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The Winter 2011 issue of
Network News
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Network News

The Fall 2011 issue is here.   [11-17-11]

For the high-resolution version, which takes longer to download but looks better, click here.

For the everyday version, a faster download, click here.

Contents include:

PVJ Takes a Look at the "Occupy Wall Street" Movement (pages 5 - 8)

The Moderator’s Column (p. 2 - 3)

Network News going on-line only (4 and 9)

Struggling in Sudan and South Sudan (11 - 12)

How Holy is the Holy Land?  (13 - 15)

"Thanks to PVJ Friends" ... from More Light Presbyterians (16 - 17)

St. Mark’s, Tucson, Celebrates the Yes vote on 10A, by Sylvia Thorson-Smith (18 - 19)

Immigration, by Lorelei Hillman (20 - 23)

Book Review: Marcus Borg’s Putting Away Childish Things, by Doug King  (24 - 25)

PVJ plans for the 2012 General Assembly (26)


Network News going on-line only

This is the last Network News that will be published in print on paper, with one exception.

From now on Network News will be found here, on the Presbyterian Voices for Justice website

 The one exception will be the Spring issue just prior to each meeting of the General Assembly. That issue will carry discussion of issues coming before the Assembly and will be sent to all of the Commissioners and Advisory Delegates, in addition to the PVJ membership.

Whenever a new issue of Network News goes on the website, an email will be sent out notifying the membership. If you are not on the PVJ email list, and would like to be, please send your email address to Vicki Moss, our Communications Coordinator at

We apologize for missing the Spring and Summer issues for this year, and for our inability to continue producing this newsletter in print.

If you have had a library subscription, or a group membership, please contact our Membership Coordinator to request a refund.  He is Jeremiah Rosario; email at, phone at (646) 675-7029.  Mail: 230 East 87th Street, Apt. 2C, New York, NY  10128

The Winter 2011 issue of Network News is here

The Winter 2011 issue of Network News went to the printer today, and should be in the mail in a about a week.  But it's already here for you right here, in easy-to-download and easy-to-print PDF format.

If you don't have Adobe Reader or some other software to open the file, click here to download it – free!

The contents of this issue:

Winter 2011

On standing for justice in Madison, Wisconsin

bulletA participant's observations                          page 11
bulletSB 1070, Immigration, and Worker Rights, by Trina Zelle    p. 15
bulletMore on Express Scripts vs. its labor union      p. 22

The Uprising in Cairo, by Casondra Sobieralski     p. 23

Are We Deathly Ill?

Margaret Thomas comments on the call for Presbyterian "Fellowship" to defend the purity of the church      p. 26

Women's Reproductive Health Under Attack

from Presbyterians Affirming Reproductive Options (PARO)     p.36

The Co-Moderator's Column     p. 2

The Editor's Spot     p. 5

Ghost Ranch – Two seminars for 2011:

bulletSex, Faith and Culture    p. 37
bulletA Faithful Response to Immigration     p. 38

A note from your Editor:

We'll post most of these articles in Web format, html, over the next few days.

If you have chosen to save paper and money by getting your Network News online, here it is.

bullet Click here for the faster download, low-resolution file.
bullet Click here for the high-resolution file, for a better print-out.

This issue is being mailed to all those whose memberships were paid up as of July 1, 2010, or later. If your membership lapsed before that date, you won't be getting a copy in print – but if you'll hurry up and send a renewal (you can do it easily, and use your credit card to pay through PayPal) we'll send you a copy of your very own! Just click here >>

If you have comments or questions, just send a note to Doug King, your almost-retired editor. (See page 34 of Network News to meet our new Editor, the Rev. Lorelei Hillman.  And feel free to send her a welcome note!)

Network News for Fall 2010 is here!

The Fall 2010 issue of Network News, the newsletter of Presbyterian Voices for Justice, is now at the printer and will soon be in the mail.  In the meantime, it's all here in PDF format.  You can download it in high-resolution format for a better appearance, or in lower resolution for a faster download.

Fall 2010

On religion and politics:
    The Editor’s Spot: Religion – dividing or healing?           page 2
Putting Hussein in Christmas, by Rita Nakashima Brock      7

Resources for issues coming to presbyteries:
    Amendment 10-A – GLBTQ ordination                                 9
    Amendment 10-2 – the Belhar Confession                          16
    Amendment 10-1 – new Form of Government                       21

Ghost Ranch
    A report from our Summer 2010 seminar                              23
    Two seminars for 2011:
        A Faithful Response to Immigration                                25
        Sex, Faith and Culture                                                  26

Is our PC(USA) supporting union busting?
    SEIU challenges Express Scripts layoffs                           27

Recent issues of Network News are posted here in Adobe Reader (pdf) format.

Adobe PDF  Click here to download (free!) Adobe Reader software to view this and all PDF files.

To inquire about ordering paper copies of earlier issues, send a note to Doug King, the editor.  


Summer 2010 issue, with our reports on the PC(USA) General Assembly       [8-27-10]

The Summer 2010 issue of the PVJ newsletter is at the printer's, but already it's here online in PDF format for you to read.  Or to print out for yourself.  It will bring you:

Reports from General Assembly

A letter from the Editor -- page 2

The PVJ Awards Luncheon  --  3

Voices of Sophia Breakfast  --  7

Assembly Actions  --  9 - 22

bullet Moderator election --  10
bullet Israel/Palestine and Middle East --  10
bullet Peacemaking and international issues --  12
bullet Ordination standards  --  13
bulletCivil unions and marriage  --  15
bulletInternal church issues  --  17
bulletIssues of faith  --  19
bulletSocial justice  --  20
bulletHealth issues  --  22

Two hope-filled encounters with youth and young adults  --  23

Comments on the Assembly  --  25

Network News is posted here in PDF format, both high-resolution (which looks better, but may take longer to download) and lower-resolution (faster to download).

Click here for the speedy version.
Or click here for the better-looking one.


bulletSpring 2010 -- our pre-GA issue

NOTE:  This special issue is being sent to all commissioners and advisory delegates to the 219th General Assembly.  It is now at the printer's, and should be in the mail around June 1.

The contents:


Co-Moderator Colleen Bowers -- a word of welcome   (page 2 )


Voices for Justice events at General Assembly    (4)


Two images for thinking about GA -- from the Editor   (7)


Reflecting on some of the work coming to the Assembly   (10)


We need Belhar, by John Harris   (28)


The FOG Task Force report  (29)


An overview of GA, from a co-moderator of the Advocacy Committee for Women's Concerns   (31)


A Call for Justice and Grace, from More Light Presbyterians   (32)


Candidates for Moderator respond to questions from Presbyterian Voices for Justice  (33)


Receiving the PVJ Whole Gospel Congregation Award:  Kwanzaa Community Church, Minneapolis   (42)


Receiving the PVJ Andrew Murray Award:  Ann and Manley Olson   (46)

plus more news ...  and ...

Ghost Ranch Seminar, July 26-August 1, 2010 –                
We’re All In This Together: Confronting the Structures of Injustice

To download this issue of Network News (in PDF format) click here.

To get it in high-resolution format -- looking better but taking longer to download, click here.

Some of the articles in the on-line print version will soon be posted in html format, as regular web pages.  Clicking on any of the titles above that are formatted as links will take you to those pages, which may differ slightly from the "print" version.  And we'll be adding more of those as quickly as we can.


bulletWinter 2010

The contents:

Co-Moderator Bill Dummer on doing justice locally   (page 2 )
Our new name    (5)
Voices for Justice events at General Assembly    (6)
The Overtures Are Coming! The Overtures Are Coming!    (9)
Middle East study – and again charges of anti-Semitism   (22)
Querying Queer Sexuality, by Sylvia Thorson-Smith    (28)
Empowering Women to Claim the Fullness of Their Humanity,  by Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty 31
The Debt Squeeze: Who Should Take the Fall? by Gene TeSelle   (33)
Engaging Conversation through Social Networks, by Melissa Lynn DeRosia (40)

plus more news ...

and ...

Ghost Ranch Seminar, July 26-August 1, 2010 –                
We’re All In This Together: Confronting the Structures of Injustice

To download this issue of Network News (in PDF format) click here.

To get it in high-resolution format -- looking better but taking longer to download, click here.

Some of the articles in the on-line print version are also posted in html format, as regular web pages.  Clicking on any of the titles above that are formatted as links will take you to those pages, which may differ slightly from the "print" version.  And we'll be adding more of those as quickly as we can.

We regret that once again we are not able to print and mail this issue.  We hope we'll be able to do better with the spring issue! YOU can help by sending a  special contribution.  Just click here.

For suggestions about printing the PDF version of this newsletter (which totals 52 pages), just look at page 5 in this issue.


bulletFall 2009

Contents include:

bulletCo-Moderator Bill Dummer on Mission Celebration ( page 2)       
bulletThe Editor’s Spot – "Be still and know ...!" A message for noisy times          
bulletPresbyterian Church calls for just health care reform (10)
bulletPresbyterians active in Chicago bank protest (13)
bulletObservations on the "Manhattan Declaration," by Gene TeSelle (15)
bulletGA PJC rules on ordination cases      (18)
bulletBaltimore Presbytery sends overture for inclusive marriage (21)      plus other items on efforts toward a more inclusive church
bulletPHEWA seeks nominations for awards recipients (25)
bulletGhost Ranch Seminar, July 26-August 1, 2010 – We’re All In This Together: Confronting the Structures of Injustice (28)
bulletNew Director sought for Washington Office (30)
bulletWitherspoon/Voices board approves new Mission Statement (38)
bulletWitherspoon/Voices plans for General Assembly 2010 (34-35) 

Some of these items have already been posted on this website, and others will appear soon. But for something on paper – for your own reading or for sharing with others – please get this paper version.  

Click here for the smaller file, lower resolution but faster download. 

Or click here for the higher resolution file, which will take longer to download.



Summer 2009

The content of this issue includes (among other things):

bulletMessages from our Co-Moderators (pp. 2-4) 
bullet The Editor’s Spot – facing change and being faithful to the call to do justice (5-8)
bullet Meddlin’ – a sermon at the PW Churchwide Gathering, by Margaret Aymer (9-13)
bullet Getting Back to the Business of Being the Church, by Johnnie Monroe, at the PHEWA gathering at the Big Tent (14-17)    
bullet A report from the Ghost Ranch Peace & Justice Week (18-22) 

Announcing next year’s Ghost Ranch seminar:

July 26-August 1, 2010

Details on pp. 23-24


Comments on the Form of Government report (25-26) 


More Light Presbyterians meet in Nashville, celebrating “God’s Whole Family” – a report by Gene TeSelle (27-29) 


For the continuing debate on ordination: 


Afterthoughts on Authority, by Eric Mount (30-34)


Biblicism: Protestantism’s Distinctive Form of Idolatry, by Paul E. Capetz (34-37)

For a higher quality PDF version of this issue, in case you want to print it and share it (and we hope you will!), click here.

bulletSpring 2009

Some of the features in this issue are:
bulletMitch Trigger’s report on the “Big Tent” Presbyterian gathering in Atlanta – page 5
bulletMarvin Ellison’s “The freedom to marry – at the heart of Christianity” – page 7
bulletPaul Capetz’ “John Calvin: His Significance, Then and Now” – page 9
bulletGusti Newquist’s feminist statement of faith – page 13
bulletGene TeSelle on “taking responsibility for the future” – reflections on how we deal with the coming crises in funding Social Security, Medicare, and other retirement benefits and protections – page 16
bulletSylvia Carlson’s report on a visit to the Presbyterian Church in Sudan, and dealing with differing views on the role of women – page 20
bulletFrom Homelessness to Hope – a summary of a study report approved by the 218th General Assembly – page 23

bulletWinter 2009 -- with essays on John Calvin (whose 500th birthday we commemorate this year) by former Stated Clerk Clifton Kirkpatrick and Gene TeSelle, plus Douglas Ottati's reflections on the state of the society and the church in these troubled times, plus other thoughts and resources for dealing with the current economic crisis. 

For a higher quality PDF version of this issue, in case you want to print it and share it (and we hope you will!), click here.

bulletSUMMER 2008 -- a special issue providing material on the proposed amendment of G-6.0106b (the "fidelity and chastity" requirement), which will be considered in presbyteries during the coming months.
bullet SPRING 2008 -- our special Pre-Assembly issue brings you analysis and commentary on issues coming to the 218th General Assembly, including the New Social Creed, overtures dealing with ordination, the Heidelberg Catechism, marriage, gun violence, interfaith relations, the Form of Government report, and much more.

There are also responses from the four candidates for Moderator to questions from the Witherspoon Society.

bullet WINTER 2008 -- Focusing on the theme, "The Other Inconvenient Truth: The Growing Gap between Rich and Poor," we offer a variety of perspectives on issues of justice for working people, seen through the work of the organization Interfaith Worker Justice, reflections on issues of worker justice in Latin America, the growing "industry" of union busting, and much more.

Introducing this issue: Mind the Gap!       (p. 2)    
Letter from Arizona
, by Trina Zelle, Interfaith Workers Justice of Arizona      (4)    
Presbyterians Advocate Worker Justice
, by Kim Bobo, Exec. Director, Interfaith Worker Justice    (6)      
A Hermeneutical Dialogue about Latin America
, Gene TeSelle reflects on Bartolomé de las Casas        (10) 
Union Busting: A Growth Industry
, by Joel Foster       (12)
It’s Time for “The King” to Do the Right Thing, by Noelle Damico      (14)
Across the Great Divide
, by Darcy Hawk         (16)
All in the Working Family: the Witherspoon Society Heritage
, by Richard Poethig  (17)

and more ...

Witherspoon Events at the 218th General Assembly        (3)
Review of The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism        (20)
Shannon O’Donnell reports from Jerusalem          (22)
Paul Capetz on “tempted as we are ... a Christological paradox”       (24)
Jake Young on the consultation on world mission       (26)

NOTE:  We'll post some of these articles in html format as soon as we can.


bulletFALL 2007 -- featuring reports from the Witherspoon conference on "Becoming Neighbors" -- a conference on global mission justice.  You'll find most of the material -- and more -- in our online reports.  But now you'll have it in print as well. 

You'll also find in the print version an announcement of a new arrangement for Witherspoon's "issues analyst" function (page 7), and nominations and a ballot for new officers (page 15).

bulletSUMMER 2007 -- including reports from the Week for Peace and Justice at Ghost Ranch; Gene TeSelle's discussion of the "Social Creed," 100 years after its adoption; a discussion on "Immigration, Identity, and God's Providence," and much more.  For table of contents (and page numbers), jump to back cover.
bulletSPRING 2007 -- including four pieces dealing with our never-ending war in Iraq  (pp. 5-14); "Four steps toward a just peace" -- Shannon O'Donnell reports from Jerusalem  (15-17); reflections after the Virginia Tech "massacre"   (18-19); Easter hope in a Good Friday world, Theological musings by Dr. Paul Capetz  (20-21); learning to live with G-6.0108 and the Authoritative Interpretation, by Gene TeSelle  (22-23); list of contents (back cover)
bulletWINTER 2007 -- a new report from Mission Volunteer Shannon O'Donnell on "meeting the real Holy Land"; Jake Young on "being a neighbor" in Nicaragua; a survey of concerns about the proposed Federal Budget; "Who Cares about the Iraquis?" by Victoria Furio, and much more.

FALL 2006 -- reports on Witherspoon's new Global Engagement Initiative (and you can read it on this website, too), along with other creative reflections on the "mission imperative" and the PC(USA)'s social and moral witness in our global context.  And lots more.


SUMMER 2006 -- comments and analysis from the 2006 General Assembly, plus presentations at Witherspoon events, including Mark Lewis Taylor on "what's going on in the USA?" -- looking at "the rise of an imperial triumvirate"; Eugenia Gamble on "embodying love" in a Birmingham congregation; two reports on the Ghost Ranch seminar on economy, ecology, and empire -- and more.


SPRING 2006 -- the pre-General Assembly issue, which includes an overview of issues coming the Assembly, with analysis by Gene TeSelle, plus perspectives on various issues including the Theological Task Force report, Israel/Palestine, torture, accompaniment in Haiti and Colombia, and more.


WINTER 2006 includes an essay by the Rev. John Shuck, commenting on the Theological Task Force report under the title "Not Justice, Not Progress, just the Same Second-Blass Status."  There are articles dealing with torture, the Hamas election victory in Palestine, and much more.


FALL 2005 -- with a statement by the Witherspoon board on the report of the Theological Task Force on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church, along with Doug Ottati's theological analysis of the report; also reports and papers from the Witherspoon conference on our conference on "Dancing with God," on global mission as work for peace and justice.


SUMMER 2005 (with comments by Gene TeSelle and Doug King on the report of the Theological Task Force on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Church; reports on a conference to form a Network of Spiritual Progressives, reports on the Ghost Ranch seminar on "Paths to a Just and Peaceful World," and on Cindy Sheehan's vigil in Crawford, Texas ... and much more!)


SPRING 2005 (with Peter Hodgson on "theological virtues in an age of terror, the problem of torture, the World Alliance of Reformed Churches' statement on "Covenanting for Justice in the Economy and the Earth," fair trade, and much more)


Winter 2005 (with a theological critique of the war on terror, and more on the world's dys-order, Palestinian experiences of violation and affirmations of hope, and more)


Fall 2004 (with comments and analysis on the presidential election, and on issues relating to Israel, Palestine, divestment, and more)


Summer 2004 (the issue carrying reports and reflections on General Assembly, and much more)


Spring 2004 (the issue just before General Assembly)


Winter 2004 (on living in the New American Empire, and more)


Fall 2003 (on Pax Americana and the new American empire)


Summer 2003 (reporting on the 215th General Assembly)


Spring 2003 (looking toward the 2003 General Assembly)


Winter 2003 (seeking peace as war drew near)

Do you have comments on anything from these issues of Network News?  What do you think of the whole idea of our posting these here?  Please send a note and let us know your opinions!

If you're not a member of the Witherspoon Society, we hope you find these issues of our newsletter interesting.  And we hope they'll make you want to join us -- to help support what we're doing, and gain the benefits of being part of a dynamic network of progressive Presbyterians.  (And besides, you don't want to be a freeloader, do you?!)


Some blogs worth visiting

PVJ's Facebook page

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.


John Shuck’s new "Religion 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 lightening up.

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 Shore blogspot

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 Flushing, NY.


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 thoughtful community.


Got more blogs to recommend?

Please send a note, and we'll see what we can do!


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