Representing the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is a bit harder these days for the Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.
With Native American women installed as synod executive in such places as the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is becoming a more diverse denomination — but there’s still work to be done, said the Rev. Danelle Crawford McKinney, a Presbyterian Women board member.
A few years ago, Martha Clark grew concerned when Sara Lisherness wanted the then-Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), Heath Rada, to join her on a trip to one of the most dangerous cities on Earth: ISIS-held Mosul, Iraq. “Y’all may be ninjas,” Clark told Lisherness, Compassion, Peace & Justice director, “but the moderator is not. You need to make sure he’s safe.”
Melva Lowry has found joy in service where she least expected it. Lowry is one of two young women selected for the first yearlong fellowships with Hands and Feet, an initiative launched by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Nelson’s idea is to strengthen the church’s mission efforts through partnerships and mission involvement in cities hosting the General Assembly.
One day last week the Rev. Irvin Porter invited about four dozen staff working at the Presbyterian Center to stand on the blanket of their choosing among about 20 covering a conference room floor.
The scene was not unfamiliar to Greg Smith, a member of the National Response team for Presbyterian Disaster Assistance, as he assessed damage in Taylorville, Ill. early in December.
White Protestantism has dominated U.S. politics and culture for much of the nation’s history, but demographic change and an exodus from churches by the young are bringing the era to a close. That prediction comes from Robert P. Jones, founder and chief executive officer of Public Religion Research Institute (PRRI), who has won the 2019 Grawemeyer Award in Religion for his book, “The End of White Christian America.” Simon & Schuster published the work in 2016.
“What do you think?” Rob Fohr, director of Faith-Based Investing and Corporate Engagement for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), asked after surveying the multi-room warehouse packed with household supplies. “I think there’s a lot to do,” replied Carl Horton, coordinator of the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program.
They came from North, South, East and West. From Bolivia, El Salvador, Haiti, Cameroon, Sri Lanka, India, and the U.S., church and community leaders gathered in Peru for the Quadrennial Joining Hands Conference to assess, re-envision and recommit ourselves to our common and connected work in partnership with the Presbyterian Hunger Program and Presbyterian World Mission.
More than 28,000 people have gathered in Katowice, Poland for the 24th United Nations Framework Convention for Climate Change "Conference of the Parties" (COP), and the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is there.