Archive for February, 2009
This page lists our postings from all of February
For an index to all our reports
the 219th General Assembly
For links to
all our archive pages, listed by months,
Friends Committee on National Legislation
suggests for this evening's State of the Union message:
Two Questions for Obama
Tonight, President Barack Obama will lay out his
priorities for the nation in his first address to Congress. The
president has a lot on his plate right now. One of the key questions
for him is how to make good on his promises to end the killing in
Afghanistan and initiate a new U.S. diplomatic initiative with Iran.
As you listen to the president's speech tonight,
we hope you'll pay particular attention to how he answers two key
When will the United States begin talking
Iran's cooperation is essential to peace in Iraq, to stabilizing
Afghanistan, to helping advance Israeli-Palestinian peace, and to
rebuilding nuclear nonproliferation. The president has pledged to
open diplomatic talks with Iran. The news that Iran is close to
opening its first nuclear power plant makes the need for talks all
the more urgent.
How will the United States help bring
peace to Afghanistan?
Expanding the U.S. war isn't the answer. Instead, our government
should expand U.S. diplomatic reach (including talks with the
Taliban), invest in that country's long-term development, and
provide aid for Afghan refugees, who with Iraqi refugees make up
half the world's refugee population.
Listen to the speech or read the text. Then
write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper in
response. We've provided a sample letter that focuses on the two
To increase the chances that your letter will be
published, you should submit it tonight or first thing tomorrow
|Christians have a
role to play in rebuilding Iraq, church leaders say
World Council of
Churches News Release – Feb. 17, 2009
Representatives of churches in Iraq
confirmed their commitment to work together with all Iraqi citizens
for reconciliation and rebuilding peace in the country.
"The solution to current conditions
lies not in emptying Iraq of its human resources," said the
participants at a 10-11 February meeting in Dar Sayedat Al Jabal,
Fatka, Lebanon. The meeting was organized by the World Council of
Some 12 representatives of Iraqi
churches attended the gathering, which addressed the challenges
facing Christians in Iraq today, particularly issues of safety and
security as well as forced migration. They affirmed the status of
Iraqi Christians as "authentic children of [the] land," emphasizing
the values of equal citizenship and constructive co-existence.
"Christians have belonged to Iraq
since the nation's birth," and as "an essential part of Iraqi
society … deeply rooted in its history and civilization," they "have
the right to live freely" in the country, enjoying "equal rights and
responsibilities along with all other citizens," they said.
Participants in the meeting, some
of whom went through the experience of being kidnapped in Iraq,
called upon Iraqi Christians "to stay in their homeland and
participate actively in its rebuilding and development". Iraqi
Christians have a role "in building educational and social
institutions that contribute to national reconciliation, peace
building and stability," they said.
The gathering also called on
Western churches "not to encourage migration and resettlement
programs for refugees outside Iraq," but rather to "focus their
efforts on bringing back security and stability inside Iraq for all
Iraqis," with the aim of enabling Iraqis to "work together, healing
wounds and building a better future".
Participants at the meeting
emphasized the importance of continued dialogue "among Christians
and their Muslim brothers and sisters." They pledged to establish an
"ecumenical forum" in order to allow "all Iraqi church leaders … to
speak in a common voice to religious and political authorities
inside and outside Iraq".
Full text of the statement of Iraqi
church representatives >>
Middle East Council of Churches
WCC programme on accompanying churches
in conflict situations >>
WCC programme on Churches
in the Middle East: solidarity and witness for peace >>
Witherspoon on the U.S. war in Iraq >>
|New Amnesty report calls for freeze on arms sales
In the Israeli
newspaper Ha-Aretz, Amira Hass summarizes Amnesty
International’s report that as many as 20 countries, led by the
United States, have sold Israel weapons and armaments which may have
been used to commit war crimes during Israel’s 22 day assault on
Gaza. In an unusually blunt statement, Amnesty International's
Middle East director, Malcolm Smart, unequivocally declared, “The
Obama administration should immediately suspend U.S. military aid to
Israel.” This is one more indication that Israel is losing its
standing in the international community (outside the United States),
although its political elite and its American camp followers still
publicly dismiss all such criticism as anti-Semitism.
Here’s another report on the same subject,
from The Guardian UK:
Amnesty, citing phosphorus shells, urges
Israeli weapons ban
Detailed evidence has
emerged of Israel's extensive use of US-made weaponry during its war
in Gaza last month, including white phosphorus artillery shells,
500lb bombs and Hellfire missiles. In a report released today,
Amnesty International detailed the weapons used and called for an
immediate arms embargo on Israel and all Palestinian armed groups.
It called on the Obama administration to suspend military aid to
Israel. The human rights group said that those arming both sides in
the conflict 'will have been well aware of a pattern of repeated
misuse of weapons by both parties and must therefore take
responsibility for the violations perpetrated.
The full story >>
from Witherspoon on Israel, Palestine, and the war on Gaza >>
|Lugar: "Time to Rethink US Sanctions on Cuba"
Agence France-Presse reports:
The time is right for reevaluating US
sanctions on Cuba, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign
Relations Committee says in a new report, calling for allowing
Cuba to buy US goods on credit, US media reported Sunday.
Republican Senator Richard Lugar of Indiana's opinions are
attached to a report due to be released Monday that could add
fuel to momentum toward change in almost five decades of US
policy seeking to isolate Cuba, the Americas' only communist
country. The full
|More presbyteries voting on Amendment 08-B this
These presbyteries will be moving through
the process of discernment on 08-B in the days ahead. We continue to
witness a strong movement of the Spirit in the decisions of many
presbyteries, as we seek ratification of this amendment and an
inclusive and unified church for all. We invite you to keep all
those who will be part of these meetings in your prayers.
North Puget Sound
Thanks to Ray Bagnuolo
|First reports from today's presbytery votes on
Hudson River Presbytery approves 08-B.
Today, February 24,
at Stony Point Conference Center, Stony Point New
York, Hudson River Presbytery affirmed the 218th General
Assembly's Ordination Amendment 08-B by a vote of 94 YES,
12 NO with 1 Abstention.
If you have news of the vote in
|Calls for immigration reform continue in
At public vigil in
Presbyterian church, community asks lawmakers to 'have courage to do
Roughly 100 people gathered at various locations
Thursday night in Postville, a small town still reeling in the
aftermath of an unprecedented May 2008 immigration raid, to pray for
reform. Many of those gathered at Community Presbyterian Church,
shown above, were detainees in the raid and were released back into
the community with ankle tracking devices. At least 24 individuals
in Postville with such devices continue to exist by charity while
they await their day in court.
Read the report in the Iowa Independent >>
PresbyWeb for alerting us to this report.
NOTE: You might recall that concern
for this case was raised on the floor of the 2008 General Assembly,
by a commissioner from Iowa.
More on immigration concerns
|U.S. use of torture is still an issue!
"You can't sweep unlawful activities under the table"
Abu Ghraib investigator Antonio Taguba talks to
Salon about why he backs a commission to examine Bush torture
Mark Benjamin, writing for Salon.com, opens his
President Obama vowed that "the United States
will not torture" only two days into his new administration. But
one big question Obama hasn't answered is whether and how to
investigate notorious Bush-era interrogation and detention
policies. On Thursday, 18 human rights organizations, former
State Department officials and former law enforcement and
military leaders asked the president to create a nonpartisan
commission to investigate those allegedly abusive detention
Retired Maj. Gen. Tony Taguba, who
investigated the famed abuses at Abu Ghraib, signed on to the
effort. He explained his support in an interview with Salon.
Taguba agrees with many attorneys who think it would be
difficult, and perhaps impossible, to prosecute former Bush
administration officials. A nonpartisan fact-finding commission,
however, might provide some degree of accountability for
official U.S. detention and interrogation policies that Taguba
called misguided and illegal.
We have a lot of unanswered questions on
accountability, questions that need to be answered and hold
responsible officials -- civilians and military -- accountable.
These include contractors. We ought not to refer to
accountability as a bumper sticker or to be used loosely. We
have an integrity issue to contend with if we are to prevent
this matter from recurring.
full article >>
National Religious Coalition Against Torture (NRCAT) suggests this
Tell President Obama to end Bush Administration Secrecy!
An important legal
case being argued in a United States Court of Appeals concerns
allegations of torture by five victims of the Bush Administration’s
extraordinary rendition program. Unfortunately, last week, the
Department of Justice affirmed the “state secrets” argument used by
the previous Administration to bar crucial evidence from the
You can read more
about the case in this
Andrew Sullivan piece and this
by legal scholar Scott Horton.
President Obama and Attorney General Holder and ask them to uphold
President Obama’s commitment to transparency.
Click here for a sample email for your use, created by NRCAT.
Please feel free to personalize it before sending it – personalized
messages receive more attention.
More on the issue of torture
|Lutherans move to allow gay clergy – sort of
Religion News Service reports:
A blue-ribbon panel recommended on Thursday (Feb.
19) that the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America lift its ban on
partnered gay and lesbian clergy, but only after the church agrees
in principle on gay relationships and respecting the consciences of
those who dissent.
A majority of the 15-member Task Force for ELCA
Studies on Sexuality believes that “it is possible to devise
guidelines and policies that would allow ... some flexibility” in
its ordination standards.
The 4.8 million-member ELCA currently allows gay
or lesbian clergy who pledge to be celibate; partnered or sexually
active homosexual clergy are technically not allowed in ELCA
pulpits, though some buck the rules without punishment. ...
If adopted by the ELCA’s Churchwide Assembly in
August, the proposals would remove the blanket ban on non-celibate
gay and lesbian clergy, empowering local congregations and governing
bodies to make their own decisions on whether to allow them.
The full story >>
And for a report from the heartland
(or should it be Mighty Fortress?) of the ELCA, here’s a story from
|Presbyterian young adult conference set for May
27-30 in Austin, Texas
deadline for the YAM Jam Conference is this Wednesday, February 25.
Austin Texas - the “Live Music Capital of the
World” – is the location for YAM-Jam – a gathering of Presbyterian
young adults and young adult leaders throughout the PCUSA that will
take place on and around the campus of Austin Theological Seminary
from May 27-30. Bruce Reyes-Chow (Moderator), Carol Howard-Merritt
(author of Tribal Church, and Ted Wardlaw (President of Austin
Seminary) are scheduled to keynote this first time event. Hosted by
PACHEM (Presbyterian Association for Collegiate and Higher Education
Ministries) and sponsored through the Office of Collegiate
Ministries YAM-Jam is an event for people seeking creative ways to
be in ministry with young adults and college students in the PCUSA.
|More heartening results from presbyteries voting
today on Amendment 08-B
The Presbytery of
Greater Atlanta, the largest presbytery in the PC(USA), met
today at Druid Hills Presbyterian Church, Atlanta, and voted by 243
to 233 to approve Amendment B, which would effectively remove the
ban on ordination of lgbt Presbyterians. This is the first time
Greater Atlanta has voted for inclusive ordination.
Another shift came in the Presbytery of New
Hope, meeting at Cary Presbyterian Church, Cary, North Carolina.
They approved Amendment 08-B by a vote of 177 Yes to 139 No, with 10
abstentions. In 2001-02, New Hope voted 153 Yes to 159 No, rejecting
a similar move toward equality.
Yet another shift came in the Presbytery of
Ohio Valley. Today they voted 57 to 44 to approve Amendment B,
while in 2001-02 they voted 90 to 74 against it. Also, the
Presbytery of Arkansas voted 116 to 64 in favor of Amendment
B, after opposing such changes in the past.
Continuing their earlier support for full
inclusion, the Presbytery of Santa Fe and the Presbytery of
Mid-Kentucky (formerly known as Louisville) both approved
Amendment B. Santa Fe voted 110 Yes to 23 No, with 1 abstention.
Mid-Kentucky voted 90 Yes to19 No. Giddings-Lovejoy also
continued its support for inclusion, voting 125 to 83 for Amendment
B. The Presbytery of John Knox voted 39 to 13 for the change
-- in a snowstorm.
The presbyteries of The James, Lake Erie, North
Alabama, Homestead, and Tropical Florida all remained steadfast
in their opposition to this change.
Of 77 presbyteries reporting so far, 34 have voted
Yes, and 44 No. And of the presbyteries voting Yes, 15 have shifted
from previously opposing inclusive ordination to supporting it this
and to Bruce Hahne
for most of this information.
More news and resources on Amendment 08-B >>
|The Vote on Amendment 08-B Marches On: Analysis
Dale Johnson offers a thoughtful
survey of the voting by presbyteries so far on Amendment 08-B.
He suggest some reasons for shifts from past votes, and some points
that might be emphasized to help in the voting yet to come.
|Another presbytery switches for inclusion
Today, February 20, at Grace Presbyterian Church of
Midland, Texas, the Tres Rios Presbytery affirmed the 218th
General Assembly's Ordination Amendment 08-B by a vote of 37 YES to
The Ordination Amendment vote in 2001-02 by Tres
Rios Presbytery was 17 Yes, 54 No. This is a remarkable 28% positive
shift from the previous vote to the one today.
So the totals in the voting so far:
YES: 25 presbyteries
NO: 39 presbyteries
to "win" (to approve or reject Amendment 08-B for inclusive
ordination standards: 87 presbyteries
More news and resources on Amendment 08-B >>
For the latest voting, check Bruce Hahne’s very
helpful blog, at
|An ecumenical opportunity for
Stewardship Programme at World Council
This comes to us from the Collegiate Ministries
office of the PC(USA)
Dear Colleagues and Friends,
Here's a wonderful opportunity for a young adults
you may know for a 3 week international program in Geneva to serve
as a steward for the World Council of Churches Central Committee
meeting in Geneva, Switzerland. It is both a wonderful international
focus and also faith formation in an ecumenical setting.
DEADLINE IS MARCH 31, 2009
information and to apply >>
Another presbytery (in
Alabama) shifts to support equality in ordination
Sheppards & Lapsley presbytery
, in central Alabama,
voted today to approved Amendment 08-B, to restore
ordination to its proper role as a commissioning of people
for service in leadership of the church, and not as a test
of sexual orientation. The vote was close -- 77 for
the amendment and 75 against. But it was a major shift
from a history of strong opposition to equality in past
presbytery continued to reject the change, but by a
narrower margin than in the past (11 yes and 23 no votes).
news and resources on Amendment 08-B >>
hits the PC(USA)
by Gene TeSelle
The head of the Presbyterian Board
of Pensions recently commented on the economic downturn. We must
applaud his saying something publicly about it. But much of his
language is that of the corporate world, from which he came, and we
note with concern that his own salary is in the neighborhood of ten
times that of most ministers and most GA staffers.
Gene TeSelle offers some reflections on the
economic situation and its impact on the PC(USA), and on the views
expressed by Robert W. Maggs
Jr., President and Chief Executive PC(USA) Board of Pensions.
|Witherspoon is on Facebook!
The Witherspoon Society and Voices of Sophia have
joined the "Web 2.0" world with our Witherspoon Society page on
It's been a treat to see so many friends join us
from around the country and even around the world. One of the people
joining us as a member of our Facebook community is the Rev. Roberto
Jordan of Argentina, one of the people instrumental in drafting the
Accra Confession and the featured speaker at our 2007 fall
conference on global discipleship.
By joining us on
Witherspoon Society Facebook page (http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=50517709365),
you can keep connected with other friends passionate about social
justice issues and keep up-to-date with notes about the latest news
from a variety of PC(USA) social justice groups.
If you don't know much about Facebook, it's a
simple way of getting connected with old friends, people with
similar interests and it's free. If you are a first-timer, simply go
to www.facebook.com and
register. By joining as a member of our Facebook page, you too can
post news from your church or presbytery that might be of interest
to the rest of us or begin a discussion on a topic close to your
heart. It's fast, fun, and free – something we all enjoy! See you
Mitch Trigger, Secretary/Communicator of the
And our hearty thanks to Mitch
for leading the way!
Celebrate the Gifts of Women
women during this year of Calvin’s Jubilee
Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday honors women
who contribute their gifts to the church and community and lifts up
issues of women’s rights.
March 8, 2009, is Celebrate the Gifts of Women Sunday
and International Women’s Day.
The 2009 celebration also coincides with the 500th
birthday of John Calvin, foreparent of the Presbyterian Church. Your
congregation or women’s group may, however, use this resource on any
date that you choose to celebrate women.
The Celebrate the Gifts of Women resource, written
by Dale Lindsday Morgan, includes
• a worship service with a call to worship, prayer of
confession, assurance of pardon, suggested hymns, scripture and
• a dramatic approach applying Calvin’s thoughts to women’s
leadership in the church today
• recommended resources for further study
Help spread the word —
download a flier (in PDF formt) about the resource.
Download the 2009 Celebrate the Gifts of Women resource.
resource from Presbyterian Marketplace.
Download the 2008
Celebrate the Gifts of Women resource which celebrates the young
in English >>
Download the 2007 Celebrate the Gifts of Women, which celebrates
the diversity of spiritual and cultural gifts of the young women who
are active in our denomination.
Help leverage U.S.
influence for peace in the Democratic Republic of Congo:
Tell Secretary Clinton to Stop the War on Women in the DRC
This call for action has come to us from Larry Cox, Executive
Director of Amnesty International USA
The ten-year tangle
of alliances, invasions and proxy warfare centered in the Democratic
Republic of Congo has made the region the world's deadliest killing
ground since WWII.
systematically used as a weapon of war and children are forced to
fight for armed groups. Peace in the DRC means putting an end to the
institutionalized violence against women and children.
Click here to watch a video of Congolese children speaking about
their experiences as child soldiers.
The recent dramatic
reversal of alliances between the DRC and its conflict-entangled
neighbors, Uganda and Rwanda, combined with the withdrawal of Hutu
rebels has opened a small window for peace in the region.
Your action today can
help us make real progress on ending violence against women and
children across the region.
The U.S. has
considerable economic and political influence over both the DRC and
Rwanda—no other country combines such influence.
Sign our letter to Secretary Clinton asking her to leverage our
voice to strengthen support for the UN peacekeeping mission and
protect women and children in the DRC.
Rape is used in the
conflict as a calculated strategy to destabilize opposition groups
as well as promote fear and submission. It is not unusual for
mothers and daughters to be raped in front of their families and
villages. Human rights activists working to end violence against
women often face grave threats of violence themselves.
Bihamba is one such activist. Because of her work to end violence
against women, she and her family have been targeted.
Justine described the
current situation in Congo as a war against women. "When two sides
fight, the one punishes the other by raping women," she said.
Putting an end to the
rampant sexual violence and the use of child soldiers is essential
to ensuring peace in the region.
Secretary Clinton has
said that women's rights are one of her top priorities. Make sure
her promises become reality.
Add your name to our letter to Secretary Clinton urging her to
take concrete steps to protect women in the DRC.
Larry Cox, Executive
Amnesty International USA
Latin America Working Group urges:
Travel Ban on Cuba
Their email, dated February 17, 2009:
Dear Cuba Policy Advocates,
S. 428, "Travel for All," is the Senate companion
to H.R. 874 introduced two weeks ago by Representatives Delahunt
(D-MA) and Flake (R-AZ). The Senate bill, introduced by Senator
Dorgan (D-ND) with Senators Enzi (R-WY), Lugar (R-IN), and Dodd
(D-CT), calls for the lifting of travel restrictions so ALL
Americans can travel freely to Cuba.
More information >>
S. 428, like H.R. 874, is an important step toward
a changed Cuba policy; and we need your help to make this a reality.
Contact your senators and ask them to co-sponsor S. 428.
To find your senators' contact information, you
can call the Senate switchboard at 202.224.3121; or you can
look it up here.
Here is the message:
Please co-sponsor S. 428, "To allow travel between
the United States and Cuba."
This bill introduced by Senators Dorgan (D-ND),
Enzi (R-WY), Lugar (R-IN), and Dodd (D-CT) calls for lifting travel
restrictions to Cuba for ALL Americans, restoring our right as
citizens of the United States to travel freely, and takes a giant
step toward restoring our country's reputation in Latin America and
Thank you for your support in ending this inhumane
and out-dated travel ban. To co-sponsor S. 428, please contact Wendy
Gnehm in Senator Enzi's office or Brian Moran in Senator Dorgan's
Support "travel for all" rather than "travel for
none" or even "travel for some."
Click here to send your senators an e-mail using our
If you haven't contacted your congressperson yet,
please take a moment to ask her/him to co-sponsor H.R. 874. See our
alert from last week here and take action on H.R. 874 today!
And don't forget to register (remember
PRE-REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED FOR EVERYONE) for Cuba Consultation
2009, March 5 and 6 in Washington DC.
Click here for more information, and continue
checking our website for updates
about the agenda.
Presbyterian Church (USA) is a participating member in this
organization, through our Washington Office.
Amendment 08-B -- What
to do now??
Considering the voting so far in presbyteries on Amendment 08-B, the
Rev. Ray Bagnuolo offers this analysis, with suggestions for ways to
give further support to change toward a more inclusive church.
|Why marriage matters
Pitts, Jr., a thoughtful columnist with the Miami Herald,
reports a moving story of life and death for a lesbian couple.
The whole story >>
|Three more presbyteries make the shift to support
an inclusive church
In meetings today, three
presbyteries switched from their opposition to ordination of lgbt
Presbyterians (in 2001-02) to supporting it by approving Amendment
|Maumee Valley (Northwestern Ohio and
Southeastern Michigan) voted 65 to 58.|
|Great Rivers (Western Illinois) voted 85 to
|Scioto Valley (Central Ohio) voted by 115 to
The only presbytery we’re aware of that voted today against the
amendment is Glacier, which rejected it by 28 against, to 7 for.
For the latest voting, check Bruce Hahne’s very
helpful blog, at
For more on the whole
subject of ordination, and Amendment 08-B >>
|An alternative view of
globalization as it seems to unravel
A report on the
World Social Forum: Is Another World Possible?
The Nation magazine carries a report by Tim
Costello and Brendan Smith, that begins:
The recently concluded World Social Forum is a
good gauge for assessing the state of the world's alternative
social, economic and political movements. Organized in 2001 as a
counterpoint to the World an emerging globalization from below.
It's a massive affair--this year more than 100,000 people
gathered here for the five-day event. Part political convention,
part carnival, part countercultural happening, the WSF serves as
the center of gravity for the global justice movement that
emerged in the late 1990s to contest corporate globalization.
The question on the minds of many was how to
respond to what some call the "crisis of crises"--the economic,
climate, political and cultural catastrophes that have engulfed
the planet--and whether social movements can provide a unifying
alternative vision for a better world. Economist Walden Bello of
Focus on the Global South summed it up: "There is a sense of
urgency and seriousness combining both pragmatism and principle.
There is much less rhetoric. Things are taking place very fast
outstripping what many predicted. There is a clear collapse of
neo-liberalism. We have been triumphant over Davos.... Now we
need alternatives and must get down to the hard work of creating
full article >>
|We have money problems, right?
Let’s look to the military (budget) for help
Rep. Barney Frank (D - Mass.) urges looking to the
military budget as a source of funds for health care and more
Frank’s article, published in The Nation,
I am a great believer in freedom of expression
and am proud of those times when I have been one of a few
members of Congress to oppose censorship. I still hold close to
an absolutist position, but I have been tempted recently to make
an exception, not by banning speech but by requiring it. I
would be very happy if there was some way to make it a
misdemeanor for people to talk about reducing the budget deficit
without including a recommendation that we substantially cut
military spending. [Emphasis added.]
Sadly, self-described centrist and even
liberal organizations often talk about the need to curtail
deficits by cutting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and
other programs that have a benign social purpose, but they fail
to talk about one area where substantial budget reductions would
have the doubly beneficial effect of cutting the deficit and
diminishing expenditures that often do more harm than good.
Obviously people should be concerned about the $700 billion
Congress voted for this past fall to deal with the credit
crisis. But even if none of that money were to be paid back –
and most of it will be – it would involve a smaller drain on
taxpayer dollars than the Iraq War will have cost us by the time
it is concluded, and it is roughly equivalent to the $651
billion we will spend on all defense in this fiscal year.
|Latest presbytery voting on Amendment 08-B
One more shift to Yes on more inclusive ordination
The Presbytery of Charlotte, meeting on Saturday,
February 14th, at Johnson C. Smith University, became the sixth to
switch from 'no' in 2001-2 to 'yes' this time. The vote was 133 to
The Presbytery of Miami Valley (in the area of
Dayton, Ohio), continued their consistent support for change,
beginning by rejecting a motion to “take no action,” and then
approving Amendment 08-B by 72 to 48.
Other presbyteries continued their rejection of
change, but all by narrower margins than in 2001-02. These included
Mid-South (Memphis), Inland Northwest (Eastern Washington, Northern
Idaho), and the Pines (Northern Louisiana, Southern Arkansas). The
Presbytery of the Pines, we note, rejected 08-B by a vote of 34 to
36 – pretty close!
So the count of presbytery votes so far stands at
20 for Amendment B, and 37 against. There’s still lots of work to be
For the latest voting, check Bruce Hahne’s very
helpful blog, at
And more on the whole
subject of ordination, and Amendment 08-B >>
|More information released about the members of
the GA special committees on
Service has released brief bio sketches of the recently appointed
members of the special committees created by the 2008 General
Assembly to study issues related to Israel Palestine, and concerns
about inaccurate translations of the Heidelberg Catechism, which
have been cited as reasons against the ordination of lgbt
|60-minute documentary chronicles life of John
Presbyterian News Service reports on a
new documentary –
John Calvin: His Life and Legacy – which examines the life and
thought of the seminal Protestant Reformer as the 500th anniversary
of his birth approaches in July of this year.
According to officials of the
Ministries Publishing (CMP) in the General Assembly Council’s
Theology Worship and Education ministries, which is one of the
sponsors of the project, the film "is poised to debunk such myths as
predestination being at the heart of Calvin’s theology and that he
relished the burning of heretics at the stake, and reclaim Calvin’s
perspectives on Christian faith and life that have shaped Reformed
churches throughout the world.”
The full news
|More presbyteries vote on Amendment 08-B
The Presbytery of Southeastern Illinois voted today,
by 68-56-3, to approve Amendment 08-B. That was a shift for them,
from opposing ordination to supporting it.
And the Presbytery of Pueblo (southeastern
Colorado) voted ‘no’ but by a margin of 27 votes, as compared to a
difference of 54 votes in 2001-2. So the current count of voting as
far as we know, is 18 ‘yes,’ 32 ‘no,’ with 5 presbyteries so far
switching from opposition to support compared to 2001-2.
One of those ‘no’ votes was the result of a tie,
in the Presbytery of Cincinnati, which counts as a "no" vote.
This reminds us of the importance of talking with people about the
issue, and helping be sure they get to the meeting where they can
Bruce Hahne, recent National MLP Board Member and
Elder, First Presbyterian Church, Palo Alto, CA, is keeping a tally
of the voting, analyzing trends, and more.
Click here for his data >>
Thanks to Tricia Dykers Koenig of
and Michael Adee of More Light
More on Amendment 08-B >>
Biographical information on members of Civil Union/Christian
13-member group mandated by 218th General Assembly
The Office of the
General Assembly has released biographical information on the 13
Presbyterians named yesterday (Feb. 5) to the General Assembly’s
Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Unions and Christian
story on the committee members >>
|Lenten resources are offered to help people
reflect on torture
No2Torture and the
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program have worked together to prepare
resources for Lent, with a focus on the continuing concern for
torture. These have been prepared through the partnership and
courtesy of singer/songwriters Tom Zehnder and Tim Gibbs Zehnder.
There are reflections and sermon notes by the Rev.
Kirsten Klepfer, which are
posted on the No2Torture page >>
of No2Torture describes this resource: “The work is deep and
solid and should help connect the considerations of torture to
larger issues of violence. It is rooted in study of this year's
lectionary passages and theological considerations of atonement.
It is short, relevant and accessible so preachers and lay
leaders can readily use it."
On the Peacemaking
Program's page there are prayers and a devotional reflection by
Elsbeth Pollack, a student at Beloit College.
Click here >>
Finally, Tim and Tom
offer the free use of their song "Breathe In, Breathe Out" in mp3
format and as the lyrics.
Click here for the details >>
During this Lent, as
we prepare to celebrate again the events of Holy Week – the arrest,
torture, and execution of Jesus – and God's response of resurrection
– may these resources sustain and challenge us in our efforts to
stop the use of torture.
The Rev. W. Mark
Coordinator, Presbyterian Peacemaking Program
(888) 728-7228 ext. 5936 (toll-free)
|Immokalee Workers leader addresses UN
This report comes from the Rev. Noelle Damico,
who staffs the Campaign for Fair Food, of the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.), dated Feb. 11, 2009.
Yesterday, Lucas Benitez of the Coalition of
Immokalee Workers spoke at the United Nations to mark the first-ever
"World Day of Social Justice." He emphasized the practical steps
that state and federal government officials could take to address
the grave human rights abuses faced by farmworkers. Read on to learn
The writer of 1 John exhorts us to love "in truth
and action." If you haven't already done so, do take a moment to
read and consider signing on to the Religious Community Letter to
Florida Gov. Charlie Crist concerning modern-day slavery. It calls
on the governor to meet with the CIW and to urge the Florida Tomato
Growers Exchanges to stop impeding the CIW's agreements with food
corporations. To read the letter, get background, and to sign on,
click here >>.
Please download the letter and encourage members of your church to
join in this important public witness.
Peace, PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food
Lucas Benitez speaks at UN's first "World Day
of Social Justice"
At the invitation of the Honorable Mary Robinson
(President of the Ethical Globalization Initiative and former UN
High Commissioner on Human Rights), Lucas Benitez of the CIW spoke
yesterday at an event marking the first "World Day of Social
Justice," organized by the EGI, the International Labor Organization
(ILO) and the UN.
You can find the full text of his speech at the
The invitation to the
inaugural event, held at UN headquarters in New York, was a great
honor. Lucas spoke of the history of the CIW's struggle and of
practical policy steps that state and federal government actors
could take to help improve the lives of hundreds of thousands of
farmworkers. He concluded his presentation:
With this sort of
practical and political support from elected leaders, consumers
and the corporations that purchase produce will be able to
demand a new product from the US agricultural industry – not
just good, cheap, and safe food, but fair food, food that
respects human rights and doesn't exploit human beings.
Food is at the
very heart of any society. The workers who plant, pick, and pack
food throughout the US – and around the world – have suffered
generations of poverty and degradation. On this day, the very
first World Social Justice Day, let us recognize the fundamental
dignity of farm labor and the men and women who put the food on
our tables. Thank you.
The Rev. Noelle
Campaign for Fair Food
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
NY Office: 631-751-7076
More on the Immokalee farmworkers' campaign for justice >>
|Don’t Forget to
Register for Ecumenical Advocacy Days
From Witness in Washington Weekly, published by
the Washington Office of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),
February 11, 2009
Register Now for
Ecumenical Advocacy Days -
"Enough for All Creation" - March 13-16
"The Thief comes only to steal and kill and
destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly."
Join us at the 7th annual Ecumenical Advocacy
Days, as we explore ways to bring about a world with Enough for All
Creation. Learn about the connections between climate change,
migration and poverty in the U.S. and around the world. Come
together with faith-based advocates and activists from across the
United States in the nation's capitol March 13-16 as we discuss the
abundance of our world and how it can be allocated in a way that is
fair and just for all creation.
We live in an increasingly interconnected world
and have an enormous impact on each other and creation. As the
earth's temperature rises we see a strain on resources. Food, while
plentiful for some, is desperately scarce for others. Lack of clean
water makes children sick and burdens women. Global warming and
growing resource deprivation forces some people to migrate and
others to wage war over food, water and oil. Our increasingly
co-dependent economies lift a few individuals up to great heights
while keeping others living lives of destitution.
This year, Presbyterian delegates will again have
the opportunity to gather for dinner on Saturday night, as well as
for lunch and a special “denominational” time earlier that day.
Don’t miss it!
For more information and registration go to
|Another presbytery shifts to support 08-B
Cimarron Presbytery approves Ordination Amendment
Today, February 10, at First Presbyterian Church,
Alma, Oklahoma, Cimarron Presbytery affirmed the 218th General
Assembly's Ordination Amendment 08-B by a vote of 19 Yes, 16 No.
In 2001 Cimarron Presbytery rejected the
ordination amendment by a vote of 16 Yes to 20 No.
Within less than 2 weeks, this is the fourth
presbytery to "flip" from opposition in 2001 to approval in 2009,
with Western North Carolina as the first presbytery to flip.
Thanks to Michael Adee of
More Light Presbyterians
For more on Amendment 08-B
|For justice for
Join in asking Gov.
Crist of Florida to oppose modern slavery in Florida’s fields, and
to support improvement for farmworkers
The Witherspoon Society supports the
PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food, in inviting you to sign on to and
collect signatures for a letter from the religious community
to Florida Governor Charlie Crist. The letter calls upon Gov. Crist
to work with the CIW to address modern-day slavery and abuses in
Florida's fields and to urge the Florida Tomato Growers Exchange to
stop blocking improvements for farmworkers.
|It's time for a Truth Commission on torture
Human Rights First seeks a truth commission on torture from
Torin Nelson, a professional interrogator who just returned from
Afghanistan. We hope you will join him and Human Rights First in
calling for a truth commission.
The group Human Rights First is distributing this
note from Torin Nelson, a professional interrogator who just
returned from Afghanistan. They urge you to join him and Human
Rights First in calling for a truth commission.
|A participatory sermon about Jesus
The Rev. John Shuck posted this note on Monday, Feb.
9, reporting on his “sermon” from the day before.
No text for Sunday's sermon. It was "off the
cuff." I will tell what I did as it was kind of fun.
I put the congregation to work.
The ushers handed out pencils. During the sermon I
asked them to write a paragraph about Jesus, about the personality
of Jesus. What kind of person was he? I played some music while they
wrote about Jesus.
Then I asked them (and it only really works if
they don't know this is coming) to circle three things they wrote
about Jesus that described themselves as well (or who they would
like to be). Then I asked them to tell the person next to them about
the Jesus they found and the characteristics that describe
It was well-received and far more eye-opening than
if I had merely told them how our ideas about Jesus reflect our
attitudes. Tell me your Jesus and you will find yourself.
I offered some closing thoughts about how Jesus is
a spiritual icon and can be a "lure" inviting us to discover our
deepest or best selves.
This is the real value of Jesus and why his story
continues to be retold.
I hope folks will tell me about the Jesus they
I learned this exercise from Walter Wink when he
and his partner, June Keener-Wink led a workshop at Kirkridge. He
was working on his book The Human Being: Jesus and the Enigma of
the Son of Man. A good read by the way.
Posted By John Shuck to
Shuck and Jive
|Detained immigrants paraded through Phoenix in
shackles by Sheriff Arpaio
The National Council
of Le Raza (NCLR) begins its report:
[On Wednesday, Feb. 4,] at 1:00 p.m. Sheriff
Joe Arpaio paraded hundreds of detained immigrants in shackles
through the streets of Phoenix, Arizona to a "tent city" where
they will be held indefinitely. In true Arpaio form, his office
sent a press release to the media inviting them to this event,
proving that he's more interested in drawing attention to
himself than actually doing his job. In reference to the
electric fencing around the tent city, Arpaio said, "This is a
population of criminals more adept perhaps at escape. But this
is a fence they won't want to scale because they risk receiving
quite a shock-literally."
|More presbyteries vote for 08-B
The Presbytery of East Tennessee became the third to
change its vote from 'no' in 2001-2 to 'yes' this year, when they
voted on Saturday, Feb. 6, to approve Amendment 08-B by 81 to 66,
with 2 abstentions. They thus joined in supporting a proposal to
make the Presbyterian Church more welcoming, more inclusive, more
just, especially in relation to its lgbt members who believe they
are called to ordained office.
More from John Shuck’s blog >>
Also on Saturday, the Presbytery of the Redwoods
(California) and the Presbytery of Winnebago (Wisconsin), which have
supported inclusive ordination in the past, did so by stronger
majorities than ever.
The total of presbyteries voting so far stands at
15 “yes” votes for the amendment, and 27 “no.” And as a number of
observers have noted, even in presbyteries that continue to reject
the amendment, the margin is narrowing between the “no” votes and
those favoring the change.
More details are
provided by More Light Presbyterians >>
Bruce Hahne has
a spreadsheet listing all the votes so far, comparing them with
voting on a similar action in 2001-02.
Membership named for two GA special committees
Topics of study to include
The membership of two General Assembly special
committees have been released, bringing the total of special
committees named by the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the
218th General Assembly (2008) of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) to
three this week.
Reyes-Chow earlier named his appointees to the
to Study Issues of Civil Unions and Christian Marriage.
All three special committees were formed out of
actions of the 218th General Assembly (2008), which met last summer
in San Jose, Calif.
Obama announces new faith-based council
President Barack Obama has announced that the
office established by President George W. Bush, for providing
government support for religiously based social programs, will be
continued – but apparently changed in some significant ways. While
Bush’s program was primarily a grant-making body, Obama is going
beyond that, creating a new board of advisers whose recommendations
will be woven directly into his policy-making apparatus.
The New York Times reports today:
President Obama signed an executive order Thursday to create a new
White House office for faith-based programs and neighborhood
partnerships, building upon the initiatives started by the Bush
administration to administer social services to people “no matter
their religious or political beliefs.”
What are your thoughts about this potentially
Please look at the reports, then
send a note, so your hopes and concerns can be shared
announces names for special committee to study civil union and
Committee of 13 will begin work in March
The Reverend Bruce
Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly (2008) of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has selected members for the General
Assembly Special Committee to Study Issues of Civil Union and
Last summer’s General
Assembly directed the Moderator to “appoint a special committee,
representing the broad diversity and theological balance of the
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), to study the following … including any
policy recommendations growing out of the study:
history of the laws governing marriage and civil union, including
current policy debates.
• How the
theology and practice of marriage have developed in the Reformed and
broader Christian tradition.
relationship between civil union and Christian marriage.
• The effects
of current laws on same-gender partners and their children.
• The place of
covenanted same-gender partnerships in the Christian community.
On Amendment 08-B
calls for change
As Palisades Presbytery met on January 27 and
debated the proposal to amend G-6.0106b in the Book of order to
remove the effort to ban ordination of lgbt Presbyterians, one of
those speaking for the amendment was the Rev. Richard Hong, pastor
of First Presbyterian Church, Englewood, New Jersey, and co-chair of
the Committee on Preparation for Ministry of Palisades Presbytery –
and a former treasurer of the Witherspoon Society.
The Presbytery voted 35 to 20 in favor of 08-B.
We think his brief statement may be helpful to
others. He began:
I am on the Bills and Overtures Committee
representing the Committee on Preparation for Ministry, and it
is from that perspective that I comment on 08-B. On CPM, our job
is to discern whom God has called. For pastors, elders, and
deacons, the question to the congregation at our installations
asks that they affirm that the person being elected was “chosen
by God through the voice of this congregation.”
“Chosen by God” – that is why I oppose the
sort of categorical limitations that were so unwisely added to
G-6.0106 a decade ago. Every time we categorically exclude
persons from office: persons of color, women – we’re wrong. God
has and will continue to surprise us by the people God chooses.
TORTURE IS A
Religious Campaign Against Torture is sponsoring two important
events in the Washington, DC area in March.
This announcement has come to us from the
Campaign Against Torture
First, NRCAT is a
co-sponsor again of the Ecumenical Advocacy Days which will take
place March 13-16 at the Hilton Alexandria Mark Center, Alexandria,
Virginia, across the river from Washington, DC. It is an
important gathering of Christians who come to DC to lobby on a
variety of issues. Click here to learn more and to register: http://www.advocacydays.org/.
Advocacy Days, there will be a workshop called "Next Steps in Ending
U.S.-Sponsored Torture". It will provide an opportunity to talk
about the tasks ahead for the religious community as we work to end
U.S.-sponsored torture once and for all, including advocating for an
independent nonpartisan commission to investigate our torture
policies and practices since Sept. 11, 2001.
The workshop will be
held on Saturday, March 14, 2009, from 3:45 - 5:30 p.m. Speakers
include Scott Horton, a New York attorney known for his work in
human rights law and legal affairs and national security contributor
at Harper's Magazine and Dr. George Hunsinger, founder of
NRCAT and Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological Seminary.
Catholic Leadership Council of NRCAT, the Life Cycle Institute and
the Center for International Social Development of the Catholic
University of America will sponsor a conference on "Torture,
Conscience and the Catholic Moral Tradition" at Catholic
University on Thursday, March 19, from 1 p.m. to 9 p.m.
More on this
Richard Killmer, Executive Director, NRCAT
GHOST RANCH PEACE & JUSTICE
July 27 - August 2, 2009
is the time to make reservations to be a part of the 2009 Peace &
Justice Week at Ghost Ranch, July 27-August 2. There are eight
seminars to choose among, including the
“New Eyes for Peace & Justice from the World Church” led by Clifton
seminar opportunities include “Organizing Alternatives to Military
Service” planned by Rick Ufford-Chase, “Faith in Action & Stone
Building” led by brothers David William Abazs and Andrew Kang
Bartlett. Mark Koenig and Joel Hanisek will be guiding “Chariots &
Horses: Weapons of Mass Destruction, Weapons of No Discrimination”
and Jean Richardson is providing opportunity for renewal in “Moving
other classes are designed to provide ways to respond to some of
today’s challenges. Greg Garrett offers “Speaking Out for Peace &
Justice: Writing, Preaching & Speaking that Make a Difference.” Amy
Franklin and Kay Pranis will lead “Fundamentals of Peacemaking:
Exploring Connectedness” and “Climate of Fear, Climate of Hope” will
be led by Kolya Braun-Greiner and Pamela Sparr.
can read descriptions of all these classes at
and of the camp culture alternative for lower cost housing and food
option. The Rev. Corey A. Nelson will serve as Worship/Music Leader
for the week as well as working with the children/youth program. The
Rev. Nancy Copeland-Payton will be available all week for one-on-one
sessions of spiritual discernment. There will also be an opportunity
to attend the commemoration at Los Alamos of the bombings of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
Family members seeking other kinds of classes can
choose from among a wide variety in the Creative Arts Festival
lineup, plus several other opportunities including Casa del Sol
Retreat Center or just rest & relax.
Note: Send your registration in now, to get
your housing choice. Also, the registration fee is $250 until
May 15, when it goes to $350. It pays to sign on early.
For details on each of the seminars >>
New Eyes for Peace and Justice From the World Church
Years ago Robert McAfee Brown reminded us
of the important "gift of new eyes" that we receive from
the world church to help us see that Christian
faithfulness in witness for peace and justice in North
America. That has never been more true than today! This
course will explore several recent global, ecumenical
developments that have the potential for reshaping our
witness for justice in the 21st century.
Each day we will focus on a different
development and what it might mean for our work for
justice and peace and will use our final session to pull
the threads between these movements together. These
The Accra Confession (WARC's call for
Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the
Decade to Overcome Violence (WCC-sponsored
movement of Christian communities around the world
seeking alternatives to violence that lead to
Calvin Jubilee (2009 is Calvin's
500th birthday and churches around the world are
exploring what it means to have a Calvinist
revolution in the 21st century);|
A Common Word Between Us and You (the
dramatic call from 138 Muslim scholars and leaders
to find common ground around our common calling to
love God and neighbor).|
The Rev. Dr. Clifton Kirkpatrick,
of Louisville, KY, serves as President of the
World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC). He has
completed forty years of service as an ordained minister
in the Presbyterian Church (USA). For the last twelve
years he has served as Stated Clerk of the General
Assembly Council, and at the conclusion of his term of
service in 2008, was elected by the General Assembly as
Stated Clerk Emeritus. He is a graduate of Davidson
College, and he received his theological education at
Yale University Divinity School and his doctor of
ministry degree from McCormick Theological Seminary. On
January 1, 2009, Rev. Kirkpatrick became a Visiting
Professor of Global Ministries and Ecumenical Studies at
Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary.
On Amendment 08-B, another presbytery shifts to support inclusion
Today Lake Huron Presbytery voted 43 to 32 in favor
of Amendment 08-B, which would restore the PC(USA) to a more
biblically based view of ordination, no longer barring those who by
reason of their sexual orientation have been deemed unfit to serve
in ordained office. Lake Huron Presbytery originally opposed
“Amendment B,” which became G-6.0106b in the Book of Order, but
since then has voted twice to reject amendments that would have
moved to less restrictive requirements for ordination.
so far 22 presbyteries have voted against 08-B, while 12 have voted
to approve it. That's a shift of two presbyteries so far to
approve the amendment.
Doing the Recovery Right: joining concern for environment and
Robert Pollin writes in The Nation:
For most of the past generation, the aims of
environmental sustainability and social justice were seen as
equally worthy, yet painfully and unavoidably in conflict. Tree
huggers and spotted owls were pitted against loggers and hard
hats. Fighting global warming was held to inevitably worsen
global poverty and vice versa. Indeed, the competing demands of
the environmental and social justice agendas were frequently
cited as a classic example of how public policy choices were
fraught with trade-offs and unintended consequences – how you
could end up doing harm while seeking only to do good.
Over the past couple of years, there has been
a dramatic reversal of thinking: the idea has emerged that
protecting the environment – in particular, defeating global
warming – can also be an effective engine of economic growth,
job creation and even poverty reduction.
The full article >>
Ending US Torture:
A Time for Hope and Healthy Skepticism
Published on January 24,
2009 by CommonDreams.org
George Hunsinger, who
is the McCord Professor of Theology at Princeton Theological
Seminary, and founder of the National Religious Campaign Against
Torture, http://www.nrcat.org/ expresses hope for the steps
President Obama has taken to end the use of torture, to close
Guantánamo, and abolish secret prisons. He writes:
The decision to shut
down Guantanamo is most welcome, yet it is not only lacking in
detail but also allows too much time for its implementation.
Guantanamo should be closed in less than a year. The many men who
can go home should be immediately repatriated. Safe havens must be
found for the others who would face torture or persecution if sent
back. A handful will need to be tried in domestic courts.
Closing the CIA black
sites is also enormously important. Secret prisons have no place in
a democratic society. Their only purpose is to get around the Geneva
conventions and other laws so that torture and abuse can be carried
out. No option should be left open for reviving those sites.
Establishing a single
standard for interrogation, also promulgated in principle, is
essential if torture is to be flushed out of our system.
In short, the new
executive orders are full of promise. They overturn illegal and
immoral tactics in the defense of national security. But they do not
mean that the struggle is over.
Hunsinger deals with
the issue of torture very helpfully in his recent book,
Torture Is a Moral Issue: Christians, Jews, Muslims
and People of Conscience Speak Out.
|Voting on Amendment 08-B as seen by The Layman
“Opponents of ordination standards get key win;
more likely to follow.”
John Shuck offers
this look at the view from the Right:
It’s on his blog, but here it is in full:
Western North Carolina's approval of the new B (so sweet), the
LayMAN is worried the tide may be turning. Check this:
Overall, the tally on
the proposed revision of G-6.0106b now stands at 11 presbyteries
voting to change it and 22 voting to keep it on the books as it is
now. But the margins of support for the ordination requirement have
trailed off in this referendum. If it continues that way among
presbyteries that had close votes in 2001, the requirement could be
In 2001-02, 50
presbyteries that opposed repealing G-6.0106b had margins as close
as Western North Carolina’s this year. That includes 12 with margins
of 10 or fewer votes and 15 with margins of 11-30 votes. If all 50
voted to changing G-6.0106b, the opponents of the
“fidelity/chastity” requirement would win by a vote of 96-77.
Cool! If Western
North Carolina (home of the LayMAN's former Pontiff, Parker
Williamson) can vote for inclusion, so can the rest of the PC(USA)!
The LayMAN spoke this
truth as well:
And even if the proponents of ordaining gays,
lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people come up short this year,
they will declare that “close” is sufficient grounds to ask the
General Assembly to approve another referendum.
Right again, O LayMAN.
Justice never sleeps. We will keep knocking on that door. Little by
little, one heart and mind at a time, the church will finally get
for the Layman’s report >>
By the way, Shuck also offers this
late news from the environmental front:
For an index to all our reports
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. |
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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!