This page lists our postings
from all of June, 2011
For an index to all our reports
the 219th General Assembly
For links to earlier archive pages,
Stated clerk speaks out against Colombia Free Trade Agreement
Parsons urges Obama to address human rights abuses
by Bethany Furkin, Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – The stated clerk of the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.) is adding his voice to those of Presbyterians in the
United States and Colombia opposing the passage of the Colombia Free
In a letter to President Obama, the Rev. Gradye
Parsons says, “Real, substantial, and lasting efforts must be made
to address the serious displacement crisis and the violations of
human rights and labor rights in Colombia before a trade agreement
should move forward.”
Presbyterians in both countries have been speaking
out against the CFTA in recent weeks, thorough fasting, a call-in
campaign and a prayer breakfast.
For the rest of this report, and the full text of Parsons’ letter >>
For our earlier
posts on Colombia >>
Here’s help in following immigration legislation in various
The Office of Immigration Issues of the
PC(USA) sent this helpful note (and links to more!) on June 22,
There has been recent activity at the state level
on immigration legislation. South Carolina passed legislation
yesterday and a couple weeks ago Alabama adopted a bill that would
require law enforcement to check the immigration status of a person
if there was reasonable suspicion that person was in the US without
authorization. The Alabama bill also presents issues for those who
assist people who are undocumented. Our office is currently
reviewing the South Carolina legislation.
Here is an article from a local paper in SC:
As part of our efforts to keep Presbyterians
informed about immigration issues in their area, we’ve created a
spreadsheet that tracks state immigration legislation along with
links to the text of the bill, voting history, and a recent local
article on the legislation. It is posted on our website. The
spreadsheet is updated every few weeks so if you’re relying on the
information in the spreadsheet for anything, please call our office
for the most up-to-date information as we may be a little behind
posting changes. I can tell you that we’ve not updated the SC
Follow this link to learn more.
Thanks for your time and your ministry.
Melissa Davis Gee
Advocacy and Legal Services Coordinator
Office of Immigration Issues
Presbyterian Church (USA)
100 Witherspoon Street
Louisville, Kentucky 40202
For our earlier posts on
immigration concerns >>
New York gay marriage
As one who grew up in New York State (Albany, to be fairly precise), I'm
delighted to share this news. Doug King, your WebWeaver.
Here's the beginning of the report from Politico.com
advocates believe is a historic victory for gay rights, the New York
state senate Friday approved same-sex marriage, bringing New York a
promised governor’s signature away from being the sixth and largest
state to allow gays and lesbians to marry.
The 33-29 vote is an
enormous victory for first-year Gov. Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat who
pledged during last fall’s campaign to push for gay marriage. It
comes after an intense public and private lobbying campaign from a
wide cast of politicians, celebrities and athletes, including New
York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and former President Bill Clinton.
Cuomo, whose two
daughters attended the vote in the senate gallery, is expected to
sign the bill. The bill will become law 30 days after Cuomo signs
it, and when it does, it will double the population of Americans to
whom same-sex marriage is legal.
Stand Up for Health Care!
Alert, dated June 22, 2011, comes to us from the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness
Everyone deserves access to quality, affordable
health care. For over 50 years, Medicare and Medicaid have provided
coverage for millions of elderly, poor, and disabled persons in our
country. Today, nearly 1 in 3 Americans depends on these public
health insurance programs to meet their basic health needs.
In the current debate over the federal budget, some
members of Congress have proposed making drastic cuts to both
Medicare and Medicaid. If successful, these cuts would result in
both decreases in enrollment and reductions in coverage. Millions of
Americans would not receive the health services they desperately
Recognizing the importance of these programs for
our country’s well-being, we cannot afford to let Congress cut
health care for vulnerable populations.
Click here to contact your members of Congress today and tell them
not to cut Medicare and Medicaid!
Christians, we believe that God desires shalom – wholeness and
healing – for every person, not just for those who can afford it.
Jesus’ command to love our neighbor requires persons with plentiful
resources both to comprehend the condition of those persons without
basic health care and to share the means to health.
This summer, as
Congress debates various budget proposals, the Office of Public
Witness urges you to
contact your members of Congress and urge them not to cut
Medicare and Medicaid. Cuts to these programs would only shift
financial costs to older adults and poor people who depend on these
programs for their survival.
General Assembly Guidance:
The 214th (2002)
General Assembly directed the Presbyterian Washington Office (PWO)
to encourage members of the Congress to recognize the importance of
universal health care – that is, equal, accessible, affordable, and
high-quality health care for all persons residing in our nation.
The 217th (2006)
General Assembly approved actions to call on the president and
Congress to provide adequate funding for the preservation of the
Medicare and Medicaid programs as the health-care safety-net
programs for elderly, poor, and disabled populations.
Presbyterian leaders offer a call to prayer for Sudan
Bolbach, Parsons, and Valentine urge Peace as July 9
by Jerry L. Van Marter, Presbyterian News Service
LOUISVILLE – June 22, 2011 – With violence flaring
up in Sudan as the July 9 independence of South Sudan nears,
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders have called on all
Presbyterians to pray for peace in the east African country.
The call was issued by General Assembly Moderator
Cynthia Bolbach, General Assembly Stated Clerk Gradye Parsons and
General Assembly Mission Council Executive Director Linda Valentine.
After decades of civil war between the
Khartoum-based Islamist government of Sudan and the mainly Christian
and animist south, a Comprehensive Peace Agreement was signed in
2005. The agreement called for a referendum on self-determination
for southern Sudan. The referendum was held in January of this year,
with overwhelming support for independence, which is scheduled to
take place July 9.
For the full text of the call to prayer >>
For our earlier posts on Sudan >>
Presbyterian Voices for Justice
wants your views
The PVJ Coordinating Team
would really like to know your thoughts and suggestions about what
we’re doing together to witness in the PC(USA) to God’s calling to
all of us, to do justice in God’s world and within the church.
So we’re asking you to take a short survey to tell
us what you think, what your interests are, and what suggestions you
can offer as we shape plans and programs for the next few years.
Most of the 12 questions simply ask you to make
choices or rank alternatives, but a few offer you a space to share
your own thoughts and concerns with us. And the last few ask you to
tell us a little about yourself, if you’re willing, and (also
if you’re willing!) to tell us how to get in touch with you if
we want to follow up on something you’ve said.
One important thing: When you get to the end of
the survey, you’ll find a button that says “SUBMIT.” We’re not
echoing Paul’s suggestion to wives! It’s just the way the form
works, and we can’t figure out a way to change. So please just grit
your teeth, friends, and click on that button, or we’ll never see
what you’ve said.
In due time we’ll report to you on the results –
without identifying any of the respondents, of course.
HERE for the survey >>
advance, we thank you!
member comments on Mark Sandlin’s “Death Throes of Fundamentalism”
Lee Lybarger, of Delaware,
Ohio, has sent this comment on
essay we noted on June 18, about the future of the PC(USA),
and the challenges faced by its more conservative people in
light of the denomination's move toward more full acceptance of
LGBT members as candidates for ordination.
It would be nice to
think that Mark Sandlin's prognosis for a more prophetic
denomination will result given the fall-off of
fundamentalist-oriented congregations, but I am afraid that it does
not square with reality. Mark forgets that our churches are
institutionally conservative, [so that among their primary purposes
are] self-preservation and the focus on personal needs. Hence they
will continue to be socially conservative, given that the average
age of many Presbyterians is 60 years +/-.
The rest of Lybarger's
We welcome your comments!
a note, to be shared here.
A hymn on welcoming
the prophets among us,
and welcoming God's call to all of us as prophets
We're happy to share with you a new hymn by
Carolyn Winfrey Gillette, who with her husband, the Rev. Bruce
Gillette, serves as co-pastor of
Presbyterian Church in Wilmington, Delaware.
"The Death Throes of Fundamentalism in a Thinking Church"
This thoughtful comment was posted on the PVJ
Facebook page by the Rev. Mark Sandlin, who currently serves as
the minister at Vandalia Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, NC.
He offers a critical reflection on the reasons given by one
minister on the Presbyterian Right for his call for separating
from the denomination.
It is clear from their positioning and
trajectory that many will leave the PCUSA and that will cull the
membership of the denomination. The long term effect will be the
closing of some churches and, along with that, many ordained
ministers will be out of work. The denomination itself, however,
will not die. It will grow leaner, more focused, more prophetic.
Perhaps as some of the more “conservative elements of the
denomination” choose to leave, the denomination will stop with
its unnecessary infighting and rise again, living into the
biblical realities of love, forgiveness, acceptance and grace.
We invite you to
take a look at his comments, and share your own thoughts with us
Just send a note!
A call for church-wide celebrations & stories for July 10
Michael Adee, National Organizer of More Light
Presbyterians, has sent out this interesting suggestion for marking
the date when Amendment 10-A goes into effect, for the full
inclusion of LGBT Presbyterians in the leadership of the PC(USA):
Grace and peace. Amendment 10-A goes into
effect on July 10 because of its ratification on May 10 in
Minneapolis. We give thanks to God that the Presbyterian Church
(USA) enters a new era of equality on July 10. ...
Today, all of us have another opportunity to
be part of transformation in our Church and world by creating
celebrations and using the tools of media that help us tell the
story to everyone. When we tell our stories through media,
people around the world who are moving toward full equality find
support. Our stories give them hope! Let’s tell our stories
about the moral and spiritual equality of LGBT people.
The end of the vote and the implementation of
the new policy on July 10 is a vital moment and we need your
help to get this good news out there. Here is what you can do.
Create a Celebration on Sunday, July 10. The
Presbyterian Church (USA) passed Amendment 10-A which removes
barriers to ordination for LGBT people. Mark this historic
moment in the life of the Church and your local congregation by
opening your service with a celebration. This can be a
procession or a "minute for mission" where congregants share the
importance of this Presbyterian action and what it means to you.
Work with us to generate interest among journalists so the
stories get out to the whole world. Consider a procession of
rainbow banners, scarves or balloons at the start of the worship
service so the reporter can get a photo and not disturb the rest
of the service. Interviews can be held at another time. We will
provide you with a template for a media alert that you can send
to the religion reporter from your local newspaper. Just
register your celebration below and we will be in touch!
He offers other good ideas, too. For more
information, contact Michael at
Are Saudi Women Next?
Mai Yamani, of Project Syndicate, and author of
Cradle of Islam, writes” "The unexpected visibility and
assertiveness of women in the revolutions unfolding across the Arab
world – in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Syria, and
elsewhere – has helped propel what has become variously known as the
'Arab awakening' or 'Arab Spring.' Major changes have occurred in
the minds and lives of women, helping them to break through the
shackles of the past, and to demand their freedom and dignity."
Read the article >>
Thinking theologically about technology
Union Theological Seminary launches new media project website
from Presbyterian News Service
NEW YORK – June 17, 2011 – Union Theological
Seminary in New York has announced the launch of
the website and blog of the
New Media Project funded by a generous grant from Lilly
In the midst of the
massive shifts occurring in digital communication today, the New
Media Project explores how pastors and lay leaders might employ new
technologies to strengthen their communities.
“Pastors need more
than the technical know-how required to build websites and use
social media,” says New Media Project Director Verity Jones. “They
also need broader, theologically grounded reflection on the lasting
effect these technologies will have on the church and its global
Follow the project on
Twitter, or sign
up for the
on the bottom right column of the website to receive
Now’s the time to register
for our PVJ Ghost Ranch seminars!
We are co-sponsoring two seminars at Ghost Ranch this
summer, both of them promising to be challenging and enjoyable, and
a chance to spend a week in a beautiful high-desert spot with great
Need a little help from your friends?
We have received some gifts in response to
our plea for help, so we can now provide
a bit of financial help for at least one or two people who want to
attend one of these great seminars, but can't quite manage the full
cost. To check out the possibilities, send an email to
And it's not too late to offer a little more help!
Just click here >>
Sex, Faith, and Culture:
Understanding the Mix in Our Lives and Society [G11S742]
July 25 - 31, 2011
Twenty years after the controversial report "Keeping
Body and Soul Together: Sexuality, Spirituality, and Social Justice"
was overwhelmingly rejected by the Presbyterian General Assembly in
1991, two of its primary authors will begin this seminar with a
reflection on the development of the report and the firestorm that
surrounded it. The conversation will then shift to address a variety
of concerns on the "justice-love" agenda, including alternative
reproductive technologies, comprehensive (vs. abstinence-only)
sexuality education, equality for transgender and bisexual as well
as lesbian and gay persons, same-sex marriage, the global HIV-AIDS
pandemic, sexuality while living with Alzheimer's and other chronic
illnesses, and the intersections of race, gender, and sexuality.
More on the seminar >>
led by Marvin M. Ellison and Sylvia Thorson-Smith
Issues: a Faithful Response to Immigration
August 1 - 7, 2011
Jane Hanna, seminar coordinator, writes: Discerning
God's call to advocate for a just immigration system requires people
of faith to have a knowledgeable understanding of the issues related
to modern global migration. Julia Thorne will help us understand
present immigration law, how detention and deportation policies
impact both migrants and our communities. We will learn about
Presbyterian policy on immigration reform. Mark Adams and Miriam
Maldonado Escobar, PCUSA Mission co-workers, will share their
experiences with the many players on the border (the undocumented,
Border Patrol agents, faith communities, rich and poor,
humanitarians, landowners and communities on both sides of the
border.) As momentum builds to reform U.S. immigration, our voice as
informed faith communities advocating just policies and practices is
the challenge we face. Learning about the newcomers in our
communities and how to create environments to serve everyone follows
a biblical mandate to be church together
More on the seminar >>
led by Mark Adams, Jane Hanna, Miriam Maldonado Escobar, and Julia
Can you help support these great events?
experiences are expensive. We are sadly aware of that! But we would
like to help people join in on them even if their funds are limited.
Can you contribute a little to help someone else attend one of these
Just click here to send your
gift via PayPal, using your credit card. Fill in the
donation form, and in the :additional comments" box at the bottom,
just write in "Ghost Ranch." If you wish, you can designate
your support for either of the seminars, or for a particular person
whom you may want to encourage to attend. We thank you!
ACSWP Facebook page and naming contest
A message from Salt & Light, the newsletter of
the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy [somewhat
condensed by your WebWeaver]
I am so excited to be working with you! Let me
introduce myself: I am Patrick Heery, the new Media
Fellow for ACSWP and managing editor of the justice journal we
are creating and recreating.
We have a Facebook page! Actually, this is our second
page, because I can be, well let’s just say, rather over-zealous at
times and may have overloaded the original page with content. Please
become a “fan” and invite your friends and church members. This will
be a site for conversation and greater connection, videos, photos,
and more up-to-date information about what’s going on with ACSWP
without replacing this Salt and Light email newsletter. The key way
for you to help us is to mark “like” on the site – it is not as
public as “friending,” but helps us build connections.
On that Facebook page, or
through this link, you can be a part of the naming process for
our new justice journal that will inherit the role of the print
journal "Church and Society." We want you to help us create this
journal - and what better way than to start with the name? So here's
the deal: you propose a name and provide an explanation of why you
think it would be a good name and why it is important to you and
perhaps young folk. Then, at the Big Tent at the end of June, we
will lift up and test a select number of proposed names. We will
select a name based on the conversations at the Big Tent, among our
advisors, and in ACSWP. ...
I also encourage all who can to attend the Big
Tent beginning June 30 and concluding July 2, 2011 in
You can find
out more information and register here.
Be sure to look for
our workshop, “Economic Crisis & Social Creed: prophetic vision and
moral formation for the lean years,” led by Ethics Professor Gloria
Albrecht & Development Specialist Bill Saint, formerly of the World
Bank. Also, check out the events on gun violence and immigrant
rights, such as the workshop hosted by James Atwood, Katie Day Bryan
Miller and Rick Ufford-Chase: “Gun Violence, Gospel Values:
Mobilizing in Response to God’s Call.”
Well, that’s it for
now. Stay tuned, though, because we have a lot of exciting
opportunities coming up!
Peace and blessings
Patrick David Heery
(502) 569-5000, x5813 | Email
PC(USA) presses Obama on human rights in Colombia
Interfaith community seeks protections as part of
Free Trade Agreement
PC(USA) Office of Public
Witness/Presbyterian News Service, by Ginna Irby and Jerry L.
WASHINGTON, D.C. – June 15, 2011 – This morning
(June 15), Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) leaders joined ecumenical
and interfaith colleagues here in a prayer breakfast on human rights
in Colombia. The interfaith community called on Congress not to pass
the Colombia Free Trade Agreement (CFTA) until major improvements
are made to labor and human rights conditions in Colombia.
The PC(USA) Office of Public Witness helped plan
and participate in the Congressional Prayer Breakfast, hosted by the
Interfaith Working Group on Trade and Investment. Featured speakers
included Congressman James McGovern (D-MA) and the Rev. J. Herbert
Nelson, the PC(USA)’s director of Public Witness.
Colombia suffers from the world’s worst
displacement crisis – more than 5 million people, most of whom are
indigenous small-scale farmers, have been forced off their land by
paramilitary and guerilla groups, who sell the land for large-scale
commercial farming, mining, and other extractive industries.
Colombia is also home to the most violence against
labor unionists in the world. Between 2005 and 2009, more trade
unionists were killed in Colombia than in the rest of the world
The Presbyterian Peace Fellowship organized a fast
last week in collaboration with the Presbyterian Church in Colombia.
Presbyterians in both countries fasted from sunrise to sunset to
express their concern about the livelihood and safety of Colombians
if the CFTA is passed.
The PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness is also
launching a call-in campaign today (June 15) in which Presbyterians
around the country are calling President Obama to remind him of his
campaign promise and the need for improvement in the human rights
situation in Colombia before introducing the CFTA to Congress. ....
To participate in the PC(USA) Office of Public
Witness ministry concerning the CFTA and other domestic and
visit the Office of Public Witness website.
For the full article >>
SDOP hears about need for connections in Detroit
by Bethany Furkin, Presbyterian News Service
DETROIT – June 9, 2011– At the their meeting here
last month, members of Self-Development of People’s National
Committee heard from three activists working for justice and
community development in the bruised city.
Collaboration and a sense of community are
essential in Detroit, which — like many American cities — has seen
white flight to the suburbs, a decline in urban services and a hit
to its main industry, the speakers said.
One more presbytery steps toward justice, approving Amendment
Providence Presbytery celebrated Pentecost
(on Sunday, June 12, 2011) by approving Amendment 10-A, 48-44-1,
thus becoming the first presbytery in South Carolina to make the
great step forward. They are the 23rd presbytery to take
that step toward justice in the voting this year.
As expected, Hanmi Presbytery voted against 10-A,
The tally is now 97-75.
Kiskiminetas is the last presbytery to vote on
Thanks to Tricia Dykers Koenig,
National Organizer,and John
Shuck, blogger of
Shuck and Jive.
For more news and comments on
Renewal and witness at the heart of Pentecost
Pentecost message from the presidents of the World
Council of Churches
The eight presidents of the World Council of
Churches, in their annual Pentecost message, write that this holy
day “offers a new opportunity to each church community and to each
of us” to celebrate “the advent and gift of the Holy Spirit, to
renew our trust in the Spirit’s power.”
They invite us to pray for grace to become
witnesses to Christ’s cross and resurrection as well as “to justice,
peace and hope” in the world.
In 2011, Pentecost falls on Sunday 12 June. The
day occurs fifty days after Easter and marks the coming of the Holy
Spirit to empower the church. The biblical description of the event
appears in the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles.
For the full text of the message >>
10-A and the future of the PC(USA)
David True, an associate professor of religion at
Wilson College in Chambersburg, Pa., has published a thoughtful
commentary on the various responses among Presbyterians to the
ratification of Amendment 10-A. He begins:
Reactions to the passage of Amendment 10-A have in
large part reflected the division of the vote. Many have cheered its
passage, while others have bemoaned it. What is interesting and
somewhat surprising is that the debate appears not to have boiled
over, at least not yet. To be sure, feelings are running high, but
so far both sides have acted with considerable restraint. Supporters
of 10-A have spoken graciously about their hopes that those on the
other side will stay, and opponents have not, at least not yet,
headed for the door en masse. What should we make of this? Is it a
hopeful sign of a new day or are Presbyterians simply acting
I want to suggest that competing visions of the
church forged in the debate over ordination are now informing the
prevailing restraint. In the next months these visions will be
tested and perhaps transformed, and in the process they may help
remake the PC(USA) and perhaps American Protestantism more broadly.
The competing ecclesiastical visions are 1) the church as a
community of hospitality and 2) the church as the antithesis to the
world. To see the power of these visions we need first return to
their interpretations of 10-A, then to the current restraint, and
finally to some future possibilities.
Read his full essay on the Presbyterian Outlook
|“Choose this day” – one clear example of choosing
to stand “against the world”
As one example of his second group, those who see
the church as called to stand against “the world,” the
Presbyterian Layman is urging conservatives to sign on to its “I
choose this day” letter, calling on their congregations to heed
Joshua’ call to the people of Israel to “Choose you this day whom
you will serve!” Thus they would “stand firm against a tide of
cultural accommodation that is swamping the Presbyterian Church
Click here for the Layman’s call to “choose
this day” >>
For the text of
the “choose this day” petition >>
A very interesting
list of “resources” on this project, including papers on how pastors
can leave the denomination without losing their pension benefits;
how congregations can leave and take their church property with
them; a letter to a session conveying the call to consider
“choosing”; a list of congregations that have left the denomination,
and much more.
Please share your thoughts --
on David True's analysis,
or on the Layman's latest campaign to purify the church.
send a note
and let's talk about this!
More on Amendment 10-A
Presbyteries have approved a new Form of Government
Trinity Presbytery has become the 87th presbytery to
approve the amendment
from the Office of the General Assembly, by
Sharon Youngs, Communications Coordinator
LOUISVILLE – June 7, 2011 – While the Office of
the General Assembly awaits official tallies, it appears that a
majority of the 173 presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
have approved a new Form of Government.
At its meeting on Tuesday, June 7, 2011, Trinity
Presbytery became the 87th presbytery to approve an amendment that
will replace the current 18-chapter Form of Government with a new
version that is six chapters in length. The Form of Government is
one section of the Book of Order, which is part of the PC(USA)
Along with the new Form of Government will be a
new section of the Book of Order entitled “Principles of
Presbyterian Polity,” which contains a large majority of the content
of the first four chapters of the current Form of Government.
The proposed new Form of Government (FOG) was
approved by the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the PC(USA). Two
years earlier, a proposed revision had been presented to the 218th
General Assembly (2008) by the FOG Task Force. That assembly
reconstituted the task force and asked it to present a revised
version to the 219th GA based on the feedback received at the 218th
For our earlier
posts on the new Form of Government >>
On LGBT ordination,
the Church of Scotland ‘votes for more dialogue’
On May 24, 2011, the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
voted by 351 to 294 “to continue dialogue on
same-sex relationships and the ministry, ... [an action] which means
a move towards the acceptance for training, induction and ordination
of those in same-sex relationships for the ministry.” Further, the
Assembly voted “to allow ministers and deacons in same-sex
relationships ordained before 2009 to be inducted into pastoral
Click here for the Church of Scotland news release >>
The Rev. Lindsay Biddle, a
Minister Member of the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area of the
Presbyterian Church (USA), is now living with her husband, the Rev.
John Mann, in Glasgow, Scotland, where she is serving as an interim
pastor, while her husband serves as pastor of another congregation.
She attended the recent General Assembly of the Church of Scotland
as the delegate representing the PC(USA).
Click here for
her report to the PC(USA) on the Edinburgh assembly.
Here is her
own statement to the assembly, in their discussion of moving
toward LGBT ordination.
Tension comes to the
Church of Scotland, too, over the ordination question
The Sunday Herald, of Glasgow,
Scotland, carried a lengthy article looking at the
tensions in the Church of Scotland around the question
of ordination of LGBT members of the church – umm, kirk.
Voting continues on 2010 GA proposals
giving congregations and presbyteries the right to do their own
discernment about ordination of LGBT Presbyterians as elders,
deacons, and ministers, and all the other amendments to the Book of
Order, proposed by the 2010 General Assembly, have been approved by
the presbyteries, two other major proposals by the Assembly have
still not been decided.
According to the latest counts we can find, it
appears that the addition of the
to the church’s Book of Confessions will not be approved, since it
would only take 5 more NO votes to fail. There is speculation that
some presbyteries may simply not vote on Belhar.
new Form of
Government, otherwise known as nFOG, it needs 3 more votes to
pass and there are 6 possible YES votes left. The last one, Detroit,
votes on June 28 so it could come down to the last vote.
New Managing Editor for Internet Church & Society: Patrick
This announcement, dated May 31, 2011,
comes from the Advisory Committee on Social Witness Policy
From the very strong field of candidates, ACSWP
selected Mr. Patrick Heery, a recent honors graduate of Princeton
Theological Seminary, to serve as New Media Fellow, focusing on
internet communication and the role of managing editor of an online
In addition to very strong academic performance at
Princeton and as an undergraduate at Ohio University, Mr. Heery
distinguished himself as convener of Seminarians for Peace and
Justice and leader of its subgroup on criminal justice. This
subgroup worked on prison reform, abolition of the death penalty,
reform of immigrant detention and the ending of torture, working
with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture. Mr. Heery
worked as a prison chaplain intern during part of his seminary
years; he also integrated prison ministry into the “community
mission” dimension of his field education assignment.
On the college level and since, Mr. Heery has
helped set up forums for discussion of difficult issues, matters of
human rights, including the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgendered persons. As president of the Ohio University Amnesty
International Chapter, he organized discussions of Darfur and
Israel-Palestine; he was in Israel when the 2006 Hezbollah exchange
with Israel occurred that led to the bombing of Lebanon. A member of
the Student Senate, he served on various committees dealing with
University policy toward students and student organizations.
Within the church, Mr. Heery has served as an
elder in First Presbyterian Church, Athens, Ohio, and was active in
campus chaplaincy programming. An outdoorsman as well, Mr. Heery is
an Eagle Scout.
The cyber journal has carried the name Church &
Society Internet Journal to suggest continuity with its print
predecessor. The name, however, may be changed to better develop
engagement with younger persons not entirely within the church.
Big Tent? Sign
up for the ACSWP workshop on Friday morning — Economic Crisis and
Social Creed: Prophetic Vision and Moral Formation for the Lean
Years — Gloria Albrecht, Bill Saint.
People of faith fast to protest U.S.-Colombia Free Trade
JUNE 5-12 FAST WILL TAKE PLACE IN
Special to Presbyterian News Service, by the Revs.
Linda Eastwood and Shannan Vance-Ocampo
LOUISVILLE — Colombian and U.S. Presbyterians who
have partnered for more than six years to protect human rights
workers in Colombia are calling on their sisters and brothers in
both countries to take accompaniment to the next level.
Leaders from the
Iglesia Presbiteriana de Colombia (IPC)
Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are asking all people of faith to join
in a public fast June 5-12, 2011, to oppose the U.S.-Colombia Free
“Our partners in
Colombia are crystal clear that this trade agreement will mean
greater disparity of wealth, greater insecurity across their country
and the weakening of the fabric of civil society,” said Elder Rick
Ufford-Chase, moderator of the PC(USA)’s 216th General Assembly
(2004) and director of the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship.
More than 160
Colombians have committed to the fast, and a growing number of U.S.
Presbyterians are joining them. The fasters hope to send a message
to President Obama, urging him not to send the US-Colombia FTA to
“It’s only when we
call upon the Holy Spirit that we can effect great change against
seemingly impossible odds,” Ufford-Chase said.
You can register for
the fast at the
Presbyterian Peace Fellowship website.
And for our earlier reports on
For an index to all our reports
the 219th General Assembly
For links to earlier archive pages,
Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
for Life" website
Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck,
a Presbyterian minister currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Click here for his blog posts.
Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores
the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens
neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City
Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon
board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!