Member Church News: Allies, Celebrations, Calls, Devotions

The Allies Next Door: Muslim neighbors stand guard over Christian clinic in Niger.

Fifty years ago, Gordon Buys of Christian Reformed World Missions served as one of the first teachers at what was then the Wukari Combined Secondary School in Takum, Nigeria. Buys recently returned with other teachers and representatives of the Christian Reformed Church to help celebrate the golden anniversary of the school, which was destroyed in the late 1990s by war and has been now been reopened as the Reformed Combined Secondary School.

The deaths of young African Americans at the hands of police have escalated the conversation about racial discrimination in this country. The Rev. Traci Blackmon, acting executive minister of United Church of Christ (USA) Justice and Witness Ministries, noted civil rights leader, gifted preacher, pastor and teacher, delivers a powerful video message in this call for justice for all the children of God.

Richard L. Floyd, pastor emeritus of First Church of Christ (UCC) in Pittsfield, Massachusetts, offers a devotional on Our Unholy Divisions.

The Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) has issued a statement on the recent elections, which saw the first woman ascend to the presidency there. The statement says, in part, “The PCT mission theme for 2016-17 is ‘Learn from Christ in one accord and serve God faithfully with humility.’ In her election night acceptance speech, President Tsai exhorted her supporters to be humble. The PCT pledges to remain faithful to continue its God-given mission in Taiwan by serving the people in humility and be a sign of hope to the nation. Please pray for us and for the future and the people of Taiwan.”

In May it will be fifty years since the Church of Scotland‘s General Assembly finally opened the eldership to women. The Very Rev Dr Finlay Macdonald looks back on the 35-year debate that led to women being admitted to the eldership.

And news from our ecumenical sisters and brothers…

The Churches’ Commission for Migrants in Europe (CCME) and the World Council of Churches (WCC) have published a revised and updated edition of their joint study, Mapping Migration: Mapping Churches’ Responses in Europe. The 2016 text explores challenges and changes in the European church landscape in light of international migration.

Catholics and Lutherans have made another step toward joint commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the Reformation in 2017 by issuing common liturgical guidelines for ecumenical services to mark the occasion.

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