Commissioner’s Resolution for
The Presbytery of Huntingdon
January 28, 2017

Whereas the Presbyterian Church (USA) has been active in mission in Mexico since 1872, and that the focus of that mission in the present day has been at the border between our country and Mexico, and

Whereas we have great love and respect for the people of Mexico and over many generations our churches have sought to share the love of Christ and respond to the human needs of those who cross the shared border between our two countries, and

Whereas we are deeply distressed by the rhetoric of our current Presidential administration, vilifying the people of Mexico, and the initiation of policies which may severely damage our nation’s relationship with this close and cherished neighbor,

Be it resolved that the Presbytery of Huntingdon offer prayers on behalf of our neighbors in Mexico and on behalf of men, women, and children who have crossed our common border and now are fearful for their own safety among us and that prayers also be offered on behalf of the border ministries of the PC(USA) and particular prayers be offered on behalf of the Latino congregations of our denomination which face added challenges in the current political climate, and

Be it further resolved that the Clerk of the Presbytery communicate with the leaders of our PC (USA) border ministries, offering them encouragement in their work, and

Be it further resolved that the Clerk of the Presbytery communicate with the President of the United States, the Secretary of State of the United States, and the Honorable Senators of the State of Pennsylvania, expressing our love for the people of Mexico and our desire for continued amicable relations with our Southern neighbors.

 

Stay and Play

Enrollment is open for Stay and Play Preschool for 2016/2017.

See our Stay and Play page for all the details about the preschool.  If you would like to enroll a child you can download and print the application form here:

Stay and Play Application 2016-17

Contact Laura Steager, Stay and Play Director, at 237-1154 or stayandplayscpc@gmail.com.

Liturgists Needed

Liturgy does not refer to the words on the page of a bulletin, but rather to everything that happens when people show up on Sunday morning. Each worship service at SCPC is all of us praising and worshiping God together. Worship leaders involve us in that praise and worship – including congregation members who serve as liturgists. We need your help leading worship, folks. Please contact Ken Manno (9:00 am service) or Diana Malcom (11:15 am service) to get in on this. You even get to pick the service you’d like to be part of. Just send us an email or call Ken (814-466-6098) or Diana (814- 238-2422).

Parking Reminders for Everyone

As we get into a routine for our new program year, we ask you to please remember these parking_4977c (1)parking rules:

Church Parking Lot – If you are not here on Church business, please do not park in the church parking lot.  We ask that you especially avoid parking in the lot around the 9:00 AM and noon hours on weekdays when Stay and Play parents are dropping off and picking up children.  The building is always busy with programs and meetings so please use the public parking areas if you are not here for a church related reason.

Handicapped Parking Spaces – We have only two parking spaces designated for handicapped accessible parking nearest to the Bridge entrance (there are several more designated on the first row of parking for Sunday mornings only).  Please do not park in the handicapped parking spaces if you are not at the church for a church related event, program, meeting, volunteering, etc.  These spaces must be available for those who need them for church related activities.  So please do not park in one of these spaces if you do not require one.  AND you need a handicapped accessible placard or license plate to park in those spaces.

First National Bank Parking Lot – The small parking lot next to the drive-in branch is an employee-only parking lot.  The Bank allows us to park in this lot on SUNDAY MORNINGS ONLY.  At all other times any car without an employee sticker will be towed at the owner’s expense.  If you are coming to the church to drop off or pick up your child at Stay and Play or for after school/early evening programs, please use the church lot, the municipal lot or the parking garages.

State College Post Office – Parking is NOT permitted in the Post office Lot or the 15 minute spaces on Fraser Street that are provided for postal patrons.  Evenings and Sundays are included.  Please use the church, municipal lots or parking garages that are available for public parking.

Parking Garages – Parking is free on Sunday mornings in the Beaver Avenue Parking Garage and the Fraser Street Parking Garage except for a few special event weekends including Penn State home football weekends.  On Special Event Sundays you can stop at the Information Desk (formerly known as the “Welcome Desk”) before or after worship to pick up a parking voucher for the Beaver Avenue Garage to be used for that Sunday only.  The voucher will pay for your parking, up to 3 hours.  There is no cost to the church for this service.  On all other non-event Sundays, there is no parking charge in the garages and no voucher is needed.

Where is the Library?

If you went looking for the library recently, you might have wondered, “where did the library go? I thought it used to be right beside the choir room and Ned’s office?…”  You would be right, that’s where it used to be.

The Library is now located inside the Martin Room on the shelves between the door and the small kitchen.

Here is a brief history to catch you up on what’s been happening:

After the second floor Pastor’s/Staff offices were moved to the first floor around 20 years ago, the Pastor’s office became the Library up on the top floor.  Over the last 20 years many improvements were made to that space, many books were donated and/or purchased, bookshelves were built, and organizing books changed from card catalogs to a computer system.  Gloria Venett, our Church Librarian, spent hours/years of her time with her vast librarian expertise, helping shape the SCPC Library.  For all of her time and expertise, we are very thankful. Thank you Gloria for sharing your time and talent. Sharon Manno, Mimi St. Clair, Sue Powers, and Eloise Gilliland often worked beside her.

As the years have gone by, not as many people have found the church library (in any church) as useful as they once did. So it became apparent to us that we needed to move it closer to the main flow of traffic, and offer a smaller library for folks to enjoy.

Therefore, you will now find the SCPC Library near the main office in the Martin Room.  Under the supervision of Dean Lindsey and in consultation with Deannine Shipman, we have culled the books, and will still be able to offer representative Bibles, Biblical history and commentary, classical and current Reformed theology and ethics, prayer books, books for and about spiritual formation, Presbyterian history, PCUSA position and studies, Presbyterian Women, mission, and evangelism. There are books on the Christian life – men and women, families, health and illness, and care giving. There are books about peace, justice, and stewardship. There are also books on other world religions and Christian art.

If you would like to borrow any book(s) from the SCPC library, there will be a notebook on the shelves for you to give your name, phone number and email, the name of the book, and the date you borrowed/returned.

If you are interested in donating books to the library, due to our reduced space we ask that you offer relevant books to the church office for staff to determine whether they can be kept for the library.

Special thanks also go to Ruth Blume, and her assistant Glen, for all their hard work in making the moving of the library happen. They spent countless hours moving books and boxes.

So what became of the library space, you ask?  In order to make room for a new Associate Pastor, Deannine Shipman, our Education Director, has moved upstairs to the old library space, and her “old” office now houses new Associate Pastor, Mike Ozaki.

That Important First Impression

Imagine you are a first time visitor to the SCPC and you walk in the Parking Lot entrance on a Sunday morning …. and there is no one at the door to greet you.  Would you know where to go to get to the Sanctuary?  Would you have a good first impression?  Would you turn around and leave because it feels “unfriendly” and “unwelcoming”?

If you came in the Fraser Street entrance you would be handed a bulletin by a friendly Deacon.  This would definitely give you a better feeling, but wouldn’t it have been even better if someone had been right there at the door to tell you how nice it was to see you and wished you a good morning?

If you came in the Tower entrance, wouldn’t it be a bit confusing as to which door you use to get into the Sanctuary for worship?

If you come back for a second, third, or fourth time, would you wonder if there is anyone here on Sunday mornings who notices you are here before you get to the Welcome Desk?  What are your impressions of SCPC and our congregation?  Do you tell your friends how welcoming and friendly the folks at the Presbyterian Church are, or do you think there is no reason why you would return?

Now imagine that you are a first time visitor and you walk in the Parking Lot entrance on a Sunday morning and there is a friendly person or family there with a warm smile, a firm handshake and a “good morning, we are so glad you are here!”  Now what is your first impression?  And when you return the next Sunday, and the Sunday after that, there are different people at the door – all with big smiles and “good mornings” to greet you.  Wouldn’t you be more likely to think this is a place where people care that you are here and a place you can participate in ministry?

The Membership Ministry Unit hopes to provide this latter experience for first time visitors, returning visitors and all of our members on Sunday mornings.  But we can’t do it without YOU – members and friends who volunteer to greet at the entrances.  It’s such an easy way to participate.  You will have the chance to meet new folks and greet old friends, and you will leave with a good feeling, too.

Please consider being a Sunday morning greeter.  You can sign up on the bulletin board in the hallway between the CE Building and the Sanctuary or you can go to our website, www.scpresby.org and go to the “worship service greeters” quick link at the top right of the home page.  Or you can contact Anita Thies (237-9466) and she will help you.  Sign up for several Sundays and be that familiar face to someone coming through the doors.  All it takes is your smile and a handshake – and it can make such a big difference to someone who needs it.

That first impression is so very important.  It paves the way for someone to hear the message from the pulpit during worship.  As much as a bad impression can be lasting, so can a good impression.  At SCPC let’s strive to be the good impression.

Martha Trout
Membership and Program Associate

Safeguarding Our Children News

The Education Ministry Unit is aware of new state and federal laws  that will affect safe childrenorganizations such as ours, that have children and youth programs.  We are going to be working on how best to handle and communicate these with our congregation over the next few months.  In the meantime, we wanted to get work out to all of you who so graciously volunteer with our many programs, of the updated state law:

Beginning July 1, 2015, an adult (an individual 18 years of age and older) applying for an unpaid position as a volunteer for the welfare of a child/youth or having direct contact with children/youth will need the following clearances:

  • Pennsylvania State Police Criminal History Clearance
  • Child Abuse History Clearance

The FBI Criminal History clearance (fingerprinting) is not required for unpaid volunteers if they have been a continuous resident of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the past 10 years and have signed a disclosure statement.  If the volunteer has lived outside of Pennsylvania in the last 10 years, an FBI Criminal History clearance is required.

SCPC will no longer have different levels of volunteers, since all will need clearances.

Go to our Safeguarding Our Children page for direct links to obtain clearances.

Message from your Membership and Program Associate

As I was perusing a recent issue of “Presbyterians Today” I came across an article about the impact of evangelism.  Now, many are turned off by the “E” word, but the author, Angie Androit, cited some interesting statistics about first time visitors to the church and what will bring them back (US Congregational Life Survey, 2009).

31% don’t have a church home.  Of these —

  • 21% come from a Presbyterian background
  • 16% have never been a member of any church
  • 49% are there because someone invited them
  • 57% already have a friend in the congregation
  • 58% believe all different religions are equally good
  • 46% say denomination is not important
  • 24% say the church they went to did not follow-up and invite them back
  • Most will visit 1-3 churches before choosing a new home
  • The top 3 reasons for returning: (1) friendliness of the people, (2) quality of the sermon, and (3) overall worship experience.

Obviously, technology has continued to evolve since 2009 (when these statistics were compiled) and many of those who have attended recent new member classes here at SCPC say they found us on the web.  But many also have come because they know someone here and have been invited, and that may be the reason they decide to visit us.  But the reason they may or may not come back can be very different.  Look at that statistic in the list that is highlighted – 24% say the church they went to did not follow-up and invite them back.  What motivates a visitor to come back?  Angie Androit says “Research indicates the answer lies in human connection.  More than half of first-time visitors already have a friend in the congregation, and the friendliness of the people is the top reason they return.”

What does this mean to us here at SCPC?  It means we must be diligent and take every opportunity to make visitors and guests feel welcome, and to engage them in the many things this church has to offer.  Coffee Hour is an excellent example.  We used to have a program here called “Secret Greeters” where members were tasked with the duty of finding those at Coffee Hour who weren’t engaged in conversation with anyone.  In reality, we should ALL, always, be secret greeters – being observant and seeking out those who look like they need a friendly face and someone to say “we’re glad you’re here”.  Your smile and handshake may make the difference – especially to someone who is going through a rough patch, or is tentative about attending church at all.  We can’t always know what brings someone thorough our doors, but we can do what we can to encourage them to want to come back.

We are blessed to be a blessing to others.  Jesus commands us to share His word and spread His love.  He sends us out into the world to “do unto others as we would have them do unto us.”  Each of us can do that in very small but meaningful ways.  Our challenge is to take the opportunities that are available to us, and do just that.

Martha Trout
Membership and Program Associate

Changes to SCPC By-Laws

At the October 2014 meeting, Session approved the following changes to the By-Laws for SCPC.  These changes were voted on by the congregation at the Congregational Meeting on November 2, 2014 when new officers were elected for the class of 2017.

The changes refer to the following articles in the By-Laws:  Article XI, Article XII and Article XIII.

The purpose of the change was to reduce the number of Elders to reach 24 persons by the class year 2017.

Article XI:  Previously the By-Laws state –

“There shall be twenty nine (29) ruling elders in a unicameral system.  (Ruling elders are also Trustees.)  They shall be divided into three (3) equal classes, one (1) class of whom shall be elected in November each year for a three-year term.  The term of office commences at the beginning of the calendar year.  No ruling elder shall serve on the Session for consecutive terms, either full or partial, aggregating more than six (6) years; and shall be ineligible to be elected to a new term until one year shall have elapsed. (G-2.0404) Study and preparation of new ruling elders shall be provided at the beginning of the calendar year by Session, including a review of their roles and responsibilities and the work of Session.  Further, each ministry unit shall provide orientation on the responsibilities and work of the unit.”

The change in wording is: “There shall be twenty-four (24) ruling elders in a unicameral system.  (Ruling elders are also Trustees.)  They shall be divided into three (3) equal classes of eight each….”

The number of elders would be reduced by two (2) for class year 2015 (for total of 27); reduced by two (2) more in class year 2016 (for total of 25); and reduced by one (1) more in class year of 2017 (for a total of 24 elders in 3 equal classes by the year 2017).

Also, the wording later in the paragraph (and subsequent Articles XII and XIII)  “at the beginning of the calendar year” was removed for all three boards: Ruling Elders, Deacons and Visiting Deacons.

Wednesday in the Word 

study_11574cA Wednesday Bible Study continues   — Wednesday in the Word — at SCPC from 12:30 – 2:00 pm on Wednesdays.  This is an ongoing weekly time for fellowship and building connections while talking about various passages of scripture.  Bring your own lunch at 12:30 pm and we’ll eat together.  After lunch we’ll transition into the small group interactive study of God’s word so bring your Bible (or you can use one from the church). This year we are discussing the readings in The Year of the Bible program. Join us in the Fireside Room.  All ages and all stages of life are welcome and encouraged to attend. If you need childcare, please contact Linda Edvar or Connie Curilla.

SCPC is a “Safe Place”

Safe-Place-logo_new_2012-300x300Maybe you’ve seen the signs at each of the church entry ways.  SCPC is a Safe Place.  The Safe Place symbol communicates to youth that if they are in trouble or need help of any kind, we are a place that they can find it.  Youth leaders, Officers, and various committee members have learned how to make that happen.  You are invited to learn how a well.  First, you are invited to watch the Safe Place video which tells more about the National Program.

Next, you can become familiar with our steps for helping an youth by finding the guidelines in the Church Kitchen, near the phone.  Help the youth by calling the number listed there, making them feel comfortable and safe, and when the Youth Service Bureau folks arrive, making that connection.  Just follow the guidelines listed in the kitchen if you are approached by a youth needing help in our church.  For more information, contact Diana Malcom at the church (238-2422) or visit the Safe Place website.

In State College, Schlow Library, CATA buses, and Dairy Queen are a few of the other Safe Places.

Continuing to Enhance Accessibility

One ADA-compliant toilet (2 inches higher than the standard 15″ toilet) has been installed in each of the six restrooms in the church that are not designated as accessible restrooms.  This was done to improve safety and comfort for limited-mobility individuals.  In each restroom, the new ADA compliant toilet is the one closest to the entry door.  These toilets are equipped with dual flush mechanisms, instructions for which are posted in the restrooms.  Thanks go to the Board of Deacons for funding this initiative.

Did You Know …?

Did you know that the book cart in the Social Hall is full of books to take home, to swap out, to pass on to others…?  The cart is loaded up with books that members and friends of the church are happy to share with others who might be interested.  The key to keeping it interesting, is making sure you take a book or two for each one that you leave. Please do not hesitate to take a book from the cart.  They are there for the taking and sharing and loving and passing.  If you find such a book in your house ready to move on, leave it on the cart for someone else.  Spread the word.

Young Adult Ministries

Please come if you feel like this vague definition includes you: beyond college, grad, young professional, twenty-to-thirty-something, couples or singles. Maybe the best way to decide is to participate in one of the gatherings and make the decision yourself. You are invited to join us:

  • Theology unTapped at Ottos on the first Wednesday of the month at 7:00 pm. We gather around good conversation, considering how our faith guides us in this stage of life.
  • Young Adult Lunch, on the third Sunday of each month following second service in the Fireside Room. The remaining date for this Semester is Sunday, December 9 ((this one is on the 2nd Sunday)

You can pick up a brochure about these opportunities in the back of the sanctuary, and/or join our Facebook conversation/group at “Theology untapped- SCPC.”

Returned Mail — Please Let us Know When You Will be Away

We continue to receive returned PresbyPost newsletters from the Post Office from those of you who spend your winters (or other chunks of time) away from State College. Unfortunately, the Post Office now requires us to request return service on bulk mail and charges us 45 cents for each PresbyPost (or any bulk mail item) that comes back to us marked “Temporarily Away”.  If you regularly spend a block of time away, we can temporarily change your address in the church database so you won’t miss any news from home and we won’t get your mail returned to us with a charge.  When you are notifying the Post Office to hold your 1st class mail, please let us know the temporary address and the dates you plan to leave and return and we’ll take it from there.  At the very least, we can avoid mailing items that will be returned to us with a fee.

This return mail policy also appiles if you move to a new address — so please be sure to include the church when you are notifying family and friends of a new address.

Another option is available so you don’t miss your PresbyPost newsletters — sign up for the PresbyPost by e-mail!  Just let Martha know and we’ll add you to that email list.

Watch for our E-Communications

Watch your e-mail inbox for communications from SCPC!  We have been using “Constant Contact” (an email marketing service) for some of our email communications (including the PresbyPost for those who have signed up to receive it by e-mail) and we don’t want you to miss anything.  So…if you are on a list that already receives regular communications from a staff member (Sunday School Teachers, Taizé, LOGOS, Choir, etc.) some of these communications may now be sent using the “Constant Contact” format.  If you see “A Message from State College Presbyterian Church” in the subject line — be sure to open it up and take a look.  We also send out a “Weekly Update” email  each Thursday with information about church activities that are going on for that particular week.  Please be assured that no one else has access to your email address and we won’t use it for any other purpose but communications.  And you can “unsubscribe” yourself or “sign-up” for any of our lists if you wish to. Contact Martha in the church office if you have any questions.

The PresbyPost is Available in your E-Mail Inbox!

It’s never too late to sign up to have the monthly PresbyPost Newsletter sent to you by e-mail.  If you are interested in receiving the PresbyPost by e-mail instead of by postal mail, please give us a call, or send an email to Martha and let us know.  You may sign up as many e-mail addresses as you want (all of your family members can get their own electronic copies), just make sure to let us know the name of the person that goes with the e-mail address.  You can sign-up at any time and the next issue will be sent by e-mail.

If you wish to continue receiving the PresbyPost in the mail (paper copy), you do not need to do anything — it will keep coming to you through the postal mail.  We hope those of you who regularly use e-mail will choose to receive it this way — it will save the church some money in printing and mailing costs and save some trees!

Good to Have “Mice” in the Church

The College-Age Ministry (CAM) Committee continued the Church Mouse ministry this past year. Thirty college students who grew up in the congregation and are “away at college” were assigned a Church Mouse. These are folks from our congregation who took the time to keep in touch with their student a few time over the past year, with notes and/or care packages. THANK YOU to all of you who provide that care, reminding our students that wherever they are, we hold them dear. What a great way to remember these youth with whom we’ve taken baptismal vows.

In the upcoming months, we will be seeking out 2012013 Church Mice to be part of next year’s outreach. Will you consider participating in this simple care giving opportunity? Karen Reichard will be helping to coordinate our Church Mice. Please consider reaching out in this way.

College-Age Ministries Needs You!

We can all agree that it’s great to be a congregation where college students not only feel comfortable, but are nurtured and supported during this stage in their journey. There are many things your CAM Committee does to nurture that energy of love and connection with our students both here at PSU and those who have grown up in the congregation and are away at college, Remember when they were babies and we took those baptismal vows to help them grow in faith and know themselves as children of God? Our College Age Ministries (CAM) enable us, as a congregation, to continue honoring those vows. The vows we made with our own children and those vows others have made in our sister congregations. The CAM Committee has three opportunities for YOU to help us in this good work:

1. Be a CHURCH MOUSE. These folks care for one student, who grew up at SCPC and is now in college. It’s a simple ministry of connection. That’s all you have to do — a few times over the year, connect with them – send a note or a care package to remind this student that SCPC cares for them and holds them in our prayers during their time away from us.

2. Prepare and serve a MEAL. Students love to eat. As Jesus did, we gather around table and food often with the students here: on Thursday nights for Dinner & Fellowship, and, on a few Sundays for College Lunches. Would you be wiling to serve on a team of folks to provide a meal (or more, if you like) during the semester?

3. Come to the CAM Committee and participate in this ministry. We meet every other month for no more than 90 minutes. This committee ensures that welcoming and caring ministries are provided through Westminster Presbyterian Fellowship, Wandering Well, Church Mouse Ministry, and SCPC’s Young Adult Ministry.

Contact Diana Malcom to learn more and/or get in on this good work!