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1001 new worshiping community
When Jaime Lázaro was looking for Commissioned Ruling Elder (CRE) education in Spanish so that he could become a commissioned new worshiping community leader in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), he couldn’t find the polity course he needed for ordination. Knowing it was a need for several candidates in Southern California — and in all likelihood around the country — he and Martín García believed that God was calling them to do something about it.
When church leaders at Westminster Presbyterian Church in West Chester, Pennsylvania, began discussing the idea to livestream its traditional Sunday morning worship service, one of the reactions was, “Why in the world would we do that?” Some members were afraid it would be an excuse for people to stay home.
Willow Weston, the founder and director of a 1001 new worshiping community in Bellingham, Washington, remembers the day Collide began.
Someone who had wounded her when she was a young girl was knocking on her door. Immediately, she ran upstairs with her baby — and hid in the closet.
In prison, the Rev. Lane Brubaker has never once felt scared or nervous. In fact, she’s experienced more joy and laughter there than she could have ever imagined.
On Dec. 12, 2018, she entered the Washington Corrections Center for Women (WCCW). Located in Gig Harbor, it is the largest prison for women in the state — and the only one that houses maximum- and minimum-security inmates.
Church-going or not, Americans are finding spiritual inspiration through podcasts.
In fact, according to Buzzsprout.com, 49 million households across the country listen to religious podcasts.
One of those, Aijcast, is hosted by a Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) minister, the Rev. Marthame Sanders. The podcast began as a church plant, as Sanders had a sense of call to work with artists and bring them together.
Until recently, the Rev. Sean Chow, the Western region and training associate for the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)’s 1001 new worshiping community movement, had never seen someone so little being baptized.
Serious JuJu, a community ministry for skateboarders and those who love them in Glacier Presbytery, baptized a 15-day-old baby girl and a young skateboarding boy.
Those who aspire to do innovative ministry now have an innovative resource available. The “New Way” podcast, which debuted in January with host the Rev. Sara Hayden, recently completed its second season, and episodes are available on the podcast’s website.
Becca Stevens, one of the keynote speakers for this year’s 1001 New Worshiping Communities and Vital Congregations national gathering in Kansas City, Missouri, remembers how she felt when she started a residential community for women who have survived trafficking, prostitution and addiction.
A decade ago, three Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.) congregations in the Atlanta area faced decline. The then-stated supply pastor serving two of those congregations shared with them their future.
The Rev. Laura Bentley, pastor of Sanctuary Faith Community, felt called to be a pastor — but she had the best pastoral conversations sitting at bars with people over food and beer.
While listening to people, the 1001 new worshiping community leader noticed how isolated they felt, so she started a weekly gathering around meals in her home — for rest, for space to wrestle with spirituality and to learn about Jesus.