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News, events, updates, and tidbits from the Presbyterian Historical Society. Use tags to read related articles or sort by author for similar posts written by PHS staff members and volunteers.

October 14, 2022

This story contains content that may be distressing to readers including accounts of violence and the actions of hate groups against the LGBTQIA+ community.

“We are particularly saddened that some have used the language of religion to insult his family with suggestions that his life was somehow less valuable. The Lord we worship and proclaim made no mention at all of sexual orientation, and welcomes, calls, and redeems all people.”

These were the words of John Buchanan and Bob Bohl, the co-...

September 16, 2022

Building Knowledge and Breaking Barriers is an archives-based learning project that brings educators, students, and student-support networks from Community College of Philadelphia together with the material and staff resources of the Presbyterian Historical Society, a Philadelphia archive with over 500 years of history to explore.

On September 15, PHS staff welcomed participants in the BKBB project for a discussion of the students' projects, collaboration, access to the archives, source sets for educators, and more. Panelists included...

September 7, 2022

Becoming the Body—this is the title of the speech John Buchanan presented to the audience of the first annual conference hosted by the Covenant Network of Presbyterians.

Hosted in Denver, Colorado, the weekend of November 5, 1998, this conference was organized in response to the failure of Amendment A to be passed at that year’s General Assembly. The theme of this monumental first meeting was “Living Faithfully in the Church When We Disagree.”

This theme reflected the worries of Presbyterians in relation to the...

August 29, 2022

It is 1917.

A crowd has gathered in Yokohama to watch a special ceremony take place. They wait with bated breath as an elderly woman, seated in an armchair, decorated for this special event, is carried on the shoulders of four men.

She approaches the office of the Governor of the Japanese prefecture. Governor Ariyoshi, speaking with the voice of Emperor Taishō, bestows upon the woman a medal.

Miss Julia N. Crosby, an eighty-five-year-old New Yorker, is gifted with a Blue Ribbon in the name of the Emperor, an honor seldom accorded.

A century later, a Presbyterian...

August 19, 2022

In the Sanctuary movement of the 1980s, American churches challenged the authority of the federal government by sheltering Central Americans who fled civil war and paramilitary death squads.

On August 18, PHS staff welcomed a number of individuals into a discussion about the Sanctuary movement. Speakers included Presbyterian Sanctuary workers Rev. John Fife and Mary Ann Lundy; Patty Barcelo, who fled Guatemala with her family as a child in the 1980s; and Amanda Craft, Manager of Immigration Advocacy at the Office of the General Assembly.

The group spoke about the power of the...

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