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No one likes to lose a church member. Now imagine the prospect of losing 70 percent of a congregation. Marturia Presbyterian Church in Rochester, New Hampshire, is facing such a reality as its Indonesian members have fallen under the focus of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Five years, 200 people, a bajillion emails and a whole lot of prayer. That’s what it takes to make a new Book of Common Worship (BCW). You might ask: Why do we need a new BCW? A changing church needs a worship book that reflects contemporary concerns and offers new liturgies, fresh language and a good deal of flexibility. The revised BCW will do just that, making room for new ways of being church while staying grounded in the best of Reformed and ecumenical practices.
When the news about Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein’s history of sexual harassment became public, women flooded social media with the hashtag #MeToo. In solidarity with women who were harmed by Weinstein, women shared their personal stories of being emotionally and physically demeaned by men.
The immigration conversation is nowhere close to being done. The political discourse around immigration continues to affect communities and the church — in both its witness and its membership. It’s a conversation that should compel leaders (including sessions and mid councils) to continue discerning the call of the church, especially when it comes to welcoming people who come to the United States in pursuit of a better life.
In the time of King Herod, after Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea, wise men from the East came to Jerusalem, asking, “Where is the child that has been born king of the Jews?” … When King Herod heard this, he was frightened, and all Jerusalem with him … When Herod saw that he had been tricked by the wise men, he was infuriated, and he sent and killed all the children in and around Bethlehem who were two years old or under. — Matthew 2:1–16
As an urban minister for more than 40 years, the Rev. Bob Forsberg dedicated his willing hands, generous heart and sharp mind to serving people society had cast aside.
Dec. 2, 2012. It was the first Sunday of Advent and the congregation of Valley Presbyterian Church in Brookfield, Connecticut, gathered in its spacious sanctuary, designed with windows looking out onto the peaceful woods outside. They were there to celebrate the installation of their new pastor, the Rev. Adele Crawford.
Cassi, a member of my church, once dreamed a dream so vivid, so compelling, that when she woke up, she was sure she knew what God was calling her to do with her life. That day, she enrolled in a foster parent training course.
It’s been a good year for hate. Melanie Rodenbough, a lifelong Presbyterian, lives in North Carolina. In early 2017, she learned from the news that the FBI was beginning an investigation after an audio recording of a meeting of conservative activists near Winston-Salem revealed death threats against Muslims living in the area.
As Christmas approaches, we face many choices regarding shopping, schedules and more. In addition to consumer dilemmas, we are faced with spiritual dilemmas. On one hand, we want to observe Advent and wait for the Christ child. On the other, we want to shop and wrap and bake — and we run ourselves ragged in the process. The following ideas from the Presbyterian Hunger Program are designed to help Presbyterians celebrate the birth of Christ in more meaningful ways than mainstream culture provides. Incorporate one, two or all of these ideas into your holiday celebrations. Share with family and friends. And when the holidays are over, turn these ideas into 2018 resolutions.