Friday, Dec. 16 marks the Presbyterian News Service’s final day of scheduled publication for 2022. To date it’s been our pleasure and great privilege to help bring readers 1,277 stories of interest to members and friends of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and beyond.
When the Rev. Dr. Victor Aloyo was elected to be the 11th president of Columbia Theological Seminary, history was made. Aloyo, who has been at the helm for nearly three months now, is the first person of color to lead the seminary.
Ian Hall, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), A Corporation’s chief operating officer and chief financial officer, had mostly good news for the A Corp Board Friday while presenting a financial report comparing June 30, 2022, to June 30, 2021.
It’s back to school time, and for parents that means helping children sharpen their pencils and charge their laptops in preparation for the first day. For children it means adapting to new morning routines and getting back to a studying and test-taking rhythm. And for pastors, it’s that wonderful time of year to bless school backpacks. While blessing backpacks is popular in big and small churches, it is only the start to what congregations can — and should — be doing to engage more deeply with local schools. According to Dr. Irvin Scott, a faculty member of Harvard Graduate School of Education, backpack blessings have grown over the years because they provide a relatively hassle-free, easy-to-execute outreach to families. “It’s a good first step,” said Scott, with emphasis on “first.”
On Reformation Sunday, observed the last Sunday in October, Presbyterians are reminded of their Reformed heritage, hearing once again how in 1517 Martin Luther nailed to the cathedral door in Wittenberg, Germany, his Ninety-five Theses. Some pastors might use this Sunday, which is Oct. 30 this year, to reenact Luther’s bold move, while others might choose to open worship with Luther’s majestic “A Mighty Fortress is Our God.” Still others will weave in the Reformation mantra “reformed and always reforming” into the sermon, prayers or benediction. Last fall, though, the Rev. Carol Holbrook Prickett took the celebration of Reformation Sunday a step further. The pastor of Crescent Springs Presbyterian Church in Crescent Springs, Kentucky, created a service to educate today’s “reformers” of the legacy of following a God who is always creating something new.
The rooms we occupy — those places where breath is taken, words are spoken and memories are made — are often taken for granted. They have four walls and a ceiling, reflecting the personality of the occupant or the traditions of an organization. But can rooms be more?
Lauren Rogers, the former project manager for digital fundraising with Special Offerings and the Presbyterian Giving Catalog, and the Rev. Donna Frischknecht Jackson, editor of Presbyterians Today, each won multiple awards Wednesday during online presentations of the Religion Communicators Council’s DeRose-Hinkhouse Memorial Awards.
Oscar buzz is in full swing now that the list of nominees has been released. This year there is a full contingent in the Best Film category. I was gratified to see that three on my Top Ten list have been selected as contenders for Best Picture. There is still one film that I haven’t seen, the Japanese feature film “Drive My Car.” It will be at least a week until I can catch it at a Cincinnati theater, so I will proceed without it.
“Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” — Luke 23:42