Wednesday, March 25, 2009

25 March 2009


Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Online and Mail Registration for PCA 37th General Assembly

Commissioners for the Presbyterian Church in America (PCA)’s 37th General Assembly being held In Orlando, Florida 16-19 June 2009 can register online or obtain mail-in forms from the PCA’s web magazine “byFaith” at http://byfaithonline.com/page/pca-news/37th-general-assembly-open-for-registration.

Commissioners need to register by 8 May 2009 in order to receive their Commissioners Handbook prior to arrival.

+ Presbyterian Church in America, 1700 North Brown Road, Suite 105, Lawrenceville, Georgia 30043, 678-825-1000, Fax: 678-825-1001, ac@pcanet.org


[2] Online Registration for EPC 29th General Assembly Begins 1 April 2009

Online registration for Commissioners elected by their sessions for the Evangelical Presbyterian Church’s (EPC) 29th General Assembly being held at the Cornerstone EPC in Brighton, Michigan 24-27 June 2009 will begins 1 April 2009 through a link that will be posted on the EPC website home page. Additionally, Clerks of Session may download a Commissioner Certification Form to fill out and fax to the EPC Assembly Office.

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


[3] Reformed Church in Hungary Spokesman Warns of Social Collapse as Outgrowth of Financial Crisis

A spokesman for the Reformed Church in Hungary (RCH) is warning of possible violence and societal breakdown as a result of high unemployment and dislocation resulting from the current financial crisis. Ecumenical officer of the RCH, the Rev. Balazs Odor, stated that
Hungary was in poor financial shape before the current financial crisis, and is currently being adversely affected in greater measure than in other nearby countries.

During the current economic crisis, Hungary has lost tens of thousands of jobs, has suffered a twenty-percent decline in industrial output, and has seen an almost forty-percent devaluation of the Hungarian forint against the euro.

RCH presiding bishop, Gusztav Bolcskei, is asking for "conscience and responsibility" from citizens, and says that "the human person and society" should be the key considerations in setting government policies.

+ Ecumenical News International, Post Office Box 2100, CH – 1211, Geneva 2, Switzerland, 41-22-791-6111, Fax: 41-22-788-7244, eni@eni.ch

+ Reformed Church in Hungary, info@zsinatiiroda.hu


[4] PCUSA Committee on Ecumenical Relations to Review Membership in Christian Churches Together

The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) Committee on Ecumenical Relations has appointed a group to conduct a review of the PCUSA’s membership in Christian Churches Together (CCT), and make a recommendation to the 219th General Assembly in 2010 as to the PCUSA’s “ongoing” CCT membership status.

The CCT was founded in 2006 to bring a wider circle of U.S.-based Christian denominations and organizations together than exists in other ecumenical forums. Evangelism and poverty eradication are CCT’s primary purposes.

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



[5] PCUSA GA Special Committee on Correcting Translation Problems of the Heidelberg Catechism Meeting 27-28 March 2009

The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) General Assembly (GA) Special Committee on Correcting Translation Problems of the Heidelberg Catechism will meet 27-28 March 2009 to consider changes proposed by the 218th GA that revolve around correcting “translation problems in five responses of the Heidelberg Catechism as found in The Book of Confessions and to add the original Scripture texts of the German Heidelberg Catechism.”

The committee will report back to the 219th General Assembly (2010) in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

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



[6] Former Taiwanese President Taking Seminary Course on Reformation Theologies

Li Hsin-ren and Lydia Ma report that Former Taiwanese President Lee Teng-Hui is currently taking a course on theologies of the Christian Reformation at Taiwan Theological College and Seminary. Lee believes that it is important to gain better understanding of Reformation theology.

Lees asks, “What is justification by faith? What is righteousness?” Lee challenges local churches to reflect on what they believe and on the essence of righteousness. Lee adds, “If church leaders lose their ability to discern right from wrong and act fairly, how will they preach to others about ‘justification by faith’”?

Lee says that the Taiwanese people lack religious awareness and rarely apply their religious beliefs to their lives, and says that without religious faith, it is impossible to discern right from wrong or know the essence of righteousness.

+ Presbyterian Church in Taiwan


[7] Taiwan Anti-Gambling Protestors March Backwards to Protest Casino Proposals and Accompanying Slide in Morality

Chiou
Kuo-rong and Lydia Ma report that anti-gambling advocates in Taiwan protested against the legalization of casinos by intentionally marching backwards during a protest rally held on 15 March 2009 near the office of President Ma Ying-jeou to protest the president’s leading Taiwan into a moral backslide by turning the “Republic of China” into a “Republic of Casino”.

Members of the Taiwan Anti-Gambling Alliance said the Offshore Islands Development Act that would allow for casinos to be built in Taiwan’s offshore islands was easily passed on 12 January 2009 despite fiery opposition and rising nationwide concern.

Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Seven Stars Presbytery East Gate Church pastor the Rev. Lo Chun-gi (Lu Jun-yi) led protesters in prayer during the rally, praying, “We are saddened that we elected greedy legislators and a greedy government. We never thought that those in office would use cunning lies and tactics to confuse the public and infuse wrong social values. Seeing government officials portray gambling as a lifesaver that will revive the national economy is tragic and saddening. God, we pray for You to help us stop this corrupt legislation from destroying people’s character and fill Taiwan with righteousness!”

+ Presbyterian Church in Taiwan


[8] Malawi and the Church of Central Africa Presbyterian Celebrate 150th Anniversary of David Livingstone’s Arrival

April 2009 marks the 150th anniversary of explorer and missionary David Livingstone’s arrival in what is now the country of Malawi and his exploration of the Shire River. Livingstone’s missionary activities opened the way for future colonists and missionaries, and the founding of Malawi’s dominant Church of Central Africa Presbyterian (CCAP) that is modeled on the Church of Scotland. Today, most Malawians are Christians.

The Rev. Andrew Maere, deputy general secretary of the CCAP’s Blantyre synod, said Livingstone had brought “the three Cs” to Malawi – “Christianity, commerce and civilization. To Malawi he is very important. We take him as a hero. He discovered the Shire and Lake Malawi, the most important of all is that he freed the people who were bought as slaves. That was the start of abolishing the slave trade in Malawi.”

Islam had already reached the area when Livingstone arrived, but Maere said that as Islam had been brought in by slave traders, the people were fertile ground for Christian missionaries despite their own chiefs’ complicity in slavery.

+ The National, Post Office Box 111434, Abu Dhabi, 971-2-4145328, newsdesk@thenational.ae

+ Church of Central Africa Presbyterian, General Synod, Post Office Box 30398, Capital City, Lilongwe 3, Malawi, 265-796064, ccapgeneral@africa-online.net

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


[9] RPCNA Women’s Retreat 4 April 2009 at College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania

A women's retreat sponsored by the Presbyterial of the Alleghenies will be hosted by the women of College Hill Reformed Presbyterian Church (Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America) in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, on 4 April 2009. Special missionary speakers will be the Pinsons.

Registration will begin at 8:45 a.m. Lunch and a nursery will be available.

+ Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-731-1177, Fax: 412-731-8861


[10] Geneva College Seeking Director of Campus Ministries

Geneva College in Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania is seeking candidates for the position of Director of Campus Ministries.

+ Geneva College, 3200 College Avenue, Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania 15010, 724-846-5100, Fax: 724.847.6696, pr@geneva.edu

+ Reformed Presbyterian Church of North America (RPCNA), 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-731-1177, Fax: 412-731-8861


[11] Hungarian Reformed Youth Camp 19-25 July in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania

The Hungarian Reformed Youth Camp will take place 19-25 July 2009 at the Laurelville Mennonite Church Center in Mt. Pleasant, Pennsylvania.

+ Calvin Synod, C/O Rt. Rev. Koloman K. Ludwig, Bishop, 7319 Tapper Avenue, Hammond, Indiana 46324, 219-931-4321, kkludwig@aol.com


[12] Ian Paisley Praises Roman Catholic Priest that Led Prayers for British Soldiers Killed by the Real IRA 7 March 2009

Former First Minister and Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster minister the Rev. Ian Paisley praised a Roman Catholic priest, Father Tony Devlin, who led prayers for the two soldiers murdered by the Real IRA on 7 March 2009, saying that a “spirit of unity” was emerging from Northern Ireland’s despair. Paisley described Devlin’s message as “one of the greatest speeches that I have ever heard from any man of the cloth. There is grieving, there is despair, but beyond the despair there is being born a new spirit of unity that we have never seen before.”

Paisley was criticized on The Watchman - Christian & Patriotic Views From Ulster blog in an article titled, “Shame on You Again, Big Man” for praising the priest’s message.

+ The London Times, Times House, 1 Pennington Street, London E98 1TT, England, 44-0-20-7782-5971, pressoffice@thetimes.co.uk

+ The Vatican

+ Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster



[13] Pennsylvania Campus Policeman Punished for Refusing to Arrest Evangelizing Christians on Campus

Devon Williams reports that attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) filed a lawsuit Monday against officials of Pennsylvania's Kutztown University (KU) and its police chief. The officials punished a police officer who refused to arrest a group of Christians sharing their faith on campus.

Steven Armbruster was ordered by KU Police Chief William Mioskie to remove the group of Christians from campus for "disorderly conduct." Armbruster, who said he saw no evidence of disorderly conduct by the Christians, explained to Mioskie that he believed this would violate the group's constitutional rights. Armbruster was placed on administrative leave, suspended without pay for five working days and threatened with termination.

"Police officers who understand and respect the constitutional rights of American citizens should be commended, not punished," said ADF-allied attorney Randall L. Wenger. "Corporal Armbruster honored his conscience as a Christian and his duty as a civil servant to protect – not violate – these citizens' free-speech rights."

+ Focus on the Family, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80995, 800-232-6459


[14] Fishermen Find Dead Infant Girl in Trash Bag

On 22 March 2009, two fishermen cleaning up trash at Lake Artemesia in Berwyn Heights, Maryland found the body of an infant girl in a trash bag.

Prince George's County,
Maryland Police Corporal Erica Johnson reminded that "Maryland has what is known as the 'safe haven law'," under which a child up to three days old can be left at a hospital, police station, or fire department, without any questions.

+ WTOP Radio, 3400 Idaho Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20016, 202-895-5000


[15] Protesting Pro-Life Pastor’s Jailing Likened to ‘Constitutional Lynching’ by Black Pro-Life Leaders

In response to the 20 March 2009 jailing of the Rev. Walter Hoye of Issues 4 Life by Alameda, California Superior Court Judge Stuart Hing when Hoye refused to stop displaying a sign near an abortion facility that said “Jesus loves you and your baby. Let us help," black leaders from groups including the National Black Pro-Life Union and Life Legal Defense likened Hoye’s denial of freedom of speech and religion to a “constitutional lynching.”

Catherine Davis, Georgia Right to Life's Minority Outreach Director said, "This is government sponsored eugenics, siding with those who want to exterminate Blacks; creating laws limiting our freedom of speech."

Hoye's spokesman, the Rev. Dion Evans, Pastor of Chosen Vessels Christian Church in Oakland, California said: "Walter's jailed, five on duty policemen are gunned down, babies are dying in abortion mills. Pray against the scourge of violence."

[Editor’s Note: Approximately one in three black American pregnancies ends in surgical abortion.]

+ Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20006, 202-546-0054, newsdesk@christiannewswire.com


[16] Niece of M.L. King Comments on Jailing of the Rev. Walter Hoye and the Gunning Down of Four Oakland, California Police Officers

Dr. Alveda King, Pastoral Associate of Priests for Life and the niece of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., on 23 March 2009 commented, "Four Oakland policemen were gunned down over the weekend while serving as protectors of human life. They will be forever heroes, victims of injustice. Only hours before they were struck down, however, another hero who tried to protect the innocent, [the] Rev. Walter Hoye, was to a much lesser extent a victim of injustice as well.

Rev. Hoye now sits in jail for the so-called crime of asking women if he could talk to them about abortion. He is a gentle, loving man who will be incarcerated for thirty days merely for telling pregnant women that Jesus loves them and their babies. There's no comparing the plight of [the] Rev. Hoye with the loss of four police officers, but as my uncle Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. said, 'Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.' In Oakland, it was a horrible weekend for justice and for those who protect life."

+ Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20006, 202-546-0054, newsdesk@christiannewswire.com


[17] Montana Plane Crash Kills Fourteen, Including Nine Family Members of Family Planning Associates Medical Group Inc. Abortion Clinics Owner

The 22 March 2009 airplane crash 500 feet short of the runway into the Holy Cross Cemetery near Butte, Montana killed the pilot, two daughters, two sons-in-law, five grandchildren, and four family friends of Irving Moore "Bud" Feldkamp III, owner of Family Planning Associates Medical Group Inc., the largest for-profit abortion chain in the U.S.

Ironically, Holy Cross Cemetery contains a memorial called the 'Tomb of the Unborn'. The memorial was erected as a dedication to all babies who have died because of abortion, including the 50 million unborn children in the U.S. killed by surgical abortion since the U.S. Supreme Court’s 1973 Roe. Vs. Wade decision.

Gingi Edmonds, a freelance pro-life activist who had previously protested in front of the Feldcamp home in Redlands, California said, “We warned him, for his children's sake, to wash his hands of the innocent blood he assisted in spilling because, as Scripture warns, if "you did not hate bloodshed, bloodshed will pursue you". (Ezekiel 35:6)”

Edmonds continued, “I only hope and pray that in the face of this tragedy, Feldkamp recognizes his need for repentance and reformation. I pray that God will use this unfortunate catastrophe to soften the hearts of [the Feldcamps] and that they will draw close to the Lord and wash their hands of the blood of thousands of innocent children, each as precious and irreplaceable as their own. "I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. Choose life, then." (Deuteronomy 30:19)”

+ Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20006, 202-546-0054, newsdesk@christiannewswire.com