This page lists our postings
from all of September, 2011
For an index to all our reports
the 219th General Assembly
For links to earlier archive pages,
Faithful Budget Briefing & Webinar
Tuesday, September 27th, 12:00 Noon (Eastern)
Join the Webinar tomorrow!
A Congressional "Supercommittee" has been tasked
with finding $1.2 trillion to cut from the federal budget by
November 23! This could impact every federal program under the sun:
social security, Medicare, services that feed the poor, foreign aid,
the military, tax breaks and more.
Join national, state and local religious leaders
and organizations working together through The Faithful Budget
Campaign to learn how these decisions may affect you and your
community, meet others working for a just federal budget in your
community, learn about campaign initiatives being planned in your
area, and how you can join in protecting the poor from devastating
Faithful Budget Briefing & Webinar -- Tuesday,
Sept. 27, 12:00 Noon (EDT)
The Faithful Budget Briefing and Webinar will give
you the basics on what's happening on Capitol Hill now and how you
can make a public witness at home in your Congressional District for
a faithful and just federal budget. On September 27th, we'll
introduce you to others in your community who share your concerns
through breakout calls immediately following the presentation. Faith
leaders will offer words of wisdom to fuel your work for justice.
Please RSVP to Douglas Grace, Ecumenical Advocacy
Days Coordinator at
Topic: Faithful Budget Briefing
Date: Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Time: 12:00 pm, Eastern Daylight Time
Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada): 1-866-699-3239
Call-in toll number (US/Canada): 1-408-792-6300
Access code for both call-in numbers: 687 149 705
Toll-free dialing restrictions:
To join the online Webinar meeting: (Now from
1. Go to
2. If requested, enter your name and email address.
3. Click "Join".
Meeting Number: 687 149 705
*The webinar will be immediately followed by
conference calls with others in your area, if you are in the state
of a member of the Super Committee. If you are not in one of these
states, there will be a call with others for brainstorming and
networking. The call-in details for these calls will be posted on
If you are unable to join the webinar, you may
join for the audio conference only, though portions of the program
will be missed: Call-in toll-free number (US/Canada):
1-866-699-3239. Access code: 687 149 705
Inclusive ordination – from policy to reality, in the PC(USA) and
the Church of Scotland!
Last June we shared
a report from the meeting of
the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, as they took a
strong, positive step toward inclusive ordination. The Rev. Lindsay
Biddle, a PC(USA) minister now serving in the Church of Scotland
along with her husband, the Rev. John Mann, sent us that report,
after serving as the PC(USA) delegate to the Scots’ assembly. Now
she has sent us an impressive update on developments since the
action of the Church of Scotland – including the news that one of
the right-wing groups in the PC(USA) is apparently supporting the
anti-gay forces in Scotland.
Please know that since this GA's decision in
May, there's been a dramatic shift in temperament: gay clergy in
the Church of Scotland feel more free to come out about their
sexual orientation or about being in a same-sex relationship
(civil partnerships have been legal throughout the UK since
2006), and it's becoming more common knowledge and less headline
There are also rumblings over here similar to
the noises being made by the Ship o' Fellows [that must be
Gaelic for the Fellowship of Presbyterians] which recently met
in Minneapolis. (FYI, the anti-gay movement among Church of
Scotland folk is supported financially and organizationally by
the Confessing Church movement in the USA.)
I continue to be in awe of my gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender friends within the Church of Scotland
who practice as well as preach compassion, understanding, and
forbearance toward the very people who condemn them, don't want
to understand them, and have tried every trick in the book to
exclude them from the church, civil rights and civil
relationships. One of my colleagues made the astute comment,
"Some of us used to be where they are now, and we know the pain
they suffer and the journey they have ahead of them. All we can
do is be a light at the end of the tunnel for them."
If there is any truth to the song, "They will
know we are Christians by our love," it is being played out
So take heart, be your selves, and know
there's no going back -- for any of us,
Rev. Ms. Lindsay Louise Biddle, 30 Ralston
Avenue, Glasgow G52 3NA
And here in the good old Presbyterian Church (USA)
there is the good news that the new ordination policy is now
being put into practice
news comes from Michael Adee,
Executive Director & Field Organizer of
More Light Presbyterians
will be ordained on October 8 at Covenant Presbyterian Church,
believe that Scott's ordination will be the first ordination of
an out gay candidate in the PCUSA since the passage of
Ordination Amendment 10-A on May 10 and its going into effect as
G-2.0104 on July 10.
We hope many of
you will consider going to Madison for Scott's ordination on
Saturday, October 8, particularly those of you within an easy
driving distance. Road trip!
To send a note to
Scott has served
as Co-Moderator of More Light Presbyterians. He has advocated
for the full participation of LGBT persons in the life, ministry
and witness of our Church for a long time. We so appreciate his
call and faithful journey to have his ordination reinstated by
John Knox Presbytery. Scott serves as the Executive Director of
the Wisconsin Council of Churches. He served as Executive
Director of the California Council of Churches before moving to
Wisconsin. Scott's call, gifts and qualifications for ordained
ministry and service in our Church are clear to anyone who meets
him. He has been serving God and the Church in ministry for many
years now, of course.
Please join More
Light Presbyterians in holding Scott and his family; all LGBT
candidates, inquirers and seminary students; and our Church in
your hearts, thoughts and prayers on October 8.
I give thanks to
God for all the ways each of you has worked so faithfully for
these historic moments in the life of the Presbyterian Church
(USA) and the Christian Communion.
with hope and
Torture has been historically unacceptable, so what's changed?
Philip Gates, of Prescott, Arizona, is a retired
public-school superintendent and a member of the National Religious
Campaign Against Torture. He has been deeply involved in the effort
to close the School of the Americas – otherwise known to some as a
school of torturers. He was
arrested in the November, 2006 protest against the SOA, and in
2007 he served time in prison for the crime of opposing torture.
As 9/11 approached, with its reminders of how the
U.S. became so deeply hooked on torture, he wrote a short,
thoughtful article on how torture, which had been for so long
considered unacceptable, suddenly became “OK.” He urges us to join
with the many religious groups supporting the National Religious
Campaign Against Torture, to call for a national Commission of
Inquiry composed of unbiased, experienced jurists equipped with
subpoena powers, to be appointed by President Barack Obama.
His essay was published on Sept. 6 in the Arizona Republic.
Coordinating Team meets, focuses on “getting better organized”
Co-moderator Bill Dummer reports on the accomplishments of the
coordinating team meeting help on August 15 - 17 in Pittsburgh.
of their greatest achievements (in my biased opinion) was naming
Vicki Moss (who has for years been the manager and welcoming
presence at the Witherspoon/PVJ booth at each General Assembly) to
succeed me as manager of communications for PVJ. We are
working at a transition. Welcome, Vicki!!
report on the meeting is posted here as he sent it to us.
with thanks from Doug King, your (outgoing!) WebWeaver
9/ll plus ten
IT’S FOREVER PERSONAL
Special to Presbyterian News Service. by Jim
Nedelka, a radio news reporter in New York and an elder at West-Park
Presbyterian Church in Manhattan.
Some very personal reflections on 9/11 are offered
by people who were impacted directly by the attack on the Twin
Towers in New York – and by people who have been responding in
creative and loving ways.
here for the whole story >>
Here's a very different response to 9/11, from the Rev. John
Shuck -- sharp, maybe harsh -- and deeply prophetic
I am not
in the mood.
I am not in the mood to
shout "God Bless America", drape myself with American flags,
and observe the high holy day when the Muslim Horde attacked
On the day of the attack,
I organized a worship
the community. I gave this
This is a day of
mourning for the victims of the unspeakable violence
yesterday in New York City and at our nation's capitol.
We stand with those who have lost loved ones with deep
sorrow. Our sorrow will never reach the depths as that
which has been experienced by those who have lost
fathers, mothers, sisters, brothers, wives, husbands,
life partners, children, loved ones. ...
In response to this
we feel justifiable rage. The Psalmist echoes our
feelings even as we may not dare to speak the words
aloud: "O daughter Babylon, you devastator! Happy shall
they be who pay you back what you have done to us! Happy
shall they be who take your little ones and dash them
against the rock! (Psalm 137:8-9) ...
The enemy is not the
Muslim people or the Arab people. The enemy is violence
itself. Violence bred by injustice and uncontrollable
rage which has turned to hatred. The answer will not be
more violence bred by more rage and more hatred and more
injustice. This will only lead to the deaths and to the
suffering of more innocent people and it will not bring
peace to our world.
A harvest of righteousness is sown in peace
by Gail Strange
from the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, via
the General Assembly Mission Council
Peacemaking is the human response to God’s gift of
peace. In an increasingly violent and unjust world, we as Christians
are called to understand and address the root causes of violence and
injustice by building a culture of peace and nonviolence for all
Since 1988, the Peacemaking Program has brought
261 International Peacemakers from 63 countries who made about 1,700
individual visits to presbyteries, synods, colleges and
presbyteries. International Peacemakers are leaders who are engaged
in peacemaking in their own areas of the world. The Presbyterian
Peacemaking Program invites leaders from our partner churches around
the world to share their experiences as peacemakers in their own
This year the International Peacemaker program,
made possible by your generous gifts to the Peacemaking Offering, is
hosting 12 International Peacemakers (from Bangladesh, Egypt,
Guatemala, India, Iraq, Israel/Palestine, Jordan, Madagascar,
Mexico, Russia, Sudan and Syria) who will make about 60 visits
around the U.S. from September 23 through October 17, 2011.
According to Research Services’ Presbyterian Panel, 160,000
Presbyterians heard an International Peacemaker speak last year.
Nov. 18-20, 2011
Shut Down the School of the Americas (SOA/WHINSEC)!
from School of the Americas Watch
We won't stop until the SOA is shut down and the U.S.
government has stopped relying on violence - be it military,
political, or economic - to enforce its oppressive foreign policy in
Latin America and the Caribbean.
Join us for
the 21st anniversary of non-violent protest at the gates of Fort
As many of you know, 2011 has been a crucial year
in the building of our movement and resistance to militarization is
growing stronger throughout the hemisphere. The current
administration has turned to Latin America with the goal of control,
using the tools of economic, military, cultural and political
domination, while the SOA Watch movement has countered this drive
with dialogue, cooperation, resistance, and -- when necessary --
non-violent direct action.
Join us this year in Georgia!
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!