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The election earlier this month revealed deep divisions in our country and raised many important questions for Christian people of faith as we look to our future as the Church. For many faithful Presbyterians, one of the questions facing us this week has a particular urgency: How can we navigate the tensions surrounding the Thanksgiving dinner table with friends and family who voted differently from us?
Pittsburgh church forges bond among faith, education and outreach
A family retreat for members of Crafton Heights United Presbyterian Church in Pittsburgh opened up possibilities in inter-generational learning, deepening commitment to faith and attendees’ understanding of God’s relationship to humanity.
While there may no longer be a standard path for those who enter seminary, Lucy Crain’s journey has taken her to places few will ever see. The second year student at Union Presbyterian Seminary’s satellite campus in Charlotte, North Carolina, says until recently she never anticipated she’d be studying for ministry.
Despite its history of civil war and its current challenges with poverty and the refugee crisis, the city of Beirut remains fertile ground for those seeking wealth, status, and power. For Muslims and Christians, the cultural ethos of pride/shame places a high value on education, success, and providing for one’s family.
Fostering community in an urban setting
Seven years ago, I started using the local Starbucks as a workspace to foster community through the café and arts culture in northeastern Los Angeles. This ministry, called the Coop, recently received a seed grant for 1001 New Worshiping Communities. I’m grateful for that and for what God has done to connect people to each other and to God. Over time, purposely making myself interruptible, I’ve built friendships with regulars of every age, wage and life stage. One of these people was “Selma.” Selma and her two young children had just moved into a studio apartment around the corner to escape domestic violence. Originally from Mexico and raised in the Catholic Church, Selma was now in a new neighborhood without support from family, friends or a local church. While believing in God, she was not interested in participating in any kind of religious institution. But she trusted me. And the coffee chats and neighborhood walks helped her connect to God, to a local friend and to a larger network of support.