Reflections on the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church USA

The General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church(U.S.A.), the church’s national governing body, gathered in biennial meeting in Detroit in mid-June. The Assembly heard reports from the church’s national and international program and mission agencies, elected a new Moderator, Elder Heath Rada from North Carolina, to preside over the week long meeting and represent the church […]

On Change and Transition

When I arrived at Fourth Presbyterian Church in the summer of 1985 many in the congregation could not envision a future without Elam Davies. There was great skepticism about the new minister who would no doubt start to change things, maybe even beloved traditions and practices and who, simply, was not Elam Davies. Transitions, especially […]

Reading Fiction and the Lessons of History

Sometimes it seems that reading a novel is an unnecessary luxury, a frivolous waste of time. The antidote to that questionable conclusion is a good novel you can’t put down, continue reading late into the night, even find yourself structuring your day so that you can get back to reading. It happened to me recently […]

Doing God’s Work

For several years I met with a group of Christian and Jewish leaders to discuss how Christians and Jews can talk together about the Middle East. The underlying concern of the Jewish participants was why Mainline Protestant Churches seem, to the Jewish community, to be so unbalanced in their attitudes about Israel. Christian participants wondered […]