"A Gandhian Approach to Syria"

The following reflection was written by alumnus George Payne, who is Peace and Justice Educator at the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence.

It is clear that the overwhelming majority of Americans do not support military involvement in Syria. Some denounce military action because Syria does not immediately endanger America’s national security. Others contend that two dreadful attempts at nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan have left Americans war weary. And still others decry the use of force based on its limited effectiveness in deterring the Bashar al-Assad regime.There are also detractors who base their opposition on economic and political philosophy. Following a foreign policy agenda that dates back to President Washington, this group asserts that a war in Syria will not promote the mandates of the Constitution, nor will it prevent a foreign dictator from encroaching on the livelihood of American citizens. If this opposition was not staunch enough, President Obama must answer critics within his own party who prefer hard diplomacy to military action. This group believes that diplomatic overtures to China, Iran and Russia may be the only way to bring peaceful order to this crisis.

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Alumna's Art Featured at Rochester Fringe Festival

This message originally appeared as an announcement from the American Baptist Churches of the Rochester/Genesee Region

K-SUDDABY-FRINGE2013This September at the Rochester Fringe Festival, Katie Jo Suddaby will be creating Sand Mandalas in the atrium of Geva Theater! Katie Jo is the Pastor of The Baptist Temple in Brighton. When not pastoring, she can be found creating delicate works of art by arranging thousands of tiny grains of brightly-colored sand.

Using her own designs, but employing Tibetan Buddhist techniques, Katie Jo crafts intricate works of art that are not to be missed. For the Fringe, Pastor Katie Jo will work a back-breaking 50 hours crouched over a rotating glass table. Come see the work take shape any time after 5pm on weekdays and after noon on weekends, September 19th through the 28th at Geva. (The works will be on display at Geva Theatre during the two days of Annual Gathering.)
More information at http://rochesterfringe.com/shows/show/sand-mandalas. Hope to see you there!

A Plea for Negotiations and Nonviolence in Syria

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.

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2013 Grad Julius D. Jackson Jr. Installed at Historic Western New York Church

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.

jd_jackson2-8-2013Although 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.”

Read more here.


Dr. Paul William Meyer, Former Professer, Dies at 89

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.