• Book Reviews 7 hours ago

    Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family and Church

    Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family and Church

    by Sarah Griffith Lund Chalice Press, St. Louis. 112 pages REVIEWED BY LAURA CUNNINGHAM The title of Sarah Griffith Lund’s spiritual autobiography, testimony and powerful theological insight about mental illness was enough to earn it a spot on my download list. I’m not sure what I expected, but her personal, pastoral and theological description of what she calls “crazy in the blood” moved this book to a permanent place on my pastoral shelf. Lund was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is a graduate of two Presbyterian… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Reporting 23 hours ago

    Presbyterian Mission Agency responds to defamation lawsuit brought by Roger Dermody

    Presbyterian Mission Agency responds to defamation lawsuit brought by Roger Dermody

    by Leslie Scanlon
    Lawyers for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) are contending that a state court judge in Kentucky should dismiss a lawsuit brought by Roger Dermody, the denomination’s former deputy executive director for mission, because the claims involved in the lawsuit involve “quintessential matter of faith and polity.” The response contends that the court should apply “the Ecclesiastical Abstention Doctrine and Ministerial Exception” and “must avoid infringing upon the Church’s First Amendment rights and dismiss this case.” The PC(USA) is a religious institution; Dermody is a minister; and examining the claims he made… continue reading...
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  • Outlook Features 1 day ago

    Why prison ministry?

    Why prison ministry?

    by George Wilson I was a prison ministry skeptic. Why would I want to help get sentences reduced for those whom I generally felt deserved the punishment they received? That was how I felt when the phone rang one morning and a friend said, “George, I cannot think of anyone I would rather have accompany me in doing prison ministry. You were a good friend to me.” The caller had been in the church I served after he was released from prison on parole. He violated his parole and returned… continue reading...
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J. Herbert Nelson, II preaches on the Charleston 9 and race and violence in the U.S.

J. Herbert Nelson II

Sermon delivered by Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II on Tuesday, June 30, 2015 on the occasion of remembering the Charleston 9 and embracing the issue of race in the United States. The worship service was held in the United Methodist Building on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. Listen to the audio here and watch a short clip here: “What We Are Contending With” “For we are not contending with flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) Today we remember the horrid incident in Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Charleston, SC almost two weeks ago.  The funerals continue even today which serve as a constant reminder that even the Church of Jesus Christ is not necessarily a safe place in our society. However, it seems that signs of hope are beginning. Dylan Roof, suspect in the killing of the nine who were attending … [Read more...]

Walk toward a new day (Stated clerk’s July column)

gradyeparsons

The righteous perish, and no one takes it to heart; the devout are taken away, while no one understands. (Isaiah 57:1) As I look over the monthly columns that I have written in the past twelve months, I realize that a fourth of them have been about racism. The latest public incident is the murders at Emanuel African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church (Mother Emanuel) in Charleston, South Carolina. Mother Emanuel is another in a long tragic list of African American churches that have been bombed, burned, shot up, and defaced. I have tried to imagine a Sunday school teacher putting aside the stories of David and Goliath or Noah. “Today, children, we are going to learn to play dead in church so you won’t get shot.” I watched with many others the worship service at Mother Emanuel after the shootings. The overarching spirit of evil will not prevail was the theme. But it sure seems like evil is working hard. It is appropriate to confront some powerful symbols of slavery and racism. … [Read more...]

The case against fast forgiveness and expedient mourning

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Guest commentary by Carlton D. Johnson As we approach the first of the summer holidays, the air of anticipated days of relaxation and backyard barbeque bliss is so thick you can cut it with a steak knife. Nothing is more inviting than the opportunity to look at your place of departure in the review mirror of a convertible or beneath you as you fly away to blue waters and sandy beaches, even if only for a weekend. Some will host parties. Some will ignite private firework shows in their driveways; others will choose larger public shows. And perhaps, amidst the celebration, many will choose to put the heaviness of recent events behind them. The domestic terrorist attack on the Emmanuel AME Church in Charleston, South Carolina, where nine African-American parishioners were killed would be wonderful to forget, at least for a while. It would be a relief to have a weekend to abandon thoughts of the hundreds of African-Americans killed by law enforcement officials in the most recent … [Read more...]

Blessed Are the Crazy: Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family and Church

Blessed Are the Crazy- Breaking the Silence About Mental Illness, Family and Church

by Sarah Griffith Lund Chalice Press, St. Louis. 112 pages REVIEWED BY LAURA CUNNINGHAM The title of Sarah Griffith Lund’s spiritual autobiography, testimony and powerful theological insight about mental illness was enough to earn it a spot on my download list. I’m not sure what I expected, but her personal, pastoral and theological description of what she calls “crazy in the blood” moved this book to a permanent place on my pastoral shelf. Lund was ordained in the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and is a graduate of two Presbyterian seminaries. The first gathering of the Young Clergy Women Project encouraged her to share her testimony of living with a father, brother and cousin who each suffer from bipolar disorder. She calls it “crazy in the blood,” the shame and pain of having mental illness in her family, as she shares the faith-filled insights that come in the process of holding on to God in the midst of suffering. The power of her work emerges from both its … [Read more...]

PC(USA) leaders issue statement on church burnings

PCUSA seal

A hate-inspired tragedy like the murder of nine worshipers at the Emanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston, South Carolina, causes people of good conscience not only to grieve, but to reassess their attitudes about race, and moves people of all races to come together and take actions that reflect new commitments to heal long-standing wounds in the United States. Unfortunately, those commitments to reconciliation inflame in some the same racial hatred that motivated the Charleston killings and result in a backlash of further violence. In the last week, at least seven churches with predominantly black membership have been burned in Tennessee, Ohio, North and South Carolina, Florida, and Georgia. Some have already been confirmed as arson. These burned churches are reminders of the smoldering racism that still infects our body politic and makes clear the work that remains for us all. We grieve with all those whose church buildings have been lost or damaged, whether as a result of … [Read more...]

Director of Youth Ministry

First Presbyterian Church, Charleston is nestled in the beautiful hills of West Virginia, and centrally located in the mid-Atlantic. A church of 1,100 members is seeking a full-time DIRECTOR OF YOUTH MINISTRY to help encourage our youth to know, follow, and deepen their faith in Christ. Candidates should be looking to enhance and grow a vibrant youth program encompassing our middle and high school students, and their families. For more information about our church please visit firstpresby.com and submit résumés to [email protected] First Presbyterian Church 16 Leon Sullivan Way Charleston WV 25301-2487 firstpresby.com Job Type: Full-time … [Read more...]