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Presbytery and synod news

March 18, 2011

CLEVELAND

Old Stone Presbyterian Church in the Presbytery of Western Reserve is hosting its third annual Lenten Leadership Series on Wednesdays during Lent.

Called “Hope for the City,” the series will feature some of Cleveland’s key leaders sharing their visions of hope for the city of Cleveland.

This year’s speakers include:

  • March 23 the Rev. Mark Giuliano, pastor of Old Stone Presbyterian Church
  • March 30 ― Felton Thomas, director of the Cleveland Public Library
  • April 6 ― Tom Einhouse, executive vice-president, Playhouse Square District Development Corp.
  • April 13 ― Joseph Marinucci, president & CEO, Downtown Cleveland Alliance

MINNEAPOLIS ― The Committee on Preparation for Ministry (CPM) of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area is offering a one-day seminar May 7 at Lake Nokomis Presbyterian Church here for individuals feeling a sense of call to ministry as Minister of Word and Sacrament.  The CPM hosts seeker seminars two to three times a year.  

The seminar provides a structured way of meeting with and orienting individuals to the opportunities, challenges and responsibilities that lie ahead should they pursue a formal relationship with the CPM. The presbytery requires all persons interested in the preparation for ministry to participate in a seeker seminar prior to coming under care of the committee.   

The seeker seminar includes time for personal introductions and reflection, presentations on spiritual disciplines and formation, the CPM process and expectations, academic preparation and fellowhip and conversation with members of the Committee as well as meeting with current inquirers and candidates over lunch.

EVERETT, Wash. ― In preparation for its March 29 vote on Amendment 10-A ― which would current language in the PC(USA) Book of Order on sexual standards for ordination ― North Puget Sound Presbytery is conducting a series of workshops on the proposal.

The workshops ― March 19 at First Presbyterian Church in Bellingham, March 22 at Mukilteo Presbyterian Church and March 26 at First Presbyterian Church in Port Townsend ― will include five elements:

  • A Reformed understanding of Ordination ― “ordered ministry.”  What is ordination for?  Who’s it for?  The church’s role in setting standards for ordained service. 
  • History of G-6.0106b ― When and why did it enter into the Book of Order? Attempts to change it. 
  • Current Amendment 10-A ― What does the new language mean and try to accomplish?
  • Good reasons ― Review arguments for and against this amendment.  
  • Presbytery Meeting Process ― What will happen at the March 29 meeting?
  • Ethics of engagement on controversial issues ― How God can use significant disagreements to mature the Body of Christ and witness to Christ?
  • Q&A&P (Prayer)

The Rev. Ted Schuldt and Elder Dottie Villesvik (2010 General Assembly Commissioners),  CLP Lorrie Nelson and the Rev. Ann Lewis (2010 Alternate GA Commissioners); and Executive Presbyter Corey Schlosser-Hall will be leading the workshops in teams of two or three.

LANCASTER, Penn. Donegal Presbytery is promoting the Spring Peace Forum of the Lancaster Interfaith Peace Witness on March 20 at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church here.

Featured speaker for the forum is Charles Marsh, professor of religious studies and director of the Project on Lived Theology at the University of Virginia. He will be speaking on “The Meaning of Dietrich Bonhoeffer for Contemporary American Christianity.

The Project on Lived Theology is a research community that seeks to understand the social consequences of religious beliefs.

LOUISVILLE ― Gena Chilton was known by the children of Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church here in Mid-Kentucky Presbytery as “the life-saver lady” who always had a red Life Saver candy for them on Sunday mornings. Gena’s love for children was not limited to Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church. As a teacher and school principal, she always provided for children.  Shoes and peanut butter were often the “life savers” offered by Gena when she knew that a child was in need.
 
Gena died in late 2009 and to honor her memory, Crescent Hill Presbyterian Church’s Women’s Circle “planted” Gena’s Tree in the church’s entry hall. On the top of the “tree” sits a large red Life Saver.  Everyone is invited to help the “tree” bloom each season by providing for children-at-risk in Louisville.
 
During the summer, Gena’s Tree blossoms with back packs, school supplies, and school uniforms. During winter months, Gena’s Tree blooms with crocheted and knitted hats, scarves, mittens — some hand-made, some store-bought, some gently-used — for the children of La Casita, an outreach program for the Hispanic/Latino community, as well as children served by Louisville’s Coalition for the Homeless.
    
EAGAN, Minn. ― The 2010 annual report of Dakota Wicohan recognized the Synod of Lakes and Prairies for assisting in its Dakota Language Project.

Elona Street-Stewart, the synod’s associate for racial ethnic ministries and community empowerment, worked with Dakota Wicohan, making historical documents available in Dakota language for preparing and developing certified Dakota language instructors for professional service and cultural programming. Elder Dean Blue of Pejuhutazzizi Presbyterian Church in Granite Falls, Minn. ― a congregation of Dakota Presbytery ― also provided assistance.

The Project recognizes the immediate crisis of language extinction caused by the aging fluent-speaker population in Minnesota.

  1. The Standard is the Word of God. When Scriptures regarding definitive standards, given iin narrative, law, Gospel and epistle staements show real bearing on a subject and indicate a definite position, it should be recognized as representing the Word of God, and no judicatory from a local session on up through GA should ever even let a motion contrary to Scriture even be put up for a vote, let alone be passed. God's Word, not "political correctness" or social popularity, shoud be the rule. We have in place a Permanent Judicial COmmission which can and should be notified of any measures advanced which are in violation of this rule, which should never be up for debate. As Dr. John E. Burkhart of McCormick Theological Seminary said repeatedly in his classes in Systematic Theology, "The Bible is the CHurch's Book, and the CHurch is the Bible's People." And II Timothy 3:16 nd 17 should be the text of "I rest my case."

    by Paul Dobbins

    March 19, 2011

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