This blog post is not about convincing you racism is real. This blog post is not about how talking about race is not the same as racism. This blog post is not ranking people of color groups from least to most oppressed. This blog post is not going to explain the basics (for that, . . . → Read More: Racism Didn’t Take a Vacation While You Were Out – by Laura Cheifetz
It wasn’t the sort of compliment I might have hoped for, but it was the one I most needed. It came from a parent of one of our teen-aged son’s friends. Within our small town she was known as a highly enlightened, radically progressive thinker and feminist. She had decided to begin attending the church . . . → Read More: We Need to Hear Other Voices – by Harold M. Delhagen
Race and the Church… another article, another conversation starter, another catalyst attempt, another piece of the conversation. Honestly, I don’t feel like writing this post. Some would argue that conversations about race are uncomfortable. They sure are. At worst, conversations on race are draining. I know how much energy it takes to engage. It is . . . → Read More: Race and the Church: Another Post – by Ruth-Aimée Belonni-Rosario
Racism is, indeed, a social problem. For three years we have all been made aware by the media of cases of abuse of power by police and other law enforcement officers against minoritized communities throughout the United States. There are, surely, multiple angles to these stories, and they are filled with complexities. And, yet, the . . . → Read More: Beyond the Social Problems: Life Together, Racism and the Church – by Amaury Tañón-Santos
Psalm 72:3-4 May the mountains bring prosperity to the people, the hills the fruit of righteousness. May he defend the afflicted among the people and save the children of the needy; may he crush the oppressor.
Luke 12:2-3 There is nothing concealed that will not be disclosed, or hidden that will not be made known. . . . → Read More: Fiscal Transparency and Good Governance: Ensuring that communities bearing the burden receive the profits – Salome Boyd
The United States is currently in the midst of negotiating two major trade deals. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), which would seek to build new bridges with Asia-Pacific economies, and an E.U.-U.S. agreement, commonly known as the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which would expand the U.S.’ trading relationship with Europe. The Obama Administration has . . . → Read More: Buying a Seat at the Negotiating Table: Money and Trade Agreements – Jenny Hyde
“You cannot serve God and wealth.” – Matthew 6:24b
At any given time in the United States of America, 34,000 jail beds are made ready for immigrants to fill. According to the April 2015 report by the advocacy group Grassroots Leadership ‘Payoff: How Congress Ensures Private Prison Profit with an Immigrant Detention Quota’, sixty-two percent . . . → Read More: Caught in the Net of Corporate Greed: Our Immigrant Sisters and Brothers – AmyBeth Willis
“[The Abolition of private prisons] is a cornerstone of our collective work to put justice back into the so-called criminal justice system.” This bold statement made in 2003 by the 215th General Assembly (2003) is still resonant over a decade later as the U.S. continues to invest heavily in private prisons. Despite documented human rights . . . → Read More: Renew Our Democracy: Break the Chains Between Campaign Finance and Private Prisons – Nora Leccese
“In that city there was a widow who kept coming to him and saying, ‘Grant me justice against my opponent.’ For a while he refused; but later he said to himself, ‘Though I have no fear of God and no respect for anyone, yet because this widow keeps bothering me, I will grant her justice, . . . → Read More: To Change the Power Behind the Law – Leslie G. Woods
Yesterday, I shared perspectives of Cuban Christian leaders on the renewal of relations between the US and Cuba, and the role of the churches in this rapprochement. Today, we turn to insights from Cuban exiled colleagues.
The Rev. Magdalena I. Garcia, a PCUSA minister who also migrated to the U.S. at a young age, writes . . . → Read More: Reflections in light of the renewal of relations between the United States and Cuba – Rev. Dr. Antonio (Tony) Aja
Pope Francis recently announced that he would be meeting with Cuban President Raul Castro during his visit to Cuba in May. This came in the heels of President Barack Obama’s declaration in December 2014 that he was seeking to renew diplomatic relations with Cuba after half a century of strife, including eventually opening embassies in . . . → Read More: Reflections in light of the renewal of relations between the United States and Cuba – Rev. Dr. Antonio (Tony) Aja
Guest Post by Dr. Norman Glaubenleben, Ph.D. April 1, 2015
Earlier today, the selection committee for Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries’ annual Unnamed Covert Sympathizer (UCS) Award announced that it will soon release the list of nominees for this year’s award.
The Unnamed Covert Sympathizer Award, established through a generous gift from an anonymous donor (rumored to . . . → Read More: 2015 Unnamed Covert Sympathizer Nominees To Be Announced 😉
Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries affirms & supports LGBTQ Lutheran rostered leaders and those pursuing a call to rostered leadership, while engaging allied congregations & ministries to proclaim God’s love and seek justice for all.
Now that the Lutheran Church (at least the Evangelical Lutheran Church in American and its Canadian counterpart, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in . . . → Read More: Extraordinary Lutheran Ministries: Why a ministry supporting LGBTQ Lutheran pastors is fruitful and multiplying and how that came to be – Amalia Vagts
Walking to El Santuario de Chimayo in northern New Mexico at 5:00 a.m. is a Holy experience. It is still evening to me, or early morning to other pilgrims. Even though it is a pilgrimage held in late May (right after Pentecost), it is chilly at this hour because this parcel of earth has not . . . → Read More: Being God’s Pilgrim People: The Contemplative Life of Christian Pilgrimage – Brett Webb-Mitchell
In 1999 I went on my first pilgrimage to El Santuario de Chimayo in Chimayo, NM, as one of the 135 pilgrims who were sponsored by the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Santa Fe. My education in the art of pilgrimage began the very first morning I was there, around 5:00, when we stepped out of . . . → Read More: Being God’s Pilgrim People: Hospitality on Pilgrimage – Brett Webb-Mitchell
When teaching world religions at NC Central University, covering Hinduism, one figure that is very determinative in the Hindu faith community is Ganesh or Ganesha. Ganesha is one of the more famous gods in the Hindu tradition, well known for his elephant head, which makes him easy to identify. He is widely revered as the . . . → Read More: Being God’s Pilgrim People: Saints and Memory on Pilgrimage – Brett Webb-Mitchell
In Wishful Thinking, Frederick Buechner writes about bread: “Man (sic) does not live by bread alone, but he also does not live long without it. To eat is to acknowledge our dependence—both on food and on each other. It also reminds us of other kinds of emptiness that not even the Blue Plate Special . . . → Read More: Being God’s Pilgrim People: Companions and Community on Pilgrimage – Brett Webb-Mitchell
Coming out of the season of Lent, I was fully aware of all the language of “journey” and “pilgrimage” that filled my in-box from other churches, pastor friends on Facebook, as well as religious books, periodicals, and conferences posted during this season. Many authors of these articles, opinion pieces, and book chapters wrote in . . . → Read More: Being God’s Pilgrim People: What’s a Pilgrimage – by Brett Webb-Mitchell
The Doctrine of Discovery has been the seedbed of racism and colonialism for centuries, but Christians are beginning to wake up to the harm it has caused. A number of churches and organizations have made statements repudiating the Doctrine of Discovery in the past several years, and some are calling for much more concrete . . . → Read More: Repudiating The Doctrine of Discovery
The video above is from Mark Charles who is the son of an American woman (of Dutch heritage) and a Navajo man and lives on the Navajo reservation. He speaks all over the country on the complexities of our country’s history regarding race, culture, and faith – and when I heard him use this . . . → Read More: Being Native American in the United States – by Aric Clark
In the 16th century it was universally agreed among European Christians that they could more or less do whatever they wanted with property belonging to non-Christians. What was really at stake was the competition between Christians for the resources of the “newly discovered” territories. The Doctrine of Discovery provided them with some new legal principles. . . . → Read More: United States Law and the Doctrine of Discovery – Aric Clark
From 1500 to the 1960’s European Christians colonized the entire planet.
No. Seriously. Look at that map.
Only five modern countries were never under European colonial control. Thailand because it was set aside as a buffer between British and French colonial interests in the region. Liberia because America backed the nation, which was . . . → Read More: The Roots of The Doctrine of Discovery – Aric Clark
About a month from now, the Supreme Court will rule on same-sex marriage for the second time in 3 years. Unlike the rulings the Court gave in 2013, these cases will decidedly settle the question of whether same-sex marriage is constitutional and also whether states have to honor same-sex marriages of residents that took place . . . → Read More: A Look Ahead – by Jason Hines
Before looking ahead to religion issues on the Supreme Court’s plate this year, it is important to look back at the most important thing that happened in religious liberty on the Court last year. Last June, Hobby Lobby won a case in which it argued that closely held corporations should be able to control health . . . → Read More: More Equal Than Others – Jason Hines
The Court has a tough time defining religion – and rightly so. Being religious scholars is not the Court’s job. Some would say that they do no better in adjudicating cases under the Religion Clauses. Whether that is true or not, I think it is possible to determine the principles that guide the Court both . . . → Read More: Two Principles – by Jason Hines
When most of us think religion and the Supreme Court, we think of one phrase – separation of church and state. Those of a more conservative bent who do not agree with the Supreme Court’s jurisprudence on religion would be quick to point out that the phrase cannot be found in the Constitution. However, the . . . → Read More: The One Question – by Jason Hines
“What is it that we now hold sacred?” In the second essay in this three part series, I explored this question a bit as well as how our cultural love affair with consumerism is reshaping our ideas of sacred ritual. The primary examples discussed were some of the ways we are witnessing our consumeristic culture . . . → Read More: Harleys at the Communion Table III – by Darcy Metcalfe Mudd
In my last essay, I discussed briefly how ideas of sacred ritual have noticeably shifted in the North American Protestant landscape; particularly around our death and funeral rituals. We seem to have become much more sanitized and distanced from the deaths of our loved ones, as the funeral services seem to be commonly becoming more . . . → Read More: Harleys at the Communion Table – II – by Darcy Metcalfe Mudd
“What has happened in our culture to sacred ritual?” This is a question I find myself asking often as of late. In my first few years serving as a minister in the PC(USA), it has been difficult not to notice the widening gap between what one is taught in seminary about what constitutes sacred ritual . . . → Read More: Harleys at the Communion Table by Darcy Metcalfe Mudd
In addition to being one of the highest-grossing movies in American history, American Sniper is also, without doubt, one of the most-commented about – one might even say one of the most-bickered about. The internet, and especially its parasite Twitter, privilege short-answer, quick-on-the-draw opinionoids, and they discourage thoughtfulness. That is, they encourage bickering, and we . . . → Read More: Is American Sniper an Anti-war Movie? – Mark Rich
Do we really have to say this? Torture during warfare is evil, and as such it is against the will of God.
Yes, we do have to say it. The pagan culture we live in has forgotten this, and we believers have a lot of saying to do in order that the truth may somehow . . . → Read More: Torture During Warfare Is Evil – Mark Rich
Look who gathers at Christ’s table! Hear the stories that they bring. Some are weeping, some are laughing; Some have songs they want to sing. Others ask why they’re invited, Burdened by the wrong they’ve done. Christ insists they all are welcome. There is room for everyone. Thomas Troeger, from Look who gathers at . . . → Read More: Building up the Beloved Community – by Cynthia Holder Rich
The play of the Godhead, the Trinity’s dance, Embraces the earth in a sacred romance: With God the Creator, and Christ the true Son, Entwined with the Spirit, a web daily spun in spangles of mystery, the great Three-In-One. -Mary Louise Bringle, from The Play of the Godhead, 2000
The central importance of building . . . → Read More: The Relational God: Called into The Divine Dance – by Cynthia Holder RIch
What is this place, where we are meeting? Only a house, the earth its floor. Walls and a roof, sheltering people, Windows for light, an open door. Yet it becomes a body that lives when we are gathered here, And know our God is near. -Huub Oosterhuis, from What is This Place, . . . → Read More: God’s Grace in Community – by Cynthia Holder Rich
Christmas Eve 2014: A Pastor’s Reflections at Findlay
It was gray and cloudy –
Rain and wind were in the air,
As the people gathered,
Christ’s birth for to prepare.
On my first occasion
To celebrate in this place,
Faithful, joy-filled people came together,
Creating . . . → Read More: Christmas Eve 2014: A Pastor’s Reflections at Findlay
We’ve heard the story so often that we can tell it without preparation, notes, or prompting: God’s son, born to an unwed, teenage girl in a podunk town, in a stable. We know in our heads that this situation was…unexpected…for the setting of the coming of the Messiah. We know it threw some folks. Went . . . → Read More: Expectation – Melanie W. Gibbons
Ok, full disclosure before I go any further: generally speaking, I dislike Christmas music. So much of what I grew up listening to is schmaltzy, overdone, and (in some cases) severely overplayed. Add in the fact that some radio stations start playing it 24/7 after Halloween (really? They couldn’t wait until after Thanksgiving?) and you . . . → Read More: Focussing on Grace – Damien Gibbons
Click here to listen to excerpts of Willan’s O Antiphons
When the days are gray – so full of gray, that time has no meaning. When the joy and celebration of the year’s growth has come to an end, and we prepare for the bitterness of winter. The harvest has been gathered in and stored; . . . → Read More: Advent Reflection on the O Antiphons of Healey Willan – Nicole Keller
Advent. Season of waiting. Season of hope. Season of peace.
Maybe. I’m not sure about that last one. Maybe even the last two. It’s hard work these days to align our minds, bodies and spirits with the deeper themes of this brief season of the liturgical year in the midst of so much noise, hustle . . . → Read More: What are We Waiting For? – Melanie W. Gibbons
I am a professional church musician. Actually, I have been a church musician since I was twelve years old, when I started to learn the organ and had my first “church gig.” Since that time, my life has revolved around the liturgical calendar. I was raised as a good Lutheran girl, and played in a . . . → Read More: “The World Awaiting the Saviour” – Elisa Williams Bickers
In these posts, I have been discussing incarnation – the Incarnation, where God chose to enter into human life in human form, as a tiny defenseless babe, that God might be tested and stressed and be made to struggle and hurt and ache and suffer, and die, in every way we humans do. And, incarnation, . . . → Read More: Incarnation: A Reflection on Advent in Three Parts, III – Cynthia Holder Rich
I finished yesterday with this question (read the entire post here).
“How can we white people come to care as much about the survival of others in ways that feckless white people in many, many places have received care?”
The answer is not “Being Nice”
First, I must note that I am not speaking of . . . → Read More: Incarnation: A Reflection on Advent in Three Parts, II – Cynthia Holder Rich
So God created humankind in God’s own image…
…the body is one and has many members…if one member suffers, all suffer with it…
…now you are the Body of Christ and individually members of it.
I Corinthians 12:12-27
. . . → Read More: Incarnation: A Reflection on Advent in Three Parts, I – Cynthia Holder Rich
“You shall not defile the land in which you live, in which I also dwell…” –Number 35:34
I have always been one who connects best with faith through witnessing the incredible details of creation. I grew up by the ocean in New Jersey, with trillions of unique grains of sand between my toes and the . . . → Read More: Geographies of Faith – Colleen Earp
When you take the time to create a space that feeds and nourishes your own soul, you learn that this space can be more than just a space for you. In Atlanta, Georgia, a 3 bedroom home with a beautiful backyard and bamboo in the back turned into more than just a space for me . . . → Read More: The Peace Palace – Iyana Ife Davis
For several years I passed through 30th Street Station in Philadelphia every day on my way to work. The jobs changed, but the transfer through 30th Street remained.
Each morning I’d wait at my local station, huddled in the gray dawn with other commuters and we’d confer about that morning’s delay – Amtrak coming through . . . → Read More: Station of Faith at 30th Street – Hillary Moses Mohaupt
This week’s collection of reflections are about how particular places in the world have connected particular people to God. When I was a student at McCormick Theological Seminary, I took a course with Dr. Ted Hiebert and Rev. Dr. Clare Butterfield on environmental ministry. Early on in the course, Ted asked us to think about . . . → Read More: Place of Faith – Abby Mohaupt
Beyond the issue of philanthropy, and beyond the issue of considering our economic systems critically, stands a third issue. The church has turned a blind eye to the effects of the present economic reality, a reality that brings a crisis to the poor and vulnerable around the world. But frequently, we in the church either . . . → Read More: The Church and the Economic Sphere 3 – R. Ward Holder
I was at a meeting of Presbyterians a few weeks ago. I realize the redundancy of writing “meeting of Presbyterians,” but I was actually there. And one presenter was reporting on the experience of having participated in the recent march in New York that asked for a coherent response to climate change. He characterized that . . . → Read More: The Church and the Economic Sphere 2 – R. Ward Holder
Christianity has had to deal with the fact of the world’s economy since its founding. Anyone who has read the Magnificat, Mary’s song given in response to the Angel Gabriel’s news, recognizes that issues of wealth and poverty were close at hand in the birth of Jesus of Nazareth. Obery Hendricks offers a keenly tuned . . . → Read More: The Church and the Economic Sphere: Spheres of Sovereignty, Spheres of Responsibility – R. Ward Holder
“Excitement in higher education was viewed as potentially disruptive of the atmosphere of seriousness assumed to be essential to the learning process. To enter classroom settings in colleges and universities with the will to share the desire to encourage excitement was to transgress.-bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
I . . . → Read More: Preaching to Transgress: Christian Education & Difference – Rod Thomas
“Excitement in higher education was viewed as potentially disruptive of the atmosphere of seriousness assumed to be essential to the learning process. To enter classroom settings in colleges and universities with the will to share the desire to encourage excitement was to transgress.-bell hooks, Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom
I . . . → Read More: Preaching to Transgress: Christian Education & Difference by Rod Thomas
450 is an interesting number. 450 could mean anything. 450 could have 250 added to it and that would be 700. Maybe we could add another 100 or 200 to make that number 800 or 900. These numbers are arbitrary and in a contextless existence they seem like a nice increase. Yet, do these numbers . . . → Read More: Organizing the Faithful: God has Left the Building – by Brian Merritt
“Remember that consciousness is power. Consciousness is education and knowledge. Consciousness is becoming aware. It is the perfect vehicle for students. Consciousness-raising is pertinent for power, and be sure that power will not be abusively used, but used for building trust and goodwill domestically and internationally. Tomorrow’s world is yours to build.” – Yuri . . . → Read More: Church on the Fringes: Pastor as Community Organizer, Ministry as Coalition Building – by Mihee Kim-Kort
When Teresa asked me to respond or dialogue with her essay, I was not exactly sure what I was agreeing to do. The time has come and I have read her offering with rapt interest as change and change in the church, as well as transitional ministry, are all passions of mine.
I’m going to . . . → Read More: Narrative Therapy as a Strategy toward Systemic Change? A Response to Teresa Chávez Sauceda – Gail Doering
I did it again. I went to the grocery store with half a dozen reusable cloth bags on the back seat of my car. I didn’t think about them again until I got to the cash register with my cart full of groceries. Habits of a lifetime are hard to change. Every time I stand . . . → Read More: The Spirituality of Change – Teresa Chávez Sauceda
When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened. But to Jonah this seemed very wrong, and he became angry. Jonah 3:10 – 4:1
(The story so far… God calls Jonah to prophesy over Nineveh for forty . . . → Read More: Jonah’s Redemption – Nicole Ashwood
1. The Accra Confession was adopted at the 24th General Council of WARC in Accra, Ghana in 2004.
2. It is a faith statement that commits churches to “covenant in obedience to God’s will as an act of faithfulness in mutual solidarity and in accountable relationships.” A covenant which binds us to work for justice . . . → Read More: Living out the ACCRA Confession – Jerry Pillay
The Accra Confession was written ten years ago by men and women who were far more intelligent than me. They looked at the facts of the world and realized that the Church could not simply continue with business as usual when it came to our stance on systems of inequality and injustice which seemed to . . . → Read More: Standing in true solidarity – Sanya Beharry
Reinhold Niebuhr has suffered much in the past decade. While during his lifetime he was lionized and his likeness even adorned the front cover of Time magazine, he fell out of favor in theological, ethical and political circles during the 1970s. In the first decade of the new century, however, Niebuhr’s thought was suddenly en . . . → Read More: The Accra Confession: A Niebuhrian Consideration – R. Ward Holder
“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”
(Psalm 133: 1 NIV)
The Reformed Church in Suriname, which I am privileged to be part of, has only in April of this year become a member of CANACOM (Caribbean and North American Council for Mission). This giant leap of faith can . . . → Read More: The Accra Confession: An Aid to Regional Caribbean Unity – Diana de Graven
Until the philosophy that holds one race superior, and another inferior is finally, and permanently discredited and abandoned . . . Everywhere it’s war! 
With all respect to HIM Selassie and Bob Marley, there is one fundamental flaw in the logic of those words – the matter of superiority is not only restricted to . . . → Read More: The Accra Confession: A Caribbean Response – Nicole Ashwood
Long before I came to serve as its executive director, through generations of leadership and mission statements, the Covenant Network of Presbyterians has always had two goals: inclusion and unity. We have long believed the church will be stronger when LGBT people are given full opportunity to participate in its life and leadership, and that . . . → Read More: Divided Votes, United People – Brian Ellison
In stressful times, everyone wishes for a silver bullet: one simple way out of a difficult mess, one thing to do to resolve interlocking problems. Every parent of a troubled teen searches desperately for one mentor or one school that will get the beloved child back on track. In troubled marriages, the couple often searches . . . → Read More: No Silver Bullets – Donna Marsh
You couldn’t get more different from my congregation in Queens, NY than the Bethel Murdoch Presbyterian Church in Loveland, OH. I fell asleep under a canopy of stars (that I could actually see twinkling in the sky!) and woke up the morning of the congregation’s 200th anniversary surrounded by acres of soybean fields. No sirens . . . → Read More: Different Paths, Same Destination – Larissa Kwong Abazia
I horrify my mother by thoroughly enjoying the particular manifestation of the church that is the General Assembly. At our first GA, I got totally hooked by the potential for meeting so many Presbyterians and partners, and finding ways to make a difference in the life of the church on a large scale. She got . . . → Read More: Being Church Together – Laura M. Cheifetz
June 20th Tweet by the New York Times linked to this article: “Presbyterians Vote to Divest Holdings to Pressure Israel”
Much has been said and written about the Presbyterian Church’s vote to divest from Israel’s occupation. I have just finished serving six years on the Presbyterian Church’s MRTI Committee, Mission Responsibility Through Investment, which . . . → Read More: The Presbyterian Divestment Vote – What you haven’t heard – Noushin Darya Framke
Continued from yesterday: http://www.ecclesio.com/2014/09/after-the-hysteria-rev-dr-jeff-deyoe/
Plenary session at 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA), Detroit, June 2014
Did we or didn’t we join the “BDS Movement”?
Another final gasp by those opposing divestment over the years within the Presbyterian Church (USA) played out in language about “the BDS movement.” In the proposal that . . . → Read More: After the Hysteria… Part Two – Rev. Dr. Jeff DeYoe
This past June the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) did the unthinkable (according to some) and made a decision to divest from its holdings in Caterpillar, Hewlett-Packard and Motorola Solutions because these companies continue to profit from the Israeli occupation of Palestine, and have refused to acknowledge their complicity in that or change their business practices. Let . . . → Read More: After the Hysteria… – Rev. Dr. Jeff DeYoe
The PCUSA’s decision to divest from Caterpillar, Motorola, and Hewlett Packard, has sent ripples of unifying hope and joy to the Palestinian people and their faithful supporters in Israel and abroad.
I recall the days leading up to the vote as being tense and nervous; at least it was for me. My wife Johanna and . . . → Read More: Divestment is just the beginning… and it’s long overdue – Rev. Chad Collins
It is occasionally said that Christian peacemaking in Israel-Palestine is best served by not choosing sides. According to this approach, Christian peacemakers should preserve Switzerland-like neutrality, the better to function as trusted intermediaries in the search for common ground. Hence, advocacy work on ending the Israeli occupation of Palestinian land is ill-advised, because it is . . . → Read More: On Taking a Stand – Rev. J. Mark Davidson and Rev. Ron Shive
Introduction: In our times, if there is one document that calls us to place justice at the heart of faith, it is the Accra Confession. The Accra confession is an initiative which calls all those who are part of the Reformed Communion and churches outside of it as well to reflect on what it means . . . → Read More: Reflecting on putting Justice at the heart of faith from an Asian Perspective – Philip Peacock
On the 10th Anniversary of the Accra Confession
The XI assembly of AIPRAL (Alianza de Iglesias Presbiterianas y Reformadas en América Latina), the Latin American region of CMIR celebrated in Guatemala, 2011, reflected on the topic of Water, source of life. I was invited to share some theological perspectives on water. As we celebrate the . . . → Read More: Theology of Enough – Carola Tron Urban
In India – a brand new government, a brand new Prime Minister, Mr. Narendra Modi….elected a few months back in this the country of some 1.2 billion people; touted as the largest “democracy” in the world. True, the largest numbers of people have the right to the ballot, in India – more than in any . . . → Read More: A reflection on the significance of the Accra Confession for the India of today – Aruna Gnanadason
The text for this sermon was 1 Corinthians 7, which was read in worship from the Common English Bible. It was preached at the 2013 Covenant Conference, the national event of the Covenant Network of Presbyterians, held at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago, November 2, 2013.
Paul, Paul, Paul, Paul… You hopeless romantic.
Here, at the . . . → Read More: Marriage Matters … Why? A sermon by the Rev. Brian D. Ellison
Marriage equality was not that important to me.
The history of marriage and its current state among straight people renders it a questionable patriarchal institution, mostly tied to property and the potential for abuse. Straight people have done plenty to make marriage just another frequently violated contract that takes advantage of the power differential between . . . → Read More: A Funny Thing Happened – Laura M. Cheifetz
The 221st General Assembly took two steps toward honoring the covenant of marriage for all couples regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity – an authoritative interpretation (AI) of the current section W-4.9000 in the Book of Order, and a proposed amendment to that section.
The AI makes clear that the Book of Order as . . . → Read More: Why the Marriage Amendment Matters – Tricia Dykers Koenig
I have a new life-motto. It says, “When I make a plan, God laughs.” For those of you who don’t know me, I should tell you that I am an odd choice for the Covenant Network to invite as your speaker today. There have been previous General Assemblies where I worked very hard to pass . . . → Read More: You will know them by their fruits – Mark Achtemeier
Every September brings change, more rapid in some places than others. The air takes on a crisp coolness at night. Some flowers fade while others blossom into roasty harvest golds and oranges and reds. Congregations track with the school year and ramp up programs, multiply services, launch campaigns.
And in the even-numbered years, Presbyterian Church . . . → Read More: Why Marriage Matters Now: Thoughts as the Church Talks About Same-Sex Marriage – Brian Ellison
Today’s post flips the original title of the first post of this series Intersections and their Discontents to consider the inclusionary and ecclesial promises of the rainbow – the perennial sign that God is indeed with us, with the intersectional realities of people of color, and particularly LGBT people of color. The implications are complicated, . . . → Read More: Discontents and Their Intersections – Eric A. Thomas
Standing on a block of dark, pristine granite near the busy intersection of 3rd and Cherry in Seattle, I became keenly aware of the sights, sounds, and realities of the city. There were cars and buses quickly careening to places unknown. There were streams of people going to and fro, some quickly peeking to see . . . → Read More: Intersections and the Protest Prerogative – Kelle Brown
We return again to my home congregation. From my previous description, it should be clear that we are not adverse to change. Indeed, like all resilient communities of faith, it is our willingness to accept change – deep adaptive change, at that – that has permitted us to survive huge demographic shifts in our inner-city . . . → Read More: More Light at the Intersection: A Case Study – Tony De La Rosa
My home congregation is like many an inner-city congregation in the PCUSA; historically, an exclusively Anglo group of believers who commuted from throughout the city to worship a distinctly upper-middle class God. The well-heeled congregation of that era was a mega-church of its day, and in the same year that saw the beginning of the . . . → Read More: Intersections and Their Discontents – by Tony De La Rosa
March-April meeting – 2014 – Ocho Rios, Jamaica Submitted by Sara Harrington (Canada) Kelvin Marte Sena (Dominican Republic) Lisa Vander Wal (US) Donette Ritchie (Guyana) and Anne Weirich (US)
How to do justice – unity in and THROUGH the bond of peace – was the general theme of the CANAAC meeting and the opening Bible . . . → Read More: Our Spiritual DNA – Final report to CANAAC and the WCRC
Allan Buckingham lives in Banff, Alberta. He is lay member of the United Church of Canada and the Chair of the Strong Public Witness Division of Foothills Presbytery. Allan is also currently one of 3 North American representatives to the Executive Committee of the World Communion of Reformed Churches. When not attending church meetings . . . → Read More: Disconnects and the Accra Confession – by Allan Buckingham
The logic of the Confession of Belhar and of the Accra Confession entail that justice discourses take place in interwovenness with reconciliation and unity discourses.
1.The justice that is confessed in The Confession of Belhar 1986, and in the Accra Confession is rightly described as compassionate justice. In line with the biblical use of these . . . → Read More: Confessing and embodying compassionate justice – by Nico Koopman
He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” -Matthew 16:15 (NRSV)
This is the 11th week after Pentecost in the liturgical calendar. The Gospel reading is Matthew 16:13-20, the famed confession of Peter when the Lord inquired, “But who do you say that I am?” This dialogue occurred in the district . . . → Read More: The Accra Confession and Ecumenism Today – by Neal D. Presa
This year marks the 10th Anniversary of the Accra Confession. Representatives of the member churches of the Alliance of Presbyterian and Reformed Churches of Latin American, AIPRAL by the Spanish language acronym, met in Barranquilla, Colombia, June 2 – 6, 2014.
The Accra Confession of 2004 was drafted and adopted by delegates of the former . . . → Read More: Latin American Presbyterian and Reformed Churches Meet to Celebrate and Contextualize the Accra Confession – by The Rev. Dr. Antonio (Tony) Aja
“My brothers and sisters, do you with your acts of favoritism really believe in our glorious Lord Jesus Christ? … What good is it, my brothers and sisters, if you say you have faith but do not have works? … If a brother or sister is naked and lacks daily food, and one of . . . → Read More: The Accra Confession: a North American Newcomer’s Perspective – by Lisa L. Vander Wal