Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons has condemned the Aug. 26 terrorist attack on the United Nations compound in Abuja, Nigeria, that killed or injured a number of people.
U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon told reporters that the U.N. did not yet have precise casualty figures but “they are likely to be considerable,” adding that a number of people are dead and many more are wounded.
The compound in Abuja, a series of buildings that house the offices of 26 U.N. humanitarian and development agencies, was struck by a car bomb at around 11 a.m. local time on Friday (Aug. 26). Hundreds of U.N. staff members were working in the compound at the time of the attack.
Since he became pastor of the 33-member Lavonia (Ga.) Presbyterian Church on July 15, Jason Clapper has been out every day knocking on doors.
“We had five new people come out to church this past weekend, which was really exciting for the congregation to see,” Clapper said. “I’m seeing it myself but I’m also being told by people in the congregation that everyone is just really coming alive with a new hope. There’s a new energy and a new vibrancy that everyone is feeling.”
Clapper is one of ten recent seminary graduates who have received their first calls to ministry in the second year of For Such a Time as This, a pastoral residency program designed to renew the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) by equipping new pastors to grow small churches Deep and Wide in evangelism, discipleship, servanthood and diversity.
The son of a prominent Pakistani politician who was assassinated after speaking out against the country's blasphemy law was kidnapped on Aug. 26 in Lahore, police said.
Shahbaz Taseer, 27, was on his way to work at mid-morning, without his usual security guard detail, when he was taken from his car at gunpoint, police and government officials said.
Shopping for a flat screen TV typically isn’t that controversial. Arguments may ensue over the best size, brand or price, but those quarrels are usually short-lived.
The Charity Give Back Group, or CGBG, is changing that.
CGBG, formerly known as the Christian Values Network, or CVN, is an online hub that allows consumers to shop for anything from golf shoes to airline tickets. Hundreds of stores ― Best Buy, Sears, Target, Home Depot ― are represented on the site. But what makes CGBG different from, say, Amazon.com, is that shopping through the network enables customers to make charitable contributions.
The fledgling Fellowship of Presbyterians (FOP) was described here Aug. 25 as an empty warehouse, and the 1,900 Presbyterians gathered for the group’s first get-together were invited to fill it up between now and January 2012, when the next FOP gathering will be held in Orlando, Fla.
“The world does not need another denomination,” said the Rev. John Crosby, pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Edina, Minn. and a member of the FOP’s seven-member steering committee, “but continuing on the same path is a dead end and we’re not going to do that anymore.”
Presbyterians committed to theological orthodoxy should consider a special vow, akin to special vows taken by members of various Catholic orders, Fuller Theological Seminary President Richard Mouw told the Fellowship of Presbyterians at its Aug. 25-26 gathering here.
In a wide-ranging and free-wheeling address and question-and-answer session, Mouw said, “Historically, when Catholics felt the church had gone astray, they didn’t leave, they formed special orders who took special vows according to their commitments. The commitment to theological orthodoxy for many of us should take the form of a special vow, to witness to the essential tenets and the power of the Reformed faith.”
In preparation for Hurricane Irene’s expected arrival this weekend, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance is taking several steps to make sure Presbyterians are informed and ready.
“We’re taking it very seriously, and we’re hoping that our congregations take it seriously as well,” said Randy Ackley, coordinator of PDA.
The Rev. John Robinson, PDA’s associate for national disaster response, sent emails to about 25 presbyteries south of Delaware asking them to share their disaster plans. Many have designated a call-in number for congregations to use to report any damage. The Presbytery of Eastern Virginia has temporarily moved its offices to Boston to get out of Irene’s path.
In comments to staff of the World Council of Churches (WCC) on Aug. 18, the Rev. Olav Fykse Tveit expressed alarm at the “blocking and hindering of the food supply in famine-struck Somalia, with the effect that more and more people are dying. This interference with humanitarian aid is inhumane and must be strongly condemned.”
A delegation from an Asian ecumenical group has called upon the South Korean government to stop building a naval base on Jeju Island off the country’s southern tip.
In a statement following their visit from Aug. 8 to 10 to the site, the delegation from the Christian Conference of Asia (CCA) based in Chiang Mai, Thailand, said that they have identified concerns about U.S.-led militarization, destruction of the environment and community, undemocratic process, and overwhelming police presence during the base construction.
In the two months since North Carolina’s legislature laid off most of its prison chaplains, Betty Brown, director of prison chaplaincy services, has been crisscrossing the state searching for volunteers who can attend to the religious needs of Native American, Wiccan and Rastafarian prisoners.
State legislators had assumed volunteer ministries would jump in and help prisoners meet the ritual and devotional needs of their faiths. But so far, that hasn’t happened.