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A PC(USA) podcast culminates with the Matthew 25 vision as a whole

The limited-run resource connects lectionary texts to responses to poverty and racism and building congregational vitality

by Beth Waltemath | Presbyterian News Service

In its final series, the “A Year with Matthew 25 podcast” asks leaders to invite worshipers into reflection about how their congregation will focus the resources of its time, treasure and service.

“A Year with Matthew 25” connects readings from the Scripture with the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s Matthew 25 vision of building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty. The weekly podcast is a designed for devotional use and preparation for worship and is a great companion to the print resource “A Year with Matthew,” which draws on the Revised Common Lectionary Year A in order to help preachers, educators and worship planners attend to the three Matthew 25 foci throughout the Christian year. Both resources are produced by the Office of Theology and Worship within the Presbyterian Mission Agency.

The Rev. Dr. David Gambrell, associate for worship in the Office of Theology and Worship, produces the weekly podcast, which offers music, reflective questions and readings by leaders across the denomination. This fall, guest readers included Vilmarie Cintrón-Olivieri, Dr. Martha Moore-Keish, the Rev. Lisa Schrott, and Phillip Morgan, who presented biblical passages related to the theme “Glimpses of God’s Realm.”

The Rev. Dr. David Gambrell

“Year A of the Revised Common Lectionary culminates in a three-week sojourn in the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew,” said Gambrell, who recommends leaders use the podcast and the print resource to construct a sermon series on that chapter in Matthew’s gospel. “Matthew 25 consists of two parables and a vision of the last judgment. Together, these three passages conclude the fifth ‘book’ of Matthew’s Gospel, in which Jesus instructs his followers on ‘last things’ — how to live in light of God’s ultimate purpose for the church and for the whole Creation. As it is depicted in Matthew 25, this new way of life involves vigilant prayer, good stewardship and compassion for our neighbors.”

Kelly Abraham and the Rev. Derek Wadlington and the Rev. Becky Purcell anchor the final three episodes of the “Year with Matthew 25” podcast. While the previous weeks of the podcast have highlighted preaching opportunities around the three foci of the Matthew 25 movement, opening up lectionary texts in light of faithful responses to systemic poverty, structural racism or congregational vitality, the concluding series set to air the first three weeks of November “relate to the Matthew 25 vision as a whole,” said Gambrell. “They seek to cast a vision for what it means to be a Matthew 25 church in the world today.”

More congregational resources on Matthew 25, including materials for Worship in a Matthew 25 Church, are available here and on the Matthew 25 app.

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