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Updated: 1 hour 18 min ago

NCC joins push to end solitary confinement in prisons

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 09:00

February 27, 2014

National Council of Churches

Philip E. Jenks

National Council of Churches News

WASHINGTON

The National Council of Churches (NCC) is joining with other member groups of the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT) to push for an end to solitary confinement in prisons.

South Sudanese churches ask warring parties to end conflict and build peace

Thu, 02/27/2014 - 07:00

February 27, 2014

world Council of Churches

World Council of Churches Communications

ADDIS ABABA

Member churches of the World Council of Churches (WCC) in South Sudan say “we are tired of war,” stressing the urgency to “work for peace and rebuild what has been destroyed.” 

New Presbyterian Youth Book Club study on Divergent

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 12:00

Study aims to help youth explore faith through fiction, fantas

February 26, 2014

Ministries with Youth

Paul Seebeck

Communications Strategist

LOUISVILLE

A new Presbyterian Youth Book Club study on the wildly popular young adult novel Divergent is now available on the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s website

Moderator to convene conversations on unity and ecclesiology on West coast

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 11:38

Live and online participation welcomed at March 12–14 and March 17–19 events

February 26, 2014

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

Louisville

How can Christians talk constructively about racial and gender differences? How can the church recover its calling to witness boldly in a changing world?

These urgent questions will be the focus of two events in mid March organized by Neal Presa, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) General Assembly, and hosted by a college and a seminary on the West coast.

The Moderator’s Third Conversation on Unity with Difference, March 12–14, will take place at Whitworth University in Spokane, Washington. It will feature seven presentations on topics related to “Race, Gender, and Religious Identities,” each followed by a period of discussion.

MRTI considers fossil fuel divestment overtures

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 10:30

Urgency of climate change must be met with effective strategy, socially responsible investment group says

February 26, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Jerry L. Van Marter

NEW YORK

The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Mission Responsibility Through Investment Committee (MRTI) ― charged by the General Assembly to ensure that church investments align with the church’s social and environmental policies ― well knows the threats posed to Planet Earth by the continuing production and use of fossil fuels worldwide.

But the group is clearly troubled by the growing movement in the church ― and by organizations such as 350.org ― to summarily divest from fossil fuel companies without utilizing other corporate engagement strategies that have proved effective over more than 30 years of MRTI activities.

‘It’s like taking a spiritual vitamin’

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 09:45

Free weekly meal at Presbyterian church feeds the souls of its volunteers

February 26, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Karen Cernich

The Missourian (Washington, Mo.)

WASHINGTON, Mo.

Patty Holt-Gerwitz, Villa Ridge, and her husband Dave aren’t members of First Presbyterian Church in Union, but at least once a month they volunteer here for the free community meal served on Tuesday nights.

Kansas, Arizona bills reflect national fight over gay rights vs. religious liberty

Wed, 02/26/2014 - 07:00

February 26, 2014

Religion News Service

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

WASHINGTON

Gay rights are colliding with religious rights in states like Arizona and Kansas as the national debate over gay marriage morphs into a fight over the dividing line between religious liberty and anti-gay discrimination.

Retired pastor finds niche leading disaster relief efforts

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 13:00

Spokane’s Mike Bullard serves PC(USA)’s PDA, local volunteer group

February 25, 2014

the Rev. Mike Bullard —courtesy of The Fig Tree

The Fig Tree

Kaye Hult

republished with permission

SPOKANE, Wash.

Since retiring in 2009 after 16 years as pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, the Rev. Mike Bullard has served the church through his involvement in disaster relief. He’s now on the National Response Team of Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) and chairs the Inland Northwest chapter of Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD).

Adventist Church changes thousands of lives through literacy program

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 10:00

February 25, 2014

Seventh-Day Adventist Church Inter-American Division

Gustavo Menéndez

distributed by Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency

SAN SALVADOR, El Salvador

Thousands of people learned how to read and write thanks to the months-long efforts of Seventh-day Adventist Church, its church member volunteers in El Salvador and Hope for Humanity

Ancestral land returned

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 08:00

A story from the 2014 Presbyterian Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study (p. 63)

February 25, 2014

Anibal Flores, leader of Yakye Axa. —Humberto Martin Shikiya

Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study

Humberto Shikiya

Regional Ecumenical Advisory and Service Center (CREAS)

YAKYE AXA, Paraguay

Anibal Flores is standing barefoot in a tiny church, strumming a guitar. Outside, children play, sliding through puddles — the product of rains that flooded what was meant to be only a temporary home. 

Best-selling author of Soul Feast Returns with New Lenten Study

Tue, 02/25/2014 - 07:00

February 25, 2014

Westminster John Knox Press

Marjorie J. Thompson, the author of the best-selling book Soul Feast: An Invitation to the Christian Spiritual Life, takes a close look at our understanding of forgiveness in a new Lenten study.

First Church Houston is staying in PC(USA)

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 11:22

Vote to leave for ECO falls just short of two-thirds requirement

February 24, 2014

The Presbyterian Outlook

Jack Haberer

Reprinted with permission

Houston’s First Presbyterian Church will remain in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).  At a congregation meeting Feb. 23, 64.5 percent of the present members voted in favor of transferring to ECO – A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians. However, the votes fell 36 short of the two-thirds majority required to adopt the proposal. The actual vote was 1085 in favor, 596 opposed. 

A new day in Ukraine

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 11:00

A mission letter from a PC(USA) partner in Kiev

February 24, 2014

Special to Presbyterian News Service

John Calhoun

United Methodist Church

KIEV, Ukraine

Greetings once again from Kiev, where the violence of late last week has now passed, and a new era is dawning across Ukraine. Thanks be to God, it now seems that Ukraine has stepped back from the brink of civil war, and there is genuine hope for the future of the country.

Baseballing Presbyterians

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 10:00

Four stories to celebrate the start of a new season

February 24, 2014

Presbyterian Historical Society

Nancy Taylor

PHILADELPHIA

The hellfire-and-brimstone preacher with a knack for stealing second, the master of the fadeaway, a mild-mannered Whiz Kid, and one lucky fan: with Spring Training in full swing, we bring you four stories of baseballing Presbyterians.

Evangelical women look beyond Bible study to new causes

Mon, 02/24/2014 - 07:00

February 24, 2014

Religion News Service

Sarah Pulliam Bailey

AUSTIN, Texas

If past conferences such as Women of Faith drew thousands of evangelical women to indoor stadiums for devotional Bible study, a new generation of evangelical women is looking outward and concerned with issues such as social justice.

A time to stand firm

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 12:00

50 years ago, UPCUSA General Assembly backed civil rights

February 21, 2014

Presbyterian Historical Society

Nancy Taylor

PHILADELPHIA

United Presbyterians prepared for their 1964 General Assembly in an environment rife with uncertainty and change. 

Colombian Catholic bishops emphasize family, poverty as elections approach

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 10:00

February 21, 2014

Catholic News Agency

distributed by Latin America and Caribbean Communication Agency

BOGOTÁ, Colombia

The Bishops’ Conference of Colombia has released a voter’s guide focused on life, family and poverty as the country prepares for the upcoming November congressional and presidential elections. Cardinal Rubén Salazar Gómez, president of the conference, presented the statement during a press conference at the conclusion of the bishops’ recent 96th Plenary Assembly.

Chaplains help others grieve, but learn to grieve themselves

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 07:10

February 21, 2014

Religion News Service

Adelle M. Banks

ARLINGTON, Va.

Seated at a table with other chaplains who have comforted grieving military families, retired Army Chaplain John Schumacher held the red rose in his hands before he passed it along, pausing to remember those who had died on the battlefield.

Moderator Presa accepts new ministry calls

Fri, 02/21/2014 - 06:40

February 21, 2014

Office of the General Assembly

Toya Richards Jackson

Associate for Communications

Louisville

Neal D. Presa, Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012), has accepted a new ministry call with Village Community Presbyterian Church in Rancho Santa Fe, Calif.

Effective May 1, Presa will serve as the associate pastor for Family Ministries at the 1,000-member congregation in north San Diego County. His call was unanimously approved by San Diego Presbytery.

Oscars’ best films from a faith perspective

Thu, 02/20/2014 - 13:00

Presbyterian film critic Ed McNulty assesses this year’s nominees

February 20, 2014

Special to Presbyterian News Service

Edward McNulty

WALTON, Ky.

Virtually all critics who have written about the nine films nominated for the Best Picture Oscar base their opinions on aesthetic considerations (blended with their personal tastes).

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