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Mission Yearbook

Minute for Mission: Immigration Sunday

Advocacy is a special kind of ministry. It is the work of centering a particular experience of a community that is facing hardship. It takes relationship building and community organizing. This kind of public witness takes patience, care and persistence. As we celebrate Immigration Sunday, we are reminded of the countless immigrant experiences in our congregations and communities. We celebrate the dedication, commitment and countless contributions of these members.

Sprunt Lectures opening worship lifts up conflict and confusion in the church

“The early church was very accustomed to conflict, both conflict with the world around them and conflict with each other,” preached the Rev. Dr. M. Craig Barnes, interim pastor of the Presbyterian Church of Chestnut Hill, Pennsylvania, and president emeritus of Princeton Theological Seminary during opening worship of the Sprunt Lectures on Tuesday.

Preaching that’s both prophetic and apocalyptic

Presa’s contribution to the synod’s “Equipping Preachers” series wasn’t the least bit scary. Rather, Presa — Moderator of the 220th General Assembly (2012) and the vice president of Student Affairs and Vocational Outreach and associate professor of Preaching and Worship at New Brunswick Theological Seminary, who’s recently been named executive presbyter at the Presbytery of San Jose — helped webinar attendees to, as he put it, “interrogate the dominant narrative” and “present an alternative vision grounded in the Scriptures.”

Hoping for peace in Poland

It is an unbelievable paradox that in the recent years, Poland was ruled by a political party with “justice” (and “law”) in its name. Meanwhile, these years brought no justice to many marginalized groups in Poland, and since there was no justice, many spheres of life lacked peace.

Striking a balance between ‘Spirit-led’ and ‘decent and in order’

Cannon admits she can get herself in trouble when she is teaching about this particular mark lifted up through the Vital Congregation Initiative (VCI), because she boldly tells people that if they don’t encounter Jesus Christ when they attend worship, then they may need to move on.

‘A call to imagine the change we want to see’

Flautist, futurist, bandleader and composer Nicole Mitchell Gantt recently joined the Rev. Jermaine Ross-Allam for the second installment of the Matthew 25 series, “Imagining a Future Beyond Systemic Poverty and Structural Racism.” The 75-minute webinar included a time of improvised music and, in the style of Sankofa, a look at the past to help build a hopeful, more joyous and inclusive future.

‘Aren’t we all just holding space?’

The Rev. Michelle Scott-Huffman, campus minister of Ekklesia Progressive Campus Ministry at Missouri State University in Springfield, preached for the first time in her career on Psalm 23 during Chapel Service on the first day of Mental Health Month in May.

Memphis church finds new life, ministries in storefront

Membership had gone from 1,400 to about 160 over the decades. Maintaining a 10-acre campus, with a tall-steeple sanctuary built in 1950, drained money and energy. Church leaders struggled with the implications of closing or merging.

‘Lean in and look up’

Dr. Mark Ward and the Rev. Dr. Jeffrey Bullock, two retiring administrators at the University of Dubuque, were anything but retiring when they recently spoke to graduates during commencement exercises at the University of Dubuque Theological Seminary with passion and honesty.