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Northern California’s wine country has received the brunt of the massive wildfires that continue to burn out of control. More than 20 people are known to have died in the fires, while at least 285 remain missing. Authorities report 3,500 structures have been destroyed and over 170,000 acres burned.
Freedom Rising, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) initiative “to address and improve the worsening plight of the African-American male,” has received gifts totaling $78,461 from a Pittsburgh-based charitable foundation, two mid-councils and an offering collected at a Presbyterian collegiate conference.
Presbyterian mission co-workers Jeff and Christi Boyd developed a floor and board game several years ago to help U.S. Presbyterians appreciate the joint efforts of students, parents, communities and churches to improve education in Africa. The game also prompts players to ponder the plight of African children.
The Rev. Edwin González-Castillo, Stated Clerk of the San Juan Presbytery in Puerto Rico, says the biggest challenge he is facing in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria is communications. Attempting to reach and coordinate relief efforts across the island has been hampered by downed communication lines outside of San Juan, infrastructure damage due to flooding and ongoing concerns about fuel shortages.
Clear blue skies were on display during the opening day of the Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center near Portland, Oregon. Just two weeks ago, organizers were concerned that the smoke and flames from a season of wildfires would force them to find a new location.
High incarceration rates, widespread unemployment and low educational attainment among African American young men have led some observers to call them a “lost generation.” However, the Rev. Mary Susan Pisano rejects this description.
The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) approved grants totaling $89,800 to fund five self-help projects in the United States and one in Belize. The national committee met recently to approve funding made possible through the One Great Hour of Sharing offering.
Presbyterian churches across the U.S. will be placing special emphasis on refugees in the coming days. The United Nations recognizes June 20 as World Refugee Day, as a time to lift up the thousands of families who flee their homes and war-torn countries in search of a better life and remember the church’s commitment to provide refugees a safe haven.
Rural farmers in India are celebrating the certification of Udaipur’s Gati Village as Rajasthan’s first fully organic farming community. The designation will allow Gati to market its crops and products internationally. Nearly 300 farm families are covered by the designation as they seek to market major crops which include wheat and corn.
Pentecost is a time to consider “what becomes possible when God blows through your life with the wind of the Holy Spirit,” says the author of a new Presbyterian worship resource for Pentecost Sunday.