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The Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III turned to history and the cinema to open a conversation about congregational vitality on the first day of the Presbyterian Mission Agency Board’s February meeting on Wednesday.
As Brian Frick, an associate for Christian Formation working with camp and conference ministries in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), began planning a retreat with Ghost Ranch leaders to see how they might learn from and align their work with mission initiatives of the Presbyterian Mission Agency, he began to ask questions.
When Gail Cafferata faced closing the church she pastored, her experience brought to mind a million questions about her call, leadership and future. Inspired by her experience and wanting to explore other pastors who were called to serve churches that closed, she embarked upon a sociological study, diving into the experiences of more than 130 pastors in five historically established denominations (Episcopal, Lutheran, United Methodist, Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and United Church of Christ). Westminster John Knox Press is proud to announce the release of her book, “The Last Pastor: Faithfully Steering a Closing Church,” which explores the hard-won lessons of the pastors she interviewed about their journeys through church decline and closing.
Now retired after serving the First Presbyterian Church of Libertyville, Ill., the Rev. Roberta Dodds Ingersoll described during a workshop this week how congregants at First Church became more comfortable talking about their death, or that of a loved one.
“Seeing Jesus: Social Justice Activities for Today Based on Matthew 25” includes 60 social justice activities for children, teens and adults to live out the Matthew 25 vision.
Mission statements are common among Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) churches and mid councils. The problem, according to the Rev. Dr. Theresa Cho, is that they usually don’t “tell us how to go about” the mission.
The Calvin Institute of Christian Worship (CICW) announced that it will fund 15 grants to teacher-scholars for 2020-2021 as part of its Vital Worship Grants program.
The PC(USA)’s Office of Vital Congregations will hold a conference in April in Austin to help congregations and presbyteries learn to have a more vital life together in Christ and reach out in service to their communities.
In general, smaller- and medium-sized congregations in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), together with their counterparts in the Episcopal Church, assigned themselves higher scores as part of a vital congregations survey than larger congregations.
As 14 Presbyteries prepare to launch the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A)’s Vital Congregations initiative in January, three presbyteries — Trinity, Newark and San Jose — are finishing up a pilot program of the two-year revitalization process.