Preview of the JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2015 Issue
The new reality of marriage
Changes in society lead to questions about what it means to be married.
by Marci Glass
When Esther Olsen graduated from high school in the mid-1950s, she did what many other young women of that era did: enrolled in nursing school. Soon afterward, she started dating George Auld, a respiratory therapist. When the couple got married, nursing school fell by the wayside. By society’s standards, Esther didn’t need a career anymore—she’d found a husband. And, predictably, children followed a few years later.
By all accounts, George and Esther were living the American dream.
I should know; I’ve heard the story many times. George and Esther are my parents.
By the time I went to college in the late ’80s, I could no more imagine dropping out of college to get married than I could picture going to Mars. I did get married a year out of college, even if that was not my plan.
The first time we talked, I told my future husband, “I’m so glad I’m single and won’t be following some guy around the country after graduation.”Continue reading
Adoption and foster care inspire the church to rethink love and family.
by Patrick David Heery
At age 35, Jo Haas had, by most standards, achieved significant success. In the span of just a little more than a decade, she had graduated from college, risen to the position of vice president of operations at Ohio’s Center of Science and Industry, held a high-powered position with the Ford Motor Company, and been named the director of the Henry Ford Museum. But something was missing from Haas’s life.
“I hit that great age of 35 and realized that I had thrown myself headfirst into a career right after college, had advanced incredibly well, but had no significant other in my life,” she says. “What I wanted was to be a parent.”
This was no sudden realization for Haas. “Ever since I was really little,” she says, “I have wanted to be a mom. And I wasn’t going to wait for Prince Charming or rush into a partnership for the sake of parenthood. So I said, ‘I’m going to do this.’ ”Continue reading
Prophetically reimagining the church
Moments of survival and resistance
A vigil for Michael Brown brings a young woman home to the church.
by Mihee Kim-Kort
We met for coffee one afternoon.
Taylor Beck was a slight girl with wide eyes who furrowed her brows at everything I said during our conversation. She had grown up in a nearby town and studied at a community college before coming to the university where I work as a college minister. Her nontraditional path lent Beck a look of determination that suggested she would make the most of her short time here. After hearing about her art history major and keen interest in women’s studies, I asked what had brought her recently to a Presbyterian church.
Shortly after Beck had moved to Bloomington, Indiana, 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot dead by police officer Darren Wilson on a street in Ferguson, Missouri. Feeling a profound unrest, she looked for a vigil nearby to join with others in mourning this loss.Continue reading
One in Mission
A harvest of love
Presbyterians pitch in to provide sustenance for Honduran drought victims.
by Linda Valentine
After Mark and Ashley Wright and their three young sons left the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina to move to urban Cincinnati, where they pastored for several years, they then followed their hearts—and God’s call—to a different kind of “mountaintop experience.”
As the first Presbyterian mission coworkers to serve with the Presbyterian Church of Honduras, Mark and Ashley have spent the last five years establishing relationships with Honduran churches and people while nurturing a wide network of PC(USA) churches and mid councils to partner with them to provide physical and spiritual sustenance.Continue reading
A new look for marriage and family
It’s no revelation that our society has changed dramatically over the last 60 years. And nowhere have these changes been seen more clearly than in the family unit. Many households have two working parents, with six in 10 wives, according to the Pew Research Center, working outside the home. Couples living together are less likely to be married and more likely to be interracial or of the same sex. Children may come from previous relationships or marriages, or they may be adopted. And many couples, struggling with debt, are postponing or choosing not to have children altogether.
People living in the United States are, according to the Pew Research Center, pretty evenly divided in how they view this growing variety of family types: 34 percent think the change is good, 29 percent think it’s bad, and 32 percent think it doesn’t make much of a difference either way.Continue reading
JUSTICE FOR GOD’S WORLD
A narrow focus can keep us from seeing ‘weightier matters.’
by Vernon Broyles III
In 1959 I was part of a “cultural exchange” of US students with students from the Soviet Union. Among the highlights was a week in Leningrad (now St. Petersburg), where we explored the history of that city and the region under the czars and then Lenin and other leaders of the Bolshevik revolution. The carefully preserved opulence of places like the Winter Palace was stunning. When juxtaposed with my awareness of the grinding poverty, servitude, and hopelessness of the masses in those days, it was deeply troubling, and the images from that experience remain with me.Continue reading
By Patrick David Heery
It was a brisk autumn morning as I walked back from worship to my dorm room, carrying a Bible and a study on the book of Acts. The streets of Ohio University were fairly deserted at this hour. A few students lumbered slowly after a night of intense drinking (Ohio University would soon gain Princeton Review notoriety as the number one “party school” in the nation). But as the campus began to come to life, with more students passing by, I instinctively flipped my Bible over, concealing the gold-embossed lettering on the cover.Continue reading
This special issue is a must-read for everyone who wants to better understand young adults and engage them in worship, education, and service.
Presbyterian Today’s 2015 Lenten Devotional—Draw Near—contains Scripture readings, meditations, prayers, and reflection questions for each day of the Lenten season. Order now.
NEW THIRD EDITION. Presbyterians Today’s special issue and guidebook — “Welcome to the Presbyterian Church!” — is a wonderful introduction and overview of all things Presbyterian.
What Presbyterians Believe 2
Volume 2 of Presbyterians Today’s new special issue and guidebook—What Presbyterians Believe 2—brings you even more of our most popular articles all about Presbyterian beliefs, worship, and practice.