The need for dialogue surrounding subjects of race, power, and privilege has never been greater than it is today. On Friday, March 31 (7-9 p.m.) and Saturday, April 1, (9 a.m. to 3 p.m.), the Presbytery of Santa Fe (PSF) is hosting an anti-racism and justice training event called, “Racism, Power, and Dominance in the US and in Faith Communities.”
The workshop will introduce participants to a working definition of systemic racism, and will consider how culture, cultural dominance, and organizations are intentionally and unintentionally complicit in systemic racism. A rationale will be explored for the need to develop within the church a deeper understanding of the historic and legal roots, and contemporary manifestations, of cultural dominance and racism. Participants will build their capacity to engage in constructive dialogue about racism, and will analyze the ways systemic racism operates within U.S. Society and within faith communities. Finally, participants will explore individual and organizational strategies aimed at interrupting the ways in which systemic racism operates in our society.
Online registration is encouraged through the PSF website. A fee of $15 can be paid via Paypal through the website or can be paid at the door. Registration may also be sent to PSF office. Refreshments will be served on Friday evening. Lunch will be provided on Saturday. Registration deadline is March 24. For more information you may call Gloria Mirabal, 505-920-3961.
Ranchos Presbyterian Church in Ranchos de Taos sponsored a Presbyterian Disaster Assistance Trip to Hammond, Louisiana. This area of Louisiana had record-setting flooding in mid-August 2016 and thousands of homes were suddenly unlivable. Darryl and Julie Bouchard led the group of three college-aged young adults from the Taos area (Valerie Pacheco, Shawn Kauffman, and Regan Lujan). The group removed damaged flooring and primed and painted walls and ceilings. It is amazing how the spirit of God is with you when you set out to do his work.
by Mark Roth | Presbyterians Today
LOUISVILLE – You might say the transformation began with the pews.
St. John’s Presbyterian Church in San Francisco wanted to grow. So it hired the Rev. Theresa Cho as an associate pastor with the idea that her presence would help attract young Chinese families who were settling in the neighborhood. After three years, however, growth hadn’t happened in the way some people expected.
“My thought at the time was, I have no idea what is going to draw people to this congregation—but I do know that there are some things we need to think of changing for those visitors who are already coming through the door,” Cho says.
As a new mother, Cho had noticed that the families starting to visit St. John’s had no easy place to park their strollers. Solution? Remove some of the church’s 100-year-old redwood pews to create a stroller parking lot.
The toddlers who came in those strollers soon wanted access to the snacks and sippy cups inside the strollers, and that led St. John’s to change its policy of no food or drink in the sanctuary.
Eventually, the church got rid of all the old pews and bought stackable ones instead. Today, that allows St. John’s to quickly convert the sanctuary into a Saturday grocery store, and to create a spot on the floor for children during worship.
More importantly, Cho says, all of these physical alterations led to an attitude change, especially among older members who had started out believing that children should be seen and not heard in worship.
“As much as we focus on changing worship or church,” says Cho, who is now co-pastor of the congregation, “we’re really talking about changing people. It’s creating a spiritual discipline in people on their attitude toward change.”
Most Presbyterian churches grapple with these kinds of issues when they change pastors, but church leaders say that in fact, congregations are in a constant state of transition.
Statistics compiled by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) bear that out."
At the Called meeting on Friday, the Presbytery voted to send its concurrence to General Assembly on the following overtures:
039, adding "Partners in Ministry" - 52-23-3
042, requiring a Dependent Care policy - 54-21-3
043, clarifying titles to Ordered Ministry, amended to add a rationale from our presbytery - 59-16-4,
062, asking RE/MAX to cease selling property in the West Bank - 48-29-2
070, celebrating a significant Social Witness anniversary - 65-13-2
065, asking forgiveness from Native Americans - 69-6-3
These overtures and others will now be considered by the General Assembly at its meeting in Portland this June. If passed (and as edited) by the Assembly, we will receive them once again for our vote.
The Presbytery also declined to concur with three other overtures:
006, adding "Presbytery Advisory Delegates" - 32-44-0
007, requiring a 2/3 vote to amend the constitution - 19-57-1
025, creating a GA Reform Coordinating Committee - 13-64-2
These three overtures have gained concurrences from other presbyteries and will be going to General Assembly. If passed, it is possible that we will also receive them once again for our vote.
(Adopted June 6, 2003; Revised February 23, 2008; Revised October 13, 2012;
Revised June 27, 2015)
Oh, Great Spirit
Whose voice I hear in the winds,
And whose breath gives life to all the world,
hear me, I am small and weak,