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Preaching and Public Leadership: News We Can Use!

In a world of twenty-four hour newscasts, we receive constant reports of incivility and hostility.  Many of our leaders seem unwilling or unable to transcend the gravitational pull that drags public conversation and conduct to its lowest levels.

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Loftier heights are possible. Our life together—in the body politic and the body of Christ—can reach upward, ascending beyond the current constraints of partisan divisiveness and parochial narrowness.

02-09-2011 by

Author
Alicia Leonardi
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In her book "Faithful Disagreement: Wrestling with Scripture in the Midst of Church Conflict", Dr. Frances Taylor Gench describes her five-year involvement with the task force reporting on the Peace, Unity and Purity of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), which was commissioned by the denomination’s 213th General Assembly. She describes this time as a challenging exercise in the art of listening.
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The Zenos Lectures, which she delivered at McCormick on February 21, 2011, were an extension of these same suggestions on how to listen but with an even greater emphasis on the Bible, drawing upon her latest book, "Desperate Housewives? Engaging Tyrannical Texts".

She mentioned that many people tacitly think their own position is the proper one and create a stereotype of the other side - either liberal bleeding hearts who don’t value the Word or conservative prooftexters who don’t value people.

02-04-2011

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The Rev. Dr. Cynthia Campbell, President of McCormick Theological Seminary, is the author of God’s Abundant Table, the 2011 Moderator’s Lenten study published by Witherspoon Press, an imprint of Congregational Ministries Publishing of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
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God’s Abundant Table begins with the premise that the Eucharist, or “thanksgiving meal” of the church, is far more than a reenactment of the meal in the Upper Room. Rightly understood, Campbell suggests, the Lord’s Supper is connected to Jesus’ entire ministry, to the entire story of God’s relationship with God’s people, to our everyday meals, and to the ministry to which each of us is called as Christ’s followers.

02-01-2011 by

Author
Grayson Van Camp
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The following is a personal assessment of the historic events unfolding now in Egypt from Mafik Wahba, Ph.D., Associate Professor of Global Christianity at Tyndale University and Seminary in Canada. Professor Wahba received his M.A. in Theological Studies from McCormick in 1985.
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The crisis in Egypt is widening with potential impact on world peace and economical stability. Two months ago, after I gave two TV interviews that were broadcasted across the Middle East and North Africa, my observation was “the situation in the Middle East is deteriorating by the hour.” I did not expect, however, that the situation would take such an unprecedented and dangerous turn as we have been watching during the last week.
I would like to share my thoughts on the current crisis in order for us to pray for this volatile situation.

01-19-2011 by

Author
Geoff Ashmun
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The Reverend Bruce Reyes-Chow, Moderator of the 218th General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) and Pastor of Mission Bay Community Church in San Francisco, will be leading worship and a pair of workshops here at LEAD 2011, March 5, at First Presbyterian Church of Glen Ellyn, west of Chicago.

In preparing a primer for the event, I spent a few minutes talking to Bruce about the subject of his morning workshop, “Institutional Fluidity and the Nature of Church Leadership for the Future.”
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As past-moderator, you had the unique opportunity to visit a lot of congregations across the country. In terms of leadership needs and the need to be flexible or “fluid” as institutions, what did you observe?
I think pastors increasingly have to navigate the cultural waters of how people’s lives move and work and figure out how that best translates into how we run the Church. What about the cultural realities of how people do work, for instance, now need to be integrated into the life of the Church?

11-17-2010

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At its annual alumni/ae luncheon on October 26, McCormick presented the Reverend Michael McConnell with the 2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his "creative witness to the love of God in Jesus Christ for all people through peacemaking efforts illustrating the human cost of war, advocacy for under-served urban communities, and campaigns to engage congregations in the plight of refugees." The following is the text from his acceptance speech before a gathering of faculty, staff, students and alumni/ae at Hyde Park Union Church on Chicago's South Side.
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Because of my job, most days I wake up thinking how can we help people understand the meaning of spending a trillion dollars on war or $720 billion every year for the Defense budget? That’s $2 billion every day for the military. I can already see your eyes glazing over. You can imagine my interest when I heard of a new study that tried to find out what is the largest number that people can understand and act on. Any ideas? The number is one. Write a fundraising letter on the plight of two starving children and there is less generosity than if only one is mentioned.

11-13-2010 by

Author
Alicia Leonardi
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Can theological education in the city really speak to the needs and experiences of a rural church community?
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Rev. Sherrie Drake (D.Min. Class of 2009) sharpened her pastoral skills through McCormick’s Doctor of Ministry Program in Chicago, the third largest city in the country and home to nearly 3 million people within the city limits alone. And yet, for the past 10 years, she has served as Pastor of Parker City United Methodist Church in Parker City, Indiana – home of approximately 1,300 people. The entire town has one zip code and one-tenth of its members belong to the church.

09-27-2010

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Hispanic Heritage Month again finds McCormick Theological Seminary’s Center for the Study of Latin@ Theology and Ministry partnering with the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago and Catholic Theological Union to offer a multidisciplinary series of educational events around the theme of “Manos Sanadoras” (or “Healing Hands”), which celebrates the theological, cultural and civic contributions Latin@s are making to our contemporary society.
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UPDATE: The event with Edwin Hernandez has been moved to Saturday, December 4, 2010

Summary
A practical, interactive, cross-disciplinary program for clergy and lay leaders discussing Environmental Ministry in terms of the State of Creation, Biblical Foundations, Theological Foundations and Christian Ethics.
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05-09-2010

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McCormick Theological Seminary is pleased to announce the appointment of The Rev. Dr. David D. Daniels III to the Henry Winters Luce Chair of World Christianity. Daniels succeeds the late Dr. Ogbu U. Kalu, who held this distinguished position until his death in December of 2008.
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“The breadth and depth of David’s scholarship in the history of and current trends in global Christianity make him an excellent choice for this important role at McCormick,” said Dr. Luis Rivera, Dean of the Faculty and Vice President for Academic Affairs.