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Church Transformation

PC(USA)’s Synod of the Covenant offers up LaRue’s clues for preaching

The Rev. Dr. Cleo LaRue appeared online earlier this month as part of the Synod of the Covenant’s Equipping Preachers series. His nearly 90-minute webinar, hosted by the synod’s executive, the Rev. Dr. Chip Hardwick, was entitled “A Refresher Course on Sermon Preparation.” It’s available here.

People of color adorn stained-glass windows at First Presbyterian Church in Kewanee, Illinois

For 120 years now, First Presbyterian Church of Kewanee, Illinois, has possessed two rare treasures that members and friends often took for granted. The sanctuary of the church of about 60 members, located an hour southeast of the Quad Cities, is home to two stained-glass windows featuring people of color, including Jesus and Mary Magdalene.

Two little prepositions can bolster preaching

Sermons that are memorable and have impact often rely on two tiny prepositions: “from” and “to,” the Rev. Dr. Tim Slemmons told a group of about two dozen preachers gathered online last week to participate in a webinar designed to help them improve their preaching.

One mid council leader’s take on embracing our new reality

Like with many congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), for the 90 or so churches in the Presbytery of Arkansas, worship is now a different experience than it was before the pandemic, the Rev. Stewart Smith said last week during an episode of the Synod of the Sun’s “SunSpots” podcast.

‘Figuring out how we share the gospel in Chandler and the world’

Each Sunday for the past few weeks, the Rev. Robert Felix has been giving parishioners at Chandler Presbyterian Church in Chandler, Arizona, real answers to honest questions. The way he goes about providing those answers — producing a short film each week based on a top faith question identified on Google Trends, then discussing the film and the question together — has proven to be an effective and innovative platform for, as he says, “figuring out how we share the gospel in Chandler and the world.”

An inconvenient truth

In episode two of the first official season of Everyday God-talk, host So Jung Kim uses the lens of Reformed theology to face what she calls “an inconvenient truth.”

Fitting hybrid worship into the context of the local congregation

Highlighting worship efforts during the pandemic ranging from high-tech and labor-intensive to one church’s “Call ‘Em All” telephonic approach, Thursday’s webinar on Hybrid Ministry: The Scattered Church was a balm for clergy and worship leaders who’ve struggled mightily with pandemic-induced issues including pastoral care, trauma and self-care.