Category Archives: PC Ghana

Presbyterian News Headlines For The Second Half Of January 2015

Hit a busy spot in my schedule and fell behind and things are about to get really busy with Assembly meetings starting, but I will see what I can get cranked out here.

For the second half of January, here are a few items that caught my attention.

There was a theme about the church protecting and helping the poor expressed from various branches around the world be it a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana:

Presbyterian Church urged to protect the poor – from GhanaWeb

Or the words about economic justice from a former Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland to the Northern Ireland Executive:

Presbyterian Church voices concern over vulnerable – from Belfast News Letter

Or a church in Rochester, New York, responding to the severe cold of the winter to fast-track permits to host a homeless shelter:

Downtown United Presbyterian Church to be Interim Homeless Shelter – from WXXI News


A party in a church basement in Portland had a shooting occur in the street right outside. The party was not a church function but rented out for a private party.

Party in church basement leads to possible gang shooting, ‘people running all over,’ police say – from The Oregonian

Tabor Space changes party policy after shooting – from KOIN


A bill permitting assisted suicide is making its way through the Scottish Parliament and some Scottish  churches, including the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland, are uniting against it:

Bill raises questions about life and death – from Stornoway Gazette

Religious leaders to speak out on legalising assisted suicide – from stv news

However, a later article grabbed headlines when it quoted the Very Rev. Sandy McDonald – former Moderator of the General Assembly and father of actor David Tennant – in support of the legislation

David Tennant’s terminally ill father pledges support for assisted suicide – from Best Daily

However, in just the last few days the report has come back and church opposition is still present but there does not appear to be support for the bill from the members of parliament:

Church reaffirms opposition to assisted suicide bill following health committee report – Church of Scotland press release

Prof addresses assisted suicide conference – Free Church of Scotland press release

Setback for campaigners as MSPs fail to back Assisted Suicide Bill – from The National


From the Presbytery of Chicago, the presbytery was sued for alleged sexual abuse at a presbytery-run youth center

Seven men file sex abuse suits against Chicago Presbytery – from Chicago Tribune

Lawsuits allege abuse at West Side Presbyterian ministries – from Chicago Sun Times


A major gift to a seminary, the largest in its history

Pittsburgh Theological Seminary bequeathed $20 million – from Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Also from Ghana — a new President of the Presbyterian University College

Rev Prof Obeng inducted as PU College President – from spyghana

An appeal to let the missions run the mission schools

Hand over our schools to us to manage – Presby Church demands – from GhanaWeb


Church to clamp down on indisipline – from spyghana; “The Presbyterian Church of Ghana (PCG), has entreated Ministers, Catechists and Presbyters of the Church to abide by its tenets and principles in the discharge of their duties.”


A statement showing solidarity on racial justice issues

Presbyterian Church U.S.A. Presidents Issue Open Letter on Racial Justice – from Planet Princeton


And in New Zealand, the church working on racial reconciliation issues with the indigenous peoples:

Non-Maori urged to connect with Maori – from Radio New Zealand

Presbyterian Church to lead Waitangi Day dawn ceremony for first time – PCANZ press release; “For the first time in the history of the Presbyterian Church, its ministers, led by the Church’s Māori Synod, will conduct the Waitangi Day dawn ceremony at Waitangi.”


A church’s community project in northern Scotland is at full capacity. It was opened during the General Assembly with a royal visit.

Stornoway community project celebrates success after royal opening – from Stornoway Gazzete


Some news about individual churches and their buildings

Two Presbyterian Churches get historic landmark status – from Paterson Times (New Jersey)


And finally, a retirement

Farewell to the Royal Navy’s top ‘bish’ as chaplain of the fleet retires – from The News; “For the past four years, the Reverend Scott Brown has presided over a sizeable parish made up of 77 vessels and all the souls of the Royal Navy… Rev Brown, who is only the second ever chaplain of the fleet to be of the Church of Scotland, has served in the post for the last four 

And the funeral for Ernie Banks at Fourth Presbyterian Church, Chicago

Fans, former teammates, friends pay respects at Ernie Banks visitation – from Chicago Tribune

That’s it for now. Until next time have a good one.

Presbyterian News Headlines For The Second Half Of December 2014

In addition to my earlier posts on the approval by the presbyteries of the act concerning partnered same-gender clergy in the Church of Scotland and the various Christmas messages, here are a few items that caught my attention at the end of the year:

There was a crash of a bin lorry (garbage truck) into a group of Christmas shoppers in Glasgow just before Christmas resulting in six fatalities and numerous injuries. The Church of Scotland was a major responder and these articles talk about that pastoral care and remembrance as well as having quotes from the Moderator of the General Assembly and the Moderator of Glasgow Presbytery.

Glasgow bin lorry crash: Church leader tries to comfort grieving families – from The Guardian

Glasgow bin lorry crash: Memorial service for dead and hurt – from Glasgow Churches Together

Kirk moderator warns there are “no trite answers” to George Square tragedy – from Herald Scotland

Also from the Scotland, the Kirk is one of a group of churches forming a credit union to promote fair financial practices. The new endeavour received government approval.

Church’s flagship credit union is ready to launch – from Church Times


The AirAsia jet that crashed in the ocean off southeast Asia carried a family from the Yeosu First Presbyterian Church

Missing AirAsia Jet Carried A Young Family Of Korean Christian Missionaries – from Huffington Post (an excerpt from a WSJ subscription article)


In Ghana, the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church had some critical words for the country’s leadership

Ghana Needs A Visionary Leader – Presby Moderator – from Daily Guide


The Louisville Institute at the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary received a major grant from the Lilly Endowment for work with Native American pastoral leaders:

Seminary institute awarded $2.5 million grant – from The Courier-Journal


Professor Kevin J. Vanhoozer of Trinity Evangelical Divinity School won the 2014 Christianity Today Book Award in the theology/ethics category with his book “Faith Speaking Understanding: Performing the Drama of Doctrine.” Dr. Vanhoozer has served on the Panel of Doctrine for the Church of Scotland and the book was published by the PC(USA)’s publishing arm Westminster John Knox Press.

Trinity’s Vanhoozer wins 2015 Christianity Today book award – from Chicago Tribune


And in the category of stories that have taken on a life of their own, two that the press have managed to exaggerate or just get wrong. The first is a report that the Church of Scotland was evaluating its meeting space and while finding someplace else is a possibility it is not as much a probability as this story makes it seem…

Church plans exodus from historic Edinburgh home – from The Scotsman

And from the PC(USA) an erroneous headline about a piece of business supposedly taken up at the last GA…

Presbyterian Church USA Voted on Erasing “Israel” from Prayers – from Breaking Israel News


As Romania marks the 25th anniversary of its revolution, a brief tribute to the Reformed pastor who started it:

The Pastor Who Brought Down a Dictator – from The Daily Signal


And another anniversary, the 10th of the Great Sumatran Earthquake and the recollectons of a minister who was working in Sri Lanka:

Kirk minister recalls tsunami horror 10 years on – The Scotsman


Finally, numerous commemorations were held of the centennial of the World War I Christmas Truce:

Kings Presbyterian will mark First World War Christmas truce with special service – from Nova News Now (Canada)

Ballyclare match to recreate Christmas truce in Great War trenches – from Belfast News Letter (Ireland)

Christmas truce football statue unveiled in Liverpool – from BBC News

Presbyterian News Headlines For The First Half Of December 2014

Moving on to the next group of headlines, here are a few things that caught my attention.

A good chunk of Church of Scotland news in this period including the following:

An honorary degree from Glasgow University for a former Moderator

Honorary degree for former Moderator Lorna Hood – from The Scotsman

A challenge from the Moderator and questions about trying to grow the Kirk, including connecting online

Moderator hopes 100,000 people click with Kirk – from The Scotsman

Doubts over whether new stance on gay clergy could revive Kirk membership – from The Press and Journal

Church of Scotland: Will online outreach help ailing attendance figures? – from Christian Today

Moderator calls for Church to redefine membership in digital age – from Church of Scotland

The launch of the Scottish Leaders Welfare Group that includes the Church of Scotland. And for a bit of context, the issue of poverty was an important one in the Indy Ref campaign as well as the ongoing work of the Kirk, which will be regularly mentioned in these headlines posts.

Church and union leaders unite in bid to end cruel austerity measures in Scotland – from Daily Record

 And in worship news

New Gaelic hymn book launched – Hebrides News; compiled by a church in Skye with new and classic hymns; the continued use of Gaelic in worship is a major factor in maintaining the language


The issue of religious conscience in a commercial setting and same-sex marriage has become a hot topic in the U.S. but there is similar controversy about it elsewhere, in this case Northern Ireland, and the local presbytery sides with the baker after Equality Commission ruled against them:

Presbytery backs Ashers in legal row – from Ballymena Times


And similarly, dwindling congregations can be found the world over as well, in this case a church in Andersons Bay, New Zealand

Historic church’s future in doubt – Otago Daily Times


At the annual conference of the Mizoram Synod in that province of India:

Mizoram Synod turns down proposal to ordain women theologians – from Business Standard


From the U.S., one of the more unique stories of the time period…

Shurat Hadin charges US Presbyterian Church with having ties to Hezbollah: Israeli NGO says tax-free status should be revoked. – from The Jerusalem Post


Water projects built by the Presbyterian Church of Ghana

Presby[terian] Moderator commissions water projects for Northern and Upper presbyteries – from ModernGhana

Upper Presbytery Commission Water Project at the Cost of GHc 100,000 – from MyGhanaOnline


Buildings, buildings and more buildings…

W. Lebanon Church Has New Owner – from Valley News; former Seventh Day Adventist building bought by Providence Presbyterian Church (OPC)

Old Sutersville church may yet survive – from Trib Live; former Presbyterian Church building, believed oldest structure in borough, saved from wrecking ball for now.

Insurance costs could shut Inverness’ Old High Church – from BBC News

For Neighbors, Construction On Kansas City Church Is Good News – from Kansas City Public Media; update on a previously mentioned redevelopment project by the presbytery

First Look: Downtown church’s $17.7M transformation into a community center – from Columbus Business First

These Philadelphians Want to Get Closer to Their Neighbors – from Next City; a church being converted into a cohousing development


That’s it for now. Moving on to the next topic.

Presbyterian News Headlines For The Second Half Of August 2014

Here are some of the items that caught my attention in the latter half of August…

This was a time of General Assemblies in African Presbyterian branches. Let me begin with a few headlines out of the 14th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ghana:

Handover establishment of 200 SHS to churches – Presby Moderator – from GhanaWeb; (SHS = Senior High Schools)

On Christian Education, “Yes” And “No,” Rt.-Rev. Martey – from GhanaWeb; (a comment on the above story by a Ghanian minister in the US)

In addition, the Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana held their General Assembly. Some interesting headlines from that:

New Moderator For E.P Church – from spyGhana; Reverend Dr Seth Senyo Agidi elected for a six year term

Elect Leaders Who Uphold Moral Values – Rt Rev Francis Amenu – from Ghana Broadcasting Corporation; comments by the outgoing Moderator

E.P Church to double membership in six years – from GhanaWeb; the growth goal for the church

EP Church to Adopt Witches’ Camps – from Ghana Broadcasting Corporation; this is an article with an overview of the GA and a later article from GhanaWeb focuses just on this issue and begins:  “The Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Ghana (EPCG) has adopted the Ngani Witches Camp, one of the witches’ camps in the Northern Region to support the inmates to liberate them from poverty. The people in the camps are mostly aged women who have been accused of witchcraft, and therefore, have been abandoned by their families and the society. Due to the neglect, they live in deplorable conditions as they lack basic amenities such as shelter and clothing, as well as food and water.”

Articles on the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Nigeria:

Presbyterian Church marks 168 years, urges unity – from Infos

Nigeria: Presbyterian Church Institutes Fund On Chibok Girls – from allAfrica; “The Presbyterian Church of Nigeria has announced that in keeping with the Church’s spirit of Christian charity and in support of President Goodluck Jonathan’s initiative in setting up a special Fund in aid of victims of Boko Haram insurgency and other social upheavals, the Church has set up a Fund toward the rehabilitation of the Chibok girls when they are eventually rescued.”

In other headlines:

Malawi: APM Hails Livingstonia Synod of the CCAP Church – from allAfrica; a positive meeting between church leaders and the country’s president looking for avenues of cooperation

Investors urged to be ethical – from GhanaWeb; Comments by the Moderator of the GA at the launch of a financial company

The Texas Historical Commission recognizes the First Presbyterian Church of Brazoria – from The Facts (subscription); the church gets a state historical marker

And finally, a high-profile change in Presbyterian media circles as Jack Haberer leaves his post as editor of the Presbyterian Outlook to return to parish ministry in Florida:

Breaking News Letters from The Presbyterian Outlook’s Editor Jack Haberer and Board of Directors President Christopher Edmonston – from The Presbyterian Outlook

Best wishes to Jack as he takes on this call.

General Assembly Season 2014

As the First of May rolls around we mark the start of the 2014 General Assembly Season.

Are you ready for an interesting year of Assemblies?

Here is this year’s line-up as I know it now. I will update as I clarify additional Assembly meetings.

  59th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Taiwan

  22-25 April 2014

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Tasmania
  13 May 2014 (begins)

  General Assembly
Church of Scotland

17-23 May 2014

  General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland Continuing
19-22 May, 2014

  General Assembly
Free Church of Scotland
19-23 May 2014

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of South Australia
26 May 2014 (begins)
North Adelaide, S.A.

  140th General Assembly

Presbyterian Church in Canada
30 May – 2 June 2014
Wilfrid Laurier University
Waterloo, Ontario

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Ireland
2-6 June 2014

General Assembly
United Free Church of Scotland
  4-6 June 2014

81st General Assembly

Orthodox Presbyterian Church
4-10 June 2014
Kuyper College
Grand Rapids, Michigan

Reformed Presbyterian Church of Ireland
9-11 June 2014

210th Stated Meeting of the General Synod

Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church

10-12 June 2014
Flat Rock, North Carolina

221st General Assembly (2014)

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)
14-21 June 2014
Detroit, Michigan
(note this is a biennial Assembly)

139th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church in America

15-18 June 2014
Chattanooga, Tennessee

184th General Assembly
Cumberland Presbyterian Church
16-20 June 2014
Chattanooga, Tennessee

42nd General Assembly

Presbyterian Church in America
17-20 June 2014
Houston, Texas

34th General Assembly

Evangelical Presbyterian Church
17-21 June 2014
Knoxville, Tennessee

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Queensland

  30 June – 3 July 2014
Clayfield (Brisbane), QLD

  N.S.W. State Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Australia
in the State of New South Wales

30 June 2014 (begins)
Croydon, N.S.W.

  78th General Synod
Bible Presbyterian Church
31 July – 5 August 2014
Olympia, Washington

  National Youth Assembly

Church of Scotland

15-18 August 2014
(Technically not a governing
body, but still an Assembly I track)

  14th General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Ghana

15-21 August 2014
Abetifi Kwahu

  General Synod
ECO: A Covenant Order of Evangelical Presbyterians
18 August 2014
Dallas, Texas

  6th General Assembly
Evangelical Presbyterian Church — Ghana
August 2014

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand

  3-7 October 2014
Saint Kentigern College

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church of Victoria
  6 October 2014

  General Assembly
Presbyterian Church in Western Australia
  24 October 2014

These are the ones that I am tracking at the moment.  I will update as
appropriate.  If I have missed one, or have information wrong or incomplete, please provide the appropriate information and I will update the list.

And, to make the GA season complete here are two more items…

The first is the series of articles I wrote as an introduction to Presbyterian General Assemblies six years ago.  My GA 101 series consists of the following

GA101: Preface
GA101: Introduction – Why in the world would anybody want to do it this way?
GA101: Connectionalism – The Presbyterian Big Picture
GA101: The Cast of Characters – A score card to identify the players
GA101: The Moderator – All Things In Moderation
GA101: Where does the GA business come from? – Incoming!
GA101: Doing the business of GA — Decently and in Order

Yes, what started as a six part series expanded into seven
completed articles with two more unfinished ones in the queue.  (Maybe
this will give me some motivation to finish those up.)

And finally, on to the ridiculous.  Lest we take ourselves too seriously, a couple years ago I had a little fun with the General Assembly and in the post passed along the GA drinking game and GA Bingo. Please play both responsibly.

So, for all the GA Junkies out there I wish you the best of GA
seasons.  May you enjoy the next few months of watching us do things
decently and in order!

Presbyterian News Headlines For The First Half Of March 2014

So what caught my attention the first half of this month? Here are a few of the item I found interesting.

One of the headlines caught my attention because of its implications for other current events:

Representative carries bill to help church he leads: Reps say congregations have concerns about bill to disallow ecclesiastical law in disputes – from Topeka Capital-Journal

The bill would introduce a form of neutral principles to Kansas law for deciding church property cases. There are numerous comments from presbytery and synod leaders about the nature of the bill and the implications as well as the representative’s motives. The comments that his church was considering requesting dismissal from the PC(USA) lead to another article the next day where his pastor denied it:

Pastor of state rep’s church: We’re not splitting: Pastor of Rep. McPherson’s congregation disputes church leaders’ characterization of bill
– from Topeka Capital-Journal

I had mentioned last time about the pressure raised by the Presbyterian Church in Mizoram state of India to continue prohibition on alcohol and the church is now organizing prayer meetings related to this effort:

Mass prayers to keep Mizoram prohibition – from The Times of India

An event to mark International Women’s Day in Cape Coast, Ghana, included remarks by a Senior Lecturer at Presbyterian University that became the headline for this piece about the event:

Change of name after marriage not obligatory – from Ghana News Agency

A particular congregation of the Presbyterian Church in Northern Ireland is involved in a project to examine its region’s troubled history:

New project will look at plantation and penal laws – from Derry Journal; “A new cross-community project will examine
the impact of the penal laws and the plantation on Catholics and
Presbyterians in Derry. The project is being funded by the Department of
Culture, Arts and Leisure and will involve the congregation of First
Derry Presbyterian Church and senior citizens from the Bogside area. When completed, the work will form part of a new website looking at the period.”

As the South Seas Evangelical Church celebrates its 50th Anniversary the Moderator of the Presbyterian Church of Vanuatu sends greetings and a fraternal delegation:

Moderator Ova congratulates Ambu community – from Solomon Star

A couple of fires at Presbyterian-related institutions:

Fire guts Charlieville Presbyterian School – from Guardian Media; about a school in Trinidad

Weekend fire damages children’s home: Water from sprinklers causes more problems than flames – from Daily Journal; about a Presbyterian Children’s Homes facility in Farmington, Missouri

And a building that some time ago was a Presbyterian church in New Rochelle, NY, gets a high-profile renovation for a Pentecostal congregation:

Baseball star Rivera rescues, renovates NY church – AP story, here published by ESPN

And a church loaning out space to the local library during renovation in Lewisboro, NY:

Library begins new chapter – from Lewisboro Ledger

Finally, an honor for recognition of mission work:

Pastor wins medal from Ethiopian government – from The Korea Times; “Pastor Kim Sam-hwan of the Myungsung Presbyterian
Church was conferred a medal of appreciation by the Ethiopian government
for his contributions to the development of Ethiopian medical services.”

So I will hold it at that for this group. I may include one or two more from this time period in the next group as logical groupings suggest.

Presbyterian News Headlines For The Second Half Of February 2014

As I try to once again get caught up here the task was not made any easier by the numerous interesting stories that fell into this time period. So, I bring you a select few of the items that caught my attention last month…

Updating one story I mentioned earlier about a retired Presbyterian pastor in Asia on trial for charges many outside observers have found questionable:

KAZAKHSTAN: Criminal conviction, large “moral damages” – and new criminal case? – from Forum 18 News Service

And a terrorist attack in Egypt on a bus full of visitors from Jincheon Jungang Presbyterian Church in South Korea:

South Korean church mourns after Egypt bombing – from Salon

The Church of Scotland had a number of news headlines in this time period in matters related to civil politics. The first main topic is the release of their report on the consultations regarding the Scottish independence referendum:

Church of Scotland calls for integrity and community to be at the heart of the debate about Scotland’s future – press release from the Church of Scotland

People not basing referendum vote on financial gain or loss, says Kirk – from stv news

Kirk says community, not money, must be at heart of independence debate – from Christian Today

The second is a law passed in the Scottish Parliament which would create a safety net for children by appointing a guardian for every Scottish child and which the Kirk raised questions about:

Concerns raised over named person for Scots children plan – from BBC News

Scottish ministers threatened with legal action over ‘state guardian’ plans – from The Telegraph (note that the headline uses the title minister in the political and not clerical sense)

Law casts a shadow over family – commentary from Scottish Catholic Observer

In Ghana we had words from both the Presbyterian Church and the Evangelical Presbyterian Church about government corruption:

Corruption blamed on actions and inactions of Ghanaians – from Ghana News/SpyGhana

Public office holders urged to show integrity and maturity – from my Ghana Online

Also from Africa:

Sudan Arrests, Threatens Pastor During Sermon as Authorities Try to Intimidate Preacher Into Resigning – from The Christian Post; It is alleged that government officials were intimidating this pastor who is currently serving as the Moderator of the Synod of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church to get control of the property.

Mampong Presby SHS cries for help – from Ghana News Agency: “The Mampong Presbyterian Senior High School(PRESEC) has made a
passionate appeal to all stakeholders in education, particularly the
Ghana Education Trust Fund(GETFund), to come to the aid of the school.”

Spread Privilege Not Cashgate: Livingstonia Synod says Malawi for us all – from Nyasa Times; “The CCAP Livingstonia Synod has observed that Malawi is sliding into terminal decline and urged government to spread the privilege to all and not a few should enjoy.”

In Mizoram state of India the influential Presbyterian Synod is working to keep alcoholic beverages prohibited:

Mizo Church wants prohibition to continue – from matters india

And in Norther Ireland a Free Presbyterian clergyman protested against a Sunday football (soccer for some of you) game, a sentiment shared by some but not all in that area:

Sunday football: Clergyman plans protest at stadium – from Belfast News Letter

Play on! Public back Sunday football at Windsor Park – from Belfast News Letter

In news from Presbyterian-affiliated King University in Tennessee:

Dr. Greg Jordan, King University president resigns: Two-thirds of faculty gave vote of no confidence earlier in the week – from

And a note on the passing of a well-known actor who was also a Presbyterian pastor at a point in his career:

Ralph Waite, Depression-Era Patriarch in ‘The Waltons,’ Dies at 85 – the NY Times Obituary

And finally, not breaking news but an interesting historical tidbit…

Why an 18th Century English Presbyterian Minister Matters to College Football Fans – from Football Study Hall; hint – the minister was Thomas Bayes

So that’s it for now. Back soon with more headlines from March.

Presbyterian News Headlines For The First Half Of February 2014

Let me begin today with a bit of the follow-up news to the election of the Moderator for the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church in Ireland. First, concerning the successful nominee, the Rev. Dr. Michael Barry:

New Presbyterian Moderator vows to reach out and serve – from Belfast News Letter

Presbyterian moderator says politicians must find way of dealing with past – from The Irish Times

Just a day after his election, new Presbyterian Church Moderator sparks row by telling gay people to stop having sex – from Belfast Telegraph

And the presence of the Rev. Liz Hughes in the final vote, and falling one vote short, has grabbed some significant media attention as well:

Town-born Liz just misses out in historic bid to become Moderator – from Portadown Times

A female Moderator is surely inevitable – from Portadown Times

In Scotland, the Scottish Parliament approved a same-sex marriage bill with corresponding reaction from the various Scottish churches including the Church of Scotland and the Free Church of Scotland:

Scotland becomes seventeenth country to approve same-sex marriages – from Reuters

Same-sex marriage vote prompts church concerns – from Daily Record

Churches denounce law that legalizes same-sex marriage in Scotland – from Ecumenical News

Although individual pastors are speaking out in favour of the legislation:

Cambuslang minister goes against own church’s view on same sex marriage – from Daily Record

Also from Scotland, the Free Church of Scotland confirmed they had settled a lawsuit a few months back related to the death of a visiting Peruvian boy almost eight years ago. The lawsuit was brought by the boy’s parents:

Free Church of Scotland settles with crash boy’s parents – from the BBC

Finally, it was also announced that the jewelry – ring and cross – that are the signs of the office of the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland, have been replaced after they were stolen with a bag at an airport last year:

New ring and cross for Kirk’s Moderator after originals stolen – from STV News

And in Illinois the long-running story of the fate of a Presbyterian camp on Lake Michigan has apparently been settled. While there was hope of saving the camp, with the vote of the Presbytery of Chicago the land was sold to the developer:

Presbyterian group’s plan to sell Michigan campsite meets opposition – from Chicago Sun-Times (Feb 5)

Church votes to sell Saugatuck campground property to developer for $10M – from The Grand Rapids Press (Feb 10)

Sale of 130-acre Presbyterian Camps completed – from Holland Sentinel (Feb 18)

In Mississippi, a celebration and update on a church damaged by a tornado last year:

Year after tornado, damaged Hattiesburg church holds communion – from the Clarion Ledger

From Africa, we first have an op-ed piece the decries some of the steps pastors are taking, including at least one Presbyterian one, to get around laws so they can accumulate more wealth for them and their churches:

Kenya: The Terrorism of Our Modern-Day Pastors – from allAfrica

There were also comments about the economy from the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana and suggestion that spending be cut instead of taxes raised:

Imposition of taxes is not the answer – Presby Moderator – from Graphic Online

While from the island of Trinidad a problem at a Presbyterian school has parents and students protesting:

Rats close Erin Road Presbyterian – from Trinidad Express

Also in this time period we had news that Joan Mondale initially entered hospice and died a few days later. Her service was held at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis with music provided by the Macalester College Concert Choir. She was a daughter of the manse and her father, the Rev. John Maxwell Adams, was the chaplain at Macalester for a number of years. One reason that her passing caught my attention is that my father was a student at Macalester at the same time she was and worked closely with Rev. Adams in connection with the chapel services. I believe I had the pleasure of meeting Rev. Adams, probably at the 183rd General Assembly in 1971.

At this point there is a lot of news out there and you may notice a couple of high-profile items missing from this list. I do hope to make time to blog those individually in the next few weeks. In addition, as GA season approaches the news volume will probably be increasing as well. Stay tuned…

Presbyterian News Headlines For The Second Half Of January 2014

I am going to begin this post with a narrative form more in the style of my regular writing but I am not sure what to do with this otherwise.

In mid-January the BBC in Norther Ireland aired a two-part documentary and interview on Ian Paisley who helped found the Free Presbyterian Church and what is now the Democratic Unionist Party. This TV show has stirred a lot of feelings on all sides involved in the troubled history of that region and Dr. Paisley had some pretty strong things to say, not all of them what you might predict. As one article in the News Letter headlines it, his criticism of both the DUP and Free Presbyterian church were brutal. I will leave the civil politics aside – at least to the extent I am able in a situation where civil and secular are inexorably linked – and just note another article in the Belfast Telegraph that is headlined “It was religion, not politics that drove Ian Paisley.” In the interview, according to the online press reports, he talks about how the elders of his church forced him out. The Sunday following the airing of the programme the media were at the church he had pastored for many years with the Belfast Telegraph getting some reaction from congregants and the News Letter finding the church members “tight-lipped.” Lots more out there about this programme but to wrap this up let me note some published qualified comments from Dr. Paisley in IrishCentral about the Catholics were correct in standing up for their civil rights,  a profile piece on his wife Eileen, and some brief comments about all this from his son Ian, Jr.

And now back to my usual format for this stuff…

In other news from Ireland, these items from the Presbyterian Church in Ireland

Irish Presbyterians back Syrian victims – from Belfast News Letter; “Representatives from churches around the world have been meeting
in Lebanon this week to consult with and give support to churches
working to bring about relief and peace in Syria. The Presbyterian Church in Ireland is represented by its
board of mission overseas convenor the Rev Cheryl Meban at
consultations organised by the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and
Lebanon (NESSL).”

Presbyterian concern on mental health issue – from Belfast News Letter about a conference the church held

From Scotland an exception to the trend that new Church of Scotland ministers are typically second career…

Church of Scotland’s Young Turk ordained aged 25 – from Scottish Express

Turning to Africa, news from Nigeria and Ghana:

Presbyterian Church, Muslim group laud Jonathan over anti-gay law – from The Guardian Nigeria

Nigerian school stakes claim to have set up Africa’s first printing press – from The Guardian; “The Hope Waddell Training Institution, a school in Nigeria founded in 1895 by Presbyterian missionaries, is laying claim to have set up Africa’s oldest press. But could it be so?”

Rev Martey urges Christians to enter politics – from Joy Online; in comments by the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church of Ghana

In Asia:

Presbyterian Pastor On Trial On Extremism Charges in Kazakhstan – from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

and then two days later

Kazakh Court Drops Extremism Charges Against Pastor – from Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; but some lesser charges have not been dropped

From North America:

Presbyterian pastor of NY church dies a month after gas station explosion in Conn. – AP article published by, among others, the Daily Reporter

And that is it for now. A few other things caught my eye in these two weeks but I am holding those for further developments or I might develop them beyond the scope of a headline post.

Presbyterian News Headlines For The First Half Of January 2014

I am going to take a break from my research and writing on church property news long enough to highlight a few news headlines. As I have been going back and forth to the headlines over the last few months I am thinking that maybe this model of doing half of a month at a time might be the right balance. We will see. But on to a few of the items that have caught my attention since the first of the year.

A lot happening in Scotland right now but let me mention one new item I have not covered previously — the Scottish Parliament holding hearings on a petition regarding the role of churches in the schools and a recommendation to limit their role.

MSPs hear bid to cut religious influence on schools – from Herald Scotland

Edinburgh secularists challenge religious privilege in Scotland’s education system – from National Secular Society

Church responds to Petitions Committee decision on religious representation on local authority education committees – from Chruch of Scotland

Also related to the Church of Scotland and schools is a program advocated for by the church to help all younger students with school meals

Chewing over the details: what will free school meals mean for Scots pupils? – from The Courier

And a chaplain who was dismissed because of comments he made on Facebook

Church of Scotland minister loses role as chaplain of Glasgow school after calling homosexuality a ‘disorder’ – from The Telegraph

There was also wide coverage of a BBC program that profiled Scottish minister’s wives

In and beyond the Manse – looking at the role of the Minister’s wife – from Stornoway Gazette

Scottish church ministers’ wives set to star in new reality television series – from Scottish Daily Record

And the Church of Scotland Youth program issued an interesting paper

A guide to ethical living from Church of Scotland Youth – from Scottish Christian

On to Africa – a few interesting headlines from there

Ghana: Minister Bemoans Corruption in Churches – from allAfrica

Presidential Authority Is Abused In Ghana-Rev. Martey – from Spy Ghana

Morally Refreshing Leadership from Moderator Martey – from GhanaWeb

BT Synod urges women to contest as independent candidates – from Nyasa Times

I have mentioned this before but here is an update

Paving the way: Lebanon’s first female pastor – from MSN News (although I think the author really does not understand some of the religious subtleties; the earlier story was much better)

And finally, this headline from the PC(USA)

Youth Convince Presbytery to Divest from Fossil Fuel Companies – from Burnsville Patch; this will be an overture from the Presbytery of the Twin Cities Area to the 221st General Assembly and it looks like it will be a concurring overture to one already submitted by the Presbytery of Boston. Looking through the supporting materials I personally see some issues and I may elect to return to this for a more detailed discussion at a later time. Among other things a particular quote comes to mind… “One word: Plastics”

That’s it for this time. Back with more in a couple of weeks…