Wednesday, July 25, 2007

25 July 2007

[ 1 ]
Chalmers Center Seeks New Director
[ 2 ] ARP Mission Executive Gets American Citizenship
[ 3 ] Oriental Orthodox Reach Historic Accord
[ 4 ] Episcopal Women's Conference
[ 5 ] Lutheran Unity Expands -- AALC and LCMS
[ 6 ] C$600,000 Isn't Enough Matheson Wants C$2.5
[ 7 ] Taliban Seizes Presbyterians
[ 8 ] The Slave Trade Is Expanding
[ 9 ] Billy Graham Does Jonathan Edwards

[ 1 ]
Chalmers Center Seeks New Director

The Chalmers Center for Economic and Community Development is seeking qualified candidates for a Senior Director. The Chalmers Center, a research and training initiative of Covenant College, equips churches and missionaries to declare the Kingdom of God in word and in deed by bringing economic development and spiritual transformation in the context of poor communities around the globe.

The Senior Director reports to the Executive Director and is the primary person responsible for managing the Chalmers Center's human and financial resources in order to maximize the Chalmers Center's impact. The application deadline is 15 August, 2007.

+ Covenant College, 14049 Scenic Highway, Lookout Mountain, Georgia 30750 (706) 820-1560

[ 2 ]
ARP Mission Executive Gets American Citizenship

Rev. Frank van Dalen, executive director of World Witness , became a naturalized American citizen on 17 July in a ceremony at Charleston, South Carolina The staff of the Associate Reformed Presbyterian Center along with family members congratulated the new American at festivities in the World Witness conference room Wednesday morning. van Dalen has held citizenship in both New Zealand and Holland. World Witness is the foreign mission arm of the ARP church.

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 1 Cleveland St., Greenville, South Carolina 29601-3646 (864) 232-8297

[ 3 ]
Oriental Orthodox Reach Historic Accord

Through an agreement signed on 13 July 2007 in Cairo, Egypt, the Armenian Catholicosate of Cilicia, the Coptic Orthodox Church and the Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church have "solemnly declared their unity of faith, their commitment to common witness and their readiness to deepen and expand collaboration, leaving behind more than two decades of tensions.” The three churches belong to the Oriental Orthodox family, which also includes the Syrian, Indian, and Eritrean churches. These churches have world-wide Diaspora.

In a letter to the heads of the other churches, Pope Shenouda III, Pope of Alexandria and Patriarch of All Africa and Abune Paulos, Patriarch and Catholicos of Ethiopia and Archbishop of Axum, as well as to Catholicos Aram I, Catholicos of the Armenian Apostolic Church (See of Cilicia), who played an instrumental role as mediator.

Pope Shenouda III served as one of the WCC presidents from 1991-1998; Abune Paulos currently serves as one of the WCC presidents, having been elected in 2006. And Catholicos Aram I served as the WCC central committee moderator for two terms from 1991-2006.

+ The Diocese of the Armenian Church of America, 630 Second Avenue, New York, New York 10016

[ 4 ]
Episcopal Women's Conference

St. Paul's Reformed Episcopal Church in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, announces their second annual women's conference, "Getting Wisdom: God's Blueprint for Life." It will be held at the Holiday Inn on I-12 on 3 and 4 August. The speaker will be Ruth Crenshaw, wife of the dean of Cranmer Theological House. The US$35 fee, which is waived for clergy and seminary couples, includes conference materials, three meals, refreshments, and gratuity.

+ St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, PO Box 86866,Baton Rouge, Louisiana 70879 (225) 362-8264

[ 5 ]
Lutheran Unity Expands -- AALC and LCMS

The American Association of Lutheran Churches (AALC), meeting in convention 20-23 June in St. Paul, Minnesota, has declared altar and pulpit fellowship with The Lutheran Church--Missouri Synod. A similar resolution came before the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod (LCMS) convention, July 14-19 in Houston. The LCMS Commission on Theology and Church Relations recommended altar and pulpit fellowship following two years of formal dialogue between representatives of the two church bodies.

The AALC was organized by pastors and congregations with doctrinal concerns -- particularly about the authority of Scripture -- when three Lutheran church bodies formed the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America in 1988. AALC membership now includes 79 congregations, 107 active pastors, and 14,137 baptized members.

+ The AALC National Offices, 801 West 106 Street, Suite 203,Minneapolis, Minnesota 55420-5603

[ 6 ]
C$600,000 Isn't Enough Matheson Wants C$2.5

Gael Matheson, who won a C$600,000 human rights settlement from P.E.I.'s Presbyterian Church in June for wrongful dismissal, is suing the church for C$2.5 million.

Court papers accuse the church of failing to fulfill its obligations to Matheson as a minister, frustrating her attempts to seek justice, and failing to deal with the allegations made against her and seek damages for the loss of past and future income, and pension. None of the allegations have been proven in court.

Matheson's battle with the church has been going on for 11 years; she claims she lost her job because she's a woman, after being a pastor to four Presbyterian congregations in the Murray Harbour area from 1983 to 1996. When she was removed from her position, Matheson filed a complaint with the P.E.I. Human Rights Commission.

The appeal is a gamble. Matheson will risk her C$600,000 be appealing. The church is seeking full dismissal on all counts.

+ Presbyterian Record, 50 Wynford Drive, Toronto, Ontario M3C 1J7

[ 7 ]
Taliban Seizes Presbyterians

Some time between 13 July and 20 July a delegation of 23 people from the Saemmul Presbyterian Church in Bundang, South Korea, went missing in Pakistan. Qari Yousuf Ahgmadi, identified by the Associated Press as a Taliban spokesman, claimed the Presbyterians were in safe hands. Oh Soo In, identified in published reports as a spokesman for the Saemmul congregation, stated that captives were in Afghanistan on vacation, expecting to volunteer in hospital near Kandahar.

Apart from short-term missionaries like those in Afghanistan, the nine-year-old Saemmul church of 3,800 members sponsors 50 foreign missionaries. Collectively South Korea is believed to have an excess of 12,000 missionaries on the foreign field.

+ Centre International Réformé John Knox, Secrétariat, 27, chemin des Crêts de Pregny, 1218 Grand-Saconnex / Ge - Suisse

[ 8 ]
The Slave Trade Is Expanding

Two hundred years after William Wilberforce moved the British to make it illegal; the slave trade is still going on, bigger than ever—estimated at around 27 million people worldwide. The practice is fueled by those with money taking advantage of people who are poor in order to obtain free labor or sexual favors. Slave holders operate in American neighborhoods without local people even realizing it. Mission Frontiers provides suggestions and resources for learning about the modern slave trade and how to combat the evil. This issue is available online at Mission Frontiers.

+ Rick Wood, 1605 E. Elizabeth St.. Pasadena CA 91104

[ 9 ]
Billy Graham Does Jonathan Edwards

In the fall of 1949, at the height of his famous Los Angeles "Canvas Cathedral" Crusade, Billy Graham preached Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. That night, America's most famous sermon was preached by the man who was to become America's most famous evangelist. The Jonathan Edwards Center has worked with the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association and the Billy Graham Center to secure permission to produce a digital exhibit on this remarkable event. The public can hear selections of the recording of Billy Graham's rendition of Sinners in the Hands of an Angry God. The presentation is exclusively available for a limited time in streaming audio on the Jonathan Edwards Center website.

+ Jonathan Edwards Center, Yale Divinity School, 409 Prospect St., New Haven, CT 06511-2169