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March 27, 2015
The Synod of the Trinity * Enews

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Policy Governance Manual passed at Synod's March Assembly meeting

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For two days (March 23-24) in State College, PA, over 50 Synod of the Trinity commissioners and ex-officio members converged to pray, sing, hear challenging sermons and discuss Synod-related items. At the top of the list was the approval of the Policy Governance Manual, which proposes that a Governing Commission be elected to oversee the implementation of the "ends" (purposes/goals) approved by the Synod Assembly. The commissioner role includes governance responsibilities as well as a renewed emphasis on their role as liaisons between presbytery and synod. Key to their work will be "visioning." The Policy Governance Manual was approved by a nearly unanimous vote.

Also at the meeting, the Rev. Barbara Chaapel (above center, Presbytery of Philadelphia) was installed as Moderator and the Rev. Johnnie Monroe (above right, Presbytery of Pittsburgh) was named installed as Vice Moderator in a ceremony led by Stated Clerk Wayne A. Yost. Look for the Rhythm of the Synod recap in the next Synod newsletter.

Officials react to passing of PCUSA Marriage Amendment

On March 17, the Presbytery of Palisades met in Fair Lawn, N.J., and cast a “yes” vote for the Presbyterian Chuseal-2color-300x300rch USA’s proposed 14-F amendment, giving the amendment enough votes to pass. The amendment calls for a change in the wording of the “Book of Order,” redefining marriage from being between “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” The amendment on marriage will take effect June 21.

The amendment opens the door for PCUSA ministers to perform same-sex marriages in states where it is legal, but ministers who do not feel called to do so may refuse to preside over those ceremonies. Sessions are free to make the decision whether or not to host a same-gender wedding in church facilities.

To read the reaction from leaders within the Synod's region, click here.

Students get a taste for hunger through 30-hour famine weekend

These days, people – especially the younger ones – will say “I’m starving” in order to convey that they are hungry. During consecutive weekends in late February and early March, hundreds of youth got a taste of what it’s like to be without food when they pFamine1articipated with their church youth groups in World Vision’s 30-Hour Famine. From after lunch on Friday until their afternoon meal on Saturday, these teenagers did not eat in order to better understand what less-fortunate children their age go through in other parts of the world.

While some churches held their 30-hour famines in their own buildings, over 130 students from 11 Presbyterian churches from the Pittsburgh and Beaver-Butler Presbyteries converged on the Crestfield Camp & Conference Center in Slippery Rock during those two weekends to help raise awareness for hunger. Among the activities the youth did while at Crestfield, which is owned and operated by the Pittsburgh Presbytery, was to go out into the Slippery Rock and Grove City communities and collect food for the local food banks. Some youth also baked cookies and took them out into the Slippery Rock area while others took part in a prayer walk.

To read more about the 30-hour fast, click here.

Pastor Joe Ellis running in Boston Marathon for UOVP mission

One of Pastor Joe Ellis’ favorite readings in the Bible comes from I Corinthians 9:24-27. Those verses talk about training for and competing in a race. Those are also the words Joe is using as a guide as he takesJoe_Ellis_2 to his feet for an event that through his fundraising will ultimately benefit overseas mission work.

On April 20, Joe will compete in the Boston Marathon for the first time, marking just his third career 26.2-mile competitive run. The 58-year-old commissioned ruling elder at Colerain and Scotch Ridge Presbyterian Churches in eastern Ohio is collecting donations up until the day of the race, with the money raised going back to the Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery to support the presbytery’s mission partnership in Malawi, Africa.

To read more about Joe's fundraising efforts, click here.

Upper Ohio Valley, Shenango and Synod offering scholarship opportunities

scholarshipsPresbyteries in the Upper Ohio Valley and Shenango are currently offering scholarships for college students. Certain restrictions do apply, and in both cases the deadline for applications is in May.
The Synod of the Trinity is also seeking to support students (both undergraduate and graduate) who are members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to enable them to participate in “action/reflection” experiences either in this country or abroad.
For more information on all three scholarship opportunities, click here.

Synod office closed for Good Friday
In celebration of the Easter season, the Synod of theastere Trinity office will be closed on Good Friday, April 3. The office will re-open Monday, April 6, at 8:30 a.m.
"Go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
--Matthew 28:19-20


Did you know?
The Presbyterian Historical Society lists 81 Presbyterian/Reformed historic sites registered within the bounds of the Synod. The Presbytery of Carlisle has the most (13). View complete list here.

West Virginia community helps church in need


It’s been no secret how much snow has dropped on the Boston area this winter. In many places, in excess of 100 inches of the white stuff has handcuffed the area, the most that region has seen since records were first kept over 140 years ago. That snow has also caused mass destruction, with many buildings’ roofs collapsing under the weight of the snow.

Much of the area just south of New England was spared from that excessive winter weather, although parts of Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Ohio did get its share of precipitation. In West Virginia, back-to-back eight-inch snowstorms came through the town of Dunbar in February, and while those totals are not out of the ordinary or even extreme for that area, they were enough to cause an estimated $20,000 in damage to First Presbyterian Church.

Read more here.

Scarf Farm growing funds for Romanian women's shelter


Jen Baker traveled to Bucharest two years ago, and what she experienced left a lasting impression on her. So much so that she recently started her own business that she runs out of her dining room, donating every penny she makes to support a worthy cause there.

Jen, a member at Paoli (PA) Presbyterian Church, has opened up The Scarf Farm in her home, making scarves that she sells for $20 apiece. Roughly 75 percent of that money is being forwarded to Romania where a women’s shelter has been set up for survivors of human trafficking. In just two months’ time, Jen has already sent $920 to the Romanian shelter.

To read more about Jen Baker's Scarf Farm, click here.

OGHS offerings put to good use


Some disasters gain a lot of media attention. Some don’t. For instance, one disaster in rural Kenya was a case of chronic drought. The women in a village walked an astounding 11 hours every day to get water. Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and the Presbyterian Church of East Africa worked with a small, local church to complete two projects: a sand dam and a borehole well. Now a region that was barren has small trees, vegetables and fruit. Your gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing help support PDA with funding needed for disaster assistance. Please support PDA and enable them to respond in the name of Christ.

The Synod of the Trinity ... Nurturing Streams from Christ the Rock!
Connecting and Partnering
Learning Together
Living the Good News where we are!
Engaging the Bigger Picture

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