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International Roma Day is an opportunity for those of us who know little about the Roma (often pejoratively called “gypsies”) to learn about and celebrate their culture, history and people, moving past stereotypes and media depictions.
Last year, I took more than two dozen flights. In many cases I could have taken a bus, but for little extra cost, I opted to save time. A flight from Lima (on the Pacific coast) to Tarapoto (in the Amazon) takes a little over an hour. The bus takes more than 25 hours. So, for about $25 more per flight, it seems worth it to travel by air. I know my knees are grateful. But, like so many things in life, there are usually more costs than those that simply make a dent in our wallets. There are environmental costs, too.
Of the 12 entries in our Book of Confessions, odds are you’re most familiar with the Apostles’ Creed. Every branch of Christianity’s family tree accepts it. It’s often recited at baptisms. But of its 110 words, four have tripped up Christians for centuries: He descended into hell.
The Presbyterian Church of Kabuga, Rwanda, has two primary schools — Kabuga (with 310 students) and Muyumba (with 192 students). Parents, students and teachers are celebrating the fourth consecutive school year that students in Primary 6 in both schools have achieved a perfect score on Rwanda’s national examination.
When discussing the issue of forced migration, we see images in the U.S. of violence and economic inequality in Central America, South America and parts of the Middle East.
Urgency filled the room. On Jan. 19, the Rev. Jacqueline Troncoso had just been elected as moderator of the Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Chile (IEPCh), the first woman to hold this post. The synod assembly had just approved a powerful pastoral letter calling on all Chilean Presbyterians to support the drafting of a new national Constitution.
In recent months, the world’s attention has focused on the Amazon rainforest, widely considered to be one of the most important lungs of planet Earth. Covering parts of nine countries in South America, this vast and incredibly diverse region both traps carbon dioxide that leads to global warming and creates the oxygen vital to many forms of life.
The men were taken first, and then the women and children were brutalized. Witnesses saw the Euphrates run with blood, and women plunged into the river to escape the terrors of the desert march.
The Fiangonan’i Jesoa Kristy eto Madagasikara (FJKM), the PC(USA)’s partner denomination in Madagascar, believes strongly in spreading the gospel and helping people improve their lives. The FJKM also believes that Christians have a responsibility to help preserve Creation. Church leaders often quote Genesis 2:15, “The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it” (NIV). Helping people improve their lives while helping to preserve Madagascar’s unique biodiversity is especially challenging given the extent of hunger and poverty in Madagascar and the environmental degradation threatening many species with extinction. The climate crisis is intensifying these challenges.
On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans — 10% of the U.S. population at the time — took to the streets, college campuses and hundreds of cities to protest environmental ignorance and demand a new way forward for our planet. That first Earth Day is credited with launching the modern environmental movement and is now recognized as the planet’s largest civic event.