February 25, 2019
New Book Encourages
Difficult Conversations
About Faith and Gun Violence

by Westminster John Knox Press | Special to Presbyterian News Service

LOUISVILLE — We’ve become accustomed to the same cycle every time a shooting makes national headlines: the shock and horror, the offers of thoughts and prayers, the demands for legislative action, and the media uproar. As Christians, how do we meaningfully engage those with whom we disagree in the debate on gun violence?

As a  Disciples of Christ  minister and a Sandy Hook alumnus, Donald V. Gaffney seeks to guide readers, as moral, life-valuing people, in the difficult conversation on gun violence and inspire faithful action. His new book, “ Common Ground: Talking about Gun Violence in America ,” released Monday from  Westminster John Knox Press , is perfect for groups or individuals to reflect on and discuss guns and gun violence. Topics include the place of guns in our personal and national histories, America’s relationship to guns and redemptive violence, legislation and landmark court cases, and violence in Scripture.

“Gaffney invites readers to consider their own and America’s troubled relationship with gun violence and culture,” says the Rev. Dr. Laurie A. Kraus, director of  Presbyterian Disaster Assistance . “His journey will resonate with many who wish to work for a common solution to gun violence across the broad and increasingly polarized reaches of U.S. society from a place of faith, grief, repentance, and hope.”

Donald V. Gaffney is a Disciples of Christ minister who was born and raised in Newtown, Conn., and attended Sandy Hook Elementary School as a child. Profoundly affected by the  mass shooting  at Sandy Hook on Dec. 14, 2012, Gaffney has immersed himself in the issues surrounding gun violence, especially as it is discussed in the church. He serves as an elder at  Central Christian Church  in Hermitage, Pa.
This article was reprinted with the permission of the Presbyterian News Service.

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Confirmed Dates for the Dismantling Racism Training in 2019

Monday, May 20, 2019 at Chestnut Grove PC
(3701 Sweet Air Road, Phoenix, MD 21131), 8:30am to 5pm.
Morning refreshments and Lunch are provided
Registration Fee is $20. Registration Opens in March
Saturday, Oct. 19, 2019. Location TBA.
Registration opens in August 2019.
CPR/AED Training for Church Members
Granite Presbyterian Church is hosting a CPR/AED training session at 12 noon on Sunday, Mar. 24. Class size is limited; pre-registration is required.  

Spire Series: R esponding to Gun Violence
At 2:30pm on Sunday, Mar. 24 -- First and Franklin Presbyterian Church will host a concert to honor those who have died as a result of gun violence this past year. The concert will feature Faure's Requiem, a premier of a new composition by Dr. Mark Hardy, as well as other works. The concert supports the work of Baltimoreans United in Leadership Development ( BUILD). 

The First Presbyterian Church of Howard Co. will host  Dr. Wayne Higgins, Director of NOAA's Climate Program Office, at 2pm on Sunday, Mar. 10. Dr. Higgins will illustrate and discuss The Fourth National Climate Assessment: Impacts, Risks and Adaptation in the U.S. Bring your smartphones or iPads! For additional information, go to www.facebook.com/EarthForumHowardCounty.

Churches in need of Blue Hymnals may contact The Rev. John Schmidt of Central Presbyterian Church to obtain copies. Free of charge. First come/ first served.

Interfaith Concert at
Second Presbyterian Church
Second Presbyterian Church is hosting an interfaith concert entitled Music & Words for All Gods People at 7pm on Thursday, Feb. 28. The event features the Todd Marcus Jazz Orchestra.



Youth/Young Adult Ministry Coordinator

Acts4Youth Urgently Needs Meals
Acts4Youth is a Christian ministry providing mentoring for at-risk Baltimore City youth. The program meets with nearly 100 students weekly outside of school to provide a spiritual foundation and share a hot meal designed to nurture the students physically and strengthen community. This year Acts4Youth has seen a slowdown in the number of meals it is receiving. Meals are needed on Tuesday evenings at Second Presbyterian Church; and, Wednesday evenings and Saturdays for lunch at Central Presbyterian Church.


TE Jenny Williams will facilitate a 6-session time of prayer and reflection Monday evenings, 3/11/19 through 4/15/19, 7pm to 8:30pm at the Church of the Redeemer. Guided by the work Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life by Henri Nouwen and with a focus on Lenten themes, the sessions are designed to encourage the intentional creation of a time for contemplation and reflection in our daily life and to share the same in a weekly community practice. This is a program of Inner Harbor Wellness. Contact Jenny if you would like to attend: jennywilliams1800@gmail.com or all 410.523.3961.
First Call, First Steps (Seminary students and candidates)
Mar. 7, 2019 Union Presbyterian Seminary, Richmond, VA
Apr. 1, 2019, Pittsburgh Theological Seminary Pittsburgh, PA

Growing into Tomorrow…Today (pre-retirement seminar)
Mar. 7-8, 2019 Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ (Registration open until Feb. 18, 2019)

Aug. 22-23, 2019 Montreat Conference Center
Montreat, NC (Registration opens May 20–Aug. 2, 2019
 Render Unto Caesar (terms of call and clergy taxes)

Mar. 6, 2019 Princeton Theological Seminary, NJ
(Registration open until Feb 18, 2019
For other locations, please contact Devin Johns, program administrator at 215-587-7459 or email education@pensions.org  with FCFS in the subject line.
Please visit our website at www.pensions.org .  
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