• Book Reviews 4 hours ago

    Dorothy Day for Armchair Theologians

    Dorothy Day for Armchair Theologians

    by Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Ky. 223 pages REVIEWED BY LYNNE TAYLOR CLEMENTS Do not read this book … unless you are ready for a challenge and charge. In a compelling narrative that spans the 20th century, Hinson-Hasty introduces the reader to the woman who began the Catholic Worker movement and dedicated her life to ending poverty and working for justice and peace. Hinson-Hasty, professor of theology at Bellarmine University, spent a year studying the life and works of Dorothy Day. Drawing on her exploration into the… continue reading...
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  • Outpost Blog 1 day ago

    Can introverts be missional?

    Can introverts be missional?

    by Rachel Young
    Our congregation has been wrestling with the concept of missionality — that we, as the church, engage with God in God’s mission to redeem and restore our lives and our world. We don’t build God’s Kingdom, but we build for the Kingdom (to borrow from NT Wright). Acts of beauty, social justice, community service, kindness and evangelism are all missional activities. Our congregants are fairly comfortable with community service and showing kindness to strangers, but, like many Presbyterians, they shy away from words like “evangelism.” In fact, when we talk about being missional as… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Features 2 days ago

    Family-sized congregations: Presbyterians in Texas

    Family-sized congregations: Presbyterians in Texas

    Many PC(USA) congregations are considered “family-sized.” According to Alice Mann’s work on congregation sizes, a “family” congregation has up to 50 adults in worship, is organized around matriarchs and/or patriarchs, may have a part-time pastor and operates like an extended family. These churches have the strengths and weaknesses of families. Positively, everyone knows everyone. Negatively, everyone knows everyone else’s business! Family-sized congregations can be resistant to growth because current members treasure the benefits of their smaller size. Pastors in these congregations are not, typically, the most important leader. Leadership is… continue reading...
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Dorothy Day for Armchair Theologians

Dorothy Day

by Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville, Ky. 223 pages REVIEWED BY LYNNE TAYLOR CLEMENTS Do not read this book ... unless you are ready for a challenge and charge. In a compelling narrative that spans the 20th century, Hinson-Hasty introduces the reader to the woman who began the Catholic Worker movement and dedicated her life to ending poverty and working for justice and peace. Hinson-Hasty, professor of theology at Bellarmine University, spent a year studying the life and works of Dorothy Day. Drawing on her exploration into the life of Dorothy Day, Hinson-Hasty illustrates how Day answered the call of loving service of one’s neighbor, which is at the heart of the authentic Christian life — a life not defined by church attendance or denominational hierarchy, but in community, radical hospitality and spiritual discipline. Enhanced by anecdotes and stories, Hinson-Hasty brings to life the multi-faceted elements of Day’s character as religious … [Read more...]

A letter from the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon (NESSL)

SYRIA (PNS) Dear friends, We greet you in the name of Him who gives life and hope, Jesus the Christ. As our Armenian brothers and sisters are commemorating the Hundred Anniversary of the massacre inflicted on them in early 20th century, we watch with great sadness and are stunned by the news of Christian villages in the Northeast of Syria being criminally attacked by ISIS. killing, kidnapping, destroying churches and homes, and causing thousands of families to be displaced. The Assyrian Christian community have lived in those villages for many centuries, now they are scattered with grief for the lost members, scared for the kidnapped, and seeking shelters in neighboring cities. As assaults and attacks against the Christians move from onerea to the other we ask, what else must we expect when ISIS moves freely with it's arms behaving as if sent from above to kill and to destroy..... No one has forgotten the scenes of Maaloula, when it's churches and monasteries where … [Read more...]

59th United Nations Commission on the Status of Women

  NEW YORK (PNS) Thirty-five Presbyterian women, including 11 young adults, will attend the 59th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March. The delegation is organized through a partnership involving the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, Racial Ethnic & Women’s Ministries, and Presbyterian Women in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The Presbyterian presence is possible because the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) is accredited to the United Nations through the Economic and Social Council. The Presbyterian News Service recently sat down with Mark Koenig and Ryan Smith, staff of the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations, to discuss the upcoming Commission experience and the Presbyterian participation. What is the Commission on the Status of Women? The Commission on the Status of Women is a functional Commission of the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. It is one of the oldest in the UN, currently … [Read more...]

Can introverts be missional?

Rachel Young

Our congregation has been wrestling with the concept of missionality — that we, as the church, engage with God in God’s mission to redeem and restore our lives and our world. We don’t build God’s Kingdom, but we build for the Kingdom (to borrow from NT Wright). Acts of beauty, social justice, community service, kindness and evangelism are all missional activities. Our congregants are fairly comfortable with community service and showing kindness to strangers, but, like many Presbyterians, they shy away from words like “evangelism.” In fact, when we talk about being missional as ”going out into the community into which God is sending you” or ”making disciples who make disciples” (never using the word evangelism), I hear one of two responses: 1) I have a deep, paralyzing guilt that I’m not talking to my neighbors, or 2) I’m an introvert, I can’t be missional! I have wrestled myself with these emotions and excuses. I am shy and struggle to talk to strangers. Even the act … [Read more...]

Muslims stand with Christians against attacks on churches in Niger

NIGER, WEST AFRICA (PNS)  On January 16 and 17, in response to satirical cartoons of the Prophet Mohammed published in France, extremist elements in the West African country of Niger destroyed churches and Christian homes and businesses in the capital, Niamey, and the regional capital, Zinder. In all, more than 50 churches of various Christian denominations were burned. Dozens of Christian families were left homeless. The PC(USA) partner in Niger, the Evangelical Church in the Republic of Niger (EERN), lost five church buildings, two manses, and homes belonging to a half dozen member families. Although the government of Niger at first appeared slow to prevent the attacks, it has strongly denounced the violence. The President of Niger, Mahamadou Issoufou, asked this of his country’s people: “What have the Christians of Niger done to deserve this? Where have they wronged you?” In the aftermath of events, the president met with Christian leaders and promised government … [Read more...]

Highmark member records potentially compromised by data breach at Anthem

As you may have heard from recent news reports, a late-January cyberattack on Anthem Inc. compromised the data of as many as 80 million Anthem plan members. The Board of Pensions has learned that some Highmark member data on Anthem’s systems may also be at risk. Highmark Blue Cross (the Board of Pensions’ service provider for the Medical Plan) participates in the national Blue Cross BlueCard network, sharing certain member information with local Blue Cross plans, including Anthem Blue Cross, to pay providers and process claims locally. The information compromised during the attack on Anthem’s systems includes names, dates of birth, and Social Security numbers of Medical Plan members who have, or may have had, claims for services with providers participating in Anthem Blue Cross. Within the next few weeks, as Anthem and the FBI continue their investigations, Anthem will send a letter by U.S. mail to current and former Highmark and Anthem plan members whose data may have been … [Read more...]