A message from Executive Presbyter Terry Kukuk

Dayton StrongFollowing the mass shooting in Dayton on August 4, I requested a Human Caused Disaster Response Team through the Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA). That request was been granted. A two-person team comprised of the Rev. Katherine "Cully" Culpepper and the Rev. Ed Spence were with us August 11-14.

Human Caused Disaster Response Teams provide a ministry of companionship and presence throughout the various phases of a human-caused disaster from impact to recovery. The team shared resources available to us and gathered with us to create space for questions and to decompress.

PDA has produced a number of resources dealing with human caused disasters of public violence. These include worship and study resources, as well as videos like the award-winning PDA produced documentary Trigger: The Ripple Effect of Gun Violence. Get the resources>>

Let us continue to pray, in word and action, for God's healing presence for all affected by the natural and human-caused disasters that have impacted those living within the bounds of our presbytery.

Grace and peace,
Terry Kukuk, Executive Presbyter 

Presbyterians respond to the aftermath of Dayton area tornadoes

Loading clean-up bucketsPresbytery of the Miami Valley and its churches have responded with assistance to those affected by a series of tornadoes that struck Dayton and the Miami Valley the night of May 27-28.

Through the generosity of PMV congregations and individuals and a grant from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA), our presbytery has helped to meet emergency needs and to provide meals for tornado victims. PMV has also been involved in the distribution of 180 clean-up buckets from Church World Service, as well as blankets and hygiene kits. Pictured at left are clean-up buckets being loaded onto the Trinity Presbyterian Church (Dayton) bus for distribution to those in need.

In addition, there have been many examples of Presbyterian churches in the Miami Valley responding with donations of money, supplies, clothing, clean-up labor, meals, and other assistance.

Recovery efforts are ongoing, and Presbytery of the Miami Valley is continuing to meet with representatives of PDA and other partner organizations to determine the best ways to be of assistance in the weeks and months ahead.

Around the Presbytery

Earth Stewardship Ministry Team receives Restoring Creation Award

Westminster Dayton AwardEach year Presbyterians for Earth Care (PEC) recognizes two deserving individuals and one organization for their exceptional environmental achievements. For 2019 the Restoring Creation Award went to the Earth Stewardship Team of Westminster Presbyterian Church, Dayton:

The Westminster Earth Stewardship Ministry Team provides education and environmental actions for members of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton, Ohio since 2006. In addition to recycling and switching to LED light bulbs, the team of eight sponsors various adult education classes, and encourages a yearly Earth Sunday with stewardship-based sermon, local flowers and after-church presentations. In the spring, they organize a group to help with a park clean-up.

Each month, they sell fair trade coffee, tea, and chocolate and collect electronic waste and batteries for recycling. During Advent and Lent, the group offers short eco-oriented meditations or suggestions in the Sunday bulletin. The church has won local awards and received a city beautification grant to help defray the cost of improvements. Westminster Presbyterian has been an Earth Care Congregation since 2017. Laurie Leach accepted the award for Earth Stewardship Ministry.

Faith and Civic Life Lecture by Rabbi Judith Schindler on September 28

Judith SchindlerRabbi Judith Schindler will present the Westminster Presbyterian Church, Dayton, second annual Lecture on Faith and Civic Life entitled “Building Bridges of Peace:  Risk and Reward.” The event will be held Saturday, September 28. 7:00 P.M. at the church. Directly following her lecture, Rabbi Schindler will be joined by a panel of area faith and civic leaders for a community discussion. An ensemble from the Dayton Gay Men’s Chorus will provide a short program of music.

Rabbi Schindler co-authored the book Recharging Judaism which encourages civic engagement as a necessary addition to faith actions of worship, study, and loving kindness. In her 2018 TED  Talk, “Mastering the Art of Loving Your Neighbor”, she explores its “components of vulnerability, empathy, and courage.” She encourages the curiosity and engagement needed to learn from our neighbors, challenging us to recognize our interdependence to better grapple with the sources of community problems and craft better solutions. Rabbi Schindler is the Sklut Professor of Jewish Studies and Director of the Greenspon Center for Peace and Social Justice at Queens University of Charlotte. NC.  In 2016 she was named Rabbi Emerita of Temple Beth El in Charlotte, NC. 

Panel Members will include, Brother Raymond Fitz, former president of the University of Dayton, now with the Fitz Center for Leadership in Community; Judge Mary Wiseman, Montgomery County Common Pleas Court; the Rev. Joshua Ward, Pastor Elect of Omega Baptist Church, Dayton; and Rabbi Ari Ballaban,  Assistant Rabbi at Temple Beth Or and Jewish Community Relations Coordinator for the Jewish Federation of Greater Dayton.

Presbytery churches are invited to Rise Against Hunger October 20

Oxford Presbyterian Church, Oxford, invites other churches in Presbytery of the Miami Valley to join them in a Rise Against Hunger event Sunday, October 20, 2:00-4:00 P.M. This is a meal packing event where meals consisting of rice, soy, vegetables, and vitamins are packed and then shipped around the world to people who are in need. One third of the meals will be used to help with local food insecurity. The goal is to pack and ship 15,000 meals.

Learn more and sign up to help>>

Blessing Based Spiritual Nurture course in Dayton October 5 & 12

Children runningA course in Blessing Based Spiritual Nurture will be offered on Saturdays October 5 and 12, 9:00 A.M.-noon, and will be held at Southminster Presbyterian Church, Centerville.

The course will explore ways to nurture the spirits of children, to affirm their connectedness with God, to walk with them on their spiritual journeys. (Cost is $150/person, $500/organization - some scholarships are available.)

The course's primary leader is Founder and Director of The Blessing Center, the Rev. Dr. Jacqueline Nowak, whose doctoral work was in the field of Children’s Spirituality. Jacqueline is a retired Certified Christian Educator and Pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with a background also in early childhood education and daycare. Her education includes degrees from Wright State University and United Theological Seminary, Dayton, OH, and certifications in Children’s Spirituality from First Steps Spiritual Nurture Center for Children and Teens, as well as in Christian Education.

The Blessing Center is a non-profit ministry of spiritual nurture and formation which is particularly attentive to children and teens, whose spiritual needs deserve as much consideration as their physical, emotional and intellectual lives.  The Center's approach to nurture is based upon research and practice. It is primarily focused upon teaching about and practicing three actions: Holy Listening, Prayer, and Blessing, in the context of a caring community.
More information and registration>>

Stewardship Kaleidoscope September 30 - October 2

Stewardship KaleidoscopeThe annual Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference, to be held September 30 - October 2 in San Diego, CA, will center on the theme "The Pulse of Generosity: Vital Signs of a Healthy Steward." The conference is for pastors, lay leaders, judicatory staff, and anyone who is looking to learn more about stewardship in today’s church context.    

Stewardship Kaleidoscope is an annual conference offering excellent plenary speakers, informative workshop leaders, provocative worship experiences, and incredible networking opportunities for all who are passionate about stewardship and generosity. Drawing leaders from across the Lutheran Church (ELCA) and the Presbyterian Church PC(USA) and beyond, Stewardship Kaleidoscope is designed to help participants explore stewardship, in its many colorful dimensions!

This year's conference keynoters are  the Rev. Dr. Eric H. F. Law, author, founder, and executive director of the Kaleidoscope Institute, which provides resources to equip church leaders to create diverse and sustainable communities and Melissa Spas, Managing Director of Education and Engagement, Lake Institute on Faith & Giving.

The conference worship leader is the Rev. Dr. Diane L. Givens Moffett, President and Executive Director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, the mission arm of the PC(USA).

Learn more and register>>

Presbyterian History

Include some Presbyterian history in your summer travel

PHS sites mapThe American Presbyterian and Reformed Historic Sites Registry honors places of special significance to the Reformed tradition in the U.S.A. The Presbyterian Historical Society has created an interactive map of more than 400 sites nationwide.

The Registry was established by the Presbyterian Historical Society in 1973. To be listed in the registry, congregations submitted formal applications, which were first approved by the presbytery or classis within whose bounds the site lay, and then approved by the Society’s Historical Sites Committee. Approved sites received a metal plaque featuring John Calvin’s seal and the site’s registry number.

Although the registry is now closed, the Presbyterian Historical Society continues to collect and share records of Presbyterian congregations from across the United States. Churches and other sites of historic significance may still be added to the map.

See the Interactive Map and learn more>>

Preserve your church records at the Presbyterian Historical Society

Church recordsAs the national archives of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) collects records of historic value from congregations, mid councils, national agencies, individuals, and families. PHS supports the record-keeping activities of all entities of the Church.

For congregations, PHS carries out that mission by digitizing records; storing records of permanent value; and providing advice on records retention, storage, and preservation.

PHS can digitize original records and microfilm for PC(USA) congregations at a subsidized rate.

It also holds original records of permanent value on deposit in an environmentally controlled archival storage area with specialized fire detection and security systems. Congregations can deposit records at no charge. Congregations retain ownership of the records and may request their return at any time with written authorization from the clerk of session.

Learn more about PHS records preservation>>


Synod Assembly Highlights

The Synod of the Covenant Assembly was held at First Presbyterian Church in Maumee, OH on August 2.

Read Synod Assembly highlights>>

A resource for churches:
On Calling An Educator

The revised On Calling An Educator manual is now available online in downloadable format. The manual is designed to be a resource for Presbyterian churches that are considering calling an educator to be a part of the church staff. In addition, this is also a resource for Christian educators who are responding to a call from God to educational ministry in the church and are seeking a position. Congregations and educators will find guidance in these pages for their separate and mutual journeys toward providing the best leadership for the important task of education.

Download On Calling An Educator>>

Regarding Ruling Elders

Regarding Ruling Elders
Ruling elders are called to ministry in partnership with teaching elders. Within this calling, ruling elders have responsibilities in several areas of the life of the church including exercise in leadership, governance, spiritual discernment, and discipline. This monthly PC(USA) series seeks to lift up the specific responsibilities while also providing an opportunity for Ruling Elders to reflect upon how they are lived out.

Connect with Regarding Ruling Elders>>

NEXT Church offers new resources for ministry

NEXT ChurchNEXT Church is a network of leaders across the Presbyterian Church (USA) who believe the church of the future will be more relational, more diverse, more collaborative, more hopeful, and more agile. NEXT Church provides space for hopeful conversations about the theology, culture, and practice of ministry in a time of adaptive change.

Get ministry resources>>

Initiative seeks to create 1001 new worshiping communities

1001 Worshiping CommunitiesThe 220th General Assembly declared a commitment to a churchwide movement that results in the creation of 1001 new worshiping communities by 2022.

Across the PC(USA), God is raising up leaders in churches and presbyteries who are creating new worshiping communities. They are taking on new and varied forms of church for our changing culture. Primarily they are seeking to make and form new disciples of Jesus Christ, to change and transform the world.

Learn more & get involved>>

Northminster Mission Fund

Grants up to $5,000.00 are available to individual Congregations, Congregations in Partnership, Designated Presbytery Networks, and Validated Ministries of the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, for the continued purpose of building up the body of Christ. Pending available funds, grants may be renewed for one year.

Learn more>>



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