• Outlook Reporting 4 hours ago

    Valentine nominated to third term as executive director

    Valentine nominated to third term as executive director

    by Leslie Scanlon
    Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, makes a presentation to the executive committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board April 23. Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, has been nominated for a third four-year term as head of the national staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, meeting in Louisville, convened in closed session April 23 to consider a performance review of Valentine. Afterwards, it was announced that the board had nominated Valentine to a third term as executive director,… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone
  • Outlook Reporting 5 hours ago

    Denominational mission budget pared down

    Denominational mission budget pared down

    by Leslie Scanlon
    LOUISVILLE – With fewer resources, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the next two years will be doing fewer things and focusing on tasks with a more significant impact. That’s part of the message from Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, in presenting the PC(USA)’s proposed mission budgets for 2015 and 2016. Although Valentine didn’t refer specifically to programs or jobs being cut, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board is expected to meet in closed session April 24 to discuss the budget proposal – often an indicator that layoffs… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone
  • Outlook Features 12 hours ago

    How I would have moderated the Committee On Middle East Issues (had I not been asked to resign)

    How I would have moderated the Committee On Middle East Issues (had I not been asked to resign)

    by Albert Butzer
    It might have been one of the shortest assignments in the history of the Presbyterian Church. On April 1, the Office of the General Assembly issued a press release announcing committee leadership for this summer’s assembly, including my nomination to serve as moderator of the Committee on Middle East Issues. Had I been smarter, I might have realized that I was setting off on a fool’s errand, given the date of the press release! Just six days later, Moderator Neal Presa phoned and asked me to resign my position. He… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone

Valentine nominated to third term as executive director

Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, makes a presentation to the executive committee of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board April 23.

Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, has been nominated for a third four-year term as head of the national staff of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, meeting in Louisville, convened in closed session April 23 to consider a performance review of Valentine. Afterwards, it was announced that the board had nominated Valentine to a third term as executive director, with that nomination contingent upon approval in June by the 2014 General Assembly. Valentine, a lawyer and a ruling elder, came to work at the PC(USA) in 2006, and previously worked at Motorola from 1984 to 2002 and at Opportunity International, a Christian nonprofit group in Illinois. … [Read more...]

Denominational mission budget pared down

Earline Williams

LOUISVILLE – With fewer resources, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) in the next two years will be doing fewer things and focusing on tasks with a more significant impact. That’s part of the message from Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, in presenting the PC(USA)’s proposed mission budgets for 2015 and 2016. Although Valentine didn’t refer specifically to programs or jobs being cut, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board is expected to meet in closed session April 24 to discuss the budget proposal – often an indicator that layoffs are impending. The proposal calls for a PC(USA) mission budget of $73.6 million for 2015 and $78.2 million for 2016. That compares with a revised mission budget for 2014 of $79.9 million – pared down more than $2.5 million from the 2014 budget of $82.5 million originally approved. The proposed budget for 2016 is slightly higher than for 2015 in part because it includes about $3.1 million in funding for the Youth … [Read more...]

How I would have moderated the Committee On Middle East Issues (had I not been asked to resign)

Al_Summer_2010

It might have been one of the shortest assignments in the history of the Presbyterian Church. On April 1, the Office of the General Assembly issued a press release announcing committee leadership for this summer’s assembly, including my nomination to serve as moderator of the Committee on Middle East Issues. Had I been smarter, I might have realized that I was setting off on a fool’s errand, given the date of the press release! Just six days later, Moderator Neal Presa phoned and asked me to resign my position. He said that my nomination had been met with strong opposition from persons in the Presbyterian Church who questioned my ability to moderate with impartiality since I had traveled to Israel on two interfaith trips. It didn’t really matter that those trips were intended to foster better relations between Christians and Jews. The problem, according to some people, was that the Jewish Community Federation of Richmond, Virginia, had organized those trips and underwritten the travel … [Read more...]

Bookmark: Without Apology — Sermons for Christ’s Church

Bookmark

Without Apology — Sermons for Christ’s Church by Stanley Hauerwas Seabury Books, New York. 169 pages. Hauerwas is a theologian with a razor wit that he uses in the service of the Church of Jesus Christ. He is also a teacher who believes theology is for the purpose of preaching which, in turn, is for the strengthening of the church’s radical witness to the way of Jesus. These sermons delivered in local congregations demonstrate rich theology that sustains without being arcane or incomprehensible. Preachers will take delight in them and learn from them – not so much to imitate Hauerwas, as to see how theology can be embedded into sermons without losing their connection to the people. In this collection, I came away again stirred up with the conviction that being a Christian has consequences in the world; that baptism has significance to the way in which Christians consider death and resurrection; and the narrative to which we all belong has Christ at the center. There is also an … [Read more...]

Reading For Preaching

9780802870773

by Cornelius Plantinga Wm. B. Eerdmans, Grand Rapids, Mich. 133 pages Reviewed by ROY W. HOWARD    I’ve been a pastor for over 25 years and reading books for many more. This book combines the demands of preaching and the joys of reading with brilliant skill. Plantinga knows preachers and he knows the demands of preaching sermons that “get to the heart” without bypassing the mind. One of the many delights of this book is the chapter devoted to authors who know how to get to the heart from whom preachers can learn. Commenting on John Steinbeck’s “Grapes of Wrath” he says, “Preachers follow Ma Joad’s family to California because they know a simple fact: their preaching is meant by God to move human hearts and they have no hope of success in this mission unless they are vulnerable to being moved themselves.” Plantinga knows the necessity of deep wisdom that will help the pastor create sermons that speak much more than any one person can ever know. But he has not … [Read more...]

Ukrainian order to register Jews may have a Westboro corollary (Commentary)

by Jeffrey Weiss (RNS) Now it seems clear that last week’s story about Ukrainian Jews being ordered to “register” was both real and a hoax. I can only hope that this incident is as beneficial to the Ukrainians as Westboro Baptist Church has been to the United States. Seriously. No doubt you’ve seen something about the facts on the ground: On April 14, as Jews in the city of Donetsk left a Passover event, masked men passed out fliers. The handout ordered the city’s Jews to register or risk deportation. It was “signed” by Denis Pushilin, one of the leaders of the pro-Russian faction that has occupied several buildings in Donetsk. The fliers were real. Reports and photos quickly hit the Internet. To which the widest initial reaction was some version of “uh-oh.” That’s because reports of anti-Semitism involving Ukraine or Russia have a veneer of truthiness from a long and unhappy history. Reports of attacks on Jews in the area now called Ukraine go back to the 1100s. In the … [Read more...]