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October 2014
The Synod of the Trinity * Enews

Have a story idea? Email the Synod's Communications Coordinator Mike Givler at mgivler@syntrinity.org

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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 future.’”Picture1

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 thatDSC_0013 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 hRwanda-2014-755ad 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 daSulgyQgFGG8iEm99TDC8kzMAe3I4BnPx_qvhmPTbDMggmClZuBTvxzh8AK_cCFBfAxotMKSTxEatgQm3RRHUfeXrS-xz-Zwiw1224-h712ys 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 Angbig-frizelini. 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 comprehensive review. 

“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,” Angelini said.

“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 surviv10624682_10152680704633134_3628642693088005895_ned 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 milestone properly.

To read about the year-long celebration, click here.

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Did you know?
The Synod of the Trinity was originally known as the Synod of Philadelphia when it was formed in 1716. Four presbyteries made up the first Synod -- Philadelphia, New Castle, Long Island (N.Y.) and Snow Hill (Md.).


October 2014 Synod Assembly in pictures

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The Synod of the Trinity held its third Assembly Meeting of the year at the Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center in State College on Oct. 6-7. Check out what your representatives were up to by clicking here.


Hawkins enjoying new role at Shenango

“I’m inviting folks to be willing to take a relatioRalph-profile-picture 2nal risk. In other words, find a way to step out into the community and into the unknown and just love on people and be available in places of need and see what the Holy Spirit does with that.”

This is the challenge the Rev. Ralph Hawkins is putting on the churches in the Presbytery of Shenango where he has taken over as both the Executive Presbyter and Stated Clerk. Formerly a pastor within the presbytery at New Wilmington (PA) Presbyterian Church for the previous six years, Hawkins took over his new duties at Shenango on June 1.

To read more, click here.


First Mobile Church offers 'front-pew view'

0f0adfec41359dc169e1fe55f112ae71 3Nearly a year into its experiment, the First Mobile Church of West Grove, PA, is experiencing success.

Designed for those who are less mobile, retirement-home bound, hospitalized, traveling or can’t get to the West Grove Presbyterian Church building because of bad weather, the program enables worshipers to use a simple conference call to listen to a Sunday morning service. Not only does the First Mobile Church not need Internet access, it is also interactive, enabling people to share things like prayer concerns in “real time.”

To read more, click here.


Penn State student group serving State College

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Tailgating is a common practice before sporting events, especially football games in the fall. It revolves around a spread of food that is on display – some of which is grilled there in the parking lot prior to the game by and for those in the group. However, the cooked delicacies and home-made desserts are passed out to anyone who walks by and shows an interest in the meal.

This is the same concept used by the Westminster Presbyterian Fellowship group in State College, PA, this fall during a couple of Saturdays prior to Penn State home football games. Called “Game Day Hospitality,” the Westminster Presbyterian Fellowship team serves tailgating food to passersby with a subtle hint to what their real mission is.

To read more, click here.
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