Evening Prayer at the General Assembly

I offered the evening prayer at the end of the evening session on 4 July 2012 of the 220th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA). Watch from 1:44:25 on the video below.

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Conversations with Congressman Geoff Davis: Part 2

English: Congressional portrait of Congressman...

I talked with Congressman Geoff Davis in two conversations over a weekend- firstly by phone, and then, with his wife Pat at a coffee shop on Sunday morning. And we also spoke when we met in his office in Washington DC and he took myself and my family on a tour of the Capitol.

Geoff Davis is happy to acknowledge that he is a person of faith. Continue reading

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Growth or faithfulness? A Cincinnati Presbyterian pastor reflects

On Friday 15 June I had a chance to meet up with a Presbyterian pastor from Cincinatti, the Rev Erwin Goedicke of North Presbyterian Church. We spend an enjoyable hour together at the the coffee shop of Troy Jackson’s Church, University Christian Church.

North Presbyterian is a long-established congregation in the Northside, an area of the city undergoing a transformation. Continue reading

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Conversations with Congressman Geoff Davis: Part 1

Congressman Geoff Davis with Hannah, Katharina, Daniel and Peter Nimmo at the Member’s Entrance to the House of Representatives, Capitol Hill, Washington DC

During my study leave I got to know Congressman Geoff Davis, who generously gave me some time to share his reflections on faith and politics. In this post, I explain how we came to meet, something of Congressman Davis’ military, business and political background, and an introduction to the role of Congress. In a later post, I’ll talk about the conversations we had together. Continue reading

Posted in Christian Right, Cincinnati, Ohio, Congress, Congressman Geoff Davis, Evangelicals, Health, Middle East, Poverty | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Middle East in the Midwest: Israel, Palestine, and US Evangelicalism

On Friday 15 June I accompanied Troy Jackson to a very interesting meeting. They were planning a series of events on Israel and Palestine for Midwestern churches.

The meeting was to plan part of a visit to the Midwest by Sami Awad of the Holy Land Trust. The trip would introduce Sami and his perspective to various evangelical churches in the Midwestern USA. Continue reading

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Photos from University Christian Church, Cincinatti, Ohio

Images from over a weekend at University Christian Church, Cincinatti, Ohio.

Read more about UCC here.

 

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Slavery and Freedom in Cincinnati

In a previous post, I wrote about Troy Jackson, and the church he heads in Cincinnati, Ohio. I could only spend a few days with Troy, before we both had to head off for Columbus for the Community Organising course he had kindly arranged for me to attend.

I flew into Cincinnati on the evening of 15 June, and enjoyed meeting Troy’s family and seeing something of Cincinnati. It’s an interesting city, as its position on the Ohio river (a tributary of the Mississippi) made it an important city in the development of the west. It also holds an important place in the struggles around slavery, as the Ohio river marked the boundary between the northern, non-slave states, and the southern slave states. Many escaping slaves fled across the river from Kentucky into Ohio across the river in the years leading up to the civil war, a history which is remembered at the National Underground Railroad Museum, which faces across the river in downtown Cincinnati. The Underground Railway was the name given to the escape system for slaves, run at great risk by freed slaves and their white supporters. The museum tells the story of the escape route, as well as the general history of slavery, the Civil War (in which Cincinnati was, of course, in the front line) and the subsequent political, social and culture history of black Americans. It also looks at contemporary kinds of slavery, such as human trafficking. We spent a fascinating afternoon in the museum, whose moving exhibits bring to life the story of the suffering and hope of African Americans. It is a reminder of how the race question has been part of American history from the very beginning. The wars against native Americans and the enslavement of African Americans are a reminder that the for many of the nation’s inhabitants, the affirmations of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution (all men are created equal) were (and perhaps still are) merely rhetoric.

 

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US Presbyterian General Assembly summary

There is a good overview of the 2012 General Assembly of the PC(USA) in Pittsburgh in this leaflet, prepared from the denomination’s congregations Sunday bulletins. Might that be an idea for our own Kirk, since not everyone reads Life and Work?

You will be able to read my own experiences and reflections on the GA here in due course.

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Midwestern evangelicalism in Cincinnati

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Visit this post for more photos from University Christian Church.

On Thursday 14 June, after 3 very busy days in Washington DC, I travelled to Cincinnati (surely the most difficult US  city to spell!) at the invitation of my friend Troy Jackson, another graduate of Princeton Seminary. Troy is pastor of University Christian Church (UCC), which serves students and families on the edge of the University of Cincinnati campus. On its website, UCC describes themselves as ‘a community of Christ-Followers, striving to embody our core values—Justice, the Arts, Relationships, and Spirituality—through our daily involvement in the life of our urban, university neighborhood’. Continue reading

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PC (USA) Statistics again

There is a good summary of statistics about the PC(USA) in a Snapshot of Presbyterians , a set of slides presented to the GA.

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