At a critical juncture in the dialogue around immigration policies, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is working to shift the narrative from a legal perspective to a human one.
Can the people who benefit from unjust social systems actively work for justice with those who are oppressed by those systems? No Innocent Bystanders: Becoming an Ally in the Struggle for Justice (Westminster John Knox Press) by Shannon Craigo-Snell and Christopher Doucot is a start-up guide for spiritual or religious people who are interested in working for social justice but don't know how or where to begin.
The original idea was to simply schedule screenings of the most recent Presbyterian Disaster Assistance documentaries on immigration detention and refugee resettlement (Locked in a Box and To Breathe Free) at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dayton. What Sally Dyer didn’t realize, was a number of organizations across the city were planning their own awareness events around these issues.
October 20-22 marks the 26th annual National Observance of Children’s Sabbaths, a time for people of all faiths to devote to, and unite in, their concern for children, commit to improving children’s lives, and advocate for justice on their behalf. The 2017 Children’s Sabbaths theme is “Moving Forward with Hope: Love and Justice for Every Child.”
The meeting room at Laws Lodge on the campus of the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary was buzzing with groups clustered together, debriefing on the past three weeks. Most of the 15 international peacemakers gathered here for a day of conversation before heading back to their homes, an opportunity to talk about their experiences and interactions with U.S. congregations, students and communities.
Preaching at the closing worship service here of the five-day Mid Council Leaders Gathering of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the Reverend Frank Spencer, president of the Board of Pensions, asked attendees, “Is today’s outcome determined by what has already happened?”
Spencer began his sermon, titled “What’s Past Is Prologue,” with a reading of the genealogy in Matthew 1:1–17, “The very first words of our New Testament, [that] have never made it into the reading of our Common Lectionary.”
Mission co-worker Douglas Dicks is going home. Not to his boyhood home in Virginia but to his spiritual home in Israel/Palestine.
Reflecting on the losses Los Ranchos Presbytery has experienced in the last five years – nine churches containing more than 10,000 members dismissed to other bodies and net loss of church property totaling $60 million -- Forest Claasen, co-executive recalls a story attributed to, but probably not told, by Desmond Tutu.
“The missionaries came to our land with the Bible and said, ‘let us pray,’” the story goes. “So we closed our eyes and prayed and when we opened them up they had the land and we had the Bible. And we got the better part of the deal.”
From June 16-23, 2018, the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) will meet in the “Gateway City” for the 16th time since 1851 and the first since 1988.
Planning for the Assembly comes as St. Louis continues to experience unrest, dating back to the police shooting of an 18-year-old black man, Michael Brown, in the summer of 2014 in suburban Ferguson, Missouri. “The protests are primarily economic, but you cannot separate out the various factors that contribute to them,” the Rev. Craig Howard, executive of Giddings-Lovejoy Presbytery told 300 Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders here October 16 during the annual Mid Council Leaders Gathering.
When Kerry Rice thinks about resilience, he thinks of two of his favorite toys from childhood — Legos and Play-Doh.
“You can put them together any way you want to make something new,” he says, “but they never lose the nature of what they are.”