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Updated: 2 hours 41 min ago

Melva Costen shares rich life, experiences in PHS Living History project

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 18:34

September 3, 2014

Office of the General Assembly

Sam Piccolo

Director of Development

Philadelphia

When Samantha Piccolo of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) sat down to interview Dr. Melva Costen for PHS’s Living History film project last fall, she expected to hear about Costen’s experiences chairing the committee that produced the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal—a process that grew out of the historic reunion of the “Northern” and “Southern” churches in 1983 that formed the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Costen did, in fact, reflect on that experience, but she also shared other important stories during the two-hour interview now available online, particularly ones relating the personal struggles faced by her and her ...

New work

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 12:00

A PC(USA) mission letter from Madagascar (2014 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 147)

September 3, 2014

Pastor Benja (left), his wife Ihary , and Robert and Frances Turk ― June 2014. —Elizabeth Turk

Presbyterian News Service

Dan and Elizabeth Turk

PC(USA) mission co-workers, World Mission

ANALALAVA, Madagascar

Dan is now involved in a new project working with several branches of the PC(USA)’s partner church in Madagascar, the Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara (FJKM). The new project will help the church explore how it can help protect creation and how it can implement innovations in growing fruits and vegetables so that they can benefit pastors, congregations, and  branches of the church.  

Una teología preciosa

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 11:06

September 3, 2014

Oficina de la Asamblea General

Gradye Parsons

Secretario Permanente

Las clases han comenzado en nuestra ciudad. Observo a los jóvenes de nuestro barrio caminar con esmero hasta la pequeña colina en la parte delantera de nuestra subdivisión para ir al autobús. Debido a que toma un tiempo para averiguar qué autobús es el autobús correcto, a menudo se ven a las madres de pie en frente de sus casas para mirar a sus hijos hasta que el autobús llegue. Luego, una por una, toman sus tazas de café y regresan a sus casas.

Estoy aún más consciente de que algunas ...

China urges villagers: Give militants a bad stare and have a club

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 10:00

September 3, 2014

Police wearing sashes hold placards during a ceremony to award those who the authorities say participated in "the crackdown of violence and terrorists activities" in Hotan, Xinjiang Uighur Autonomous Region earlier this month. —Reuters

Ecumenical News

Miko Morelos

XINJIANG, China

Don’t discount the power of a frown or a pitchfork and a club. In China, these are the Communist Party’s latest weapons to combat terrorism. Party officials have instructed residents to “give an angry stare” to as a way to strike fear on terrorists planning to launch attacks in China, The Telegraph reports.

Pope Tawadros II speaks on role of Coptic Church in Egyptian society during WCC visit

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 08:00

September 3, 2014

Pope Tawadros II (right) of the Coptic Orthodox Church of Egypt, speaks with religious leaders in Geneva, including the WCC's Olav Fykse Tveit (left). —Peter Williams/WCC

World Council of Churches

World Council of Churches News

GENEVA

Pope Tawadros II, patriarch of the Coptic Orthodox Church in Egypt visited the World Council of Churches (WCC) headquarters here on Monday, Sept.  1. In his reflections, Tawadros spoke about historic contributions of the Coptic Orthodox Church, as among them vibrant traditions of spirituality, theological studies and monastic life. “The Coptic Church is one of the main pillars of Egyptian society,” he said.

Vatican’s doctrinal chief renews criticism of US nuns, says he’s no misogynist

Wed, 09/03/2014 - 07:41

September 3, 2014

Religion News Service

David Gibson

WASHINGTON

The Vatican’s guardian of orthodoxy and the force behind Rome’s investigation of American nuns has renewed his criticism of the Leadership Conference of Women Religious (LCWR), downplaying the group’s size and importance and arguing that the Vatican is trying to help them recover their religious identity so they don’t die out.

Witnessing to the world

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 11:00

Columbia Seminary and the Presbyterian Ministry at the U.N. partner to advance global engagement

September 2, 2014

Paricipants in the Columbia Seminary D.Min. class at the Presbyterian Ministry at the U.N. (left to right): Meiying Shi, John Odom, Bob Freymeyer, Kerri Hefner, David Schaefers, Professor Mark Douglas, Barbara Johnson and Peter Bynum. —Courtesy of Presbyterian Ministry at the U.N.

Presbyterian News Service

Pat Cole

Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE

The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations and Columbia Theological Seminary have built a tradition that blends two valued Presbyterian hallmarks — public policy involvement and well-educated clergy.

Avenues for healing

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 09:52

A PC(USA) mission letter from South Sudan (2014 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 129-131)

September 2, 2014

Trauma Healing Workshop participants working and having fun together. —Courtesy of Leisa Wagstaff

Presbyterian News Service

Leisa Wagstaff

PC(USA) mission co-worker, World Mission

MALAKALAL, South Sudan

I sometimes think about and long for all of those things that were lost to looting during the continuing battles and insecurity in Malakal.

Then I remember that my colleagues, new friends and the entire population of that town also lost everything, and more: documents, livelihoods, land, crops, sense of well-being and identity, and even their lives or the lives of many of their family members. 

Christian leaders call for end to US strikes in Iraq, focus on peaceful resolution

Tue, 09/02/2014 - 08:00

September 2, 2014

Religion News Service

David Gibson

WASHINGTON

Even as some prominent Christians are calling on the U.S. to take more forceful military action against Islamic extremists in Iraq and Syria, more than 50 mainly Catholic and Protestant leaders are telling President Obama to halt American airstrikes and pursue solely peaceful means to resolve the conflict.

What is home?

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 11:00

For frequently-relocating military families, relationships are more important than buildings

August 29, 2014

Chaplain Bruce Glover, his wife Carol (right) and daughter Claire (left) return from their most recent deployment. —courtesy of Bruce Glover`

Presbyterian News Service

Toni Montgomery

Special to Presbyterian News Service

MONTREAT, N.C.

What is home, really? Is it a building, where one lives with family and surrounds themselves with belongings? Is it a town or a community, where one has friends and ties and a job? Is it where a person puts down roots? Or is it really something else?

Surprisingly, the best answer might come from people who would seem to have the least connection to a home ― modern day military gypsies. 

Learning from each other

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 09:00

A PC(USA) mission letter from Germany (2014 Mission Yearbook for Prayer & Study, p. 312)

August 29, 2014

Parishioners reflect on the new ‘leaves’ ― visions for growth in ministry and mission ― which they have identified. —Alethia White

Presbyterian News Service

Ryan and Alethia White

PC(USA) mission co-workers

LOUISVILLE

Recently we were relaxing after the service in the blooming garden behind the church when some German women wandered in through the gate from the street. Presumably they came to look at the large mural on the neighboring building depicting life in that area when it was still quite rural by today’s standards. 

Have Americans made God in their image?

Fri, 08/29/2014 - 07:00

An interview with Matthew Paul Turner

August 29, 2014

Religion News Service

Jonathan Merritt

WASHINGTON

If you play a word association game with “God,” Americans might respond with “unchanging,” “eternal,” or “forever.” But what if America’s perception of God is always changing with their whims and wishes and cultural proclivities? Matthew Paul Turner, popular blogger and author, is raising this question in his new book, Our Great Big American God: A Short History of Our Ever-Growing Deity

From Las Vegas stages to Air Force chaplaincy

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 10:30

Presbyterian military chaplain learns ‘you never know where God’s calling you to’

August 28, 2014

U.S. Air Force Chaplain Mitchell Holley —PCCMP photo

Presbyterian News Service

Toni Montgomery

Special to Presbyterian News Service

MONTREAT, N.C.

God’s plan for Air Force chaplain Mitchell Holley led him a long way from where he expected to be. Holley might have thought one day he’d be entertaining troops, not ministering to them.

Jason Brian Santos to head PC(USA)’s collegiate ministries

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 08:04

New associate will work closely with UKirk network

August 28, 2014

Jason Brian Santos, new associate for collegiate ministries —PNS file photo

Evangelism and Church Growth

Paul Seebeck

Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE

The Rev. Jason Brian Santos has been named the new associate for collegiate ministries for the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) of the Presbyterian Church, (U.S.A.). In his new role, Santos will work closely UKirk, the church’s network of collegiate ministries.

MLK’s daughter seeks nonviolent Ferguson response

Thu, 08/28/2014 - 07:30

August 28, 2014

Religion News Service

Elisa Crouch

St. Louis Post-Dispatch, reprinted with permission

BELLEFONTAINE NEIGHBORS, Mo.

The youngest child of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. leaned toward the 30 students facing her inside the library at Riverview Gardens High School on Tuesday (Aug. 26). Many of them live near the epicenter of the chaos that erupted in Ferguson. It’s why Bernice King chose this school for this discussion.

Making souls God wants to dwell in

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 10:00

Yellowstone Presbyterians study and practice prayer at daylong retreat

August 27, 2014

Jed Cauffman receives a trim during a skit about pruning. The pruner is his son Curtis. —Mike Ferguson

Presbyterian News Service

Mike Ferguson

Special to Presbyterian News Service

LEWISTOWN, Mont.

An idea conceived by teaching and ruling elders bound together by prayer is beginning to transform the prayer lives of Presbyterians throughout Yellowstone Presbytery, one of the nation’s largest by square miles and, at about 2,000 people, smallest by membership. 

About 40 members of nine of the presbytery’s 25 churches gathered Saturday, Aug. 23, at First Presbyterian Church in Lewistown ― the geographic center of the Treasure State ― for a day-long prayer retreat. Co-general presbyters George and Kathy Goodrich made presentations that included praying the scriptures and exploring St. Teresa of Avila’s spirituality. 

Something old, something young

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 08:30

August 27, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Carol Howard Merritt

Excerpted from The Christian Century

HOUSTON

While serving as an English-speaking pastor at a Korean congregation, Shawn Kang came to understand the particular struggles of second-generation Korean Americans. When he decided to plant a new congregation in the Houston area, he reached out to young Asian Americans ― and Pathways of Houston began.

Argentinean churches rejoice at grandmother finding grandson born to death camp mother

Wed, 08/27/2014 - 06:33

August 27, 2014

Estela de Carlotto —WCC photo

World Council of Churches

World Council of Churches News

PLAZA de MAYO, Argentina

After searching for more than 35 years, the Grandmothers of Plaza de Mayo in Argentina have finally found the grandson of one of their founders, Estela de Carlotto. The recent discovery ends a long and painful journey for Carlotto, who lost her pregnant daughter, Laura Carlotto, during the days of the brutal military dictatorship of 1976-83 in Argentina, when she was abducted and imprisoned.

Presbytery and synod news

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 12:00

August 26, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Bethany Daily

LOUISVILLE

News from the presbyteries and synods of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Company of New Pastors launches new series of events

Tue, 08/26/2014 - 11:00

Conversations on pastoral formation and educational webinars are key to broadening the program’s reach and impact

August 26, 2014

Presbyterian News Service

Emily Enders Odom

LOUISVILLE

As an integral part of its ongoing expansion plans, Company of New Pastors (CNP) — a transition-into-ministry program for seminary students and first-call pastors — is launching a new series of programs on pastoral formation.  

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