Thursday, August 31, 2017

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for August 31, 2017

The Bible in a Year: Bible Readings for August 31, 2017: Today our passages are  Job 37:1–39:30; 2 Corinthians 4:13–5:10; Psalm 44:9-26; and Proverbs 22:13 . The readings are from the  Contempora...

A New Devotion on Cove's Prayer Line - There Will Be No Alarms

A letter from World Mission regarding recent events in Charlottesville

Dear Partners in Christ’s Mission –

Image result for Presbyterian World MissionWe greet you in name of our Lord and redeeming savior, Jesus the Christ. As a longstanding partner of the Presbyterian Church (USA), we pray that you continue in God’s blessings in your ministry.

We write in these days to ask for your prayers as our country grapples with its deep and painful history of racism, white supremacy, and violence. As you know, recently in Charlottesville, Virginia, there were violent protests that lifted up white supremacy, racial hatred, and anti-Semitism. Many counter-protesters were present to stand witness against these messages, and one was killed when a car was driven into their crowd.

Our PC(USA) leadership has strongly condemned these acts of hatred and violence, which you may find here.

We write in these times to ask for your prayers, wisdom, and support as our church confronts and rebukes this hateful history of racism and intolerance. Presbyterians were among the counter-protesters in Charlottesville, and Presbyterians will continue to be active in resisting rising racial violence throughout our country. For these efforts in God’s mission, we ask your prayers and support.

Many in the United States were shocked to see such violence and hate-speech openly expressed in Charlottesville, but our shared Reformed understanding of human brokenness leads us to continually know, name, and speak out about the sin and injustice of our church and society. We ask for your help in our witness to Christ’s love and redemption in this time.

We are thankful for our partnership of mutual prayer and support as we continue to seek God’s reign here on earth, as it is in heaven.

In continued partnership,

Jose Luis Casal, Director, Presbyterian World Mission
Tamron Keith,  Associate Director, Presbyterian World Mission
Debbie Braaksma, Africa Area Coordinator, Presbyterian World Mission
Valdir Fran├ža, Latin American Area Coordinator, Presbyterian World Mission
Mienda Uriarte, Asia Area Coordinator, Presbyterian World Mission
Philip Woods, Europe and Middle East Area Coordinator, Presbyterian World Mission
Richard Williams, Coordinator, Young Adult Volunteer Program

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

A Thought from the Word - A brief thought based on Galatians 3:28

Call to prayer as Hurricane Harvey passes by

Image result for texas floodGod of our life, whose presence sustains us in every circumstance, in storm and distress, we welcome the restoring power of your love and compassion. We open our hearts in sorrow, gratitude and hope: that those who have been spared nature’s fury as well as those whose lives are changed forever by ravages of wind and water may find solace, sustenance and strength in the days of recovery and rebuilding that come.

We are thankful for the generous grace of days of preparation; for the wise counsel of experts and the generous collaboration of so many communities, that in the face of the storm kept many out of harm’s way, and lessened the effects of wind and water on others. We pray for those yet in harm’s way; who wait in neighborhoods while the waters rise, who pray for the rains to cease. We pray for those huddled at home or among strangers while wind ravages, for those who have fled from home and wait and wonder. We ask for sustaining courage, for the kindness of strangers, for hope that does not disappoint.

We open ourselves to listen with compassion to the stories of those whom Hurricane Harvey has not spared: communities deeply affected, whose livelihood, homes and stability have been destroyed. We pray in grief, honoring the lives shattered and the livelihoods, homes and businesses for whom recovery seems an insurmountable mountain. We lift our voices in sorrow and compassion for families who have lost loved ones, homes or livelihood.

Image result for texas flood suffering
We ask for sustaining courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among agencies and individuals assessing damage and directing relief efforts; and for generosity to flow as powerfully as rivers and streams, as we, your people, respond to the deep human needs beginning to emerge in the wake of the storm.

In these days of relief, assessment and response, open our eyes, our hearts, and our hands to the needs of your children and the movements of your Spirit, who flows in us like the river whose streams makes glad the city of God, and the hearts of all who dwell in it, and in You.
In the name of Christ the Healer we pray, Amen.


Laurie Ann Kraus is the associate mission director of Compassion, Peace and Justice and director of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance.

The Happenings Around the Presbytery - August 29, 2017


Upper Ohio Valley Presbytery
907 National Road
Wheeling, WV  26003
304-232-3490

Office Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
In an emergency after office hours: Call 740-359-1813




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What can I do to be more like Jesus?
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PLEASE CONTINUE TO KEEP IN YOUR PRAYERS:
Bill Betteridge
Karen Edwards
Ed Mooney
Leura Nancy Macon
Ginny Zoric
Mike Anderson
Nancy Mountz
David Brocklehurst
Wayne Devore
David Bruce
R. H. “Mac” McCuen
Karen Byrne
John Oerter
Judee Parkinson
Sharon Willits
Debbie Hale
Linda Turner
Vickie Whinnery
Steve McCollam
Jacob Kestner
Dakota Partnership
William Heminger
Domasi Partnership
All our service men & women
Bob Offerdahl
Jane Schockey as she takes her first ordination exam Friday, Sept. 1st.
For those affected by Hurricane Harvey.
For North Korea and the world; to end violence and hatred, and that the spirit of God will enter into the hearts of all.
Please keep us informed of any prayer concerns you may have.
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PRAYER FOR UOVP PASTORS: Select one of these pastors and remember him in your prayers this week: Larry Kline, David Knapp, Randall Krebs, Charles LaPlaca, Bill Lawrence.
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THE PRESBYTERY OFFICE will be closed Labor Day, Sept. 4.
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PRESBYTERIAN DISASTER ASSISTANCE (PDA) is in touch with presbyteries in affected areas of Texas to offer assistance. We are standing by with resources and National Response Team members are being deployed today to affected areas. We need your help. Please give to help PDA bring hope and healing to Texas families impacted by Hurricane Harvey. For those who wish to support PDA's emergency response and recovery efforts, gifts can be designated to DR000169-HarveySend your check payable to UOVP, 907 National Road, Wheeling, WV 26003, and the presbytery will forward it on. Or, if you prefer to mail a check, make it payable to PDA and send it to Presbyterian Church (USA), PO Box 643700, Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.Either way, memo your check DR000169-HarveyYou may also call PDA Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (EST), at 1-800-872-3283 and donate by phone. For updates, please go topda.pcusa.orgPlease join us in praying for courage for those who are suffering; wisdom and diligence among agencies and individuals assessing damage and directing relief efforts; and for generosity to flow as powerfully as rivers and streams, as we respond to the deep human needs left in the wake of the storm.
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BOOK OF ORDER 2017 – 2019: Patty is taking orders until tomorrow morning. Call now 304-232-3490 and leave a message. $10.00 per copy. They must be picked up at the Presbytery Office. OR—if you want to order directly from Presbyterian Distribution Service and have them shipped to you, call them at 1-800-524-2612.
downloadable free copy is available at www.pcusa.org.
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Sept. 1~
Sept. 2 ~
Colleen Griffith, rev.mama@frontier.com
Sept. 2 ~
Rich Cunningham, connierich@comcast.net

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WILL YOU STAND IN THE GAP (Give/Act/Pray) for the people of South Sudan?
“What are we going to do with these people who are shedding tears day and night, who are wounded in their hearts, about these children who are suffering? How can the church be a light in the situation? How can we give hope?” This was the anguished cry of leaders of the South Sudan Council of Churches in a recently issued pastoral message.
It’s not in the news, but a catastrophe of epic proportions has been spreading death and despair across the youngest country in the world, South Sudan. With nearly 6 million people in the country (half of the population) struggling to find food and clean water, nationwide famine was declared early this year. Additionally, 4 million people have been displaced because of food scarcity and violence, fleeing to camps for Internally Displaced People in the capital city, Juba, or leaving for refugee camps in neighboring countries. Within the rising violence is ethnic targeting. After 20 years of warring for independence from Sudan, South Sudan has yet to achieve stability after gaining its independence in 2011. The generational trauma of this complex emergency is resulting in the quiet death of South Sudan, and we must act.
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is funding large-scale emergency relief projects for South Sudanese communities, displaced people, and refugees, working with the humanitarian arm of the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan. Further, PDA is working to support livelihood and food security, as well as peacebuilding. Ministries supported by the Peace & Global Witness Offering are providing ongoing advocacy and aid to those working for peace.
“We need your prayers and support in all ways, including advocacy,” said the Rev. Peter Gai Lual, PCOSS moderator. “It gives us strength and hope that we are standing as Christians together until we have peace.”
“God of mercy, whose eye is on the sparrow, and from whose sight nothing is hidden
open our eyes and our hearts to the plight of your people of South Sudan.
While we have been absorbed in our own concerns and distracted by an endless news cycle focused
on Washington, D.C., the suffering of 12 million souls has deepened.
This young nation’s survival is at risk, its hope and resources overwhelmed by hunger, thirst, and violence.
We ask your forgiveness for our short attention spans and our limited imagination.
We pray that you will help us to do better.
We pray for those who are trying to hold on in villages and towns, scratching for a living, waling miles for water
for families who have fled to overcrowded and dangerous camps.
For those trying to hold life together, always watching and waiting
for the ominous movement of militia on the road into town
for the whistle of incoming shells,
for a cry from a desperate neighbor or a shout of warning
wondering, is it safe to remain? Shall I send my family away?
We pray for neighbors in other countries, especially Uganda, who have already welcomed so many,
whose resources are strained under the burden of hospitality but who are still willing to do more.
We pray for ourselves, who have failed to watch and pray, who have the ability to act and the resources to help.
May we reach deeply, give generously, and advocate for justice with strong voices.
May we lift our voices in a strong and unified advocacy so that governments will act now to save lives
and to protect the threatened peoples of South Sudan.
May we not forget, nor fail to continue to pray with our hearts and our actions.
Help us find courage, compassion and hope, for we need your grace. Amen.”
--the Rev. Dr. Laurie Kraus, Coordinator, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, August 2017
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UNION PRESBYTERIAN SEMINARY. Fall events at the Leadership Institute: Much is happening at the Leadership Institute this fall! Check out the events we are offering and register today!Pathways to Learning and Leadership – online classes for CREs and continuing ed; Christian Education certification course in Polity, Program, and Mission – HYBRID course, with about 18 hours of work online at home, beginning on September 5, and 12 hours on campus in Richmond (October 3-5, 2017); Seminary for a Day – On September 23; Mission Possible: Embracing the task of strategic visioning – October 9-12 four-day workshop; Interim/Transitional Ministry training – Week 1 November 13-17 intense 30-hour course on our Richmond campus for pastors interested in interim ministry and/or congregations in transition. www.upsem.edu/leadership-institute. Info on the above can be found on our website. Click on “Seminaries” in the top blue box, then click on Union Seminary.
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GenOn MINISTRIES RESOURCES, PCUSA. Fulfill your commitment to all God’s children to nurture them in the love and embrace of Jesus Christ! Order GenOn Ministries' Faith for Life, an undated and permanent Bible study curriculum. Faith for Life will empower your children to claim their relationship with God through Christ by knowing and living the teachings of Scripture.
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From a Weirton, Cove, newsletter: 10 Reasons Why God Created Eve...
10. God worried that Adam would always be lost in the garden because he knew men would never ask directions.
9. God knew that Adam would one day need someone to hand him the TV remote because men don't want to see what's on television, they want to see WHAT ELSE is on television.
8. God knew that Adam would never buy a new fig leaf when the seat wore out and therefore would need Eve to get one for him.
7. God knew that Adam would never make a doctor’s appointment for himself.
6. God knew that Adam would never remember which night was garbage night.
5. God knew that if the world was to be populated there would have to be someone to bear children, because men would never be able to handle it.
4. As 'Keeper of the Garden,' Adam would never remember where he put his tools.
3. The scripture account of creation indicates that Adam needed someone to blame his troubles on when God caught him hiding in the garden.
2. As the Bible says, 'It is not good for man to be alone.' He only ends up getting himself in trouble.
AND the #1 REASON WHY GOD CREATED EVE is ... When God had finished the creation of Adam, He stepped back, scratched His head and said, 'I KNOW I can do better than THIS!!'
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THE FOLLOWING ITEMS HAVE BEEN PREVIOUSLY RUN:
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A SEASON OF PEACE 2017, September 3 – October 1 ~ THE PEACE & GLOBAL WITNESS OFFERING is received during the Season of Peacewhich ends on World Communion Sunday.HOW IS MY GIFT USED? A gift to the Peace & Global Witness Offering enables the church to promote the Peace of Christ by addressing systems of injustice across the world. Individual congregations are encouraged to utilize up to 25% of this Offering to connect with the global witness of Christ's peace. Mid councils retain an additional 25% for ministries of peace and reconciliation. The remaining 50% is used by the Presbyterian Mission Agency to advocate for peace and justice in cultures of violence, including our own, through collaborative projects of education and Christian witness. RESOURCES. Use these resources for promoting the Peace & Global Witness Offering in your church. Documents will open in a new tab when clicked below. To order resources directly or to check your congregation's standing order, call Presbyterian Distribution Services at (800) 524-2612.
§  Children’s Curriculum, Sample Newsletter / Blog Post; Sample Pastor's Letter -- Coming Soon
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TIPS FOR DESIGNING A CHURCH WEBSITE: As the church and the rest of the world become more accessible and more connected—thanks in large part to the web, social media, and mobile devices—it’s more important than ever that our churches use informative, easy-to-navigate websites. But where does a congregation start? The idea of creating a new website or updating an existing site can be overwhelming—but it doesn’t have to be. In this edition of the Presbyterian Communicators Network, we provide tips on how to create an effective website to keep your viewers happy and coming back. Click here for tips.
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OFFICE OF PUBLIC WITNESS calls on Presbyterians to participate in fall event in Washington: The Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Public Witness is calling on Presbyterians across the denomination to come to Washington, D.C., this fall to speak out on the proposed federal budget. Read more.
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SEPTEMBER PRAYER REQUESTS can be found on our website under Spotlight and in the calendar.
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SAVE THE DATE – October 1, 2017, for the 200th anniversary celebration of the Presbyterian Church of Cadiz. Worship will be at 11:00 a.m. with a catered lunch to follow.
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PRESBYTERIAN WORLD MISSION newsletter August, 2017, control+click here. It can also be found on our website under Spotlight.
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FINDING OUR PLACE IN GOD’S MISSION: Presbyterian World Mission’s guidebook is helpful for congregations discerning or evaluating mission work, seeking to learn more about long-term mission co-workers and how to connect with them, or planning a short-term mission trip. The guidebook is available for free download, or printed copies may be purchased through the Church Store.
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HAPPY BIRTHDAY SYNOD OF THE TRINITY! On September 17, 1717, the first synod meeting in the United States was held in Philadelphia, making this day the 300thbirthday of the Synod of the Trinity. The Synod asks all congregations to join in the celebration on Sunday, Sept. 17, 2017. A bulletin insert including a liturgy and hymn suggestions that can be used on this day may be found on our website under Items of Information. Also note that congregations who share photos and videos from Sept. 17 will be eligible to receive a $500 prize. Information on this is available in the insert.
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PRESBYTERIAN HISTORICAL SOCIETY Newsletter August, 2017, can be found on our website under Spotlight, or control+click here.
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LOUISVILLE PRESBYTERIAN THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S September 1 Doctor of Ministry (DMin) application deadline is approaching. Applications received by Sept. 1, will be considered for January 2018 admission to the DMin program. If interested in applying, we look forward to receiving your application and supporting materials. A few things to consider:
·        For more than 30 years, our DMin program has strengthened the connection between theology and ministry practice in the church and in fields closely related to the mission and witness of the church.
·        Our tuition is considerably lower than DMin programs elsewhere, and block scheduling offers the personal flexibility that busy practitioners need.
·        DMin tracks in Pastoral Care and Counseling, Black Church Studies and Advanced Practice of Ministry offer challenging and relevant insights into how to best serve our church and the world in great need.
·        The program is fully accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) and the Association of Theological Schools (ATS).
As a longtime faculty member here at Louisville Seminary, I can attest to the quality theological education that the seminary offers. Please feel free to contact me or our Office of Admissions for more information. Information is also available online at www.lpts.edu/dmin. I look forward to hearing from you. Sincerely, Rev. Dr. Dianne Reistroffer, Interim Director, Doctor of Ministry Program, Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
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DEDICATION WORSHIP SERVICE. On Sunday, September 24ththe Long's Run Presbyterian Church, 15851 Longs Church Road, East Liverpool, OH, will be dedicating our building addition. So far we have been able to pay all the bills as they came in (over $200,000!). Much of the labor has been done by members and friends of the church on a volunteer basis. Come celebrate with us at 3:00 p.m. on September 24th. Light refreshments will be served following the service.
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THE LONGEST TABLE, a community dining experience to fight hunger in the Ohio Valley, will be held Sunday, September 24th, at the Urban Mission, downtown Steubenville. The street will be closed down to accommodate a table two blocks long. Appetizers and music will begin at 1:00 p.m. and the meal will be served at 2:00 p.m. Tickets are $30, but an early bird discount is available until August 24. Go to www.urbanmission.org or call 740-282-8010 to reserve your seat.
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PRINCETON THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY’S Just Food Conference to Address Complexities of Race and Food: The fight for racial and environmental justice go hand-in-hand in the United States as proponents battle the exploitation of people of color and the land. The complexities and challenges of this fight will be the topic of discussion at this year’s Just Food Conference to be held September 21–23, 2017, at Princeton Theological Seminary. Participants will share stories, eat and worship together as they explore experiences of race and food and how they connect with the deepest parts of our identities, often in subconscious ways. “Just Conversations” sessions at the conference will provide a forum for participants to connect the learnings from plenary sessions with the depths of their individual and collective stories. The cost of the conference is $195. For more information and to register, visit www.ptsjustfood.com.
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LOUISVILLE SEMINARY Counseling Center 20th Anniversary Gala: Save the Date Friday, December 1st. The Louisville Seminary Counseling Center is 20 years old! Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary will host an open house, reception and dinner to celebrate the Counseling Center's two-decade commitment to quality marriage and family therapy services for the Greater Louisville area. Tour the updated Counseling Center facilities. Reconnect with Louisville Seminary Marriage and Family Therapy alums, faculty, staff and supervisors. Share stories about your Counseling Center experience. Registration and other details will be available soon at www.lpts.edu.
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THE BOARD OF PENSIONS reminds us it is time to construct "Employer Agreements" for 2018 coverages and benefits. Review, model, and update or build your 2018 Employer Agreement. Log on to Benefits Connect and choose Employer Agreement to select benefits for employees to elect during annual enrollment this Fall. Access resources to help answer your questions. Go towww.pensions.org for the following: Guide to Selecting 2018 Benefits; web tutorials; Employers: Start Thinking about 2018 Benefits article; Selecting 2018 Benefits: Building Your Employer Agreement short video; Expanded pensions.org section at www.pensions.org/2018benefits; Submit your 2018 Employer Agreement now through October 13.
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STEWARDSHIP KALEIDOSCOPE will be held September 25 – 27, 2017, at TradeWinds Island Grand Resort, St. Pete Beach, FL, for pastors, lay leaders, and anyone who is looking to learn more about stewardship in today’s church context. 30+ workshops will be offered. To register or for more info: www.stewardshipkaleidoscope.org.
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WEE KIRK, Northeast (PA) Small Church Conference, will be held October 9-11, 2017, at the Laurelville Mennonite Church Center, Mt. Pleasant, PA. Purpose: To inspire, equip, motivate and encourage small PC(USA) Churches and to provide rest and refreshment for the Clergy and Lay Leaders of those Churches. For more info, contact Helen Kester at (724) 980-9565 orhelen.kester@gmail.com. Online registration are available at www.wee-kirk-ne.org.
TIMOTHY PROJECT, in conjunction with the annual Wee Kirk Conference: Come and celebrate with us as you begin your ministry. Let us walk with you, be an encourager, and perhaps answer some of your questions from seasoned pastors and lay leaders. Monday, October 9th, Noon—meet in the Lodge for lunch; 1:00—Ice Breakers & Worship; 2:00—Session One: “Facilitating Adaptive Change in the Small Church,” by Larry Myers; 3:15—Session two: “Using Appreciative Inquiry As a Planning Tool in the Small Church,” by Jordan Rimmer: 4:30—registration & check in; 5:00—supper. Tuesday, October 10, 2017, 10:30 – Noon Session Six: “Facing into the Tsunami,” a tsunami of cultural change is headed toward all our churches. How do we begin to wrestle with the adaptive challenges we now face? by Jim Farrer. The remainder of the time you will join the Wee Kirk Conference. See brochure for times and activities. 1 Tim. 1:2; 1 Tim. 1:18, 1 Tim. 6:20. If you are interested in attending the Northeast (PA) Wee Kirk and the Timothy Group, separate registration is necessary. Contact Helen Kester 724-980-9565 or helen.kester@gmail.com.
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