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Our Chief End

to glorify God and to enjoy him forever

- Westminster Shorter Catechism

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Commissioners’ Reception

Author: Christy Ramsey
August 25, 2016

Moderator’s Reception

Author: Christy Ramsey
August 25, 2016
August 3, 2016

Presbytery at
Zephyr Point

Zephyr Point Aerial

The Presbytery of Nevada will meet on on September 13th and 14th (Tuesday and Wednesday) on the beautiful shores of Lake Tahoe at the Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center with several of our northern congregations; Lee Vining, along with our friends at Christ Presbyterian Church in Gardnerville and First Presbyterian Church of Virginia City, have been asked to serve as the host churches.

Various committees will meet prior Presbytery at Zephyr Point on September 11th and 12th as arranged by each committee.

Forms and more information are also sent by email. Copies can be found in this website’s members area for those logged in or below.

Members can Log In and REGISTER ONLINE!
Presbytery Registration, Meals, and Lodging
Committee Requests (Room & Materials)

Payment must be received by September 1st!

UPDATE: August 25 – We are SOLD OUT of Lodging

August 2, 2016

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Midsummer Lunch

Author: Hilda Pecoraro
August 1, 2016

Midsummer Lunch with Southern Nevada Pastors

On Thursday, July 28, twenty-two pastors and spouses escaped the record heat (high of 115 that day!) of southern Nevada as they gathered in the cool Fellowship Hall of Green Valley Presbyterian Church for the Midsummer Clergy Lunch and Get-together.

The theme was a summer picnic, complete with pulled pork sliders, fried chicken, salads, watermelon and more. After a welcome from Presbytery Pastor Hilda Pecoraro and introductions all around, host pastor the Rev. Jim Blades offered a blessing over the food. After lunch, Pastor Hilda shared a devotional from the Rev. David Dendy’s excellent book, “Seeing God at Work Every Day,” then invited pastors and spouses to share how they are seeing God at work in their own lives this summer – including through sermons, books they are reading, special vacation, unique experiences, etc.

Following the sharing around the tables, each pastor was invited to give any updates and/or announcements either from his/her personal life or the life of the congregation. After a very enjoyable time, Pastor Hilda closed the gathering with prayer.

Refreshed and renewed – physically and spiritually – it was time to return to the heat of a southern Nevada summer. Special thanks to Denis Pecoraro and to the staff of Green Valley Presbyterian Church for their help in making this a special day for our wonderful pastors and spouses.

In Christ, Rev. Hilda Pecoraro, Presbytery Pastor


GA Commissioner Interview

Author: Hilda Pecoraro
July 8, 2016

Photo by Greg Klimovitz

We are so grateful for our Commissioners to the 222nd General Assembly held in Portland, Oregon.  It is a lot of work to be a commissioner!  There is a huge amount of reading and prayerful reflection before you leave home, then hours of meetings, more reading and reflection, and the responsibility of voting your conscience with integrity.

We were well-served this year by our TE Commissioner, the Rev. Bob Kelley (Lake Tahoe Community PC), our RE Commissioner Marshall Hanson (Henderson PC) and our Young Adult Advisory Delegate (YAAD), Eva Karttunen (Westminster PC).

Though they will be sharing their official GA report at the Fall Presbytery meeting, not everyone may get the chance to hear the reports, so the following responses is an opportunity for them to share their personal experience and impressions of General Assembly.

Please join me in thanking Marshall (MH), Eva (EK) and Bob (BK) for their continuing service to the Presbytery!

Yours in Christ, Hilda, Presbytery Pastor

What surprised you most about GA?

MH:    This is my second time as a commissioner and 3rd time at a GA. What was most surprising to me was the election of 2 co-moderators. The election of our 2 moderators who were 2 lady pastors an Anglo and an African-American and their margin of victory.
EK:    I think what most surprised me most about GA was all the different agencies and things that the PC (U.S.A.) is doing. The church is a lot more spread out than I imagined, and is doing a lot more than I thought. It really opened up my eyes and the possibilities that the church holds. Another thing was all the committees that there were. We had to vote on all sorts of things. It was still pretty awesome.
BK:    After going to the Detroit assembly, I was pretty well prepared. If anything surprised me, it was the smaller attendance.  In Detroit, everywhere you turned there were groups of lots of people who were lobbying for one cause or another. I did not see very many lobbying groups in Portland.  Maybe it was too expensive to go there, or the issues weren’t as controversial.

Share a time when you felt the movement of the Holy Spirit at GA.

MH:    I felt the movement of the Holy Spirit most during the inspiring messages presented by the Daily worship services. I especially liked the turned on, inspired and enthusiastic message by Pastor Alice Ridgill with the parable of the Good Samaritan.
EK:    I felt it when we made the historic vote to approve the Belhar Confessions. It was the greatest thing I ever saw, and all the unity in the room that I felt was inspiring.
BK:    What, just one time? I felt it in worship and in our plenary sessions, but I think I felt it most in my committee meeting (Middle East Issues). We had differing opinions, but the committee truly acted with respect for each other, and when we voted, we knew it was right.

What gives you the most hope for the future of the PC(USA)?

MH:    What gives me the most hope about the PCUSA is that the outgoing moderator Heath Rada set up” the way forward “ conversations and wants the church to take a look at itself and decide how we are going to be a relevant denomination and how will the Holy Spirit lead us in the future.
EK:    I think all the young people that are actually involved in the church really gives me hope for the future. Coming from a church where the youngest member is about 18 years old, it really makes me feel good.
BK:    I have heard that previous General Assemblies were pretty contentious.  What I saw at this General Assembly was a group of people who were genuinely committed to the church and to what the church does. There was disagreement about methods but not about the church moving forward. It may be that now that those who violently disagreed have left the denomination, the remnant is ready to move forward. Not that we still all agree, but I think those of us who are left, love the PC(USA) and feel it can help our churches in our mission.

What concerns you most about the future of the PC(USA)?

MH:     What concerns me most about the future of the PCUSA is perhaps the over emphasis on social justice issues at the expense of evangelism and mission in the local church. Too much time is spent on foreign policy issues and apologies for perceived wrongs to various groups rather than by spreading the Gospel and how the local church can do these things better.
EK:    What concerns me most… is possibly the fact that even the younger people have mildly conservative views. While I was there, we had a vote on repealing the ability to officiate homosexual marriage. Even some of the young people voted to repeal it. It made me worried about what could happen in the future if we don’t decide to change.
BK:    We are great at social mission but not so much at evangelism. We say we want more members, but we only want those members who will come in on their own, and keep the church just the same as it has always been.  The classic example is the youth. We want them, but we are not willing to take the time to actually understand them, or to gear our fellowship or our worship towards them.

Share a personal memory from GA that you will cherish

MH:    The personal memory I will cherish most will be the opportunity to worship at a nearby congregation on Sunday. I attended the Orenco Pres church in Hillsboro. It had a gentleman and lady Pastor, a music worship team, and did local and world mission, supported a daycare, community garden project, youth programs and were super friendly and still growing in a 200 member church. They looked to me like a church on fire for the Lord and wove scripture into their message. A great church we can all learn from.
EK:    I think I will cherish the memory of the little jokes that were made while we were there and the conversation with the TSAD (Theological Seminary Advisory Delegate) that sat next to me.
BK:    I think my most important personal memory is Art Ritter being prayed over on the floor of the General Assembly.

What would you like to be sure the Presbytery knows about the PC(USA)?

MH:    The GA is proactive about the loss of membership and revenue and is downsizing staff in order to balance budgets. It is keeping pace with cultural challenges and is still supporting missions, social justice, ecology, hunger, and racial diversity in membership.
EK:    I want to make sure our little presbytery knows that the GA actually is trying to move us forward and not stay stuck in the past. And how we adopted a new confession that wasn’t written by, and I quote, “Old white European men.”
BK:    The Presbyterian Mission agency is doing a ton of mission work in the United States and overseas.  But the only thing we seem to know about them is their budget went up again. Our presbytery’s world view of GA is that is just about overtures and social mission statements. But that is dealt with for only 2 weeks every two years. The rest of the time in between, we are doing Presbyterian Disaster Relief, doing local and world missions, and even putting on an evangelism conference in Florida this August.
Printable PDF of commissioner’s responses

Shooting in Dallas

Author: Hilda Pecoraro
July 8, 2016


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

We awoke this morning to yet another horrific tragedy in our beloved nation. This time it is the city of Dallas, Texas that is at the center of a brutal attack on those charged with protecting and saving lives. Our hearts ache for the police officers who were gunned down in violence motivated by anger, hatred and retribution.

We live in a country that appears to be more divided than ever before. It seems we are losing the ability to disagree or work out our differences without polarization, hateful words and violence.

Our world is in desperate need of hearing the gospel – words of reconciliation, hope, justice, forgiveness and grace. Peace can only come through Jesus Christ, who taught us to love our enemies and pray for those who persecute us. (Matthew 5:44).

Let us join in praying for the families of those who have been killed, for those injured in hospitals and recovering at home. Let us pray for police officers in our own communities and for their families. Let us pray for those who feel that their voices are not being heard, and yes, let us pray for those we may consider our “enemies.”

I offer the following prayers for personal use or for use in corporate worship.

Praying with you, Pastor Hilda

Prayers for Comfort 💔 Police Officers 💔 At a Time of Tragedy
Peace, Racial and Cultural Diversity 💔 The Human Family

First Thai-Laotian Presbyterian Church is the sole recipient of the 2016 Sam and Helen R. Walton Award of $50,000. First Thai-Laotian began in 2002 with 15 people who wanted to reach the estimated 15,000 Thai and Laotian persons living in Las Vegas. The majority of the first generation of the immigrants attended Buddhist temples, but due to the language barrier the younger generations had begun to drift from the faith of their parents.

First Thai-Laotian Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas

2016 Walton Award winner, First Thai-Laotian Presbyterian Church in Las Vegas is made up of many nationalities. Their ministry blossomed when they started a homeless ministry for those living in the bushes around the community. —Image captured from First Thai-Laotian video

As First Thai-Laotian shifted its worship service to English, members of the congregation became aware of homeless persons in the community. Members say God began to open their eyes and hearts—God’s mission was not just to Thai and Laotian persons. Since beginning a homeless ministry, the congregation has helped 10 people move off the streets and have sent two members to the Lay Preachers Academy in Austin, Texas.

The church now has 68 members and 27 children, and became an officially chartered Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation on September 16, 2015.

The Walton Award funds will help First Thai-Laotian purchase its own church building in Las Vegas; the church has already raised more than $100,000 for a down payment.

The Walton Awards were established in 1991 as part of a $6 million gift from the late Sam and Helen R. Walton though the Presbyterian Foundation. The gift included an endowment of $3 million. Each year accumulated interest of up to $50,000 is given to chosen outstanding new church starts for site acquisition and capital improvements.

Paul Seebeck, Communications Strategist, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Reprinted from the Mission Yearbook – June 30

2016 Assembly in Brief

Author: Christy Ramsey
July 6, 2016

Bulletin Sized Summary of General Assembly


Commissioners discuss a motion-Danny Bolin

Commissioners discuss a motion-Danny Bolin

from the PCUSA website:

Assembly in Brief, the popular bulletin insert-size summary of the 222nd General Assembly (2016) is now available as a free download. The insert is chock-full of information about the Assembly, complete with color photographs. Assembly in Brief is a partnership between PNS and the Office of the General Assembly. It relies heavily on the writing and photography staff of the General Assembly Communications Center.

Contents include:

  • “The Hope in Our Calling” (Peacemaking)
  • History²: Two women elected Co-Moderators
  • Belhar added to Book of Confessions
  • A new Directory for Worship
  • Commission created to deal with PC(USA) structural issues
  • Move to divest from fossil fuel companies defeated
  • Two-state solution for Israel-Palestine reaffirmed
  • With an apology, assembly vows to keep children safe
  • ‘Regret’ expressed for harm to LGBTQ/Q members
  • “Teaching Elder” out, “Minister of Word and Sacrament” back in
  • Decision to reduce number of synods reversed
  • Commitment to peacemaking reaffirmed
  • Gradye Parsons honored

The bulletin insert may be downloaded in a variety of formats suitable for printing as a bulletin insert from the PCUSA website:

July Notes from the Presbytery Pastor

Author: Hilda Pecoraro
July 4, 2016

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