Founded in 1946 by Presbyterians and Methodists, Matanzas Evangelical Theological Seminary is the only ecumenical theological institution in Cuba. It enrolls more than 300 students in a variety of programs, including a residential program designed for candidates for ordained ministry, biblical and theological courses for lay leaders and a training program for Sunday school teachers and youth leaders.
All students and professors serve in congregations on weekends and students are involved in a wide variety of service projects throughout the school year, including community centers, HIV/AIDS programs, hospital chaplaincy and health clinics and education programs.
Students’ congregations financially support ...
Stewardship is often seen as an obligation rather than an opportunity, but churches can change that view, participants at the Stewardship Kaleidoscope conference learned.
The March 15-17 conference, hosted by several presbyteries, synods and agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), focused on several angles of stewardship — its theological and spiritual basis, new ideas for campaigns and ways to bring joy to giving.
At the opening plenary session, the Rev. Brian Blount said that pastors can talk to people about the importance and pleasure of sharing their resources and gifts with their faith communities.
Blount is president and ...
After about two years without a director, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s Washington Office is bringing the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson on board. He starts as director of public witness May 3.
Nelson, pastor of Liberation Community Presbyterian Church in Memphis, Tenn., was introduced to a group of Presbyterians during Ecumenical Advocacy Days here March 19-22.
Calling the opportunity to serve in the Washington Office “humbling and heartening,” Nelson spoke about the office’s role in the church’s goal of transformation.
Created in 1946, the Washington Office works to advocate for public policy that reflects the social witness ...
The Rev. Bob Bronkema, a Presbyterian missionary who is pastor of Moscow Protestant Chaplaincy (MPC), reports that his family and parishioners are all safe after the Russian capital was rocked by two subway bombings yesterday (March 29).
“The blasts occurred on the red line which is the line that we use fairly much on a daily basis,” Bronkema said in an email to friends shortly after two women — reportedly members of the “Black Widows” Chechen separatist movement — detonated their suicide bombs during morning rush hour, killing dozens and wounding scores more.
“It is also the line where ...
April 2, 1990 is described by Christians in Cuba as “a turning point.”
That day — shortly after the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cuba’s main patron since the 1959 revolution — Fidel Castro met with 70 church leaders, including those of the Presbyterian Reformed Church in Cuba (IPRC) and following the gathering changed one word in the Cuban constitution: Cuba officially became a “secular” rather than “atheist” state.
That single change — which signaled that the Cuban government was now neutral rather than hostile to the church — opened the floodgates to renewed life and mission in the ...
Dallas-based Grace Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has called the Rev. Jan DeVries, a veteran executive leader in the denomination, as its new general presbyter.
DeVries, who has most recently served as synod executive for Tucson-based Synod of the Southwest for the past 10 years, was elected March 25 at a special meeting of Grace Presbytery.
Descended from several generations of Presbyterian and Reformed ministers, DeVries graduated from Hope College in Holland, Mich. She completed her M.Div. at Union Theological Seminary in New York while working full-time in the national offices of the former United Presbyterian ...
For the Rev. Jeremy Wilhelmi, the timing could not have been better.
Last spring, the associate pastor for Youth and Family Ministry at Canyon Creek Presbyterian Church in Richardson, Texas, was leading his youth committee in a study of a book by youth ministry specialist the Rev. Mark DeVries. Wilhelmi then learned that DeVries was scheduled to speak in nearby Austin as part of the Pathways Youth Ministry Leader Seminars.
Thanks to some simple grade school mathematics and a determined committee chairperson, Shenandoah Presbytery has taken on a global-sized challenge.
So far, the 110-church presbytery, located in northern Virginia and West Virginia, has been up to the task.
Earlier this year, Shenandoah presented the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s World Mission area with a check for $11,000 as a contribution to its Second-Mile Missionary Support program. It’s the first installment in a commitment to raise $2 for each of the presbytery’s 17,000-plus members. The presbytery hopes to raise the final installment of $23,000 by the end ...
For Westminster Presbyterian Church — a thriving congregation in suburban Philadelphia — personal relationships are at the heart of the church’s mission and ministry, which is precisely why the church’s associate pastor nominating committee was faced with a challenge.
Elected by the congregation in August 2009, the 11-member committee was charged with identifying a pastor who would share the preaching responsibilities for Westminster’s two sets of concurrent services.
“Because the person we call will be a primary preaching voice in our contemporary service, we wanted to be able to make more of a personal connection with our applicants than just ...
The ninth annual gathering of Ecumenical Advocacy Days opened with an enthusiastic show of support for faith-based social justice work.
The Rev. Michael Kinnamon, general secretary of the National Council of Churches, asked the 700 participants to raise their hands if they thought the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. was a better theologian than Glenn Beck. The conservative radio and TV show host recently encouraged his audience to leave their churches if they hear the words “social justice” or “economic justice.”
As the crowd at EAD raised their hands and cheered in support f social justice programs, they affirmed ...