Wednesday, November 14, 2012

14 November 2012

Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] A City Under Siege: Syria’s Civil War Causing Great Suffering among Presbyterians and Other Christians in Aleppo

[2] Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission Celebrates Five Years in New Building and 135 Years of Non-Stop Operations

[3] Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando’s Nicole Institute of Baptist Studies Appoints Interim Director the Reverend Barry Peterson

[4] November 2012 Reformation Voice Available for Download

Headlines from Christian Concern

Headlines from The Christian Institute

Articles from

Raging Heathen and Vain Imagining

The Religion of Peace


[1] A City Under Siege: Syria’s Civil War Causing Great Suffering among Presbyterians and Other Christians in Aleppo

By Patrick Cole - Communications Specialist, Presbyterian World Mission

Presbyterians and other Christians in Aleppo, Syria, are reeling from extreme violence inflicted on them by that nation’s civil war, according to Presbyterians in that city.

In an email sent to Presbyterian World Mission, members of the Presbyterian congregation in Aleppo reported that areas with a Christian majority are being targeted by rebel forces. Christians have been kidnapped and a Presbyterian church building has sustained such heavy damage that it will likely have to be torn down.

“Christian homes and subdivisions are being taken over by the rebels from where they fire rockets on the Syrian army, and thus create reasons for the army to respond and further destroy Christian homes and institutions and shops,” the Presbyterians said in the email.

Civil war between government and rebel forces began last year after the Syrian government dispatched the army to quell protestors who were demanding the resignation of President Bashar al-Assad. The protests eventually gave way to opposition groups who formed a loosely organized armed rebellion.

On Monday evening, November 5, a bomb destroyed about two-thirds of the Presbyterian church building in Aleppo and caused the sanctuary to collapse, according to Nuhad Tomeh, the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s regional liaison to Syria, Lebanon, Iraq, and the Gulf. He added the structure is probably beyond repair.

“It is believed that the radical Islamic groups who have been largely responsible for attacking the Christian neighborhoods have done this,” said Tomeh, who spoke with the congregation’s pastor on Tuesday, November 6.

Other sources inside Syria reported that three Christians have been kidnapped in Aleppo. Among the victims is a member of the Aleppo Presbyterian congregation. His abductors demanded a ransom of two million Syrian pounds (almost $29,000). Though the victim’s family paid the ransom, the kidnappers did not release the man.

A doctor was kidnapped and three million of the 50 million Syrian pounds (almost US$716,000) demanded by the kidnappers was paid by one of the doctor’s relatives. The kidnappers did not release the doctor and instead held the Orthodox priest who delivered it. Three days later the priest was found beheaded.

The Christian community is also concerned about a Bible Society bookshop salesman who was abducted last week. No ransom demands have been received in connection with the disappearance.

The Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon is distributing food, medicine, and other provisions to people suffering from the violence. Among them are more than 100,000 Syrians who have fled to Lebanon.

The synod leadership is asking Christians around the world to pray for peace in Syria and to help with relief efforts. Contributions to aid the relief efforts may be sent to the synod via Presbyterian World Mission.

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

+ Evangelical (Presbyterian) Synod of Syria and Lebanon, Garden Court, Homs,
Syria, 476 477 31 963, 391 244 4 961,

[2] Chicago’s Pacific Garden Mission Celebrates Five Years in New Building and 135 Years of Non-Stop Operations

America’s Largest Continuously Operating Rescue Mission prepares to bless Chicago’s homeless at Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year

By Dan Wooding - Founder of ASSIST Ministries

On September 15th, 2012, America’s largest continuously operating rescue mission, Pacific Garden Mission, celebrated its 135th anniversary.

According to a news release, once it opened on September 15, 1877, the doors to the “Old Lighthouse” have never closed for a total of over 49,300 consecutive days - over half the age of the United States, spanning the terms of twenty-six U.S. presidents.

This month also marks five years since PGM relocated to its new building at 1458 South Canal Street, Chicago, Illinois 60607.

PGM has grown from its start with Colonel George Clarke and his wife, Sarah, in a small storefront seating about forty on a few wooden benches at 318 South Clark Street, to what is now 67 East Van Buren Street in 1880, and then to 646 South State Street in 1923 where it remained until 2007.

Chicago evangelist Dwight L. Moody gave it its name after it relocated to the former Pacific Beer Garden by suggesting dropping the word “beer” and adding the word “mission.” A contribution from Billy Sunday, a notable PGM convert and former player for the Chicago White Stockings, enabled the purchase of the State Street site.

The “Old Lighthouse” has provided holiday meals to countless hundreds of thousands of homeless men, women and children over the years. The Mission meets immediate physical needs: food, clothing, and a comfortable and safe place to sleep. Counseling is provided to help deal with the effects of physical abuse, broken relationships, and substance abuse. Most importantly, the PGM seeks to meet each individual's spiritual need: forgiveness of sin and a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.

All services are free, including overnight shelter three nutritious daily meals prepared by licensed food handlers; clothing; and medical, dental and eye care. Of PGM’s 992 daily capacity, including up to 257 women/ children plus infants, over 1000 have been cared for on a number of days in recent months.

Able to serve up to 3000 meals every day, year-in and year-out, PGM welcomes the help of dedicated supporters. As in the past, Chicago Bulls forward Luol Deng, along with other Bulls players and a crew of volunteers will serve 1000 men, women and children a pre-Thanksgiving feast with beverages and dessert.

"On Thanksgiving Eve, our guests will again enjoy a hearty meal served by Food for Friends. Since 1996, Levy Cares, charitable arm of Levy Restaurants, will serve a traditional Thanksgiving feast with all the trimmings. On Christmas and New Year’s Day, guests also receive a full course holiday dinner and dessert," said the news release.

"Thanks to a generous grant from The Chicago Community Trust, the new Transient Men’s Ministry was created this past year. The Transient Women’s Ministry began in 2009. PGM distinguishes Program participants - those who make faith commitments and join the Bible Education and Career Development Program - from those who, for whatever reason, do not – these are termed transient or overnight guests. They may stay only one day and move on."

Male overnight guests now receive more comprehensive services including job seeking assistance, health care and hygiene classes, basic computer skills, job skills instruction [including resume creation], assistance in locating housing, and many other enabling tools to help them reenter society. They receive job interview tips, salary expectation information, and mock interviews.

Many overnight guests have entered the workforce and left PGM. Some receive assistance in obtaining GED’s and enter college; some continue to participate in job readiness programs through the Cara ex-offender program.

PGM is not a soup kitchen, but a place where comprehensive care and programs become stepping stones to the physical, spiritual and social betterment of lives.

David McCarrell, the Mission’s President, observed, “Our goal really is to have people who come to us as overnight guests, to have their lives changed through the power of Christ, get into our Bible program for a year, develop skills and to move back into society as productive Christian citizens. That’s our goal for everyone that comes here.”

As it has since 1877, the Mission relies on private donations for its day-to-day operations. For more information or to make a donation, contact Pacific Garden Mission at 312-492-9410 or visit or For further information contact: Tony Rufo at

Assist USA, Post Office Box 609, Lake Forest, California 92609, 949-380-1558,

+ Pacific Garden Mission, 1458 South Canal Street,
Chicago, Illinois 60607, 312-492-9410,

[3] Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando’s Nicole Institute of Baptist Studies Appoints Interim Director the Reverend Barry Peterson

Reformed Theological Seminary (RTSO) is pleased to announce the appointment of the Rev. Barry Peterson as the interim director of the Nicole Institute of Baptist Studies effective November 4, 2012. This institute, established in 2011, exists to impart the riches of reformed theology and piety to students while also conveying a robust Baptist vision of the church in its ministry.

Academic Dean Dr. Scott Swain said, “Barry’s strong relationships with various Reformed Baptist networks in Florida puts him in an excellent position to serve the Nicole Institute’s vision of cooperating with confessional Baptist churches in training future ministers of the gospel. We are grateful to have him on board.”

Peterson was ordained through the Christian Ministry Alliance and has 12 years of ministry experience. Peterson is currently the pastor at Maranatha Fellowship Church in Winter Park, Florida, and has a Master of Divinity degree from RTSO.

When he was on the pastoral staff of a Baptist church in South Florida, Barry “impressed me as a man of integrity and ministerial competence,” said Rev. Thomas Ascol, pastor of Grace Baptist Church and president of Founders Ministries. “I am excited about the Nicole Institute and have prayed that the Lord will use it in a significant way to further the teaching of His Word through the legacy of a faithful servant.”

In this first year of the institute, RTSO will offer the class, Baptist Confessions, January 14-18, and John Piper will present the inaugural Spurgeon Lecture on April 10, 2013, at 7 p.m. in the Pamplin Chapel.

For more information about the Nicole Institute of Baptist Studies, visit You can also reach Barry Peterson directly at

Peterson, who earned an M.Div. degree from RTSO, grew up in the Orlando area where he has made his home for over 40 years. Before attending RTSO, Peterson pursued careers in sales, marketing, teaching, and coaching basketball. Peterson and his wife Jody have been married for 23 years; they have two girls, Claire (11) and Molly (9). Peterson is in the process of writing a book on the topic of family worship.

Reformed Theological Seminary Orlando, 1231 Reformation Drive, Oviedo, Florida 32765, 407-366-9493, Fax: 407-366-9425

[4] November 2012 Reformation Voice Available for Download

The November 2012 Reformation Voice is available for download at the Heidelberg Reformation Association website.

+ Heidelberg Reformation Association, Rev. Howard Sloan, Secretary, 5543 Business 220, Bedford, Pennsylvania 15522

Headlines from Christian Concern

Headlines of the past week from
Christian Concern:

-- Christianity Not Necessarily for the Public Good Says U.K. Charity Commission

-- U.K Parliamentary Conference Held on Sexualisation of Children

-- Judge Orders Leeds, England Catholic Care Adoption Agency to Place Children with Homosexual Couples

Christian Concern, 70 Wimpole Street, London W1G 8AX, England, 020 7935 1488, Contact Page

+ YouTube, LLC, 901 Cherry Avenue, San Bruno, California 94066, 650-253-0000, Fax: 650-253-0001,

Headlines from The Christian Institute

Headlines of the past week from
The Christian Institute:

-- U.K Plymouth Brethren Group Denied Charity Status over Restricted Communion

-- New Archbishop of Canterbury Backs Church of England’s Position against Redefining Marriage

-- Divorce Causes Children Harm Long Into Adulthood, Says U.K. Study

-- Scots Court Denies Dad Who Wanted His Children Raised as Muslims

-- French Primary School Kids to Get Lessons in Homosexual Parenting

-- Edinburgh, Scotland Sex Sauna Licenses Granted Despite Objections

+ The Christian Institute, Wilberforce House, 4 Park Road, Gosforth Business Park, Newcastle upon Tyne NE12 8DG, England, 44-0-191-281-5664, Fax: 44-0-191-281-4272,

Articles from

Articles from the past week from

-- Nevada Supreme Court Gives Go-Ahead for Forced-Abortion Case, Hearings Continue

-- U.K. Roman Catholics Might Lose Charitable Status for Not Offering Communion to Everyone

-- Irish Republic Parents Terrified over ‘State Takeover of Children’ in Upcoming Referendum

-- 'ObamaCare Is the Law of the Land': Speaker Boehner Says U.S. House of Representatives Will Not Repeal

-- Canadian 'Hate Crimes' Bill Would Allow Men to Use Women’s Restrooms, Pro-Family Groups Say

-- Spain’s Highest Court Says Homosexual ‘Marriage’ Is Constitutional

-- ‘Transgender’ Man May Continue Using Girls’ [as Young as Six] Locker Room, Says Evergreen College of Olympia, Washington

-- Ontario, Canada Judge Says Parents Have No Right to Know What Homosexual Activist Taught Their Children in School

-- ‘End This Pregnancy and Tie Her Tubes,’ Says Doctor in Forced Abortion Trial Transcript

-- CBS Journalist: Pro-Lifers Are Just 'Trying to Build Up the' White Race

+, Incorporated, 4 Family Life Lane, Front Royal, Virginia 22630, 888-678-6008, Contact Page

Raging Heathen and Vain Imagining

Articles from the past week regarding kings and rulers setting themselves against the LORD and against his anointed:

-- Wisconsin's Tammy Baldwin Becomes First Openly Homosexual U.S. Senator

-- Federal District Court Judge Rules Police May Install Secret Cameras on Private Property with No Warrant

-- U.S. Supreme Court Justice Scalia Says: “I Don’t Know That I’m Optimistic” about Restoring Original Understanding of Constitution

-- Homosexual “Marriage” Gets Approved by Popular Vote in Maine and Maryland

-- U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton Praises Viciously Anti-Semitic Ukrainian Neo-Nazi Leader

-- Piedmont, Oklahoma Policeman’s US$2,500 Fine to Urinating Toddler Draws National Outrage, Apology from Police Chief

-- New York and New Jersey Homeowners Issue Warnings to Looters Following Superstorm Sandy

-- America – The New Sodom and Gomorrah by Vote

-- College Students Chant for ‘Karl Marx’ and ‘Socialism’ in Front of White House at Obama Victory Rally

-- Virginia’s Norfolk State University [Public] Bans Political and Religious Speech

-- Mormon Glen Beck Reacts to Obama Election Victory by Blaspheming God

-- Gorham, Maine Middle School Hosts Homosexual Activists Teaching Graphic “Homosexual Foreplay”

-- Charlottesville, Virginia Mayor Calls for Syncretistic Prayer on City's 250th Anniversary

-- Prior to Election Loss, Mormons Boosted Missionaries Preparing For A Romney-Led “Restoration”

-- Sarasota, Florida Homeless Man Jailed after Charging Cell Phone in Public Park

+ Thomson Reuters, 3 Times Square New York, New York 10036, 646-223-4000,

American Vision, 3150-A Florence Road, Suite 2, Powder Springs, Georgia 30127, 800-628-9460, Fax: 770-222-7269,

Nicene Council, Box 411, Draper, Virginia 24324, 866-735-9582,

Front Porch Politics, Contact Page

Atlas Shrugs,

+ CBS New York, 524 West 57th Street, New York, New York 10019, 212-975-432,

Freedom Outpost, 1116 N Market Street, Paris, Tennessee 38242, 73-644-2220, Contact Page

The Leadership Institute, 1101 North Highland Street, Arlington, Virginia 22201, 703-247-2000, Contact Page

+ Student Free Press Association, Post Office Box 1996, Woodbridge,
Virginia 22195,

THEBLAZE.COM LLC, 1270 Avenue of the Americas, 9th Floor, New York, New York 10036,

Christian News Wire, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington DC 20006, 202-546-0054,

+, 11450 Gandy Blvd North, St. Petersburg, Florida 33702, 727-577-1010, Fax 727-576-6924, Contact Form

The Religion of Peace

Articles from the past week about the religion of peace:

-- Existence of Secret CIA Prison in Benghazi Divulged by Petraeus Mistress?

-- Fifty-Three U.S. House of Representatives Members Demand Obama Answer Benghazi Questions

-- Syrian Rebels Executing Christians

-- Royal Scots Soldier Killed in Afghan Insider Attack

-- Assyrian Patriarch Sends Letter to United Nations Regarding Anti-Christian Violence

-- The Plight of the Marginalized Communities in Pakistan

-- 148 Victims, Family Members in Fort Hood Shootings Sue Obama Administration

-- Al-Qaeda's Female Suicide Bomber Death Cult

-- Portland Oregon Prosecutors Ask Court's Permission to Use the Word "Jihad" And "Terrorist" in Trial of Jihadi Terrorist

-- New Delhi, India Airplane Passenger Triggers Panic, Says Convert to Islam or I Will Blow up the Plane

-- Egypt’s Salafis Kidnap Coptic Christian Girls for Forced Conversion to Islam, Forced Marriage, and for Increasing Muslim Population

-- Saudi Sharia Judges Decry Westernizing 'Stench' of Legal Reforms

-- Israeli Arabs Burning First Temple ‘Cedars of Lebanon’ for Firewood

-- Arizona Muslim Mom Gets Probation after Brutally 'Beating Daughter and Burning Her with Hot Spoon' for Talking to a Boy at School, and Devout Muslim Dad Freed after Stabbing Her in the Throat

-- Pakistani Preacher Jailed for Sermon at Funeral

-- San Diego, California Muslim Wife, Shaima Alawadi Honor Murdered By Her Husband, Brutally Beaten To Death

-- Ten-Thousand-Plus Devout Muslims Demonstrate in Cairo for Islamic Law (Sharia) in Constitution

-- Pakistani President Signs 1 Million Signature Petition in Solidarity with Malala Yousafzai – Schoolgirl Activist Shot by Taliban

-- Muslim in Italy Slits the Throats of His Two Children to Punish His Wife

-- Syrian War Seen Spreading to Lebanon and Israel

-- Toronto War Memorial Defaced in Muslim ‘Hate Crime’

-- The Convenient Resignation of U.S. Army General [Retired] and CIA Director David Petraeus

-- Worst Anti-Muslim Hate Crime in America Was Committed By Muslim

-- 'Islamization of Europe a Good Thing' Says Rabbi

-- Egyptian Jihadist: We Must Destroy the Sphinx and Pyramids

+ Freedom Outpost, 1116 N Market Street, Paris, Tennessee 38242, 73-644-2220, Contact Page

Front Porch Politics, Contact Page

+ WND, 2020 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, #351,
Washington DC 20006, Contact Page

+ The Herald, 200 Renfield Street, Glasgow, Scotland G2 3QB, 0141- 302-7000, Fax: 0141-302-7117,

Assyrian International News Agency

+ Assist USA, Post Office Box 609, Lake Forest, California 92609, 949-380-1558,

Atlas Shrugs,

+ International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, Post Office Box 1192,
Jerusalem, 91010, Israel, 972-2-539-9700, 972-2-539-9701, Contact Page

+ Toronto Sun, 333 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario M5A 3X5, Canada, 416-947-2222, Contact Page