This page lists our postings
from earlier in September,
For an index to all our reports
the 219th General Assembly
For links to
all our archive pages, listed by months,
Drone Warfare on
Robert Koehler reports on the recent trial of the “Creech Air
Force Base 14,” which included Father John Dear, Kathy Kelly,
Father Steve Kelly, Sister Megan Rice, Brian Terrell, Father
Louis Vitale and Father Jerry Zawada.
A year and a
half ago, they were part of a 10-day vigil outside the base
in Indian Springs, Nev. (about 35 miles from Las Vegas),
protesting the Predator and Reaper drone flights over
Afghanistan and Pakistan that are remotely piloted from the
base. At the end of the vigil, these 14 activists entered
the base illegally, carrying a letter, according to Kathy
Kelly of the Chicago-based Voices for Creative Nonviolence,
“we wanted to circulate among the base personnel, describing
our opposition to a massive targeted assassination program.”
They were arrested and charged with trespassing.
at their trial in Las Vegas two weeks ago may turn the
incident into more than simply a symbolic protest. What was
supposed to be a cut-and-dried trespassing trial — a crime’s
a crime, the law’s the law — ended up being something far
larger than that.
One of the
signs that protestors outside the courthouse were carrying
as the trial began bore the words: “Put Drone Warfare on
Trial.” And that may be what happened.
Thanks to Elizabeth Sarfaty
“No More Deaths” –
Leaving water for immigrants entering from Mexico is ruled
not to be the crime of littering
The New York Times reported on Sept. 27
that the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit ruled that
Daniel J. Millis and another volunteer with No More Deaths were
not guilty of littering, as they had been charged, because of
leaving gallon jugs of water in the Arizona desert to help
passing immigrants from Mexico to avoid dying of thirst.
The United States Court of Appeals for the
Ninth Circuit weighed in on Mr. Millis’s appeal this month,
ruling that it was “ambiguous as to whether purified water
in a sealed bottle intended for human consumption meets the
definition of ‘garbage.’ ” Voting 2-to-1, a three-judge
panel overturned Mr. Millis’s conviction.
The issue remains far from settled,
for the earlier Presbyterian News Service report.
From the Fellowship of Reconciliation:
Protect democracy from FBI raids on activist homes
The FBI raided homes and confiscated papers,
computers, phones and CDs of peace and rights activists in
Minnesota and Chicago in the early morning of Friday, September
24, in what agents said was part of a counterterrorism
investigation. The Fellowship of Reconciliation urges our
members and other concerned citizens to contact Attorney General
Eric Holder at 202-353-1555 to call for an end to actions
targeting legitimate dissent, and to participate in protests of
these actions in your area. ...
The raids come in the context of the Supreme
Court decision in June on the Humanitarian Law Project, which
broadly interprets assistance to terrorism to include nonviolent
engagement with armed groups, such as conflict resolution
training and legal advice. The federal law upheld by the court
decision and cited in the search warrants prohibits, "providing
material support or resources to designated foreign terrorist
"Humanitarian and peace organizations say
their direct interaction with violent or terrorist groups is
vital to intervention efforts," the Christian Science Monitor
reported. "The Supreme Court decision means they do it at
their peril." Last week's raids are evidence of that. "Training
groups to pursue peaceful resolution of their disputes should be
encouraged, not made criminal," said Sharon Bradford Franklin,
senior counsel with the Constitution Center.
The raids come on the heels of a Justice
Department probe that found the FBI improperly monitored
activist groups and individuals from 2001 to 2006. Among the
groups investigated were Greenpeace, People for the Ethical
Treatment of Animals (PETA), Catholic Worker and the Thomas
Merton Center, a pacifist group based in Pittsburgh.
More on protest actions, on the FOR website
From the Presbyterian Peace Fellowship:
Jewish boat to Gaza
arrives in Israel
Many of you know
that PPF was supportive of the Jewish Boat to Gaza, a nonviolent
action taking symbolic aid to Gaza. We wanted to let you know
news about this effort.
The boat set sail
from Cyprus on September 26 and was boarded today by Israeli
forces and taken to Israel in the custody of the Israeli navy.
citizens of the boat have mostly been released, while the
foreign nationals remain in custody.
updates here >>
See the New York Times report >>
And the BBC report >>
Synod court upholds presbytery's approval of Lisa Larges'
Divided PJC allows active
lesbian to proceed closer to ordination
In a 5-4 decision, the Permanent Judicial
Commission of the Synod of the Pacific has ruled that the
Presbytery of San Francisco acted properly when it allowed Lisa
Larges to declare a conscientious objection to the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.)'s ordination standards regarding sexual
Leslie Scanlon reports for The Presbyterian Outlook.
bequest and a legacy
Kwanzaa Community Church builds on past into community
At the PVJ Awards
Luncheon during the 219th General Assembly in
Minneapolis, the group’s
Congregation award was presented to Kwanzaa Community Church,
which carries on a varied, creative, and strong ministry in a
sometimes troubled area of Minneapolis.
News Service has reported on how this dynamic congregation came
into being through the good will of the members of Highland Park
Presbyterian Church, an aging congregation in a changing
neighborhood. They, with assistance from the Synod of Lakes and
Prairies and the General Assembly, enabled a new, primarily
African-American congregation to come into being.
The PNS story
mentions the PVJ award as well.
Click here to see a little more of the history of Kwanzaa
Church, and how one congregation left what the Rev. Alika
Galloway calls “a bequest and a legacy” that live on powerfully
Mark Koenig named director of Presbyterian ministry at the UN
The General Assembly Mission Council has
announced that the Rev. Mark Koenig has been selected as the new
director of Presbyterian ministry at the United Nations. Koenig
brings 30 years of experience in ministry, serving
congregations, the Presbytery of the Western Reserve, and the
General Assembly Mission Council. He has been on the staff of
the Presbyterian Peacemaking Program, since 2002, and has served
as its coordinator since 2007.
"Mark brings many gifts to this ministry,"
said Sara Lisherness, director of Compassion Peace and Justice
for the General Assembly Mission Council. "He is deeply
committed to a ministry of presence in the church, connecting
with and listening to the church. He values Presbyterian polity
and works faithfully to interpret and implement the social
witness policies adopted by the General Assembly. He is a
pastor, an educator and most of all a faithful servant to the
ministry of Jesus Christ."
Baptist pastor, champion of justice and founder of Pastors for
Peace, dies at 80
The New York Times reported on September
11 that the Rev. Lucius Walker, a Baptist minister who gained
national attention with calls for reparations for the
descendants of slaves and with repeated violations of the United
States embargo of Cuba through caravans of humanitarian aid,
died on Tuesday at his home in Demarest, N.J. He was 80.
Mr. Walker’s life
was transformed on Aug. 2, 1988, as he led a delegation on a
fact-finding trip to Nicaragua, where rebels were battling the
American-backed government. Their riverboat was attacked by
government soldiers, and Mr. Walker was one of 29 wounded. Two
first thought, he said, was that he was hit by a bullet paid for
by his own country. He called his second thought a prophetic
vision: he would form an organization of pastors to fight, or at
least clean up after, what he called American imperialism.
organization, Pastors for Peace, has now sent hundreds of tons
of aid, including medical gear and roofing material, to Latin
American countries. Of its 40 missions so far, 21 have been to
Cuba, which under a 1963 law is off-limits to American trade.
Click here for the full article >>
See also the Washington Post report>>
First, a note of apology:
hosting service had some server problems last week, apparently
due to a hacker's attack. That left our site unavailable
for some time -- but we're back now, and trying to catch up.
The Word and
Bruce and Carolyn Gillette reflect on our calling
as Christians to live out our faith in the world -- and how
urgent that calling is today, as the world grows increasingly
divided between those growing more and more wealthy, and those
whose poverty is growing worse year by year.
They begin by referring to the funeral today in
the First Presbyterian Church in El
Dorado, Arkansas, for
a 91-year-old Presbyterian elder named Frances
Paschal Landers. The
Presbyterian Outlook reported
how her life was changed at age 58 when she and her husband went
on the first of what would be 24 mission trips in Haiti.
They also link to other articles,
and hymns by Carolyn Gillette. All of this relates to
Sunday’s lectionary gospel lesson.
Luke 16:19-31, Jesus’
parable of the rich man and poor Lazarus.
October 11, 2010:
Day of Action to Confront U.S. Militarism
Organize an event or protest in your community and mobilize for
Vigil and Action in
As part of the Latin
America Solidarity Coalition, SOA Watch invites you to join
the National Day of Action to Confront US Militarism in the
Americas. October 11 is the day the United States "celebrates"
the beginning of the European invasion of the Americas and
indigenous peoples mark as the 518th year of resistance to
invasion and colonialism.
Vigil at the
gates of Fort Benning is less than 2 months away and local
events like the October
11 Day of Action are
a great opportunity to mobilize your community to arrange car
shares or bus trips to the vigil in
Click here for the SOA Watch
Thanks to Gene TeSelle
A call for prayers for the September 23rd trial about the
ordination of Lisa Larges
from More Light
The National Board of Directors and staff of
More Light Presbyterians stand in solidarity with Lisa Larges
and wholeheartedly support her gifts, preparation and call to
ministry. Lisa serves as Minister Coordinator, That All May
Freely Serve, and her home congregation is Noe Valley Ministry,
a welcoming and affirming More Light Presbyterian church in San
Francisco, CA. Rev. Keenan C. Kelsey serves as pastor at Noe
Lisa has been seeking to be ordained since
1986. In 2009, the Presbytery of San Francisco approved Lisa for
ordination and TAMFS as a validated ministry. However, an anti-LGBT
minority continue to oppose Lisa's ordination and filed remedial
charges against the presbytery. Their action has prevented
Lisa's ordination. It has not stopped her ministry of love,
justice and reconciliation.
“We’re All in This Together: Confronting the Structures of
report on the PVJ/Peace Fellowship Ghost Ranch seminar is
provided by the Rev. Schaunel Steinnagel, Hunger Action Enabler,
Presbytery of Philadelphia
She describes the week as a "revival."
Dr. Grace Kao's compelling presentation on some of the
theological questions that arose after the tragic shootings at
Virginia Tech by Seung-Hui Cho, on April 16, 2007, where she was
on the staff at the time. She describes more briefly Dr.
Gary Dorrien's discussion of U.S. foreign policy, and the need
for greater economic democracy. She also deals with Dr.
Elizabeth Hinson-Hasty discussion on women's issues, starting
from Nicholas Kristoff and Sheryl WuDunn’s book, Half the
Sky: Turning Oppression into Opportunity for Women Worldwide.
Finally, he lists a number of
excellent progressive organizations and .resources.
WITNESS IN WASHINGTON
Witness in Washington update from the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) Office of Public Witness, dated September 17, 2010,
provides some very helpful information and calls to express
concerns to our legislators in Washington.
Download the full newsletter in PDF format >>
START Treaty needs support in Senate
afternoon, the Senate Foreign Relations Committee approved a
treaty that will make all of us safer. The Committee voted to
approve the New START Treaty with Russia and send the treaty to
the full Senate for a vote. But the tight Senate schedule means
that unless Senators from both major political parties publicly
call for an up-or-down vote on this treaty in the next two
weeks, the Treaty may not be ratified this year.
Please ask your senators to vote “yes” on the New START Treaty.
DREAM with Immigrant Children this School Year!
At the end of
this new school year, approximately 2.8 million students will
graduate from United States High Schools. Among them, a group of
approximately 65,000 will not attend college, enlist in the
armed forces, get a decent job, or otherwise have opportunity,
not because they lack motivation, but because of the status
passed on to them by their parents. These young men and women
grew up on American soil and respect the laws of this country,
yet they bear the inherited title of “illegal immigrant.”
The DREAM Act,
introduced by Senators Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Richard Lugar
(R-IN), is legislation that would help to answer this growing
problem. It will provide certain undocumented students with the
opportunity to earn permanent legal status if they came to the
United States as children and five years prior to the enactment
of the bill, have good moral character, finish high school or
obtain a G.E.D., and complete two years of college or military
service. The DREAM Act has the potential to provide nearly one
million youth who have grown up in the U.S. with improved access
to higher education and an earned pathway to U.S. citizenship.
This is the opportunity of which immigrant families DREAM.
On September 14,
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid announced plans to bring the
DREAM Act (S. 729) up for a vote as an amendment to the
Department of Defense authorization bill. It is scheduled to be
considered by the full Senate as early as next week – Congress
needs to hear support for this important legislation!
Contact your Senators and ask them to support the Dream Act.
Congregations caring for creation
program provides suggestions for earth care, certifies PC(USA)
congregations that take action
From Bethany Furkin, Presbyterian News
According to the EPA's Energy Star for
Congregations program, if America's more than 370,000 houses of
worship cut their energy use by 10 percent, they would prevent
more than 1.3 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
And now the more than 10,000 Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.) congregations can take additional steps to do
their part, with the help of a new program from Environmental
Earth Care Congregations is a program that
encourages churches to care for God's earth and celebrates those
that have committed to this mission. The program takes a
holistic approach to earth care, incorporating worship,
education, facilities and outreach.
-- call Senators to support
National Criminal Justice Commission Act
This call for action comes from the
National Religious Campaign
Please call your Senators!
Today, Wednesday, September 15, NRCAT
is participating in a
nation-wide call-in day to
encourage the Senate to pass the National Criminal Justice
Please call your Senators today,
and tell them that you would like them to pass the National
Criminal Justice Commission Act (H.R. 5143/S. 714) as soon as
been 40 years since our nation last undertook a comprehensive
review of our criminal justice system. After all that time, such
a review is sorely needed. Recently, the House passed a bill,
Criminal Justice Commission Act (H.R. 5143/S. 714), that
would create a bipartisan panel to review all aspects of our
criminal justice system. Importantly, this panel would have the
authority to review the conditions of confinement for all
prisoners in our criminal justice system. As such, the panel
could issue recommendations for preventing the torture and abuse
The bill has already been approved by the Senate Judiciary
Committee and has passed the House. Now it is time for the full
Senate to vote on it.
Please call your Senators!
You can call the Capitol Switchboard at 202-224-3121 and ask to
speak with your Senators, or you can use this link to find
contact information for them: http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
You can use this script while on the phone:
"Hello, my name is _________, and, as a person of
faith, I am calling to ask the Senator to work for the immediate
passage of the National Criminal Justice Commission Act."
you for your help. Passage of the National Criminal Justice
Commission Act could be an important step toward ending the use
of extensive isolation in prisons, which is a form of torture.
Linda Gustitus, President
Rev. Richard Killmer, Executive Director,
Moderator Bolbach appoints Middle East Monitoring Group
LOUISVILLE — Elder Cynthia Bolbach, moderator of
the 219th General Assembly (2010) of the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) and the Rev. Bruce Reyes-Chow, moderator of the 218th
General Assembly (2008), have named the Monitoring Group on the
Acting on authorization by the 219th General
Assembly (2010), Bolbach and Reyes-Chow selected seven
individuals who the assembly said need to have "demonstrated
experience with and knowledge of the complex dynamics of the
Israeli-Palestinian conflict within the larger concerns of the
Middle East, and shall together comprise an authentic balance
representing the fullness of the spectrum of commitments within
the PC(USA) toward the people and issues in the region."
The rest of the story >>
Another reflection on 9/11
The Rev. Kent Winters-Hazelton, pastor of
First Presbyterian Church in
and former president of the Witherspoon Society, has shared with
us a thoughtful sermon he preached on August 29, noting the
rising hostility toward Islam during those weeks approaching the
anniversary of 9/11. He reflects on Paul's call to the
people of Colossae to "conduct
yourselves wisely toward outsiders, making the most of the
time." Or in the words of the KJV, "redeeming the time,"
which means acting with love and respect toward all our
neighbors as "God's people."
More on 9/11 and current "Islamophobia"
Conference on “Discerning Justice & Taking Action on
America's Death Penalty”
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty for this announcement.
People of Faith Against the Death Penalty is
an interfaith national nonprofit organization whose mission is
to educate and mobilize faith communities to act to abolish the
death penalty in the United States. They are organizing an
upcoming national conference in Atlanta on November 16 & 17
called Kairos Conference: Discerning Justice & Taking Action on
America’s Death Penalty
They invite you to join conference chair and
Dead Man Walking author Sr. Helen Prejean, Council of
Europe Goodwill Ambassador Bianca Jagger, world-renowned
speakers, and leaders of national, state, and local faith
communities and groups for an inspirational and educational
The conference will begin on Tuesday, November
16 at 9 a.m. , and is scheduled to conclude at 4:30 p.m.,
Wednesday, Nov. 17.
The Kairos Conference:
Discerning Justice & Taking Action on America's Death Penalty
Emory Conference Center, Atlanta, GA
November 16 & 17, 2010
and registration >>
"Don't ask, don't tell" declared unconstitutional
California judge declares 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell' policy banning
gays from serving in the US military to be unconstitutional
a blockbuster legal decision, a California judge last night
declared the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that bars gay and
lesbian soldiers from serving in the US military to be
unconstitutional, saying the ban violated the first amendment
rights of homosexuals and harmed the effectiveness of the armed
The decision comes as the Obama administration is in the middle
of a cautious and drawn-out attempt to lift the ban of
homosexuals in the US services, which has been proceeding slowly
with the co-operation of most of the military leadership.
The full Guardian (UK) report >>
Court overturns border volunteer's 'littering' conviction
Appeals court says drinking water set out for
migrants is not 'garbage'
Jerry L. Van Marter of Presbyterian News
The United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
has overturned the conviction of a humanitarian activist for
"littering" near the U.S. border with Mexico, stating that the
clean bottles of drinking water placed on known migrant trails
could not be considered "garbage" due to their intended purpose
of preventing death-by-exposure.
Dan Millis, a volunteer with the Presbyterian
Church (U.S.A.)-backed faith-based organization No More Deaths,
had been convicted in September 2008 for placing bottles of
drinking water in the Buenos Aires National Wildlife Refuge (BANWR)
in the middle of one of the most-traveled corridors for migrants
along the Arizona border.
The rest of the story >>
More help for becoming an AIDS Competent church
Yesterday we posted a brief note about a new resource for
churches that are following the urging of our General Assembly
to become “AIDS Competent.” Ann Hayman immediately responded by
recommending another very helpful resource – this one from the
World Council of Churches. Its title is Beacons of Hope –
HIV Competent Churches: A Framework for Action, and it too
available online, in PDF format.
Thanks to Ann Hayman!
NCC's Kinnamon joins with interfaith summit to address fear and
intolerance toward Muslims
See a stream of the September 7 press conference on C-Span at
September 7, 2010 -- A high ranking group of U.S. interfaith
leaders, including the general secretary of the National Council
of Churches, assembled here today to condemn plans in Florida to
burn the Holy Qu'ran on Saturday, and to decry incidents of
violence committed against innocent Muslims.
The leaders noted
the "anti-Muslim frenzy" that has existed in the U.S. since
plans were announced to build an Islamic Community Center at the
Park 51 site in Manhattan two blocks from the site of the terror
attacks of September 11, 2001.
But the uproar over
the Park 51 community center is only one aspect of the overall
problem of anti-Islamic attitudes and actions across the
country, the leaders said.
In a press
conference at the National Press Club, Dr. Ingrid Mattson,
president of the Islamic Society of America (ISNA), said Muslims
in America report the highest degree of anxiety they have felt
since September 11, 2001.
More on the approaching anniversary of 9/11 --
including anti-Muslim actions, burning of the Quran, and more.
Gay student suicides – three in one school district
This comes from
Change.org, on Sept. 7, 2010
One suicide is one too many.
But three suicides in one year, within one
school district, all by students who are gay or lesbian? That's
nothing short of an epidemic, and it's the problem currently
facing Minnesota's Anoka-Hennepin school district.
The most recent incident occurred in July,
when a 15-year-old student took his own life. A concert cello
player in his school's orchestra, the student was incessantly
bullied because of his sexual orientation.
"I'm not asking you to accept this as a
lifestyle for you," his grieving mother recently said in
testimony before the Anoka-Hennepin school board. "I'm only
asking that you please make the school safe for gay, lesbian,
bisexual and transgender students still alive and in this
More -- and a call to action >>
New tool available for developing an “AIDS Competent Church”
The 219th General Assembly acted to
urge all of our churches to achieve critically important
competency in dealing with AIDS awareness and prevention.
Churches United Against HIV & AIDS in Eastern
and Southern Africa has published a booklet that offers very
helpful information for this purpose, called
TOWARDS AN HIV AND AIDS COMPETENT CHURCH.
It’s a booklet, about 80 pages, and is
posted here in PDF format.
Thanks to Ralph Clingan!
As the anniversary of 9/11 draws near, anti-Islamic rants are
growing louder, and in some cases more threatening. We
will be posting a number of items on this page beginning with an
reflection from blogger John Shuck.
If you have
thoughts to share --
or would like to point us to other readings,
please send a
Click here for some of our
earlier posts on 9/11
recounts "My 9/11 story ... so far ..."
The Rev. John Shuck, pastor of First Presbyterian
Church in Elizabethton, Tennessee,
September 11, 2006 on the discussion then raging on our
website (and many others) about charges that the attack on the
World Trade Center and other targets was actually a "conspiracy"
managed out of the Bush White House.
the morning of September 11th, my daughter who was in high
school at the time called me at the church office and told
me to turn on the television because the World Trade Center
had been hit by airplanes. In the church kitchen the staff
and I and others who happened to be in the church building
that morning watched the television reports and saw both
Greetings for Labor Day!
Recipe for Slavery: Take US farm labor relations, add "guestworker"
visas, and voila... Forced labor!
Federal prosecutors in Honolulu unseal indictment charging
forced labor ring active in 13 states including – yet again –
Multi-state operation involves guestworker recruiting giant
Global Horizons in what prosecutors are calling "the largest
human trafficking case in US history"...
Labor Day weekend will be celebrated with a little more meaning
this year by 400 farmworkers from around the country whose
bosses were charged yesterday by Justice Department officials in
Hawaii with "conspiracy to commit human trafficking."
The image above is from an excellent video by Honolulu's KITV on
the news of yesterday's indictment. You can watch the video by
Six people in the US were charged in the case, including four
employees of Global Horizons Manpower, Inc, a labor recruiting
company that specializes in the overseas recruitment of "guestworkers,"
foreign workers brought to the US to work in agriculture under
an H2A visa for temporary employment in agriculture...
For more on this story, go to the CIW website today, http://www.ciw-online.org
Thanks, and happy Labor Day!
video by Honolulu's KITV, on the news of yesterday's
can be viewed by clicking
Coalition of Immokalee Workers
For more on labor justice issues >>
Celebrating the Youth Triennium
– and a call to look ahead
by the Rev.
Sue Trigger, co-pastor of First Presbyterian Church, Rockaway,
It had been a while since I’ve been to the Presbyterian Youth
Triennium, so I decided this was the year to round up a
Presbytery delegation and head to Indiana. This was my fourth
Triennium experience. It was at Triennium that I answered the
call to ministry; and it was at Triennium 15 years later that I
felt a powerful reaffirmation of that call.
There were many things about
this Triennium that were fantastic: 5010 participants from all
50 states, a well organized event, great worship planning and
keynote speakers, and more. It is far more than a great
conference; it is an event that helps shape lives. It is an
event that helps people encounter Christ in a bold, powerful way
through Bible study, reflection, and a call to consider how God
is working in their lives. It is able to reach people with an
impact that few, if any, of our congregations are able to do.
the rest of this report >>
PVJ elects officers, introduces our new members of
Presbyterian Voices for
Justice held our biennial membership meeting right after our
Awards Luncheon at General Assembly.
for a list of the current Coordinating Team members, and
here for brief introductions of the new ones.
Fellowship of Reconciliation invites
people to speak out in support of genuine peace in Iraq.
We have received a letter sent
out by the Fellowship of Reconciliation, responding to the
President's address on the US troop reduction in Iraq,
encouraging people who care about peace and justice to express
their concern for the continuing US presence there. We
think you may be interested in joining in.
for the full text of the letter.
The War in Iraq: At What Cost?
Wallis, pastor and “Christian leader for social change,”
reflects on the same concern for Huffington Post. He confesses
to hearing Obama’s Oval Office speech with great sadness at the
high costs that have been paid by so many. And looking toward
the near future he adds:
I watched the arguments on the talk shows about
the continuing political instability in Iraq, the lack of a
functioning government six months after an election, the deep
worries about continuing ethnic division and conflict. The
president said it was up to the Iraqis now. The truth is that it
always was up to the people – both in Iraq and Afghanistan – and
the mistake of "empire" is the belief than endless war and
occupation can change those political realities. Leading by
example would have been better, offering a whole array of
non-military help to Iraq and now Afghanistan would have been
more effective – and so much less costly.
For Wallis’ full essay >>
Immokalee Workers reaches fair food agreement with food
service provider Sodexo
This good news comes to us from the
Rev. Noelle Damico, of the Campaign for Fair Food, PC(USA)
The Coalition of Immokalee Workers has forged a
agreement with food service provider Sodexo!
services a number of Presbyterian-affiliated colleges and
is the ninth food
retailer to sign an agreement with the CIW.
Now the three largest food service providers in the nation
(Compass, Aramark, Sodexo) are working together with the CIW and
willing growers to improve wages and conditions
for Florida farmworkers. Read
the agreement in full.
This coming Sunday is a perfect time to celebrate
the CIW’s recent agreement and to insist
that supermarket leaders also do their part. The Presbyterian
celebrates the Sunday before Labor Day as
Vocation Sunday. It’s a time to reflect upon how each of
us is responding to God’s call and upon the church at work in
the prayer resources for this Sunday
off a manager’s letter to your local supermarket
when you shop, encouraging the company to work
with the CIW to end farmworker exploitation in the tomato
fields. [There are letters for Kroger, Publix, and Ahold as
well as a general
We move forward celebrating God’s pledge to bring
about a world of joy and justice as we remember and proclaim
with the prophet Isaiah, “they shall not labor in vain!”
PC(USA) Campaign for Fair Food
The Rev. Noelle
Campaign for Fair
Christian leaders praise Obama's Middle East peace talks
PC(USA)'s Parsons joins Churches for Middle
East Peace in statement
Jerry L. Van Marter of Presbyterian News
LOUISVILLE — The Rev. Gradye Parsons, General
Assembly stated clerk for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), has
joined nearly 30 other U.S. Christian leaders in welcoming the
direct peace talks between Israelis and Palestinians being held
this week in Washington.
In a letter to President Obama, the group —
brought together by Churches for Middle East Peace, also noted
the need for sustained U.S. cooperation with both parties if an
agreement is to be reached and said the direct talks, backed by
the U.S., provide a unique opportunity to resolve key issues
that have been persistent barriers to peace.
"We are grateful for President Obama's
tireless efforts for this hope," said Parsons. "The Presbyterian
Church hopes that the talks will bring lasting peace for Israel
More – including the full text of the letter to the President >>
For an index to all our reports
the 219th General Assembly
For links to
all our archive pages, listed by months,
Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
for Life" website
Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck,
a Presbyterian minister currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Click here for his blog posts.
Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores
the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens
neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City
Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon
board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!