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‘More like church than church’ is the approach that helps a PC(USA) congregation in North Carolina address hunger

For decades, Black Mountain Presbyterian Church in the southern end of North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains has been addressing need in its community. “It’s a place where you expect to be in service in some way or another,” says Margo Smith, a member of the church, which is one of the Presbyterian Hunger Program‘s Hunger Action Congregations.

Creating community takes work

More than three decades have passed since my trip to North Antrim — a rugged coastline battered by the sea on the far edge of Northern Ireland. While I still remember the beautiful views from the grassy hilltop above a sheer rock cliff, as well as the bone-chilling wind blowing in from the Atlantic, what remains with me is how intentionally coming together in community is a valued spiritual practice that can foster peace in this world.

Wayward hen finds a home

When a wayward hen wandered into Sashabaw Presbyterian’s churchyard, she soon found a warm welcome and quickly became the church’s best community connector.

Decently and in order

Even though it doesn’t appear in the Book of Order — I looked — perhaps there’s no phrase, for better or worse, that sums up Presbyterianism than “decently and in order.” If something exists in our life together, we Presbyterians have a committee and — if we’re really on our game — an acronym for it. However, there’s an important reason for our fascination with process and structure: We value shared governance.

Creating community takes work

A few simple practices of being present, listening before speaking, being vulnerable and seeking common ground can build community.

Aging gracefully

Churches can use rituals as a tool to help people in mid and later life to peacefully and joyfully embrace their life’s transitions.

Session stands up to racism

Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the German theologian who was hanged for his role in seeking to overthrow the Nazi regime during World War II, once said, “Not to speak is to speak.” Yet the fear of losing members and pledges keeps many congregations silent when it comes to championing the causes of God’s hurting children. The Presbyterian Church of Deep Run in Perkasie, Pennsylvania, is not one of those congregations.

A journey of learning and unlearning

Wellshire Presbyterian Church in Denver responded to the Matthew 25 invitation in September 2020. Ever since, the congregation has embarked on a journey of self-education, starting with the 21-Day Racial Justice Challenge.

A celebration 122 years in the making

Norcross Presbyterian Church in Norcross, Georgia, held a dedication ceremony during a recent Sunday worship to mark the return to its original house of worship — built by its congregation more than 120 years ago in 1899.