Archives for October 2008
This page lists our postings from all of October
For an index to all our reports
on the 219th General Assembly
For links to
all our archive pages, listed by months,
--- and Happy Halloween!
“Rebuilding the Presbyterian Establishment”
Early in 2008 a paper was published by the PC(USA)’s
Office of Theology and Worship, arguing that the key to restoring the
Presbyterian Church to its old glory lies in giving the reins of control
back to “the Presbyterian Establishment,” which means the tall-steeple
pastors and mature, successful elders (mostly male, white, straight, and
otherwise decent and orderly). The author, Dr.
Weston, professor of sociology at Presbyterian-related Centre College in
Danville, Kentucky, speaks out of his own
discipline of sociology and his years of participation in and study of
the Presbyterian Church.
We encourage you to download the
paper, which is at
The paper has attracted a good deal of
interest and has aroused discussion, some of it quite critical. We
offer some comments of our own, and welcome comments from others as
here is by Doug King, Communications Coordinator for the Witherspoon
Society. The second comes from the Rev.
Ann Hayman, who
is a minister member of Pacific Presbytery.
If you have thoughts
just send a
to be shared here!
Click here for
PC(USA) stated clerk denounces effigies depicting political
Service reports that the Rev. Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of
the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has issued
a statement condemning the hanging of effigies of Democratic
presidential candidate Barack Obama and Republican vice presidential
nominee Sarah Palin.
His brief statement
goes beyond the immediate incidents to add:
On the eve of a
popular “scary” holiday, however, we also encourage all citizens
to “take the noose out of Halloween,” as the display of hung
figures can engender a moral numbness to actual tragedy and
dishonor. While for some the noose is a painful reminder of the
contemporary incidence of suicide, its associations with racial
injustice and vigilante mobs remain too strong to ignore.
One of our
Church’s statements of faith, the Confession of 1967, affirms
that God “breaks down every form of discrimination based on
racial or ethnic difference, real or imaginary. … Therefore the
church labors for the abolition of all racial discrimination and
ministers to those injured by it.” Whichever way our national
presidential election may go, we encourage all citizens to
respond to the “better angels of our nature” in repudiating such
The full report >>
Gradye, we thank you!
|Hearts & Minds by Jim Wallis
Be Not Afraid
Jim Wallis of Sojourners offers this bit of
pre-election advice, in the face of increasing efforts from the
Right “ to stir the fears of the electorate that ‘he’ [Obama, of
course] is not really like ‘them.’ ”
He says also:
Regardless of whether one favors Obama or
McCain, this development should be of concern to all Americans,
and especially people of faith. There is now a new spiritual
dimension to this election, and it is decidedly evil. Christians
believe that “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts
out all fear...” (1 John 4:18.) There are, of course, good and
decent motivations to vote either way in this election. Strong
people of faith will be marking different boxes on Election Day,
but for people of faith there will be a spiritual decision to be
made as well. Will we put our trust in the power of fear or
|Presbyterian Kay Hagan, candidate
for Senate in North Carolina, is labeled “Godless”
So says Elizabeth Dole, defending her seat in the
Senate in a TV ad that calls her challenger, Kay Hagan (who has
taught Sunday school in her church) Godless, and accuses her
(falsely, need we add?) of associating with a group called Godless
So now, kids – be scared of your Sunday school
The report from Campbell Brown of CNN >>
AOL offers links to Dole's ad, and Hagan's response >>
Delegations to visit Congressional
offices across the country in witness against torture
Solemn Procession to
the White House
update on plans for the November 12 event, from the National
Religious Coalition against Torture
|On discerning the way forward through Amendment 08-B
for discernment, from MLP
Toby Rogers, the newly appointed Associate
Director of More Light Presbyterians, is providing all of us with
another very helpful resource as our presbyteries begin to consider
the proposed amendment of our Book of Order, number 08-B, which
would replace the text of G-6.0106b (which has divided our church
for years) with language that more accurately reflects our
Presbyterian polity and traditions.
He offers a list of resources, suggestions for
action, and a series of frequently asked questions. (And answers
to the questions, which is nice!)
|Two more takes on problems of
voter suppression, and charges against ACORN
ACORN Fights Back Against Voter Suppression
Releases 30-Second Ad, Announces Lawsuits
On Oct. 29, ACORN released its first-ever
30-second ad on voter suppression, calling on Sen. John McCain to
put an end to these tactics. ACORN also announced lawsuits intended
to combat a series of attempts at voter suppression.
Click here >>
If the GOP had listened to ACORN's advice, the
mortgage industry wouldn't be in meltdown
An article in The Nation argues that, in spite of
all the accusations against the community organizing group ACORN,
they have been urging for years that Congress should “protect
borrowers from the banking industry's irresponsible, risky and
predatory practices – subprime loans, racial discrimination (called
"redlining") and rip-off fees. ACORN has persistently called for
stronger regulations on banks, private mortgage companies, mortgage
brokers and rating agencies. For years, ACORN has alerted public
officials that the industry was hoodwinking many families into
taking out risky loans they couldn't afford and whose fine print
they couldn't understand.”
|More on voting problems
Voter fraud? No, the real problem is voter suppression – but it’s
not getting the attention.
David Morris, vice president of the Institute for
local Self-Reliance, which is based in Minneapolis and Washington,
D.C., writes about this in today’s Minneapolis Star Tribune.
It’s worth reading, to put some of the flap over
ACORN and voter registration into perspective. Voter fraud has been
rarer than getting killed by lightning, he says. “An analysis of the
2004 presidential election in Ohio revealed a voter fraud rate of
The real problem, says Moarris, is “election fraud
– voter suppression by election officials and state governments – is
widespread and validated.” He cites the New York Times’
investigative report that "tens of thousands of eligible voters in
at least six swing states have been removed from the rolls or have
been blocked from registering in ways that appear to violate federal
law." And that doesn’t include “efforts by state officials and
private parties to discourage, intimidate or challenge eligible
The full essay >>
More on voting
|Another step for Fair Food
Settlement reached in Smithfield Foods labor struggle
This news has just come from Dr. Christian
Iosso, coordinator of the PC(USA)’s Advisory Committee on Social
Witness Policy (ACSWP).
Today's news indicates that an agreement on the conduct of a
(third) union representation election appears to have been reached
between the United Food and Commercial Workers (UFCW) and Smithfield
Foods. The National Labor Relations Board had found the Company to
have violated workers' rights through intimidation and other
infringement on the "secret ballot" elections that were conducted in
the 1990's, prompting union supporters to push for the employee card
check method that is anticipated to receive support under an Obama
The 2004 and 2006 General Assemblies took actions
encouraging the monitoring of this employee rights/working
conditions situation, representatives of both Coastal Carolina
(where the plant is located) and New Hope (which originated an
overture) met with company, worker and union representatives and
were hosted in a visit to the massive pork packing plant by Joseph
Luter, III, President of the Company.
The full note from Dr. Chris Iosso >>
|On taxes and the redistribution of wealth
We’ve all heard quite a lot lately about people who
want to “raise taxes and redistribute wealth.”
Well, Dr. William (Beau) Weston, who teaches
sociology at Presbyterian-related Centre College in Kentucky, has
offered one of the most concise clarifications of this question that
Here it is, from his creatively titled blog,
All Taxes Redistribute Wealth – That's What They
There has been some very foolish talk on the
campaign trail lately that one side is bad because they want to
use taxes to redistribute wealth. This is silly – all taxes
redistribute wealth. They take from everyone to serve the common
good. We all pay taxes so we can all have roads and schools and
mail and security and thousands of other common goods. Some of
our taxes go to individuals for their individual needs, such as
school loans or medicare payments. Even the small fraction of
Americans receiving straight-up welfare in order to take better
care of their kids are serving the common good. The Earned
Income Tax Credit is better than old-fashioned welfare because
it only goes to people who are working, and only goes to working
people who do not make quite enough to take care of their kids.
Rich people get back less money in services
because they need them less, and poor people get more because
they need them more. That is just. That improves the common
See it on Weston’s blog >>
We received this note (within a couple hours of posting this item)
from the Rev. Herb Valentine, Moderator of the 203rd
General Assembly, and a strong Witherspoon member:
You should send the Weston tax observation to
Obama and Biden. Perhaps you should consider sending it
to McCain and Palin -- they could use an update on the purpose
The Trillion Dollar Tag Sale: How the Pentagon Could Help Bail
essay with this interesting title came to us recently from Jane
Hanna, former President of the Witherspoon Society.
She sent it with this
note, which we have edited slightly at her suggestion:
This essay, it seems
to me, provides vital information about how much it is costing
our nation to support our present military system. The money
that is going into our military machine would easily be enough
to fund a single-payer health system, public education from
pre-school through college, living wage for all workers and
assistance for those unable to work. The list could go on and
And this article
doesn't mention the environmental cost to the planet of our
military system, nor the total devastation of Iraq where its
infrastructure is destroyed and a quarter of its people either
dead or refugees.
We could reduce the
number of our so-called "enemies" around the world in no time,
if the money spent supporting our present military system were
spent to build schools and health facilities, guarantee adequate
safe water for all, and rebuild the world's agricultural
practices to sustainable, healthy and safe levels. Instead of
teaching and training young people around the world to be
killers, could help nations train teachers, doctors, nurses,
How would we feel if
every nation where we had military bases were to be allowed to
have one in the US? President Correa of Ecuador suggested that
his country should have a base in the US, in exchange for
permitting ours in his country. President Bush talks about
spreading democracy yet when the South Koreans, the Italians,
the Okinawans, the Poles and citizens of the Czech Republic
voted overwhelmingly against US military installations in their
countries – they had to accept them anyway.
I pass this on
thinking that every one of us should know the extent to which
our assets are being drained by a military that has been allowed
to run out of control. Even if people are only interested in
their own pocketbooks, with no concern for what we are doing to
the rest of the world, that would be a step in the right
It doesn't speak well
of us as a people that the economic situation that impacts our
personal lives seems more important to us than what we do to the
people of other countries. However, I'll push for a bit more
reality-based thinking whenever it can be encouraged.
Click here for The Trillion Dollar Tag Sale. [The first four
paragraphs are an introduction, so you may want to scroll down a bit
to find the article itself.]
The author of the article,
Turse, is the associate editor and research director of
Tomdispatch.com. His work
has appeared in many publications, including the Los Angeles
Times, Le Monde Diplomatique (German edition),
Adbusters, The Nation, and regularly at Tomdispatch.com.
|The End of International Law?
Robert Dreyfuss, a Nation contributing editor,
describes the growing US readiness to invade nations which it views
as hostile – with US interests overriding such boring old notions as
international law and national sovereignty.
A parallel new Bush doctrine is emerging, in
the last days of the soon-to-be-ancien regime, and it needs to
be strangled in its crib. Like the original Bush doctrine – the
one that Sarah Palin couldn't name, which called for preventive
military action against emerging threats – this one also casts
international law aside by insisting that the United States has
an inherent right to cross international borders in "hot
pursuit" of anyone it doesn't like.
They're already applying it to Pakistan, and
this week Syria was the target. Is Iran next?
Let's take Pakistan first. Though a nominal
ally, Pakistan has been the subject of at least nineteen aerial
attacks by CIA-controlled drone aircraft, killing scores of
Pakistanis and some Afghans in tribal areas controlled by
pro-Taliban forces. ... The U.S. raid into Syria on October 26
similarly trampled on Syria's sovereignty without so much as a
On October 24, I went to hear Mike Vickers,
the assistant secretary of defense for special operations and
low-intensity conflict, speaking at the Washington Institute for
Near East Policy (WINEP), a pro-Israeli thinktank in Washington.
He spoke with pride about the vast and growing presence of these
commando forces within the U.S. military, noting that their
budget has doubled under the Bush administration and that, by
the end of the decade, there will more than 60,000 U.S. forces
in this shadowy effort.
The full article >>
With election one week
away, PC(USA) releases voting rights and election reform report
‘Lift Every Voice’
sent to members of Congress, election officials
Adding its voice to the
widespread public concern for possible voter disenfranchisement, the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s
Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy (ACSWP) today (Oct.
27) released a report entitled, Lift Every Voice: Democracy,
Voting Rights, and Electoral Reform.
The report — which includes the
full text of a policy statement adopted by the 218th General
Assembly of the PC(USA) in June in San Jose, CA — is being sent to
all members of the U.S. Congress, as well as to state election
officials and congregations in state capitals that are most likely
to contain church members involved in the electoral process.
If you -- or someone you love -- has trouble voting ...
Not ten commandments, but ten very helpful
suggestions are offered by
Voters Unite, a nonpartisan organization.
the Rules Governing Elections in Your State
2) Check Your Registration and Check Your Polling Place
3) Early Vote, If You Can
4) Avoid "Straight Party" Voting
5) Verify Your Vote.
That's the first five. For details on all
ten - and for links to helpful online resources -
just click here.
And we encourage you to share this!
Obama Wins, No More Boy Scouts ???
warning has just been posted by the Rev. John Shuck on his
Shuck and Jive blog.
Thus predict the
Christians. The lovers of Christian truth and right belief are
at it hot and heavy on the eve of the election. They are
predicting apocalyptic doom if Barack Obama becomes
president.Terrorist strikes on four American cities. Russia
rolling into Eastern Europe. Israel hit by a nuclear bomb. Gay
marriage in every state. The end of the Boy Scouts. All are
plausible scenarios if Democrat Barack Obama is elected
president, according to a new addition to the campaign
"Letter from 2012 in Obama's America," produced by the
conservative Christian group
Focus on the
[From your WebWeaver: The "Letter from
2012" is a PDF document running to 16 pages -- mostly telling of
the terrible things that will happen to the "Christian values"
that Focus on the Family is striving to uphold.]
The end of the Boy
Scouts? This is one of their dire predictions, should Obama (who,
according to them, is not a real Christian) be elected. Get this:
• A 6-3
liberal majority Supreme Court that results in rulings like one
making gay marriage the law of the land and another forcing the
Boy Scouts to "hire homosexual scoutmasters and allow them to
sleep in tents with young boys." (In the imagined scenario, The
Boy Scouts choose to disband rather than obey).
There you have it.
Christians witnessing to the truth of the gospel. Fortunately, there
really are folks out there who do claim Christian identity but have
a different view. These are Christians who when they actually read
the Bible and the gospels find in there a call to do justice and
relieve poverty. This is in today's
Johnson City Press:
At a time when
more than 37 million Americans are in poverty, including many
who are newly poor and paying keen attention, spiritual leaders
are encouraging the young to vote and urging voters to select
candidates who will fight poverty.
“I feel more
momentum, energy and focus on poverty than I have in churches in
three decades or more,” said Jim Wallis, chief executive officer
of Sojourners social justice ministries in Washington.
“Partly, it’s a
new generation. Baby boomers are becoming church leaders and
speaking to a new generation that wants their lives to make a
difference. It’s a new altar call, if you will,” he said.
A question for
Which of these two
organizations, Focus on the Family or Sojourners is more faithful to
Posted By John Shuck
to Shuck and Jive at 10/25/2008 10:09:00 A
Washington Report to Presbyterians
There’s very good stuff in this issue, from the
Presbyterian Washington Office:
|California Presbyterians urged
to witness for Marriage Equality
Presbyterian witness events for marriage equality – and against the
discriminatory California Proposition 8 – will be held in Los
Angeles and San Francisco on October 28
From More Light Presbyterians:
Please join the Presbyterian Witness Event for
Marriage Equality and to Say No to Prop 8 near you, either in Los
Angeles or California on Tuesday, October 28 at noon. These events
are being organized by California Faith for Equality and Covenant
Network of Presbyterians, and supported by PEP, the Presbyterian
Equality Project of More Light Presbyterians.
|October 28 at Noon
Immanuel Presbyterian Church
3300 Wilshire Blvd.
Los Angeles, CA 90010
(213) 389-3191 phone
|October 28 at Noon
Calvary Presbyterian Church
2515 Fillmore Street at Jackson
San Francisco, CA 94115
(415) 346-3832 phone
Clergy are encouraged to wear ministerial collars
or stoles; elders, deacons and other church leaders are encouraged
to wear identifiable religious symbols such as stoles or crosses.
Proposition 8 seeks to eliminate equal rights for
same-gender loving couples to marry in the State of California.
Proposition 8 strikes down the historic decision for civil marriage
equality by the California State Supreme Court in June, 2008.
Proposition 8 would relegate LGBT persons and same gender loving
couples to second class citizens in the State of California once
The failure of Prop 8 will not change the
religious definition of marriage nor compel any person or church to
act against their conscience. The 218th General Assembly of the
Presbyterian Church (USA) voted in June 78% in favor of an overture
that reaffirmed support of "the right of same-gender persons to . .
. all the benefits, privileges, and responsibilities of civil
Special thanks to California Faith for Equality,
Covenant Network and GLAAD for planning these Presbyterian Witness
More Light Presbyterians name Toby Rogers
as Associate Director for Marketing and Development
The National Board of Directors of More Light Presbyterians is
pleased to announce that it has named Toby Rogers
as its Associate Director for
Marketing and Development. This is a new position
created through the generosity of
The Evelyn and Walter Haas, Jr.
Fund, San Francisco,
CA and donations from More Light Presbyterian churches,
chapters and supporters.
Maybe there's a better way to sail through a meeting
Sue Spenser, a Witherspoon
member living in Lakeland, Florida, sends this thoughtful
reflection on how we run our meetings.
Many religious organizations waste
time and money by relying on Robert's Rules of Order in
governing their groups. In being overly time-honored, the Rules
are misunderstood. They are believed to provide a straightforward,
orderly path to adjournment. But frequently groups have had to hire
trained parliamentarians to guide them through the tedious thicket.
"There has to be a better way,"
lamented Bishop Timothy Wright after presiding over many hours
dealing with a contentious issue at a recent United Methodist
General Conference. And there is, indeed, a better way.
More and more non-profit groups are
finding the help they need in Roberta's Rules of Order.
economic crisis and the churches' message
TeSelle says that, in thinking about the current crisis in the
economy, he was reminded of the Accra Declaration by the World
Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC). He engages in what Tillich
would call "correlation" between current events and this
confessional statement by the WARC. He says the lectionary reading
for last Sunday (Matt. 22:15-22) helped him make these connections.
You may also want to see ...
Responses from the global South to the world
The International Conference on Political Economy:
Responses from the South to the World Economic Crisis took place in
Caracas, Venezuela from October 8-11, 2008, and was attended by
academics and researchers from Argentina, Australia, Belgium,
Canada, Chile, China, South Korea, Cuba, Ecuador, Spain, the United
States, the Philippines, France, England, Mexico, Peru, Uruguay, and
reports on the economic crisis >>
|Iran clamps down on Christians
Execution, once a penalty for conversion to
Christianity, is being advocated anew
The report by The Telegraph (U.K.), dated
October 11, 2008, begins:
A month ago, the Iranian parliament voted in
favour of a draft bill, entitled "Islamic Penal Code", which
would codify the death penalty for any male Iranian who leaves
his Islamic faith. Women would get life imprisonment. The
majority in favour of the new law was overwhelming: 196 votes
for, with just seven against.
the death penalty for changing religion blatantly violates one
of the most fundamental of all human rights. The right to
freedom of religion is enshrined in the Universal Declaration of
Human Rights, in the International Covenant on Civil and
Political Rights, and in the European Convention of Human
Rights. It is even enshrined as Article 23 of Iran's own
constitution, which states that no one may be molested simply
for his beliefs. ...
David Miliband, Britain's Foreign Secretary,
stands out as one of the few politicians from any Western
country who has put on record his opposition to making apostasy
a crime punishable by death. The protest from the EU has been
distinctly muted; meanwhile, Germany, Iran's largest foreign
trading partner, has just increased its business deals with Iran
by more than half. Characteristically, the United Nations has
said nothing. [Webweaver’s note: The U.S. is not mentioned.] ...
For one woman living in London, however, the
Iranian parliamentary vote cannot be brushed aside. Rashin
Soodmand is a 29-year-old Iranian Christian. Her father, Hossein
Soodmand, was the last man to be executed in Iran for apostasy,
the "crime" of abandoning one's religion. He had converted from
Islam to Christianity in 1960, when he was 13 years old. Thirty
years later, he was hanged by the Iranian authorities for that
Today, Rashin's brother, Ramtin, is also held
in a prison cell in Mashad, Iran's holiest city. He was arrested
on August 21. He has not been charged but he is a Christian. And
Rashin fears that, just as her father was the last man to be
executed for apostasy in Iran, her brother may become one of the
first to be killed under Iran's new law.
The Telegraph report >>
But now, a glimmer of hope.
The Farsi Christian Network reported on October 17
that judicial authorities had ordered the release of Ramtin Soodmand,
who is identified in their report as a minister of the Evangelical
Church of Iran in Mashhad. He was to be released on bail, after
being held since August 21.
What may come next is not clear.
The report from the Farsi Christian Network >>
Tulsa church approves
buying back its property
Kirk of the Hills Presbyterian Church in Tulsa, OK,
whose members had already voted to leave the PC(USA), has decided to
pay $1.75 million to Eastern Oklahoma Presbytery for the
congregation’s land and buildings. Members voted 508 to 483 to pay
for the 100,000-square-foot church building, located on nearly 10
acres of prime real estate, instead of continuing legal battles to
try and prove Kirk of the Hills already owns it.
The full report
from Presbyterian News Service >>
|Margaret Howland celebrates 50
years as minister – one of the first women to be ordained
Peg Howland has been a Witherspoon member for some
years, and has been very active in the leadership of the
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
to view a WNBC report on the celebration of the 50th
anniversary of her ordination at her congregation in White Plains,
NY – or read a report from the Westchester Journal News.
|Another voter guide -- on health care issues
Another voter guide has
been suggested by Gene TeSelle – this one focusing on health care
issues, prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
identified health care as the leading domestic issue for the
government to address and for the presidential candidates to
discuss in the 2008 campaign. In particular, voters would like
to hear the candidates' positions on reducing the cost of health
care and health insurance and expanding coverage to the 47
million uninsured Americans.
comparison of the candidates' positions on health care was
prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation with the assistance of
Health Policy Alternatives, Inc. and is based on information
appearing on the candidates' websites as supplemented by
information from candidate speeches, the campaign debates and
news reports. The sources of information are identified for each
candidate's summary (with links to the Internet). The comparison
highlights information on the candidates' positions related to
access to health care coverage, cost containment, improving the
quality of care and financing. Information will be updated
regularly as the campaign unfolds.
Click here >>
Progressive Presbyterians are big lost apes?
The Rev. Jerry Andrews
of the conservative Presbyterian Coalition says liberal “Goliaths”
in the Presbyterian Church are leading the church astray.
Service provides a fairly long report, which begins:
Newport Beach, CA
— Liberalism is a “Goliath” in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
that has led the denomination down a path to a “faith in which
it cannot live faithfully,” said the Rev. Jerry Andrews,
co-moderator of the conservative
an umbrella group for more than a dozen “renewal” organizations
in the denomination.
“false paths,” liberals have lost their way and their ability to
lead, the suburban Chicago pastor told more than 220
participants meeting here at St. Andrew’s Presbyterian Church
for the Coalition’s Gathering XI.
been the Goliath in our life. I think the Goliath has fallen,”
In his “State of
the Denomination” address on Oct. 13, the first day of the
three-day event, Andrews told the group that “the progressives
had great success in taking over the institutions of the church,
our own church at least two generations ago . . . even if it
never fully convinced the church, you and me, of its
Now we are in
engaged in an exercise to see “how far the corpse will walk,”
said Andrews, pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Glen Ellyn,
The full report >>
Outlook has also posted a report on this
“Our team lost
this Assembly. Badly. But the Coalition has already reloaded,”
said Presbyterian Coalition Co-Moderator Jerry Andrews in his
presentation, “The State of the Denomination,” at the 11th
annual Presbyterian Coalition gathering Oct. 13 in Newport
have had great success in taking over the church,” Andrews
explained, “but like all false paths they too have lost their
Three words— post-modern, post-denominational,
and post-Christian — describe the denomination in the aftermath
of the General Assembly, he added.
For the full Outlook report >>
|IRD reduces staff
Rev. Jim Berkley, Director of Presbyterian Action, part of the
Institute on Religion and Democracy, is laid off as part of staff
reduction reflecting financial stresses.
Berkley has reported this in his own blog, while
reaffirming what he sees as “the positions advocated by the
Institute on Religion and Democracy and the work its people do.”
At the same time, he offers some sharp words for
conservatives who have not been providing needed support for IRD –
and some equally sharp words for progressives. For example:
Too few conservative Christians seem to
understand and embrace the importance of a biblically faithful
social witness. They tend to cede that territory by default to
the progressives, who revel in that playground as political
players largely cut free from biblical constraints. The
progressives run mostly unchecked, except for the nagging IRD
whistle blowers. However, with somewhat of a collective
evangelical yawn, evangelicals have insufficiently funded the
IRD’s ministry, and therefore the cutback.
Berkley’s blog >>
|Have you noticed there's an
Wondering whom to vote for? Or
wanting to help others who are wondering?
Here are three very helpful voters’
guides, one on labor concerns,
one on environmental issues, and
the third dealing with human rights and civil liberties.
Vote Your Values 2008: A Guide for Faith-Based Voters on
As the 2008 elections approach, our economy is in
turmoil and workers are struggling more than ever. The next Congress
and administration will have to establish policies that not only
improve our economy but ensure that workers are not forgotten and
their rights are protected.
Interfaith Worker Justice has published an
exciting new resource, Vote Your Values 2008: A Guide for
Faith-Based Voters, which highlights issues of major importance for
working people in this election cycle. The guide frames pressing,
national labor concerns so that voters may carefully examine matters
such as wage theft, immigration reform, and the right to organize a
union, and take them into account when selecting candidates.
Kim Bobo, Executive Director of Interfaith Worker
Justice, concludes her note: “We hope you will find this guide
helpful. Please share it with your friends, families, and
for the Voter Guide, which is 28 pages (in PDF format).
Utne Reader recommends a guide to the candidates’ positions
Do voters really know
exactly how the presidential candidates stack up on issues like
drilling, animal protection, and conservation? Encyclopedia
Britannica's Advocacy for Animals site has created a quick overview
of their respective records.
The summary is not
exhaustive, but still gives readers a good idea of what they can
expect from the nominees.
Drilling, Mining, and Energy
Animal Welfare and Protection
AlterNet provides a Voter
Election Guide to
Human Rights and Civil Liberties
They link to a
variety of resources on domestic spying, torture, Guantánamo and the
U.S. government's secret prisons, the Supreme Court, state secrets
privilege, Americans’ right to dissent, wrongful convictions,
politicization of the Department of Justice, expansion of the
federal death penalty, and signing statements.
Click here for the
whole thing -- in html format.
|The economic crisis is a moral crisis too
N. Gordon Cosby, who with his wife Mary founded the pioneering,
ecumenical Church of the Saviour, in the 1940s in Washington, D.C.
It appears on the
blog of the Church of the Saviour
I have a friend who
is an attorney with a deep knowledge of the national economic
crisis. He made two interesting comments:
He first said that
"liquidity" is not the real problem in the market right now---it is
that no one knows what anything is worth. So much stuff of
questionable value is hidden on balance sheets that buyers no longer
know if something is worth what it is trading for, less, or more. So
no one really knows how bad things are and cannot put an efficient,
valid price on things. In other words, blindness about value. That
destroys the logic of the "free market" because efficiency is based
on "transparency" of value.
Second, he said that
as a result of the first problem of blindness about value, it is
difficult to know if persons you are selling to can meet their
commitments to you. In other words---blindness about the solvency of
parties in the market. That also kills an "efficient" market because
it destroys the needed trust that makes the market work.
traditions of all kinds, blindness is an old theme----people who
corruptly set out to blind others end up blind themselves. We ignore
that wisdom at our peril. Morality, once again, is proven to be
fundamental to an efficient marketplace.
with a friend, September 28, 2008
For more on this Witherspoon site
about the economic crisis >>
|Connecticut ruling overturns ban on same-sex
The New York Times (among many
others) reports today:
The Connecticut Supreme Court ruled on Friday
that same-sex couples have the right to marry, reversing a lower
court decision that had concluded that the civil unions
legalized in the state three years ago had offered the same
rights and benefits as marriage.
With the 4-to-3 ruling, Connecticut becomes
the third state in the nation to legalize same-sex marriage.
California legalized gay marriage in May 2008, and Massachusetts
More from the N Y Times >>
And a statement
from More Light Presbyterians >>
Peacemaking Program Update
October 10, 2008
The latest listing of resources and
events from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program includes links to
resources for the Peacemaking Offering, domestic violence, the
coming election, HIV/Aids, Darfur, the Middle East, torture, nuclear
disarmament, Sudan, the coming
the School of the Americas/WHINSEC (November 21-23), and much
here for selections which include most items from the update
From Rita Nakashima Brock:
"Soldiers of Conscience" will air on PBS on Thursday, October 16.
Don't miss it.
disquieting documentary profiles eight soldiers in the Iraq War as
they face the moral decision to kill or not to kill. Four decide not
to kill and become conscientious objectors; four believe it is their
duty to kill if necessary.
Each wrestles with
the morality of killing in the split-second combat decision that can
never be forgotten or undone. All struggle with the aftermath of
their decisions. In addition, the film interviews those who train
soldiers for war, and we hear them discuss their moral reasoning
|Witherspooners in the news
from a Presbyterian
News Service report dated October 9, 2008, by Jerry L. VanMarter.
The Rev. Richard W. Irwin, a retired
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) mission worker who served in Brazil
from 1947-1995, died there Sept. 26. He was 88. [And he has
been a member of the Witherspoon Society since 1991.]
Yale Divinity School has presented
its Alumni Award for Distinction in Theological Education to the
Rev. V. Bruce Rigdon, a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) pastor,
theological educator, ecumenical leader and social activist. [Not to
mention a member of the Witherspoon Society since 1994.]
More food for reflection and
discernment on moving to a more welcoming church
We recently posted, in html format,
most of the articles in the Summer 2008 issue of Network News,
to make them more easily accessible, with clickable links to the
many resources that are listed.
You can also download the
regular PDF version,
which is easily printable to share with others.
We're finally adding the last few
articles in html format, including:
Jesus was a community organizer -- Co-Moderator Trina Zelle
introduces this special issue of Network News.
for Presbyterians during times of disagreement
moves forward on the Heidelberg Catechism, by John Harris
Also in this issue of Network News:
Farewell reflections from outgoing co-moderator Trina Zelle
Thoughts About the Review of the Presbyterian Washington Office,
by Gene TeSelle
Witherspoon News: We welcome new officers, say thanks to two
Jose? We can recommend a great place to stay.
For a list of
the articles already posted, with links to reach them >>
|Five steps to end torture
George Hunsinger, professor of systematic theology at Princeton
Theological Seminary and the founder of the
National Religious Campaign Against
Torture (NRCAT), tells of the advice of Darius Rejali, a
distinguished torture researcher and analyst, who lists “five steps
which would bring torture to an end.”
He summarizes them: “In short, there must be (1) a
single set of operating procedures, (2) a clear chain of command,
(3) outside monitoring by accredited agencies, (4) a fair and timely
grievance procedure and (5) above all, a strict observance of
procedures for accountability.”
can read his brief article in The Christian Century >>
|Uprooted: The Impact of Free Market on Migrants
A special report from the
"The borders between our countries should be
common grounds to unite us, not lines that divide us."
Since NAFTA’s passage in 1993, the U.S. Congress
has debated and passed several new trade agreements – with Peru,
Jordan, Chile, and the Central American Free Trade Agreement. At the
same time it has debated immigration policy as though those trade
agreements bore no relationship to the waves of displaced people
migrating to the U.S., looking for work.
Meanwhile, a rising tide of anti-immigrant
hysteria has increasingly demonized those migrants, leading to
measures that deny them jobs, rights, or any pretense of equality
with people living in the communities around them. To resolve any of
these dilemmas, from adopting rational and humane immigration
policies to reducing the fear and hostility towards migrants, the
starting point has to be an examination of the way U.S. policies
have both produced migration and criminalized migrants.
Read Uprooted: The Impact of Free Market on Migrants,
by David Bacon, Senior Fellow at the Oakland Institute. This 23-page
report is presented in PDF format.
from Witherspoon on immigrant rights >>
|Iraqi nonviolence network grows
The Christian Peace Witness of Iraq reports on a
hopeful Iraqi movement, LaOnf, which is working with Iraqi civil
society organizations to create and support nonviolent strategies to
oppose occupation, terrorism and corruption in Iraq.
PC(USA) leaders send letter to churches about economic credit crisis
Reyes-Chow, along with Linda Valentine, Executive Director of the
General Assembly Council and Gradye Parsons, Stated Clerk, sent this
letter to the church on October 4
Churchwide Letter: Economic Credit Crisis
One forceful paragraph reads:
As followers of
Jesus Christ, let us join in a call to our own people and to our
fearful nation to hear God's word that "perfect love casts out
fear;" and let us look anew at our economic system-one which has
been immensely productive in many respects, but which has tended
to favor the strong and aggressive, often at great cost to the
weak. Let us all repent of our own decisions, both personal and
corporate, regarding our use of the earth's resources and of the
financial resources of which we have been made stewards. And let
us make clear to our legislators and to those whose are charged
with the management of this nation's financial resources that
any recovery of fiscal accountability must be accompanied with
moral accountability for the unfortunate, so that the burdens
and blessings of the future are fairly shared.
For the full
And for a list of helpful resources from the PC(USA), click here >>
PC(USA) weighs in on national financial
send letters to church, Congress; Washington Office publishes
Service, Louisville — October 6, 2008
--- As the U.S. Congress grappled with a financial services industry
bail-out package late last week, leaders in the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) took part in the national debate, sending letters to
Presbyterians and to Congress. The Presbyterian Washington Office
today (Oct. 6) published background and analysis of the crisis,
including General Assembly policy germane to the crisis and its
The three documents are
We have posted or linked to all three of these
documents already, but now they are gathered in one spot -- and
they're worth your attention.
Commandments, Political E-mails & Ads
from the Rev.
Have you, like me,
been receiving a lot of email notes about political candidates? Some
of these emails, like the political ads on TV, are not true. Before
you forward an e-mail to others about anyone, political candidate or
any other human being, please remember the Ten Commandments: "You
shall not bear false witness against your neighbor" (Ex. 20:16;
Deut. 5:20). Our church’s
explains it: “Q. 112. What is required in the ninth commandment?
A. That I do not bear false witness against anyone, twist
anyone’s words, be a gossip or a slanderer, or condemn anyone
lightly without a hearing. Rather I am required to avoid, under
penalty of God’s wrath, all lying and deceit as the works of the
devil himself. In judicial and all other matters I am to love the
truth, and to speak and confess it honestly. Indeed, insofar as I am
able, I am to defend and promote my neighbor’s good name.” Please
keep this biblical teaching in mind when you get political email or
see ads on TV.
Please encourage your online friends
and all political candidates to keep this commandment. If you
have questions about the truthfulness of any ad (and you should
about any ad), check it out at the web site for the Annenberg
Political Fact Check,
a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of
Pennsylvania which is “a nonpartisan, nonprofit, ‘consumer advocate’
for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion
in U.S. politics. We monitor the factual accuracy of what is said by
major U.S. political players in the form of TV ads, debates,
speeches, interviews, and news releases. Our goal is to apply the
best practices of both journalism and scholarship, and to increase
public knowledge and understanding.”
the case of Janet
Presbyterian News Service provided
a report on October 3, the day after the Rev. Janet Edwards was
exonerated of charges brought against her for presiding over the
marriage in 2005 of two women. The report provides some more
details about the arguments in her defense, and offers comments from
Ms. Edwards and others involved in the case.
The full report
|Sarah Palin scolded Presbyterian pastor in
Wasilla for urging crackdown on bars
Wasilla City Council, she opposed earlier closings -- and told a
Presbyterian pastor that faith had nothing to do with such things
The Chicago Tribune offers an interesting
insight into the religious faith of the Republican candidate for
Sarah Palin may be the heroine of the
religious right, but Rev. Gene Straatmeyer vividly recalls a
public run-in he once had with the now Republican vice
presidential candidate over clergy support for a crackdown on
In short, Straatmeyer, as a Presbyterian pastor in
Wasilla, supported the police chief in urging the City Council to
shorten the traditional 5 a.m. last call by a few hours, partly to
reduce drunk driving and domestic violence. Palin, then a city
councilwoman, sided with the saloon keepers, and scolded the pastor
"She said, 'I go to Assembly of God Church and I
am a Sunday school teacher there and I see no relationship between
my Christian faith and what hours the bars close,' " recalled
Straatmeyer, now living in Texas.
The report adds:
Tavern owners then rallied around Palin's
successful challenge to Wasilla's longtime mayor, with campaign
records showing that two of them alone provided 15 percent of
the campaign cash she took in from supporters.
“Within months of taking office, Palin fired
veteran Wasilla Police Chief Irl Stambaugh, the author of the
bar hour reduction plan.
The full story >>
It might also be noted that this pastor's actions
were very much in keeping with
our church's teachings.
|Hunger resource for pastors
The anti-hunger group “Bread For The World” has
launched an e-mail newsletter, “Bread For The Preacher,” featuring
preaching aids and worship resources surrounding issues of hunger
and poverty. The free news letter is delivered directly to the inbox
of church leaders who sign up for it at
www.bread.org. Gary Cook, Bread
For The World’s director of church relations and former coordinator
of the Presbyterian Hunger Program, says the new resource was
created in response to requests from member churches.
To sign up, find the “newsletter signup” box
toward the upper right of the home page. Type in your email address,
and if BFW doesn’t know you, you can register first, and then, as
you scroll down, request the “Bread for the Preacher” newsletter and
anything else that interests you.
Thanks to John Jackson
Food for reflection and
discernment on moving to a more welcoming church
We promised to provide the
contents of the Summer 2008 issue of Network News in html format,
regular PDF version which is already posted here.
It will take a while to reformat and post all the articles, but
we're starting today. Bear with us, and please let us know if
there are particular articles you want to see posted here sooner
rather than later -- or send your comments about any of them.
Just click here
to send a note!
The contents of this issue, as listed (with page
Each title will link to the item as soon as it's
background on a complicated issue, by Gene TeSelle
The main documents, and advisory opinion from Office of the
General Assembly 7
Equality Leads to a More Missional Church, by Dr. Jack Rogers,
former Moderator 8
help presbyteries to discern the best steps to take, by Tricia
Dykers Koenig, Covenant Network 9
A little poem
about being right, by Bobbie McGarey 11
the Record Straight ... and Stewardship of the Spirit’s Gift, by
Mchael Adee, More Light Presbyterians
thousand conversations across the church, by Lisa Larges, That
All May Freely Serve 13
Protestantism’s distinctive form of idolatry, by Paul E. Capetz
the Bible tell us?, by Tricia Dykers Koenig 16
Guidelines for Presbyterians during times of disagreement,
adopted by 204th General Assembly
also in this issue:
Thoughts about the review of the Presbyterian
Washington Office, by Gene TeSelle 20
News from the Witherspoon Society
the Witherspoon Society 24
the case of Janet
Rev. Darcy Hawk, of Gibsonia, PA, and the treasurer of the
Witherspoon Society, sent this comment soon after the PJC decision
Word has just
come down that Rev. Janet Edwards was acquitted of all charges
brought against her for conducting a ceremony uniting two women
here in Pittsburgh. I was able to attend the trial yesterday but
not the continuance this morning. Yesterday's witnesses for the
defense were very good at articulating the plurality of opinions
justified by the Bible, our Confessions, Reformed theology, and
church polity. Most of the non-clergy I spoke with yesterday
were amazed and relieved to find out just how much more freedom
our tradition allows. We have been much bullied by
"evangelicals" and fundamentalists in Western PA and I believe
Rev. Edwards has succeeded in her efforts to make this trial a
Another observer reports:
More Light Presbyterians now has posted
summary of the decision.
Heather Reichgott, a seminary student in
Berkeley, California, and a member of the board of More Light
Presbyterians, was at the trial, and provides
her own insightful commentary. She notes that this decision,
like that in the most recent case of the Rev. Jane Spahr, is based
in part on the inference from the Book of Order that a same-sex
marriage is in fact not a marriage. Much remains to be done.
Today at 2:40 PM, the Permanent Judicial
Commission of Pittsburgh Presbytery presented their verdict in the
case of Rev. Janet Edwards.
They found Rev. Edwards not guilty on both
charges, by a margin of 0-9. A summary and quotations from their
decision will follow shortly.
Edwards was accused of presiding over the marriage
in 2005 of two women, Nancy McConn and Brenda Cole. This was the
second time these charges had been prosecuted against Rev. Edwards,
the first occasion having ended based on procedural issues.
This morning, the prosecution's witness failed to
appear, so both parties moved immediately to closing arguments.
The prosecution argued that Rev. Edwards performed a marriage, that
she knew it was wrong, and that it was contrary to Scripture and the
Constitution. The prosecutors suggested that if Rev. Edwards had
wanted to perform a same-sex marriage, the proper approach would be
an attempt to change the Book of Order.
The defense argued, mostly, that the prosecution has failed to
demonstrate any of the points of their argument. No evidence was
presented to confirm that Rev. Edwards actually performed the
ceremony. (The burden of proof rests with the prosecution.) No
argument was made as to how Rev. Edwards' actions violated either
the Scriptures cited in the charges or a mandatory provision in the
In addition, the defense observed that it is impossible to amend the
Book of Order to change a mandatory provision, if no such
mandatory provision exists.
Thanks to More Light Presbyterians, for the
reports we're summarized above.
For more, go to the web site of
of good Presbyterian talk in Snowbird, Utah
Over the past few days,
a number of important meetings have been held in Snowbird, Utah,
involving some of the top leadership and committees of the PC(USA).
Preparing for discussions on 08-B
One of the first
meetings included middle governing body leaders, who (in the words
of a Presbyterian News Service report from Erin S. Cox-Holmes,
associate general presbyter for Kiskiminetas Presbytery, “received
denominational updates and pondered strategies for leading their
organizations calmly and courageously during a time of change
For anyone committed
to helping our denomination move through its deliberations on the
proposed amendment of G-6.0106b, the “fidelity and chastity”
requirement in the Book of Order, it might be helpful to get a sense
of the thinking of those who will play a large role in shaping those
Click here for the
PNS report >>
Developing styles of leadership for the process
Another report covers
the gathering’s focus on “exploring how to lead in partnership,
identifying next action steps, all centered in a spirit of worship.”
The report opens with a pretty catchy quote from Carol Adcock, chair
of the General Assembly Council: “We are here as co-creators of a
new way, sharing springs of living waters in a time of alligators.”
that report >>
Other groups have also been meeting, and considering other vital
aspects of the church’s life and mission.
A broad role for theological education
Dr. Laura Mendenhall,
President of Columbia Theological Seminary, told the General
Assembly Council’s Vocation Committee that Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) seminaries and presbyteries and congregations need to work
ever more closely together to prepare leaders for a rapidly changing
church and world.
For the full story
Some varied views of evangelism
The GAC’s Evangelism
Mission Committee explored the variety of ways that Christians are
seeking to live a life that faithfully witnesses to Jesus Christ,
ranging from street preaching to community outreach programs. One
committee member said that “Actions speak louder than words,” and
was supported by others who saw community programs, and local
mission and ministry projects as evangelism, while others focused
more on speaking about one’s faith, actively witnessing, and sharing
And one member
managed to propose a middle way: “We witness by what we say and do,
but also by what we are.”
The full report >>
‘Unprecedented’ disaster response highlighted
The GAC’s Justice
Committee heard from PDA about an unprecedented number of relief
efforts this year, as
Presbyterian Disaster Assistance responded to more than 40
“events” that have affected nearly one-quarter of the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.) presbyteries were much on the mind of the Justice
Committee of the General Assembly Council.
director of Compassion, Peace and Justice Ministries — which
includes — updated the committee on responses to devastating
flooding in the Midwest in the spring and hurricane recovery in the
aftermath of four summer hurricanes that wreaked havoc in Texas and
Louisiana as well as Caribbean island nations such as Haiti and
The rest of the
|Greed gets blamed for our Wall Street woes
– but hey, is it really that bad?
blaming greed for our current financial crisis. But if you’d like to
think a little more deeply about the subject of greed, you might
take a look at a blog on the Utne website, which gathers together
bits from a number of perspectives, and links you to them the
original sources – including Rabbi Michael Lerner of Tikkun, and Dr.
Rebecca Blank, who says in an interview on Religion & Ethics
Newsweekly that greed does have its value, too.
Click here for the story and the links >>
More of our
own posts about the economic crisis >>
Seeing the varieties of American religion
“What Americans Really Believe,” by Rodney Stark and team, presents
landmark news on the values and beliefs of the American public
from a news release from Baylor University
2006, Baylor University’s Institute for Studies of Religion released
the groundbreaking Baylor Religion Survey, which included the most
extensive battery of religion-related questions ever administered to
a national, random sample of U.S. citizens. The results of this
study resonated throughout the world and hit most major newspapers
and media outlets in this country.
WHAT AMERICANS REALLY BELIEVE
takes the study
one step farther. The results of the 2008 study are a compilation of
mailed questionnaires collected by the Gallup Organization from a
nationally representative sample of 1,648 non-institutionalized,
English-speaking American adults aged 18 and older. ISR researchers
analyzed responses to more than 350 items on multiple topics,
megachurch and “scattered” church congregations
views on God, heaven and evil
atheism and irreligion
religious and paranormal beliefs and experiences
faith and politics
civic participation, among others.
authors believe that the data and accompanying analysis will provide
important background and content to current debates about religion
in American life.
|JOKES THAT CAN BE TOLD IN CHURCH
A Sunday School teacher was discussing the Ten
commandments with her five and six year olds. After explaining the
commandment to “honor thy father and thy mother” she asked “Is there
a commandment that teaches us how to treat our brothers and
Without missing a beat one little boy answered,
“Thou shall not kill.”
Network News is here!
It’s time for the PC(USA)
to take that big step forward
toward inclusion and justice
and here’s some material to help you
help the Church
The Summer 2008 issue of Network News is coming to you
only online, because the board of the Witherspoon Society has
determined that there is currently not enough money in our treasury
to cover the costs of printing and mailing it to our members.
We regret this deeply, and hope we’ll soon be back in print with
the Fall 2008 issue.
In the meantime, to make this PDF version of Network News
as easy to use as possible, we’re putting the list of contents on
the inside of the front cover. Just click on the "next page" arrow
on the top line of your PDF reader.
Then to jump to any particular page, just type in the page number
in the space just to the right of the right and left arrows.
All of the articles in this issue will also be available shortly
on our web site, in normal html format, so you can jump around,
click on links to visit suggested sites, and all that.
One other note:
This special issue of Network News has been prepared with
one major purpose in mind: to provide Witherspoon members with
material that will help them to help others in their presbyteries,
as the PC(USA) again engages in a process of reflection and
discernment (and maybe a wee bit of argument) on Amendment 08-B to
the Book of Order, which if approved will remove the specific ban
established over the past few years on the ordination of practicing
lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Presbyterians.
The Witherspoon Society has worked for this change for many
years, and we are hopeful that the time may finally have come to
take this step forward. But the process will be difficult, and so we
have gathered some of the most helpful materials we can find – along
with links to many more – from our own ranks and from other
individuals and groups that share this commitment. Our thanks to all
Click here for
the full issue, in PDF format.08
For an index to all our reports
on the 219th General Assembly
For links to
all our archive pages, listed by months,
ratified (or not) by the presbyteries
A number of the most important actions of the 219th
General Assembly are now being sent to the presbyteries for their
action, to confirm or reject them as amendments to the PC(USA) Book
We're providing resources to help inform the
reflection and debate, along with updates on the voting.
Our three areas of primary interest are:
which would remove the current ban on
lesbian/gay/bisexual/transgender persons being considered as
possible candidates for ordination as elder or ministers.|
which would add the Belhar Confession to our Book of
10-1, which would adopt the new Form of Government
that was approved by the Assembly. |
If you like what
you find here,
we hope you'll help us keep Voices for Justice going ... and
Please consider making a special
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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.
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
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
politics, culture, travel, 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 Flushing, NY.
John Shuck’s Shuck and Jive
A Presbyterian minister, currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., blogs about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!