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Congregational Vitality

Here’s the church, here’s the steeple

John Knox Presbyterian Church in Louisville held a dry run Sunday as it seeks to reopen for in-person worship on Mother’s Day, May 9. A dozen of us — all fully vaccinated — masked up and sat only in the pews marked with green streamers to take in the dry run, worship our risen Savior and make suggestions for next week’s opener.

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.

God’s not-so-frozen chosen

In the spirit of the Easter season, First Presbyterian Church in Greensboro, North Carolina has put together its first ever dancing music video. After an opening shot of the church’s Gothic Revival cathedral in the city’s historic Fischer Park District, pastors Jill Duffield, Dolly Jacobs and Neil Dunnavant are shown dancing in their robes to the music of “High Hopes” by “Panic! At the Disco.”

Workshop focuses on identifying talents, then putting them to work in group settings

It’s the Year of Leader Formation in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and on Wednesday about 225 Presbyterians celebrated by tuning in to hear the Rev. Michael Gehrling deliver an engaging 90-minute talk on identifying and cultivating one’s individual talents and then coalescing those talents in a group setting, such as a church session, board of deacons or ministry team.

Church membership in US now less than half the population

After seeing the Gallup Poll study, which came out during Holy Week, that for the first time church membership in the U.S. has declined to less than half the population, Presbyterian News Service reached out to the Rev. Brian Heron for some insight. As Presbyter for Vision and Mission in the Presbytery of the Cascades, located in Portland, Oregon, Heron lives and works in one of the least religious cities in the nation.

A shot of hope

As we begin the second year of the COVID-19 pandemic, there are reasons for hope, including vaccines approved for emergency use authorization by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Yet even 95% efficacy for a vaccinated individual means that, statistically, 19 out of 20 people are effectively covered against becoming seriously ill from coronavirus, but 1 in 20 is not.

Let the rivers run

Originating high atop Elk Mountain, the Gallinas River flows southeast through upper Gallinas Canyon past Montezuma’s hot springs straight through the heart of Las Vegas, New Mexico as it courses toward the Pecos River, luring expert fishers along its winding path.  Not to mention great pastors.