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‘We don’t own God or the gospel’

What is Intentional Authentic Evangelism? How is it being practiced in the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)? And how has your understanding of evangelism changed during your time in ministry?

Merry Christmas!

My Christmas ritual is viewing “Black Nativity: A Gospel Christmas Musical Experience.” Adapted from Langston Hughes’ Christmas classic “Black Nativity,” the production is a powerful rendition of the Christmas story. It is filled with thrilling voices, exciting dance, spectacular costumes and glorious gospel music. Hughes originally wrote “Black Nativity” in 1961, at the height of the civil rights movement; it is more moving with every production.

God made the church to be an instrument of peace and justice

Peter is to be the rock in which the church would be built upon, really? Outspoken and fearless in declaring Jesus’ message, let us not forget that Peter is the same person who cowered in denial when Jesus was about to be crucified. Still, after all is said and done, the proper focus is not Peter’s courage and lack thereof, but the fact that our Lord chose this fallible human as the touchstone of God’s intention to establish the community of the faithful here on earth. So, what can we say about this “church” in 2021?

It’s time to right the wrongs

He entered Jericho and was passing through it. A man was there named Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was rich. He was trying to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was short in stature. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore tree to see him, because he was going to pass that way. When Jesus came to the place, he looked up and said to him, “Zacchaeus, hurry and come down; for I must stay at your house today.” … All who saw it began to grumble and said, “He has gone to be the guest of one who is a sinner.” Zacchaeus stood there and said to the Lord, “Look, half of my possessions, Lord, I will give to the poor; and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will pay back four times as much.” Then Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he too is a son of Abraham.” — Luke 19:1–9

Forgiving debts and spreading the Good News

In a year like no other, five faith communities in southeastern Minnesota have worked together to clear more than $2 million in medical debt for 1,057 households in Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Great ‘Co-mission’

Proclaiming the Good News of the Gospel and making known to others the teachings of Jesus has been integral to the church since its earliest days. We may ask, why does the church share its faith in Jesus Christ this way? The simple answer: We do it because Jesus commands us to do it (Matthew 28:19–20).

‘We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed’

For a Zoom gathering of about 65 people ready to hear Wednesday about doing intentional, authentic evangelism in the time of a pandemic, the director of Theology, Formation & Evangelism, the Rev. Dr. Ray Jones III, looked to one of his favorite biblical texts in Paul’s second letter to the church at Corinth: “We are afflicted in every way, but not crushed; perplexed, but not driven to despair;  persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed; always carrying in the body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be made visible in our bodies.”