Presbytery of New Covenant in southeast Texas has had a strong youth ministry for decades. A highlight has been its Youth Conclaves weekend retreats that are led by the youth themselves. These retreats are a time to meet other Presbyterian youth and a time to grow as disciples. Our presbytery also recognizes that youth is a time of exploration and identity formation — including gender or sexual orientation.
Of the 12 entries in our Book of Confessions, odds are you’re most familiar with the Apostles’ Creed. Every branch of Christianity’s family tree accepts it. It’s often recited at baptisms, as it was originally a baptismal creed. And, since it’s only 110 words long, if you have any creed memorized, this is probably the one. But of those 110 words, four have tripped up Christians for centuries: He descended into hell.
Which Harry Potter character are you? Which famous clown are you? Which “Friends” character are you?
Quizzes like this abound on the internet, claiming to tell us who we identify with most in pop culture. And they’re not just on the internet. I remember a rogue questionnaire — “Which Princeton Theological Seminary professor are you?” — that a couple of seniors with too much time on their hands wrote.
Politics are personal. As God’s people, we feel our politics. When we watch the news or read it on our iPad, we experience a potpourri of emotions. We get excited, angry, demoralized, indignant, frustrated and more. Some of us take a sabbath from Facebook, while others turn off Twitter.
As we enter a season of dreaming and discerning what God has ahead for Presbyterians Today, we wanted to look back and celebrate the wonderful people, places and projects we’ve been blessed to share with our readers.
When someone loses a loved one, we often say things like, “God needed another angel.’’ Really? I don’t think God works that way. There are times when I don’t want theological nuance. All I want is feel-it-in-my-gut-assurance. I want to feel God in my innermost self.
“Welcoming all in the name of Christ” might be easy to write into a church’s mission statement, but the challenge comes when faced with living it out and extending a hand to those in the transgender community. An inclusive, loving welcome is possible, though, with education and courage to open up those sanctuary doors.
By extending an invitation to love everyone no matter what, as Jesus did, Pamela Atkinson, who grew up in the slums of London, has helped shape the life of First Presbyterian Church in Salt Lake City. It has even earned her the nickname “the Mother Teresa of Utah.”