Sunday, June 22, 2014


Dear Friends,
Last week was busy, substantial and exhausting.  Last week I was blessed to be a Missionary Advisory Delegate (MAD) at the 221st General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

A week ago I attended church at the Broadstreet Presbyterian church in Detroit, Michigan.  It is the historic African American Presbyterian church in Detroit.  The worship style was distinctly different from the worship styles of primarily caucasion attended Presbyterian churches in the states and also distinctly different from the African churches in Africa which I have attended.

In the midst of worship I had the realization that just as I have an interest in my historical origins in places like Ireland and Scotland, it makes sense to me that African Americans would have an interest in finding out about their African roots and historical origins.

Scottish bagpipes joyfully led the beginning of the opening of the GA last week.  Presbyterians have our roots in Scotland.  Many people who have nothing of Scottish blood in their veins are Presbyterian, and at the same time Scotland is where our Presbyterian heritage hails from thanks to John Knox.  The Reformed tradition comes from John Calvin in Geneva, but Presbyterians, we are specifically from Scotland.

There were adventures that I hope were once in a lifetime getting to the Hampton Inn here in Louisville to begin three days of becoming more equipped for my itineration assignment at the Presbyterian Center on Witherspoon Street.  Then I will have a day in the missionary housing at the Furlough Home on the Louisville Presbyterian Theological Seminary campus, I will be doing laundry in preparation for my flight to Portland, Oregon on Friday.  Saturday is the Cascades Presbytery summer Presbytery Meeting and I am very happy to be stateside so that I can attend this meeting for the Presbytery of my clergy membership. 

I am impressed by the Hampton Inn here.  For someone like myself who is essentially homeless at the moment it provides something of a homey atmosphere.  There are several spaces (rooms I guess) with comfortable chairs and coaches and coffee is always available.  In the mornings there is a nice breakfast provided, with more coffee.  My room does not have a frig which was a bit of a surprise after the hotel room in Detroit which DID have a frig....but the room has a wonderful bed that I am assuming is King Size and a coach and desk that give it more the feel of a bathroom/bedroom/living area.  I am grateful for that sense of American normalacy. 

More soon....

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Dear Friends,
It has been a while since I have connected with you in this blog.  I have left Lusaka and made the journey back to the United States where I am at the moment.  I have spent the first almost three weeks of this trip in the Seattle area where my childhood and adult roots were and are.  I have been on Itineration Assignment here in Seattle;  recovering from jet lag, attempting to acquire an organized system for traveling and living out of a suitcase, preaching, joining Presbyterian Women at lunch, and conducting adult Question and Answer sessions at several local churches. 

Tomorrow I will leave this region of the United States and head for Detroit, Michigan.  There I will join thousands of other Presbyterians at the General Assembly.  I am looking forward to this time of fellowship and deliberating on how the Triune God is at work in the life of the Presbyterian Church (USA).

From this time of transition into the work of the church I will move into another period of Itineration Assignment which will take me back to the West Coast to the Presbytery of the Cascades (and my Presbytery of membership) and then to the heartland of Pennsylvania.  In Pennsylvania I will be on the staff of the New Wilmington Mission Conference and then will remain for a few days in the bounds of Shenango Presbytery preaching and doing presentations before I return to my home base of Louisville, Kentucky.

I continue to await word of my return to South Sudan and the time of the reopening of the Nile Theological College.  As of this moment the situation in South Sudan remains volatile and uncertain.  Children are out of school foraging for leaves and water lilies to supplement the meager rations that organizations such as the United Nations are able to provide to IDPs (Internally Displaced Persons) in refugee camps or on United Nations bases.  There is a real concern that famine may come in the near future to many thousands or millions of people in South Sudan.

Please continue to pray for the country of South Sudan and in particular for the faculty, staff and students of the Nile Theological College.  The longer the disruption of education is prolonged the harder it may become to resume it.