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300th logo 2017
Dec. 4, 2017
The Synod of the Trinity Enews
Being More Together

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Peace Light

Flame from Bethlehem makes annual stop at Synod office

IMG_9236The Peace Light remains in the Synod office in Camp Hill and has received a lot of attention since it arrived in the States the Saturday at Thanksgiving. It was the focal point of a service at Bensalem Presbyterian Church, was front and center for a Light, Lunch and Lyrics gathering with the Synod's Governing Commission and was taken by two scouting enthusiasts to Hagerstown, MD, in what has become an annual trip north to receive the flame.

The Peace Light will remain in Camp Hill into December. More information is available on the Synod's website here.



Garfield Farm2 2

Rev. John Creasy bringing awareness to climate issues

Melting glaciers, rising seas, extreme hurricanes, droughts and heat waves. These are the effects of climate change that are already plaguing the planet. An, if you ask the Rev. John Creasy (The Open Door Church, Pittsburgh), in about 100 years, with no change to our climate habits, we'll be "deep into mass extinction."

John is doing his part to reverse this trend through Pittsburgh Presbytery's Peacemaking Ministry Team and with the PA Interfaith Power and Light group. After all, it's God's will to be good stewards of the earth.

"If God is in fact a God that creates out of love and a desire for beauty and we’re created in God’s image, then our task is to create and be co-creators as we love what has been created.”

To read more about the work that is being done in Pittsburgh, click here.

Synod of the Trinity

Krislund1 2
Tree-planting program provides growth for next 300 years

In honor of the Synod's 300th birthday, we planted trees at five of our church camps this fall, with the remainder of our active camps getting a tree in the spring of 2018.

“We were trying to come up with ways to celebrate the fact that we have been in existence for 300 years and we look forward to another 300 years,” said Synod Treasurer Chantal Atnip, recalling a conversation that was had among the Synod’s Governing Commission. “We wanted something that would be lasting, not just a brief nod to our history and our future.”

“It was felt that a living tree was a very good symbol of where we are in our existence right now,” added Chantal, the coordinator of the tree-planting program.

For more on this initiative, click here.

Lake Erie

Synod grants help presbytery connect with Ghanaian brothers, sisters
The Presbytery of Lake Erie engaged in an international mission partnership trip to Ghana in September, with 11 people representing the presbytery making the trip. It was a fruitful trip that will continue to help both presbyteries to build on this seven-year international partnership. It takes time to build trusting relationships, especially when people do not see one another regularly.
Two grants from the Synod of the Trinity:
helped make the trip possible.
For more on the trip, click here.


walk for hope
New Hope Ministries continuing to make a difference in people's lives

New Hope Ministries has been serving people in the southcentral Pennsylvania area for 35 years. What began as an outreach in Dillsburg has blossomed into a multi-community program that serves close to 20,000 low-income people on an annual basis.

New Hope provides things like a food pantry, transportation assistance and emergency crisis services. Monaghan Presbyterian Church was one of the congregations that came in on the ground floor of New Hope.

“It’s helping people in need,” explained the Rev. Charlie Best, a former pastor at Monaghan and current New Hope board member. “You’re concentrating on poverty and people in crisis. New Hope helps people get on their feet and become self-sustaining.”

Find out more about New Hope Ministries by clicking here.


Washington Presbytery: Diverse cultures, mission work a staple

Nine ministers were part of the Washington Presbytery when it was formed and met for the first time on Oct. 19, 1819. All told, this new region covered more than 6,000 square miles and included 19 congregations.
Washington eventually moved out of the Synod of Pittsburgh and into the new Synod of Wheeling in 1841.
In 1903, Cumberland Presbyterian Church merged with Washington Presbyterian Church, bringing many churches into Washington Presbytery in Greene County and along the Monongahela River. There were many special ethnic background churches and chapels ministering to miners and specialty workers, including Langloth (Spanish), Greensboro (Polish), Daisytown and Westland (Hungarian), Donora (Scottish), McDonald (French, Belgium – Iron Memorial Church), Muse (Waldensian), Canonsburg (Greek, Italian, Syrian – Lebanese) and Slovan (Yugoslavian, Slovenian).
Learn more about the history of the Washington Presbytery by clicking here.


From the archives

In a March 1935 edition of "The Pennsylvania Presbyterian" newsletter from the Synod of Pennsylvania, the following appeared under the heading "Some Things I Have Been Thinking:"
"Recently two promotional secretaries out of New York made the statement that at least 500,000 members on our Assembly's roll might be dropped and not missed. These are not careless statements. In our Assembly 72,087 names were placed on the suspended list last year, and in Pennsylvania 10,092. I wonder why?
"There is good authority for the statement that about one-third of our Church's total membership gives nothing towards the support of the Church and two-thirds do not contribute towards the benevolence causes. Many alibis are offered; not many good reasons can be given.
"Do not the times demand more sober facing of these alarming facts? "

Giving Tuesday runs through holiday season

“Giving Tuesday,” which allows people to dedicate a day to give to their favorite organizations as a kickoff to the giving season, falls on the frist Tuesday after Thanksgiving. This year that date was Nov. 28.
The Synod of the Trinity is challenging Presbyterians, their congregations and our presbyteries to join in the Giving Tuesday spirit, even after Nov. 28 has passed. By clicking here, money can be donated to the Synod of the Trinity through Presbyterian Mission Exchange, a service of the Presbyterian Foundation. Money donated will support peacemaking grants, campus ministries or the many other ministries of the Synod.

Mr. Rogers sweater drive continues in Pittsburgh area

The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s 18th annual Mister Rogers’ Neighborhood Sweater Drive is under way at the Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh’s Theater. This is a two-fold opportunity for local Presbyterian churches to collect sweaters, a campaign that runs through Dec. 15.
The drive encourages congregations to first care for their neighborhoods, giving sweaters to neighbors in need in their own community first. Additional sweaters that are leftover can then be brought to the Children’s Museum for distribution for those in need. This opportunity is about being a good neighbor and also a way of doing local mission that can give visibility to a church in the neighborhood where it is located.
More information on the sweater drive is available here.

Camp Krislund offering mission outreach program

Krislund Camp and Conference Center, located in Madisonburg, PA (near State College), is making plans for its summer of 2018 Mission Outreach Program. This is an opportunity for groups to come to Central Pennsylvania in mission to help repair and improve the homes of needy neighbors while lodging comfortably in the lodges of Krislund and using its camp for recreation, fellowship and worship. Working as the hands and feet of Christ, groups of all types (ages, skills and talents) can grow in faith, fun and service.
More information is available here.

Shenango's annual LeaderFest set for Jan. 13

Shenango Presbytery’s Christian Education Committee will hold its annual LeaderFest conference Saturday, Jan. 13, from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at the New Wilmington Presbyterian Church and Westminster College.
The guest speaker is the Rev. Dr. Steve Franklin. Steve has served as the senior pastor of Meridian Presbyterian Church in Butler since 2010. He is a 2006 graduate of Westminster College, a 2009 graduate of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, and he completed his doctorate in congregational transformation at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary in 2017. Steve’s thesis focused on the impact of gospel-centered discipleship on the renewal and growth of the local congregation.
A brochure with more information and costs can be downloaded here. Click here to register online.

J.C. Austin called to First Church of Bethlehem (PCUSA)

The Rev. J.C. Austin has been called to serve as the new pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Bethlehem, PA, (PCUSA). For nearly 20 years, J.C. Austin has served the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) as a pastor, an educator and a leader at every level of the denomination. J.C.’s ministry officially began on Nov. 27, and his first Sunday in the pulpit was Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent. More on J.C. can be found here.
A local newspaper was on hand Nov. 26 for an important message delivered by J.C. in front of an estimated 180 people. Read the story here.

WMI names new associate director

World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has announced that the Rev. Balajiedlang Khyllep will be joining its staff in January as the new associate director, bringing a missionary heart and cross-cultural skills to WMI. Bala is a product of mission in the state of Meghalaya, India, and brings a broad range of mission experience in India and the U.S. to the work of WMI.

APCE national, eastern events slated for 2018

The Association of Presbyterian Church Educators' annual event, “Deep & Wide: Boundless Hospitality,” will be held Jan. 30 to Feb. 3 in Louisville. APCE is for professional educators, pastors and volunteers in ministry to children, youth and adults. For more information is available here.
The Eastern Region meeting of APCE will be held April 30 to May 2 at Rhodes Grove Conference Center in Chambersburg, PA. The guest speaker will be David LaMotte, a musician, speaker and author.
More information is available here.

Schedule a communications workship in '18

Are you looking for ways to share God’s love through social media? Does your church have a well-thought- out communications plan — for both internal and external audiences? Daylong communications workshops, conducted by communications professionals on the Presbyterian Mission Agency staff, will give you tips and techniques to better reach your audience. They’ll offer insights and guidelines on creating a communications plan for your congregation, discuss the “do’s and don’ts” of media relations and “pitching” stories to your local media.
Schedule a workshop here.

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