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Methodist court sidesteps changes to gay policies - Religion News Service

Methodist court sidesteps changes to gay policies - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
(RNS) The United Methodist Church’s highest court issued three rulings this weekend that do not change church policy toward gays and lesbians but allow bishops to accept resolutions expressing dissent from church teachings.
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THINKING PRESBYTERIAN
with eyes wide open...a reading list for Presbyterians & more...
Curated by Jim Collie
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This Week in God, 4.18.15

This Week in God, 4.18.15 | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
A state Attorney General this week said "religious liberty" covers Bible distribution to public school children. That's absurd -- isn't it?
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New York Times: When Cultures Shift

New York Times:  When Cultures Shift | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
We have experienced a major shift in moral culture. But it happened in the 1940s, not the 1960s.
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The Role of Stillman College and Brown Memorial Presbyterian Church in Loca Integration Efforts

After noticing a lack of awareness on campus of its own history, observed among students and faculty/staff, I decided to focus my documentary project on the ...
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Justice Unbound: Pedagogy for the Distressed

Justice Unbound:  Pedagogy for the Distressed | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Thinking about the Mission of Public Education Setting the Stage: Why Does It Matter? Educating Whole People: A New 'Common Core' , Rev. Ginna Bairby The Centrality of Education in the Reformed Tradition, Duncan S. Ferguson Our Theology of Public…
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How Rachel Held Evans became the most polarizing woman in evangelicalism

How Rachel Held Evans became the most polarizing woman in evangelicalism | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Last month, Evans told Religion News Service columnist Jonathan Merritt that she has joined the Episcopal Church. But long before that, her writing was setting off debate about how far evangelicals can go in stretching theological boundaries and still call themselves evangelicals.

From her self-made pulpit, Evans has openly wrestled with faith and evolution, where women fit in church leadership and who will end up in hell. With no formal seminary training or institutional backing, she has challenged traditional evangelical biblical interpretation on the place of LGBT people in the church, advocating for allowing them to join and even become leaders, especially contentious topics in evangelical circles.

The conversation over evangelical identity is decades-old, but it has been growing in intensity over the past 10 years. Four years ago, former megachurch pastor Rob Bell pushed the envelope on heaven, hell and salvation, but now he finds his home on Oprah’s network more than he does in evangelical circles.
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Searching for Sunday and Finding Home: An Interview With Rachel Held Evans - Huffington Post

Searching for Sunday and Finding Home: An Interview With Rachel Held Evans - Huffington Post | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Rachel Held Evans just released her latest book, Searching For Sunday, with Thomas Nelson. It's an excellent foray into the church's current cultural moment, seen through the lens of Rachel's own journey from evangelicalism....
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Presbyterian Mission Agency Board briefed on Educate a Child initiative

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board briefed on Educate a Child initiative | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
LOUISVILLE (PNS) This week the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board heard about the official launch of the national component of the “Educate a Child, Transform the World” campaign aimed at bringing quality education to one million children in the U.S.
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Presbyterian Mission Agency Board receives lawyer’s report in closed-door session - The Presbyterian Outlook

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board receives lawyer’s report in closed-door session - The Presbyterian Outlook | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
During its closed-door conference call meeting on April 10, the executive committee voted to instruct Barry Creech, director for policy, administration and board support, to “identify and remove from the public domain” documents related to the investigation, with the action to be taken by April 15, and “to create a list of those documents for inclusion in these minutes” of the April 10 meeting. The documents to be removed from the PC(USA) website include minutes of board and committee meetings and Presbyterian News Service articles related to the controversy.
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Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly – April 17

Religion & Ethics NewsWeekly – April 17 | 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 #1833 will be fed over PBS at 5:00 p.m. EST on April 17 (check local listings).
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Presbyterian Mission Agency Board receives report on new church initiative

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board receives report on new church initiative
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Leslie Scanlon: Presbyterian Mission Agency Board issues public statement on ethics investigation - The Presbyterian Outlook

Leslie Scanlon:  Presbyterian Mission Agency Board issues public statement on ethics investigation - The Presbyterian Outlook | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
After spending roughly 12 hours meeting in closed session over two days, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board emerged with a public statement April 16 about how it plans to address an ethics investigation involving four employees connected with an...
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Presbyterian Mission Agency Board receives report on new church initiative

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board receives report on new church initiative | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
The final report of an independent investigation into the incorporation and funding of a California 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation by Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) evangelism and church growth staff was delivered to the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board at its April 15-17, 2015 meeting.

After receiving the independent external investigation report and meeting in closed session, the board took the following actions:

That the Board empower attorney John Sheller and team to work with Executive Committee and Executive Director to undertake appropriate steps to resolve employment issues with four named staff.

That the Board communicate to the PCUSA our intention to be as transparent as possible as soon as sensitive personnel and legal matters are resolved.

That the Board take appropriate action to ensure that the Incorporation Criteria are posted on CenterNet with other key PMA policies and that the Incorporation Criteria are linked on the PMA website to make them readily available.
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Presbyterian Women answer call to disaster preparedness

Presbyterian Women answer call to disaster preparedness | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it

A collaboration between the Presbyterian Women (PW) and Presbyterian Disaster Assistance (PDA) ministries provides specialized training to equip Presbyterian women to work with their congregations and witness to the healing love of Christ through caring for communities adversely affected by crisis.

Sixteen women received commissions as Disaster Preparedness Trainers in a brief ceremony held last week at Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) offices in Louisville, Ky. They are now responsible for returning to their local congregations and presbyteries to conduct a minimum of three disaster preparedness trainings per year.

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News conference on investigation into ethics violations proffers updates, unanswered questions

News conference on investigation into ethics violations proffers updates, unanswered questions | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
After spending roughly 12 hours meeting in closed session over two days, the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board emerged with a public statement April 16 about how it plans to address an investigation involving four employees of the Presbyterian...
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New pastor marks new beginning for church - Lima Ohio

New pastor marks new beginning for church - Lima Ohio | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
LIMA — After four years without a pastor, Market Street Presbyterian Church has a new man in the pulpit. The Rev. Mark Rich had his first ...
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Mark Silk: The pope announces return of mission of Vatican II

Mark Silk:  The pope announces return of mission of Vatican II | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Francis decides that the Jubilee Year will be all about mercy.
The post The pope announces return of mission of Vatican II appeared first on Spiritual Politics.
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PMAB meeting closes with discussion of difficulties and signs of hope for road ahead - The Presbyterian Outlook

PMAB meeting closes with discussion of difficulties and signs of hope for road ahead - The Presbyterian Outlook | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Difficulties and signs of hope: That’s what folks are talking about at the top levels of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The difficulties are many: among them, a denomination that’s losing members and running short on money. Unless something changes, projections are that the PC(USA) will essentially run out of unrestricted reserve money it can spend by 2017. In 2016, World Mission may begin recalling mission co-workers serving internationally if it can’t raise at least $925,000 this year to pa
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When Dialogue is Pointless

When Dialogue is Pointless | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Fr. Lawrence Farley wants to know at what point both sides in the LGBT issue in the church just stop talking to each other? That is, when do they recognize that their differences are not only irreconcilable, but cannot be accommodated without deeply damaging the theological integrity of the church? Excerpt:

For there comes a time in some exchanges when further debate and dialogue are useless, for neither side in the debate share enough common presuppositions for them to reach an agreement.   Sometimes, even after true debate and with all the good will in the world, the two sides share incompatible first principles, and so can never reach consensus no matter how long they talk. When that happened in (say) the first century with St. Paul and his Judaizing opponents, there was nothing for it but to agree to disagree. And since the debate was not over trifles but over something basic, this involved the Church drawing a canonical line in the sand and declaring the other side outside the Church.

This happened again in the fourth century. The debate over the nature of Christ—was He God Almighty in the flesh or not—raged on and on. Eventually it became apparent that continued debate with Arius and his supporters would not result in consensus, since they were following a different set of first principles. As this involved something basic to Christian discipleship there was nothing for it but to take canonical action and to anathematize Arianism. Note: this did not involve hating Arians or refusing them service when they walked into your Constantinopolitan barber shop. It just meant that the person confessing Arianism was no longer a part of the Church.

It seems that we may be rapidly reaching this now over the issue of homosexuality. The issue is not marginal, but basic to salvation and to what a life of Christian obedience to God looks like. Let us hope that the possibility of true dialogue is not really dead and that it is not quite time to throw in the towel.  Our task is to remain faithful to our inherited apostolic Tradition, and to argue for it as irenically and persuasively as we can.  But if it at length becomes apparent that there is no possibility of convincing the other side with reasoned argument, the Church has little choice if it would remain faithful to its timeless Tradition. The time will have come to draw our canonical line in the sand over this and declare that those who insist on contradicting the Tradition are outside the Church.  Obviously we will continue to love them, as we love everyone else who is outside the Church.  But the line in the sand must be drawn.
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Presbyterian Mission Agency Board approves revised mission budgets for 2015 and 2016

Presbyterian Mission Agency Board approves revised mission budgets for 2015 and 2016 | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
LOUISVILLE (PNS) The Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) Board approved revised mission budgets for 2015 and 2016 on April 16, 2015.
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The Slingshot: Tenn. Senate shelves Bible bill - Religion News Service

The Slingshot: Tenn. Senate shelves Bible bill - Religion News Service | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Tennessee Senate shelves bill that would name Bible as state book. Kansas bans welfare recipients from seeing movies, going swimming on government’s dime. Pope Francis considers stop in Cuba.
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Hartford Seminary Executive Committee Issues Statement Decrying Violence in the Name of Religion

The Executive Committee of the Board of Trustees of Hartford Seminary has watched with dismay the rising tide of violence being done around the world in the name of religion.  Of especially grave concern to us is the violence directed against...
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Homeless Connect | First Presbyterian Church Ft. Worth

Homeless Connect | First Presbyterian Church Ft. Worth | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
First Presbyterian Church of Fort Worth once again hosted hundreds of homeless guests today in Homeless Connect, a collaboration with 63 service providers. Imagine the comfort and hope experienced by our 356 guests; one-stop shopping for everything from haircuts to health screenings, employment resources to vision exams.

The event, held at FPC for the past six years, is thankful for support from partners like the
 Tarrant County Homeless Coalition, Tarrant Churches Together, Day Resource Center, Presbyterian Night Shelter, City of Fort Worth, Salvation Army of DFW, United Way of Tarrant County, Tarrant Area Food Bank, and many, many others.

A special thanks to the 100+ volunteers who worked tirelessly to provide a welcoming, hopeful environment to our guests. No doubt we were all blessed to be alongside our brothers and sisters in Christ from all walks and stages of life. Together we are caring for one another.
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Finance committee revises budget, discusses reserves

Finance committee revises budget, discusses reserves | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) continues to confront challenging budget figures – including reserves dipping very close to the required minimums and the possibility of scaling back the denomination’s work internationally because of a shortage of...
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mission Agency Board committees convene at spring board meeting

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Mission Agency Board committees convene at spring board meeting | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Committees of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board met April 16 to discuss informational items, formulate actions for the entire board to consider and receive reports from ministry areas.
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Presbyterian social witness policy group advocates tax and economic reform

Presbyterian social witness policy group advocates tax and economic reform | THINKING PRESBYTERIAN | Scoop.it
Presbyterian social witness policy group advocates tax and economic reform
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