Category Archives: PC(USA)

New resource helps youth observe the season of Lent

‘Pray, Fast, Love,’ available as a free download in English and Spanish

by Emily Enders Odom | Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE – Just as youth workers, educators, pastors and other church leaders who work with youth have started to ask themselves how they might introduce young people to a more informed and active observance of the season of Lent—which begins on Ash Wednesday, March 1—Ministries with Youth has a new resource at the ready.

Lent: Pray, Fast, Love, written by Brittany Harrold Porch, director of Mission and Education at Broad Street Presbyterian Church, Columbus Ohio, is the latest Quicksheet published by the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Ministries with Youth, the national ministry office that serves youth pastors and other staff members who are nurturing young Presbyterians.

Quicksheets are simple, singular, ideas and articles focused on the essentials of youth ministry written by veteran educators, youth workers and ministry professionals. All of the Quicksheets—including the newest one for Lent—are available at no cost on the Ministries with Youth website.

Pray, Fast, Love, which is available in both English and Spanish, includes very practical ideas for helping youth explore the season of Lent, the theological impact of “taking on” something in order to more deeply encounter God, and to understand the connections between Jesus’ life and death and the life and mission of today’s disciples. Suggestions include a modern take on the “Stations of the Cross,” a “thing” fast—defined in the resource as “letting go of our material wealth to better understand our own excess”—as well as more traditional practices such as a daily devotion.

“I love the idea of the ‘thing’ fast and the idea of moving around a community to explore the ‘stations’ of the cross,” says Gina Yeager-Buckley, associate for the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s Ministries with Youth.  I think these are spiritual practices that will connect deeply with today’s young people.”

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Click here to download Quicksheet #60, Lent: Pray, Fast, Love.

Dele clic aquí para descargar Quicksheet #60, La Cuaresma: Oración, Ayuno, Amor.

The original article is found on the Presbyterian Mission Agency website, here.

POV Assembly: March 25, 2017

The next Assembly will take place at 10:00 am (ET) on Saturday, 3/25/2017 at the Mitchell Presbyterian Church.

Registration will begin at 9:00 am (ET).

At this Assembly, we will be voting on the proposed amendments to the Book of Order that were approved by the 222nd General Assembly. The amendments are available via download at the following link: Proposed Amendments to the Constitution.

As this is the only method by which the amendments have been made available, we strongly recommend that you print the document beforehand and bring it with you to the meeting. The wireless network at Mitchell will not be able to handle everyone trying to access the document at once, and we will only be printing a limited amount of copies to bring.

The packet, driving directions, and the minutes from the December 2016 meeting will be available for download from the assembly web page after 4:00pm on March 16th.

Online registration for the Assembly is available now. Please let us know if you will be in attendance!

PC(USA) Stated Clerk opposes order banning refugees’ entry into U.S.

by Gregg Brekke | Presbyterian News Service

J. Herbert Nelson II

LOUISVILLE – This afternoon, the Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, Stated Clerk of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), issued a statement opposing President Trump’s executive action that has led to the detention of qualified refugees at U.S. airports and the refusal to board refugees headed to the U.S. from foreign airports.

“I urge the president and his administration to reverse this very harmful decision regarding refugees,” he said. “Presbyterians are not afraid of this so-called terror threat. We are not afraid because we profess a faith in Jesus, who entered the world a refugee.”

Nelson’s statement is in response to Trump’s executive action prohibiting immigration from the Muslim-majority countries of Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Yemen, Iraq and Sudan. However, a NPR report yesterday found that since September 11, 2001, no Muslim extremist from these countries has executed an attack on American soil. Those attacks came at the hands of extremists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, Russia and Pakistan, none of which are included in the travel or immigration ban.

Beyond barring entry from the seven listed countries, the executive order puts a hold on all refugee resettlement to the U.S. for four months and has indefinitely suspending entry of refugees from Syria. Additionally, Bloomberg has pointed out the ban does not include four Muslim-majority countries in which Trump has business dealings, including Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Azerbaijan.

Human rights and refugee advocacy groups noted the U.S. already has the most stringent vetting system for refugees in the world, with the screening process taking 18-24 months on average. In spite of this, Trump has continually asserted refugees admitted through this system are a security risk.

Nelson’s statement is below:

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Yesterday President Donald Trump signed an executive order to allegedly protect the nation from terrorists entering the United States. In practice, however, this order serves to further harm those who are the very victims of terrorism, genocide, religious and gender-based persecution, and civil war.

Right now, across the globe, there are families grabbing their bags and clinging to each other as they tearfully flee the home they love, the home they never wanted to leave, because home is no longer safe. And many, after being fully vetted by a legal refugee entry process, are not being allowed to enter the U.S. and are being wrongfully detained at airports across the country.

This is a miscarriage of justice and goes against everything we stand for as a country shaped and formed by people who emanated from other lands.

As the top ecclesial officer of the nation’s largest Reformed body, I urge the president and his administration to reverse this very harmful decision regarding refugees. Presbyterians are not afraid of this so-called terror threat. We are not afraid because we profess a faith in Jesus, who entered the world a refugee.

We are not afraid because, just as we welcome Jesus every advent, we have chosen to welcome our brothers and sisters into this nation from across the globe. Presbyterians chose welcome after World War II when we, as a denomination, demanded that the U.S. allow more refugees to enter then. We chose welcome when our very congregations served as the host sites to refugees in the years before resettlement agencies. And, Presbyterians choose welcome now as we co-sponsor families resettling to the U.S. from Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Iraq, Burma, Bhutan, and other countries.

With every choice of welcome we enter into relationship with people who become neighbors, friends, and family. No administration can convince us to fear.

We oppose this administration’s decision to prolong each and every refugee’s wait for a place to call home under the false pretense of security. We stand ready to welcome our new neighbors, friends, and family of all faiths and nations.

Link to the original article

Read more articles from the Presbyterian Mission Agency here.

Big Tent 2017

Updated: 3/9/2017

Save the date!

We invite you to join Presbyterians from around the country at Big Tent 2017, held on the beautiful campus of Washington University in St. Louis, MO, July 6 -8th. The theme will emphasize the hope of the Gospel and its power to transform society in our current cultural context, marked by anxiety, racial division, political animosity, and economic inequality. Through dialogue, workshops, exhibits, and engagement with one another, participants will engage the Church in its mission of justice-making and peace.

Worship leaders for Big Tent announced.

Join with fellow Presbyterians as we join in worship led by J.Herbert Nelson, Stated Clerk of the PC(USA) and Christine Hong, Assistant Professor of Worship and Evangelism and Chapel Worship Coordinator at Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

Registration opens in March with no increase in registration fees! Registration is $395 and includes accommodations for three nights as well as and meals. The Commuter rate (no accommodations or meals) is $145.

Go to the Big Tent webpage

PC(USA) Articles September 14–20, 2016

International Peacemaker hopes to shed new light on Palestine
Areej Masoud inhabits a world full of challenges

Four Presbyterian seminaries among top rated theological institutions
PC(USA) institutions join 31 schools named ‘Seminaries that Change the World’

Lamenting the police killing of Terence Crutcher in Tulsa
Another unarmed African American man killed

PC(USA) churches invited to become ‘Courageous Congregations’
Speak up about sexual violence during October

Presbyterian Peacemaking Program and Environmental Ministries team up for Travel Study Seminar
Guatemala and Costa Rica trip scheduled for January

Presbytery leader training event energizes a larger-than-expected crowd
Leaders from about two dozen presbyteries across the country gathered in Des Moines, Iowa, August 26–27, for the trial run of a new kind of training event.

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board concludes its Fall 2016 meeting
San Juan, Puerto Rico announced as tentative spring meeting location

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board approves actions on Ghost Ranch
Transfer of operations to National Ghost Ranch Foundation pending definitive agreements

Ministerial Teams report their work to Presbyterian Mission Agency Board
Newly formed working groups tackle strategic priorities for church

Board of Pensions names Elizabeth M. Little as church consultant
Charlotte based specialist will serve five presbyteries in N.C.

PMAB action on transfer of Ghost Ranch operations expected Friday
National Ghost Ranch Foundation slated to assume day-to-day management

Immigration Legal Assistance Program Turns One-Year-Old
The Hispanic Affairs Project is celebrating its the first anniversary of their Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) certification and program.

J. Herbert Nelson casts a vision for the denomination in sermon to PMAB
Challenges the group to work beyond agencies and silos and be one church committed to transforming lives

PC(USA) Board of Pensions nominates new executive team
New group streamlines decision making, adds expertise

Ted Hickman, Commissioned Ruling Elder and Moderator of New York City Presbytery, dies unexpectedly at age 51
PC(USA) mourns loss of gifted presbyter

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board explores new meeting structure
Focused teams and discussions expected to foster creativity and productivity

Louisiana Flooding Response & Other News from PC(USA)

Record flooding in Louisiana leaves thousands homeless
Presbyterians prepare to answer call for help

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance deploys National Response Team in the wake of Gulf flooding
Grants approved to provide immediate assistance to impacted communities

Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responds to Baton Rouge and Gulf flooding
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it – Song of Songs 8:7

Mike Breen calls church leaders to change the culture
Discipling begins with understanding of ‘relationship and responsibility’

Leading Christian Ethicist Explores the Social and Political Issues at the Forefront of 2016 Election Campaigns in New Book
David P. Gushee helps “Anxious” American Christians Make Sense of Political Changes

New Jersey church closes volunteer village for Hurricane Sandy relief
Morning Star Presbyterian Church looks for next calling.

Regarding ruling elders: ruling elders and prayer
A common religious conceit is that people only turn to prayer in times of difficulty and despair.

Armenian struggles are topic of peacemaker visits this fall
Tamar Wasoian to bring personal perspective to churches and presbyteries

Yes! We are networked . . . in Christ!
The pieces may be different, but the center holds us fast.

Diverse workshop offerings inspire, inform evangelism conference-goers
Options included language-specific programming for Korean, Brazilian, and Hispanic congregations

A space to try new things
DREAM grant recipients tap into both courage and imagination

Watkins calls church to adapt to the new networked age
Evangelist says ‘a radical shift is needed because the world has so radically changed’

Worship on the beach
Evangelism conference attendees experience unique, self-guided outdoor worship

Mike Breen calls for church transformation from ‘consumer mentality into discipling culture’
Leader and church planter urges return to principal priority of Jesus that ‘everyone is a disciple making a disciple’

New app could lead to more diversity in church decision making
Whose voices are most influential in shaping the decisions of committees at General Assemblies?

Evangelism conference-goers are charged to ‘go and tell the story’
Casey FitzGerald illumines, demonstrates art and practice of biblical storytelling

PC(USA) digest of stories for August 3–9, 2016

Watkins challenges church leaders to drop their nets, follow Jesus, and change the church
Evangelism conference’s opening preacher says that ‘nets have become strangleholds around our mission and our ministry’

Nigerian peacemaker balances church and government work
Isaaka Moussa among group visiting the US this fall

Remembering Elias
Man behind program to alleviate hunger in Cameroon dies

A new way to network?
From Facebook to face-to-face care

Evangelical Seminary of Puerto Rico plays critical role in changing face of denomination
Theological education in the PC(USA) shifts to support and embrace diversity

Rev. Michael Parker named interim coordinator of Europe and Middle East Office
Rev. Dr. Michael Parker has been named Presbyterian World Mission’s interim coordinator for Europe and the Middle East.

Rosemary C. Mitchell Named Senior Director for Mission Engagement and Support
Fund-raising professional recognized for interim leadership

Being Partners
Winnebago Presbytery, Colombian counterpart overcome travel barriers to work together

In this season: GA222 Co-Moderator reflections
Denise Anderson and Jan Edmiston share weekly reflections each Wednesday in this video blog. This week Jan talks about the goals for their two-year term.

Newly formed Sabbath Center in Wyoming to host first event
Dream of Presbytery of Wyoming general presbyter becomes a reality

“Keeping Faith” July/August video newsletter published
PMA’s Interim Executive Director De La Rosa spends week with 5,000 youth at 2016 Triennium

Free worship resource now available for ‘Youth in the Church and World’ Sunday, Aug. 21
‘Out of Many We Are One’ is a complete outline for a youth-led worship service