What Presbyterians Believe about Nature…

What Presbyterians Believe about Nature…              By Reverend Susan DeGeorge, Stated Clerk, Hudson River Presbytery Presbyterians come from a tradition that calls us to know, honor, rejoice in and care for God’s creation. Our Scripture – from Genesis to Revelation – invites us to be in relationship with trees that clap their hands, as Isaiah proclaims; water that quenches thirst, cleanses, teaches about justice and quiets our anxiety; and animals that serve as helpers, partners and teachers. Our belief is centered on the Word becoming flesh – physical matter. John Calvin, one of the forefathers of the Reformed tradition, viewed nature as an important source of knowledge of God, awakening us to God’s presence in our daily lives and, thus, is worthy of our care. For decades now, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has called us to …

Clerk’s Corner… by Sally Robinson, PSV Stated Clerk

This week your congregation’s Clerk of Session received an instruction sheet and form from me and Marquell Segelken from the Presbytery Commission for Congregational Life for preparing the church Session minutes to be read later on this year. Certain things are required to be in all Session minutes, just as certain things are required to be in all presbytery minutes. I say all this because I am fascinated by church Session minutes. They are an historical record of a particular congregation, its members and mission activities, its joys and sorrows, its hallelujah moments and its times of repentance. Because I am fascinated by church history, in the years when I was a transitional pastor, I always read not just immediate past minutes of a church, but their earlier minutes as well. I wanted to know how and why a church …

PRAYER CONCERN from ACROSS THE PRESBYTERY and AROUND THE PC(USA)…

Prayers for the family, friends and colleagues of the Reverend Robina Winbush…Robina died unexpectedly on Tuesday, March 12 in New York City. Robina, who grew up in Columbus at our Bethany Presbyterian Church, was the Associate Stated Clerk and the Director of Ecumenical Relations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Robina was a highly-respected ecumenical leader and will be missed by colleagues and friends across the denomination and around the world.

PSV Commission for Nurture and Outreach News…

Three PSV Congregations Receive Session-Endorsed Mission Grants… Broad Street Presbyterian Church “Home Repair/Construction” Project received a grant of $2000 for home repair for needy homeowners in the Near East side of Columbus near the Broad Street Church. First Presbyterian Church, Grove City received $1000 for their laundromat ministry, “A Clean Idea”. Westminster Presbyterian Church, Columbus, received $500 for the Lincoln Village Youth and Community Garden. Session-endorsed Neighborhood Mission Grants are available through the Presbytery Commission for Nurture and Outreach. Visit the presbytery website for further information.

THANKS…THANKS…THANKS… Administrative Commission Members (NAC)

MANY THANKS…to the members of the Administrative Commission for the Gracious Separation of New Albany Presbyterian Church from the Presbytery of Scioto Valley. Over the past two years, these faithful elders and ministers gave of their time and talents to respond to the request from the New Albany Church to be dismissed from the Presbytery of Scioto Valley and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Through months of listening sessions, conversations, correspondence, study, prayers and discernment, the Commission determined there was a scism in this congregation and no reconciliation was possible. Through Presbytery action at the September 2018 Meeting, the Commission was authorized to administer the plan of division of these two congregations, dismiss the original NAPC to the Evangelical Presbyterian Church denomination, and establish the new Rose Run Presbyterian Church. This new congregation would regain the original New Albany Church building …

The Presbyterian Church (USA) Statistical Report… By Rick Jones, Office of the General Assembly, March 1, 2019

The largest age group in the PC(USA) continues to be 65 and older, while young people, 25 and younger, make up the smallest group. If you grew up in the church during the 1950s and 60s, you probably remember seeing packed sanctuaries and people of all ages participating in the ministry and activities. Most businesses were closed on Sundays except for restaurants who had a strong business from the “church crowd.” Fast forward fifty and sixty years and the landscape has changed. In many cases, the once-filled sanctuaries have more empty seats than filled ones. Churches have a lot of competition on Sundays now and extracurricular activities have taken the place of worship for many families. While congregations have been in decline for decades, the breakdown of age ranges has not changed, says Kris Valerius, Assistant Stated Clerk and manager of …

PC(USA) Self-Development of People… (SDOP)

Many of our congregations will be giving to the One Great Hour of Sharing (OGHS) offering through Lent. One part of this offering is the Self-Development of People (SDOP) program of the PC(USA). The Presbytery of Scioto Valley SDOP Committee recently participated in an SDOP grant. A $5,000 SDOP grant was awarded to an anti-poverty program here in Central Ohio thanks to last year’s donations to the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.   Sunday, April 7 will be Self-Development of People Sunday. If you would like interpretative materials, or information about how eligible groups in your community can apply for grants, to:  https://www.presbyterianmission.org/ministries/sdop/ If you’d like help with a “Minute for Mission,” or further information about PSV’s Self-Development of People Committee (SDOP), contact Rev. Les Sauer, [email protected]

News From our Churches and Around the Presbytery…

Galloway Presbyterian Church…by Pastor Thom Shuman…The Iona Community is a dispersed Christian ecumenical group which works for peace, social justice, environmental integrity, the rebuilding of community, and the renewal of worship. Their publishing group, Wild Goose Publications, just released ‘Beyond Brexit: reflections and prayers at a time of division.’ Rev. Thom Shuman, stated supply at Galloway Presbyterian Church was asked to contribute to this resource. They have also just published ‘Fasts and Feasts’ written by Thom. This publication provides very short reflections for each day of Lent and Holy Week. Both are available as PDF downloads from www.ionabooks.com Newark Second Presbyterian Church, 42 East Church St., Newark…invites all to the 3rd Annual Community Hymn Singalong on Sunday, March 17 at 2 pm. Rick Black, organist and Ann Robinson, pianist, will lead the singing of your favorite hymns. They will also …

2019 Presbytery-wide Winter Youth Retreat

135 Youth and Leaders gathered from across the Presbytery. With the theme of Lift Every Voice, the voices of those gathered at Camp Akita the weekend of February 22-24, did more that connect youth from ten churches in Scioto Valley. The retreat was an outward expression of love for God, one another and every part of creation. As the youth  and leaders wrote their prayers in the closing worship service, they prayed for the friendships and opportunities of the time together in such a beautiful place. They prayed for kindness, generosity, equality and the inclusion of all. They prayed for peace, safety, reconciliation and respect. They prayed for an end to hunger and homelessness. And, they prayed that every voice would be  heard! Let us all echo their prayers!   

A New Podcast by Three Pastors in our Presbytery The Bad Calvinists

This week a new podcast was launched called The Bad Calvinists in which three of our Presbytery pastor friends discuss matters of faith with fresh insight and humor. In the first episode of this podcast, Rev. Joel A. Esala, Rev. Dr. Jason Link and Rev. Gray Marshall, along with behavioral therapist Andy Solovey, discuss “Original Goodness” and contrast it with the better known doctrine of Original Sin. Listen and subscribe on iTunes, Facebook or The Bad Calvinists website. We hope you find our conversations around scripture thoughtful, relevant and funny. Rev. Joel A. Esala, Circleville Presbyterian Church: