Ethical and spiritual values in the Oscar-nominated films

The nominations for the 2019 Oscar Awards have been out for some time now, and once more I invite you to explore some of the ethical and spiritual values in the major nominated films. This can add to your enjoyment if you plan to watch ABC’s broadcast of the Oscars, set for 8 p.m. Eastern Time Sunday. If some fashionistas can get excited over what stars wear on the red carpet, why not show equal interest in what values are embedded in the nominated movies themselves?

Your photos tell your story

By way of photo submission, Presbyterians are invited to tell the world the ways their church, mid council or organization is carrying out the Matthew 25 invitation and the Hands and Feet initiative.

Guiding your church through closing

When Gail Cafferata faced closing the church she pastored, her experience brought to mind a million questions about her call, leadership and future. Inspired by her experience and wanting to explore other pastors who were called to serve churches that closed, she embarked upon a sociological study, diving into the experiences of more than 130 pastors in five historically established denominations (Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and United Church of Christ). Westminster John Knox Press is proud to announce the release of her book, “The Last Pastor: Faithfully Steering a Closing Church,” which explores the hard-won lessons of the pastors she interviewed about their journeys through church decline and closing.

‘Be the change the world is missing’

Those attending closing worship Saturday at the national gathering of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators shared communion around round tables, rocked along with musicians David LaMotte and Zach Light-Wells, enjoyed music provided by the University of the Ozarks Chamber Singers and heard one last time from the Rev. Dr. Theresa Cho, pastor of St. John’s Presbyterian Church in San Francisco.

Let’s have dinner and talk about death

Now retired after serving the First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville, Ill., the Rev. Roberta Dodds Ingersoll described during a workshop this week how congregants at First Church became more comfortable talking about their death, or that of a loved one.

Each church’s mission: Craft a viable mission statement

Mission statements are common among Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches and mid councils. The problem, according to the Rev. Dr. Theresa Cho, is that they usually don’t “tell us how to go about” the mission.

Teaching social justice in comfortable congregations

Justice is at the very heart of who God is, Professor Rebecca Davis of Union Presbyterian Seminary said during a Thursday workshop at the annual gathering of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators. And justice is not a political issue — it’s a biblical issue. “We must come to grips with that,” she said to an overflow workshop crowd, “if we are going to be faithful to the witness of the church.”

Live art, two gifted musicians and some sending-out instructions

With artist Hannah Garrity of A Sanctified Art painting on a large canvas as they worshiped, the 650 or so people attending the annual gathering of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators opened their four days together Wednesday with a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Theresa Cho.

Not only a seat at the table but a new table

Wrapping up its work more than three hours earlier than expected, members of the Moving Forward Implementation Commission prayed Friday afternoon for traveling mercies and for the remaining work commissioners must do before sending its report in by Feb. 21.