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Rev. José Luis Casal

Be a ‘No-Yes’ child rather than a ‘Yes-No’ child

The Presbyterian Border Region Outreach conference drew to a close last weekend as most church conferences do — with closing worship and the celebration of the Lord’s Supper, which in this case occurred on both sides of the wall in South Texas separating the United States and Mexico.

Secretary turned lifelong missionary dies at 91

of Nebraska in 1949, Lois Kroehler heard about a short-term opportunity to travel to Cuba to work as an English language secretary for a Cuban church executive. She had planned to teach Spanish after college and reasoned that a couple years of translation work would improve her Spanish, particularly grammar and vocabulary. “After those two years, the Cuban church invited me to stay,” Kroehler said in a 1998 interview with Democracy Now!, an independent nonprofit news organization in Washington, D.C. “So, I actually became a missionary at the invitation of the Cuban church.” Missionary, music teacher and composer, choir director, Christian educator … Lois Kroehler embraced Cuba, and accompanying the Cuban people became her passion. Kroehler died Aug. 4 at age 91.   

Put away your books, class. It’s time for a quiz

Seminary professor that he is, the Rev. Dr. Cliff Kirkpatrick slipped about 50 staff at the Presbyterian Center a surprise Wednesday. He gave them a 22-question pop quiz on ecumenical and interfaith developments that have occurred over the last century.

‘Let us fix our eyes on Jesus’

The 114th New Wilmington Mission Conference (NWMC), regarded as the oldest annual mission conference in the U.S., will be held July 19-26 on the campus of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pa.

A view from the Palm Sunday summit

Asked to preach at both services of the Iglesia Evangélica Presbiteriana Central in Guatemala City on Palm Sunday, the Rev. Jose Luis Casal told the more than 200 people present for the second service, “It’s Palm Sunday. What are we going to talk about? The triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem!”

‘Like someone popped a bubble and let me out’

Pastors in Guatemala may not have the graduate-level educational background that their Presbyterian counterparts in the U.S. bring to ministry.But the passion for their calling and the skills they’re demonstrating as they either prepare for or hone their ministry were on display last week at the offices of CEDEPCA,  the Protestant Center for Pastoral Studies in Central America, a longtime partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

Church expresses concern for human rights abuses in Gaza

In response to a commissioner’s resolution adopted at the 223rd General Assembly in St. Louis (2018), a group of 10 Presbyterian Church (USA) representatives visited Israel-Palestine last week to express concerns for the human rights of the inhabitants of Gaza. The delegation was led by GA 223 co-moderator, Ruling Elder Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri, and director of World Mission the Rev. José Luis Casal.

Proclamation and service together

Presbyterians do mission in partnership, and those partnerships are lived out in the real world — a world of complexity, nuance and contradiction.