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Presbyterian Mission Yearbook available exclusively online

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 13:00

Subscription options, timeliness, and additional features enhance entries

January 4, 2016

Field day with members of Chethana, the Joining Hands network in India, a Presbyterian Hunger Program partner featured in the Jan. 14, 2016 online Presbyterian Mission Yearbook.

Presbyterian News Service

Gregg Brekke

LOUISVILLE

As of January 1, 2016 the 120-year old Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study is available exclusively online. A Presbyterian Mission Agency press release issued in August said, “This move broadens the reach of the book’s audience by sharing its inspiring content in a timelier manner and also demonstrates good stewardship of church resources.”

Hope Incarnated: The Church in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon

Mon, 01/04/2016 - 08:51

Presbyterians in the Middle East serving those displace by war, terror

January 4, 2016

Elmarie Parker visits with Palestinian students attending a school sponsored by the Joint Christian Committee in Beirut, Lebanon.

Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice

Elmarie Parker

Special to Presbyterian News Service

BEIRUT, LEBANON

An update from the Rev. Elmarie Parker who serves as a Presbyterian Associate for Ecumenical Partnerships in the role of Regional Liaison with partners in Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon. She and her husband, Scott, have been based in Beirut, Lebanon since December of 2013. The article was originally published Dec. 23, 2015 in Unbound: An Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice.

Presbyterian funded community school partnership in Illinois gets rave reviews

Fri, 01/01/2016 - 10:00

Project is a ‘DREAAM’ come true for African-American boys at risk

January 1, 2016

Jason Knight, a DREAAM Achievement Coach, works with a student. —Jay Schubert

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

“Let’s rock the DREAAM House, Rock the DREAAM House.” Those are the words coming from 10 excited five-year-old boys participating in the DREAAM Summer Pre-K Academy. The DREAAM House is a new community-school partnership significantly funded by the First Presbyterian Church of Champaign and Southeastern Illinois Presbytery.

Grace Covenant Presbyterian planting the seeds to end food insecurity in Asheville

Fri, 01/01/2016 - 06:00

A natural outgrowth of the congregation’s values

January 1, 2016

Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church in Asheville, North Carolina, created a World Garden inspired by the yard garden program developed in Haiti by PC(USA) mission co-worker Mark Hare. —Jay Hill

Mission Crossroads

Kathy Melvin

LOUISVILLE

A trip to Haiti and a community conversation planted a seed at Grace Covenant Presbyterian Church that is bringing fresh vegetables and fresh hope to Asheville, North Carolina. In January 2009, church member Bill Gettys traveled to Haiti to work on a project in the medical laboratory of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission co-worker Jenny Bent. While there, Bill learned about the agricultural work of Jenny’s husband, Mark Hare, who is also a PC(USA) mission co-worker. When Bill returned home, he enthusiastically introduced the church to Mark’s garden program.

PC(USA) Office of Public Witness applauds pay increase for low-wage government workers

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 10:00

Senate approves increase to $14.50 an hour

December 31, 2015

J. Herbert Nelson, Sekinah Hamlin, Aundreia Alexander and Leslie Copeland Tune joined federal contract employees delivering a letter to the Restaurant Association on Capitol Hill seeking higher pay and collective bargaining rights for workers. —Photo provided

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.

Faith leaders on Capitol Hill, who have been urging lawmakers to take care of those who clean their offices and cook their meals, are happy with the Senate’s mid-December decision to raise the pay for government contract workers. The Senate workers won a new raise to a minimum of $14.50 an hour; good news as Christmas approached. 

My first response: ‘No way!’

Thu, 12/31/2015 - 04:00

How I became a Presbyterian World Mission co-worker living and serving in Haiti

December 31, 2015

Cindy Corell. —Photo provided

Presbyterians Today

Cindy Corell

LOUISVILLE

Hundreds of people bustled into the sanctuary to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day in Staunton, Virginia. It was a chilly January evening in 2012. I was eager to celebrate King’s life and hopes for a better world, but honestly, my mind was miles away. I was searching for confirmation that I had heard God call me to Haiti. I was hoping I’d misheard. It must have been a fluke. Imagination overdrive.

National Continuing Care Residents Association elects new president

Wed, 12/30/2015 - 10:00

PC(USA) pastor, Robert Nicholson, to head organization

December 30, 2015

Robert Nicholson. —Photo provided

Presbyterian News Service

Gregg Brekke

LOUISVILLE

The Rev. Dr. Robert (Bob) D. Nicholson was elected president of the National Continuing Care Residents Association (NaCCRA) at the group’s annual meeting Nov. 1, 2015 in Boston. NaCCRA is an organization of retirement community residents united to support one another through building a strong network of information sharing, friendship building, and advocacy for resident rights. Nicholson previously served on the NaCCRA board as a director for nearly four years. During most of his tenure, he served as vice president of membership. 

Presbyterian pastor turns bad situation into opportunity to reach young people

Wed, 12/30/2015 - 04:00

W.A.N.T.E.D Project aims to give youth opportunity to grow

December 30, 2015

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

In March 2011, Jeyson Jones, 16, had reason to celebrate. He had just won a track meet at his local high school and was texting his dad about celebrating over some Cold Stone ice cream. Within five minutes, he was racing into his home, bloody and confused.

Presbyterian Peace Fellowship member provides Israel/Palestine update

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 10:00

Says pressures of occupation dominate life for Palestinians

December 29, 2015

Homes in the town of Beit Jala, now cut off from land they own by a new stretch of the separation wall the Sabeel Witness Visit team saw under construction. —Donald Mead

Presbyterian News Service

Gregg Brekke

LOUISVILLE

Donald Mead, a retired economist from Michigan State University and PC(USA) ruling elder who now volunteers with Presbyterian World Mission in the Middle East/Europe office, visited Israel and Palestine this fall on a Sabeel Witness Visit.  The trip was Mead’s eighth visit to Israel/Palestine in the last 15 years, and he’s been traveling to the region since 1957. 

PC(USA) Office of Public Witness looks ahead to the 2016 campaign year

Tue, 12/29/2015 - 04:00

Gun violence and climate change should be top issues in upcoming presidential election

December 29, 2015

The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson.

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

WASHINGTON, D.C.

The 2016 presidential election campaign has been underway for nearly a year, but the coming months will see campaigns kick into high gear as voters begin to react to what they’ve seen and heard from the candidates.  The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, says he believes four key issues should be the major focus leading up to next November.

Grace Presbytery hosts Cuban theologian Reinerio Arce

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 10:00

Says church was able to ‘build bridges over the walls that politicians build’

December 28, 2015

Reinerio Arce. —Judy Everett Ramos

Judy Everett Ramos

Director of Communications, Grace Presbytery

Special to Presbyterian News Service

IRVING, TX

Grace Presbytery in Texas hosted professor Reinerio Arce, the Henry R. Luce International Scholar at Brite Divinity School and Professor of Systematic Theology at the Evangelical Theological Seminary in Matanzas, Cuba, at its December 10 presbytery meeting. Held at St. Stephen Presbyterian Church in Fort Worth, Arce discussed discipleship by summarizing what he had preached at the graduation ceremony at Matanzas Seminary early in the year.

Pillars of the Church champion sees work ahead for PC(USA)

Mon, 12/28/2015 - 04:00

Educator says social witness ‘is central to the mission of the church universal’

December 28, 2015

Robert Trawick. —Photo provided

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

For Robert Trawick, joining the Pillars of the Church campaign was a no brainer. He strongly believes in the work the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), adding that the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and the Office of Public Witness conduct some of the most vital work the church can do. 

Video Christmas message from Tony De La Rosa

Fri, 12/25/2015 - 00:00

Interim Executive Director of the PMA proclaims ‘We are the body of Christ’

December 25, 2015

Christmas greetings to you, my sisters and brothers. My name is Tony De La Rosa, interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). On behalf of the board and the staff of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, I'd like to wish you all a blessed and a joyous Christmas; feliz Navidad; Jul-ge-un sung-tan-jul-i dei-gi-reul ba-rab-ni-da.

Video Christmas message from Tony De La Rosa (Spanish)

Fri, 12/25/2015 - 00:00

Director Ejecutivo Interino de la PMA proclama ‘Somos el cuerpo de Cristo’

December 25, 2015

Hermanos y hermanas, les envío mi más caluroso saludo navideño. Mi nombre es Tony De La Rosa, y soy el director ejecutivo interino de la Agencia de Misión Presbiteriana de la Iglesia Presbiteriana (EE.UU.) Me gozo en desearles una bendecida y gozosa navidad; Merry Christmas ; Jul-ge-un sung-tan-jul-i dei-gi-reul ba-rab-ni-da en nombre de la junta y del personal de la Agencia de Misión Presbiteriana. 

A Christmas message from Tony De La Rosa (Korean)

Fri, 12/25/2015 - 00:00

크리스마스 비디오 메시지—토니 드라 로사

December 25, 2015

Tony De La Rosa, Presbyterian Mission Agency interim executive director. —Photo provided

주 안에서 나의 형제 자매된 여러분에게 크리스마스 인사를 드립니다. 내 이름은 토니 드 라 로사 (Tony De La Rosa)이며, 미국 장로교 선교국 (PMA)의 임시 총무입니다. 나는 장로교 선교국 이사회와 직원들을 대신하여 여러분이 복되고 즐거운 성탄절을 보내시기 바랍니다. 

A Christmas meditation by the Rev. Dr. Scott Herr

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 15:14

PC(USA) teaching elder serving the American Church in Paris shares Christmas message, "To All?"

December 24, 2015

Presbyterian News Service

Emily Enders Odom

PARIS

"To All?"— Because this year has been in some ways so shocking and sad for us here in Paris, I thought we all needed a different take on the proverbial reason for the season. And so I invite you to reflect with me on Paul’s Christmas story in these amazing words to Titus: “For the grace of God appeared, bringing salvation to all.” This is the good news of Christmas, a kind of Titus Twitter Tweet that sums up the message of the incarnation and why we celebrate this night!

A Christmas Eve greeting from the PMA communication staff

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 09:59

‘In the Bleak Midwinter’ sung by Shannon Beck

December 24, 2015

Presbyterian News Service

Gregg Brekke

LOUISVILLE

The communication staff of the Presbyterian Mission Agency was thinking of a special way to say thank you to our loyal readers and contributors during Christmas. One of the first suggestions was a song. Not only a song, but a song performed by someone employed at the Presbyterian Center.

Christmas Eve at a maximum-security prison

Thu, 12/24/2015 - 06:00

A child-welfare advocate discovers the true meaning of the Christ child's birth

December 24, 2015

Presbyterians Today

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

For most of us, the Christmas season is a hectic time and seems to start earlier each year. Black Friday has spilled into Thanksgiving Day, and the store hours are getting longer and longer. Many stores will stay open into Christmas Day itself in an effort to catch that last consumer dollar.

In the meantime, church choirs and pastors prepare for Christmas pageants and candlelight services to commemorate the Christ child’s birth.

For Janet Wolf, however, Christmas will always be “a story that belongs in the streets among the oppressed.”

Can the church help bring peace to Ukraine?

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 11:00

PC(USA) World Mission staff hear from Ukrainian and Russian Christians

December 23, 2015

Paetzold, Beblawi, Smith and Morey of the PC(USA) meet with Bishop Sergey Maschewski and two pastors of the Lutheran Church in Odessa, Ukraine. —Photo provided

Karen Morey, Russia Mission Network

Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE

Four members of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) traveled to Ukraine and Russian this summer to listen to church leaders and those affected by the ongoing crisis in Ukraine, and learn about the churches’ role in bringing peace and healing to the two Slavic nations. 

Food security conditions in Malawi continue to worsen

Wed, 12/23/2015 - 04:00

Despite aid efforts, increasing number of people are going hungry

December 23, 2015

A recently tilled field in Mzuzu, Malawi, ready for planting. Many households plant small crops of corn at their home and then larger fields of corn on the outskirts of the city. —Rochelle Holm

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

The devastating impact of flooding and drought continue to cause heartaches for the people of Malawi. Officials with the Malawi ACT Forum are telling the Presbyterian Mission Agency that hunger in Malawi is growing despite relief efforts by government and various NGOs, especially in rural areas. Most markets have no maize to sell and the sporadic rain has people concerned that the 2016 harvest could be in jeopardy.

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