Retirement festivities will be held Jan. 9-10 for the Rev. Joanna Adams, one of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s most effective bridge-builders of understanding. She will be honored at a dinner Saturday evening and her 30 years of ministry will be celebrated during worship Sunday morning at Morningside Presbyterian Church in Atlanta.

Adams served five pastorates during her career — three in Atlanta, on in nearby Decatur, and at Fourth Presbyterian Church in Chicago. She is a graduate of Atlanta’s Emory University and Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur.

She has served as a trustee of the Prebyterian Church (U.S.A.) Foundation, a trustee of Agnes Scott College, and chair of the board of trustees for Columbia Theological Seminary. In 2006, she was named Georgia Woman of the Year and has been featured in Atlanta Magazine.

Adams has authored more than thirty published articles, sermons, and chapters in books.

During her ministry, Joanna Adams has been the preacher for the General Assembly Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) (1986 and 1997), the Protestant Hour (1989 and 1998), Day One (2005 and 2010), the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Peacemaking 2000 Conference, the Montreat Worship and Music Conference, the Chautauqua Institution
(New York), the Memorial Church of Harvard University, and numerous Presbyterian gatherings and ecumencial events around the country.

One measure of her stature is the list of dignitaries who will pay tribute to her ministry at the Jan. 9 banquet in her honor: Atlanta Mayor M. Kasim Reed; General Assembly Mission Council Executive Director Linda Valentine; The Rev. Joseph L. Roberts, pastor of Atlanta’s fabled Ebenezer Baptist Church; Resident Imam Plemon T. El-Amin of Atlanta Masjid Al-Islam; Sherry Frank, retired executive director of the Atlanta Chapter of the American Jewish Committee; and numerous other community and PC(USA) leaders.

# # #

Presbyterian Elder Allie B. Latimer, a member of Northeastern Presbyterian Church in Washington, DC in National Capital Presbytery was one of 10 women inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame late last year.

Latimer is an attorney, civil rights activist and humanitarian advocate.

An active participant in National Capital Presbytery, she has also served the PC(USA) as a member of the advisory board of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.

# # #

The Rev. Peter S. Wendell, 74, an educator and pastor who was a much-loved member of Tropical Florida Presbytery, died Dec. 18. A memorial service was held Dec. 21 at Kings Grant Presbyterian Church in Virginia Beach, Va.

Wendell, a Chicago native, graduated from Lafayette College and Princeton University, and subsequently received his Ph.D. from Barry University.

In addition to Tropical Florida, he served pastorates in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He also served as head of the English Department at the Abadan Institute of Technology in Abadan, Iran from 1956-1957. He had been an active member of Tropical Florida Presbytery since 1960, retiring in 2002.

# # #

Japanese Cardinal Peter Seiichi Shirayanagi, the emeritus archbishop of Tokyo who in 1986 apologized for his nation’s actions in the Second World War, died Dec. 30 at age 81.

“He literally worked as ‘the world’s cardinal’ for peace and reconciliation of the international community,” the archdiocese of Toyko said in a statement.

Born and baptized in Tokyo in 1928, Shirayanagi was ordained a priest in Tokyo in 1954. He was ordained auxiliary bishop of Tokyo in 1966. In 1970, he became archbishop of Tokyo and served the archdiocese for 31 years before his resignation in 2000. In November 1994, he was elevated to cardinal and participated in the Vatican conclave in April 2005 that elected Pope Benedict.

In 1982, Shirayanagi led a Japanese Catholic Pilgrimage for Peace to New York that submitted 429,690 signatures to the Second Special Session of the United Nations General Assembly devoted to disarmament. During a Mass at the second plenary assembly of the Federation of Asian Bishops’ Conferences in Tokyo in September 1986, Shirayanagi publicly apologized for Japan’s aggression towards other Asian countries during the Second World War, the first Japanese religious leader to make such a statement.