W. Virginia creates own leadership team
Jeremiah 29:11 says, according to the New International Version of the
Bible, “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans
to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a
That in a nutshell is the backbone to the new West Virginia Institute
for Leaders in Ministry program that is still in the ground-floor
stages at the Presbytery of West Virginia.
Designed to help ministers and educators gain valuable leadership
skills, the ILM broke ground with a weekend meeting in early September.
It was the first of a scheduled eight monthly retreats around the
presbytery that includes nine leaders from the state and two
facilitators from the Pastors’ Institute in Asheville, N.C.
“The goal is to equip the pastoral leaders to make a different in
their church and their church to make a difference in the communities,”
said Forrest Palmer, the interim executive presbyter at the Presbytery
of West Virginia.
To read more, click here.
Kensington finds shining light at Beacon
At first glance, a visitor might see the rough edges around
Kensington and miss the strengths and stories that co-pastors Rev.
Rebecca Blake and Rev. Karen Rohrer work at to encourage and uplift. A
historically industrial Philadelphia neighborhood with residents who
still take great pride in working with their hands, Kensington has seen
many factories, businesses and even churches that once thrived there
become a thing of the past.
“Institutions have been leaving this neighborhood for a long time,”
Blake said of the neighborhood that was once an industry center for
textiles. “It was an industrial neighborhood that had a lot of pride and
hard workers, and as the factories left, a lot of folks faced chronic
unemployment and lingering injuries, and it spiraled into a lot of
poverty and a lot of effects that go with that, including addiction,
poor education and food insecurity.”
Despite the change in the landscape of Kensington, the Beacon
Presbyterian Church held its ministry there for 140 years. However,
attendance problems threatened the church to close its doors. That’s
when the Presbytery of Philadelphia stepped in, fueled by the creativity of Broad Street Ministry, which sent in a pair of former interns with backgrounds in art and service to help revitalize the congregation.
To read the full story, click here.
Edmondsons getting most of out six-month call to Rwanda
Boyd Edmondson was at a crossroads. He had been called to be a
preacher, but a tragic event involving his family made him question what
exactly his mission in life was.
As it turned out, Edmondson decided to fulfill his commitment to
attend a mission trip to Rwanda soon after the tragedy, and it ended up
being a blessing, not only for him to be reaffirmed in what he had been
called to do, but also to that area in central Africa where he would
later sign up for a six-month stay. On top of that, Edmondson’s calling
has also helped revitalize the Presbytery of Kiskiminetas, injecting new enthusiasm into that western Pennsylvania team of churches.
To read more, click here.
Krislund Camp giving churches new summer excitement
Revitalization. It’s a common word used these da
ys surrounding many
churches and church organizations. Numbers are in a decline, and leaders
are looking at ways to boost attendance and energy in order to survive.
During the summer of 2014, Krislund Camp and Conference Center
seems to have found a way to help itself in this cause and at the same
time provide a lift for the churches – both Presbyterian and neighboring
– in the three-presbytery area (Carlisle, Huntingdon, Northumberland)
in which it serves. Behind new director Gene Joiner,
the 875-acre camp in Madisonburg, PA, has re-created itself through a
unique program called Traveling Day Camps that brings Krislund’s staff
to churches for what Joiner called “camp in a bag” and described as
“Vacation Bible School on adrenaline.”
To read more about what Krislund is doing, click here.
Crestfield rewarded for fruits of its labor
It’s been a pretty good stretch for the Rev. Betty Ang
elini. The executive director for the Crestfield Camp and Conference Center
in Slippery Rock, PA, just turned the corner on 10 years at her post.
At the same time, she is part of an organization that received an
international award and was also recently given a perfect score during a
“It’s nice to know that what you think the Holy Spirit has given to
you is being recognized and that people care enough to care for you,”
“Care” is something Angelini and her staff have given to Crestfield
over the years, not just during Angelini’s 10 years as the executive
director, but also during the seven years she was on the Ministry Team
and even prior to that when she was a youth helping out there. That
makes the award and perfect review that much sweeter.
For more on Crestfield, click here
Abington PC blowing out candles on 300th birthday celebration
A president has attended worship there. Ten other churches have
spawned from it. And for 300 years, it has surviv
ed wars, depressions
and even a building-leveling fire that would have caused numerous other
entities to close their doors.
But Abington Presbyterian Church
has flourished despite any obstacle that has come its way. That in
itself is cause for celebration, but when one considers that the
lifespan of the congregation covers four centuries, throwing one party
to commemorate Abington’s anniversary just didn’t seem like enough.
That’s why the congregation located north of Philadelphia is spending all of 2014 celebrating its 300th
birthday. From building a log cabin on its property to hosting a 5K
run/walk to mission trips to Montana, Abington Presbyterian Church is
pulling out all of the stops to make sure it honors the significant
To read about the year-long celebration, click here.