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Three churches work together

The First Presbyterian Church of Dunbar, West Virginia, was the first church in the Presbytery of West Virginia to answer the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s call in 2019 to become a Matthew 25 church, focusing on ministries that dismantle structural racism, eradicate systemic poverty and build congregational vitality.

An unexpected blessing

Blessings can come from unanticipated sources in places we might not expect. For the Rev. Dr. Jill Duffield and her family, the place was outside a Goodwill dressing room, and the sources were two older women unknown to the Duffield family.

Giving Tuesday is an opportunity to celebrate the work of the Church

On the heels of the commercial events of Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a third post-Thanksgiving tradition has emerged that redirects our priorities. Giving Tuesday, which is being observed today in more than 150 countries, exists for one purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

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.

The ‘beautiful you’ blessing

The postlude played. I stood at the sanctuary door, greeting congregants as they made their way to coffee hour. On this day, though, I wasn’t sharing pleasantries as I shook hands, I was anointing with oil a hand of each person exiting the sanctuary, As I made the sign of a cross on each palm, I gave a blessing: Be the beautiful you God sees you to be.

Transforming gratitude into actions

“Inbox zero.” It’s a funny term, often used in professional circles to denote when one’s email inbox has zero messages. As the social media strategist for the Presbyterian Mission Agency, this is one of my most treasured dreams, but not necessarily my reality.

Reclaiming the spirit of Thanksgiving on #Giving Tuesday

The stress of everyday living often blinds us to the blessings we enjoy. That is why Thanksgiving Day can play such a wonderful role in our lives. It is an occasion to remind ourselves of the gifts that surround us and to give thanks for them. Gratitude is a crucial component of Christian discipleship. Meister Eckhart, the German mystic of the Middle Ages, wrote, “The most important prayer in the world is just two words long: ‘Thank You.’”

PC(USA) 2018 Book of Common Worship now available

Five years in the making, the 2018 Book of Common Worship (BCW) for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is now available. There are three new sections in the BCW — on creation and ecology, justice and reconciliation, and interreligious events. Included in these sections are services for: • Blessings of the Animals • Resources for prayer and worship after a violent event • Guidelines for gathering neighbors of other faiths or no faith for times of celebrations, or when there is conflict or crisis