Congregational Vitality

‘We pray we won’t leave there like we came in’

The Preaching Lab, a five-part online workshop offered by New Hope Presbyterian Church in Anaheim, California, through a grant by the Calvin Institute of Christian Worship in Grand Rapids, Michigan, opened Saturday by asking participants to define what preaching means to them. Their definitions included:

Have yourself a jazzy little Christmas

Jazzy Christmas, a highly-anticipated yuletide concert put on each year by New Hope Presbyterian Church in Anaheim, California, can’t, because of the pandemic, be held in person this month.

Longtime pastor of Waldensian Presbyterian Church shares his love of church history

For more than a decade, the Rev. Dr. Kevin E. Frederick has been a leading figure in the Waldensian movement in the United States. On March 30, 2021, he will be retiring as pastor of the Waldensian Presbyterian Church in Valdese, North Carolina. The following interview, courtesy of the American Waldensian Society, is one of several interviews with Frederick that will be published between now and in March 2021.

Columbia Seminary awarded congregational development grant

Columbia Theological Seminary in Decatur, Georgia, has received a grant of $969,528 from Lilly Endowment Inc. to help establish the “reKindle: Congregational Development in a Post COVID-19 Era” program through its Center for Lifelong Learning.

Dr. Anthony Fauci pays an online house call

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s preeminent voice on infectious diseases, paid a house call via Zoom Tuesday evening on Roxbury Presbyterian Church in Boston, dispensing 30 minutes of wisdom and encouragement to a crowd of up to 2,300 registered viewers.

Celebrating congregational vitality on #GivingTuesday

During the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) #GivingTuesday 12-hour digital telethon set for Dec. 1, the Rev. Dr. Kathryn Threadgill and team will celebrate their Vital Congregations ministry. Along with dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty, building congregation vitality are the three foci of the denomination’s Matthew 25 invitation.

Faith Presbyterian Church: a beacon in the Blue Ridge Mountains

In 2000, eight retirees led an effort to plant a new Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregation in the mountains of north Georgia. Today, Faith Presbyterian Church – Blue Ridge has 159 members and is one of the fastest-growing congregations in Cherokee Presbytery and the Synod of the South Atlantic. Last year, Sunday morning worship attendance averaged 109.

‘Empower Servant Leaders’

Each Wednesday at 3 p.m. Eastern Time, the office of Vital Congregations of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) hosts an online “vital conversation” via Zoom and Facebook Live. The current series is focusing on the Seven Marks of Vital Congregations, such as Wednesday’s conversation “All Voices on Deck,” which examined the role of the church’s translation services ministry in empowering servant leaders for the church.

An elliptical sermon

The Rev. Dr. Ralph Basui Watkins has no doubt preached in many settings over his long career in ministry and in training ministers to be. Add the former garage he’s transformed into a garage gym to the list of his preaching venues.

Children can be part of giving

When I was a child growing up in the United Methodist Church, I remember that my parents once got a little cardboard folder to put quarters in. Although I don’t remember whether you were supposed to put the quarters in every day or every week — or even what the project was for — it really made an impression on me that kids could be a part of giving.