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PNNE-Connections for January 27, 2023
Please complete the survey on PNNE's newsletter, Connections.
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5 Questions, about 2 minutes.
In this issue:



More information and national registration are available at the Tackle Hunger website. Click here.

From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,

So as a Pastor, I have moderated about 30 Annual Congregational Meetings.  And in about 29 of those meetings when it came time to review the annual budget, THE QUESTION would be asked: "Why do we pay the per capita and why is it this much?" (actually, that's two questions, but you get the point).  And I would give as brief as possible presentation on church polity as everyone wanted to head home for the football game.

And now that I am a Resource Presbyter, I am living in the "Why".  I am seeing the covenantal and connectional aspects of paying the per capita as the presbytery and synod and General Assembly all commit to come alongside congregations in their mission and ministry.  I am seeing gifted commission and committee folks working with churches in their pastoral searches and mission studies.  I am seeing gifted pastors and elders and deacons and CRE's sharing their gifts in ministry and mission.  I am seeing opportunities for all of us coming together as a Matthew 25 denomination in working for congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism, and eradicating systemic poverty.  I am seeing what it means to be the body of Christ.

So thank you so much for your per capita and mission giving, and join me in living in the "Why"!

Joy and Peace,

( See more on the PNNE Per Capita page. ~~ ed. )

Gospel reading for Friday, January 27:  Mark 6:47-56

47When evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land.  48When he saw that they were straining at the oars against an adverse wind, he came towards them early in the morning, walking on the sea.  He intended to pass them by.  49But when they saw him walking on the sea, they thought it was a ghost and cried out; 50for they all saw him and were terrified.  But immediately he spoke to them and said, “Take heart, it is I; do not be afraid.”  51Then he got into the boat with them and the wind ceased.  And they were utterly astounded, 52for they did not understand about the loaves, but their hearts were hardened.

53When they had crossed over, they came to land at Gennesaret and moored the boat.  54When they got out of the boat, people at once recognized him, 55and rushed about that whole region and began to bring the sick on mats to wherever they heard he was.  56And wherever he went, into villages or cities or farms, they laid the sick in the marketplaces, and begged him that they might touch even the fringe of his cloak; and all who touched it were healed.

The phrase "intended to" is "meant to" in the ESV and RSV is also translated "would have" in the KJV.  The Greek word used here is thelō which means to wish or desire, and is the emotional element that leads to the consequent action (rather than a reasoned decision).  I.e Jesus wished to pass by them.  The Interpreter's Bible elaborates further:

This feature in the story, so strange to us, served originally to make more vivid the fact that Jesus was diverted by their evident distress from his purpose of following and overtaking the disciples in the morning on the other shore;

It would seem Jesus wanted to pass them by, but their state of distress caused him to reconsider his plans.  The ESV Study Bible goes further on this interpretation, giving the following reason:

He meant to pass by them, not so that they would fail to see him (in which case he would have stayed farther away from them), but so that they would see him “pass by” (Gk. parerchomai), walking on the water, thus giving visible evidence of his deity (and thus answering the question they asked after he stilled the sea in Mark 4:41: “Who then is this … ?”).  The passage echoes the incident where God “passed” before Moses (the same verb, parerchomai, occurs in the Septuagint of Ex. 33:19, 22; 34:6), giving a glimpse of his glory.

Common Prayer for Sunday Jan 29:  Presbyterian Church of Barnet, VT

Rev. Dakota Whitaker

279 West Main St, West Barnet, VT, 05821

Holy & Most Gracious God, 
You are the light in the darkness.  You are the hope in every despair.  You are the faith and peace in every doubt.  Help us to be a light in the world around us.  Wake us up to whatever you are already up to in our lives, churches, & communities.  Give us the courage, wisdom, and creativity to join you there.  Amen.

~~ Rev. Dakota Whitaker


APCE Winter 2023 Cohorts

The Association of Partners in Christian Education is happy to announce that through a partnership with the Office of Christian Formation in the Presbyterian Mission Agency we will offer FREE cohorts this winter!
Read descriptions of the Cohorts on the APCE website
  • Cohorts will begin the week of February 13th and last for 4 or 6 consecutive weeks (6 sessions) for 90 minutes
  • Each cohort is ideally 5-8 people.
  • These cohorts are led by a coach and have a structure that facilitates a group process of learning and sharing with goal setting for each individual.
  • Read each description with meeting times before you register.
  • Commitment to participation in a cohort is crucial for the experience of all members.  These cohorts often fill up quickly and have a waitlist, so it is critical that you are able to attend EVERY session if you register for the cohort.
  • APCE is ecumenical and so are these cohorts.  You do not need to be a member of APCE to join a cohort!
  • The DEADLINE to register is Tuesday, January 31.  It is expected that these cohorts will fill up quickly!
Questions? Contact Katherine Peiper:
Click here to register for APCE Winter Cohorts

Presbyterian Association of Musicians (PAM) seeks Survey input

What is worship like in your church? 
Are there resources in your Presbytery for supporting the worship life of your congregation?
Are there ways that the Presbyterian Association of Musicians can come alongside to offer support, connection, and events to strengthen your worship ministry?
We want to hear from you!  

The Presbyterian Association of Musicians is a denomination-wide network of church musicians and pastors who are passionate about the worship of the living God and the worship life of the PC(USA).  

We are seeking information through this very brief survey and look forward to offering helpful resources and local events for churches of every size and context.
Click here to take the PAM survey


REMINDER:  Events previously featured in Connections will be on the PNNE HOME PAGE until the date of the event passes.  If you're looking for an event you saw in Connections, check our home page.

Teaching Elder Ordination Dates for February

Name                       Ordination Date     Ordained    Currently

Margrethe Brown       02/08/1976             47                Honorably Retired
Jane Field                   02/10/1991            32                Executive Director, Maine Council of Churches
Diane Hoppe-Hugo     02/27/1994            29                Pastor, Mid-Coast, Topsham, ME
Sara Singleton            02/18/2007            16                Honorably Retired

Great and Kind God, thank You for our siblings whom You have appointed as our Pastors.  Bless our Pastors with leadership and wisdom.  Thank You for leading, directing, and protecting their loved ones.  Lord, You are our Good Shepherd, our High Priest.  Amen.

If we fail to include an ordination, please let us know.  If the information is incorrect, please let us know:

~~~~~~~~ REGULAR FEATURES.........

Connecting: For All Ministers

We have two weekly opportunities for ministers to connect for support and encouragement.  Click here to join the Zoom meeting at the days and times, below.

  • Mondays at 10:00 am
  • Tuesdays at 3:00 pm

Connecting: For Retired Clergy

Fourth Wednesday of the Month at 10am.

Prayer Calendar

2023 Common Prayer Calendar


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News from Camp Wilmot

Mission at the Eastward (MATE)

PNNE Presbyterian Women:

The Grapevine Fall 2022

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Synod of the Northeast

Forest Snowfall
Before Sunrise

It is as if the light that is to come
had taken on a flake-like form and substance,
laid itself, in silhouette, along, against,
the windward part
of every naked trunk and branch. 
The ground below lies cloaked,
each blade of grass or bracken
with its radiant, glistening garment,
so that, even at the darkest hour last night,
a luminescence shone as if reflected
from whatever burns within,
cast a spell of sheer astonishment,
a silent, clear delight.
Is this, as some have said, only a foretaste
of that truer, fuller, loveliness ahead?
Or might the bright, celestial realm
lie here and now revealed,
its last impediment
my old, reluctant fear to enter in?

J. Barrie Shepherd

PNNE Contact Information

Resource Presbyter, Scott DeBlock            Stated Clerk, T.J. DeMarco | 518-423-7901 | 401-523-7417

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