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Can online Communion be a substitute for the real thing?

Can online Communion be a substitute for the real thing? | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
(RNS) As online worship becomes more common in some churches, leaders within the United Methodist Church are debating whether the denomination should condone online Communion.
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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: Did God intervene on Georgia's death row? - Religion News Service

The Slingshot: Did God intervene on Georgia's death row? - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
(RNS) Kelly Gissendaner is alive — for now — on Georgia's death row, and the religious activists who've rallied to her side see more than a little divine intervention. That and more in today's Slingshot.
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Breakaway Episcopalians win Texas church property fight

Breakaway Episcopalians win Texas church property fight | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
(RNS) The ruling is an about-face for a Texas court that originally sided with the national church, until the state Supreme Court stepped in and ordered a rehearing.
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‘What are Presbyterians, anyway?’

‘What are Presbyterians, anyway?’ | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
“What Are Presbyterians, Anyway? Exploring Grace and Gratitude as Presbyterian Identity,” a free webinar hosted by the Company of New Pastors, will be offered March 3 at 2:00 p.m. EST.

The presenter will be Charles A. Wiley III, coordinator of the Presbyterian Mission Agency’s office of Theology and Worship. An ordained teaching elder with a Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary, Wiley oversees the wide array of programs and publications of the office of Theology and Worship. 
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The Three Religious Traditions That Dominate the U.S.

With America's religious landscape becoming increasingly diverse, we tap into data from the American Values Atlas to see the top three religions in each state.
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The Slingshot: Jesus slept here - Religion News Service

The Slingshot: Jesus slept here - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Archaeologists have unearthed what is believed to be the home where Joseph and Mary raised the Son.
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Joseph Lawrence Roberts Jr., pastor and preacher dies

Joseph Lawrence Roberts Jr., pastor and preacher dies | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
The Rev. Dr. Joseph L. Roberts, well known pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, died on Sunday, February 15 at his home. Dr.
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The perpetual rule of love — Presbyterians Today Magazine — Mission and Ministry — Presbyterian Mission Agency

The perpetual rule of love — Presbyterians Today Magazine — Mission and Ministry — Presbyterian Mission Agency | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
A year and a half ago, Colleen Earp sat in a room full of Young Adult Volunteers weary from an intense week of orientation and eager to start their year of service. Presbyterian World Mission would soon be placing each of them with a nonprofit or ministry somewhere in the United States or around the world. As Earp listened to her colleagues’ musings about a year of sharing the gospel and addressing injustice, she couldn’t help but laugh; she was thinking about planting trees.
Over the next year, Earp worked with First Presbyterian Church of Bayou Blue, Louisiana, as a wetlands conservationist and advocate in the New Orleans area. Before becoming a YAV, she had never laid eyes on a bayou. A year later, Earp had come to know the wetlands of Louisiana—and the church working to protect them—as her second home.
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February’s Religious Freedom Recap: Anti-Semitism * Anti-sex * Anti-women

February’s Religious Freedom Recap:        Anti-Semitism * Anti-sex * Anti-women | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Cold, short February was jam-packed with some mega atrocities on the religious freedom front. Count your lucky stars it's March, and hope for a better month ahead.
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The Slingshot: Bibi sparks battles, Mormon booted, and a columnist comes out - as Christian - Religion News Service

The Slingshot: Bibi sparks battles, Mormon booted, and a columnist comes out - as Christian - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
The Israeli prime minister's speech sparks dissent -- and it hasn't even happened yet. Ana Marie Cox nervously ''testifies" to her faith. And Raif Badawi is in even more danger.
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Bill Tammeus: An established American religion? 3-2-15

Bill Tammeus:  An established American religion? 3-2-15 | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Early in American history, various states had established religions. Well, the established religions all were Christian, but there were different branches of Christianity dominant in this or that state.
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Brandon Gaide: Brokenness is not discipleship - Presbyterian Outlook

Brandon Gaide:  Brokenness is not discipleship - Presbyterian Outlook | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
A guest blog from Brandon Gaide Brokenness is an important word in the church. It’s akin to the word “depravity,” but feels less churchy and less heavy-handed. Maybe that’s why it’s become so popular.
Jim Collie's insight:

BRANDON GAIDE serves as associate pastor of next generation ministries at Memorial Drive Presbyterian Church in Houston.  Brandon loves the church and clings to the audacious belief that a church committed to Christ is the hope of the world.

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50 Years After Bloody Sunday in Selma, Everything and Nothing Has Changed

50 Years After Bloody Sunday in Selma, Everything and Nothing Has Changed | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
This post first appeared at The Nation.
Martin Luther King Jr., Coretta Scott King and others march from Selma to Montgomery, 1965.
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Stated Clerk's Column: March 2015 - Bound together

Stated Clerk's Column:  March 2015 - Bound together | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
There is something about snow that binds together a neighborhood. I noticed on my street that the first driveway cleared was the house of the widow of one of our more colorful characters. She never touched a shovel. People helped each other push their cars out of icy ruts. As our streets became more narrow, folks did the dance of who went first with some grace. Without any discussion we agreed to only attempt the hill at the entrance one at a time.

“The Brief Statement of Faith” says this:

The Spirit justifies us by grace through faith,

sets us free to accept ourselves and to love God and neighbor,

and binds us together with all believers

in the one body of Christ, the Church. (Book of Confessions, 10.4, Lines 54–57)
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J. Herbert Nelson speaks on SCOTUS and Health Care

J. Herbert Nelson speaks on SCOTUS and Health Care | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
This morning, the Supreme Court heard oral arguments in King v. Burwell. This case could take away access to health care for 8 million people and cause premiums to spike for millions more.
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Historian and theologian tapped to lead Presbyterian Historical Society

Historian and theologian tapped to lead Presbyterian Historical Society | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
PHILADELPHIA (PNS) The Reverend Beth Hessel has been named the new executive director of the Presbyterian Historical Society (PHS) and director for church records and history for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
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Bromleigh McCleneghan on Pastoral Identity: Professional Christian

Bromleigh McCleneghan on Pastoral Identity: Professional Christian | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it

I’m getting ready to leave my job. I’ve served this congregation for close to three years, but a call came to another place, a call that is exciting and marvelous and closer to home, and so after baby number three is born in May, I’ll be saying good-bye, and starting somewhere new.


The first time I left one church and started somewhere new, six years ago now, the transition was paralyzing, and sermon writing like pulling teeth. What could I say to these people I did not know, how could I preach to them? How would I ever learn to love these strangers?

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Justice Unbound: Brown v. Board, The Little Rock Nine, and Presbyterian Public Witness

Justice Unbound:  Brown v. Board, The Little Rock Nine, and Presbyterian Public Witness | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
In 1953, the Little Rock School Board employed a new superintendent of schools. A few days after the 1954 Supreme Court decision Brown vs. Board of Education the Little Rock board announced it would implement that ruling.
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Independent Presbyterian names seminary president as new pastor

Independent Presbyterian names seminary president as new pastor | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
The 2,300-member Independent Presbyterian Church in Birmingham has called a seminary president as senior pastor.
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Commission on the Status of Women attendee shares her hopes for upcoming event

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Commission on the Status of Women attendee shares her hopes for upcoming event | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Commission on the Status of Women attendee shares her hopes for upcoming event
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How should we understand the three 'Abrahamic' religions?

How should we understand the three 'Abrahamic' religions? | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it

NIHAL ASKS:

Why aren’t the three Abrahamic religions (Christianity, Islam, and Judaism) one main religion?

THE RELIGION GUY ANSWERS:

Nihal posted his query while preparing a 9th grade school report, and
unfortunately this response comes too late to help. On the specific
question of”why” these three faiths exist the way they are the best a mere
journalist can say is “God only knows.” However the interrelationships,
overlaps, and differences among these great religions are certainly worth

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2015 Chicago Presbytery Moderator Shares Theme, Goals, & Background – The Moderator’s Message

2015 Chicago Presbytery Moderator Shares Theme, Goals, & Background – The Moderator’s Message | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
 By Sonia Bodi, ruling elder at Evanston First, 2015 Moderator of the Chicago Presbytery When I was asked by the Nominating Committee to consider serving as Moderator of the Presbytery, I was stunned which I frequently am when God calls me to do...
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Theologians Call for Clemency for Death Row Inmate Kelly Gissendaner

Theologians Call for Clemency for Death Row Inmate Kelly Gissendaner | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it

Theologians from various traditions and from around the world have joined together in an effort to gain clemency for death row inmate—and fellow theologian—Kelly Gissendaner, who is scheduled to be executed by the State of George on Monday, March 2.

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John Vest on Pastoral Identity: God’s Big Picture

John Vest on Pastoral Identity: God’s Big Picture | 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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Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery. (Full Episode) - CNN Video

Finding Jesus: Faith. Fact. Forgery. (Full Episode) - CNN Video | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Finding Jesus discovers fascinating new insights into the historical Jesus, utilizing the latest scientific techniques and archaeological research.
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Why technology didn't (and won't) destroy the Church - On Faith & Culture

Why technology didn't (and won't) destroy the Church - On Faith & Culture | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
“Most church leaders realize the potential for continued connection with members and visitors alike through the Internet—from podcasts, to social media, to blogs, to sermon discussion questions and even community prayer requests,” said Roxanne Stone, a Vice-President at Barna Group. “No matter the church’s size, location or demographic, the Internet has become and will continue to be a vital tool for connection, outreach and even spiritual formation.”

Websites in particular have proven to be a powerful tool for churches and ministries. It increases their ability to collect charitable donations for critical community ministry projects and has provided a low-pressure way to connect with potential converts. Of the 1.6 million conversions recorded by the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association (BGEA) in 2014, only 15,000 did so in person. In less than four years, BGEA has recorded more than five million conversions online. And according to BGEA’s Internet evangelism director–yes, that’s a thing–more than 20,000 individuals view a “gospel presentation” per day via their sites.
Jim Collie's insight:



Jonathan Merritt  is senior columnist for Religion News Service and a regular contributor to The Week. He has published more than 1000 articles in outlets like USA Today, The Atlantic, and National Journal. Jonathan is author of "Jesus is Better Than You Imagined" and "A Faith of Our Own: Following Jesus Beyond the Culture Wars." He resides in Brooklyn, NY. 
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