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Updated: 1 hour 14 min ago

South Africa denies Dalai Lama another visa to visit ‘due to China relations’

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 15:00

Tibetan Nobel laureate denied entry for third time in five years

September 23, 2014

Ecumenical News

Peter Kenny

GENEVA

The Dalai Lama, a personal friend of Desmond Tutu, has again been refused entry to South Africa, where he was scheduled to attend the 14th world summit of Nobel peace laureates, his representative has said.

Young theologians explore ways of furthering ecumenical formation

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 13:00

September 23, 2014

Former GETI tutors attend a meeting in Bossey, Switzerland. —Photo by Peter Williams/WCC

World Council of Churches

WORLD COUNCIL OF CHURCHES NEWS

GENEVA

New forms of ecumenical formation, as well as ways of enhancing ecumenical contributions from young people in churches and societies, were discussed by 15 young theologians in a meeting convened by the World Council of Churches (WCC).

Presbytery and synod news

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 11:00

September 23, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Jerry L. Van Marter

MINNEAPOLIS ― The Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area will conduct a teaching elder retreat Monday and Tuesday, Sept. 29-30, at Mt. Olivet Conference and Retreat Center of Farmington, Minn.

The retreat offers an opportunity for teaching elders to “relax, spend a couple of days away from the church office and get to know your colleagues in ministry,” according to the retreat brochure. The Rev. John Curtis, pastor of Community Presbyterian Church in Plainview, will facilitate discussions on “Creating a Healthy Congregation.” The retreat brochure can be found at “Teaching Elder Retreat.”

LANCASTER, Pa. ― “Boost 2014” ― an annual event sponsored by ...

The struggle to survive

Tue, 09/23/2014 - 08:00

‘Violence only leads to more violence,’ Syria International Peacemaker says

September 23, 2014

Salam Hanna. —Photo by Joseph Williams

Special to Presbyterian News Service

Paul Seebeck

LOUISVILLE

Twelve  international peacemakers from around the world are visiting congregations, presbyteries and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Sept. 19-Oct. 12.

U.S. churches feel beat of change: More diversity, more drums

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 15:00

September 22, 2014

Religion News Service

Cathy Lynn Grossman

WASHINGTON

U.S. religious congregations are marching to their own drums now more than ever.

The National Congregations Study’s latest look at the country’s churches, synagogues and mosques — the third wave of studies that began in 1998 — finds more congregations:

Displaced Iraqis appeal for security and tolerance

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 13:00

September 22, 2014

Special to World Council of Churches News

Gregg Brekke

DOHUK, IRAQ

Displaced by the armed offensive of the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and their brutal purge of Yazidis and Christians, along with Sufi, Shiite and Sunni Muslims, from northern Iraq, members of these communities have begun to speak out about their experiences, their longing for security, and their hopes for the future.

ACREC ‘applauds’ General Assembly divestment vote

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 11:00

Racial ethnic advocacy panel calls action ‘light onto nations’

September 22, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE

The Advocacy Committee for Racial Ethnic Concerns (ACREC) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has issued an open letter to General Assembly Moderator Heath Rada, Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons and Presbyterian Mission Agency Executive Director Linda Valentine “applauding” the recent General Assembly’s decision to divest from three U.S. companies it determined “is profiting from the Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.

Life and times of St. Paul Epps

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 09:24

September 22, 2014

Special to Presbyterian News Service

Jennifer Logan

LOUISVILLE

Editor’s note: Dr. St. Paul Epps, former director of Self-Development of People, died on Sept. 16. The following obituary was composed for the funeral program by his daughter Frances, his son Sheldon, and his goddaughter Jennifer Logan.— Emily Enders Odom

Setting an example

Mon, 09/22/2014 - 08:00

Personal relationships, partnership, are keys to life in Christ, says Russia International Peacemaker

September 22, 2014

Viktor Ignatenkov. —Photo by Joseph Williams

Presbyterian News Service

Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE

Twelve international peacemakers from around the world are visiting congregations, presbyteries and colleges of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Sept. 19-Oct. 12.

A good foundation

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 11:00

Stony Point, Ghost Ranch positioned to grow, consultants say

September 19, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE

Despite chronic financial struggles, Stony Point Center and Ghost Ranch ― the two national conference centers of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are well-positioned to grow into self-sustainability, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board’s (PMAB) Finance Committee was told her Sept. 17.

Four years under construction

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 09:00

A PC(USA) mission letter from Ethiopia (2014 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 133)

September 19, 2014

Pillars of concrete mark the foundation of the EGST building in the fall of 2010. —Courtesy of Marilyn and Rich Hansen

Presbyterian News Service

Marilyn and Rich Hansen

PC(USA) mission co-workers, World Mission

ADDIS ABABA

A mission letter from Rich and Marilyn Hansen in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Big churches, big bucks: Southern senior pastors take top salaries

Fri, 09/19/2014 - 07:00

September 19, 2014

Religion News Service

Adelle M. Banks

WASHINGTON

Large churches in the South tend to pay their head pastors the highest salaries, a new survey finds.

PMAB committee hears update on study process for proposed revisions to Directory for Worship

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 11:00

Churchwide season of study to conclude July 1, 2015

September 18, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Emily Enders Odom

LOUISVILLE

When the 221st General Assembly (2014) voted to forward to the church the draft of the proposed Directory for Worship — the middle section of the Book of Order, Part II of the Constitution of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) — it set into motion a yearlong, churchwide period of study and comment, which began on July 1, 2014. 

Seminary news

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 09:00

September 18, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Jerry L. Van Marter

LOUISVILLE

News from the seminaries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Catholic Relief Service looks at Central American programs to help fight migration crisis

Thu, 09/18/2014 - 06:40

September 18, 2014

Catholic News Service

David Agren

MEXICO CITY

At an immigration center for receiving busloads of deportees returning to El Salvador, Catholic Relief Services' Executive Vice President Joan Rosenhauer spoke with a widowed mother of six children who was awaiting her son.

Rosenhauer said she asked the mother why she had sent her son on the perilous journey through Mexico in an attempt to reach the United States. “There is no hope for him here,” the mother responded, explaining her inability to feed her family and the problem of gangs forcing adolescents into lives of crime.

Giving Peace a Chance

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 11:00

GA Moderator Rada Joins Boulder Interfaith Peace Walk

September 17, 2014

A soggy afternoon did little to dampen the spirits of Muslims, Jews, Christians, and friends who participated in Boulder’s 9/11 interfaith “Walk for Peace and Solidarity.” —Vicki Fogel Mykles

Presbyterian News Service

Vicki Fogel Mykles

Special to Presbyterian News Service

BOULDER, Colorado

So, an iman, a rabbi, and a Presbyterian minister met in a parking lot…

To be precise, they met on the afternoon of Sept. 11 in the parking lot of the Islamic Center of Boulder (Colorado) along with 150 members from local Muslim, Jewish, and Christian faith groups.  They congregated to commemorate, celebrate and cross-pollinate with an organized “Walk for Peace and Solidarity.”

New in Managua

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 09:00

A PC(USA) mission letter from Nicaragua (2014 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 44)

September 17, 2014

Renee Sundberg (third from left) and Justin Sundberg (right, back) with the leadership of CEPAD. —Photo courtesy of CEPAD.

Presbyterian News Service

Justin and Renee Sundberg

PC(USA) mission co-workers, World Mission

MANAGUA

For the people of Nicaragua, the fits and starts to the arrival of the rainy season have been an experience where hope lifts one day, then wilts the next. The delay of the rains this year has caused the death of livestock and great concern over the vitality of crops — both of which are of paramount importance.  

Letter to the President in Support of Sanctuary and in Hope of Administrative Relief - Korean

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 08:38

September 17, 2014

2014년 9월 15일

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500 

친애하는 오바마 대통령께,

미국 전역에 분포되어 있는 우리 교단 및 다른 교단들에 속한 교회들은 추방 명령을 받은 자들을 위해 어떻게 교회의 사명을 감당할 수 있는지를 놓고 기도하며 분별하고 있습니다. 그러한 신앙 공동체들은 그들이 지녀온 전통의 가치들이 이민법 및 정책을 수행하는데 있어서 반영되는 가치들과 충돌하는 것을 발견하면서 피난처를 제공해 주는 어려운 선택을 하고 있습니다. 나는 오늘 그러한 교회들을 위해, 더욱 중요한 것은 그러한 교회들이 보호하기로 선택하고 있는 자들 및 그들과 같은 처지에 있는 사람들의 추방을 연기해 주기를 요청하기 위해 글을 쓰고 있습니다.

우리는 신앙의 사람들로서 ...

Letter to the President in Support of Sanctuary and in Hope of Administrative Relief

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 07:25

September 17, 2014

Office of the General Assembly

Gradye Parsons

Stated Clerk of the General Assembly

Louisville, KY

The President announced on September 6th that he will, again, delay offering administrative relief from deportation to 11 million undocumented persons living in the U.S. This announcement, coupled with the inability of Congress to pass immigration reform, has left many churches seeking for other ways to protect members of their community who are at risk of deportation. Some churches are responding to this crisis by offering sanctuary. The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly, sent this letter to the President asking that the deportation orders of Rosa Robles Loreto and Luis Lopez Acabal, both in sanctuary in Presbyterian Churches, be set aside and that the President offer administrative relief to persons who are a low enforcement priority.

Denominational restructuring won’t work; local churches must innovate

Wed, 09/17/2014 - 07:00

September 17, 2014

Religion News Service

Tom Ehrich

NEW YORK

After 50 years of decline, mainline denominations are reinventing themselves, or at least “re-imagining” what the church might look like, as an Episcopal Church task force calls it.

What can the “central office” do to stem the ebbing tide? What can national conventions and agencies do?

The answer is: precious little.

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