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Faith & Worship
We live in a time of unprecedented encounter with people of many religions, and in a time of extreme distrust of people of other religions, particularly when it comes to Christians and Muslims. In the wake of the funeral of Muhammad Ali—which took place on Friday, June 10, just feet from the Presbyterian Center—and the horrific mass murder on June 12 of 50 LGBT persons by a young Muslim man, I want to try to express why I think interfaith relations work is so important to Christians, particularly Presbyterian Christians.
Since she received her call to ministry, Anna Sweet Brockman has served in a variety of ministries including pulpit supply, children and youth ministry, and planning for camps and conferences.
“YOU BELONG HERE NO MATTER WHAT,” reads the sign outside Broad Street Ministry, located in the heart of Philadelphia—a city where deep poverty and rapid gentrification exist side by side.
The streets of Louisville, Kentucky were filled with thousands of people honoring Muhammad Ali this morning as his funeral procession traversed 19 miles of the city. Enthusiastic crowds cheered, threw flowers on the road and hearse, and chanted “Ali” as the 17-car motorcade passed Ali’s childhood home, the museum named after him, the boxing gym where he began his career, and the Presbyterian Center in downtown Louisville next to the KFC Yum! Center where an interfaith memorial service was held this afternoon.
In a world that is less and less biblically literate—and where even people who are already coming to church are by and large unfamiliar with scripture—the Rev. Casey FitzGerald loves to tell the story.
From the outside it’s a very non-descript place—a small building surrounded by buildings that are the homes of Amazon and Microsoft workers.
When the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board unanimously approved a change in name for the Financial Aid for Studies office to Financial Aid for Service in the fall of 2012, the action signaled an intentional shift in the PC(USA) from an emphasis on education purely for the sake of education to education for a life of discernment and service.
As a grieving city, nation, and world respond to the death on June 3 of Muhammad Ali—the larger-than-life boxing champion, poet, and humanitarian—the Rev. Dr. Charles Wiley III, coordinator for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s office of Theology and Worship remembered Ali “as bombastic, an enormous talent, and someone who stood up for what he believed in.”
The Rev. Dr. Perryn Rice, senior pastor of Lake Highlands Presbyterian Church—a joint congregational witness of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Cumberland Presbyterian Church in Dallas, Texas—couldn’t have written his credentials as the closing preacher at the Presbyterian Youth Triennium any better.
As the Rev. Dana Vaughn was completing her studies at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia, the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) was innovating several new initiatives designed to allow Vaughn—and a new generation of risk-taking pastors like her—to change and transform the world through their ministries, all while freed from the burden of educational debt.