Meet our new presbytery Moderator and Vice Moderator

At its May 14 meeting, Presbytery of the Miami Valley elected and installed Ruling Elder Bruce Saunders as Moderator and Ruling Elder Alice McCollum as Vice Moderator of presbytery for 2019-20.

Bruce SaundersBruce Saunders was clerk of session at the Presbyterian Church of Wilmington for 14 years. Bruce joined the Wilmington church as a student at Wilmington College, having grown up in the Condit Presbyterian Church outside Sunbury, Ohio. His family has worshiped at Condit since his great-grandfather was an elder there.

Bruce has been active in our presbytery for the past 30 years, serving most recently on the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, and as Vice Moderator in 2018-2019. He traveled with other members of our presbytery to Ghana, West Africa on the first of three mission trips organized by our presbytery in the 1980’s.

Bruce is a retired educator after 38 years at Wilmington City Schools, where he served as a teacher, building principal and finally technology director. He also served as technology director for Oakwood City Schools after retiring from Wilmington.

In retirement he currently serves as president of the Clinton County Trails Coalition, which builds bicycle/walking trails in Clinton County. He was a Boy Scout leader for many years and also served on the board of the Clinton County Historical Society, Camp Joy, Wilmington College Alumni Council, and Wilmington High School Scholastic Achievement Council. He lives in Wilmington with his wife, Fayanne, who has served as an elder, trustee and currently a deacon at the Wilmington church. He has one son, two daughters, and four grandchildren who live in Wilmington and in Colorado.

Alice McCollumAlice McCollum, a lifelong fourth generation Presbyterian, has been an active member of Trinity Presbyterian Church in Dayton for over 45 years. She has served Trinity in several capacities: Trustee, choir member, chair of the James I. Davis Endowment Fund, member of the Pastor Nominating Committee, and after several previous terms, is currently a member of the Session. As a Ruling Elder, Alice designs and conducts new member training at the request of the Pastor and the Clerk of Session. Alice particularly values the regulations and directions provided by the Book of Order.

Serving as a judge for more than 40 years has given Alice a chance to practice her ministry: serving the community; encouraging others to improve their lives through education, treatment, and behavior modification; and resolving disputes in a courteous and professional manner: in other words, treating everyone as she would want to be treated. Alice believes in being a servant leader and desires that her efforts reflect her Christian beliefs and values.

In addition to several professional leadership positions, Alice has served on many community boards including the United Theological Seminary and Dayton Children’s Hospital. Currently, Alice is actively involved with her Sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Inc., Tau Lambda Omega Chapter, which is a service-oriented organization, feeding the hungry, clothing the less fortunate, and delivering other vital services to the community. Alice also enjoys providing memorable experiences for her grandchildren.

While Alice's involvement in the presbytery has been somewhat limited, she recently served as a member of the Permanent Judicial Commission, a position she now leaves as she assumes the role of Vice Moderator.  She has served as a commissioner to presbytery representing Trinity and has attended other presbytery meetings for educational development. Alice is excited and humbled to take on new roles in the life of the presbytery.

Third Thirty workshop on August 10 in Dayton to focus on aging

Older adultsThe Third Thirty Network of Presbytery of the Miami Valley will present a free half-day workshop on August 10, 8:30 A.M.-noon at the presbytery office at Memorial Presbyterian Church, Dayton. The workshop will introduce a myriad of potential topics to help attendees grasp the depth and breadth of Third Thirty areas. The Third Thirty Network has the goal of educating, inspiring, and empowering your congregants for the wonderful opportunities and inevitable challenges that come with maturing into the twilight years.

Suggested attendees include Pastors, Directors of Congregational Care, Directors of Christian Education, and members of Session.  Coffee and snacks will be provided starting at 8:00 A.M., and a light lunch will be provided at noon, all at no charge.

For more information, email Janet E. Miller, Third Thirty Network Lead, or call her at 937-219-7314.

Summer Opportunities

Covenant Gathering July 7-12 in Rochester, IN

Covenant GatheringThe annual Covenant Gathering, to be held July 7-12 at the Geneva Center, Rochester, IN., is a week of learning, laughter, and worship presented by members and churches of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Synod of the Covenant, and Synod of Lincoln Trails. Locally, Covenant Gathering is a designated network of Presbytery of the Miami Valley.

Join other Christians for Covenant Gathering 2019 at beautiful Geneva Retreat, Camp and Conference Center in the rolling hills of north central Indiana as we share amazing "What If" possibilities of faith in God's Kingdom. Covenant Gathering is a little bit conference, a little bit vacation, with facilities for all abilities!

Adult classes include what God calls us to be and do, church revitalization, sharing our abundance, the Presbyterian journey, art journaling, and Jesus across boundaries. Children and youth have age appropriate educational and fun activities. The whole community worships together and enjoys delicious meals, evening programs, and afternoon options on many topics.

Learn more and register>>

 Synod PW Gathering July 12-13 in Columbus

Synod PW GatheringThe Presbyterian Women in the Synod of he Covenant will hold their 2019 Gathering July 12-13 at Covenant Presbyterian Church, 2070 Ridgecliff Rd., Columbus, OH. This year's theme is "What Does the Lord Require of You?"

Keynoters include Eugenia Gamble, author of the 2019-20 Horizons Bible Study, Diane Moffett, Presbyterian Mission Agency president and executive director, and Carol Winkler, former Moderator of
Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Learn more and register>>

Big Tent in Baltimore August 1-3

Big Tent 2019Join the movement of Presbyterians in Baltimore August 1-3 for a Big Tent like no other.

Through worship, Bible study, learning opportunities, and active engagement with one another and the community, attendees will encounter the Church participating in God’s mission for the transformation of creation and humanity.

This year's theme, Called to a Movement Beyond Institution, will emphasize our hope of the Gospel and its power to challenge institutional conventions. The goal is to come together and live in this moment, immersed in our current cultural context of racial division, gender inequality, and economic disparity to be renewed, refreshed and reformed, so that we may be sent out to affect change in our own communities. Big Tent will provide a place where our Presbyterian polity and identity is the foothold by which we proclaim the Gospel of Jesus Christ in action and answer the call to discern the will of God together.

Learn more and register>>

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 the Weber Conference Center, Adrian, MI, March 21-23.

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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