Wednesday, November 19, 2008

19 November 2008


Presbyterians Week Headlines


[1] Presbyterian Church in Ireland Publishes Insolvency Statement from the Directors of the Presbyterian Mutual Society
[2] Russia Planning to Shut Down 56 Major Religious Organizations
[3] Evangelical Church Service in Lansing, Michigan Disrupted by Homosexual Activists
[4] URC Classis Southwest Meeting Scheduled for 14 January 2009 at First United Reformed Church, Chino, California
[5] Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Appeals for Prayer Concerning Abuse of Justice and Violation of Human Rights
[6] EPC Commission Proposes a Permanent, Non-Geographic Affinity Presbytery for Former PCUSA Churches
[7] St. Andrew's United Reformed Church of Roundhay, England Contributes to WW1 Memorial Poppy Field in Flanders, Belgium
[8] Stellenbosch Libertas Choir to Perform 28 November 2008 at the Dutch Reformed Church in Franschhoek, South Africa
[9] St. Peter's Reformed Church of Zelienople, Pennsylvania Celebrates 150th Anniversary
[10] First Alaska Native Presbyterian Minister the Rev. Walter Soboleff Turns 100

[11] Pressly Memorial Church (ARP) Celebrates 100th Anniversary on 7 December 2008
[12] United Free Church of Scotland Names Next Moderator
[13] Former Church of Scotland Minister and Policeman Roderick Sangster Found Guilty of Bigamy and Forgery


[1] Presbyterian Church in Ireland Publishes Insolvency Statement from the Directors of the Presbyterian Mutual Society

On 12 November 2008, the Presbyterian Church in Ireland (PCI) published a Statement from the Directors of the Presbyterian Mutual Society (PMS) saying, “
that because of the current exceptional financial circumstances it is unable to meet the demand from its shareholders for withdrawal of funds.”

The PMS, a separate legal entity from the PCI, was formed in 1982 to operate for the benefit of its members and the PCI at large.

The PMS receives money from shareholders to whom are paid a dividend, makes loans to churches and private individuals, and makes investments in commercial property in England and Scotland from which it derives rental income.

The PMS Directors further stated that they “are continuing to take independent legal and financial advice and are actively exploring all possible ways of resolving the situation and ensuring that the funds it holds on behalf of all its shareholders are protected.”

+
Presbyterian Church in Ireland, Church House, Belfast BT1 6DW, Northern Ireland, 028-9032-2284, Fax: 028-9041-7301, Info@PresbyterianIreland.org


[2] Russia Planning to Shut Down 56 Major Religious Organizations

On 12 November 2008, Forum 18 News Service announced that Russia, in mid-October 2008,
published a list of 56 centralized religious organizations scheduled to be shut down, apparently for not submitting correct accounting information to the Justice Ministry.

The list of church organizations to be liquidated include Old Believer, Armenian Apostolic, Catholic, Protestant, Nestorian, Muslim and Buddhist organizations.

More than half of all centralized religious organizations in Russia belong to the Russian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate), but no Russian Orthodox organizations are included on the liquidation list.
Religious rights lawyer Vladimir Ryakhovsky of the Moscow-based Slavic Centre for Law and Justice told
Forum 18 News Service that the Russian Orthodox organizations were forewarned by the Justice Ministry about their accounting report problems.

Russia's constitution since 1993 guarantees equality before the law for all religious associations.

+
Forum 18 News Service, Postboks 6603, Rodel√łkka, N-0502 Oslo, Norway, f18news@editor.forum18.org

+ Russian Orthodox Church, 75 East 93rd Street,
New York, New York 10128, 212-534-1601, englishinfo@russianorthodoxchurch.ws


[3] Evangelical Church Service in Lansing, Michigan Disrupted by Homosexual Activists

Members of the homosexual activist group Bash Back Lansing disrupted the 9 November 2008 morning service at the Bible-believing, evangelical Mount Hope Church in Lansing, Michigan, “with banners, chants, blasphemy, by storming the pulpit, by vandalizing the church facility, by potentially defiling the building with lewd, public, sex acts and by intentionally forcing physical confrontations with worshipers” according to Right Michigan blogger Nick De Leeuw.

Organizers of the disruption characterized Mount Hope Church as “a well-known anti-queer, anti-choice radical right wing establishment," and used their blogs to call “on ‘queers and trannies’ from across the state and the region to converge on Lansing for what they refer to as an ‘action.’ ”

De Leeuw responded, “for the record, [Mount Hope Church] is an evangelical, bible believing church whose members provide free 24 hour counseling, prayer lines, catastrophic care for families dealing with medical emergencies, support groups for men, women and children dealing with a wide variety of life's troubles, crisis intervention, marriage ministries, regular, organized volunteer work in and around the city, missions in dozens of countries across the globe, a construction ministry that has built over 100 churches, schools, orphanages and other projects all over the world and an in-depth prison ministry that reaches out, touches and helps the men and women the rest of society fears the most. They also teach respect for all human life and the Biblical sanctity of marriage as an institution between one man and one woman.”

+ Right Michigan


[4] URC Classis Southwest Meeting Scheduled for 14 January 2009 at First United Reformed Church, Chino, California

Classis Southwest of the
United Reformed Churches in North America will meet on 14 January 2009 at the First United Reformed Church of Chino, California.

+ United Reformed Churches in North America, C/O Mr. Bill Konynenbelt, 5824 Bowwater Circle Northwest, Calgary, Alberta T3B 2E2, Canada, 403-286-0521, Fax: 403-286-0759, urcna@shaw.ca


[5] Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Appeals for Prayer Concerning Abuse of Justice and Violation of Human Rights

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) on 11 November 2008 issued an appeal to the “global church family” asking for prayer concerning abuse of justice and violation of human rights by the ruling Nationalist Party (Kuomintang KMT).

The PCT further states that since coming to power in early 2008, the KMT have jailed without charges members of the opposition Democratic Progressive Party, and have negotiated and signed agreements with the Peoples Republic of China to the detriment of the legal process, Taiwan's sovereignty, and to democracy in Taiwan.

+
National Council of Churches, 475 Riverside Drive, Suite 880, New York, New York 10115

+ Presbyterian Church in Taiwan


[6] EPC Commission Proposes a Permanent, Non-Geographic Affinity Presbytery for Former PCUSA Churches


The New Wineskins/Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) Transitional Presbytery Commission is proposing that a permanent, non-geographic affinity presbytery be considered at the EPC’s 2009 General Assembly.

The main issue behind the proposal is the issue of the ordination of women as teaching elders. In the EPC, there are currently two presbyteries that prohibit women teaching elders, two that will not use gender as a consideration in approving ministers and candidates, two others who have a procedure in place that allows consideration of women ministers and candidates without violating conscience, and two that are still working on the issue and will have come to a conclusion by the second week of February 2009.

+ Evangelical Presbyterian Church, 17197 North Laurel Park Drive Suite 567, Livonia, Michigan 48152, 734-742-2020, Fax: 734-742-2033, webmaster@epc.org


[7] St. Andrew's United Reformed Church of Roundhay, England Contributes to WW1 Memorial Poppy Field in Flanders, Belgium

St. Andrew's United Reformed Church of Roundhay, Leeds, England, has donated to the Royal British Legion's planting of a field of poppies beside the Menin Gate in Ypres (Ieper) in Flanders, Belgium for the 90th anniversary of the end of First World War on 11 November 2008.

The dedication reads: "St. Andrew's Roundhay United Reformed Church, Leeds remembers those in our family who gave their lives in the 1st World War and subsequent conflicts."

300 people attended St. Andrew's remembrance service.

+ Leeds Weekly News, Yorkshire Post Newspapers, Post Office Box 168, Wellington Street, Leeds LS1 1RF, England, 0113-2388637, sheila.holmes@ypn.co.uk

+ United Reformed Church, Church House, 86 Tavistock Place, London WC1H 9RT, England, 020-7916-2020, Fax: 020-7916-2021, urc@urc.org.uk


[8] Stellenbosch Libertas Choir to Perform 28 November 2008 at the Dutch Reformed Church in Franschhoek, South Africa

The Stellenbosch Libertas Choir will perform at the
Dutch Reformed Church in Franschhoek, South Africa on 28 November 2008.

Works to be performed include
Vespers by Sergei Rachmaninoff and Navidad Nuestra by Ariel Ramirez.

Tickets are ZAR110 which includes light refreshments afterwards in the church hall.

The Stellenbosch Libertas Choir was established in January 1989 to promote a spirit of trust and unity in a country characterized by divisions.

+
Paarl Post, Post Office Box 248, Paarl 7620, South Africa, 27-21-870-3700, Fax:27-21-872-9280, edit@ppost.co.za

+
Dutch Reformed Church, Posbus 13528, Hatfield 0028, Pretoria, South Africa, 27-0-12-342-0092, Fax: 27-0-12-342-0380, algemenesinode@ngkerk.org.za


[9]
St. Peter's Reformed Church of Zelienople, Pennsylvania Celebrates 150th Anniversary

St. Peter's Reformed Church of Zelienople, Pennsylvania celebrated its 150th anniversary 15-16 November 2008.

St. Peter's opened in November 1858 when 40 families formed the German Evangelical Protestant United Congregation.

The church changed its denominational affiliation several times, lastly in 1998 when it left the theologically liberal United Church of Christ and affiliated with the Conservative Congregational Christian Conference.

St. Peter's today offers a puppet ministry, senior choirs, bell choirs and a youth ministry.

+ Pittsburgh Tribune Review, D.L. Clark Building, 503 Martindale Street, 3rd Floor, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15212, 412-321–6460

+
Conservative Congregational Christian Conference, 8941 Highway 5, Lake Elmo, Minnesota, 651-739-1474, Fax: 651-739-0750


[10]
First Alaska Native Presbyterian Minister the Rev. Walter Soboleff Turns 100

The Rev. Walter Soboleff, the first Alaska Native Presbyterian minister, turned 100 on 14 November 2008.

Soboleff is the grandson of a Russian Orthodox priest who immigrated to Alaska, whose son married a Tlingit woman who bore Soboleff in 1908 in the now-extinct Alaskan village named Killisnoo.

In 1940, Soboleff became the first Alaska native ordained to the ministry in the Presbyterian Church. He was the first preacher in Alaska to have his sermons broadcast live on radio, and was the co-founder of the first Alaska native organization to work for the preservation of native language and culture.

Soboleff is still very active, travelling regularly between his home in Juneau and Sitka where his wife lives in a nursing home. He preaches regularly and is a fixture on radio and television, fiercely defending native Alaskans rights and culture and gently calling people to forswear the material for the sake of the spiritual.

Soboleff comments, “It’s Jesus that makes these things happen, and whatever Jesus has made me do makes me feel so good.”

+ Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 888-728-7228, Fax: 502-569-8005


[11]
Pressly Memorial Church (ARP) Celebrates 100th Anniversary on 7 December 2008

On Sunday, 7 December 2008, Pressly Memorial Church (Associate Reformed Presbyterian) in Statesville, North Carolina, will celebrate its 100th anniversary. Dr. Robby Bell, Dean of Erskine Theological Seminary, will be guest speaker at the 11:00 morning worship service. A covered dish lunch will follow in the church fellowship hall. All former members of Pressly Memorial Church are invited to attend.

+ Associate Reformed Presbyterian Center, 1 Cleveland Street Suite 110, Greenville, South Carolina, 29601, 864-232-8297, Fax: 864-271-3729


[12] United Free Church of Scotland Names Next Moderator

Former Moray, Scotland minister, the Rev. Martin Keane, has been named as the next moderator of the United Free Church of Scotland (UFCS). Keane will take up his post at the General Assembly meeting in Perth, Scotland in June 2009.

Keane has served the UFCS as moderator of the Aberdeen and the North Presbytery, and subsequently as clerk to the Presbytery of the North and is currently clerk to the Presbytery of the East. In 2002 he was appointed principal clerk to the General Assembly.

+ The Northern Scot, 74-76 South Street, Elgin, Moray IV30 1JG, Scotland, 01343-548777, Fax: 01343-545629, editor@northern-scot.co.uk

+
United Free Church of Scotland, Rev. John O Fulton - General Secretary, 11 Newton Place, Glasgow G3 7PR, Scotland, 0141-332-3435, Fax: 0141-333-1973, gensec@ufcos.org.uk


[13] Former Church of Scotland Minister and Policeman Roderick Sangster Found Guilty of Bigamy and Forgery

Roderick Sangster, a former Church of Scotland minister, policeman, and most recently a hotel worker, was on 13 November 2008 convicted of bigamy and forgery by a jury in Warwick, England Crown Court.

Sangster's sentencing was postponed until 5 December in hope that he would be located and taken into custody - as he failed to appear for his trial.

Judge Marten Coates told the jury that bigamy was not a common offence, and that it was the first bigamy case he had dealt with in 35 years as a barrister and Judge. Coates too quoted Oscar Wilde's quip: "Bigamy is having one wife too many. Monogamy is the same."

+
Warwick Courier, 32 Hamilton Terrace, Leamington Spa CV32 4LY, England, 01926-457777

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh, Scotland EH2 4YN, 0131-225-5722