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Layton E. Williams knows something about living in the margins.
“I believe the church extends far beyond the congregation or building,” said the Rev. Mary Sellers Shaw. “I am called to build community both inside and outside the church.”
“Yes! This is what’s missing in the church. This is what I’ve been seeking.”
Sixteen-year-old Brandon Earley and his pastor, the Rev. Dr. Neal Carter, chose an unconventional route this summer to grow closer while discussing Scripture, theology and anything else that came to mind during long house spent on a hobby they now share.
Scott Galloway’s father, grandfather and great-grandfather were all Presbyterian pastors. Galloway has followed all three of his preacher forebears — not into the pulpit, but as a storyteller and filmmaker who’s created a product that pastors, church educators and others can use to stimulate discussion and make the weekly readings from the Revised Common Lectionary more relatable to Sunday worshipers.
The second annual Just Worship event will be held Sept. 30-Oct. 2 at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. Like the first one at Columbia Theological Seminary this promises to an extraordinary time led by stirring preachers, exceptional musicians and talented workshop leaders.
St. Mark’s Presbyterian Church in Lomita, Calif., is located near a substantial encampment of people experiencing homelessness.
Becca Stevens, one of the keynote speakers for the 1001 New Worshiping Communities and Vital Congregations national gathering coming up October 14-16 in Kansas City, Mo., remembers how she felt when she started a residential community for women who have survived tracking, prostitution and addiction.
During opening worship at the East Coast Vital Congregations gathering at Atlanta’s First Presbyterian Church, the Rev. Amantha Barbee told nearly 100 mid council and other church leaders that if they want a vital congregation, they should “tell the truth, listen, take risks and above all preach the gospel.”
Two congregations that worship in the same Louisville, Ky., church are comfortable enough with one another that host church members didn’t even bat an eye recently when the smaller congregation told the larger one that the church has termites.