The Stated Meeting of Lehigh Presbytery took place on June 27, 2017 at the Presbyterian Parish of Bangor-Roseto. Rev. R. C. Smith, who serves as Moderator of the church, delivered greetings from the Bangor-Roseto congregation of 50 plus members and shared some of the church’s history. Rev. Smith thanked Faith United Pen Argyl Church in Pen Argyl, Zion Presbyterian Church in Wind Gap, and the Presbyterian Parish of Bangor-Roseto for joining together to host the meeting.
Rev. Lindsay Harren-Lewis preached a heart-felt sermon on “Cultural Identity and Cultural Humility” which was followed by communion. During the service Jack Felch and James Ferlino were commissioned as representatives from Lehigh Presbytery to the General Assembly of the Hungarian Reformed Church in the Transylvania District of Romania. The Lehigh Presbytery has had a partnership with that District for 20 years and in 2010 signed a covenant agreement with them.
Rev. Tillie Chase, Chair of the Committee on Ministry, reported that the Faith Presbyterian Church of Emmaus has entered into an interim contract with the Rev. Bill Schram. The Presbytery approved this contract and the transfer of his membership from Genesee Valley Presbytery to Lehigh Presbytery.
During the Committee on Shared Gifts report, the Rev. Steve Shussett, Rev. Joyce Smothers and Ruling Elder David Dunbar were elected as ordination exam readers for 2017. The Rev. F. Leon Morgan was elected to fill a vacancy on the Committee on Shared Gifts. If anyone is interested in serving on a committee of Lehigh Presbytery, they should either contact Joel Hurley, chair of the Committee on Shared Gifts, or Robin at the Presbytery office.
The chair of the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, Rev. Suzanne Brooks-Cope, introduced Adam Demetros and inquirer under care. After examination, the presbytery unanimously approved the recommendation to move him to candidacy.
A special speaker, Rev. Ellie Johns-Kelley, Ministry Relations Officer for the Northeast Region of the Presbyterian Foundation, spoke to us about “Composing a Legacy: Live forward, Give forward.” She encouraged us to think about how we will tell the story of God’s grace and love, not just today, but for generations to come. Regardless of our position or rank within the economic strata, we all possess the ability tp ;eave a testament regarding what is truly important in our lives. From wills and bequests to trust establishment, she raised awareness of available resources in order to motivate and facilitate members in crafting their legacy. Rev. Johns-Kelley encouraged us to shift our congregants’ hearts as well as their treasures. She then answered questions and offered solutions to our members.
We look forward to Rev. Johns-Kelley continuing to share information with us at the November 28, 2017 Presbytery Meeting where she will speak about “Making it Easy to Give,” focusing on online giving.
Rev. Sue Pizor Yoder provided an update from The Barn which is celebrating its 10 year anniversary in 2017. Rev. Yoder gave the history of the Barn’s origins and how she was called to begin this ministry. She spoke about the blank slate in the beginning as they found their spirituality and created a safe place to come together. She explained that The Barn is not yet the future church, but for those who have committed to being part of this community they are finding their way. Rev. Yoder thanks the Lehigh Presbytery for their support these past 10 years, both financially and spiritually.