To celebrate Intercultural Church Day, worshipers at the Presbyterian Center in Louisville Wednesday were invited to sing verses of well-known hymns — “How Great Thou Art” and “Blessed Assurance, Jesus is Mine!” among them — in English, Korean and Spanish, as well as in the “language closest to your heart.”
On a day that began with a snowstorm and ended with sunny skies, the 18 pastors gathered at Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center on Lake Tahoe for the Mentoring Event for Leaders of Color in Pastoral Ministry found inspiration in training and continued relationship building during Tuesday’s sessions.
Eighteen pastors are gathered at the Zephyr Point Presbyterian Conference Center on Lake Tahoe this week to engage in a program of mentoring that hopes to develop future leaders of the church while improving their skills for professional advancement and self-care.
Two congregations that worship in the same Louisville, Ky., church are comfortable enough with one another that host church members didn’t even bat an eye recently when the smaller congregation told the larger one that the church has termites.
Charles Atkins serves as chair of the Justice Committee for the Presbytery of New York City, and late last year, one of his committee members came to him with an opportunity he had never thought of.She was Sue Rheem, whose day job is mission specialist for the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations (PMUN), and she thought Atkins would be a prime candidate to be a Presbyterian delegate to the United Nations Commission for Social Development (CSocD) in February.
At age 16, Kalief Browder found himself on New York’s Rikers Island, awaiting trial for a crime he says he didn’t commit. Returning from a party in the Bronx, Browder was accused of stealing a backpack holding a credit card, an iPod Touch, a camera and $700. At his arraignment, he was charged with second-degree robbery. Bail was set at $3,000. Browder didn’t have the ability to “bond out” — pay the fee. He would spend the next three years in jail before being released, with his charges dropped.
The Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis was delivering an impromptu sermon at the end of a long, hot day riding around Western Kentucky on a bumpy bus when she turned to the story of a leper who approached Jesus.“The leper said, ‘If you choose, you can heal me,’” Theoharis said. “’If you choose, you can heal me.’“Now that leper had gone a lot of places up to that point. He went to the HMOs of his day, and they turned him away. He went to the hospitals nearby, they had closed down. But Jesus traveled around the land opening up free healthcare clinics, never charged a co-pay. The leper said to Jesus, ‘If you choose, you can heal me.’“The question before us this afternoon is, ‘Do we choose?’”
The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Public Witness in Washington D.C., says “we have third-world conditions in parts of the United States of America,” reflecting on his travels to cities some might find surprising.
“First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions and thanksgivings be made for everyone.” — 1 Timothy 2:1