Wednesday, December 14, 2011

14 December 2011

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Inexpensive December Birthday Gift Ideas for Particular Presbyterians

[2] Catonsville [Maryland] Presbyterians Church (PCUSA) Provides Continuing Support for Hospital in the Congo

[3] Reformed Church in Hungary General Secretary Supports New Religious Repression Laws


[1] Inexpensive December Birthday Gift Ideas for Particular Presbyterians

Today is the 20th anniversary of the 18th anniversary of the 18th birthday of the editor, and the indeterminate anniversary of the editor developing the Egyptian River Problem, i.e. duh-Nile. As there are several other birthdays celebrated in December, the editor wants to make Presbyterians Week readers aware of several items that have crossed the editor’s desk that might make the perfect inexpensive gift for that picky Presbyterian on your birthday gift list:

-- Refuge: Selections From The Book of Psalms for Worship CD – from Crown & Covenant Publications – Seventeen psalm selections from The Book of Psalms for Worship, recorded by a choir from the Syracuse Reformed Presbyterian Church. Includes Psalms 3B, 27A, 30B, 34B, 42D, 48A, 51C, 68A, 73B, 76B, 84C, 130B, 123A, 107C, 134A, 140A, and 149A.

The quality of the individual and ensemble singing, along with the musical arrangements and harmonization would justify one travelling to Syracuse, New York, just to hear the choir. Add to this the inspired texts of a selection of psalms that call upon God for refuge in times of trouble, and you have true worship music of the highest caliber.

US$15.00 plus shipping

+ Crown & Covenant Publications, 7408 Penn Avenue, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15208, 412-241-0436,

-- Alleged – a new movie based on the Scopes Monkey Trail of 1925 – starring Brian Dennehy as Clarence Darrow and Fred Thompson as William Jennings Bryan – Alleged is an entertaining, educational, and family-friendly movie centered around the battle between the Genesis account of creation and Charles Darwin’s evolutionary theory, and the Dayton, Tennessee, show trial of 1925 that captured the world’s attention. Several subplots dealing with the eugenics movement in the 1920’s, worldly pressure to spin the truth for personal gain, and how these factors and the Scopes Trial influence the romance and courtship of two young newspaper reporters demonstrate some of the practical consequences of Darwinian theory and worldly compromise. There is much here for parents to use in teaching about early-twentieth-century history and the questions of ethics and morality explored in the film.

The editor’s one concern about the movie is that pre-air-conditioner Dayton, Tennessee, in the summer of 1925 probably did not have the pleasant temperatures and low humidity so apparent in the movie. Sweaty clothing, lots of insects, and copious quantities of paper fans with tongue depressor handles would have made the movie more climatically, ecologically, and culturally correct, but probably would have drawn attention away from much more important matters.

US$15.99 (DVD) US$16.99 (Blue Ray) plus tax and shipping

+ Alleged,

-- The Confessional Presbyterian – The 7th issue of this scholarly and always interesting journal for the discussion of Presbyterian doctrine and practice has been published for 2011, and issues one through six, published 2005-2010, are also available. Each issue provides hours of thought-provoking and informative reading for anyone interested in the history, doctrine, and practice of confessional Presbyterianism.

US$18.00 in 2011, US$25 in 2012 and beyond, US$25 Institutional and Foreign, post paid (Issue 7)

US$75, US$125 Institutional and Foreign, post paid (Issues 1-7)

+ The Confessional Presbyterian, Post Office Box 141084, Dallas, Texas 75214

[2] Catonsville [Maryland] Presbyterians Church (PCUSA) Provides Continuing Support for Hospital in the Congo

A 7 December 2011 article by Penny Riordan in CatonsvillePatch titled “Catonsville Presbyterian Church Has Impact in Congo” reports that the Catonsville Presbyterian Church (Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)) (CPC) in Catonsville, Maryland, began contributing to a hospital in the Congo through IMA World Health (IMAWH) by purchasing an electric generator. The hospital then needed fuel to run the generator, so CPC sent funds to buy fuel. Prior to these donations, the doctors had to work by flashlight after dark. CPC’s most recent donation to IMAWH will purchase medical equipment for a cervical cancer screening program in Tanzania.

CPC was attracted to IMAWH as a conduit for their donations due to IMAWH being named number five of Forbes magazine’s 2010 ten most efficient charities.

+ CatonsvillePatch, Contact Page

+ IMA World Health, 500 Main Street - Building Old Main, New Windsor, Maryland 21776, 410-635-8720, Fax: 410-635-8726,

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

[3] Reformed Church in Hungary General Secretary Supports New Religious Repression Laws

A 7 December 2011 Huffington Post article by Doug Bandow, Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute, titled “Hungary Threatens Religious Liberty” reports on the new “Law on the Right to Freedom of Conscience and Religion, and on Churches, Religions, and Religious Community” in Hungary that officially recognizes only fourteen of the 362 religious organizations registered under the prior law from 1990, and places onerous requirements on other organizations applying for official recognition.

The Reformed Church in Hungary (RCH) is one of the fourteen religious organizations that retained official recognition under the new law. RCH General Secretary Zoltan Tarr, is a strong proponent of the new law, and is quoted as saying: “We wanted a new law to make it more difficult to establish churches here -- and we're happy the present government has now done something. We're very much for freedom of worship and believe everyone should have the right to practice their religion. But this law represents a positive step, since it excludes quite a few communities which don't legitimately qualify as churches.”

Among the religious organizations dropped under the new law are the Methodists, Pentecostals, Adventists, Reform Jews, the Salvation Army, Jehovah's Witnesses, and Islamic, Buddhist, and Hindu congregations.

+ Huffington Post, 560 Broadway, New York, New York 10012, 212-245-7844,

+ Cato Institute, 1000 Massachusetts Avenue, Northwest, Washington DC 20001, 202-842-0200, Fax: 202-842-3490, Contact Page

+ Reformed Church in Hungary, MRE Zsinata1146 Budapest, Abonyi u. 21., Hungary, 30-3361-666,