Make a difference on #GivingTuesday, Nov. 28!

Matthew 25

Preaching and praying from the darkness of our time

As a boy growing up in Brazil, the Rev. Dr. Cláudio Carvalhaes said he was afraid of the dark. At bedtime it comforted him that his father had the light on in the next room. “I could see the light where he was, and that was my resting place,” said Carvalhaes, associate professor of worship at Union Theological Seminary in New York City, during last week’s “Responding to an Exodus: Gospel Hospitality and Empire” celebration of 35 years of ministry by Presbyterian Border Region Outreach’s Frontera de Cristo. Carvalhaes led a Friday morning workshop he called “Preaching from the Darkness” at First Presbyterian Church in Douglas, Arizona.

Border wall art simultaneously expresses hope and resistance

Raised in both Douglas, Arizona and nearby Agua Prieta, which is just south of the U.S.-Mexico border, artist and community college instructor M. Jenea Sanchez has an interest in the kind of public art that’s a simultaneous expression of hope and resistance.

Bible study added to growing body of Matthew 25 resources

The vision for the Matthew 25 invitation is “admittedly audacious,” a new Matthew 25 resource acknowledges. The three Matthew 25 challenges — building congregational vitality, dismantling structural racism and eradicating systemic poverty — “are enormous.” “And yet we affirm that God is always immeasurably greater,” states the Matthew 25 Bible Study for Prayer and Reflection, now available on the Matthew 25 invitation website. According to Paul’s letter to the Ephesians, God “is able to accomplish abundantly far more than all we can ask or imagine.”

‘Put us where you want us, and show us what to do’

A congregation without a building but with a proven record of innovation for serving the Rochester, New York, community — especially those living in the city’s margins — has accepted the Matthew 25 invitation.

Online giving helps Ohio church support community

Jack Hemple grew up at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Toledo, Ohio. His parents were married there. He was baptized there. “I remember being there a lot as a kid,” Hemple said, adding that back then his mother loved to knit. “She was always knitting. She had a specific hat pattern that she used and she’d knit hats and give them to the church,” he remembered. But in the late 1980s, a lack of support caused the church to close.

Translating the Matthew 25 vision into liturgical language

A free new booklet is proof Presbyterians can confess their sins, affirm their faith, pray, break bread and be dismissed — and start and end their day with prayer, all without leaving the 25th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.