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300th logo 2017
April 20, 2017
The Synod of the Trinity Enews
Being More Together

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Anniversary Grants
Two new Synod grants helping to celebrate our 300th birthday

Have you picked up your birthday present yet?

What? Huh? Did I miss something?300th transparent png

Seriously, PRESBYTERIES: have you picked up your 300th birthday present yet?

In this 300th year of the Synod of the Trinity, founded as the Synod of Philadelphia, we want to say thank you to our colleagues across the region for many years of faithful ministry. One of the key ministries across the region is, and has been, global ministry! In honor of that continuing work, we have invited presbyteries to each claim a $3,000 grant for a specific global ministry, with the opportunity to access greater funding. Deadline is Dec. 1.
In addition, and in response to the GeneraFreedoml Assembly Freedom Rising initiative, we are offering up to six Freedom grants of $5,000 each to congregations, organizations or presbyteries seeking to make a difference for African American males in their communities. Deadline is June 30.
For more on our new Abundance Grant
and Freedom Grant, click here.

Second Annual
Synod's Regional Connection for Partnership and Networking

Mark your calendars for the Synod of the Trinity's regional gatherings that will take
Regional signsace between May 11 and May 19 at four different sites throughout our area.
Everyone is invited!

We gather to bring together the people, presbyteries and congregations of our region in an effort to spark exploration and new ministry around and among us.

Daily schedule is 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Morning Targeted

Conversation Groups

Story Weaving:
Learning to Let Your Part of the Gospel Story Arise
Into the Light:
Joining the Conversation About Addiction
Connecting with the Community:
With Others, For Youth
Holy Advocacy:
A Time for Mutual Understanding
Exploring Resources:
From the Presbyterian Foundation
Cultivating Wonder, Curiosity and Awe

Afternoon Worship
and Conversation

Remembering What Will Come:
Embracing Our Identity as God's People
in an Uncertain Age
For detailed information, including site locations, conversation descriptions and event leadership, click here.
Register button

Revealing Hope

First Church of the Covenant opens doors to Erie students, community

The First Presbyterian Church of the Covenant in Erie, PA, is in a unique situation in that it is located in the middle of the Gannon University campus and is also surrounded by an ever-changing community. It has forced the congregation to look for new outreaches and has breathed new life into its worshipers in the process.


Q What unique ways do you see hope and resurrection in your life?
Q How can your congregation spread hope and resurrection into your community?
This video is the fifth in a series of "Revealing Hope" projects that are being created in honor of the Synod of the Trinity's 300th anniversary. Find this video here.


Columbia crop
Columbia PC's mission trip leaves lasting effect on 'Dream Team'

On the surface, there aren't a lot of similarities between the city of Los Angeles and the small community of Columbia, PA. But one thing the two have in common is homelessness, and the Rev. Dave Powers felt that by having a mission team make the trip west to see how the situation is handled on a large scale would be beneficial to his congregation.
A Synod Mission Travel Grant helped make this trip possible. More on the grant here.

“The purpose of the trip was to show what we do here on a very large scale,” he said. “So, going out to the Dream Center was just to kind of give everybody the very surreal experience of serving in a town like Los Angeles.”

To read more about this experience, click here.

Westminster College
Alaska crop
Students transformed as they 'Experience Alaska'

Last year, Westminster College -- one of six colleges and universities in the Synod of the Trinity region that have Presbyterian affiliations and receive financial support from the Synod -- took a group of students to Alaska for a transformational experience that will have lasting effects. Another trip is planned for next month.

“Spiritual development is a big part of what we do," said Jim Mohr, the college’s chaplain and director of Church Relations. "We spend time in prayer, we spend time doing some journal writing and talking about where they saw God present today. What is God doing in people’s lives? What’s God doing in your life? Every day there’s a conversation about the role that God plays in the process.”
To read more about this unique trip, click here.


Lackawanna still reaching out
to its brothers and sisters

In terms of an organization date, the Presbytery of Lackawanna as it is named is one of the Lackawanna 2newer presbyteries in the Synod of the Trinity. But while it was organized in 1870, the roots of the presbytery obviously date back much further than that.
On June 21, 1870, three presbyteries (Susquehanna, Montrose and Luzerne) were merged to form the Presbytery of Lackawanna.
Over the years, 
the presbytery has been involved in many outreach programs, including the Operation Honduras project. For over 15 years, Operation Honduras has helped fund an annual mission trip to that country by neighbors from northeast Pennsylvania.
In each newsletter we will profile a different presbytery's history as part of the Synod of the Trinity's 300th anniversary celebration. Learn more about the Presbytery of Lackawanna here.

Anniversary shirts available!

IMG_6569Help us celebrate our 300th birthday with one of these classy T-shirts that includes the Synod of the Trinity's anniversary logo emblazoned on the left chest. Show your support for the Presbyterian history of your region through this one-of-a-kind shirt.
Cost of the shirts is $5; a small shipping charge may accompany orders. Contact Mike Givler (717-737-0421, to place your order!


Did you know...?

Not only are the Synod of the Trinity and Presbytery of Philadelphia celebrating their 300th anniversaries in 2017, so is the Board of Pensions, which traces its roots to the Fund for Pious Uses, established by Presbyterians in Philadelphia in 1717.
That year the Synod established a fund to support ministers among people of great “paucity and poverty.”
To find out more about the Board of Pension's history, click here.

Fire damages Philadelphia church

Memorial Presbyterian Church, located in Boothwyn, PA, in the Presbytery of Philadelphia, was damaged by fire on Monday -- the day after Easter.
A report said that flames could be seen shooting out first- and second-floor windows of the building but that the structure was able to be saved.
"Yesterday was a day of resurrection and (now) we're looking forward to the resurrection of Memorial Presbyterian Church," said the Rev. Robert Kaufman in a news report.
That report and a video can be found here.

Pittsburgh Seminary offers Church Planting certificate

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary is offering a graduate certificate for Church Planting and Revitalization. Through four hybrid courses, concurrent fieldwork, a coaching relationship and an integrative final portfolio, students must complete 18 hours of coursework for this certificate. Four-day intensives take place quarterly for 12 months, including completion and presentation of students’ final capstone project.
For more on the Church Planting and Revitalization certificate, click here.

PCUSA launches Abuse Prevention Helpline

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches and individual members can call an Abuse Prevention Helpline to discuss concerns and incidents of abuse, seek criminal background checks and utilize an online Self-Assessment Tool to identify potential gaps in abuse risk management practices within their organization.
For more on the Helpline, click here.

Puerto Rico subject of latest 'Keeping Faith' video

Tony De La Rosa, the interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, traveled recently to Puerto Rico for the PMA's board meetings. The United States territory is facing a large financial crisis, and this part of the "Keeping Faith" video series touches on how Presbyterians are standing in solidarity with Puerto Ricans amid this time of uncertainty.
To view the video, click here.

Presbyterian history DVDs available

How much do you know about the roots of the Presbyterian Church in the United States? Some of the earliest Presbyterians to settle in the U.S. were from Ulster, a community that is 15 miles from Scotland.
A three-DVD video series titled "An Independent People: The Story of Ulster's Presbyterians" is available for viewing through the Synod of the Trinity.
The series looks at the Ulster Presbyterians' history from the early 17th century to the present day, and explores epic journeys of thousands of families throughout the centuries.
Selections of the video were shown at the Synod Assembly Meeting in October and tie in with the Synod's 300th anniversary celebration.
If you are interested in borrowing the DVD series, contact Mike Givler ( for details.

Board of Pensions holding regional events in Donegal and Lehigh

The Rev. Douglas Portz, the Board of Pensions Regional Church Consultant for the Synod of the Trinity region, will present an overview of recent changes to the Benefits Plan for two days in the Presbytery of Donegal in April and twice in Lehigh Presbytery in May.
On April 25, Doug will be available at the Presbytery of Donegal office for 20-minute appointments from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. He will also provide a workshop at 3 p.m. at Pine Grove Presbyterian Church.
On April 26, Doug will be at Highland Presbyterian Church at 2 p.m. for an overview of the Benefits Plan. More information is available here.
In Lehigh, Doug will be at the Presbyterian Parish of Bangor-Roseto in Bangor, PA, on May 2 from 1-2:30 p.m. The second meeting in Lehigh will be held May 3 from 10-11:15 a.m. at First Presbyterian Church in Allentown, PA.
Time will be spent giving an overview what benefits are staying the same and which are changing.

2017 BIG TENT Theme: Race, Reconciliation, Reformation

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) biennial Big Tent celebration will be held on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis from July 6-8.
The theme of this year’s conference is "Race, Reconciliation and the Reformation." Through plenary events, Bible study, workshops and worship, attendees will be challenged and renewed by the power of the gospel message to overcome our current realities of anxiety, division and inequality.
More information, including registration details, is available here.

Mid Council Financial Network to meet in Calif. in November

The 2017 Mid Council Financial Network Conference will be held Nov. 15-17 in Long Beach, CA. This event is a continuing education and training opportunity for synod, presbytery and church financial persons.
Registration brochures will be sent out in July. In the meantime, if you have any questions, contact Diane Dulaney, Treasury Assistant, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) at (888) 728-7228 ext. 5542.
More information is available on the Synod's Financial Resources page here.

Philadelphia raising $300,000 for its 300th birthday

In honor of the Presbytery of Philadelphia's 300th anniversary, has challenged congregations, church members and friends to raise $300,000 in honor of its 300 years. The funds will be equally distributed among eight initiatives that are already transforming lives.
Find out more here.

Synod seeking help with hate group task force

A recent study out of the Southern Poverty Law Center has said that hate groups are on the rise. The Synod of the Trinity is looking for some people to serve on a 300th anniversary task group to help us learn about these groups and how to respond.
Email Communications Coordinator Mike Givler here if you are interested in learning more about this opportunity.

The Synod of the Trinity | Being More Together
Have a story tip? Email Mike Givler, Communications Coordinator, here.
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