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Pastors’ podcast helps listeners grow in their faith

In college, the Revs. Layne Bailey Brubaker and Abigail Spears Velázquez wore matching hats embroidered with the words ‘Sick & hAlarious.’ These expressions are endearing reminders of their visits with Abi’s grandmother and great aunt, who would frequently exclaim “sick” or “hAlarious” in response to one another’s stories about life in their retirement. “Abi and I picked this up from them,” Brubaker said. We always imagined ourselves in the last days of our lives, living in a retirement community, laughing, and saying everything is ‘sick’ and ‘hAlarious.’” Abi’s grandmother passed away recently, so “it is with loving gratitude that we honor her in the name of our podcast: Sick & hAlarious: A Podcast Where We Encounter God In It All.”

A girl and a Bible

“Did you write this?” I glanced at the page. Squarish letters in black ink with variable-width strokes. Just the kind I used to make with a chisel-end pen. Just the kind I inscribed on numerous baptismal certificates and wedding records over the years. Definitely my work.

How to start a local chapter of the Jesus Fan Club

When I was in middle school, my neighbor joined the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club. She got a great poster that looked like it had been signed by the pop star to hang on her wall. We swooned as we stared at it, sitting on her bed and listening to mix tapes. I wondered, as I stared and swooned, what it would be like to be such an insider, to be an actual member of the fan club and get special perks.

Minute for Mission: Christian and Citizen

The Bible makes mention of the fact that we carry dual citizenship as citizens of the kingdom and citizens of the world. But these identities are not equal. If there is ever a conflict, the values of the kingdom must come first. There is a level of confusion in the minds of many Christians equating being a Christians with being patriotic, but they are not the same. Jesus said that anyone who loves mother or father, brother or sister, “is not worthy of me.” We are a God-first people who put the cares of God before all others. Therefore, we are made better citizens of the state because we are concerned about those who are not deemed worthy of attention.

Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations unveils new educational resource guide

Presbyterian churches now have a new tool to energize and educate congregations around global issues such as poverty alleviation and climate change. The Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations (PMUN) has produced a new Educational Resource Guide that highlights what the PC(USA) and its global church partners are doing to address the United Nation’s Sustainable Development Goals.

Recognizing Christ in our midst

I was once in charge of logistics for an important meeting at an international airport. Since VIPs were flying in from all around the world, I wanted to make sure that everything was set up perfectly. I dutifully went to the conference room a couple of hours early and found, to my surprise, several strangers camped out.

Westminster John Knox Press releases new story Bible

Westminster John Knox Press is pleased to announce the release of Growing in God’s Love: A Story Bible. This new story Bible for children ages 4-8 was created to welcome readers from all kinds of families. Readers will discover 150 Bible stories from the Old and New Testaments that are divided into 13 themes including Strong Women and Men; Listening for God; Parables; and Healings and Miracles

The pitfalls of ‘giving up’ things for Lent

Lent is a great time to focus more fully on our spiritual lives. For centuries, the church has encouraged us to give up something that brings us pleasure, so that we can be more in touch with Jesus’ self-denial. More recently, Christians have taken on new spiritual practices such as practicing intentional hospitality or reading the Scriptures more faithfully as a way of prioritizing God’s ways over our ways.

Lament, challenge and hope

Dr. Anthea Butler was stopped for driving while black in her late-model luxury car. As a flashlight shone on her boyfriend’s pale face, the police officer asked, “Did you pick her up somewhere?”