From the May 2013 issue
Rick Ufford-Chase and Sayyid Syeed reflect on the power of a friendship that transformed their callings
In our so-called postdenominational world, it can be difficult to know what it means to be Presbyterian. Sometimes it takes an encounter with a person of another faith to remind us of who we are. The following is a story of one such encounter. Rick Ufford-Chase was 40 years old and nine months removed from being elected moderator of the 216th General Assembly (2004) when he met Dr. Sayyid Syeed. Ufford-Chase was one of the youngest moderators in recent PC(USA) history, the first to serve for two years. Syeed was then general secretary of the Islamic Society of North America (ISNA), the largest Muslim organization in North America. Syeed, who was always looking to meet Christians and was intrigued that Presbyterians had elected such a young, emerging leader as moderator, invited Ufford-Chase to visit ISNA headquarters. In their own words they describe how they met and the power of the friendship that drove them deeper into a commitment for peace and justice through interfaith relationships.Continue reading
The service of baptism Continue reading
Is there a typical Presbyterian baptismal service? These results, from a recent survey of a representative sample of PC(USA) congregations, suggest that the answer is “yes, but . . .”
Presbyterian partners around the globe provide a theological response to water privatization and shortage.
That classic Bruce Lee quote has made the rounds for years. Search for it on YouTube and you’ll see it has thousands of hits. But the deceptively simple message can obscure an essential truth—about water’s elemental importance to both humanity and the earth. From covering 71 percent of the earth’s surface to composing as much as 75 percent of the human body, water constitutes the basis of life itself. Be water, my friend.Continue reading
At Eckerd College, water is where students learn and serve . . . and have fun.
Recently, a parent of a prospective student posed a not unreasonable, and not unheard of, question: “How do you get any work done around here? It’s just so beautiful.” But the truth is, for the students of Eckerd College, beauty and work simply go hand in hand.Continue reading
Lessons from Cuba
Mission partnerships knit us together in ways unforeseen. Going on a mission trip—meeting people face to face who live in circumstances different from our own—can be transforming. I know, because it has happened to me.Continue reading
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.