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Immigration attorney will preach on worship and immigration

Oct 31, 2008

Immigration attorney and minister to preach first sermon of seven-part series on worship and global issues

At the close of the 20th century, the Christian church was struggling with a multitude of issues ranging from multiculturalism to environmentalism. In the 21st century the conversations continue as churches consider ways in which to educate their members about global issues and to help them connect their experience of these issues to their worship of God. Pastoral leaders, themselves, must develop a theological awareness of how to relate what happens outside the church walls to what happens in worship individually and communally.

The Worship Resource Center at Louisville Seminary, supported by a Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship and directed by Louisville Seminary Professor Claudio Carvalhaes, will offer a seven part sermon series spread over two academic semesters that will explore the relationship between worship and immigration, persons with disabilities, African Americans, women, children, mission, and technology. Guest preachers and worship leaders will help shape each service that will be followed by a luncheon during which the worshippers may engage the preacher in continued conversation.

On Thursday, November 6, Julia Thorne will lead a worship service focused on worship and immigration. Thorne is the manager for Immigration Issues for the Presbyterian Church (USA) in Louisville, Ky. She serves as a resource and adviser for presbyteries and churches regarding immigration law and other immigration issues by working with Presbyterian and interfaith partners on immigration education and advocacy for the reform of current immigration policies, procedures, and laws in accordance with General Assembly policy. She is the only immigration attorney on the General Assembly staff, and one of a few among other national denominations.

Thorne believes immigration is one of the most important issues facing the church today. At the 2008 New Immigrant Ministries Convocation, held Sept. 16 at the Presbyterian Church (USA) Center, Thorne said survival of the Presbyterian denomination will depend upon an outreach to immigrant communities in the U.S. “In 30 years, the U.S. is going to be minority Caucasian,” she explained, “but the Presbyterian Church (USA) is 90 percent Caucasian — unless something changes, we’re dying.” At Louisville Seminary, Thorn will share her message with men and women who are preparing for ministry as pastors, chaplains, pastoral counselors, teachers, denominational and agency leaders for an ever-changing, diverse world.

This service will be held at 10:10 a.m. in the Frank H. Caldwell Chapel at Louisville Seminary, and it is also open to the public.

Louisville Seminary was awarded a $20,000 Worship Renewal Grant from the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship, Grand Rapids, Michigan, with funds provided by Lilly Endowment Inc., to help the Seminary renew its commitment to worship and utilize Caldwell Chapel in more expanded and diverse ways. Carvalhaes is directing the grant project, working with a student chapel coordinator and several students, who serve as part of the Chapel Ministers Team.

For more information about this sermon series, please contact Josh Robinson (chapel@lpts.edu) 502.992-9337. For information about the Presbyterian Church (USA) and immigration, please visit www.pcusa.org/immigration.

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