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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).
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.
World Mission staff has created a variety of online resources to equip Presbyterians to prepare for, engage in and reflect on God’s mission.
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.”
“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 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.
On many Pentecost Sundays, which can be a movable feast like Easter Sunday, the life of a congregation sometimes intersects with the long weekend of Memorial Day holiday, the unofficial beginning of the summer season. As well as many graduations taking place around this time, a growing number of churches now hold services for ordination and installation before the summer begins.
Where does your congregation see itself in 20 years?
Chances are, an answer to that question doesn’t come quickly. After all, discernment takes time and thought. And sometimes, difficult circumstances must be acknowledged and tough decisions have to be made.
The Rev. Dr. Tom Bryson, who is part of the Vital Congregations (VC) writing team, said he was floored at what he heard at VC gatherings in Denver and Atlanta the last two weeks.
As Dr. William P. Brown, professor of Old Testament at Columbia Theological Seminary, confessed his personal anger and lament, Fairfield Hall at First Presbyterian Church in Atlanta went silent