“Is this not the fast I choose?”
One Great Hour Of Sharing Helps Us Answer God’s Call
The Christian season of Lent is historically marked with fasting, a traditional practice of giving up food and devoting yourself to prayer.
But this isn’t the only type of fasting the Bible talks about. Isaiah 58 describes a new kind of fast, not to give up bread but to share it. Isaiah calls us to “loose the bonds of injustice,” to “let the oppressed go free,” to “share bread with the hungry” and to “invite the homeless poor into our homes.” We are called to offer help to those in need and restoration to those who have been broken down.
With our gifts to One Great Hour of Sharing we join congregations all over the country seeking to answer God’s call and make a difference in the lives of many more people. As we respond through our sharing, Isaiah 58 also provides a promise. As we respond to injustice, feed those who are hungry, and provide places for those without homes, our “light will break forth,” and we shall be called “repairers of the breach, restorers of streets to live in.”
Please give generously to help sustain the important PC(USA) ministries and programs that are supported by One Great Hour of Sharing Offering. Make an offering at your congregation or by making an online gift during Lent or at any time throughout the year. Checks may be sent care of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to P.O. Box 643700; Pittsburgh, PA 15264-3700.
Let us Pray: God, your call to us is both great and challenging. May the gifts we share bring justice and help to those in need, and may your light break forth in our lives and in the lives of those served through our shared ministry. Amen.
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A few of the highlights of our meeting in March 2017 by our Presbytery Pastor, Rev. Hilda Pecoraro:
Beautiful warm weather in Henderson, which was a relief to those coming from the snowbound north. The host church, Henderson Presbyterian Church did an excellent job with the providing of meals and snacks, organization of space and ensuring everyone’s comfort throughout the gathering. Thank you to Pastor Lee Styer, Chairperson Elder Connie Knight and ALL the volunteers!
The First Korean Presbyterian Church of Las Vegas prepared and served lunch on Tuesday. It was a bountiful and delicious Korean meal, which left everyone satisfied and grateful. Thank you to Rev. In Cheol Lim and the members of FKPC!
We had an entertaining and informative presentation of the proposed Amendments to the Book of Order from the Rev. Jim Houston-Hencken, representing a conservative viewpoint, and the Rev. Hutch Hutchison, representing a more progressive viewpoint. Voting on the proposed Amendments was done by paper ballot. The Presbytery of Nevada voted in favor of all proposed Amendments, with the largest split vote being on item 16-H, approving the new Directory for Worship.
The Presbytery celebrated the work accomplished by the Director of Finance, Elder Vernon Manke who has cleaned up the many funds we had accumulated over the years, and has created an ordered and understandable system for the handling of and reporting on Presbytery funds.
The Presbytery received a request from Community Presbyterian Church of Tonopah to dissolve the church, which is down to 4 members. The Presbytery heard from Pastor Rob Schleef, CRE who has been pastoring this congregation for 16 years and also from Elder Ray Bledsoe, chair of the Administrative Commission charged with the tasks related to the dissolution. The Presbytery granted the request of the congregation with regret and offered a prayer of thanksgiving for the church’s long ministry to the community of Tonopah and to the Presbytery of Nevada.
The Presbytery made a $5,000 donation to Teen Challenge, a faith-based ministry to persons dealing with addictions. The Las Vegas center houses 18 men and up to 12 interns who have completed the program. We heard an inspiring testimony of the transformational work being done by Teen Challenge from the Director, David Davis. (Note: There is also a Teen Challenge center in Sparks for boys ages 12-7, and one will soon be opening in Lund for girls ages 12-17 who are victims of trafficking.)
We received a report from Pastor John Staples of Amazing Grace, a ministry to the homeless in Las Vegas. John thanked the Presbytery for its on-going support the last 17 years since the creation of Amazing Grace. Weekly worship services, meals and distribution of clothing continue to bring comfort and hope to this often overlooked population.
We received a report from Zach Darrah, Director of FIRM (Fresno Interdenominational Refugee Ministry) which included a thanks to the Presbytery of Nevada for supporting FIRM for 23 years.
The Special Offering received at the worship service was designated for the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Youth Mission Trip to Baton Rouge, Louisiana this summer to assist victims of flooding. The Offering was $1,341.00!
Rev. Bob Crall preaches before PresbyteryThe Presbytery worship service was led by host pastor the Rev. Lee Styer, along with the choir of Henderson Presbyterian Church. The highlight of the service was a powerful sermon from the Rev. Bob Crall titled, “Christ the Same, Yesterday, Today, Forever.”
Pastor David Rhee, CRE was joyfully received as a member of the Presbytery of Nevada. Pastor Rhee was commissioned on January 1, 2017 to serve as pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church. Let us pray for David and for the wonderful congregation of Westminster.
Rev. Jeanie Shaw was given permission to labor within the bounds of the Presbytery of Nevada as she serves as part-time Interim Pastor for the Truckee Lutheran/Presbyterian Church. Rev. Shaw continues as a member of the Presbytery of Sacramento where she is also pastor of a new church plant. She brings national experience working with the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Program and coaching new church developers. We praise God for bringing Jeanie to TLPC and ask God’s blessing on her and the congregation.
The Presbytery approved a motion from the Equipping Committee to extend the Fall meeting of the Presbytery by 3 hours so that Equipping can plan a program that will provide for spiritual enrichment, strengthening relationships, building community and reflecting on important issues facing the church.
It was a joy to welcome two additional pastors to the Presbytery! The Rev. Ken Eimer – member at large, and the Rev. Bill Stryker, Honorably Retired. Both Ken and Bill bring years of ministry experience, skill and commitment to Christ and his church. We are very blessed to have them as members of the Presbytery of Nevada!
Presbytery voted to approve the revised and updated By-laws, Standing Rules and Policies, with sincere thanks to Stated Clerk Joan Jeffers for all her time and effort on this huge project.
Rev. Adrian Doll’s call as Pastor of Green Valley Presbyterian Church was approved and he was enthusiastically received as a member of the Presbytery of Nevada. Rev. Doll’s Service of Installation will be on Sunday, April 23 at 10:00 a.m. All are welcome! Let us keep Adrian, his family and the Green Valley congregation in our prayers.
SAVE THE DATE: Fall Presbytery of Nevada Meeting: September 11-13, 2017 at beautiful Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center on the shores of Lake Tahoe where “the fabric is thin between heaven and earth!”
Two perspectives on this year’s proposed amendments to the PCUSA constitution.
At the request of the Equipping Committee, Two of our minister members (what do we call them? Read on!) have provided some commentary and context to the amendments. Thanks to Jim Houston-Hencken and Richard “Hutch” Hutchison for their work!
Looking for ADVENTURE, BEAUTY, HIKING, FISHING along with a GOD-CHALLENGE? Then we have just the perfect opportunity for you. The Ketchikan Presbyterian Church, a small, friendly, eager-to-embrace-the-future congregation, is seeking a summer pulpit supply in exchange for housing and a small stipend.
The Ketchikan Church, located on the southern tip of the S.E. Alaska panhandle, is the perfect place for you to catch your fill of salmon and halibut and hike your feet happy all while lightly ministering to a diverse, seasoned congregation. We’re eager to explore God’s word for today with you.
Steve Kinney, Clerk of Session
Ketchikan Presbyterian Church
Grace Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas and Pastor Jim Houston-Hencken were featured on Channel 3 NBC News on February 22 about the highway construction project that surrounds their church.
We’ve requested permission to post the video story and interview but you can watch BOTH videos (the second one is more detailed, with more Jim!) at the Channel 3 website:
Innovation, collaboration, and adaptability will be expected of the Presbytery of the Cascades’ new Presbyter for Vision and Mission. The presbytery expects that the new Presbyter will be committed to knowing, loving, and following Jesus Christ; knowledgeable about and enthusiastically committed to the Presbyterian Church (USA); eager to know and support the ministry of all the congregations in the broad and long sweep of the presbytery of the Cascades; and open to ecumenical and interfaith sharing of ministry and mission.
The new Presbyter will serve as head of staff for the presbytery, encouraging a team approach to serving the presbytery; represent and connect the presbytery to other councils of the PC(USA), other churches, and other partners in ministry; and work particularly closely with the Presbytery Leadership Commission and the Personnel and Administration Committee, as their primary staff resource person.
The new Presbyter will work out of the Portland office of the presbytery but will be expected to travel extensively.
If this sounds like the perfect call for, please apply by sending your application to firstname.lastname@example.org, or by email to Ani Lele’a, Synod of the Pacific, 200 Kentucky Street, Suite B, Petaluma, CA, 94952-3825. Update 3/12/2017: Still accepting applications, possibly for as long as two more months.
Photo By: The original uploader was Fcb981 at English Wikipedia Eric Baetscher (Transferred from en.wikipedia to Commons.) [CC BY-SA 2.5 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5)], via Wikimedia Commons
Equipping Committee Hosts Luncheon for Southern Nevada Clergy
Using a Presidents’ Day Theme, Chair of Equipping, DeLois Basnett welcomed 20 pastors and church leaders to a Pastors’ Luncheon on Wednesday, February 22, 2017 in the Fellowship Hall of Westminster Presbyterian Church. After a warm welcome, DeLois shared the purpose for the gathering then invited pastors to introduce themselves and tell the city of their birth. Rev. Adolph Kunen offered the blessing and a delicious lunch of gourmet soups, salads and “mystery bread” was enthusiastically enjoyed. After dessert, Rev. Dana Pope led the group in a time of singing praise to God. The full voices and harmonies among our pastors provided a very special time of worship.
Presbytery Pastor Hilda Pecoraro led a discussion on the challenges facing the church in America, focusing on the “nones” – those who state they are unaffiliated with any religious group – and on how Christians are perceived by those outside the church. Hilda invited the pastors to reflect on Mark 2:21-22 in the context of the discussion. Following a thoughtful – though brief – discussion, each person was invited to share an update, prayer concern or announcement regarding their church or from their personal life. The luncheon concluded with DeLois thanking everyone for coming, and our newest pastor in the Presbytery, Rev. Adrian Doll offering the closing prayer.
Special thanks to DeLois and former chair of Equipping Lyla Dusing for preparing the delicious meal and decorating the tables. Also thanks to Bill Basnett and Denis Pecoraro for helping in the kitchen, and Pastor David Rhee and Westminster Presbyterian Church for being the host church.