A Word from the Executive Council
The Presbytery of the Alleghenies celebrated its first 5 years at the 20th Stated Meeting in September, 2016. Since our inception:
- We have grown from 15 churches to 72 churches, representing nearly 16,500 members, with five more churches actively pursuing reception into the presbytery.
- We have been supporting 3 church plants during this time and now will be supporting a fourth church plant in the Youngstown area.
- Twenty-five pastoral candidates have been nurtured by our presbytery thus far. Seven of these candidates have completed candidacy and are now ordained.
- We launched an Engage 2025 project in Sierra Leone that has helped create seven churches in seven remote villages.
- Our instructional manual for training and preparing church leaders is considered the standard bearer for all presbyteries.
- Under the leadership of Rev. Bob Stauffer, our presbytery is helping churches to think strategically about the vitality of their ministry. This effort is supporting a national effort to improve church vitality within the denomination.
- Our efforts to connect through ministry networks is bearing fruit, with nearly 75% of our churches engaged with one another for support and ministry collaboration
As you can imagine, these efforts challenge our limited resources and energy. As we continue to develop into the kind of presbytery we envisioned 5 years ago – networked in ministry, focused on church vitality, planting new churches, and missionally-minded – it will require all of the POA churches to participate fully, and this includes financially.
As our numerical growth slows, we are able to shift our focus toward church revitalization and church planting. This “shift” corresponds to our stated purpose to “…. offer encouragement, training, and other helps that congregations of particular churches may be effective .…”. This same “shift” is being made across our denomination and our General Assembly is making adjustments to support the presbyteries in their work. Many of the steps we are taking to strengthen churches and assimilate our members are a model to the other EPC presbyteries experiencing similar dynamics.
For the initial 5 years of our presbytery, we have operated as lean as possible while we developed as a presbytery and as we experienced the growth we knew would occur. The faithful giving of many churches has allowed us to build a respectable cash reserve to help carry us through 2016, but we are now needing to draw from this reserve.
At our last stated meeting, the presbytery approved the budget for 2017. This budget included an increase in the per member asking (PMA) – from $10 to $12.50. While this is a significant percentage increase, it is still the lowest PMA of all EPC presbyteries, but this is possible only if all churches participate – and this includes transitional members as well as full members.
We recognize that many have come from other denominations with which you disagreed on many issues, and grew accustomed to not supporting them. We pray that you can see the significant difference in what the Presbytery of the Alleghenies and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church represent and that you might enthusiastically support the work of our presbytery.
PMA payments to support the work of the presbytery should be made payable to “Presbytery of the Alleghenies” and mailed to our treasurer:
Mr. Neil Zampella
Presbytery of the Alleghenies
711 South Pittsburgh Street
Connellsville, PA 15425-4021
As a reminder, the presbytery PMA is separate from PMA giving to the general assembly. It is also helpful if you can schedule payments at least quarterly. We also know that some budgets are tight – could you consider giving to the presbytery out of your missions budget?
We are excited about the work that God has laid before us and how we can best serve Him. Thank you again for your participation in shaping our presbytery. Our commitment to come alongside the local church – where the real ministry takes place.