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Friday's Religion News Roundup: Kosher penguins * Bishop's mansion * Francis calling

Friday's Religion News Roundup:  Kosher penguins * Bishop's mansion * Francis calling | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
So the boss calls but you can't get to the phone. Except the boss is Pope Francis. If he does call, pray that you're the bishop who just bought an eight-bedroom mansion with a five-car garage. All that and more in today's Roundup.
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Decently But Not Always in Good Order: An Historical Overview of Choosing the PC(USA) Stated Clerk

Decently But Not Always in Good Order: An Historical Overview of Choosing the PC(USA) Stated Clerk | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
--by Richard Reifsnyder[1]While the nation may focus on presidential politics in 2016, there is another contest on the same four-year cycle that captures the attention of many Presbyterians—the
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Edmiston/Anderson to stand for co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly

Edmiston/Anderson to stand for co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Finally! A candidate for moderator of the 2016 General Assembly has stepped forward. On Nov. 21, the Presbytery of Chicago endorsed Jan Edmiston to stand for co-moderator of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). A change in the standing rules, which the 2014 General Assembly approved, allows two candidates to stand for election together as co-moderators, serving together as a team. Edmiston told the presbytery her co-moderator partner is expected to be T. Denise Anderson, a teaching elder from National Capital Presbytery. That wouldn’t become formal until Anderson receives a vote of endorsement from National Capital –…
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Overture to PCUSA GA seeks to extract apology from those following Biblical teachings on sexuality - The Layman Online

Overture to PCUSA GA seeks to extract apology from those following Biblical teachings on sexuality - The Layman Online | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
A Presbyterian Church (USA) presbytery is asking the 222nd General Assembly to apologize to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQ/Q) community because it says “there will be …
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Purity, Disgust and Donald Trump

Purity, Disgust and Donald Trump | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
What wellspring of feeling is the leading Republican candidate tapping into that his opponents aren’t?
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Presbytery enlists mediator to begin discussions on gun rights and regulations

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Presbytery enlists mediator to begin discussions on gun rights and regulations | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Presbytery enlists mediator to begin discussions on gun rights and regulations
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Presbyterian Mission Agency to offer voluntary separation program

Presbyterian Mission Agency to offer voluntary separation program | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
LOUISVILLE (PNS) The Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) is offering voluntary separation packages to eligible staff members. PMA staff members who are at least 60 years of age and have at least five years of continuous service with the PC(USA) by December 31, 2015, will have 45 days, starting on January 16, 2016, to accept or decline the offer. In total, the packages will be offered to 46 PMA employees who meet the eligibility criteria. Term contract employees, conference center staff, mission personnel, and employees of Hubbard Press are not eligible for the offer. “Through times of great challenge, I have faith…
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PMA review committee releases report: Possible merger, restructuring and shared services are highlighted

PMA review committee releases report: Possible merger, restructuring and shared services are highlighted | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
The committee charged with reviewing the Presbyterian Mission Agency – part of the regular review cycle of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) agencies – has released its report to the 2016 General Assembly. That report calls on the assembly to begin considering the question of whether to merge the Presbyterian Mission Agency (PMA) and the Office of the General Assembly (OGA) – asking the assembly to set up a committee with specific representation to begin discussing that possibility and who will report back to the General Assembly in 2018. The report asks the assembly to establish another committee to consider restructuring the…
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Carbon Neutral Resolution Top # 6 Facts - YouTube

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) Carbon Neutral Resolution Top # 6 Facts
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Big Decisions for Our Small Churches

Big Decisions for Our Small Churches | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
The median church in the U.S. has 75 regular participants in worship on Sunday mornings, according to the 2015 National Congregations Study.
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Stated Clerk issues letter to Trump on refugees, immigrants

Stated Clerk issues letter to Trump on refugees, immigrants | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
LOUISVILLE (PNS) Donald J. Trump for President, Inc. . 725 Fifth Avenue . New York, New York 10022 Mr. Trump, I am the Stated Clerk of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), the denomination of the congregation in Queens, New York, where you were baptized. The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) develops its policies through councils of teaching elders and ruling elders. At the national level it does that through the General Assembly. I would like to share with you the Presbyterian policies on refugees and
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PC(USA) Office of Public Witness: The Struggle to Make Federal Jobs into Good Jobs Continues

PC(USA) Office of Public Witness: The Struggle to Make Federal Jobs into Good Jobs Continues | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Washington DC- On Tuesday at 10:30 am, the Reverend J. Herbert Nelson, Director of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) Office of PublicWitness, joined federal contract workers who walked off their jobs to protest poverty pay and to welcome Pope Francis and his commitment to economic justice and the working poor.

The U.S Senate contract employees joined hundreds of striking workers from the U.S. Capitol, Pentagon, Smithsonian Institution and other federal landmarks, where private companies receive lucrative contracts to run food service, provide janitorial services, and much more. Today, the federal government awards contracts to the lowest bidder, making the government the largest low-wage job creator in the country, funding over 2 million low wage jobs through contracts, loans, and grants to private businesses. Taxpayer dollars should create good jobs that pay workers livable wages, provide benefits, paid sick leave, and dignity in the workplace. 
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - De La Rosa named Presbyterian Mission Agency interim executive director

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - De La Rosa named Presbyterian Mission Agency interim executive director | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
De La Rosa named Presbyterian Mission Agency interim executive director
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Gradye Parsons says ‘It’s been a privilege for me to serve’

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Gradye Parsons says ‘It’s been a privilege for me to serve’ | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
“When I go out to talk to congregations, and I try to do that as much as I can, [what I saw then and what I see now is] people trying to live out their faith and meet today’s world,” he says of the similarities over time. “People are trying to learn more about the Bible.” 

Another similarity, he says, is a focus on how to retain and attract young leaders in the church. Citing conversations with author Brian McLaren, Parsons believes young people care about making the world a better place. He says the PC(USA) is a church in which these opportunities exist. 

“They care about justice, they care about the environment, they care about all people,” he says. “The Presbyterian church is about that; we’ve been about those issues for a long time so we sort of have the apparatus for them to come get involved. . . . Part of it is we have to be willing to not require them to start at zero, but to really full engage them from the get-go and listen to what they have to say.” 
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U.S. Churches Offer Safe Haven For A New Generation Of Immigrants

U.S. Churches Offer Safe Haven For A New Generation Of Immigrants | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
A dozen congregations are harboring immigrants facing deportation. It echoes the sanctuary movement of the 1980s, when hundreds of churches sheltered Central Americans escaping war and violence.
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Congregations Gone Wild

Congregations Gone Wild | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
The unspoken reason why American clergy are burned out is that their congregations want sermons that entertain rather than offer moral counsel.
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Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year, by John O'Donohue

Beannacht: A Blessing for the New Year, by John O'Donohue | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Not long before his untimely passing in 2008, the beloved Irish poet John O'Donohue recorded a poem that he'd originally written for his mother. Titled 'Beannacht' (the Gaelic word for blessing), these exquisite verses set a beautiful tone for the New Year.
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10 predictions about the future Church and shifting attendance patterns - ChristianWeek

10 predictions about the future Church and shifting attendance patterns - ChristianWeek | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Every generation experiences change. But sometimes you sense you’re in the midst of truly radical change, the kind that happens only every few centuries. Increasingly, I think we’re in such a moment now. Those of us in in Western culture...Read More→
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - PC(USA) Stated Clerk appeals to President to end raids

PC(USA) Stated Clerk appeals to President to end raids
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Link to the full Report of the Committee to Review the Presbyterian Mission Agency - Presbyterian Church (USA)

COM-001Report of the Committee to Review the Presbyterian Mission AgencySource:CommitteeEvent:222nd General Assembly (2016)Committee:No AssignmentSponsor:Committee to Review the Presbyterian Mission Agency Topic:UnassignedType:http://pc-biz.org/Explorer.aspx?id=6323
Recommendation
Recommendation 1
The Committee to Review the Presbyterian Mission Agency recommends that the 222nd General Assembly (2016) do the following:
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Edmiston/Anderson to stand for co-moderators of the 222nd General Assembly

Finally! A candidate for moderator of the 2016 General Assembly has stepped forward. On Nov. 21, the Presbytery of Chicago endorsed Jan Edmiston to stand for co-moderator of the 222nd General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A). A change in the standing rules, which the 2014 General Assembly approved, allows two candidates to stand for election together as co-moderators, serving together as a team. Edmiston told the presbytery her co-moderator partner is expected to be T. Denise Anderson
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Office of Public Witness hosts gun violence webinar

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Office of Public Witness hosts gun violence webinar | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
In light of the recent shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon in which eight students and an assistant professor were killed, PC(USA)’s Office of Public Witness (OPW) hosted a webinar to provide a forum for discussion and advocacy strategy. The Rev. Dr. J. Herbert Nelson, II, OPW’s director, discussed gun violence and its underlying causes, urging participants to lobby elected officials to enact measures that will eradicate or reduce gun violence in the United States.

In a statement announcing the webinar, Nelson reminded Presbyterians they have a responsibility to broaden relationships with other faith communities to create a broad-based social movement to prevent gun violence.
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Response to the moderator’s “Call to the Church” – A conversation with Heath Rada

Response to the moderator’s “Call to the Church” – A conversation with Heath Rada | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Heath Rada, moderator of the 2014 General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), says response to his “Call to the Church” for reform has been “overwhelming,” even though not all Presbyterians agree it’s practical and details still need to be worked out Since issuing the call at the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board meeting Sept. 23, Rada said he’s heard from groups from across the PC(USA) – ranging from the Committee on Theological Education to leadership of NEXT Church to advocacy group
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Dennis Maher's comment, October 5, 2015 7:57 AM
I don't see much response to this call. Will it be just another re-organization?
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Grace Presbytery donates $2.8 million to Presbyterian World Mission

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Grace Presbytery donates $2.8 million to Presbyterian World Mission | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Grace Presbytery donates $2.8 million to Presbyterian World Mission
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Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) - News & Announcements - Q&A with Tony De La Rosa

The Presbyterian Mission Agency Board today announced the appointment of Luis Antonio (Tony) De La Rosa as the interim executive director of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, one of six independent agencies of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

De La Rosa is expected to begin his role Dec. 1, 2015. The term of his tenure has not been announced, although Marilyn Gamm, chair of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board, has indicated the interim may serve up to three years. The permanent executive director of the Mission Agency must be confirmed by the General Assembly, which meets every two years.

Presbyterian News Service conducted an email interview with De La Rosa prior to the announcement of his appointment. The questions and his unedited responses are contained below.

1. What is it that attracted you to this interim executive director position at the Presbyterian Mission Agency? Why did you want to take it?
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Refugee and asylum-seeker crisis reaches critical proportions: Opinion piece from head of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Refugee and asylum-seeker crisis reaches critical proportions: Opinion piece from head of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) | KEEPERS - Presbyterian | Scoop.it
Over the past weeks, hearts have both ached and felt relief from images of the refugee crisis in Europe. The photo of three-year-old Aylan Kurdi lifeless on a beach in Turkey was haunting. One can imagine his mother tying his shoes and ruffling his hair the morning before they boarded a raft for the trip that would mark the end of their lives. They were simply seeking safety. At the same time there was a sense of relief and justice when video aired of German citizens clapping and greeting the fi
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