• Outlook Reporting 1 day ago

    PMAB meeting closes with discussion of difficulties and signs of hope for road ahead

    PMAB meeting closes with discussion of difficulties and signs of hope for road ahead

    by Leslie Scanlon
    Difficulties and signs of hope: That’s what folks are talking about at the top levels of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). Photo credit: Kevin Dooley via Flikr cc 2.0 The difficulties are many: among them, a denomination that’s losing members and running short on money. Unless something changes, projections are that the PC(USA) will essentially run out of unrestricted reserve money it can spend by 2017. In 2016, World Mission may begin recalling mission co-workers serving internationally if it can’t raise at least $925,000 this year to pay them. Work has… continue reading...
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  • Outpost Blog 2 days ago

    Living liturgy

    Living liturgy

    by Alex Wirth
    This week we asked our bloggers to share a liturgy they’ve crafted. Is it possible to just write liturgy for a living? I mean, I know that almost all pastors write liturgy as a part of their living, that’s cool, but would someone employ me and give me benefits and a pension to only write liturgy. I would do that job. I love writing liturgy because the people of God actually use your words when they speak and hear God. That’s a holy niche to fill, to be the one… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Reporting 2 days ago

    News conference on investigation into ethics violations proffers updates, unanswered questions

    News conference on investigation into ethics violations proffers updates, unanswered questions

    by Leslie Scanlon
    After spending roughly 12 hours meeting in closed session over two days, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board emerged with a public statement April 16 about how it plans to address an investigation involving four employees of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s national staff who were involved in an unauthorized plan in which funds were channeled from the denomination to an outside entity. Shortly after 7 p.m. on April 16, Marilyn Gamm, a minister from Wisconsin who is the board’s chair, announced in a brief statement the decisions the board had made… continue reading...
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Presbyterian Mission Agency Board briefed on Educate a Child initiative

LOUISVILLE (PNS) This week the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board heard about the official launch of the national component of the “Educate a Child, Transform the World” campaign aimed at bringing quality education to one million children in the U.S. and around the world by 2020. The international component was launched in 2014 at the 221st General Assembly.   The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) launched the national portion of the initiative at today’s Compassion, Peace and Justice Training Day in Washington, D.C., challenging presbyteries and congregations to “roll up their sleeves” and get involved. Education has always been a part of the Presbyterian DNA, beginning with John Calvin, who helped bring public education to Geneva. And it has been the core of the denomination’s mission work around the world for more than 100 years. Heath Rada, moderator of the 221st General Assembly (2014), has been a champion for the Educate a Child campaign from the beginning. “In … [Read more...]

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board approves revised mission budgets for 2015 and 2016

LOUISVILLE (PNS) The Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) Board approved revised mission budgets for 2015 and 2016 on April 16, 2015. PMA chief financial officer Earline Williams told members of the PMA’s Finance Committee in its meeting yesterday that since the budgets were originally approved at the 221st General Assembly in June 2014, members of the PMA’s finance and accounting staff have been reanalyzing the data with each of the ministry areas in order to reach the budget changes that were presented to the committee and subsequently to the board. Upon the committee’s recommendation, the board approved a revised 2015 budget of $76,611,903, a net increase of $1,190,929 over the previously approved budget; and a revised 2016 mission budget of $78,027,204, which is a net decrease of $1,814,840 over the previously approved budget. Williams identified the following areas with changes in the 2015 and 2016 budgets: Executive Director Communications Funds … [Read more...]

We are Presbyterians, we should do better

Jill Duffield

I was born into a Presbyterian family. I had no say in that. However, at one point in my adult life, I considered changing traditions. I married a committed Episcopalian and found myself drawn to the liturgy and weekly communion of his upbringing. In the end, what kept me Presbyterian was our polity. More specifically, the theology behind our polity. I couldn’t leave our belief in the parity between clergy and lay, our commitment to discerning together, our representational, connectional form of government. No matter how hard it is to explain to others what a presbytery is or, in recent years, what it means that I am a teaching elder, I am convinced that our polity shows forth important aspects of the kingdom of God. We are process people; few things happen quickly. Bishops are more efficient. Congregational votes more conclusive. Our decency and order require a lot of questioning and some chaos along the way. That can be frustrating but it usually ensures that when we finally … [Read more...]

PMAB meeting closes with discussion of difficulties and signs of hope for road ahead

Photo credit: via Flikr cc 2.0

Difficulties and signs of hope: That’s what folks are talking about at the top levels of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The difficulties are many: among them, a denomination that’s losing members and running short on money. Unless something changes, projections are that the PC(USA) will essentially run out of unrestricted reserve money it can spend by 2017. In 2016, World Mission may begin recalling mission co-workers serving internationally if it can’t raise at least $925,000 this year to pay them. Work has begun to craft the 2017-2020 mission work plan and budget – guiding documents for the Presbyterian Mission Agency – and Linda Valentine, the agency’s executive director, wrote recently that “we are trying to do too much. We need to focus on what we can do best and what the church most needs and will support.” When the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board met April 15-17, talk turned overtly to the idea of a possible reconfiguration of the denomination’s infrastructure … [Read more...]

Living liturgy

Alexi Wirth

This week we asked our bloggers to share a liturgy they’ve crafted. Is it possible to just write liturgy for a living? I mean, I know that almost all pastors write liturgy as a part of their living, that’s cool, but would someone employ me and give me benefits and a pension to only write liturgy. I would do that job. I love writing liturgy because the people of God actually use your words when they speak and hear God. That’s a holy niche to fill, to be the one stringing words together with which other people will speak to the divine. It conjures up for me a vision of an ink-stained monk up in a dim garret somewhere scratching away with a quill on scraped vellum. I could get used to a dismal garret, I think, if it had a window in it. But of course, locking yourself away in an attic is the worst way to write Spirit-filled language for people. You can’t hear the sound of their voices and the rhythm of their lives on the street if you’re shut up in your church. You have to go out and … [Read more...]

Tagged With: liturgy

News conference on investigation into ethics violations proffers updates, unanswered questions

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After spending roughly 12 hours meeting in closed session over two days, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board emerged with a public statement April 16 about how it plans to address an investigation involving four employees of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s national staff who were involved in an unauthorized plan in which funds were channeled from the denomination to an outside entity. Shortly after 7 p.m. on April 16, Marilyn Gamm, a minister from Wisconsin who is the board’s chair, announced in a brief statement the decisions the board had made in its closed sessions. Gamm said that: The board voted to authorize one of the lawyers it recently hired, John O. Sheller, to work with the board’s executive committee and with Linda Valentine, executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, “to undertake appropriate steps to resolve employment issues” with the four staff members named in the ethics investigation. Sheller is a labor and employment lawyer from the Louisville … [Read more...]