Wednesday, November 26, 2014

9 December 2009

Wednesday, December 9, 2009, 13:33
This news item was posted in Presbyterians Week category.
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Presbyterians Week Headlines

[1] Ohio Supreme Court Rules Church Administrative Offices Taxable, Contrary to Prior Rulings that Non-Religious, Non-Profit Administrative Offices are Tax-Exempt
[2] Travis County, Texas, Property Taxes Fund Almost US$500,000 Per Year for Abortions
[3] Presbyterian Coalition Urges Presbytery Action in Preparation for PCUSA 219th General Assembly in July 2010
[4] Michigan Abortion Clinic Chain Advertises Abortion as “Sacred Work”
[5] U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in Constituents Letters, Tells of Opposition to Abortion While Simultaneously Pressing Health Care Bill with Government Funded Abortion
[6] PCUSA’s John Knox Presbytery Paying for Congregational Annual Subscriptions to The Presbyterian Leader
[7] PCUSA Missionaries Serve with Reformed Church in Hungary Refugee Office
[8] Biblica Celebrates 200 Years of Translating and Distributing God’s Word Around the World
[9] Protestant Church in the Netherlands Synod Meeting Addresses Government, Church-State, and Baptism Issues
[10] Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Taichung Presbytery and Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Auckland Presbytery Ink Partnership Agreement
[11] Church of Scotland to Experiment with “Locally Ordained Ministers” to Reduce One-in-Six Pulpit Vacancies
[12] Reformed Churches Weighing Necessity of Membership
[13] Dan Wooding of ASSIST News Service Interviews Robert A. and Donna Schuller in “Leaning into God: When Life Is Pushing you Away”
[14] Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Inaugural Lecture Posted on SermonAudio.com

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[1] Ohio Supreme Court Rules Church Administrative Offices Taxable, Contrary to Prior Rulings that Non-Religious, Non-Profit Administrative Offices are Tax-Exempt

In a ruling filed 30 November 2009, the Ohio Supreme Court (OSC), in a four-to-three ruling, deemed that the administrative offices of a religious denomination can be assessed real estate taxes, even though the OSC has ruled in the past that administrative offices for other non-profit organizations including the Girl Scouts of America and the Visiting Nurses Association of America are exempt from real estate taxes.

The Alliance Defense Fund on 30 November 2009 filed a motion for reconsideration with the OSC, asking the court to apply the laws exempting non-profit organizations’ administrative offices from real estate taxes not be applied differently to religious organizations.

+ Alliance Defense Fund, 15100 North 90th Street, Scottsdale, Arizona 85260, 800-835-5233, Fax: 480-444-0025

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[2] Travis County, Texas, Property Taxes Fund Almost US$500,000 Per Year for Abortions

A 2 December 2009 report by Fox 7 in Austin, Texas, reports that for each of the past five years, almost $US500,000 of Travis County, Texas, property tax revenue was used by the Travis County Health Care District to pay for abortions.

+ Fox 7, 119 East 10th Street, Austin, Texas 78701, 512-476-7777, Contact Page

+ Travis County Health Care District, 1111 East Cesar Chavez Street, Suite B, Austin, Texas 78702, 512-978-8000, Fax: 512-978-8156, Contact Page
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[3] Presbyterian Coalition Urges Presbytery Action in Preparation for PCUSA 219th General Assembly in July 2010

In preparation for the Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) 219th General Assembly (GA) scheduled for 3-10 July 2010 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Presbyterian Coalition (TPC) is urging PCUSA presbyteries to join TPC’s Renewal Team to serve in various capacities at the 219th GA, to elect biblically faithful commissioners to represent the presbyteries at the 219th GA, and to work in the presbyteries to send up or to concur with existing overtures in the following subject areas:

Civil Union & Christian Marriage
New Form of Government
Authoritative Interpretation
G-6.0106b
Heidelberg Catechism
Belhar Confession
Christian-Muslim Relations

TPC warns that attempts to remove the “fidelity and chastity” requirement for ordination in G-6.0106b, an effort to change the PCUSA definition of marriage from “a man and a woman” to “two persons,” and an effort to adopt a new Form of Government that would provide for a radical inclusivity, in which “all persons or groups” — regardless of what they believe or how they behave — are guaranteed full participation and representation in church …governance…., will all be undertaken at the 219th GA, and that opposition to these proposed actions needs to be organized and undertaken immediately.

+ The Presbyterian Coalition, 4604 Grove Avenue, Richmond, Virginia 23226, 804-615-3243, office@presbycoalition.org

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

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[4] Michigan Abortion Clinic Chain Advertises Abortion as “Sacred Work”

A 4 December 2009 LifeSiteNews.com article by James Tillman titled: “Michigan Abortion Facility Advertizes Abortion as “Sacred Work,”” describes how the Northland “Family Planning Centers” of Michigan are advertising their services with a video titled “Every Day, Good Woman Choose Abortion,” which describes abortion as “sacred work.”

One of the Northland video assertions says that “to have an abortion is a normal experience,” and is a good decision; continues, saying “Goodness is courage, honesty, wisdom, risking for what you believe is right for you, making choices that are good for yourself;” and concludes, saying “Goodness is not perfection, it is not obedience, and it is not martyrdom.”

The video goes on to say that the Northland staff believes in the “essential goodness” of abortion, and describes a sign in the abortion clinic that says “We do sacred work that honors women and the circle of life and death. When you come here, bring only love.”

Tillman describes Northland as part of a group of abortionists called the “November Gang” that feature pre- and post-abortion counseling sessions that mimic pro-life groups like “Project Rachael,” with some abortuaries engaging in such bizarre practices as baptizing and praying over a baby’s bloody remains, or admitting that abortion kills but anticipating God’s forgiveness before the fact. Tillman additionally describes part of the Northland website that advises mothers aborting their unborn to write a letter “to the spirit of the child inside of them.”

+ LifeSiteNews.com, Incorporated, Post Office Box 25382, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania 15220, 866-787-9947, lsn@lifesitenews.com

+ Northland Family Planning Center, 24450 Evergreen Road, Suite 220, Southfield, Michigan 48075, 248-559-0590

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[5] U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, in Constituents Letters, Tells of Opposition to Abortion While Simultaneously Pressing Health Care Bill with Government Funded Abortion

A 3 December 2009 CNSNews.com article by Karen Schuberg titled “Harry Reid Responds to Critics of Abortion Funding in Senate Health Care Bill by Saying He Opposes Abortion” reports that U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is answering letters sent by constituents in opposition to government funded abortion in the Health Care Bill by telling constituents that the senator is opposed to abortion except in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is in danger.

Simultaneously, Reid is pressing through the U.S. Senate the Health Care Bill Reid released 18 November 2009 which contains provisions allowing the public option to include abortion coverage, permitting federal subsidies to go to private insurance plans that cover abortion, and mandating that the secretary of health and human services make certain that at least one insurance plan is available in the insurance exchange where people can buy insurance with federal subsidies that cover abortion.

+ Cybercast News Service, 325 South Patrick, Alexandria, Virginia 22314, 703-683-9733

+ United States Senate, Washington DC 20510, 202-224-3121, ahazen@aoc.gov

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[6] PCUSA’s John Knox Presbytery Paying for Congregational Annual Subscriptions to The Presbyterian Leader

The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA)’s Presbyterian Publishing Corporation has created The Presbyterian Leader, a new website providing leadership, worship, and doctrinal resources for PCUSA congregational leaders, with the full website access annual subscription rate of US$99.

The PCUSA’s John Knox Presbytery (JNP) recently announced that annual subscriptions for each congregation in the JNP will be provided by the JNP. The PPC then responded by offering a free trial subscription to all PCUSA presbytery and synod officials.

Subscription and ordering information is available at: https://www.thepresbyterianleader.com/ProductDetails.aspx?txtProductID=576

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

+ John Knox Presbytery, 1289 West Seminary Street, Richland Center, Wisconsin 53581, 608-647-8828, Fax: 608-647-3386, jkp@jknox.org

+ Presbyterian Publishing Corporation, 100 Witherspoon Street, Louisville, Kentucky 40202, 800-227-2872, Fax: 800-541-5113, vpatton@presbypub.com

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[7] PCUSA Missionaries Serve with Reformed Church in Hungary Refugee Office

The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA) News Office, on 3 December 2009, republished the Horizons article “Learning the Language of Love:
Hungary Missionaries Help Immigrants Adapt
” by Carol Somplatsky-Jarman, which describes the work performed by PCUSA missionaries Joe and the Rev. Kathy Andress-Angi for the Reformed Church in Hungary’s refugee office.

Refugees from more than fifty countries are drawn to Hungary because of the ease of getting a Hungarian visa, but once in Hungary, the refugees face language barriers and the weakest economy in eastern Europe. Joe and Kathy Angi work with St. Columba’s Scottish Church in Budapest, Hungary, in the areas of jobs, housing, language acquisition, and community-building and support.

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

+ Reformed Church in Hungary, info@zsinatiiroda.hu

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[8] Biblica Celebrates 200 Years of Translating and Distributing God’s Word Around the World

Biblica, the new name for the merged-in-2007 International Bible Society (IBS) and Send the Light, is celebrating the 200th anniversary of the founding of the New York Bible Society (later renamed IBS) in December 1809.

Biblica in 1810 contributed US$1000 to William Carey for the project to translate the Bible into India’s Bengali language, and has since printed and distributed Bibles in almost seventy languages. In the coming year, Biblica plans to launch three new translations into African languages and one new translation into the Indian language Hindi.

+ Biblica, Post Office Box 35901, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80935, 719-488-9200, Contact Page

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[9] Protestant Church in the Netherlands Synod Meeting Addresses Government, Church-State, and Baptism Issues

Writer Richard van Houten of the Reformed Ecumenical Council reports in a 4 December 2009 article titled “PKN Synod Affirms Constitutional State and Commemoration of Baptism,” that the Protestant Church in the Netherlands (PKN) Synod met in mid-November 2009, and discussed what constitutes good state government, church-state relations, and received and approved a new handbook on baptism.

The PKN Synod concluded that the democratic, constitutional state is the best form of government, and affirmed desirable government values and values shared by both church and government. Church-state relations were discussed including such issues as whether or not the government should tax the church or support Christian schools.

The PKN Synod’s new handbook on baptism states that a person can only be baptized once, that the baptism of children and infants remains important, and a church ritual that commemorates and remembers one’s baptism and renews one’s commitment to live out one’s baptism, does not constitute a second baptism, but is an appropriate and tangible experience of remembrance.

The PKN has the largest membership of any protestant church in the Netherlands, and since 1 May 2004, is the continuation of three former churches, the Netherlands Reformed Church, the Reformed Churches in the Netherlands, and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

+ Reformed Ecumenical Council, 2050 Breton Road Southeast, Suite 102, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546, 616-949-2910, rvh@recweb.org

+ Protestant Church in the Netherlands, Postbus 8504, 3503 Utrecht, Netherlands, 880-18-80, 880-18-80, info@pkn.nl

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[10] Presbyterian Church in Taiwan Taichung Presbytery and Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand Auckland Presbytery Ink Partnership Agreement

Li Hsin-ren and Lydia Ma, in the 30 November – 6 December 2009 issue of Taiwan Church News (TCN), report that on 10 November during a 9-20 November 2009 visit by Presbyterian Church in Taiwan (PCT) Taichung Presbytery Moderator Chen Bing-shiun’s and Assistant Moderator Lai Shin-sung’s to New Zealand, a partnership agreement was signed between the PCT Taichung Presbytery and the Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand’s Auckland Presbytery leaders. The PCT visitors additionally invited Auckland Presbytery leaders to attend the Taichung Presbytery’s 80th anniversary celebrations and the PCT General Assembly Meeting, both scheduled in 2010.

The TCN reporters point out that : “Because Taiwan and New Zealand share many geographical and demographical similarities, New Zealand churches are very eager to hear about and learn from the experiences of Taiwanese churches and their ministries.”

+ Presbyterian Church in Taiwan, 334 Youth Road, Tainan City, 70144 Taiwan, 886-6-235-6277, Fax: 886-6-237-8882, enews@pctpress.org

+ Presbyterian Church of Aotearoa New Zealand, Level 1, Terralink House, 275-283 Cuba Street, Post Office Box 9049, Wellington, Aotearoa, New Zealand, (04)-801-6000 Fax: (04)-801-6001, info@presbyterian.org.nz

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[11] Church of Scotland to Experiment with “Locally Ordained Ministers” to Reduce One-in-Six Pulpit Vacancies

The Scotsman reporter David Leask writes in a 6 December 2009 article titled “Kirk Members to be ‘Guinea Pig’ Ministers,” that the Church of Scotland, in an effort to deal with pulpit vacancies in one of six COS churches, has begun an experiment to create “locally ordained ministers,” who would be ordained after eighteen months of training in their churches, normally located in the remotest areas of Scotland.

Five volunteers from the county and presbytery of Caithness, Scotland, will begin the experiment. Caithness has three ordained COS ministers for its fourteen churches.

+ The Scotsman, Barclay House, 108 Holyrood Road, Edinburgh EH8 8AS, Scotland, 131-620-8620

+ Church of Scotland, 121 George Street, Edinburgh EH2 4YN, Scotland, 0131-225-5722

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[12] Reformed Churches Weighing Necessity of Membership

Holland Sentinel writer Peter Daining, in a 5 December 2009 article titled “Is Church Membership Meaningful?,” interviews Western Theological Seminary Vice-President of Advancement and Communication, Ken Neevel, about the declining importance of church membership, especially in new, independent churches.

Two of the four Holland, Michigan, ministers interviewed in the article included Victory Point Ministries (Christian Reformed Church in North America) pastor the Rev. Steve Rusticus, who questioned the necessity of church membership and the common attitude that church membership is something that you obtain like a gym membership, and Messiah’s Independent Reformed Church pastor the Rev. Ken Anema, who believes that church membership helps foster strong ties to a particular church in a culture where many people continually move from church to church.

+ Holland Sentinel, 54 West 8th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423, 616-546-4200, Fax: 616-393-6710, peter.esser@hollandsentinel.com

+ Western Theological Seminary, 101 East 13th Street, Holland, Michigan 49423, 800-392-8554, Contact Page

+ Reformed Church in America, 4500 60th Street Southeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512, 800-968-6065, questions@rca.org

+ Christian Reformed Church in North America, 2850 Kalamazoo Avenue Southeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49560, 616-241-1691, Fax: 616-224-0803 crcna@crcna.org

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[13] Dan Wooding of ASSIST News Service Interviews Robert A. and Donna Schuller in “Leaning into God: When Life Is Pushing you Away”

Dan Wooding of ASSIST News Service has made available Wooding’s audio interview of Robert A. and Donna Schuller at:

http://www.assist-ministries.com/FrontPageRadio/DanWoodingInterviewwithRobertandDonnaSchullereditedMono.mp3

As reported in the 29 October 2008 Presbyterians Week article [7] Rev. Robert A. Schuller Removed as Senior Pastor of the Crystal Cathedral by Rev. Robert H. Schuller, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller of the Crystal Cathedral (RCA) in Garden Grove, California, announced 25 October 2008 that son, the Rev. Robert A. Schuller, was being removed from the position of preacher for the “Hour of Power.” The younger Schuller was reported to have begun preaching from the Bible on the “Hour of Power.”

The senior Schuller explained Robert A. Schuller’s dismissal, saying: “I was called to start a mission, not a church…You don’t try to preach…what is sin and what isn’t sin. A mission is a place where you ask nonbelievers to come and find faith and hope and feel love.”

+ Assist USA, Post Office Box 609, Lake Forest, California 92609, 949-380-1558, danjuma1@aol.com

+ Los Angeles Times, 202 West First Street, Los Angeles, California 90012, 213-237-5000, Fax: 213-237-7679, readers.rep@latimes.com

+ Reformed Church in America(RCA), 4500 60th Street Southeast, Grand Rapids, Michigan 49512, 800-968-6065, questions@rca.org

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[14] Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Inaugural Lecture Posted on SermonAudio.com

Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary Professor of Homiletics Dr. John Carrick on 4 December 2009 presented an Inaugural Lecture titled “The Extemporaneous Mode of Preaching,” which has been posted on SermonAudio.com:

http://www.sermonaudio.com/sermoninfo.asp?SID=124092165410

+ Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary, 200 East Main Street, Post Office Box 690, Taylors, South Carolina, 29687, 864-322-2717, Fax: 864-322-2719, info@gpts.edu

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