Monday, May 8, 2017

The growing ministry of our Krislund Camp and Conference Center

The Golden Warbler

With support and encouragement from our friends at Penn State University, our Krislund Camp has received a significant grant from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Natural Resources Conservation Service for the habitat development of the Golden Warbler. Over thirty acres of forest land at Krislund will be set aside and specifically protected to encourage the habitat development for this gorgeous, song bird. This is yet another piece in the continuing growth of our Krislund Camp!

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Thursday, May 4, 2017

A study tour of Palestine and Israel, April 2018

Mosaic of Peace April 29 to May 12, 2018

In 2016, I participated on the Mosaic of Peace study tour sponsored by our Presbyterian Peacemaking Program. This was a beautiful, transformative, experience for me in two ways.On one hand, visiting and experiencing the places of Jesus was a deep and abiding joy. This study tour visits all the great places in the life of Jesus. This experience will deepen your spiritual life and truly make the Gospel stories come alive. On the other hand, this study tour also immersed us in the trauma and pain of the Middle East from the perspective of the Christian Church. There are still Christians in Palestine who are our brothers and sisters in Christ. We need to support them and know their story.

I hope to participate on the Mosaic of Peace study tour again in 2018. I hope to be a small group leader for a group from our Presbytery on the tour. Please consider join using. The details of this study tour are now available at

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Learning to be the Church

A letter from Tracey King-Ortega, Regional Liaison for Central America, based in Nicaragua

The mission newsletter linked here is the fulfillment of a dream of mine and a lot of work on behalf of many, many Presbyterians. Please read Tracey's beautiful report here:

Our Presbytery works very close with Tracey who serves as the regional liaison for Central America with our Presbyterian World Mission. With Tracey's leadership and abundant support from the Honduras Mission Network including our presbytery, we have begun a comprehensive program in theological education in support of our Presbyterian brothers and sisters in Honduras. This program has been a long time in coming, and I am abundantly grateful that this is now happening. We need your financial support to sustain this vital ministry. Please give generously.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Reformation 500

The 500th Anniversary of Martin Luther's famous 95.

Our Presbytery of Carlisle will celebrate a special, Presbytery-wide worship service in commemoration of the 500th anniversary of the start of the Protestant Reformation. Hosted by our Market Square Presbyterian Church our service will be on Sunday, October 29 at 4:00. Mark the date! Please join us!

Do you know about the Protestant Reformation or would you like to learn more? A flurry of new books have been released in honor of this anniversary:

Martin E. Marty. October 31, 1517: Martin Luther and the Day that Changed the World.

Lyndal Roper. Martin Luther: Renegade or Prophet.

Alec Ryrie. Protestants: The Faith That Made the Modern World.

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Theological Education in Honduras

Our exciting partnership in Honduras.

Many members of the Presbytery of Carlisle have supported and participated in the housing ministry we have created in partnership with the Presbyterian Church in Honduras. Our mission team going to Honduras next month will be contributing to the twelfth new family home as part of this ministry. This is truly a partnership between our Presbytery, leaders in the Presbyterian Church in Honduras and the families that receive the new homes.

But this ministry is only one aspect of a larger and growing partnership between USA Presbyterians and Honduran Presbyterians. We have also recently initiated a robust program of theological education into this relationship. Our World Mission Co-worker Karla Koll, who serves with the Latin American Biblical University in Costa Rica, has written about this new aspect of our ongoing mission partnership.

The link to Karla's recent World Mission enews article about this work is here:

We expect soon to offer a mission trip to Honduras which will participate in this theological study with our Honduran brothers and sisters. For those who may be more interested in Bible study and theological reflection than mixing mortar and carrying concrete blocks, please consider joining us in this important work.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Theological Conversations

Theological Conversations
"The First 500 Years" by Jerry Andrews

As part of a series of papers sponsored by the General Assembly Mission Agency, Jerry Andrews offers us a beautiful reflection on the 500th anniversary of the Reformation. What is the gift that our PC(USA) brings to our cherished Reformed project? Andrews' answer: "This is the gift of the PC(USA) to the next 500 years - a church that thinks through, teaches, and tests the Faith expressed in distinctly Reformed terms, appropriated by conversing with those who first thought through the Faith be being the first interpreters of Scripture."

Let us be a Church in conversation "with the testimony of the ancients."

Monday, December 5, 2016

Our Presbytery welcomes Moderator Denise Anderson

Some Moderators of the General Assembly north and south

We are delighted to have Co-Moderator of the General Assembly, the Rev. Denise Anderson, with us today. Of course, Denise is not the first Moderator of the General Assembly. That honor belongs to Rev. Dr. John Witherspoon. Witherspoon was the Moderator of the First General Assembly in 1789. He was also one of the signers of the Declaration of Independence. He became the first President of the College of New Jersey which became Princeton Seminary.

In 1861, the Rev. Benjamin Palmer was the first Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in the United States. Rev. Palmer was a gifted preacher and served as the pastor of the First Presbyterian Church on New Orleans. With his preaching, he helped convince 47 southern presbyteries to break away from the northern Presbyterians and form their own southern church.

In 1870 Robert Lewis Dabney served as Moderator of the southern Presbyterian Church in the United States. Dabney served as a Chaplain in the Confederate Army, and as Chief of Staff of General Stonewall Jackson. After the Civil War, Dabney had a distinguished teaching career at Union Seminary in Richmond.

In 1879 the Rev. Joseph Ruggles Wilson served as Moderator of the southern Presbyterian Church in the United States. Rev. Wilson was the father of President Woodrow Wilson.

William Jennings Bryan never served as Moderator of the General Assembly. Bryan has been called the greatest loser in American history. Three times – in 1896, 1900 and 1908 – he ran for President of the United States. Three times he lost. In 1923 he ran for Moderator of the northern Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. He lost. But God is good. In 1924 the arch-conservative, Philadelphia pastor Clarence Macartney was elected Moderator. He named Bryan as his vice-Moderator.

In 1971 Ruling Elder Lois Stair was the first woman elected as Moderator of the northern United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America.

In 1976 Ruling Elder Thelma Adair was the first African American woman elected as Moderator of the northern United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America. Elder Adair was a professor in City University of New York. She spent many years in ecumenical and social justice work in Harlem.

In 1978 Sara Bernice Moseley was the first woman Moderator elected in the southern Presbyterian Church in the United States. Elder Moseley was a strong advocate of the reunion of the northern and southern churches. Beginning in 1983, she served as the first Chair of the General Assembly Council in our, reunited Presbyterian Church (USA).

In 1986 the Rev. Benjamin Weir was elected as Moderator of our Presbyterian Church (USA). Ben and Carol Weir served from 1953 to 1984 as mission co-workers from our church to Lebanon. In 1984 Ben Weir was kidnapped off the street in Beirut. After his long captivity, he was honored to be elected Moderator. Ben Weir passed away this October 2016.

In 1992 the Rev. John Fife was elected Moderator of our Church. Fife was the pastor of the Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona. Along with colleagues from several denominations, Fife was a leader of what was called the Sanctuary Movement. These church leaders opened their church buildings to undocumented immigrants from Latin America. Their ministry pushed a very public conflict with the Department of Justice under President Ronald Reagan.

In 2008 Moderator Bruce Reyes-Chow visited our Presbytery, and taught a class at our Saturday Seminar. That is the only other Moderator visit we have had since I have been in this Presbytery.

And today in 2016 we are honored to have Co-Moderator Denise Anderson with us. Denise is a blogger. Her blog is better than mine. The title of her blog is SOULa Scriptura. SOULa is a constructed word: SOULa. The sub-title of her blog is even better: “to be young, gifted and Reformed.” I was very pleased to have dinner with Denise last evening. She is indeed, young, gifted and Reformed. Please stand and greet the Moderator of our General Assembly.