Congregational Vitality

Light of Hope Presbyterian answers Matthew 25 call

The Rev. Edwin Gonzalez Gertz says Light of Hope Presbyterian Church in Marietta, Georgia, didn’t hesitate to become a Matthew 25 church. It provided them the language to articulate who they are.

Short films designed to elicit discussion and strengthen preaching and teaching

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.

Lilly Endowment Inc. makes new grants to save historic churches

Lilly Endowment Inc. has furthered its commitment to supporting congregations and preserving significant portions of America’s religious and cultural landscape by awarding nearly $15 million in grants to Partners for Sacred Places and the National Trust for Historic Preservation, to extend the National Fund for Sacred Places (The National Fund).

Love heals at Thistle Farms

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.

Is yours a ‘healthy’ congregation?

Theologian Emil Brunner famously stated, “The church exists by mission, just as fire exists by burning.” This didn’t quite sink in until I heard Darrell Guder, former dean and missiologist at Princeton Theological Seminary, put it more clearly for me: “The church does not exist primarily for the benefit of its own members. Instead, it exists for the benefit of those outside its walls.”

Former presbytery executive amazed at Miami church’s turnaround

“Let everything that breathes praise the Lord! Praise the Lord!” Psalm 150:6 The Scripture so eloquently phrased in Psalm 150 graced the bulletin cover as we celebrated the 38th Anniversary of New Life Presbyterian Church (Iglesia Presbiteriana Nueva Vida) in Miami on the last Sunday in April.  The church, located on Coral Way, is served by the Rev. Heidi Arencibia. I was honored to be the guest speaker for the service celebrating “Thirty-eight years of life by the grace of God!” (1981-2019).

The power of fearless dialogue

The Rev. Dr. Gregory Ellison, one of the keynoters for the 1001 New Worshiping Communities and Vital Congregations national gathering October, remembers how he felt in the midst of a media firestorm six years ago.