PREVIEW OF THE july 2014 ISSUE
The ‘new normal’ in a time of upheaval
By Paul Seebeck
Churches redefine themselves to meet society’s changing needs and turn church upside down.
It’s a startling image: “the bridge to nowhere.” It sits on dry land—a stand-alone monument to a different time.
Built in the 1930s, the Choluteca Bridge in Honduras was an engineering marvel, constructed with the latest technology available. It spanned the Choluteca River—that is, until Hurricane Mitch devastated Honduras in 1998.
The bridge survived, but the roads disappeared. The river moved, carving itself a new channel. The bridge no longer serves its purpose.
“ ‘The bridge to nowhere’ serves as a metaphor for our churches,” says Ray Jones, coordinator of evangelism for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). “They’re still standing but have been devastated by the storm of cultural and social change going on around them.”
Common values, uncommon rewards
Becca Calendo and Amelia Lorenz, housemates at Chicago’s Hesed Community Cooperative, love molasses cookies. So last Christmas they used one of the group’s three kitchens to whip up several batches of their favorite recipes. Then they enlisted the rest of the community for a blind taste test. “It was very spontaneous—something we thought of that evening over dinner,” Calendo says.
But it was more than that; it was an example of what living in an intentional community can be like. “That speaks to the kind of abundance that’s possible in community,” she says. “Certain people have a little bit of energy for something, and then we get to invite other people into it, and it becomes a shared, awesome, fun thing that wouldn’t ordinarily happen on a Wednesday night.”Continue reading
One in mission | Linda Valentine
A different ‘feel’ for faith
In the months leading up to the 221st General Assembly (2014), Presbyterian Mission Agency Board members and staff envisioned an assembly that would be life-affirming for the whole church. Since our gathering last month in Detroit, ripples of life-giving hope are already spreading across the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).
In calling us to “abound in hope,” the theme of this year’s assembly, Gradye Parsons, stated clerk of the General Assembly, urged us to make room in our church communities for people to share their stories of faith, a spiritual discipline already embraced by a growing number of congregations, including the Church of All Nations in Minneapolis.Continue reading
We all do it: we share information. In fact, we can’t help it; it’s part of our social nature. Whether we’re digital devotees or novice users of email, we routinely share information on our digital devices. So, as congregations seek new ways to make the church relevant to “outsiders,” a pertinent question emerges: What if a message of our love and faith in God were as easy to share as a Facebook post?Continue reading
Guide to Young Adult Ministry: online bonuses
From a millennial music playlist to conversations about pop culture, local-food advocacy, a "back to the land" movement, and managing student loan debt, these exciting online bonuses are sure to make your experience of this special edition truly interactive.Continue reading
1001 initiative is a hit!
If you hear people using terms like innovative and creative to describe Presbyterians, don’t do a double take. The denomination’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities initiative, which seeks to empower Presbyterians to start 1,001 new worshiping communities in 10 years, has been inspiring the imaginations of Presbyterians nationwide. And research shows that awareness of the initiative, which was approved at the 220th General Assembly (2012), is growing.Continue reading
Top nine must-see Presbyterian YouTube videos
Presbyterians turn on the camera and go beyond their walls
Check out these fun videos and add to the list by posting a comment.Continue reading
Wreck this church
What kimchi, a presbytery revival, and something called Wreck This Journal have to teach a changing church
By Theresa Cho
I can only go a few days without kimchi—at most a week. Then my body begins to crave it. Just saying the word kimchi tickles my salivary glands and makes my mouth water. Kimchi is a staple Korean dish. No matter how delectable the spread of food, without kimchi, the meal is incomplete. There are all kinds of kimchi, but the most popular is spicy fermented cabbage. Growing up, I watched my mother and women from the church gather around large round bins as their hands massaged the napa cabbage, pulling back each leaf and rubbing it with the spicy pepper mixture. The kimchi is then put in jars to ferment and ripen.Continue reading
This special issue is a must-read for everyone who wants to better understand young adults and engage them in worship, education, and service.
Cross-bound, the beautiful new Lenten Devotional from Presbyterians Today, is now available!
NEW THIRD EDITION. Presbyterians Today’s special issue and guidebook — “Welcome to the Presbyterian Church!” — is a wonderful introduction and overview of all things Presbyterian.