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13Nov 16

“Shut Up & Speak Up” – A Call to Action After the Election From Your White, Male Pastor

I have lived through enough elections now to realize that this one is different. Elections are always filled with bombastic comments, negative campaign ads, and strong feelings. But this time is different. This time people are genuinely afraid and hurt. I am afraid and hurt. As a Christian community, it is vital that we understand this and respond in love. Many of the members of the Pres House community are hurting and afraid. You are hurt because you are an immigrant or your parents are immigrants (like mine are) and the message that won on Tuesday was full of anti-immigrant vitriol. You are hurt because you are gay and the message that won on Tuesday said that your identity is not valid. You are afraid because your skin color isn’t white and the message that won on Tuesday suggested we go back to a time when America was great for…

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27Aug 15

A letter to the Pres House Community from student leader Andrea

Dear Pres House Family, I can’t believe summer is already winding down. While summer is fun and (hopefully) relaxing I am super excited about the fall! There is a lot to look forward to here at Pres House this fall. We will be welcoming hundreds of Freshmen and new students on Tuesday, September 1at Frunch. Our kickoff worship service on Sunday, September 6 at 4:30pm will be awesome. Students at Pres House believe it is important to give back to the community so one of our kickoff events will be to make homework kits for youth on Sunday, September 13. Graduate students are invited to meet for coffee and conversation every Thursday morning at 8:30am (first meeting at Colectivo on State St. on 9/10). And there is much, much more. The invitation at Pres House is to, “Bring all of who you are.” We want everyone on campus to know that…

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24Jun 15

A Letter from Hannah in Zambia

Dear supporters, I write to you today four weeks from my departure from Zambia. I leave Zambia on July 22nd and will arrive in Milwaukee late on July 23rd. I feel so many emotions as I approach the conclusion of this transformative year. I’m more than excited to see all of you again soon, and honestly, I’m currently feeling exhausted from the fatigue that usually comes midway through a school term. At the same time, I can’t imagine saying goodbye to the people around me who have changed my life. Teaching computers, mostly in theory with only my personal laptop available, has certainly been a challenge, but yesterday I had my students make posters about some of the concepts like icons and the Microsoft suite programs we have been studying. I enjoyed just sitting at my classroom table watching each of their personalities come out as they were having obvious…

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23Apr 15

Serving in Zambia

Pres House Alum Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey is serving as a PCUSA Young Adult Volunteer in Zambia this year.  Check out this video for a snapshot into her life there.

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07Dec 14

A Pastoral Letter on Recent Events

Dear Pres House Community, In the past couple of weeks, incidents in Ferguson and Staten Island revealed a long-existing divide in our nation. My purpose in writing to you is not to debate the specifics of those cases, but rather to exhort our community to be a place where we come together and talk honestly with one another. Our community represents a diversity of opinion and perspective which is something I highly value. We strive to create a culture of asking questions, wrestling with challenging issues, and being open with one another. This is easier to do with some topics, much harder with others. Race, which is deeply embedded in the Ferguson and Staten Island incidents, is one of the toughest ones to talk about. I understand the hesitation to engage in this topic—I know our community is one in which people endeavor to treat each other with respect and do…

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03Dec 14

A Lament for Ferguson

In the first week after the decision by a grand jury to not indict Officer Darren Wilson over the shooting of Michael Brown I struggled to sort through my reaction and think of what to say in response. Pastor Erica, my wife and co-pastor, wisely suggested that we orient our first worship service after the verdict around lament. The act of prayerful lament is very fitting during Advent. In Advent we call out from the darkness of our current situation and hold onto hope that Christ is coming to break into our world with light and grace. So on Sunday, November 30, 2014 I shared these words as a personal lament for Ferguson. They do not reflect an official position of Pres House or represent all of the opinions of our diverse community. They are my own words of sadness, anger, confession...and ultimately hope. - Pastor Mark (You can listen to…

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28Oct 14

A Thankful Update from Hannah in Zambia

Dear Pres House, Dear, dear friends! I think of you often as I picture what stage of the year you are encountering, from kick-off to midterms to Fall Retreat. My YAV coordinator recently asked me about a moment I’ve experience God lately, and what came to mind was that I recently downloaded the Pres House worship playlist (aka 10,000 Reasons, Beautiful Things, etc) and it was in those moments, listening to those songs which made me feel so complete, with my feet both back home and Zambia, that God was most clear to me. Two months ago to this day I left on this journey to Zambia, leaving with your thoughts, prayers, and financial support. Since then each day has been full—full of new people who morphed into family and friends; full of eye-opening, earth-shattering realities about poverty and the systems of the world; full of nshima—Zambian food; full of…

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25Aug 14

Young Adult Volunteer – Hannah in Zambia!

In just a couple of days, Pres House alum Hannah Weinberg-Kinsey will be arriving in Lusaka, Zambia to begin a year of service through the Young Adult Volunteer program of the Presbyterian Church, U.S.A. We at Pres House are excited to be supporting her through prayer and finances as Hannah embarks on this journey. We invite you to follow Hannah's journey through her blog. And hey, maybe you want to consider becoming a Young Adult Volunteer in the near future too!

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