Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Call for prayer: West Gereif Bible School and Sudanese Presbyterian church destroyed in attack

In addition to the continuation of serious inter-ethnic conflict in the newly formed Republic of South Sudan, increased tensions between the Republic of Sudan and South Sudan have led to fighting along the border, and now a global partner of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) has seen its Bible school and church attacked and destroyed. According to the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC), a group of individuals has demolished the West Gereif Bible School, a Presbyterian church, and two independent churches.
Presbyterian World Mission has been in communication with the leadership of SPEC regarding this incident, and a statement from the Moderator follows below. Presbyterian World Mission does not have any mission co-workers serving in the Republic of Sudan.
Presbyterian World Mission and the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church ask all Presbyterians in the United States and Christians everywhere to continue to keep the PC(USA)'s global partners and all the people of Sudan and South Sudan in your prayers.

Statement from the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church
22 April 2012
Dear members and leaders of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.),
Greetings in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. I am here to inform you briefly about the news from Sudan concerning the burning and destruction of one of the most important places of the Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church (SPEC). This occurred yesterday when more than 500 people from Ansaar Alsoona, which is a fundamentalist Islamic group, announced a jihad against Christianity and immediately attacked the Gereif Bible School and the West Gereif SPEC church on that same compound, as well as two independent churches in West Gereif. The group burned, destroyed, and looted everything in the churches and the Bible school including books, air conditioners, computers, photocopy machines, refrigerators and many other things. They even took the students’ things like books, bags, and clothes, and they burned them, as the students were not there.
SPEC Christians are assembling this afternoon (Sunday, 22 April 2012) at the West Gereif compound, which includes the Gereif Bible School and the church. So please, we need your prayers and the prayers of all churches in the United States, and even all the world.  
Rev. James Par Tap
Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church

Monday, April 23, 2012

Morning Worship, 4/22/12

Today, we celebrate the ancient rite of "Bright Sunday," or "Holy Humor Sunday" as it's now called, joyfully expressing our thanks for the good news of the resurrection! Come...and share a laugh, share a joy, share a smile with us and our risen savior. 


Morning Worship, 4/15/12

In a single week, the disciples had…entered Jerusalem as kings and queens, been adored by the masses, betrayed by their own, arrested, executed by the state, and scared into hiding.  It was the worst week.  Everything they thought they knew had been yanked out from under them.  And now, as if that wasn’t enough, it was happening again.  Just when they were beginning to make peace with the death of their teacher, rumors started to fly.  People said he was alive.  The women said the tomb was empty.  A boy said he had been raised from the dead.  Would you have believed the rumors?


Monday, April 9, 2012

Morning Worship, 4/8/12

“And they lived happily ever after.”  Many stories end like that, even if they don’t use that line, right?  Stories like The Lion King end when the main character, who is good, overcomes the odds and defeats another major character who is bad.  Boy meets girl, they fall in love, all is right with the world…“and they lived happily ever after.”  Is that the way the Jesus story ends?  Not according to Mark.  In the oldest manuscripts, the story ends after verse eight, with Jesus raised but his disciples confused and afraid.  The literal translation of the last verse is, “...and no one anything they told, they were afraid for...."  What does that ending mean?


Good Friday Service, 4/6/12

For whom would you be willing to die?  Death is not a topic we discuss often.  It scares us. With good reason.  Death scares us because death is unknown.  We fear that it may bring us pain, suffering, or separation.  So much so that we stop using the word.  We say phrases like, “passed, gone to be with the Lord, moved on” instead.  We distance ourselves from death in all sorts of ways.  Today, we do not have that luxury, for today Jesus dies.  And his death on the cross is filled with all the aspects of death we fear the most--pain, suffering, and separation.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Morning Worship, 4/1/12

Guest speaker Becky Williams, a student in the Presbytery's lay ministry program, preaches on Mark 1.9-15.


Morning Worship, 3/25/12

“Take up your cross.”  The cross was a powerful symbol in ancient Israel.  The Romans used the cross to kill people who had been convicted of crimes.  So when Jesus says take up your cross, he is saying, “Take up that which would bring you death.”  What’s your cross?  What would bring you death?