Links to other
groups & sites
While we'd love to claim that Witherspoon can tell you everything you need
to know about progressive Presbyterians, we know that just ain't so.
So here are links to a variety of Web sites where you'll find much
information and many opinions from groups within or on the edges of the
Presbyterian Church (USA).
Can you suggest some new links?
Please send a note!
Please keep in mind that a listing here does not imply our recommendation, or
a guarantee of the accuracy of everything you'll find on these sites. This
list is just to help you find a spectrum of views.
your wanderings - but we hope you'll use your browser's "Back" button
to come back to Witherspoon to explore a little more!
The Presbyterian Church (USA) official web
site offers a wealth of news and information.
Washington Office provides our church with a voice in the political life of
our nation -- and provides us with many resources for the expression of our
faith in the political arena.
Presbyterian United Nations Office, located at the Church Center for
the UN in New York City, was established in 1988, but carries on a long
history of Presbyterian involvement in social justice and international
affairs. It bears witness in the midst of the UN to our church's
positions on international issues, and it organizes seminars, workshops
and resources designed to help our church constituency learn about the
Presbyterian Peacemaking Program provides lots of good resources for
study, worship, and action.
These new pages have recently been opened [in May
2002] on the PC(USA) site:
Unofficial groups and publications related to the
Fellowship "is a
national community of Presbyterians who trust in the nonviolent Jesus
Christ. We call forth and celebrate prophetic action by individuals and
by our denomination in the search for alternatives to violence,
exploitation, militarism, and war." (Check out their
redesigned and beautiful and informative website!)
The Covenant Network is a
coalition of congregations and individuals committed to a united and more
inclusive Presbyterian Church.
The More Light Presbyterians
network includes congregations and individuals working for the full inclusion of
gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people within the life of the
Restoring Creation is a faith community dedicated to environmental wholeness
with social justice seeking to be a prophetic voice for substantive change in
the church and in the world.
great source for information and action against torture, was
initiated by people who took part in the
2005 Peacemaking Conference at Ghost Ranch.
They held an important conference and witness in Miami early in January.
of Sophia is "a community of women and men in the larger community of the
Presbyterian Church (USA) being reformed by God through the Spirit of
the living Christ, and working toward the transformation of the church
into a discipleship of equals."
of Stoles is a traveling exhibit of hundreds of
liturgical stoles, given by or dedicated to those whose gifts are not welcomed
by the Presbyterian Church because of their sexual orientation, or who must
serve in silence. And click here to see Director
Martha Juillerat's vivid story of the whole venture as an affirmation of the
gifts of people whose gifts are not accepted by the PC(USA).
All May Freely Serve (TAMFS) is "... a group of dedicated Christians,
working within the boundaries of existing Presbyterian Church (USA) policy ...
[to] open barriers in order to permit gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender (GLBT)
people to serve openly as clergy, elders, and deacons within the
Parents of Gays and Lesbians (PPGL) "provide[s] a support network
of pastoral care and information about homosexuality to parents of gay and
lesbian children in an environment of faith that is safe, nurturing and
confidential so that parents may strive toward understanding, acceptance and
affirmation of themselves and their sons and daughters."
(Always Being Reformed) is a group of Presbyterians working for the theological
renewal of the church along the lines of classical "liberalism."
They have now merged with the Witherspoon Society, and their web site is now hosted
The Presbyterian Outlook is
"an independent weekly serving the Presbyterian Church (USA)," and
provides good news coverage from a fairly centrist position.
PresbyWeb offers an awesome array of
links to Presbyterian-related web sites, plus updates on news relating to the
church. If the site seems to offer a somewhat conservative point of view,
that may well be because the Presbyterian Right has thus far been more active on
the Web than progressive groups. Its
creator, Hans Cornelder, has recently been named to membership on the
board of the Presbyterian Coalition.
The Presbyterian Layman web site offers
viewpoints almost totally in opposition to those held by the Witherspoon
Society. If you want to know what the Radical Right in the Presbyterian
Church is thinking and saying, that's the place to start. The site
includes links to many other conservative sites.
Presbyterian Coalition is a
relatively new umbrella group for organizations on the Presbyterian Right.
Its web site offers articles from its newsletter and other items.
Groups beyond the Presbyterian Church
of our visitors have suggested that we provide links to groups and web sites of
other denominations. Believing that there really is a world beyond
the PCUSA, we offer a few links here. If you can suggest others, please
send them to the Webmaster.
National Council of Churches provides a variety of
information - including the story of an alliance between NCC and
Habitat for Humanity to build houses in Korea, and the latest
ecumenical statements on the energy debate.
Re-Imagining Community is a "global, ecumenical community of
acceptance where exploration, discussion, study, and practice of the
Christian faith are carried out freely and responsibly to seek justice,
honor creation, and call the church into solidarity with all people of
God." [Note: As of October 2005
this site seems to be inactive.]
The Interfaith Alliance is a nonpartisan, interfaith organization committed to three main goals: promoting the positive role of religion as a healing and constructive force in public life, encouraging the renewal of religious values within our families and neighborhoods, and providing people of faith with an alternative voice to that of the radical religious right.
justice-oriented sites from other Protestant churches include:
Bread for the World is "a nationwide Christian citizens movement seeking justice for the world's hungry people by lobbying our nation's decision makers."
Their current focus is Jubilee 2000 and Project Debt Relief.
Institute for Democracy Studies is a research and educational center that
studies anti-democratic religious and political movements and organizations in
the U.S and internationally. For information on their recent study of the
"Religious Right" in the Presbyterian Church, click
The Center for Progressive Christianity
an ecumenical coalition of progressive Christian congregations around the world
which is "encouraging churches to care about people who find organized religion irrelevant, ineffectual, or
Online has been launched to promote unity among the
700+ denominations in the Reformed tradition about the world.
The site provides information and news about these churches,
coming events, and a virtual library of documents, books and
papers related to the Reformed tradition.
began as a very ambitious web site, offering religious news covering a
spectrum of religions and nations. It currently (early 2008) seems to reflect
American popular-evangelical patterns of belief, but is certainly not
exclusively that. There are voices of other faith traditions as
well, and it's a place worth visiting now and then.
Moving Ideas: The electronic policy network,
offers a quick look at lots of material - news items, analysis, opinion.
This is a project of The American Prospect magazine, and like the
magazine it reflects a responsible, progressive approach to current
is a service provided by a small band of volunteers, who compose letters
directed to legislators and others, presenting them with views on a wide
range of issues from a progressive point of view. They send
you the letter, you read it, and if you want to send it then you just
click and reply. Progressive Secretary does the rest.
The Institute for Food and
Development Policy – better known as Food First
– is a member-supported, nonprofit peoples' think tank and
education-for-action center. Their work highlights root causes and
value-based solutions to hunger and poverty around the world, with a
commitment to establishing food as a fundamental human right. Their web
site has over a thousand articles on
social justice, development, aid, trade, sustainable agriculture, and
social movements – and lots more!
Lutheran web site carries news from the Lutheran
Alliance for Full Participation
webmaster describes the site:
goodsoil.org is a grassroots campaign to change the
discriminatory Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA)
policy regarding ordination of lgbt clergy and to protect the
right of ELCA pastors to bless convenanted same-gender
He adds that "the ELCA's church-wide assembly in
August this year has the opportunity to make decisions on these
matters, and much of our effort is oriented toward that decision
point." Here’s a good place to follow their efforts.
-- a website for faith explorers
Supported largely by Episcopal congregations in the US,
it has brief essays by such luminaries as Marcus Borg, Barbara Brown
Taylor, as well others less well known. Dugan adds, "There are many
interesting links for questions, thoughts, ideas for those on their
respective spiritual journeys and development."
A few samples:
answers the question, What is the significance of the cross and the
crucifixion of Jesus?|
Rev. Margaret Gunness, a retired Episcopal priest, writes on "Do I
have to believe that Christ literally rose from the dead to be a
Two interesting new websites [11-10-04]
Anyone can be a peacemaker.
The site is described thus: "The Bruderhof Peacemakers Guide was created
to inspire and empower you to work for peace, and to arm you with living
proof of the power of nonviolence to effect change and resolve
conflicts. Some of the peacemakers featured on this website are famous,
others obscure, but all have dedicated their lives to building a more
peaceful and just world through nonviolent means. For each you will find
a short biography, an original portrait, and links to further reading.
"We've also supplied you with ammunition to help you
convince those who doubt the practicality of nonviolence. In this
section you'll find writings on nonviolence, reconciliation, conflict
resolution, pacifism, and conscientious objection to military service,
as well as free e-books on peace-related themes."
The site includes material on such peacemakers as Jim
Wallis, Thich Nhat Hanh, Thomas Merton, and Jun Yasuda.
|A new website boldly proclaims
"Jesus Is a
is described by its creators as "a website for liberal and progressive
thinking Christians. This website is for those who believe that the
teachings of Jesus outline a liberal, progressive, tolerant, loving,
open minded, holistic, and sustainable vision for our World."
Logan, one of the creators of the site, says further: "While we come
from three different Christian denominations, we all share one faith and
a compelling belief in the positive good news of Jesus and His teachings
and what they ask of us and require of us in living our faith -- good
deeds, honesty (personal and professional), the cessation of violence &
war, fairness & justice, a caring compassionate acceptance of others and
tolerance for all whom we disagree with -- provided they do us no harm
-- and a Liberal, Progressive, Tolerant, Loving, open minded, holistic,
and sustainable vision for our World. There is so much work to do in
The lighter side of the Web
If you enjoy satiric views of American religion, drop in on "Landover
Baptist: America's Favorite Church." If you take conservative
Christianity -- especially of the Southern Baptist variety -- with ultimate
seriousness, avoid this site; otherwise, enjoy it.
And if you prefer to laugh at progressive Presbyterians, take a look at PresbyWorld,
"the satire site for Presbyterians." Here's satire aimed at
folks like the sponsors of this website -- along with serious expositions of
conservative views on current issues. You may find some of the humor to be in
poor taste, but .... you've been warned.
website launched to strengthen progressive Christian voices
The Progressive Christian Witness
is an Internet-based initiative to strengthen progressive Christian
voices in public discussion across America, especially in
communities where the dominant voice is that of the religious right.
Progressive voices proclaim the redemptive heritage of the Christian
faith in a manner that is biblically and theologically responsible,
ethically committed, and informed by current knowledge.
A ministry of Pacific School of Religion (PSR) to
be launched on January 24, 2006, The Progressive Christian
Witness (PCW) presents a growing collection of resources that
bring a progressive Christian perspective to significant issues in
American life—for example, the authority of the Bible, gender and
sexuality, government and economics, environmental stewardship,
beginning and end of life ethical issues, and America’s role in the
world. PCW’s Witness pages publish brief, theologically
grounded articles on these topics. Witness articles are available as
PDFs designed to be included in Sunday worship bulletins or
distributed for adult class discussions. Its Explorations
pages provide more extensive essays by Christian scholars and
pastors. The Other Voices page carries briefly annotated
links to scores of other progressive Christian websites. These
resources can be used in shaping sermons, Bible study, media
statements, and other forms of public discourse.
Click here to sign up for our email newsletter; direct questions
and comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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A whole new
treasure-trove of connections: Blogs for thoughtful and curious
A blog for eager readers and explorers of faith
Your WebWeaver must confess he is a bit baffled by the current flood of
blogs, but he’s slowly recognizing that there are good things worth a visit
now and then.
Let me introduce just one of them today, and I’ll try to
be back with more suggestions in the weeks to come.
And if you have suggestions, please send a note! We don’t
want this website to become just a advertising list of blogs, and we won’t
automatically recommend just anything that is mentioned. But if you can
suggest a blog page that offers helpful news and commentary about church
and/or society – and especially the interactions between them – we’ll be
happy to consider mentioning it. (Even if it’s your own!)
Just send a note!
Enough introduction. Here’s our first venture into the
wild world of blogs:
Shuck and Jive
is the creation of the Rev. John Shuck, who
describes his blog thus: "A Presbyterian minister blogs about spirituality,
culture, religion (both organized and disorganized), life, evolution,
literature, Jesus and lightening up. John Shuck is the pastor of the First
Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton, Tennessee (a liberal church on the
buckle of the Bible belt)."
A couple recent samples:
On March 29, as part of a series of blogs on
readings for Holy Week, he gave very brief introductions to books such
as Marcus Borg's latest, Jesus: Uncovering the Life, Teachings, and
Relevance of a Religious Revolutionary; Borg and John Dominic Crossan’s
The Last Week: A Day-by-Day Account of Jesus' Final Week in Jerusalem;
and James Tabor’s The Jesus Dynasty – among others!
Shuck reads a lot, but he doesn’t limit himself to the
library. He offers his own theological and ethical reflections on a wide
range of issues, including the environment, politics, the church, the
American Empire, and more. Much more.
For a slightly different tone, check out his thoughts for
Saturday, March 31, on the topic
"Sometimes I wish I was a RevGal," which begins: "Do you notice the
difference between clergy boy bloggers and clergy girl bloggers? There
really is a difference."
As with many bloggers, he invites visitors to subscribe to
e-mail updates sent whenever he adds to his blog.
So – what do you think of blogs (either Shuck and
Jive in particular, or others, or the whole proliferating genre)?
Just send a note with
your comments and recommendations, and we’ll share it here.
for the curious and the thoughtful
After recommending on blog
of interest to progressive Presbyterians (and others!), we asked for other
suggestions. We’ve received some very good suggestions:
Please consider my blog --
http://www.abundancetrek.com/blog . I think
it's unique. I promote progressive Christianity, progressive Politics, the
Perennial Philosophy and the New Church for the New Age. Sometimes I write
my own stuff but usually I'm more like the webweaver finding good stuff and
offering links and excerpts. I'm a retired Presbyterian pastor with too much
time on my hands -- actively involved at First Presbyterian Church, Utica
and Presbytery of Utica Church & Society Committee chaired by John Preston
-- but I do enjoy blogging and I would love a little more attention from the
Progressive Presbyterian community. Thanks. I do link to WS items from time
to time, most recently March 27.
John A Wilde
Two blogs from San Francisco Theological Seminary
The following pair of blogs are by myself and a good
friend. We are both seminary students at SFTS who bring a unique perspective
to the blogosphere.
We've been very active lately in commenting and debating
on the conservative blogs of Jim Berkley,
http://www.jimberkley.blogspot.com/ and Tom Gray,
In return we've drawn the attention of a variety of people
who disagree with our progressive views, but we welcome the opportunity for
Incidentally, I'm writing a series of rebuttals to the
work of Robert Gagnon of Pittsburgh Theological Seminary, that your readers
might be interested in.
This suggestion comes from John Mann, formerly a PC(USA)
pastor, now serving in the Church of Scotland. He has contributed a number
of reports and essays here. For
one example >>
I would recommend the blog at Preaching Peace,
www.preachingpeace.org; I must
add though that I'm partial to it because I am one the regular contributors.
Take Care - John Mann
If you have one or two favorite blogs (even your own),
just send a note.
And unless we have serious doubts, we’ll post it here.
Some blogs worth visiting
Mitch Trigger, PVJ's
Secretary/Communicator, has created a Facebook page where
Witherspoon members and others can gather to exchange news and
views. Mitch and a few others have posted bits of news, both
personal and organizational. But there’s room for more!
You can post your own news and views,
or initiate a conversation about a topic of interest to you.
for Life" website
Long-time and stimulating blogger John Shuck,
a Presbyterian minister currently
serving as pastor of First Presbyterian Church of Elizabethton,
Tenn., writes about spirituality, culture, religion (both organized
and disorganized), life, evolution, literature, Jesus, and
Click here for his blog posts.
Click here for podcasts of his radio program, which "explores
the intersection of religion, social justice and public life."
John Harris’ Summit to
Theological and philosophical
reflections on everything between summit to shore, including
kayaking, climbing, religion, spirituality, philosophy, theology,
The Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), New York City and the Queens
neighborhood of Ridgewood -- by a progressive New York City
Presbyterian Pastor. John is a former member of the Witherspoon
board, and is designated pastor of North Presbyterian Church in
Voices of Sophia blog
Heather Reichgott, who has created
this new blog for Voices of Sophia, introduces it:
After fifteen years of scholarship
and activism, Voices of Sophia presents a blog. Here, we present the
voices of feminist theologians of all stripes: scholars, clergy,
students, exiles, missionaries, workers, thinkers, artists, lovers
and devotees, from many parts of the world, all children of the God
in whose image women are made. .... This blog seeks to glorify God
through prayer, work, art, and intellectual reflection. Through
articles and ensuing discussion we hope to become an active and
Got more blogs to recommend?
send a note, and we'll see what we can do!