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300th logo 2017
May 16, 2017
The Synod of the Trinity Enews
Being More Together

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Revealing Hope

MANNA ministry has been feeding the afflicted for three decades

The Metropolitan Aids Neighborhood Nutrition Alliance (MANNA) grew out of a small group of worshipers at First Presbyterian Church of Philadelphia. See how this has grown into a million dollar organization.


Q How can your congregation spread hope and resurrection into your community?
Q What unique ways do you see hope and resurrection in your life?
This video is the sixth 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.

Anniversary Grants
REMINDER: Deadline for Freedom Grant application is June 30

In this 300th year of the Synod of the Trinity, Freedomfounded as the Synod of Philadelphia, we are saying thank you to our colleagues across the region for many years of faithful ministry through two anniversary grants.
In response to the Genera
l Assembly Freedom Rising initiative, the Synod of the Trinity is 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.
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.
For more on our new Freedom Grant
and Abundance Grant, click here.

Redstone, Washington, Upper Ohio Valley

2017_03_18 IPLF Workshop pic 4
Presbyteries team up to train, prepare commissioned ruling elders

A three-presbytery partnership between Redstone, Washington and Upper Ohio Valley has been the backbone to a new CRE (commissioned ruling elder) training course in that region.
“This is an example of presbyteries coming together to make sure an essential need for leadership in small congregations is not only being addressed, but in a way that fits their needs and culture,” said the Rev. Skip Noftzger, the executive presbyter and stated clerk for the Presbytery of Redstone.
A Synod Innovation Grant helped make this program possible. More on the grant here.
To read more about this program, click here.

Sewickley pastor continues journey in Russia with WMI

The Rev. Rebecca DePoe of Mt. Nebo United Presbyterian Church in Sewickley, PA, recently traveled to Russia with a group from World Mission Initiative at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.
The experience helped her learn a new culture and strengthened her pastoral vocation.

A Synod Peacemaking Grant helped cover some of Rebecca's costs during the trip. More grant information available here.
Read about her experiences here.

Mission experience allows student groups to serve in own 'backyard'

First Presbyterian Church of Lancaster, PA, has created a new program called "Backyard Missions," which is designed to provide student groups and their leaders with short-term mission experiences that transform lives, impact the local community and honor Christ.
“The most important part of Backyard Missions is what happens when teams return home,” said Simeon Harrar, the director of operations for Backyard Missions. “The entire experience is aimed at equipping teams with the skills, experiences and questions that will propel them forward as missionaries in their own contexts."
A Synod of the Trinity Network Grant (renamed a Partnership Grant) helped provide startup costs for the Backyard Missions program.
Find out more about the grant here.
Read about the program here.


Philadelphia – the first presbytery in the United States

While the first presbytery in the United States met 1706 at the First Presbyterian Church ofPhilly 2 Philadelphia, the body was not known as The Presbytery of Philadelphia until a decade later. It was called "the presbytery," "The Presbytery" and the "General Presbytery" until then.
It wasn't until 1716 that the presbytery was officially named The Presbytery of Philadelphia. That's when three presbyteries — Philadelphia, New Castle and Long Island — formed the Synod of Philadelphia. In 1717, the presbytery met for the first time, allowing it to have the same anniversary date as the Synod of the Trinity.

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 Philadelphia here.


Did you know...?

The first Presbyterian church organized west of the Susquehanna River was started in 1773. Known as Buffalo Crossroads Church, the church was located four miles west of the Susquehanna River in Union County. The roots of that church are part of the history of the First Presbyterian Church of Lewistown, PA, which is located in Northumberland Presbytery and was started in 1833. For more information on the history of Buffalo Crossroads Church, click here.

Rev. Wayne Allen, 84, was Synod executive

The Rev. Dr. Wayne W. Allen, who served as an acting executive for the Synod of the Trinity on multiple occasions, passed away Sunday, April 23, 2017. He was 84.
Wayne served as the Synod moderator in 1981-82 before becoming the assistant executive in 1983. In 1985, Wayne was named the associate executive before, in 1987, becoming the acting executive. In retirement, he also served as acting executive for four months in 1996 and acting associate executive for another four months in 1998.
The Synod of the Trinity is grateful for his service to the Synod and our region.
To read more, click here.

Presbyterian Foundation offering new Leadership Financial Grant

The Presbyterian Foundation is accepting applications for a newly established Church Financial Leadership Grant. Grant applicants must be a pastor, commissioned lay pastor (CLP) or leader of a 1001 New Worshiping Community within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Funds are available for those pastoral leaders seeking to gain a better understanding of church financial vitality and management of their congregations.
For more information, click 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.

Detroit Presbytery seeking young adults to serve

The Presbytery of Detroit is inviting young adults (ages 18-30) to move to Detroit and serve a year in mission from Sept. 1, 2017 to Aug. 15, 2018 as part of a new opportunity called the Motor City Mission Corps. Through an intentional community model, young adult participants will live together, explore spiritual formation and vocational discernment, and work alongside four excellent site placement partners that are reducing blight and poverty in the city.
Find out more 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.

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.

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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