YATESBORO, Pa. ― 33 volunteers from 12 churches in Kiskiminetas Presbytery traveled to Pt. Pleasant, N.J., last month to help continue the clean-up and restoration of the community following Superstorm Sandy.

Work included dry walling, painting, trimming, laying floor tile, framing, removing and installing fence, rebuilding a deck, de-cluttering, tree root removal, grass cutting, sewage pipe installation, replanting shrubbery and other chores.

Money was raised from individuals and churches throughout the presbytery and the overall effort was led by the presbytery’s Disaster Response Coordinating Team.

IOWA CITY, Iowa ― In an effort to make it easier for families to worship together on Sundays, United Presbyterian Church in KeokukEast Iowa Presbytery ― began using the Workshop Rotation Model (WoRM) as the basis for their mid-week Christian Education program for children. 

“We moved our teaching program to mid-week so that everyone can worship together on Sundays. So this takes the place of traditional Sunday school for children. We do have a children's message on Sundays during worship, but children older than kindergarten stay in the sanctuary and worship with their parents as a family,” says Teaching Elder Randi Henderson, pastor of the 88-member congregation. 

By inviting the children to worship with the whole congregation (and then adapting appropriately to include them in meaningful ways) she hopes it will be easier for all to try and experiment with new ways of worship. 

CLEVELAND ― Old Stone Church in the Presbytery of the Western Reserve is hitting the airwaves this fall!

“Give us 2 minutes; we'll give you tools for life” ― the television/online ministry of the congregation ― is expanding throughout Greater Cleveland on Fox8 and online (www.Power2ools.com) with a new, two-minute inspirational show called Power2ools: 2 Minute Tools for Life.

Power2ools airs Thursdays at 10:00am during New Day Cleveland on Fox8 and online at  www.Power2ools.com beginning October 2nd. Each episode of Power2ools is hosted by the show’s creator and writer, the Rev. Mark Giuliano, pastor of Old Stone Church. 

MINNEAPOLIS ― Dwight Friesen, author, teacher speaker and advocate for churches to grow in the knowledge of their local communities, will be the guest speaker at the annual church development workshop of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area's Church Development Team on Nov. 1, from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at Oak Grove Presbyterian Church in Bloomington, Minn.

The “Ministry in a Changing World” workshop is part of the presbytery's Ministry in a Changing World initiative.

PANORAMA CITY, Calif. ― San Fernando Presbytery is hosting a Nov. 7 conversation entitled “Difficult conversations: overcoming barriers, maximizing results.” It will be led by Scott Vaudrey, a physician an director of pastoral care at Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago.

Promotional materials state: “We all encounter situations that require difficult conversations in order to bring about conflict resolution. The passive-aggressive co-worker, bullying church leader, church members resisting change ― avoiding them is not an option. The stakes are too high, the consequences too costly. But how do we engage in effective, forthright conversations without getting stuck in anger, protracted arguments, or relational fracture.”

Vaudrey will shed light on the key barriers that sabotage even the most well-intentioned efforts at conflict resolution ― and offers practical insights and tools to help navigate difficult conversations successfully.

PLAINFIELD, N.J. ― The newly launched Committee on Multi-Cultural Experiences of Elizabeth Presbytery recently held a retreat at Camp Johnsonburg.

Attended by 22 people representing 11 congregations, the retreat offered time and space for developing the “currency of relationship.” Guided by General Assembly Vice-Moderator

Larissa Kwong-Abazia, the group engaged in a Bible Study that broke open new and enriching insights about cultural identity and cross-cultural engagement, gleaned from the life of Moses.

Participants also explored their own life stories, and learned to practice “mutual invitation” as a way to create a gracious environment for speaking and listening. They learned that vulnerability is an essential part of sharing stories and life experiences.