Member Church and Partner News: First woman ordination, Lenten Worship and more

In Taiwan, Catholic and Presbyterian church leaders held a joint service to mark the “228 Massacre.” Also, noting the 500th anniversary of the Reformation, the churches urged investigation of the purges and pledged to walk together toward reconciliation.

Rula Suleiman has become the first ordained woman in the National Evangelical Synod of Syria and Lebanon.

Ryan Smith takes the leadership role with the Presbyterian Ministry at the United Nations.

A Reformed Church pastor in America is running for a governor of New Jersey on the Green Party ticket. Along with his wife, they serve the Reformed Church of Highland Park, New Jersey, a call they have shared since 2001.

Fred Rogers was an ordained minister, but he was no televangelist. Using puppets rather than a pulpit, he preached a message of inherent worth and unconditional lovability to young viewers, encouraging them to express their emotions with honesty. He never tried to impose his beliefs on anyone. Behind the cardigans, though, was a man of deep faith. The effects were darn near supernatural. Mister Rogers, the iconic American television host, his show touched people of all faiths.

Ecumenical Worship for the Reformation Jubilee. The four Protestant congregation in Vorarlberg invited to the dialogue preaching. Thomas Hennefeld and Bishop Benno Elbs, the Evangelical-Reformed Landessuperintendent, have called for an open encounter between Christian denominations and a joint commitment to justice, peace and the environment. In the face of today’s “storms of change,” “windmills should be erected instead of protective walls,” Hennefeld said in a dialogue preaching held on 22 January 2017 with Elbs in the Protestant Pauluskirche Feldkirch.

Seven weeks of Lent highlight water crisis in Africa. The ecumenical prayer service on Ash Wednesday in St Mary’s (Sealite Mihret) Cathedral of the Ethiopian Orthodox church in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Ecumenical Water Network (EWN) began its annual Lenten campaign “Seven Weeks for Water.” This year during Lent it will raise awareness of water justice issues in Africa.

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