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PNNE-Connections for February 17, 2023
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In this issue:


Transfiguration Sunday, February 19, 2023

Ash Wednesday, February 22, 2023

The Lenten journey from the ashes of death to resurrected life begins on the first day of Lent, Ash Wednesday, which signifies a time to turn around, to change directions, to repent.  This first day of Lent reminds us that unless we are willing to die to our old selves, we cannot be raised to new life with Christ.  The first step of this journey calls us to acknowledge and confront our mortality, individually and corporately.  In many traditions, this is symbolized through the imposition of ashes — placing a cross on one’s forehead.  During the imposition of ashes the words: “You are dust, and to dust you shall return” (Genesis 3:19) are repeated again and again.  We are to remember that we are but temporary creatures, always on the edge of death.  On Ash Wednesday, we begin our Lenten trek through the desert toward Easter.

From your Resource Presbyter

Dear Friends,

Next week, our collective Lenten journey begins.  And to prepare us, I share with you this Presbyterian Outlook article written by PNNE Pastor Heather Prince-Doss (Eliot PC, Lowell, MA) for those heading out on intentional pilgrimage trips.  Her prayer speaks to all of us as these 40 days approach.

Click HERE to read the article on the Presbyterian Outlook website.

Joy and Peace,

Gospel reading for Friday, February 17:  Mark 12:28–34

Jesus talks to a scribe.
Greatest of all commandments.

28One of the scribes came near and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, he asked him, “Which commandment is the first of all?”  29Jesus answered, “The first is, ‘Hear, O Israel: the Lord our God, the Lord is one; 30you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind, and with all your strength.’  31The second is this, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’  There is no other commandment greater than these.”  32Then the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher; you have truly said that ‘he is one, and besides him there is no other’; 33and ‘to love him with all the heart, and with all the understanding, and with all the strength,’ and ‘to love one’s neighbor as oneself,’ — this is much more important than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”  34When Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.”  After that no one dared to ask him any question.

"... this is instructive for how we conduct debate and dialogue about the faith.  As this man watched Jesus respond to his opposers, he was moved.  I doubt Jesus moved any of his challengers -- they seem entrenched in their positions -- but this onlooking scribe was moved.  And today, when speaking about Christianity publicly, we must remember the onlooker.  Online (not ideal) or in-person (better), people are listening.  Sometimes they are persuaded."
~ Nate Holdridge, "Growing In Jesus"

Common Prayer for Sunday Feb 19:  First Presbyterian Church, Graniteville, VT

Rev. Stephen Berry
Click here for First Presbyterian, Graniteville, VT, website

Great and Loving God,
Strengthen this congregation in its work and worship.  Fill their hearts with your self-giving love,
that their voices may speak your praise, and their lives may conform to the image of your Son.  Nourish all of us with your Word and sacraments that we may faithfully minister in your name, and witness to your love and grace for all the world.


New Job Post: Synod of the Northeast Administrative Coordinator

The Administrative Coordinator will serve as a member of the Synod Mission Team providing administrative coordination for members of the Mission Team and ensuring the effective and seamless work of the mission and ministry of the Synod.  This position will be responsible for supporting logistics, communication and administrative coordination of Synod programs and supporting the ecclesial work of the Stated Clerk.

This is a full-time, exempt position – salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.  Applications are open to all qualified persons.  Once employed, the staff person must live within the bounds of the Synod of the Northeast.  Relocation costs are not provided.  Full medical benefits are provided through the Board of Pension.  The position has a 180-day probation period.
Click this button for full position description

Magnolia Presbyterian Church in Riverside, California, is rising from the ashes

Historic church launches an ambitious building campaign
following a fire during Advent in 2018

On the day after the fire, Christmas Eve, church leaders including its co-pastors, the Rev. Claire Schlegel and the Rev. Paul Knopf, prayerfully decided to go ahead with the service, which was held in Mag Pres’ old sanctuary nearby.  Other churches offered their help, supplying Mag Pres with chairs and luminaries to light the path from the parking lot.  “With the love and support of our members and our community, we celebrated the eve of our Savior’s birth in a most meaningful way, right there in our old sanctuary,” members wrote.

The plan calls for a sanctuary designed for flexible use. “Our hope is that we will be able to reach out more, to provide space the community can use. That’s why session decided to go with the multipurpose design,” said Schlegel, who plans to retire from ministry a few months before the construction is complete. “It’s a little unique in our area, especially a Presbyterian church building a new church.”
Read full article on PMA website

Regarding Ruling Elders, Feb Issue Available

"Our capacity for awe and wonder feeds spiritual capacity within ourselves, with others, and with God. In turn, spiritual capacity heightens our awareness of compassion, emotional well-being, and our ability to recognize what is sacred in life."
Read the Feb issue of re:RE on the PCUSA website

PCUSA Special Offering Resources


The Special Offerings of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offer the whole Church a way to embody Matthew 25 through the Spirit-inspired stories and gifts which place us in partnership with those who have least.  By receiving all four of the Special Offerings – One Great Hour of Sharing, Pentecost, Peace & Global Witness, and Christmas Joy – Four for Four congregations declare their connection with the ministries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and join in the efforts of Presbyterians around the corner and around the world to share God's grace and endless love.
On PCUSA: How to start any or all four at your church

Camp Wilmot Middle & High School Winter Weekend, Feb 24-26

Friday, Feb. 24th- Sunday the 26th

Join Youth Groups from across New England for a weekend of fellowship and fun hosted by Camp Wilmot and New England Glow!  We'll gather Friday (no supper, snack before bed) between 6 and 8PM and wrap up with Sunday breakfast in time for everyone to make it back to their respective churches for worship.  In between we'll enjoy outdoor games, art activities and baking, bible study and plenty of sledding.  Our theme for the weekend is "When Did We See You?" guided by Matthew 25 and the curriculum published by the PCUSA.

The cost of the weekend is $100 per youth.  If cost is prohibitive, contact us as scholarships are available!

Follow the links to register! 

Youth Participant Registration Form

Youth Leader Registration Form

Feel free to contact Jen at or Kayla at with any questions!!

GA Amendments Voting Total Update, as of Feb 9

Voting Total by Amendment
Voting Total by Presbytery

Signs And Symbols

Click the button below for an explanation on the PCUSA Mission Agency of:
  • What are the guidelines for the use of liturgical colors?
  • What is the significance of the various clerical garments?
  • Is it appropriate to have flags in worship?
  • What is the history and use of the Advent wreath?
  • What is a Paschal candle? When and how do we use it?
  • Why is the seashell a symbol of baptism?
  • What does “IHS” mean?
  • What is the symbolism of palm branches?
What does that mean? (PCUSA Mission Agency answers!)

Independent Studies offered in Presbyterian History and Polity and Reformed Theology.

The Rev. Dr. Allen D. Timm is teaching two independent studies (2 credits each).
The studies are offered on-line through Ecumenical Theological Seminary in Detroit, MI, where Dr. Timm is an adjunct faculty.  Information - Dean Brandon Grafius.  Register on the ETS website by March 1, 2023.  Dr. Timm can be reached at for a syllabus and to schedule students' times. 


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.

CAUTION:  eMail Spoofing Happens

Some members of the Presbytery have had their emails spoofed.  The spoofing message asks for ‘help’ and provides no other details.  If you get an email like this, please do not respond by email or click any links in the message.  If you are unsure, contact the person the person you believe to be the sender by telephone.  Our restricted directories contain the phone numbers of most of our clergy and committee members.  You can find contact info for most clergy on their church's website.

The goal of email spoofing is to trick users into believing the email is from someone they know or can trust—in most cases, a colleague, vendor or brand.  Exploiting that trust, the attacker asks the recipient to divulge information or take some other action.  As an example of email spoofing, an attacker might create an email that looks like it comes from PayPal.

Read more about Spoofing on the FBI website

Maine Outdoor Ministry (MOM) and Camp

      Maine Outdoor Ministry (MOM) is a Task Force of the Leadership Commission of PNNE, committed to providing and fostering outdoor ministry in western Maine.  To learn more see our Facebook page: Maine Outdoor Ministry.
      Camp, it’s time to begin thinking about camp!!   MOM has some campership funds available to help children and youth of western Maine be able to attend camp and we’re excited to be able to point out some wonderful opportunities within our own bounds.
      Camp Wilmot – our own camp set in NH [] has wonderful camp opportunities for this July as well as a Youth Weekend this month Feb. 24-26.
     For Maine folk, there is a camp closer to home: Pilgrim Lodge.  This is UCC camp with which we have a great working relationship set in West Gardiner, ME.    It also has a busy camping season from the last week of June through the first week of August.   In particular, the week of June 25- July 1 has two camps running – one for Grades 4-6 and the other for Grades 7-12.   Check them out at
    For questions about MOM camperships, please contact Rob Heinze at

Bedford PC (NH) to Celebrate Scout Sunday, Feb 19

During worship service on February 19, Bedford PC, NH, will welcome the leaders, parents, and youth from Pack 114 and Troop 414 and will gather to celebrate with a special Brunch Coffee Hour hosted by the Scouts.  This is a special celebration.

Mid-Coast PC (ME) to Observe Lent Madness!

Lent Madness is about the Saints of God from around the world.

Each day we are presented with a pair of saints and a brief piece about who they are and their impact in the world.  And everyone signed up for Lent Madness gets a vote on which saint is their favorite… and when we’ve looked at all the Saints once, it starts matching the winning Saints against each other until we’re down to one — and that saint is awarded the Golden Halo!  GO TO:

Changes to the PNNE website

  • An email link to the Web Minder has been added to the footer of every page.  If something is amiss on any page, scroll down to the footer and click the email link "" which will start an email on your computer's email app addressed to the PNNE Webminder.
  • The PC(USA) document "On Calling a Pastor" has been changed from drive location to a file link on the Transitions and Terms of Call page.
  • The "Staff And Leadership" and "Contact" pages have been updated to reflect changes in the PNNE Moderator and Vice Moderator.
  • The "Uniting Presbyterian Church in Southern Africa" link has been added to the Partners In Ministry page.
  • A PDF document "Qualifications for Serving on COM" has been added to the COM page under Committees.
  • A new directory "Committees and Commissions Directory" has been added to the Directories page.

~~~~~~~~ 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


PNNE sign-up form

News from Camp Wilmot

Mission at the Eastward (MATE)

PNNE Presbyterian Women:

The Grapevine Fall 2022

On Facebook

Our larger church:


Synod of the Northeast

Ash Wednesday

Why not
Affirm yourself this Lent,
Be kind and gentle to your you,
Go walking, learn to breath, read a book,
Know bread and wine and flesh,
Love yourself
Enough to give it
As a gift of love to life,
Or death,
Share hope with one who mourns,
Grief with one who laughs,
And rediscover all the yous
You left behind in getting to this place
From which, with ashes on your head, you go
In search of Easter?

J. Barrie Shepherd

PNNE Contact Information

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

PNNE Website
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