Divided Presbyterians reunite

A 32-year-old rivalry between presbyteries in Taiwan has finally ended in reconciliation. Over 10,000 members of the Kaohsiung and Longevity Mountain Presbyteries of the Presbyterian Church in Taiwan gathered for reconciliation. Members from the presbyteries' 138 congregations met at National Kaohsiung University for a worship service. PCT General Secretary William J.K. Lo preached the sermon. The two presbyteries were the result of a split in 1972 over issues of polity. Twenty-four churches left the Kaohsiung Presbytery for the newly formed Longevity Mountain.

AIDS demands action, says moderator

Moderator Rick Fee is passionate about ending the AIDS crisis. The situation is worsened by the moralistic approach taken by some countries and the churches stuck with the disease. Fee never hesitates to speak up about this deadly approach. "The classic approach of churches has been to follow the letters of the alphabet, where A is for abstinence, B is for be faithful, and C is for condoms," he said. "But the next letter is D, and with this disease, that is known as death."

Sudan's solution: peace not relief

"The ultimate solution to a resolution of the crisis is to have peace," said Elizabeth Majok, a mother of five from southern Sudan. As a regional representative at the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC), Mrs. Majok visited Canada for two weeks in November and December to tell the story of the conflict in Sudan and the women who are working towards peace. "People want peace," she said, "but they don't know where to start."

Salvadoran street minister says God hates religiosity

God wants "love, compassion and justice," said Baptist minister Ramon Ramirez. A native of El Salvador, Ramirez has devoted his life to ministering on the streets. He said God did not call the church to a "false religiosity" of empty liturgy, sacrifice, and ignoring the commandments, but a rich faith based on caring for the poor and fighting for social justice. Saying God hates religion, he pointed to the books of Amos, Deuteronomy, Leviticus, Micah and Isaiah to stress this belief. "It is a very dangerous thing when one reaches a comfort level and strays from God's commandments," he said during an interview at church offices, speaking through Rev. Jim Patterson, a Presbyterian missionary and friend.

Arson threats to PCUSA condemned

The Presbyterian Church USA has come under fire for what some are calling "anti-Israel and anti-Jewish" attitudes. A letter addressed to PCUSA promised violence against Presbyterian churches, saying "they will go up in flames." The letter set a Nov. 15 deadline for the Church to reverse its Middle East policies. No attacks have been reported.

New clerk of finance

The finance department at 50 Wynford Drive is pleased to welcome Margaret Bucknole as the new senior clerk, accounts receivable. Born in Fraserborough, Scotland, she emigrated to Canada with her parents, Mary and Bill Noble, in the 1950's. Margaret lives in Pickering with her husband Chris and their three sons David, Andrew and Matthew. They are members at St. Andrew's, Ajax, Ont.