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Ruth Patterson Phipps Metzel, a retired career mission worker with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), died at Sunnyside Presbyterian Community in Harrisonburg, Virginia on March 21. She was 93.
A few weeks ago, before coronavirus took over our thoughts in South Sudan, I joined a meeting of women to talk about community development. Women gathered in a circle after the church service, many of them holding young children on their laps. I started the discussion by reflecting on John 10:10, where Jesus expressed his intention to give us “life, and have it abundantly.”
What does that mean?
The Rev. Darius Swann, the lead plaintiff in a landmark Supreme Court case, Swann v. Charlotte-Mecklenburg Board of Education, died March 8 at the age of 95.
A few months ago, during our Strong Kids/Strong Emotions program for refugee kids, Hadil (not her actual name) was sitting across from me, stringing beads to make a bracelet.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has requested that all mission co-workers with the United States as home-base (United States citizens and U.S. permanent residents) return to the U.S. as recommended by the State Department. World Mission’s crisis management team is meeting seven days a week to coordinate individually with each mission co-worker in each country to determine the best course of action.
The history of the Roma (Romani) and Sinti people in Europe is filled with discrimination and bias. That’s why mission co-workers Burkhard Paetzold, Al Smith, and the coordinator for the Middle East and Europe, Luciano Kovacs, helped plan and participate in a conference in Budapest recently, to reflect on the Churches’ history, relationship and interaction with the Roma. The conference was organized by the Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME).
“When I left there, I was ashamed — and I consider myself a convinced European — to be a member of this European Union,“ said Martin Dutzmann, the authorized representative of the Protestant Churches in Germany (EKD) at the German government and the EU after returning from his recent visit to the overcrowded and chaotic refugee camp Moria on Lesvos Island. And, he adds, “the EU has kept the situation in the camps on the Greek islands at bay for years.”
Representatives from Presbyterian World Mission and the Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C., along with the National Council of Churches (NCC) and officials from other denominations welcomed a delegation of the Egyptian-U.S. Dialogue Initiative.
A reunion between a Peace Corps volunteer in Iran in the 1960s and one of her students made the national news recently.
The people of South Sudan are one major step closer to a lasting peace.