Wednesday, August 1, 2007

1 August 2007

Headlines - Wednesday, August 01, 2007

[ 1 ]
Lawsuit Causes County Heartburn
[ 2 ] PCA Study Report on Federal Vision
[ 3 ] Robin Roberts Reports Cancer
[ 4 ] Robert T. Newbold, Jr.
[ 5 ] MTW Hsts Global Missions Conference
[ 6 ] Jay West Resigns
[ 7 ] 2007 General Assembly Report

[ 1 ]
Lawsuit Causes County Heartburn

Yesterday, in response to a federal lawsuit filed by Liberty Counsel, Orange County officials agreed to not prohibit Shirley Snyder from distributing religious literature in the public parks. Liberty Counsel filed the lawsuit on 20 July, after Snyder was stopped in Cypress Grove Park from passing out tracts about Jesus and a flyer announcing a church service.

A park official filed an affidavit in federal court yesterday stating, "If Shirley Snyder would like to distribute leaflets or other printed matter within Orange County Parks, she may do so within normal park hours of operation without prior approval from Orange County." The affidavit also showed that the Orange County Board of County Commissioners amended the Orange County Parks and Recreation Division's Rules and Regulations yesterday by removing the restrictions against literature distribution in the public parks. The former rules were unconstitutional because they required prior approval of the literature by the county.

The first hearing on the lawsuit is scheduled for 17 August before Judge John Antoon II at the federal courthouse in Orlando. Although the County has agreed to allow Snyder to distribute literature in the parks in the future, the new policy does not undo the damage caused by the County's original literature ban. An opportunity lost is an opportunity that can never be regained.

Anita Staver, President of Liberty Counsel, commented: "The First Amendment guarantees that public parks and sidewalks in America will remain free and open to expression. Orange County should have known better than to ban religious literature from our public parks. Government officials have a responsibility to educate themselves about constitutional rights, so they don't have to learn their civics lessons in court."

+ Liberty Counsel, Post Office Box 540774, Orlando, FL 32854

[ 2 ]
PCA Study Report on Federal Vision

The 34th PCA General Assembly appointed an ad interim committee "to study the soteriology of the Federal Vision, New Perspective, and Auburn Avenue Theologies which are causing confusion among our churches. Further, to determine whether these viewpoints and formulations are in conformity with the system of doctrine taught in the Westminster Standards, whether they are hostile to or strike at the vitals of religion, and to present a declaration or statement regarding the issues raised by these viewpoints in light of our Confessional Standards (MGA 34:229-30)."

The finished report is now available from the denominational headquarters.

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 102, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043-8143

[ 3 ]
Robin Roberts Reports Cancer

Noted Presbyterian and “Good Morning America” anchor Robin Roberts has announced that she has breast cancer. Writing on the ABC Television Web site 31 July 31, Roberts said she detected a lump during a self-exam and doctors confirmed the cancer diagnosis “a few weeks ago.” Roberts, the daughter of Lucimarian and the late Lawrence Roberts — longtime Presbyterian activists — was featured speaker at the 2002 General Assembly Breakfast in Columbus.

Roberts said she will undergo surgery and then follow-up treatment soon. “Please know that your thoughts and prayers very much sustain me as they always have each and every morning when I sit in the chair next to Diane (Sawyer) and say ‘Good Morning America.’ You have always been there for me … and I love you back.”

Lucimarian and Lawrence Roberts served the Presbyterian Church (USA) at all levels. Lawrence Roberts served six years on the General Assembly Council, including a year as vice-chair. Lucimarian Roberts served on the National Committee on the Self-Development of People and until recently was co-chair of the National Steering Committee for the Mission Initiative: Joining Hearts and Hands.

+ Presbyterian Church (USA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202 (888) 728-7228

[ 4 ]
Robert T. Newbold, Jr.

Rev. Robert T. Newbold, Jr, whose long career as a Presbyterian Church (USA) minister included 16 years as associate stated clerk of the General Assembly, died 26 July in Irving, Texas. He was 87. A native of Miami, Newbold graduated from Florida A&M College, Lincoln Theological Seminary in Oxford, Pennsylvania and McCormick Theological Seminary. He was ordained in 1944.

When he was nominated to be associate stated clerk in 1975, Newbold said that his ministry in the PC(USA) “has been influenced by observations of the dehumanizing effect of the deprivation of opportunity to experience fulfillment and economic freedom by Black People.”

Newbold’s life and career in the church was testimony to his skill and courage in overcoming those deprivations. For 24 years he served Black Presbyterian churches in Brunswick and Atlanta, Georgia, and Baltimore. During that time he also taught homiletics as a visiting lecturer at Gammon Theological Seminary, a United Methodist school that is part of Atlanta’s Interdenominational Theological Center. He also taught homiletics at Princeton Theological Seminary and New York Theological Seminary.

+ Presbyterian Church (USA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, KY 40202 (888) 728-7228

[ 5 ]
MTW Hsts Global Missions Conference

For anyone familiar with Mission to the World’s many callings, there may be no better primer than the upcoming Presbyterian Church in America Global Missions Conference, 16-18 November 2007, in Atlanta, Georgia. Held every several years, the conference is “a great way for our churches to see what is going on in our world, so to speak,” said Carla Cobb, Two-Week project administrator and a co-coordinator of the conference for MTW, the sponsor of the event. “There are countless opportunities for pastors and church leaders to learn how they can be directly involved in missions. It’s also a great place for more in-depth learning.”

As one MTW staffer put it, the conference “covers everything from basic, 101-level subjects to master’s level classes. It’s nice to have a wonderful time, but the conference needs to be relevant for everyone, not just those new to missions.”

In 2004, approximately 2,000 people attended the PCA Global Missions Conference, and nearly 300 missionaries and nationals provided first-person accounts of the challenges they face on the mission field, as well as addressing their areas of need.

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 102, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043-8143

[ 6 ]
Jay West Resigns

Rev. Jay West has resigned as vice president for institutional relations at
Erskine College, effective 31July. West will officially begin work as CEO of New Partnership Alliance in Greenwood on 7 August.

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, One Cleveland Street, Greenville, South Carolina 29601

[ 7 ]
2007 General Assembly Report

The 74th General Assembly of the Orthodox Presbyterian Chuch meet at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from Wednesday 13 June to 20 June 2007. A running daily report is written by David K. Thompson and edited by Stephen Pribble and Linda Foh is available from the denomination.

+ The Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 607 N. Easton Rd., Bldg. E, Box P, Willow Grove, PA 19090-0920