Mission Yearbook

Minute for Mission: Health awareness and prayer for healing and wholeness

Several years ago, I had an opportunity to visit Westminster by-the-Sea Presbyterian Church in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, for a Sunday worship service. I had always enjoyed my visits to this church, knowing that I would hear outstanding music and an excellent sermon by their senior pastor, the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Sumner. But I also heard another important message that day. Dr. Sumner spoke of the need for parishioners to attend to their physical health as well as their spiritual well-being. And on this particular Sunday, there would be an opportunity to do this by taking advantage of a free screening for skin cancer that a local dermatologist would be providing immediately after the worship service.

Finding joy in the midst of sorrow

Checkpoint, at the edge of the city, is where we disembark from the taxi with the Rev. Philip Obang, the general secretary of South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church. As private and public vehicles are not allowed beyond this point, we jump on the back of “boda bodas” (motorcycle taxis) to ferry us down below, the horizon monopolized by a city of white tents. POC3 is the largest of three UN Internally Displaced Persons camps on the outskirts of the city of Juba, the capital of South Sudan. Entering the camp I ask Rev. Philip, “How many refugees are in this camp?” He gestures widely with his arms, “Thousands!”

Sexual harassment in the church

When the news about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment became public, women flooded social media with the hashtag #MeToo. In solidarity with women who were harmed by Weinstein, women shared their personal stories of being emotionally and physically demeaned by men.

On immigration

Conversations in the church going deeper and farther February 6, 2018 The immigration conversation is nowhere close to being done. The political discourse around immigration continues to affect communities and the church — in both its witness and its membership. It’s a conversation that should compel leaders (including sessions and mid councils) to continue discerning… Read more »

Putting ‘energy’ into mission

An energy audit at the Presbyterian Foundation in Jeffersonville, Indiana, has resulted in energy savings of close to 25 percent. And according to Colby May, whenever churches or church organizations can save money on energy, they’re freeing up money for ministry.

Minute for Mission: Healing and Hope

6,172 cases of sexual assault were reported in the Department of Defense in 2016, a slight increase over 2015 and a sharp jump from 2012, when 3,604 cases were reported. This sharp increase likely stems as much from an increased willingness to report as it does from an increase in assaults. Six out of 10 survivors reported retaliation for having reported.

Coming out of the shadows

As a young boy, the Rev. Ken Fuquay felt a call to preach, but he wasn’t sure if it was real or just a shadow cast by his father. The son of a Pentecostal Holiness minister, Fuquay is still referred to as “Tommy’s son” in some circles.