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New worshiping communities in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) take on new and varied forms of church in a changing culture. Primarily they are seeking to make and form new disciples of Jesus Christ in order to transform the world. How they put that into practice often involves creativity and out-of-the-box approaches.
Many preachers get a little antsy about preaching on and around secular holidays, among them the Fourth of July, Labor Day, Mother’s Day — and that biggest secular holiday of all, Super Bowl Sunday. In their minds, the culture and the church ought to be kept at arm’s length from one another.
Preacher, tell us a story.
People who listen to sermons week after week will usually sit up and take notice when the preacher launches into a good story, according to the Rev. Dr. Alice Ridgill, associate executive presbyter for the Presbytery of Charlotte. Ridgill spoke during the third installment of The Preaching Lab, a five-part online workshop offered monthly by New Hope Presbyterian Church in Anaheim, California, through a grant by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
In the late ‘80s, my spouse Loyda and I, originally from Cuba, moved to Louisville with our small children to attend seminary. A fellow white Anglo student tried to say Loyda’s name but kept mispronouncing it. He finally asked, “Why don’t you change your name?” My wife replied, “If I have to learn how to pronounce yours, you better learn how to pronounce mine.”
Using a question-and-answer format, a longtime Presbyterian pastor and an inquirer in Sacramento Presbytery offered a workshop during the recent Intercultural Transformation Workshops.
It’s 2021, and women in the pulpit are not an unusual sight in many churches across the country. A 2018 study conducted by Eileen Campbell-Reed titled “State of Clergywomen in the U.S.: A Statistical Update” revealed some interesting facts about clergywomen in the U.S.; among them was that in most mainline denominations, the percentage of clergywomen has doubled or tripled since 1994. Still, while more women have the title “Rev.” in front of their names, obstacles while on the road to ordination, and even when serving in church, remain. Among those obstacles is the still pervasive problem of gender discrimination.
The ministry of presence is important in God’s mission. Yet even when a global pandemic causes cancellation of short-term mission trips, congregations and presbyteries in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are showing care and compassion in creative and urgently needed ways from afar.
International Roma Day is an opportunity for those of us who know little about the Roma (often pejoratively called “gypsies”) to learn about and celebrate their culture, history and people, moving past stereotypes and media depictions.
Presbyterian News Service is continuing the tradition begun about 15 years ago in Presbyterians Today of selecting the year’s top 10 films. The list is different from those appearing in secular journals because the primary criteria are spiritual and moral/ethical values, not artistic ones.
If you cringe each year at the saccharine, formulaic entertainment that Hollywood and TV foist onto the public during the so-called Christmas Season, here are four films actually worth your precious time. Two are Advent films of longing and hope, and two are Christmas Eve films focused on the power of love.