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Updated: 1 hour 7 min ago

Mexico-based coffee cooperatives empower growers, eliminate need for migration

Sat, 01/31/2015 - 06:53

January 31, 2015

Office of the General Assembly

Toya Richards Jackson

Director of Communications and Assistant Stated Clerk

Agua Prieta, Mexico

There is a common perception that many United States immigrants—documented and undocumented—come to the U.S. chasing the “American Dream.” Ask some of the people who formed and maintain the Mexico-based coffee company Café Justo and they’ll tell you otherwise.

“Unification of the family, I think that’s the dream,” said Daniel Cifuentes, a manager at Café Justo in Agua Prieta, Sonora, Mexico, and one of the founders. “I think that’s the dream of all of us, to be united with our families.”

Stated Clerk honors Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 13:27

January 30, 2015

Office of the General Assembly

Matanzas, Cuba

The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), presented the following resolution during a gathering in Matanzas, Cuba of the Presbyterian-Reformed Church in Cuba.

January 30, 2015

Sisters and Brothers in Christ,

It is with great joy and deep gratitude to God that I greet you in the name of your sisters and brothers in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

As you gather for your first National Synod since the governments of Cuba and the United States began to ease the restrictions under which we have labored for the last 55 years, I give ...

Disaster survivors take comfort from sea of blue

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 10:00

February 22 designated as ‘Wear your blue T-shirt to church Sunday.’

January 30, 2015

The mission team from First Presbyterian Church of South Boston (Va.) works tirelessly all year providing disaster assistance where needed. Last year, the team created wooden crosses to be placed in church members’ yards as a silent witness. —Kim Albert

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, tornadoes throughout the Midwest, flooding across Iowa—the list could go on and on. If you have found yourself on the receiving end of a major weather catastrophe or other natural disaster in the U.S., you probably learned quickly that a blue shirt means help has arrived. For years, Presbyterian Disaster Assistance has been identified with the blue T-shirts worn by volunteers who come and work to repair damaged homes and provide comfort to those whose lives have been disrupted by a disaster.

‘Answered prayer’

Fri, 01/30/2015 - 07:39

National Presbyterian College Scholarship helps put student’s dream of higher education within reach.

January 30, 2015

Lydia Weller —Courtesy of Lydia Weller

Presbyterian News Service

Emily Enders Odom

LOUISVILLE

Lydia Weller always knew that God had a plan for her. She just didn’t see it when she first started applying to college.

Stated Clerk joins religious leaders in pushing for two-state peace agreement

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:43

January 29, 2015

Office of the General Assembly

Louisville

The Reverend Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), joined a group of Jewish, Christian and Muslim leaders in delivering a letter to President Obama urging “a renewed, determined U.S. effort, in coordination with the Quartet, to work with Israel and the Palestinian Authority to achieve a negotiated two-state peace agreement before it is too late.”

The General Assembly of the PC(USA) has consistently supported a two-state solution. The Quartet – the United Nations, the United States, the European Union, and Russia – is a peace initiative established in 2002 as a result of conflict in the Middle East.

Desert pathways to a future uncertain

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:30

Complex issues inspire refugees’ journeys—and reactions to them.

January 29, 2015

The wall keeping migrants from crossing along border towns. —Paul Seebeck

Presbyterian News Service

Paul Seebeck

Douglas, AZ

This is the second article in the series “Voices from the border and beyond.”

We—a motley crew of 15 Presbyterians traveling on the Voices from the Border and Beyond seminar—are getting quite an education.

Priced out of New York, American Bible Society decamps to Philadelphia

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 10:00

January 29, 2015

Religion News Service

After almost two centuries in New York City, the nonprofit American Bible Society is moving its headquarters to Philadelphia.

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary receives largest gift in its history

Thu, 01/29/2015 - 07:00

January 29, 2015

Special to Presbyterian News Service

Melissa Logan

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary

Pittsburgh, PA

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary has received a gift of $20,250,000—the largest single donation in the Seminary’s more than 220 year history. This estate gift came from Robert Thomson, a life-long Pittsburgher and Presbyterian. Thomson and two of his brothers generously supported Pittsburgh Seminary during their lifetimes and through their estate plans. 

Eco-Palms: a celebration of triumphal entry and environmental justice

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 10:00

January 28, 2015

Eco-Palms partner amid stand of palms in Mexico. —Bryce Wiebe

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

It is estimated that nearly a thousand congregations across the country will be waving 1 million ecofriendly palm fronds as Holy Week observances begin this year. As churches of all denominations remember Christ’s arrival in Jerusalem, palm fronds will play a key role. But have you ever wondered where the fronds come from and how important they are to the people who harvest them?

New Books for Lent from Rowan Williams and Feasting on the Word Series

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 08:20

January 28, 2015

Westminster John Knox Press

Louisville, Kentucky

Two new books are now available for the Lenten season from Westminster John Knox Press. Meeting God in Mark from Rowan Williams explores the essential meaning and purpose of Mark’s Gospel for beginners who may be curious about the Gospels and want to learn more, as well as for those who’ve read the Gospel many times before and want to see it in a fresh light.Also available is the Feasting on the Word Lenten Companion—edited by David L. Bartlett, Barbara Brown Taylor, and Kimberly Bracken Long—which provides both lectionary and non-lectionary pastors with an additional resource for Lenten sermon and worship preparation. 

PC(USA) Presidents: Affirming the Call for Racial Justice

Wed, 01/28/2015 - 07:00

January 28, 2015

Special to Presbyterian News Service

Michael K. Thompson

Columbia Theological Seminary

Recently, The Huffington Post published “An Open Letter to Presidents and Deans of Theological Schools in the United States.” More than thirty African American deans and presidents of Theological Schools signed the letter regarding racial justice issues including Dr. Deborah Flemister Mullen, our Dean of Faculty and Executive Vice President. You may read the letter here.

The Presidents of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) seminaries, including our Interim President Bill Scheu, wrote a response affirming this call “to arise from the embers of silence and speak up and speak out as the prophet of old, ‘let justice run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream’ (Amos 5:24).”

Tighter fiscal control for Presbyterian Youth Triennium

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 14:02

New measures are underway after an audit revealed a financial loss for the 2013 Presbyterian Youth Triennium despite record-breaking attendance.

January 27, 2015

Presbyterian News Service

Emily Enders Odom

LOUISVILLE

While the 2013 Presbyterian Youth Triennium (PYT)—held July 16–20—attained record-breaking attendance of more than 5,000 young people, those numbers don’t tell the full story. The event resulted in a financial loss, even with revenues higher than budgeted.

Raleigh congregation partners for education in South Sudan

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 12:00

World Mission partnership brings primary school its first professionally trained teachers.

January 27, 2015

Presbyterian News Service

Kathy Melvin

Raleigh, NC

Hudson Memorial Presbyterian Church in Raleigh, N.C., and Presbyterian World Mission are working with local partners to provide quality teachers for children at Maleng-Agok Primary School in South Sudan.

Voices from the border and beyond

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 10:00

Along the U.S.–Mexico border, a Presbyterian congregation becomes home to women and children fleeing violence and poverty.

January 27, 2015

Rosa shares her story. —Paul Seebeck

Presbyterian News Service

Paul Seebeck

Tucson, AZ

Patti was 6 years old when she first heard the sound of a gun—6 years old when she first saw a man killed. Later, when her father was taken away to be brutally tortured, she and her family knew it was time to escape. They came to the U.S.

Lifelong servant of the church, Elizabeth-Ann ‘Betty’ Nicholson, dies at 81

Tue, 01/27/2015 - 07:00

January 27, 2015

Betty Nicholson in 1969. —Courtesy of Bob Nicholson.

Presbyterian News Service

Seattle, WA

Elizabeth “Betty” Nicholson died peacefully from cancer January 19. 

Jimmy Carter, Russell Moore and Harry Jackson: Bridging the racial divide

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 12:00

January 26, 2015

Religion News Service

As protests against police brutality and the killing of unarmed black men continue from coast to coast, religious leaders are spearheading church-based gatherings to find ways to bridge America’s racial divide.

Marcus Borg, leading liberal theologian and historical Jesus expert, dies at 72

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 10:00

January 26, 2015

Religion News Service

Marcus J. Borg, a prominent liberal theologian and Bible scholar who for a generation helped popularize the intense debates about the historical Jesus and the veracity and meaning of the New Testament, died on Wednesday (Jan. 21). He was 72 and had been suffering from pulmonary fibrosis.

Rehabilitation or incarceration?

Mon, 01/26/2015 - 07:00

The challenges and rewards of prison ministry

January 26, 2015

—File photo

Presbyterian News Service

Rick Jones

LOUISVILLE

Those who choose to go into Christian service will tell you that the call to ministry can be very loud and lead you down a path you never expected. God can take you out of your comfort zone and place you in a situation you have never been exposed to. But the blessings can be overwhelming. 

Company of New Pastors announces upcoming webinars

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 12:00

Feb. 24 and March 3 events are geared to pastors and congregational and mid council leaders.

January 23, 2015

Members of the Small Church Residency Program class of 2012 outside the chapel at the Presbyterian Center. —Ken Meeks

Presbyterian News Service

Emily Enders Odom

LOUISVILLE

“The Small Church Residency Program: Where the Needs of Christ’s Church and the Gifts of First-Call Pastors Meet,” a free webinar hosted by the Company of New Pastors (CNP), will be offered Feb. 24 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

Ralph Abernathy: Martin Luther King Jr.’s overlooked ‘civil rights twin’

Fri, 01/23/2015 - 11:00

January 23, 2015

Religion News Service

In a scene in the movie “Selma,” the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. sits in a jail cell wondering where the civil rights movement is headed. His cellmate, the Rev. Ralph Abernathy Sr., responds with a lesson from the Gospel of Matthew about the futility of worrying.

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