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Presbyterian Office of Public Witness
Faith is not just personal; it’s political. Our leaders pass laws about how we treat one another, laws about money and more. The Bible addresses these issues as well in Scriptures like the Ten Commandments, the parable of the sheep and the goats, Sabbath rules and Jesus’ advice to the rich young ruler to sell his possessions and give to the poor. To say the Bible and Jesus are not political is to deny their influence and relevance to our lives in the 21st century.
The director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness recently found out what life is like behind bars. The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, along with other clergy, was arrested earlier this summer while praying outside the U.S. Supreme Court Building in Washington, D.C.
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Office of Public Witness (OPW) has been on the front lines of advocacy in Washington, D.C., since 1946. Since that time, the office and its partners have worked to ensure that the church’s positions on important national and international issues are communicated to those who are elected to lead the nation.
After months of planning, the “Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival” officially begins on Mother’s Day. The campaign, a continuation of the initiative launched by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 50 years ago, is calling for direct action at statehouses across the country as well as the U.S. Capitol.
Forest Hill Presbyterian Church has always been progressive, according to Pastor John Lentz. The Cleveland Heights, Ohio church found itself having to make some tough decisions in the past year when a woman in their community faced deportation.
Government leaders from several countries around the world are receiving mail from Presbyterian churches containing prints or paper cut-outs of red hands. It’s part of the Red Hand Campaign — an initiative to encourage countries to stop the practice of turning children into armed soldiers.
The Rev. Jimmie Hawkins packed his bags in early 2017, said goodbye to his North Carolina congregation at Covenant Presbyterian Church in New Hope Presbytery, and made his way to the nation’s capital as the new director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Office of Public Witness. His new appointment coincided with the swearing in of a new U.S. president.
A two-day faith-based forum on supporting LGBTQ refugees is being praised by those who participated in it. First Presbyterian Church in the City of New York hosted the recent symposium on the challenges facing LGBTQ refugees and asylum seekers. The church worked alongside several ministries within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to present the event, titled “Love Welcome.”
When Nora Leccese, who addresses domestic poverty and environmental issues for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness (OPW), first came to the office through the Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program, she expected to be there for only five months. But she immediately met people in the office and in the broader interfaith community who were willing to speak out on issues like racism, sexism and homophobia.
Clear blue skies were on display during the opening day of the Presbyterians for Earth Care Conference at Menucha Retreat and Conference Center near Portland, Oregon. Just two weeks ago, organizers were concerned that the smoke and flames from a season of wildfires would force them to find a new location.