Yet Again For St. Mark's Church
7:30 p.m. -- NoRNC clearinghouse informational open house; Saint Mark's Church, Second Avenue and 10th Street.
Again With St. Mark's Church
7:30 p.m. -- Anti-RNC anarchists hold teach-in and media briefing; St. Mark's Church, 131 East 10th St., at Second Avenue.
On the Schedule:
4:30 p.m. -- Press conference with anti-RNC and anti-capitalist organizers of this weekend's ``Life After Capitalism'' conference; St. Mark's Church, Second Avenue and 10th Street.Isn't that a blatant violation of their non-profit status?
And tomorrow, something a little more light-hearted:
3 p.m. -- Christian Cultural Center hosts annual ``Bike Blessing'' and Community Outreach; Christian Cultural Center, 12020 Flatlands Ave., Brooklyn.
2 p.m. -- The Christian Defense Coalition discusses prayer vigils at Madison Square Garden during the Republican National Convention; Seventh Avenue and 33rd Street.
McGreevey & Gluten
Oh, and maybe there's another religious angle: McGreevey thinks that breaking your marriage vows to have a homosexual relationship is cause for resigning a governmental post. The Episcopal Church USA apparently believes it's no barrier to becoming a bishop.Oh, dis!
Also via CTB, this story on communion and celiac sprue disease, wherein an 8-year-old girl in Trenton may not receive a wafer made of rice, though she cannot ingest wheat without harming her health. Sounds like a story worth following up on elsewhere, given that:
Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is a genetic disorder that affects an estimated one in 133 Americans.
More on Presbyterian Resolutions...
For Thursday's New York Sun, I wrote a story about Presbyterian responses to the passing of a resolution calling for some divestment from companies doing business in or with Israel. There wasn't any space to write about another resolution that's created a lot of discussion, regarding the Presbyterian Church (USA)'s funding of Messianic Jewish congregations as missionary tools.
There was some disagreement on this resolution among Presbyterians I asked about it. A quick rundown:
- Pastor Walter Tennyson of PCUSA's Broadway Presbyterian Church supports the divestment resolution but is against Messianic Jewish funding;
- Pastor Sam Andreadis of the PCA's Village Church supports both the divestment and Messianic Jewish funding, while the PCA's news officer, Dr. Dominic Aquila, rejects divestment but is in agreement on Messianic Jewish funding;
- The Rev. Gregg Meister of Interlink Media, a PCUSA-ordained minister, is against both divestment and Messianic Jewish funding.
However, by far the most interesting example of a divided viewpoint is that coming from the controversial Messianic Jewish congregation itself, Congregation Avodat Yisrael. Their spiritual leader, Andrew Sparks, authored an essay decrying divestment. So on a matter of significant disagreement among Presbyterians, a man whose legitimacy is a matter of significant disagreement among Presbyterians, comes out in favor of the perspective more likely to be held by those against his legitimacy. Of course, the interesting question to be raised is whether he really believes this, or is just saying it for the purposes of missionizing. Hmmm...
Meanwhile, Presbyterians Concerned About Jewish Christian Relations, who sent out a release on Wednesday night decrying the divestment, have a familiar face vis a vis both Congregation Avodat Yisrael and the blogosphere. Cynthia A. Jarvis of the Chestnut Hill Presbyterian Church has been fighting with Congregation Avodat Yisrael and is the sister of Jeff Jarvis, as has been noted earlier.
Divest from Whom?
Meanwhile, Presbyterian Church (USA) has created a page on its website specifically to respond to complaints about their Jewish/Israel-related resolutions. There's much to note, but check out this nifty graf:
The decision causing the most alarm is the initiation of a process of selective divestment from companies whose business operations in Israel are found to be causing harm to innocent people there.[Emphasis added.]
But is that what the resolution actually says? I can't find any statement like that. The only qualification for limiting companies to be divested that I see is:
to divest itself of investments in companies receiving one million dollars or more in profits per year from investments in IsraelNow, maybe millionaires are the only ones causing harm in Israel, but these two statements just don't seem to cohere.
UPDATE: I just spoke with Jay Rock of PCUSA, who told me that the approved language is only that which is contained in the purple box of the resolution; the rest is what was recommended by the Presbytery of St. Augustine. The language that was actually approved was:
Refers to Mission Responsibility Through Investment Committee (MRTI) with instructions to initiate a process of phased selective divestment in multinational corporations operating in Israel, in accordance to General Assembly policy on social investing, and to make appropriate recommendations to the General Assembly Council for action.
Presbyterian Church (USA), the largest Presbyterian denomination in the United States, breaks down among New York's five boroughs thusly, if you count the 78 NYC churches on their website:
Manhattan: 28 in ManhattanAccording to a spokesperson, there are 101 NYC churches, that break down thusly:
Staten Island: 5
Manhattan: 28Whichever version is correct, it's a cool demographic snapshot.
Staten Island: 4