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matthew 25 presbytery

Unlikely partnership between the Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People and the Rochester Hyatt Regency transforms a cancelled celebration into a new opportunity to embody mission

In 1970, the National Committee on the Self-Development of People (SDOP) began with a question: How should the Church respond to the growing disparity between rich and poor across the globe? Half a century later, the Covid pandemic and a canceled 50th anniversary celebration became an unexpected opportunity to answer that founding question in a new way.

Years of cooperating and cajoling by churches in the Presbytery of the Pacific helped pass legislation to bring more affordable housing to Los Angeles County

According to a 2020 count, Los Angeles County had 66,433 homeless residents, about the same population as two of California’s college towns, Palo Alto and Davis. Churches including First Presbyterian Church of Hollywood and its indominable director of Urban Mission and Community Outreach, Amie Quigley, became “the model for how church-based homeless ministries work in collaboration with city, county and private agencies,” said the Rev. Heidi Worthen Gamble, Mission Catalyst for the Presbytery of the Pacific.

‘Love makes room’

For the Rev. Jennifer Burns Lewis, “love makes room” is the umbrella of her theology. Along with Micah 6:8 — to do justice, love mercy and walk humbly with our God — it is the shaping framework of her work as the vision and connecting leader of the Presbytery of Wabash Valley.

Until words become flesh

The year was 1903. The crowd was gathered on a street in Wilmington, Delaware. A Black man named George White had been arrested on charges of assaulting and killing a white girl. The man orating was a Presbyterian pastor named Robert Elwood. The mob broke into George White’s holding cell, dragged him out, then beat, hacked and burned him to death [a documentary about the lynching of George White, “In the Dead Fire’s Ashes,” directed by Stephen Labovsky, debuted at the Wilmington Film Festival in spring 2005].