• Book Reviews 2 days ago

    Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership

    Teams That Thrive: Five Disciplines of Collaborative Church Leadership

    by Warren Bird and Ryan T. Hartwig InterVarsity Press, Downers Grove, Ill. 272 pages REVIEWED BY RACHEL SHEPHERD Anyone who has worked on a team probably knows the basics of what works well, either because they lived it or because they wish they did. “Teams That Thrive” is not groundbreaking for people with common sense and experience, but it is full of helpful reminders, practical tips and language that can help people communicate about their work together. The five disciplines referenced in the subtitle are: focusing on purpose, using differences… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Reporting 2 days ago

    Lynn Haddon retires from Outlook

    Lynn Haddon retires from Outlook

    The Presbyterian Outlook staff celebrates a new beginning for our financial manager Lynn Haddon. After having a long career in the banking industry and establishing her own bookkeeping business, Lynn began to work for non-profit organizations. Lynn started working for the Outlook part-time in 2013. Lynn feels it is the right time to retire and enjoy life. She has fixed up a van and will take to the open road with her dog (Buddy) to enjoy the state and national parks of America. She also plans to spend more time… continue reading...
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  • Outpost Blog 3 days ago

    Uncool? Check. Authentic? Maybe.

    Uncool? Check. Authentic? Maybe.

    by Chris Currie
    Rachel Held Evans, religious blogger, writer and my new favorite millennial, recently lit up the church nerd social media world and broader media spectrum with her Washington Post opinion piece, “Want millennials back in the pews? Stop trying to make church ‘cool.’ ” As a millennial’s older red-headed step-sibling, you remember us, Generation X (I think there has been like 1 article about us in the last 25 years… OK, that might be a slight exaggeration), I get slightly weary of all the media attention and extended commentary devoted to… continue reading...
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Christian teachers in northern Kenya stage walkout because of terrorist fears

NAIROBI, Kenya (RNS) Recent attacks by Somalia’s al-Shabab Muslim militant group have forced the closure of dozens of schools in Kenya’s north, as Christian teachers refuse to work because of security fears. The crisis follows the massacre of 148 Christian students at the Garissa University College in April. The predominantly Muslim region relies on Christian teachers for its schools, but those teachers have been singled out by the terrorist group because of their faith. “Teachers left and did not report back, so some schools have since closed down,” said Roman Catholic Joseph Alessandro of the Garissa Diocese. At least 95 public schools have been shut indefinitely, according to Jacob Kaimenyi, the cabinet secretary of Kenya’s Ministry of Education. Nearly 500 others face closure as more than 2,000 teachers refuse to resume work, according to the ministry. More than 80 percent of Kenyans identify as Christian, with Muslims making up about 11 percent of the … [Read more...]

Influential and long-time Presbyterian racial ethnic school leader retires

LOUISVILLE (PNS) For the past 40 years, Maria Cordova Andrews has served the students and staff at Menaul School in Albuquerque, N.M. This year, she’ll celebrate her last graduation celebration at Menaul, as she retires from years of dedicated service to the students, staff and community. Cordova Andrews began her journey with Menaul during the 1974-1975 school year, when she served part time in the English as a Second Language (ESL) program. In that role, she organized the ESL program, taught Spanish and French classes, and served as a coach for the volleyball, tennis and softball teams. “A year or so before I came to Menaul, I had taken a class from Edmundo Vasquez, who was president at Menaul at that time,” she said. “Over the course of this class, he reached out to me and encouraged me to consider a job at Menaul. At the time, I had a variety of options to choose from and didn’t feel that Menaul was the right place for me at the time. About a year later, however, several … [Read more...]

Big Tent to feature big changes, big names

LOUISVILLE (PNS) Organizers of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Big Tent event are telling participants, and those not yet registered, to expect something entirely different at the upcoming July 30 – Aug. 1 event to be held on the campus of the University of Tennessee in Knoxville. “One difference from the past is that instead of being a conference of conferences—10 in one location—this Big Tent will bring these ministries together around the single theme of being a missional church,” says Thomas D. Hay, director of assembly operations in the PC(USA) Office of the General Assembly. “Leadership from these distinct ministries will be in attendance along with their passion for evangelism, [the leadership of] ruling elders and world missions that characterized the individual conferences.” The event is also the first Big Tent gathering to be held on a university campus instead of a hotel or conference center. While reducing overall cost of the conference and offering a new … [Read more...]

Think rightly of God

Earl Palmer

I’ve been thinking… “Thoughts constitute the greatness of man,” wrote Pascal in “The Pensées.” He explains it this way: “I wish to show you an infinite and indivisible thing. It is a point moving everywhere with an infinite velocity; for it is one in all places, and is all totality in every place. Our minds can consider such possibilities, even apparently impossible ones because we can think.” Genesis 1 tells us: “In the beginning… God said let there be light.” This means that divine thought and consciousness came before even the event of light. The Gospel of John starts in the same way: “In the beginning was the Logos (word).” The Logos is consciousness and information pure and simple. John is very clear about the importance of God’s consciousness/awareness. The Logos is not only prior to everything that is made, but is also personal, “All things come into being through him.” Teilhard de Chardin calls this the “tenacious personalism” of divine awareness at the omega point of … [Read more...]

God abhors selfish arrogance (June 21, 2015)

UNIFORM LESSON for June 21, 2015 Scripture passage and lesson focus: Amos 6:4-8, 11-14 Prosperity and pride often go together. People who have “made it” can be quick to take credit for their accomplishments. Especially in the United States, to be self-sufficient and capable of picking one’s self up by the proverbial boot straps is considered particularly worthy of praise. Society applauds those who have made it, as a popular advertising campaign claimed, “the old-fashioned way... by earning it.” In the days of Amos, the rulers of Israel confidently took credit for the military and economic successes they believed they had earned. With fresh memories of successful military incursions into Judah (2 Kings 14:11-14), the leaders of Israel regained control of land east of the Jordan River over which Solomon had reigned at the height of his power. The economic and political gains of Israel fueled social changes that produced a wealthy class that was richer and more powerful than the … [Read more...]

God is not fooled (June 14, 2015)

UNIFORM LESSON FOR June 14, 2015  Scripture Passage and Lesson Focus: Amos 5:14-15, 18-27 It is not unusual for people of faith, especially those who believe they are God's chosen people, to rest assured that God's grace belongs to them no matter what. They may sometimes believe that they are entitled to God's favor because they are so pious, faithful and spiritual. The eighth century prophet Amos encountered people like that in ancient Israel. They displayed their piety by worshipping at shrines in Bethel, Gilgal and Beersheba. At the same time, however, they were oppressing the innocent and taking bribes to deprive the poor of justice (Amos 5:11-12). Amos clearly condemns such hypocritical behavior in no uncertain terms. Amos 5:14-15: No justice... no Yahweh Amos reduces one of the fundamental beliefs of Israel — that God was with them — into a conditional possibility. “Seek good, not evil,” Amos cries out, “Hate evil, love good.” These imperatives are followed by … [Read more...]