In 2017, when representatives from the United Nations toured the Black Belt of Alabama, one commented that the poverty there was unlike any he had seen in the First World. This area across the southern half of Alabama, once famous for its antebellum cotton production, is now well known for its difficult living conditions. These conditions disproportionately affect the African-American descendants of enslaved labor. Yet, many of these black residents also inherited an indomitable work ethic and have made incredible strides for themselves and their children.
The National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA, the nation’s oldest ecumenical body, concluded its annual “Christian Unity Gathering” last week in a spirit of celebration and hope. Leaders from across the Council’s 38 member communions came to College Park, Maryland, to join in conversation, worship and decision-making. The Christian Unity Gathering (CUG) continued the Council’s “A.C.T. Now to End Racism” campaign, begun with a mass rally on the National Mall last April.
Four organizations working to provide leadership development for Native Americans have been selected to receive the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s 2018 Native American Leadership Fund Award. The one-time award for Native American leadership development was created by action of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board. In total, $151,000 will be awarded to the selected organizations.
The Rev. Shanea D. Leonard, pastor of Judah Fellowship Christian Church, a New Worshiping Community of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has accepted a new position with the Presbyterian Mission Agency. Leonard has been called as the new associate for racial and gender justice, working in the agency’s Racial Equity & Women’s Intercultural Ministries (RE&WIM).
“Let us worship our Creator with minds open to the wisdom of all God’s people, remembering that once listening and respect once had no place in our society.” These were the opening words to the Call to Worship led by Elona Street-Stewart, executive of the Synod of Lakes and Prairies, as staff and guests celebrated Native American Day at the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Center in Louisville on September 12.
When racially insensitive photos surfaced at Cal Poly University in the spring, Front Porch, a coffeehouse and 1001 worshiping community in San Luis Obispo, California, began engaging students — many of whom were disgusted by what they saw.
The Presbyterian Mission Agency has created a scholarship fund to honor the name and legacy of the late Rev. Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon, a pioneer and legend in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Dr. Cannon succumbed to leukemia August 8, 2018.
There was something that felt perfectly right about the celebration of life of Dr. Katie Geneva Cannon at Bethpage United Presbyterian Church on August 14 in Concord, North Carolina. First, there was the community that gathered. It was like a reunion of reunions for African American Presbyterians and many others. We gathered, greeted each other, sang, praised God, read Scripture, remembered, celebrated, and renewed our faith, even at a time of death of a beloved sister, aunt, friend and educator.
“Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more.” —Mark 12:43