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Mid Council Leaders workshop offers resources on immigration issues

October 16, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

In a time when immigrants are increasingly stigmatized and threatened with deportation, Teresa Waggener, an immigration attorney for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A), asked a group of synod and presbytery leaders:

“How can we be the hands and feet of Christ? How do we reach out and support immigrants and refugees without doing any harm or putting them in danger?”

Agreement to ‘whole truth-telling,’ presbytery-to-presbytery discernment comes out of WCRC-mediated meeting

October 16, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Jerry Van Marter

Director of Communications and Assistant Stated Clerk

St. Louis

A trio of Office of the General Assembly (OGA) leaders briefed the 300-strong Mid Council Leaders Gathering here Sunday (October 15) evening on the progress – or lack thereof – of conversations between the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and the Evangelical Covenant Order of Presbyterians (ECO) over the sometimes chaotic process of departure of churches from the PC(USA) to ECO.

October 16, 2017

In recognition of World Food Day, the Presbyterian Hunger Program has announced that more than 70 Presbyterian churches have become Hunger Action Congregations since the initiative was announced last summer.

Statistics show those preparing for ministry do not mirror the larger church

October 16, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

St. Louis

Leaders of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) presbyteries and synods examined the “State of the Church” during a series of plenary sessions at the 2017 Mid-Council Leaders Gathering in St. Louis.

“We need to embrace who we are,” said Kris Valerius, assistant stated clerk for denominational rolls and statistics in the Office of the General Assembly, at a session on “Congregational Realities” October 15 here.

Panel urges mid-council leaders to put faith into action, then they do

October 15, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

St. Louis

The five panelists spoke with passion, and then hurried off to a protest at the police department.

On Day 30 of a justice movement they said will go on “as long as it takes,” these pastors and theologians from the St. Louis area challenged Presbyterian mid-council leaders to join them in the streets.

The panel on “Faith in Action: Being Church in Times of Social Unrest” was one of the workshops offered for stated clerks and mid-council leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in St. Louis October 13–17.

Forget losses, celebrate God’s abundance, Nelson tells mid council leaders

October 15, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Jerry Van Marter

Director of Communications and Assistant Stated Clerk

St. Louis

General Assembly Stated Clerk J. Herbert Nelson, II loves Westerns.

In one film he watched recently, Nelson told 350 church leaders today (Sunday) gathered here for the annual Mid Council Leaders Gathering,20 people were locked inside a barn, assailed by a large gang of bad guys. In desperation, the besieged ones just started making as much noise as they could.

Workshop offers creative ways to look at conflict

October 15, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

St. Louis

When she first became executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Donegal, Erin Cox-Holmes approached two small congregations about the possibility of sharing a pastor.

They told her, “That would never work. We were on opposite sides in the Revolutionary War.” 

Without policy, animosity can drive decisions, Twin Cities Area leader says

October 14, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

St. Louis

Jeff Japinga, executive presbyter of the Presbytery of Twin Cities, opened his workshop, “A Presbytery Response to Departing Congregations, with a prayer:

“I’m not sure any of us want to talk about this, O God,” he said. “We’d rather talk about ministry and mission.”

But how to deal with congregations that want to leave the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is “a question we’re all wrestling with across the country,” Japinga said.

‘Rooted, growing, bearing fruit for the world’

October 14, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

St. Louis

Presbytery moderators and vice moderators from across the country at the Mid Council Leaders Gathering in St. Louis began the day October 14 learning the basics of planning worship.

“I like to think of worship as an organic, dynamic thing — like a tree that is rooted, growing, bearing fruit for the world,” said the Rev. David Gambrell, associate for worship in the Office of Theology and Worship of the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA), in a plenary session on “Worship Responsibilities of a Presbytery Moderator.”

In times of adaptive change, leaders must be growers rather than builders, McFayden tells Mid Council Leaders Gathering

October 14, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Jerry Van Marter

Director of Communications and Assistant Stated Clerk

St. Louis

When Ken McFayden was expecting his first child in the late 1980s, a master craftsman in his congregation suggested that they build a cradle together.

“I had never build anything in my life,” McFayden recalled in his second presentation to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s annual Mid Council Leaders Gathering here October 14. “He insisted that I do the actual building while he watched and offered advice.” After designing, preparing the wood, constructing the cradle – all while making plenty of mistakes – McFayden experienced what he called “the joy of creating something that’s built to last.” He said he hopes that cradle will eventually be used by both his sons for their children. 

Holly Inglis speaks on the role of church leaders in shaping culture

October 14, 2017

Presbyterian News Service

Gregg Brekke

Special to Office of the General Assembly Communications

St. Louis

“Flexibility is key to good leadership.”

So began remarks by the Rev. Holly Inglis, president of the Association of Presbyterian Church Educators and associate pastor for community and connection at Palms Church in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, as she introduced her session during the opening plenary of the Mid Council Leaders Gathering of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) here October 13.

Effective leadership (and followership) is relationship-based, McFayden tells Mid Council Leaders Gathering

October 14, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Jerry Van Marter

Director of Communications and Assistant Stated Clerk

St. Louis

“Leaders without followers are just out for a walk,” a renowned expert on leadership development in the church told the annual Mid Council Leaders Gathering here Friday (October 13) evening. 

In an address entitled “Leading and Following,” the Rev. Ken McFayden – academic dean and professor of ministry and leadership development at Union Presbyterian Seminary in Richmond, Virginia – said, “We talk too much about leadership and not enough about followership. If there’s no followers, there’s no leader. If there’s no followership there’s no leadership.”

GA Co-Moderator Jan Edmiston: ‘This is God’s year to act’

October 13, 2017

—by Randy Hobson

Office of the General Assembly

Eva Stimson

Correspondent, Office of the General Assembly

St. Louis

Hurricanes, wildfires, mass shootings — it seems as though the world has been ravaged by a seemingly endless string of disasters over the past few months.

“And what does God call us to do in these days?” Jan Edmiston, co-moderator of the 222nd General Assembly (2016), asked nearly 500 leaders of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) presbyteries and synods. Edmiston preached at the worship service that opened the Mid-Council Leaders Gathering in St. Louis October 13. 

October 13, 2017

The Presbyterian Writers Guild (PWG) is accepting nominations for its 2018 David Steele Distinguished Writer Award. The award is given biennially in even-numbered years to recognize the cumulative work and influence — regardless of genre or subject matter — of a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) writer.

October 13, 2017

La región vinícola de California del Norte ha recibido la peor parte de los grandes incendios forestales que continúan ardiendo sin control. Se sabe que más de 20 personas han muerto en los incendios, mientras que al menos 285 siguen desaparecidas.

October 13, 2017

When Nora Leccese, who addresses domestic, poverty and environmental issues for Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness (OPW), first came to the office through the Emerson National Hunger Fellows Program she only expected to be there for five months.

October 13, 2017

It’s been nearly two weeks since hundreds of rounds were fired into a large crowd at the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival in Las Vegas, killing 59 people and injuring 489, resulting in the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

October 12, 2017

A standing-room-only crowd heard a stunning testimony, and more, from domestic abuse survivors as worshippers gathered in the Presbyterian Center’s chapel Wednesday for a service marking Domestic Violence Awareness Month. The service was sponsored by PC(USA)’s Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries (RE&WM) and Presbyterian Women.

October 12, 2017

Northern California’s wine country has received the brunt of the massive wildfires that continue to burn out of control. More than 20 people are known to have died in the fires, while at least 285 remain missing. Authorities report 3,500 structures have been destroyed and over 170,000 acres burned.

Gala worship service draws 2,000 participants from around the country

October 12, 2017

Office of the General Assembly

Fred Tangeman

Special to Office of the General Assembly Communications

Philadelphia

The Presbytery of Philadelphia celebrated its 300th anniversary last weekend, welcoming 2,000 worshipers to a special Saturday service in North Philadelphia.

Presbytery officials, national leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the mayor of Philadelphia, and members of the presbytery’s 124 congregations were among those who gathered inside Enon Tabernacle Baptist Church, an historic congregation new to many attending. A presence in Philadelphia since 1876, Enon opened its expansive main sanctuary and meeting hall to the presbytery for the day.

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There are about 75 million Reformed/Presbyterian Christians worldwide and about 2.5 million belong to the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).

 

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