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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.
Presbyterians across the country are invited to begin their Advent journey on Dec. 3, the first Sunday of Advent, with Presbyterians Today’s 2017 Advent devotional, Let Love Speak: Words and Actions to Pave the Way of the Lord.
The announcement of a baby’s birth can tell you a lot about the parents. Techy parents send out emails. Photographer parents send beautiful pictures. Artistic parents send out creative announcements. Traditionalist parents send out formal announcements on card stock. Royals like Prince William and Kate Middleton waited a few months before landing their son, Prince George, on the cover of celebrity gossip glossy Vanity Fair a few years ago. Then there’s Jesus.
If anyone has the right to think she had an extra-special connection to Jesus, it’s Mary. After all, she carried him in her body, birthed him in the stable and nourished him with her breast milk. As he grew up and engaged his ministry, she scolded him when he disappeared, commanded him at Cana, stayed with him when he hung on the cross and rejoiced in him when he rose again.
I am an immigrant and a former refugee. I came from Cuba to the United States via Spain in the late ’60s. I belong to that group of people from the “Global South’’ who began migrating to this country by the millions after the liberalization of immigration laws in 1965.
Presbyterians are known as belonging to a “thinking” denomination. Our Reformed theology emphasizes the importance of having an educated clergy and an informed laity, and we have a long tradition of involvement in education, with more than 50 Presbyterian colleges and universities.