Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Blogs

Swords Into Plowshares

Reflections from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations

Our Feet Are Standing Within Your Gates, O Jerusalem!

Mosaic of Peace 2018, Day 1 May 1, Jerusalem “What does it mean for us to be here, in Jerusalem?” It’s a question that has as many answers as the diverse peoples who inhabit or visit this many-faceted city. Our first full day in the Old City of Jerusalem falls on May 1st: May Day,… Read more »

Come and See!

Mosaic of Peace 2018, Day “0” To journey without being changed is to be a nomad. To change without journeying is to be a chameleon. To journey and be transformed is to be a pilgrim. –Mark Nepo April 30, Jerusalem—Today we came from many places, from many denominations and vocations, to join in building a… Read more »

Environmental Education in Action in Madagascar

Dan Turk shared with us today about the Environmental Education Program, a part of the Developmental Department of the FJKM church.  Dan described four main elements of the program: Student pastors at the Ivanto Seminary are trained in the garden, orchard and fruit tree nursery, part of the Seminary campus. In addition there are annual… Read more »

Protecting the Resources of Madagascar

We have been deeply impressed by the rich cultural heritage of the Malagasy people and the tremendous natural resources and the great biodiversity of this unique environment where 90% of the plants and animals on the island of Madagascar can be found nowhere else on earth. Sadly, the resources of this nation are at a… Read more »

A remote village in Madagascar and a bounty of blessings

We turned off the national road onto a deeply rutted dirt road that took us to the village of Mahatsinjo. The village, four miles away at the end of the road, had 25 homes, a Catholic Church, and a school. The district mayor and the vast majority of the town and children welcomed us. After… Read more »

Worshipping with the Malagasy People

On this Sunday I was touched by many messages of peacemaking. We arose once again this morning to the sounds of lemurs communicating, a wake up call by God’s wonderfully unique creation.  Our group divided into four teams and fanned out across the area to attend the worship services of four congregations:  Andasibe, Moramanga Fitiavana,… Read more »

Lemurs, Chameleons and Orchids, O My!

It was was a delightful and exciting Saturday exploring God’s unique and fascinating creation in the Madagascar rain forest. A group of 6 intrepid adventurers left at 6:30 am, well after the sun had risen and the lemurs had begun their “singing,” for what turned out to be a rather strenuous 6 hour hike into… Read more »

Women of the Church in Madagascar

We drove 3 1/2 hours from the capital city of Antananarivo to the community of Moramanga.  Fifteen minutes into the trip, we realized that one of our leaders, Mission Co-Worker Elizabeth Turk, was not in either vehicle.  She had been left behind back at the hotel and phones were not working.  Elizabeth is a very… Read more »

Reflections on an Afternoon at Ivato Seminary

They stood as one and raised their voices in heartfelt praise, singing a Malagasy hymn in beautiful 4-part harmony. Then they sat, three at a wooden desk, elbow to elbow. Their composition books and pens were in sight, but not a single computer or tablet was seen in this Wi-Fi free classroom filled with ten… Read more »

Blessed are the peacemakers…in Madagascar

Sambatra ny mpampihavana Blessed are the Peacemakers It was a fascinating day in Madagascar!  The leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ in Madagascar (known by its Malagasy acronym, FJKM) shared their knowledge on an extraordinary range of subjects.   In the morning we learned about the background of the FJKM, its Reformed tradition, its structure… Read more »