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Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup: Captain America’s turban * A Jewish Pope? * Shutdown Theology

Wednesday’s Religion News Roundup:  Captain America’s turban * A Jewish Pope? * Shutdown Theology | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
(RNS) Pope Francis faces a backlash, Billy Graham faces a fading legacy, and Latinos move toward the mainline. Sikhs get a superhero and Hobby Lobby faces heat over Hannukah.
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THINKING PRESBYTERIAN
with eyes wide open...a reading list for Presbyterians & more...
Curated by Jim Collie
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The Slingshot: Is Jesus going to get medieval on ISIS? - Religion News Service

The Slingshot: Is Jesus going to get medieval on ISIS? - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
(RNS) And you thought Jesus would return at Armageddon to fight for the Christians ... now there's a new twist on an old prophecy. That and more in today's Slingshot.
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Association of Presbyterian Colleges & Universities names new executive director

Association of Presbyterian Colleges & Universities names new executive director | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Arnold most recently served as vice president for business strategy with RuffaloCODY, a provider of technology-enabled fundraising and enrollment management services and software based in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. The company serves more than 1,500 not-for-profit organizations and institutions of higher education throughout the United States, Canada, Australia, and the UK. 

“Jeff brings a wealth of experience working in the higher education field in important strategic capacities, and the board of APCU is excited about the skill sets he will bring to the role as we re-envision the Association in response to the many challenges our institutions face,” says Dr. Richard H. Dorman, president of Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania and current chair of APCU. 
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The Slingshot: Do churches influence the politics of the flock? - Religion News Service

The Slingshot: Do churches influence the politics of the flock? - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
PLUS: ISIS recruits seem to be dim but deadly. Jeb's gay woes? An African archbishop gives eye-popping comments on gays, and divorce. Did Henry VIII have a case? Is the novel Protestant?
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PCUSA: Michelle J. Bartel to head theological education office

PCUSA:  Michelle J. Bartel to head theological education office | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Michelle J. Bartel to head theological education office
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A View of Marriage: An Overture Advocate’s Words

A View of Marriage: An Overture Advocate’s Words | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
I’m Scott Clark, Teaching Elder from Redwoods Presbytery and chaplain of San Francisco Theological Seminary. I’m also an attorney who has done hours pro-bono work defending cases like John’s, in which the only offense committed was love.
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10 Things the American Values Atlas Teaches Us About America's Religious Landscape

10 Things the American Values Atlas Teaches Us About America's Religious Landscape | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Using the newly released American Values Atlas, we explore ten important trends present in America’s evolving religious landscape.
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A Brief History of 'Missional': Moving From Concept and Conversation to Living ... - ChristianityToday.com

A Brief History of 'Missional': Moving From Concept and Conversation to Living ... - ChristianityToday.com | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Just because we talk about being missional doesn’t mean we are. It is easier to talk about missional living than it is to live it out.
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Multi faith group builds community: People who are seeking peace

Multi faith group builds community:  People who are seeking peace | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Recently they began asking themselves , “How can we as a community support one another in times of particular ceremonies, rituals, holidays—sacred gatherings? Are there ways we can offer hospitality to a community during these special times?”


Children of Abraham members gather to build a sukkah and celebrate at Temple Beth El —Dubuque Children of Abraham community

Thus it began. Together as a group, they helped a local Jewish group build a sukkah for Sukkot, the Feast of the Tabernacle. After the holiday, they came together to share food and festivities.

In November, the Children of Abraham participated in a Muharram festival prayer service with a local Muslim group. Everyone was invited to participate in both service and hospitality as they desired.

On March 11th, there will be a Lenten service at the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Dubuque. Together, Roman Catholics, Greek Orthodox, Christian, Muslim, and Jewish followers will gather to learn and understand the religious observation of Lent.
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joins interfaith coalition opposing trade injustice

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) joins interfaith coalition opposing trade injustice | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
WASHINGTON, D.C. (PNS) The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has joined 34 religious groups in strong opposition to fast-negotiating authority for trade agreements.
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The Slingshot: Church of England under fire for Scrooge-like wages - Religion News Service

The Slingshot: Church of England under fire for Scrooge-like wages - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
A major newspaper and lawmakers say the Church of England is not practicing what it preaches on a living wage.
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New training opportunity for prophetic capacity for prospective NWC leaders

New training opportunity for prophetic capacity for prospective NWC leaders | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
New training opportunity for prophetic capacity for prospective NWC leaders
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Jan Edmiston: Not All Churches Are Broken (But Some Are)

Jan Edmiston:  Not All Churches Are Broken  (But Some Are) | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it

Aging buildings, declining attendance, and budget deficits add to the anxiety.  And so these church leaders often contact denominational leaders or consultants for some coaching on How To Transition. They may not like it, but they realize that shifts must be made to be a thriving congregation in the 21st Century.



And then there are the churches with no energy or no capacity to make these shifts.  What do we do with those congregations?

One of my brilliant colleagues and I sometimes discuss this and we have (especially he has)  come up with a few ideas. These ideas would not work in every denomination or situation, of course.  In the PCUSA (my denomination) we tend not to close churches unless the congregation itself wants to close.

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NM bill aims to create fund to eradicate bullying in schools

NM bill aims to create fund to eradicate bullying in schools | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
A committee of New Mexico lawmakers has approved an anti-bullying bill spurred by the 2013 suicide of a teenager who was bullied at school.
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Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - February 27 - Religion Press Release Services

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly - February 27 - Religion Press Release Services | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly is a production of THIRTEEN Productions LLC for WNET. Visit www.pbs.org/religionandethics for additional information. Show #1826 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on February 27 (check local listings). Due to pledge, be sure to check local listings. New Muslim Initiatives Against Extremism – As ISIS, al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups ramp up their …
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Rev. Dr. Rob Hagan to serve as Presbyterian Foundation Ministry Relations Officer in the Northwest

Rev. Dr. Rob Hagan to serve as Presbyterian Foundation Ministry Relations Officer in the Northwest | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Rev. Dr. Rob Hagan to serve as Presbyterian Foundation Ministry Relations Officer in the Northwest
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Family-sized congregations: Presbyterians in Texas

Family-sized congregations: Presbyterians in Texas | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
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...
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Tony Hoshaw on Pastoral Identity: Beyond Pastoral Identity

Tony Hoshaw on Pastoral Identity: Beyond Pastoral Identity | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
This post is part of a blog series on Pomomusings, discussing pastoral identity. To read about the series, as well as get a full schedule of participants, click here.
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WCC shows solidarity with Danish People after attacks at the Synagogue in Copenhagen — World Council of Churches

WCC shows solidarity with Danish People after attacks at the Synagogue in Copenhagen — World Council of Churches | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
In a letter to the Bishop of Copenhagen, Peter Skov Jakobsen, the WCC general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit has expressed his deep concern on the acts of terror that have hit the Nordic countries again.
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The myth and lie of American exceptionalism - Religion News Service

The myth and lie of American exceptionalism - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
“American exceptionalism,” the preferred theme, initially understood the American nation as something new, a break from European corruption and one based on freedom, equality, individualism, a combination of republicanism and democracy, and a laissez faire attitude toward the economy.

Facts proved otherwise, of course. Freedom was limited to white men, and until the 20th century, women had few rights as citizens and they still lag in wages. Equality was an illusion; even in the early years and more so now, wealth has sought every possible advantage. Democracy has been for sale almost from the beginning. And laissez faire economic theory couldn’t survive industrial monopolies, the murder of union organizers, tainted products, pollution and preying on the weak.
Jim Collie's insight:


Tom Ehrich is a writer, church consultant and Episcopal priest based in New York. He is the author of “Just Wondering, Jesus” and founder of the Church Wellness Project. His website is www.morningwalkmedia.com.
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Justice Unbound: Somewhere to Start

Justice Unbound:  Somewhere to Start | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
The “Educate a Child, Transform the World” Campaign in the PC(USA) “Educate a Child, Transform the World”: International, Interview with Frank Dimmock “Great progress has been made in increasing access and enrollment.
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Marci Glass elected Co-Moderator of Board - Covenant Network

Marci Glass elected Co-Moderator of Board - Covenant Network | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
“I’m so thankful for the people who have worked so hard, over so many years, to bring about faithful change in the church I love,” she said.  “It is an honor to join in that work. Even as we have made great progress, we recognize the Covenant Network’s vision toward a church as generous and just as God’s grace is not yet complete. I look forward to working with the Board, and with the greater church, as we live into a church ever more generous and ever more just.”

The Board’s February meeting also included extensive discussion of the Covenant Network’s ongoing commitment to seeking the full inclusion of LGBTQ people in the life and ministry of the Presbyterian Church and to a rich and authentic unity, even across lines of disagreement. Noting there remains much work to do on both of these aspects of the organization’s mission, the Board will continue to hone its vision and identify key priorities in meetings later this spring. The next national conference of the Covenant Network will be held later this year in October or November.
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Kim Risedorph on Pastoral Identity: Choose Life

Kim Risedorph on Pastoral Identity: Choose Life | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
This post is part of a blog series on Pomomusings, discussing pastoral identity. To read about the series, as well as get a full schedule of participants, click here.
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Eleven self-help community projects receive funding

Eleven self-help community projects receive funding | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
HOUSTON (PNS) The Presbyterian Committee on the Self-Development of People(SDOP) has approved grants totaling $180,110 to 11 self-help projects in the United States and Belize.
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