222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

GA 222The 222nd General Assembly (2016) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will be held June 18–25, in Portland, OR.

Commissioners and advisory delegates from all 171 PC(USA) presbyteries, coupled with other delegates and observers from around the world, will converge on the Oregon Convention Center in downtown Portland for celebrations, deliberations, and inspirations in support of the denomination’s biennial gathering.

Hosted by the Presbytery of the Cascades and united under the theme “The Hope in Our Calling,” from Ephesians 1:18, the General Assembly will include rich worship services, the election of persons to moderate the Assembly as well as others to serve in key denominational posts, action on a plethora of overtures, and much more.

General proceedings and worship during assembly will be live-streamed, and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly (COGA) is especially encouraging congregations to gather in groups in their locations to worship with the assembly via live stream.

Presbytery of the Miami Valley delegation


Ruling Elder Cheryl (Gidget) Collins, Bath Presbyterian Church, Dayton
Teaching Elder Richard Culp, pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Troy
Ruling Elder Marvella C. Lambright, College Hill Community Presbyterian Church, Dayton
Teaching Elder George H. (Sandy) McConnel, Honorably Retired

Alternate Commissioners:

Ruling Elder Cyndi Adams, Faith United Presbyterian Church, Huber Heights
Teaching Elder Maggie Gillespie, pastor of Faith United Presbyterian Church, Huber Heights

Presbytery Staff

Ruling Elder Larry Hollar, Stated Clerk


Teaching Elder Shelley Wiley, pastor of Honey Creek Presbyterian Church, New Carlisle

Meet our new Moderator and Vice Moderator

At its May 10 stated meeting, Presbytery of the Miami Valley elected and installed Teaching Elder Brian Maguire as Moderator and Ruling Elder Cheryl "Gidget" Collins as Vice Moderator of presbytery for 2016-17.

Brian Maguire & Gidget Collins Brian Maguire is a Presbyterian pastor whose nursery school teacher warned him that he was too serious. Brian is a graduate of Princeton Theological Seminary and served as the Presbyterian chaplain at Princeton University before serving ten years as the pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church in Xenia, Ohio. Since November 2014, Brian has served as the pastor of Fairmont Presbyterian Church in Kettering. Brian also serves as an adjunct professor at United Theological Seminary where he teaches in the areas of ethics and worship.

His passions and gifts for ministry center on teaching and building up congregational leaders. He enjoys working with teenagers and young adults, especially after they discover irony. Within the Presbytery of the Miami Valley, Brian has spent most of his time cleaning up various messes including seven years’ service on the COM with three as chair, chairing three administrative commissions, three investigative commissions, and chairing a committee of counsel. He has served as Vice Moderator for the past year.

Unlike most Presbyterian pastors Brian does not have a call story so much as a hide story. He asked too many questions in confirmation class and was asked to leave Intervarsity Campus Fellowship for the same reason. But, despite best efforts to the contrary, God kept after him with tenacious resolve.

Brian is originally from Minnesota, which explains his occasional funny accent and his skeptical attitude toward Ohio winters. A graduate of Carleton College and the University of Minnesota Law School, he practiced law for seven years prior to entering ministry. He completed the Doctor of Ministry program at Duke University’s School of Divinity with a focus on dispute resolution. Brian’s ongoing research interests focus on late Second Temple Judaism, covenantal nomism, and the history of eschatology.

Gidget Collins (Ruling Elder Bath Presbyterian Church, Dayton) is a patriotic American who grew up military and married military which gave her many opportunities to meet new people in different places and cultures. Throughout many military assignments she and her husband Bob taught Sunday School. Gidget has also volunteered as a tutor with elementary school children for decades, served on many OWC boards, participated in numerous Red Cross functions, and was involved in various activities such as being a Girl Scout Leader, Special Olympics coach, Thumbody Program coordinator, and cheerleading coach.

Gidget has served as the Clerk of Session at Bath since 2007 and says it has felt like a call. After many military moves there is a sense of belonging as a member of the Bath Church family. Her work as clerk and at Presbytery level feeds her soul. Gidget served six years on the Network Support Committee, including one year as chair. She also serves on Leadership Council, is liaison to the Kirkmont Center Board, has served on several Administrative Commissions to ordain or install pastors, served on the search committee to find our new Stated Clerk, and most recently was elected Commissioner to the 222nd General Assembly this June.

Gidget graduated Magna Cum Laude from Wright State University in 2002 with a degree in psychology. Her education in that subject comes in handy with her six grandchildren who keep her busy, fulfilled, and truly blessed.

Tell us about your Vacation Bible School

VBSSummer is coming, and it's almost time for Vacation Bible School! Presbytery of the Miami Valley would like to list your church's VBS on our website, along with other churches in the presbytery.

To be included, email the name of your church, the theme of your VBS, dates and times, along with registration and contact information. We'll list it on our website and publicize all VBS opportunities in the presbytery.

See the list so far and add your church>>

Presbyterian/Catholic Habitat Build begins May 28

Habitat House 2016Catch the Building Spirit, the Presbyterian/Catholic Habitat for Humanity partnership, now in its 24th year, will begin construction on this year's house at 6860 Shadow Brook Drive, Trotwood. Blitz Week (when the main structure of the house is built; walls, siding, roof, etc.) will begin Memorial Day weekend, May 28, and will run through June 3. Construction will continue throughout the summer to complete all the rest of the house.

If your church is interested in participating with labor, hospitality, or financing, please email Hank Baust, Presbyterian Coordinator for Catch the Building Spirit or call 937-429-0360. You may also sign up directly at the Dayton Ohio Habitat website and receive email information on the upcoming build.

Learn more about Catch the Building Spirit>>
Around the Presbytery

Youth to hold Fiesta Night fundraiser June 8 to help Rwandan orphans

The youth group of Southminster Presbyterian Church, Centerville, will hold a Fiesta Night fundraiser at the church Wednesday, June 8, 6:00 P.M., to benefit ARDR’s orphans in Rwamagana, Rwanda. ARDR (Association Rwandaise pour le Développement Rural) is a non-profit organization of Rwandans helping Rwandans through development projects in the areas of health, education, and sustainable living.

Fiesta Night will feature a Mexican-themed dinner. Money will be raised through a free-will offering, with all proceeds benefitting ARDR education initiatives for orphans in Rwanda.

Learn more about ARDR>>

Douglas Tilton, PC(USA) Mission Co-worker, to speak on August 7

Doug TiltonDouglas Tilton, a Presbyterian Church (USA) mission co-worker, will be visiting the Presbytery of the Miami Valley August 4-10. Doug is the PC(USA)’s regional liaison for Southern Africa and works with global partners in South Africa, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Madagascar around World Mission’s three critical global initiatives in poverty alleviation, evangelism and reconciliation.

Doug will be speaking at Corinth Presbyterian Church in Dayton on Sunday, August 7.  He would welcome invitations to visit other congregations in the Presbytery during his stay to share more information about what God is doing through the PC(USA) and its partners in Southern Africa. He is happy to meet with mission committees, men’s or women’s organizations, Bible study groups, or to do a presentation at a luncheon or supper gathering.  To invite Doug, please contact him directly at 317-712-1237.

More information about Doug>>

Summer Camp at Kirkmont Center

Kirkmont Summer CampRegistration is now open for 2016 Summer Camp at Kirkmont Center, Zanesfield.

Camps for all ages are available from June 11 through August 14 and include:

You and Me Camp, Quilting Camps, Beginners Camps, PYC Junior Camp, PYC Camp, Robotics Camp, Camp Rejoice, Sports Camp, Service Camp, Kids Camp, Adventure Camp, 2 Week Camp, and Family Camping Weekend.

Camp schedule & registration>>

Faith Based Responses to Substance Abuse June 8

From a spiritual perspective, how do we faithfully respond to the ever growing problem of substance abuse that affects our lives and those in our community?

Faith Based Responses to Substance Abuse will be explored at a workshop Wednesday, June 8, 8:30 A.M.-2:00 P.M., at Interact for Health Conference Center, Cincinnati. This event is sponsored by Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, Interact for Health, Norwood Drug/Alcohol Abuse Coalition, and the Presbyterian Pastoral Care Network.

The cost is $10 and includes breakfast and lunch. Registration is limited to 30 participants, so register soon.

More info and registration>>

One in the Spirit: Covenant Gathering July 3-8

Covenant GatheringThe annual Covenant Gathering will be held July 3-8 at the Michindoh Conference Center, Hillsdale, MI, near the  Ohio, Indiana and Michigan border. Join Christian friends from Synod of the Covenant and Synod of Lincoln Trails- and beyond.

"You can learn about what the Bible says about one spirit, how to nurture children’s spirituality (and your own), the real story behind the issues between science and scripture. You’ll find ways to make your backyard into a spiritual and sustaining habitat, how in touch with sacred stories, and deepen your understanding of communion through other traditions.

"Children and youth will be exploring their places in the world God created in age-appropriate classes with experienced, seasoned teachers. Everyone can enjoy the trails, lake, water slide, and water sports at Michindoh!"

Learn more and register>>
Synod of the Covenant Grants and Scholarships

College StudentsScholarships for Racial Ethnic College Students: For college, university and seminary students who are minority persons, members of a Presbyterian Church (USA) congregation within the bounds of the Synod of the Covenant, and in good academic standing. Scholarships are for one year, may apply for a second year, demonstrated financial need. Apply by September 1.

New Covenant Grants: One-time grants in amounts up to $10,000 are available to congregations, institutions and organizations within the bounds of the synod that have formal established ties to the synod. Projects must fit within the three mission priorities of the synod: Church Transformation and Development, Multicultural and Justice Ministries, Ministries in Higher Education. Apply by October 1.

Program Grants for Racial Ethnic Congregations: For racial ethnic and multicultural Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations within the bounds of the Synod of the Covenant. Grants are for one year, may apply for a second year, demonstrated financial need. Ordinarily, grants do not exceed $3000. Apply by October 1.

Peacemaking Scholarships: Available to assist those attending specific peacemaking events or trainings that would help further the cause of peacemaking or justice within the Synod of the Covenant. The scholarship is for up to $500. Apply by September 1.

Learn more about the grants/scholarships & apply>>

One Church, Many Voices  

One Church, Many VoicesPresbyterians Today's new blog, One Church, Many Voices, is a forum that welcomes Presbyterians of all stripes to share their ideas and their passions—all aimed at shining a light on the path to become better disciples of Jesus Christ. Contributors include the Rev. Ben Beres, pastor of Huntsville Presbyterian Church, Huntsville.

"This blog is a safe and holy place for reflection and growth. Here you’ll find writing, art, videos, and podcasts. Some of it is bilingual. Some are collaborative projects inviting grassroots voices to speak lovingly but honestly on difficult topics of disagreement. Much of it pushes the boundaries of what passes for conversation in the church and will, we hope, inspire us to dream bigger when it comes to the gospel. Some pieces will no doubt have you nodding vigorously in agreement, while others may make you squirm a little or even get you a bit hot under the collar."

Explore One Church, Many Voices >>


Preservation Grants for Churches to help digitalize records

HPGTo assist congregations with the preservation of church records, the Presbyterian Historical Society awards annual Heritage Preservation Grants to PC(USA) congregations, covering up to $500 of the cost to digitize official records. To qualify,  a church must be a PC(USA) congregation of 250 members or less, be at least 50 years old, be interested in the preservation of its history, and be looking for financial assistance to digitize church records.

Applications are due on October 31. Grants must be used within a two year time period.

Learn more and apply>>

Mediation Skills Training Institute in Toledo
in May

Lombard Peace Center

The Lombard Mennonite Peace Center will offer a Mediation Skills Training Institute for Church Leaders (MSTI) May 9-13 at Grace Lutheran Church, Toledo. This is a five-day institute of hands-on training, providing mediation training for clergy and church leaders.  MSTI is ideal for training members of a judicatory mediation team and other leaders who work with committees, candidates for ministry, and churches.

Learn more about this event and register>>

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>>

A guide to all things Presbyterian

Presbyterians Today’s new special issue and guidebook, Welcome to the Presbyterian Church!, is the perfect resource to give you a quick overview of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and what it means to be Presbyterian. It's an excellent resource for leadership training, new member classes, adult Sunday School, etc.

Find out more and order>>

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>>

New 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>>



Presbytery of the Miami Valley

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Northminster Mission Fund
Grants up to $5000
Learn more & apply