Church Conference – NCNYUMC http://ncnyumc.org/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 18:37:40 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://ncnyumc.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/icon-7-1-150x150.png Church Conference – NCNYUMC http://ncnyumc.org/ 32 32 Presbyterian Church (USA) – PC Moderators Conference (USA) sends Intermediate Council leaders home with practical skills including designing and conducting more focused meetings https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/14/presbyterian-church-usa-pc-moderators-conference-usa-sends-intermediate-council-leaders-home-with-practical-skills-including-designing-and-conducting-more-focused-meetings/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 18:37:40 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/14/presbyterian-church-usa-pc-moderators-conference-usa-sends-intermediate-council-leaders-home-with-practical-skills-including-designing-and-conducting-more-focused-meetings/ Reverend Josh Park, Reverend Jihyun Oh, Valerie Izumi and Reverend Dr. David Gambrell participated in a panel discussion via Zoom during the moderators conference this weekend. Screenshot. Reverend Josh Park, Reverend Jihyun Oh, Valerie Izumi and Reverend Dr. David Gambrell participated in a panel discussion via zoom during the moderators conference over the weekend. Screenshot. […]]]>
Josh Park, Jihyun Oh, Valerie Izumi, and David Gambrell participated in a panel discussion via zoom during the moderators conference this weekend.  Screenshot.

Reverend Josh Park, Reverend Jihyun Oh, Valerie Izumi and Reverend Dr. David Gambrell participated in a panel discussion via zoom during the moderators conference over the weekend. Screenshot.

Saturday’s Moderator Conference presentation on how to help PC (USA) Intermediate Board moderators run more focused meetings garnered input from three people with expert knowledge on their topic:

  • Reverend Josh Park, director of Korean Language Board Support in the General Assembly Officegave the approximately 145 people attending the Presbyterian Center in person and online assistance with practical considerations for hosting hybrid and online gatherings.
  • Valérie Izumi, head of Appointments at the General Assembly in the OGA, discussed from an equity and inclusion lens before and during meetings.
  • The Reverend Dr. David Gambrell, Worship Associate in the Presbyterian Mission Agency Office of Theology and Worshipdiscussed “what really matters to me: thinking theologically about worship and helping [mid councils] think about it too. »
  • Reverend Jihyun Oh, director of Intermediate Council Ministries at the OGA, facilitated the 90-minute workshop.

“I like to rewind the tape so we do it before we get to [mid council] meetings: from an equity and inclusion perspective, ask: “Who is present and who is not?” What prevents elders in power from participating? asked izumi. “How are former leaders and teachers prepared to serve on the intermediate council? Are there accommodation issues that prevent people from serving? The reality is that there is already a place for you. We just need to remove the barriers that keep you from serving.

Gambrell said he has three considerations to help shape the tone of worship for any service he helps design: knowing the purpose of worship, beginning with the Word; follow the Spirit “and surround everything with prayer”; and remember the body. As for the latter, Gambrell noted that “the body” has two meanings: “the whole person, all that we are” and “the whole church, the work of all the people of God.” It is a community activity.

“When it comes to setting the tone, we must remember that technology is a tool and a challenge in how we communicate, listen and connect with those in attendance and those joining online, as well as to those broadcasting their intermediate council meetings,” Park said. “I know it’s more work, but you can’t just prepare the agenda. You have to train with technology and think about those who connect with technology. Having online speakers looking directly into the camera while speaking “is much more engaging,” Park said. “Also be aware that when audio is not heard, it becomes extremely frustrating for internet users.”

“You’ll get better doing it more often,” Park said. Eventually, “the technology disappears and you realize you’re connecting to a larger community through technology.”

Gambrell suggested that intermediate councils consider regularly engaging in “different models of worship,” including services as simple and serious as daily prayer. “They’re simple and short with just a few main ingredients: scriptures, songs, and prayer,” Gambrell said. “They make room for silence, listening and prayer.”

“Silence can create discomfort online,” Oh noted, “but there’s a place for it, too.”

Park recommends that middle councils streamline their technology when it comes to offering online or hybrid meetings, adding a bonus they can reap: “Middle council meetings can be a channel to spread the gospel . It’s an evangelistic tool,” Park said. “Know that the opportunities are great with what God has in store.”

“Making things easy is hard, but can it be learned? I absolutely mean it,” Park said. “God has already given us the talents to move forward into this future.”

Fractures can happen “even when we’re all in the same room,” izumi said. “We leave the job unfinished or we have our 10e dispute of the day with our 5 year old child. Everyone arrives at the same place feeling a little fractured. I like to have gatherings over time to allow that connection to happen.

“In communities of color, when we get together, we spend time checking in,” izumi said. “I think it’s also important in the meetings of the intermediate board.”

Gambrell discussed research around mirror neurons. “If I raise my hands to pray and you pay attention, the neurons fire and react accordingly,” he said. “We are connected through space and through screens.”

“I’m learning the value of using fewer words and more songs,” Gambrell said. Children can learn a short phrase such as “thank God” and participate in hybrid worship, he said.

“The pandemic has forced multi-sensory engagement,” Gambrell said. “It involves collaborative planning and it’s hard work, but we end up with a wonderful organic cult.” Gambrell said he “came to really appreciate the value of hymns as worship technology. Have you ever tried singing a round with PowerPoint? You can do it, but it gets messy. I appreciate these old school gifts.

“We think about advances in technology, but meeting the imagination is about expanding our minds about the importance of technology,” Oh said. “It’s a way to connect with each other and express the mystery of God.”

Intermediate council moderators “also have the opportunity to be ambassadors,” izumi said, suggesting that moderators keep a diary of what happens when they travel to the consistory or synod. “When I call the leaders of the intermediate councils, I discover things that I would not have discovered.”

Since “constant communication is key to a connectional church,” everyone should have basic skills, including knowing how to make a brief video, Park said. “The more you communicate, the more people will contact you.”


Come back with pcusa.org for more reporting on the moderators’ conference, which ended on Saturday.

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Presbyterian Church (USA) – 2022 PC (USA) Moderators Conference kicks off with moving yet thoughtful worship https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/11/presbyterian-church-usa-2022-pc-usa-moderators-conference-kicks-off-with-moving-yet-thoughtful-worship/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 18:29:43 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/11/presbyterian-church-usa-2022-pc-usa-moderators-conference-kicks-off-with-moving-yet-thoughtful-worship/ More than 80 moderators from across PC (US) are in Louisville this weekend for the 2022 Moderator Conference at the Presbyterian Center. More than 60 others are joining online. The conference began with worship on Friday morning. Photo by Rick Jones. With drums to lead them and a sermon by a 225 co-moderatore General Assembly […]]]>

More than 80 moderators from across PC (US) are in Louisville this weekend for the 2022 Moderator Conference at the Presbyterian Center. More than 60 others are joining online. The conference began with worship on Friday morning. Photo by Rick Jones.

With drums to lead them and a sermon by a 225 co-moderatore General Assembly to inspire them, Intermediate Council Moderators from across the country joined both in person in the Presbyterian Center Chapel and online for the 2022 Moderator Conferencewhich began on Friday with a worship pointing to the co-moderators‘ “Unbounded We Thrive” theme.

Reverend Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, co-moderator of the 225th General Assembly of the PC (USA) offers her greetings during worship.  Photo by Rick Jones

Reverend Ruth Faith Santana-Grace, co-moderator of the 225th General Assembly of the PC (USA), offers her greetings during worship. Photo by Rick Jones

About 145 Presbytery or Synod Moderators and Vice Moderators worshiped in person or online. Co-moderator Reverend Shavon Starling-Louis delivered a sermon based on the Beatitudes, while co-moderator Reverend Ruth Faith Santana-Grace also led the worship. Musicians, including Reverend Dr Alonzo Johnson, Reverend Marissa Galván-Valle and Dr William McConnell, lent their gifts, and moderators in the chapel responded with full-throated singing, applause – even dancing , which is not the case. t see often during Presbyterian worship.

Innovation in worship abounded. When he wasn’t playing drums, Johnson, coordinator of the Presbyterian Committee on Personal Self-Development – invited moderators worshiping in person to break a chain of paper and dissolve it into a font placed on the communion table. The liturgy included new interpretations of the traditional Beatitudes, including “We forget that you taught us that those who scratch at the pots and pans of despair – the hungry and the thirsty – shall be filled and fed”.

In his sermon, Starling-Louis — pastor of Memorial Presbyterian Church in Charlotte, North Carolina — took the opportunity to thank the assembled moderators for answering yes to God’s call.

“We can reconnect in ways we never imagined before” as the effects of the Covid pandemic continue to fade. “Brothers and sisters, thank you for saying yes to the leadership of God’s people in these days.”

Trust “that the people before you are with you,” she said, calling our PC (USA) ancestors “those ancestors, those saints before, our God-given gift of community.”

The Reverend Shavon Starling-Louis, co-moderator of the 225th General Assembly, preached at the chapel on Friday.  Photo by Rick Jones.

The Reverend Shavon Starling-Louis, co-moderator of the 225th General Assembly, preached at the chapel on Friday. Photo by Rick Jones

The beatitudes “confer and declare blessings,” Starling-Louis said, adding with a smile, “it’s not a word I use every day.”

If those worshiping heard nothing else, Starling-Louis wanted them to withhold an assurance: “Without being bound by the Holy Spirit, we can remember that a gift of being church is that we we can participate in the blessing of each other. … It’s a world-changing thing to realize that you can bless people, and at the same time you will be blessed. This journey that we are invited to—to follow the one who walks with us, who chooses to sit with us on the mountains and in the meetings—it is a game-changer to realize that we are being allowed to participate in a holy work.

Starling-Louis offered a warning to people who misinterpret Jesus’ words in Matthew 5. “In our humanity, we can twist things,” she said, and that twist sounds like this: “You you just deal with these bad things now because you’re going to be fine soon.

“We are not alone. God has not abandoned us,” Starling-Louis said. For those who mourn, Jesus “is not absent from these spaces. that we mourn. The kingdom of God, or kin-dom, she reminded congregants, is both “the now and the not yet.”

Prayerfully, Starling-Louis offered the moderators their own set of beatitudes: “As we live in our Reformed identity…may you be blessed today, in this time of learning and connection, in the real context of home, ministry and love of this church…as you tap into skills you didn’t know you had, as you recognize that there are skills and gifts you don’t have, but God’s creativity, fellowship and compassion are always faithful.

“You are claimed in the waters of baptism by the God of all creation,” Starling-Louis told those gathered for worship. “Blessed are you as you wade through the waters,” beginning the chorus and being immediately joined by those in worship,”wade in the water.”

The 2022 Moderator Conference, courtesy of Intermediate Council Ministries in the General Assembly Office, continues all day Friday and resumes Saturday. Check pcusa.org for other reports.

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Sarah Jane Weaver: How a Jewish Phrase Changed My View of Faith https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/05/sarah-jane-weaver-how-a-jewish-phrase-changed-my-view-of-faith/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 21:30:00 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/05/sarah-jane-weaver-how-a-jewish-phrase-changed-my-view-of-faith/ “Ner Hashem Nishmat Adam.” The Hebrew sentence, from the book of proverbs Michlei, is beautiful. In English, it reads: “The soul of man is the candle of God.” I first read the sentence while examining a lecture given by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik — Chief Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan, New York, the oldest […]]]>

“Ner Hashem Nishmat Adam.”

The Hebrew sentence, from the book of proverbs Michlei, is beautiful.

In English, it reads: “The soul of man is the candle of God.”

I first read the sentence while examining a lecture given by Rabbi Meir Soloveichik — Chief Rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in Manhattan, New York, the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.

In 2018, the Becket Religious Freedom Fund honored Rabbi Soloveichik with his Canterbury Medal. honor, which has was also granted President Dallin H. OaksFirst Counselor in the First Presidency, is awarded annually for demonstration of courage and commitment to defending the religious freedom of people of all faiths.

Since 2013, Rabbi Meir Y. Soloveichik has been the rabbi of Congregation Shearith Israel in New York, which is the oldest Jewish congregation in the United States.

In his speech, Rabbi Soloveichik called the image candle “powerful and enduring.”

“The human soul is a candle lit by the Creator,” he explained. “Like the flame of a candle, the holiness of the soul is so easily extinguished when shaken by the winds of change, by the zeitgeist, by social pressure or by persecution. And yet, like a flame, the soul, if it is protected, if it is supported, if it is fueled by freedom, by faith, by courage, contains within it an infinite amount of power that can spark and inspire without diminishing, which may defy all odds.

In these short sentences, Rabbi Soloveichik sums up the power of faith.

It is a power greater than each of us – a power that amplifies our personal potential. President Russell M. Nelson has said that faith is a power that will move mountains.

Yet it’s not something we talk about often, especially in the public square.

In September, the Launch of the Faith in Media initiative the world’s largest study on faith and media – examining the portrayal of faith and religion in the media. The study, funded by Radiant Foundation, which is owned by Deseret Management Corp., has seen strong demand around the world for more faith-based media coverage; in fact, 63% of respondents said high-quality content about faith and religion was needed. Media professionals, however, reported that coverage of these topics is rarely encouraged in newsrooms.

The study also found:

  • 53% of people worldwide believe that media coverage actively ignores religion as an aspect of today’s society and culture.
  • 59% think it is important that media coverage reflects a diverse set of religious perspectives in content and reporting.
  • 56% agree there should be more nuanced coverage of complex religious issues.
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President Russell M. Nelson speaks during the Sunday afternoon session of the 191st Annual General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Salt Lake City on April 4, 2021.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

President Nelson said that faith in Jesus Christ is the greater power available to us in this life. “Everything is possible to those who believe (Mark 9:23)”, he said.

“Your growing faith in Him will move mountains – not the mountains of rock that beautify the earth, but the mountains of misery in your lives. Your blossoming faith will help you transform challenges into unprecedented growth and opportunity.

His message reflects Rabbi Soloveichik’s beautiful sentiment that all human beings have a light within us that reflects God in all his goodness.

In his address at the Becket event, Rabbi Soloveichik also spoke about the menorah – a candelabra used in Jewish worship during Hanukkah.

These special lights are placed in the window to be “seen by the public, Jewish and non-Jewish,” he said.

Nine Chanukah candles in front of the window at night

A menorah, a candelabrum used in Jewish worship during Hanukkah, is placed in the window to be “viewed by the public, Jewish and non-Jewish,” Rabbi Meir Soloveichik said.

Rabbi Soloveichik said that originally Hanukkah lights were turned on – not inside – but outside the door of Jewish homes.

“And the verse from Proverbs allows us to understand the lesson of this ritual,” he said. “’The soul of man is the candle of God.’ Lighting candles outside the doors of our homes expresses that when people of faith leave their homes and enter the world, they take with them their beliefs and their religious identity. They don’t check their beliefs at the door when they enter the public square. Their souls, the candle in each person, light their way wherever they may lead.

The Faith in Media initiative indicates that many people in my profession can do more to introduce faith and religion to the public.

President Nelson promised us that miracles would happen as we grow and share our faith.

This is the same lesson shared by Rabbi Soloveichik.

The flame of a single candle can ignite other flames. In the process, the light of the giver is not lost or diminished, but multiplied.

This powerful feeling is born from a singular truth: “The soul of man is the candle of God.

— Sarah Jane Weaver is editor of the Church News.

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Pope stresses Muslim dialogue during first papal visit to Bahrain https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/03/pope-stresses-muslim-dialogue-during-first-papal-visit-to-bahrain/ Thu, 03 Nov 2022 00:52:53 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/11/03/pope-stresses-muslim-dialogue-during-first-papal-visit-to-bahrain/ VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis brings his message of dialogue with the Muslim world to the Kingdom of Bahrain, where the Sunni-led government is holding an interfaith conference on East-West coexistence even as it is accused of discriminating the country. Shiite majority. Human rights groups and relatives of Shia activists on death row have […]]]>

VATICAN CITY (AP) — Pope Francis brings his message of dialogue with the Muslim world to the Kingdom of Bahrain, where the Sunni-led government is holding an interfaith conference on East-West coexistence even as it is accused of discriminating the country. Shiite majority.

Human rights groups and relatives of Shia activists on death row have urged Francis to use his visit, which begins Thursday, to call for an end to the death penalty and political repression in Bahrain. But it is unclear whether Francis will publicly embarrass his hosts during his four-day visit, the first of any pontiff to the Persian Gulf island nation.

The 85-year-old pope, who has been using a wheelchair for several months due to strained knee ligaments, said on Thursday he was in “a lot” of pain as he headed to Bahrain, and greeted reporters for the first time traveling with him. sitting rather than walking down the aisle.

Francis has long touted dialogue as an instrument of peace and believes a show of interfaith harmony is needed, especially now given Russia’s war in Ukraine and regional conflicts, such as in Yemen. On the eve of the trip, Francis asked for prayers that the trip would promote “the cause of fraternity and peace, which our times are in dire and urgent need of.”

The visit is Francis’ second to a Gulf Arab country, following his historic 2019 trip to Abu Dhabi, where he signed a document promoting Catholic-Muslim brotherhood with a prominent Sunni cleric, Sheikh Ahmed al-Tayeb. Al-Tayeb is the Grand Imam of Al-Azhar, the seat of Sunni learning in Cairo. Francis followed this with a visit to Iraq in 2021, where he was received by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistanione of the most prominent Shia clerics in the world.

Francis will meet again this week in Bahrain al-Tayeb, as well as other prominent figures in the interfaith field who are expected to attend the conference, which is similar to the one organized last month by Kazakhstan which Francis and el-Tayeb also attended. Members of the Muslim Regional Council of Elders, the spiritual leader of the world’s Orthodox Christians, Patriarch Bartholomew, a representative of the Russian Orthodox Church and rabbis from the United States are all expected, according to Bahrain’s schedule.

The trip will also allow Francis to minister to the Catholic community in Bahrain, which numbers about 80,000 people in a country of about 1.5 million people. Most are workers from the Philippines and India, although trip organizers expect pilgrims from Saudi Arabia and other neighboring countries to attend Francis’ High Mass at the National Stadium on Saturday.

Bahrain is home to the first Catholic church in the Gulf, the Parish of the Sacred Heart, which opened in 1939, as well as its largest, the Cathedral of Our Lady of Arabia. The 2,300-capacity church opened last year in the desert town of Awali on land donated to the church by King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa. In fact, the king presented Francis with a model of the church when he visited the Vatican in 2014 and issued the first invitation to visit.

Francis will visit both churches during his visit and will likely thank the king for the tolerance the government has long shown towards Christians living in the country, especially compared to neighboring Saudi Arabia, where Christians cannot practice. openly their faith.

“Religious freedom in Bahrain is perhaps the best in the Arab world,” said Bishop Paul Hinder, Apostolic Administrator of Bahrain and Other Arab Gulf Countries. “Even if everything is not ideal, there may be conversions (to Christianity), which are at least not officially punished as in other countries.”

But ahead of his visit to Bahrain, Shia opposition groups and human rights organizations have urged Francis to speak out against human rights abuses against the Shia majority by the Sunni monarchy. They urged him to call for an end to the death penalty and to ask to visit Jau prison in the country, where hundreds of Shiite activists have been imprisoned.

Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International have repeatedly denounced the use of torture in prisons, as well as the forced confessions and “sham trials” against dissidents.

“We are writing to appeal to you as the families of twelve death row inmates who face imminent execution in Bahrain,” reads a letter from the families to Francis published this week by the Bahrain Institute for rights and democracy. “Our family members remain behind bars and face execution despite the manifest injustice of their beliefs.”

Francis changed church teaching to declare the death penalty impermissible in all cases. He regularly visited prisoners during his trips abroad, although no such prison visit was planned in Bahrain.

The Vatican spokesman declined to say whether Francis would publicly or privately discuss Bahrain’s human rights record during his visit.

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Associated Press religious coverage receives support through the AP’s collaboration with The Conversation US, with funding from Lilly Endowment Inc. The AP is solely responsible for this content.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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Free “Savior of the World” tickets available from November 1 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/31/free-savior-of-the-world-tickets-available-from-november-1/ Mon, 31 Oct 2022 21:15:24 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/31/free-savior-of-the-world-tickets-available-from-november-1/ savior of the world The 2022 production of “Savior of the World” at the Salt Lake City Conference Center will run from November 25 to December 30.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.Download picture Tickets for the 2022 production of “Savior of the World: His Birth and Resurrection” at the Conference Center Theater […]]]>
savior of the world

The 2022 production of “Savior of the World” at the Salt Lake City Conference Center will run from November 25 to December 30.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Download picture

Tickets for the 2022 production of “Savior of the World: His Birth and Resurrection” at the Conference Center Theater in Salt Lake City are available starting November 1. For the first time in the event’s history at Temple Square, tickets are free.

On Tuesday, November 1, 2022, starting at 9 a.m., tickets can be obtained on line at TempleSquare.org/events or by calling 801-570-0080 (locally) or toll-free 1-866-537-8457. There is a limit of four (4) tickets per order. Children eight years and older are welcome at all performances.

Opening night is Friday, November 25. The two-hour performances will run from Tuesday to Saturday until Friday, December 30, 2022 at 7:30 p.m. Both Saturday mornings are at 2:00 p.m. There will be no evening performance on Christmas Eve.

Savior-of-the-world
Savior-of-the-world

A scene from ‘Savior of the World’. The 2022 production at the Conference Center in Salt Lake City will run from November 25 through December 30.© 2022 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.

Download picture

See the announcement of the event on TempleSquare.org/events on November 1 for details regarding performances, group orders, appropriate attire, and other considerations.

“Savior of the World” is a two-hour musical production based on the events surrounding the birth and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Each year, Latter-day Saint actors, members of other Christian denominations, and people of all races and ethnic groups are invited to audition and perform.

Permission to mount local productions of the sacred 2-hour musical drama was approved in December 2006. Scripts, musical scores for all 38 musical numbers, plus details and suggestions for the cast, costumes, props and the scenography are available on ChurchofJesusChrist.org. The drama can be performed in its entirety or in two individual acts for an Easter or Christmas performance.

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Pittsburgh shooting: Multiple shots fired, remains ‘active scene’ with unknown number of casualties, officials say https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/28/pittsburgh-shooting-multiple-shots-fired-remains-active-scene-with-unknown-number-of-casualties-officials-say/ Fri, 28 Oct 2022 22:35:00 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/28/pittsburgh-shooting-multiple-shots-fired-remains-active-scene-with-unknown-number-of-casualties-officials-say/ CNN — At least six people were injured after a shooting broke out Friday outside a Pittsburgh church where a funeral was being held, according to Pittsburgh Police Commander Rick Ford. A victim originally reported in critical condition is now in stable condition, among five others also being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard […]]]>



CNN

At least six people were injured after a shooting broke out Friday outside a Pittsburgh church where a funeral was being held, according to Pittsburgh Police Commander Rick Ford.

A victim originally reported in critical condition is now in stable condition, among five others also being treated for injuries, Pittsburgh Police Commander Richard Ford said at a second press conference Friday afternoon. .

At least one of the victims in stable condition was taken to the city’s children’s hospital, Ford said.

Officers from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives “are on site to assist the Pittsburgh Police Bureau with this incident,” Special Agent Robert Cucinotta told CNN.

“We cannot comment further on this,” added Cucinotta.

Police were alerted to two ShotSpotter activations shortly after noon on Friday. The first alert showed five shots fired and the second alert 15 shots fired, Ford said. Once at the scene, responding officers determined that gunshots were heard outside the church. It is believed that at least some of those shot were attending the funeral, Ford said.

Ford said at Friday’s second press conference that the incident “appears to be the obvious result of a targeted shooting.”

“We believe there are people who will resort to violence through firearms, and that’s a danger to anyone when that might happen,” Ford said.

Ford also confirmed that several suspected shooters were involved in the incident, but provided no further information on potential suspects. The investigation, including reviewing video of the incident, is ongoing, Ford said.

Ford also said that of the six gunshot victims, four were transported to nearby hospitals and two were transported by medics. He declined to release their ages or other identifying information at this time as police are still working to notify families.

All schools near the shooting have been notified that the area is now safe for the removal of students, Ford said.

Destiny of Faith Church senior pastor Reverend Brenda Gregg said that in 30 years of working in pastoral ministry, Friday’s shooting “was one of the most devastating days in [her] life.”

Gregg added that it was a difficult time “to organize a funeral for a young man and to be able to work with his family to put an end to what had happened in their lives, that we had people coming to the church and fired shots at people”.

Despite the shooting, the church will continue with its Halloween harvest event to continue bringing the community together, Gregg said.

“Thinking about it, I think we’re stronger together and we want to continue to have those things that would make sense in the community, and that’s we need a place for our kids to come,” said said Gregg.

Pittsburgh Mayor Ed Gainey acknowledged that the community and the families of the victims were hurting and that Friday’s shooting was something not all of them expected.

“I never could have imagined it. Never, that we would be shooting on holy ground,” Gainey said. “We will be working around the clock to do whatever is necessary to apprehend those who did this heinous thing today. today.”

Gainey also urged the community to provide any information that would help the police investigation and help the community recover from the incident.

“If you work with us, if you talk to us, we will get justice and we will get healing,” Gainey said.

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Janet B. Bentley, of Canton https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/25/janet-b-bentley-of-canton/ Tue, 25 Oct 2022 19:56:00 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/25/janet-b-bentley-of-canton/ Janet B. Bentley passed away on Friday, October 21, 2022, saying goodbye to this world to go to its God.(Source: Funeral Home) CANTON, New York (WWNY) – Janet B. Bentley passed away on Friday, October 21, 2022, saying goodbye to this world to go to her God. Janet is survived by her sister-in-law Jan Bentley […]]]>
Janet B. Bentley passed away on Friday, October 21, 2022, saying goodbye to this world to go to its God.(Source: Funeral Home)

CANTON, New York (WWNY) – Janet B. Bentley passed away on Friday, October 21, 2022, saying goodbye to this world to go to her God. Janet is survived by her sister-in-law Jan Bentley of Portland, Oregon; and their daughters Jordan Bentley of Weston, Massachusetts; Allison Bentley and her son Ian of Portland, Oregon; cousins: Anne (Gerry) Brown of England and Pauline (Alan) Parfill of England; and Eli.

She is also survived by her stepdaughters Joanne (Charles) Colony of Natural Bridge, NY; Nancy (Paul) McIntosh of Harrisville, NY; Susie (James) Phillips of Fine, New York; Charlotte (Allen) Scott of Harrisville, NY; Peter J. Benson, and many step-grandchildren, step-great-grandchildren, and step-great-great-grandchildren.

Janet was predeceased by her parents, Cyril Bentley of England and Nan (Rees) of Wales; her husbands, Kenneth Reynolds in 1972 and Albert Gibbs in 2007; his brother Roger R. Bentley died the following day, October 22, 2022; and by his daughter-in-law Joyce (Gibbs) Benson.

Janet was born in Gosport, England on November 24, 1939. Her father was a chaplain in the British Army during World War II, escaping from Dunkirk to spend most of the war in Palestine, Jordan, Iran and in Egypt. Janet, as a young child, remembered the planes passing over the house and running with her mother next to the underground shelter her grandfather had dug by sacrificing his garden. After the war, Janet’s father was sent to Greece and her mother, Janet and little Roger, lived there for a year and a half. Americans in Greece convinced the father to come to the United States and they settled in Brewster, Cape Cod, Massachusetts, where his father was a pastor. Five years later, they moved to Chelmsford, Massachusetts, where Janet graduated from high school in 1957.

Janet felt the call of the Lord and earned a BRE from Baptist Training School in Chicago, Illinois; from Colgate Rochester Divinity School, Rochester, NY, 1967 with an MA, and in 1974 with an M. Div. She also received a permanent certification from NY: K-6 in 1972 and a certificate from the Institute of Children’s Literature (writing for children and adolescents). She received a D. Min from Drew Theological School, Madison, New Jersey in 1993. She served as director of Christian education for two different churches in Indiana and one in New Jersey. She was a preschool teacher for Jefferson County in New York and a counselor at Aldersgate Camp.

Janet met Kenneth Reynolds at Divinity School and married in 1966, sadly he died in 1972. Janet took over the two churches he had: Clayton and Omar-Fishers Landing. During her senior year at Divinity School, she served as pastor for Scottsburg and East Groveland.

Rev. Dr.’s career continued as a United Methodist pastor for a number of churches in upstate New York. Janet was ordained a full elder in 1975. While at churches in Harrisville and Natural Bridge, Janet met Albert Gibbs and they were married for 31 years. He died in 2007 after a long illness.

His next church assignments were West Stockholm and Parishville; Sandy Creek and Orwell; Fulton: First and Grace at Massena, Hogansburg; and Camden.

She retired in 2003 but continued to be partially active as an acting pastor for one year at the United Church of Madrid; supervising pastor for Parishville, West Stockholm, Colton and South Colton; Raymondville for the 1st Sunday of each month to give communion and service for several years, finally, to help the Scottish Presbyterian Church in Chipman for five months.

During her career, she has been active on too many committees to mention at The United Methodist Conference. Some of them were the first woman to chair the Conference Women’s Committee, member of the Conference Board of Ordained Ministries for 16 years, St. Lawrence Committee on Ordained, Folts Home Board of Directors, Herkimer for 12 years, and 20 additional commissions. She was not one with her hats.

She received the Girl Scouts Friendship Pin in 1973; Outstanding Young Women of America in 1974; and Who’s Who in Religion in 1992-1993. She was in Zonta and Rotary. She was also known for her love of hats and especially her vast collection of camels which was huge.

After her retirement, she concentrated on her writing: short stories for children as well as murder and mystery, a book on religions and poems, six were published. She was part of the Canton Writers Group. Janet also loved to travel and was able to see all but two states, three trips to England to see her family, and a wonderful trip to Australia and New Zealand. Janet also loved music and sang in her church choirs.

In 2009 Janet married Robert LaCroix and in May 2014 they moved to Partridge Knoll, and in 2017 they divorced.

The service will be held at the United Methodist Church in Madrid on Saturday, November 19, 2022 at 11:00 a.m. Interment will follow at Garrison Cemetery in Harrisville, NY.

Arrangements are in the care and direction of Donaldson-Seymour Funeral Home where friends and family are encouraged to share their memories and condolences online at www.donaldsonseymour.com.

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Clergy and activists demand the ousting of Greg Williams from Jail Trust https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/22/clergy-and-activists-demand-the-ousting-of-greg-williams-from-jail-trust/ Sat, 22 Oct 2022 13:01:05 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/22/clergy-and-activists-demand-the-ousting-of-greg-williams-from-jail-trust/ On Friday, a new member of the trust overseeing the Oklahoma County Jail called for a change in leadership at the struggling 13-story facility. The Reverend Derrick Scobey spoke out shortly after a group of local clergy and community activists met and called for Greg Williams to be ousted as prison administrator. “Prison remains a […]]]>

On Friday, a new member of the trust overseeing the Oklahoma County Jail called for a change in leadership at the struggling 13-story facility.

The Reverend Derrick Scobey spoke out shortly after a group of local clergy and community activists met and called for Greg Williams to be ousted as prison administrator.

“Prison remains a place of death, horror and evil and I am committed to addressing these current conditions with all my might,” Scobey said in a prepared statement.

“The question is no longer why should we fire Oklahoma County Detention Center Administrator and CEO Greg Williams. … The question is why should we keep him on?”

Williams spoke in his own defense on Friday, and he was backed by Jim Couch, president of the prison trust. The trust took over the operation of the jail on July 1, 2020 from the sheriff’s office.

“From the day I accepted this position, I have been focused on improving conditions and operations at the Oklahoma County Jail,” Williams said in a prepared statement. building, I will continue to work hard every day to make our facility as safe as possible for our staff and inmates.

For his part, Couch said Williams had done a “great” job under “difficult” circumstances.

“In his time as CEO of the Oklahoma County Jail, Greg Williams has provided excellent service to our community, especially the inmates and prison staff,” Couch said in a prepared statement. “In extremely difficult circumstances, including a global pandemic, he oversaw projects that brought material improvements to conditions, reversing decades of neglect at the facility.”

Couch said the trust is constantly working to increase staff numbers and remain vigilant against contraband while recognizing that “a lot of work remains to improve safety and security and, most importantly, to do everything we can to stop the death in the establishment”.

A group of local preachers and community activists held a press conference on Friday to express concern over a worrying series of issues at the prison under Williams’ watch, including 14 inmate deaths this year. The group cited the death of inmates, the rape of an inmate and a hostage crisis as reasons they believe an immediate change in leadership is needed.

Friday’s call for his withdrawal is among the latest criticism leveled at Williams. He has already been criticized for the alarming number of inmate deaths at the prison, as well as other issues the group meeting on Friday discussed.

Ministers, Clergy concerned for spiritual renewal; Reverend Shannon Fleck, executive director of the Oklahoma Conference of Churches; community activists including Jabee Williams and Jess Eddy; and Oklahoma City NAACP President Garland Pruitt said Williams should resign or be fired.

“It is clear to me and to those here that Mr. Williams is incapable of righting the ship,” the Reverend John A. Reed, president of the Concerned Clergy group, said at the press conference at Fairview Baptist Church, where he is the longtime senior pastor.

Eddy said the group is calling on the prison to replace Williams with an interim leader and embark on a nationwide search for a new administrator, with full transparency and community input throughout the process.

Both Reed and activist Jabee Williams said it was important to note that they liked Greg Williams, but growing problems at the prison showed he was not the right person to be a prison administrator. The clergy concerned for spiritual renewal is composed primarily of black ministers who lead predominantly black churches in eastern Oklahoma County.

Scobey did not attend Friday’s press conference. He said he thought some of Couch’s comments were his personal opinions, but he said there were parts of the prison trust president’s statements that appeared to be on behalf of the prison trust. and the preacher said that as a member of the trust he was not asked for his contribution to the statement of support for Williams. Scobey, a well-known community leader and senior pastor of Ebenezer Baptist Church, was appointed to the prison in September.

“As an individual, I love Prison Administrator Greg Williams, but he did NOT run the Oklahoma County Detention Center in the proper way,” Scobey said in his statement. “Despite Mr Williams’ best efforts, he has not proven himself.

Lose patience

Jabee Williams and Fleck said clergy and community activists have been patient as the prison trust seeks to make improvements to the prison.

However, “enough is enough is enough,” Fleck said.

“We have sat patiently – we have sat patiently with our eyes open, however – and continue to see the atrocities, the traumas and the headlines,” she said. “As clergy in our communities, no one is more connected to humanity on the ground. … That’s why as clergy, as moral leaders in our communities, we don’t We can no longer remain silent in the face of pain and suffering and the community-wide debacle happening in our county jail and call on our jail trust to take action.”

Jabee Williams shared similar statements.

“We can’t just keep talking and keep having meetings and having discussions about what we already know what the problem is,” he said.

Reed said the group still believed the prison trust was the “best path” for a new and improved prison, but the situation with Greg Williams as trustee needs to be resolved.

Meanwhile, Couch, in his statement, thanked members of faith communities and others “who have shared their concerns and their desire to make things better.”

Greg Williams also thanked community members for voicing their concerns.

“I would like to thank the members of the community who share their contribution with us, and especially the groups who come to the table with solutions to help reduce the prison population and connect inmates to assistance that we are not. able to provide inside the facility,” he said.

The prison trust meets again on November 7.

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Arkansas Parishes Seek Faith Training for Men – Arkansas Catholic https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/20/arkansas-parishes-seek-faith-training-for-men-arkansas-catholic/ Thu, 20 Oct 2022 05:01:34 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/20/arkansas-parishes-seek-faith-training-for-men-arkansas-catholic/ Participants say men’s ministry strengthens faith and builds relationships Posted: October 20, 2022 By Chris PriceArkansas Catholic Staff Courtesy of Robby Cole The Men of Faith Prayer Group to Christ the King in Little Rock, seen here on Friday October 14, has grown from one gathering at a table to up to 80 men at […]]]>

Participants say men’s ministry strengthens faith and builds relationships

Posted: October 20, 2022

Courtesy of Robby Cole

The Men of Faith Prayer Group to Christ the King in Little Rock, seen here on Friday October 14, has grown from one gathering at a table to up to 80 men at their weekly meetings.

It has become a generally accepted belief among Catholics that women – in their roles as wives and mothers – are often the driving force behind family involvement in the Church, and men’s parish participation is lower than that women.

But many churches across Arkansas are taking steps to provide men with opportunities for greater growth in their faith and their involvement and participation in church life.

While many parishes in the Diocese of Little Rock have social and service organizations like men’s clubs, the Knights of Columbus, or the Knights of Peter Claver, fewer offer men’s ministries dedicated to faith formation.

Jeff Hines, diocesan director of faith formation, said creating opportunities for men to develop their faith is a priority for his office and referenced Luke 5:10, “Jesus said to Simon, ‘Do not be afraid; from now on you will catch men.

“Other than Marriage Encounter, it’s been the best thing for my soul and my spirituality and my relationships with my wife, kids, extended family and friends,” Cole said.

“A group of ward men can put this into action. It can be a way to take seriously Jesus’ great mission to go out and make disciples,” Hines said. “I think it’s in our nature as men to be goal-oriented and process-oriented. God knows. He made us that way. Go for it. The goal is for men to be disciples and to make disciples.

A year ago, Father Stephen Hart, pastor of Our Lady of the Lake Church in Lake Village, Holy Cross Church in Crossett and Holy Spirit Church in Hamburg, started and led a ministry men at Our Lady of the Lake. His reasoning was simple: congregations need to set aside time, space, and resources to train mature Christian men.

“While it can be rewarding to be part of a men’s service group in a parish, it can also take a lot of time and energy,” Fr. Hart said. “Wards need to provide their men with a faith formation opportunity where all they have to do is show up, and (we) give them something rather than ask them to give.”

When he started the group, Father Hart issued a general invitation to the men of the parish, then followed up individually with phone calls and in-person conversations to generate interest. The men of the parish, he says, reacted well.

“Every week someone brings food for the group and the parish provides coffee,” he said. “We used the Formed app a lot, usually watching a small section on certain series and then breaking into groups to discuss certain issues. The men appreciate the simplicity.

As a farming community, attendance at the weekly Notre Dame du Lac men’s gatherings, which take place at 6am on Fridays, depends on the time of year. Father Hart said that during planting and harvesting around 12 to 15 men can be relied upon, but these figures rise to as high as 22 men per week after harvest, with more presence as new spreads.

Dr. Jim Wright has been a regular participant in Father Hart’s group since its inception. As a convert, he said the teachings and discussions, especially those centered on Mass and the Eucharist, deepened his understanding of faith and its relationships.

“The Friday morning men’s group was instrumental in connecting with other parishioners (especially to) getting to know them on a deeper, more intimate level,” Wright said. “The group seems to become a community with a touch of brotherhood.”

Lawyer and lifelong Catholic Joe Mazzanti said he joined the group because opportunities to share the faith with like-minded people don’t come too often.

“I realized that other men have the same worries and concerns as I do, especially when it comes to relationships with our wives, children, colleagues, neighbors, etc.,” he said. declared. “It certainly helps for us men to be open to these things. It’s not something men do naturally.

“I relish this additional opportunity to get together with other parishioners and talk about what’s going on in their lives and let them know what’s going on in my life,” he said. “I feel it brings us closer together as a parish and as friends. To be honest, I first thought I would dread getting up so early on Friday. (But now) I’m really looking forward to it.

Like many activities over the past two years, the men’s Bible study at Blessed Sacrament in Jonesboro has become a casualty of the COVID pandemic. Having missed the scholarship, parishioner Dean Massey worked with pastor Msgr. Scott Friend to relaunch the group in March.

“Men can often be quiet when it comes to their spiritual growth or spiritual shortcomings, even their thoughts in general,” Massey said. “But it seems when we get in the right atmosphere, in the right spirit, things just flow. There are three or four guys in the band who when they talk I lean forward to listen and always feel like I’m learning a bit.

The group, which attracts about 12 men a week, meets every Thursday for dinner and a quiz session before embarking on their spiritual work.

“We really want to engage our young men, those between 22 and 45. Many have family activities, but we are constantly recruiting. I’m making calls from the church directory. If I see someone I don’t know at church, I introduce myself and make sure to invite them.

For more than a decade at Christ the King Church in Little Rock, the Men of Faith prayer group has met every Friday at 6 a.m., parishioner Robby Cole said.

“Other than Marriage Encounter, it’s been the best thing for my soul and my spirituality and my relationships with my wife, kids, extended family and friends,” Cole said.

What started as a handful of men around a table has grown to 60-80 attendees each week.

“We have guys from all over Little Rock — Holy Souls, IC, Cathedral — coming in every week,” he said. “We’ve created an environment where men can be open about the things they’re dealing with, and usually someone has been through something similar and can offer advice. It’s become a place where men can lean on and learn from each other, and we can bond together.


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VOX POPULI: The Unification Church should be treated like Myokakuji https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/18/vox-populi-the-unification-church-should-be-treated-like-myokakuji/ Tue, 18 Oct 2022 03:27:00 +0000 https://ncnyumc.org/2022/10/18/vox-populi-the-unification-church-should-be-treated-like-myokakuji/ I recently visited Honkakuji Temple in Daigo City of Ibaraki Prefecture, about an hour’s drive north of the prefectural capital of Mito. It is nestled at the bottom of a green mountain valley. Years of neglect were immediately visible in the peeling white plaster walls and a tiled roof that sagged as if drunk. Built […]]]>

I recently visited Honkakuji Temple in Daigo City of Ibaraki Prefecture, about an hour’s drive north of the prefectural capital of Mito.

It is nestled at the bottom of a green mountain valley. Years of neglect were immediately visible in the peeling white plaster walls and a tiled roof that sagged as if drunk.

Built in the 1980s, Honkakuji expanded its congregation by telling worshipers they were possessed by the spirits of aborted fetuses and stillborn babies – collectively known as “mizuko”.

Through “reishi shoho,” or blatantly harmful sales of fraudulent spiritual goods and services, the temple has raised huge sums of money.

When the temple began to face a series of lawsuits, it took over a temple in Wakayama Prefecture and renamed itself Myokakuji. But it was ordered to disband in 2002 for breaking the law.

Japan has 180,000 religious corporations, but only two have received a dissolution order so far – one is Myokakuji and the other is Aum Shinrikyo.

Will the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification be the third?

Finally, Prime Minister Fumio Kishida said on October 17 that he was considering launching an investigation into the former Unification Church under the Religious Societies Act.

Any government intervention in religion should be discussed with the utmost caution. But right now we see far too many victims who have suffered anguish and grief, and the old Unification Church hardly seems to take their pleas seriously.

At a press conference held on October 7 by a young woman – a former second-generation member – the church even went so far as to send faxes to the site of the press conference, defaming her and demanding an immediate end of the event.

It went beyond abnormal. The woman tearfully begged for the dissolution of the church, and my heart turned to her.

The government’s treatment of the former Unification Church has, thus far, been very different from the way it has treated Myokakuji. Why? I thought about it in front of the ruins of Honkakuji.

A strange, high-pitched sound echoed through the valley. Was it a land animal or a bird?

–The Asahi Shimbun, October 18

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Vox Populi, Vox Dei is a popular daily column that covers a wide range of topics, including culture, the arts, and social trends and developments. Written by veteran writers from Asahi Shimbun, the column offers helpful perspectives and insights into contemporary Japan and its culture.

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