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Presbyterian Church (USA)

THE PRESBYTERY OF THE WESTERN RESERVE
Hunger Action Advocate

Purpose:

To be committed to Christ’s service, passionate and knowledgeable about issues of poverty and justice, familiar with community resources; has good communication skills, ability to manage budgets, and an appreciation for Presbyterian committees and congregations

Responsibilities:

1. Provide for the education and interpretation to the Presbytery about hunger, justice, and peacemaking issues, resources and programs.
2. Promote special offerings: Peacemaking, One Great Hour of Sharing, Christmas Joy; and Cents-ibility (2 Cents a Meal), disaster response, and various hunger walks.
3. Monitor grants and budgets for the Just Reach Ministry and Self-development of People.
4. Offer assistance and resources to congregations engaged in hunger ministries.

Accountability:

Supervised by and accountable to the General Presbyter.

Evaluation:

Annually by the Personal Committee. The Hunger Action Advocate is subject to the Personnel policies of the Presbytery.

Terms:

This is a part-time position for twelve hours/week.

The Theological Implications of New Gene Editing Technology

Friends --

Those of you who follow developments in the world of science may be aware of the gene-editing technology known as Crispr-Cas9. That's the first really viable process for changing the genetic makeup of an organism in ways that can be passed along to that organism's offspring. So with the introduction of this technology, a time that has long been promised -- but also warned about -- has arrived.

The Crispr technology holds the promise of genetic therapies that can prevent -- and could even eliminate -- diseases and medical conditions that have been incurable in the past. An early application of the technology has allowed a man who was legally blind to recover his sight enough to join a baseball team. 

But there's a downside, of course. People sometimes warn of "designer babies", with the parents' choice of hair and eye color, height, intelligence and athletic prowess. And some potential applications are even more frightening, because the technology could create new organisms including viruses, and even human-animal hybrids. And even when it's used only to eliminate disease, the Crispr technology may well turn out to be beyond the financial reach of the poor. That creates the possibility of a world where the well-to-do become progressively stronger and healthier, and only the poor have certain deadly diseases. Imagine the debates on health-care policy then.

And what makes this issue more urgent is that this new technology can be performed in the lab of most high schools, using genetic material available on Ebay for a few dollars.

By the way, here's an article about some of the fallout of this issue from last week's New York Times Science section:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/05/14/science/biohackers-gene-editing-virus.html

At 4:00 on Wednesday, May 30, the presbytery will present a speaker on this issue as a pre-presbytery event before its meeting at Medina. Dr. Karen Haely, a bioethicist on the faculty of the College of Wooster, will talk about some of the moral and theological issues raised by the Crispr-Cas9 technology. Dr. Haely is a dynamic and entertaining lecturer who is active in the leadership of her own Lutheran church, and who has the expertise to make the subject understandable to leaders of the faith community.

The Reformed/Presbyterian tradition has long embraced the idea that a part of its role in nurturing Christian disciples is exploring the interface between science and faith. Dr. Haely's talk is an opportunity for the presbytery's leadership to stay abreast of developments in this potentially world-changing technology. Please join us if you can.  

Henry Pearce,
Moderator

Click here to download the Presbytery of the Western Reserve's Pulpit Supply List (churches only)

Dougbe River Presbyterian School of Liberia

Many of our congregations have contributed to the progress of the Dougbe River Presbyterian School, which opened in November 2012 and currently serves 154 students in a remote, impoverished region of eastern Liberia. It is the first school ever in Twarbo Region, which is part of Konobo District, which is part of Grand Gedeh County along Liberia’s border with Ivory Coast.

The school reopened on March 2, 2015 after being closed for seven months because of national precautions against the spread of the Ebola virus.

The school project began as the calling of Isaac Monah, a Presbyterian elder who left Twarbo as a refugee from civil war in 1990 and now lives in South Euclid, Ohio. In July 2011, the Presbytery of the Western Reserve adopted the project as a validated mission.

The school and the people of Konobo District have also benefited greatly from partnerships with Last Mile Health, which trains people from Konobo’s villages to be health-care workers there; Welthungerhilfe (aka German Agro Action), which has engineered major improvements to the area’s transportation system and water supply; and the United Nations Mission in Liberia.

Updates are available at www.drpsl.com
or www.facebook.com/dougberiverpresbyterianschool

 



 

Habitat for Humanity: Apostles Build

 

Read more about the Apostles Build here.
Visit the Apostles Build Facebook Album to see photos of the projects.
Contact Habitat's This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for more information, or to request a visit to your congregation.

 

 

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