Two meetings are scheduled in mid-October for members of the presbyteries of Santa Fe and Sierra Blanca to hear a report from and provide input into the Joint Task Presbytery Task Force of the two presbyteries that is exploring merger.

Sierra Blanca Presbytery will have a called meeting on Oct. 14 at Second Presbyterian Church of Alburquerque. The two presbyteries will have their stated meetings together Oct. 15-16 at Ghost Ranch.

The task force was formed at the request of both presbyteries to “begin exploration of the formation of a new presbytery, says the Rev. Sallie Watson, who serves as regional presbyter and stated clerk for both presbyteries.

LANCASTER, Pa. ― Plans are in place for The Reality Conference, a gathering of senior high students in Donegal Presbytery.  

Put together by youth workers in the presbytery, Reality is an annual retreat designed to help high schoolers and their youth leaders to think, plan dream, pray and challenge each other to grow in their faith.

The conference will take place Nov. 4-6 at Refreshing Mountain Camp in Stevens, Pa. Keynote speaker is the Rev. Tim Dooner, pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church in Emmaus, Pa.

IOWA CITY, Iowa ― Why work at becoming a disciple-making church? One reason ― one very big reason ― is that Jesus told us to.

But also, the Rev. Glenn McDonald told about 70 church leaders from East Iowa Presbytery gathered for an Oct. 8 workshop at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church here, do it because relationships will be strengthened and faith will be deepened.

If we want to transform the culture ― including church culture ― McDonald said, the indispensable factor is leadership, leadership that’s committed to changing the culture in many ways, including through prayer, a singular focus on discipleship, spiritual development, intentional relationships, a commitment to experimentation, courage in facing obstacles, and choosing faithfulness over “success.”

He also urged people to give up dual citizenship in two kingdoms ― the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Me. Doing that requires coming to grips with perhaps the most potent rival to God: money. ― Mike Ferguson

PETALUMA ― According to Pacific Mission Exchange, a resource gathering and sharing program of the Synod of the Pacific, the $250,000 “Raise the Roof” campaign for Menucha Retreat and Conference Center, a mission of First Presbyterian Church of Portland, Ore., is complete … sort of.

The center’s Wright Hall has a new roof, chimneys, insulation and gutters. But 60,000 meals are prepared for guests and the community using fresh locally-grown ingredients in an 83-year-old kitchen.

So to celebrate Menucha’s 60th anniversary, a new project has been launched to update and upgrade the kitchen and its appliances. The price tag is $75,000.

PITTSBURGH ― The Kairos Palestine Document, described as a “theological reflection on the Israeli occupation,” will be discussed during a one-hour session prior to the Oct. 20 meeting of Pittsburgh Presbytery.

The Rev. Ron Stone, retired ethics professor at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, will address the crisis facing Palestinian Christians living under Israeli military occupation.

Rabbi Art Donsky, spiritual director of Temple Ohav Shalom in Allison Park, PA, will discuss the Kairos document from a Jewish perspective. A question and answer period will follow.