Six newly appointed Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission workers, along with another mission worker who is assuming a new role, attended orientation last month in preparation for their assignments.
Although the concept of tentmaking — serving as a minister while earning a living in another field — is often only applied to church leaders, all Christians should be tentmakers, said the Rev. Dan Kimball, speaking at the Engage Conference for new church development leaders here Aug. 10.
Kimball, a pastor at Vintage Faith Church in Santa Cruz, Calif., said that we often think of missionaries in the context of overseas service. But by studying the demographics of their own community before planting a church, Vintage Faith was able to better understand the mission field in their own backyard.
Kimball encouraged conference attendees to rethink church, evangelism, leadership and buildings.
From Tanzania to Congo and now Yaoundé, Cameroon ― with a brief stop in Louisville, Jeff and Christi Boyd are now in their third decade of service as mission co-workers for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Africa.
Since 1999, the Boyds have been in Cameroon at the invitation of the Presbyterian Church in Cameroon (PPC). Jeff is the PC(USA)’s liaison for Central Africa. In this role he facilitates PC(USA) relationships with partner churches and institutions in Cameroon, Congo and Equatorial Guinea. Jeff’s special focus is on the educational work of the PC(USA)'s partners.
Nick Warnes didn’t grow up in the church, but now he’s planting one.
To some, that might seem surprising. To Warnes, it actually seems quite natural.
Warnes is organizing pastor for Northland Village Church ― a ministry experiment of San Fernando Presbytery, the Evangelical Covenant Church, and Glendale Presbyterian Church ― in an urban neighborhood of northeastern Los Angeles.
Officials in Kerala, a state in southern India, have announced steps to curb the growing problem of alcoholism, but church groups and prohibition activists seek more stringent measures. The state has the highest alcohol consumption figures in the country, as well as the largest number of Christians.
“We welcome these measures. But we want more concrete and stronger steps to address alcoholism, which is causing havoc here,” said Rev. M.T. Tharian of the Christian Temperance Movement (CTM) of Kerala, an ecumenical movement against alcoholism organized by the Kerala Council of Churches.
For the first time since membership records have been kept, more Germans departed the Roman Catholic Church than were baptized into it in 2010, according to new data from Germany’s Catholic Conference of Bishops.
Twenty years ago, the ideal candidate for a church-planting pastor in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) was a 34-year-old married male with two kids or more, a dog and a mortgage. He was a charismatic leader who could draw people to himself, according to research done at the time.
“That’s not necessarily the only person we are looking for anymore with this generation,” said Craig Williams, associate for the PC(USA)’s Western Office of New Church Development. “We need people that have gifts in teambuilding, in community development and that not only have vision but are able to translate that vision so that others can articulate it as well.”
The World Communion of Reformed Churches (WCRC) general secretary, Setri Nyomi, is calling on all WCRC member churches ― including the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) ― to pray for the churches in Mexico caught in violence among drug cartels.
Nyomi has just concluded a visit to the three WCRC member churches in Mexico ― the National Presbyterian Church of Mexico, the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church in Mexico, and the Reformed Presbyterian Church of Mexico.
Christian advocacy groups are among a 28-strong international coalition calling for North Korea, criticized by many for its human rights abuses and nuclear threats, to step down from the presidency of the United Nations Conference on Disarmament (UNCD).
For North Korea ― “the undisputed home of international arms control,” according to U.N. chief Ban Ki-Moon ― to lead the group is terribly wrong, said the Christian groups in a statement.
Faith groups backing the initiative include Norwegian Church Aid; International Christian Concern (ICC), a Washington D.C.-based human rights watchdog; and Jubilee Campaign USA, which advocates for Christians worldwide.
As Mormon leaders seek to add more senior couples to their shrinking missionary force, they’re hoping that less will mean more: less time and expense, more missionaries.
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has announced that, come September, retired couples will be able to serve international missions for as short as six months or as long as 23 months.