Things to know
I will be in Ghana with Dr. Yaw Frimpong-Manso and small contingent of PNYC members October 15-25. I will be meeting with leaders of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana, both denominations having members who have migrated to NYC and are part of this presbytery’s ministry to Ghanaians. Dr. Yaw, you may know, is an ex-Moderator of PCG and I am grateful for the many connections he has made already for me to speak and preach in Ghanaian churches and with leaders. I also had the opportunity to meet with Dr. Robina Winbush (a PNYC member and the PCUSA’s Associate for Ecumenical and Interfaith Relations) last week to discuss growing relations with Reformed church partners globally. This trip also will help me face the very people whose ancestors were taken into slavery in America, and whose descendants live among us. This is America’s original sin that still remains active in systemic racist practices in church and society. Pray for me and how our denominations may become one in the mission to which Christ calls us.
Regarding international relations, Kori Robbins, our Young Adult Volunteer, would like to visit or speak with every congregation and fellowship to document how our 103 faith communities are engaged in international and global ministries. It may be a mission trip the church has taken, a missionary in another country your church supports, some project which your church supports, or your church’s participation in a network of congregations or denominations engaged in another country well-being and development. I know antidotally many of our congregations are engaged as I hear your stories. Kori wants to document and pin this on a global map in the presbytery office. Welcome her.
Some good news: The Board of Pensions saw an uptick of 21% participation in the benefits plan in the past year with the largest increase being church employees not ordained using the menu of options and ministers who were not previously in the plan. The 2019 benefits plan provides for more options for church employees and ministers who may have thought benefits too expensive or beyond their reach. The Rev. Dr. Allison Seed, our regional staff person for the Board of Pensions, will be here for two seminars (same focus) October 30 6:00-8:00 PM and October 31 10:00 am – 12:00 noon at the Rutgers Presbyterian Church. Allison wants to show you these new choices for churches and those employed by churches to have health and pension benefits. It is one way churches care for those they employ. COM and CPM members also are encouraged to attend to better serve churches and the pastors and candidates considering ministry in congregations.
The peace of God be with you, and the love of Christ with all that do to love God and neighbor.