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Congregational Vitality

New worshiping community charters as church in South Carolina

“Did you agree to be dirt?” the Rev. CeCe Armstrong asked commissioners of Charleston Atlantic Presbytery and members of a newly chartered church in Charleston, South Carolina. The members of Parkside Church in Charleston, in accordance with G-1.0201 in the Book of Order, signed a charter that read in response to the grace of God, “We promise and covenant to live together in unity and to work together in ministry as disciples of Jesus Christ, bound to him and to one another as a part of the body of Christ in this place according to the principles of faith, mission, and order of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.).” As a result, the presbytery convened at St. Barnabas Lutheran Church, which is Parkside Church’s place of worship, for a chartering service on Jan. 29 to commission the church, ordain and install elders and fully install their organizing pastor, the Rev. Colin Kerr.

Through videos, a 200-year-old Brooklyn church explores the history of abolition and activism

“On Sunday, March 10, 1822, four men and six women swore an oath together in district school #1 on the corner of Concord and Adams Street in the village of Brooklyn,” reads Collette Foster, a member of First Presbyterian Church of Brooklyn, New York, in a video series celebrating the congregation’s bicentennial. “Their idea,” Foster continues, “was to organize a house of worship and to found the only Presbyterian church in their settlement of 7,000 people.”

Magnolia Presbyterian Church in Riverside, California, is rising from the ashes

For more than 140 years, Magnolia Presbyterian Church in Riverside, California, has been providing ministry in this Southern California community. The city recognized it as a historic landmark in 1973. Members cite the church’s many outreaches into the community, across the country and around the world.

PC(USA) pastor examines how post-pandemic preaching is changing

Whatever Covid stage churches find themselves in — post-pandemic, a return to in-person worship, a re-evaluation of what hybrid worship looks like, whatever the case — “we need to be attentive to the way our sermons are being offered to people,” the Rev. Dr. Peter Henry said Wednesday during the monthly “Equipping Preachers” webinar offered by the Synod of the Covenant.

Dr. Tori Smit with the Presbyterian Church in Canada has practical advice for churches with few children

Dr. Tori Smit, a diaconal minister and professional Christian educator in the Presbyterian Church in Canada serving the 262 churches in the Synod of Central, Northeastern Ontario and Bermuda — yes, that Bermuda — offered an insightful workshop during last week’s annual event of the Association of Partners in Christian Education, addressing a situation many churches find themselves in: “What to do when the kids are few.”

Presbyterian Mission Agency staff make good neighbors

The ministry areas of the Presbyterian Mission Agency and offices of the PC(USA) practiced being good neighbors in the marketplace at this week’s Association for Partners in Christian Education event. APCE’s Marketplace, which features a bookstore and informational resources from various denominations, seminaries, and church-adjacent non-profits, is a major attraction at the annual event.