• Editorials 14 hours ago

    God’s Word to us

    God’s Word to us

    by Jill Duffield
    John, the parish associate at my first call, was a person I admired greatly and from whom I learned a lot. He never imposed his wisdom or experience upon me and yet he was available, always willing to talk, ever supportive and encouraging. The first time I presided at the Lord’s Table it was with John at a local nursing home. The first time I moderated a session meeting, John sat at the end of the table, ready to clarify a point of polity, but only if I asked. John… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone
  • Outpost Blog 14 hours ago

    The de facto expert

    The de facto expert

    This month, we asked our bloggers what it’s like to be the youngest Presbyterian in the room. Here’s what they shared. Several years ago I was signed up for a mission trip to a Muslim country. In preparation for our trip, we were trained by a mission worker who had lived in that country for eight years and was now on sabbatical. His stated aim was to convince us that this particular culture was wholly foreign to our own; in fact, he suggested we suspend all of our cultural expectations.… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone
  • Book Reviews 2 days ago

    Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer

    Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer

    by Jennie Isbell and J. Brent Bill InterVarsity Press, Downers’ Grove, Ill. 192 pages REVIEWED BY ASHLEY GOFF The very first chapter of this book is titled, “A New Way to Pray.” The authors, Jennie Isbell and J. Brent Bill, deliver on those words. Isbell and Bill set out to write a collaborative book on creating fresh language — new linguistic frames — for the individual prayer life. What Isbell and Bill present is far from some sort of cookie-cutter script for prayer. Warning against “snack-bar and microwave-meal equivalents of… continue reading...
    ShareShare on FacebookTweet about this on TwitterEmail to someone

PC(USA) weighs evolving partnerships

LOUISVILLE (PNS) The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), through Presbyterian World Mission, has more than 100 partnerships around the world, most of them with Presbyterian and Reformed churches in the countries where the PC(USA) and partner churches participate together in mission. Some of those partners have celebrated the decisions made by the General Assembly concerning changes in ordination standards and the definition of marriage passed at the 2010 and 2014 General Assemblies, respectively. Other partners have challenged those decisions but chosen to stay in partnership with the PC(USA). And three churches have chosen to break relationship with the PC(USA) over those issues. Two church partners in the Middle East and Latin America reached out to the PC(USA) following the change in the definition of marriage in a spirit of partnership and recognition of shared participation in God’s mission and the body of Christ. They publically disagreed with the decision made by the PC(USA) … [Read more...]

Columbia Seminary announces inauguration of tenth president

VanDyk_Leanne_WesternSem

Columbia Theological Seminary has set the date for the inauguration of its tenth president. The Reverend Dr. Leanne Van Dyk was appointed by the Board of Trustees last April, and officially began work on July 1. She previously served as Dean and Vice President of Academic Affairs and Professor of Reformed Theology at Western Theological Seminary in Holland, MI. The inauguration service will be held on Wednesday, October 28 starting 10:30 am at the Columbia Presbyterian Church located at 711 S. Columbia Drive in Decatur near Atlanta, GA. “I deeply value and want to build on the rich tradition of Columbia Theological Seminary in its training of local pastors in a residential setting. I also want us to reach boldly for new training opportunities, utilizing people and systems already in place here to do more in the way of online learning.” said Dr. Van Dyk in a statement. “This is not just learning at a distance. Truly diverse communities can be developed for actual ministry in the … [Read more...]

Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program Celebrates Twenty Years of Service

PILP

LOUISVILLE (PNS) The youngest agency of the PC(USA), Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program Inc. (PILP) celebrates its twentieth birthday, July 31, 2015. General Assembly has been supporting low-cost loans to churches through the endowment funds held by the Presbyterian Foundation of PC(USA) for over one hundred and seventy years. At the 207th General Assembly in 1995, the General Assembly recognized the changing financial needs of congregations and created the sixth agency of PC(USA). Presbyterian Investment & Loan Program Inc. – a nonprofit corporation of PC(USA)  was created to provide low-cost loans to congregations, governing bodies and related entities of PC(USA) whose loan requirements exceeded the terms available through the endowment-funded Church Loan Program. Over the past twenty years the Program’s loan portfolio has grown to over seventy-six million dollars and the investment portfolio to over ninety million. By living out its mission, ‘to serve in gratitude … [Read more...]

God’s Word to us

Jill Duffield

John, the parish associate at my first call, was a person I admired greatly and from whom I learned a lot. He never imposed his wisdom or experience upon me and yet he was available, always willing to talk, ever supportive and encouraging. The first time I presided at the Lord’s Table it was with John at a local nursing home. The first time I moderated a session meeting, John sat at the end of the table, ready to clarify a point of polity, but only if I asked. John was quiet and understated, but there was one thing I heard him repeat frequently and with conviction: “A Presbyterian elder ought to be able to teach a Bible study at a moment’s notice.” He was emphatic that this was a basic requirement of spiritual leadership. I remember thinking that I wasn’t sure I could teach a Bible study at a moment’s notice, but because I admired and trusted him, I took this proclamation seriously. This insight, admonishment really, pushed me to maintain a discipline of Bible study. This insight … [Read more...]

The de facto expert

Brandon Gaide

This month, we asked our bloggers what it’s like to be the youngest Presbyterian in the room. Here’s what they shared. Several years ago I was signed up for a mission trip to a Muslim country. In preparation for our trip, we were trained by a mission worker who had lived in that country for eight years and was now on sabbatical. His stated aim was to convince us that this particular culture was wholly foreign to our own; in fact, he suggested we suspend all of our cultural expectations. By the end of the first training session, he had broken down our cultural expectations to such an extent that, in the subsequent training sessions, he could’ve told us anything and we would’ve believed him. We were putty. We were ready to believe whatever he wanted us to believe. By being the youngest Presbyterian in the room, I often feel like that mission worker. I routinely find myself in a room among older generations who believe (rightly, I think) that millennials bring a radically … [Read more...]

Tagged With: youngest Presbyterian

Finding God in the Verbs: Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer

Finding God in the Verbs- Crafting a Fresh Language of Prayer

by Jennie Isbell and J. Brent Bill InterVarsity Press, Downers’ Grove, Ill. 192 pages REVIEWED BY ASHLEY GOFF The very first chapter of this book is titled, “A New Way to Pray.” The authors, Jennie Isbell and J. Brent Bill, deliver on those words. Isbell and Bill set out to write a collaborative book on creating fresh language — new linguistic frames — for the individual prayer life. What Isbell and Bill present is far from some sort of cookie-cutter script for prayer. Warning against “snack-bar and microwave-meal equivalents of prayer,” they seek instead to flesh out a “home-cooked, made-in-love sort of prayer” that comes from an authentic self. Throughout, “Finding God in the Verbs” helps readers reflect critically on the prayers that they might have depended on as teenagers but that now seem inadequate for their adult lives. In considering her own journey with prayer, Isbell writes of a recognition that the “words of teaching songs from the Sunday school ladies [were] … [Read more...]