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hands and feet initiative

Without missing a beat

Led and inspired by the joyful recorded percussion provided by youth drummers at Beechmont Presbyterian Church in Louisville, Presbyterians on Tuesday dedicated the Presbyterian Center’s new conference center that will host the 225th General Assembly — and, perhaps, some future assemblies as well.

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) boards will hold joint session in Baltimore Thursday

Meeting jointly all day Thursday in Baltimore, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board and the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly will also meet separately Wednesday and Friday as both bodies take care of business items leading up to the 224th General Assembly set for June 20-27, also in Baltimore.

Your photos tell your story

By way of photo submission, Presbyterians are invited to tell the world the ways their church, mid council or organization is carrying out the Matthew 25 invitation and the Hands and Feet initiative.

‘Off to a great start’

As of Friday morning, 79 congregations, five presbyteries and one synod — Lakes and Prairies — had said yes to the Matthew 25 invitation, agreeing to become more actively engaged in the world by working on one or more of three focus areas: building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty.

Hands and Feet fellow finds joy working in addiction treatment clinic

Melva Lowry has found joy in service where she least expected it. Lowry is one of two young women selected for the first yearlong fellowships with Hands and Feet, an initiative launched by the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Nelson’s idea is to strengthen the church’s mission efforts through partnerships and mission involvement in cities hosting the General Assembly.

Working for justice takes countercultural commitment

I’ve always been stubborn. My mother has a picture of me as a child, with arms crossed and a determined squint that sums up most of my childhood and possibly my adult personality. Difficult, resistant, overly critical — I’ve been called many things throughout my life. Maybe that’s why I’ve always enjoyed Wendell Berry’s poem Manifesto: The Mad Farmer Liberation Front. Throughout this piece, Berry eloquently encourages the reader to do things like: “… do something that won’t compute. Love the Lord. Love the world. Work for nothing. Take all that you have and be poor. … Ask the questions that have no answers.” Berry not only empowers us to be cantankerous, but indeed goes on to warn that if we are not, we are putting our individual and, ultimately, communal moral compass at risk. Finally, my “troublesome” traits are vindicated!

‘Gravitate toward an ethos of possibility and hope’

To be relevant in the 21st century, the church must read Scripture differently — to determine who is left out of the biblical texts and reach out to those people, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson II told Seattle Presbytery on Jan. 16 in a thunderous sermon that electrified a full house at Mercer Island Presbyterian Church.

Hands and Feet initiative puts faith into action

For the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, seeing large numbers of homeless people in one city was eye-opening. The genesis of the Hands and Feet initiative came from Nelson, stated clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), after his experience at the 222nd General Assembly (2016) in Portland. He had never seen so many homeless people in one place.

Dirty hands, tired feet and elevated spirits in St. Louis

When J. Herbert Nelson II, Stated Clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), began touting his Hands and Feet initiative at last winter’s Montreat College Conference and initiative manager Andrew Yeager-Buckley talked up its service/learning opportunities, the UKirk campus ministry at Michigan State University (MSU) immediately signed on.