Heritage and Hope
From the Executive Director...
Do our heritage and our history offer the Presbyterian Church (USA) hope for the future? This is a question that I have had to respond to several times in the last few months. But the more significant question, I believe, is what our heritage and history afford us in a time of uncertainty – a time like we are experiencing now.
Presbyterians have lived through uncertain times, time and time again. For Reformed Christians, the Reformation and the Counter Reformation posed challenges with an outcome that was unknown and certainly not guaranteed. For the Scots-Irish who migrated to the American mainland in the 18th century, the specter of success was always in doubt. By the time of the American Revolution, the fear of episcopacy and the consequences of participating in a treasonous act (or not) must have caused many Reformed Christians to wonder if the “world had turned upside down,” referring to a song popular at the time of the Revolution. Read more...
Apply Now for a Heritage Microfilming Grant
Applications are now being accepted for Heritage Microfilming Grants. This annual grant program sponsored by the Presbyterian Historical Society supports the preservation of church records in smaller congregations. This year, PHS will award grants of up to $500 to cover the costs of both microfilming and digitizing records.
Qualified congregations are at least 50 years old, have 250 members or less, and are in need of financial assistance to preserve their records. The application deadline is October 31, 2012.
For application instructions, visit PHS at the following link: www.history.pcusa.org/preservation/pdfs/heritageMicro.pdf
For more information email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 215-627-1852.
New Guide to China Mission Resources
PHS is pleased to announce the publication of a new guide to the materials in our holdings on western medicine in China. Project Archivist Jennifer Barr created the 43-page guide as part of the Western Medicine in China, 1850-1950 project, generously funded by the Henry R. Luce Foundation and jointly sponsored by Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis and the Peking University Health Science Center.
The guide includes a brief historical overview of the medical mission work in China conducted by the Presbyterian Church in the U.S.A. and the Presbyterian Church in the U.S. from the 1840s through the early 1950s. The bulk of the guide contains detailed descriptions of the materials held by PHS that document the work of missionary physicians, nurses, and medical educators in China, including records of the Presbyterian foreign mission agencies, missionaries’ personal papers, and mission publications.
Researchers focusing on western medicine in China and the history of Presbyterian mission work will find much to pique their interest. The guide is posted on the PHS website here and on the project website.
Back from the Gathering!
We are happy to welcome back staff members Lisa Jacobson and Elaine Shilstut from their trip to Orlando, FL for the 2012 Churchwide Gathering of Presbyterian Women. They enjoyed talking with Gathering attendees at the exhibit booth about all of the services PHS provides. At the event, Lisa taught a workshop, Documenting Your PW Heritage. The enthusiastic participants learned how to identify and preserve records of enduring value, and received valuable tips for celebrating anniversaries and writing histories. We are grateful for the opportunity to connect with so many of our friends and supporters at the event. How can PHS serve your congregation?
Interestingly, Elaine and Lisa arrived with a story from Old First Presbyterian Church of Huntingdon, NY about the theft of the church’s bell in 1777. The bell was returned – broken after being used by the British Navy during the Revolutionary War.
Coming up at PHS
August 17: Staff picnic; PHS closing at noon.
August 29: American Red Cross blood drive; contact Quincina Jackson for details: 215-758-4752.
September 3: Labor Day, PHS closed.
September 7: Staff inservice; PHS closed to the public.
October 17-19: PHS Board and COGA (Committee on the Office of the General Assembly) meetings, Philadelphia.