Build up the body of Christ. Support the Pentecost Offering.


Rethinking stewardship approaches

I am not usually a fan of a pastor or someone in my position using themselves as a good example. If pastors tell a story from their lives in a sermon, I think it should be a story about how they learned something about their faith because of a failing or a shortcoming, or a story about something funny that happened to them. I also think pastors should never use their children as examples, especially if the child is in worship. The last thing preachers’ kids need is to have more attention drawn to them.

‘Voices of Jubilee’ encourages, inspires incarcerated youth

In the fall of 2018, youth at Bon Air Juvenile Correctional Center (BAJCC) in Chesterfield County, Virginia, asked to start a gospel choir. The request reached the Rev. Lauren Ramseur and the Rev. Ashley Diaz Mejias who, along with friends, collaborated to support the initiative. Ramseur and Mejias soon discovered that they were “doing church” — gathering twice a month at the correctional center for a community of worship. The group named themselves the Voices of Jubilee.

Going back to school during crisis

It’s almost time to go back to school, to campus, to a new normal. What can leaders of youth and collegiate ministries do to prepare for success in the midst of COVID-19?

Prayers for peace keep marching on

We knelt on the pavement, three long lines of women. One woman at a time led in prayer, acknowledging our need and crying out for God’s intervention in South Sudan. The rest of us joined in, praying silently or quietly, and I could feel the collective passion as we publicly prayed together. Women from different denominations took turns leading specific prayers — for soldiers who are hungry and underpaid, for youth who are sucked into the gang and drug culture, for leaders implementing the peace agreement, for the economy and jobs and for our churches and families. It was about 10 a.m., but the sun was already hot. Lively worship interspersed the times of prayer, and several women passersby got in line to join the prayers.

Mission partnership: We all have something we need — and something to give

That was the message that the Rev. Dave Carver shared as part of a panel on transformative partnership at the 223rd General Assembly (2018) in St. Louis. Carver is pastor of a Pittsburgh congregation, Crafton Heights First United Presbyterian Church. He shared how a three-way partnership in faith among the Pittsburgh Presbytery, the Synod of Blantyre in Malawi and the South Sudan Presbyterian Evangelical Church is transforming the lives of those involved.