Sep. 2, 2009 QUICK CALENDAR Sept 1, COM Meeting @Central, noon Sept 7, Labor Day, INP office closed Sept 8, Council Mtg @INP, 10am Sept 9, Budget & Finance Mtg @INP, 11:30am Sept 10, CPM Mtg @ INP, 10am Sept 10, Small Church Networking lunch @Clinton, noon Sept 14, Resourcing Congregations Comm Mtg @Central,noon
Mission Yearbook Prayer You contemplate us, loving God, through the eyes of the poor and speak to us in the voices of those whose lives are raw and buffeted. Give us grace to see, to be seen, and to hear, knowing we are all one within your great love. May all we do be for your glory. In Jesus' name. Amen.
Looking Ahead and Making Plans? Make Sure to Include Montreat!
August 31, 2009
‘God is up to things’
Presbyterian Global Fellowship meeting focuses on moving into neighborhoods by Bethany Furkin Presbyterian News Service
SOLANA BEACH, Calif. — Attendees who made it to the pre-conference workshop of the Presbyterian Global Fellowship gathering here Aug. 21-22 got a taste of what was to come the rest of the weekend. But instead of listening to an outline of what speakers the Rev. Alan Roxburgh and the Rev. Mark Lau Branson were planning to say, the audience experienced a role reversal. Roxburgh and Branson asked attendees what they’d like to talk about during the conference, held at Solana Beach Presbyterian Church as one of PGF’s regional gatherings. The theme of the gathering, hosted by the Presbytery of San Diego, was “Moving Back into the Neighborhood.” The goal was to identify practical ways for congregations to make gospel connections with their communities. [Read More]
Nonprofit Presbyterian Urban Mission receives database upgrade by Paula Burkes Published: August 25, 2009 An Oklahoma City emergency services organization is techno-savvy, thanks to the volunteer efforts of a leadership development team with Metavante technology company. Presbyterian Urban Mission, 3737 N Portland Ave., formerly could input computer data, but not extract information to share with donors, director Peggy Garrett said. "Now, we can say 58 percent of the clients we serve through our food pantry are kids. Or, we have so many pencils left over in school supplies. They customized our systems, made them user-friendly and our life so much easier.” Metavante donated a wireless router, external hard drive, four wide, flat screen monitors and six rehabbed laptops to upgrade the organization’ infrastructure. The effort was part ofMilwaukee-based Metavante’ Leadership Experience Action Program (LEAP), which develops young community volunteers through an annual team effort. To find a nonprofit to work with, Metavante turned to the Executive Services Corps of Central Oklahoma, which matches retired and current middle managers with nonprofits for evaluation and problem-solving."We partner constantly with other nonprofits, but now we have developed an unusual alliance with a for-profit entity, Metavante,”President Bill Phillipssaid. [Read More]
August 27, 2009
Spirit blowing, water flowing
Living Waters for the World completes first project in Cuba
BY RAY WADDLE THE PRESBYTERIAN VOICESYNOD OF LIVING WATERS R NASHVILLE Clean water is now flowing at the Evangelical Theological Seminaryin Matanzas, Cuba, because of Presbyterians living up to the very name of their synod Living Waters and the gospel compassion behind it. A group of Presbyterians from First-Trinity Presbyterian Church in Laurel, MS, recently returned from Matanzas, where they installed a new water-filtration system, celebrated the achievement with residents and pondered the spirit of Jesus behind it all. “It’ mind-boggling to think of those words of Jesus: ‘ was thirsty and you gave me something to drink,’” said Verniece Goode, a First-Trinity member who helped lead the group of five to Cuba in June. “It’ like we’e giving Jesus clean water.” That gospel idea infuses the “Living Waters for the World” (LWW) mission project of the Synod of Living Waters, and word of its success is spreading. Since the mid-1990s, leaders and volunteers have helped install clean water systems at more than 300 sites in 22 countries, mostly in Latin America. [Read More]
Beyond the walls
Small West Virginia churches look outward to surrounding communities BY TONI MONTGOMERY SPECIAL TO PRESBYTERIAN NEWS SERVICE Editor’ note:This is the latest in a series of stories about congregations engaged in significant outreach and evangelism ministries, reflecting the General Assembly’ commitment to“Grow Christ’ Church Deep and Wide.” Jerry L. Van Marter TATESVILLE, N.C. The Rev. Devon Ducheneau knew that in order to survive, today’ churches need to turn their focus outward and embrace the community around them rather than continue as secluded islands. The part that would take some work was convincing the members of her two small churches, Southpark and Westminster Presbyterian churches in Charleston, W. Va. that this was the path they needed to take. Westminster had about 20 members when Ducheneau arrived nearly a year ago. Southpark had about five. There had been some discussion about merging the two with another nearby church because there were three churches within a four-mile radius, but those talks fell through. “Neither church had ever done any kind of program work or gotten out much among their neighbors. They always gave money for local causes, but they never really engaged in the service work itself,” said Ducheneau. She set out to change that and to show the members of her churches that being involved in the community could be enjoyable, in addition to the rewards they’ find from both personal and church growth. [Read More]
August 27, 2009
Angolan women still face war by other means BY JUAN MICHEL
WCC NEWS AND INFORMATION Young women participating in a literacy course organized by the Young Women's Christian Association in Petrangol, a poor neighbourhood on the outskirts of Luanda.
LUANDA, Angola The armed conflict in Angola ended seven years ago, but the consequences of four decades of war are felt still today. And women seem to be bearing most of the brunt.“We do not have an open conflict right now,” said Josefina Sandemba, a pastor from the Evangelical Congregational Church in Angola (IECA) who was briefing a Living Letters team visiting the country on behalf of the World Council of Churches in late July, “but guns keep taking their toll within communities still today.”
Living Letters are small ecumenical teams that travel within the framework of the WCC Decade to Overcome Violence to different parts of the world where Christians are striving to promote peace. After the 14-year-long independence war with Portugal ended in 1975, Angola suffered a 27-year civil war that killed hundreds of thousands of people, left scores of internally displaced and devastated the economy and infrastructure. Despite the current post-war reconstruction boom Angola is one of Africa's major oil producers two-thirds of its population of 17.5 million live on less than two U.S. dollars a day, the World Bank estimates. Life expectancy is about 41 years for men and 44 years for women.“Almost every family has been affected one way or another by the long decades of war. As a consequence, major situations of trauma are widespread,” said Sandemba, who is responsible for the women’ work at the Council of Christian Churches in Angola (CICA).In this context, women pay the highest price, Sandemba said. “They live with former combatants, now demobilized, or with relatives who have suffered amputations or other injuries, and in many cases they live under the poverty line.” In Luanda, the country’ capital, “women typically leave home at 3 a.m. to look for saleable goods, and often walk through the whole city, sometimes pregnant or carrying little children,” she explained. “When they reach home, at about 10 p.m., they might have earned 200 kwanzas (less than 3 U.S. dollars), but if sales were not good, there may not be anything for dinner.”Hard, exhausting work to feed their families is not the only hardship women face in Angola. Although statistical data are nonexistent or unreliable, concern about growing levels of violence against women both at home and on the streets is widespread. “The issue of domestic violence is taking frightening dimensions,” said the Rev. José Antonio, general secretary of the Evangelical Reformed Church of Angola (IERA). This happens mainly in Luanda, but also in other places, he added.The causes of this increase are complex. Taking sides with womenIn the heart of Petrangol, a poor neighborhood with bumpy and dusty streets in the outskirts of Luanda, the headquarters of the Young Women Christian Association are filled with laughter as some 15 young women enthusiastically participate in a literacy session. Mariana Afonso, a 24-year-old member of the IERA and a mother of five, told the Living Letters group about the difference that being able to read has made in her life: “A husband shows a different kind of respect if you are able to read.” [Read More]
Find a Speaker by State When a church invites a missionary to speak, the church must pay for transportation and hospitality. When inviting a missionary from a long distance, the church should try to arrange a full schedule. More information and recommendations on the Mission Speaker's page.
Seminary news BYJERRY L. VAN MARTER PRESBYTERIAN NEWS SERVICE DECATUR, Ga. Fourteen years after inaugurating its certificate program in Christian spirituality, Columbia Theological Seminarywill this fall offer five spirituality courses. All count toward the completion of certificate requirements but are open to anyone of any denomination. CHICAGO McCormick Theological Seminaryhas received approval from the Commission on Accrediting of the Association of Theological Schools to offer two new degrees beginning in the fall of 2010: the Master of Arts in Urban Ministry and the Master of Arts in Discipleship Development. PRINCETON, N.J. Princeton Theological Seminary has announced the appointment of Heidi Gehman as director of academic administration a new position effective Sept. 8. Gehman earned her B.A. at Houghton College, her M.Div. at Princeton Theological Seminary and her Ph.D. at the University of Chicago Divinity School. SAN ANSELMO, Calif. San Francisco Theological Seminaryis leading the way among seminaries throughout the nation to reduce carbon footprints, according to a new report that establishes a baseline measurement for greenhouse gas emissions. According to David Rhoads, professor of New Testament at Lutheran School of Theology in Chicago and one of the organizers of the national Green Seminary Initiative, SFTS is believed to be the first seminary to produce a substantial carbon footprint report. DUBUQUE, Iowa Elmer Colyer, professor of historical theology and Wesley studies at theUniversity of Dubuque Theological Seminary, is the recipient of the 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award from his alma mater, the University of Wisconsin - Platteville. The award is given annually to alumni who have significant and broad career achievement, evidenced through state, national and/or international recognition in their chosen discipline or profession. PITTSBURGH Pittsburgh Theological Seminarykicked off its"Pneuma" spiritual direction and leadership certificate program Aug. 27-29. The first group meets for a two-day retreat during which time they will be introduced to the new two-year program. The program offers educational and supervised training of pastors and laity in the dynamics of the spiritual exercisesof Ignatius Loyola while engaging in Reformed, Catholic, and other diverse theological perspectives on growth in faith and the Christian life. RICHMOND, Va. How is the science of human evolution related to the theological understanding of human uniqueness? This question will be explored on the campus of Union Presbyterian Seminary(formerly Union Theological Seminary-Presbyterian School of Christian Education) at an Oct. 1-2 conference cosponsored by the seminary; the Carl Howie Center for Science, Art and Theology; the Institute for Reformed Theology; and the Presbyterian Association on Science, Technology and the Christian Faith.
RESOURCE CENTER NEWS Drs. Leslie and Cynthia Morgan Mission Video Bangladesh This DVD will allow Presbyterian congregations to learn more about the work of the church in Bangladesh. 14 minutes and can be used for both children and adults alike. If your church is interested in more information from the Morgan’ who will be returning to Bangladesh for another 3-year term as advisors, call (318) 272-9123 or the website is http:// www.pcusa.org/missionconnections/profiles/morganl.htm. From Alban Institute Strategic Leadership For a Change: Facing Our Losses, Finding Our Future by Kenneth J. McFayden Many congregations are experiencing significant change both within and beyond their walls, and both members and leaders feel a sense of loss in the midst of these changes. In the midst of change, loss, and grief, congregations yearn for leadershiptypically with differing expectations of what constitutes effective leadership in response to their needs, hopes, and priorities. At the same time, congregations resist leadership. After all, leadership assumes those who follow will be open to more change. Strategic Leadership for a Change provides congregational leaders with new insights and tools for understanding the relationships among change, attachment, loss, and grief. It also helps to facilitate the process of grieving, comprehend the centrality of vision, and demonstrate theological reflection in the midst of change, loss, grief, and attaching anew. All this occurs as the congregation aligns its vision with God’ and understands processes of change as processes of fulfillment. Drawing on attachment theory, leadership studies, and biblical and theological resources, McFayden’ work is invaluable for leaders whose congregations face change, experience loss, wonder about their future, and yearn for leadership. Know Your Story and Lead with It: the Power of Narrative in clergy Leadership by Richard L. Hester & Kelli Walker-Jones Knowing your story is an essential component of effective leadership, but finding your story among the myriad narratives that fill your life isn’ a simple task. The authors have offered a path to finding your own story amid the powerful family and cultural narratives that may be obscuring your vision. The aim of this book is to show leaders how to explore their story of reality, tell it to other group members, and consider how it can be used as a resource for leadership. This narrative perspective holds that because there’ always more than one story about a situation, we have choices about which story we will embrace. After more than six years working with groups of clergy, the authors have woven these stories together to create the fabric that is the backdrop of narrative clergy leadership. The book is an account of their pilgrimage. As you read you will have a sense that this is your pilgrimage, and it will encourage you into narrative ventures of your own. Where GOD Was Born: A Journey by Land to the Roots of Religion by Bruce Feiler Author of Walking the Bible This book “combines the adventure of a wartime chronicle, the excitement of an archaeological detective story, and the insight of personal spiritual exploration. Taking readers to biblical sites not seen by Westerners for decades, Feiler’ journey uncovers little-known details about the common roots of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, and affirms the importance of the Bible in today’ world.” Resource can be used for personal enjoyment or as an Adult Study. Take the journey.
August 31, 2009
THE BIVOCATIONAL CONGREGATION by Anthony C. Pappas, Ed Pease, and Norm Faramelli Any garden-variety atheist, agnostic, or even religiously indifferent materialist knows that if--and we do mean if--the church is to survive well into the future in the northern hemisphere it won't be through a linear extension of today's church. Every index of the church as it has been indicates a decline, and many indicate a precipitous decline. So what might tomorrow's different church look like? What should we call it? And what are its qualities? We believe the bivocational congregation (not to be confused with, but related to, bivocational pastors) offers a viable model for tomorrow's church. A bivocational congregation is a local church that operates upon (and may even self-consciously understand) two callings: the calling of function and the calling of mission. We believe the bivocational congregation is more likely to survive into tomorrow to do God's will and be God's people because it is essentially organized around spiritual realities in tune with God's redemptive work. These include:
healthy team functioning
a high commitment to place and to being a ministering presence in that place
a willingness to die to self, if need be, in the cause of serving others
an acceptance of this expression of the church as a full expression of the church, not a second-rate, temporary, expedient form of the church
a willingness to experiment and trust that a higher power has something wonderful in store for tomorrow
We've observed five scenarios that help to illustrate these qualities of bivocational congregations as they exist in very different settings. Continue Reading "The Bivocational Congregation"
UPCOMING WEBINAR FAITH AND EVERYDAY LEADERSHIP Listen to Alban Education Program Manager Wayne Whitson Floyd teach about faith and everyday leadership. This webinar lifts up and celebrates the best practices of everyday leaders -- at work, at home, in civic life, and in congregations. Tuesday, September 29, 2009 1 p.m. EDT
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