Thanks for visiting with us!
We offer news and views
from a progressive perspective.
We'd like to hear from you!
send us your
comments and suggestions.
for the official PC(USA) web site.
Please visit PVJ's new
The Rev. Vicki Moss is now managing a livelier and less formal site at
www.pv4j.org. That is now the
official site of Presbyterian Voices for Justice! She'd be
happy to receive your comments and suggestions, and things you can
offer for posting on that site.
Just send her a note at
This old site is being kept online
as an archive,
with very occasional changes
by your old WebWeaver, Doug King
contact me with any concerns
And thanks for a great time together!
Another comment on the subject of
"flags in church"
conversation still draws interest, and you can
click here for the latest contribution.
From your WebWeaver ...
A parting word of thanks and
At the request of the Moderator of Presbyterian
Voices for Justice, I am taking down this old PVJ website, beginning
The PVJ coordinating team is concerned that there
has been some confusion with PVJ’s current two websites – this old
one, and the new site being developed and managed by Vicki Moss.
That kind of confusion is not helpful, so I’ll be removing this old
site as quickly as possible. For now, I’m leaving this home page,
just so anybody who visits this site will know where they should
look now: www.pv4j.org
But before I go, I do want to say a very warm word of
thanks to all of you who have supported this effort over the past
|the Witherspoon Society board and members,
and now the folks of PVJ, who have supported and encouraged my
efforts in creating and maintaining this site; |
|the countless people who have contributed
news and reflections on all sorts of subjects – from General
Assembly deliberations to the struggle for justice and full
inclusion of LGBT members of the Presbyterian Church; from
thoughts about the display of flags in church sanctuaries (which
got very busy in the first couple years after 9/11) to the
interplay between prayer and action for peace and justice;|
|the sister organizations with whom we have
worked, and which have helped inform our postings in many ways;|
|staff members of various General Assembly
agencies, particularly the Presbyterian News Service, who have
provided so much information and assistance;|
|the many of you who have kept our site busy
(still receiving over 6000 visits last month), and have provided
your WebWeaver with lots of helpful and encouraging comments,
opinions and suggestions;|
|and finally, and most warmly, my spouse Kim,
who has had to put up with a husband who spent many hours
hunched over a keyboard, doing his “web work.” But she has also
provided invaluable ideas and inspiration.|
These years have been greatly enriched for me by this experience –
by trying to learn to communicate in a new and rapidly changing
medium, and by enjoying rich friendships both in person (especially
at each GA) and online.
For all of this, and so much more,I thank you all.
But as you might guess, I can’t resist the
temptation to offer a few parting thoughts:
Our Presbyterian Church has been through some
momentous struggles over the past couple decades, and we can rejoice
that some major turning points have been reached, especially in the
move toward full inclusion of LGBT people in ordination. Now if we
can take the second step in making that turn, to honor their
committed relationships as marriages, that will be a blessing to all
But there are still plenty of other challenges.
Just for example, I think many of us are just becoming aware of how
profoundly our culture has been changing over the past couple
decades, as increasing numbers of younger people view religion in a
very different way from earlier generations. (If you have children
who are now in their 20s or 30s, or if you work with people of those
ages as a pastor or teacher or colleague, I think you’ll know what I
When religious faith becomes a matter of
“spirituality” and life-style choices, rather than an affirmation of
a particular doctrinal system, the life of institutional churches
will be deeply challenged. It will be challenged, amazingly, to
return to the kind of faith-as-life that Jesus taught about and
demonstrated. Not such a bad change, I think, but not an easy shift
for many of us and our institutions. It is, however, a shift that is
deeply consistent with the work of the Witherspoon Society, and
Voices of Sophia, and now Presbyterian Voices for Justice, over the
past 39 years.
I wish you all well – for peace and justice, and
for joy in the lives that God has given us.
Your old WebWeaver,
And if you ever want to get in touch, I’ll still
be at email@example.com, and
available by phone at (952) 423-2827. I’ll always be glad to hear
Well, I'm trying to quit messing with this old
website, but it's hard to give it up! So here are a few items
I just have to share with you today. And if you missed it, or
forgot, please take a look at our appeal for funds
for our activities at General Assembly, and give whatever support
Prophets, Not Profits
By Al Lewis – a
columnist for Dow Jones Newswires in Denver
I don’t usually look to The Wall Street
Journal for guidance in the area of economic justice and
Jesus’ teachings on the subject. But a very nice column turned
up there the other day, and I just have to share it. Here are a
God does not want you to be rich.
Every so often, he raises up a prophet to teach
wayward profiteers about the sacrifice he demands.
Ephren W. Taylor II, who called himself "the
Social Capitalist," may be one such prophet.
This son of a preacherman sold investment schemes
at megachurches from Bishop Eddie Long's New Birth Missionary
Baptist Church near Atlanta to Joel Osteen's Lakewood Church in
Houston. The Securities and Exchange Commission recently charged Mr.
Taylor with running a Ponzi scheme. His victims are now congregating
in a class-action lawsuit. (Read more about Mr. Taylor on my blog,
"There's more fraud in the name of God than
anything else," says Ole Anthony, president of the Trinity
Foundation, which has been investigating religious fraud since 1987.
But the "Prosperity Gospel" has made Christians
especially vulnerable. Plant a seed, reap a harvest: Many preachers
and televangelists promise a hundred-fold blessing for every dollar
donated to them—something not even the Prince of Darkness, Bernie
Madoff, had dared. .....
I have taken the liberty of actually reading the
Bible throughout my life for those who will not. Here's what it
says: Love of money is the root of all evil. Blessed are the poor.
Store your treasure in heaven. Give to Caesar what is Caesar's. Hand
over your possessions to the poor and follow. Love your enemy. Turn
the other cheek. Don't lie. Don't cheat. Don't steal. Don't hit up
your neighbor's wife. And my favorite: It is easier to shove a Fat
Cat through the eye of a needle than it is for a camel to go to
heaven—or something like that.
Jesus was not a capitalist. When he turned water
into wine, he did not open a liquor store. When he multiplied loaves
and fishes, he did not establish Wal-Mart. When he miraculously
healed the sick, he did not bill Medicare or start an HMO. Somehow,
profiting richly from the sick and infirm was considered unjust back
in those days. ...
GAPJC decision gives unanimous support to Lisa Larges’ ordination
This message was issued yesterday by More Light
We give thanks to God for the unanimous
decision by the General Assembly's Permanent Judicial Commission
(GAPJC) to support the ordination of Lisa Larges. "Persons that
take the time to know Lisa recognize her deep faith, call and
gifts for ministry. Now more than ever, our hurting world needs
to have as many caring, called and qualified persons serving in
ministry. This is a new day in the PCUSA," said Michael Adee,
Executive Director and Field Organizer.
A statement from the
Covenant Network adds this:
The Board of
Covenant Network is deeply gratified that the General Assembly
Permanent Judicial Commission today upheld the decision of the
Presbytery of San Francisco to ordain Lisa Larges as a Teaching
Elder in the church. This decision brings to a final conclusion
roughly four years of litigation over the presbytery's authority
to find Lisa fit for ordained service after she declared her
conscientious objections to former G-6.0106b (the "fidelity and
chastity" rule) and similarly exclusionary interpretations of
Scripture and the confessions.
In its decision,
which was issued without any dissent, the GAPJC acknowledged
that there is significant diversity around the church in the
interpretation of what Scripture and the confessions teach about
human sexuality. The GAPJC affirmed that "[s]uch thoughtful
disagreement among reasonable and faithful Presbyterians is
itself an important and faithful part of the Reformed
tradition." Given this, the GAPJC affirmed that the Presbytery
of San Francisco "properly exercised its prerogative" in
determining that Lisa did not depart from essentials of Reformed
faith and polity.
understands that, during the period this case was under review,
Lisa discerned that she has fulfilled her call to the position
that was validated as the basis for ordination, and that she now
intends to seek ordination to a new call in another presbytery.
We are deeply grateful to Lisa for her courageous and persistent
witness throughout this process, and know that the church will
be greatly blessed by her ministry in coming years.
Here is Lisa Larges' statement about the decision >>
And here is the PJC decision in pdf format >>
Register now for the 2012 Peacemaking
'RESTORERS OF STREETS TO LIVE
JULY 11-15, 2012
This announcement comes from the
Join us in the sacred space of Ghost Ranch
Education and Retreat Center in Abiquiu, New Mexico as peacemakers
gather to explore the vision of God’s community in Isaiah 58.
Together we will engage in contextual bible study and small group
reflections, gather for prayer and worship, take part in peace
advocacy and training workshops, hear briefings and experience
hands-on expressions of peace. For a complete conference brochure,
schedule, leader list, housing information and registration link,
please visit the Peacemaking
Conference web pages.
A peacemaking perspective on Pres. Obama’s address from
This thoughtful comment comes from
the American Friends Service Committee
In his televised address from Afghanistan last
night, President Obama announced the signing of a pact with the
government of Afghanistan to extend the U.S. presence for 10 years
beyond the scheduled removal of foreign troops in 2014.
It is a vision backed up by a pledge to continue
creating a powerful and outsized Afghan security force to be
financially, technically, and physically trained by the
international community. The president also pledged to designate
Afghanistan as a major non-NATO ally. This effectively puts the
country under the umbrella of the NATO military alliance.
After three decades of deadly violence Afghans
want an end to these wars. Soviet troops, warlords, Mujahideen
armies, Taliban forces, and the armies of NATO have all attempted to
rule through force. Another military alliance is not the solution.
Thirty years of fighting has led to one of the
largest and most protracted refugee crises in the world, huge
numbers of traumatized people, and untold deaths. It has also led to
the belief that uniforms do not matter. People with guns continue to
Help us raise a challenge to this vision by
sending a letter to the editor of your local paper. The people
of Afghanistan and of the United States deserve better.
For the full comment on the AFSC website >>
We need your support for our presence and events at General
A letter will be in the mail to our
current and recent members within the next few days, telling you
about our plans for GA, and asking your financial support for the
costs for our Coordinating Team’s presence and witness there.
About our planned events, Moderator Bill Dummer
has said this in his letter to members:
We will be presenting three events carrying
our name. The first will be the
Awards Luncheon and membership meeting on Sunday, July 1.
It will be held at the socially active East Liberty Church, and
our keynote speaker will be the Rev. J. Herbert Nelson, Director
of the PC(USA) Office of Public Witness in Washington, D.C.
Right now, we are pondering who might be the most appropriate
recipients of our awards to a congregation and to an individual
for their work for justice. We’d welcome your suggestions! Then,
on Tuesday morning will be our
Voices (of Sophia) Breakfast, featuring none other than
our own Sylvia Thorson-Smith (whose feminist credentials are
impeccable). And that evening will be the famous
Dance Party as the
Assembly takes an evening off.
If you’d like to make a gift (and maybe even
renew your membership) without waiting for the letter to find you,
you can do it right here online, using PayPal and your credit card.
We hope you’ll join in supporting this effort!
to renew your membership and/or send your extra support!
here if you simply want to send a contribution. (Hey,
that's OK too!)
NOMINATING COMMITTEE NEWS
Committee of PV4J is looking for the next class of Coordinating Team
members, to be elected at the membership meeting on July 1 in
Pittsburgh. Suggestions should be sent to the Moderator of the
committee, Bill Dummer, at
firstname.lastname@example.org. People may suggest themselves. The
committee will be looking for persons with experience/skill in
editing/publishing, database management, and financial development,
as well as planning and leadership in general. Job
descriptions will be provided along with the invitation to serve.
from Vicki Moss, on our
Three helpful looks at the Middle East crises
Len Bjorkman has sent us three very helpful
looks at the current crises in the Middle East. The first
is a report from a three-day conference of the Fellowship of
Middle East Evangelical Churches. Then there are two
recent articles that help show some of the complexity of the
current crisis in Syria, which have been forwarded to him by a
staff person of the Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical
Evangelical Churches call for “a Middle East that enjoys peace based
on justice, freedom and the respect and preservation of human
The Fellowship of Middle East Evangelical Churches
(Lutheran – Anglican – Reformed) held its first international
conference on “Evangelical and Christian Presence in the Middle
East,” on February 13 - 15 in Beirut, Lebanon.
They issued a Final Communiqué which includes this
brief summary of their conclusions:
An invitation was issued to all our regional
and international partners and friends, inviting them to conduct
a serious investigation into the truth of what is in fact
happening in the different countries of the Middle East; and
which differ from one country to another. Having done so, it
becomes incumbent on all to inform the international community
of these facts and to respond accordingly. It is our hope that
this response shall be inspired by the Biblical principles upon
which the Evangelical Reformation was based centuries ago. To us
this means to uphold justice and truth and repudiate the
violence that now so sadly prevails in the Middle East region –
violence that comes from all sides and parties involved.
Click here for the full
Assad won't be leaving soon
Robert Fisk writes for The Independent, in the United
Kingdom, warns that “President Bashar al-Assad [of Syria] is not
about to go. Not yet. Not, maybe, for quite a long time.” Fisk
argues that Assad has strong support from its immediate neighbors:
Iran, Iraq, and Lebanon, all of which will refuse to support
sanctions, and will continue to provide significant support in
economic and other ways.
Spring': failed or hijacked?
Fiona Hill, an Australian with a PhD in
anthropology, reports on a visit to Syria where she became aware of
the complexities of the opposition to Assad’s government. She heard
from many people their “disgust” at the “poor governance” they have
endured for too long, even as they were equally aware of the
divisions among the opposition groups, and their willingness to use
inhumane tactics themselves.
report from ABC News (which is the Australian
Broadcasting Corporation) >>
Crossing religious barriers:
An invitation to conversation
by Doug King, your WebWeaver
here for a longer version of these meandering thoughts >>
A lot of our lives are shaped by lines – the lines we draw (“in the
sand,” for instance), the lines we follow (party lines, maybe?), the
lines we cross, the lines we use to connect us with others. We draw
lines, delineating and defending boundaries, to protect ourselves –
as individuals, as nations, as religious communities – from being
attacked or diluted or weakened by those who are different from us.
So lines may protect us, may guide us, but they
may also exclude us, limit our own freedom of thinking and acting
and associating with others.
Jesus drew lines, too. I’m impressed though, that
he seemed more interested in drawing lines that included, rather
than those that excluded. In his living and his teaching, he seemed
interested in crossing lines and breaking barriers, more than in
defining and defending them. So he associated often and warmly with
people whom most good Jews of his time wanted to exclude – the poor,
the prostitutes, the servants of the Roman occupation power.
And when Jesus did draw lines, they tended to be
to protect people from the moralists, the pious, and the rich. For
instance, consider Matthew’s reports of his harsh warnings to the
Pharisees, as in Matthew 23.23. Or of course there’s Jesus’ sharp
contrast between the widow giving her two pennies at the temple, and
the wealthy donors showing off their generosity as they made their
So Jesus did cross some very important lines, and
drew some others – and was put to death for his willingness to do
And he invites us to follow him, I believe, in
crossing lines – loving and serving and simply being friends with
the outcasts, the unclean, the “sinners.” (For
more thoughts about the drawing and crossing of lines >)
One vital line Jesus calls us to cross is the line
that we draw so often, to divide one religion from another, one
faith from another. The line Jesus himself struggled with was the
one between Jews and gentiles, or within the Jewish religious
community – the line between those who observed the Law and those
who were, for whatever reasons, lax in their observance.
My own very unspectacular career has in many ways
been a matter of crossing lines: national and cultural (for 10 years
of teaching in Indonesia), religious (in teaching and providing
pastoral care to people of various faiths), and more. (Click
here if you’d like to see more about my own line-crossing
Why am I going on about all this? I’m looking for
a few folks who’d like to join in a conversation about our various
experiences of crossing religious lines. I’m long retired, but still
shaped by my own past, and by all that I gained from crossing those
lines so long ago. And now I find myself drawn to crossing religious
lines again, but in a deeper, more personal way. So I’m simply
seeking to gain some wisdom and comfort and strength for myself, and
to expand the horizons of my spiritual world.
Specifically, I’m drawn to various voices speaking
out of contemporary Buddhist thought and practice, especially in
what is often called “mindfulness.” On this little quest, I’ve been
drawn to sages and writers including Thich Nhat Hanh, Chogyam
Trungpa, Pema Chodron, Jon Kabat-Zinn, and many others.
As I wander down these deeply enriching spiritual
paths, I’m looking for others who are on the same journey – crossing
lines, especially religious lines, whether to enrich their own
lives, or to gain understanding of others outside the Christian
So – what are your experiences in
|How have those ventures enriched you?
|What kinds of concerns and problems have you
|What would you like to share with other
|And what would you like to hear from them?|
Are you interested in joining the conversation?
just send a note – and let me know whether you’d like the
conversation to be private (in an email list I’ll set up) or public
(by posting your note here). NOTE: If the email link
just above doesn't work (ah, the mysteries of the Web!), just send
your note to email@example.com
I’m looking forward to hearing from you!
Religion – dividing or healing?
Here’s another essay I posted a little over a year ago, trying
to articulate what I find a helpful way of understanding religion
Words to remember – and to live! – from Dr. Martin Luther King,
These quotations from Martin Luther King,
Jr. (and lots of others, too) are gathered on the
of Phyllis Stenerson, of Minneapolis, MN
"We must move forward
in the days ahead with audacious faith. The moral arc of the
universe is long but it bends toward justice."
comes when silence is betrayal. Even when pressed by the demands of
inner truth, men do not easily assume the task of opposing their
government's policy, especially in time of war. Nor does the human
spirit move without great difficulty against all the apathy of
conformist thought within one's own bosom and in the surrounding
Some of us who have
already begun to break the silence of the night have found that the
calling to speak is often a vocation of agony, but we must speak. We
must speak with all the humility that is appropriate to our limited
vision, but we must speak. For we are deeply in need of a new way
beyond the darkness that seems so close around us....
We must move past
indecision to action. If we do not act, we shall surely be dragged
down the long, dark, and shameful corridors of time reserved for
those who possess power without compassion, might without morality,
and strength without sight. Now let us begin. Now let us rededicate
ourselves in the long and bitter, but beautiful struggle for a new
from "Beyond Vietnam" - an address delivered to
the Clergy and Laymen Concerned about Vietnam, at Riverside
Church, New York City on April 4, 1967
For more quotations from King >>
equality was a part of Martin Luther King Jr.'s dream
Martin Luther King is
remembered and celebrated most as the great leader of the movement
for civil rights. But a number of writers and commentators are
minding us today that King was killed in Memphis, where he was
supporting the labor struggle of black sanitation workers to move
into the middle class. And he saw economic justice for all as
a vital part of his concern for making U.S. society a better place.
The perils of public piety
by Berry Craig
We'll have to wait until next year to find out if
a Tim Tebow Super Bowl win will inspire some evangelical Christians
to torch Muslim houses of worship and make other mischief in the
name of the Prince of Peace.
Tebow, a hero – and martyr – to a multitude of
Christian conservatives, quarterbacked the Denver Broncos to a 45-10
playoff loss to the New England Patriots Saturday night.
To be sure, Tebow and the Broncos had beaten the
Pittsburgh Steelers in the "Mile High Miracle" to advance to the
game against the Patriots. But Tebow also grabbed headlines all
season for frequently kneeling in prayer on the football field.
Somebody dubbed it "tebowing."
Christian conservatives love it. But a lot of
people, including this lifelong Kentuckian whose Presbyterian roots
go back to Scotland of old, are uncomfortable with ostentatious
public piety, which, after all, gets bad press in the Good Book. In
Matthew 6:5, Christ admonishes: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt
not be as the hypocrites are; for they love to pray standing in the
synagogues and at the corners of the streets, that they may be seen
by men. Verily I say unto you, they have their reward."
... and a belated Happy New Year!
An important event coming soon:
Consultation on Criminal Justice
Stony Point Center
February 17 – 19, 2012
2,300,000 adults are incarcerated in U.S. prisons and jails
15 – 20% of inmates suffer from chronic mental illness
1990 to 2009, the private prison population grew by 1600
and government agencies are replacing workers with contract prison
of color are more likely to be arrested, convicted, sent to prison
and receive the death penalty but less likely to receive pardons or
non-violent, undocumented immigrants are incarcerated every year
this what the Lord requires of us?
people of faith and conscience, we know the answer.
We know that we
are commanded to “do justice and love mercy.”
part of the solution. Join us at Stony Point Conference Center,
February 17 – 19, 2012, for a time of strategic visioning.
Participants representing every aspect and area of criminal justice
are coming together to share their experience and best practices in
order to create a Criminal Justice Network with the capacity to
educate, organize, and mobilize faith communities and persons of
faith to do the work of justice and mercy.
Confirmed presenters include:
Laura Markle Downton, Criminal Justice Reform Grassroots
Coordinator, General Board of Church and Society, United Methodist
* Mr. Alex Friedmann, Associate Editor of Prison Legal
* Mr. Hans Hallundbaek, Hudson River Prison Partnership Coordinator
* Mr. Glen Martin, vice president of the Fortune
* Rev. Sala Nolan, Minister for Justice Ministries and Human
Rights, United Church of Christ
* Mr. Robert Sloan, prison labor
activist, blogger for “Daily Kos
* T. Richard Snyder, former dean of
New York Theological Seminary and author of The Protestant Ethic
and the Spirit of Punishment
COST: $230.00 per person (shared room) for full conference (single
room: $310.00) Commuter rate (meals only): $170.00
Register online today:
or by phone: 845-786-5674 ext. 101
For more information contact Rev. Trina Zelle at 602-796-7477 or
Download this brochure in easy-to-print PDF format >>
TAMFS plans to wrap up its activities this year
In a note to their friends dated December 30th,
Lisa Largess and the Board of That All May Freely Serve have
informed us that they have decided to “consolidate our movement for
equality and welcome in the Presbyterian Church and, therefore, to
draw to a close the work of TAMFS in 2012.” This is partly in
recognition of the great step forward the was taken by the
ratification of presbyteries of the action of the 2010 General
Assembly, allowing the ordination of LGBT Presbyterians.
As part of this transition, they are planning:
Service of Thanksgiving and Remembrance to be held this spring at
the Downtown United Presbyterian Church, and|
General Assembly “Happening” to share our history and our hope with
our wider church family.”|
Lisa Larges adds this update on her own situation:
At the end of April, the General Assembly
Permanent Judicial Council will hear the case involving my
ordination. It will be the third time that this case has been before
them. Even though Amendment 10-A has passed, the complainants are
arguing that the church should deny ordination to LGBT folks based
on Scripture and the Confessions. A clear ruling from the PJC,
acknowledging that faithful Presbyterians can disagree about the
interpretation of Scripture and the Confessions, will go a long way
toward cutting off other challenges to the ordination of other LGBT
A little note from your WebWeaver:
On behalf of Presbyterian Voices for Justice, I
want to acknowledge with deep gratitude the powerful and often
costly witness that TAMFS has given within the PC(USA) over the
years of struggle for ordination, and more broadly for justice and
inclusion within our church. We trust they will continue to bear
witness through whatever news channels they discern as most
appropriate and effective.
May God’s peace and power continue to be with them
and work through them all!
All of our posts from
October through December are on their
own archive page, but some of the most important
still shown below..
Posts from all of
For links to earlier archive
For an index to our posts from
the 219th General Assembly
Presbyterian Voices For Justice is opening
a new website!
Vicki Moss, who has been named by the PVJ
coordinating team as our new Communications Coordinator and
Webweaver, is in the first stages of setting up a new website, which
you’ll find at
www.pv4j.org. She will be
replacing Doug King, who is slowly retiring from his role as creator
and manager of our old site, at
(That site will be left intact for a while, at least, and you may be
able to jump to it through various links on the new site.)
We (including Doug
King) believe this new site will reflect a more casual and
interactive style than our older one, and we hope you will join in
on it – contributing your own news and views, and stopping by often
to see what’s there.
Vicki hopes you’ll be
patient while she continues to learn the software she’s using, and
to build a variety of links.
To introduce Vicki --
many of you know her from her role as our booth coordinator at every
GA, where she provides not only a warm welcome, but those wonderful
and often funny buttons. She will continue to serve as booth
coordinator at GA.
She adds that “In my
other life I am pastor of the Ridgewood Presbyterian Church in NYC
and also starring on Broadway as Director of Children's Ministry @
Broadway United Church of Christ.”
She also wants to let
you know that she would welcome your contributions of news and
reflections for the new website. You can contact her at
New online journal blends information, action
‘Unbound’ seeks to appeal to social justice academics
by Bethany Furkin, Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – Nov. 28, 2011 – The new social
justice journal from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy
is aiming to be more than just that.
Interactive Journal of Christian Social Justice
launched last month as an online source of information for academics
and advocates alike.
“We are doing
something potentially unprecedented in trying to be both journal and
community organizer,” said Patrick David Heery, managing editor.
Unbound has two
target audiences: people who loved ACSWP’s former print journal,
Church & Society, and who are active in social justice ministries;
and people of all backgrounds who are interested in the connection
between justice and Jesus.
“We want to witness
to this other side of Christianity that often doesn’t get a lot of
traction in the media,” Heery said.
The online journal is
interactive, inviting users to comment on posts; submit articles,
photos, art and poetry; and participate in forums and polls. The
site also provides action alerts and information on ways to get
involved in justice campaigns.
click here for our earlier introduction
of this exciting new social-justice publication from the PC(USA).
The Fall 2011 issue of Network News is here.
The first issue of Network News to
be published since the Winter issue, published in March
2011, will soon be in the mail to our members (except for
those of you who have indicated that you'll save trees and
money by getting your copy in PDF format online).
For the high-resolution version, which takes
longer to download but looks better,
For the everyday version, a faster download,
PVJ Takes a
Look at the "Occupy Wall Street" Movement (pages 5 - 8)
The Moderator’s Column (p. 2 - 3)
Network News going on-line only (4 and 9)
Struggling in Sudan and South Sudan (11 - 12)
How Holy is the Holy Land? (13 - 15)
"Thanks to PVJ Friends" ... from More Light Presbyterians (16
St. Mark’s, Tucson, Celebrates the Yes vote on 10A, by
Sylvia Thorson-Smith (18 - 19)
Immigration, by Lorelei Hillman (20 - 23)
Book Review: Marcus Borg’s Putting Away Childish
Things, by Doug King (24 - 25)
PVJ plans for the 2012 General Assembly (26)
Network News going on-line only
This is the last Network News that will be
published in print on paper, with one exception.
From now on Network News will be found here,
on the Presbyterian
Voices for Justice website
The one exception will be the Spring issue
just prior to each meeting of the General Assembly. That issue will
carry discussion of issues coming before the Assembly and will be
sent to all of the Commissioners and Advisory Delegates, in addition
to the PVJ membership.
Whenever a new issue of Network News goes on the
website, an email will be sent out notifying the membership. If you
are not on the PVJ email list, and would like to be, please send
your email address to Vicki Moss, our Communications Coordinator at
We apologize for missing the Spring and Summer
issues for this year, and for our inability to continue producing
this newsletter in print.
If you have had a library subscription, or a group membership,
please contact our Membership Coordinator to request a refund.
He is Jeremiah Rosario; email at
firstname.lastname@example.org, phone at (646) 675-7029. Mail: 230
East 87th Street, Apt. 2C, New York, NY 10128
Four more overtures submitted for the 2012 General Assembly
Two of the overtures --
005 from the
presbytery of Stockton and
006 from Central
Florida -- would restore the "chastity and fidelity"
requirement, in one form or another, to the ordination standards.
Overture 007, from the Presbytery of Mid-Kentucky, would call on
MRTI (Mission Responsibility Through Investment) to review the
practices of a number of major health insurance companies, in light
of previous GA actions relating to fair health care for all.
Overture 008, from the Presbytery of Santa Fe, would revise the
new Form of Government to replace the terms "ruling elder" and
"teaching elder" with the former terms of "elder" and "minister of
Word and Sacrament."
PHEWA seeks nominations for social justice ministries awards
Deadline Is Feb. 15 for awards to be celebrated at
GA 220 in Pittsburgh
Presbyterian News Service, by Jerry L. Van
The Presbyterian Health, Education and Welfare
Association (PHEWA) is seeking nominations for seven ministry awards
that will be celebrated during the 220th General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in Pittsburgh next July.
Seven awards will be presented by PHEWA, part of
the Compassion, Peace & Justice Ministry of the General Assembly
Mission Council. PHEWA is a voluntary membership organization
dedicated to social welfare and justice ministries.
Ten networks are currently part of PHEWA,
organized for grassroots implementation of General Assembly policies
in the areas of community ministries and faith-based community
organizing, addictions, domestic violence, HIV and AIDS,
reproductive options, specialized pastoral ministries, child
advocacy, disabilities, health and wholeness, and serious mental
A little note: PVJ encourages you to
think of people who might be worthy of consideration for any of
these important awards, and then to nominate them.
Click here for details and how to submit nominations >>
"... today, we give thanks that a major form of injustice has
been righted in our church."
from Presbyterian Voices for Justice
For over thirty years, Presbyterians have debated
the will of God and refused to allow lesbian, gay, bisexual, and
transgender persons to serve God in all ordained capacities in the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Whenever injustice is perpetuated, it
feels like a recurrence of the captivity of the Israelites in Egypt.
Like them, LGBT persons and their allies have cried to God for
justice, and our prayers have been answered. The Holy Spirit has
been praying with us in sighs too deep for words, and that Spirit
has touched human hearts in a massive movement for change.
Praise be to God that the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) has taken a giant leap of freedom and removed a major
barrier to equality among us. There is yet much to do to make the
PC(USA) a fully just and egalitarian community for all of its
members. But today, we give thanks that a major form of injustice
has been righted in our church.
The Coordinating Team of Presbyterian Voices for
May 11, 2011
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Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
for Life" website
Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck,
a Presbyterian minister currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Click here for his blog posts.
Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores
the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens
neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City
Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon
board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!