The following article was written by Roula Alkhouri, who recently earned her D.Min. from CRCDS. She has been Pastor of First Presbyterian Church in Batavia since November 2007. She moved from Bend, Oregon, where she served for seven years as associate pastor. Roula is the first Syrian woman ordained into ministry. Roula is married to Mike Stuart who is also an ordained Presbyterian minister. Their daughter Sophia is the joy of their lives.
I write with a heavy heart about the conflict in Syria. Even though I grew up in Syria, I have been away from Syria for over 20 years. So, I write about the conflict in Syria with the disclaimer that I am somewhat of an outsider because I no longer reside in Syria and cannot possibly fully appreciate the suffering of the people of Syria right now. Yet my Syrian roots run deep. My parents, my sister, my niece, and most of my extended family still live there. I also feel a need to speak a prophetic word that comes from my Syrian Christian faith and my commitment to following the way of Jesus which I believe is a way of justice through nonviolence and love.
This article originally appeared in East Aurora Advertiser on Aug. 12, 2013, and was written by Rich Ohler, Freelance Reporter
The East Aurora Christian Church, located on the northeast corner of Main and North Grove streets, will inaugurate its new pastor, Rev. Julius D. Jackson, Jr., in a worship service on Aug. 25 at 4 p.m.
Rev. Jackson succeeds longtime pastor amos acree (lower case intentional), who retired two years ago, and interim pastor Ken Neal. The public is invited to attend the service and then meet Rev. Jackson at a reception afterward. The keynote speaker will be Dr. Marvin McMickle, president of the Colgate Rochester Crozer Divinity School, where Jackson received his Master’s of Divinity degree.
Although the inauguration marks the official beginning of Rev. Jackson’s tenure at the church, he has been on the job since May 20. From those first days, he’s been anxious to breathe some new life into the East Aurora Christian Church, especially as the congregation arrives at its 170th anniversary this October.
“First,” he said, “it’s important to understand that, now as before, all are welcome here. All faiths, all denominations, all orientations—regardless of your position in life, you are welcome. We are a Disciples of Christ church, affiliated with the United Church of Christ, but our doors are open to all.”
Recent focus has been brought to the issue of minority hiring and workplace diversity on public sector projects in and around Rochester by the local paper. Progress in that direction is an important step in the right direction. That being said, I remind this community that equal if not more attention must be given to the hiring of minority workers on private sector projects as well. Whether one looks at construction for grocery stores, hospitals, universities, business parks, or corporate offices, there is an obvious absence of diversity on those sites. This is 2013, and the absence of women and ethnic minorities on so many conspicuous construction sites is an affront to the history of Rochester as a progressive community. We should and we must do better!
We received word from Princeton Theological Seminary of the death of Dr. Paul William Meyer, the Helen H. P. Manson Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis Emeritus. Professor Meyer who died at the age of 89 on Monday, July 29, in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, is survived by his wife, Mary Lou, and by two daughters, Katherine and Elizabeth.
The son of missionaries to India, Professor Meyer earned his Th.D. from Union Theological Seminary, New York, before beginning a teaching career at Yale University Divinity School as Assistant Professor of New Testament. At Yale, he began a lifelong friendship with J. Louis Martyn and was a teacher of both Wayne Meeks and Moody Smith. He subsequently became Professor of New Testament Interpretation at Colgate Rochester Divinity School (1964-1970), before joining the faculty of Vanderbilt (1970-1978), followed by Princeton Theological Seminary where he served until his retirement in 1989. He was the Shaffer Lecturer at Yale in 1976. His collected essays, and his masterful, succinct commentary on Paul’s Letter to the Romans, were published in 2004 under the title, The Word in this World, edited by John T. Carroll.
Condolences may be sent to Mrs. Paul Meyer, 750 Weaver Dairy Road, Apt. 134, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, 27514. May we remember Dr. Meyer and his family at this time.