Pastor's Desk

Pastor's Letter - March 18, 2018

By Leroy McCreary
Frankfort, IL, March 12, 2018 - The International Council of Community Churches, the nation's ground-breaking inter-racial fellowship of community-based churches and ministry centers, has called Rev. Phil Tom as its next Executive Director.




Frankfort, IL, March 12, 2018 -    The International Council of Community Churches, the nation's ground-breaking inter-racial fellowship of community-based churches and ministry centers, has called

Rev. Phil Tom as its next Executive Director.

The International Council of Community Churches (ICCC) was formed in 1950. The Biennial Council of the Peoples Church of Christ and Community Centers led by Dr. Joseph M Evans (until then all African-American) and the National Council of Community Churches led by the Rev. Roy A Burkhardt (until then all Caucasian) merged to form the largest inter-racial church communion. Member churches are a fellowship of ecumenically-minded, freedom-loving congregations cooperating to work for Christian unity, justice and reconciliation.  The Executive Director leads these efforts through the national office.

A native New Yorker, Rev Tom received his Bachelor's degree in Economics from Coe College but gradually became more and more interested in ministry.  He received his M.A. in Community Development from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration and his Master of Divinity from McCormick Theological Seminary.  Throughout his ministry and working life he has sought partnerships between churches, government and social organizations to develop communities and address such issues as affordable housing, job training, after-school programs for youth, worker justice and community organizing for a cause.

In addition to successfully pastoring churches, Rev Tom worked for the Indianapolis Neighborhood Housing Partnership. Through his office he worked with faith-based and neighborhood organizations, the City of Indianapolis, lenders, funders, and United Way to successfully create and implement a city-wide affordable housing development strategy.

From 1993 – 1996 and 2000 - 2010, Rev Tom worked with the Presbyterian Church USA and helped to equip church congregations of diverse locations (rural to urban) to strengthen their congregational life and community outreach.  In 2010, during the Obama Administration, Phil became Director of the US Department of Labor's Center for Faith-Based and Neighborhood Partnerships.  He worked over the next five years with Secretaries of Labor Hilda Solis – then Thomas Perez – to build partnership with faith-based and community-based organizations related to worker justice and workforce development issues and programs.

More recently, Rev. Tom served as Interim pastor of the Eastchester Presbyterian Church in Bronx, NY, completing that assignment in January 2018.  Rev. Tom has several publications to his credit including Handbook for Urban Church Ministries "And All Who Reach Out with Their Neighbors", co-edited with Sally Johnson, and Congregational-Based Community Organizing:  Building Vital Congregations, Building Just Communities, Presbyterian Church (USA), 2009


Rev Tom and family currently reside in Mt. Vernon, NY.


Grace and peace to you:
During the season of resurrection, the ICCC and other Christian communions will join together to proclaim, in faith, the end to racism in the USA: A.C.T. to End Racism Rally April 3 - 5 Washington DC. A social media toolkit is attached to help you in spread the word. Even if you can't travel to Washington DC April 3 - 5, you have the opportunity to share the witness and to pray for the rally and for the long-term initiative to defeat racism that will follow.

If you will be in DC for the events,

1. See this link to help you find your way around the area -- Parking in downtown DC can be a difficult experience. If you plan to stay in a DC area hotel, you'll probably find it easier to leave your auto there and take public transportation to the events. 


2. We do not have recommendations for hotels; you'll likely find the best rates and locations online by using Trivago,, or a similar site. If you haven't yet made hotel reservations, I urge you to follow through immediately.


3. Please take photos and write a paragraph or two about your experience for inclusion in an upcoming "Christian Community" newsletter. Send your materials to


I have appended a personal email about the April 3-5 experience, from NCC President Jim Winkler.


Thank you for all that you are doing to advance justice, reconciliation and Christian unity!




Rev. Donald H. Ashmall, Council Minister


New Church Website

We are nearing completion of a brand-new website that provides us with the opportunity to share many of the wonderful things we do here in ministry and in outreach to the community. This new website will contain a photo gallery of many of our church and community events. Should you have any concerns about your photo being used in our church gallery, please bring it to my attention or one of the deacons. We very much would like to include our church family in the photos we have taken over the years. Notwithstanding our desires, if you have a concern with your photo being in the gallery of our church webpage, please let us know by March 18, 2018.


Empty Bowl Supper

NOTE: Tickets purchased for this event must be deposited in the designated bowl on the tables the night of the Supper. So, if you purchase a ticket and cannot attend, please give your ticket to any trustee and we will make sure it is deposited that evening, so the church gets credit.


Friday, April 6, 2018 from 5-7:00pm

At Berea-Midpark High School Cafeteria

Tickets are $20

($10 for kids 7-14, under 6 free) and includes: a souvenir bowl, soup, salad, rolls, water, and dessert


A silent auction will also occur


Proceeds from this fundraiser:

Will be used to feed our community through Berea Community Outreach, Church Street Ministries, PCC Food Pantry and SCAN.



Upcoming Dates for Special Worship Services:

  • Palm Sunday – Sunday, March 25, Sunday School at 9:00, Christian Education Forum at 10:00, and worship at 10:30am
  • Maundy Thursday – Thursday, March 29 at 7:00pm here at the church
  • Good Friday – Friday, March 30 at noon Good Friday walk at Ohio Guidestone and here at the church at 7:00pm
  • Easter Program – Saturday, March 31 at 7:00pm here at the church
  • Easter Sunday – April 1, Sunday School at 9:00, Christian Education Forum at 10:00, and worship at 10:30am


North End Foundation Programs for 2018—440-243-2988

  • BYW—Begins April 16
  • Rib Cook off—May 25-May 28
  • Feed the Kids—Begins June 4
  • Pizza Fest—June 22-June 24
  • Science Camp—June 25-June 29
  • Movie Night (Fun Day)—July 28
  • Family Fishing Event—August 4
  • Pig Roast—August 12
  • Family Reading Night – Dates to be announced

(Fun activities, refreshments and a free book for students in grades K,1,2, and 3. Kids must be accompanied by an adult family member, space limited to the first 25 students for each session. Parents may register for any or all sessions). 440-243-2988


Please like us on Face book –

? ?

If you are interested in giving a presentation for the "Did You Read?" Series, please contact Sister Leanna Eulinberg at 440-239-5055.

? ?

CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) needs Volunteers! Advocate for the best interests of abused, neglected, and dependent children involved with the Juvenile Court, in collaboration with key agencies & significant individuals in their lives. For more information call (216) 433-3377 or email or visit . Be an Everyday Hero!

? ?

Journey in Grief

Heritage Congregational will be sponsoring a workshop entitled: Journey in Grief.  It is open for participation from members of your churches or anyone who wants to learn about grief care.  Dates are April 13, 14, 15. The cost is $40 /person

For more information call or to register contact:

Dale Matthias, (440) 554-4575;









631 North Rocky River Drive, Berea, Oh 44017
© 2018 Peoples Community Church - All Rights Reserved.