Winter CancellationsIt has always been a policy of the Presbytery of Northumberland to cancel events and meetings in the event of inclement weather. We will notify the committee members by email and/or phone call Before traveling to the Presbytery Office or any of the churches call first to confirm any delays or cancellations. During the winter months when preparing your church meetings and events always plan on a snow date.
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- Larry Sthreshley: On the front lines in the battle to stop Ebola June 22, 2017
- Respecto a los/as ancianos/as gobernantes: una serie mensual para líderes espirituales June 22, 2017
- International Peacemaker from Sri Lanka to address U.S. churches this fall June 21, 2017
- Hope and Forgiveness for Rwandan genocide victims and perpetrators June 21, 2017
- Older adult ministry leader shares insights at ‘Ageing and Spirituality’ conference June 20, 2017
Tag Archives: Synod of the Trinity
Out Of The Darkness…Into The Light
A group of Presbyterian women will travel to the San Francisco Bay Area in California, September 22–30, 2016, for PW’s fourth USA Mission Experience. They will connect concerns raised by past USA Mission Experiences and Global Exchanges with similar issues in the Bay Area. Participants will encounter challenges to God’s promise of a beloved community and witness to the faithful work being done by our sisters in the San Francisco and San Jose presbyteries.
The USA Mission Experience equips women with an understanding of the region’s history and culture, the existing ministry of the church and the challenges faced by local women and children. On this trip, participants will
- learn about human trafficking, domestic violence and immigration issues;
- develop skills to advocate for immigrants and survivors of human trafficking;
- identify resources women can use to help eliminate slavery and domestic violence;
- examine the myths and realities of immigration; and
- explore personal immigration stories.
Applications are due to your PW in the Synod moderator by July 15, 2015. Download an application now!
Bethel Presbyterian Church ~ 19th & York After – School Enrichment Program (Philadelphia, PA – Philadelphia Presbytery) 2015 – 2016 PW Synod Mission Project 19th & York After – School Enrichment Program provides educational resources and family services in a manner that is profession and effective. The program seeks to become a premier & professional After School Enrichment Program providing resources and services to the families of North Philadelphia in vicinity of Bethel Presbyterian Church.
The core values of the program is to serve families in a way that is, “Spiritually Sensitive, Professionally Consistent, Culturally Competent, Outcome and Results Driven.
After-school programs offer more time for learning in new, fun ways for all students, especially those who may need extra help or individual assistance. They also improve a child or adolescents chance that their interest in schools will increase.
Some of the programs and services provided are recreational programs and activities and counseling, mentoring programs and employment support.
Click on this link for more information: 2015 2016 Synod Mission Project
Bright Sunday’ adds humor to service at Northway PC
People don’t normally associate humor with the Bible, especially around the Easter season. Pastor Taylor Camerer isn’t one of those people.
An eight-week pulpit supply pastor at Northway Presbyterian Church in Williamsport, PA, Taylor began his two-month stay on the Sunday after Easter with a sermon that was called “Bright Sunday.” Taking ideas from “Holy Humor Sunday” in which some pastors use as an opportunity to dress in costumes for a light-hearted Sunday worship, Taylor didn’t go quite that far in his very first Sunday at Northway PC. Instead, he just preached about how humor is very much a part of the Bible and how it should be embraced.
“There’s an old tradition in the church, rooted in the early church theologians who saw a practical joke played on the devil when Jesus was raised from the dead,” Taylor said. “So Easter was a God-supreme joke played on death. On either Easter Monday — the Monday right after Easter Sunday — or Bright Sunday — the Sunday after Easter – they were kind of days of joy and laughter, parties and picnics, pot lucks to celebrate Jesus’ resurrection. There was a tradition of practical jokes. There was a lot of water being thrown back in the day – drenching people with water, baptizing so to speak – singing and dancing. There was a tradition of telling jokes and telling stories with a twist at the end that end unexpectedly with a laugh.”
Taylor included about a half dozen stories or light-hearted tales that had surprise endings in his service on April 12. Because it was his first service, he kept it fairly low key compared to what some churches were doing elsewhere.
The Fellowship of Merry Christians is an organization that highlights different ideas on how to celebrate “Bright Sunday.” One church in North Carolina has a pastor who delivers his sermon dressed as a medieval jester with a sermon on I Corinthians 4:10 titled “Fools For Christ’s Sake.” Another congregation in Missouri put up a sign that read “If you must sleep in on Sunday, sleep in here.” The church then laid out sleeping bags on the back pews and actually allowed for a few minutes for naps during the service.
Adding a humorous element to the service can be a pleasant change for some worshipers.
“God so often uses tragedy and suffering and difficulties,” Taylor said. “There’s a lot in the world that is sobering and sombering but there’s a difference between being serious and solemn and just kind of being sour.”
Among the most recognizable ways the Bible uses tragedy to send a message is around Easter when Jesus dies on the cross only to have the stone rolled away from the tomb and find out he had risen from the dead. Taylor is quick to point out that there definitely was a party-like atmosphere outside the tomb when word quickly spread of the resurrection.
“There was a euphoria, a hilarity, an unspeakable gladness that your sins had been forgiven,” Taylor said. “To be glad and to not be fearful is an imperative in the Bible. There is a victory over death, but the twist is what men meant for evil, God meant for good.”
Ultimately, injecting some laughter into a service now and again, or devoting an entire sermon to Biblical humor once a year the week after Easter, can help people better understand the way in which God works.
“Part of humor and making things unexpected in church at times is part of listening for God because he arrives in unexpected ways and unexpected times,” Taylor said. “If you have everything planned out and thought out and it’s always the same, you’re not really doing a very good job of preparing people to find God.”
by Mike Givler, Synod of the Trinity
Knitting ministry has Bald Eagle United PC in stitches
American troops are involved. So are women recovering from breast cancer and newborn children. Guys in their leather jackets on Harley-Davidson motorcycles are pitching in, too. What was originally taken as a leap of faith seven years ago has quickly grown into something very special at Bald Eagle United Presbyterian Church in Mill Hall, PA.
The church’s Prayer Shawl Ministry is in its seventh year and has grown immensely from its humble beginnings. Originally created to knit shawls to give comfort to those facing surgery or other hardships, the ministry now includes everything from prosthesis to “Pocket Prayer Shawls for Troops” to “Pretty Pockets,” which are given to people who are coming home from the hospital with post-surgical drains like a colostomy bag.
The brainchild of Pastor Susan Champion, the ministry has grown from just a couple of worshipers from Bald Eagle United PC to 30 people from the Mill Hall community who are eager to knit and crochet. One knitter is over 104 years old, and the volunteers are supplying their own yarn to keep the program running cost-free, adding to the powerful ministry this has become.
“When I started it, I did it on a wing and a prayer,” Susan said. “I did not know if anyone would come through that door or not but they did. They came and those who came wanted to give back because they had either been healed of cancer or someone in their family had been healed of cancer and they wanted to do something for a ministry.”
The gatherings occur at noon on the first Wednesday of the month and consist of lunch and a couple hours of knitting and sharing. For most, the bulk of the knitting occurs in their homes prior to the monthly gathering where much of the conversation includes the reading of “thank you” notes from people who have received the handmade items, enabling the volunteers to feel the joy for the items they have created.
“It’s only through the grace of God that I have not had to ask the church for one single penny,” Susan said. “We provide all of the yarn. We provide lunches for everyone. We provide the needles and the patterns, the fellowship and the fun.”
While knitting prayer shawls as a type of comfort blanket distributed to those facing illness was the original intent, the Prayer Shawl Ministry has developed into much more. Knitters have come in requesting to make things like children’s clothes, which are now being given to every Mill Hall couple with a newborn. And thus the “Infant Sweater Ministry” was born. Another person came up with the idea of creating “Pretty Pockets” as a fashionable holder for post-surgical drains, and this outreach was organized.
Among its most popular items being created through the so-called “Wednesday Weavers” group is prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies. Susan came up with the idea after reading about such a thing in Reader’s Digest, and it has taken off by leaps and bounds.
“I found out there is no place where people who had mastectomies – and 40 percent of the women who are diagnosed with breast cancer have to have mastectomies – there was no place where they could go to get a free kit for prosthesis,” she said. “If you have insurance you can get prosthesis but they are made of silicone and very heavy. These are hand-knitted and made out of special yarn that’s skin sensitive. We make them in sizes and we weight them.”
Many times women who go through this procedure can’t wear the prosthesis until they are healed from the surgery, but the knitted ones from Bald Eagle United PC can be worn immediately.
“Oftentimes women cannot get their prosthesis because they have to heal, so they have to go around with socks in their bra, but ours you can put in right away,” Susan said. “We have had calls from all over the United States. … We have one lady who stepped up to the plate and she said ‘My mom died from breast cancer. I want this part of the ministry.’
Another outreach that is fairly new to the Wednesday group is “Pocket Prayer Shawls for Troops.” These 2.5-inch squares are sent to American military for them to wear in their helmets. They are knitted or crocheted from either cotton or wool – other materials will melt to a soldier’s head if they are under fire — and come with a tag explaining their purpose.
“We’re starting with 1,000. We have people already asking us when they are going to be ready,” Susan said. “But we’re not just going to stop there. We’re taking these Pocket Prayer Shawls to emergency rooms, to hospital waiting rooms, to nursing homes and putting them in baskets for anyone who is walking by and needs to hold something in their hand — something tangible so they know that God is working in their lives.”
Other items that are being made include celebration shawls, lap robes, comfort dolls for infants, mittens, scarves, booties and neo-nic sweaters and hats. One way of getting these items to the people who need and request them is through the Susquehanna Valley Big Twins Motorcycle Club. The club does a yearly “Knit N Run” on their cycles, delivering the knitted goods to places like hospitals and nursing homes.
The Bald Eagle United knitters don’t take orders, they just make what they can make and send them out to those in need.
“We pray over these items,” Susan said. “We don’t know where they’re going to end up, but we just know whoever receives these, our prayer is that God’s peace and his presence just surrounds them. We pray that they are able to feel the presence of God working in their lives. These items are tangible evidence that other people care.”
Susan, who admits she has never made a prayer shawl in the seven years of the ministry, is quick to credit the volunteers for what this ministry has turned into.
“I give all of the glory and all of the credit to our Lord and also these wonderful ladies,” she said. “I’m in awe. We’re non-denominational. When we come together, we are all knitters, and we’re doing something to advance God’s kingdom.”
Note: Anyone interested in learning more about the knitting ministry at Bald Eagle United Presbyterian Church or who would like to request an item should contact the church at (570) 726-4112 or email Pastor Susan Champion at email@example.com. The prosthesis kits are free to anyone and there are no mailing restrictions. When ordering a kit, a size for the prosthesis will be needed.
by Mike Givler, Synod of the Trinity
An important message from Grace Marable Social Action Coordinator (Philadelphia Presbyterian Women)
January 11, 2015 was Human Trafficking Awareness Day. You can find many resources to share with your congregations at http://www.traffickfree.org
The hotline number is 888-3737888
There is a film available at http://www.polarisproject.org
There is literature available on the Presbyterian Mission website (bulletin inserts)
There are organizations around that are working hard to put a stop to this crime
SOAP (start a) Save Our Adolescents from Prostitution campaign www.trafficfree.com
Work with ECPAT-USA (End Child Prostitution and Trafficking)
You can support organizations working with-at-risk women and girls to prevent trafficking
Eagles Wings – Lifeboat Project – Ecumenical Women’s Coalition against Human Trafficking- Restore Hope www.facebook.com/ewcahumantrafficking
FREE WHEELCHAIR MISSION 2014/2015 PW Synod Mission Project
Free Wheelchair Mission is a humanitarian, faith-based, nonprofit organization that provides wheelchairs at no cost to people with disabilities living in developing nations. In collaboration with a network of like-minded partners, FWM has sent more than 781,000 wheelchairs to people in 91 countries, providing dignity, independence and hope through the gift of mobility.
Our Mission is to provide the transforming gift of mobility to the physically disabled poor in developing countries as motivated by Jesus Christ.
Our Vision is to be a world-class provider of mobility, transforming the lives of 100,000 people with disabilities in 2014.
With an estimated 100 million people around the world today in need of a wheelchair without the means to get one, FWM strives to distribute over 100,000 chairs annually, and continues to pursue our goal to distribute 1 million chairs by the year 2016. Free Wheelchair Mission continues its focus and commitment on becoming a leading provider of mobility in developing nations, but beyond placing recipients in a chair, FWM is bringing transformation that opens doors to education, employment opportunities and community that these individuals only dreamed of before receiving the gift of mobility.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance enables congregations and mission partners
of the Presbyterian Church (USA) to witness to the healing love of Christ
through caring for communities affected by crises and catastrophic events.
OUT OF CHAOS, HOPE!
For more information visit
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has two great opportunities for mission trips.
First Presbyterian Church of Jamaica, NY ~ Jamaica Village
This is a 350 year old culturally diverse church in the heart of Jamaica, New York, NY
Point Pleasant Vilage at First Presbyterian Church, Point Pleasant New Jersey
Point Pleasant is a beach town with families who have lived there for generations. 30% of the congregation sustained damages and 10% are still displaced, yet they stepped forwad to become a hosting center.
PDA Villages provide room and broard for volunteers.
Contact PDA Call Center for more information