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: Women
Finding My Voice
With Rev. Dr. Susan Halverstadt
July 29-30, 2016
A retreat for women either in or out of the church that is looking for a safe place to explore finding her voice, her direction and/or a way of expressing herself in tune with her self.
No matter who you are or where you are in ministry or in life, finding your voice is essential. Our overnight retreat will be spent exploring the critical stuff of your life.
* For more information and to register click on the link: Finding My Voice
The Presbyterian Women of the Synod of the Trinity have scheduled four regional meetings for 2016. Events include a Bible study, related activities, great company and a time of spiritual renewal — and no cooking, laundry or cleaning! This is an informal time, so comfy clothes and shoes are in order. There will also be a very short business meeting to elect new leaders and transact other business as needed.
For more information and to register for the Central Region please contact Carolyn Baillie at firstname.lastname@example.org
The regional meetings will be held as follows:
- CENTRAL REGION (May 13-14) at Krislund Camp and Conference Center, Danville, PA. Deadline is April 30. For Carlisle, Huntingdon and Northumberland Presbyteries.
- EASTERN REGION (June 3-4) at Highland Presbyterian Church, Lancaster, PA. Deadline is May 3. For Donegal, Lackawanna, Lehigh and Philadelphia Presbyteries.
- SOUTHWEST REGION (June 10-11) at Mountainside Conference Center, Bethany College, Bethany, WV. Deadline is May 12. For Pittsburgh, Redstone, Upper Ohio Valley, Washington and West Virginia Presbyteries.
- NORTHWEST REGION (July 27-28) at Westminster College, PA. Deadline is June 4. For Beaver-Butler, Kiskiminetas, Lake Erie and Shenango Presbyteries.
On the registration form (click here) there is information about the four gatherings: the date, place and the cost. Each is an overnight stay. Commuters may also attend. If you cannot attend the one scheduled for your region, you are welcome to attend another. After you register, the registrar will send you a confirmation letter along with directions to the gathering location. You will also learn if you need to bring any other items besides your Bible, pen or pencil and how to participate in the local mission project. Materials will be provided for each participant. Take note of the registration due date for the gathering you are attending, to whom to make the check and the registrar’s address for mailing.
Each region is choosing a mission project. The Central Region has chosen the Central PA Food Bank, which distributes items to food banks in our three presbyteries’ regional area. The Northwestern and Eastern Region projects will be available later. The Southwest Region’s project will be a local food pantry and the Washington City Mission.
The new Synod mission project for 2016-17 will be introduced so you can share this information with your PW group.
The guest speakers for the Spring Gathering are:
Amanda Leicht from Grove Presbyterian Church. She’s a physician and has been to Africa and served the Navaho reservation.
Dr. Marilyn Witherup from FPC Bloomsburg church who has been to Guatemala several times.
Witness and act for an end to violence against women and girls
On the 25th of each month – join people around the world in observing an Orange Day to work for an end to violence against women and girls. This call comes from Say NO – UNiTE to End Violence against Women, a social mobilization platform on ending violence against women and girls that is related to UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon’s campaign, UNiTE to End Violence against Women. (http://endviolence.un.org/ )
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
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