Topics in this eDIGEST:
- NOTE: PC(USA) ministries supportive of Poor People’s Campaign platform
- WATCH: Ten films that explore structural racism
- CONSIDER: Presbytery Foundation offers online giving optioins, free webinars and ideas to cultivate financial discussions
- ATTEND: Resilience, repair themes in Transformations Spirituality Center programs
- LEARN: Sacred pathways connect us to the divine, prompt questions about “What Are Going Back To?” fo the church-emergent
- RECOGNIZE: Detroit woman wins award for work with Second Mile
NOTE: PC(USA) ministries supportive of Poor People’s Campaign platform
Posted July 16, 2020
By Rich Copley | Presbyterians Mission Agency
LEXINGTON, Kentucky — The Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival attracted more than 2.3 million people to watch its three-hour-plus Assembly and Moral March on Washington June 20 online and on cable TV.
It was an impressive audience for an event that was originally planned for several tens of thousands of people at an in-person march in Washington, D.C. – plans that had to change due to the COVID-19 pandemic. But for the campaign, which was part of the PC(USA) 224th General Assembly agenda, the virtual gathering was just a beginning.
The many films and testimonials from impacted people during the presentation were designed to introduce a detailed public policy proposal: the Poor People’s Moral Justice Jubilee Policy Platform. The campaign wants to mobilize people to advocate for the platform with their legislators, and they have support from leaders of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Compassion, Peace & Justice (CPJ) ministries, based in the Presbyterian Mission Agency.
Read more here about how leaders of the Compassion, Peace & Justice ministries say the Poor People’s Campaign platform mirrors Presbyterian policy.
WATCH: Ten films that explore structural racism
Posted July 14, 2020
By Mike Ferguson | Presbyterians News Service
LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Dr. Edward McNulty, a Presbyterian pastor and film critic, has selected 10 films dating back to the early 1990s that expose and explore the effects of structural racism.
McNulty, pastor of Blue Ball Presbyterian Church south of Dayton, Ohio, is the author of three film books published by Westminster John Knox Press and the editor/reviewer of Visual Parables, which calls itself “a leading resource for faith-and-film reviews and study guides.”
“It was hard deciding what to leave out. There are so many available,” McNulty said of his list of recommended films.
Click here to find McNulty’s 10 films, with excerpts from and links to his online reviews published in “Visual Parables.” McNulty said the films are “in somewhat historical order.”
CONSIDER: Presbytery Foundation offers online giving options, free webinars and ideas to cultivate financial discussions
A note from presbytery leaders about online giving:
Congregations benefit from providing opportunities for online giving. Historically, many of our members have placed their monies in the offering plate or sent their checks on a regular basis to their congregations. More recently some members have grown accustomed to electronic financial transactions. The COVID-19 induced limitations for in-person worship have enhanced the attractiveness of electronic giving. A few congregations have asked the Budget & Finance Committee or presbytery leaders for recommendations about online giving.
We recognize that there are many options. After conferring with leaders from other presbyteries and making our own evaluations, we strongly recommend congregations contact the Presbyterian Foundation at https://www.presbyterianfoundation.org/onlinegiving/ for assistance in setting up online giving. The Foundation is most familiar with our needs and provides great service. There is an added benefit: If there are charges associated with the on-line processing, it makes sense that it goes to one of our ministries rather than to a purely commercial venture.
In June, the Presbytery Foundation launched the online Church Financial Leadership Academy to help church leaders institute best financial practices, learn about new models of giving and stewardship, and offer ways to talk about money and form generous disciples. The courses can be completed at your own pace and shared with others. To access the free classes, visit churchfla.org and create an account using the registration code: PCUSA
Church leaders also may gain some ideas about “Framing Congregational Finances without Fear” in an article by Nancy Crowe for the Presbytery Foundation. Visit https://www.presbyterianfoundation.org/framing-congregational-finances-without-fear/ to read the article and link to a recorded conversation between the Rev. Dr. Lee Hinson-Hasty, the Foundation’s director of Theological Education Funds Development with the Presbyterian Foundation, and David King of the Lake Institute on Faith & Giving at Indiana University, about congregational finances and how faith leaders can cultivate the joy, innovation, creativity and resilience needed to sustain them through COVID-19 and beyond.
Attend: Resilience, repair themes in Transformations Spirituality Center programs
Spirituality Center in Kalamazoo. The center, a member of the Congregation of St. Joseph Mission Network, invites people to develop personal spiritual resources, live more fully, and contribute to the overall goodness in the world.
Upcoming programs include:
- Whole Again: Words of Wisdom and Song with author Mark Nepo and songwriter May Erlewine – rescheduled to 7 p.m. Tuesday, August 4. More details here, including a link to purchase tickets to this benefit event.
- God’s Nudgings: The Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius – A nine-month experience of daily readings, weekly phone conversations with a spiritual director, and monthly group meetings. The program begins September 19. Cost is $500. Learn more here about the program and its facilitators.
- How We Thrive – This series encourages Zoom discussion participants to bring about life-giving changes. Join a conversation with a Michigan State University entomologist about “Befriending Bees” at 11 a.m. Thursday, July 23 and one about plastic water bottles at 11 a.m. Thursday, August 6. Click here then select a topic for more information and a link to registration information or an archived copy of the program.
- Prayer Sessions – Participants can join a communal Metta Prayer zoom facilitated by Betsy Meagher, CSJ, bi-weekly on Mondays at noon. Registration information may be found here. The center also offers a communal Centering Prayer zoom facilitated by Christine Parks, CSJ, weekly at noon on Wednesdays. Registration information may be found here.
LEARN: Sacred pathways connect us to the divine, prompt questions about “What Are Going Back To?” fo the church-emergent
Posted July 16, 2020
By Rev. Ryan J. Landino | Lead Presbyter for Transformation of Great Rivers Presbytery
“My spirituality has actually deepened during this pandemic.”
These words continue to bake in my head upon hearing them in a Zoom call earlier this week. The question that prompted it was, “How has this pandemic affected your spiritual practices?” And that was the response. And I have been chewing on it ever since.
. . . This single observation said over a Zoom call has awakened in me a new wondering about the assumptions that we are making this time about “going back to church.” Is it possible, that something else has already begun to open? And if so, what if the alternative, temporary plans we have made for safe community practices are not a time-wasting detour, but are actually our Spirit-spoken directions from God’s GPS?
. . . This conversation sprung out of a wonderful opportunity … to teach an online class on Spiritual Practices at the virtual Covenant Gathering… in doing my prep work I did find there was ONE THING taught in seminary that I realized had more bearing on ministry during this pandemic than I previously realized: Gary Thomas’ “Sacred Pathways.”
Click here to read Rev. Landino’s entire blog and learn more about how these pathways might help the church emerging from the pandemic.
RECOGNIZE: Detroit woman wis award for work with Second Mile Club
Ruth Azar, a ruling elder at Grosse Pointe Memorial Church in the Detroit Presbytery, was one of only three women through the Presbyterian Church (USA) to win the prominent Women of Faith award from the Presbytery Mission Agency’s Racial Equity and Women’s Intercultural Ministries area. The award is given biannually to women whose lives exemplify their Christian commitment through witness, service and leadership. This year’s award sought to recognize “women who disrupt systemic poverty.”
Azar founded and directs the Second Mile Center of Detroit to serve children from various backgrounds and circumstances in one of the most violent ZIP codes in the city. Most summers, a group of youth involved with center visits the First Presbyterian Church of Battle Creek.
Click here to read an article posted by the Synod of the Covenant about Ruth and her work, and here to see an interview with Ruth and read more about all three women who won the Women of Faith Award that traditionally is presented during a breakfast at the General Assembly.