and young at heart) we are going to try and tackle a huge, PRESBYTERY WIDE service project together on November 14 of 15 (TBA). This is an exciting opportunity where we can gather our youth to work on the same project either:
- together socially distanced at each of our churches OR
- anyone who wants to contribute can work individually and then drop off their work at the same time to their church.
We believe everyone will find it fulfilling to work on this Neighbor to Neighbor Project TOGETHER IN SPIRIT. If you are interested in participating simply email Jennifer at [email protected] with Neighbor to Neighbor Project in reference line. We have two great projects to choose from:
- Project Linus Blankets (the blankets that you tie the sides) OR
- Making Christmas bags for those in need. We will email you back with more information and instructions on these projects if you are interested. WE want and need all of you! These huge outreach projects work when we get help from everyone! Please join us in helping our neighbors!
An Update from the General Presbyter Nominating Committee: Thank you for entrusting us with the important work of discerning who will be the next General Presbyter for our presbytery. Though our work is confidential, we will provide periodic updates, so you are aware of how things are progressing. During the summer months of June, July, and August, the GPNC has been receiving applications for the General Presbyter position. Our application period closed on August 31st. Now, the GPNC will be hard at work this fall to sort through applications and begin the interview process. You can support us by praying for us as a team and by praying for the person we will call to this position.
Emily Zeig Lindsey, Moderator GPNC
On behalf of the GPNC: Art Amann (Vice Moderator), Don Hall (Secretary), Ronee Christy, Matt McCullough, Dan McEldowney, Katherine Randall, and Buddy Ward.
Pastors’ Tuesday Morning Check-In: The Pastor Check-in is continuing to meet on Tuesday mornings on Zoom at 10:00 a.m. There are helpful hints about how to deal with the pandemic and mutual support offered each week. If you would like to join in the conversation ask Melinda to send you an invitation by email.
World Mission Initiative Conference: This online event is hosted by the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary and will be offered on- line in four midweek sessions: Oct 7, 14, 21, and 28. The theme is “Jesus Christ and the ‘Dividing Wall’: Race and God’s Mission.” https://www.pts.edu/wmi-conference
25 Years in Ministry: The Congregation of the First United Presbyterian Church of Edinboro is recognizing their pastor, Rev. Greg Gillispie, on his 25th anniversary as an ordained minister. Pastor Greg was ordained on August 27, 1995, by the Homestead Presbytery in his home state of Nebraska. He was installed at Edinboro First in November 2019, and has served congregations in North Carolina, Georgia, and Oil City, PA. He currently serves as Stated Clerk for the Presbytery of Lake Erie. Thank you, Greg, for your service to God, our community, and the Congregation at Edinboro FUPC. Send a card or a congratulatory note to: P.O. Box 789, Edinboro, PA 16412
Let’s celebrate! Rev. Dr. David Oyler’s retirement celebrations: The Presbytery of Lake Erie cordially invites you to share in the retirement celebrations of our General Presbyter Rev. Dr. David Oyler and his wife Becky. The events will be held over a three-day period from June 28 to June 30. On Sunday, June 28, we will hold a drive by their home at 3:00 pm. We hope you will wave a sign of thanks or celebration of the Oylers. We will gather between 2:30 and 3:00 at Praise Cathedral Church of God, 5335 PA-89/Station Road, parking lot to line up the cars. Take Exit 41 off I 90 and turn north. The church is on the right-hand side. On Tuesday, June 30, we will offer a worship service at 5:00 pm on YouTube during which Dr. Oyler will preach and we will celebrate him. Go to the search bar and search for the “First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant” Youtube channel. Scroll down to videos and click on Rev. Dr. David Oyler Retirement Service.
Presbytery Mission trip cancelled:
After prayer and discussion it has become increasingly evident that the 2020 presbytery mission trip to West Virginia on July 5-10 needs to be canceled. There will be no presbytery wide mission trip this summer, however, it is the expectation that such an opportunity will be provided in the summer of 2021. In the meantime, you are encouraged – in a safe fashion – to serve the least, lost and loneliest in your own community in profound ways. Thank you for sharing the Good News in creative fashion.
With Deep Sadness:
It is with deep sadness, yet with great thanksgiving for his life, we announce the death of Richard Norr, husband of Rev. Rachel Johns. Dick has experienced a period of declining health for a number of months. He entered the church eternal on May 4. Dick and Rachel had been married for 44 years and are the parents of two daughters and three grandchildren. Dick always shared in ministry with Rachel as he used his musical gifts to enhance many worship services. A private service was held to honor his life, with the expectation that a memorial service will be held in the future. Cards can be sent to Rev. Rachel Johns, 23479 U.S. Highway 322, Cochranton, PA 16314.
A Home Retreat: Self-Care in the Age of Social Distancing
The Beaver-Butler Presbytery is hosting an Online Zoom Retreat for Pastors and Commissioned Ruling Elders on Monday, May 4 from 10-11:30 a.m. Speaker Rev. Graham Standish will speak with pastors and lay pastors who are on the COVID-19 pandemic front lines caring for parishioners who are isolated, lonely, and afraid. But how do pastors cope with the stress of navigating this strange new world? Where do pastors turn in dealing with their own anxieties and fears?
Since the Coronavirus pandemic, all items related to Covid-19 have moved to a special section on this website. There are numerous sources, articles of interest and links to the PA Department of Health and the Federal CDC. Click this link for the latest on the Covid-19 pandemic.
The General Presbyter Nominating Committee has been finalized:
The following have been elected to listen for God’s voice and to serve the people of Lake Erie Presbytery. They include:
TE Buddy Ward, pastor at North Warren
TE Katherine Randall, copastor at Bradford
RE Dan McEldowney, Commissioned Pastor at Corry
RE Matt McCullough, Wayside Church, Erie
TE Emily Zeig Lindsey, pastor at Fairview
RE Don Hall, Tionesta
TE Ronee Christy, pastor at Oil City, First Church
RE Art Amann, Elmwood Church, Erie
Rev. Susan Faye Wonderland (advisor, Synod Transitional Executive)
This committee will soon begin their work ‘without undue haste and without undue delay’. You are encouraged to pray with them as this new chapter begins to unfold in our common life together within the Presbytery of Lake Erie.
First Covenant Installs its First Woman Pastor: Here’s your invitation to attend the Ordination & Installation of Britney Knight, as the new Associate Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. The service begins at 3:30 p.m. on Saturday, March 7 in the sanctuary of First Covenant, located at 250 West 7th Street, Erie, PA 16501. A dinner will be served following the service. If you plan to attend, please RSVP at [email protected] or call the church at 814-456-4243. This is a catered event.
Attention Pastors and Commissioned Pastors: The office is working hard to make sure that everyone that is in a preaching role within the Presbytery (full-time, part-time, or occasional) is up-to-date with their clearances. The policy is available by Clicking Here. You can contact Melinda in the Presbytery office to see if you are in need of updating your records. If you have recently renewed, please send copies to the Presbytery office by mail to: 2816 Elmwood Avenue, Erie PA 16508 or email to: [email protected]
Habitat for Humanity Plan for the Annual Build: Habitat for Humanity plans a faith build each summer inviting anyone from the faith community to get involved. To find out more about what’s planned for 2020, an informational meeting will take place at the Habitat for Humanity offices, 4922 Pittsburgh Avenue, Erie, PA. There are 2 options for attendance: Wednesday, March 25 at 10:00 a.m. or Thursday, March 26 at 6:30 p.m. To RSVP, please call Nancy Milkowski at the Habitat offices at 454-7025 ext. 104.
Presbyterian Women Spring Event: The Lake Erie Presbyterian Women’s Spring Gathering will be held on Saturday, May 2 at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church, 3520 Perry Street, Erie, Pa 16504. The theme is “Witnesses for a New Day.” This event begins at 9:00 am and concludes at 1:30 p.m. You will enjoy keynote speaker the Rev. Katherine Randell’s insights into the issues we are all facing as church members in the 21st century. For full info Click Here.
Beating the Winter Blahs: The First Presbyterian Church of Warren is pleased to offer a weekend of wonderful events led by Barbara McAfee whose gifts and energy promise to lift us out of the “winter blahs”! First Presbyterian Church is located at 300 Market Street, Warren PA. Here’s the schedule of events for February 8 & 9:
Saturday, February 8 – 4:00 p.m. – An Introduction to Threshold (end-of-life bedside) Singing
– 7:00 p.m. – “Spirit of YES!” Concert featuring Barbara’s original music
Sunday, February 9 – 10:00 a.m. – Morning Worship: “All Together Now!”
– 4:00 p.m. – Inter-generational Community Sing-Along & Fundraiser
For more info on the schedule and cost click Here.
Valentine’s Day dinner and a movie: “You are cordially invited to attend dinner and a movie night at Church of the Cross on Friday February 14 at 6:00 p.m. There will be a catered dinner from Cali’s West and we’ll watch the inspiring and hilarious film “Joyful Noise.” Tickets are $20/person and can be purchased the day of the event. However, please let us know in advance so we order enough food. We have a limit of 100 seats, so get your tickets or reservations in soon! Email reservations to either [email protected] or [email protected].
Save The Date! The Presbyterian Women of Lake Erie Presbytery will hold their Spring Gathering on Saturday, May 2 at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church. Our Keynote speaker will be Rev. Katherine Randall. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!
Elder Training available on Saturday, January 18 – Edinboro: This training is available for all newly elected church Elders throughout the Presbytery. This is also an open invitation to any Elder who has served a couple of years but still has questions or those who have served for many years but are seeking some new insights. This training session will cover the following:
- Look at Biblical expectations
- Engage Book of Order expectations
- Get to know neighboring colleagues as you engage in this work
- Have an opportunity to ask questions
If you plan to attend, please contact PLE Administrative Assistant Melinda Wingenbach at [email protected] to confirm your attendance. This is a two hour session on January 18 from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. at Edinboro.
Save this date – May 2! The Presbyterian Women of Lake Erie Presbytery will hold their Spring Gathering on Saturday, May 2 at Emmanuel Presbyterian Church in Erie. Our Keynote speaker will be Rev. Katherine Randall. Please mark your calendars and plan to attend!
New Pastor Installation:The Presbytery of Lake Erie has issued an invitation for you to celebrate the Installation of The Reverend Gregory Gillispie as Pastor of the First Presbyterian Church of Edinboro, 4281 Rt. 6N Edinboro, PA on Sunday, November 10, 2019 at 1:20 p.m. An annual luncheon (Spuds and Suds) will be held at 12 noon. Service to follow. Please RSVP at [email protected] or call the church at 814-734-3511.
Everyone Wins Used Toy Sale: 7th Annual Toy Sale Hosted by The Utica Presbyterian Church is hosting its 7th Annual Toy Sale on Saturday December 7 at the Galloway United Methodist Church in Franklin. The schedule is as follows: 9: a.m. to 12: p.m. – regular sale; 12 p.m. to 1 p.mm – All toys will be half off; 1 p.m. to 2 p.m. – Closed for lunch; 2 p.m. – The doors re-open and all remaining toys are FREE! 3 p.m. – The doors close and any remaining toys will go to local charities. To make this mission successful, TOY DONATIONS ARE NEEDED! Any new or gently used toys, sports equipment, books, games, and puzzles will be gratefully accepted at the Galloway church, 196 Seysler Road, Franklin, Pa 16362 on Thursday, December 5 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and Friday December 6 from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED TOO! Volunteers are needed during donation hours to sort and price toys. We will be there Friday evening until all the toys are ready to go. Any amount of time spent volunteering is greatly appreciated. All proceeds from this toy sale benefits the Venango County Family Services and Children’s Aid Society Shelter for Domestic and Sexual Abuse. For questions and additional information, please call Brandy 814.720.9018 or Jeanne 814.428.1737 or Tina 814.720.7590.
The Big Event March 2020: Plan now to attend The Big Event 2020 coming in March to the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. The working title for this event is “Where is the Light?” and is designed to further discussion about our fast-pace, changing world and culture and how to help churches cope with these changes. Various topics and speakers are being lined up to provide insight and thoughts about trends and the future of the church.
What is the Future of the Church: A Day With Brian McLaren:
Calvin Presbyterian Church in Zelienople, PA is hosting conversations on where Christianity is headed. McLaren has been on the forefront of forging creative congregations. Engage in Q &A session about how churches can adapt to a changing world and reach out to those that may have walked away. This event is on Friday, October 25 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:30 pm. Full details click here.
Can you host a Presbytery meeting in 2020?
The Presbytery is looking for ten congregations to host meetings in 2020. Please consider have the Presbytery at your church for either a Presbytery Stated Meeting or a Coordinating Committee meeting. If it’s been a while since we’ve been to your place, please consider joining the 2020 rotation. Contact Greg Gillispie at 814-657-4782 or [email protected] to ask questions or to extend an invitation. The proposed dates for the Coordinating Committee Meetings on Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. are: January 28, March 31, May 26,
August 25, and October 27. The schedule for the Stated Meetings of the full Presbytery are:
February 22 , Saturday 10:00 a.m.
April 25, Saturday 10:00 a.m.
June 30, Tuesday, 3:00 p.m.
September 22, Tuesday, 3:00 p.m.
November 21, Saturday 10:00 a.m.
Mission Conversations: A group of elders and pastors plan to meet five times this coming year to engage intentionally in missional discussions about how discussions about how God is actively at work in our community. For example, how is your Session strategically engaging the neighbors around your church? What are the implications of missional thought for the theology of the congregation you serve? In recent months have you and others had talks about the connection between church and the needs of the community? The first of these conversations will be on Thursday, October 3 at the Corry Presbyterian Church from 9:15 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. Interested? Further questions? Contact Melinda Wingenbach at [email protected] in the Presbytery office.
Seven congregations in Erie County participated in Erie Gives Day on Tuesday, August 13. Combined the churches raised more than $318,000 for the various missions and ministries they support. During Erie Gives Day, The Erie Community Foundation, provides a partial match of the funds raised which provides more dollars to support building the Kingdom of God. It was a significant day of work for the stewardship teams in those congregations. Special thanks to the leadership of the Session in those churches. Great job!
The Presbytery of Lake Erie will be sending 18 youth to the 2019 event on July 16-20, 2019 at Purdue University. The theme for the 2019 event is “Here’s My Heart.” Please pray for our youth as they embark on this journey of faith. May this help grow a younger generation of active Presbyterians and shape the leadership gifts and deepen the discipleship awareness for a generation who are already achieving a strong presence within the church and this world!
Women’s Self Defense Class: On Saturday, July 27 from 9:00 a.m. until 12 noon, the Mercyhurst University Police Academy will be teaching a free women’s self-defense course at Elmwood Presbyterian Church, 2816 Elmwood Avenue, Erie. Topics will include situational awareness, defense with weapons other than firearms, and general self-defense tactics. This class is taught in a comfortable, low stress environment and the only requirement is an interest in learning how to be safer in an uncertain world. To register, or if you have questions, email Dr. Art Amann, senior instructor, at [email protected].
Please help the Presbytery of Lake Erie welcome and engage with our friends and partners from our sister Presbyter, the Upper Northern Presbytery (UNP) of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. Returning for their second visit is Rev. Ken Djotepe, Rev. Vincent Dagadu and Tony Atsu. They will be in Presbytery of Lake Erie from June 20th- July 2nd. There are still opportunities for you and your church to host our guests. Please see the schedule below and consider how you may be able to help provide hospitality and opportunities for our Ghana Mission Team. There will also be numerous others from Ghana and across the United States who will be in Erie for the Ghana Mission Network meeting Thursday, June 27-June 30 at the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant. Pray with all those who travel that the power of God will be with them. If you can offer your assistance, please contact Donna Cammarata with ideas for planning, offers for hosting, and interest in joining. Contact Donna at 814-873-4860 or email her at [email protected]
You Are Invited! Spiritual Disciplines Retreat
The Committee on Preparation for Ministry is hosting a one-day Spiritual Disciplines Retreat/Workshop on Tuesday, June 4, 2019 from 9:45 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Harmonsburg Presbyterian Church. There will be a Life-Line Review, Journaling, Ignatian Praying the Scriptures, Lectio Divina, Walking Prayers, Jesus Prayer, Examen, Guided Imagery and Quiet Time. Bring your Bible, a notebook & pen/pencil, sack lunch, snack to share. Advanced work will be required for those taking this as a Commissioned Pastor Requirement (Reading of “Soul Feast.”) Registration is required by Tuesday, May 28 by contacting Melinda Wingenbach at [email protected] To learn more contact [email protected]
A Call for Volunteers for the Faith Build: Habitat for Humanity
2019 is the 10th Anniversary of the Habitat for Humanity ‘faith’ builds” in the Erie region. Over the last ten years church volunteers have built nine new houses and renovated two others; now homes for families in our area. This summer’s “The House that Courage Built” build begins in June. The ‘Courage’ house will be a rehab, taking an existing home and adding another bedroom and bathroom to accommodate the family. Construction begins on Tuesday, June 4 and concludes on Saturday, June 22. We will work Tuesday through Saturday. During week 1 volunteers will work a full day (7:30 – 4:30). During weeks 2 and 3, volunteers will work just a half-day (7:30 – noon), with the exception of both Saturdays, which are full work days. If your church – whether as a group or just as one or two individuals – would like to participate, please contact Nancy Milkowski at the Habitat office at 454-7025.
Graduates among our Pastor’s Families: Within the families of the pastors of the Presbytery of Lake Erie, there are several graduations:
-Ben Gillispie, son of Rev. Greg (Edinboro Church) and Marcia Gillispie, graduated this spring from Venango Catholic High School. He plans to pursue further education at Cleveland State University in the fall.
-Emma Weichman, daughter of Rev. Chris (First Covenant, Erie) and Karen Weichman, graduated this spring from Fairview High School. She plans to attend Grove City College in the fall.
– Abigail Rose Kaye, daughter of Commissioned Pastor Tina (Utica) and Trevor Kaye, has graduated from Saegertown High School. Her future plans are to pursue a degree in nursing.
– Emma Haas, daughter of Rev. Jim (Honorably Retired) and Karen Haas, graduated from Ohio State University with a Doctorate of Occupational Therapy. She is in the process of applying for a position at various hospitals in Ohio and Pennsylvania.
Congratulations to these graduates!
Special Speaker for the Presbytery Meeting September 21: Embracing Change
We have to improvise all the time in our lives and church life is no exception. We can choose to approach these events with a curious heart and an agile spirit and work through these challenges. Be sure to attend the Presbytery Meeting on Saturday, September 21 in Warren as pastor and speaker MaryAnn McKibben Dana helps us to become more awake, creative, and resilient when things don’t go as planned. The Rev. MaryAnn McKibben Dana is a writer, free-range pastor, speaker, improviser, and professional coach living in the Washington D.C. area. Like many authors, MaryAnn writes the books that she herself longs to read. So as a recovering perfectionist who likes her backup plans to have backup plans, she penned “God, Improv, and the Art of Living” about embracing improvisation as a spiritual and life practice.
Future Church Symposium with Dr. Leonard Sweet: Pastor Jordan Rimmer and Northminster Presbyterian Church are excited to announce the first ever Future Church Symposium. Spend a day with author, teacher, and futurist Leonard Sweet and consider where the culture is going and what the church of the future needs to look like. This takes place Saturday, April 27 from 9:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. at 2434 Wilmington Rd. New Castle, PA 16105. Cost is $35 and lunch is included. Westminster College has agreed to sponsor $10 of every participant who signs up from the Synod of the Trinity! Just type in the promo code ilovewestminster (one word, no spaces, all lowercase) and get the event with lunch for only $25. Click Here to register
Presbyterian Youth Triennium: Get ready for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium, a gathering held every three years for high school age students in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Youth from all churches (across the sponsoring denominations) come together for this life changing, life giving, and faith growing gathering! Five days that helps grow a younger generation of active Presbyterians. Five days that shape the leadership gifts and deepen the discipleship awareness for a generation who are already achieving a strong presence in this church and this world! The 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium is July 16 – 20 at Purdue University. Find out more at www.presbyterianyouthtriennium.org or contact your local registrar Britney Knight at 814-456-4243 x 112 or [email protected]
Camp Lambec Summer 2019: Registration is available for the Summer 2019 camping season. Camps range from Music, Mission, Wet and Wild, and Family. There is something for everyone. Click here to visit their website and register for camp, see what they have to offer, and so much more.
2019 Lenten Bible Study: Join the Rev. Stephen Morse at Eastminster Presbyterian Church, 2320 East Lake Road, for “Our Spiritual Ancestors” on Wednesdays during Lent. All are welcome. Classes begin at 7:00 p.m. There is no charge. Please call 814-455-7819 to RSVP. Dates: (Wednesdays) 3/13, 3/20, 3/27, 4/3, 4/10, and 4/17.
Pastor’s Retreat 2019: The last week of February provided a wonderfully rich experience for the pastors and commissioned pastors of the Presbytery of Lake Erie. Linking with pastors from Western New York Presbytery, 40 Christian leaders shared three days together thinking through “The Myth of Powerlessness” guided by the leadership of David LaMotte. David, a well-known musician and author, addressed the challenge of a ‘hero culture’ and asked the group to explore what it looks like theologically to embrace a ‘movement culture.’ Thanks to Lake Erie Presbytery Sessions for encouraging your pastor to participate! And thanks to the Presbytery for financially supporting this training event for pastors. Plans are underway for a continuing education retreat for pastors in February 2020. Watch for more details in the coming months!
Future Church Symposium with Dr. Leonard Sweet: Pastor Jordan Rimmer and Northminster Presbyterian Church are excited to announce the first ever Future Church Symposium. Spend a day with author, teacher, and futurist Leonard Sweet and consider where the culture is going and what the church of the future needs to look like. This takes place Saturday, April 27 from 9 am-4 pm at 2434 Wilmington Rd. New Castle, PA 16105. Cost is $35 and lunch is included. Westminster College has agreed to sponsor $10 of every participant who signs up from the Synod of the Trinity! Just type in the promo code ilovewestminster (one word, no spaces, all lowercase) and get the event with lunch for only $25. Click Here to register.
ChosenIMA Needs Volunteers: Chosen International Medical Assistance (ChosenIMA) is currently in need of friendly, charismatic individuals who would be willing to man our front office space during daily business hours. Volunteers would greet visitors, direct them when dropping off items, assist with the distribution of home health care objects, and answer the phone. ChosenIMA is open Monday – Thursday from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.. Whether you would like to volunteer on a weekly or monthly schedule for a 4 or 8 hour shift, or on an as-needed basis, we need you. Call Kristen at 814-833-3023 or email her at [email protected] for more information.”
Pub Theology Event – Date Change: Elmwood is hosting a “Pub Theology” event at Coach’s Sports Bar & Grille,W. 38th & Elmwood Ave., on Monday, February 25 at 7:00 p.m. This is a “no holds barred” evening of informal conversation about faith and religion–any question is permissible, all doubters are welcome! This is a “Judgment-Free Zone.” Share a draught, a slice of pizza, and a question or topic of discussion that you thought were previously off-limits in “church circles”! All will be heard and all will be respected!
2019 Clergy Retreat:The Retreat for Clergy and Commissioned Ruling Elders of the Presbyteries of Western New York & Lake Erie will be held February 25 – 27 from noon to noon in Dunkirk, New York. They will focus on The Myth of Powerlessness: Courage for Faithful Action in the Face of Uncertainty featuring, David LaMotte an award-winning songwriter and author. Please RSVP to the Presbytery of Lake Erie office by February 11.
Warren Church Helps Furloughed Friends: The First Presbyterian Church in Warren hosted a “Furloughed Friends Friday” dinner on January 25. The church wanted to give support to the government employees that were not receiving a paycheck at that time. The dinner was potluck style, where those that were able provided a dish or even a bag of chips to share. One door prize ticket was given to each family for a chance of winning one of the donated gift items. Our sincere thanks and appreciation are extended to those who helped with and donated to the Furloughed Friends dinner. Thanks to those who gave of their time, talents, and energies. Thanks to those who donated food and non-perishable items, money, and gift cards. It was a well received event, appreciated by our community and those who attended. Erie News Now featured this event, follow this link:
Ecumenical Unity Service: Inter-Church Ministries of Erie County is sponsoring its annual Ecumenical Unity Service on January 27. Each year, the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity is celebrated in cities and towns across the nation and around the world. This year’s local celebration will be held on Sunday, January 27, 2019 at 2:30 p.m. at St. James AME Church, 236 E. 11th Street, Erie, PA. For more information, please call Inter-Church Ministries at 814-454-2411.
Music Director Position Available: First Presbyterian Church of Warren is looking for a dynamic, creative leader or leaders for their Music Ministry. They have a Sanctuary Choir and a Scotland Handbell Choir that require music selection, rehearsal and worship service direction as well as accompaniment. Available is a grand piano and a 1956 Casavant Pipe Organ. For additional information, please contact Lynn Sears, Personnel Chair at 814-730-9479 or [email protected]. A résumé may be sent to the above email address or to First Presbyterian Church 300 Market St. Warren, PA 16365 Attn: Lynn Sears
It’s time for Annual Reports: The GA online statistical program located at http://oga.pcusa.org/stats has officially opened for the season. Clerks will use the same “user name” and “password” as they have used the past few years. The deadline for entering your statistical information is February 14, 2019. If you have forgotten your user name and password, please call or email the Presbytery office.
Presbyterian Youth Triennium: Get ready for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium-a gathering held every three years for high school age students in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Youth from all churches (across the sponsoring denominations) come together for this life changing, life giving, and faith growing gathering! Five days that helps grow a younger generation of active Presbyterians. Five days that shape the leadership gifts and deepen the discipleship awareness for a generation who are already achieving a strong presence in this church and this world! Find out more at www.presbyterianyouthtriennium.org or contact your local registrar Britney Knight at 814-456-4243 x 112 or [email protected]
Elder Training Scheduled for January 2019: Has God called you to serve as an elder in your church for the very first time? Or are you a currently serving elder but would like to ‘brush up’ on what it means to be a spiritual leader in your congregation? If so, you are invited to a morning of elder training. This training might be especially helpful in congregations where there are only 1 or 2 new elders in any given year. This will allow you to:
- Look at some of the Biblical responsibilities
- Explore Book of Order expectations
- Come to know some neighboring elders who are engaging in leadership in their congregations and
- Have the opportunity to ask questions and ponder this calling in your life.
Two identical training events will be held on Saturday, January 5 at 9:30 a.m. Presbytery-wide elder training at the Church of the Cross, in Fairview and on Saturday, January 12 at 9:30 a.m. Presbytery wide elder training, at the First Presbyterian Church in Warren. All are welcome including new elders and those with experience. Contact PLE Administrative Assistant Melinda Wingenbach at [email protected] if you are planning to attend.
Presbyterian Youth Triennium 2019: Get ready for the 2019 Presbyterian Youth Triennium. This gathering is held every three years for high school age students in the Presbyterian Church (USA) and Cumberland Presbyterian Church. Youth from all churches (across the sponsoring denominations) come together for this life changing, life giving, and faith growing gathering! Five days that helps grow a younger generation of active Presbyterians. Five days that shape the leadership gifts and deepen the discipleship awareness for a generation who are already achieving a strong presence in this church and this world! Find out more at www.presbyterianyouthtriennium.org or contact your local registrar Britney Knight at 814-456-4243 x 112 or [email protected]
Church of the Cross featured on Synod website: Starting in November, Fairview’s Church of the Cross started a collection competition for men’s and women’s socks and underwear. All donations were collected and distributed to the guests staying at Our Neighbors Place Shelter at the First Church of the Covenant in Erie. The shelter was open every night from November 21 to December 4. This special effort is featured on the Synod’s website, just click this link: http://www.syntrinity.org/featured/church-of-the-cross-helps-homeless-gather-undergarments-one-leg-at-a-time/
6th Annual Everyone Wins Used Toy Sale: The Utica Presbyterian Church is hosting its “6th Annual Everyone Wins Used Toy Sale” on Saturday, December 1 at the Galloway United Methodist Church in Franklin. The regular sale begins at 9:00 a.m. and continues until 12:00 p.m. At 12 noon everything is half price until 1:00 p.m. The doors close at 1:00 p.m. for lunch and re-open at 2:00 p.m. Then, all toys will be FREE! These toys are free to anyone, without filling out an application or meeting income requirements. At 3:00 p.m., the doors will be closed and any remaining toys will be donated to local charities. TOY DONATIONS NEEDED!!! Any new or gently used toys, sports equipment, books, games, and puzzles, will be gratefully accepted at the Galloway church on Thursday, November 29 from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on Friday, November 30 from 12 noon to 8:00 p.m. VOLUNTEERS ARE NEEDED!!! Volunteers are needed during donation hours to sort and price toys. We will be there Friday evening until all the toys have been prepared for sale. Any amount of time spent volunteering is greatly appreciated! The proceeds for this toy sale benefit the Venango County Family Services and Children’s Aid Society Shelter for Domestic and Sexual Abuse. If you can help out or have questions, please call Brandy 814.720.9018 or Jeanne 814.428.1737 or Tina 814.720.7590
News from Church of the Cross/ from the Rev. Drew Himes: It has been a busy few months for mission at Church Of The Cross. We completed the Crop Walk, raising an amazing $11,200 for hunger. Shortly after this we held our semi-annual Rummage Sale and collected over $6,000 which was doubled by previous funds and sent to missionaries in the Dominican Republic to help with transportation needs. Not long after this, we collected 75 Thanksgiving meal kits for Erie City Mission. Currently, we are in the midst of a collection competition for men’s and women’s socks and underwear to be given out at Our Neighbors Place Shelter housed at First Church of the Covenant. God is doing amazing work through COTC!
Educator of The Year Keith Sundberg: The Presbytery of Lake Erie and the APCE is pleased to announce the selection of Keith D. Sundberg as the 2019 ENRICH Educator of the Year. Keith will be recognized and his ministry celebrated on Friday, February 8, at the Awards Celebration Dinner during the 2019 Annual Event in Galveston, Texas. Also during the Awards Dinner, APCE will present the SUSTAIN, EMPOWER and CONNECT Awards and recognize Educator Certification recipients. For more information and to register for the APCE, click this link: Galveston 2019. Congratulations Keith and thank you for all that you do for our youth!
Leading a Church through Transformation: Our churches are in an era of decline. Pastors and lay leaders know they have to change, but how do they do this in the face of such stubborn resistance? Leading congregations through transformation feels dangerous because of the anxiety and conflict it evokes. Based on his 25 years of experiences and research on leading declining churches through healthy revitalization and growth, Rev. Dr. Graham Standish will explore ways of identifying a church’s DNA, reducing congregational resistance, cultivating creativity, and promoting congregational acceptance. Rev. Dr. Standish is the author of numerous books on congregational transformation. He is the executive director of Samaritan and runs its Clergy and Congregational Care program. The program is offered on October 24 and 31 and November 7 from 9 am to 11:30 am at Sewickley Presbyterian Church, 414 Grant Street, Sewickley, PA 15143. The cost is $60 and covers all three sessions. To register, please call Beth at 412-741-7430 x 1001.
Erie County CROP Walk: The annual Erie County CROP Hunger Walk is on Sunday, September 23, starting from the Beach 1 Parking Lot at Presque Isle State Park. The CROP Walk raises funds to address the problem of hunger and poverty, both locally and around the world. Last year more than $55,000 was raised. Registration begins as 12:30 p.m. and the Walk kicks-off at 2:00 p.m. Walk materials – posters, sponsor envelopes, yard signs, etc. – can be picked up at Lamb of God Lutheran Church (606 E. 38th Street) or Luther Memorial Church (225 West 10th); please call ahead to make sure the church office will be open. Presbyterian churches have long been leaders in the number of walkers and funds raised and, hopefully, this year will be no exception. If you have any questions, please contact CROP Coordinator Jim Haas at 833-2053.
Please join us in welcoming Josh Heikkila to the Presbytery of Lake Erie September 16 and 17, 2018. Josh is the West Africa Regional Liaison of the PCUSA World Mission. He is the Mission Co-worker in Ghana and also reaches out to Niger, Togo, Liberia and Nigeria. Josh has been a tremendous partner in helping to establish, maintain and encourage the Presbytery of Lake Erie’s Partnership with the Upper Northern Presbytery of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church, Ghana. He again is reaching out to visit us in person, to share news from Ghana and the mission work of the global Church, and his new Wheels!
Our Presbytery, congregations and individuals have contributed to Josh’s support and to the Ghana Partnership. You are invited to hear how and where your support is making an impact. You’ll also get an update on our friend Ruth Brown, the new Mission Co-worker living in Saboba near the Wapuli Health Clinic.
There are Several Opportunities to Meet Josh.
He will be preaching at the First Presbyterian Church of North East,on, September 16 at 10:30 am. On Monday, September 17, there is a lunch gathering at Meadville First Presbyterian Church from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Also on Monday, September 17 there is a dinner gathering at the First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant from 5:30 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
Please consider attending even if you can’t be there for the whole time. Meals are provided. Contact Donna Cammarata at 814-873-4860 or [email protected] to RSVP which helps for preparing, but last minute guests are welcome too. Also contact Donna if you would like to arrange another meeting time with Josh.Help grow and strengthen our Ghana Partnership in the Presbytery of Lake Erie by representing your congregation and sharing with them the stories and messages from Josh, our brother in Christ.
Erie County CROP Walk: The annual Erie County CROP Walk begins at 2:00 p.m on Sunday, September 23, at the Beach 1 parking lot. The CROP Walk raises funds to address the problems of hunger and poverty, both locally and around the world. Last year more than $55,000 was raised. Registration begins as 12:30 p.m. and the walk kicks-off at 2:00 p.m. Walk materials – posters, sponsor envelopes, yard signs, etc. – can be picked up at Lamb of God Lutheran Church (606 E. 38th Street) or Luther Memorial Church (225 West 10th); please call ahead to make sure the church office will be open.Presbyterian churches have long been leaders in number of walkers and funds raised and, hopefully, this year will be no exception. If you have any questions, please contact CROP Coordinator, Jim Haas at 833-2053.
Thank You Donors: August 14 was a red letter day for Presbyterian Churches in Erie County. Seven Presbyterian Churches participated in Erie Gives Day and nearly $225,000 was generated for ministry through gifts to these seven congregations. In addition to the money given, there will be a ‘match’ of money which will likely generate another $12,000 or $14,000 combined to the participating churches. A total of 36 congregations were among the 381 non-profits who participated in Erie Gives Day on August 14, 2018. By ‘Amount Given’ to churches the Presbyterian congregations were 1st, 4th, 5th, 6th, 13th, 23rd and 26th in gifts given. On the list of ‘By Number of Donors’ the Girard Church was second among the 36 churches with a total of 114 donors. Presbyterians, and many others, stepped forward to make a difference in the life of the Girard Church! And Wayside Church was third in total number of donors to churches. The Kingdom of God has been built through your gifts! Thank you!
Summer wouldn’t be summer without providing our children with the opportunity to experience Vacation Bible School. The Garland Presbyterian Church is a small congregation with about twenty families. But this small church has a big heart! Vacation Bible School at Garland was celebrated July 28-29. This year the theme was Jungle Safari 4 (God is Savior). Eleven children participated in this VBS program that was held over a weekend and included a picnic luncheon in the pavilion at the close of our Sunday program. All was a big success.
Music week at Camp Lambec ended with a wonderful concert on July 13! The second week of July ended with an outstanding musical concert at Camp Lambec! This was a wonderful event for those in attendance. Nearly 100 musicians, grades 3 to 12, played their instruments and used their voices to the glory of God in the Friday evening concert. Pray with the youth of our churches as they learn to love Jesus![soliloquy id=”5371″]
Camp Lambec Water Project Gifts are Flowing in and Showing the Giving Nature of Our Churches: In the summer of 2016 the Camp Board began working with the Department of Environmental Protection to reconfigure the piping from the pond (the permitted water source). This project is estimated to cost $100,000. Your presbytery wants to partner with your congregation to help, as well as double your money. Any money that is given by Lake Erie Presbytery churches now through August 31st will be matched up to $5,000. Mark the gift as ‘Lambec water project’ and send to the presbytery office. As of today the Presbytery has received $8,121.50 from churches and individuals. A check for $13,121.50 is already being sent. Of course the more money received the better it will be! Your gifts make a difference!
Seed Money Projects: The Harmonsburg Church used their seed money to host a workshop for the community. They did a “Make-It-Take It” soap and lip balm workshop. Sounds like a fun way to spend time with others and get to know new people. On June 29, the Waterford Church used their seed money to put on a free Outdoor Community Movie Night! Popcorn and water were provided and a group gathered on the church lawn to watch the movie “Sing!” The Rocky Grove Presbyterian Church used their “seed money” of $214 to host a fun day in October 2016 for area children called “Kid’s Treasurefest.” Fun was had bobbing for apples, painting and decorating pumpkins and “gobbling” up hot dogs, chips, cookies and Kool-Aid. Each child was given a bag full of goodies, including a 30-day devotional booklet, a teddy bear and invitation to join us in worship. Another event in June 2018, called the “End-of-School Event,” included contests of watermelon eating, “whipped cream” pie eating and digging for treasure (coins) in the sand. Lunch was again served and a bag of school supplies was given to each child.*If your church has not been featured please share your story with the Presbytery office. We love hearing about the great things the churches have been doing with their “Seed Money.”
Big Project Underway: Endeavor Presbyterian Church in Forest County has broken ground on a big project that includes an all access restroom for those with disabilities. Pastor Roger Snyder reports this long awaited project is underway. “We have installed the holding tank, including running electric to the warning/empty tank signal. We have also run the lines and electric from the well to the church! God is good, excuse me, I mean great! I have claustrophobia, but God was right next to me in the old, dirty, spider webby crawlspace that we have been running the plumbing through! I actually experienced “Though I work through the darkness of the valley of the crawlspace, I feared no evil… for God was with me!!!” Endeavor Presbyterian is one of the smaller churches in this presbytery – but they have a big heart for their community. There will be more to come on this project.
When asked about Rev. Morse reaching his 50th anniversary of serving God and his people, PLE Head Presbyter Dr. David Oyler said “Pastor Steve Morse has a passion for the Gospel and a love of the church! He has lived nearly half of his 50 years of ordained ministry in Erie County. Called to serve the Westminster Presbyterian Church, he began his ministry there on September 1, 1993. In those intervening years he has served at Westminster, First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant, Westfield, NY, and Eastminster Churches. In every situation I have found Steve to be a wise churchman in the very best sense of the word. He has the heart of a pastor, and is empathetic to those who are in need. He seeks to proclaim the Good News of the Gospel in his sermons and his actions. He deeply understands the covenantal connections of being bound together with other believers. Unceasingly Steve will extend his wisdom in the church he is currently serving and also with brothers and sisters in neighboring congregations. He has served in this presbytery with great energy, intelligence, imagination and love.”
Ruth Brown, mission co-worker of the PCUSA, visited the Presbytery of Lake Erie June 1-4. Ruth will be deployed to northern Ghana in the summer of 2018 to work with Community Health Evangelism. She visited with a number of church leaders across our presbytery, including this evening camp fire meeting at Garland, where she told of God’s work and where God is leading her into the future.
The members of the Hasson Heights Church in Oil City decided an auction would be a great way to help support the presbytery wide mission trip and to have a fun time.
The great auction at Hasson Heights Church, in Oil City was held on April 29! Following worship members, neighbors and friends gathered for a meal and then the auction got underway. There was spirited bidding, thanks to the leadership of the auctioneer and assistant. Hundreds of dollars were raised for the presbytery mission trip to Fayetteville, North Carolina in June. A great time was had by all!
Garden of Edin Tour:The First Presbyterian Church of Edinboro’s “Garden of Edin” is currently featured on the Synod website in celebration of the fourth season of providing for the community. This project continues to be very successful. Click on the link below for a feature story about how the garden started as an idea and is now supported by the whole community:
Seed Money Update:Lake City Presbyterian Church used their $214 to make some much needed upgrades to the church community recycling trailer. They are helping to save the environment one plastic bottle at a time. At New Hope Presbyterian Church, $214in “Seed Money” is helping to let their garden grow. They purchased garden boxes for their community garden.
Wheels for Joshua & Update on Ghana Partnership: The amazing members of the Presbytery have donated $6469.97 and an additional $3,740.00 from outside the Presbytery. This means that $23,949.97 has been raised for Josh Heikkila to purchase a vehicle to continue his mission in Ghana. Here’s another story about our developing partnership with our sisters and brothers in Ghana, click on Faith & Friendship. In addition, here is a great video about Ghana produced by Brian Miller of Harborcreek and now a resident of New York City about our most recent trip to Ghana, click on Ghana Mission
Habitat Summer Build: The Greater Erie Area Habitat for Humanity ‘faith build’ this summer will be the House of Renewal. The build will take place from June 5-23. Things will be a little bit different this year as this is a rehab project and we will work only half-days during the week (Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday) and either half- or full-days on each Saturday of the build. If you know of individuals or groups within your church that are interested, please pass the word along. To reserve work slots please contact the Habitat Office at 814-454-7025 as soon as possible, about half the slots are already filled.
Welcome To The Memory Cafe: Wayside Presbyterian Church is offering what amounts to a very special time of fellowship on the first and third Tuesdays of the month. They have opened “The Memory Cafe.” This special fellowship time is for those with Alzheimer’s, related dementias and their care givers. The Memory Cafe is an opportunity for those with memory loss and their care givers to get together with others who are experiencing the same issues and concerns, and serves a support group. The Presbyterian Outlook has profiled this program at Wayside, to read the complete article clink on this link: Welcome To The Memory Cafe
Montreat Youth Conferences: The Presbytery of Lake Erie is taking groups to the Montreat Youth (high school youth currently in grades 8-12) Conference July 7-14 held at the Montreat Conference Center in Montreat, NC and the Montreat Middle School (youth currently in grades 5 -8) Conference July 17-22 held at Maryville College in Maryville, TN. For more information, including cost, please contact Katherine Randall at [email protected] or 814-558-4453. Even if you have just one youth, we’d love for them to join us! For more information; http://www.montreat.org/attend/youth-young-adults/ and https://www.youtube.com/montreatdotorg.
Seed Money Put To Good Use in Fairview and Oil City: The Church of The Cross in Fairview has used their $214 in “Seed Money”to invite and welcome new comers to their church. They purchased a banner to create a warm and welcoming invite to those within the community. They also purchased gift card and bread loaf ingredients to give to those who ventured into see what they had to offer. In Oil City, Second Presbyterian has used their “Seed Money” of $214 to sponsor a child from Haiti. They reached across the world to help make a difference in a child’s life.
Great News On Sacrificial Giving For 2017: You are wonderfully faithful givers! You give of your time! You give of your compassion! You serve the cause of Christ in your community! And you also give to global witness through the Presbyterian Church. Some love statistics. And some of you don’t love statistics. Statistics do not tell the entire ‘story’ – but they do paint part of the picture. There is much to celebrate in your faithful ministry to the global church. Below you will see some of the story of your giving in 2017:
Number of churches contributing Amount given
One Great Hour of Sharing 43 $29,086
Pentecost 15 $ 2,701
Peace and Global Witness 12 $ 1,145
Christmas Joy 23 $ 9,661
Hunger 1 $ 2,272
Theological Education Fund 7 $ 2,050
Special Offerings 6 $ 2,273
Special offerings include additional gifts for hurricane relief, etc. Great job! In addition to your faithful support in your local congregation, you provided nearly $50,000 ‘off budget!’
Annual Statistics Report
Thank you to all of you who have spent time this winter compiling statistics for this annual report. Thank you to treasurers, church secretaries, Clerks of Session, pastors and others! Your work helps to paint a larger picture of God’s faithful work in each congregation. Of course, numbers do not tell the entire story but they are one indication of faithful witness and work in our communities. Thank you! Here are the highlights:
- A total of 14 churches had a net gain in membership.
- The Linesville Church had the largest net gain in membership – increasing from 49 to 57 members – for a net gain of 8.
- The Endeavor Church had the largest percentage increase in membership – 80%! An increase from 5 to 9 members.
- There were 66 infant baptisms and 5 adult baptisms celebrated in the Presbytery of Lake Erie in 2017.
- Six of the 58 congregations average more than 100 in worship on a typical Sunday.
- Giving from all sources was just about identical to 2016.
The relationships you build and the discipleship you encourage helps to build the Kingdom of God. May God be praised!
Plan Now for the June Work Mission Trip: Volunteers are needed for this year’s Presbytery of Lake Erie Work Mission Trip. The destination is Fayetteville, North Carolina from Sunday, June 17 through Saturday, June 23, 2018. to aid with hurricane recovery efforts. Congregations throughout the Presbytery are asked to prayerfully consider how they can support this effort. Click here for more info, June 2018 Presbytery of Lake Erie Work Mission Trip
Seed Money at Work in North Shenango and Girard: North Shenango Presbyterian Church used their $214 to start a Whiffle Ball League. What a great way to engage your community to get together and have some fun. Girard Presbyterian Church used the “Seed Money” of $214 to bring the community together for a Trunk- or-Treat Fun Fest. Families were invited to a fun and safe place to enjoy fun, food, and fellowship.
One Great Hour of Sharing: The season of giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) is rapidly approaching. As your church considers faithful giving to this special offering in the Easter season it may be helpful to learn about how your neighboring churches participate in this offering. In Lake Erie Presbytery:
- 43 out of 58 congregations received this offering in 2017 (an increase from 41 churches in 2016).
- Lake Erie Presbytery gave slightly above the national average per member OGHS. The denominational average was $3.76. Lake Erie Presbytery, on average, gave $3.80 per member.
- The Mill Village Church gave the highest amount per member; Tidioute was second; Kane third.
- A total of 8 congregations – Fairview, Harmonsburg, Kane, Mill Village, Port Allegany, Ripley, Tidioute and Tionesta – all gave more than $10 per member.
As your church prepares to receive the One Great Hour of Sharing Offering you are encouraged to use the materials provided by the denomination and be creative! Your gifts make a difference!
The Warm it Forward Project: First Presbyterian Church of Bradford has initiated a multi-generational, community-wide project, called “Warm It Forward.” This project provides hats, gloves, mittens, coats, scarves, and blankets to our neighbors. We appreciate the partnership of other groups, as we work to broaden this effort across our community and raise awareness of homelessness and poverty. Articles of warmth are placed on a clothesline on our church lawn during the coldest months and anyone in need can pick-up what they need.
What “Seed Money is Doing in the Presbytery: The First Presbyterian Church of Mill Village has used their $214 to purchase supplies for their youth group. They have 20 kids participating in youth group this year. In Erie, Eastminster Presbyterian Church used its “Seed Money” of $214 to purchase vegetable seeds for the community garden hosted by the church. The garden is being worked by Bhutanese refugees who live in the nearby John E. Horan Garden Apartments, which is owned and managed by the Housing Authority of the City of Erie.
Maintenance Person Wanted: The Board of Directors of the Camping Association of the Presbyteries of Northwestern Pennsylvania (CAPNWP) is seeking to hire a maintenance person for Camp Lambec in North Springfield, PA. Must have skills to do plumbing repairs, electrical, building repairs, maintenance on equipment, mow grass and weed-whack, operate water treatment system and follow all DEP and/or Health Department laws and regulations regarding the use and testing of Camp Lambec’s drinking water. The position runs March through October. Interested persons should call CAPNWP Board Member Bob Meanor at (724) 375-5926 between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 p.m.
Save The Date: Spring Gathering of the Presbyterian Women of Lake Erie This Gathering is on Saturday April 28, 2018. The theme this spring is “Arise, Shine, Your Light Has Come!” The keynote speaker is the internationally acclaimed storyteller- Tracy Radosevic! The Gathering will be at Wayside Presbyterian Church. Please mark your calendars now to SAVE THE DATE! Tracy is a dynamic, energetic, internationally acclaimed storyteller, educator,and retreat facilitator. Since 1991 she has traveled all over the United States, as well as to several foreign countries, bringing her special brand of humor,insight, and faith to audiences of all ages through the power of narrative. She will be performing many biblical stories for us, all centering on our theme”Arise, Shine, Your Light has Come.” If you have any questions contact Moderator Karen Haas at 814-833-2053.
Wilderness Canoe Trip/Study Leave: Greetings! Howard Gaston, former pastor at Oil City, Second Church, is again leading a wilderness canoe trip/study leave experience in late September 2018. Over the years several pastors from Lake Erie have participated in this week long venture in Christian community. Check out the details. Consider participating. If you would like to know more you could contact Howard Gaston or speak to Jamie Fowler who has participated in this trip several times.Click on this link to learn more about this opportunity Pastor’s Canoe Trip
Most of us are going to remember the winter of 2017-2018 for many years to come. Head Presbyter – Dr. David Oyler – has written to the Synod about our record snowfall in December and other delightful facts about Erie this winter. Really its not as bad as the national media would have us all believe. As Dr. Olyler explains we are more than capable of maneuvering around with 56 inches of snow on the ground. Click this link for the complete story http://www.syntrinity.org/featured/churches-persevere-despite-massive-snow-in-erie-pa/
Wheels for Joshua, PCUSA Ghana Mission Co-Worker: Lake Erie Presbytery is taking the lead in raising funds to provide a durable and reliable vehicle for Josh Heikkila. Josh travels extensively in Ghana and to neighboring countries of Niger, Togo and Nigeria in his work and ministries. The Presbytery is committing an initial $5,000 and will match funds contributed within the Lake Erie Presbytery (up to $5,000). Funds will be matched between now and March 31, 2018. Josh continues to be a vital partner in the Lake Erie Ghana Partnership. Will you go the extra mile to help Josh go the extra miles? Please consider contributing and/or creatively raising funds for this mission. Contributions may be sent to: The Presbytery of Lake Erie, 2816 Elmwood Ave, Erie, PA 16508 – mark for VEHICLE for Josh Heikkila. Or go to the Donate Button on the home page of this website to make a contribution online.
‘Unglued Church Project’ Begins in January! Your Committee on Ministry is inviting your congregation to participate in a strategic conversation. It is called ‘Unglued Church Project’. It is particularly designed for congregations who find themselves saying ‘My, things are not as they once were.’ (That probably includes every single congregation.) It will involve focused conversation, uniquely designed individually for each participating church. It is not designed to sell a predetermined conclusion. The startup for Unglued Church is Saturday, January 20. Want to know more? Check with your pastor or Clerk of Session as they have more information about this splendid opportunity to engage the future.
Communion Ware Wanted for Mission Work in Columbia:Does your church have any old communion ware (for bread and cups) and any robes and stoles for the pastors’ just collecting dust in closet? Fairview Church of the Cross is looking to help a mission group going to Colombia to assist the Presbyterian Church. They have recently asked for these items that could be most helpful in their circumstances. They are unable to afford such items, therefore any help is greatly appreciated. If you can help call the Fairview church of the Cross church office at 814-835-3663.
Seed Money At Work in Adamsville and Belle Valley: The Seed Money given by the Presbytery in the amount of $214 was used by the Adamsville Church to enhance their worship services. They took the money and purchased new computers. They are now able to use this screen during worship and offer more exploration and discovery, new resources and discussions of faith. At the Belle Valley Presbyterian Church, they used their $214 to spread the word. Each member was given a $5 gift card to take someone out for coffee. They took this time to have a meaningful conversation and to share one’s faith.
On Sunday, November 19, 2017 four young people completed Confirmation class and joined the First Presbyterian Church of Waterford. The four confirmands helped lead worship. Our new confirmands are pictured on the right. Congratulations!
One of the key partners in the initial stages of the Lake Erie/Upper Northern Presbytery partnership has been the Rev. David Bindati. His tragic and untimely death in late 2016 had an impact on many. However, the partnership continues with his family. Here his widow receives a check from their friends in Lake Erie Presbytery to aid in the raising of her family. Your gifts build bridges!